As most politically informed people know, the Supreme Court is taking up the King v. Burwell case which could unravel provisions in the Affordable Care Act as they relate to state exchanges. The effect of this decision will have repercussions to millions of Americans who are just starting to reap the benefits of the law and get the care they need to live better lives. Personally, I have many family members who have health insurance for the first time in their lives and are getting their health under control. They are getting the medicines they need and have been freed from the worries that go along with not knowing if something may be wrong with them.
The Republican Party, in their zeal to disrespect, delegitimize and try to undo the last two presidential elections where President Barack Obama whooped their asses are walking blindly into the most serious blunder a political party has ever made, in my opinion. Their hatred, venom and racism has overcome any political common sense that might have existed in the far corners of that party. They are driving their party over a cliff, and taking millions of American with them. Sahil Kapur at TPM has a great piece about this.
“It’s an opportunity that we’ve failed at for two decades. We’ve not been particularly close to being on the same page on this subject for two decades,” said a congressional Republican health policy aide who was granted anonymity to speak candidly. “So this idea — we’re ready to go? Actually no, we’re not.” Republican leaders recognize the dilemma. In King v. Burwell, they roundly claim the court ought to invalidate insurance subsidies in some three-dozen states, and that Congress must be ready with a response once they do. But conversations with more than a dozen GOP lawmakers and aides indicate that the party is nowhere close to a solution. Outside health policy experts consulted by the Republicans are also at odds on how the party should respond. The party that has failed to unify behind an alternative to Obamacare for many years now has five months to reach an agreement. It’s an unenviable predicament, especially for the congressional Republicans leading the effort to devise a response — all of whom hail from states that could lose their subsidies.
As the court gets closer to hearing arguments in the case, there is a gap between the excitement among GOP political operatives and the nervousness of at least some GOP policy aides. “Our guys feel like: King wins, game over, we win. No. In fact: King wins, they [the Obama administration and Democrats] hold a lot of high cards,” the congressional Republican health policy aide said. “And we hold what?”
It’s hard to predict how the Supremes will rule. Something in me thinks that Chief Justice John Roberts is just a little bit smarter than the average Republican and will have the foresight to see the consequences for both the country and his political party. A middle ground solution may be what we end up with. Even though I am a political animal and think a “win” in the King v. Burwell case will benefit my party, the Democrats. I really don’t want to see millions of people return to the insecurity and pain of fending for themselves in the “medical marketplace”.
The only thing the Republicans seem to do well these days is keeping their voters uninformed, misinformed and angry. Oh, and they have the media helping them with that, and it’s not just the right-wing media anymore.
You know how once in a while you come across an album by a newer artist that makes you want to listen to it over and over and over again? That is where I’m at right now. On first listen, I liked almost every tune and wanted to hear them again. I decided I love this album so much, that I would write a review of it for my friends in the hope of sharing that great feeling with you all.
The artist is Paolo Nutini and the album is “Caustic Love”. A little bit about Paolo. He’s a native of Scotland and Italian by blood. He landed a contract with Atlantic Records when he was 18 years old based on his incredible voice. The versatility of his voice is like no other. At different moments he sounds like Terrance Trent D’Arby, Bob Marley, Jim Morrison, Phillip Bailey, (Earth, Wind and Fire) and Leonard Cohen (in key). That is not to take anything away from Mr. Nutini, though, because his voice is unique in its own right.
It’s very well produced, and has a different feel than anything I’ve heard in a while, a very mature artist, who is now 28 years old.
The first cut, “Scream (Funk My Life Up)” is one of the best tunes I’ve heard in many years. Soulful, funky, funny, sexy….I can listen to it on repeat. The dude can sing. If you buy any of them on iTunes, get this one, if you like soul/funk with a touch of hip hop.
The second cut, “Let Me Down Easy”, is kind of haunting. It is a duet with a female singer Bettye Lavette, who had a hit with it in 1965.
“Bus Talk (Interlude)” is the third cut on the album and it’s a fun little short tune that will make you smile, I’m sure.
Next up is “One Day”, another love song, there are a few on this album…after all it IS called “Caustic Love”. The soulfulness of his voice really comes out in this one. To me, this has a very retro feel to it. Another one to buy, if you aren’t going to get the whole album. But really, just buy the whole thing, you may skip a few tunes that might not appeal to you, but it is worth every penny.
The fifth cut, “Numpty” is a really catchy song, probably my second favorite after “Scream”. It’s bouncy, makes you want to move and sway. So nice. Ahhhhhh….
Another interlude comes next, “Superfly”. It has a nice groove, but it’s way too short…I want it to go on and on. Come on Paolo, give us the extended mix, man. Great drums on this one.
The seventh cut is another love song of sorts called “Better Man”, very sweet and his voice takes on a whole new presence. It builds as it goes on, with a choir joining him towards the end. Another instant classic, you should probably buy this one too. :) The dude has soul.
“Iron Sky” is the next cut and is pretty deep, delving into some heavy subjects with a monologue built into it that I’m not sure where it is from or if it is original, maybe someone can help me out with that. There are some really sweet horns on this tune. His voice makes me weep at times.
The eighth cut is “Diana” and is another of my faves. Kind of a Motown feel in a way, catchy and sticks with you…I find myself singing it in my head quite a bit. Sometimes out loud, when I’m driving and no one can hear me. J
The ninth cut is another nice funky, upbeat, soulful tune featuring Janelle Monae, which adds a cool touch…a little rap for you. Again, the soul in his voice is just amazing.
The tenth cut is called “Looking for Something”, a slower tune that also showcases his versatility…yet another love tune with a lot of power.
Number eleven is “Cherry Blossom”, that has a Leonard Cohen feel to it, it’s probably my least favorite on the album, but I still don’t skip it. He has a grittiness in his voice and seems like he is channeling Jim Morrison.
The final cut on the album is a beautiful ballad, soft, and his voice is smooth and gentle. It’s called “Someone Like You”.
I hope that at least some of you will give it a listen and let me know what you think.
Just go buy it right now. I think I might listen to it again right now, what the hell.
The press seems to think THEY won the election against President Obama in 2014 and of course, he wasn’t on the ballot. If he had been on the ballot, he would have kicked the media/GOP’s ass a third time. No matter how hard they try, they can’t undo the elections in 2008 and 2012. They think that by disrespecting him and pretending like he was on the ballot, they can somehow undo the ass kicking they got in ’08 and ’12. Go President Obama…
Once again, Jon Stewart and his staff reveal the craziness that is Fox News. If only other news outlets pushed back on their fellow “journalists”, but they are too busy worrying about President Obama taking a few days off from the hardest fucking job in the world, which even a lot of Republicans don’t care about. (this clip seems to be sped up a bit, sorry)
Guest Post by Daphne Holmes
Each President marks his term with a leadership legacy that defines his administration. For Barack Obama, one of the hallmark characteristics of his time at the helm is unapologetic pursuit of policies that help the country. While this may seem like a given, under the circumstances, Obama’s tough stances on some issues has nonetheless sparked heavy resistance from the political right.
In order to set his own pace, however; the President has had to first clean up many of the lingering issues that predate his administration. In addition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama has faced a hornet’s nest of residual domestic policy that has also required strong leadership to rectify. As a result, the President has maintained an unwavering commitment to tackle tough issues – both here and abroad.
Real Issues At-Hand
Effective leadership requires proactive approaches to public policy, but it also relies on the ability to react quickly, in response to issues that arise. President Obama was thrown into the fire immediately upon securing the position, forcing him to reconcile very real issues facing the country. From domestic economic concerns to multiple foreign wars, the current administration has been elbow-deep in major policy reform since taking control of the executive branch of government.
To some; the President’s actions are off-putting, due to the decisive and unapologetic strategies he has implemented. But when held-up to the alternatives, it becomes clear that the President’s responses to some of this century’s most challenging realities have been tough, yet prudent.
Ineffective International Organizations
In addition to Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama’s administration has faced vexing foreign policy concerns elsewhere; including aggression and human rights atrocities in Syria and Russia. And while international support is put-forth by organizations like the United Nations, Obama’s policies have had to account for the fact that help from the UN and others does not always sway outcomes significantly. As a result, bold U.S. strategies and foreign policy decisions made by the Obama administration illustrate the tough stances the President has adopted to protect American interests.
The recent global recession and meltdown of important U.S. markets took its toll on the country and the world. Unemployment, home mortgage foreclosures and other important indicators illustrated never-before-seen economy turmoil that eventually reached every sector of the U.S. economy. Even so, the President understands the economic might at his disposal and operates accordingly on the world stage. Bold moves Obama made to correct the housing market downturn and Wall Street waffling show how the President’s tough policies have led to productive outcomes.
Public Support Drives Policy Decisions
While each President exhibits autonomy in his leadership role, policy outcomes are also influences by prevailing public opinion. In the case of health care reform, Obama took a tough position, which didn’t align with the beliefs of the political right. Tea Party protests and other displays of dissent followed, but the prevailing need for public health care overshadowed the misgivings of a few citizens clinging to the status quo. Though tough, the President’s initiatives would have been dead in the water, if not for the support of forward-thinking Americans lending their voices and activism to the collective cause.
Obama’s Personal Style
The President’s style has been characterized as “inflexible” and “unwavering”, so Obama has left his indelible mark on policy outcomes of the past 6 years. While ideological gains are a part of each presidential administration, Obama’s bold actions eclipse some of the cronyism seen in prior administrations. As a result, what some see as overly rigid or inflexible pursuits are actually a reflection of the President’s personal style. Whether from working within the Chicago political machine, or gleaned from years mobilizing support for grass roots issues, the current President is not afraid to adhere to his core beliefs.
Strong leadership cues from President Obama lead detractors to call him out for being too tough, at times. In reality, however; the President’s track record of decisive moves is simply a reflection of the issues he has faced and the prevailing public support for his policies.
Daphne Holmes contributed this guest post. She is a writer from www.ArrestRecords.com and you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“You don’t need people’s opinions on a fact…”
Jump to 1:15 in the clip, that’s when it gets crazy. I was amazed how the camera didn’t move a bit.
Fox News is hurting our country and the very people it relies on for viewership. Since the Affordable Care Act became law, the right-wing in this country has been trying to convince people not to get insurance, not to trust “Obamacare” and they have instilled an irrational fear of it in a large swath of the country.
This story is just one illustration of how Fox News and the misinformation they spew has real consequences.
Dean Angstadt fells trees for a living.
He’s a self-employed, self-sufficient logger who has cleared his own path for most of his 57 years, never expecting help from anyone. And even though he’d been uninsured since 2009, he especially wanted nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act.
“I don’t read what the Democrats have to say about it because I think they’re full of it,” he told his friend Bob Leinhauser, who suggested he sign up.
Before I get to the rest of the story, read this quote from a piece by Eric Wemple about Dean Angstadt’s experience…
Asked if Fox News had molded his view of Obamacare, Angstadt responded, “Yeah, yeah – they get people fired up. You know what, I really do have a different outlook on it.”
I went for many years without health insurance and can relate to Dean’s situation. My family has a history of heart problems, my dad and his brother both died of heart attacks in their early 40’s…so yeah, going without health insurance as I approached 40 years old was a bit scary. Thankfully, I took my current job at the university and began taking care of myself after I got insurance through my employer. More of Dean’s story…
In 2011, Angstadt had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted to help his ailing heart pump more efficiently. Not long after, the almost 6-foot, 285-pound man’s man was back in the woods, doing the Paul Bunyan thing.
But last summer, his health worsened again. It was taking him 10 minutes to catch his breath after felling a tree. By fall, he was winded after traveling the 50 feet between his house and truck.
“I knew that I was really sick,” said the Boyertown resident. “I figured the doctors were going to have to operate, so I tried to work as long as I could to save money for the surgery. But it got to the point where I couldn’t work.”
This Bundy Ranch standoff between a deadbeat rancher and the Bureau of Land Management has made Fox News’ Sean Hannity go full anti-American as he pours gasoline on a fire that has been burning since 1993, when Cliven Bundy first decided that he wanted to sponge off American tax payers and unlike the honest, hard working ranchers around him, stop paying grazing fees.
When Cliven Bundy declared “But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing”, I knew it would feed the racist, drooling morons with exactly what they needed to get their hate fired back up. It seems just a little strange to me that the Second Amendment fetishists would embrace someone who doesn’t even accept the federal Constitution, from which they pluck the 2nd Amendment – to the exclusion of all other amendments as well as the original language.
Chez Pazienza at The Daily Banter has an excellent piece up which poses several excellent questions about Fox News’ role in this mess. Go Chez…
What do you do when a media outlet refuses to behave responsibly? When it peddles outright lies? When it preaches a kind of cultural armageddon? When it, directly or indirectly, stokes the fires of armed insurrection without any regard whatsoever for what could be the disastrous impact?
I personally think the Fox News machine has ruined our country. They have succeeded in brainwashing millions of people into believing in an alternate reality. Several studies have been done that revealed this phenomenon. From a Fairleigh Dickinson University study…
The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly — a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. (emphasis mine)
They feed on these uninformed people. And beyond that, they also convince them not to believe any other media…you know, that whole “liberal media” bullshit that all of us liberals laugh uncontrollably at whenever someone says it.
Back to Chez’s piece, where he cites another example of Fox News catering to militia-types who like to overcompensate with large guns…
Four years ago, Glenn Beck regaled his Fox News viewers day after day, week after week with paranoid fever dreams about the coming collapse of America and the need for some kind of resistance to the encroaching progressive threat. He picked specific targets for his outrage, people and institutions he claimed were surreptitiously trying to destroy the country; one of them was the Tides foundation, a relatively obscure organization based in San Francisco that Beck had singled out as being part of the secret liberal cabal.
In July of 2010, a guy named Byron Williams, wearing body armor and armed heavily, got into a shootout with the California Highway Patrol, injuring two officers. Under questioning he said that he was driving to San Francisco with the goal of “starting a revolution” by killing members of the Tides foundation and the ACLU. Why? Because he watched a lot Glenn Beck and heeded the host’s warnings that his beloved country was about to be taken away from him if somebody didn’t do something. So Byron Williams did.
I want to know where the responsible media is on this? Do journalists even attempt to police their own profession anymore or have they just given up and joined in the propaganda/money-making scheme that seems to be working for Fox News. Something has to change soon, the crazy just keeps getting crazier.
Here is our great president getting a bit emotional at the Civil Rights Summit 2014. What a great president and role model.
And here is the entire speech.