Daily Archives: November 4, 2009

AP: AARP To Endorse House Health Care Bill

AP Sources: AARP to endorse House health care bill

(AP)
WASHINGTON — Officials are telling The Associated Press that AARP_the seniors’ lobby_will endorse the health care overhaul bill that House Democrats are preparing to take to the floor.
Officials with knowledge of the group’s decision told The Associate Press on Wednesday that the senior’s lobby has decided to give the $1.2 trillion measure its seal of approval. An announcement is expected Thursday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not been made.
The endorsement, in advance of floor votes as early as this weekend, would be a major boost for President Barack Obama’s signature issue.

Source:

“We think we’ll have the votes”

Oct. 29 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a $894 billion health care bill Thursday that would extend coverage to 36 million Americans through a mix of subsidies, tax incentives and penalties on individuals and small businesses, but the final package falls short of the more liberal vision of a public health insurance option.

Party leaders would like to start debate on the bill next week and hope to have a final vote before Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11.

The long-awaited introduction of a combined House health care bill produced few major surprises. After weeks of public hand-wringing, leaders – and party liberals – bowed to political reality by allowing doctors and hospitals to negotiate their rates with the government under the public plans.

Unveiling the bill at the Capitol, Pelosi said the bill would meet the goals of “affordability of the middle class, security for our seniors, responsibility to our children. It reduces the deficit, meets President Obama’s call to keep the costs under $900 billion over 10 years and it insures 36 million more Americans.”

“The bill is fiscally sound, will not add one dime to the deficit as it expands coverage, implements key insurance reforms and promotes prevention and wellness across the health system,” Pelosi said.

The bill would cut the deficit by about $30 billion over the next 10 years.

More From : politicologosmall

States can opt out of the public option, but how many will?

The Public Option: Let’s Not Opt Out and Say We Did

By MICHAEL GRUNWALD – Insurers are furious that Senate majority leader Harry Reid’s health-care-reform bill will include a public option – even though it lets states opt out if they don’t want the government-run insurance alternative.
Liberals are ecstatic with Reid over that same public option – even though opt-out states would be able to keep their markets completely private, which would limit the public plan’s power to negotiate volume-based discounts in other states. (Read “Understanding the Health-Care Debate: Your Indispensable Guide.”)
It’s an impressive bipartisan consensus regarding the power of inertia. For all the disagreements over the public option, almost everyone agrees that making it the default is a big deal, and that the compromise allowing opt-outs is a pretty modest compromise. That’s because reams of studies have shown that default settings really, really matter. If Reid’s legislation had omitted a default public option but allowed states to opt in if they wanted one, insurers would be ecstatic and liberals would be furious.

The classic example of the power of the default is the opt-out 401(k) savings plan. In a 2001 study, only 36% of the participants signed up for a retirement savings plan when they had to opt in – even though their employers were matching their contributions. Free money, and only 36% took it! But when participants were automatically signed up for the same plan but given the chance to opt out, 86% of them stuck with it. Scholars have found similar status-quo results with organ donations. If we have to sign up, very few of us become organ donors. If we have to opt out, most of us remain organ donors. Similarly, when our electronic gadgets come with the energy-saving auto-power-down function enabled, we’re cool with that; if we have to enable it ourselves, we rarely bother.

Cont’d Here: timemagazinelogo

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Filed under Change, Economy, Health, Partisan Politics, Uncategorized

Bachmann Aide Quits: “When Your Captain’s Crazy, It’s Time To Find A New Ship” + Is The Tea Party Over? Bagger’s out of gas…

posted by GeoT

The aide who helped turn Rep. Michele Bachmann into a controversial mainstay of cable news has informed colleagues that she’s quitting – just as the firebrand Republican congresswoman prepares for her biggest media moment yet.

Multiple sources have confirmed that Michelle Marston, a veteran Hill aide, is leaving Bachmann’s office.

In an e-mail exchange with POLITICO, Marston declined to say why she’s going.

“I’m just not talking about it, and frankly I don’t think there’s a story here,” Marston wrote. “Now, the thousands of people calling our office to tell us [they’re] coming to Capitol Hill tomorrow – that’s a story.”

A conservative Republican House member, speaking on the condition of anonymity, suggested that Bachman’s views – and her willingness to state them – make it hard for her to keep staff. “When your captain’s crazy, it’s time to find a new ship,” the lawmaker said.

full story here: politicologosmall

The tea partiers are launching the revolution. This week. But will anyone actually show up?

On Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann challenged viewers of Sean Hannity’s Fox News show to join her last-ditch attempt to kill health care reform.

The fiery Minnesota Republican plans to hold a press conference at “high noon” on Thursday. She urged Americans to flood the halls of Congress that day, find their elected officials, “look at the whites of their eyes and tell them, ‘don’t you dare take away my health care.'”

Since then, so-called tea party patriots have been burning up the Internets trying to rally supporters to attend Bachmann’s event. But so far, their efforts haven’t amounted to much. The official Tea Party Patriots website laments that Bachmann’s rally is being stymied by a “media blackout”—meaning that mainstream outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post have ignored it.

The lack of media interest could stem from the tea partiers’ failure to mobilize as a genuine grassroots political force. In preparation for Bachmann’s press conference, the patriots devised a “three phase attack” on Congress called “Operation House Call.” The idea was for tea partiers to call, email, fax and visit key lawmakers, starting at 1:30 on Tuesday afternoon.

But a quick survey of some of the 13 targeted senators’ offices suggests that the “attack” has barely registered on the Hill. Kimberly Hunter, a spokeswoman for Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) says that at a little after 3:30 on Tuesday, her office hadn’t seen any uptick in calls or visits.

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The Daily Show: Indecision 2009 – Re-indecision 2008 And Beyond

Jon Stewart, John Oliver, Sam Bee and Aasif Mandvi speculate on how they’ll handle New York’s 23rd District election results on Wednesday.

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Filed under Humor, Media and Entertainment, Politics, Pop Culture, TV Shows, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Sarah Palin: The Kiss of Death Endorsement?– as Democrat wins House seat in heavily GOP area in NY

Democrat Bill Owens took a surprising victory in a special election Tuesday in Upstate New York, winning a House seat that Republicans had controlled since 1872 and, in the process, potentially deepening a split that emerged within the GOP during the campaign.

Owens, an attorney, defeated Doug Hoffman, who ran as the nominee of New York’s Conservative Party. With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Owens had 49 percent of the vote, to 45 percent for Hoffman in the far-flung 23rd Congressional District. He will replace John M. McHugh (R), who resigned from Congress in September to become secretary of the Army.

“Upstate New York hasn’t received this much attention since the Miracle on Ice. And tonight, with the entire country watching, Upstate New Yorkers sent a message,” Owens told supporters in Plattsburgh.

His triumph came after a bizarre weekend in which the Republican nominee, state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, dropped out on the eve of the election and endorsed Owens. Her decision came after a slew of prominent Republicans had backed Hoffman and distanced themselves from her, dooming her chances. Scozzafava’s name remained on the ballot, and she received about 5 percent of votes.

As Democrats rallied around Owens, they said Republicans had revealed their intolerance of moderates through the dumping of Scozzafava. Local officials in New York had nominated her instead of Hoffman and others, but that choice set the stage for a conservative uprising that last month went national.

The Kiss of Death?

Leading national Republicans, most notably former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, injected themselves into the race to back Hoffman and blast Scozzafava. In the process, the race turned into a proxy battle for broader questions about the direction of the Republican Party, and the momentum seemed to be irresistibly propelling Hoffman to Washington.

More @:

’09 Exit Polls: Voters Approve of Obama, Wary of Economy

Vast economic discontent marked the mood of Tuesday’s off-year voters, portending potential trouble for incumbents generally and Democrats in particular in 2010. Still the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey looked less like a referendum on Barack Obama than a reflection of their own candidates and issues.

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No on 1/Protect Maine Equality—

Next steps for gay marriage
Maine’s vote to reject gay marriage was decisive, but supporters see a silver lining.

“Ultimately this is going to have to have a national resolution,” says same-sex marriage activist Mary Bonauto, one of the nation’s top lawyers involved in the campaign to legalize gay marriage. “It’s about aligning promises found in the Constitution with America’s laws.” A leader in Maine’s campaign to uphold gay marriage, Bonauto is best known for arguing the same-sex case that led the Massachusetts Supreme Court to strike down prohibitions against gay marriage in a hugely influential 2003 decision that paved the way for that state to become the first to permit gay marriage in 2004.
Source:

We’re in this for the long haul. For next week, and next month, and next year– until all Maine families are treated equally

Dear Supporters.

Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Maine voters stood for equality, but in the end, it wasn’t enough.

I am proud of the thousands of Mainers who knocked on doors, made phone calls and talked to their family, friends and neighbors about the basic premise of treating all Maine families equally.

And I’m proud of this campaign because the stories we told and the images we shared were of real Mainers — parents who stood up for their children, and couples who simply wanted to marry the person they love.

We’re in this for the long haul. For next week, and next month, and next year– until all Maine families are treated equally. Because in the end, this has always been about love and family and that will always be something worth fighting for.

Thank you. Thank you for everything you did. Thank you for digging deep and giving one more dollar to run our TV ads, for making those phone calls for one more hour. This campaign was, from the beginning, powered by people like you who rolled up their sleeves and did the hard work of change.

Stay the course.

Jesse Connolly
Campaign Manager
NO on 1 / Protect Maine Equality


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Misremembering Dr. Tiller: How Law & Order Got It Wrong

Posted by Audiegrl

Law-and-Order-157268Huffington Post/Nancy Northup—It’s never a good idea to look to primetime television for a fair and accurate depiction of the abortion debate. Without fail, TV writers stretch the facts for dramatic effect, oversimplifying choices. Last Friday’s Law & Order episode was no exception. The show’s “balanced and thought-provoking” take on abortion — based on the murder of Dr. George Tiller this past spring — was both damagingly trite and dangerously wrong.

Salon writer Kate Harding got it right when she pointed out earlier this week, that the issue of abortion is not nearly as simple as the NBC show portrayed. The show’s character, Dr. Benning, provides abortions later in pregnancy, like Dr. Tiller, and was shot in his church after surviving a prior shooting, also like Dr. Tiller. With that, the similarities end.

Enter instead a parade of caricatures: the pro-life character whose his own mother didn’t want him and attempted to self-induce. The pro-choice female character who suddenly tosses out her lifelong beliefs and leans pro-life. And another doctor who provides abortions and ultimately reveals on the stand that he’s a raving extremist. None of these narratives have anything to do with the lives of women. Nor do they remotely penetrate the everyday experiences of the doctors and clinic staff who provide abortion.

We recently conducted research investigating the challenges abortion providers face merely to do their jobs, chronicling the appalling circumstances in which providers operate, including regular death threats, dead animals being left at their front doors, break-ins at their homes and offices, and physical assaults by protesters. They live in fear of violence.

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Filed under Abortion, Hollywood, Politics, True Crime, TV Shows, Uncategorized, Women's Issues

Laura Ricketts Is First Openly Gay Major League Baseball Owner

Posted by Audiegrl

LAURARICKETTS-largeHuffington Post/Tim Taliaferro—The Chicago Cubs have reached a baseball milestone and it has nothing to do with their century-plus World Series drought.

With the team’s purchase by the Ricketts Family, the Cubs are the first Major League Baseball team to have an openly gay owner.

Among the new owners is Laura Ricketts, an out lesbian who is also on the board of the gay rights organization Lambda Legal, the Windy City Times reports.

Ricketts, who is a member of the Cubs board of directors, came out to her family in her 30’s.

Chicago_cubs_2I think for a long time I wasn’t really out to myself growing up in Omaha, Neb., to a Catholic conservative family,” Ricketts said. “It took me a while to come out to myself and not long after that I came out to them. I think that it really couldn’t of been a better experience. They were all immediately supportive. … I have been really really fortunate in that regard.”

The Ricketts family bought the Cubs and Wrigley Field from the Tribune Co. for $845 million in a deal that was finalized Oct. 27.

More @ Huffington_Post_Logo

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