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The Left Column


Boehner Encourages Obama To Take Executive Action, One Day After Voting To Sue Obama Over It

(Think Progress) Hours before Congress broke for the August recess, House Republicans claimed that the President could use executive action to fix the border situation with unaccompanied children fleeing violence in the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. In a press statement released Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and other House Republican leaders indicated that President Obama could address the crisis “without the need for congressional action,” a statement tinged with some irony given that just the day before, House Republicans had slammed the President with a lawsuit claiming executive overreach.

“This situation shows the intense concern within our conference – and among the American people – about the need to ensure the security of our borders and the president’s refusal to faithfully execute our laws,” the House Republican leadership press release stated. “There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries.”

Omaha Steve

How A Seed Saver (DU's own NRaleighLiberal) Discovered One Of Our Favorite Tomatoes

(NPR) Fortunately for those of us who are suckers for novelty, every year fruits and vegetables seem to come in more bewitching colors, shapes and flavors. Lately, we've been tickled by the cotton candy grape and the vibrant orange Turkish eggplant. (Egg yolks can be ghostly white, too, but that's another story.)

If you go to the farmers market this time of year, tomatoes are strutting their stuff in all sorts of glorious and quirky hues: green striped, white, pink, even purplish-brown. They boast intriguing names, like Mortgage Lifter, Arkansas Traveler and Pink Berkeley Tie Dye. Some are true heirlooms, passed down over decades or centuries. Others are brand new to the world, the progeny of the latest cross-breeding experiments.


GOP Self Destructs As Boehner Won’t Let Republicans Leave Until They Pass Border Bill

(Politicus USA) It is a shame that grown men and women have to be threatened to do the job that the taxpayers are paying them to do. All of the recent chaos was started by Sen. Ted Cruz, who met with a group of House Republicans and encouraged them to oppose the border bill. House Republican leaders were forced to pull their meager bill dealing with the border crisis after it was clear that they did not have enough votes for passage.

After trying to blame Obama for their inability to pass legislation, Speaker Boehner and the House Republican leadership moved on to Plan B, which is to not let House Republicans go on vacation until he gets his way. The border bill has turned into yet another Republican caused train wreck.


CNN Anchor Bill Weir to Fox Nation: ‘You Willfully Ignorant F*cksticks’

(Mediaite) The story, aggregated from the Washington Times, relates to a Denver visit by former Vice President Al Gore‘s “Climate Reality Project” for EPA hearings on power plant emissions. The group showed up to hand out ice cream even though it was 58 degrees.

Weir retweeted the link, with his own comment: “Weather is not climate, you willfully ignorant fucksticks.”


Hospitals Benefit From Big Drop In Uninsured Patients Under Obamacare

(TPM) Hospitals continue to report a significant drop in their number of uninsured patients as Obamacare coverage takes full effect, boosting their bottom lines, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.

Hospital Corporation of America, the biggest for-profit hospital network in the country, reported a 6.6 percent decrease in uninsured patients across its 165 hospitals, according to Bloomberg. And in the four states where HCA operates that expanded Medicaid, the drop was 48 percent.


Krugman: Liberals really should be celebrating. California shows how Obamacare can and should work..

(NYT) So it now appears that most of California’s uninsured — 58 percent of the total, or well over 60 percent of those eligible (because undocumented immigrants aren’t covered) have gained insurance in the first year. Considering the complexity of the scheme, that’s really impressive, and it strongly suggests that next year, once those who missed out have had a chance to learn via word of mouth, California will have gotten much of the way toward universal coverage for legal residents.

But there’s something else the Kaiser report drives home: most of those gaining coverage are doing so not via the exchanges (although those are important too) but via Medicaid. And that’s important as an answer to critics of Obamacare from the left.


McConnell's Opponent,Alison Lundergan Grimes, Uses 'McConnelling' Video Against Him

(TPM) Remember McConnelling? The internet meme borne out of what a wordless video of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) awkwardly smiling at the camera and meeting with constituents.

Outsiders speculated that the video was designed to be extra footage, or b-roll, that outside political action groups could use to make TV ads, but now McConnell's opponent is taking advantage of it.


President Obama to GOP: 'Stop Just Hating All the Time'

(AP) Pointing the finger at Republicans for congressional inaction, President Barack Obama chided lawmakers Wednesday for spending the waning days before their month-long summer break trying to sue him rather than addressing economic issues that could boost the middle class.

"Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time. Come on," the president said in a boisterous and sharply partisan speech in Kansas City.


Pope Francis sounds too much like Obama to be honored by Congress, Republican says

(Raw Story) A bipartisan congressional resolution that would honor Pope Francis before his potential appearance in Philadelphia next year may not be acted upon because of Republican worries that the pontiff is perceived as being "too liberal," The Hill reports.

House Resolution 440 aims to "congratulate Pope Francis on his election and recognize his inspirational statements and actions," but according to one Republican backer of the legislation, the resolution is dead because Pope Francis is "sounding like Obama. (The pope) talks about equality — he actually used the term 'trickle-down economics,' which is politically charged."

Omaha Steve

Senate bill would end NSA phone records collection

(AP) Sen. Patrick Leahy on Tuesday introduced a bill to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records, a proposal that goes further than a similar House measure and has drawn support from civil liberties groups, the White House and Republicans.

The bill represents the latest step in fulfilling a January promise by President Barack Obama to end the NSA's collection of domestic calling records. If enacted, it would represent the most significant change to come in the wake of the leaks of once-secret surveillance programs by former NSA systems administrator Edward Snowden.

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