President Barack Obama talks with Carol Burnett, the 2013 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, and her husband Brian Miller, in the Oval Office, Oct. 21, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Obama administration officials said on Monday that they expect to meet their targets for enrolling the uninsured in Obamacare despite the well publicized glitches in HealthCare.gov — the federal government’s online portal for buying health care coverage in the law’s new marketplaces.
Speaking to reporters after President Obama publicly addressed the law’s rocky roll out from the White House, senior administration officials expressed confidence that the public’s enthusiasm for obtaining coverage and the alternative pathways for signing-up for insurance will ensure that the law is successful. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that seven million people will sign up for insurance in the health care exchanges between October and March, including 2.7 million young and healthy people.
Sy Mukherjee: South Dakota Doctors Urge Their Governor To Expand Medicaid Under Obamacare
South Dakota doctors are urging Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, warning that a failure to do so will hurt hospitals financially and raise health care costs for people with private insurance. Current Medicaid eligibility thresholds in most states — including South Dakota — are so demanding that they disqualify even the poorest working adults from receiving coverage through the program.
In South Dakota, 15 percent of the adult population lives at or below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), which works out to be about $11,500 per year for an individual. But justeight percent of adults are covered by Medicaid. Under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, any adult making up to 138 percent FPL would be able enroll in the public health insurance program. That would end up cutting South Dakota’s uninsurance rate by more than half. Without the expansion, on the other hand, South Dakota’s poorest will have to continue relying on the emergency room for their medical services.
Jonathan Bernstein (Washington Post): What can you say about a debate in which one candidate had perhaps the worst moment ever in a presidential debate – Rick Perry’s brain freeze about the third of the three government agencies he wants to eliminate – and he didn’t even give the most embarrassing performance?
No, that would be Herman Cain …. after dragging American political rhetoric to a new low, referring to the House Minority Leader and a former speaker as “Princess Nancy,” it’s about time that Cain was called to account for insulting the American people and the political process for the farce that he’s engaging in….
Paul Begala: The only knockout punch in the CNBC debate was the one Rick Perry administered to himself. His tiny Texas Aggie brain froze when he tried to repeat his talking point about the three federal agencies he would close …. I have never seen a more devastating moment of self-destruction. What’s next, Perry endorsing Cain’s 9-9…ummm, what’s the third number?
Michael Tomasky: Barack Obama is winning the Rust Belt back. The overwhelming repeal in Ohio of Governor John Kasich’s anti-labor bill from last year shows that the GOP has gone way, way too far—too far for Democrats, obviously, but also for independents. It shows the potential for something else, too: the populist message can stick. “Class warfare” can work. It can take hold even with the people who allegedly despise our Kenyan leader the most: the white working class. And if this turns out to be right, then the Washington conventional wisdom will be proven as wrong as it’s been since 1998, when the Cokie Roberts caucus convinced itself that the American people wanted to throw Bill Clinton out of the White House over Monica.
…. If Romney is going to be the Republican standard bearer, is this really the right time for a nominee who’s worth $250 million and is going to be walking around talking about lower taxes on everyone, including the rich, and who presumably pays at the 15 percent rate, since most of his income is from capital gains and not compensation?
Washington Post: Reggie Love, a key member of the Obama entourage, is planning to leave the White House by the end of the year, people close to the administration said.
Love, 30, is a popular, gregarious figure in the White House. A onetime forward for the Duke Blue Devils basketball team, Love started out as a staff assistant in Obama’s Senate office after college, rising to become his personal assistant, known as the “body man.”
Joe Biden: “Tonight the people of Ohio delivered a gigantic victory for the middle class with their overwhelming rejection of a Republican attempt to strip away collective bargaining rights. Fundamental fairness has prevailed. By standing with teachers and firefighters and cops, Ohio has sent a loud and clear message that will be heard all across the country: The middle class will no longer be trampled on. The people of Ohio are to be congratulated.”
Steve Benen: Going into Election Day 2011, the conventional wisdom said that voters would offer some clues about prevailing political attitudes and what’s to come in 2012. As the dust settles on last night’s results, if the conventional wisdom is right, Republican optimism about next year is badly misplaced.
From coast to coast, Democrats and progressive goals not only won, but in most instances, won big. Some of the highlights….
4:15: The President holds a bilateral meeting with President Silva of Portugal.
8:35 PM: Delivers remarks at the National Women’s Law Center’s annual awards dinner.
Father of the year Joe Walsh’s meltdown:
Bloomberg: The Senate President of Arizona and author of the state’s hard-line laws against illegal immigration lost a recall election seen as a bellwether on “extreme” politics.
Republican Russell Pearce, lost by 53 percent to 45 percent with all precincts reported, according to the Maricopa County Elections office. Pearce, 64, was defeated by Jerry Lewis, a Republican school administrator who has said he opposes Pearce’s enforcement-only approach to immigration policy.
“There is a deep dissatisfaction in Arizona for what is viewed as politics in the extreme,” said Earl de Berge of the Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center, a nonpartisan polling company. Pearce “symbolizes a very hard-nosed view on conservative policies.” The loss will show moderates that they can win in the state, de Berge said. “It is going to be a sea change in Arizona,” he said.
President Obama on Wednesday announced a plan to allow college graduates to cap federal student loan repayments at 10 percent of discretionary income starting in January, two years before the cap was due to take effect under federal law.
The accelerated “pay as you earn” program, which Obama will authorize through executive order, could benefit up to 1.6 million borrowers and reduce their payments by as much as a couple hundred dollars a month, administration officials said. All remaining debt on the federal loans would be forgiven after 20 years – five years earlier than under current law.
Reuters: …. President Obama’s appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” lifted the show to its highest Tuesday-night ratings since March 2, 2010, the night after Leno returned to the show.
Tuesday’s episode received a 4.1/11 metered-market household rating, a 52 percent leap over his Tuesday-night average so far this season. With Obama’s appearance,” The Tonight Show” handily surpassed “Late Show with David Letterman,” which posted a 2.7/7 household rating, “Nightline,” which drew a 3.6/9, and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” which received a 1.8./6.
Ruth Marcus (Washington Post): In an interview with Parade magazine, the Texas governor declared Obama’s place of birth a “distractive” issue even as he happily latched on to the opportunity to distract ….. It was classic Perry, combining logical incoherence and a smarmy cheap shot.
…. Is this a presidential campaign or a middle-school playground? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours? By the way, if I had Perry’s grades, I wouldn’t be mentioning them. Certainly not if I were running against a former president of the Harvard Law Review.
…. You might think this was the candidate cannily trying to have it both ways: a nod to the birther crazies with a simultaneous wink at those who know this is a ridiculous distraction. Except that Perry managed to step on his real message of the day: his unaffordable and unfair proposal to “simplify” the tax code – by grafting a flat-tax alternative onto the existing system.
…. The matter of Obama’s birth certificate should be a closed case. It is astonishing that a sitting governor, no less a serious candidate for president, would stoop to playing this game.
… The country is facing serious problems. This will be a fateful election. Voters deserve better than scare tactics and drivel.
Pool report from Boone: POTUS stopped in this picturesque college town that is home to Appalachian State University…. he worked his way through the Mast General Store …. its major selling point appeared to be tubs of candy, and the sales clerk helped guide POTUS through the confectionery paradise.
As he made his way toward the press, Peter Nicholas of the LA Times said to him: “You won’t find this in the White House garden, Mr. President.”
“On Halloween, the First Lady doesn’t mind,” he replied, smiling, as he filled a bucket with maple nut clusters, macaroons, and York peppermint patties.
Rounding the corner, POTUS saw another long candy counter and said, “It just goes on forever.”
After putting more sweets in his bucket, he petted a little black dog that looked like a miniature version of Bo. “Bo says hi,” he said to the dog’s owner.
As cameras flashed, a group of girls mugged behind POTUS, prompting him to ask, “are you guys making rabbit ears behind me?”
Then it was time to heft a baby – in this case one-year-old Mason Wainwright….
West Wilkes High School in Millers Creek, North Carolina – original video here
OffTheCharts: We previously described the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as one of the “most effective pieces of anti-poverty legislation in decades,” saying its temporary expansion of the safety net kept 4.5 million people out of poverty in 2009. Actually, the impact was greater than we thought.
We now know that, when one follows recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on how to measure poverty more comprehensively, seven of ARRA’s provisions kept more than 6 million Americans above the NAS poverty line – that is, out of poverty – in 2009.
Maddow Blog: Tina McGrevy writes from Springfield, Ohio: “My husband, a former Republican and voter of John McCain, stands next to the sign he placed in our front lawn. During our 15 years of marriage, our votes have just cancelled each other out. Thank you Gov. John Kasich for finally bringing us together, politically. We brought our early ballots to the Election Board on Charlie’s birthday as he will be out of state on Election Day. They were identical.”
Steve Benen: For folks below a certain age, Robert Bork’s name is probably only vaguely familiar. Ronald Reagan nominated the right-wing jurist to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987, launching one of the fiercest and most important nomination fights in generations. Bork, by the way, lost that fight – the Senate concluded his ideology was simply too extreme for the high court.
That was the correct call. Bork had, after all, endorsed Jim Crow-era poll taxes, condemned portions of the Civil Rights Act banning discrimination in public accommodations, and argued against extending the equal protection of the 14th Amendment to women, among other things.
A quarter-century later, it’s not news that Bork is still an extremist … the salience here comes with appreciating what Bork is currently up to …. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney chose Bork to serve as the co-chair of his “Judicial Advisory Committee.”
From the “It was a good idea at the time” file comes this photo from the Boston Globe of Mitt Romney during his Bain Capital days. Look at all that cash Romney and the fellas are flashing…..
Folks are demonstrating all over the country – the world, now – under the “Occupy Wall Street” banner. They are protesting the excesses of corporations and the yawning economic divide, among a slew of other things. They might be out of work, burdened with debt or fearful that playing by the rules no longer means anything. The 99 percent are enraged by the 1 percent – and this photo is emblematic of why.
10:30: Delivers remarks at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia. The President will be joined by First Lady Michelle Obama. As part of her Joining Forces initiative, the First Lady will announce a major private sector commitment to hire veterans and military spouses.
2:40: The President speaks to fire fighters at Fire Station 9 North Chesterfield, VA
Also on Wednesday, the First Lady and Dr Jill Biden travel to Game One of the World Series in St. Louis, Missouri where they will promote Joining Forces and MLB’s Welcome Back Veterans program. Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will join representatives from MLB and the St. Louis Cardinals in hosting a military families appreciation event at the St. Louis Veterans Center.
7:45: Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will participate in a special pre-game ceremony with veterans and military families at Busch Stadium. Game One of the World Series will be broadcast live on FOX starting at 7:30.
Prior to the game, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will answer questions on the Joining Forces initiative submitted by MLB fans through Facebook and Twitter. People around the country can submit questions for Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden through MLB’s Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #AskMichelle.
President Obama helps spell out “Ohio” with the Weithman family, Rachel, 9, Josh, 11, and mom Rhonda, in their home in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 18, 2010
TPM: As any political pundit worth his or her salt will tell you, you can’t win the presidency as a Republican, Democratic, Whig or Bull Moose party member without winning the state of Ohio. Right now, President Barack Obama leads all GOP challengers there.
… In 2008, President Obama took the state by well over 200,000 votes. But in 2010 Republican John Kasich beat then Gov. Ted Strickland as the GOP wave swept the country. And as we approach 2012, the GOP may have once again be poisoning the well of public opinion, and the possible electoral results are starting to show.
In a new Quinnipiac poll President Obama leads head-to-head match ups against former MA Gov. Mitt Romney 45 – 41, Rep. Michele Bachman 49 – 36, undeclared maybe-candidate TX Gov. Rick Perry 47 – 35, and former AK Gov. Sarah Palin 51 – 35….
Additionally, Sen. Sherrod Brown, who had registered negative job approval ratings in early 2010, has skyrocketed in the wake of Gov. John Kasich’s push against organized labor and subsequent fall in the polls. Voters now think that Brown deserves reelection by at 47 – 33 margin, and his job approval stands at 49 – 30….
After playing a round of golf, President Barack Obama has a drink with Vice President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, at Joint Base Andrews, June 18. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
White House statement, endorsed by John Boehner:
“The foursome had great time and really enjoyed playing golf at Joint Base Andrews today. The President and Speaker Boehner teamed up to beat the Vice President and Governor Kasich. The match was won on the 18th hole – the President and the Speaker won $2 each.”
“After finishing their round, the President, Speaker Boehner, the Vice President and Governor Kasich went to the patio of the clubhouse where they enjoyed a cold drink, some of the U.S. Open coverage and visited with service members.”