“I worked extremely hard… I take credit for the work. But I received a free education. I received free health care… I’m unapologetic about saying this,” she added. “I had pneumonia when my daughter was under one year old. If we hadn’t had free health care in this country, God only knows what would have happened to either of us. I am proud of having done what I’ve done. Very proud. But. I do take issue – and this does go to the heart of this book, which is why I have to say it—with anyone who truly feels it’s a 100 percent down to them.”
Huffington Post: URBANDALE, Iowa, Sept 1 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama tried to bolster his re-election campaign on Saturday with a fierce critique of the Republicans’ convention and a plea to supporters to cast their ballots as early as possible.
“Speaking to a crowd of 10,000 in the battleground state of Iowa, Obama said rival Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans had offered no new ideas when they held the national spotlight for three days during their convention in Tampa.
“”What they offered over those three days was more often than not an agenda that was better-suited for the last century,” Obama said. “We might as well have watched it on a black-and-white TV.”
“Obama criticized Romney for failing to mention the war in Afghanistan or his plans for veterans care in his speech, and said he had failed to outline a credible plan to boost the economy.
“”There was a lot of talk about hard truths and bold choices … but no one ever actually bothered to tell you what they were,” Obama said.
“Obama is gearing up for his own star turn next Thursday at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he will lay out his argument for re-election in a football stadium that can hold almost 75,000 people.
“The speech is likely to offer few surprises: Obama has been arguing since June that the election is a choice between continuing the policies he enacted in his first term, such as keeping his health reforms in place and bolstering education spending, and returning to policies enacted under Republican President George W. Bush that hollowed out the middle class in order to cut taxes for the wealthy.”
firstfamily: Urbandale, Iowa | September 1, 2012
And his wife, who suffers from MS, agrees with him. Everyone should get the health care they can afford.
As of July/2012: Will your state pursue the healthcare law’s Medicaid expansion?
According to press statements and reports. R/D/I indicate governors’ party affiliation.
D – California
D – Connecticut
D – Hawaii
D – Illinois
D – Massachusetts
D – Minnesota
D – Maryland
D – New York
D – Oregon
I – Rhode Island
D – Vermont
D – Washington
UNDECIDED, APPEAR TO BE LEANING YES:
D – Arkansas
R – Alaska
R – Arizona
D – Colorado
D – Delaware
R – Idaho
D – Kentucky
R – Maine
R – Michigan
D – Montana
D – New Hampshire
R – New Jersey
R – New Mexico
D – North Carolina
R – North Dakota
R – Ohio
R – Oklahoma
R – Pennsylvania
R – South Dakota
R – Tennessee
R – Utah
D – West Virginia
R – Wyoming
UNDECIDED, APPEAR TO BE LEANING NO:
R – Alabama
R – Georgia
R – Indiana
R – Mississippi
D – Missouri
R – Nevada
R – Texas
R – Virginia
R – Florida
R – Iowa
R – Kansas
R – Louisiana
R – Nebraska
R – South Carolina
R – Wisconsin
WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY—————————–—
Mitt Romney panders to the far-right Christian fundagelicals who think his religion is a cult – Toward the beginning of the ceremony, Mark DeMoss, a well-known Evangelical and longtime Romney supporter, took to the podium to vouch for the Mormon candidate. He recounted a meeting between Romney and Dr. Falwell four years ago, after which the candidate sent the pastor a chair engraved with the words, “There’s always room for you at my table.” ”I trust him to do the right thing,” DeMoss said. “To do the moral thing, to do what’s best for our country. I trust his integrity, his moral compass, his judgment, and his perfect decency. Finally, I trust his values, for I feel they mirror my own.” It was meant to be a unifying moment of culture war diplomacy on DeMoss’s part, a nod to his fellow Evangelicals that Romney was, in fact, one of them. But in the middle of his speech, an angry voice from the back of the graduates’ section interrupted: “Hey Mitt! Jesus is the only way!” [...] For the thousands of conservative Evangelicals on campus Saturday who reject the candidate’s claim to Christianity, Romney may represent a compromise: They’re voting for him because they can’t do better. — Mitt Romney’s Pitch To The True Believers [image: arcaneimages]
- THE BOND between Romney and Christian fundagelical fascists will be a shared hate of those who are different: “As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate. So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman. The protection of religious freedom has also become a matter of debate. It strikes me as odd that the free exercise of religious faith is sometimes treated as a problem, something America is stuck with instead of blessed with. Perhaps religious conscience upsets the designs of those who feel that the highest wisdom and authority comes from government.” - Mitt Romney, speaking at today’s commencement at Dead Dead Dead Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.
- Romney backs away from supporting same-sex adoption – “Well, actually I think all states but one allow gay adoption. So that’s a position which has been decided by most of the state legislatures, including the one in my state some time ago. So I simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all states but one.” – Raw Story
- JESUS CHRIST Himself is too ‘counterculture’ for this place: No ‘Counterculture’ Hair Allowed At Liberty University – the rules governing hair on Liberty’s campus are very strict. From the rules for men: Hair and clothing styles related to a counterculture (as determined by the Student Affairs Deans’ Review Committee) are not acceptable. Hair should be cut in such a way that it will not come over the ears, collar or eyebrows at any time. Ponytails for men are unacceptable.
Wait, Suddenly Right-Wing Bloggers Don’t Want Candidates Vetted? – In the wake of the Washington Post’s unflattering article yesterday about how five of Mitt Romney’s high school classmates recalled the Republican candidate leading an assault against a presumed gay schoolmate, pinning him down, and cutting his long hair while tears filled up in the boy’s eyes, conservative bloggers were indignant the Post would bother with such trivial pursuits. -”Is a decades old high school story really ‘news’?” (Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin.) -”Cutting-edge reporting from WaPo: Let’s take an in-depth look at … Romney’s cruel high-school pranks.” (Ed Morrissey) -”It’s a waste of time and energy and effort.” (Fox News’ Karl Rove.) -”BREAKING NEWS: Mitt Romney Went to High School. Seriously.” (Erick Erickson) Suddenly the far-right press thinks it’s pointless to delve deep into a candidate’s past in search of clues about his personality and clues to what shaped him into an adult. Suddenly they mock efforts by the press to paint a detailed personal portrait of would-be presidents by combing over their biographies. In short, suddenly right-wing bloggers are strongly opposed to vetting. – Media Matters
YOUR LIBERAL MEDIA: NBC’s David Gregory To Headline Conference For Major Republican Advocacy Group – The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics states: Journalists should: — Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. — Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility. — Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity. Regardless of whether Gregory is being paid for this event and of what he says in his keynote, allowing the NFIB to raise money for its political mission using his name, reputation, and celebrity appears to be at odds with journalistic ethics. — Think Progress
Arizona Ron Paul supporters boo Romney’s son off stage – Supporters of Ron Paul booed the son of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney off the stage Saturday at the Arizona Republican Party convention as he sought to solidify support for his father’s nomination. Hundreds of state GOP members were gathered at Grand Canyon University to elect delegates for the national convention in August in Tampa, which is expected to select Mitt Romney as the official Republican nominee to challenge President Barack Obama. — azcentral.com
PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————
Obama Camp Ties Romney To JP Morgan Scandal – The Obama campaign is seizing on the news that financial giant JP Morgan lost billions of dollars trading derivatives with customer funds to attack Mitt Romney for wanting to repeal the 2010 law meant to curtail these kinds of risky bets. “Rolling back Wall Street reform, as Mitt Romney proposes, would be reckless,” says Obama camp spokeswoman Lis Smith in a statement to TPM. “The law promotes transparency, limits the types of risky investments that can be made with deposits insured by federal taxpayers, and prevents investment losses at one bank from threatening the whole financial system. Returning to the failed policy of letting Wall Street write their own rules would put all of us at greater risk of another financial crisis and leave us vulnerable to another taxpayer-funded bank bailout like the one shortly before President Obama took office.” – TPM
Obamacare: A Mother’s Day Gift For All Moms Throughout The U.S. – People always say good health is the greatest gift, so let’s make health a priority this Mother’s Day. Now that I am a mother myself, I am even more appreciative that I have health insurance that covers the care I need. All moms deserve the kind of quality, affordable care that I was lucky enough to receive while pregnant and postpartum, and Obamacare is working to make that dream a reality. — Think Progress
HOW JOURNALISM is done: MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Demonstrates How To Handle Tony Perkins On Television – Perkins’ presence on MSNBC isn’t surprising – the hate group leader has become a regular guest on the network over the past several months, and has typically been treated as a credible, uncontroversial political figure, especially on Hardball. On Thursday, however, things were different.For nearly 15 minutes, Matthews, with the help of Frank, grilled Perkins on his views on homosexuality, marriage equality, and same-sex parenting. Matthews challenged Perkins’ anti-gay misinformation, held him accountable for past statements, and demonstrated how out-of-the-mainstream his extreme positions really are. This is exactly the kind of interview that major news outlets should be conducting when dealing with someone like Perkins. – Media Matters
Dianne Feinstein Defends Obama On Gay Marriage: ‘What’s Wrong With People Being Happy?’ – When asked whether Obama had made a political calculation in endorsing gay marriage, Feinstein rejected the idea. “I don’t think it is a flip flop and there is no political calculus in this, because it is not smart from a political point of view. It doesn’t make sense,” Feinstein said. “From a personal point of view, I can tell you what happened because it happened to me,” she continued. “You get to know more and more gay couples and you see the happiness. You see the economic security that marriage brings. And even more fundamentally, you can see children who otherwise would not have an adopted home being able to have that home. And so same-sex couples raise children, they do a fine job. And I think when you see this — and it has happened in California — more and more people say, ‘What is wrong with people being happy?’” — HuffPo [image: randomactsofchaos]
BREAK UP BIG BANKS: A message from Bernie Sanders – J.P. Morgan Chase revealed that its in-house trading operation lost $2 billion in the past six weeks. “The debacle at J.P. Morgan Chase reaffirms my view that the largest six banks in this country, including J.P. Morgan Chase, which have assets equivalent to two-thirds of our GDP, must be broken up. This is important in order to bring more competition into the financial marketplace and to prevent another ‘too-big-to-fail’ bailout,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said. “At a time when 23 million Americans are either unemployed or underemployed, huge financial institutions should not be involved in ‘making wagers or high-stake bets.’ They should be investing in the productive economy creating jobs and improving our standard of living.” — Crooks & Liars
Betty White says she ‘very, very much favors’ Obama – As she prepares to visit the Smithsonian Institution and National Zoo next week, White told The Associated Press she “very, very much favors” President Barack Obama in the election. The 90-year-old actress said Friday she is very bi-partisan and has stayed away from politics all of her life. She usually never says who she is for or against because she doesn’t want to turn off any of her adoring fans. White says in this year’s election, she likes what Obama has done and “how he represents us.” – HuffPo
————————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY
REDUCING GOVERNMENT DEFICITS Mitt Romney’s way would mean less money for health care for the poor and disabled and big cuts to nuts-and-bolts functions such as food inspection, border security and education. Romney also promises budget increases for the Pentagon, above those sought by some GOP defense hawks, meaning that the rest of the government would have to shrink even more. [...] The GOP front-runner suggests raising the Social Security retirement age and reducing cost-of-living increases for better-off retirees. [...] Like Ryan’s budget, the Romney plan would also cut benefit programs other than Social Security and Medicare. They include food stamps, school lunches, crop subsidies, Supplemental Security Income for very poor seniors and disabled people, unemployment insurance, veterans’ pensions and refundable tax credits to the working poor. Based on the Romney materials, it’s impossible to project the size of the cuts to such programs. Suffice it to say, they would be controversial. [Romney budgeting: Tax cuts for the wealthy + more money for war = austerity for the rest of us]
PAY NO ATTENTION TO POLYGAMY COMMUNES, TAX RETURNS, CAR ELEVATORS, AND SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS! – “Now, though, the general election season is on, and The Times needs to offer an aggressive look at the president’s record, policy promises and campaign operation to answer the question: Who is the real Barack Obama?” Brisbane wrote. “Many critics view The Times as constitutionally unable to address the election in an unbiased fashion. Like a lot of America, it basked a bit in the warm glow of Mr. Obama’s election in 2008.” [...] “The warm afterglow of Mr. Obama’s election,” he wrote, “the collateral effects of liberal-minded feature writers — these can be overcome by hard-nosed, unbiased political reporting now.” [NYT Public Editor: NYT 'Basked' In Obama's 2008 Election, Must 'Aggressively' Vet Him Now ]
- Via: Bob Cesca – By the way, the infamous viral email from 2008 that started the whole Birther movement was titled, “Who is Barack Obama?”
- Also too: Earlier this week Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University announced that Mitt Romney would speak at this year’s commencement and, just as predicted, students at the arch-Christian academy are not unanimously in favor of the idea because they don’t consider Mormons to be “real” Christians. [...] By Friday morning, more than 700 comments had been posted on the school’s Facebook page about the Thursday announcement – a majority of them decidedly against the Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.’s invitation, citing that the school had taught them Mormonism isn’t part of the Christian faith. [...] This is the part where the aspiring Christians of Liberty University realize that they’ve been played by their elders who are not at all concerned about Romney’s religion. They’re only concerned with money and power, and Mitt Romney is perhaps better suited than anyone to deliver the gospel of free-markets and white privilege. To pervert religion for the purposes of attaining more money and power.
THE DOUCHE SQUAD: REPUBLICAN TEAPARTY FRESHMEN AND THEIR ‘DO NOTHING’ WORK ETHIC. The book, which will be released Tuesday, shows just how much energy had to be expended on the 87 freshmen who took their oath in January 2011, many of them holding office for the first time. Accounting for nearly 40 percent of Boehner’s conference, the freshmen exercised their clout early and often, imposing their will on the rest of the House Republicans. Many freshmen viewed GOP leaders warily from the outset and compelled Boehner’s team to make the rookies the constant focus of its attention. “I didn’t come to Washington to be part of a team,” Rep. Raúl R. Labrador (R-Idaho) told the book’s author. [...] During the debt-ceiling fight, some freshmen were ready to push the government into default. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.), a first-time politician who was a surprise winner of a West Texas district, wrote Boehner to express his fear that the debt ceiling was “very possibly a hostage that we’re unwilling to shoot.” In an interview Friday, Farenthold said he has some regret that he eventually agreed, under pressure from local businessmen, to support the compromise, because it brought only $2.1 trillion in savings. “I think we could have survived it,” he said Friday of a federal default. [New book about the GOP freshmen and the very serious business of Washington that's no longer being done]
PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS—————————————————————-
US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA will issue an executive order Monday allowing sanctions to be imposed against foreigners who use technologies to carry out human rights abuses, The Washington Post said. The order would target those found to have used technologies including cellphone tracking or the Internet to carry out violations. [...] The executive order, which Obama will announce during a Monday speech at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, will also target companies and individuals assisting the governments of Iran and Syria, the paper said. The report came after troops in Syria shot dead six civilians on Sunday in Homs despite the presence of UN military observers in the rebel province to pave the way for a 300-strong mission approved by the Security Council. [The Raw Story]
REPUBLICANS IN THE US CONGRESS are under a “reign of terror” imposed by the party’s conservative wing that also has pushed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the right, President Barack Obama’s senior campaign strategist said on Sunday. David Axelrod, in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, cited the Obama administration’s plans for immigration reform as an example of Republican intransigence in Congress. The political process in Washington should not be “monolithic opposition to everything the chief executive wants to do as a political strategy,” Axelrod said, adding that an “implacable group of Republicans” had blocked any possibility of immigration reform. “I think there are a lot of Republicans in Congress who want to cooperate … but they’re in the thralls of this reign of terror from the far right that has dragged the party to the right,” he said. [Reuters]
GOP WAR ON THE MIDDLE CLASS: In her bid to unseat Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren is keeping up her populist message, with a new ad out today that notes she “grew up in a family hanging on by our finger tips to a place in the middle class.” It goes on to hit Washington for “let[ting] big corporations like GE pay nothing — zero — in taxes while kids are left drowning in debt to get an education.” The ad comes after Brown joined Senate Republicans in filibustering the Buffett Rule, and in the midst of new reports showing perilously high student loan debt posing a threat to the economy. Watch the ad:
- “The Democratic Staff of the Committee on Education and the Workforce estimates that one 200-person Wal-Mart store may result in a cost to federal taxpayers of $420,750 per year – about $2,103 per employee. Specifically, the low wages result in the following additional public costs being passed along to taxpayers:
- $36,000 a year for free and reduced lunches for just 50 qualifying Wal-Mart families.
- $42,000 a year for Section 8 housing assistance, assuming 3 percent of the store employees qualify for such assistance, at $6,700 per family.
- $125,000 a year for federal tax credits and deductions for low-income families, assuming 50 employees are heads of household with a child and 50 are married with two children.
- $100,000 a year for the additional Title I expenses, assuming 50 Wal-Mart families qualify with an average of 2 children.
- $108,000 a year for the additional federal health care costs of moving into state children’s health insurance programs (S-CHIP), assuming 30 employees with an average of two children qualify.
- $9,750 a year for the additional costs for low income energy assistance.”
- The total figure is based on the average $420,750 per-store figure, multiplied by 3700 (the approximate number of stores currently in the United States).
- Source: Rep. George Miller / Democratic Staff of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, “Everyday Low Wages: The Hidden Price We All Pay for Wal-Mart”, February 16, 2004.
Also, too: Rob Walton, Chairman, Walmart — How the 1% Exploits America:
When confronted with facts like these, how do you suppose the majority of Teabagistan would react? If you suppose that they’d defend Walmart’s cost to the American taxpayer as Freedom Loving Capitalism and Rob Walton’s wealth as rightfully earned through his own “hard work” and “God-fearing American Patriotism,” you’d probably be right. And it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to note that these self-loathing toads would also likely dismiss this information immediately by saying the need for health care reform is a Socialist / Fascist / Communist Kenyan Plot.
With the Republican Party and their presidential candidates at war with labor unions and working and middle class Americans, one day a job at Walmart is going to be the best any of us can hope for.
If the GOP wins, the difference will be that none of the benefits today’s Walmart employees have to rely on to simply live will be available for tomorrow’s Walmart employees. Still, when that day comes, Walmart and Rob Walton will have great tax rates and loopholes because of the Republican party — and they’ll be celebrated as job creators to boot. That’s called the Conservative Circle of Life.
Think Progress reports:
As much as Perry would like to shift the blame for his state’s high uninsurance rate — in fact, the number of uninsured has increased by approximately 2 million during his 11-year tenure — 26 percent of Texans don’t have access to health care coverage for four simple reasons: 1) many Texas jobs are low wage and don’t offer insurance, 2) Texas has some of the most restrictive Medicaid eligibility rules in the country, 3) insurance rates are largely unregulated (and are higher than the national average) and 4) the state has a large immigrant population that often can’t enroll because of legal concerns or other impediments. Perry himself hasn’t focused on the health care access problem during his governorship, despite advocating for significant reductions in the Medicaid program — including an 8 percent cut in reimbursement rates to hospitals in the latest state budget.
His requests for Medicaid “flexibility” from the federal government are unremarkable. As the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff points out, aside from a failed 2008 waiver request to “limit the number of beneficiaries and create a new, very sparse benefits plan” — which was too restrictive even for the Bush administration — Perry doesn’t have much to show for his 11 years in office.
TPM: Rick Perry’s Texas has executed 234 people during his tenure as governor:
[Moderator BRIAN] WILLIAMS: Governor Perry, a question about Texas. Your state has executed 234 death row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times. Have you… (APPLAUSE)
It was probably the largest applause of the night…
Execution: a Republican crowd-pleaser. Perry is the kind of white man the GOP-teaparty has been dreaming of.
“The president and I do not agree on his view that the government needs more revenues through taxes on job creators.” —- John Boehner, July 11, 2011
“Remember when the United States was so politically paralyzed that it risked its credit rating and international credibility by refusing to hike the debt ceiling?”
So how do the Republicans and John Boehner want to save money? Brian Beutler reports on a secret memo left behind at the White House on Monday:
Though the memo lacks key details about many of the cuts, it contains enough to show where, exactly, Republicans hope to achieve savings. Its largest single source of savings — $100 billion worth — comes from what the memo terms “Medicaid FMAP Reform,” or matching funds to state governments for providing Medicaid services.
It calls for up to $53 billion in savings from instituting new cost-sharing protocols for so-called Medigap policies — supplemental insurance sold to Medicare beneficiaries to cover the cost of services not covered, or partially covered by Medicare. Specifically, it would institute a $530 out-of-pocket premium for certain Medigap plans. It also calls for over $80 billion in additional cost-shifting for home health coverage, and for medical and prescription drug coverage.
More information when we get it, but for now, read the memo here.
Of course it would be silly to let the tax cuts expire for the wealthy. There are just too many services that can be cut before we have to resort to such cruelty.