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Republicans in full retreat as ACA sign-ups spike and continue to climb

Since before the Affordable Care Act -- AKA:  Obamacare -- became law, the Republican Party has made it their life's ambition to kill "Obamacare."  House Republicans have tried 32 (or is it more?) times to repeal the ACA.  Every Republican politician at federal and state levels has raged and raged about the need to repeal or somehow block "Obamacare."  They danced in the streets when the ACA website rolled out with errors.

They aren't laughing any longer.  In fact, any Republican with half a brain (which isn't many of them) should be able to see the writing on the wall:  Obamacare is succeeding.

Republicans should have learned from history:

President Franklin D. Roosevelt faced heavy skepticism with his launch of Social Security in 1935-37. Turbulence also rocked subsequent key presidential initiatives, including Lyndon Johnson's rollout of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, Richard Nixon's Supplemental Security Income program in 1974 and George W. Bush's Medicare prescription drugs program in 2006. 
Yet these programs today are enormously popular with recipients.

The author of the website has been tracking the number of people signing up for Obamacare since Day One and his  numbers are staggering -- enrollment is soaring.  According to these numbers, 5.75 million have signed up as of Christmas Eve 2013, between those who have enrolled in private plans and who have qualified for Medicaid.

Here's the latest ACASignup chart.  Go the the website for a spreadsheet and updated chart.

The Republicans might want to re-think their plans to run against Obamacare in 2014 -- unless they want to take away medical insurance from several million voters who never before had medical insurance.

I've tried to avoid the "Duck Dynasty" nonsense, but . . .

I've tried to avoid commenting on the "Duck Dynasty" nonsense, however, this item I found today on Raw Story simply cannot be ignored.

-- quote --

Recently uncovered video indicates that Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson may have fringe views — other than those on homosexuality and civil rights — that most Americans would find far outside the mainstream. 
In a controversial interview with GQ that was published online this month, Robertson had compared homosexuality to bestiality and terrorism. He also said that African-Americans were happy during the Jim Crow-era. 
The A&E network briefly suspended the reality TV star before bowing to pressure from fans and reinstating him only days later. 
But some Americans could also be shocked to find out that Robertson believes that the age of 15 is the perfect time for girls to get married — as long as they can cook and carry a Bible.
At a Sportsmen’s Ministry talk in 2009, Robertson had some advice for a young man.
“Make sure that she can cook a meal, you need to eat some meals that she cooks, check that out,” he said. “Make sure she carries her Bible. That’ll save you a lot of trouble down the road. And if she picks your ducks, now, that’s a woman.” 
“They got to where they’re getting hard to find,” Robertson remarked. “Mainly because these boys are waiting until they get to be about 20 years old before they marry ‘em. Look, you wait until they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket.” 
The Duck Commander company founder added: “You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16, they’ll pick your ducks. You need to check with mom and dad about that of course.” 
He went on to say that the Bible gave Americans the right to hunt. 
And Robertson practices what he preaches. He began dating his wife, Kay, when she was only 14 and he was 18. They waited until Kay was 16 to get married.
-- end quote --
And this man is idolized by millions who watch his "reality" teevee show.  

How about someone visiting these veterans' memorials?

With the GOP-forced government shutdown, a number of national parks and memorials were closed, including the WW II and Vietnam Memorials in Washington.  Grandstanding Republicans -- Ted Cruz leading the way -- attempted to distract attention from their destruction of our economy and our democracy by demanding that the "barrycades" at these memorials be removed.  On Sunday, 13 October, Cruz, failed politician Sarah Palin, and a few thousand veterans descended on Washington to attack President Obama, "liberals," and other rightwing bogeymen.

Meanwhile, here are three veterans' memorials that none of these clowns will visit.

Enough said.

Democrats have compromised ENOUGH. In fact, Democrats are the only people who have compromised.

I found this excellent article describing just how much the Democrats have compromised on budget issues.

Bookmark this site and the next time you hear a rightwinger raving about how they are ready to negotiate but Obama will not negotiate, point out to them that Obama and the Democrats not only HAVE negotiated, we also have compromised.

Here's a part of the article and a very revealing chart.

The Senate-passed measure to keep the government operating represents an enormous compromise by progressives to avoid a damaging government shutdown. The Democrat-controlled Senate agreed to temporary funding levels that are far closer to the Republican-controlled House budget plan than they are to the Senate’s own budget for fiscal year 2014. Moreover, this concession is only the latest of many such compromises over the past several years.
The Democrat-controlled Senate passed a continuing resolution, or CR—a temporary funding measure meant to keep the government operating—that would set the relevant funding levels at an annualized total of $986 billion. That’s about $70 billion less than what the Senate endorsed as part of its comprehensive budget plan back in April. But that actually understates the extent of the compromise.

Look at the chart again.  Notice that we Democrats have compromised to the point where the Senate Continuing Resolution is almost the same as Paul Ryan's budget that was praised by the GOTP and formed the basis of the Romney-Ryan campaign.

Caption contest

Suggest captions for this photo.

Here's my suggestion:

Ted Cruz:  Damn if I wouldn't tap that!!
Sarah Failin':  Is that a cigar in your pants pocket or are you happy to see me?

Remember how the NRA won in the Colorado recall elections?? No, they didn't.

Everyone remembers how the gunnuts were hooting and tooting about their huge "victory" in Colorado when they succeeded in recalling two state senators who supported gun control legislation.

Problem is, this is a lie.  The outcome was NOT  a victory for the gunnuts.  Instead, it was a BIG FAIL . . . because:

1.  Colorado still is firmly in Democratic hands . . . governor, house, senate.

2.  The gun control laws are still on the books and will not be removed.

3.  In the short time the laws have been in effect, 28 criminals have been prevented from purchasing guns.

Face it, the NRA ****LOST***.

Recalled Colorado Sen. Angela Giron: We can beat the gun lobby — we already have 
By Angela Giron, Published: September 20 
President Obama has now addressed the seventh mass shooting of his presidency, and we certainly heard the weariness in his voice Monday as spoke about the massacre at the Washington Navy Yard: “It’s a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel. These are men and women who were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us. They’re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home.” 
As a state legislator now branded by the word “recalled,” I can identify with that weariness. Gun legislation has stalled in Congress because lawmakers fear the fate I suffered — being targeted, voted out or recalled by extremist political activists because of views on firearms safety that dare challenge the gun lobby. The recall fight that my colleague, Colorado Senate President John Morse, and I lost demonstrated that no matter the cost of our political positions, common-sense gun-safety legislation is achievable. Colorado’s newest gun-safety laws have been in effect for months, and the recalls have no bearing on them. The legislation we helped pass proves that the gun lobby can be beaten. 
Sen. Morse and I started the 2013 legislative session amid a constituent outcry to curb gun violence in our communities. The movie theater shooting in Aurora last summer and the Newtown massacre in Connecticut had brought guns to the forefront of our agenda. We passed laws that extended our state’s background-check system to include private sales, to keep guns out of the hands of criminals; limited ammunition magazines to 15 rounds; and made sure that domestic abusers aren’t allowed to buy or keep guns. 
Each of these laws is already making Colorado safer. According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, 28 criminals have been denied a firearm through a private sale in the first eight weeks of the expanded background-check law. That’s more than four criminals a week, when we know all too well that it takes only one person with a weapon to shatter a life, a family, a community. 
These proposals were, and still are, supported by an majority of Colorado voters. But our experience here in Colorado has been that, while extremist groups have a hard time making their case to general-election voters, they have far more control in low-turnout special elections. 
A good friend in Pueblo told me about the school drills her young children must endure after the Newtown massacre. Kindergartners crouch behind overturned tables while an adult knocks on the door, pretending to be an “active shooter.” She said she struggles to decide what is most absurd about this scenario: that a particleboard tabletop would protect her children from automatic gunfire, that a shooter would take the trouble to knock on the classroom door or that her 5-year-old son now uses phrases like “active shooter” in everyday conversation. 
Those kinds of stories compelled my votes in favor of gun-safety legislation. Hosting multiple town halls, touring a gun show and accepting an invitation to go shooting with a women’s group helped me understand many of the concerns of gun enthusiasts. I even amended our legislation to further accommodate the giving of firearms as gifts within families. In the end, I don’t believe — and I don’t think any legislator, anywhere, believes — that it is better to teach children to use a table as a shield than to enact public policy to protect us all from gun violence. 
Our 2013 legislative session was the most productive in a long while. We modernized the way we fund schools and conduct elections. We raised renewable-energy standards and allowed undocumented Colorado high school graduates to get in-state tuition to attend college. We passed laws to regulate and tax recreational marijuana after voters legalized the drug in a 2012 ballot measure. And we extended equal rights for all couples by allowing civil unions. I find it helpful to remind people that 95 percent of the legislation we passed had bipartisan support. 
A wide range of special interests that have never been concerned about efforts to curb gun violence were more than happy to let the national gun lobby take the lead in the campaign to remove us from office. The industrialist Koch brothers were also heavily involved in the recalls, which probably owed more to our efforts to limit harmful carbon emissions than our efforts to limit gun violence. 
Legislators fearful of speaking their conscience should remember that various supporters came to our aid as well. While the news media seemed to care only about contributions from Michael Bloomberg, equally robust support came from organizations supporting workers, conservation groups, women’s groups and thousands of individual donors, to say nothing of the efforts of groups such as Colorado Ceasefire, Americans for Responsible Solutions and Moms Demand Action. 
I didn’t seek elected office with an agenda to address gun safety. I entered the state Senate intent on advocating for women, children and communities of color. Their demand for safe gun laws is not going away, and neither am I. 
Our story is not the cautionary tale the gun lobby would have you believe it is. Beneath the disappointment of not starting the 2014 legislative session with our colleagues, I feel a sense of peace and pride. There is now a counterbalance to the national gun lobby and a growing base of outspoken supporters. Politicians who have the courage to do the right thing and stand up to the gun lobby will from now on have the support of organizations willing to stand with the majority of Americans who want common-sense gun laws. 
As Robert F. Kennedy said, “It is the essence of responsibility to put the public good ahead of personal gain.” Today, Colorado is safer because of the laws we passed. I have no regrets about that. One day Washington, D.C., and states that lack sensible gun laws may be safer as well.

Thirteen Benghazis that occurred while G. W. Bush was president . . . and not a peep out of Fox or Darrell Issa. Why not??

The Republican inquisition over the attacks against Americans in Benghazi has never really gone away.

Lindsey Graham and Fox News Channel in particular are each shrieking over new allegations from an alleged whistleblower, while they continue to deal in previously debunked falsehoods about the sequence of events during and following the attacks. Fox News is predictably shoveling the biggest pile of hooey on the situation -- turning its attention to Hillary Clinton in an abundantly obvious early move to stymie her presidential run before it even begins.

So I thought I'd ask an impertinent question:  Why are these clowns so obsessed by this one attack yet they entirely ignored the dozen-plus consulate/embassy attacks that occurred when George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were allegedly "keeping us safe."

The Benghazi attacks (the consulate and the CIA compound) are absolutely not unprecedented even though they're being treated that way by Republicans who are deliberately ignoring anything that happened prior to Inauguration Day, 20 January 2009.

January 22, 2002. Calcutta, India. Gunmen associated with Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami attack the U.S. Consulate. Five people are killed.

June 14, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. Suicide bomber connected with al Qaeda attacks the U.S. Consulate, killing 12 and injuring 51.

October 12, 2002. Denpasar, Indonesia. U.S. diplomatic offices bombed as part of a string of "Bali Bombings." No fatalities.

February 28, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. Several gunmen fire upon the U.S. Embassy. Two people are killed.

May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Armed al Qaeda terrorists storm the diplomatic compound, killing 36 people including nine Americans.  The assailants committed suicide by detonating a truck bomb.

July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacks the U.S. Embassy, killing two people.

December 6, 2004. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate and occupy the perimeter wall. Nine people are killed.

March 2, 2006. Karachi, Pakistan again. Suicide bomber attacks the U.S. Consulate killing four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy who was directly targeted by the attackers. (I wonder if Lindsey Graham or Fox News would even recognize the name "David Foy." This is the third Karachi terrorist attack in four years on what's considered American soil.)

September 12, 2006. Damascus, Syria. Four armed gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar" storm the U.S. Embassy using grenades, automatic weapons, a car bomb and a truck bomb. Four people are killed, 13 are wounded.

January 12, 2007. Athens, Greece. Members of a Greek terrorist group called the Revolutionary Struggle fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the U.S. Embassy. No fatalities.

March 18, 2008. Sana'a, Yemen. Members of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Jihad of Yemen fire a mortar at the U.S. Embassy. The shot misses the embassy, but hits nearby school killing two.

July 9, 2008. Istanbul, Turkey. Four armed terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate. Six people are killed.

September 17, 2008. Sana'a, Yemen. Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with an arsenal of weapons including RPGs and detonate two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband (they had been married for three weeks when the attack occurred). This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months.

And not a word on Fox.  Not a single Congressional investigation headed by Grand Theft Auto Issa.

Is this an impeachable offense?

A recent photo showing President Obama with his feet on his desk in the Oval Office has sent the rightwing into fits of rage.  Some are even suggesting he should be impeached for this offense.

What do you think?

Maybe this will help.

Rumsfeld is an expert on chemical weapons in the hands of brutal dictators

Rumsfeld meeting with Iraq's Saddam Hussein, 20 December 1983. 

In this meeting, Rumsfeld provided Hussein with information needed to enable Iraq to use chemical weapons against Iranian troops and Kurdish civilians.

Another rightwing lie: Obama exempts mosques from NSA surveillance

Q:  Is Obama giving mosques a special exemption from surveillance?
A:  No, not in the real world.  But in the rightwing world of lies, smoke, and mirrors, of course he is.

Investors Business Daily has an incredibly inflammatory article taking advantage of the recent uproar about the NSA’s broad spying programs to assert that Muslims are being given a special exemption from
government eavesdropping. The claim is incredibly similar to a right-wing myth spread about a supposed “Muslim exception” from TSA screenings that happened to pop up at the same time as the TSA’s “enhanced pat-down” provoked a media firestorm and popular outrage.

The IBD piece asserts that:

The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won’t snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are. That’s right, the government’s sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized. Since October 2011, mosques have  been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover sting operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

Here are the facts as reported elsewhere.

Here is the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide from October 2011, p. 171: 
Certain investigative matters should be brought to the attention of  FBI management and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials because of the possibility of public notoriety and sensitivity. Accordingly, Assessments and Predicated Investigations involving “sensitive investigative matters” have special approval and reporting requirements.
A sensitive investigative matter (SIM) is defined as an investigative matter involving the activities of a domestic public official or domestic political candidate (involving corruption or a threat to the national security), a religious or domestic political organization or individual prominent in such an organization, or the news media; an investigative matter having an academic nexus; or any other matter which, in the judgment of the official authorizing the investigation, should be brought to the attention of FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ) and other DOJ officials. 
Sections of the document concerning the Sensitive Operations Review Committee (SORC) are heavily redacted so as to be unreadable. But the gist of the above text is that, yes, there are certain investigations which are considered more “sensitive” than others and this includes investigations of Islamic groups. But here’s the thing: this also applies to all religious and political groups as well as the news media and academic institutions. So the FBI would most likely face the same hurdles investigating a Christian church or a Jewish synagogue as it would in investigating a mosque. 
Hilariously, the IBD editorial makes it sound as if the Sensitive Operations Review Committee was a recent creation of the Obama administration “set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques.” Yet the name of the committee also appears in the 2008 FBI domestic operations guide as well, meaning it was either created under Bush or an earlier administration. 
It is doubtful that the IBD allegation contains even a shred of truth. The publication has previously made the false assertion that Obama offered to apologize for the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as if that would be a bad thing!) based on a willful misreading of a Wikileaks cable. Additionally, the complaints made by groups like CAIR and the ACLU about the FBI nosing around mosques and attempting to stir up trouble with provacateurs do not lack merit. 
Predictably, the ludicrous idea that Muslims are exempt from the Obama administration’s numerous spying programs is now catching on in the right-wing puke funnel. It is an especially cruel myth to promote since Muslims have faced some of the worst civil liberties violations in the US in modern times. Apparently, the only way the right-wing can get outraged by government surveillance is by imagining red-blooded, white, patriotic Christians such as themselves as the primary target.

Latest Fox lie: Obamacare will require federal inspectors to visit your home

Fox & Friends are deeply concerned with poor and underprivileged
at-risk children.

On the August 21 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy claimed "a brand new federal program" would spend $224 million to send "government home inspectors to your house" to help at-risk children, and asked if this was "Obamacare trumping your right to privacy and snooping on you and your family." Fox Business' Stuart Varney agreed that it was "an intrusion directly into your home and the way you raise your children," and the two proceeded to claim that "the Obama snooper" would visit families randomly and unannounced. On-screen text described the program as "Nanny state solutions: Forced home visits for 'at-risk' kids."

Oh, no they're not. They're making up another Obamacare lie. Here's
the real program which isn't even "brand new," having been announced
in 2011.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius [...] announced $224 million to help at-risk families voluntarily receive home visits from nurses and social workers to improve maternal and child health, child development, school readiness, economic self-sufficiency, and child abuse prevention. As part of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, these grants are funded by the Affordable Care Act  and are awarded to state agencies that applied for the grants in 49 states across the country.

V O L U N T A R Y .

VOLUNTARY.   Which means, roughly, you the parent gets to decide if "government inspectors" (nurses and social workers) can "intrude" (be invited) into your home to "snoop" on your family
(provide services like "educating parents about child development and supporting school readiness, linking low-income mothers to prenatal health care, ensuring children have access to health care and
immunizations, helping families access supplemental food programs and financial aid, and encouraging healthy parent-child relationships to reduce incidents of child abuse").

None of which will stop Fox from lying about the program, no more than it will stop Republicans from picking it up as the next big Obamacare lie. Because they care so much about the children, too.

Rick Perry denounces Obamacare in public while his staff works with feds in private to bring Obamacare to Texas

Big bad macho Texas Governor Rick Perry, the governor that says publicly he won’t take any Obamacare dollars is now begging for these dollars discretely. Politico reports that:

-- quote

Perry health aides are negotiating with the Obama administration on the terms of an optional Obamacare program that would allow Texas to claim stepped-up Medicaid funding for the care of people with disabilities. 
The move comes as a surprise coming from a governor who has insisted he won’t implement the Obamacare reforms, and who slammed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for touting the law during a trip to the Lone Star State earlier this month. 
“With due respect, the secretary and our president are missing the point: It’s not that Americans don’t understand Obamacare, it’s that we understand it all too well,” Perry said at the time. “In Texas, we’ve been fighting Obamacare from the beginning, refusing to expand a broken Medicaid system and declining to set up a state health insurance exchange.” 

-- end quote

More than 25% of Texas residents are uninsured. No one would believe that in the home of one of the best Medical Centers in the world (Texas Medical Center), that over one quarter of its population do not have insurance and receive substandard medical coverage. It won’t be long before the Texas medical establishment forces the hand of Texas politicians as they lose billions to other states.

The Texas Republican Governor and Legislature have done nothing to solve Texas health insurance problem. They have not offered alternatives to the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act nor have they done anything to provide incentives to control the cost of health insurance.

This should really not be a surprise. Governor Perry has a habit of speaking out against federal government handouts in public even as he begs for government handouts behind the scene. When the fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas, a private company that was privy to virtually no state regulations, he vehemently complained when his requests for government handouts were initially denied.

The Affordable Care Act will be a marked improvement to the current state of the health insurance market in the United States. In fact in the states that have been proactive in adopting all aspects of Obamacare, it is proving very successful. Instead of running around the country maligning the new law, Perry should stay in Texas and fix its many problems that are undermining the Texas working middle

241 - 4

Want to see the rightwing mind at work?

Four dead Americans at Benghazi will forever scar Hillary Clinton.

241 dead Americans in Beirut is not even an asterisk in the Reagan Library.

The more I see of Sarah Failin' . . .

The more I see Sarah Failin', the happier I am she is NOT our Vice-President.

For example -- how about THIS as VP:

And, yes, that really is Sarah Palin.   The photo was taken in New York on the day she showed up at Fox for her contract renewal in June 2013.

Read this in your best Paul Harvey voice

Did you see the Dodge Super Bowl commercial featuring a recording of Paul Harvey and his "So God made a farmer" routine?

Read this in your best Paul Harvey voice.

And on the eighth day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need someone who can flip this for a quick buck.”

So God made a banker.

God said, “I need someone who doesn’t grow anything or make anything but who will borrow money from the public at 0% interest and then lend it back to the public at 2% or 5% or 10% and pay himself a bonus for doing so.”

So God made a banker.

God said, “I need someone who will take money from the people who work and save, and use that money to create a dotcom bubble and a housing bubble and a stock bubble and an oil bubble and a commodities bubble and a bond bubble and another stock bubble, and then sell it to people in Poughkeepsie and Spokane and Bakersfield, and pay himself another bonus.”

So God made a banker.

God said, “I need someone to build homes in the swamps and deserts using shoddy materials and other people’s money, and then use these homes as collateral for a Ponzi scheme he can sell to pensioners in California and Michigan and Sweden. I need someone who will then foreclose on those homes, kick out the occupants, and switch off the air conditioning and the plumbing, and watch the houses turn back into dirt. And then pay himself another bonus.”

So God made a banker.

God said, “I need someone to lend money to people with bad credit at 30% interest in order to get his stock price up, and then, just before the loans turn bad, cash out his stock and walk away. And who, when asked later, will, with a tearful eye, say the government made him do it.”

So God made a banker.

God said, “And I need somebody who will tell everyone else to stand on their own two feet, but who will then run to the government for a bailout as soon as he gets into trouble — and who will then use that bailout money to help elect a Congress that will look the other way. And then pay himself another bonus.”

So God made a banker. 

Stolen from