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Eugene Robinson at The Washington Post writes that the Affordable Health Care act is here to stay, despite Republican pipe dreams:
Any existential threat to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ended with the popping of champagne corks as the new year arrived. That was when an estimated 6 million uninsured Americans received coverage through expanded Medicaid eligibility or the federal and state health insurance exchanges. Obamacare is now a fait accompli; nobody is going to take this coverage away.

There may be more huffing, puffing and symbolic attempts at repeal by Republicans in Congress. There may be continued resistance and sabotage by Republican governors and GOP-controlled state legislatures. But the whole context has changed.

Meanwhile, The Detroit Free Press says extending unemployment benefits should be "job No. 1" for Congress this year:
There’s simply no good justification — economic or social — to heap more hardship on those who were hardest hit by the economic downturn. It’s not good for them. It won’t be good for the country. When Congress gets back to work after the new year, restoring jobless benefits needs to be high on its agenda.
More on the day's top stories below the fold.

Raising the minimum wage will be a big story this year. Harold Meyerson explains how Democrats will lead the charge:

Most efforts to raise the minimum wage this year are likely to come in blue states and cities. The recent leftward movement of U.S. cities, symbolized by the landslide election of Bill de Blasio as New York’s mayor, is an underappreciated factor in U.S. politics. Twenty years ago, six of the country’s dozen largest cities had Republican mayors. Today, none do, even when those cities — including Houston, Dallas and Phoenix — are nestled in red states. The transformation of major U.S. cities is rooted in demographics, as immigrants and young professionals — both preponderantly liberal constituencies — have clustered in urban areas.
The evolution of the Boy Scouts' stance on gays isn't complete, says The New York Times:
Unfortunately, the organization still refuses to fully renounce discrimination, and will continue to prohibit gay and lesbian adults from serving as troop leaders. This will perpetuate the idea that gays are inferior and that being gay is inconsistent with the Boy Scout values of strong moral character and leadership. It also means that gay youngsters who excel as scouts will be denied the chance to serve as pack or troop leaders when they turn 18.
On the topic of climate change, in case you missed it, it's worst than we thought. Nick Visser at HuffPo summarizes:
Climate change may be far worse than scientists thought, causing global temperatures to rise by at least 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, or about 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Nature, takes a fresh look at clouds' effect on the planet, according to a report by The Guardian. The research found that as the planet heats, fewer sunlight-reflecting clouds form, causing temperatures to rise further in an upward spiral.

That number is double what many governments agree is the threshold for dangerous warming. Aside from dramatic environmental shifts like melting sea ice, many of the ills of the modern world -- starvation, poverty, war and disease -- are likely to get worse as the planet warms.

Which means steps like this can't happen soon enough:
...But while the public’s attention has been on his diplomacy in the Middle East, behind the scenes at the State Department Mr. Kerry has initiated a systematic, top-down push to create an agencywide focus on global warming.

His goal is to become the lead broker of a global climate treaty in 2015 that will commit the United States and other nations to historic reductions in fossil fuel pollution.

Any why letters to the editor like this one by Warren Senders in Massachusetts are so important:
ALEC’s malign influence on the legislative process is by now reasonably well known. Its “model legislation” is routinely enacted without change by lawmakers too lazy or too corrupt to do their jobs responsibly.

And there’s nothing at all to laugh about when it comes to climate change. The accelerating greenhouse effect is on track to catastrophically disrupt agriculture, infrastructure and the other support systems of our civilization. Yet ALEC and other ultra-conservative forces have used their financial resources to seriously hobble national or regional efforts to prepare for disastrous outcomes.

WARREN SENDERS, Medford, Mass.


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Comment Preferences

  •  That darn John Kerry must be in league (28+ / 0-)

    with the scientists who are perpetuating a liberal hoax on the rest of us with all this global warming talk.  

  •  It is just stunning that republicans can savagely (29+ / 0-)

    cut foodstamps AND unemployment and suffer no actual natural consequences.

    An excellent measure of just how much they do not fear the common person.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 04:44:30 AM PST

    •  Classic bully dynamics. (4+ / 0-)

      Legal means "good".
      [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

      by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 04:45:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and dems walked away from poverty in 1980 (8+ / 0-)

      as described in the excellent book on ACORN "Seeds of Change"

      the oligarchy hates the middle class because they want things like a commons - the things I had in the 60's like jobs and excellent education

      even hunting was egalitarian

      these days the rich are buying up farms and turning them into private hunting reserves

      the monarchy that we fought during the revolution is back in power

      and the political system supports neither the middle class nor the whole population which includes the poor

      and they can get away with it


      Meteor Blades' Open Thread for Night Owls has one explanation - we believe that others believe in the system but we know that the system is broken. We are smarter than they are because we know that they are deluded.

      here is the link to MB

      •  The system isn't broken (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, LMS44, MBramble, shoeless

        It is built against us at this time.

        We voted ourselves into this.

        I supremely doubt we will vote our way out of it.

        That system has to be disrupted.

        Legal means "good".
        [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

        by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:06:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  the rich had their private preserves in the 60s (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ellid, I love OCD, Stude Dude

        ahh, the 60s, when everything was perfect in the world.

        I understand you're trying to make a point but appealing to the glory days long past is a bad way to make it. Some things were better, some things were worse, same as it ever was.

        The Dems walked away from poverty because they were getting obliterated by the Republicans for "coddling the poor". Just as in a decade Tea Party types will complain that the Republicans walked away from liberty.

        •  Things were much worse in the 60's in many ways (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          John Chapman

          Remember how women couldn't get credit in their own names?  Help wanted ads were segregated by gender?  Non-whites couldn't marry whites?  Pregnant women were given Miltowns or Thalidomide?  Gasoline had lead in it?  

          Yes, in some ways the 60's were better, but in a lot of ways they weren't.  Too bad we couldn't have kept the good when we tossed the bad.

          This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

          by Ellid on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:53:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What was most memorable about the 60s? (0+ / 0-)

            Students and workers were in open rebellion against the status quo.

            People were fighting back in great numbers against racism and against sexism and war.

            That's what genuinely makes the 60s different from other eras. The 1930s were better than the 60s in this respect and the Occupy movement is a positive reflection of both memorable decades when people were fed up and showed they weren't going to take it anymore.

            Long Live Occupy
    •  Or it is about how much they trust... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, shoeless

      ...their voter suppression tactics.

      The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

      by NCJim on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:37:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, maybe the answer is in the depressing piece (7+ / 0-)

      a few days ago by George Will. He is largely in the wilderness over the last 30 some years, but once in a while he writes something worth reading. While I disagree entirely with his conclusion, small government, the foundation he lays in getting there in "The price of political ignorance: More government" matches my observations and is truly appalling.

      Voters cannot hold officials responsible if they do not know what government is doing, or which parts of government are doing what. Given that 20 percent thinks the sun revolves around the Earth, it is unsurprising that a majority is unable to locate major states such as New York on a map. Usually only 30 percent of Americans can name their two senators. The average American expends more time becoming informed about choosing a car [for years I have said "new suit"—an even lower threshold]  than choosing a candidate. But, then, the consequences of the former choice are immediate and discernible.

      Many people, says Somin, acquire political knowledge for the reason people acquire sports knowledge — because it interests them, not because it will alter the outcome of any contest. And with “confirmation bias,” many people use political information to reinforce their preexisting views. Committed partisans are generally the most knowledgeable voters, independents the least. And the more political knowledge people have, the more apt they are to discuss politics with people who agree with, and reinforce, them.

      The problem of ignorance is unlikely to be ameliorated by increasing voter knowledge because demand for information, not the supply of it, is the major constraint on political knowledge. Despite dramatic expansions of education and information sources, abundant evidence shows the scope of political ignorance is remarkably persistent over time. New information technologies have served primarily to increase the knowledge of the already well-informed, which increases the ability of some to engage in “rent-seeking” from the regulatory state, manipulating its power in order to transfer wealth to themselves. And if political knowledge is measured relative to government’s expanding scope, ignorance is increasing rapidly: There is so much more to be uninformed about.

      So, from that he gets we need very little government and to let more "popular" things like leaving decisions to the market rule.

      That is where I can only shake my head at illogical conclusions. In my experience most of the same people are as ignorant and foolish in the "market" and leaving such important things as food safety, nuclear regulation, climate change and all the other "complex" things the public is apparently befuddled about government doing purely to the market is akin to suicide. Interesting argument when applied to inmates, asylums and how they should be managed!

      Then to is a citizenry that is just too damn uninterested to pay attention to things that are very real life as opposed to virtual reality, sports and entertainment. Ignorance isn't new, as in the opening reference to Churchill's remark (“the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”), but it seems to me we are at and have been in quite a slump over the last few decades.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:41:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And, that my friends, is the reason for Fox! (5+ / 0-)

        George Will just dropped his drawers, flashed his a$$, and explained to the world, why Fox News was created and why ignorant, ill-informed voters are drawn to Fox News.

        Will explained that 24/7 conservative nonsense, brought to the ignorant by the likes of O'Reilly, Hannity, and Megyn Kelly, simply reinforces their preconceived notions and convinces them that they are better informed than anybody else because that is ALL that they hear and see on Fox News.

        My wife, daughter and granddaughters should have more privacy in their doctor's office than I have buying another rifle or shotgun.

        by NM Ray on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:32:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, and though we have no hard evidence, one (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          I love OCD, OregonWetDog

          suspects the "only 30 percent of Americans can name their two senators" have high overlap with that stubborn 30% so common in popular polls favoring Bush at his lowest and so on. "They" are the "only 38 percent of Americans knew the Soviet Union was not a member of NATO"—though I'd probably question the form of the question because they almost certainly knew they were on the other side from us and maybe just didn't distinguish between NATO and Warsaw Pact or some such.

          The really amazing bit to me is how Will and perhaps the author of the book he refers to conclude we should accept idiotic ignorance and do away with government and let the market type things decide—with much of the same mindless driving force behind market "decisions"!

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:24:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The flaw in Will's "Logic" (4+ / 0-)

        is his apparent argument that confirmation bias leads to a more knowledgeable voter.

        Many people he knows, still personally know a lot about Obama's lack of U.S. citizenship for instance....

        I would rather watch a baseball game played by people who are good at playing baseball vs. people who are knowledgeable about the game, or better yet, knowledgeable about what some goddamned hack like Will thinks is meta about baseball.

         I would rather my government be led by people who are good at leading, than being led by people who are good at touching the emotional buttons of what a goddamned hack like Will thinks is meta about politics.

        •  Any but truly dim bulbs want people more (0+ / 0-)

          knowledgeable and even smarter than themselves in government. Or they should.

          Unfortunately too many seem to want someone they'd like to have a beer with or hang out with and I think that trend has increased. One of the things I've personally seen over my life, voting since 1960, is what some have called the rise of the "underclass." I have seen far too many over the last three or so decades "entitled" to differ from abysmal ignorance even with recognized experts.

          We see that in science now, a greater willingness of people completely ignorant challenging people with a lifetime's study and experience. Teachers I know mention parents without a clue demanding they are right and have a "right" to their view. I more often run in to people that get quite loud in challenging things that are well within my areas of expertise. It is sometimes seen on things like Wikipedia where any "editor" can challenge and revert something that is easily checked out to actually be a pretty expert summary. Everybody is entitled and everybody is as expert as they want to claim to be and we hand out credentials quite often that are actually about as significant as those old mail order degrees. Nobody flunks. If you've got the cash and time you will get a credential somewhere.

          It has, in my view over time, from where there was respect for expertise—even if it was how to build something without "book learning"—to far too often a democracy of quite aggressive, entitled idiots.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:10:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Will, who hasn't had a new idea since Nixon was (3+ / 0-)

        pardoned, is paid to come to certain conclusions. That's why he doesn't know too much about anything. He knows which side is bread is buttered on.

        48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

        by slouching on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:57:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Government isn't just (0+ / 0-)

        elected officials.  It is an infrastructure of workers and institutions that actually do shit that actually benefits the citizenry.  It is also an infrastructure the buys from private companies on a huge scale.  The arms industry is a huge one, but there are other businesses as well, such as small companies that sell specialty supplies to libraries and museums.

        So yes, it matters who gets in office, but government is a lot more than the people who get elected.  They come and go, and government employees keep working.

        "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

        by Reepicheep on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 11:35:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was one. Trouble is the elected ones can gut the (0+ / 0-)

          best programs, slash budgets as mindless as a bull in a china shop, fund idiocy and drive the best career people out. Some of this is self inflicted (and the elected ones sometimes make sure to limit self promotion) but most is just public ignorance and even foolishness.

          Some of those elected ones and much of the public don't really see any sense in a National Weather Service. Why, just look! Your local Fox station has weather at six! As if Fox Channel X maintained all those radars, sensor sites and the far out stuff at sea and in space!

          People here have not much liked my calls for a truly hard shutdown when these idiots pull such a stunt, but the purpose behind some labor strikes—see what you miss when we walk out—does apply. Sort of along Will's actual points is We have a population so intentionally myth ridden with a link to this story of NWS robbing Peter to pay Paul and the head having to resign under pressure from the elected idiocrats.

          The public is a mummy wrapped in illusions in so many cases. Diplomats and immunity for example. The comments in "Diplomats who commit crimes shouldn’t get a free pass" and the opinion piece itself are an example. Oh yes, stand on our law. It is right and just (read India's media and there is a very different view!). Trouble is the history of diplomats includes state hostages. Subject theirs to our law and ours? Ok, in Russia at the moment even advocating "gay" issues is a crime. Our consul speaks informally at a dinner of visitors criticizing the Russian stance and is subject to prosecution and jail—and compared to some Russia is a very civilized nation. Our consul in an Islamic state is subject to Sharia law? No way! Uh, yes, because reciprocity is the underlying rule. Nail their diplomat under one of our just laws and woops! Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death—and he did not do that as part of his official duty. Yep, unfair as hell to Joe Plumber that their guy is treated so specially, but unless we do we can expect reciprocity, sometimes asymmetrical reciprocity!

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:10:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The common people are "ducks." (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBramble, a2nite

      They walk funny and go "squawk, squawk, squawk."

      Republicans are EAGLES.

      They fly high, live large, and are Men of Influence.

      Ever hear of Jordan Belfort ???

      That's part of Belfort's Straight Line Persuasion System, which has been swiped more or less whole and adapted for RNC, Powell Memo orgs, the further Right-running Freedomworks, Leadership Institute,

      They use Belfort's structures and his language with maybe a 10% rewrite. Of course, altogether they're a criminal enterprise.

  •  WarrenS (6+ / 0-)

    Has been on a mission for 4 years!
    He has decided to move in a different direction this year.

    The Climate Message

    Thank You Warren

  •  Not that I ever actually was on unemployment (8+ / 0-)

    but I don't need 'encouragement' as a long term unemployed to find a job - I need help actually getting a job.  Hell, if the government wants to make itself useful, either do another massive WPA, or at the very least, create a bunch of unpaid internship type openings to get free labor out of folks while giving them experience they can put on their resume and keep their skills up to date, so that employers don't simply pass them over because they've been idled too long.

    •  I'm not a fan of unpaid internships (4+ / 0-)

      because you still have to eat somehow.

      IMO the first place to start would be the federal government getting off the hiring-freeze-shrink-the-government shtick and actually hiring people, with adequate funding for both direct government programs (National Parks, IRS offices) and grant-making agencies (NEH, NSF, NIH, HUD). If there's adequate funding for Head Start, then Head Start programs all over the country hire more teachers and aides (and enable more parents to have reliable child care). And so on down the line.

      I'm not convinced that rolling out a big new federal jobs program is useful. And politically, it's basically impossible in the current gridlock. A budget that adequately funds domestic programs is difficult to achieve, but not impossible.

    •  If those unpaid internships... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Stude Dude

      ...came with "non-cash" compensation like room, board and credit toward loan balances (1 year of service eliminates 1/4 of accumulated student loan debt?) and if the internships involved "low tech" but necessary work (much like the CCC??) I could get warm to the idea.

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:35:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bring back the WPA and the CCC (0+ / 0-)

      It worked before, and worked magnificently - America got public art, public works, theater, books, library services, teachers, research facilities, and nutrition/childcare programs, and millions of people were given the equivalent of what they would have gotten on relief in the form of paychecks and what FDR called "the dignity of work."  It was a huge success, and kept America from sliding into the abyss during a time of seething social unrest.  Why we can't have something like that now is beyond me.

      This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

      by Ellid on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:59:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Egypt goes after muppets - laughing stock? (6+ / 0-)

    Egyptian Military Junta Jumps the Shark, Interrogates Islamist Muppet

    Vodafone had produced a commercial for the Egyptian market featuring muppet characters Abla Fahita and her daughter Karkura. Ms. Fahita speaks to an off-screen character, Mama Tutu, whom one television pundit, Ahmad Spider, accused of being symbolic of the now-proscribed Muslim Brotherhood. Spider had earlier maintained that the 2011 revolutionaries were a conspiracy of Freemasons.

    The Egyptian government prosecutor general then actually asked the state security office to investigate the commercials. A Vodafone executive said “I don’t know what to say, I’m sad that we have reached this level of thinking…” The state security prosecutor interrogated him on Wednesday, asking if the muppets were transmitting secret code for the Muslim Brotherhood.

    The Egyptian state has long been peopled by people obsessed with weird conspiracy theories. That kind of thinking is encouraged by dictatorship. It is transparency that cuts down on paranoia. Unfortunately, Egypt’s brief fling with democracy did little to dispel the conspiracy theory mindset on the part of high officials and television hosts.

  •  Thanks for the roundup this morning, Georgia, and (10+ / 0-)

    what a great letter from Warren Senders of Medford, Massachusetts!  Perhaps the trad. med. will begin to admit the existence of global warming. My own local rag, the WaPo, seems stuck in the early 19th century on many issues.

    As for ALEC, why can't the left come up with its own "model legislation"?  They could call it "BLINK" for "Better Laws Initiated Nationwide, Kiddo."

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:00:14 AM PST

  •  Our Afghanistan Failure Was Led by Obama and ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Our Afghanistan Failure Was Led by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

    Obama had run for the White House promising to escalate the war against Afghanistan’s Taliban and Al Qaeda, and this is a promise that he kept, even though President Bush had already lost that war, by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in order to fight in Iraq, and then by abandoning the Afghan people to their corrupt aristocracy or “warlords.”

    Obama was thus now embarking on a policy to take upon himself the blame for Bush’s failure, to try to salvage that failure; but, instead, he made it even worse.

    The U.S. was now backing a corrupt government, which was able to win re-“election” only by massive ballot-box stuffing......

    I added the bold. Can't blame that on the Republicans. Rest of article is about how war was handled including Saint Petraeus who could have been president but for the ultimate sin, namely a sex scandal.  
  •  Chris Hayes had an (7+ / 0-)

    excellent segment on climate change last night - mostly about the right wing effort to mock & debunk. The broader picture is the anti-science everything position the right has taken & how it's become a "win" to mock anything science related. They may just keep laughing about the snow & global warming until it isn't funny.
    At least some are fighting the anti-science movement - just read that Bill Nye is debating evolution with the guy from the creationist museum...hmmm, hope it's live.

    •  GOP can't afford to go into 2014 this stupid....or (6+ / 0-)

      can they?

      •  Yes they can because the can do a lot of damage (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skillet, hulibow, ProgressiveOldMan, rmb, Ellid

        Especially locally.

        They are stupid & evil & stupid people elected them.

        nosotros no somos estúpidos

        by a2nite on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:28:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Parents demanded the Right to Stupidity (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And, now they are home-schooling their kids to teach them how much that they don't know.

          If you believe in evolution, you must realize that ignorance is a dominant genetic trait.  Stupid people f*ck other stupid people and the result is stupid kids.  Now, with home schooling, we have stupid people teaching their stupid kids absolutely nothing, and that is sanctioned by the state.

          Smarter people realize that too many people creates too much of a demand on our planet and they exercise restraint in their natural habits while stupid people think that is a sin and that all they need to do is procreate and create more kids.

          My wife, daughter and granddaughters should have more privacy in their doctor's office than I have buying another rifle or shotgun.

          by NM Ray on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:40:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Smart people typically don't "exercise restraint" (0+ / 0-)

            on their "habits" (i.e. have fewer kids), because they are concerned for the planet.  Most smart people have fewer kids because they are concerned for their finances and personal time, both of which are impacted dramatically with each new kid you have.

            Sorry, but let's not give people too much credit.

          •  Interesting then (0+ / 0-)

            that stupid people hate the government regulation that protects them from doing stupid things.

            I've long believed that there is a certain degree of long-term stability in most political ideologies.  Take conservatism-- populated by idiots who, if they had their way, would eliminate government to the point that the stupid would have no protection from their own stupidity.  In the long run, the loss of education would be balanced out by the loss of the foolish as they exercised their constitutional and God-given rights to shoot themselves in the face while cleaning their guns and drinking beer.

            On the other hand, liberals believe in eliminating most unnecessary dangers from private and public life.  The foolhardy have jobs and safeties on their guns and powertools, but at the same time, they are educated from birth.  

            Unfortunately, our society has an odd combination of the worst of both worlds.  We have products that can't harm you and schools that don't educate you.

            One man gathers what another man spills

            by John Chapman on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:31:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  They have to be this stupid... (5+ / 0-) least until Primary Season is over.

        Not that they can - wait for it - bring out the Etch-A-Sketch and erase all the stupid after that.

        Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:30:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Creationist Museum is a laughingstock in (3+ / 0-)

      Europe. Of course, I'm sure that proves it's correctness all the more to Republicans. Perhaps the anti-science guy will come in to the debate riding a dinosaur model (a bit like Doctor Who in the episode of his saving dinosaurs---riding a triceratops).

  •  Game over man.....The Decider has decided..... (3+ / 0-)
  •  Thanx TPM.....was just looking at Scarborough.... (0+ / 0-)
  •  ACA will cost more...or something (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Medicaid Expansion Boosted Emergency Room Visits In Oregon

    I realize that less expensive options exist, but does everyone that accesses the ER? Do they have the time and mental/emotional space to sort through the options? Stress and panic, already in disproportionate doses among most people who are Medicaid-eligible, don't contribute to "optimal cost decision making."

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:50:25 AM PST

    •  you have to read this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with the 2013 RAND study about the evolving role of ED's.  In their study virtually every physician both primary care and specialist said they refer more complex patients to the ED.

      •  Haven't read it, but "more complex patients"... (0+ / 0-) a red flag for me.

        It doesn't necessarily mean "rates emergency-level" intervention, and that is the biggest thing we need to tackle: appropriate medical intervention for the vast majority of any patient universe.

        My work with low income families informs me that known chronic condition is probably too often equivalent to "more complex patient" and the ER may not  be any better suited to intervene with those patients as a walk-in clinic or community health center in most cases.

        Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:23:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  read it (0+ / 0-)

          before commenting about it.

        •  The Oregon study saw an average number of visits (0+ / 0-)

          to be 1 in the non medicaid and 1.4 in the group on Medicaid. Hardly a real difference.While the difference may be statistically different it is not a substantial difference.

          Plus it will take more than a year or two to get things sorted out and teach people where they can go. According to Oregon officials now the ER visit number has dropped significantly.

          The ACA is building out 1200 new Community Health Centers. Oregon didn't have a similar increase in primary care clinics.

          I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

          by samddobermann on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:52:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  *The ACA is half assed at best, (0+ / 0-)

    but I suppose, still better than a stick in the eye... if you can still afford it on 3 minimum wage jobs.

    *When there are few living wage jobs to be had and no desire whatsoever by our corporate owned government to increase them (where's the mega-profit in paying 'the people'?). The least the can do is pay those still willing to work for as long as the illusion lasts that we're still a country and not the elitist dictatorship we've become.

    * Global warming?
    We reap what the resource rapists for profit at ANY COST sow... death and destruction of this beautiful blue marble in the sky and all those who will be left scrabbling for survival on it.

    An interesting aside on trying to help ourselves:

    Finché c'è vita, c'è speranza

    by gininitaly on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:56:36 AM PST

  •  At this point in GOPTP politics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, skillet, Amber6541

    there are two categories of republicans: the rich and the ignorant.

    If we lie to the government, it's a felony...but if they lie to us it's politics.

    by rmb on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:56:58 AM PST

  •  RedState: Minimum wage 40 years ago. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Amber6541, sweatyb, Inland

    From the comments:

    I consider myself quite fortunate the minimum wage was low enough for my first employers to have considered it worth the risk to hire me nearly 40 years ago.
    When adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage would have been about $9.00 in 2012 dollars. Even that is not taking into consideration that American workers are about three times more productive than they were 40 years ago.

    If a rising tide floats all ships, it is not evident in the wages American workers make.

    “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

    by se portland on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:58:07 AM PST

  •  I wonder how many of the 6 million (4+ / 0-)

    who just got health insurance through Obamacare are teabaggers.

    I do know one thing. They will use it and continue to bitch about it.

    Jesus loves Republicans, and shares their hatred of homosexuals and Hilliary Clinton.

    by shoeless on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:02:29 AM PST

  •  The cause of global warming has been found (3+ / 0-)

    in Florida, at Rush Limbaugh's radio studio.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:03:13 AM PST

  •  If we're lucky the Yellowstone caldera (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland

    will erupt and obliterate the upper midwest.
    But the planet will cool off.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:16:46 AM PST

    •  Nuclear winter? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Nuclear winter (also known as atomic winter) is a hypothetical climatic effect of countervalue nuclear war. Models suggest that detonating dozens or more nuclear weapons on cities prone to firestorm, comparable to the Hiroshima bombing of 1945,[1] could have a profound and severe effect on the climate causing cold weather and reduced sunlight for a period of months or even years by the emission of large amounts of the firestorms smoke and soot into the Earth's stratosphere.

      “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

      by se portland on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:21:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would just like to point out... (7+ / 0-)

    ...that I am Warren Senders, and I wrote that letter, and I'm UserID 79790, and I've been here for seven years so far.


    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:37:32 AM PST

  •  adjusted for inflation, the 1968 wage was equal to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OregonWetDog, SueDe

    around 10.55 today. we need a new New Deal in this country. there are 10 elements in the modern New deal I's like to see
    1. Establishment of a department of conservation. this department will consist of 5 agencies, national Parks Service, National Forest Service, Fish and wildlife Service, Environmental Protection agency, and a revived Civilian Conservation Corp. Each agency will get 20 billion in funding a year, for a total of 100 billion. Most federal public land will be moved from blm to Conservation, with sensitive areas like the San rafeal Swell, Bristol Bay and the Great Lakes, set aside as monuments or parks.
    2 increasing SS cap to 200K, or 90% of wages. when Tip O Neill and Reagan reformed ss, the cap was placed at 90% of wages. Currently its about 83%. Raising it to 200K will partly stabilize the program. Getting close to full employment will take care of the rest.
    3 Revival of the Public Works and Works Progress Administrations, geared towards finding work for people that addresses infrastructure issues, such as repairing or removing obsolete dams, bridges and roads, upgrading to high speed rail and put in solar panels on much of the homes in the West.
    4,. Raising minimum wage to 11 dollars, with indexing to inflation, so the wage goes up every year.
    5 Reestablishing Glass Stengall or similar legislation, to reduce risks from banks messing around with the market.
    6 Enshrine Collecting bargaining, and eliminating so-called right to work. the Wagner Act legalized CB, and ensuring that union workers can work in any state, and prohibiting states from banning the workers from organizing, would likely help rebuild the middle class.
    7 Reestablish Carter era tax rates, with billionaires paying 70% and top estate tax being 77% for estates over 10 million. raise capital gains to 35% for anyone making 5 million in the stock markets. 30% for anyone making 250K up to 5 million.
    8 Reestablish the Fairness doctrine. eliminating the stranglehold the RW has on  the radio is a good thing, so the public can be more informed.
    9 institute ability to recall state officials nationwide, for whatever reason the public sees fit. Requirements for recall will be getting signatures equal to 25% of the vote in the last election, with a yes-no question on recall of the current officeholder , then a long list of candidates, with the highest vote-getter being elected, if a majority vote to recall. recall is subject to same limitations on donors as regular elections.
    10. eliminating tax havens. denying rich folk the ability to stash money overseas will  bring in more money to the treasury, its estimated that the gap in tax money owed and paid in this country is about 500 billion according to the IRS.

    •  Why not add: Dim the sun (0+ / 0-)

      It is as likely as all the other things you list.

      The CCC was run by the military — back in the days when they still did kp and other for real stuff. The boys got paid $25/month with all but $5 sent directly to the boys homes. It got put into effect when unemployment was around 25% and there was usually only one worker per family.

      Obama's big mistake was winning in 2008. After 4 years of President McCain/Palin a President Obama might have been able to put some of those old programs into effect.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:03:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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