July 26, 2013 at 8:52 am #93632
At Jacksonville Port, President Obama lays out his vision for rebuilding an economy that grows from the middle out, not the top down, which includes creating jobs by investing in our nation’s infrastructure. July 25, 2013.
TGIF and Good Morning.
As you go through your day, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.July 26, 2013 at 8:52 am #93633
Good Morning, EveryoneJuly 26, 2013 at 8:53 am #93634
Voting rights challenge in Texas opens up new Obama-GOP fight
By Sam Baker - 07/25/13 05:06 PM ET
Attorney General Eric Holder’s surprise decision to challenge Texas’s voting laws triggers a huge new fight between the federal government and Southern states dominated by the Republican Party.
Legal experts said the decision to seek a court order requiring Texas to obtain federal clearance before changing its voting laws lays the groundwork for an aggressive push to restore as much federal oversight as possible over state voting laws.
I think they’re going to try this wherever they think they have a shot,” Richard Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, who specializes in election law, said of the Justice Department.
Holder’s move is in response to the Supreme Court’s decision last month to toss out a central part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that determined which states required preclearance from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
The ruling stripped away power the federal government used even in 2012 to block last-minute restrictions on early voting and changes to voter-ID requirements. Obama and Holder had vowed to address voting problems such as long lines and last-minute changes and said the court’s ruling could make those issues worse.
“Although mandated by the Constitution, voting rights are not always guaranteed – in practice – without robust enforcement,” Holder said Thursday in a speech to the National Urban League.
Texas officials and lawmakers reacted with anger to the Justice Department move, signaling a long fight ahead.
Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/313583-dojs-texas-challenge-likely-for-other-states-#ixzz2a9hw6Twc
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on FacebookJuly 26, 2013 at 8:54 am #93635
Why Cornel West Fears the Obama Coalition
Thursday, July 25, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 6:32 PM
When I read Cornel West’s comments on Democracy Now early this week, to say that it made my blood boil would be a gross understatement.
In his interview in the so-called “news” outlet, West unloaded on President Obama, calling him “the global Zimmerman” for drone attacks against terrorist targets, calling the president’s administration the “Obama plantation,” accusing the president of not being as interested in justice for Trayvon Martin’s killing as he is in prosecuting national security leakers like Ed Snowden and Bradley Manning, and “reniggerizing” black folk by … well, I’m not exactly sure what action from the president precipitated that word choice. Best I can make out, it’s the fact that there exists an Obama administration at all.
I see he’s been up to his trick more than once this week.
Look. I am sick and tired of having to explain the difference between prosecuting a war and hunting down and killing an innocent child after someone racially profiles him. I am sick and tired of having to explain that the primary responsibility to prosecute murder within the United States lies with the states whereas the sole responsibility to prosecute federal crimes like espionage lies with the federal government. I am sick and tired of explaining President Obama is in possession of an Oval Office, not a magic wand.
But what I’m really sick and tired of are people like Cornel West pretending to represent the progressive movement while launching personal attacks Rush Limbaugh could only dream of on the most progressive president in history. I am really sick and tired of people like Cornel West pretending to represent African Americans and people of color, and especially, poor people of color in this country while running around the country doing “poverty tours” to sell books and a radio show. I am beyond sick and tired of Cornel West and Tavis Smiley and their partners pimping outrageous statements to the media to generate controversy, and I am sick and tired people like Amy Goodman accepting such pretense without question.
If you want a litany of what this president has done for the economically downtrodden, read my article from this past weekend. If you want an in-depth analysis of the president’s policies and how they have benefited – one by one – people of color who disproportionately fall victim to economic ups and downs and market manipulators, do a search. But I’m keeping this specific post on Cornel West’s poverty pimping.July 26, 2013 at 8:55 am #93636
Small Hands, Big Heart: Joshua Williams is on a Mission to End Hunger
Jul 25, 2013
By Patrice Gaines, BlackAmericaWeb.com
Joshua Williams was four and a half years old when he figured out his life’s calling. He discovered it by listening to his heart.
“My grandmother gave me $20. I saw a homeless man. I felt really bad. I gave him the $20. I felt good, but I wanted to do more,” said Joshua, now 12 and a Miami Beach resident recently honored by BET with a Shine A Light Award by for his work with his nonprofit Joshua’s Heart Foundation.
Joshua begged his two aunts to help him start a program to help feed the hungry.
“They didn’t do anything. I fired them,” he recalled. Then Joshua asked his mom, who was used to his persistence and his new ideas.
“After a while, she saw I was really serious,” he said.
He and his family (grandmother, mom and aunts) started giving cooked meals to homeless people every Saturday. His grandmother cooked and he, his mom and aunts helped package the food in containers to take to downtown Miami to feed the homeless.
Soon, there was a line of 150 people waiting for them weekly. But a city ordinance stopped them from continuing their distribution there. Joshua was not about to give up though. They moved their operation to his grandmother’s church.
“We would help families at the church or in the North Miami community at first,” said Claudia McLean, Joshua’s mother. “He said, ‘We can’t just give them a bag of rice and vegetables. Each time, he demanded more.”
Joshua explains. “We started small. It is easier now because we have volunteers. There’s a bigger demand, more people need help. We try to keep up. I do my best.”July 26, 2013 at 8:56 am #93637
The Answer is Simple
Thu Jul 25th, 2013 at 05:28:05 PM EST
In answer to Jonathan Cohn, the explanation is that the Republicans got high on their own supply. This is mainly a new phenomenon. In the past, the right surely exaggerated the threat of communism, but who would honestly want to live in a communist country? It might sound good on paper, but it never worked well in practice. So, even if the right did convince itself that there were fifth column communists hiding under every desk, they had a point about the lack of freedom and opportunity in communist systems.
What we’re seeing now is different. Whether it’s climate science denialism, anti-Keynesian lunacy, irrational hatred of ObamaCare, the obsession with fake scandals like Fast & Furious, Solyndra, and Benghazi, or the birth certificate fascination, the right is sending out a hydrant of bullshit to their base and then consuming it themselves and actually internalizing it as the truth and then going ahead and believing it.
They opposed ObamaCare, but they would have happily voted for it if Romney had won the 2008 primary and election. They decided to oppose everything Obama wanted to do before he was even inaugurated, and that necessitated that they turn RomneyCare into the second coming of the Bolshevik Revolution. It was a grand exercise in self-delusion, and now they are full and truly deluded. They are basically clinically insane at this point, and they drove themselves crazy.
Look no farther than the debt ceiling for proof of this. If the Republican Party were a person, it would have to be put on a ventilator because it is too brain-damaged to operate its lungs. It literally has lost the ability to make the basic decisions needed to keep this country alive.July 26, 2013 at 8:58 am #93638
The Grantland Channel presents the story of how the sport of cricket and the formation of the Compton Cricket Club has changed lives in Compton, California.July 26, 2013 at 8:58 am #93639
Zimmerman Juror B29 on racial profiling: “Just like Obama, I go to a lot of places and I get people [who] follow me.” http://youtu.be/eG8KZEJGtcoJuly 26, 2013 at 9:01 am #93640
Republican Health Care Panic
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: July 25, 2013
Leading Republicans appear to be nerving themselves up for another round of attempted fiscal blackmail. With the end of the fiscal year looming, they aren’t offering the kinds of compromises that might produce a deal and avoid a government shutdown; instead, they’re drafting extremist legislation — bills that would, for example, cut clean-water grants by 83 percent — that has no chance of becoming law. Furthermore, they’re threatening, once again, to block any rise in the debt ceiling, a move that would damage the U.S. economy and possibly provoke a world financial crisis.
Yet even as Republican politicians seem ready to go on the offensive, there’s a palpable sense of anxiety, even despair, among conservative pundits and analysts. Better-informed people on the right seem, finally, to be facing up to a horrible truth: Health care reform, President Obama’s signature policy achievement, is probably going to work.
And the good news about Obamacare is, I’d argue, what’s driving the Republican Party’s intensified extremism. Successful health reform wouldn’t just be a victory for a president conservatives loathe, it would be an object demonstration of the falseness of right-wing ideology. So Republicans are being driven into a last, desperate effort to head this thing off at the pass.
Some background: Although you’d never know it from all the fulminations, with prominent Republicans routinely comparing Obamacare to slavery, the Affordable Care Act is based on three simple ideas. First, all Americans should have access to affordable insurance, even if they have pre-existing medical problems. Second, people should be induced or required to buy insurance even if they’re currently healthy, so that the risk pool remains reasonably favorable. Third, to prevent the insurance “mandate” from being too onerous, there should be subsidies to hold premiums down as a share of income.
Is such a system workable? For a while, Republicans convinced themselves that it was doomed to failure, and that they could profit politically from the inevitable “train wreck.” But a system along exactly these lines has been operating in Massachusetts since 2006, where it was introduced by a Republican governor. What was his name? Mitt Somethingorother? And no trains have been wrecked so far.
The question is whether the Massachusetts success story can be replicated in other states, especially big states like California and New York with large numbers of uninsured residents. The answer to this question depends, in the first place, on whether insurance companies are willing to offer coverage at reasonable rates. And the answer, so far, is a clear “yes.” In California, insurers came in with bids running significantly below expectations; in New York, it appears that premiums will be cut roughly in half.July 26, 2013 at 10:42 am #93641
Watch out, Republicans! You’re helping Obamacare succeed.
By Sarah Kliff, Published: July 25 at 10:46 am
Republican opposition to Obamacare is, Norm Ornstein writes this morning, “spinning out of control.”
“What is going on now to sabotage Obamacare is not treasonous — just sharply beneath any reasonable standards of elected officials with the fiduciary responsibility of governing,” he writes in National Journal, of Republicans’ new threat to defund Obamacare or shut down the federal government.
“One might expect this kind of behavior from a few grenade-throwing firebrands. That the effort is spearheaded by the Republican leaders of the House and Senate…takes one’s breath away.”
Republicans have taken no shortage of pride in their success at blocking the Affordable Care Act. Even with President Obama in office and the Supreme Court upholding the law, the party has arguably succeeded in hampering the Affordable Care Act
Twenty-one governors have opted out of the Medicaid expansion, even more refused to set up a health insurance marketplace. Obamacare will undoubtedly expand health insurance to fewer Americans as a direct byproduct of Republican resistance.
But there’s something else Republicans have been doing that, in a weird way, will likely help the Affordable Care Act. Namely, they have predicted the law’s complete and utter implosion when it launches on Oct. 1.July 26, 2013 at 10:47 am #93642
FreedomWorks Plans Push to Persuade People Not to Get Health Insurance
—By Kevin Drum
| Thu Jul. 25, 2013 8:18 AM PDT
Here’s the latest conservative brainstorm to make Obamacare fail:
With the Obama administration poised for a huge public education campaign on healthcare reform, Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage.
…”We’re trying to make it socially acceptable to skip the exchange,” said Dean Clancy, vice president for public policy at FreedomWorks, which boasts 6 million supporters. The group is designing a symbolic “Obamacare card” that college students can burn during campus protests.
“Socially acceptable” indeed. So not only are they going to be encouraging people to break the law, they’re literally going to be encouraging people not to buy health insurance. Nice. I wonder if FreedomWorks plans to help out the first person who takes them up on this and then contracts leukemia? I’m guessing probably not.
What’s next? A campaign to get people to skip wearing seat belts? To skip using baby seats in cars? To skip vaccinations for their kids? It’s times like this that words fail those of us with a few remaining vestiges of human decency.July 26, 2013 at 10:54 am #93643
TPM Editor’s Blog
In my experience, Obamacare opponents are equally adamant about two things: that the law should and will fail; and that nobody should ever say anything mean about them.
They bristle visibly when you note — as Norm Ornstein just did — that the implementation hurdles they’ve erected amount to “sabotage.”
If Obamacare were workable, they say, it would be impossible to undermine: The exchanges wouldn’t be vulnerable to the exigencies of state politics, the expansion measures wouldn’t have been vulnerable to a Supreme Court ruling that set back its coverage goals, it wouldn’t require bureaucratic confirmations or additional implementation funding — and Republicans aren’t obligated to help Democrats overcome any of these challenges.
Semantics I guess. If you’re competing for a promotion with someone in your office who can’t complete her TPS report unless you submit your Initech Quality Assurance data, and you just don’t do it, I’d say you’re sabotaging her. But that’s me.
Anyhow, I think we’ve reached the point at which even passive saboteurs have to either admit their allies have gone too far, or drop the Eddie Haskell routine and cop to their mischief.
“With the Obama administration poised for a huge public education campaign on healthcare reform, Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage,” Reuters reports. “‘We’re trying to make it socially acceptable to skip the exchange,’ said Dean Clancy, vice president for public policy at FreedomWorks, which boasts 6 million supporters.”
Emphasis mine. It’s bad enough to just not care all that much if the U.S. has a large uninsured population. But if there’s an excuse for encouraging people who have the means to remain uninsured, I can’t fathom it.
It almost goes without saying that this effort is being undertaken to keep younger, healthier people out of the exchanges, and send the individual insurance market into an adverse-selection “death spiral.” That would ruin the system for people who want the help Obamacare offers them. And so the campaign effectively amounts to asking people to continue putting their well-being and livelihoods at risk for the good of the cause of keeping health care for sick people unaffordable.July 26, 2013 at 11:35 am #93646
Vandals And Saboteurs, Ctd
Jul 25 2013 @ 3:25pm
Norm Ornstein, about as moderate a figure as AEI could tolerate, tells the truth about the unprecedented nihilism behind the GOP’s current campaign to nullify a presidency and sabotage a duly-enacted law. His comparison with Medicare D under Bush is brilliant. So are these two paragraphs
When a law is enacted, representatives who opposed it have some choices (which are not mutually exclusive). They can try to repeal it, which is perfectly acceptable—unless it becomes an effort at grandstanding so overdone that it detracts from other basic responsibilities of governing. They can try to amend it to make it 173293592-SD-600x400work better—not just perfectly acceptable but desirable, if the goal is to improve a cumbersome law to work better for the betterment of the society and its people. They can strive to make sure that the law does the most for Americans it is intended to serve, including their own constituents, while doing the least damage to the society and the economy. Or they can step aside and leave the burden of implementation to those who supported the law and got it enacted in the first place.
But to do everything possible to undercut and destroy its implementation—which in this case means finding ways to deny coverage to many who lack any health insurance; to keep millions who might be able to get better and cheaper coverage in the dark about their new options; to create disruption for the health providers who are trying to implement the law, including insurers, hospitals, and physicians; to threaten the even greater disruption via a government shutdown or breach of the debt limit in order to blackmail the president into abandoning the law; and to hope to benefit politically from all the resulting turmoil—is simply unacceptable, even contemptible. One might expect this kind of behavior from a few grenade-throwing firebrands. That the effort is spearheaded by the Republican leaders of the House and Senate—even if Speaker John Boehner is motivated by fear of his caucus, and McConnell and Cornyn by fear of Kentucky and Texas Republican activists—takes one’s breath away.July 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm #93647
Jul 24 2013 @ 12:40pm
Nate Cohn believes that “the wave of new polls showing a decline in President Barack Obama’s approval rating are potentially important:”
It’s not that these polls show Republicans poised to take back the White House by 2016, or something. That’s way too far away. Instead, the polls give us an idea of which voters Obama White Working Classare peeling away from Obama and, therefore, might be most receptive to switching sides if the GOP could craft a message for them. Trying to win over the voters sticking with Obama would presumably be more difficult.
Today’s Pew Research poll paints a clear picture of the Obama defectors. They’re almost exclusively white voters without a college degree. Obama’s standing among minorities, college educated whites, and affluent whites has actually improved since the final Pew Research poll before last November’s presidential election. Instead, Obama’s support among white working-class voters has taken a huge hit, opening an unprecedented 41 point education gap among white voters. Incredibly, the poll now even shows Obama with a stronger approval rating among affluent whites than downscale whites—something that’s never happened for a Democrat in a presidential election.July 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm #93648
Weight Loss is Not the Answer: What Michelle Obama Doesn’t Get About Obesity
BY JUDITH SHULEVITZ
I grew up around serial dieters filled with rage, at themselves and their predicament. I can hardly remember a meal at which someone didn’t blow up about something, leaving the rest of us to tackle our brisket in silence. I flashed back to those depth-charged dinners when I read Lionel Shriver’s new novel, Big Brother, in which a man who has grown suddenly obese visits his younger sister. He shovels in the Cinnabons while her family watches with increasing disgust. Finally, her husband lets loose a zinger: “It’s not my fault that to snap a family photo I have to take three steps back to fit you in the frame.”
The impulse to castigate the plus-sized—even when, especially when, they are us—runs very deep. And that’s sad for two reasons. First, by 2010, more than 40 percent of American adults and 17 percent of youths were obese or morbidly obese. By 2030, more than half of America’s adults and a third of its young people may fit that description. Second, we’re learning ever more reasons not to regard the corpulent as pathetic losers. Obesity clearly amounts to more than a failure of willpower. Even the staid American Medical Association agrees; it just upgraded obesity from a “condition” to a “disease.” Our knee-jerk irritation at the overweight, it turns out, may be the twenty-first-century equivalent of the nineteenth-century sniff at the tubercular (too neurasthenic to live) and the 1980s view of the HIV-positive (obviously depraved). “This is one of the larger trends in the history of medicine,” said Rudolph Leibel, a pioneer in obesity research at Columbia University. “First we blame it on the patient.”
If you’re the reformer type, you’ve stopped blaming patients and started blaming society—the food industry, the chemicals industry, globalism. But what if even this enlightened analysis of the obesity epidemic distracts us from a more pressing question? What if Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign and Michael Bloomberg’s sugary-drink ban divert attention from the problem that most needs solving?
The biggest mystery when it comes to obesity is not how to prevent it. It’s how to treat it. Don’t get me wrong. We need to know what expands our girth so that millions more don’t suffer the type 2 diabetes and heart disease that follow. But millions are obese, right now, and the medical establishment doesn’t really know how to help them. I learned that to my dismay when I tried to find a program for a relative who seemed too young for stomach bands and gastric bypasses. The problem is simple and well known. It’s hard but not impossible to lose weight. But it’s nearly impossible to keep it off.
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