President Obama speaks to the American people from Colorado, where he toured areas impacted by the devastating Waldo Canyon fire and met with first responders as well as families affected by the fires. The President thanks the brave firefighters and countless volunteers who are providing food, water, and shelter to those in need, and makes clear that his administration will continue to bring all resources available to assist efforts to combat the fires.
How to assist Colorado wildfire victims » how to donate and help
The tracks of their tears this week:
Far right conservatives are beside themselves over Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision on the ACA, leading Glenn Beck to make some money on Justice Roberts ‘Coward’ T-shirts and spawning the following rightwingnuttiness and teameltdowns:
The DOJ won’t prosecute AG Holder over the Fox Entertainment / NRA political boondoggle-extravaganza known as the Fast & Furious investigation, so Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said on Fox “we could have Attorney General Holder arrested.”
Despite the Republican Party’s best efforts at stalling, obstruction, and doing nothing, Congress on Friday approved legislation that will extend federal highway programs through 2014, a low interest rate on student loans for one year, and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years. The final bill does not include language that would require approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The unwashed conservative base, who so desperately want to vote Obama out of the White House (no gay marriage! no contraception! more guns!), have to embrace the candidate who’s been chosen for them, Mr-Plutocrat-One-Percent-Mitt-Romney, AND his ideas, like only those who can pay for an education deserve an education. Mitt is telling us proletarians to suck it — corporations look forward to all the minimum wage workers our country can create.
Political Wire: “An excerpt of Where They Stand:The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians by Robert W. Merry in Salon suggests George W. Bush will be ranked near the bottom of all presidents: ”Based on the contemporaneous voter assessments, the objective record, and what we know of history, it’s difficult to see him even in middle-ground territory. History likely will view Bush largely as the voters did after eight years of his stewardship. And so it’s probably just as well that he doesn’t care much about the verdict of history.“
Consider that Mitt Romney, in actions if not in words, is creating a campaign that seems to be an exact duplicate of the Bush Years, from extending tax cuts for the one percent — who’ve already surpassed all other earners in the country with net income advantages, and who’ve hoarded their wealth gains to the detriment of our entire economy — to a neocon foreign policy platform that’s becoming more “Cheneyfied” by the day. What could go wrong?
Ari Berman: “Of Romney’s forty identified foreign policy advisers, more than 70 percent worked for Bush. Many hail from the neoconservative wing of the party, were enthusiastic backers of the Iraq War and are proponents of a US or Israeli attack on Iran. [...] Romney’s malleability is an advantage for his neocon advisers, giving them an opportunity to shape his worldview, as they did with Bush after 9/11. Four years after Bush left office in disgrace, Romney is their best shot to get back in power. If that happens, they’re likely to pursue the same aggressive policies they advocated under Bush. “I don’t think there’s been a deep rethink,” says Clemons. “I don’t think the neoconservatives feel chastened at all. As a movement, the true neoconservatives never, ever give up. They will be back.””
Andrew Sullivan: “When you check reality, rather than the alternate universe constantly created by Fox News and an amnesiac press, you find that Bush had a chance to pay off all our national debt before we hit the financial crisis – giving the US enormous flexibility in intervening to ameliorate the recession. Instead, we had to find money for a stimulus in a cupboard stripped bare – its contents largely given away, by an act of choice. I’m tired of being told we cannot blame Bush for our current predicament. We can and should blame him for most of it – and remind people that Romney’s policies: more tax cuts, more defense spending are identical. With one difference: Bush pledged never “to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.””
Eastern US storms kill several, cause wide power outages
AP: Violent storms are being blamed for the deaths of at least nine people and widespread power outages. Many in the eastern U.S. are facing triple-digit temperatures without electricity — and without air conditioning.
Photo: An uprooted tree is seen Saturday after it damaged a home in Washington’s American University neighborhood. The tree also cut a power line. (Mandel Ngan / AFP – Getty Images via msnbc.com)
“In short, unless you belong to that tiny class of wealthy Americans who are insulated and isolated from the realities of most people’s lives, the winners from that Supreme Court decision are your friends, your relatives, the people you work with — and, very likely, you. For almost all of us stand to benefit from making America a kinder and more decent society.” — Paul Krugman (via azspot)
Verses the religious fundamentalists / patriots:
“Nancy Pelosi is a dingbat.” – Sarah Palin, in an interview on Fox
Colorado needs a drink.
I’m reading that late last night, about 2 million people lost power in DC, Virginia and Maryland — and seven people died — due to storms following a day of high heat. For some reason one of the deaths really struck me: a 90-year-old woman, asleep in bed, died when a tree fell on her house. Wow. When it’s your time to go… I mean, you live 90 years, you’re asleep in your own bed and boom! a tree, of all things, is what finally takes you out. Hopefully she didn’t wake up, never knew.
Apparently this storm and power outage took down Netflix and Pinterest for a time last night as well. I wouldn’t know since I was watching DVDs from Netflix instead of streaming.
One of the Netflix movies I watched last night was rather original (something that’s missing in almost 9 out of 10 horror movies). It’s called Rabies and when I put it in my queue long ago, I probably thought it was going to be another ‘infection’ type of horror movie — it’s completely not that at all.
First of all, it’s a sub-tilted horror movie out of Israel, which is very rare in itself, and it’s horrifying on several levels — both subtle (societal taboos, psychological discomfort) and blatant (cringe-inducing, very realistic gore, and no! not the dog!). Yet it’s entertaining because of the story-line and character development. It has a Fargo type of sensibility to it, and much of the initial interaction between the characters is funny.
The story revolves around eleven people and a German Shepherd, (a dog I’ve had and love) in a forest. And as a character itself, this forest is very menacing because its filled with man-made dangers, some of which are introduced in the opening scene. Everyone is there by choice (runaways, the bad guy, park employees, police) except for four college-age young people on their way to a tennis tournament who get turned around and are lost. In the end, over half of these characters kills one of the other characters, with only one character “group” who kills no one.
Anyway that’s all I’ll say about it. If you want to see something original in this genre, I recommend this movie.
“The 2012 elections are now primarily a fight over whether health insurance is a right or a privilege, which is to say, a fight for decency.” — Jonathan Chait
Alec MacGillis says this was not the better outcome for Mitt Romney: “Romney has been in a bind on health care all campaign, given that he signed into the law the model for Obamacare. But a ruling against the law would have allowed Romney to lambast it on the court’s terms—as an unconstitutional overreach… And, crucially, it will now fall to Romney himself to lead the argument against Obamacare, and to the extent that he takes up this charge, it will bring into focus, as never before, just how compromised he is on this front. [...] And when he does so, when he makes the case for doing away with Obamacare, and Obama in turn makes the case for keeping it (“forward, not back”), Romney will be doing, as John Dickerson notes, exactly what he didn’t want to do this election: he will be turning it into a choice between two approaches, rather than a referendum on the incumbent who couldn’t even make sure his biggest achievement passed constitutional muster. No, this is not good for Mitt.”
And John Dickerson agrees, wondering if this gives the President back his mojo: “Twice in Romney’s statement responding to the ruling, he said, “This is a choice” when talking about the electoral conditions created by the court’s action. The president has been trying to get people to see the election as a choice for months—a choice between two candidates and their plans is preferable than a referendum on his record. [...] If voters see health care as a matter of which candidate will look out for them, then Obama has the advantage. He leads Romney by 31 points in the latest Pew poll when respondents were asked, “Who connects more with ordinary Americans?” In this fight, the president may have an unlikely ally in Chief Justice Roberts. By upholding the law and authoring the decision, he lent an extra measure of validation.”
And Nate Cohn doesn’t think it helps either candidate at this point, but argues: “With belated validation from the Supreme Court, Obama could be tempted to resell the bill. Will Obama attempt to capitalize on the law’s newfound legitimacy, to the extent that the Supreme Court offers any? Prior to the Supreme Court’s hearings, the Obama campaign seemed to embrace the ObamaCare label, perhaps indicating their intention to promote the bill once legal issues were resolved. While it might seem unstrategic for Obama to return attention to an unpopular proposal, a resell could produce better results than the initial attempt, if for no other reason than the absence of an on-going partisan debate in Congress. Perhaps more importantly, Obama is better positioned to promote the law against Mitt Romney, who enacted a similar health reform scheme in Massachusetts. Romney’s previous measures will complicate his ability to credibly challenge the ACA and particularly the individual mandate. In that respect, Santorum was surely correct.”
“This is now a time for the American People to make a choice. You can choose whether to have a larger and larger government making intrusions into your life… Or whether instead you want to return to a time where Americans have their own choice in health care.” — Mitt Romney on ACA ruling.
A response from tenderstatue: Mittens, you and I must have different definitions of choice, because in my world “go bankrupt trying to pay medical pills or go without treatment” IS NOT A FUCKING CHOICE.
Think Progress notes “…there is no massive tax hike: few people will ever pay the penalty, and those who do will pay less than the amount of the payroll tax increase that Republicans nearly allowed to occur.
“In addition, according to a report from Families USA, 28.6 million Americans, most of them middle-class, will receive tax cuts under the bill due to entering health care exchanges and receiving affordability credits.
“[...] In addition to these tax credits and the fact that more than 30 million Americans will have new access to health insurance, the health care law will help create millions of jobs.”
Livestream (1:45 PM MT) http://www.kktv.com/video/live – he’s already been in Colorado Springs for about 1.5 hours.
POTUS in Colorado: "When natural disasters hit, all of America comes together. We all realize, 'There but for the grace of God, go I.'"—
Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 29, 2012
Back in March, Bill O’Reilly made a bold prediction about the Supreme Court’s health care decision. Coincidentally, Laura Ingraham filled in for him last night onThe O’Reilly Factor.
In related news, Boston.com reports that “Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. said Thursday that its board has approved a plan to split into two companies, one containing struggling newspaper and book publishing businesses and the other comprising faster-growing entertainment operations.” Guess which company, news or entertainment, Fox “News” falls under? That’s right: ENTERTAINMENT.
ThinkProgress: According to an analysis by the pay research group Equilar, compensation for top bank CEOs grew by nearly 12 percent last year. The Financial Times noted that these increases occurred “despite widespread falls in profits and share prices“ [...] According to a different estimate by Bloomberg News, Wall Street CEO pay grew by 20 percent last year. At the same time, worker wages grew by only 2.1 percent. And inflation adjusted wages actually declined by 0.6 percent between March 2011 and March 2012. [...] Over the last 30 years, CEO pay has increased 127 times faster than worker pay.
That time frame for unequal growth in CEO / worker pay coincides with the time period that Mitt Romney and Bain Capital (and companies like theirs) began their siege on outsourcing (offshoring!) American jobs. That’s quite a coincidence, isn’t it?
What’s sad about these facts is that low-information voters are completely missing the point: according to a Pew poll, Americans currently give Romney an 8-point lead over Obama on who they trust to handle the economy better. Seriously.
Profit for a few at the expense of many — do these people understand they’re saying that’s exactly the kind of economy they approve of with Mitt Romney?