Member since: Tue May 13, 2008, 03:07 AM
Number of posts: 7,535
Number of posts: 7,535
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New pages from the personal journal of the Hoboken, N.J. Mayor Dawn Zimmer became public this week, after she included them in a letter to New Jersey lawmakers. The letter, sent Monday, concerned Gov. Chris Christie's (R) plan to introduce legislation making it a crime for elected officials to fail to promptly report misconduct.
Earlier this year, Zimmer publicly accused the Christie administration of threatening to withhold Hurricane Sandy relief money if she did not support a development project in her city. In her letter, Zimmer worried that "a law that threatens those who do not come forward immediately with criminal penalties for coming forward later could be more likely to result in the covering up of misconduct rather than the exposing of it," according to a copy obtained by New Jersey Public Radio.
To support her case, she included pages from her journal where she discusses the fear that the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey was friendly with Christie. The pages, Zimmer said, help show why she did not come forward with her accusations back in May 2013, when she now says the threats occurred. Here's what the pages say:
I have now heard it from Lt. Gov & Com. Constable. Yes — this is illegal. I debated with Joe Maraziti whether or not to go to US Attorney — we decided that Christie has friends throughout US Attorney's office — not much chance in getting help from them & it could create a nightmare for us. A little bit scary to realize that there's nowhere to turn for help against this threat from Gov Christie — my best defense is to stand up to the bully — my beloved Gov who wants to run for president.
Letter from Dawn Zimmer to NJ Democratic Leaders
Posted by Segami | Wed Apr 23, 2014, 03:08 PM (1 replies)
The Democratic Ads keep writing themselves................
Last week's report from the Congressional Budget Office was a barnburner for the Affordable Care Act, predicting that Obamacare was set to deliver insurance to more people, with lower premiums and more savings for the government than all of their previous prediction. But that's not all. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities digs a little deeper into the report, and discovers that the CBO says Medicaid expansion is an even better deal for states than originally predicted.
CBO has sharply lowered its estimates of the costs to states of adopting the Medicaid expansion.
CBO now estimates that the federal government will, on average, pick up more than 95 percent of the total cost of the Medicaid expansion and other health reform-related costs in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) over the next ten years (2015-2024).
States will spend only 1.6 percent more on Medicaid and CHIP due to health reform than they would have spent without health reform (see Figure 1). That’s about one-third less than CBO projected in February. And the 1.6 percent figure is before counting the state savings that the Medicaid expansion will produce in state expenditures for services such as mental health and substance abuse treatment provided to the uninsured.
Now the CBO is projecting fewer people—who were eligible but not enrolled for Medicaid before health reform—will enroll in it now. That's because of a variety of factors: some will just refuse to sign up, but some will become eligible for private coverage. Because of that increasing flux in the population that has always been eligible for Medicaid, CBO now expects fewer of them to enroll, and thus expects states to spend less over the next decade than it previously assumed.
Expansion states are saving money by taking the expansion. They're no longer having to pay hospitals and other providers for the care they are providing that isn't covered by private insurance or Medicaid. And none of the states that is rejecting the expansion is going to save money over the next decade because of it. So as many as 17,000 people could die prematurely and unnecessarily this year, and next year, and the next, because states aren't willing to spend 1.6 percent more on Medicaid and CHIP. Purely out of political spite.
Posted by Segami | Wed Apr 23, 2014, 11:09 AM (5 replies)
In the key state of Louisiana, Sen. Mary Landrieu isn’t running away from Obamacare. She is using the ACA as weapon to point out how Republicans who have health insurance deny it to others.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Landrieu said:
“It’s a solid law that needs improvement,” Landrieu said. “My opponent offers nothing but repeal, repeal, and repeal. And even with all the law’s setbacks, we’re seeing benefits for thousands of people in Louisiana.”
“I think the benefits that people have received are worth fighting for,” Landrieu continued, citing an end to discrimination against preexisting conditions and extended coverage for young adults on parents’ plans. “I think Bill Cassidy is going to be at a distinct disadvantage. He has insurance, but he’s also denying it to the 242,000 people who fall into the Jindal gap. He also wants to take coverage away from tens of thousands who have gotten it for the first time.”
Sen. Landrieu’s comments represent the changing Democratic tactics on the ACA. Now that there is proof that the law is working and helping millions of people, Democrats can shift the healthcare debate to discussing what will happen if Republicans who want to repeal the law get their way.
Landrieu’s argument also echos the fairness argument that Democrats have bludgeoning Republicans with on various issues for the last three years. It’s not fair that her Republican opponents who have health insurance get to deny hundreds of thousands of people in her state who lack health care. It is a moral argument that moves the discussion past killing the ACA and puts Republicans on the defense about their position of repeal.
Posted by Segami | Wed Apr 23, 2014, 10:24 AM (6 replies)
"..The Kentucky senator has been hailing Reagan lately, but a few years ago, Paul routinely knocked the Republican icon as a fiscal failure..."
As Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) ponders a presidential bid, he has lately made efforts to wrap himself in the banner of Ronald Reagan. In op-eds and speeches, the libertarian tea partier has increasingly invoked the Republicans' most holy icon, especially after being attacked by members of his party's establishment who have accused him of isolationism. Writing in the Washington Post last week, Paul likened his nuanced approach to foreign policy to what he claimed was Reagan's embrace of "strategic ambiguity." A few days earlier, at a so-called "Freedom Summit" in New Hampshire, Paul hailed Reagan as the last president who presided over the creation of millions of jobs, asserting that after the Gipper lowered tax rates, 20 million jobs were created and "more revenue came in." (FactCheck.org concluded that Paul was "falsifying evidence"—and ignoring that more jobs were created during President Bill Clinton's tenure when tax rates went up.) But Paul hasn't always cast himself as much of a Reagan fan. In fact, when he stumped for his father in 2008 and again when ran for Senate in 2010, Paul often referred to the grand old man of the GOP with a touch of disappointment and criticism. And he routinely made an assertion that might seem like blasphemy to many Republicans: President Jimmy Carter had a better record on fiscal discipline than Reagan.
In a variety of campaign appearances that were captured on video, Paul repeatedly compared Reagan unfavorably to Carter on one of Paul's top policy priorities: government spending. When Paul was a surrogate speaker for his father, then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), during the elder Paul's 2008 presidential quest, his sales pitch included dumping on Reagan for failing to rein in federal budget deficits. Standing on the back of a truck and addressing the crowd at the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers picnic in July 2007, Rand Paul complained about Reagan and praised his father for having opposed Reagan's budget:
The deficit went through the roof under Reagan. So how long did it take Ron Paul to figure out that the guy he had liked, endorsed, campaigned for, campaigned for him? The very first budget. Ron Paul voted "no" against the very first Reagan budget… Everybody loved this "great" budget. It was a $100 billion in debt. This was three times greater than Jimmy Carter's worst deficit.
Posted by Segami | Wed Apr 23, 2014, 10:00 AM (2 replies)
I met Dave Rades through a Facebook group to which we both belong. Rades is an unapologetic liberal who is unafraid to speak the truth, even in a hostile environment. In 2010 he “infiltrated” a Tea Party April 15th tax day rally after making several phone calls letting the organizers know that he was coming and that he would like an opportunity to speak at the gathering.
He arrived armed with a copy of the then-current Forbes magazine profiling Tea Party darling Glenn Beck and some inconvenient facts. The crowd did not immediately pick up on any of it, and they began by cheering for him. He began by giving them a synopsis of how the Joseph Goebbels propaganda machine had so thoroughly brainwashed the citizens of Germany in the years leading to WWII that when the citizens of Germany were told the truth, they believed that the truth tellers were lying to them, and even when shown proof they refused to believe it.
As Dave rattled off a list of the right-wing talkers who are the right-wing propaganda machine, the crowd went wild, cheering for each new name he listed off and waving their signs and flags enthusiastically. The enthusiasm ended abruptly when he read a quote from the Forbes profile in which Beck said, “I could give a flying crap about the political process. We’re an entertainment company.” He then explained to them that they needed to start checking out the lies these talkers were telling them and the crowd began to express their displeasure with him. The man who had introduced him stepped up to tap him on the shoulder and ask him to leave.
Posted by Segami | Mon Apr 21, 2014, 01:58 PM (2 replies)
Spock: You came back for me. Why would you do this?
Kirk: Because the needs of the one… outweigh the needs of the many.
– Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Looks like the Bush 'silver-spoon' has finally made its way to Jeb's brain............
Most sci-fi fans know that these words are part of an emotional scene between Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock -– two characters who literally cheat death to save their friendship. Unfortunately it seems that Republicans interpret these words in a very different way – “the many” are the poor and middle classes and “the one” are the one-percenters at the top of the country’s socioeconomic pyramid. On a recent episode of MSNBC’s The Ed Show, host Ed Schultz, Mike Papantonio (host, Ring of Fire Radio) and columnist David Cay Johnston talked about members of the Republican Party and the “out of this world” ideas they spout to their supporters.
Speaking of former governor of Florida Jeb Bush, Papantonio said:
“The media has done a terrible job of following Bush around to these town hall meetings with millionaires in their country clubs; all white groups where he says that minorities are destroying this country by way of welfare. . . His message is that we have to kill, to constrain this government beast that gives away our money to poor people. . . And, this is where it gets crazy, he actually got to the point where he said, ’I want to take away the children of parents who are too lazy to work.’”
Moving on to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Papantonio had this to say:
“This is a man who has a crazy sheet as long as Sarah Palin’s. . .”
Under Jindal, Louisiana has developed the highest poverty rate in the country, the third highest school failure rate in the country and a 111% increase in homelessness. As the show moved on to discuss Republican financial policies, Johnston was asked if the party was doing anything to address income inequality. He remarked that they’re making it worse. “Stock market gains for the vast majority – the 90% – have shrunk by half. For the 1% of the 1%, they’re 2.6 times what they used to be. All these policies are designed to take from the many and reinforce the wealth of the few.”
Posted by Segami | Mon Apr 21, 2014, 11:43 AM (0 replies)
"..These are the top 10 reasons why we MUST let the GOP take back the Senate and keep control of the House!.."
Tea Party lunatic Allen West, who lost his bid for reelection in 2012, is also somewhat of a comedian. On his personal page, allenbwest.com, West posted a rather funny article called the ‘Top 10 Reasons to Vote Democrat in 2014.” The article lays out just what you would expect: liberals are taking your money, liberals want to take your guns, liberals elect activist judges to “rewrite the Constitution”, etc. etc. Very funny, coming from the guy who nearly has a 3:1 lie-to-truth ratio on Politifact. West, who does not shy away from controversy, told his readers that they would “get a kick” out of it. So to our readers, you’ll certainly get a kick, and a sucker punch with this.
10. I’ll vote Republican because even though I’m a woman, I love being told that I shouldn’t be paid equally because of the “free-market.” I also love being told that I’m not allowed conteception, or my legal right to an abortion (but a man can have Viagra and penis pumps no problem).
9. I’ll vote Republican because we must suffer the deaths of 31,000 men, women and children a year in order to preserve the option of assassinating our democratically elected politicians with our guns we bought at Walmart.
8. I’ll vote Republican because I work hard for my money, and nothing makes me happier than my tax dollars going to subsidize Big Oil and the major banks that crashed our economy in 2008. I also love that the Republicans are blaming the “lazy” minority for my economic woes.
7. I’ll vote Republican because I believe a President who gives Americans healthcare is a “terrorist dictator” but a tax-evading rancher in Nevada who uses women as human shields is a “patriot.”
6. I’ll vote Republican because we are the “pro-life” party, even though our deepest cuts go to feeding, housing, clothing, educating and medically treating low-income children, elderly and returning veterans.
5. I’ll vote Republican because rather than admitting our world’s climate is changing, I’ll sit around with my thumb up my butt and deny science so billionaires like the Koch Brothers can pollute the Earth and give more to my campaign.
Posted by Segami | Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:28 PM (9 replies)
What do you do if President Obama and Vice President Biden roll into your town outside of Pittsburgh, to the Community College just a stones throw away from your house? If you’re the band Comfort Tech, you turn the driveway into a stage and play an original song, Lumberjack, as the POTUS motorcade rolls by and hope he notices.
The band was wowed and in their video of the event, they wrote, “Serenading Mr. President Obama as he arrives with his motorcade. Most appreciative of President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and their kind staff for their outstanding courtesy…”
Lexi Belculfine at the The Post Gazette reported:
When singer and guitarist Sean Conner, 24, realized POTUS and VPOTUS would be in their back yard, he said he knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But how to get the attention of the leaders of the free world?
They made a red, white and blue banner reading “Welcome Mr. President!” and hung it on their porch, above the driveway-turned-stage. The plan was to be respectful and not disruptive, he said.
It worked! The Secret Service wouldn’t let the President stop to hear the band, so Obama had the Secret Service ask the band to come and meet him, which they did. They noted on their Facebook Page that they heard the President asking, “Where’s Comfort Tech?”
Posted by Segami | Sat Apr 19, 2014, 02:00 PM (14 replies)
This is a winning position for Democrats.............
-..But McCarthy also tacks on an ugly parenthetical, asking “how many received a subsidy (raising concerns about fraud).” Brian Beutler at the New Republic calls this an effort to “welfarize Obamacare,” to stigmatize it and also make it subject to the same hysteria about “fraud” that conservatives use to smear other social programs. Remember that Sen. Ted Cruz called the subsidies “sugar,” telling Sean Hannity that when Americans got a taste of it, they’d be “addicted to the sugar, addicted to the subsidies. And once that happens, in all likelihood, it never gets…” “It’s over,” Hannity declared. “It never gets repealed.”
Still, a high rate of subsidies will let the GOP continue to demonize the “takers” vs. the “makers.” But some of them are going to have a big problem: A lot of the takers will turn out to be their voters. Poor Mitch McConnell: his own state of Kentucky, under the leadership of Democratic governor Steve Brashear, set up its own insurance exchange, expanded Medicaid and conducted a bold public health campaign to get folks into “Kynect.” Now Kentucky has reduced the number of uninsured by 40 percent – and many of those newly insured are McConnell’s aging white constituents.
McConnell seems appropriately alarmed. The man who has repeatedly pledged to “repeal” the law just this week told health care workers in Kentucky that repealing the law can’t happen while Obama is president, so “we’re going to figure out a way to get this fixed.” That softer tone isn’t sitting well with his Tea Party challenger Matt Bevin, who’s already accusing McConnell of being an Obamacare appeaser, but the Senate minority leader seems to be looking past Bevin to his November battle with Alison Lundergan Grimes.
The only thing that might get Republicans out of a mess of their own making is Democratic cowardice, and you can never underestimate the capacity of centrist and red state Democrats to sabotage themselves and their own party. We’ll see how hard Grimes hits McConnell over his role in obstructing the ACA; so far, it hasn’t been very hard at all. She needs to make him the man who’s trying to charge women more than men for insurance again; the man who’s trying to take health care away from 370,000 Kentuckians who have it thanks to Democrats. Democrats have similar opportunities in Virginia and Arkansas. Republicans have been itching to make the midterms a referendum on Obamacare. Thursday’s news means that might not work the way they had planned.
Posted by Segami | Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:04 PM (1 replies)
Where are the clowns?....send in the clowns..........la, la, laaaa, la, la, laaaa, la, la, laaaa.......
This article is sort of hilarious, not so much for the content of the article itself...
After retreating from public view following his crushing loss to President Obama in the 2012 election, Romney has returned to the political stage, emerging as one of the Republican Party’s most coveted stars, especially on the fundraising circuit, in the run-up to November’s midterm elections.
...but because the first comment pretty much sums things up:
A commentary on the current state of the Republican Party that a guy who has lost every election he's ever been in, except one, is considered a star and elder statesman. He served as a one-term governor and didn't run again because he was so unpopular. This is who is revered in the GOP? Sad.
Sad for the GOP, I guess. Comedy for the rest of us. I'm sure it feels good for Romney to be wanted by certain segments of his party (for example, fellow Massachusetts politician Scott Brown has asked him to campaign on his behalf), but at the end of the day, he's still a guy who doesn't appeal to his party's base and doesn't appeal outside his party's base.
That being said, what other options do the GOP have when it comes to party elders? John McCain? George W. Bush? Dick Cheney? Sarah Palin? Hell, Romney is probably the best they've got. And even though he says he's not running in 2016—and would surely lose if he did—he'd certainly be one of the GOP's best candidates and arguably even the best. And that really is a pathetic commentary on the current state of the GOP.
Posted by Segami | Fri Apr 18, 2014, 01:20 PM (5 replies)