Des Moines, Nov 5, 2012 – the final rally of the campaign
Today (all times Eastern):
11:30: President Obama and VP Biden meet with business leaders to talk about the impact overhauling immigration laws will have on U.S. economy
2:10: President Obama departs the White House en route Bethesda, Md. where he will visit wounded troops at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He will also visit Fisher House, a program that supports military families
4:0: Michelle Obama makes remarks at White House Diwali celebration
6:30: VP Biden and Jill Biden host reception for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Video of President Obama addressing OFA yesterday – see here
Today (Tuesday, November 5th) is election day. Get all the information you need vote411.org
Then go V-O-T-E.
Kelli Cauley’s fingers raced over her keyboard as she asked the anxious woman at her side a series of questions. What was her income? How many people lived in her household? Did she smoke? (“That’s the only health question it asks,” Ms. Cauley said of the application they were completing.)
The woman, a thin 61-year-old who refused to give her name, citing privacy concerns, had come to the public library here to sign up for health insurance through Kentucky’s new online exchange. She had a painful lump on the back of her hand and other health problems that worried her deeply, she said, but had been unable to afford insurance as a home health care worker who earns $9 an hour.
Within a minute, the system checked her information and flashed its conclusion on Ms. Cauley’s laptop: eligible for Medicaid.
The woman began to weep with relief. Without insurance, she said as she left, “it’s cheaper to die.”
Jonathan Cohn: ‘I Would Jump At It’ The media labeled her an Obamacare victim. Here’s what she really thinks.
If you’ve followed the stories of insurance cancellations related to Obamacare, you may have heard about Dianne Barrette. She’s the 57-year-old Florida realtor who was paying $54 a month for a Blue Cross insurance plan. The plan won’t be available after December. And while FloridaBlue offered her a new plan, the company told her the premium would be $591 a month. Barrette, who makes $30,000 a year and could not pay for such a plan, was flabbergasted. Jan Crawford of CBS News made her the key source for a story about plan cancellations. An appearance on Fox News followed, as did multiple cameos in press releases from Obamacare critics. For at least a few days, she was the poster child for the Obamacare cancellation story.
But Barrette’s situation defies quick and easy description. It’s true that she can’t keep her current policy—and that most policies available to her for next year have higher premiums. But those plans also offer real coverage, and her current plan does not. Some people might resent government effectively prohibiting her current plan. Barrette doesn’t appear to be one of them. Based on conversations we’ve had over the past few days, she wants more comprehensive insurance and, within reason, she’s willing to pay more for it.
Bob Cesca: Another Obamacare ‘Horror Story’ Debunked; And, No, the President Didn’t Lie About the Law
As the week began, another “Obamacare” horror story hit the press, instigating a fleet of outrage-pornographers and concern trolls across the political spectrum to resume its self-flagellation and screeching about the disastrous Affordable Care Act — selectively forgetting about actual healthcare horror stories that existed before the law was implemented. It was a story focusing on yet another vague, anecdotal tale about a hapless ACA victim whose insurance policy was canceled, thus vindicating the accusation that the president lied about “keeping your existing insurance policy if you like it.”
Before we dive into the lie accusation, let’s take a closer look at an op/ed for the Wall Street Journal written by a stage-4 gallbladder cancer survivor, Edie Littlefield Sundby.
Sally Kohn: 6 other Obamacare promises – and these are very much coming true
Republicans recently pounced on the fact that, yes, some Americans will lose their current crummy insurance plans that don’t meet the new standards set by the Affordable Care Act.
These Republicans are accusing President Obama of having misled the American public – or worse, having lied.
I think that’s a ridiculous claim. If you like your crummy plan, you can’t keep your crummy plan under Obamacare, but odds are you will find a better plan that is also more affordable, with subsidies available to more than half of Americans.
Aside from parsing this promise that you could keep your plan, it is wrong to say that this alone was how Obamacare was sold to the public.
…. here, for the record, are a few of the Affordable Care kept promises:
Washington Post: Congratulations, America! Your deficit fell 37 percent in 2013
The federal government’s 2013 fiscal year ended Sept. 30, though most of us were so busy focusing on the government shutdown that accompanied the new fiscal year that there wasn’t much time to reflect on the year that had passed.
Now the Treasury and Office of Management and Budget is out with the final budget results. Surprise! The deficit fell quite a bit in 2013. The federal government took in $680 billion less revenue than it spent, or about 4.1 percent of gross domestic product. In 2012, those numbers were $1.087 trillion and 6.8 percent of GDP. That means the deficit fell a whopping 37 percent in one year.
This is the first sub-$1 trillion and sub-5 percent of GDP deficit since the 2008 fiscal year, which ended the very month that Lehman Brothers fell and a deep crisis set in.
ThinkProgress: Three Progressive Measures On Tuesday’s Ballot That You Should Know About
Congress may not be up for grabs, but Election Day 2013 still comes with high stakes for progressive economic policy ideas. On Tuesday, voters in Colorado, New Jersey, and a small Washington town are getting an up-or-down vote on some proposals that would improve lives both today and decades from now. Here’s a rundown of the three ballot initiatives:
Colorado’s Amendment 66 would raise income taxes and commit $1 billion in new revenue to public schools….
New Jersey’s Question 2 would raise the minimum wage and keep it rising….
SeaTac, Washington’s Proposition 1 would mean a $15 minimum wage for one of the country’s busiest airports….
After Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was caught presenting others’ work as his own by The Rachel Maddow Show, BuzzFeed, and Politico, the senator’s office seemed to realize Paul had a problem on his hands. It reached the point late Friday that the senator’s aides started making it more difficult to access Paul’s speeches, perhaps fearful more evidence would come to light.
Unfortunately for the senator, it’s too late to hide op-eds Paul has already written and published…
After Sunday’s rally, what distressed me most was that there wasn’t a show of support for President Obama there to face those bigots. Perhaps the teabaggers chose a time when folks weren’t as numerous or when they wouldn’t have encountered too many President Obama’s supporters.
In recent years, organizers have realized that not everyone can attend a rally in person. So they have created “virtual rallies” so that everyone can protest in their own way.
Unable to go to Washington DC, I’ve decided to create a virtual rally.
President Barack Obama plays basketball during a visit to the McIntosh family farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa, Aug. 13, 2012. The President toured a cornfield on the family farm to view the effect the drought is having on crops ( Photo by Pete Souza)
ThinkProgress: Dying Teen Is Being Denied A Heart Transplant Because He’s Had Trouble With The Law
Fifteen-year-old Anthony Stokes has less than six months to live unless he receives an emergency heart transplant. But his family has been told that Anthony doesn’t qualify for the transplant list because he has a “history of non-compliance” — partly due to his history of earning low grades and having some trouble with the law.
…. Regardless of Anthony’s specific past, his story fits into a larger pattern of racially-motivated skepticism about young black men. The routine criminalization of black youth — thanks in large part to the so-called “school-to-prison pipeline,” which funnels a disproportionate number of black teens into the justice system for minor infractions — ensures that teens like Anthony are often seen as threats. And once society labels those kids as criminal, suspect, or “non-compliant,” their lives are typically considered to have less value.
President Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama leave after dining at The Sweet Life Cafe in Oak Bluffs, August 11
USA Today: Chef Sam Kass Helps The Obamas, Nation’s Kids Eat Right (There’s video at the link. A delightful must watch)
White House chef Sam Kass eyed the corn ripening in the garden tucked in a corner of the South Lawn but decided to pluck a cucumber off the vine instead. “We had corn two days ago,” he explained. Vegetables and fruits are on the menu for the first family and for kids across the country who are heading back to school, a cause for Michelle Obama and Kass, the Obamas’ family chef and executive director of the first lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. In an interview Friday with USA TODAY’s Capital Download, Kass discussed the impact the campaign against childhood obesity seems to be having.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made headlines last week with the release of a study that showed obesity rates among low-income preschoolers declining for the first time in decades — down in 17 states and up in only three. On the same day, Gallup reported that the percentage of Americans who went to fast-food restaurants at least once a week had dropped by 9 percentage points since 2006.
“I think we’re right at a tipping point,” Kass said, shedding his jacket as he sat at a picnic table in the sweltering August heat. The White House garden, the first big vegetable patch on the grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden during World War II, produces about a thousand pounds of produce a year. “Last year, fruit and vegetable consumption was up 6%, which came as a great surprise. We’re seeing much greater awareness across the board about what we’re eating and how much we’re eating and trying to make sure we’re getting balanced meals on our kids’ plates.” President Obama insisted last week on NBC’s Tonight Show that his favorite food was broccoli. Really? “Broccoli is a go-to staple here,” Kass confirmed. “He likes his greens. I mean, he’ll eat any kind of green vegetable. There’s nothing that’s not in play.” For Obama, he typically blanches the broccoli or sautés it with a little olive oil.
President Barack Obama talks with Senior Advisor David Axelrod on the Colonnade of the White House, Aug. 13, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas discuss the 2012 Summer Olympic Games during an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, Aug. 13, 2012 (Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)
President Barack Obama greets Military Aide Lt. Col. Dave Kalinske and his family in the Oval Office, during Kalinske’s departure ceremony, Aug. 13, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
E.J. Dionne: The 2012 campaign began on Aug. 2, 2011, when President Obama signed the deal ending the debt-ceiling fiasco. At that moment, the president relinquished his last illusions that the current, radical version of the Republican Party could be dealt with as a governing partner. From then on, Obama was determined to fight — and to win.
It was the right choice, the only alternative to capitulation. A Republican majority both inspired and intimidated by the tea party was demanding that Obama renounce every principle dear to him about the role of government in 21st-century America. And so he set out to defeat those who threatened to bring back the economic policies of the 1890s.
…. Romney may have flipped and flopped and flipped again on issues he didn’t care about, but his view of American capitalism and American government never wavered. If Teddy Roosevelt fought against the policies of the Gilded Age, Obama is fighting a Republican Party determined to bring the Gilded Age back and undo the achievements of a century.
And so, beneath the attacks, the counterattacks, and the billions invested by small numbers of the very rich to sway the undecided, we face a choice on Tuesday that is worthy of a great democracy. My hunch is that the country will not go backward, because that’s not what Americans do.