Posts Tagged ‘enrollments

21
Dec
13

Rise and Shine

The Obamas arrive in Hawaii

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The Week Ahead:

Sun, sea, sand and sleep, hopefully.

The First Family is scheduled to return on Jan. 5 to Washington, D.C., according to the White House. There are no public events scheduled for their stay in Hawaii.

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Steve Benen: ACA enrollment ‘surging’ in December

The Obama administration has long hoped that Affordable Care Act enrollment would follow a predictable trajectory: the totals would start slow, then pick up steam as the website improves and deadlines draw closer.At this point, the model is proving to be pretty accurate:

States running their own Obamacare insurance exchanges are reporting a significant surge in sign-ups just four days before the first major enrollment deadline. The increase has ranged from 30 percent to 40 percent in the past few weeks….

New York is enrolling about 4,500 people a day. In California, it’s 15,000 a day. In Kentucky, which has become something of a national model for implementation, enrollment totals are up 40% since Thanksgiving.

….. It would appear far-right calls for Americans to stay uninsured on purpose, just to satisfy conservative ideological goals, aren’t going over especially well.

Full post here

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LA Times: Another day, another leak from Issa, another credulous news report

The sun has risen in the East, so there must be a news report somewhere quoting a partial transcript leaked by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) purporting to show the shortcomings of Obamacare.

Bingo! We have not one but two “investigative” news reports, from CBS and ABC, based on the same partial transcript. And both, consequently, have the same level of credibility: none. CBS News even offers a dividend — a thoroughly dishonest and discreditable interview with Issa himself…..

More here

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@WhiteHouse: Reflecting in the Oval

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ThinkProgress: Nearly Four Million Low-Income Americans Now Have Health Coverage Under Obamacare

About 1.7 million poor Americans looking for health coverage were deemed eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in November, according to new government data released on Friday. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also revised previous estimates that about 1.5 million people qualified for Medicaid or CHIP in October up to 2.1 million. All told, that means that just under four million low-income Americans now have access to public health insurance.

More here

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President Obama holds a press conference in the James S. Press Briefing Room of the White House, Dec. 20, 2013 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Steve Benen: Economic growth picks up steam

When the initial estimates for economic growth in the third quarter – covering July, August, and September – were released in early November, the figures exceeded expectations. Now that the totals have been revised twice, the GDP numbers turned out to be much better than than originally thought:

The U.S. economy expanded at a 4.1% annual clip in the third quarter, the strongest performance in two years … The Commerce Department previously reported that gross domestic product had risen at a 3.6% annual rate. Consumer spending rose 2% instead of 1.4% as previously reported….

To put this number in a slightly larger context, note that 4.1% quarterly growth is the second strongest growth we’ve seen since the start of the Great Recession nearly six years ago. What’s more, this is only the third time in the last nine years that the GDP has topped 4%.

Full post here

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The People’s View: How Has Barack Obama Disappointed YOU in 2013? – Outrage From A Parallel Reality

On Wednesday, NPR’s Liz Halloran told us how Barack Obama has disappointed liberals in 2013, how this was the year of disappointing the liberal base. Immediately, her comment section filled with Lefties panting and falling over themselves to declare how correct she is. And really, when hasn’t he, if you ask whoever this ever illusive “liberal base” is. So disappointing. How disappointing has Obama been to his liberal base? Oh, let me count the ways.

…. I implore you, liberals. Stick to your gut feelings. Stick to truthiness. Even if a preponderance of the evidence points to 2013 being a remarkably liberal year for President Obama and his administration, stick your head in the sand and yell about the NSA and drones. You don’t need evidence, facts, or data. All you need is a conservative columnist yanking your chain so you can lose your sh*t.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Giving new meaning to ‘Do-Nothing’ Congress

If all goes according to plan, the Senate should wrap up its work for 2013 today and join the House on a holiday break. For his part, President Obama will sign the budget agreement into law before the end of the year, too.

And when he does, that will bring the grand total of bills signed into law in the 113th Congress to … 58…

…. The historic metrics are rather striking: 2013 was the least productive for any Congress since clerks on the Hill started keeping track, and this Congress is on track to pass fewer laws than any modern Congress.

Full post here

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You know, BuzzFeed is beginning to make GOPolitico look fair and balanced – this is hilarious:

ThinkProgress: BuzzFeed Declares Paul Ryan A ‘Champion Of The Poor,’ Offers No Supporting Evidence

If your only recent impressions of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) came from BuzzFeed, you’d be inclined to think that the former vice presidential candidate has made a major shift in policy to start focusing on poverty in the United States. You would be wrong.

On Friday, BuzzFeed ran a glowing profile of Ryan, entitled “Paul Ryan Finds God,” that portrayed him as a man who was inspired by religion and the ascendancy of a new pope to become a caretaker for the nation’s poor. But the piece, similar to another article that ran in the Washington Post last month, offered up no substance to show that Ryan’s policies have changed or that his religious outlook is any different than it was during the 2012 campaign. Rather, it relied on quotes from Paul Ryan’s own supporters — former campaign staffers and members of President George W. Bush’s cabinet — to demonstrate that Ryan has shifted his focus.

More here

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was released from the hospital Friday afternoon, his office announced:

“Senator Reid has been released from the hospital and is back at home with his wife, Landra. As previously stated, he went to the hospital as a precaution,” Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson said in a statement. “The doctors diagnosed him as exhausted, not anything more serious, and have cleared him to go back to work. He spent today resting, talking to family, friends and colleagues, reading the news and discussing Senate business. He appreciates the kind words and thoughts sent by so many, thanks the doctors at George Washington University Hospital for the excellent care he received, and wishes everyone a Happy Holidays.”

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ThinkProgress: Ten Women’s Health Heroes Who Inspired Us In 2013

This past year included an overwhelming number of attacks on reproductive health and freedom, including some of the harshest abortion bans this country has seen since Roe v. Wade. However — despite the persistent attempts to silence, shame, and police women and their bodies — there is one positive benefit resulting from the ongoing War on Women. It gave rise to several champions who didn’t back down from fighting for the issues that matter. Here are ten people who inspired us in 2013….

See here

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On This Day:

Snow covers the East Garden at the White House, Dec. 21, 2009 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Obama jokes with Vice President Biden in the Oval Office, Dec. 21, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama rests his foot on the Resolute Desk during a call with British Prime Minister David Cameron in the Oval Office, Dec. 21, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama embraces Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., following a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the Oval Office, Dec. 21, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

The President and Bo ride in the presidential motorcade en route to PetSmart in Alexandria, Va. Dec. 21, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama poses with children outside a Best Buy after doing some Christmas shopping in Alexandria, Va., Dec. 21, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama walks toward the Oval Office with Bo, the Obama family dog, after returning from a Christmas shopping trip, Dec. 21, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning!

12
Dec
13

Rise and Shine

On This Day: A Christmas tree frames President Obama as he talks on the phone in the Oval Office, Dec. 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (all times Eastern):

12:45: Jay Carney briefs the press

7:15: VP Biden delivers remarks at U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Annual Tribute Dinner

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@WhiteHouse: Holiday lights in the Rose Garden

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Steve Benen: Obamacare enrollment soars in November

About a month ago, the Obama administration released its enrollment totals for the Affordable Care Act, offering data that covered just the first month of the open-enrollment period. Given the systemic problems with healthcare.gov, the figures were expected to fall far short of projections, and they did – 106,185 consumers signed up for health insurance through an exchange in October, and only about a quarter of that total signed up by way of the federal marketplace.

The totals were vastly improved in November …. Note that the enrollment totals do not include 1.9 million Americans who have not yet selected a plan, but who’ve gone through the eligibility process. Also note, these totals include the period before the darn website got fixed.

….Whether the right wants to admit it or not, I can think of about 1.2 million reasons – and growing – why the Affordable Care Act isn’t going away.

Full post here

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Brian Beutler: How to tell which Republicans care about their constituents’ health

A new moral dilemma: Now that Healthcare.gov is working, some Republicans have a moral quandary to consider

…. Healthcare.gov is now working well enough to sign up tens of thousands of people a day. The improvement is both anecdotal and rooted in data. The administration, its allies, and insurance companies are now stepping up enrollment campaigns that were put on ice in October and November. Thousands of people whose insurers canceled their coverage, or who got stuck on Healthcare.gov last month, are now relieved to find reasonable options available on the federal exchange ahead of the Dec. 23 deadline to sign up for coverage that begins Jan. 1.

…. But if the big story is the turning tide of Healthcare.gov, the corollary is that committee Democrats don’t have to sit around playing defense against GOP attacks. They can attempt to reorient the debate around Republican efforts to discourage enrollment — particularly now that their constituents can, for the most part, actually access the law’s benefits.

Full post here

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David Ignatius: Obama’s relentlessly pragmatic diplomacy

This has been a year when America re-embraced diplomacy after a frustrating decade of war, displaying a relentlessly pragmatic approach that recalls the days of such deal-making secretaries of state as Henry Kissinger and James A. Baker III.

The secret diplomatic machinations have been dizzying, and sometimes disorienting. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have opened doors and created opportunities for settling intractable conflicts…..

The Iran nuclear agreement was the most striking example of the willingness to engage former adversaries…..

Israelis I talked to afterward were impressed (if not always convinced) by the dry, precise clarity of Obama’s argument for testing the Iranians

More here

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The People’s View:  As Usual, Liberals Attacking Budget Deal Miss the Long Game

Yesterday, Paul Ryan and Patty Murray announced a budget deal that eases up on the dumb sequestration, meets the House and Senate budget numbers in the middle, raises minimal revenue and avoids another government shutdown. And right on cue, ideologues on the Right and Left have begun to pounce at any hint of compromise.

John Boehner is taking flack from – and lashing out at – the right wing of activists who are incensed at the fact that House Republicans would strike any deal at all that could win President Obama’s blessing, even a qualified one. Groups like Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity (hmm… they seem to have a funding source in common) are lobbying Republicans to scuttle the deal, crying foul at the GOP’s agreement of $45 billion in higher spending than their previous position.

But if the Right wing fanatics are good at whipping up the Republican party into a frenzy, our own ideologues have also been honing their skills of whining and short-sightedness. Yesterday, it started with Ezra Klein….

More here

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ThinkProgress: What You Need To Know About The Budget Deal

Late Tuesday night, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that they had come to an agreement on a budget deal, ending negotiations begun as part of the agreement to re-open the government in October. The deal still has to be passed by the House and Senate and then implemented by appropriations committees by January 15. Here’s what you need to know about what’s in the Murray-Ryan agreement….

More here

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USA Today: Obama to hold moment of silence for Newtown victims

President Obama will lead a moment of silence Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama will honor the lives of the 26 people — including 20 children — who died in the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

More here

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TPM: Biden Says His Ancestors ‘Didn’t All Come Here Legally’

Before you decry “illegal immigrants,” Joe Biden thinks you ought to check your own familial history. That’s what the vice president said Wednesday during an online forum in response to a questioner who claimed her family immigrated to the United States legally from Ireland in the 19th century.

“My great-great grandparents came escaping the famine and they didn’t all come here legally,” Biden said, as quoted by Politico. “They didn’t all come legally. And the existence of the system isn’t all truncated like it is now. I’d check your ancestry to make sure that they did come legally if that’s a concern to you.”

More here

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This might just be the greatest toon in the history of tooniness:

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On This Day:

President Obama smiles while talking with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the phone in the Oval Office, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

The First Family at “Christmas in Washington” at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., Dec. 12, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama and Bo, the Obama family dog, greet audience members at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 12, 2011.

President Obama walks along the Colonnade of the White House, Dec. 12, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning!

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!




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