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North Carolina voters are extremely unexcited about Thom Tillis

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:07
Thom Tillis attends a debate between the four top-polling Republican candidates in North Carolina for the U.S. Senate, at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina April 22, 2014. Picture taken April 22, 2014. To match USA-NORTHCAROLINA-SENATE REUTERS/ One of the Republican Party's paths to Senate control was supposed to go straight through North Carolina, where Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan was supposed to be mortally wounded by Obamacare. But Hagan not only holds onto a lead in a new Public Policy Polling poll—her margin is growing. Hagan leads Republican nominee Thom Tillis by a seven-point margin, 41 percent to 34 percent, with a Libertarian candidate drawing eight percent. In June, Hagan's lead was five points, and in May it was just two points.

How does Hagan, with job performance ratings of 40 percent approve to 50 percent disapprove, have a growing lead? Partly it's that Libertarian candidate's eight percent:

... Hagan is very much being propped up right now by the 8% Haugh is receiving, which does not seem likely to hold through until November. When Haugh voters are reallocated to who they would support if they had to pick between Hagan and Tillis, her lead drops to 42-39. But while that is a serious note of caution, it points to the fact that voters really, really don't like Tillis, the Speaker of the state House, who is seen favorably by just 24 percent and unfavorably by 47 percent; just 19 percent of voters approve of the job the state legislature is doing, with 57 percent disapproving.

What, a guy who can't take criticism from a woman without dismissing it as "born out of emotions" and thinks that white people are "the traditional population" of North Carolina isn't warm, cuddly, and beloved by voters? Thinking that the state has the right to ban contraceptives doesn't endear you to voters in the wake of Hobby Lobby? The poll finds that Hagan has a 44-27 lead among women, and that 54 percent of voters would be less likely to vote for a candidate who wants to restrict access to affordable birth control, so maybe no, Tillis's position is not actually in line with his state's voters.

This is still going to be a tough race, with millions of dollars in outside spending from the Koch brothers and the like. But once again, Republicans have come up with a candidate who's going to be a really hard sell to voters—because of his ardent embrace of Republican policies and his failure to hide that well enough.

Second Obamacare ruling of day upholds subsidies in federal exchanges

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 11:38
Speaker John Boehner blows his nose during the 2014 State of the Union. Well, that didn't last long—roughly two hours after a D.C. circuit court panel ruled that Obamacare does not allow subsidies in federally-run exchanges, a panel in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Virginia, has unanimously ruled that Obamacare does allow such subsidies.

If you're keeping score at home, that means three courts have ruled that Obamacare does allow subsidies in federally-run exchanges and one has not.

9:40 AM PT: I love this—shortly before the new ruling came out, House Speaker John Boehner celebrated the day's first ruling with a statement saying:

Today’s ruling is also further proof that President Obama’s health care law is completely unworkable.  It cannot be fixed. Nice try, John. Better luck next time.

9:58 AM PT: From the opinion:

What they may not do is rely on our help to deny to millions of Americans desperately - needed health insurance through a tortured, nonsensical construction of a federal statute whose manifest purpose, as revealed by the wholeness and coherence of its text and structure, could not be more clear.

Not a surprise: Predictions of Obamacare premium spikes were wrong

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 11:38
President Barack Obama smiling and holding Do Republican "experts" on these things ever tire of being wrong? No, Obamacare has not led to massive premium spikes.
Nearly 20 states have released preliminary information about premiums for insurance policies sold on their insurance exchanges, and the nightmare scenarios have not come to pass. In most of those states, the average increase across all exchange plans is in the single digits. [...]

Larry Levitt, vice president for special initiatives at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said he's surprised by the variation in proposed changes but that on average, premiums are working out to about what he expected: hikes of 7 percent to 8 percent in most places.

Rises of 7 or 8 percent per year are still nothing to sneeze at, but in the years before Obamacare took effect, I would have been giddy to have our family's yearly premium increases rise by only 7 or 8 percent instead of the more typical double or triple that.

In any event, all the people claiming that premiums are skyrocketing have been proven wrong, so they ought to stop claiming that now. They won't, of course, but if they were decent human beings they would.

Now they've gone too far. Time for Harry Reid to blow up the filibuster and confirm all nominees now

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 11:18
Obamacare repeal If at first you don't succeed ... Now they've gone too far. Two Republican judges (on a three-judge panel) just issued a decision that would gut Obamacare by denying subsidies to anyone currently receiving them through a federally run (as opposed to state run) exchange. The decision is, in terms of actual jurisprudence, a farce that relies on "a glorified typo," as this analysis makes clear.

The time for us to recognize that the Republicans have completely politicized the courts has long passed. Too many Republican judges see their role as nothing more than standing in the way of duly passed legislation that they and their masters don't like. There is no other possible explanation for a decision as mind-numbing as the one issued today by a 2-1 margin (one that will almost certainly be overturned by the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals).

Given that, Harry Reid should do what he should have done long ago: Declare the filibuster dead for all judicial nominations. No more debates. No more quorum calls. No more cloture. The nominating process has long since ceased to be meaningful, and has become nothing more than a way to tie up the Senate and prevent the majority party from doing the people's business. It's dead.

Harry Reid should call out Republicans for what they have done, and then, in one fell swoop, bring all existing nominations to the floor and confirm them in rapid succession, by simple majority vote. The Republican Party has turned the judicial system into nothing more than another part of the legislature. Let's end the charade and call them out for having done so.

Perry 'militarizing our border' in response to migrant children

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:26
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, speaks during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 23, 2014.                             REUTERS/Ruben Sprich (SWITZERLAND  - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS HEADSHOT)   - RTX17RDR Texas Gov. Rick Perry What to do about unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the U.S. border continues to be a fight in the U.S. Senate and in Texas. In the Senate, Democrats are trying to pass emergency funding requested by President Obama before the August recess, but Republicans are opposed because it might not be punitive enough:
[Sen. Jeff Sessions] demanded that any supplemental funding request sent to Obama include a requirement that funding be blocked for federal initiatives that grants undocumented immigrants work permits—such as to beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. In Texas, meanwhile, Gov. Rick Perry is calling out the National Guard, and Rep. Joaquin Castro is among the Democrats unhappy about that:
“We should be sending the Red Cross to the border not the National Guard to deal with this humanitarian crisis,” the Democratic congressman said in an email. “The children fleeing violence in Central America are seeking out Border Patrol agents. They are not trying to evade them. Why send soldiers to confront these kids?”

“Militarizing our border is the wrong response to the arrival of children,” Castro continued. “I remain hopeful that our state can provide a more helpful response than to send armed soldiers to greet children seeking refuge from violence.”

But Perry clearly sees this as a chance to regain his swagger in advance of 2016, and why wouldn't he, as the recipient of tongue baths as lavish as the one Philip Rucker (name and shame!) gives him in the Washington Post: Perry, according to Rucker, "looked like a Texas A&M football coach giving the Aggies a pep talk" at one speech to conservative activists, where he "scored a touchdown." "There’s little doubt," according to Rucker, that Perry's self-assessment of having become "wiser" is accurate. But despite his rhetorical touchdowns and his workout schedule ("sit-ups, pull-ups, crunches and time on a stationary bicycle," in case you're wondering), and a new "look more bookish than buckaroo—and more in keeping with his attempt at intellectual reinvention," Perry's "humility stems from a deep Christian faith" ... according to one of his advisers.

So why wouldn't Perry militarize the border? It'll get him points with the Republican base and apparently he's now a serious, glasses-wearing political thinker as far as the traditional media is concerned. All he needs now is to figure out how to show up wearing a flight suit and bearing a "mission accomplished" banner to a center where migrant children are being detained.

Federal court panel votes to defund Obamacare, but ruling isn't the last word

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:11
U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney pauses as he gives his reaction to the Supreme Court's upholding key parts of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare overhaul law in Washington June 28, 2012.  Romney said on Thursday that the Amer As expected, a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has voted by a two-to-one margin to defund Obamacare in states which did not set up their own health insurance exchanges. At issue is whether Obamacare allows subsidies in federally-established exchanges.

According to the plaintiffs in Halbig v. Burwell, Obamacare does not allow subsides in federally-established exchanges because the provision authorizing subsidies on exchanges defines subsidies as entities "established by the state" in which the exchange operates. The ruling is an absurdly narrow interpretation of the law, and will be immediately appealed to the full circuit court.

If it were to be upheld, it would essentially destroy Obamacare in most of the country, but based on the merits of the case, it should overturned when it goes before the full court. Even if it isn't overturned, the case could still be appealed to the Supreme Court, so while the anti-Obamacare ruling might make for a banner day for Fox News, there's nothing conclusive about it.

8:15 AM PT:

Very important: Obama admin official says that while appeals are pending Obamacare's "premium tax credits will continue, unchanged."

@sahilkapur

They're keeping kids in kennels

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:07
Two female detainees sleep in a holding cell, as the children are separated by age group and gender, as hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Nogales Placement C Two refugee girls sleep in a holding cell, as the children are separated by age group and gender, as hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Fucking animals—the border enforcement people, literally putting kids in kennels, conservatives foaming at the mouth at the presence of desperate children, and the Obama Administration, trying to make it easier to deport these kids.

Just think how desperate you have to be to send your children off on this dangerous journey north—it's a Sophie's Choice between near-guaranteed death at home at the hand of criminal gangs or drug cartels, or some chance of survival in the United States (or Costa Rica or Panama, which are also facing a refugee influx). These kids aren't looking for better economic opportunities or a better life, they are looking for life itself.

And then, after their harrowing journey north, they get placed in kennels.

Update: TexMex in the comments links to the Amazon wish-list from the Texas Young Democrats, who are sending basic supplies to these refugee children. I've just bought $100 worth of stuff.

Update II: Okay, I lied. I ended up buying $255 worth of stuff.

Poll: Just 20% of Americans think they could live on the minimum wage

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 09:08
Demonstrators take part in a protest to demand higher wages for fast-food workers outside McDonald's in Los Angeles, California May 15, 2014. The march was held as part of an international protest by fast-food workers who planned to go on strikes in 150 c The vast majority of Americans know they couldn't support their families on the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage. According to a new poll, just 20 percent believe they could "support your household on a minimum-wage salary, which comes out to $1,250 per month, or about $15,000 per year."

The poll, done by Public Policy Polling for Americans United for Change, also finds 54 percent support for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, with 37 percent of Republicans supporting it, which PPP's polling memo notes is "an unusually high level of support from GOP voters for an Obama backed policy initiative." And Obama has indeed been pushing $10.10 hard enough that you would expect many Republicans to oppose it on principle (the principle being f*** Obama).

Asked "Many big companies oppose raising the minimum wage, even though their minimum wage employees make so little they are eligible for Medicaid and food stamps. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? 'It's wrong that profitable companies get this kind of indirect subsidy from the taxpayers by paying poverty-level wages,'" 61 percent of those polled agreed; 74 percent agreed that "Someone who works full-time should be paid enough to keep them out of poverty."

It's particularly interesting to contemplate the 20 percent of people who say they could support their households on $1,250 a month. Some, surely, are people earning far, far more who take the view that they could lifehack poverty better than any minimum-wage worker and be happy and comfortable on $1,250 a month. But it's entirely possible that others are earning minimum wage and only getting part-time hours, thinking "man, a full-time income would be great." Or people who've been jobless for six months or more and lost their emergency unemployment aid while facing discrimination in an economy without enough jobs to go around. That's the sad thing: America has enough people struggling in poverty and enough rich people who think they're smart enough to do poverty better to leave a big question mark about who thinks they could live on $1,250 a month. Because you just might be able to live on it, but in the vast majority of the country, you wouldn't be living well.

Marco Rubio compares himself to Hillary ... Hillary wins

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 09:07
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laughs before delivering remarks on American leadership at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas Republican Sen. Marco Rubio—still pretending that he's not sure if he's running for president in 2016—had this to say during a recent interview:
Rubio, who is 43, said his continuing career in public service is motivated by the nation being at a "generational, transformational crossroads." He dismissed Clinton as being on the wrong side of those particular tracks.

"I just think she's a 20th century candidate," he said. "I think she does not offer an agenda for moving America forward in the 21st century, at least not up till now."

Well, sure. Rubio opposes marriage equality, opposes equal pay for women, opposes allowing women to make their own health care decisions, opposes paying workers a living wage, opposes immigration reform ... the list of issues where Rubio is on the wrong side of history goes on and on. But he's the guy for a generational, transformational change. Assuming you're talking about a transformation back to the 19th century anyway.

(We'll just ignore Rubio's less-than-subtle dig at Hillary's age.)

Idaho casino dumps Ted Nugent

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 09:05
Ted Nugent in concert, wearing Native American headdress, 08-10-08 Well, this escalated quickly:
Less than seven hours after being asked about the racist legacy of rock entertainer Ted Nugent, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of American Indians this evening cancelled a scheduled performance next month by the controversial performer. Marketing and public relations staffers seemed unaware of his racist past, but made a quick decision once they were contacted about the appearance:
“Nugent’s history of racist and hate-filled remarks was brought to Tribal Council’s attention earlier today” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Keen said in a statement e-mailed to media outlets.

“The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has always been about human rights – for decades, we have worked individually and as a Tribe to make sure that each and every person is treated equally and with respect and dignity,” the statement said.

Chief Allan, Chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, issued a one-sentence statement about the cancellation, without explaining how Nugent got booked in the first place.

“We know what it’s like to be the target of hateful messages and we would never want perpetuate hate in any way,” Allen said in the statement.

Media Matters and the SPLC's Hatewatch blog have documented a few of the aging rocker's offensive rants:
The legendary rocker, who also is on the board of the National Rifle Association, has a “long history of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, animus towards immigrants, and propensity to use violence-tinged language,” Media Matters reported earlier this year.

That came after Nugent called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and referred to him as a “chimpanzee.” Nugent previously called Obama a Nazi and a “piece of shit” who should “suck on my machine gun.” He once called Hilary Clinton a “toxic cunt” and, on another topic, said, “I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best [if] had the South won the Civil War.”

Perhaps some of the venues on Ted Nugent's current tour list need a quick primer on Ted Nugent's background as well? Full list below the fold.

Cartoon: 1-800-GOON-SQUAD

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 08:50


(Click to enlarge)

Follow Jen on Twitter at @JenSorensen

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9am ET!

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:30

Daily Kos Radio logo

Daily Kos Radio's Kagro in the Morning show podcasts are now available through iTunes.

We're getting back into the old routine, slowly but surely. Greg Dworkin will be on hand to remind me that I'm American, and that we typically talk about American politics. And to that end, I've got some fun tax stories that indicate that everything conservatives and moderates think they know about taxation is pretty much wrong.

But I do think I've found some better material on that "Best Party" in Iceland that'll help make some sense of the somewhat bizarre mish-mash that came across from yesterday's article. So I just might throw that in. Plus your tweets, suggestions, comments, complaints, and more.

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What's an "active listener?" Believe it or not, it's someone who listens to at least 30 seconds of a show, once in a month.

Hey, I don't make the rules! I just exploit 'em.

So, how about giving us 30 seconds of your life? Head on over to our KITM archive on Stitcher, listen to 30 seconds' worth, and then after that, your time is your own.

Did you happen to miss our last LIVE show? You can catch it here:

Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.

Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:16
C&J Banner

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

I Have Nothing to Say About Netroots Nation Detroit. Except…

"Gracias Gracias Gracias!" to the management and staff at Vicente's Cuban Cuisine for the incredible job they did hosting the DKos/C&J dinner, which was attended by over 100 of us America-killing moonbats. Special shoutout to navajo and the Berkeley home office for organizing and sponsoring it. If you live near Vicente's, you should eat there every day for the rest of your life and that's not just me saying that, it's other people too, including the management and staff at Vicente's.

Circular maze If you ever plan to spend time in the
Renaissance Center, where the hotel
and GM headquarters coexist, it helps to
memorize the floor plan. And take a Valium.
- Friday afternoon we all got fed up with the widespread water shutoffs going on around Detroit, so we hoisted signs, produced actor Mark Ruffalo using a 3-D printer, and took to the streets. Mere hours later, the Water Department agreed to suspend the shutoffs. That should give the city carpetbagger dictator emergency manager time to consider that we can produce Mark Ruffalo as HULK SMASH!!! with a 3-D printer, too.

The Daily Kos Elections staff is comprised of individuals who have two brains stuffed into each of their heads. There is no other explanation for their scary encyclopedi-
iocity, and I'm glad they're on our side.

I'm not sure it was symbolically wise of General Motors to build a gigantic headquarters building in which they cut not some but all corners.

Three things you must absorb: the Thursday sermon by Rev. William Barber, the Friday speech by Senator Elizabeth Warren, and the hilariously-candid Saturday Q&A session (I haven't found audio or video of it yet, but I'll keep lookin') by Howard Dean. Fuse them in your mind, and you become invincible.

Screen shot of Elizabeth Warren speaking at Netroots Nation, July 18, 2014. Sen. Warren wore orange. I think that's
code for "I always liked you Kossacks best."
- Dear Canada: I trust the boulder we catapulted at you across the Detroit River Saturday night answered your question about how we like Ted Cruz being a 100% American citizen now. Sorry we flattened your rose garden, eh.

The lesson I learned about our opposition at the panels and speeches is that Republicans are bad for America because they think making us all poor and sick and miserable and stupid is good for America. PolitiFact rates this statement TRUEST CLAIM EVER.

Our room at the Marriott hotel had a Bible and a Book of Mormon in it, but no pay-per-view nudie flicks. This explains two things: why I'm giving the convention experience three stars instead of four, and why Republican businessmen always book their rooms at the hotel across the street.

So, in conclusion (for now): Thanks for everything, Michigan. Except your governor.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Economics Daily Digest: Why net neutrality is all or nothing

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:14
Economics Daily Digest by the Roosevelt Institute banner

By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

All Aboard for Net Neutrality (In These Times)

Cole Stangler quotes Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford as he makes the case that the FCC should stop dancing around net neutrality and embrace common carrier regulation of the Internet.

Are Auto Insurance Companies Red-Lining Poor, Urban Drivers? (The Guardian)

Auto insurance rates are frequently determined by zip code, and risk factors like crime don't fully explain the price differences. Devin Fergus says redlining, or charging higher prices to minorities, may be to blame.

Obama Signs Historic LGBT Non-Discrimination Order (Slate)

Mark Joseph Stern calls the order, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity, Obama's biggest gay rights achievement since ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Businesses Need to Spend More. The Future of the Economy Depends on It. (NYT)

Increased capital spending by businesses would create jobs, and would also generate the productivity gains that make the economy more competitive over the long term, writes Neil Irwin.

Fed Researchers Optimistic on Long-Term Unemployment Drop (Bloomberg News)

Jeff Kearns reports on the Federal Reserve's reasons for optimism, which include signs that the long-term unemployed are still connected to the labor force and don't have significantly more trouble finding jobs.

New on Next New Deal

Lifelong Roosevelt Connections Help Students Lead Policy Change

Meeting alumni in her role as the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Special Initiatives Intern has shown Madelyn Schorr that students' ideas benefit from alumni input and assistance.

The Etsy Economy Prevails

In her speculation on the future for the Next American Economy project, Althea Erickson, Public Policy Director at Etsy, imagines a gig-based economy in which market platforms provide benefits like health care.


Jon Stewart exposes GOP lies about Reagan's response to downed airliner

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:00

Last night, Jon Stewart ripped into how the GOP is attacking Obama for his response to Russia over the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 by invoking a mythical version of Ronald Reagan.

Yes, Reagan was in deep mourning for losing the final 12% of his vacation. In fact, in 1988, when the U.S. accidentally shot down an Iranian airliner, also under Reagan's watch, Reagan refused to end that vacation early.

And by the way, America was so torn up about shooting down that plane, that the commander of the ship who did it later received a medal for his service. I believe it was called the silver....

Video and full transcript below the fold.

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Two new polls show John Walsh down but still in the fight

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:00
Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest banner Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here. Leading Off:

MT-Sen: Two new polls survey Montana and its criminally under-polled Senate race. PPP gives Republican Rep. Steve Daines a 46-39 lead over appointed Democratic Sen. John Walsh. Back in October, when Walsh was still lieutenant governor, PPP gave him a larger 52-35 deficit.

Neither candidate is particularly well liked: Walsh posts a 38-37 approval rating, while Daines clocks in at 39-40. The good news for Walsh is he may have some room for improvement. Generic Democrat trails Generic Republican 45-41, and PPP believes Daines’ larger lead is a product of his name recognition. Walsh has a lot of ground to make up if he wants to pull off a win, but if PPP’s right it does look like he can at least get within striking distance.

A Walsh internal from Harstad Strategic Research Inc., gives Daines a similar 43-38 lead. There are no crosstabs or field dates, but they find much more optimistic approval ratings for both candidates than PPP. Harstad gives Walsh a 47-32 job approval rating and also finds Daines at 49-36. Two unreleased Harstad polls from earlier in the year gave Daines a 14 and 8-point lead respectively.

There aren’t too many publicly released Harstad polls from within a month of the election, but what they’ve released has, on balance, been good. In early October of 2010 they gave Democratic Sen. Mike Bennett a 44-41 lead in Colorado’s Senate contest: He won by a similar 48-46 margin. There’s a bit more from the 2012 cycle:

AZ-Sen: Harstad: Carmona (D) 47-43; actual: Flake (R) 49-46; error: +7 D

MA-Sen: Harstad: Warren (D) 50-44; actual: Warren (D) 54-46; error: +2 R

MO-Sen: Harstad: McCaskill (D) 47-35; actual: McCaskill (D) 55-39; error: +4 R

PA-Sen: Harstad: Casey (D) 52-40; actual: Casey (D) 54-45; error: +3 D

Overall, it’s a pretty good performance. While the Carmona poll was off, Harstad did give a good lay of the land each time. At the very least, Walsh can’t be displeased to have two pollsters show him competitive in a race many people have written off.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Immigration, health care, the law and more

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 06:30
poll q about whether you could live on minimum wage, 75% say no Public Policy Polling for Americans United for Change Roll Call: A federal judge based in Green Bay has tossed a Sen. Ron Johnson’s Obamacare lawsuit targeting the health benefits for members of Congress and their staff.

The court dismissed the lawsuit, which contended the Obama administration decision to grant employer contributions for health plans purchased through the District of Columbia’s Obamacare health exchange ran afoul of the law.

Chief Judge William C. Griesbach of the Eastern District of Wisconsin ruled that Johnson and fellow plaintiff Brooke Ericson lacked standing, siding with the argument made by the government’s lawyers.

In making his judgement, Griesbach worked through several arguments that explained how the Office of Personnel Management regulation harmed the plaintiffs, finding none of them persuasive.

Huffington Post: Dressed in black and carrying a mock coffin, a coalition of immigration activists paraded through the halls of the Dirksen and Hart Senate buildings on Monday morning as part of a protest of the Republican Party's stance on immigration.

During the staged funeral procession, demonstrators said that they wouldn't cry for the Republican Party or mourn its death because its politicians are out of touch on immigration and no longer represent their community.

"The Republican Party is essentially dead to our community. They have killed the dreams of thousands of people," said Greisa Martinez, an organizer with United We Dream, the youth-led immigration advocacy network that organized the event. Explaining that her mother is undocumented, Martinez said, "They have killed the dreams of my mother for not moving forward on immigration reform. They have killed the dreams of millions of people across the nation. And we're here to say, 'Enough.

More politics and policy below the fold.

Open thread for night owls. Susan Faludi at The Baffler on 'Facebook feminism'

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 22:00
night owls After a quarter-century, The Baffler has rolled out its new digital self for the silver jubilee issue, with a fully retrievable, erudite archive dating back to 1988. But it's not shackled to its countercultural past; it has a countercultural present and speaks of a countercultural future. The issue begins with a discussion on capital, debt and the future between Occupy Wall Street catalyst David Graeber and inequality analyst Simon Piketty. Here's an excerpt from what The Baffler calls its "Salvos"—Susan Faludi's essay dissecting Facebook Feminism, Like It or Not:

The congregation swooned as she bounded on stage, the prophet sealskin sleek in her black skinny ankle pants and black ballet flats, a lavalier microphone clipped to the V-neck of her black button-down sweater. “All right!! Let’s go!!” she exclaimed, throwing out her arms and pacing the platform before inspirational graphics of glossy young businesswomen in managerial action poses. “Super excited to have all of you here!!”

“Whoo!!” the young women in the audience replied. The camera, which was livestreaming the event in the Menlo Park, California, auditorium to college campuses worldwide, panned the rows of well-heeled Stanford University econ majors and MBA candidates. Some clutched copies of the day’s hymnal: the speaker’s new book, which promised to dismantle “internal obstacles” preventing them from “acquiring power.” The atmosphere was TED-Talk-cum-tent-revival-cum-Mary-Kay-cosmetics-convention. The salvation these adherents sought on this April day in 2013 was admittance to the pearly gates of the corporate corner office.

“Stand up,” the prophet instructed, “if you’ve ever said out loud, to another human being—and you have to have said it out loud—‘I am going to be the number one person in my field. I will be the CEO of a major company. I will be governor. I will be the number one person in my field.’” A small, although not inconsiderable, percentage of the young women rose to their feet.

The speaker consoled those still seated; she, too, had once been one of them. When she was voted “most likely to succeed” in high school, she confided, she had begged a yearbook editor to delete that information, “because most likely to succeed doesn’t get a date for the prom.” Those days were long gone, ever since she’d had her conversion on the road to Davos: she’d “leaned in” to her ambitions and enhanced her “likability”—and they could do the same. What’s more, if they took the “lean in” pledge, they might free themselves from some of those other pesky problems that hold women back in the workplace. “If you lean forward,” she said, “you will get yourself into a position where the organization you’re with values you a lot and is therefore willing to be more flexible. Or you’ll get promoted and then you’ll get paid more and you’ll be able to afford better child care.” If you “believe you have the skills to do anything” and “have the ambition to lead,” then you will “change the world” for women. “We get closer to the goal of true equality with every single one of you who leans in.”

The pitch delivered, Lean In founder and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg summoned her deacon to close the deal. Rachel Thomas hustled onstage, a Sandberg Mini-Me in matching black ensemble (distinguished only by the color of her ballet flats and baubled necklace, both of which were gold). She’s Lean In’s president. (Before Lean In hit the bookstores, it was already a fully staffed operation, an organization purporting to be “a global community committed to encouraging and supporting women leaning in to their ambitions.”) “I really want to invite you to join our community!” Thomas told the assembled. “You’ll get daily inspiration and insights.”

Joining “the community” was just a click away. In fact, the community was already uploaded and ready to receive them; all they had to do was hit the “Lean In Today” button on their computer screen . . . and, oh yeah, join Facebook. (There is no entry into Lean In’s Emerald e-Kingdom except through the Facebook portal; Sandberg has kept her message of liberation confined within her own corporate brand.) [...]

In 1834, America’s first industrial wage earners, the “mill girls” of Lowell, Massachusetts, embarked on their own campaign for women’s advancement in the workplace. They didn’t “lean in,” though. When their male overseers in the nation’s first large-scale planned industrial city cut their already paltry wages by 15 to 20 percent, the textile workers declared a “turn-out,” one of the nation’s earliest industrial strikes. That first effort failed, but its participants did not concede defeat. The Lowell women would stage another turn-out two years later, create the first union of working women in American history, lead a fight for the ten-hour work day, and conceive of an increasingly radical vision that took aim both at corporate power and the patriarchal oppression of women. Their bruising early encounter with American industry fueled a nascent feminist outlook that would ultimately find full expression in the first wave of the American women’s movement.

Capitalism, you could say, had midwifed feminism.

And capitalism, Sandberg would say, still sustains it. But what happened between 1834 and 2013—between “turn-out” and “lean in”—to make Lean In such an odd heir to the laurels of Lowell? An answer lies in the history of those early textile mills. [...]

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011Shelby says Cordray nomination to CFPB 'dead on arrival':

No surprise to anyone since he's said it before, but Richard Shelby asserts that the nomination of Richard Cordray to head up the Consumer Financial Protection Board is "dead on arrival." Unless, that is, President Obama gives in to Republican demands to restructure the bureau into a watchdog with neither bark nor bite.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published today (available to subscribers only), amid blaming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the housing crisis, the Alabama senator (who is the ranking member on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee) rejected accusations that proposals Republicans have made to change the bureau are an effort to eviscerate it.  

That's not how consumer groups see it for the obvious reason that the GOP has been trying to gut the CFPB since failing to strangle it in its crib after failing to ensure it was stillborn. What could be more rancid than Shelby posturing as an advocate for consumer rights against a "concentration of power [that will be] abused or misused to the detriment of American businesses and consumers"?

This is the guy, you may recall, who just four months ago labeled as a "regulatory shakedown" the settlement proposal sought by state attorneys general to get mortgage lenders to provide modest restitution for their larcenous abuses of American borrowers and credit card holders. There is a concentration of abusive power he's concerned about all right. The one that has him firmly wedged in its back pocket and another part of its back side.


Tweet of the Day Is this the most horrific video to emerge from Gaza?  Sniper shoots young man aiding injured, one, two, three times. http://t.co/...
@GregMitch
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin's news round-up got the show grounded after a long weekend out of the country, and the distraction of NN for many of my other online news lifelines. "Goodbye to the Republican Wave?" Warren's "11 commandments," and yet another shot at the "she should run" argument. Gop doesn't care for its own, in one chart. Gates vs. Biden. RFK, Jr.: anti-vaxxer. Krugman reminds us once again that the "debt crisis" is imaginary.The best party in Icelandic politics? More discussion on Krugman. Anti-vaxxer Gingrey freaks out: refugees might not be vaccinated! MO Gov. vetoes "arm the teachers."


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