Despite the Republican propensity to compare the Affordable Care Act to something akin to the antichrist, word is that GOP budget leader, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), will propose a dramatic change in the Medicare program that will closely mirror the key features of Obamacare – only for seniors.
The proposal would do away with (for everyone presently under 55 years of age) the current single payer government system for senior medical care and replace it with a program whereby seniors would choose private health insurance coverage from a menu of approved private health insurers. The government would subsidize the program by giving seniors a voucher to be used in purchasing coverage, the amount of such payment to be defined according to need.
Does any of this sound familiar?
While the terminology may be different, it seems particularly reasonable to assume that the word “menu” is code for “health care exchange”. And while the word “voucher” plays well with the GOP base, it is really no different from the subsidies the ACA will pay to those under 65 who purchase health insurance.
Unfortunately, while Ryan has emulated a number of features from the ACA, he’s forgotten to make the adjustments the law makes to actually ensure that health care is more accessible to beneficiaries rather than more profitable to health insurance companies.
Making private insurance work for the younger demographics is far easier than trying to make it work for the elderly due to the most basic tenet of health insurance – the insurance pool must be balanced by having 80 healthy people in the pool to pay for every 20 who are ill.
Given that most Americans 65 and older are a walking pre-existing medical condition, it is difficult to imagine how functioning insurance pools can be constructed from a universe filled with these people. It is equally hard to see how health insurers could offer such a plan without severely restricting the benefits offered or, in the alternative, charging very large premiums – unless the government is prepared to put large enough subsidy checks in the pockets of the insurers to cover the extra costs.
- The Nitty Gritty Details of Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan (swampland.blogs.time.com)
- GOP unveils plan to eliminate Medicare, press neglects to ask about it (dailykos.com)
- The Return of the Myth that Competition will Fix Medicare (businessinsider.com)
- Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan Shockingly Similar To “Obamacare” (alan.com)
- Similarities Between Ryan’s Medicare Plan and Affordable Care Act Make Dem Pushback Tricky (fdlaction.firedoglake.com)
- How Will Mitt Romney Explain Why Paul Ryan’s “ObamaCare for Seniors” Is Okay? (my.firedoglake.com)
- Saving Rep. Ryan (slog.thestranger.com)
- GOP Unveils Budget That Overhauls Medicare & Medicaid, Repeals Obamacare (joemygod.blogspot.com)
Charles and David Koch, the owners of the country’s second-largest private corporation, are libertarians of long standing, who contend that government regulations, taxes and subsidies stifle individual initiative and hamper American competitiveness. In recent years, the Kochs have played an increasingly public role as financial angels for conservative causes, politicians and foundations.
What’s not so well-known is the activity of Koch Industries in the trenches in Washington, where a Center for Public Integrity examination of lobbying disclosure files and federal regulatory records reveals a lobbying steamroller for the company’s interests, at times in conflict with its public pose.
The money that Koch (pronounced “coke”) has spent on lobbying in Washington has soared in recent years, from $857,000 in 2004 to $20 million in 2008. The Kochs then spent another $20.5 million over the next two years to influence federal policy, as the company’s lobbyists and officials sought to mold, gut or kill more than 100 prospective bills or regulations. Continue reading here…
- 2,000 Protesters March On Koch Industries’ D.C. Office (thefifthcolumn2.wordpress.com)
- Fake Astroturf at Think Progress (powerlineblog.com)
- The Koch Brothers Are Getting Nervous (thefifthcolumn2.wordpress.com)
- You Thought the Koch Brothers Were Bad? Turns Out They’re Even Worse Than You Thought (alternet.org)
- You Thought the Koch Brothers Were Bad? Turns Out They Are Even Worse Than You Thought (alternet.org)
- REPORT: Everything You Need To Know About The Koch Brothers (thefifthcolumn2.wordpress.com)
- Required Reading: American Progress Koch Report (desmogblog.com)
Well it appears that all of the posturing and rhetoric in the past few weeks regarding the contemptuous relationship between Glenn Beck and Fox News has lead to something after all. In an exclusive to his website TheBlaze.com, Fox News and Mercury Radio Arts (Beck’s production company) have jointly announced that Glenn Beck intends to transition off of his daily program.
FOX NEWS AND MERCURY RADIO ARTS ANNOUNCE NEW AGREEMENT
(New York, NY) Fox News and Mercury Radio Arts, Glenn Beck’s production company, are proud to announce that they will work together to develop and produce a variety of television projects for air on the Fox News Channel as well as content for other platforms including Fox News’ digital properties. Glenn intends to transition off of his daily program, the third highest rated in all of cable news, later this year.
Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News said, “Glenn Beck is a powerful communicator, a creative entrepreneur and a true success by anybody’s standards. I look forward to continuing to work with him. ” Glenn Beck said: “I truly believe that America owes a lot to Roger Ailes and Fox News. I cannot repay Roger for the lessons I’ve learned and will continue to learn from him and I look forward to starting this new phase of our partnership.”
- Glenn Beck Wants To Make Sure You Know If He Leaves FOX News It Won’t Be Because Of Media Matters (businessinsider.com)
- Glenn Beck Responds To O’Reilly And Imus Speculating About His Future At Fox News (mediaite.com)
- Lawrence O’Donnell: Glenn Beck Is The Wisest Entertainer On Fox News…On The Matter Of Donald Trump (mediaite.com)
- O’Reilly Addresses Beck’s Future With Fox News, Beck Responds (huffingtonpost.com)
- Glennpocalypse! Stephen Colbert Readies For End Of Days (Of Glenn Beck On Fox) (mediaite.com)
- Glenn Beckwatch: Too Crazy for Glenn (slog.thestranger.com)
- Extra! Extra! Read all about it…Glenn Beck backs President Obama (nozynelly.wordpress.com)
- Glenn Beck Asks Audience: ‘It Really Is Getting Boring, Isn’t It?’ (mediaite.com)
- Stephen Colbert Introduces His ‘Emergency Beck Pack’ (VIDEO) (tvsquad.com)
My favorite television program of all time…and one of my favorite episodes.
(I have all 7 seasons in boxed sets.)
- Was a specific West Wing event based on a real incident? (ask.metafilter.com)
- 31 Day TV Meme: Day One (mralphafreak.wordpress.com)
- On Paying Attention To Television (dovetailedlife.wordpress.com)
- i need to stop watching the west wing (eatsleepreadlove.wordpress.com)
Update: The Daily Beast had reached out to Chris Isham, an ABC News veteran who fit the description of the source who cooperated with the FBI, but he declined to return calls for comment. In the hours since this article was published, Gawker has identified Isham, now CBS’s Washington bureau chief, as the FBI mole in question. Isham issued the following statement Tuesday evening:
“The suggestion that I was an informant for the FBI is outrageous and untrue. Like every investigative reporter, my job for 25 years has been to check out information and tips from sources. In the heat of the Oklahoma City bombing, it would not be unusual for me or any journalist to run information by a source within the FBI for confirmation or to notify authorities about a pending terrorist attack. This is consistent with the policies at every news organization. But at no time did I compromise a confidential source with the FBI or anyone else. Mr. Cannistraro was not a confidential source, but rather a colleague—a paid consultant to ABC News who had already spoken to the FBI about information he had received.”
In a separate statement, a CBS spokesperson said:
“CBS News has strict standards regarding the handling of source material and we are discussing the facts of the allegations with Chris. The events in question are a matter between the FBI and ABC News.”
The FBI treated a reporter who provided information about bombing as an informant. The Center for Public Integrity looks at whether the journalist acted unethically.
Some journalists develop a delicate relationship with law-enforcement officials as they try to obtain sensitive information without getting too close to the government.
But a once-classified FBI memo reveals that the bureau treated a senior ABC News journalist as a potential confidential informant in the 1990s, pumping the reporter to ascertain the source of a sensational but uncorroborated tip that the network had obtained during its early coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing. Continue reading…
- CBS News bureau chief denies being FBI informant (omg.yahoo.com)
- FBI Had Mole Inside ABC News (yubanet.com)
- An ABC News Reporter Once Informed On A Source To The FBI (businessinsider.com)
- ABC: Muslim Connection to Oklahoma City Bombing (The one that’s been blamed on “right-wing extremists” for the last 20 years) (usapartisan.com)
- CBS News bureau chief calls FBI informant report ‘untrue’ (insidetv.ew.com)
In 2009, Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol joined a teen pregnancy prevention nonprofit called the Candie’s Foundation. Today, the Associated Press reported that the Candie’s Foundation released its 2009 tax information, revealing that Bristol was paid a salary of $262,500.
But a closer examination of the tax form by ThinkProgress shows that the group disbursed only $35,000 in grants to actual teen pregnancy health and counseling clinics: $25,000 to the Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center and $10,000 to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. View a screenshot of Bristol’s exorbitant salary below:
- Grifters, the whole lot of ’em (maureenholland.wordpress.com)
- Bristol Palin made over $250k as abstinence advocate (dailykos.com)
- Bristol Palin Paid Seven Times More Than What Charity Spent On Teen Pregnancy Prevention (alan.com)
- Andrew C: ThinkProgress ” Bristol Palin’s Nonprofit Paid Her Seven Times What It Spent On Actual Teen Pregnancy Prevention (thinkprogress.org)
- New Details About Bristol Palin’s Pregnancy Prevention Pay Day (huffingtonpost.com)
- Bristol Palin earns $262K for teen pregnancy work (sfgate.com)
Wisconsin‘s ongoing labor battle has officially become a holy war. The Family Research Council, the evangelical advocacy organization founded by James Dobson, has been dipping into its war chest to defend Republican Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to curtail collective bargaining for public-sector unions. FRC president Tony Perkins interviewed backers of Walker’s anti-union bill on his weekly radio program and has tweeted his support for the bill, directly linking social conservatism with an anti-union, pro-business agenda: “Pro-family voters should celebrate WI victory b/c public & private sector union bosses have marched lock-step w/liberal social agenda.”
The FRC’s new political action committee, the Faith, Family, Freedom Fund, is airing ads on 34 Wisconsin radio stations in an effort to influence the April 5 judicial election that could ultimately decide the fate of the law. The ads target Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, who’s running against a conservative incumbent, David Prosser, for a seat on the state Supreme Court. If elected, Kloppenburg would alter the balance on the court in favor of Democrats, giving them the ability to invalidate the recently enacted ban on public-employee collective bargaining. “Liberals see her as their best hope to advance their political agenda and strike down laws passed by a legislature and governor elected by the people,” say the ads. “A vote for Prosser is a vote to keep politics out of the Supreme Court.” Continue reading here…
- The Religious Right’s Anti-Union Crusade (alternet.org)
- The Media Consortium: Weekly Audit: Republicans’ Budget Declares War on Medicare (huffingtonpost.com)
- Big Day Today in Wisconsin (slog.thestranger.com)
- Wisconsin Supreme Court Election Morphs Into Intense, Expensive Contest (thefifthcolumn2.wordpress.com)
- Wisconsin Supreme Court Election A Dead Heat (huffingtonpost.com)
- Judicial Race Tight in Wisconsin (online.wsj.com)
- WI Supreme Court Election Liveblog (firedoglake.com)
- David Prosser and the Supremes (538refugees.wordpress.com)
- Union rights fight looms in Wis. high court race (sfgate.com)
Rep. Anthony Weiner of NY is one of a very few Democrats who will openly speak out against the Tea Party Republicans in the House. Many people think he’s a joke.
As a fellow New Yorker (now living in the south), I know better. Yes, Weiner gets excited and animated when he speaks, (it’s a New York thing) but I’m certain it’s due to his frustration in getting people, particularly complacent Dems, to really hear what he has to say. If I were them, I’d listen to what Rep. Weiner is saying.
The following clip comes from the Dylan Ratigan show Tuesday afternoon…
- Rep. Anthony Weiner: ‘Tea Party Nihilists’ Want A Government Shutdown And I Think They’ll Get It (mediaite.com)
- Watch: Anthony Weiner Slays Congressional Correspondents Dinner (towleroad.com)
- “Anthony Weiner, Rand Paul and Larry Wilmore Make with the Funny at the 2011 Congressional Correspondents’ Dinner” and related posts (ccinsider.comedycentral.com)
- Anthony Weiner: Obama Is ‘Not A Values Guy’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- “John Boehner Caught Between a Rock and a Tea Party” and related posts (nymag.com)
- ONE-LINERS: Weiner wins best joke (politico.com)
Wasserman Schultz, 44, was chosen for her strength as a fundraiser and as a television messenger and for her clout in the crucial swing state of Florida, the sources said.
She will succeed Tim Kaine, who announced earlier Tuesday that he will run for U.S. Senate from Virginia.
The committee announced the choice in an email to members from Vice President Joe Biden.
“In selecting Debbie to lead our party, President Obama noted her tenacity, her strength, her fighting spirit and her ability to overcome adversity,” Biden wrote.
“President Obama expressed great admiration for her as a leader, and he was honored that she accepted this important challenge on behalf of the Democratic Party.”
Wasserman Schultz becomes the first female DNC chief in 15 years and the third in history.
The congresswoman is beloved by the Democratic rank and file for her aggressive, outspoken advocacy for liberal points of view. She’s frequently deployed as a surrogate, particularly to groups of women and Jewish voters.
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz To Be DNC Chair (alan.com)
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz Picked to Head DNC, Replacing Senate Candidate Kaine (news.firedoglake.com)
- Debbie Wasserman-Schultz To Replace Tim Kaine At DNC (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Gay advocate U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, new chair of Democratic National Committee (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Is New DNC Chair (oliverwillis.com)
- Wasserman Schultz to Head Democratic Party (israelnationalnews.com)
- Obama to Name Rep. Wasserman Schultz as DNC Chair (mydd.com)