Cathey Park of Cambridge, Massachusetts wears a cast for her broken wrist with “I Love Obamacare” written upon it prior to President Obama’s arrival to speak about health insurance at Faneuil Hall in Boston
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino gives President Obama a Boston Red Sox cap as he arrives at Boston Logan Airport
President Obama leaves a tent with NBA basketball legend Bill Russell after being given a preview of a statue of Russell. At left is Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick
President Obama smiles after he said that environmental protesters who interrupted his speech were at the wrong event as he speaks at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall about the federal health care law
Cathey Park holds up her cast to show the signature of President Obama after he signed it
1:10: President Obama returns from the United States Naval Academyto the White House
2:15: Signs a bill designating the Congressional Gold Medal commemorating the lives of the four young girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing of 1963
The Hill: President Obama will sign a bill Friday awarding the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to the four girls killed in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, the White House said Thursday.
The bombing at the church, which civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy used as a meeting place, by members of the Ku Klux Klan proved a pivotal turning point in the push for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The dynamite blast killed four girls — Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair — and injured an additional 22 others.
The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award bestowed by the legislative branch…
“These children, unoffending, innocent, and beautiful were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity,” said the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a eulogy for the four children–Addie Mae Collins, 14, Denise McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14. “They died nobly. They are the martyred heroines of a holy crusade for freedom and human dignity.”
… the biggest test case was always going to be California …. well, the preliminary numbers are in – and they’re looking very good, with costs coming in below expectations. At this point, it looks as if this thing is indeed going to work.
….. the whole political calculus was supposed to be that Republicans in red states could point to the horrors of Obamacare and ride them to political victory. Instead, it looks as if we’re going to see blue-state residents reaping the benefits of a functional health care system, while red-state residents are denied many of those benefits, for what looks like no better reason than mean-spirited spite – because what’s going on is, indeed, mean-spirited spite.
Predictions that Obamacare will be a big political issue are probably right – but not in the way gleeful conservatives imagined.
CNN Money: Health insurers in California will charge an average of $304 a month for the cheapest silver-level plan in state-based exchanges next year, according to rates released Thursday by Covered California, which is implementing the Affordable Care Act there. But many residents will pay a lot less than that for coverage.
Rates will vary by region, age and level of coverage, and many lower-income Californias will qualify for federal subsidies that will greatly lower the premiums…..
…. Oregon and Washington recently posted their rates, as well. They were also lower than some had expected.
“Many people will see rates similar to what they’re paying now, or in some cases, lower – and with substantially better benefits,” the Washington Insurance Department wrote in a blog post. “We’re definitely not seeing the huge rate increases that some insurers had predicted.”
A year ago: “Egged on by B.B. King, at right, the President joins in singing ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ during the ‘In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues’ concert in the East Room. Participants include, from left: Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews, Jeff Beck, Derek Trucks, B.B. King, and Gary Clark, Jr.” Feb. 21, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)
11:25: President Obama records radio interviews with Al Sharpton, Joe Madison and Yolanda Adams
12:30: VP Biden delivers remarks at a conference on gun violence at Western Connecticut State University
1:0: Jay Carney briefs the press
Steve Benen: A new Bloomberg National Poll shows President Obama’s approval rating reaching a three-year high and public approval of Republicans reaching a three-year low. The same poll found that a plurality of Americans blame the congressional GOP, not Democrats, for “what’s wrong in Washington.”
And an interesting twist, the Bloomberg poll results aren’t the worst polling results for Republicans this morning. That prize goes to a new USA Today/Pew Research Center Poll, which suggests Americans just aren’t buying what Republicans are selling…..
In case you missed the link in the previous post, read Steve Benen shredding Boehner’s op-ed, point by point, here
USA Today: President Obama’s new grass-roots advocacy group will target more than a dozen members of Congress with online ads this week for failing to voice support for his plan to expand background checks to all gun buyers….
The advertising push is part of a national day of action planned Friday by Obama’s backers to rally support for background checks. It will mark the first large-scale test of Organizing for Action’s ability to mobilize the president’s army of 2.2 million campaign volunteers to press for legislative change.
TPM: Lost in the political fight between President Obama and Marco Rubio, is that the White House’s leaked bill is the first new proposal from anyone involved in negotiations that actually specifies its path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Given that the details of legalization are one of the most contentious issues in the process, it’s worth taking a look at what they came up with. Here are some of the highlights from the section detailing the new path to citizenship, which are part of a broader draft that also includes border security provisions and new restrictions on employers to prevent them from hiring undocumented workers.
Charles Pierce: Things In Politico That Make Me Want To Guzzle Antifreeze, Part The Infinity
Good Christ, what does it take? A silver fking bullet?
What will it possibly take to get our courtier press to stop taking seriously the latest pronouncement from the Sinai of his own ego emitted by N. Leroy Gingrich, Definer of Civilization’s Rules And Leader (perhaps) Of The Civilizing Forces? When will they all collapse from the effort it takes to keep his Macy Parade-caliber megalomania aloft?
ThinkProgress: It’s been nearly a year since George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old on his way back to his father’s townhouse. In the weeks following the shooting, the story captured the nation’s attention, culminating with Zimmerman being charged with second-degree murder last April.
But as the story has receded from the headlines, the legal case has plodded along and the trial is likely to be completed this summer. Here’s what you may have missed….
Washington Post editorial: Here is one way to distill the confusing charges and countercharges of the first presidential debate:
President Obama has no adequate plan to cope with the frightening level of debt the U.S. government is accumulating. His proposal would only worsen the level of U.S. debt.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney has a plan to make it worse.
To understand that harsh assessment, you have to spend a few minutes with some facts that Mr. Romney did his best to obscure Wednesday.
“First of all, I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut,” he said. In fact, Mr. Romney has proposed lowering income tax rates, abolishing the estate tax and making other changes that would cost $5 trillion over 10 years…..
…. The Republican cites studies that he says prove that wrong, but when you look closely, they prove him wrong….
…. here’s the really scary part: Mr. Romney’s plan is irresponsible, even if he could pay for it….