On This Day: President Obama kisses First Lady Michelle Obama for the “Kiss Cam” while attending the U.S. Men’s Olympic basketball team’s game against Brazil at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., July 16, 2012. Vice President Joe Biden and Malia Obama look up at the jumbotron (Photo by Pete Souza)
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Today (all times Eastern)
12:45: Vice President Biden Speaks to Generation Progress Summit
NYT: Budget Office Revises Estimate of Federal Spending on Health Care
The growth of federal spending on health care will continue to decline as a proportion of the overall economy in the coming decades, in part because of cost controls mandated by President Obama’s health care law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.
The budget office said in its annual 25-year forecast that federal spending on major health care programs would amount to 8 percent of gross domestic product by 2039, one-tenth of a percentage point lower than its previous projection.
With the latest revision, the budget office has now reduced its 10-year estimate for spending by Medicare, Medicaid and other health programs by $1.23 trillion starting in 2010, the year the health care law took effect. By 2039, the savings would amount to $250 billion a year in today’s dollars.
The estimable Sarah Kliff tabulates all the predictions of Obamacare disaster that didn’t come true; she puts it at seven major themes, ranging from “the website will never work” to “nobody will sign up”. We can presume, then, that people like John Boehner — who declared that it would never work and that more people would lose insurance than gain it — are spending some time now trying to understand how they could have been so wrong.
April fools! (Yes, I know it’s July.)
…. It’s probably about partisanship, which means both living in an information bubble and being so deeply committed to a worldview that you literally can’t consider facts that don’t fit.
Washington Post: House Democrats unveil policy ‘Action Plan’ as Pelosi sets ambitious goal for November
House Democrats plan to unveil a list of election-year proposals Wednesday that party leaders hope will resonate with women, blue-collar workers and younger voters — three key constituencies that historically don’t show up to vote in significant numbers in midterm election years.
The release of the “100 Day Action Plan” comes as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that her goal is to pick up 25 GOP seats in November, a bold ambition given historical trends: The party of a two-term president usually loses seats in his sixth year in office.
…. But Pelosi believes that her new policy plan and the recent talk among House Republicans about filing a lawsuit or possibly impeaching Obama will shore up support among Democratic-base voters, win over independents and give the party a narrow edge.
Milt Shook: Dems are not wimps! Some of the 375 bills they passed in 111th Congress!
By request, I’m reposting this again, to remind everyone just how much damage the GOP has done with their abuse of the filibuster, and to remind some progressives of the major bonehead moves they made in 2010.
In addition to the constant trashing of Obama’s real record with lies and distortions, I’m also sick to death of claims that Democrats “had no spines” and couldn’t pass anything. Republicans held Congress from 1994-2006 and rigged the filibuster rules in 2005, under the threat of killing it altogether. They made it easier for a single senator to hold up a bill anonymously, and they effectively transformed the Senate into a body that requires 60 votes to pass that bill.
The SOLUTION to the problem in 2010 would have been to keep the House, and reduce the number of Republicans in the Senate. Instead, we had the Right Wing crying “Democrats can’t get anything done!” and the Left Wing crying, “Democrats can’t get anything done!” THAT is why Democrats lost so badly last year; instead of offering up an alternate viewpoint, we basically echoed theirs. That’s what drove turnout down, and gave the GOP one of the biggest wins in their history.
Read these and tell me Democrats weren’t trying really hard to make things better.
CBS: Eric Holder demands Congress address inequality
Attorney General Eric Holder called on Congress and the American people to not only celebrate civil rights successes but also renew the spirit of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by working to “eradicate” inequality.
“Like all who are old enough to remember those days, I will never forget the turmoil and violence that characterized the Civil Rights era,” Holder told a crowd of civil rights advocates, cabinet officials and students during an event at Howard University celebrating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act. “I am especially mindful that without the Civil Rights Act or the monumental progress that followed few of us would be here. I would not stand before you as attorney general of the United States.”
TPM: Holder Expects To Challenge GOP Voting Measures In Ohio, Wisconsin
Attorney General Eric Holder plans to support challenges to Republican-backed voting laws in two key midwestern battleground states.
Holder told ABC’s Pierre Thomas in an interview that has yet to air that he expects the Justice Department to join lawsuits challenging laws in both Ohio and Wisconsin.
GOP lawmakers in the Buckeye State passed measures earlier this year that chopped six days off the state’s early voting period, while Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted eliminated early voting on Sundays.
Trevor LaFauci (The People’s View): ‘Murica and Murrietta: Xenophobia and Racism in 21st Century America
Ask a Republican about the good old days.
No really, do it. There’s nothing more enlightening for a progressive than to hear about what life was like back in the day. Odds are the narrative you hear will go something like this: First and foremost, there was a trusted man in the White House, usually with the first name Ronald and the last name Reagan. There was a harmonious family life, where the husband made a decent wage and the mother stayed home and raised he kids. The neighborhoods were free of gangs, the schools were all good, and everybody went to church on Sundays. The local communities were full of mom and pop stores and you grew up the same town where you would eventually raise your own family. As long as you worked hard, you would be able to go to college, get a good job, find a spouse, and start a family of your own. You’d buy a nice home with a decent patch of land where you raise your kids and babysit your grand kids. This was the America that Republicans all knew and loved.
ThinkProgress: The GOP’s Plot To Convince You They Support Birth Control
There’s a war over birth control brewing in the Senate, and Republican lawmakers want to make it clear that the GOP is on the right side.
On Tuesday, after Senate Democrats introduced a measure to override the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Hobby Lobby and clarify that for-profit companies must offer contraceptive coverage, their Republican colleagues announced some forthcoming legislation of their own. As the Hill reports, GOP leadership will introduce a bill that appears to be supportive of women’s access to birth control.
…. the GOP’s competing legislation likely wouldn’t do anything to change the status quo or ensure that Hobby Lobby employees have insurance coverage for contraception. Instead, it’s simply a way for Republicans to reinforce the point that the high court’s ruling on Hobby Lobby doesn’t inhibit women’s legal access to birth control.
… But legality isn’t exactly the same as accessibility. And the Hobby Lobby case was about the latter.
Charles Pierce: Things In Politico That Make Me Want To Mainline Antifreeze, Part The Infinity
Its puerilty has finally crossed over into indecency. Its triviality has finally crossed over into obscenity. The comical political starfcking that is its primary raison d’erp has finally crossed over into $10 meth-whoring on the Singapore docks. Once a mere surface irritation, Tiger Beat On The Potomac has finally crossed over into being a thickly pustulating chancre on the craft of journalism. It has demonstrated its essential worthlessness. It has demonstrated that it has the moral character of a sea-slug and the professional conscience of the Treponema pallidum spirochete. Trust me. Stephen Glass never sunk this low. Mike (Payola) Allen has accomplished the impossible. He’s made Jayson Blair look like Ernie Pyle…..
… You [Dick Cheney] cheap fraud. You people didn’t “face” any threat before 9/11. Every damn one of you fell asleep at the switch. You abandoned counterterrorism in favor of chasing porn merchants and Tommy Chong. You exiled Richard Clarke. You started worrying about missile defense. Your boss took a vacation and blew off his CIA briefings and failed to read his presidential daily briefings. You watched the towers fall, at least partly through your sheer dereliction of duty, and you turned a national tragedy into a personal opportunity to get rich.
SmartyPants: Pundits join Putin in 19th century thinking
An awful lot of pundits these days seem just as stuck in the 19th century as Vladimir Putin. For example, check out this jaw-dropping commentary on the Israel/Palestinian situation from Cokie Roberts on ABC’s This Week:
It’s a real absence of the American leadership in the region…We haven’t made a strong enough presence in that region to have people be afraid of this country. So I think there’s a sense that they can get away with anything they want to get away with. So much criticism of President Obama for not going in, conducting the air strikes against Syria.
Its almost hard to know where to begin. In the end, her point seems to be that if President Obama had bombed Syria he could have prevented the current escalation of the situation in Israel/Gaza. And that’s – of course – because there aren’t enough people in the Middle East who are afraid of us. So lets go bomb some more brown people over there because they’re sure not going to get mad about that and fight back. What they’ll do instead is be afraid and quit all that shooting/bombing each other.
Patch: First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver keynote speeches at a pair of events today
…. She will first speak at a Unite for Veterans event at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel in Century City. The event is aimed at discussing ways of providing opportunities for veterans to find employment and housing.
…. Obama is also scheduled to speak at the Grammy Museum’s Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon. The award honors educators who “find innovative ways to engage students by integrating music in their classrooms and curricula.”
This year’s honoree is Sunshine Cavalluzzi, a teacher at El Dorado High School in Placentia. She is being recognized for what the museum called her “innovative economics lesson plans.” Six-time Grammy nominee Janelle Monae will also be honored for her “continued commitment to Grammy Museum educational programming.”
President Obama and his family hike on Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park in Maine, July 16, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
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Vice President Biden and President Obama look at an app on an iPhone in the Outer Oval Office, Saturday, July 16, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)
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President Obama talks with coach Geno Auriemma and members of the U.S. Women’s Olympic basketball team following their 99-67 win over Brazil at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., July 16, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama talks with LeBron James as First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Deron Williams during their greet with members of the U.S. Men’s Olympic basketball team at halftime of the game against Brazil at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., July 16, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama in Cincinnati, July 16, 2012
President Obama and VP Biden at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., July 16, 2012
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President Obama visits with Make-A-Wish child Suhail Zaveri, 14, from Anaheim, Calif., in the Oval Office, July 16, 2013. Accompanying Suhail are his parents, Sandeep and Asmi Zaveri, and younger brother Arsh Zaveri (Photo by Pete Souza)
On This Day: President Obama kisses the head of first lady Michelle Obama after kissing her for ‘Kiss Cam’ while attending the Olympic men’s exhibition basketball game between Team USA and Brazil, July 16, 2012, in Washington