Archive for November 14th, 2013

14
Nov
13

Cleveland, Orlando, Atlanta

Transcript

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First Lady Michelle Obama autographs items after she delivered the keynote address at Disney’s Veterans Institute workshop at the Disney Boardwalk Inn, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 14. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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@VP: VP Biden leaves flowers at the crypt for MLK Jr. & Coretta Scott King today @KingCenterATL in Atlanta, GA.

14
Nov
13

A Backbone Like A Ramrod

Vice President Biden on President Obama: “This man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart and a spine of steel” “This guy’s got a backbone like a ramrod.”

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Despite President Obama providing a brilliant ObamaCare fix during today’s press conference

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There are Democrats still pushing for a legislative fix that will derail ObamaCare. 

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Here is their contact information. The power is in your hands. Make your voices heard.

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Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA): Twitter Handle: @SenLandrieu and @MaryLandrieu

Contact Info Here

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): Twitter Handle: @Sen_JoeManchin

Contact Info Here

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Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR): Twitter Handle: @SenJeffMerkley and @JeffMerkley

Contact Info Here and Here

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Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN): Twitter Handle: @SenDonnelly

Contact Info Here

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Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC): Twitter Handle: @SenatorHagan and @KayHagan

Contact Info Here and Here

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Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK): Twitter Handle: @SenatorBegich and @MarkBegich

Contact Info Here and Here

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): Twitter Handle: @SenFeinstein

Contact Info Here

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Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR): Twitter Handle: @SenMarkPryor and @PryorForSenate

Contact Info Here and Here

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Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO): Twitter Handle: @MarkUdall

Contact Info Here and Here

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14
Nov
13

President Obama Speaks at ArcelorMittal Cleveland

3:40 EDT

Streaming has started at White House Live

14
Nov
13

A few thoughts on Democrats

I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.

—Will Rogers

The past few days have had us witness a sad spectacle.

It’s safe to say that Obamacare’s roll-out hasn’t been as smooth as it should have been. Website problems have been a real hindrance to its more effective implementation, especially in a society wallowing in instant gratification. But, the fact is, that it’s a website, and fixable, and no one has died as a result. The same can’t be said about policies enacted by the previous Administration.

But the outrage ginned up by the mass media over the website problems—an outrage which was losing its motive force as Healthcare.gov performed better by the day—was as nothing compared to the fulminations falling from the lips of well-coiffed “journalists” over President Obama’s “broken promise”. That promise—that if you liked your insurance policy you could keep it—wasn’t broken by him, but by insurance companies which had issued junk policies which did not meet the strictures of the PPACA and were thus cancelling those policies, without informing consumers about options they had on the exchanges. Suddenly the news shows were filled with people apoplectic that their policies had been cancelled—policies, mind you, which could be cancelled at any moment for any reason, say, for instance, if you dared to get sick—and braying that Obama had “broken his promise”.

Today, the President offered an administrative fix, which allowed insurance companies to renew those policies for another year, but also stipulated that those companies had to inform their policy holders of the much better options available under Obamacare. In one move, he defused yet another manufactured scandal.

Continue reading ‘A few thoughts on Democrats’

14
Nov
13

Chat Away

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President Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House

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14
Nov
13

President Obama Makes a Statement on the Affordable Care Act

11:35 EDT

White House Live * C-Span

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Later:

12:0: First Lady Michelle Obama delivers keynote address at Disney’s first-ever Veterans Institute workshop at Walt Disney World Resort (live links any one?)

3:40: President Obama delivers remarks in Cleveland on the economy

14
Nov
13

Rise and Shine

Pete Souza: “We were on Air Force One heading to the Summit of the Americas in Singapore. Since the 1990’s, the host country for this Summit chooses a shirt that all heads of state wear to the formal ceremony. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was showing the President pictures of past leaders wearing – shall we say – not the most dignified of shirts.” Nov. 14, 2009

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Today (All Times Eastern):

11:35: President Obama to make announcement on a fix for health plans canceled under ACA

12:0: First Lady Michelle Obama delivers keynote address at Disney’s first-ever Veterans Institute workshop at Walt Disney World Resort

1:0: President Obama departs the White House

2:25: Arrives in Cleveland

2:30: VP Biden delivers remarks in Atlanta

2:55: President Obama tours ArcelorMittal, Cleveland

3:40: Delivers remarks on the economy

4:35: Departs Cleveland

5:30: VP Biden attends DNC event in Atlanta

5:45: President Obama arrives in Philadelphia

7:45: Delivers remarks at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

9:10: Departs Philadelphia

10:05: Arrives at the White House

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Igor Volsky: The Official Obamacare Numbers And What They Mean For The Future Of Health Care Reform

The Obama administration released October’s enrollment numbers for HealthCare.gov on Wednesday afternoon, providing the first official glimpse into the administration’s progress towards implementing the Affordable Care Act. Here is the breakdown: 106,185: filled out the application and have selected a plan through a federally run or state run exchange. 79,391: filled out the application and have selected a plan through a state-run exchange.

26,794: filled out the application and have selected a plan through a federal exchange. 846,184: filled out the application but have not yet selected a plan 1,509,883: individuals applying for coverage with completed applications 1,081,592: total individuals eligible to enroll in an exchange plan 396,261: eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. Enrollees by state: California 35,364; Federal exchange 26,794; New York 16,404; Washington 7,091; Kentucky 5,586.

More here

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Media Matters: The Obamacare Fact-Check CBS Should Have Done (But Didn’t)

CBS News, already in trouble for not bothering to fact-check sensational claims about the Benghazi attacks, has stepped in it again with an exclusive story on the Affordable Care Act that has quickly fallen apart.

On November 11, CBS News reported that the “project manager in charge of building the federal health care website was apparently kept in the dark about serious failures in the website’s security.”

CBS investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s report was based on an exclusive “first look at a partial transcript” of closed-door testimony by project manager Henry Chao that was likely leaked to the network by Republicans on the House Oversight Committee. Other media outlets picked up CBS’s scoop and ran with it.

…. Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA) questioned Chao at a November 13 Oversight Committee hearing and revealed how misleading CBS News’ report was….

More here

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Charles Pierce: If It’s Not One Thing, It’s CBS

…. Gee, CBS gets scammed by a con-man like Darrell Issa. Hoocoodanode?

Perhaps a CBS reporter who has proven to be a reliable mark in the past.

Sharyl Atkisson? The Sharyl Atkisson? The one who proved so valuable to Issa in his attempt to promote the Fast And Furious fakery? …. She was also a dependable mouthpiece in the early days of Benghazi, Benghazi!, BENGHAZI! …. the Sharyl Atkisson who did so much to mainstream anti-vaccine propaganda and give Julia Ioffe whooping cough? That Sharyl Atkisson?

The Tiffany Network is having a tough week.

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: What The Obamacare Enrollment Numbers Really Tell Us

To Larry Levitt, a vice president at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, another very telling number is this one: over 975,000 have been determined eligible for a marketplace but haven’t yet chosen a plan.

“That’s one of the most telling numbers — a million people have been determined eligible,” Levitt tells me. “That means if the website had been working well, and a million people had gotten to the end of the process, we’d be looking at a very different trajectory now. We heard about the surge in traffic when HealthCare.gov went live. This suggests there is in fact a lot of interest.”

Meanwhile, the 100,000 number is getting a lot of attention, but the report also finds nearly 400,000 were determined eligible for Medicaid. “In total that’s over 500,000 people who signed up for insurance in the midst of a tumultuous launch,” Levitt says. “People make a distinction between the marketplace and Medicaid, but those are both elements of the Affordable Care Act — both are mechanisms to get people insured.”

More here

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Mother Jones: If GOP Repeals Obamacare, 137 Million Americans Could Get Cancellation Notices

how many Americans’ health plans would receive some form of cancellation notice if GOP hardliners got their wish and repealed Obamacare? Probably at least 137 million. Let’s do the math. Most of the 49 million Americans who were uninsured before the Affordable Care Act will now be eligible to obtain health coverage—either through the expansion of Medicaid or through federal subsidies they can use to purchase insurance on the cheap through the exchanges.

From that number, subtract the 30 million or so low-income people who will not sign up for coverage, either because they can’t afford it, or they live in one of the 24 states where Republican governors decided not to expand Medicaid. That takes us down to 19 million uninsured Americans whose coverage would disappear if Republicans repeal Obamacare. Now add to that number the 267 million Americans who have insurance, but will now receive better coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

More here

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Bob Cesca: The Truth About The Obamacare Enrollment Numbers

You’ve probably heard the number 106,000 bouncing around the tubes today. It represents the supposed number of Americans who have signed up for health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Of course it’s not the most accurate indication of what October really looked like.

According to Jonathan Cohn, the total number of Americans who have submitted applications for coverage via Healthcare.gov and state exchanges? Try 1.5 million people, if you factor in households with multiple people receiving coverage — dependents and so forth, who, by the way, are included among the 30 million Americans without insurance prior to the ACA.

More here

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ABC6: Obama Says He Will Visit Indian Country Next Year

President Barack Obama told Native American leaders Wednesday that he will make his first trip as president to Indian Country next year, expanding on his vow to enhance the bond between the federal and tribal governments. Obama told the tribal leaders at the fifth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference that the federal government still has work to do to sustain a strong relationship with tribal governments.

He says the United States can do more to give tribes more control over their communities and says that high rates of poverty among Native Americans are “a moral call to action.” In addition, he says the federal government needs to ensure that Native Americans have access to affordable health care and must help tribes be good stewards of their native homelands.

More here

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Tim Dickinson: How Republicans Rig The Game

As the nation recovers from the Republican shutdown of government, the question Americans should be asking is not “Why did the GOP do that to us?” but “Why were they even relevant in the first place?” So dramatically have the demographic and electoral tides in this country turned against the Republican Party that, in a representative democracy worthy of the designation, the Grand Old Party should be watching from the sidelines and licking its wounds. Not only did Barack Obama win a second term in an electoral landslide in 2012, but he is also just the fourth president in a century to have won two elections with more than 50 percent of the popular vote.

What’s more, the party controls 55 seats in the Senate, and Democratic candidates for the House received well over a million more votes than their Republican counterparts in the election last year. And yet, John Boehner still wields the gavel in the House and Republican resistance remains a defining force in the Senate, frustrating Obama’s ambitious agenda. Through a combination of hyperpartisan redistricting of the House, unprecedented obstructionism in the Senate and racist voter suppression in the states, today’s GOP has locked in political power that it could never have secured on a level playing field.

More here

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Steve Benen: HHS Releases Obamacare Enrollment Data

Over the first month of open-enrollment, 106,185 consumers signed up for health insurance through an exchange – about a quarter of that total signed up by way of the federal marketplace. In addition, another 396,261 Americans have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion. By this reasoning, about 500,000 consumers gained health insurance in October thanks to the Affordable Care Act

nearly 1 million consumers – on top of those who gained coverage – began the process “by applying and receiving an eligibility determination” but have “not yet selected a plan.” For many of these folks, this is the result of the broken website – the totals are not a reflection of demand, but rather, capacity.

And therein lies the point: the administration assumed that that demand for coverage would be there, and those assumptions were correct. The problem, of course, is the dysfunctional website – people haven’t been able to purchase the product they want to buy. Fix the site and the pieces of the system fall nicely into place.

More here

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Digital Journal: President Obama Signs School Access To Emergency Epinephrine Act

President Obama today signed into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act during a ceremony attended by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) CEO John L. Lehr, members of FARE’s board of directors and key congressional sponsors. This historic and potentially lifesaving legislation is the first federal law encouraging schools to stock epinephrine for use in allergic emergencies, and has been championed by FARE for more than two years.

The law, passed by the Senate on Oct. 31 and by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 30, encourages states to require schools to keep lifesaving epinephrine on hand and ensure school personnel are trained to use it. The bill received strong bipartisan support and was passed by unanimous consent in both chambers. “We are thrilled to see this legislation signed by President Obama and thank him for bringing national attention to the need to protect students with food allergies,” said John L. Lehr, CEO of FARE

More here

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Department Of Justice: Court Authorizes IRS To Issue Summonses For Records Relating To U.S. Taxpayers With Offshore Bank Accounts

U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood of the Southern District of New York entered an order on Nov. 7, 2013, authorizing the IRS to issue summonses requiring Bank of New York Mellon (Mellon) and Citibank NA (Citibank) to produce information about U.S. taxpayers who may be evading or have evaded federal taxes by holding interests in undisclosed accounts at Zurcher Kantonalbank and its affiliates (collectively, ZKB) in Switzerland; and U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman of the Southern District of New York entered an order today authorizing the IRS to issue summonses requiring Mellon, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA (JPMorgan),

HSBC Bank USA NA (HSBC), and Bank of America NA (Bank of America) to produce similar information in connection with undisclosed accounts at The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited and its affiliates (collectively, Butterfield) in the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Malta, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These cases once again demonstrate the department’s resolve to uncover and identify taxpayers who tried to hide money overseas as a way to avoid federal taxes,” said Assistant Attorney General Keneally.

More here

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Think Progress: Senate Democrats Unveil Pro-Choice Bill To Prevent States From Chipping Away At Abortion Rights

Last week, Senate Republicans introduced a national abortion ban that would chisel away at the constitutional rights guaranteed under Roe v. Wade. Now, their Democratic colleagues are striking back with some abortion-related legislation of their own. a group of pro-choice senators plan to introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013, a measure intended to stem the barrage of state-level restrictions on reproductive rights.

the new bill would preempt state’s efforts to indirectly restrict abortion by requiring new laws to be medically necessary. The measure emphasizes that new abortion regulations shouldn’t decrease access to abortion services or require doctors to go against their best judgment.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: The Democrats Need To Stop Freaking Out About Obamacare And Take Charge

Bill Clinton conceded those rhetorical inches to the right on Obamacare, which Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) seized on immediately. At least two blue-state senators, Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Jeff Merkley (OR), have jumped on the “fix Obamacare” bandwagon. At the same time, there’s no need for panic. Even with the continued existence and success of Fox, reality is still reality, and in the end, reality usually trumps cable and hyperventilating reports about who won the morning in Politico. And reality says the enrollment period doesn’t end until next spring, and it’s really not possible to tell how things are going until enrollment has ended and we see both the number of people who’ve enrolled and what percentage healthy vs. sick, because insurers made their guesstimates and pegged their rates to those guesstimates.

I remember a lot of other times when it was supposedly curtains for Obama, too, because inside the Beltway, the more disciplined Republicans, who after all are in the luxurious position of just sitting back and firing away, have an easier time winning news cycles. But out beyond the Beltway, the party that shut down the government for three weeks and killed immigration reform and wants to decimate food stamps and can’t even pass its own spending bills doesn’t look very appealing to most people. The fate of Obamacare can be changed. The DNA of the GOP cannot.

More here

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On This Day:

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President Obama laugh as they brush their hair during a group photo during the APEC summit

First Lady Michelle Obama hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ spouses luncheon at Kualoa Ranch in Ka’a’awa on the island of Oahu in Hawaii on November 13, 2011 (Okay, a day late)

President Obama chats with Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, right, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, at the APEC leaders dinner in Singapore, Nov. 14, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama shares a laugh with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the APEC leaders dinner in Singapore, Nov. 14, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama eats a green tea ice cream bar during his visit to the Great Buddha of Kamakura at the Kotoku-in Temple in Kamakura, Japan, Nov. 14, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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14
Nov
13

Early Bird Chat

On This Day: President Obama greets the daughter of a U.S. embassy staff member at the Hotel Okura in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 14, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning Early Birds!




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