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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
Number of posts: 45,783

Journal Archives

Pres Obama: House GOP Faces Irony That They've Shut Down The Govt, But ACA "Still Open For Business"

@CBSNews: RT @markknoller: Pres Obama says House GOP faces irony that they've shut down the Govt, but Affordable Care Act "still open for business."

@CBSNews: RT @petermaercbs: Pointing to people in the Rose Garden, Obama tells GOP, "These are the Americans you'd hurt if you were allowed to disman.

BREAKING: U.S. Federal Government Officially Shuts Down for First Time in 17 Years

Source: Bloomberg News / NBC News

@BloombergNews: BREAKING: U.S. federal government officially shuts down for first time in 17 years

Shutdown to begin as Congress remains deadlocked

By Carrie Dann and Michael O'Brien, NBC News

Federal government officials told agencies to begin executing plans for a partial government shutdown Monday as Congress failed to reach an agreement on a funding measure.

In a memo to executive branch officers sent less than half an hour before a midnight deadline, Office of Management and Budget director Sylvia Burwell said there was no "clear indication" that Congress would reach an agreement to keep the government's lights on by 12:01 a.m. ET

"Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations," she wrote. "We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations."

The shutdown is expected to place tens of thousands of federal workers on furlough, close national parks and monuments, and disrupt services like food assistance and IRS audits. Services like benefit payments and national security operations would go on as usual, and – because of a bipartisan measure passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by the president late Monday – members of the military will continue to be paid.

As the clock ticked down to midnight, the House announced that it would try to shift decision-making to a bipartisan "conference" of lawmakers from both chambers, but Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid immediately rejected that plan.

Read more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/2013/m-13-24.pdf

"A Quick One-Sentence Reminder of What This Is All About..."


By Kevin Drum on Fri. September 27, 2013 10:51 AM PDT

The Republican Party is bending its entire will, staking its very soul, fighting to its last breath, in service of a crusade to....

Make sure that the working poor don't have access to affordable health care.

I just thought I'd mention that in plain language, since it seems to get lost in the fog fairly often. But that's it. That's what's happening. They have been driven mad by the thought that rich people will see their taxes go up slightly in order to help non-rich people get decent access to medical care.

That's a pretty stirring animating principle, no?

Breaking: House Approves One-Year 'Obamacare' Delay in Spending Bill

Source: Reuters

@CBSNews: BREAKING: House votes to avert government shutdown and delay Obamacare a year.

@AP: Ignoring veto threat, House votes to avert government shutdown and delay Obamacare a year: http://t.co/qyTfsrbBPZ -BW



House approves one-year 'Obamacare' delay in spending bill

WASHINGTON | Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:26am EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives on Sunday, ignoring a White House veto threat, approved a one-year delay in funding major provisions of President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law as part of a government funding bill.

Republicans attached the amendment to a bill that is needed to keep federal agencies operating beyond September 30 when a new fiscal year begins.

The move brought the U.S. government closer to shutting down on Tuesday amid deep divisions between Republicans and Democrats.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE98S01J20130929

AP: Journalist Glenn Greenwald to Investigate the NSA's Role in Washington's Assassination Program

Source: Associated Press

@AP: Journalist Glenn Greenwald to investigate the NSA's role in Washington's assassination program: http://t.co/GrB1SBROBv -KH


— Sep. 28 10:15 PM EDT

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Two American journalists known for their investigations of the United States' government said Saturday they've teamed up to report on the National Security Agency's role in what they described as a U.S. assassination program.

Glenn Greenwald, the Rio-based journalist who has written stories about U.S. surveillance programs based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, is now working with Jeremy Scahill, a contributor to The Nation magazine and the New York Times best-selling author of "Dirty Wars."

"The connections between war and surveillance are clear. I don't want to give too much away but Glenn and I are working on a project right now that has at its center how the National Security Agency plays a significant, central role on the U.S. assassination program," said Scahill, speaking to moviegoers in Rio de Janeiro, where the documentary based on his book made its Latin American debut at the Rio Film Festival.

"There are so many stories that are yet to be published that we hope will produce 'actionable intelligence,' or information that ordinary citizens across the world can use to try to fight for change, to try to confront those in power," said Scahill.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/glenn-greenwald-working-new-nsa-revelations

Breaking: Climate Report Says Global Warming 'Extremely Likely' Caused By Humans

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: Climate report says global warming "extremely likely" caused by humans.

@BreakingNews: More: Human role in global warming is even clearer, temperatures to rise 0.3-4.8 C in this century, UN panel says - @AFP


— Sep. 27 4:02 AM EDT

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A landmark report by an international scientific panel says it's "extremely likely" that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming.

That's the strongest statement to date on the issue by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In its previous assessment, in 2007, the U.N.-sponsored panel said it was "very likely" that global warming was man-made.

It now says the evidence has grown thanks to more observations, a better understanding of the climate system and improved models to analyze the impact of rising temperatures.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/talks-landmark-climate-report-wrapping

Wife Says George Zimmerman Has Changed Since Trial

Source: Associated Press


Sep. 26 8:15 AM EDT

- snip -

She told Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show on Thursday she doesn't know what he's capable of and she's conflicted over her husband's assertion he acted in self-defense the night Martin was killed. But she says she believes the evidence and respects the jury's verdict.

Shellie Zimmerman says she doesn't believe her husband profiled Martin, who was black.

Since the trial, she says her husband treated her like she's "disposable" and went on a "victory tour" without her.

Earlier this month, the two were involved in an altercation at her central Florida home. Since then, she's been unable to serve him with divorce papers because she doesn't know where he is.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/wife-says-george-zimmerman-has-changed-trial

Jon Stewart Skewers Ted Cruz’s Crusade: ‘Obamacare is Your Springtime for Hitler’ (VIDEO)


Jon Stewart skewers Ted Cruz’s crusade: ‘Obamacare is your Springtime for Hitler’

By Arturo Garcia
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 0:09 EDT

Jon Stewart mocked the Republican Party’s threat to shut the federal government down before allowing the Affordable Care Act to be implemented come October 1 on The Daily Show on Monday, arguing that it was par for the course for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his colleagues.

“You’re protecting America from this terrible Obamacare plan that, once we get a taste of [it], we’ll never want to be without,” Stewart argued. “You only win if the program fails. Obamacare is your Springtime For Hitler.”

- snip -

“Nothing makes food taste worse, nothing makes it harder to get an erection, nothing spoils Breaking Bad, nothing sews you into a human centipede like Obamacare,” Stewart exclaimed. “Obamacare will murder your hope.”

The host also took Cruz to task for arguing that Obama was trying to get the country “addicted to the subsidies” associated with the law and likening it to candy.

“You know how America is with entitlements — it’s like crack to us,” Stewart argued. “You give us one small taste of Social Security, and suddenly we’re all sucking the glass d*ck of not having our old people freeze to death and live off of cat food.”


The Media's Complicity in Cutting Social Security and Medicare (CBO's Latest Projections Ignored)


The media's complicity in cutting Social Security and Medicare

Most people in the United States have probably heard about the Wall Street efforts to cut Social Security and Medicare. There is a vast list of organisations such as Campaign to Fix the Debt, the Can Kicks Back, Third Way, and many more that have, as a central agenda item, cutting back or privatising Social Security and Medicare. When we hear one of these organisations tell us these programmes should be cut it is not a surprise.

The question is why do mainstream news outlets including the New York Times and Washington Post use their news sections to tell the same stories? Last week, when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued new long-range budget projections, both papers were quick to ignore the numbers and to tell readers that we have to cut Social Security and Medicare.

The reason why this coverage was so bizarre is that it is not news that Social Security and Medicare will cost more in the decades ahead. We actually have known about the rising cost of these programmes for about 50 years. The birth of a huge number of baby boomers in the years 1946 to 1964 pretty much guaranteed this outcome - barring a horrible war, famine or epidemic.

While the aging of the baby boomers may not have qualified as news, there was actually important news in the CBO projections that went unmentioned in both newspapers. The CBO sharply lowered its projections for health care cost growth, meaning that Medicare, Medicaid, and other government health care programmes are now projected to cost much less in the decades ahead than had been assumed in prior years.

Gargantuan savings

This change is substantial. The new projections show that spending on Medicare will be equal to 4.6 percent of GDP in 2035. By comparison, last year, the CBO projected that the cost in 2035 would be 5.7 percent of GDP. Just two years ago, it had projected that Medicare would cost 5.9 percent of GDP in 2035.

The difference of 1.3 percentage points of GDP between the 2011 projection of Medicare costs and the most recent numbers would translate into almost $220 billion a year in today's economy. In other words, this is a big deal. The change in the CBO's projections of healthcare costs certainly comes closer to standard definitions of "news" than the aging of the baby boomers.


Dean Baker is a US macroeconomist and co-founder of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research.

AP Raw Video: George Takei Leads Chicken Dance

Associated Press

Published on Sep 21, 2013

"Star Trek" actor George Takei showed off some special dance moves as he led a mass chicken dance at an annual Cincinnati festival. Takei served as grand marshal of the city's annual Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati. (Sept. 21)
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