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AntiBank

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Current location: Sweden
Member since: Thu Apr 21, 2016, 03:33 AM
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Journal Archives

Obamacare's 2017 Insurer Rate Requests Are Mostly for Double-Digit Hikes

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/05/29/this-is-bad-obamacares-2017-insurer-rate-requests.aspx

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (as it's officially known), or Obamacare (as it's more commonly known), has had quite the tumultuous ride since being signed into law in March 2010.

Based on near-monthly data from the Kaiser Family Foundation's Tracking Poll, the vast majority of Americans don't like Obamacare. Despite this general apathy toward the health law of the land, it still managed to enroll 12.7 million people through its marketplace exchanges for the 2016 enrollment period -- and this doesn't count the millions of other individuals and families who've gained coverage in 31 states through the expansion of Medicaid coverage. According to both Gallup's first-quarter survey and the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (which also includes Medicare enrollees), uninsured rates are at their lowest levels on record as of Q1 2016.

Affordability remains a key concern
But one problem has plagued Obamacare since day one: cost. Although Obamacare's regulations opened the door for many low-income individuals and families to get health insurance, many middle-class families are struggling with rising premium and deductible costs. And since the individual mandate requires everyone to purchase health insurance or pay a shared responsibility payment come tax time, it's leaving millions of Americans with a tough, seemingly no-win choice of struggling to meet their health insurance payments or paying a penalty.

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New York: According to the New York State Department of Financial Services, insurers in New York are requesting hikes ranging from as low as 6.1% to as high as 89.1%, with a weighted average on the individual market of 17.3%. UnitedHealth, which only covers 2% of New York's Obamacare enrollees, requested an increase of (and I hope you're sitting down for this) 45.6%!


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more


Hillary's ObamaCare problem

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/281579-hillarys-obamacare-problem


Obamacare Is Failing -- On Purpose?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/sallypipes/2016/05/30/obamacare-is-failing-on-purpose/#6d349493edd1


UnitedHealthcare leaving Illinois Obamacare exchange

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20160531/NEWS03/160539973/unitedhealthcare-leaving-illinois-obamacare-exchange


UnitedHealth To Exit California’s Obamacare Market

http://khn.org/news/unitedhealth-to-exit-californias-obamacare-market/


Here's how much the price of Obamacare changed this year for every state in the US (2015-16 rates)

http://nordic.businessinsider.com/obamacare-price-change-for-every-state-in-us-2016-5?r=US&IR=T




we need single payer

Trump vs. Clinton: A Daunting and Ominous Electoral Map (this is from right wing website too)

http://www.redstate.com/diary/davenj1/2016/05/22/trump-vs.-clinton-may-closer-people-think/

Generally speaking, this writer ignores national presidential polls since we do not elect our President by the popular vote. Instead, one must do a state-by-state analysis to determine electoral votes with 270 being the goal. Many pundits have noted the so-called Blue Wall (ironic- Trump has to climb over that wall)- an advantage that the Democratic Party enjoys in the Electoral count.

If we look at the average margin of victory for the candidate of either party over the past four presidential cycles and exclude the states where the average margin of victory for either party was less than 5% and assign that group of states to the swing category, we find that the Democratic Party holds a 247-196 advantage in the Electoral vote count. They only need 23 electoral votes from a pool of remaining “swing states.” They can get all 23 in one fell swoop by taking Florida and their 29 electoral votes. Even losing Florida leaves them more possible combinations to victory. In short, there is a starting advantage for the Democrats.

Of course, the Republican candidate can upset that balance by taking a traditionally blue state. Some have suggested that Trump’s best path to the White House involves flipping a blue state in the Upper Midwest. Simply flipping Pennsylvania, for example, would still give the Democrats an advantage. The problem with that scenario is that practically every cycle, Republicans believe they can flip Michigan or Wisconsin or especially Pennsylvania, but when the votes are counted, they run into reality.

Obviously, we are still a long way from Election Day and a lot can happen between now and then and likely will happen. An unforeseen economic disaster or (God forbid) a terrorist attack on American soil can seriously alter the race. Further, many states are ignored when it comes to polling in hypothetical match-ups, while other states are over-emphasized. Either way, this cycle has taught us that polls really aren’t worth much- slightly more accurate than the punditry of supposed political experts.

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here is my best guess atm as to the final election numbers (bear in mind FL, CO and OH can ALL flip to trump and Clinton still wins)


Who Would Host a Trump-Sanders Debate? ‘We Have Heard from Every Network’ (Bidding War)

http://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/who-would-host-a-trump-sanders-debate-we-have-heard-from-every-network/294579

It’s entirely unclear if Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders really plan on debating each other, but this much is certain: if they do, the news networks are lining up for the chance to host the show.

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said a Sanders-Trump face-off would be the political “event of the season,” and asked by Blitzer if, by chance, any news networks had expressed interest in hosting, Weaver said “we have heard from every network.”

The debate was floated by ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Wednesday night, who asked Trump about debating Sanders. “If he paid a sum toward charity I would love to do that,” Trump said. That was followed quickly by a tweet from Sanders saying “game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7th primary.”

Time magazine reports Trump was “just joking” about agreeing to the debate, while Weaver said he believed Trump had been serious and hoped he would not “chicken out.”

In a separate interview with MSNBC, Weaver said “back-channel conversations” were underway between the Sanders and Trump teams.

Donald Trump would allow Keystone XL pipeline and end Paris climate deal

Source: The Guardian UK

Donald Trump pledged to cancel the Paris climate agreement, endorsed drilling off the Atlantic coast and said he would allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built in return for “a big piece of the profits” for the American people.

At an oil and natural gas conference in North Dakota on Thursday, just minutes after he had celebrated hitting the 1,237 delegate mark needed to formally clinch the party’s nomination, Trump gave a speech on energy policy that was largely shaped by advice from Kevin Cramer, a US representative from the state. In a press conference before the event, Trump praised the advice of oil tycoon Harold Hamm. Hamm and Cramer then introduced him onstage.

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club environmentalist group, was taken aback by Trump’s address.
“I have never heard more contradiction in one hour than I heard in the speech,” he told the Guardian. “There are pools of oil industry waste water that are deeper than Trump’s grasp of energy.” Trump gave the speech – which Brune also called “a jumbled collection of oil industry talking points that are devoid from reality in the market place” – in a packed arena that generated an atmosphere more like that of a campaign rally than a staid industry conference.

As he hit a number of familiar talking points, a crowd filled with his supporters raised chants of “build the wall”.......

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/26/donald-trump-environmental-policy-climate-change-keystone-xl

Hillary Clinton Violated Email Policy, State Dept. Says

Source: ABC News

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and some of her predecessors violated the government's policies on email use and records retention, the State Department's inspector general says.

The department's investigative office made the conclusion in a report released only to members of Congress and obtained by ABC News. The report examined the email practices of five U.S. secretaries of state and found that there was "a limited ability to retrieve email records, inaccessibility of electronic files, failure to comply with requirements for departing employees and a general lack of oversight."

Clinton's campaign for president has been dogged by questions surrounding last year's revelation that she used a private email server to send official correspondence during her entire tenure as secretary of state. She has since turned over many of the messages from her private account but deleted others she deemed irrelevant to her professional work. The FBI is investigating the handling of sensitive information on that server to determine whether there was any criminal wrongdoing.

About Clinton specifically, the report says that she should have preserved federal records she created and received on her personal account and that sending emails from the personal account to other employees at the department was "not an appropriate method of preserving" federal records. Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretaries Madeline Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice participated in interviews with the inspector general’s office, but Clinton and her aides denied requests to be interviewed.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/hillary-clinton-violated-email-policy-state-dept/story?id=39366354

There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks

Machine Bias

https://www.propublica.org/article/machine-bias-risk-assessments-in-criminal-sentencing

N A SPRING AFTERNOON IN 2014, Brisha Borden was running late to pick up her god-sister from school when she spotted an unlocked kid’s blue Huffy bicycle and a silver Razor scooter. Borden and a friend grabbed the bike and scooter and tried to ride them down the street in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Coral Springs.

Just as the 18-year-old girls were realizing they were too big for the tiny conveyances — which belonged to a 6-year-old boy — a woman came running after them saying, “That’s my kid’s stuff.” Borden and her friend immediately dropped the bike and scooter and walked away. But it was too late — a neighbor who witnessed the heist had already called the police. Borden and her friend were arrested and charged with burglary and petty theft for the items, which were valued at a total of $80.

Compare their crime with a similar one: The previous summer, 41-year-old Vernon Prater was picked up for shoplifting $86.35 worth of tools from a nearby Home Depot store.

Prater was the more seasoned criminal. He had already been convicted of armed robbery and attempted armed robbery, for which he served five years in prison, in addition to another armed robbery charge. Borden had a record, too, but it was for misdemeanors committed when she was a juvenile.

Yet something odd happened when Borden and Prater were booked into jail: A computer program spat out a score predicting the likelihood of each committing a future crime. Borden — who is black — was rated a high risk. Prater — who is white — was rated a low risk.

Two years later, we know the computer algorithm got it exactly backward. Borden has not been charged with any new crimes. Prater is serving an eight-year prison term for subsequently breaking into a warehouse and stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics.

Scores like this — known as risk assessments — are increasingly common in courtrooms across the nation. They are used to inform decisions about who can be set free at every stage of the criminal justice system, from assigning bond amounts — as is the case in Fort Lauderdale — to even more fundamental decisions about defendants’ freedom. In Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, the results of such assessments are given to judges during criminal sentencing.




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Bernie Sanders Argues He's Not 'Harming' Democratic Party by Staying in the Race

Source: ABC News

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders argued today that he's "absolutely not" harming the Democratic Party by staying in the 2016 primary race, but rather "invigorating" the party.

"I don't think I'm harming the Democratic Party," Sanders said in an interview on ABC's "The View." "I think I'm invigorating American democracy and invigorating the Democratic Party. The establishment obviously doesn't like it. They would like us to go away and do things in the same old, same old."

The Vermont senator, who continues to battle Democratic rival Hillary Clinton despite her delegate lead, also asserted that he's brought in more voters and suggested that his candidacy has helped the Democratic Party achieve an "unprecedented increase in voter registration among young people, among Latinos."

Sanders also clarified remarks he made in a recent interview with The Associated Press in which he said that the convention would be "messy."
"People in America have the right to demonstrate," Sanders said on "The View." "It's kind of what the Constitution of the United States is."

"It goes without saying ... that I will condemn any and all forms of violence," Sanders said, adding, "I don't see anything wrong with a vigorous debate."

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/bernie-sanders-argues-harming-democratic-party-staying-race/story?id=39337863

We must weed out ignorant Americans from the electorate (Washington Post Op-Ed)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/we-must-weed-out-ignorant-americans-from-the-electorate/2016/05/20/f66b3e18-1c7a-11e6-8c7b-6931e66333e7_story.html

Never have so many people with so little knowledge made so many consequential decisions for the rest of us.

A person need only survey the inanity of the ongoing presidential race to comprehend that the most pressing problem facing the nation isn’t Big Business, Big Labor, Big Media or even Big Money in politics.

It’s you, the American voter. And by weeding out millions of irresponsible voters who can’t be bothered to learn the rudimentary workings of the Constitution, or their preferred candidate’s proposals or even their history, we may be able to mitigate the recklessness of the electorate.

No, we shouldn’t erect physical barriers to ballot access. Let’s purchase more voting machines, hire additional poll workers, streamline the registration process, mail out more ballots for seniors and produce more “Rock the Vote” ads imploring apathetic millennials to embrace their civic duty.

At the same time, let’s also remember that checking a box for the candidate whose campaign ads you like best is one of the most overrated obligations of the self-governed. If you have no clue what the hell is going on, you also have a civic duty to avoid subjecting the rest of us to your ignorance.

Unfortunately, we can’t trust you.

Now, if voting is a consecrated rite of democracy, as liberals often argue, surely society can have certain minimal expectations for those participating. And if citizenship itself is as hallowed as Republicans argue, then surely the prospective voter can be asked to know just as much as the prospective citizen. Let’s give voters a test. The citizenship civics test will do just fine.


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wow, just wow

Huffington Post's feminist tweet backfires after black woman exposes them

http://www.lipstickalley.com/showthread.php/1034161-Huffington-Post-s-feminist-tweet-backfires-after-black-woman-exposes-them?s=856744fa011b50e337475ae9d89ed41b

Neocon-Bashers Headline Koch Event as Political Realignment on Foreign Policy Continues

https://theintercept.com/2016/05/18/neocon-bashers-headline-koch-event-as-political-realignment-on-foreign-policy-continues/

IN THE LATEST example of how foreign policy no longer neatly aligns with party politics, the Charles Koch Institute — the think tank founded and funded by energy billionaire Charles Koch — hosted an all-day event Wednesday featuring a set of speakers you would be more likely to associate with a left-wing anti-war rally than a gathering hosted by a longtime right-wing institution.

At the event, titled “Advancing American Security: The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy,” prominent realist and liberal foreign policy scholars took turns trashing the neoconservative worldview that has dominated the foreign policy thinking of the Republican Party — which the Koch brothers have been allied with for decades.

Most of the speakers assailed the Iraq War, nation building, and regime change. During a panel event also featuring former Obama Pentagon official Kathleen Hicks, foreign policy scholar John Mearsheimer brought the crowd to applause by denouncing American military overreach.

“We need to pull back, stop fighting all these wars. Stop defending rich people who are fully capable of defending themselves, and instead spend the money at home. Period. End of story!” he said, in remarks that began with a denunciation of the dilapidated state of the Washington Metrorail system.

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