Morning coffee: Sundog

via magicalnaturetour: Howling Lessons! :) by Debbie DiCarlo on Flickr via My Modern Metropolis

May your Sunday be this much fun.

The NRA is nothing more than a lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers…

…and the elected GOP establishment is nothing more than their personal representatives.

Adolphus Busch IV requested the NRA immediately cancel his lifetime membership,  one day after the U.S. Senate rejected a bill that would have expanded background checks on guns:

“…One only has to ask why the NRA reversed its original position on background checks. Was it not the NRA position to support background checks when Mr. LaPierre himself stated in 1999 that NRA saw checks as ‘reasonable’? [...]

I am simply unable to comprehend how assault weapons and large capacity magazines have a role in your vision. The NRA I see today has undermined the values upon which it was established. Your current strategic focus clearly places priority on the needs of gun and ammunition manufacturers while disregarding the opinions of your 4 million individual members.

One only has to look at the makeup of the 75-member board of directors, dominated by manufacturing interests, to confirm my point. The NRA appears to have evolved into the lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers rather than gun owners.”

(h/t wilwheaton)


via sandandglass


jetgirl78“I’ve heard some say the blocking the step would be a victory. My question is victory for who? Victory for what? All that happened today it was the preservation of the loophole that lets dangerous criminals buy guns without a background check. That didn’t make our kids safer.”

jetgirl78“I’ve heard folks say that having the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced. A prop, somebody called them. Emotional blackmail, some outlets said. Are they serious? Do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don’t have a right to weigh in on this issue?”


“I have something I want to say to the victims of Newtown, or any other shooting,” Davis said. “I don’t care if it’s here in Minneapolis or anyplace else. Just because a bad thing happened to you doesn’t mean that you get to put a king in charge of my life. I’m sorry that you suffered a tragedy, but you know what? Deal with it, and don’t force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss. I’m sick and tired of seeing these victims trotted out, given rides on Air Force One, hauled into the Senate well, and everyone is just afraid — they’re terrified of these victims.”

“I would stand in front of them and tell them, ‘go to hell,’” he added.

Source via sandandglass

Kind of embarrassed? Why aren’t Minnesota voters MORTIFIED at this point?

“People are tired of her antagonistic, propagating gridlock. A lot of people come up to me and say we’re kind of embarrassed by our representation in Washington.” — Democrat Jim Graves, announcing his plans to challenge Michele Bachmann for her seat in Congress again in 2014.

Last year Bachmann beat Graves by only a little over 4,000 votes — in a recently gerrymandered district (making it the most conservative district in the state) — by outspending him 12-to-1 in the one of the cycle’s most expensive congressional campaigns.

Michele Bachmann is just one person. Granted, she’s one crazy, weird, extremely strange person… but! the only reason she’s in Congress with power and influence and a national stage is because thousands of people in Minnesota’s 6th District actually, deliberately chose HER to represent them. Unbelievably these people looked into her glassy eyes, held her thousand-yard stare, and listened to her batshit ideas, garbled facts, and general tinfoilhattery. Then (then!) they marched into a voting booth and decided she was the person who best reflected their beliefs and values. Think about that.

Let’s run America like a business. Under-performing Red States? You’re fired!

Daily Show audits America: “These are not easy conversations to have, but if it’s not working, you gotta end it. It’s gotta go,” one convention attendee told The Daily Show’s Jason Jones. It turns out a lot of states are underperforming. So the team had to let states like Mississippi, Wyoming and Minnesota go.

Michele Bachmann has finally identified the real threat to our nation: Michele Bachmann

Obviously as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Bachmann should ask that she be investigated by the various IGs, along with anyone else who signed onto Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge / secret Muslim agenda:

“Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist helped the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrate the U.S. government, according to the report that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) cited in an attack on top State Department aide Huma Abedin.

“Earlier this month, Bachmann and four other Republicans sent a letter to inspectors general in the State, Homeland Security, Defense and Justice departments calling on them to investigate “potential Muslim Brotherhood infiltration” of the Obama administration by [Huma] Abedin, an aide to Secretary Clinton and wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY).

“As evidence of their claims, the five Republicans cited “The Muslim Brotherhood in America: The Enemy Within,” a ten-part video course produced by the Center for Security Policy.

“The movies claim that the “Muslim Brotherhood was helped in its efforts to achieve information dominance over the George W. Bush administration” by Norquist, a Christian. The influential anti-tax activist is also accused of using “various organizations to promote Islamist agendas.”

“Nearly every Republican in Congress has signed Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, vowing to oppose any and all tax increases. Only 14 Republican members of 112th Congress have refused to sign the pledge.”

Michele Bachmann signed it. Apparently there are only 14 Republicans who are not in league with Norquist. That’s a lot of infiltration if you ask me.

And, let’s be honest, it’s like a sick joke on the entire nation that Bachmann is a member of something called the “House Intelligence Committee” to begin with — like a big “pull my finger” to every American from the GOP.

Vote some of these nutjobs out of office in November.

The Land of Exceptionalism: who needs health care reform?

Health care laws leave hospitals overwhelmed by ‘permanent patients’ 

Under federal law, hospitals must treat any patient who needs emergency medical attention even if they have no way to pay. Nursing and rehab facilities are not required by law to do so. At the same time, hospitals cannot discharge a patient without a plan in place for his or her ongoing care.

The result is patients stuck in the hospital in need of long-term care but with nowhere to go, large medical bills, and no way to pay – a cost that is usually covered at the hospital’s expense.

A cost passed on to the rest of us eventually. Even teabaggers who are against Obamacare have no problem with filing bankruptcy on their unpaid medical bills, letting the rest of us absorb the costs. Boom! Who needs reform now, Nobama?

Or recall the simple solution for people who need medical care but don’t have health insurance, suggested by the very serious DOCTOR Ron Paul (and his cheering supporters) during an early GOP debate:

And here’s something new and cool happening in the Land of Exceptionalism:

Debt Collectors Take Places Alongside Hospital Staffs –

This and other aggressive tactics by one of the nation’s largest collectors of medical debts, Accretive Health, were revealed on Tuesday by the Minnesota attorney general, raising concerns that such practices have become common at hospitals across the country.

The tactics, like embedding debt collectors as employees in emergency rooms and demanding that patients pay before receiving treatment, were outlined in hundreds of company documents released by the attorney general. And they cast a spotlight on the increasingly desperate strategies among hospitals to recoup payments as their unpaid debts mount.

To patients, the debt collectors may look indistinguishable from hospital employees, may demand they pay outstanding bills and may discourage them from seeking emergency care at all, even using scripts like those in collection boiler rooms, according to the documents and employees interviewed by The New York Times.

In some cases, the company’s workers had access to health information while persuading patients to pay overdue bills, possibly in violation of federal privacy laws, the documents indicate.

The attorney general, Lori Swanson, also said that Accretive employees may have broken the law by not clearly identifying themselves as debt collectors.

Accretive Health has contracts not only with two hospitals cited in Minnesota but also with some of the largest hospital systems in the country, including Henry Ford Health System in Michigan and Intermountain Healthcare in Utah. Company executives declined to comment on Tuesday.

As comparison, a dispatch from an American in Korea:

Meanwhile in the Midwest: tornadoes forecast in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin today

Stay safe out there.

Via CNN:

While severe weather could continue to hammer much of the region, the states in the “bull’s-eye” for the most dangerous conditions Sunday will likely be Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, said CNN Meteorologist Alexandra Steele.

Authorities call on everyone in the region to follow weather reports and make emergency preparations.

About 5 million residents from Wisconsin to Texas “need to be on guard,” Steele said.

“Some of the bigger cities that could see isolated tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds are: Green Bay, Chicago, St. Louis, Little Rock, and Houston.”

Five people, including two children, died from injuries related to a suspected tornado in the northwest Oklahoma town of Woodward early Sunday morning, said Amy Elliott of the state Medical Examiner’s Office.

Read it all…


The areas “most likely” to see tornadoes by Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service said, are northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin.

“Severe storms are also possible in a band from Illinois and Missouri southward into Arkansas, northwest Louisiana and east Texas,” the service added.

Saturday saw 122 reports of tornadoes in the central plains, the Storm Prediction Center noted.  Not all have been confirmed, and some might be the same twister reported in a nearby area, but the number of reports is unusually high.

Read the rest…

Morning Bunker Report: Tuesday 4.10.2012


Robertson tells man ‘you are the boss’ in marriage — Televangelist Pat Robertson once again added to his list of controversial statements Monday, telling a man that he is “the boss” of the family when a conflict arises between him and his wife over money given to church. On the latest episode of The 700 Club, Robertson responded to a male viewer’s letter about his wife demanding the couple not give more in tithes to their church because of their difficult financial situation. Tithes are the money Christians give from their income to their church as a religious obligation. “You know big man, you are the boss,” he said. “I know people don’t want to hear that, but you are the high priest of your family and you are the man of the house.” [...] Robertson added: “You need to push forward and your wife will come along. But if you’re vacillating and she pulls you back, you’re not much of a leader. You’re supposed to be a leader, you supposed to be the high priest. You supposed to intercede for your family before the Lord. And, as they say, ‘Man up.’”

Joe Arpaio Wonders If GOP Candidates Are In On Conspiracy To Hide Obama’s Birth Certificate — Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is disturbed that the Republican presidential candidates haven’t supported his quixotic effort to get to the bottom of President Obama’s birth certificate, and is begining to wonder if they’re part of the cover up. [...] APRAIO: I’ve had presidential candidates visit me in my office. I’ve talked to every one of them. … I don’t see anybody talking about this. I don’t see any senators talking about it. But when they mention me, they seem to forget my name. So isn’t that interesting? On both sides of the fence, they don’t want to talk about it. … How come everybody’s hiding this? [...] But Arpaio’s political star may have fallen along with his legal one. Arpaio is now on the verge of losing his badge thanks to accusations from the Department of Justice that his department systemically profiles based on race and has mishandled hundreds of sex crimes cases.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) argued yesterday that the female members in his caucus agree with him that the GOP’s “war on women” is just “a manufactured issue.” [...] “There is no issue. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe from Maine I think would be the first to say — and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska — ‘we don’t see any evidence of this.'” The Senate is out this week, but McConnell may way want to pay a little closer attention to what members of his caucus are actually saying. In this case, McConnell specifically mentioned five Republican senators — all of whom are women, and three of whom have raised serious concerns about what their party is up to. [...] McConnell seems comfortable speaking for all of these women, and ascribing beliefs to them. But if McConnell stopped telling us what these senators think and started listening to what they actually think, he might learn something important. [MaddowBlog]

———————————————————–——PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS

Obama will talk about taxes in Florida on Tuesday when he delivers a speech in support of the “Buffett Rule,” a measure to insure a 30 percent tax on income over $1 million earned by wealthy Americans. Vice President Joe Biden will travel to the battleground state of New Hampshire on Thursday also to discuss taxes. The Obama campaign sees the issue as a weak point for Romney, a former private equity executive and ex-governor of Massachusetts. “Middle class families are taking it on the chin right now and they don’t see others doing their fair share,” Wisconsin Democratic congresswoman Tammy Baldwin said in a conference call set up by the Obama campaign. On April 16, the Senate will take up the “Buffett Rule” although it is unlikely to be approved as Democrats lack the 60 votes needed to bring the issue to a full vote. [Reuters]

Dick Durbin, Senate Dem Leader, Hammers Romney Over Swiss Bank Account — Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) slammed presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney for using a Swiss bank account and refusing to release more years of tax returns. “When is the last time a presidential candidate had a Swiss bank? I think the answer is never,” Durbin said on a conference call organized by the Obama campaign. The number two Democrat in the Senate said he asked billionaire investor Warren Buffett if he’d ever owned an an account in the tax friendly nation.” “‘Nope,’” Durbin said, quoting Buffett , “‘there are plenty of good banks in the United States.’” Durbin said there are only two reasons to hold a Swiss bank account: “Number one, you believe the Swiss Franc is a stronger currency than the United States Dollar. And that apparently was the decision the Romney family made during the Bush presidency.” “And secondly, you want to hide something, you want to conceal something,” He said. “It is impossible for him to explain or defend owning a Swiss bank account.”

Rep. Baldwin calls for House to vote on ‘Buffett Rule’ tax for millionaires — Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) on Monday urged leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives to bring her legislation to the floor to enact the so-called Buffett Rule. [...] Republicans have condemned the proposed rule as class warfare and it is unlikely to pass in the GOP-led House of Representatives. Nearly all House Republicans have sworn to fight any and all tax increases. But Baldwin said the American people “deserve to know where their Representatives stand” on this “critical” issue. “Our current tax code has been influenced by powerful special interests and includes loopholes and special provisions that allow approximately a quarter of all millionaires to pay lower effective tax rates than millions of middle class families,” she explained. Approximately 94,500 millionaires pay a lower effective tax rate than millions of families earning less than $100,000, according to the Congressional Research Service (PDF). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that the Senate will vote on the legislation on April 16, tax day.

NEA Wants $1.5 Trillion From Closed Corporate Tax Loopholes To Fund Popular Education Programs — The National Education Association is ramping up a public information campaign to build support for closing big corporate tax loopholes and directing the revenue toward key education initiatives. The push comes weeks after the Obama administration released a framework for corporate tax reforms that would be revenue neutral, suggesting a schism between the powerful union and the White House. But in a Monday interview, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel applauded Obama’s record on education and said his group’s push is meant to raise awareness of one of many ways to finance more federal investment in education. “One reason to look at corporate taxes is because it is so huge,” Van Roekel said, citing the Center for Tax Justice, which concludes (PDF) that closing seven specific corporate tax loopholes could raise nearly $1.5 trillion over 10 years. NEA proposes using the money to raise the maximum Pell grant award to cover half the average cost of public higher education, fund Title I spending on students from low-income families and other initiatives.

Obama announces opposition to Minnesota same sex marriage ban — “While the President does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” Kristin Sosanie, Obama’s Minnesota Communications Director, said in a statement. “That’s what the Minnesota ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.” The statement is nearly identical to another statement by the Obama campaign regarding efforts in the New Hampshire legislature to repeal the state’s same sex marriage law. That effort ended unsuccessfully in late March. [...] “The amendment does not represent the values Minnesotans hold dear – that marriage is about love and commitment, and that freedom means freedom for everyone,” Minnesotans United for All Families said in a statement. “We’re happy that President Obama and Minnesotans from all walks of life see this amendment for what it is – a government exclusion to a group of people simply because of who they are.”

Wednesday morning’s 9 interesting things

Waking Up to Santorum – As David Axelrod notes, Mitt’s Super PAC is going to be banging away at Santorum, but I don’t think he’s as soft a target as Gingrich, at least for Republicans. His weakness as a general election candidate is his bigotry, but that’s a strength among the 27 percenters, so Romney can’t mention it. Instead, the Romney campaign will be attacking Santorum’s earmarks when he was in Congress. That’s a far cry from adultery and moon bases. Let’s face it: in their hearts, the Tea Party base has secretly wanted Santorum all along, but they held their nose and voted for Romney. With 11 caucuses in March, they can come out of the closet and wallow in it.

Diminishing Santorum’s victories: So tomorrow’s news reports will say it was a big win for Rick Santorum. The numbers, however, are so low as to be laughable: if the vote-per-precinct ratio holds up, a total of 65,000 people will have participated in the GOP caucuses [in Minnesota]. This compares with 1,275,409 Minnesotans who voted for John McCain in 2008, so something like 5% of Minnesota’s Republican voters participated tonight. That is hardly enough to give Santorum a ringing mandate, but, on the other hand, that’s how democracy works. You have to show up.

As a matter of fact, if you announce that there can exist no possible information that might change your mind about abortion, the death penalty, marijuana, same-sex marriage, and the inheritance tax, then yes you are an unreasonable person—or anyway, an unreasoning oneI’ve changed my mind about same-sex marriage as experience has dispelled my fears of the harms from same-sex marriage. If somebody could prove to me that marijuana was harmless or that legalization would not lead to an increase in marijuana use, I’d change my mind about marijuana legalization. And so on through the list. – David Frum 

Mitt Romney is on the Wrong Side of Every Issue – The Ninth Circuit Appeals Court struck down Proposition 9 in California today by declaring that it is unconstitutional and, right on queue, Mitt Romney immediately criticized the decision and blamed activist judges for denying the will of the people. [...] I don’t care what space-god Romney worships, but pledging to overturn same-sex marriage as president while also donating millions of dollars to the religious groups bankrolling anti-gay campaigns crosses a line that should not be crossed. 

Mormon Church ‘owns unregulated gun sale website’ – was criticised by  Mayor [Bloomberg]‘s office for running classified adverts which allow individuals to buy and sell handguns and other firearms without proper background checks and no questions asked. The site is owned by Deseret Media, the for-profit arm of the Church of the Latter Day Saints – also known as the Mormons – which has come to prominence recently as a result of the presidential run of member Mitt Romney.

Mentioning Coffee In Romney’s Presence a Form of Grave Offense – Alan Reynolds showed up to a Mittens rally with a sign bearing the (mysterious?) collection of words, “Tea Party Includes Cuban Coffee Romney.” NOT COOL, said Romney campaign staff. Because Mitt Romney does not drink coffee. It is against his magick moon religion. Therefore this hilarious nonsense phrase must be kept away from Mitt AT ALL COSTS and Reynolds was told to leave. No, we don’t understand it, either! Does Mitt Romney melt away like the Wicked Witch if he so much as reads one of the special Mormon naughty words? That’s one theory. The other conclusion one might draw is that Mitt Romney’s campaign staff does not know how to properly interpret teabagger signage, ha ha.

Uh-oh, It’s Morning in America | Paul Krugman - Nobody does hissy fits like Karl Rove; the master of hardball, dirty-trick politics is constantly outraged, outraged, at his opponents’ underhanded tactics. And the latest hissy-target is the Chrysler ad during the Super Bowl, starring Clint Eastwood. Jon Cohn gets it: it’s actually a double-edged problem for the Republicans. They hate any reminder that they were dead wrong on the auto bailout; and they hate any thought that the Democrats are becoming the party of optimism. Hey, only Republicans are allowed to celebrate American success!

President Obama on Super PACs: We Will Not Play by Two Sets of Rules - This is rather unfortunate, but what other choice does Obama have? If he doesn’t deploy his own Super PACs (while never actually coordinating with them, wink), the gargantuan amounts of money the Republicans will throw into the race would give them an overwhelming advantage: We Will Not Play by Two Sets of Rules — Blog — Barack Obama.

Bachmann: ‘I was the perfect candidate’ – The Minnesota congresswoman was asked by Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt which of the remaining candidates was the most conservative during an interview Friday, and said none of them measured up to her conservative credentials. “I was. I was the perfect candidate,” Bachmann said in response. [...] “America had their chance with the perfect candidate. But any of our candidates are going to be acceptable to the American people, and more than acceptable, because right now, if you look at the Gallup map that came out this week, President Obama is in big trouble all across the country…. Honestly, I don’t think endorsements make a lot of difference … I’m looking at November. I want to make sure that our nominee wins. And so my goal is to be a unifying person who brings the factions together, because now primaries produce factions within a party. And my goal is to bring the Tea Party, evangelicals, mainstream, establishment, and also independents and disaffected Democrats.

Rick Santorum blows Romney away in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri

Oh. My. Gah.

Image: WaPo

Image: NewYorkTimes

For Missouri, just imagine the entire state map covered in Santorum.

Clean Sweep: Rick Santorum Defeats Mitt Romney In Three States

Romney won Colorado big in 2008, taking more than 60% of the vote, and won Minnesota with 41% of the vote the same year. Especially in Minnesota, Romney seemed poised for a repeat success: the state’s last governor, Tim Pawlenty, is Romney’s national campaign chair and has served as his most prominent surrogate since ending his own presidential run last August. But in 2012, his supporters apparently abandoned him en masse: in Minnesota he finished third with just 17% of the vote behind Ron Paul’s 27% and Santorum’s 45%. In Colorado, he took second with about 35% to Santorum’s 40%. Gingrich finished with just under 13% and Paul with just under 12%.

Missouri occupied a strange place in the race — because of a quirk in the scheduling, its primary doesn’t actually count towards determining its delegates and turnout was reportedly low. In addition, Newt Gingrich was not on the ballot.

From the article above:

“Conservatism is alive and well in Missouri and Minnesota,” an exuberant Santorum told Missouri supporters in his victory speech.

Romney congratulated his rival in his own address in Colorado, calling it a “good night” for the candidate.

“This is entirely a beauty contest and has no effect at all,” Gingrich said.

Santorum’s victory speech:

Monday morning’s 9 interesting things

1) Comedians in the GOP – If the economy is clearly on the rebound by the Fall — still a big if — Republican arguments for the presidency will start to get really comical. This morning Gov. McDonnell (R) of Virginia — a major rising star — said the improving economy is due to Republican governors, not President Obama.

2) Poll: Romney narrowly trails Santorum in Minnesota caucuses – Minnesota has 40 delegates at stake in its non-binding caucuses, which will select delegates to the Republican convention to choose the party’s candidate to face Democratic President Barack Obama in November. Minnesota is among three heartland states voting on Tuesday, along with Missouri and Colorado. PPP said Tuesday has the potential to be a big day for Santorum, who has had a lead in Missouri and is running second in Colorado.

3) Newt Gingrich said Sunday that an “age of austerity” is the wrong solution for the economy and would “punish” the American people. He said he prefers “pro-growth” policies instead. The comments appear to pour cold water on the modern Republican belief that austerity and growth go hand in hand. – Newt Gingrich, on “Meet the Press”

4) 2012 Chrysler Bowl Commercial – It’s Half Time America

5) Avoiding Congress’s fiscal bombs – the total debt load in the U.S. —which combines both public and private debts — has fallen by 16 percent, leaving the U.S. further along the painful deleveraging process than any other major economy. [...] That doesn’t mean the public sector’s deficits should, or can, be ignored. As the McKinsey study says, history suggests that recovering from a financial crisis requires a two-stage deleveraging process: First, the private sector sheds debt while the public sector adds debt and drives growth, and then the private sector drives growth while the public sector sheds debt. But as the IMF notes, American policy, right now, has this backward: “The risk of too rapid short-term adjustment stands in marked contrast to the continued lack of progress in clarifying a medium-term consolidation strategy.”

6) How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’ – They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and created the basis for something different. Both countries had a history of horrendous poverty. When the 1 percent was in charge, hundreds of thousands of people emigrated to avoid starvation. Under the leadership of the working class, however, both countries built robust and successful economies that nearly eliminated poverty, expanded free university education, abolished slums, provided excellent health care available to all as a matter of right and created a system of full employment. Unlike the Norwegians, the Swedes didn’t find oil, but that didn’t stop them from building what the latest CIA World Factbook calls “an enviable standard of living.”

7) How Rich Donors Could Get Billions from Taxpayers – Mitt Romney has apparently succeeded in setting up a $100 million trust fund for his sons, tax-free. As President George W. Bush put it in rejecting calls to raise taxes on the wealthy duiring his 2004 reelection campaign: “The really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway.” If the Republican presidential candidates and their fabulously wealthy SuperPAC donors get their way in cutting income taxes, eliminating the capital gains taxes and ending the estate tax, Bush’s really rich won’t have to work very hard to dodge Uncle Sam. If the Kochs and the Waltons succeed in getting the best government money can buy, the rest us will have to pay for it.

8) Morning CheckUp Study finds Tennessee will see savings from reform: “Health care reform will reduce the number of uninsured Tennesseans by more than half and cut uncompensated care and bad debt by $2.3 billion, but the newly insured could put a strain on the state’s health care system.” [The Commercial AppealHealth care employment to skyrocket through 2020: “Job growth in the healthcare sector will outpace other sectors through 2020 predicts new statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS’ employment projections find that total employment is expected to grow by 14.3 percent through 2020, resulting in 20.5 million jobs. Healthcare and social assistance should see the most gain with 5.6 million jobs.” [Healthcare Finance News]

9) Weekly Standard Rolls Out The Iraq Argument For Iran – Did you enjoy the Iraq War? Well, the Weekly Standard wants to do it again, with a new article arguing that sure, Obama got Bin Laden killed and has arrested or killed 20 of the most wanted Al Qaeda terrorists, but never mind because Iran is part of the Axis of Evil. No, seriously. [...] The Obama administration is dealing with Iran as the rogue state it is, working with the international community to try and get them in line. The Standard is arguing here for a return to the Bush era where the U.S. government used the magical terrorism wand to short circuit any and all discussion in order to do stupid things like invading sovereign nations based on cooked-up intelligence…

Giving the President a hand

Summer camp students from Chatfield public schools help up President Barack Obama after they posed for a picture in Chatfield, Minnesota. (Jim Watson / AFP – Getty Images)

MillerCoors told to pull products in Minnesota because of government shutdown

Yet another example of just how great the Republican party is for jobs and business!

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota’s state government shutdown is causing a big problem for brewing giant MillerCoors.

The state has told MillerCoors it needs to pull its products from stores, bars and restaurants statewide because of a licensing problem caused by the shutdown.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Doug Neville said Wednesday that MillerCoors’ “brand label registrations” with the state have expired. The employees who process renewals were laid off when state government shut down July 1 in a budget dispute.

Neville says Chicago-based MillerCoors LLC has been told to come up with a plan for pulling its products in a few days.

Keep going, GOP. You’re doing great!

Government privatization and Minnesota’s government shutdown: this is Sparta! JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, The Real News Network
MICHAEL HUDSON, RESEARCH PROF., University of Missouri-Kansas City

JAY: So why should ordinary Americans or ordinary North Americans care about what’s going on in Greece?

HUDSON: Because what’s happening in Greece is a dress rehearsal for what’s going on in the United States. Already, a few weeks ago in Athens, the protestors had signs up referring to Wisconsin and the problems here. What’s happening in Greece in the last week is exactly what’s happened in Minnesota with the close-down of government. And the demands of privatization–Greece sell off its roads, its land, its port authority, its water and sewer–is just what Illinois’s been doing, what Chicago’s been doing, what Minnesota’s been told to do, and what American cities are trying to do. So you have an identical strategy being used between Greece and the United States. Greece is the first domino since Iceland. And the financial interests that are looking at this post-2008 debt crisis as a grab bag think now is the chance for us to make our move. Now we can take all this debt that we’ve built up and we can get out of the financial system, we can turn it into direct ownership of property. We can own the Greek islands, we can own the Greek public domain, just like we can own what Minnesota, Chicago, Wisconsin, and California own. And all of a sudden you have a huge virtual foreclosure process.  Read more…


A coworker’s husband is a state employee in Minnesota. I forwarded this article to her: One by one, Minnesota bars run out of beer — and here’s part of her response:

“We’ve got 22,000 state workers out of work, who are not paying MN tax, all road construction has stopped, so the state and all of those workers are losing wages and tax. all state parks are closed, no lottery sales, the horse race park has closed losing all of those workers’ pay and the revenues from this. We’re on day 13 of shutdown. The state workers can start claiming unemployment next week, costing the state more monies, but the workers will lose half of their normal pay, in additional to losing their contributions to retirement accounts. No back pay will be paid to them. Many feel the shutdown will last until the school year starts in September, because maybe that would make the Legislature wake up. (But maybe the beer shortage will have more impact.)”

This Republican solution in Minnesota is clearly a winner for everyone! What else can this political party f*ck up, I wonder?

Meanwhile in Minnesota: Government shutdown

Minnesota’s DEMOCRATIC governor wanted to increase taxes on people earning $1 million or more (3% of Minnesota’s taxpayers). The Minnesota REPUBLICANS would rather see the entire government shutdown and 22,000 state employees furloughed than agree to a tax increase on the wealthy. Who needs more state revenue when you can cut most of your state government programs and lay off employees? (ABCNews video below)

Another example of: you can’t negotiate with “no.”

ST. PAUL, Minn., July 1 (UPI) — Minnesota’s government shut down Friday after Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders failed to settle their budget differences.

State parks closed and entrances to rest areas were blocked. Boaters using Department of Natural Resources public landings were informed the landings wouldn’t be monitored or maintained. First-time drivers will have to wait for their licenses, as will people facing a license renewal. Same with updating vehicle tabs.

Employees were told to take home any plants that couldn’t survive without water for a time.

Talks broke off abruptly Thursday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Republican leaders rejected Dayton’s proposal that would have raised income taxes on people earning more than $1 million a year — an estimated 7,700 Minnesotans, or 0.3 percent of all taxpayers, state Revenue Department statistics indicate.

“This is a night of deep sorrow for me,” Dayton said late Thursday in an address interrupted by hisses from some Republicans.

Republican leaders said Dayton’s proposal for dealing with the projected $5 billion deficit would harm the state’s economy for generations.

“We will not saddle our children and grandchildren with mounds of debts, with promises for funding levels that will not be there in the future,” said House Speaker Kurt Zellers. “This is debt that they can’t afford. It’s debt that we can’t afford right now.”