Archive for December 4th, 2013

04
Dec
13

Tweets Of The Day

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Continue reading ‘Tweets Of The Day’

04
Dec
13

Chat Away – And A Little Reminder

Time for a little reminder after Martin Bashir’s firing from a post I wrote not too long ago.

We can be angry. We can be saddened. But what we mustn’t be is surprised.

One can argue that there never was a “liberal media”. But it’s safe to say that there used to be a more balanced media, one in which factual reporting and accurate analysis were the linchpins of the industry. If the reporting on Vietnam was rosy at first, by the end of the war its full horrors were being reported on honestly.

But that was also in an era when media ownership was far more diffuse. NBC and MSNBC are owned by Comcast, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. ABC is owned by Disney Corporation. Fox News is owned by News Corporation. CNN is owned by Time Warner. CBS has remained “independent”; but it too is a large multinational.

Corporations may be many things. They may be the most efficient means to organize economic activity. They may give their employees a somewhat remunerative working environment. But one thing for which they can never be mistaken are altruistic institutions acting for the public good. 

Chat away and keep on fighting. It’s the only way anything has ever changed.

04
Dec
13

This is why Martin Bashir will be missed, truth-telling

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Some MSNBC contacts

04
Dec
13

Inequality is ‘the defining issue of our time’

Text of remarks here

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“Government can’t stand on the sidelines in our efforts, because government is us. It can and should reflect our deepest values and commitments. And if we refocus our energies on building an economy that grows for everybody and gives every child in this country a fair chance at success, then I remain confident that the future still looks brighter than the past – and that the best days for this country we love are still ahead.”

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Greg Sargent: Inequality is ‘the defining issue of our time’

The speech on inequality that President Obama delivered just now will mostly pass unnoticed by the political world, with Republicans dismissing it as “class warfare” and an effort to distract from Obamacare, and pundits describing it more delicately as a ”pivot” away from the law.

But experts who see inequality as one of the most urgent moral, political and economic long term challenges facing the country will see it as one of the most important speeches of the Obama presidency – more ambitious than his similar 2011 speech in Kansas.

“This is a major speech on a topic that American presidents normally stay away from,” Tim Smeeding, an expert on inequality at the University of Wisconsin, tells me, adding that it compares in some ways to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s addresses. “The fact that a sitting president faced with a crowded agenda had the courage to discuss this overarching problem is historic.”

More here

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@PeteSouza

04
Dec
13

Coming Up

@FLOTUS

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All times Eastern:

1:30: The First Lady’s Holiday Press Preview 2013

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2:0 White House Youth Summit

2:05: President Obama Delivers Remarks at the White House Youth Summit

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04
Dec
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Kennedy Center honoree Meryl Streep in the Blue Room of the White House, Dec. 4, 2011 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Today (all times Eastern):

11:15: President Obama delivers remarks on the economy at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress

1:30 (I think): First Lady Michelle Obama unveils the White House holiday decorations to military families

2:05: Delivers remarks at the White House Youth Summit on the Affordable Care Act

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Mediaite: Consumer Reports Changes Verdict on Obamacare Website, Tells MSNBC: ‘It’s Time’

After advising consumers to steer clear of Healthcare.gov in October, Consumer Reports health care expert Nancy Metcalf told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Tuesday morning that the federal health care exchange website was improved enough following the Obama administration’s frantic month of repairs that users could confidently use it.

“Now we’re saying, ‘it’s time,’” Metcalf said, in particular praising the new window-shopping function, in which users can peruse health plans without registering with the site. The requirement to make an account before viewing options was considered one of the main causes for the site’s initial traffic bottleneck. “It’s terrific, I’ve tried it, it was working yesterday through the busiest times,” Metcalf said.

More here

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Paul Krugman: Unacceptable Realities

…. The hysteria over Obamacare is being well documented … what I see a lot in my inbox (and in my reading): the furious insistence that nothing resembling a government guarantee of health insurance can possibly work.

That’s a curious belief to hold, given the fact that every other advanced country has such a guarantee …. but nothing makes these people as angry as the suggestion that Obamacare might actually prove workable.

And it’s going to get worse. For two months, thanks to the botched rollout, their delusions seemed confirmed by reality. Now that things are getting better, however, you can already see the rage building….

…. what you have to conclude is that there are a large number of people who find reality — the reality that governments are actually pretty good at providing health insurance…— just unacceptable…

Full post here

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@HHSGov

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In case you missed Charles Pierce yesterday, he was in especially sublime form:

The Neverending Assaults On The Affordable Care Act

In case it hasn’t dawned on you by now, the assault on the Affordable Care Act has absolutely nothing to do with anything except an ideological – nay, theological – resistance to the notion that the government (which is, I hasten to remind everyone, us) should do anything to help construct and maintain a social safety net.

People who are not us need to have the freedom to die offstage. This assault simply will not stop, and anyone who thinks that the ACA eventually will “out-succeed” the attacks on it is being extraordinarily foolish. There are wealthy and powerful people in this country – and these wealthy and powerful people have enough intellectual and political ‘ho’s at their disposal – that it will not matter through the decades how well the ACA comes to work. The attempts to weaken and destroy it simply will never stop.

…. Among the people seeking to destroy it, the fact that it was working would be the most serious indictment against it. In fact, the better it works, the more pernicious it is, and the more urgent the task of its destruction becomes. The happier They are, the weaker America becomes. The healthier They are, the less free we are. Forever and ever, amen.

Full post here

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TPM: House Dems To Hit 60 Republicans On Obamacare

House Democrats’ campaign arm plans to hit roughly 60 Republicans on Obamacare as part of the Obama administration’s pushback against criticism by opponents of the healthcare law.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is blasting out statements to supporters targeting five dozen House Republicans who have criticized the Affordable Care Act. The statements tout the benefits from the Affordable Care Act and link House Republicans criticism of the law and the website to opposition other aspects of the healthcare law, like immunizations for children and cancer screenings.

The move comes as the Obama administration has launched a campaign to move the national conversation away from criticism resulting from problems with Healthcare.gov and call more attention to positive aspects of the law…

More here

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Steve Benen: Another ACA horror story fades away

House Speaker John Boehner was pretty aggressive in pushing the latest Affordable Care Act horror story, this time about a New York father who was reportedly told his 18-month-old daughter couldn’t be included on the family’s plan. Boehner promoted the story on his site and Twitter feed to help get the word out.

….. “It was 100 percent false,” said Bill Schwarz, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Health. “Of course, everyone is covered in the family policy.”

….. So here’s the follow-up question for the Speaker of the House: how about an acknowledgement that this story is bogus? Boehner cited this as proof that the Affordable Care Act is a “train wreck,” and told his Twitter followers how awful it is that “Obamacare” won’t cover this poor man’s baby – which is the exact opposite of the truth.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: The blurred line between caricature and reality

It’s become a running joke: when Republican get bored with the latest manufactured outrage of the day, they turn to the Benghazi and IRS “scandals” as a standby. Indeed, it’s been widely assumed over the last several weeks that as the Affordable Care Act improves, GOP lawmakers would have no choice but to return to their favorite faux political controversies.

They are nothing if not predictable….

…. The White House should probably consider this a good sign. Remember, as recently as last week, congressional Republicans were reluctant to talk about literally any issue other than the Affordable Care Act …. it now appears that phase is ending and far-right lawmakers are back to Benghazi and the IRS. If that isn’t affirmation of the White House’s health care initiative getting back on track, nothing is.

Full post here

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Another ‘In Case You Missed’ – heavenly:

Charles Pierce: Yet Another End For The Obama Administration

Ace reporter Ron Fournier of the Associated Press has another scoop for y’all. There is absolutely no fking way on god’s green and pleasant earth that this Obama fellow will be elected president again. He has blown his chance for that third term, and probably the fourth and fifth as well. Ron would like the Pulitzer committee to leave the medallion on the doorstep. Watch out, Obama. The Horsemen ride at daybreak!

…. A center-cut diamond of Village idiocy …. Ron Fournier quoting something Ed Rendell said on Morning Joe. Fournier has no sense, Rendell has no constituency, and Morning Joe has no pride…

Fournier: “Whoever was in charge. No doubt Sebelius, McDonough, and others must answer to the president, but only one person answers to the public. Obama must change more than his staff. He must transform himself.”

Or else what? The Republicans will refuse to cooperate with him? I swear, of all the concern trolls in the world, Ron Fournier lives under the most impressive bridge.

Full post here

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Milt Shook: Of Course Obama’s Progressive! Give Him More Democrats, See What Happens

I am continuously amazed by the sheer number of self-described liberals who constantly describe Barack Obama as a “moderate Republican,” which is a concept as extinct as a dodo bird. They sometimes even compare Obama with Ronald Reagan. Some have even suggested that Obama is to the right of Saint Reagan. It’s really difficult to take that level of silliness seriously, but the fact of the matter is, a lot of the people who say this kind of thing have a very high profile within the progressive media/blogosphere.

Unfortunately, because people who say this have no political skills or knowledge to speak of, we have to spend a lot of our time refuting this nonsense, so that we can get the Republican Party out of the majority, and give progressives a bit more power, as part of the majority. Democrats have to win elections and win a majority in all governmental bodies we can manage, and we can’t do that if a significant number of voices on what is supposed to be the smart ideological side are screaming that both parties are the same, or that progressives like Obama are actually not progressive, but rather, very conservative. That kind of rhetoric will not get lots of people out to the polls, and it certainly won’t encourage people who already can’t stand Republicans to come out and vote for Democrats.

More here

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The People’s View: The Obama Recovery, The Pope, and the Collective Right Wing Freakout

Despite Republican efforts to slow down, halt, and throw monkey wrenches into the economic recovery at every possible turn, the Obama recovery insists on continuing. Yesterday, two important indicators of growth happened for the economy: US manufacturing growth reached its strongest point in two-and-a-half years, and consumer demand blew the lid off of online sales, growing by as much as 20% year-over-year on Cyber Monday (with online retail giant Amazon.com growing sales by a whopping 44%).

All that is looking to usher in another month with job growth at around 200,000. And like putting salt on the Obamacare naysayers’ wound, just as the website was getting fixed, small businesses added jobs for the first time in four months. Oh, and Obamacare is going to cost less than projected.

America is making things again. Small businesses are hiring. Consumers are buying. Obamacare is signing people up while costing less. Syria is disarming. Iran is giving up its nuclear ambitions. Therefore, of course, Republicans are losing their sh*t, now this close to arguing that the Pope, just like Obama, is a Marxist who hates Catholics!

More here

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Michael Tomasky: The Accidental Truth in the RNC’s Latest Race Gaffe

A tweet about Rosa Parks ‘ending racism’ reveals a shameful truth about the GOP: Equality has never been the party’s fight and likely never will be. Yeah, it was probably a junior social-media staffer who threw up that Twitter post about Rosa Parks “ending racism” in 1955. And it was just a little slip.

But it’s a story because it reveals two painful and quite shameful truths about the GOP, in this year of the “autopsy” that wasn’t, this year when the Republican-appointed Supreme Court majority essentially made racially discriminatory gerrymandering legal again after nearly 50 years, and when Republican state parties all over the country are redoubling their efforts to make it as difficult as possible for black people to cast a vote.

The first truth is that this staffer, whoever it was, in all likelihood made this slip for a reason. She or he has been schooled to believe that racism did end, and that all present-day discussion of the problem is just whining from society’s takers. We might call this a central tenet of the right, although the word tenet dignifies it too much. It’s more like a fact-free conviction, held by people who are never capable of imagining walking a hundred yards, let alone a mile, in another person’s shoes.

More here

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ToooOOOooooOOoooo funny – thank you Amk!

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On This Day:

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Edith Childs, from Greenwood, S.C., in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, during a holiday party, Dec. 4, 2009. Childs coined the campaign slogan “fired up, ready to go.” (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama greets patrons during a lunch with small business owners and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski at Hamilton Family Restaurant in Allentown, Pa., Dec. 4, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama reaches out to greet members of the audience following remarks at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Schnecksville, Pa., Dec. 4, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama embraces House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following their meeting in the Oval Office, Dec. 4, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama takes a picture of guests Marilyn Arleen Nelson and Glen D. Nelson during the Kennedy Center Honors reception in the Blue Room of the White House, Dec. 4, 2011 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama makes remarks at a reception for the recipients of the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011

At the Kennedy Center Honors event, December 4, 2011

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk down the Grand Staircase before delivering remarks at a holiday reception in the Grand Foyer of the White House, Dec. 4, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning!

04
Dec
13

Early Bird Chat

On This Day: Arriving for the Kennedy Center Honors reception at the White House, Dec 4, 2011

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MoooOOOooorning Early Birds – Happy Wednesday!




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