Posted by: Bluedog89
HP ~ Conservative talk show hosts and columnists have ridiculed an 11-year-old Washington state boy’s account of his mother’s death as a “sob story” exploited by the White House and congressional Democrats like a “kiddie shield” to defend their health care legislation.
Conservative talk show hosts and columnists attack child whose mother died after losing her job and health insurance benefits.
Photo courtesty of Rod Lamkey Jr. / MCT.
Marcelas Owens, whose mother got sick, lost her job, lost her health insurance and died, said Thursday he’s taking the attacks from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin in stride.
“My mother always taught me they can have their own opinion but that doesn’t mean they are right,” Owens, who lives in Seattle, said in an interview.
Owens’ grandmother, Gina, who watched her daughter die, isn’t quite so generous.
“These are adults, and he is an 11-year-old boy who lost his mother,” Gina Owens said. “They should be ashamed.”
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., told Marcelas Owens’ story to President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House health care summit last month. Murray also has spoken about it on the Senate floor. Last week, Owens was in the nation’s capital to speak at a health care rally and to meet with Senate Democratic leadership.
Limbaugh, Beck and Malkin are skeptical about the story, saying there were other forms of medical help available after Owens’ mother, Tifanny, lost her health insurance. They lambasted Democrats for using the story.
“Now this is unseemly, exploitative, an 11-year-old boy being forced to tell his story all over just to benefit the Democrat Party and Barack Obama,” Limbaugh said on March 12, according to a transcript his show. “And, I would say this to Marcelas Owens: ‘Well, your mom would still have died, because Obamacare doesn’t kick in until 2014.'”
Beck, according to a transcript of his March 15 show, pointed out that Owens’ recent trip to Washington was paid for by Healthcare of America, a group that has been lobbying for a health care overhaul.
“That’s the George Soros-funded Obama-approved group fighting for health care,” Beck said. “Since all of the groups are so concerned and involved now, may I ask where were you when Marcelas’ mother was vomiting blood?”
Beck, who’s from Mount Vernon, Wash., said there were plenty of programs in Washington state that could have helped Tifanny Owens.
Malkin dismissed Marcelas Owens as “one of Obama’s youngest lobbyists” who has been “goaded by a left-wing activist grandmother,” promoted by Murray and has become a regular on the “pro-Obamacare circuit.”
Malkin also suggested there were other programs that could have helped Tifanny Owens, adding, “It’s not clear that additional doctors’ visits in the subsequent months would have prevented her death.”
Tifanny Owens died in June 2007 of pulmonary hypertension, which is described as high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs that can lead to heart failure. The disease is considered rare. While there’s no cure, it can be treated.
The treatments can cost as much as $100,000 a year and must be “consistent and constant,” said Katie Kroner, the director of advocacy and awareness for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.
“It’s extremely important to have health coverage,” she said.
Owens was an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant when she became sick in September 2006. As she became sicker, she missed work and was eventually fired, leaving her without health insurance. She was treated twice in an emergency room and died at age 27 after a week of unconsciousness. Gina Owens has custody of Marcelas and his two younger sisters.
Gina Owens said her daughter didn’t qualify for Medicaid. State officials said that without knowing the details, it was impossible to speculate on whether Tifanny Owens would have qualified.
Tifanny Owens might have been eligible for Washington state’s basic health care plan, which is aimed at the working poor. The plan has had a long waiting list for some time, said Sharon Michael of the Washington state Health Care Authority.
“Right now, we have 100,000 people on the wait list,” Michael said.
Limbaugh has gone after young people before. In 2007, he told listeners that Democrats were exploiting an 18-year-old Yup’ik Eskimo and that her congressional testimony of global warming made him want to “puke.”
Murray said she was appalled at how vicious the health care debate has become.
“The mom in me is getting really mad,” she said. “You don’t tear apart an 11-year-old because his mom died.”
Marcelas Owens said he’ll never know if his mother might have lived if she had health insurance.
“At least if she had it she would’ve had a fighting chance,” he said.
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Posted by: Audiegrl
HP~The Senate confirmed 27 high-level Obama nominees Thursday evening just days after President Obama threatened to use recess appoints. The Senate is scheduled to begin their break on Monday, Feb. 15.
On Tuesday, Obama met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a bipartisan meeting and warned that he would use the upcoming Senate recess to appoint his nominees. At the beginning of the week, more than 63 nominees had holds on their confirmation.
Obama made a surprise appearance before the White House press corps on Tuesday, announcing that he would consider making recess appointments if congress did not act.
In a statement released Thursday after his nominees were confirmed, Obama said that he might still make recess appointments if the Senate does not act after it comes back from recess. The Senate’s next recess after President’s Day will begin March 29.
From the White House:
Today, the United States Senate confirmed 27 of my high-level nominees, many of whom had been awaiting a vote for months.
At the beginning of the week, a staggering 63 nominees had been stalled in the Senate because one or more senators placed a hold on their nomination. In most cases, these holds have had nothing to do with the nominee’s qualifications or even political views, and these nominees have already received broad, bipartisan support in the committee process.
Instead, many holds were motivated by a desire to leverage projects for a Senator’s state or simply to frustrate progress. It is precisely these kinds of tactics that enrage the American people.
And so on Tuesday, I told Senator McConnell that if Republican senators did not release these holds, I would exercise my authority to fill critically-needed positions in the federal government temporarily through the use of recess appointments. This is a rare but not unprecedented step that many other presidents have taken. Since that meeting, I am gratified that Republican senators have responded by releasing many of these holds and allowing 29 nominees to receive a vote in the Senate.
While this is a good first step, there are still dozens of nominees on hold who deserve a similar vote, and I will be looking for action from the Senate when it returns from recess. If they do not act, I reserve the right to use my recess appointment authority in the future.
Filed under Barack Obama, Cabinet, Change, Congress, Conservative, Creepy right-wing antics, Democrats, Media and Entertainment, Obama Administration, Partisan Politics, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Republicans, RNC
Posted by: BuellBoy
FiveThirtyEight/Nate Silver~One of the more commonplace assertions among pundits on the center-right — made rather carelessly by Victor Davis Hanson and more thoughtfully by Jay Cost, is that agenda put forward by Obama and the Democrats is overwhelmingly unpopular and that Democrats are simply getting their comeuppance for having pushed such a liberal set of reforms forward. These claims, however, rely on selective evidence, invariably citing policies like health care and the GM bailouts which are indeed unpopular (strongly so, in some cases), while ignoring many other issues on which Obama has been on the right side of public opinion.
In fact, a more objective and equivocal evaluation of public opinion on more than two dozen specific issues finds that the Republican Congress has far more often been on the wrong side of it. Attempting to be as comprehensive as possible, I’ve identified 25 issues that Obama and the Democrats have made an affirmative effort to push forward since taking office a year ago, and summarized public opinion on each of them. Most of the numbers that I’ve cited come from PollingReport.com.
Filed under Barack Obama, Blue Dogs/DINOS, Change, Congress, Conservative, Democrats, Elections, Governors, Independents, Mayors, Media and Entertainment, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Polls, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Pundits (television), Republicans, RNC, Senate, Technology, Uncategorized
Posted by: BetsM
President Obama isn’t nearly as scared of the terrorists as Bush was—and that’s precisely why al Qaeda is falling apart
The Daily Beast/Peter Beinart
~Republicans think about terrorism the way Democrats think about poverty. Democrats know their anti-poverty policies don’t always work. But they tell themselves that at least their hearts are in the right place, at least they care about the problem.
That’s the way Republicans think about terrorism. In unguarded moments, honest Republicans will admit that not all of the Bush administration’s anti-terror policies worked. But they tell themselves that at least they know America is at war; at least they know the terrorists are evil; at least they really care about the problem.
In a sense, the Republicans are right: they do worry more about terrorism than Democrats. You can see it in the polls. Democrats–especially liberal Democrats—focus part of their foreign policy anxiety on things like climate change, global pandemics and financial collapse. For many Republicans, by contrast, the terrorists are today’s equivalent of the Nazis and the communists: they’re the only threat that really matters. Everything else is an afterthought.
But as conservatives used to say during the poverty debates of the 1960s and 1970s, intentions and outcomes are not the same thing. Sometimes, ironically enough, not worrying quite so much can produce better results.
Which brings us to Barack Obama’s “war on terror.” Conservatives keep saying that Obama doesn’t really believe we’re at war; that he sees terrorists as mere criminals, not the epic evil-doers that they really are. But here’s the irony: It’s precisely because he doesn’t see the terrorist threat as quite so epic that al Qaeda is falling apart.
Filed under 9/11, Al-Qaeda, Barack Obama, Change, Conservative, Democrats, George W. Bush, Homeland Security, Media and Entertainment, Middle East, Military, News, Obama Administration, Partisan Politics, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Republicans, Robert M. Gates (Sec of Defense), Terrorism, Uncategorized, War