Posts Tagged ‘60 Minutes

07
Jan
14

Rise and Shine

President Obama stands in the Outer Oval Office, viewed from the Cabinet Room of the White House, Jan. 7, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

11:40 EST: President Obama Speaks on Emergency Unemployment Insurance

12:15 Jay Carney briefs the press

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Steve Benen: ACA ‘horror stories’ keep crumbling

For much of the fall, when major news organizations went into feeding-frenzy mode over the Affordable Care Act, an unsettling pattern emerged. The media kept shining a spotlight on various “horror stories” – regular Americans adversely affected by “Obamacare” – and those stories kept crumbling when subjected to scrutiny.

The problem persists. Reader R.B. passed along this striking report from Maggie Mahar, who explained that many of the “tales of Obamacare’s innocent victims … just aren’t true.”

More here

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The Wire: Lessons from the Obamacare ‘Horror Stories’

At the root of every debunked, cancelled plan, Obamacare “horror story” is usually a person who isn’t as informed as he or she would like to believe. Usually that person is a journalist. Last week Maggie Mahar at HealthInsurance.org debunked yet another horror story, but she didn’t blame the misguided former policy holders so much as the journalist who wrote the story. “It appeared that no one at the Star-Telegram even attempted to run a background check on the sources, or fact check their stories,” Mahar wrote. “I couldn’t help but wonder: ‘Why?'”

Obamacare horror story debunkings are actually just journalists calling out their peers. While the Obamacare “victim” — usually someone who’s policy was cancelled — may be motivated by political leanings, an aversion to subsidies or just a lack of knowledge, it’s not their job to give an accurate, thorough report on the issue from all sides. “The whole concept of the media checking the media is a new phenomenon,”  Bill Adair of PolitiFact told Poynter in November. There was once a time when journalists were a little more discreet with their critics of their peers, but now calling people out is the norm. And with Obamacare, which leads all kinds of reporters to pick and choose details, everyone (everyone) can learn something from the mistakes of others. Here are the key lessons from the last three months of bogus horror stories.

More here

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TPM: How The GOP Is Putting Uninsured Americans At Risk … In One Chart

The GOP’s relentless assault on Obamacare hasn’t succeeded in repealing or defunding the law, but it has managed to do something: prevent a lot of uninsured Americans from getting health insurance.

With three months of Obamacare enrollment completed, the effect of the Republican intransigence on health care reform can be seen in new data compiled by Theda Skocpol, professor of government and sociology at Harvard University and director of the Scholars Strategy Network.

More here

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ThinkProgress: Anatomy Of A Hit Job: Expert Featured On 60 Minutes Exposes How Show Knowingly Ignored Facts On Clean Energy

“What’s the matter with 60 Minutes?”

That was the question asked by many, after the program on Sunday aired what has since been slammed as an inaccurate portrayal of the cleantech industry.

Besides the fact that the piece made no mention of climate change — which is one of the stronger arguments behind cleantech — the report largely passed over the recent explosive growth in wind power, solar power, LED lights and electric vehicles.

But it’s not like 60 Minutes wasn’t told about the recent major successes in the clean tech industry. Robert Rapier, Chief Technology Officer at Merica International, was interviewed by 60 Minutes, and spoke to them at length about cleantech’s many successes. But the only comments included were ones about cleantech investor Vinod Khosla, who CBS asserts is “known as the father of the cleantech revolution” (he is not).

Rapier spoke with ClimateProgress on Monday about what got left out of the interview.

More here

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Steve Benen: Winter, climate, and what’s truly ‘laughable’

Every year, much of the world experiences a phenomenon known as “seasons.” For many Americans, this means higher temperatures in the summer and lower temperatures in the winter. What does this have to do with global climate change? Not a whole lot.

But just as one season leads to another, the transition from fall to winter brings out the worst in too many conservatives. Indeed, in seems every winter, like clockwork, far-right yahoos start arguing, “It’s cold in winter, therefore global warming can’t be real.” Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), playing his usual role, insisted yesterday that freezing temperatures in much of the country is obviously proof that climate science itself is “laughable.”

Something in this debate is laughable, but I’m afraid it isn’t the science.

More here

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MoooOOOooorning again! Got severely interrupted, so I’m missing 99.36% of the important news, I’m assuming. 😕 Will catch up later in the day.

27
Nov
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama at the NCAA basketball game between Oregon State and Howard University on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010 …  a day after he needed 12 stitches in his lip when he took an elbow during a game of basketball with friends and family at Fort McNair

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Today (All Times Eastern):

1:20: President Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey

2:35: Holds a bill signing

4:30: The First Family participates in a service event

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Steve Benen: Turning The Health Care Corner

Political journalism is sometimes criticized, fairly, for its “pack” mentality. Major news organizations wait for the conventional wisdom to organically take shape, and then the players stick to their scripts, reinforcing an agreed upon consensus. In practically no time at all, there are certain political facts that “everyone knows” to be true.

But soon after, that gets dull, the conventional wisdom invites skeptics, and contrarian instincts kick in. Maybe, the political world starts to wonder, those truths that “everyone knows” aren’t so true after all.

For the last several weeks, the consensus in establishment circles was that the Affordable Care Act’s open-enrollment period was not only a disaster, but a catastrophe that would destroy Obama’s presidency, the Democratic Party, the American health care system, and the very idea of progressive governance. Pundits could hardly contain their analogies – this was Obama’s Katrina, Obama’s Iraq, Obama’s Watergate, Obama’s Iran-Contra, and even Obama’s Bay of Pigs.

But the funny thing about narratives is that they’re sometimes fleeting….

More here

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Paul Krugman: The Obamacare Worm Turns

I suggested yesterday that we’re probably heading for a turning point in the health reform discussion. Conservatives are operating on the assumption that it’s an irredeemable disaster that they can ride all the way to 2016; but the facts on the ground are getting better by the day, and Obamacare will turn into a Benghazi-type affair where Republicans are screaming about a scandal nobody else cares about.

And it’s already starting to happen.

…. media coverage is shifting fast. It’s still mostly trying for equivalence — each positive story of people being helped matched by a negative story of people hurt. But the stories don’t actually match up at all.

… At this rate, the whole horrors-of-Obamacare meme will be gone in weeks, not months. But the GOP echo chamber won’t be able to let it go.

Full post here

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Barbara Starr: Official: U.S. B-52s Flew Over China’s Controversial New Air Defense Zone

Two U.S. military aircraft flew into China’s newly claimed and challenged air defense zone over the East China Sea, a U.S. official said. The U.S. Air Force B-52 planes — which were not armed because they were on a training mission — set off Monday from Guam and returned there without incident. The mission lasted for several hours, and the aircraft were in China’s newly declared air zone for about an hour, according to the U.S. official.

The flights came two days after China unilaterally announced the creation of a “Air Defense Identification Zone” over several islands it and Japan have both claimed. The two countries have been sharply at odds over those isles, which are believed to be near large reserves of natural resources. Washington responded negatively to what Secretary of State John Kerry characterized as an “escalatory action (that) will only increase tensions in the region and create risks of an incident.” The U.S. government has rallied around its ally Japan, where thousands of its troops are stationed as part of a security treaty.

And specifically regarding China’s new air defense zone, the United States has said it won’t recognize it. Japan’s two main commercial airlines said Wednesday that following a request from the Japanese government, they and other members of the Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan will not submit flight plans to Chinese authorities for flights through the zone claimed by Beijing.

More here

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Charles Pierce: Success Is Not News

Look, there’s something going on with the Affordable Care Act that doesn’t require an IT specialist to explain. There’s a world beyond the ginned-up anecdote. Who knew?

…. through Covered California, the state’s individual insurance marketplace, they’ve found a plan through Sharp Healthcare that will cover them both for a total premium of $142 a month …. More important than that was knowing that they couldn’t be turned down for coverage come Jan. 1. “We felt we didn’t have to panic, or worry,” Holzman says. “If not for the Affordable Care Act, our ability to get insurance would be very limited, if we could get it at all.”

….. this is increasingly looking like the last chance for the United States to join the rest of the industrialized world in crafting a sensible health-care policy for its citizens. All of its citizens.

Full post here

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Think Progress: Treasury And IRS To Crack Down On Super PACs Masquerading As Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Groups

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed guidelines on Tuesday that could force dark-money political groups like Crossroads GPSand the American Future Fund to spend less of their money on campaign advertising and other overt electioneering. If implemented, this guidance would clarify what actions by tax-exempt social welfare organizations are limited “candidate-related political activity” and what actions can count toward their principal purpose.

According to the Wall Street Journal, these rules would label “campaign advertising, voter registration, get-out-the-vote efforts, and distribution of voter guides and campaign materials,” as “candidate-related political activity.” None of that would be able to count as part of the group’s tax-exempt purpose — meaning only a minority of its work could fall into those categories. While 501(c)(4)s would still be free to engage in those activities, they couldn’t be the main focus. This could mean groups accused of masquerading as (c)(4)s could have to find new ways to spend their money.

More here

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Sally Kohn: The GOP’s Late-Term Abortion Strategy Is Backfiring

As the Supreme Court announces it will hear a challenge to Obama’s contraception mandate, a study on late-term abortion seekers finds the GOP’s anti-abortion laws are backfiring.

Right wing politicians who are push laws to restrict a woman’s access to later-term abortions presumably do so because they don’t want women having abortion after 20 weeks. But new research from medical school-based scholars finds that other policies that conservative Republicans are pushing, including restrictions on access to clinics as well as constrained access to health insurance, actually result in more women seeking later-term abortions. In other words, not only are Republicans hypocrites—but their hypocrisy is backfiring.

More here

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Mother Jones: Republicans Refuse To Cover The Poor, Then Complain That Obamacare Isn’t Covering The Poor

The New York Times has gotten hold of the “House Republican Playbook” on Obamacare, and I have to admit that it brought back warm memories. It’s just like the launch kits. In any case, it’s all pretty predictable stuff: Obamacare is an abomination; people are losing their insurance; small companies are being ruined; etc. etc.

Needless to say, this is primarily because Republicans governors have refused to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, even though it’s 100 percent paid for at first and 90 percent paid for forever. These governors literally prefer to have their state’s residents pay taxes and get nothing in return rather than give so much as an extra dime to poor people who need health care. It’s truly hard to fathom what kind of human being is callous enough to do this, but apparently there are a bunch of them in the Republican Party.

More here

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Erik Wemple: ’60 Minutes’ And Benghazi: Five Hard Realities

CBS News distributed a summary of findings from an internal investigation into the discredited Oct. 27 “60 Minutes” report on Benghazi. The investigation was conducted by Al Ortiz, executive director of standards and practices at CBS News, and the findings addressed the various red flags that “60 Minutes” failed to heed in featuring the testimony of Dylan Davies, a security contractor in Benghazi at the time of the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on U.S. interests in the Libyan city. The document cited 10 discrete issues with the Benghazi story. Lara Logan, the correspondent on the story, and the segment’s producer, Max McClellan, are taking leaves of absence following the breakdowns.

 CBS News and “60 Minutes” might as well be on different planets. For CBS News, Benghazi represents the folly of firewalls. Right after the Benghazi attack itself, “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft asked President Obama how he viewed the tragedy. “Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?” asked Kroft. Here’s how he responded: OBAMA: Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.

Trouble was, the public didn’t find out about the president’s response for weeks, until just two days before Election Day — long after it might have affected the course of the campaign. Somewhere between “60 Minutes” and the rest of CBS News, the Kroft-Obama exchange got lost.

More here

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Larry Derfner: Under The Radar: Israel’s Security Establishment Supports New Iran Agreement

The news from Israel is that Israel hates the Iranian nuclear deal struck in Geneva – but the news is not entirely accurate. It’s true, of course, that Netanyahu and his government ministers (with the exception of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni) think the agreement is bad, very bad, very very bad, and that Obama and the West sold the Jews out to Hitler again. But there are some other extremely powerful Israelis who don’t think the agreement is so bad, and who certainly prefer it to the no-agreement that Bibi and AIPAC were driving toward – and these Israelis make up the country’s military-intelligence establishment.

It shouldn’t be a big surprise; these are the same people who, with an assist from President Shimon Peres and the Israeli media, stopped Netanyahu and then-defense minister Ehud Barak from bombing Iran like they wanted to last year. Israel’s generals don’t relish going head-to-head with the United States, they don’t live on paranoia, apocalyptic visions and scare-mongering, and right there you have enough to understand why they don’t go along with Netanyahu on Iran. The Israeli brass are certainly not peaceniks. They’re not sanguine at all about the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. They are not opposed in principle to bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities – in fact, like with most Israelis, their preferred solution is for the U.S. to bomb them. But unlike Netanyahu and the right, they don’t automatically see red when they look at Iran

More here

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Denis-McDonough

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AP: Obama’s Gatekeeper Now Point Man On Health Care

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough was ready to vent. “I’ve had too much humble pie,” he fumed, striding into a top aide’s West Wing office. “That was the last slice. I’m full.” McDonough had just finished another hand-holding meeting with health care advocates anxious over the disastrous rollout of the health care law. McDonough’s message: It was time to change tactics, quit lamenting the problems and start emphasizing the benefits of the health care overhaul.

McDonough is now holding evening meetings every day with key players in the health care rollout, offering support even as he holds agency leaders accountable. “We went straight into problem solving,” he said last week during a stroll on the White House South Lawn. “We knew that going into this, that no plan survives first contact. We knew that we would be confronted with challenges along the way. “We are focused on getting it working, absolutely, and we’re making good progress on that.”

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“Denis takes everything personally. Nobody is going to be harder on Denis than himself,” says his friend Ben Rhodes, a deputy White House national security adviser. “He was angry, frustrated, all of the above. If there is a problem, it is his personal mission to fix it, even if it is beyond his direct capacity to do so.” Of all the chiefs of staff who have worked for Obama, McDonough, 43, has the closest relationship with the president. McDonough is a fierce defender of the president, known during his national security days for vigorously challenging reporters. In a recent meeting with Democratic senators, a participant in the room said, he had a feisty exchange with Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, over a fix the president had proposed to the health care law.

More here

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President Barack Obama runs down the White House Colonnade with Denis McDonough’s children

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On This Day:

First lady Michelle Obama, Sasha Obama and President Obama look on during an NCAA basketball game between Oregon State and Howard University on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010 in Washington

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11
Nov
13

Rise and Shine

Richard Overton, a 107 year old World War II veteran, arriving in Washington yesterday – he will meet with President Obama today (see here)

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Today (all times Eastern):

9:0: President Obama hosts a breakfast to honor veterans and their families

11:0: The President participates in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery; The First Lady, Vice President and Dr Jill Biden also attend

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Tuesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Wednesday: Delivers remarks at the 2013 Tribal Nations Conference

Thursday: Travels to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to participate in a DSCC event

Friday: Attend meetings at the White House

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by Jacquelineoboomer (@JOBoomr)

I’ll meet you at the parade on Main today

We’ll see the old men and women
Still wearing their military covers and medals
They show up at parades, waving hand-held flags
Sometimes seated, next to a grandchild
They look so distant and proud.

It is years since they became veterans
Their hair wasn’t white, their vision was better
They could stand straight and tall at attention
And follow orders to go in harm’s way
They were so very young, unprepared for most of it.

Men and women of every race and creed
Raised their hand to take an oath
To all of us, the young and the old,
To keep our country safe, to keep us free
They were an inspiration to me.

If they made it back, they never forgot
The battle, the war, the comrades-in-arms
They never forgot the friendships or the horrors
They never forgot the ships or the tanks
They savored, and internalized, their call-to-duty.

We’ve been to gatherings
Where they play their songs
And they all rise, if they can, to their branch’s music
And we clap and honor them for a minute
They haven’t forgotten one minute of their service.

We can’t either, and we must rise, today on Main
To honor them, and to hold out our hands
To shake their hands, in friendship and thanks.
Thanks to these patriots.  These veterans.
These men and women parading before us.

These men and women watching from the stands
With their white hair and their clouded vision
With tears in their eyes, tears of remembering
Thinking of a comrade, long fallen
Thinking of the places they’ve traveled in their souls.

Years and years in time
And, for some, long, long ago
They earned the name veteran
They’ll someday leave us with our own memories of them
They are the men and women of valor, and we are the parade-goers.

And years and years in time, we’ll still call them patriot
And remember how we loved them.

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month … We remember!

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NYT: ’60 Minutes’ Airs Apology On Benghazi

The apology lasted only 90 seconds and revealed nothing new about why CBS had trusted Mr. Davies, who appeared on the program under the pseudonym Morgan Jones. Off-camera, CBS executives were left to wonder how viewers would react to the exceptionally rare correction.

However, the apology was deemed inadequate by a wide range of commentators Sunday night. Craig Silverman, of the correction blog Regret the Error, predicted that it would not “take the heat off CBS News.”

“Aside from the fact that it struck a very passive tone and pushed the responsibility onto the source, Dylan Davies, it said nothing about how the show failed to properly vet the story of an admitted liar,” Mr. Silverman said in an email. “There are basic questions left unanswered about how the program checked out what Davies told them, and where this process failed.” “In the short term, this will confirm the worst suspicions of people who don’t trust CBS News,”

More here

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TPM: Lara Logan’s Bogus “Correction”

I just watched the 60 Minutes “correction”/apology tonight and thought was pretty amazing for its brevity, lack of substance and general obfuscation. If you didn’t watch 60 Minutes tonight, it won’t take long. It only lasted 90s or so.

Logan said 60 Minutes had found out Thursday that they had been “misled and it was a mistake to include him in our report.” Include him in their report? He was the report. And even in conceding that her team had been “misled”, Logan tiptoed around the real news, which is that it seems clear that Davies’ entire story was a fabrication.

More here

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Media Matters: Will Media Let 60 Minutes Off The Hook After Hollow “Correction”?

60 Minutes aired an inadequate apology that not only failed to address fundamental questions about the CBS news magazine’s vetting of an admitted liar who served as a key eyewitness in a story that the network has since retracted, but actually conflicts with CBS’ prior explanation of that error.

Logan’s claim that it was only after the 60 Minutes report aired that questions arose about the truth of security contractor Dylan Davies’ account is undermined by what she said during an apology she issued over the same segment just two days earlierLogan’s slippery apology glosses over a key question that remains unanswered: why did 60 Minutes fail to inform its audience during the initial segment that its key eyewitness had told two contradictory accounts of what he did the night of the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks?

More here

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Steve Benen: The effects of a discredited Benghazi report

Two weeks after airing a lengthy report on last year’s attack in Benghazi, CBS’s “60 Minutes” acknowledged late last week that its segment – celebrated by a far-right conspiracy theorists – was wrong….

It almost certainly won’t end the controversy. As the New York Times noted, the apology was not only brief, it “revealed nothing new” about why CBS managed to get the story so very wrong. Complicating matters, “60 Minutes” launched an expansive recovery effort after getting a 2004 story about George W. Bush’s military record wrong, but the show apparently has no intention of responding in kind now – a CBS spokesman “indicated that the program was going to let its televised apology be its last word on the issue.”

There are a wide variety of pressing questions about this discredited report, but at least for now, CBS doesn’t intend to answer them.

More here

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@BarackObama

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Jonathan Cohn: The Huge Obamacare Story You Aren’t Reading

Today it’s a few hundred thousand people. By next year, it will be at least a few million. Their health insurance status is changing dramatically: What they have in 2014 and beyond will look nothing like what they had in 2013 and before. For many of these people, the difference will be hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. In a few cases, it may be the difference between life and death.

You probably think I’m talking about the people getting cancellation notices about their private insurance policies. I’m not. I’m talking about the people getting Medicaid. Both stories are consequences of the Affordable Care Act. But one is getting way, way more attention than the other. It’s no mystery why. Stories of people losing something are more compelling than stories of people gaining something.

More here

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Think Progress: Major Insurance Company Faces Lawsuit For Allegedly Tricking Customers Into Canceling Their Policies

A major California insurance company is being sued by two consumers alleging that they were tricked into dropping their health coverage when they could have remained on their preferred plans under Obamacare. Obamacare allows insurance policies that were issued before the law was signed in 2010 to remain in place as long as they don’t change their benefits in a way that harms consumer

For customers who don’t have “grandfathered plans,” things are a little different. Their insurance providers must comply with Obamacare’s more robust benefit requirements.  California’s Anthem Blue Cross may have convinced their customers that they fall into the second category — even though they’re actually in the first.

“Blue Cross successfully enticed tens of thousands of its individual policyholders to switch out of their grandfathered health plans and forever lose their protected grandfathered status,” states the lawsuit. “Blue Cross concealed information about the consequences of switching plans and intentionally misled its policyholders to encourage the replacement of grandfathered policies.”

More here

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Steve Benen: A thinner-than-thin margin in Virginia

Democratic candidates fared quite well in the commonwealth of Virginia last week, winning the races for governor and lieutenant governor. But about the remarkably close race for state attorney general? As of this morning, it’s the kind of nail-biter we don’t see often.

…. Unless the tallies have changed over the last couple of hours, Obenshain’s lead is 17 votes – out of over 2.2 million votes cast in the race. It suggests a recount is all but inevitable and we won’t know the final outcome before December.

But in case the thinner-than-thin margins weren’t interesting enough, there was also some unexpected drama in Fairfax County, which is generally friendly towards Democrats, and where Herring was expected to pick up some additional votes from provisional ballots. WTOP, a prominent local radio station, reported over the weekend that a “last-minute change” may leave some provisional ballots uncounted.

More here

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On This Day:

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Aboard the USS Carl Vinson, docked at North Island Naval Station in San Diego, Nov. 11, 2011

President Obama greets Korean War veteran Private Hector Cafferata, who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic service at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, following his remarks at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, Korea, Nov. 11, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Morning! Thank you to Jacqueline for the beautiful poem and to UT for all the newsie links help!

09
Nov
13

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Barack Obama reads in the Rose Garden of the White House, Nov. 9, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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The Week Ahead:

Today: President Obama departs Miami (3:25 EDT), arrives at the White House (5:55 EDT)

Sunday: The President has no public events scheduled

Monday: The President and First Lady host a breakfast for veterans from across the country. Later in the morning, the President will travel to Arlington National Cemetery where he will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony and deliver remarks there

Tuesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Wednesday: The President will address the 2013 Tribal Nations Conference

Thursday: The President will travel to Philadelphia where he will participate in a campaign event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

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@sdtilock

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WH.gov: The Affordable Care Act: Making A Difference In Our Neighborhoods

Community Health Centers enable people to receive health care in the neighborhoods where they live so they can get high-quality care close to home. That’s why the Affordable Care Act builds on this model of care, by making critical investments in new facilities, doctors, nurses, and staff. This week, HHS announced new primary care sites in 236 communities for 1.25 million additional patients, made possible by the Affordable Care Act. These investments will make an enormous difference in people’s lives by increasing access to the care they need, where they need it.

As you can see from the media coverage in states around the country, these types of primary care investments are critical for families who need care. Here’s just a sample of the coverage:

AZ – Arizona Daily Star: New U.S. grant to pay for Sierra Vista community health care A new community health clinic will be operating in Sierra Vista by February, due to an unexpected federal grant of nearly $1 million. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday that $150 million in Affordable Care Act funds will be going to 236 health programs in 43 states. LINK

CA – Recordnet.com: Grants awarded for health center The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday awarded a $691,667 grant to Community Medical Centers Inc. to help it establish a new health center service delivery site. LINK

More here

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Steve Benen: Mental Health Parity

That this health care breakthrough is a long time coming doesn’t detract from its significance:

The Obama administration on Friday will complete a generation-long effort to require insurers to cover care for mental health and addiction just like physical illnesses when it issues long-awaited regulations defining parity in benefits and treatment.

The rules, which will apply to almost all forms of insurance, will have far-reaching consequences for many Americans. In the White House, the regulations are also seen as critical to President Obama’s program for curbing gun violence by addressing an issue on which there is bipartisan agreement: Making treatment more available to those with mental illness could reduce killings, including mass murders.

…. It’s easy to grow weary with unprecedented obstructionism blocking legislation on Capitol Hill, but once in a while, we’re reminded that progress is still possible.

Full post here

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NYT: Cut In Food Stamps Forces Hard Choices On Poor

For many, a $10 or $20 cut in the monthly food budget would be absorbed with little notice. But for millions of poor Americans who rely on food stamps, reductions that began this month present awful choices. Mr. Simmons’s allotment from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called food stamps, has dropped $9. He has already spent the $33 he received for November.

Food stamps are likely to be cut more in the coming years if Congress can agree on a new farm bill, which House and Senate negotiators began tackling this week. The Republican-controlled House has approved cutting as much as $40 billion from the program over 10 years by making it harder to qualify. The Democratic-controlled Senate is suggesting a $4 billion cut by making administrative changes. “We’ll be on our last $3 at the end of the month,” said Rafaela Rivera, 34, a home health aide who earns $10 an hour.

More here

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@I_Karumba

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Media Matters: Former 60 Minutes Producer Mapes: Benghazi Story Aimed At “Obsessed” Right-Wing Audience

Former 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes, who was fired for her role in a controversial 2004 story about President Bush’s service in the Air National Guard, accused CBS News of pandering to a right-wing audience with her former program’s recent Benghazi report, for which the network has been criticized and forced to retract.

“My concern is that the story was done very pointedly to appeal to a more conservative audience’s beliefs about what happened at Benghazi,” Mapes said by telephone from her Texas home. “They appear to have done that story to appeal specifically to a politically conservative audience that is obsessed with Benghazi and believes that Benghazi was much more than a tragedy.”

More here

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Ed Kilgore: Supply Meets Demand On Benghazi

…. the reporter, Lara Logan, has long expressed righteous anger that the killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens hasn’t been avenged. So Logan had a personal agenda that nicely merged with her personal interest in getting a big “scoop”.

…. Lara Logan brought the supply and Lindsey Graham brought the demand and a bill of goods were sold. Graham and other Republicans, of course, can now simply argue the dubious report “raised questions,” and that’s all they need for more wallowing in the “story.” An apology from their supplier isn’t enough.

Full post here

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Charles Pierce: My Profession Steps On A Rake

It seems that Senator Aqua Buddha has been shitcanned by the ghost of Sun Myung Moon just in time to get hired by the ghost of Andrew Breitbart. This is a remarkably straight career path into the manure bin for the formerly rising young champion of the brogressive Left, especially those who don’t want to be droned before they score with that cute barista. (Guess what? The champion of human freedom voted against ENDA because liberty!)….

And then there’s 60 Minutes.

Oy. Also, vey.

I held off for a while on this because history tells us that jumping ugly early can have very unfortunate results on stories like this but, Jesus H. Christ on tour with Iron Maiden, does it look like the show screwed the pooch on its big scoop regarding Benghazi, Benghazi!, BENGHAZI! ….

More here

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Business Insider: Here’s The Real Reason People Hate Their Individual Market Health Insurance

Unlike people on Medicare, Medicaid and employer-based insurance, people who buy coverage in the individual market know exactly how much they’re paying for it. A plan that you would only rate “fair” when you have to pay $5,000 for it might merit an “excellent” if its apparent cost to you were only $1,000. Almost all of us should be dissatisfied with our health plans, because the American health care system involves paying twice as much as people in other rich countries do to achieve similar health outcomes.

People love their employer-provided coverage because they have no idea how much it’s costing them. One of the reasons I like the disruptions created by Obamacare, and wish there were more of them, is that many of them involve exposing the true cost of American health care to consumers.

The law requires employers to start reporting the cost of employer-sponsored insurance on W-2 forms, so people know how much of their compensation is eaten up by health insurance. Successful health reform should bring that transparency to other parts of the market. That will make the public angry — not because they’re being made worse off, but because they’re finally realizing how bad they’ve had it all along.

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Text of remarks here

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Igor Volsky: Oversight Chairman Accused Of Leaking Misleading Information About Obamacare Implementation

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are accusing Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) of selectively leaking misinformation about HealthCare.gov in an effort to portray administration officials as misleading the public about the implementation of Obamacare. On Thursday, Issa appeared on Fox News and claimed that he had obtained documents proving that contractors working on Healthcare.gov believed that the site could only handle 1,100 users before launch.

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had publicly stated that the administration believed that the site could handle 60,000 concurrent users. But in a letter to Issa, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member on the Committee, pointed to an interview Issa’s own staff conducted with Henry Chao, the Deputy Information Officer. Chao explained that the 1,000 figure were “the results of a much smaller testing environment” and were not conducted “with final production testing of the system at full capacity.”

More here

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On This Day:

President Obama offers a toast during the state dinner hosted by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Istana Negara State Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Nov. 9, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama winks at another guest at the head table as she participates in a state dinner for her husband President Obama at Istana Merdeka

08
Nov
13

Rise and Shine

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, along with President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and her husband, Dr. Devisingh Ramsingh Shekhawat, greet guests during the state dinner at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2010 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (all times Eastern):

9:05: The President departs the White House

11:45: Arrives New Orleans

12:15: Tours the Port of New Orleans

1:0: First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a workshop for high school students interested in filmmaking careers

1:10: President Obama delivers remarks

2:10: Departs New Orleans

3:45: Arrives Miami

4:25: Attends a DNC event (Private Residence, Coral Gables)

6:20: Delivers remarks at a DSCC event (Private Residence, Miami)

7:45: Delivers remarks at a DSCC event (Private Residence, Miami)

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Media Matters: How CBS Could Have Avoided The 60 Minutes Benghazi Fiasco

CBS News’ extended refusal to specifically address questions at the heart of its controversial 60 Minutes Benghazi terror report ran counter to the counsel CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager has given in recent years about the importance of journalists admitting their mistakes and being transparent in the process.

In public speeches, Fager, who also holds the title of 60 Minutes’ Executive Producer, has repeatedly insisted that for the good of a free press, journalists must acknowledge errors when they are made and must be honest with news consumers when doubts arise about their work. For the simmering Benghazi controversy however, CBS News embraced a mostly non-responsive strategy, exactly the opposite of what Fager has preached.

The problems with 60 Minutes’ politically charged Benghazi report were self-evident in terms of the witness the program featured. Yet CBS News executives refused for a full week to address the central issue regarding the fact that that witness had told two contradictory tales about the Benghazi terror attack and what he did that night. Instead officials, including Fager, continued to publicly laud its Benghazi work (the news chairman remained “proud” of it, as of November 6), despite the fact that, as one veteran journalist put it, the report represented a “serious problem” for the network.

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Steve Benen: CBS backs off unraveling Benghazi tale

It’s been nearly two weeks since CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired a report that caused considerable excitement from Benghazi conspiracy theorists. Though much of the report, a full year in the making, covered familiar ground, the segment also highlighted an alleged witness to the attack, who said he scaled a 12-foot wall, beat an al Qaeda fighter with the butt of his rifle, and personally saw Ambassador Chris Stevens’ body.

The man’s name is Dylan Davies – he used a pseudonym on “60 Minutes” for no apparent reason – and he has a book coming out about his Benghazi experience, published by a CBS-owned company that releases far-right books from conservative personalities.

Almost immediately, Davies’ story started to unravel … The CBS reporters involved with the story continued to defend it anyway, brushing off broad criticism as politically motivated, and insisting that their segment was accurate. On last week’s edition of “60 Minutes,” the show featured feedback from viewers who cheered the segment, but made no mention of the burgeoning controversy.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Job growth picks up steam unexpectedly

If there was one thing everyone seemed to expect this morning, it was a discouraging jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After all, these new figures cover the month of October, which means they’ll include the period in which congressional Republicans shut down the federal government.

Imagine our surprise, then, when the new jobs data turned out to be pretty good.

According to the new BLS report, the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, double economists’ expectations. The private sector added 212,000 jobs – the second best total of the year thus far.

More here

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ThinkProgress: The Cancer Patient From The Wall Street Journal Will Likely Save Thousands Under Obamacare

Edie Sundby, a Stage-4 gallbladder cancer patient who is losing her individual health care policy in California, could pay less for comprehensive insurance in Obamacare’s health care exchanges.

Sundby’s story first gained national attention after she penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, arguing that Obamacare would cost her more and force her to abandon her cancer doctors….

… During an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday, she described her old catastrophic policy as “fabulous” and “fantastic,” in part because it paid for treatment by both Stanford and UC San Diego doctors. But the policy also came at a high cost. The AARP reported last year in a profile of Sundby’s fight against cancer that the family spent “tens of thousands of dollars” on treatment beyond the cost of coverage…..

And so when ThinkProgress estimated the cost of a high-deductible policy offered by PacifiCare and then compared that plan to a policy in the California exchange, we found that the family would pay slightly less and benefit from a whole host of new consumer protections.

More here

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TPM: The 5 Million People The GOP Cut Out Of Obamacare

Starting Jan. 1, nearly five million people who were supposed to be covered under Obamacare won’t be because their states have refused to expand Medicaid.

The Medicaid expansion field is tentatively set for 2014, and the nation is split down the middle: 25 states (plus D.C.) are expanding, and 25 states are not, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

…. half the states, all of them with either a Republican governor or a GOP-controlled chamber in the legislature (or both) that opposed the change, have declined to participate.

More here

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@WhiteHouse

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NYT: $10 Minimum Wage Proposal Has Growing Support From White House

The White House has thrown its weight behind a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $10 an hour.

“The president has long supported raising the minimum wage so hard-working Americans can have a decent wage for a day’s work to support their families and make ends meet,” a White House official said.

President Obama, the official continued, supports the Harkin-Miller bill, also known as the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from its current $7.25.

The legislation is sponsored in the Senate by Tom Harkin of Iowa and in the House by George Miller of California, both Democrats. It would raise the minimum wage — in three steps of 95 cents each, taking place over two years — to $10.10, and then index it to inflation.

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MoooOOOooorning! That was a bit of a rush job, so I’m sure I’m missing lots of stuff – will catch up through the day.

Happy Friday!

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