September 13, 2013 at 8:43 am #96593
As you make it through the day, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful daySeptember 13, 2013 at 8:44 am #96594
Good Morning, EveryoneSeptember 13, 2013 at 8:48 am #96595September 13, 2013 at 8:59 am #96596
House GOP like a jukebox that only plays one song
By Steve Benen
Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:00 AM EDT
The congressional to-do list is daunting. There’s a very real possibility of a government shutdown in two weeks, and a debt-ceiling deadline looms a few weeks after that. As if that weren’t enough, lawmakers need to tackle a farm bill, immigration reform, and a fix to the Voting Rights Act, all while a national security crisis in Syria lingers.
Complicating matters, the House is only scheduled to be in session five times between now and the end of the month.
So how did the Republican-led chamber spend their afternoon yesterday — the last work day before another four-day weekend they scheduled for themselves? As Rachel noted on the show last night, GOP lawmakers voted for the 41st time to gut the Affordable Care Act.
Joan McCarter summarized the proposal nicely
In case you care what this one would do, it would stop people from getting subsidies on the health insurance exchanges until the income verification process that is already in the law is replaced with some other income verification process that probably involves elves doing the work in the dead of night. Or maybe unicorns.
But hey, it’s a vote that House Speaker John Boehner could be assured of “winning,” so there’s that.September 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm #96603
Fri Sep 13th, 2013 at 09:29:57 AM EST
Remember when I said that President Obama was going to receive severe criticism for standing up to his own foreign policy establishment? The neo-cons are honing their critiques. William Kristol was on CSPAN this morning blasting the president, and Charles Krauthammer is using the same arguments in this morning’s Washington Post. Let’s take a look at part of Krauthammer’s argument:
Putin doesn’t care one way or the other about chemical weapons. Nor about dead Syrian children. Nor about international norms, parchment treaties and the other niceties of the liberal imagination.
He cares about power and he cares about keeping Bashar al-Assad in power. Assad is the key link in the anti-Western Shiite crescent stretching from Tehran through Damascus and Beirut to the Mediterranean — on which sits Tartus, Russia’s only military base outside the former Soviet Union. This axis frontally challenges the pro-American Sunni Arab Middle East (Jordan, Yemen, the Gulf Arabs, even the North African states), already terrified at the imminent emergence of a nuclear Iran.
At which point the Iran axis and its Russian patron would achieve dominance over the moderate Arab states, allowing Russia to supplant America as regional hegemon for the first time since Egypt switched to our side in the Cold War in 1972.
The hinge of the entire Russian strategy is saving the Assad regime. That’s the very purpose of the “Russian proposal.”
That’s one way of looking at the world, but it’s a deeply delusional one. I don’t think Vladimir Putin is a humanitarian, but he isn’t totally indifferent to the site of gassed children. But let’s stipulate that Putin is primarily concerned with Russian equities in Syria. He’s also concerned with Islamic extremism on his southern border. What he’s not interested in is supporting radical Islamists in Iran. He isn’t pro-Shiite or anti-Sunni.
And we shouldn’t be either. In fact, this idea that the Sunnis are pro-western or pro-American is completely inaccurate. It’s true that we have longstanding working relationships with Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and some of the emirates in the Gulf. But we didn’t establish those relationships because we have some kind of preference for Sunnis over Shiites. In fact, the anchor of our Middle Eastern policy in the post-war era was Iran under the Shah. Because the Shah was a thug, we’ve suffered an enduring backlash from Shiites, but that doesn’t mean that the Sunnis like us much better. Certainly the al-Qaeda-aligned rebels in Syria have no love for America, but Arab public opinion is anti-American regardless of sectarian affiliation. Even the Christians are anti-American.September 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm #96604
Harlem’s Fashion Row brings black designers to the forefront
by Alexis Garrett Stodghill | September 12, 2013 at 7:52 PM
Style is made of so many delicate things.
The drape of a dress, the perfect trinket dangling from the wrist, makes the difference between being perfectly dressed, and just wearing clothes.
Black people have always been known for exhibiting impeccable style, regardless of their resources.
These minute choices leaning towards perfection permeated the crowd gathered in the vaulted entry of Jazz at Lincoln Center on a recent Friday in New York City.
All were waiting to enter the performance space and enjoy a creative medley of hair, make-up, lighting and clothes presented in the Harlem’s Fashion Row Spring 2014 fashion presentation.
“Harlem’s Fashion Row always does a fantastic job of highlighting all of the underrepresented designers, so I’m really excited to see what’s new tonight,” Leslie Waller of Jersey City, New Jersey told theGrio. ”I just come to support the idea of making sure that we have a platform for people of color to show their artistic visions to our community.”September 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm #96605
How Obamacare Could Revolutionize Addiction Treatment
Obamacare’s treatment of alcoholism and other drug addiction as
chronic diseases that must be covered by insurance plans could lead to as many as 40 million Americans entering rehabilitation programs, according to California Health Report.
Government data shows that about 24 million Americans aged 12 and older require treatment for a substance abuse issue — but only 11 percent of them received it at a specialty facility. These facilities charge an average of $4,000 for admission, and even outpatient facilities cost an average of $1,500 per course of treatment.[....]
The health law puts special emphasis on both treatment and prevention by forcing insurers to cover rehab and encouraging doctors to screen for potential addictions.[....]September 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm #96606
Man loses 245 pounds with the three P’s
By Jen Christensen, CNN
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon September 9, 2013
In the third grade, Marlon Gibson was so overweight his mom had to take him to the men’s store to buy his Easter suit.
“Even back then, I absolutely loved clothes,” Gibson said. “That’s what really keeps me honest with all this weight loss. I want to go to the mall to buy more than socks.”
At his heaviest he weighed 405 pounds. Now the 5-foot-11-inch associate director of student conduct at Emory University in Atlanta weighs 160 pounds. Since January 2011, he’s lost 245 pounds, or the equivalent of a gas stove.
He says anyone can do it his way: without surgery or a special diet program
“I always tell people it’s the three p’s: persistence, passion and perseverance,” Gibson said.
The turning point came when the 34-year-old watched his wife tear up during “The Biggest Loser.”
“She told me she loved me, but she worried that I wasn’t going to be around long because of my weight,” Gibson said. “I had to do something.”
I loved fried chicken, so I decided I would eat six pieces instead of eight,” Gibson said. “Then I’d reduce it further to four pieces, and then eventually dropped fried chicken all together. I ate meat more like it was a protein condiment. Now I don’t eat any meat at all. I’m a dedicated vegan.”
Gibson said he is “hyper vigilant” about what he eats now. He’ll start the day with a protein shake before he heads off to the gym in the morning. After he works out, he eats oatmeal with apple slices. Lunch is vegetarian chili with a salad and more vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli or corn on the cob. Dinner is often popcorn, with an occasional smoothie for dessert.
By now this kind of eating is a habit — so much so that when I went to visit a friend in Iowa, I packed my popcorn and chili and ate it on my layover in Chicago,” Gibson said.
He breaks from routine every once in awhile, though.
“In May I turned 34 and decided to splurge,” Gibson said. “We went to a vegan bakery and got a slice of the hummingbird cake, which we split. I hadn’t had cake since 2010.”
Gibson also exercises daily. “Spinning is my favorite. I like to do two 70-minute spin classes back-to-back,” Gibson said. He also runs at least 3 miles in the evening and does crunches and push-ups before bed.
Gibson stays focused with the help of a coach, Ryan Blanck, CEO of offtrackonpurpose.com. Blanck lives in North Carolina, so all their sessions are virtual. Gibson finds their sessions particularly effective.
“He gives me positive encouragement and tough love. I remember one time he said, ‘Your motivation isn’t where it once was.’ That’s all I needed to hear. When I went to the gym that day I told my wife drop me off further away — I need the walk.”
This healthy living has paid off. In addition to the weight loss, Gibson no longer needs high blood pressure medicine. He says he’s “got energy for days.”September 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm #96607
Corbett sees the light on Medicaid
By Steve Benen
Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:37 AM EDT
The issue of Medicaid expansion has divided Republican governors in a fascinating way. On the one hand we have eight GOP state chief executives who’ve run the numbers, listened to state health experts, looked at their state budgets, and accepted the fact that the policy is a no-brainer.
On the other hand, we have the other 22 Republican governors. Some seem to be bad at math, some want to run for national office and don’t want to be seen adopting a major provision of the Affordable Care Act, and some are a willing to undermine their states to spite President Obama.
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) was in this second group. Though Medicaid expansion would bring coverage to about a half-million uninsured people in the state, the governor announced in February he would reject the policy.
That was seven months ago. Corbett has apparently reconsidered.September 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm #96608
Victory has a thousand parents, but defeat is an orphan
By Steve Benen
Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:38 AM EDT.
It’s obviously too soon to say with any confidence whether the diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria will prevail, but unlike a week ago, it exists. In fact, the current plan offers enough promise — Syria filed the paperwork yesterday on formal membership in the chemical weapons treaty — that there’s been a debate of sorts over the last few days about who can rightly take credit for it.
Syria credits Russia, a claim the Putin government clearly likes. Conservatives in the U.S. hope the Obama administration isn’t able to claim this as a foreign policy victory, while the White House is eager to do exactly that. Indeed, Rachel asked Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes last night about the timing of how the plan came together, and he noted that President Obama first engaged President Putin about this last June at a G-20 summit in Mexico. An NPR report this week raised the same point. Obama himself took some credit on Monday, saying he initiated the process with Putin last week in St. Petersburg.
Opinions may vary, though I tend to think this is a relevant question to the extent that accountability and responsibility matter. Last week, we were on the brink of military intervention in the Middle East, which would carry untold consequences, and this week, Syria is joining the chemical weapons convention. History will document who gets the game balls if the plan holds together, and it stands to reason that all the relevant players will want one.
But there’s also a bigger picture here. Whether or not the president gets credit for the possible diplomatic solution, Kevin Drum argues persuasively, “If you want to give Obama credit, give him credit for something he deserves: being willing to recognize an opportunity when he sees itSeptember 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm #96609
Florida bars Obamacare aides at public health centers
By Steve Benen
Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:04 AM EDT
We’ve been keeping an eye on Republican efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, including the recent focus on “navigators.” Leave it to Florida to take this to a new level.
To briefly recap, the Obama administration has partnered with organizations nationwide to hire navigators who’ve been tasked with helping American consumers navigate the new system and sign up for benefits they’re legally entitled to. Unsure if you’re eligible for your state’s exchange marketplace? A navigator can help. Confused about how to choose the coverage plan that’s best for you? A navigator can guide you through it.
Republican officials have determined that cracking down on navigators may help keep the uninsured from signing up for coverage. But Florida is taking this to levels unseen elsewhere.
Florida has issued an order that will prevent residents from finding out how they can sign up for expanded subsidized health insurance at county health departments.
The directive bans the outreach activities of “navigators,” or counselors hired under the Affordable Care Act to help low-income, uninsured residents sign up for the state’s expanded insurance program.
“This is another blatant and shameful attempt to intimidate groups who will be working to inform Americans about their new health insurance options and help them enroll in coverage, just like Medicare counselors have been doing for years,” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Fabien Levy.
Yes, actually, it is blatant and shameful, though Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) administration doesn’t seem to careSeptember 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm #96610
September 13, 2013 9:34 AM
Throw Him an Anvil, Not A Life Preserver
By Ed Kilgore
If you read Jonathan Weisman’s piece in the New York Times today about the status of fiscal talks in Washington, you hear throughout an implicit cry for help from John Boehner:
With Congress momentarily freed from the Syrian crisis, lawmakers plunged back into their bitter fiscal standoff on Thursday as Speaker John A. Boehner appealed to the Obama administration and Democratic leaders to help him resolve divisions in the Republican ranks that could lead to a government shutdown by month’s end….
“It’s time for the president’s party to show the courage to work with us to solve this problem,” said Mr. Boehner, who argued that budget deals have been part of past agreements to raise the debt limit.
But a bloc of 43 House Republicans undercut the speaker’s deficit-reduction focus, introducing yearlong funding legislation that would increase Pentagon and veterans spending and delay President Obama’s health care law for a year — most likely adding to the budget deficit. That bloc is large enough to thwart any compromise that does not attract Democratic support.
So Boehner expects Democrats to help him out by supplying votes or other support for a “compromise” that could hold the vast majority of House Republicans, which means lower non-defense discretionary spending (offset perhaps by higher spending on defense) and some sort of substantive and/or symbolic concessions on Obamacare. All of this, of course, would be described as necessary to achieve the short-term deficit reduction goals that Boehner is virtually alone in Washington in considering central—even though Pentagon spending increases and delays in Obamacare implementation would cut in exactly the opposite direction.
We have arrived, friends and neighbors, at a big-time teachable moment for the Republican Party, if only the White House and congressional Democrats will recognize it. They need to slowly and clearly, using hand puppets if necessary, make it clear that the pleasure of getting to deal with John Boehner is not so great that they are willing to “compromise” between sanity and insanity on the fiscal front to help him out of his jam. Boehner’s effort to distract his troops from hostage-taking on appropriations to hostage-taking on the debt limit—a vastly more dangerous gambit—should have been the final sign that he’s no better than the “wacko birds” who have mainly become a hobgoblin he can use to scare Democrats into concessions. “Help me,” he cries. “Give me spending cuts or they’ll shut down the government. Give me an Obamacare delay or they’ll destroy the economy!” No more, please. Democrats have the leverage of controlling the White House and the Senate, and won’t gain any more leverage via a phony partnership with John Boehner that just puts off the day when conservatives come to grips with the fact that losing two consecutive presidential elections means they don’t get to call the shots.
If Boehner’s not willing to risk his position by truly standing up against the destructive habits of his conference, then don’t throw him a life preserver as he flounders; throw him an anvil. The sooner his double game comes to an end, the sooner we can have either serious fiscal negotiations or a real fight that makes everyone’s true position clear.September 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm #96611September 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm #96621
André Leon Talley slams Russell Simmons: ‘He should not be front row at fashion week’
by Chris Witherspoon | September 11, 2013 at 8:22 PM
According to Vogue, “André Leon Talley doesn’t have fashion. André himself is fashion.” This week the fashion warlord took a break from his work as editor-in-chief of Russian style magazine Numéro Russia, to celebrate fashion week in New York City.
Over the past decade, hip-hop heavyweights like Jay Z, Kanye West, and Russell Simmons have graced the front row of fashion shows around the world. However, Talley says Simmons should be banned from front rows of fashion shows this season.
“I think anyone that is a person of achievement on the front row that has achieved a great deal be they black or white is a good thing,” the former Vogue editor at large said.
“I don’t think Russell Simmons should be seated on anybody’s front row this week after having done that disgusting Harriet Tubman sex tape. He is a man of great achievement. He is a great philanthropist….why would he think it would be an honorable thing to do? He said he thought it was funny. That is not funny it is outrageously disrespectful to the legacy and history of Harriet Tubman and to the struggle.September 13, 2013 at 9:52 pm #96622
Michelle Obama to hit West Coast for fundraising swing
By Emily Goodin – 09/13/13 03:12 PM ET
Michelle Obama will head to the West Coast next month on a high-profile fundraising swing.
Her first stop will be in Los Angeles on Oct. 11, where she’ll hold a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at the home of “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Philip Rosenthal and his wife, Monica, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Read more: http://thehill.com/capital-living/322191-michelle-obama-to-hit-west-coast-for-fundraising-swing#ixzz2epOLEqme
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