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Watch This for 22 Seconds and You'll See Why Obama Can't Give an Inch
BY JONATHAN COHN @citizencohn
The key exchange takes all of 22 seconds, starting at about 12:25 in the video above. It goes like this:
STEPHANOPOULOS: What the president says is he believes that the consequences of negotiating again over a debt limit and re-creating a cycle of crises are worse.
BOEHNER: Every president in modern history has negotiated over a debt limit. Debt limits have been used to force big policy changes in Washington. And guess what, George? They're going to be used again.
Boehner is wrong on the history. Congress has increased the debt limit in the course of passing other legislation—the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a nice review of recent legislation—and sometimes one or the other party made a big fuss about it. But, as Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein explain in their acclaimed book, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, until recently officials in neither party seriously threatened to let the government default on expenses it had already incurred:
Pyrotechnics and symbols aside, on every occasion on which the government needed to raise the debt ceiling, the key actors in Washington, including presidents and congressional leaders, knew that almost nobody—until now—had any intention of precipitating a default. Leaders of the president’s party told us privately on the eve of more than one ostensibly nail-biting vote, including in 2002, that they knew in advance that their counterpart’s members, along with some of their own antsy colleagues, were willing to switch if it looked as if the debt limit vote might actually fail with the deadline looming.
Eventually, the authors note, leaders from the two parties started invoking what became known as the Gephardt rule (named for Richard Gephardt, former Democratic leader in the House). Under the Gephardt rule, the debt limit went up just as soon as the budget resolution passed. But Republicans repealed the Gephardt rule in 2011, right after taking power. A few months later, they were threatening to allow default if Obama didn’t meet their demands.
Posted by FourScore | Mon Oct 7, 2013, 12:31 AM (19 replies)
The Factoid That Explains Why You Want to Live in a Blue State
BY MICHAEL SCHAFFER @michaelschaffer
How much of a difference does living in a Democratic-run state make? Here's the difference between what a family of three—a working parent with two dependants—would have to make in Minnesota and Alabama in order to qualify for subsidized insurance. Meaning: In Alabama, a family that brings in as little as $3,500 a year is out of luck. In Minnesota, the country's most generous state, that family can get help if their income is up to $40,000.
A key difference: Minnesota has the country's most generous Medicaid eligibility rules. Alabama, on the other hand, makes it almost impossible for the working poor to get Medicaid. And now it is among those states refusing to participate in the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid. As a result, a low-income family of one adult and two children wouldn't benefit from the new law unless its income is above the poverty line, which would be about $19,500 a year. At higher incomes, the family would become eligible for subsidies in the new federally run exchange—money that state officials have no power to reject, as Alabama's have. In other words, if your 2014 income is between $3,500 and $19,500, you're out of luck.
The American Prospect's Paul Waldman created a handy chart that lays out the red-blue differences across the country in 2013. Our numbers, above, come from the Kaiser Commision on Medicaid and the Uninsured's projections for 2014. And while it's true that Minnesota is an exceedingly generous outlier even by blue, northern standards, Alabama is in good company at the ruby-red bottom of the chart.
Posted by FourScore | Sun Oct 6, 2013, 11:57 PM (9 replies)
Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 03:21 PM PDT
Vanity Fair's Blockbuster Part 2 in Obamacare series: The truth!
by Fokozatos siker
Last week, Vanity Fair ran a devastating and brilliant piece ripping apart the Republican lies (yes, they called them lies) about Obamacare. Kurt Eichenwald, the contributing editor who wrote the piece, promised in it that this week he would be coming back with another one on the truth about Obamacare.
And boy, did he. Here is part 2!
This one isn't the laugh riot of last week, because as Eichenwald makes clear, defanging lies is a lot easier and a lot more amusing than explaining truths. But what he hass written is the most comprehensive, clearest and impossible to dispute detailing of Obamacare that I have ever seen. If you have a tea-partier or Republican in your family, hand them the piece and give them some knowledge. More below...
What is so compelling about the new piece is it is not a bunch of the statements we already know on the benefits, like no pre-existing condition restrictions, no insurance caps, etc. Instead, Eichenwald goes in a completely different direction.
He starts off with a lament that I think we don't express enough: That talking about the life-saving benefits for the uninsured seems to be an insignificant issue for too many Americans.
Normally, I would start this discussion by providing chapter-and-verse details about the 47 million men, women, and children who now have the opportunity to obtain health insurance, to live longer and healthier lives, to avoid needless bankruptcies. But, in what to me is one of the saddest developments in our nation’s history, that reality is irrelevant to ardent Obamacare opponents....These days, I have to start by answering the question “What’s in it for me?”
And answer he does. He begins with the clearest of points that too often is ignored: the uninsured get health care, whether they have insurance or not.
This is the fundamental issue that too many people do not understand. There seems to be this belief among some that those who are uninsured simply go off and die somewhere, thus having no impact on the medical-care-delivery system in the United States. But the opposite is true—the uninsured have some of the most dramatic effects of any group on our nation’s health-care system...In fact, the uninsured affect the finances, quality of care, and availability of medical assistance to every person in a community, regardless of their insurance status.
Then, he presents the most amazing numbers I've seen in this debate: The PRECISE amount the uninsured are costing those with insurance. He begins with the national average (he gives for two years, I'll use the 2010 estimates.) That amount: $1,502. That is not the premium - that is the EXTRA premium that the insured are paying to compensate for the bills the uninsured are unable to pay.
Even more fun, the piece then shows that the highest amount in extra premium is being paid by, you guessed it, the states that are the biggest opponents of Obamacare:
It is the citizens of states most opposed to Obamacare and who are refusing expansions of Medicaid who are taking the biggest shellacking: Texas residents are paying $2,786 more in premiums for family policies provided through employers. Montana, $2,190. Alaska, $2,248. Idaho, $2,152. North Carolina, $1,828.
I've already started reciting those numbers to some friends who have bought into the Republican lies. Their only response is "splutter."
Then Eichenwald points out something I never knew. Those communities with the highest numbers of uninsured have the lowest quality of care, not just for the uninsured, but for the insured as well.
Follow the logic. Hospitals don’t have poverty wards; if a patient comes in the door in bad shape, they don’t do a wallet biopsy before deciding what care that person should receive—everyone at a hospital receives the same quality. But if a community has a higher number of uninsured, that means the latest and greatest technology and treatments will drive up the amounts of unreimbursed care. In essence, hospitals that provide the best, most modern, and most expensive treatments in an area with lots of uninsured will be forced to pass unsustainable amounts of cost to their prices. Insurance companies won’t pay it, local governments won’t finance it, and the hospitals will go out of business. The only option then? Don’t provide the top-quality care to anyone—insured or not.
Eichenwald then immediately acknowledges that people might not believe the logic, and so cites multiple studies proving he's right.
It is only after this lengthy description of medical economics that Eichenwald returns to the benefits to the uninsured.
With the “what’s in it for me” question regarding the benefits of covering the uninsured, now let’s go to the price they pay for being without health insurance. This one is as simple as screaming “death panels”: the uninsured die. As the Texas health-care task force reports: "Overall, the uninsured receive less preventive care, are diagnosed at more advanced stages of disease, and once diagnosed, receive less therapeutic care than do the insured. Thus, lack of adequate insurance leads to premature death." Hopefully, those words are easy enough for everyone to understand. If Republicans truly are dedicated to the sanctity of life, they should be the first ones on the front lines trying to get policies for the uninsured.
This is as much as I can quote and still stay within fair use. But it is a long, long article loaded with powerful facts, figures and arguments. Before you have another arguments with the deluded, just print it out and hand it to them. It was exhilarating to read!
Posted by FourScore | Sat Oct 5, 2013, 11:13 PM (2 replies)
Revocation of Independence
29 November 2011 – 10:30
Posted in Humor, Law and Politics
In a fit of anger her majesty Queen Elizabeth II issued the following letter to the citizens of United States of America
To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
In light of your failure to financially manage yourselves and inability to effectively govern yourselves responsibly, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).
Your new Prime Minister, David William Donald Cameron, will appoint a Governor for the former United States of America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
MORE ON HER MAJESTY'S DECREE: http://itzhakts.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/revocation-of-independence/
Posted by FourScore | Sat Oct 5, 2013, 04:31 PM (3 replies)
Posted by FourScore | Fri Oct 4, 2013, 12:23 PM (20 replies)
Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 06:44 PM PDT
I saw this comment in the San Francisco Chronicle this morning and loved it. I went to work, came home and loved it more. Some great points are made here and I wish I could take some credit. The least I can do is share it. This was stolen from "boozer, (posted at) 8:57 AM on October 1, 2013":
Things you gotta believe to be a Republican today
* Sending racy Tweets and pictures of yourself to a woman you aren't married to is a much more serious crime than being a "pro-life" congressman who makes your wife and your mistress get abortions.
* Michelle Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Alan West, Todd Akin, Joe Walsh, Ted Cruz, and Steve Stockman are intelligent, rational human beings.
* You decry your party's reputation as "the stupid party" while approving legislation to have creationism taught in science class.
* Willard Mitt Rmoney lost the election because he wasn't conservative enough.
* The fact that business leaders can throw hundreds of millions of dollars at Karl Rove and other SuperPACs to try and buy the election doesn't mean they can also afford to pay their employees living wages with good benefits.
* Obamacare is the reason your hours are being cut and your pay is not going up; the CEO's $15 million bonus has nothing to do with it.
* Gun ownership is a right. Heath care is a privilege. If a kids die because of treatable cancer or a nutcase gunning them down, oh well.
* You support drug testing of welfare recipients, but oppose criminal background checks and mental health screening of gun buyers.
* The First Amendment shouldn't apply to TV, radio, video games, or the Internet because those things didn't exist in 1787. The Second Amendment applies to automatic rifles and anti-personnel ammunition even though those things didn't exist in 1787.
* You scream for federal disaster aid when your state catches fire or drowns in a hurricane, but when it happens somewhere else in the country you vote against federal disaster aid.
* A guy who once shot his friend in the face, possibly while being roaring drunk at the time, has the moral authority to speak out in opposition to gun control.
* Germany gets more sunlight than California.
* $250,000 a year is "poor", but the federal minimum wage is too high.
* Actually allowing black people to vote is "racial entitlement"
* You're a Birther who likes the idea of Ted Cruz running for President.
He'll remain anonymous, I guess (unless he's a DKos member). But I appreciate his logic, wit or simply his ability to collect poignant quotes.
Posted by FourScore | Wed Oct 2, 2013, 11:42 AM (1 replies)
...so as not to lose all hope.
Posted by FourScore | Wed Oct 2, 2013, 08:44 AM (4 replies)
Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 10:13 PM PDT
A Republican Hostage Speaks. Your Grand Old Party is Over.
I'm not sorry for crashing the party that Ted Cruz and the GOP is having over their success in shutting down that great big evil government. You know, that Big Ebil Gubmint your money masters spend millions getting you elected to, so put down that glass of expensive wine some lobbyist paid for and have a listen.
The Party Is Over.
No, not the party you're having now; the party you guys are having will continue along with the self-congratulatory back slapping, roars of approval from zealots, and campaign checks from your owners. It's the Party that you belong to. The Dinosaur Party. It's over, done, finished, kaput.
It was doneski when you let crazy people control it to the point that you kept on doing ever more extremist things like voting to continue giving taxpayer money to millionaire farm corporations while prying bread out of the mouth of hungry children. It was over when you invited an entire panel of men to discuss womens health care needs while blocking one woman, Sandra Fluke, to speak. And then, as you so often do, you continued to take it way over the cliff too far by allowing Rust Lintball to go on a 3 day rant hammering on her, lying about her, and making some of the most outrageous claims and demands we've ever heard. And then you made sure to ignore the American people who, with 90% approval, want expanded background checks for firearms purchases. Those are just 3 of the crazy things you've done. I've got a really long list.
You started believing your own pile of baloney. You swallowed the hooey that Faux Newzzz told you about the 2012 polls being skewed. You truly believed that Romney/Ryan were about to be elected with huge Republican majorities. Even Karl Rove, who lies like a rug for the unwashed masses, believed his own crapola when reality suddenly penetrated on election night November, 2012.
And you still believe that Americans really love the crap you've been shoveling out to them with your ceaseless extremism, heartless gutting of programs to help the vulnerable, along with endless hatred of anyone besides heterosexual, White, Christian males.
You don't have a bubble anymore; you've got a super duper nuclear shelter where nothing penetrates.
Let me bring a dose of reality inside your bubble: outside of your incredible gerrymandering of House districts and voter suppression efforts, you guys LOST the election in 2012. Big time.
Who won? Obama Care, the 99%, workers, women, science and other things you guys just love to hate won.
You haven't gotten the message. You. Lost.
Mitt Romneys agenda lost. Paul Ryans budget lost. The Republican platform lost. The shenanigans you were up to for the past few years lost.
For a time, you seemed in shock, promised to change, and said you learned your lesson. But then it was back to the same old extremism as before, except that you put it on steroids. It's more zealous than before, more heartless, more harmful to our most vulnerable citizens.
You didn't pay attention when polls showed you that the Congress you control with your party is less popular than venereal disease and cockroaches. You guys thought you were awesome!
And now, in your desperation, you're taking the entire country hostage with a litany of demands that, in their effect, make Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan the de facto president and Veep because it's their platform objectives that would be achieved.
Democracy should never work that way no matter how much you huff and puff and blow our houses down. No matter how much propaganda, talking points, political memes, paid shills or outright lies you put out there, you can't hide from your responsibility for what is happening.
Remember the shutdown of the 1990s? I do. And that was a time that there was an actual budget in place rather than just a series of continuing resolutions along with an economy destroying sequester. That time is going to be a remembered as a picnic compared to now.
You guys found out the hard way in the next election that the people thought you were clowns unworthy of re-election. Even your severely gerrymandered districts that your pals worked so hard to put into place may not save you this time around.
26% of this country might think you're heroes, but you can't win elections with 26% no matter how much payola the Koch Brothers and RW money men throw into your campaign war chests. And those made up, astroturf groups funded by your donors? Yeah, they're good for attack ads, but folks are waking up and realizing that they've been invented to tell lies under the guise of a group of real citizens.
So, go ahead and shut it down. Take my Social Security check, close government offices, furlough thousands of government employees, stop everything dead in its tracks. I have a message for you.
We Don't Negotiate With Hostage Takers
Now, I know that this comes as a surprise to you. In the past, President Obama has given you a whole lot of what you've wanted in exchange for your promise to please not destroy the country. Those days are over since you've gone whole hog in your extortion demands.
So enjoy your party, drink your champagne, celebrate your success in shutting down the government. Your hangover begins tomorrow and there's not enough aspirin to relieve your symptoms.
Posted by FourScore | Tue Oct 1, 2013, 06:47 PM (1 replies)
Posted by FourScore | Tue Oct 1, 2013, 06:23 PM (0 replies)
Really gets going about half way through...
Here's the full 20 minutes if you have time to watch it:
Posted by FourScore | Tue Oct 1, 2013, 02:37 PM (4 replies)