Archive for September 9th, 2014

09
Sep
14

Night owl chat – Elvis Costello redux

I know I’ve featured Mr. MacManus before. But, dammit, it’s Elvis flipping Costello.

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God Give Me Strength

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Peace, Love, and Understanding

Continue reading ‘Night owl chat – Elvis Costello redux’

09
Sep
14

A Tweet Or Two

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09
Sep
14

Your Vote Is Powerful. Exercise It.

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The power is in your hands. You know what to do

09
Sep
14

If you’re baffled by how Rice isn’t in jail….

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09
Sep
14

ObamaCare: Still Standing Strong

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Paul Krugman: Obamacare Life Spiral

Imagine taking a time machine back to 2010 and telling Republicans in Congress, who were arguing that the CBO was wildly underestimating Obamacare’s cost, that the law would be cheaper than predicted and, at least in the states that accepted its Medicaid dollars, cover more people than the Congressional Budget Office thought. After the laughing and mocking and the calling of security, let’s say you offered this prediction in the form a of a bet. What odds do you think Obamacare’s critics would have offered? 2:1? 5:1? 10:1? But you don’t have to go back to 2010. Look at John Cochrane in late 2013, taking it for granted that Obamacare would implode in a death spiral within a few months. Look at The Hill just four months ago, telling us that double-digit premium hikes were coming.

One question we might ask here is, why is the news so good? The answer, I’d suggest — although I hope the real experts will weigh in — is that we’re actually seeing the opposite of a death spiral; call it a life spiral. For one thing, the huge surge in enrollments late in the day meant that the risk pool this year is better than insurers expected, and they now expect 2015 to be better still. Also, importantly, big enrollments mean that more insurers are entering the market, increasing competition. And, of course, the better the deal the more people will sign up: success feeds success.

More here

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Kaiser Family Foundation: Premiums Set To Decline Slightly For Benchmark ACA Marketplace Insurance Plans In 2015

An early look at the cost of health insurance in 16 major cities finds that average premiums for the benchmark silver plan – the one upon which federal financial help under the Affordable Care Act to consumers is based – will decrease slightly in 2015. The new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzes premiums in the largest cities in 15 states and the District of Columbia where information from rate filings is available. Premiums for the second-lowest cost silver plan for individuals

will fall by an average of 0.8 percent from current levels in these cities when open enrollment begins on Nov. 15, according to the study. The analysis finds that the premium for the second-lowest-cost silver plan is decreasing in 7 of the 16 areas studied – but also that changes in average premiums will vary considerably across areas. At least two insurers will offer coverage through the marketplaces in the major city in each of the 15 states studied and D.C. Most areas will have five or more insurers, and three will have 10 or more.

More here

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09
Sep
14

Rise and Shine

Melbourne, September 9, 2012 (Photo by Scout Tufankjian)

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Today (all times Eastern)

10:45 The President meets with Secretary of State Kerry

1:0 White House press briefing

3:15: The President meets with Senate Majority Leader Reid, Senate Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi to talk about foreign policy

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The Week Ahead

Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Thursday: The President, the Vice President, the First Lady, and White House staff will gather on the South Lawn of the White House to observe a moment of silence to mark the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The President and First Lady will then travel to the Pentagon Memorial to attend the September 11th Observance Ceremony.

Friday: The President will deliver remarks at an AmeriCorps Pledge ceremony on the South Lawn to mark the 20th anniversary of the national service program. Joining him will be President Clinton, who established the program and swore in the first class in 1994.

In the evening, the President will travel to Baltimore, Maryland to attend a DSCC event.

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TPM: Would it interest you to hear about “Obamacare” from the perspective of a provider?

I’ve been a private practice psychologist for over twenty years with multiple institutional affiliations. When the Affordable Care Act passed I made the decision to turn my private practice into public practice by signing up to become a provider on the multiple panels that arose under the umbrella of the Affordable Care Act. Many senior people eschew such plans. The pay is anywhere from 33% to 50% less. The endless paperwork can snag one’s time. The clinician loses some control over treatment options. Yet, the fact that so many different types of people can now get help for their mental health issues has become an inspirational part of my practice….

…. The Affordable Care Act makes it possible to re-engage the ideal of our professions by seeing anyone who comes through our doors because now anyone can pay. The clinician no longer has to grapple with working for free or depriving someone of their basic human needs. So, this is just another perspective of the positive side of this story. These insurance plans aren’t perfect but they bring providers much closer to the humanistic ideals that initially drew many of us to the work.

Full post here

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Bob Cesca: Obama Tops Reagan on the Economy, But He Still Can’t Get the Word Out

You’d never know it by listening to AM talk radio or watching cable news or even reading social media, but based on the leading economic indicators, President Obama’s record on the economy is actually much stronger than Ronald Reagan’s record. Shocking, I know, but it’s true. There’s one factor, however, that’s preventing Obama from fully achieving this status, and we’ll talk about that momentarily.

Recently, Forbes‘ Adam Hartung published a report in which he consulted with Rob Deitrick, CEO of Polaris Financial Partners, regarding the comparative records of Obama and Reagan. In terms of employment, economic expansion and financial investments, the state of the economy has improved more rapidly and more robustly under Obama than it did under Reagan. Yet Reagan, in today’s political mythology, enjoys a status he doesn’t entirely deserve while Obama is regarded poorly in comparison.

More here

About Bob’s conclusion: “Take a guess at why Reagan is generally better regarded on the economy than Obama. Messaging. Reagan, for all his flaws, was good at it, and the Obama administration can’t seem to get the word out about its strong record….”

Fair enough – but (and Bob touches on this), Reagan had a largely swooning media to assist him with his messaging; President Obama has shills like Chuck Todd distorting the message with ‘mistruths’ and insisting it’s not his job to correct Republican lies, so…. a whole different ball game.

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 On This Day

President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton look on as jazz musician Wynton Marsalis and band perform at the memorial service for Walter Cronkite at Lincoln Center in New York, N.Y., Sept. 9, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and Jon Favreau, head speechwriter, edit a speech on health care in the Oval Office, Sept. 9, 2009, in preparation for the president’s address to a joint session of Congress (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama is applauded by Members of Congress and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, right, as he steps to the podium to deliver remarks on health care before a joint session of Congress, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Peter Gaytan, whose colon cancer surgery and chemotherapy were not covered by his private insurance. Gaytan was invited to attend the President’s health care address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama embraces Vicki Kennedy following President Barack Obama’s health care address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama plays table tennis during a “Let’s Move!” event at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, N.Y., Sept. 9, 2011 (Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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Melbourne, September 9, 2012

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MoooOOOooorning again everyone – sticking with the shorter R&Ss for time reasons, so, as ever, it would be terrrrific if you could post links to the good stuff in the comments. Thank yooou!

09
Sep
14

Early Bird Chat

On This Day: President Barack Obama kisses First Lady Michelle Obama after his health care address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning – Happy Tuesday!




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