Archive for July 8th, 2013

08
Jul
13

What Do We Like?…Laughter

Continue reading ‘What Do We Like?…Laughter’

08
Jul
13

Night Owls: What Is Love?

Welcome to the beautiful world of Tom Odell. Come in and explore.

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Continue reading ‘Night Owls: What Is Love?’

08
Jul
13

Obamacare: A Fact or Two

Website: Doctors for America

Twitter: @Drsforamerica

Read UT’s (@NerdyWonka) post on Obamacare here

08
Jul
13

Smarter Government

See more here

08
Jul
13

#ZoeCare

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08
Jul
13

Rise and Shine

On this day: President Obama greets bystanders as he tours earthquake damage in L’Aquila, Italy while attending the G-8 summit, July 8, 2009 (Pete Souza)

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Today:

10:30: President Obama holds a Cabinet Meeting; VP Biden attends

11:50: President Obama delivers a statement on his management agenda

1:0: Jay Carney briefs the press

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USA Today: President Obama has added events to his Monday schedule, a Cabinet meeting and a statement on his “management agenda” for “smarter government.” …. the White House said Obama will discuss progress in three key areas: “Delivering government services better, smarter and faster … finding ways to reduce waste and save taxpayers money; and … opening up huge amounts of government data to give entrepreneurs and businesses the ability to create jobs and solve problems.” … he “will direct his Cabinet and key members of his Administration to build on the progress made over the first term, and challenge them to go even further.”

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Washington Post: Obama’s summertime push: Immigration and the economy

With several controversies fading and a period of intense foreign travel over, President Obama is narrowing his focus this summer to two issues, immigration and the economy….

On immigration, Obama is devising a new, more public strategy that will include events in states with large Latino populations, advisers say — part of an aggressive effort to pressure House Republicans who remain skeptical of proposed changes…..

The president also plans a series of summertime events focused on steps the government can take to drive economic growth, aides said. Many in the White House see a Sept. 30 deadline to renew government funding as probably the last opportunity for Obama to scale back the deep domestic spending cuts known as sequestration before the 2014 midterm elections.

….  His aides say the president is buoyed by the Senate’s passage of an immigration bill and by a steady stream of positive economic news, including a report Friday showing robust job growth.

“When you’re toiling in the vineyard through a tumultuous spring, it can be hard to see it all coming together,” said Jennifer Palmieri, the White House communications director. But now, she said, “you can see it coming together.”

More here

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Steve Benen: The Voting Rights Act was gutted, but it’s not yet dead

With lightning speed, state Republican policymakers responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act by moving on a series of new voting restrictions, primarily targeting minority groups, students, and the poor. Before two weeks ago, many states would have needed Justice Department approval for these changes – approval they would not have received – but it is now “open season” on Americans’ access to their own democracy.

There is, however, a possible hurdle for those waging the “war on voting.” The Supreme Court undermined the Voting Rights Act by targeting Section 5 of the law – the provision related to pre-clearance – ordering Congress to come up with new standards and leaving this area of the law unenforceable. But Section 2 of the VRA – described by Chief Justice John Roberts in his ruling as “permanent” and applicable “nationwide” – remains intact…..

More here

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Michael Tomasky: Starting today, Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers’ propaganda arm, will run an ad, the first of several that are planned, to attack Obamacare. This marks the official opening salvo of the 2014 election campaign. Republicans — with no accomplishments, no remotely popular vision of the country, on the cusp of possibly killing immigration reform, and perhaps admitting (at least to themselves) that Benghazi and the IRS are not going to be Barack Obama’s undoing after all — have been reduced to grasping at their final straw: frightening people about health-care reform…..

…. this is all the GOP has. They have tried to beat Obama on every front, from the economy to terrorism to the environment to the recent “scandals” to the question of his very legitimacy as president. They’ve lost most of these fights …. and, of course, they lost the big fight, the world-historical state versus anti-state fight — the one over Obamacare.

They are going to spend the next three-and-a-half years trying to reverse that loss…..

Full post here

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In that Tomasky post he bemoans the fact that Stacey Lihn, who spoke so powerfully at the Democratic convention about Obamacare, hadn’t been used since by the campaign. Just spotted the new ad:

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Washington Post: On Wednesday, just before the Fourth of July holiday, North Carolina Republicans added a slew of anti-abortion restrictions at the last minute to a bill otherwise concerned with banning Sharia law (already a questionable endeavor, but never mind that now).

….. In pretending to promote safety, the actual accomplishment of these amendments would be to place an undue burden on women seeking abortions. Fewer clinics means less access to licensed, well-equipped providers. Where is the safety in that? These restrictions are disingenuous attempts to infringe on a woman’s ability to make constitutionally protected decisions in consultation with her doctor.

…. disrespect for process is a disturbing commonality in many of these proposed restrictions and further evidence of their true intent. Any law that will limit women’s access to abortion and to much other health care deserves a public hearing. Honesty about the true motivation of these laws would be welcome, too.

More here

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Steve Benen: ….. perhaps now would be a good time to consider why Gov. Rick Perry and his party are preoccupied with reproductive rights, but have done nothing to address exploding fertilizer plants.

Tim Murphy reported on Friday: In the two and a half months since an explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer storage facility left 12 first responders dead and at least 200 people injured, two things have become clear. The disaster could have been avoided if the proper regulations had been in place and enforced — and state and federal agencies don’t appear to be in a hurry to put those regulations in place or enforce them.

…. Lawmakers in Austin have a handy excuse for punting on new fertilizer regulations: That would be intrusive.

…. Got that? When the issue is exploding fertilizer plants, which recently leveled part of a town and killed 15 people, state Republican policymakers are concerned with “overregulation.” When the issue is uteruses, state Republican policymakers believe there is no point at which you can overregulate.

Full post here

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Star Telegram: Despite Democrats’ requests for a series of hearings statewide, Sen. Jane Nelson has scheduled one hearing on the abortion restrictions bill.

The hearing, to begin at 10 a.m. Monday at the Texas Capitol, will be at least the third time this year that testimony will be taken in a Senate committee on the proposal.

…. Gov. Rick Perry called a second special session to deal with the comprehensive abortion bill, as well as transportation funding and sentencing guidelines for 17-year-olds convicted of capital murder.

More here

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Spandan C (The People’s View): Republicans Revive Empty Debt Ceiling Threats in Suicide Move

The National Journal is reporting that John Boehner and his unruly herd of Republicans are preparing once again to issue empty threats on the country’s debt ceiling – putting up a brave front and demanding that Medicare be dismantled, or Social Security privatized, or food stamps cut back further for them to give the president a debt ceiling increase. Huh? What debt ceiling increase? Two months ago, we talked about how the president’s policies resulting improving economy (and raising taxes on the rich) made the bottom fall out of the GOP’s debt ceiling square dance, as the president paid down the debt and cut the deficit in half (when measured against the size of the economy).

But fret not, think Boehner and Ryan, maybe the President’s policies took that candy from their petulant hands back in May, but we will reach the debt ceiling again….

More here

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Smartypants: President Obama’s foreign policy: Moving from dominance to partnership

During the Cold War, all foreign policy issues for the United States were defined as good vs evil…capitalism vs communism. Of course that kind of binary view of the world had disastrous consequences – not just in Viet Nam in the 60’s, but also in Africa and South/Central America in the 70’s and 80’s as attempts by countries all over the globe to extricate themselves from colonialism got labelled “communist.”

The neocons of the Bush/Cheney administration tried desperately to recreate that good vs evil frame with their Global War on Terror. Playing on the anger/fear after 9/11, they had us going for a while on that one. I suspect that one of President Obama’s greatest legacies will be that the very policies many on the left so vociferously criticize him for will prove to be effective enough to actually end not only that “war,” but also the frame the neocons wanted to reignite.

More here

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Oooooh:

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President Obama returns to the White House from Camp David, July 7

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On this day…

First Lady Michelle Obama meets with Clio Napolitano, wife of President Napolitano, at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, July 8, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning!




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