Archive for December 18th, 2014

18
Dec
14

A Tweet Or Two

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As Stephen Colbert says goodbye to one chapter tonight, we remember that beautiful moment he shed a tear on November 4, 2008 when Senator Obama became President Obama.

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18
Dec
14

Millions Now Have Health Coverage. Thanks, ObamaCare

Image: Supreme Court Upholds Obama's Affordable Care Act

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Zeke J Miller: Number of Uninsured Americans Near Historic Low

New federal government data shows the percentage of Americans without health insurance was at or near historic lows this year following the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, and appears certain to fall to record levels next year. The data released Thursday from the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Health Interview Survey found that 11.3 percent of Americans were without coverage in the second quarter of 2014, down from 13.1 percent in the first quarter and 14.4 percent throughout 2013. An analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers finds the drop in the uninsured to be the largest in four decades,

amounting to roughly 9.7 million Americans getting insurance, consistent with other Affordable Care Act estimates. The new data does not include the nearly 2.5 million who have newly selected or re-enrolled for coverage in the latest round of open enrollment which began last month. Nor does it include those who’ve gained coverage in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program since the second quarter—including 400,000 from September to October, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—as more states expand access to the program with federal money under the law.

More here

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18
Dec
14

Mi Papá

The Malecon at sunset. By Diogo Salles.

My father was an ardent anti-Fidelista.

My mother has told me that he never trusted Fidel Castro. He did not celebrate as he overthrew the Batista regime. He always felt that his ascent to power would lead to no good. And this was before Fidel came out as a Communist. (If you’re not hip to Cuban history, Fidel didn’t come out as a Communist until 1961, and was even tacitly supported by the US in his overthrow of Batista, whose regime was no longer tenable.)

And after Fidel began turning Cuba into a one-party state, things got worse for my father. He was firmly ensconced in the middle class. He owned his own barber shop. He was a member of the petit bourgeoisie. And Fidel nationalized everything. Dad lost his shop. Friends were arrested.

My family left Cuba as soon as it could. And my dad always longed for it. But ill-health and a hatred of the Communists always prevented him from going back to visit. I remember that one of the happiest times of his life was when his brother came to New York for a month. Suddenly the years and the distance vanished, and they could pretend to be taking a cafecito at a corner bar.

I don’t know how my dad would have reacted to President Obama’s initiation of normalization of relations with Cuba. His pain may have been too deep. Sometimes the past is not past, but a living gash in your soul.

I am his son, but I cannot speak for him. I would like to think that if there is an afterlife, his pain has left him, and he has granted his blessing.

I can only speak for myself. And as a son who inherited his distaste of the caudillo Fidel, I can say this: the isolation of Cuba has only isolated us.

Continue reading ‘Mi Papá’

18
Dec
14

Chat Away

🙂

18
Dec
14

Early Bird Chat – And Rise and Shine!

On This Day: President Obama makes Congressional calls from the Oval Office before the final Senate vote repealing the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (all times Eastern)

12:30: White House briefing

The President has no public events scheduled for today, which probably means he’s fixing another global issue and will make a statement about it this afternoon

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On This Day

President Obama walks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to their bilateral meeting at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Dec. 18, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Pete Souza: “The President briefs European leaders following a multilateral meeting in which an agreement was tentatively reached at the United Nationals Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Most conferences like this are very scripted; this one was just the opposite.” Dec. 18, 2009

President Obama speaks during a multilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Brazilian President Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Prime Manmohan Singh, and South African President Jacob Zuma during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Dec. 18, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama shows military officials the White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room following a meeting, Dec. 1, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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A busy moooOOOooorning, so it’s an Early Bird Rise and Shine!




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