The Republican Rejection of Medicaid Expansion is Depraved ...and supports it with this:
The refusal of Republican states to accept Obamacare's Medicaid expansion surely ranks as one of the most sordid acts in recent American history. The cost to the states is tiny, and the help it would bring to the poor is immense. It's paid for by taxes that residents of these states are going to pay regardless of whether they receive any of the benefits. And yet, merely because it has Obama's name attached to it, they've decided that immiserating millions of poor people is worth it. It's hard to imagine a decision more depraved.
Conservatives hate it when you accuse them of simply not caring about the poor. Sometimes they have a point. This is not one of those times.To see why Medicaid expansion is so important, make sure to read this week's piece by Abby Goodnough, Katie Thomas and Reed Abelson report in The New York Times Times:
Since his chronic leukemia was diagnosed in 2010, Ray Acosta has paid dearly for health insurance: more than $800 a month in premiums, plus steep co-payments for the drug that helps keep him alive. [...]
He sought advice from an insurance agent who had used his moving company. She connected him with an application counselor at a community health center, who found — to Mr. Acosta’s astonishment — that he qualified for Medicaid under the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, which gives states the option of expanding the program to include more low-income adults.
“I’m kind of in a disbelieving fog,” Mr. Acosta said last week, two days after completing an application. “I’m just hoping, keeping my fingers crossed, that this might really help me out.” [...] “After being gouged all these years, trying to make ends meet, to all of the sudden get this?” he said. “I’m really blown away.”More on Medicaid expansion below the fold.
WED DEC 10, 2003 AT 07:33 PM EST
Dispatch from THE GREAT STATE OF MAINE...
Cheers and Jeers (with apologies...but not really...to TV Guide)
CHEERS to Howard Dean for his extraordinary Gore Score. The early endorsement is cherry on top of the whipped cream (union endorsements) on top of the ice cream (grassroots) on top of the cake (Dean). Extra points for upstaging Bush's Medicare sideshow during Monday/Tuesday press cycles.
JEERS to the Medicare bill. Democrats asleep at the wheel while Nero (Bush) fiddles. This turkey's as fake as the one in Baghdad mess hall.
CHEERS to John Edwards. Doogie Howser is coming into his own as thoughtful VP possibility. Newsweek column on jury system shows real compassion, pragmatism.
CHEERS to Mother Nature. If you're going to live in northern New England in winter, you might as well have lots of snow, and boy did we get it. Bonus: White Xmas is in the bag.
JEERS to people who write Xmas.
JEERS to Joe Lieberman. Credible rumor now pegs his camp as source of Monday's Dean/Gore leak. Were sour grapes pouting all an act?
JEERS to Alfred E. Koppel. Gives candidates not named Dean chance to blast Guv at point blank range in NH debate. All those who think he acted like a total dumbass, raise your hand.
JEERS to Dick "Elmer Fudd" Cheney. Slaughters 70 pre-caught game birds on "hunting" expedition. As if we needed more proof that his heart was removed long ago...
CHEERS to Supremes for upholding parts of McCain/Feingold bill. Sure it's a Band-Aid, but at least now it's got some real stick to it.
CHEERS and a fond farewell to Senator Paul Simon. Some of the current occupants of The Chamber could take a lesson or two from him...but they're too dumb. Memo to Smithsonian: snag one of those bow ties!
JEERS to George W. Bush's "spontaneous" appearance during Larry King Live show. Walk-on during end of Laura interview reveals hopelessly inarticulate boob. No Red Ryder BB gun for you, pal, until you learn how to say "Merry Christmas" without gritting your teeth.
CHEERS to Al Gore for showing true cojones in Dean nod. Veep understands that the only way to break out of Democratic party complacency is to shake, shake, SHAKE things up. Beltway bluster proves he's right on.
CHEERS to the Maine lobster industry. Another banner year is good year for butter industry. And bib makers!
This concludes my first decade of blogging. I think I'll have that drink now.
This is an urgent warning that the country’s big-corporate elite are about to try to push something called “Fast Track” Trade Promotion Authority through Congress, in preparation for pushing through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) corporate “investor rights” agreement. (Note that I did not write “trade agreement” because most of TPP is something else entirely.)
People need to “get it” about just how dangerous this is. Fast Track and the current TPP — as it appears to be negotiated — should be as much of an electoral test for progressives as Social Security is. We have to make Fast Track a line that cannot be crossed. This is all about democracy vs big-corporate dominance of our economy and society.
1) Fast Track is about bypassing democracy and Constitutional government so the giant multinationals can do a huge PR effort to push this TPP agreement through. Fast Track means Congress can’t make changes to the agreement and has to pass it in a rush — so democracy and our representatives can’t meddle with what the Serious People have laid out for us.
3) Fast Track is about continuing a rigged process designed to come to certain conclusions to benefit a few people. TPP was negotiated between corporations by people in government who can leave government to receive lucrative paychecks from the corporations. An agreement negotiated without other stakeholders at the table means those stakeholders are ON the table. Labor, human rights, consumer groups, environmental groups were not at the table, only LARGE and already-dominant corporate interests. (This also means that smaller companies, potential innovators and competitors, etc. are at a disadvantage.) This is really about the elites and billionaires who own things now locking in their dominance.
4) A trade agreement doesn’t have to be bad. A real “trade’ agreement could lift the world’s economy, instead of making exploitation of labor and the environment into a competitive advantage. (“Shut up our we’ll move your job out of the country, too.”) But with all of the stakeholders at the table, we could work out a way around the low wages and lack of environmental protections in some countries. (Make it a trade violation to say “Shut up our we’ll move your job out of the country, too.” Make it a trade violation to lower costs by allowing pollution. Make it a trade violation to block union organizing or deny unemployment benefits or do other things that push wages down. Make it a trade violation to have a continuing trade surplus.)
5) Also, a good part of TPP is that it is an agreement that works out how to confront China. Unfortunately the current process appears to make this about the billionaires who are threatened by China, not about democracies getting together to overcome the way China turns a lack of worker and environmental protections into a competitive advantage.
6) Note that we don’t really know what is in TPP because it is secret. There have been leaks and things do not look good. But the fact that We the People haven’t even SEEN it should by itself mean that Fast Track must not be allowed to pass. How can we agree to “fast track” a process to pass an agreement we have not been allowed to see? [...]
Here is a chart that tracks our country’s balance of trade.
Finally, a chart of both the trade deficit and labor’s share of the benefits of our economy.
Now, for fun, find the same time period on this chart of Wall Street’s share of the economy, and look at what happened at the same time as the trade deficit shot up.
Public Citizen Trade Watch recently posted Members of Congress: Fast Tracking the TPP is a Non-Starterwith a video. (Also, see “Study: ‘Trade’ Deal Would Mean a Pay Cut for 90 Percent of U.S. Workers)
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) has good material on this and one of the world’s leading experts Rob Scott: paper: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Be Much Worse than the Over-Hyped Korea Deal […]
Demand Progress and other organizations are driving calls to Minority Leader Pelosi this week to urge her to oppose fast track.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2004—Powell: won't seek political office:While yesterday's Q-poll showed Colin Powell polling decently in hypothetical NY governor and senate races, the integrity-free outgoing secretary of state says he's not interested.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday he won't seek political office, dismissing suggestions that he run for governor or senator in New York.
Asked about a poll that shows him favored in a hypothetical matchup for the governor's race, Powell said, "I'm not going to be running for office even in my beloved home state of New York, as flattering as that poll might be." [...]
"I don't think I've ever said I wouldn't be interested in public life again," Powell said. "I think I've repeatedly said over the course of nine-plus years that I've had no interest in political office."
The GOP bench in NY is exactly one man deep without a Powell candidacy -- Giuliani. Expect state Republicans to keep talking up a Powell candidacy over the next two years as they grow increasingly desperate in their efforts to take on HIllary and hold the governorship.
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Cokie Roberts said conservatives denounced those praising Mandela, but she's pretty sure Dems hit Obama for taking Bush to South Africa. So, both sides! Greg Dworkin joins us on advocacy journalism, and Third Way-ism. He also notes alongside the NYT "Invisible Child" story, there's also one on "enhanced medical care" for the wealthy elite.Armando is drawn in, too, and by then it was a theme: neo-libertarianism vs. reality, with help from David Simon's "Festival of Dangerous Ideas" speech, weekend TV news shows and The Daily Show featuring conservative "arguments" against addressing inequality and raising the minimum wage.
On Monday, the federal government announced it had sold off the remaining shares from its $49.5 billion bailout of General Motors in 2009. But the $10.5 billion loss on paper obscures the massive total return on investment for the U.S. economy overall and American taxpayers in particular. As a new analysis from the Center for Automotive Research found, had GM and Chrysler failed altogether, the result could have been 4.1 million jobs lost across the U.S. economy in 2009 and 2010, with federal transfer payments and $105 billion in lost income and payroll tax revenue for the U.S. Treasury.
In its report, CAR examined two scenarios that showed Uncle Sam reaped a return on investment ranging between 334 to 768 percent. In the worst case, the failure of the Bush and Obama administrations to rescue GM and Chrysler led to complete collapse of the American auto industry and the death of its supplier network. In the "GM only" case, CAR's only assumption was that other automakers could not replace GM capacity and employment until 2011. As the full report explained, the payoff to American taxpayers for the $13.7 billion lost in the sale of shares of companies has been immense:
Even more impressive are the results of the GM scenario which did not even require the assumption of shutting down the supplier sector or other automaker employment. The only assumption was that other automakers could not replace GM capacity and employment until 2011. In this case, the U.S. government avoided the loss of $39.4 billion in increased transfer payments and lost taxes in just two years: 2009-2010. This is 334 percent of the projected $11.8 billion of Treasury funds not recovered on the public's investment in GM. We should add once again that in this scenario, the U.S. economy avoided the loss of 1.2 million jobs in 2009 and the loss of $129.2 billion in personal income in 2009-2010.The Center's assessment may actually understate the impact of deciding to "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." (That is, the future Mitt Romney proposed not for the city but for the American auto industry.) Had President Obama refused to provide a lifeline to the GM and Chrysler in early 2009, the broader U.S. economy may have experienced an "Industrial Lehman Brothers Effect" that could have devastated the American manufacturing sector for decades to come. Older centers of the industry in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois would have been gutted. Just as important:
Almost 600,000 existing GM and Chrysler retirees would have certainly seen their company pensions delayed and reduced (as was the case for Delphi salaried workers) and their retiree health benefits cancelled. The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) would have been overwhelmed. But thanks to the Bush and Obama administrations, the Upper Midwest did not enter an economic death spiral leading to a permanent depression.
The $10.5 billion the Treasury ultimately lost on its GM shares, along with the $1.9 billion not recouped from Chrysler may well be the best investment Uncle Sam ever made.
In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian diet including: better health (pdf), animal rights, food safety, public health, frugal living, global food crisis, water and land depletion and the staggeringly huge contribution of meat/livestock production to climate change(pdf)
According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization’s 2007 report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” 70 percent of total Amazon deforestation, and over 90 percent of Amazon deforestation since the 1970s, is due to clearing land for pasture and for growing soy bean crops to be fed to livestock.
In addition, scientists have found that 60 percent of the black carbon particles building up on the surface of the ice in Antarctica were carried there by the wind from South American forests, which are burned to clear land for livestock production. Black carbon, or soot, is 680 times more heat trapping than CO2.
Macca's Meatless Monday/Meatless Advocates is a solution oriented activist group, with solutions for some of the most pressing issues of our time including: climate change, global food/water insecurity and public health. Here we don't just talk about the severity of the crisis. Armed with knowledge about how our actions can contribute we become part of the solution.
I was inspired to create this series by former Beatle and vegetarian advocate Paul McCartney (Macca) who partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to promote less consumption of meat. We not only discuss the advantages of a less meat diet we also do some cooking, share recipes and listen to great Beatle music!
Since his chronic leukemia was diagnosed in 2010, Ray Acosta has paid dearly for health insurance: more than $800 a month in premiums, plus steep co-payments for the drug that helps keep him alive.
Mr. Acosta, 57, owns a small moving company in Sierra Vista, Ariz., which he said had barely made it through the recession. He was thinking about dropping his coverage, but the insurance company beat him to it, informing him recently that it would cancel his policy at year’s end.
He sought advice from an insurance agent who had used his moving company. She connected him with an application counselor at a community health center, who found — to Mr. Acosta’s astonishment — that he qualified for Medicaid under the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, which gives states the option of expanding the program to include more low-income adults.
“I’m kind of in a disbelieving fog,” Mr. Acosta said last week, two days after completing an application. “I’m just hoping, keeping my fingers crossed, that this might really help me out.” [...] “After being gouged all these years, trying to make ends meet, to all of the sudden get this?” he said. “I’m really blown away.” [...]That's the kind of story that makes Republicans quake in their shoes. For more of them, go below the fold.
Heritage Action released the following statement in response to press reports of a potential budget deal between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA):
“Heritage Action cannot support a budget deal that would increase spending in the near-term for promises of woefully inadequate long-term reductions. While imperfect, the sequester has proven to be an effective tool in forcing Congress to reduce discretionary spending, and a gimmicky, spend-now-cut-later deal will take our nation in the wrong direction.”Although the potential Ryan-Murray deal is rumored to boost spending above sequester levels, there isn't an actual deal in place, so Heritage is urging Republicans to oppose something that may or may not even exist.
The message, however, is clear: Heritage expects conservative Republicans to preserve sequester austerity. No matter how unpopular it may be, they'd rather create another fiscal crisis than adjust spending levels to meet the needs of 2014.
If Heritage succeeds in convincing Republicans to scuttle a budget deal, it won't automatically force another shutdown because Congress could simply pass another continuing resolution keeping government open. But if Congress can't even agree on a budget, it's hard to see how it could manage to pass anything but a simple extension of 2013 spending levels into 2014. That might avoid a shutdown, but it would be yet another example of how Republican dysfunction forced us to once again govern by crisis. Speaker Pelosi can't come quickly enough.
The sentiment of the human who put up that sign is illustrative of the pervasive attitude toward us Indians. Every time something like this happens, it's a reminder that while certain racial slurs have been abandoned, in public at least, others are still handed out with no consideration whatsoever of the pain they cause.
To its credit, the corporate office of the Sonic fast-food chain responded with a straightforward, no-hedging apology, a rare thing these days:
"The remarks posted on this message board were wrong, offensive and unacceptable," Lenow said in a statement. "In a misguided effort to support his football team an independent franchise owner allowed passion to override good judgment. The owner has reinforced with his employees the boundaries of what is acceptable and unacceptable. On behalf of the franchise owner and our entire brand we apologize for the offensive remarks."For more on the history of American Indians and their fight against ignorance in sports, please read below the fold.
[Sen. Rand Paul] then went to a larger grassroots event at the Grace Bible Chapel, where there were protesters from the civil rights group National Action Network outside. The online invitation said the event was intended to "celebrate the opening of our African-American Engagement Office in Detroit."
Tracking footage from the Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, however, shows an overwhelmingly white audience ended up turning out:Well, sure. To be fair about these things, the Rand Paul fanbase is probably among the whitest of any Republican, anywhere, given that he is on the militia-esque, conspiracy-minded, cranky old-fart fringe of the party (a base inherited, like his political career, almost entirely from his father); you can't be too surprised that the folks that would turn out to hear Rand Paul talk at them would be, well, Rand Paul fans. Still, though, the picture of a nearly-all-white Detroit audience congratulating themselves for the formation of a new office for talking to the black folks is just ... well ... there's really no possible good outcome to that, is there? The problem with the various recent Republican outreach efforts is that their various banner-waving launches tend mostly to highlight just how desperately that outreach is needed, but the actual outreach part never quite manages to materialize once the banners have been taken down and shipped off to the next town. It takes no great cynic to wonder if the obvious lack of earnestness behind the efforts is still, at this late date, doing more to harm the party than to soften it.
As obvious example: immigration reform. Immigration reform was embraced by demographic-watching party elders as a fine way to show that the party was not, in fact, openly hostile to immigrants. This backfired spectacularly when the various Steve Kings of the party, in office and not, belligerently told the party that they would be nice to melon-calved immigrants approximately when hell froze over, thank you very much, upon which the whole notion of being nice to immigrants curled up and died a humiliated death.
The GOP is still at the stage where outreach to any and all groups that are not conservative white men consist mostly of the conservative white men meeting among themselves to tell each other that they are now inclusive and diverse and whatnot. It may, in the end, be the best they can do; it's a bit difficult to shepherd a massive new wave of minority vote-blocking efforts through each of the Republican-led states while simultaneously promising non-white Americans that, pinky swear this time, the Republicans have finally learned to respect and listen to them.
To the National Security Agency analyst writing a briefing to his superiors, the situation was clear: their current surveillance efforts were lacking something. The agency's impressive arsenal of cable taps and sophisticated hacking attacks was not enough. What it really needed was a horde of undercover Orcs.
That vision of spycraft sparked a concerted drive by the NSA and its UK sister agency GCHQ to infiltrate the massive communities playing online games, according to secret documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The files were obtained by the Guardian and are being published on Monday in partnership with the New York Times and ProPublica.Or should that be WoW?
The spies have created make-believe characters to snoop and to try to recruit informers, while also collecting data and contents of communications between players, according to the documents, disclosed by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. Because militants often rely on features common to video games — fake identities, voice and text chats, a way to conduct financial transactions — American and British intelligence agencies worried that they might be operating there, according to the papers.
U.S. and British intelligence agencies — including the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense intelligence agency and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters — have operated in virtual worlds and gaming communities to snoop and try to recruit informants. For example, according to Snowden documents, the U.S. has conducted spy operations in Second Life (pictured), where players create human avatars to socialize, buy and sell goods and explore exotic virtual destinations.Let me repeat part of that:
Because militants often rely on features common to video games — fake identities, voice and text chats, a way to conduct financial transactions — American and British intelligence agencies worried that they might be operating there, according to the papers. On the one hand, gamers might be amused to know that intelligence agencies take their alternate worlds and gaming strategies so seriously. On the other hand, I'm guessing that being infiltrated by real life spies is not going to be appreciated. One 2008 document specifically mentions World of Warcraft, Second Life and Xbox Live. And then there's this:
The documents do not cite any counterterrorism successes from the effort, and former American intelligence officials, current and former gaming company employees and outside experts said in interviews that they knew of little evidence that terrorist groups viewed the games as havens to communicate and plot operations. Of course, the entire program has been reported to be costly but ineffective, and the dishonest attempts to justify it have been repeatedly debunked, although it stands to reason that some agents might enjoy gaming on the taxpayer dime. How the gaming community feels about their worlds being populated by real life spies playing real life games to find out more about their real lives, only time will tell.
“I really think Sen. Paul really needs to look at the facts and then look at the reality for people who are unemployed,” Levin said on MSNBC’s “NewsNation” on Monday. “There are 1.3 million people who are going to lose every cent of their benefits while they look for work. A disservice is essentially cutting them off on Dec. 28,” when the emergency unemployment program expires. [...]
“They are looking for a job. They were laid off through no fault of their own. What do you do? Just give them the cold shoulder on Dec. 28? That’s a disservice to humanity, in my judgment,” Levin said.Republicans are insisting it's outrageous to put an extension of emergency unemployment benefits in the budget being negotiated, and while Levin argued strongly that the benefits should be extended, he indicated more willingness to leave them out of the budget deal than Democrats need to be showing. According to Levin, "It has to be done one way or the other, either through the budget negotiations or through another vehicle." But if Democrats can't get it included in a budget that has to be passed (except maybe in Ted Cruz crazytown), exactly where does he think they'll find the leverage to make it happen otherwise?
Cutting off unemployment insurance would be an economic disaster not just for those who rely on the benefits to pay the rent and feed themselves. But Republicans would be all too happy to do it.
“It's been just four months since we started gathering signatures on the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative,” said Ryan Brown, the group's field director. “Thanks to volunteer signature gatherers in every Oregon county, I have some amazing news to share: We have over 116,284 signatures in hand!”
Signature gathering will continue to guard against failing to qualify due to invalid or duplicate signatures.
Oregon has the chance to make history by becoming the first state to repeal a marriage ban. In 2004, the state's voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Now's their chance to rectify that big mistake. The prospects for that look good at this point, with the phenomenal success of the petition drive so far. But the fact that Oregon would be the first to repeal means that the bigots are going to be out in full force and with lots of money to fight.
Opponents to equality are well-organized there because of their win a decade ago, and will keep fighting. Please contribute now to Oregon United for Marriage.
Several Arizona residents criticized the Affordable Care Act at a hearing Friday in Apache Junction, telling members of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that they will be forced against their will to change health insurers. Of course, unlike at real Congressional hearings, where competing voices are given an opportunity to be heard, this was nothing but a taxpayer-funded political stunt:
Only Republican congressional members took part in the hearing, titled “ObamaCare Implementation, the Broken Promise: If You Like Your Current Plan You Can Keep It.” The only four witnesses invited to testify were residents who said they have been negatively affected by the new federal health-care program.
Audience members were not permitted to speak.The "hearing" followed a familiar pattern: Similar events in Georgia and North Carolina also refused to listen to anyone with anything good to say about Obamacare, opting instead to rehash familiar lines of attack from the GOP. So despite being billed as information gathering exercises, the only thing we "learned" from these hearings is that even though HealthCare.gov is now on the mend, Republicans still have only one thing they want to do with Obamacare: Repeal it.
But those improvements conceal a continuing problem that keeps being ignored or explained away as just a matter of demographics: The missing workers.
The folks at the Economic Policy Institute have done an excellent job of keeping track of "missing workers." They explain the category thusly:
That's not just a handful of missing workers, but, by EPI's calculations for October, 5.66 million of them. If those missing workers were looking for a job, the employment rate would be 10.3 percent instead of 7.0 percent.
It is argued in some quarters that most of these missing workers aren't really missing. The numbers, it is said, are just a reflection of the growing cohort of retiring baby boomers and a long-term trend that started two decades ago of young adults not entering the work force in as great of percentages as used to be the case. Without doubt, both these factors play a part in the dwindling of the labor force. Nobody can dispute that there will be a tremendous long-term impact from retirements of baby boomers—the first wave of whom will turn 68 starting next month.
But that assessment ignores one big painful reality: The majority of the "missing workers" aren't those aged 18 to 24 nor the superannuated. Most are, instead, people in what demographers call the "prime earning years"—age 25 to 54. And a big chunk of them are over 55 but haven't reached 62 when they can first start collecting a Social Security check (though without full benefits). That is not an age group likely to quit working unless they have no choice. Check out the chart (which is interactive at the EPI site):
- Today's comic by Tom Tomorrow is To-do list:
- What you missed on Sunday Kos ...
- Republicans chicken out on tax reform, by Jon Perr
- Myrtilla Miner—teaching 'colored girls' to teach, by Denise Oliver Velez
- The best books I read in 2013, by Susan Gardner
- If American students' test scores are a wake-up call, what should we wake up and do, by Laura Clawson
- The Senate Launch system flies again, by DarkSyde
- When does lying about Obamacare become immoral and evil, by Egberto Willies
- Nitrous oxide: Major climate change threat with a silver bullet solution, by VL Baker
- "Will you serve your full six-year term as U.S. senator?" Absolutely, said Senators Warren and Obama, by Ian Reifowitz
- It's like Fox & Friends was broadcasting from 1950:
Hi, ladies! Fox News brought its favorite “war on men” correspondent, Suzanne Venker, out of the locked room where they store her between guest appearances and let her do some concern-ranting about how women are ruining their lives by living them the way they want to, and not the way Suzanne Venker knows they should ...
“My advice is, as the years go on and you find that you want, if you do, to get married and settle down, to understand time is going to be your greatest enemy,” Venker opined. “Not your husband, not men, not the government, not your employers. It’s time, there’s just not enough time in the day to do everything.”
“So if you learn to embrace that side of yourself that isn’t about work,” she continued. “In other words, the nurturing side, the motherhood, all of that. It’s okay to let your husband bring home that full-time income so you can have more of a balanced life.”
“And we should really be thanking men for this, not saying they’re in our way or not doing enough.”
- Check out pictures of Shanghai enveloped in a haze of pollution.
- Kudos to Sonic for knowing how to issue an apology:
Ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs complete domination of Washington’s football team Sunday, a Kansas City restaurant owner used a storefront sign to urge the Chiefs to victory in the most racist of ways. The sign, outside a Sonic chain, promised that the Chiefs would “scalp the Redskins, feed them whiskey,” and “send 2 reservation.”
Sonic’s corporate office apologized Sunday. “The remarks posted on this message board were wrong, offensive and unacceptable,” Patrick Lenow, vice president of public relations at Sonic, said in a statement to NBC News. “In a misguided effort to support his football team an independent franchise owner allowed passion to override good judgment. The owner has reinforced with his employees the boundaries of what is acceptable and unacceptable. On behalf of the franchise owner and our entire brand we apologize for the offensive remarks.”Now that's an apology. None of that sorry-if-you-were-offended crap.
- In case you were interested, Meet the Love Child Rev. Sun Myung Moon Desperately Tried to Hide.
- Go figure:
In the United States, of all Google searches that begin “Is my husband…,” the most common word to follow is “gay.” [...]
Searches questioning a husband’s sexuality are far more common in the least tolerant states. The states with the highest percentage of women asking this question are South Carolina and Louisiana. In fact, in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.
Former SD Mayor Bob Filner sentenced to 3 years probation, home confinement 90 days starting Jan 1, where he will be on GPS monitoring.
- Today's the last day to bid on something fabulous in the annual Netroots Nation Holiday Bazaar. Skip the crowds and finish your Christmas shopping now from the comfort of your own home or office. The benefits? You can score something unique that will make you the most popular gift-giver ever, and you can help the Netroots Nation crew make NN14 the best yet. Go bid now. Bidding ends at 10 ET, tonight.
- On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Cokie Roberts said conservatives denounced those praising Mandela, but she's pretty sure Dems hit Obama for taking Bush to South Africa. So, both sides! Greg Dworkin joins us on advocacy journalism, and Third Way-ism. He also notes alongside the NYT "Invisible Child" story, there's also one on "enhanced medical care" for the wealthy elite. Armando is drawn in, too, and by then it was a theme: neo-libertarianism vs. reality, with help from David Simon's "Festival of Dangerous Ideas" speech, weekend TV news shows and The Daily Show featuring conservative "arguments" against addressing inequality and raising the minimum wage.
Navigators are forced to tell more and more people that they probably won't be able to get covered because their states, all of which had a GOP-controlled legislative chamber or governor, have refused to expand Medicaid. Lynne Thorp, who is overseeing the University of South Florida's navigator program in that state, told TPM that about one in four people who contact her team fall into that Medicaid gap.
"Those are hardest phone calls because it doesn't make any sense to them," Thorp said. "We have to explain that they fall into this gap where this program can't assist them." [...]
In some cases, those being left out seem to understand, having been left out of the health insurance complex for a while, said Cynthia Rahming, who is heading the Houston, Texas, navigator program. She did agree, though, that her team is "often" coming across people who are part of the Medicaid gap in that state.
"They were excited. They were trying to see what's available to them," she said. "But they're still okay. They know it's just a chance."
But Thorp described angry and confused people who didn't understand why they wouldn't be able to get coverage under Obamacare. Like Rahming's group in Texas, her team refers people to free health clinics. But she acknowledged that they've started to become "desensitized" to those experiences, focusing instead on those they can help.Florida and Texas lead the nation in uninsured. The two states also lead the nation in dollars lost by their refusal to expand. Now they'll lead the nation in people really pissed off when they realize that the only reason they can't get health coverage is because they are represented by assholes.
Yes, Obamacare and Medicaid expansion will be campaign issues in 2014 and 2016.
Employees of a Washington Heights Domino's claim they were fired from their delivery jobs after complaining to management about unfair wages. Workers at the 181st street chain participated in last Thursday's nationwide walkout in solidarity with the country's underpaid fast food workers, which included strong numbers of workers and supporters in New York City. Following the walkout, delivery workers—who are paid under $6 an hour and rely on tips to make a living wage—were asked to work extended hours inside the restaurant but were not offered increased hourly pay for their time inside the store. After bringing the issue to management's attention, the 24 employees were fired. To recap: Some workers staged a walkout because of inadequate pay. Management's response was to get other workers to work at below the minimum wage to keep the store staffed. And when they complained—about something illegal, mind you—they were fired.
Wage theft is very common at New York City fast food outlets, with 84 percent of workers saying they've experienced things like being forced to work off the clock, not being paid overtime, or, as in this case, being made to work at the tipped worker minimum wage while doing work that won't get them any tips. And given how common these forms of lawbreaking are, it's clear that corporate management tacitly condones wage theft.
The truth is that there are many notable shows headed by female antiheroes that are conflicted, complex women. It's just that these characters haven't been as much the "household names" in pop-culture notoriety as their male counterparts, and why that is can get into a complex set of sociopolitical, gender and cultural arguments. Examples would be Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) of Weeds, Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) and Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) in Damages, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) of Homeland, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) of Orange is the New Black, or Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco) in Nurse Jackie. All of those roles are critically acclaimed, and portrayed by talented actresses.
One character usually cited as a prominent antihero (and one of the few female African-American leads) on network TV is Kerry Washington's Olivia Pope in Scandal. However, below the fold, I'm gonna argue that she's not really an antihero. In fact, while the character is the protagonist of the show, I think a good argument can be made that she's one of the villains.
Some of the “non-partisan, fact-driven” things children will learn from the new book are:
- Ted Cruz Is A Man Of Great Virility And Stamina: Many “career establishment politicians are far too out of shape, old or overweight to even perform such a magnificent feat” as standing on the Senate floor and talking for over 21 hours. But not Ted Cruz!
- Ted Cruz Can See The Future: Cruz spoke with “clairvoyant precision” about the “quickly approaching Obama Care disaster.
There are some conservative heroes that are just not made out to be childhood heroes. You want to make an Ayn Rand coloring book, fine, I'm sure there are a lot of college Republicans who might still enjoy coloring in the dark circles under Ayn's eyes and imagining themselves seduced, or whatever it is they do after they've read two thirds of Atlas Shrugged and given up like everyone else. But there is no reason to force your child to pretend to give a damn about the various goings on in and around the cranial cavities of one Sen. Ted Cruz. "Here, little Jimmy, let's look at the reason why you getting your new health insurance is worse than Hitler" does not make for compelling coloring book material unless you are a sociopa—ah, I stand corrected. I understand.
All of the people who presumably will actually buy this thing are convinced, mind you, that America is constantly "indoctrinating" their children by teaching them science or allowing the poor kids to eat alongside the rich kids in the cafeteria. Indoctrinating your child as to the latest political fad, though, now that's just good parenting. After hearing about the adventures of a time-travelling conservative radio loudmouth who's gone back to slutshame Betsy Ross, coloring in the podium from one of Important Person Ted Cruz's many various public tantrums is probably as good a way for your child to relax as any.
“If you want to talk about a ‘war on women,’ look no further than this healthcare law,” Ellmers countered in the weekly address. “After all, it’s often women who make the healthcare decisions for our families. We put a lot of time and thought into these choices and how they’ll affect our budgets. So by canceling your insurance—despite a promise to let you keep your plan—the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family.” Minority leader Nancy Pelosi was succinct in summing this up: "pathetic." Which is a family friendly way of saying "bullshit."
Do we need to detail the ways in which Obamacare makes health care for women better? Apparently. First and foremost, having lady parts is no longer a pre-existing condition. Private health insurers have had to end their standard practice of charging higher premiums for women simply because we're women. Second, mammograms and cervical cancer screenings: free with your premiums. You don't have pay anything extra to have basic health care covered. Same goes for prescription birth control. Want to talk about families? Okay. Children with serious illnesses won't ever face never being able to get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Adult children can stay on their parents' plans until they are 26. Millions of women (and men, and children) who've been unable to get health insurance now can. Period.
By the way, it's 2013. Plenty of men make health care decisions for their families. Some couples are enlightened enough to even do it together. So now the Republicans are extending their war on women to a war on modern men.