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I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as "jack-booted thugs." To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as "wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms" wanting to "attack law abiding citizens" is a vicious slander on good people.

Al Whicher, who served on my [ United States Secret Service ] detail when I was Vice President and President, was killed in Oklahoma City. He was no Nazi. He was a kind man, a loving parent, a man dedicated to serving his country -- and serve it well he did.


Since the USA was downgraded, the remaining AAA-rated nations all have some kind of socialized health care:

Now that the USA no longer has a stellar AAA status, all remaining countries with AAA ratings have socialized medicine.

 While reading this list, remember that our Health Care reform law was watered down after an uprising of Teapublicans marched into Washington screaming, holding misspelled signs — as if they knew more than the rest of the world.

AAA countries according to Standard & Poor’s:

Hong Kong
Isle of Man
United Kingdom

I currently have a dog in this hunt: due to some pre-existing conditions I'm considered uninsurable.

The only thing going for me right now is that I live in Michigan, which has an insurer of last resort in Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. If no one else will cover me, they will, although with a 6 month pre-existing condition exclusion. This prospect is not horrible but still frightening: I have a family as well. If I were to continue my COBRA for the next 8 months or so (prohibitively expensive), then BCBS would take me on and waive the pre-existing condition clause. So I'm either out thousands of dollars or I take the risk that one of my conditions won't flare up for 6 months.

Republicans made great noises about the majority of people wishing to have the ACA repealed. What they always neglected to mention was that a good portion of the repealers felt that the ACA didn't go far enough and that it should be replaced with a single payer option.

I am personally grateful that my bout of uncertainty will come to an end in 2014 when the full ACA is implemented even though I would prefer single payer. As a result I am firmly in favor of keeping the ACA and at the most augmenting the law as it stands. Repeal is too dangerous; the law was hard enough to pass as it is.

Finally, as a small business entrepreneur I will also say that a lack of health care is a significant obstacle to quitting a corporate job and starting a new business. The more people who don't have to worry about health problems bankrupting them, the more businesses will start and grow in our country.


Regarding the ACA, should we:

5%3 votes
32%17 votes
60%32 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes

| 53 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 08:45 AM PST

Dow tumbles... but why?

by RumblyPumbly

This is actually good news... and not just for John McCain:

Leading the declines were energy stocks, as crude-oil futures tumbled and the outlook for coal darkened. Exxon Mobil VZ -2.39% and Chevron XOM -3.88% declined while coal stocks, pegged to rally if Alpha Natural Resources, CVX -2.89% Arch Coal ACI -13.39% and Consol Energy CNX -6.83% . Railroad shares, which rely heavily on coal shipments, were also weak.

Financial stocks were hit hard by investor concerns about the impact of electoral wins by Bank of America BAC -6.09% and J.P. Morgan Chase JPM -5.48% led the Dow laggards. Morgan Stanley MS -6.82% also dropped.

These are the stocks that should be going down. Oil: go away. Coal: die die die. Financial: good riddance.

Disclosure: I used to work for a financial services company. I hates them, my Precious. All that is wrong about our economy may be laid at their looming, Gothic doorstep of greed. People who were in love with the Rombot's business acumen don't understand that no one in the financial sector actually knows anything about actual business. They only know money and how to use it to make more money. You can't base an economy on something that is intrinsically worthless as compared to, you know, actually making things.


In this case we can easily enough re-do the calculation based on the assumption that there are equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans in the electorate and what we see is that Mitt Romney won a narrow victory with 50 percent of the vote to just under 48 percent for Obama. Not bad!
Dean Chambers has been uncharacteristically silent today... last night he was still holding out for Ohio from his bunker in Karl Rove Land:
"He's saying the call in Ohio was premature," said Chambers. "I think we should probably see how a lot of these votes go. The bulk of the votes left uncounted could basically cancel out [the result]."
"We really don't know yet, obviously, and no one is claiming victory or conceding from either camp," Chambers added. "These are overly optimistic projections."
Wait, whose projections were overly optimistic...?

Who won the election last night?

32%20 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes
18%11 votes
1%1 votes
3%2 votes
1%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes
14%9 votes
24%15 votes

| 61 votes | Vote | Results


The majority of voters do not want Obamacare repealed, by a large margin:

The Republican position on health care — led by Mitt Romney and embraced by nearly all the members of the party leadership — is to repeal the entire health care law passed by President Obama and the Democrats.

But that is not the opinion of the majority of voters, according to preliminary exit poll results. The survey shows that just a quarter of the people who voted in the election want to repeal all of Mr. Obama’s law.

About the same amount want to repeal only some of the law. And the rest want to leave the law as it is or expand it.

Republicans have argued for years that the health care law would be an albatross around Mr. Obama’s neck as he seeks re-election. They said the law’s broad scope would be seen by voters as job-killing regulations.

But the exit poll results back up claims by Democrats that some provisions in the law are very popular, and that voters would react negatively to the Republican push to repeal it.

Emphasis mine.

So 75% want all or at least some of it to remain. Ultimately unsurprising, but still heartening.

As someone who is uninsurable (too much to go into, but basically of good health with some unfortunate diagnoses in my past), I am really glad to see this.


The Poll Tax Returns... but not in the South.

College students in New Hampshire sued the state back in September over onerous new voter registration requirements:

College students have long been able to vote here while retaining residency in other states. But the Republican-controlled legislature voted to add a paragraph to registration forms requiring people to declare that they are subject to laws that apply to residents, including having to register their cars here and obtain a New Hampshire driver's license.

That contradicts other laws on the books defining residency versus 'voting domicile,' and because it includes fees, it's an unconstitutional 'poll tax' that impedes voting rights, the lawsuit claims.

But their lawsuit requests Strafford County Superior Court to order the secretary of state to reissue voter registration forms without the new paragraph, and to clarify on the website that people who count New Hampshire as their domicile for voting purposes do not have to obtain a driver's license or register their vehicles here, unless they intend to remain indefinitely.
Republican legislatures across the nation have apparently decided that they've already lost the youth and minority votes. Instead of realizing that they are cannibalizing their own demographic future, they are now implementing laws and regulations that intentionally inhibit these types of voters from voting.

New Hampshire is another state that has a new voter ID law, somewhat under-reported I believe, with some strict provisions that start next year:

There'€™s also a controversial new voter ID requirement in New Hampshire, though people without ID can sign an affidavit, and some of the stricter parts of the law don't kick in until 2013. That, combined with the registration form, are making for a confusing landscape for college students, Fowler and other professors say.
Fortunately, the Obama campaign is doing what it can to help out these students, some 30,000 of the New Hampshire voting population:
"It'€™s becoming a tool for folks to actually encourage participation,"€ says Wayne Lesperance, director of the Center for Civic Engagement at New England College in Henniker, N.H. “People from the Obama campaign have said, "Look, they are trying to make it harder to vote; if you need a ride to the Department of Motor Vehicles [where state IDs are issued], we'll take you.' "€
The lawsuit succeeded in blocking the changes, fortunately, and voter registration and eligibility for students, minorities, and the elderly is proceeding apace:
Like legislatures across the country, the New Hampshire Legislature passed a new voter ID law this year that Republicans said was needed to prevent voter fraud. Democrats and voter advocacy groups vigorously fought the change and maintained it was really intended to discourage populations without New Hampshire driver’s licenses, like students, the elderly and minorities, from voting.

Lawmakers also rewrote the voter registration law, but a pending lawsuit has halted those most significant changes. The new laws took effect shortly before September and confusion followed.

Without much time to get up to speed for the primary, election officials at some polling places were misinformed and turned away some voters who didn'€™t have a photo identification. Since then, Gardner and Attorney General Michael Delaney, as well as voter advocacy groups, have worked hard to bring election officials and voters up to speed.

Additionally, residents can obtain a temporary voter ID card for use in voting.

I'm glad to see it being amicably resolved, with none of the ridiculous Husted-style mendacity and recalcitrance. However, attacks on the rights of voters will continue as long as Republicans can obtain majorities in state legislatures. Do what you can in your state and local elections to halt the inroads these reactionaries are making. The presidential election is one thing... we need to turn out and GOTV in 2 years as well.

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