Posts Tagged ‘seamus

30
Aug
13

Rise and Shine

@petesouza: President Obama in the Oval Office, talking on phone to German Chancellor Merkel

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Today:

2:15 EDT: The President meets with President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia, Dalia Grybauskaitė of Lithuania, and President Andris Bērziņš of Latvia; the Vice President also attends

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CBS: Obama administration set to release Syria intel report

The administration will release on Friday a declassified version of its intelligence report on last week’s purported Syria chemical weapons attack, a senior administration official told CBS News late Thursday.

The official also said the administration would go public with its legal justification for taking military action against the Syrian regime if and when President Obama orders a strike.

More here

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Steve Benen: The prospect of going alone in Syria

A few days ago, it was largely seen as a fait accompli – British Prime Minister David Cameron would get approval from the British Parliament for the use of force in Syria, and a coalition would move forward apace.

With these expectations in mind, last night’s developments were as stunning as they were dramatic. For the first time in generations, a British prime minister’s appeal for military authorization was rejected by members of Parliament, even after Cameron watered down the scope of his original request.

It’s safe to assume the White House, which appears eager to intervene in Syria and assumed the UK’s support was in hand, was rattled by Parliament’s decision. Indeed, it left President Obama in an unsettling global dynamic….

More here

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Jonathan Cohn: Another Story of Obamacare Rate Shock That Isn’t

Another Obamascare article is making the rounds. This one, from National Journal, is about what people buying their own insurance will pay on the new Obamacare exchanges — and how those prices compare to what people pay when they get coverage from their employers.

“For the vast majority of Americans,” reporter Clara Ritger writes, “premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data. … Whether the quality of care in the new market is comparable to private offerings remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: The cost of care in the new market doesn’t stack up.”

…. this analysis doesn’t really tell us what the Obamacare critics think it does. In fact, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t really tell us what Ritger thinks it does….

More here

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Jonathan Bernstein: Here comes more Obamacare misinformation

Wow. National Journal really booted one today on the Affordable Care Act …..it should be tossed in the garbage…

….. National Journal only has initial estimates of what plans in the exchanges will look like; over time, we don’t know how they’ll change. And, yes, there is surely a fair amount of uncertainty about how employers will react over time.

What we do know, however, suggests that this National Journal analysis doesn’t get it right, at all.

More here

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Steve Benen: Eric Holder steps up, digs in, and breaks out

…. Eric Holder appears to have quietly positioned himself not only as a progressive champion, but as one of the more accomplished attorneys general in recent memory.

Think about some of the recent policies Holder has chosen to tackle: voting rights; sentencing reforms; condemnations of “Stand Your Ground” laws, and of course the drug policy announced yesterday. These are critically important law-enforcement policies, some of which have been neglected and ignored by officials in both parties for years, long in need of leadership – which Holder is now providing…..

Full post here

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FACT SHEET: New Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence

The Obama administration announced two new common-sense executive actions to keep the most dangerous firearms out of the wrong hands and ban almost all re-imports of military surplus firearms to private entities. These executive actions build on the 23 executive actions that the Vice President recommended as part of the comprehensive gun violence reduction plan and the President unveiled on January 16, 2013.

Even as Congress fails to act on common-sense proposals, like expanding criminal background checks and making gun trafficking a federal crime, the President and Vice President remain committed to using all the tools in their power to make progress toward reducing gun violence.

More here

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Treasury: All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized for Federal Tax Purposes

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

The ruling implements federal tax aspects of the June 26th Supreme Court decision invalidating a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

“Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve,” said Secretary Jacob J. Lew. “This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”

More here

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David Frum is hardly in a position to comment, but he’s right on this:

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TPM: Is This The Beginning Of The End Of The War On Drugs?

It’s America’s 40-year war. From Nixon through Nancy — “Just Say No!” — to Clinton not inhaling. From coke to crack to meth.

Throughout the War on Drugs, the drive has been for more law enforcement, stiffer sentences and less tolerance. The limitations of interdiction and incarceration are well-documented. But the push for harsher penalties rarely abated, and the emphasis remained on drugs as a criminal matter for law enforcement. Until Thursday, when the first real retreat of any kind was made official.

The Justice Department’s announcement that it would not block Colorado and Washington from implementing state laws legalizing marijuana marked a sea change.

More here

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Seamus Heaney, the Irish Nobel Prize-winning poet, died today.

This poem, which I used in an abysmally made YouTube video back in 2008, was, I always thought, perfect for the campaign – and still is:

“History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.”

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Morning everyone.

22
Jan
13

Night Everyone

First time I saw Barack Obama on my TeeVee, I thought “What’s with the ears?”

Honest, that was my initial impression, I reckoned anyone with ears of that pointy-out-ed-ness couldn’t possibly ever be President.

It was further proof of my intellectual heavy-weighted-ness.

Then I read his books, and checked out his history, and I decided: I’m in.

And I’ve never wanted to be anywhere else since.

I won’t go on, even though I’m in a rambling mood after such a beautiful day.

My support has never – honest! – been unconditional, that America is still in Afghanistan, for example, depresses me, even though I think I understand the strategic ‘reasoning’ behind still being there.

And there was lots about today’s ceremony that left me feeling queasy, although I’m certain PBO can’t be blamed for that. I suspect it makes him uncomfortable too. Too much jingoism, too much chest-thumping about America’s ‘might’ – a might that has often inflicted way more harm than good on the world. And that’s just the truth.

But, I love the man, and I love everything he has done and has tried to do, in the face of unrelenting, often vicious, opposition. He is good and decent to the core. As I’ve said a million times, I feel blessed to be alive in his time.

I’m not one to quote poetry, but….. Irish poet Seamus Heaney:

History says, Don’t hope
on this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
the longed for tidal wave
of justice can rise up,
and hope and history rhyme.

For me, Barack Obama is making hope and history rhyme.

Thanks for everything, see you tomorrow. Today was the best of days, just blissful.

16
Aug
12

‘Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro!’

Thank you isonprize!

16
Aug
12

Rise and Shine

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Michael Tomasky: Well, leave it to Mitt Romney of all people to put Paul Ryan on his ticket and then move immediately thereafter to distance himself from the Ryan budget. It’s so typical of everything we’ve seen of this semi-vertebrate. Try to bathe in Ryan’s refracted glory to right wingers while trying to tell seniors hey, psst, this is not really my thing, get it? Unbelievable.

It’s important to keep track of the Medicare lies, as they’re bound to pile up. The basic deal is that the Romney-Ryan line about Obama cutting $716 billion while they’ll “strengthen” the program is, shockingly I know, a lie. Ryan’s Medicare program cuts the same $716 billion! And then it cuts even more. And then, Romney’s proposal, insofar as it can be divined because as usual the details are scant, would likely cut even more than that.

…. I trust you saw the USA Today/Gallup poll yesterday showing that Ryan is the second least-approved of vice-presidential choice in the last quarter century …. “If the Democrats handle this right” is always a big if, but if they do, this ticket has the makings of a disaster.

Full post here

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Jonathan Cohn (TNR): Have you seen Mitt Romney’s new ad on Medicare? …. It’s not very subtle. And it’s not very true.

By now, you should know all about the hypocrisy of Romney attacking Obama for cutting Medicare. Paul Ryan put the same cuts in his budget plan. And while Romney has insisted he’d restore them, his budget doesn’t have room for that. If he’s serious about his overall spending plan, then he’d surely have to cut Medicare by as much as Obama did. In fact, he’d probably have to cut it by even more. And that’s just in the first ten years.

Still, the power of this ad is the appeal to senior citizens: Obama is taking your money and giving it somebody else. That’s why Romney and his allies keep saying that Obama “raided” Medicare. But, under the Affordable Care Act, a chunk of the money that comes out of Medicare goes right back into it. It helps seniors pay for prescription drugs, filling in the donut hole from Medicare Part D. It also allows seniors to get preventative care without co-pays, which means they can get an annual wellness visit, cancer screenings, and the like with no out-of-pocket costs. In the first half of this year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than a million seniors have saved an average of $629 on their drug bills because of this assistance.

…this business about “raiding” Medicare? It’s a naked appeal to selfishness and brazen misrepresentation of reality.

Full post here

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Cagle

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Michael Cohen (NY Daily News): …. if you really want to talk about who is playing the race card this year, it’s worth briefly revisiting the latest attack ad from the Romney campaign on welfare….

It might seem odd to the untrained observer that welfare is even being prominently featured in this campaign. It’s hardly an issue of pressing concern among voters. But of course, welfare never is and never has been just about policy; it’s really about politics and in particular, racial politics.

Romney accuses Obama of gutting welfare reform by granting waivers to state governments in how they choose to implement the law. It’s a charge that is completely without merit; spun from whole cloth; an invented attack line. But again, lying on the campaign trail about President Obama’s record is the rule, not the exception, for Mitt Romney.

… What’s most striking about the ad are the visuals – workers wiping their brow; working class Americans toiling away at manufacturing jobs. And coincidentally all the people in the ad … are white. This might not mean much, except for the fact that, as anyone who has followed American politics for the past 45 years knows, criticisms of the welfare system from the campaign trail have habitually always been used as racial code in attacks on Democrats for coddling blacks. It is the symbol of wasteful government spending, rewarding poor Americans for not working and creating a culture of dependency.

…. Indeed, this ad and in fact this whole line of attack is one of the most blatant uses of racial coding in a presidential campaign since the Willie Horton ad of 1988….

Full article here

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Iowa, August 15

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Cagle

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President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama return to the White House from Iowa, August 15

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Morning everyone ;-)

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