Obamacare

Fox News Host Demands To Know Why GOP Hasn’t Offered An Alternative To Obamacare

Fox News Obamacare

Think Progress

On the final day of Obamacare’s open enrollment, Fox News host Jenna Lee hammered Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) about why Republicans have yet to offer a comprehensive alternative to the health law — despite repeatedly voting for its repeal.

During an interview with the network, Graham agreed that his party should introduce a unified health care proposal. But Lee persisted, pressing him for more details. “Why do you think Republicans can put together a better plan to get the trust back in government?” she asked. “What are Republicans putting out there that says to the American, people, ‘no, you can trust us. If you don’t trust what is happening now, trust us?’”

After Graham evaded the question, Lee followed up. “Getting back to the question,” she said, “what is preventing the Republicans from putting forward a real plan that everybody can look at, even before November?”

Watch it:

“I think it is good for the Republican party to have a plan of its own to insure Americans without losing your doctor and bankrupting the country,” Graham agreed. “Let’s start with the idea that pre-existing illnesses should not deny you coverage, that means you’re gonna have to have pools for the really sick, but why would you want to deny somebody insurance because they got sick? Allowing children to stay on the policies up to they’re 26 makes sense given this economy and buying policies across state lines makes a lot of sense to me.”

Those proposals are already part of the Affordable Care Act, which establishes a temporary insurance program for sick people, prohibits insurers from discriminating against pre-existing conditions, and keeps young adults on their parent’s health care plans. The health law also allows insurers to sell policies across states that have established uniform regulations.

House Republicans are reportedly planning to unveil a replacement for the law later this year. In 2009, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that a bill backed by a majority of House Republicans would cover just 3 million additional uninsured Americans. Meanwhile, an estimated 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage under Obamacare.

Graham insisted that Republicans should continue chipping away at the health care law. “If we had the Senate and House, we would have hearings about what is really going on,” he said. “[I]f I were the leader of House, I would have an Obamacare hearing almost every other day to find out what’s in these numbers.”

U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: March 31, 2014

And then there were four. 
And then there were four. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The Week

The ObamaCare enrollment deadline arrives, UConn and Kentucky round out the Final Four, and more

1. ObamaCare enrollment deadline arrives
Obama administration officials are making last-minute public appeals urging Americans to sign up for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges before open enrollment ends at midnight Monday. The White House approved extra time for those who have tried but been unable to enroll due to glitches, but others will face a penalty if they are uninsured in 2014. In the last week, ObamaCare operators fielded a record 2.5 million calls. [USA Today]

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2. UConn and Kentucky round out the Final Four
The Final Four is set. The UConn Huskies upset Michigan State Sunday to advance to the semi-finals of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Kentucky beat Michigan to win the other slot, joining Wisconsin and overall No. 1 seed Florida to round out the Final Four. The Gators lost two games all year — one to UConn, whom they play next, and the other to Wisconsin, whom they could face in the final. [Fox News]

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3. Kerry and Lavrov deadlock over Crimea
Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, failed to break an impasse over the Crimea crisis on Sunday. Kerry said they held four hours of constructive talks in Paris, and agreed that diplomats should continue working on how the contested Ukrainian region, which Russia is annexing, should be governed. “In the end, Ukrainians are going to have to make that decision,” Kerry said. [Los Angeles Times]

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4. Erdogan declares his party dominated Turkish elections
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory in local elections on Sunday, declaring that he and his allies had delivered an “Ottoman slap” to their rivals. Opposition leaders contested early counts giving a big lead to Erdogan’s party, which faces a corruption probe and widespread street protests. The vote was seen as a test of strength for Erdogan, whose party has held power since 2002. [CNN]

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5. More crews arrive to hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines plane
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 intensified on Monday as 10 planes and 10 shipshunted for fresh clues in the sea west of Perth, Australia. On Sunday, crews dismissed suspicious flotsam as fishing buoys. Investigators hope to find traces of the aircraft, which disappeared March 8, before the pings of its black boxes start fading out next week. Relatives of Chinese passengers demanded an apology from the Malaysian government for declaring that the plane had crashed. [The New York Times]

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6. Tech rivals Apple and Samsung start another legal battle
Apple and Samsung return to court in California on Monday, continuing their ongoing legal battle. Apple is demanding $2 billion in damages from its rival, which it says stole iPhone designs and features. Apple wants a $40 royalty for every Samsung device running software Apple says it conceived. Samsung hopes to enlist help from Google engineers who designed the Android system by getting them to testify they didn’t use Apple’s ideas. [The Guardian]

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7. North and South Korea shell each other’s waters
North Korea, upset over annual U.S.-South Korea military exercises, shelled South Korean watersin the Yellow Sea on Monday. Residents of South Korea’s Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong islands were evacuated to shelters. The South responded by firing hundreds of shells into Northern waters. Such displays aren’t uncommon along the disputed naval border, although this time North Korea reportedly notified Seoul ahead of time by fax — a first. [Yonhap]

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8. U.N. scientists say climate change is hurting harvests
Climate change has started cutting into the world’s food supply, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a sweeping report released Monday. The authors said climate change was once a distant threat but is now increasingly hurting people “on all continents” and across every ocean. “It’s about people now… not just butterflies and sea ice,” said Virginia Burkett, one of the authors. [The New York TimesThe Guardian]

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9. Earthquake rattles Yellowstone
A 4.8-magnitude earthquake struck Yellowstone National Park on Sunday. It was the strongest quake recorded there in 34 years. No damages or injuries were reported. Yellowstone sits on one of the world’s largest super-volcanoes. A U.S. Geological Survey team was dispatched to tour the Norris Geyser Basin to see whether the temblor had changed any of Yellowstone’s famous geysers, mud pots, and hot springs. [Reuters]

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10. Frozen beats Toy Story 3‘s world box office record
Disney’s Frozen blew past Toy Story 3 to become the highest grossing animated film in history, with the final push coming over the weekend as the film opened in Japan. Frozen has now hauled in $1.072 billion at the box office worldwide. Toy Story 3 took in $1.06 billion. Frozen, which took two Oscars, was released in the U.S. in November. It’s now showing in 36 counties, including South Korea, the U.K., and Germany. [Los Angeles Times]

 

 

Affordable Care Act

The Top Five Obamacare Myths, Debunked

Media Matters For America

In the four years since the signing of the Affordable Care Act, right-wing media has engaged in a campaign to undermine the law in any way possible, frequently resorting to lies, myths, and misinformation. Among the most prominent and long-lasting of these myths are claims that the law amounts to socialized medicine, will harm the economy, provides federal funding for abortions, kills thousands of jobs, and of course, creates death panels.

To find out the truth behind other health care reform myths, visit Media Matters’ Mythopedia project.

Affordable Care Act

Long Lines As Obamacare Enrollment Deadline Fast Approaches (PHOTOS)

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TPM LiveWire

With deadline to sign up for health insurance through the exchanges on Monday, locations with Obamacare navigators are seeing long lines of people looking to obtain plans under the the health care law.

People can sign up for insurance online, but the health care law also established navigator programs, which employ people to guide individuals through the sign-up process.

 

Gov. Chris Christie

Chris Christie Apologizes For ‘Occupied Territories’ Remark, Says He ‘Misspoke’

CHRIS CHRISTIE

“Words once spoken can never be recalled.” –Wentworth Dillan

The Huffington Post

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) apologized Saturday for using the term “occupied territories” at an event hosted by billionaire GOP donor Sheldon Adelson, CNN and Politico report.

Andy Abboud, the senior vice president of Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp., told CNNthat Christie later apologized for using the controversial term during a private meeting with the megadonor. According to Abboud, Christie said he “misspoke” during his Saturday speech and that he doesn’t “believe that.”

Politico offered similar details on the meeting:

The source told POLITICO that Christie “clarified in the strongest terms possible that his remarks today were not meant to be a statement of policy.”

Instead, the source said, Christie made clear “that he misspoke when he referred to the ‘occupied territories.’ And he conveyed that he is an unwavering friend and committed supporter of Israel, and was sorry for any confusion that came across as a result of the misstatement.”

Adelson was reportedly satisfied with Christie’s apology.

Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition event at Adelson’s Venetian resort in Las Vegas, Christie used the controversial term to describe the West Bank and other areas where Israel has a military presence.

“I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across, and just felt personally how extraordinary that was, to understand the military risk that Israel faces every day,” Christie said.

However, the Israeli government and many of its supporters do not consider those regions to be occupied, believing the country has legitimate claim to them. Instead, the term is seen by some Zionists as validating Palestine’s opposition to Israeli presence in the region.

Christie was one of a number of high-profile Republicans appearing at Adelson’s event, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

 

U.S. Politics

Report: Top GOP Donors Courting Jeb Bush For 2016

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TPM LiveWire

“He is not in the middle of a formal process,” Sally Bradshaw, a political adviser to Bush, told the Post. “He is methodical, he is thoughtful, and he’ll make a decision by the end of the year or the first quarter of next year.”

However, Brian Ballard, a GOP donor to Mitt Romney in 2012, said that many see Bush as their best bet.

“He’s the most desired candidate out there,” Ballard told the Post. “Everybody that I know is excited about it.”

And Bush has reportedly met with Sheldon Adelson, a top Republican donor who threw his money behind Newt Gingrich in 2012.

 

Kos' "Sunday Talk"

Kos’ Sunday Talk: That time of the month

Daily Kos

After four years of failed efforts by Congressional Republicans to repeal
it—including more than 50 votes in the House, and a government shutdown
Obamacare is finally coming to an end on Monday; or at least its first open enrollment period is (YMMV).If the numbers provided by the White House are to be believed (not bloody likely), more than 6 million people got health care coverage through the federal and staterun exchanges.

What’s undoubtedly true is that 310+ million Americans lost their religious freedom as a direct result of the law’s contraceptive mandate.

It used to be that a woman could avoid an unwanted pregnancy simply by sticking an aspirin between her knees—or, you know, by keeping her legs closed—but those days are long past.

We now live in a world where colleges are teaching kids the sociology of Miley Cyrus, fer chrissake!

Thanks, Obamacare.

Morning lineup:

Meet The Press: Head of the National Counterterrorism Center Michael Leiter; Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR); Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (9/11); New Jersey State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D); Roundtable: Former Sen. Rick SantorumAmy Walter (Cook Political Report), Peter Baker (New York Times) and Ithaca, NY Mayor Svante Myrick (D).Face The Nation: Former NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden; Former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morrell; NCAA President Mark EmmertRoundtableGwen Ifill (PBS),Carolyn Ryan (New York Times), David Ignatius (Washington Post) and Harvard University Prof. David Gergen.

This Week: New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D); Keith Olbermann (ESPN);Roundtable: Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, Republican Strategist Matthew DowdBill Kristol (Weekly Standard) and Former White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe.

Fox News Sunday: Sen. Angus King (I-ME); Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY); Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Roundtable: Republican Strategist Karl RoveRon Fournier (National Journal), Kimberley Strassel (Wall Street Journal) and Charles Lane (Washington Post).

State of the Union: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Former US Ambassador John Negroponte; Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D);  Roundtable: Democratic Strategist Bill Burton, Republican Strategisy Kevin Madden and Darlene Superville (Associated Press).

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: an interview with author Michael Lewis about his new book “Flash Boys” (preview); a profile of Tesla/SpaceX founder Elon Musk (preview); and, a musical performance by blind jazz pianist Marcus Roberts (preview).

 

Creationism · Evolution

Two Christian SC Senators Block Third Grader’s State Fossil Proposal Because Jesus

 

american taliban

The American Taliban (fundamentalists) are no different than their counterparts in the Middle East.  I believe that using one’s personal beliefs in place of science, knowledge and common sense has no place in our laws, let alone our governmental institutions from schools across America to the Capitol of the United States.

Crooks & Liars

Sometimes, you begin reading about something and think, “Aww, how cute!” Other times, what should be a touching story of a child’s proposal to make the Woolly Mammoth South Carolina’s official state fossil passing the state House and Senate with overwhelming support, going to the Governor’s desk, and being signed into law becomes something entirely different because of a couple of Christofascists in suits who feel the need to inject God into everything.

This is one of those times. Earlier this year eight-year-old Olivia McConnell wrote her state representatives to suggest that since South Carolina doesn’t currently have a state fossil, it should be given one! Olivia decided that she needed a legitimate reason to suggest this besides liking fossils, so she came up with three:

1. One of the first discoveries of a vertebrae fossil in North America was on an S.C. plantation when slaves dug up wooly mammoth teeth from a swamp in 1725.

2. All but seven states have an official state fossil.

3. “Fossils tell us about our past.”

She sent the letter to Representative Robert Ridgeway(D) and Sen. Kevin Johnson(D), asking them to sponsor a bill officially making the woolly mammoth the official state fossil.

“We can’t just say we need a sate fossil because I like fossils,” the third grader told The State. “That wouldn’t make sense.” She ended the letter “Please work on this for me” before signing, “Your friend, Olivia.”

“Why not? It can’t hurt anything,” Ridgeway said. “But the benefit to this is to the children and young people of South Carolina, letting them realize that they do have a say-so in what happens in South Carolina and, No. 2, it gives them experience and information about the governmental process and legislative process in South Carolina.”

Ridgeway and Johnson both filed bills- H.4482 and S.854-to make the mammoth the official state fossil. The bill would amend the 1976 code on state emblems to include the Columbian Mammoth as the state’s first official fossil.

Whereas, giant mammoths used to roam South Carolina; andWhereas, scientists have identified the fossils of about six hundred and fifty species of vertebrates in South Carolina to date; and

Whereas, it has been recognized that fossilized mammoth teeth were discovered in a swamp in South Carolina in 1725; and

Whereas, this discovery has been credited as the first scientific identification of a North American vertebrate fossil. Now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Article 9, Chapter 1, Title 1 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

“Section 1-1-712A. The Columbian Mammoth is designated as the official State Fossil of South Carolina.

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

“It makes me feel really good,” she said. “It’s exciting,” Olivia said after hearing that the lawmakers are taking her request seriously.

Unfortunately, many parties have a turd floating in the punch bowl, and this is one of them–two turds, to be exact. They look like this:

Two South Carolina fossils…

The bill passed the House with overwhelming support but encountered some difficulties when Senator Mike Fair(R-Turd) objected to the bill for “religious reasons.”

Fair, who has compared the President to Osama Bin Laden, helped to block funding for a rape crisis center,  called climate change a hoax, and blocked evolution from the state’s science standards, saying “I don’t have a problem with teaching theories. I don’t think it should be taught as fact,” stood up for  Biblical representation in the state fossil–after all, what’s science without Jesus?

Bryant proposed an amendment to the bill to include a passage from Genesis explaining the Biblical creation of life–because why not?

“I think it’s a good idea to designate the mammoth as the state fossil, I don’t have a problem with that. I just felt like it’d be a good thing to acknowledge the creator of the fossils,” Bryant told the Daily Beast.

Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell blocked the proposed amendment because it introduced a new subject. He has since amended the amendment to describe the Columbian Mammoth as “created on the Sixth Day with the beasts of the field.”

In response to the Lt. Governor’s ruling Senator Mike Fair placed an objection to the bill, which has been put  on hold until they can take what was a simple thing that would benefit children across South Carolina and make one little girl very happy–and figure out how to please the Creationists.

2016 Hopefuls · Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz Hints At Presidential Bid With “Yes We Can” Ad (VIDEO)

aaorielly

Thanks Ted for the email showing what a tool Ted Cruz is…

Liberals Unite

Tea Party darling Ted Cruz has put out this new video and it appears this is his way of hinting that he will be the first official conservative to get into the 2016 GOP clown car.

It’s no secret he is loved by the dwindling and out-of-touch with reality Tea Party and he’ll definitely put on a great show.

It’s a little early to be campaigning and maybe Cruz should have waited to come up with his own  campaign slogan instead of swiping Obama’s “Yes We Can.”

His platform is completely unsurprising: Defund Obamacare – blah blah blah. YOU CAN’T HAVE MY GUN, blah blah blah. Abolish the IRS, blah blah blah.

You can tell he is serious because his voice goes up several octaves and he clenches his fists when he’s making a point. He almost growls when he speaks.

Constitution…First Amendment…Guns…Grrrr…Grrr.

Oh, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

 

 

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