Archive for September 27th, 2013

27
Sep
13

“I am so sorry about AMK’s jokes, Barack”

Indian PM Manmohan Singh speaks with President Obama in the Oval Office, September 27

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Chat away!

27
Sep
13

A Tweet or Two

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet or Two’

27
Sep
13

‘A unique opportunity’

@petesouza: Historic phone call in the Oval Office: Pres Obama talks w Iran Pres Hassan Rouhani this afternoon

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President Obama:

Just now, I spoke on the phone with President Rouhani of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program. I reiterated to President Rouhani what I said in New York. While there will surely be important obstacles to moving forward and success is by no means guaranteed, I believe we can reach a comprehensive solution.

I’ve directed Secretary Kerry to continue pursuing this diplomatic effort with the Iranian government. We had constructive discussions yesterday in New York with our partners, the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China, together with the Iranian foreign minister.

Going forward, President Rouhani and I have directed our teams to continue working expeditiously in cooperation with the P-5-plus-1 to pursue an agreement. And throughout this process, we’ll stay in close touch with our friends and allies in the region, including Israel.

Now, we’re mindful of all the challenges ahead. The very fact that this was the first communication between an American and Iranian president since 1979 underscores the deep mistrust between our countries, but it also indicates the prospect of moving beyond that difficult history. I do believe that there is a basis for a resolution. Iran’s supreme leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons. President Rouhani has indicated that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons.

I’ve made clear that we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy in the context of Iran meeting its obligations. So the test will be meaningful, transparent and verifiable actions, which can also bring relief from the comprehensive international sanctions that are currently in place.

Resolving this issue obviously could also serve as a major step forward in a new relationship between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, one based on mutual interests and mutual respect. It would also help facilitate a better relationship between Iran and the international community, as well as others in the region, one that would help the Iranian people fulfill their extraordinary potential, but also help us address other concerns that could bring greater peace and stability to the Middle East.

A path to a meaningful agreement will be difficult. And at this point, both sides have significant concerns that will have to be overcome. But I believe we’ve got a responsibility to pursue diplomacy, and that we have a unique opportunity to make progress with the new leadership in Tehran. I also communicated to President Rouhani my deep respect for the Iranian people.

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Steve Benen: …. I hope the political world can appreciate just how remarkable this turn of events really is. A decade ago, U.S. foreign policy declared Iran part of an “axis of evil” and tensions between the nations escalated to dangerous levels. Now we’re seeing diplomatic breakthroughs and there’s a credible possibility of resolving the Iranian nuclear dispute.

Full post here

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27
Sep
13

President Obama’s Statement

Wow:

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27
Sep
13

GOP hates Obamacare Cuz Pres Obama snatched Ayn Rand’s wig

GOP hates ACA Cuz Pres Obama snatched Ayn Rand’s wig

@zizii2

When we board a plane what is the first thing Flight Attendants demonstrating passenger safety instructions, tell us to do in case of emergency? “…an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you… secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.” That’s Rational Self Interest.

Self-Preservation

With the exception of religious cultists who abdicate control over their own being, we as INDIVIDUALS instinctively strive for SELF-PRESERVATION especially when our life is threatened. It’s an existential article of faith. And nothing crystalizes this fact more readily than when we NEED healthcare to prevent or cure illness.

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Rational Self-Interest in economics is when a person “makes economic decisions that benefit them the most.” Is that not what we’ve been told real capitalism is supposed to be about? Marketplaces, competition, and consumers making choices based on what is best for them? So why do the GOP and their wealthy backers hate PBO for enacting this model of capitalism?

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He is exposing them for their fake capitalism. Jig is up.

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In the perverse Ayn Randian philosophy that the likes of the Koch brothers espouse, there’s talk of pursuing one’s own interests only. But in actuality what they have told their rubes is that they must sacrifice their economic interests in service of ideology. In other words 1%ers preach cultural adherence and ideological purity to their followers while they themselves siphon every public asset and good to themselves. It’s a faith-based heist of the commonweal.

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President Obama co-opted Ayn Rand’s idea of rational self-interest, turned it on its head, and the Republican Kochsters HATE him for it. The ACA challenges the ability of the Bircher puppetmasters and their corporate ilk to control their rubes over the single most important and intimate aspect of their lives; healthcare. But worse for them it has electoral implications, at least in the near term. Kochsters know it, we know it, and ordinary Americans will soon know it too. As VP Biden said, it’s a BFD, positively for ordinary Americans, and negatively for the Kochsters.

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Healthcare is ground zero. It’s a singular necessity of life in which no one can live vicariously through another person’s. In an airplane emergency if your oxygen mask IS working you hold on to yours for dear life regardless of whether the passenger in seat 53G’s mask is working or not. That’s Rational Self-Interest. You can’t bullshit people about what they are getting or not getting. Healthcare is personal. Too intimate. No one ever forgets what that experience is like or costs. The impact is visceral. The numbers don’t lie. People know that they paid $1500 out of pocket last year for an MRI and now it is covered under ACA.

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Continue reading ‘GOP hates Obamacare Cuz Pres Obama snatched Ayn Rand’s wig’

27
Sep
13

Chat Away

27
Sep
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

10:45 House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s weekly briefing (C-Span)

11:30 AM: The President holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Singh of India; the VP attends

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UT’S epic post

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Steve Benen: Obama admin secures diplomatic breakthroughs

It was just a few weeks ago that U.S. military intervention in Syria appeared almost inevitable, the consequences of which were hard to predict. Diplomatic solutions were elusive and generally not even part of the larger discussion….

Following up on a segment from last night’s show, the shift has been sudden, complete, and rather extraordinary:

The United States and Russia – with help from France – negotiated a deal that would compel Syria to hand over its chemical weapons. The measure now goes to the full U.N. Security Council for a vote.

…. The conventional wisdom is that President Obama cannot possibly hope to achieve anything in his second term in light of the broken and dysfunctional Congress. But if we broaden our vision, the opportunities for success may be found outside our borders, in areas congressional Republicans will find it difficult to screw up.

Full post here

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Spandan (The People’s View): John Boehner’s Absurd Plan to Use the Debt Ceiling to Delay Obamacare (and why it won’t work)

Facing a humiliating defeat in their last-ditch attempt to defund the Affordable Care by threatening a government shutdown, House Republicans have hatched yet another plan to screw with it. This time, they are threatening to default the United States on its debt obligations. What are their demands to release this hostage? Basically, that the president re-elected in a landslide must stop governing according to his mandate, sign up for the drill-baby-drill crowd, and agree to let coal plants pollute more. Oh, and delay the Affordable Care Act for a year. Exactly none of which has anything to do with the deficit, except the fact that delaying the ACA increases the debt…..

More here

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Healthcare.gov

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HealthInsurance.org: Obamacare and the bad-news bearers

Why is the mainstream media downplaying the good news about affordable insurance rates in the state health insurance exchanges?

…. when I read the new HHS report on premiums in the individual exchanges in 36 states, I was impressed by the good news. In the marketplaces where people who do not have access to employer-sponsored insurance will be purchasing their own coverage, rates will be much lower than expected. This is true even in Red States that have resisted Obamacare.

…. Then I began to read what the press had to say about the report, and found myself frustrated by the misleading, fear-mongering response. It sometimes seems as if the mainstream media is bent on downplaying any good news about reform.

More here

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Sometimes, Politico really outdo themselves – a tweet yesterday: #Obamacare delay expected to further stoke concerns that the law is not ready and should be stopped before 2014

Digby‘s response was perfect:

Jesus H. Christ. Yes it will stoke “concerns” if you are an idiot. Or a beltway insider. Normal people understand that a big program takes time to roll out and that postponing certain pieces of it doesn’t mean the rest of it isn’t ready. It’s called prioritizing and the vaunted “private sector” does it all the time. But sure, go ahead and adopt the “some say” attitude and pretend that you aren’t actually aiding and abetting those who are hostile to the program.

Also too: nobody is really “concerned” that the law is not ready. The people who keep saying that want it to fail and they aren’t hiding that fact. Apparently, Politico is rooting for them.

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Steve Benen: Keeping glitches in perspective

Critics of the Affordable Care Act seemed awfully excited yesterday, seizing on some pretty minor developments to make a rather poor argument.

My mid-day, the Obama administration had conceded that there would have to be a change in the starting date for small businesses’ exchange marketplaces. “Oh my god!” the right said. “Obamacare is coming apart at the seams!.” Reality suggests otherwise….

More here

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Steve Benen: A debt-ceiling ransom note takes shape

…… late yesterday, we started getting a sense of what congressional Republicans will demand in exchange for doing their duty. I put together this image to help summarize:

You’re probably thinking that I’m exaggerating. I’m really not…..

More here

Follow-up post – ‘GOP ransom note has plenty of demands, not enough votes’ (here)

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Greg Sargent: Imagine the outpouring of mockery from the press corps if Dems did something like this. Yet when the GOP offers a set of demands that are similarly ludicrous – comically, epically so, in fact — they treat it as business as usual, and ask Dems why they won’t negotiate.

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Michael Tomasky: End Days for the GOP

After years of sabotaging government and getting away with it, the GOP has finally gone too far. America knows it, and so does the party itself.

Watching the GOP convulse these last few days, I sense that we just might finally be on the cusp of an important and long-awaited moment. Up until now during the Obama era, the Republicans’ scorched-earth politics have harmed their party, but they have always harmed the Democrats nearly as much — or, in the long term, even more. It’s a big reason why they do the things they do — they know cynically that if they bring the government to a standstill, most people will just blame both parties, and indeed might even cast more blame on the party of government, the Democrats.

The gig may be about up. The odds are good that by the morning of October 18, one of two (correct) perceptions will be broadly held by the American public: one, that the Republican Party has collapsed into all-out ideological civil war; two, that the Republicans are a party not merely of obstructionists but destructionists, in ways that will be so evident that even those independents devoted to the idea that both sides are to blame will run up the white flag. All the Republicans’ madness of the last five years is finally going to catch up with them.

More here

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Oh good grief….

ThinkProgress: Texas Tries To Combat Teen Pregnancy With Abstinence-Only Website That Doesn’t Mention Birth Control

Texas has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country. Although the teen birth rate has been declining over the past decade, the Lone Star State still has the highest rate of repeat teen births, as an estimated 22 percent of teens who give birth have already have at least one child.

In light of those statistics, how is Texas’ Department of Health hoping to help prevent future unintended pregnancies among young women? By spending $1.2 million to build an abstinence-only website that doesn’t include any mention of contraception.

More here

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On This Day:

September 27, 2009: President Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner

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MooooOOOOoooorning – Happy Friday! 87,262,926 thanks to the legend that is UT for aaaaaaall the posting yesterday!

27
Sep
13

Early Bird Chat

@petesouza: Audience members listen intently to the President’s remarks on ACA at Prince George’s Community College

MoooOOOooorning!




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