Posts Tagged ‘Tribal Nations

27
Sep
16

Early Bird Chat

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President Barack Obama is presented with a tribal hat, blanket, and bestowed upon the Crow name of Black Eagle

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All Times Eastern

10AM: President Obama receives the Presidential Daily Briefing

12:40PM: Press Secretary Josh Earnest holds the White House Briefing

4:50PM: President Obama participates in a DNC fundraiser at a private residence in Washington, DC

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26
Sep
16

Chat Away

05
Nov
15

The President’s Day

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President Barack Obama participates in a group conversation with Jude Schimmel (L) of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon, Tatiana Ticknor (R) of the Yup’ik/Tlingit/Dena’ina of Alaska and other young Native people during the 7th White House Tribal Nations Conference. He took questions about higher education opportunities for native youth, the need to change offensive school and sports team mascots and other topics

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President Barack Obama participates in a group conversation with (L-R) Jude Schimmel of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon, Tatiana Ticknor of the Yup’ik/Tlingit/Dena’ina of Alaska, Brayden White of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, Blossom Johnson of the Navajo Nation and Philip Douglas of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

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19
Nov
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama during a tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, Burma, Nov. 19, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern):

10:45: President Obama meets with a bipartisan group of senators to discuss Iran

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

3:15: President Obama delivers remarks and answers questions at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting

6:00: First Lady Michelle Obama’s interview with 106 & Park airs on BET

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A word from Donna Dem:

Mr. President, I am forever grateful for your patience, tolerance, intelligence, kindness, thoughtfulness and service to our Nation at a time in history when we so desperately needed your distinct leadership. How you have been able to do this in the face of constant hate from the right, non-stop negative focus by our media and at times what appears to be people in your own party who let the media and the right cause them to lose their spine is beyond my comprehension.

The enemy hates you but you continue to fight for them even while they don’t deserve your hard work and effort. I will ALWAYS have your back. ObamaCare is your signature legislation and you will go down in history as one of the greatest Presidents of all time because of it. Your adversaries know this and it drives them crazy. You make all those in the media and on the Right appear so small minded. They focus on petty, negative things that in the big picture mean absolutely nothing to the average person seeking affordable health care. All the noise surrounding the launch of ACA will be forgotten because we your supporters will work our hearts out to make sure that everyone who needs insurance signs up (by whatever means necessary) to get insurance. We will promote ACA until we are blue in the face, if that is what it takes to make ObamaCare a complete success.

I’ve watched over these past six years as the media, the right and some on the left question time and again as to who you are. I’ll end this by sharing with the rest of the public what those of us who have been paying attention already know.

You are a man of strong character. You have the biggest heart of any politician I have ever seen. You are a family man. Family means everything to you. The service and sacrifices you are making today are all being done so that you will leave this world a better place for Malia and Sasha. Your spine is reinforced by a great, brilliant and beautiful woman in Michelle Obama. You look out over the universe and although there is so much negativity and ugliness to weigh you down you see the good in people. Somehow you are able to push past the filth and pinpoint the positive.

Obamacare is a gift that will keep on giving well into the future. No amount of media bashing, rightwing thrashing or some spineless Dems gnashing is going to stop this train from rolling on down the track.

The Obamacare train has left the station and its destination is affordable health care for all.

You can count on me and millions of others to make this a reality!!

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Think Progress: The Obama Administration Just Gave Nine Tribal Nations $7M To Fund Clean Energy Projects

The U.S. fossil fuel boom has not been easy on American Indians. Pollution is one problem, hunger for coal is another. While the people of the Moapa Paiute Reservation in Nevada wait for a promised solar energy center, smokestacks from the Reid-Gardner coal-fired power plant cake local homes with black dust. West of the Mississippi, Indian reservations contain almost 30 percent of the nation’s coal, but regulations from the Bureau of Indian Affairs limiting reservation energy development prevents tribes from fully capitalizing.

So even when coal is developed, tribes don’t see the money — they just see soot. But American Indian land — which makes up only 2 percent of the country — also has the potential to produce more than 5 percent of total renewable power generation, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, which on Thursday announced an investment of $7 million into nine tribal clean energy projects.

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Igor Volsky: The Obamacare Cancellation Notices You Haven’t Heard About

As lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are endorsing legislation to allow Americans purchasing health care coverage in the individual market to stay in their existing insurance plans, they’re ignoring a far more pressing coverage problem in the 26 states that have yet to expand their Medicaid programs. There, five million working poor Americans could be denied access to affordable insurance altogether.

They are the working poor cashiers, cooks, nurses’ aides, waiters and waitresses who were intended to benefit the most under reform, yet will continue to struggle to afford coverage as a result of the GOP’s political calculations. Yet the very same Republican lawmakers and conservative advocacy groups who have seized on the cancellation notices to argue that the law has failed are actively campaigning to prevent states from expanding public health insurance to these people.

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CBS: JP Morgan Chase, Feds Agree To $13 Billion Settlement

The Justice Department and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have reached agreement on all issues in a $13 billion settlement of a civil inquiry into the company’s sales of low-quality mortgage-backed securities that collapsed in value during the 2008 financial crisis. The settlement is the largest ever reached between the government and a corporation.

It eclipses the record $4 billion levied on the huge oil company BP in January in the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. A person close to the talks told CBS News that the settlement addresses all civil issues in the case, but the Justice Department retains the right to continue a criminal investigation being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento, Calif.

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Jonathan Cohn: Obamacare Policy Cancellations: Media Mythology, Republican Spin

The Obamacare cancellation stories have dominated the media for the past two weeks. And it’s easy to understand why. People losing their insurance is a bigger story than people getting insurance for the first time. But how big a story should it be? To answer that, you need to know how many people actually fit these descriptions—and what might have happened to these people if the Affordable Care Act had never become law.

1. People With These Policies Frequently Don’t Like Them: The best estimates suggest that about 12 to 15 million people buy insurance on their own. In other words, they are part of the “non-group” market. The best survey on this subject I’ve seen comes from the Center for Health Research and Transformation. In it, nearly half of all people surveyed rated their non-group coverage “fair or poor.”

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Bryce Covert: Unequal Pay Is Even More Unequal For Women Of Color

While women overall still made just 77 cents for each dollar men made last year, that gap is far wider for women of color. In an analysis of recent Census data, the National Women’s Law Center finds that an African-American woman working full time, year round made just 64 cents for every dollar a white man made and Hispanic women made just 54 cents.

NWLC notes that these racial and gender wage gaps mean that black women lost $18,650 compared to white men and Hispanic women lost $24,111. Even worse, the gap seems to be growing. The year before, black women made 69 cents for every dollar made by a white man and Latinas made 60 cents. They also face racial discrimination that means black workers earn $22,552 less than white workers a year on average and Hispanic workers earn $16,861 less.

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Jonathan Bernstein: No, Democrats Are Not Turning Against The Affordable Care Act

The press hype about Affordable Care Act troubles shows no sign of letting up today;Politico and National Journal both have features that seem absolutely detached from political reality. National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar has Democrats practically lining up to vote for repeal if Healthcare.gov isn’t working well in a couple of weeks. The problem with Kraushaar’s fantasy — and it is a pure fantasy, one which winds up with an imagined vote count on a repeal veto override — is that no actual Democrats in Congress can be found who are even hinting at anything resembling such a dramatic reversal.

Oh, there are plenty of Democrats who want to be on record as opposing the costs of Obamacare while still supporting the benefits. Especially when it’s a safe vote on something that has no chance to become law. That’s the real story behind the 39 House Democrats who voted for GOP Rep. Fred Upton’s “fix” to the law last week. Either way, what’s not going to happen is repeal thanks to Democratic panic from short term media frenzies. That’s not how politics works, it’s not what’s happening now, and it’s not what’s going to happen in the future.

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NYT: Tennessee Governor Hesitates On Medicaid, Frustrating Many

Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee describes it as “trying to thread a needle from 80 yards.” Mr. Haslam is only the latest Republican tailor trying to figure out whether to expand the state’s Medicaid rolls as prescribed by President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. In his case, it involves trying — so far unsuccessfully — to balance some sharply conflicting concerns: struggling hospitals, local business groups, dwindling state resources and fierce conservative opposition to the new health care law

“Sometimes you’ve got to make a tough call,” said Craig Fitzhugh, the State House Democratic minority leader, who is pushing for expansion. “It’s time to say yes or no. I don’t want to get morbid or dramatic about this thing, but it’s lives we’re talking about here. It’s human beings.”  Though Mr. Haslam has said he felt under no time pressure, the state faces a Jan. 1 deadline to qualify for the first $300 million in Medicaid money for the coming year. The Tennessee Hospital Association, the state Chamber of Commerce and Democrats say Mr. Haslam cannot afford to wait much longer.

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Roger Simon: President Obama: Lying Liar Or Media Target?

The reviews are in, and Obamacare is a disaster. No, it is worse than that. Obamacare is a debacle, a shambles, a wreck, a fiasco, a flop, a failure and a farce. To the media, Obamacare is such a catastrophe that mere words cannot describe it. Only comparisons can. So Obamacare is Hurricane Katrina (The New York Times), the Iraq War (“Meet the Press”), Watergate (Bill Kristol) and “the worst thing since slavery” (Dr. Ben Carson, a columnist and Fox News contributor).

A lie, however, is an intentionally false statement. An unforgivable screw-up may be unforgivable and a screw-up, but it is different than a lie.   The Iraq War comparison was floated by David Gregory, host of “Meet the Press,” on Sunday. “And people will say this is like Katrina; I think it’s more like Iraq,” Gregory said.

“That was about life and death, this is not. The comparison is everybody looked at Bush through the prism of Iraq. Here, I think people are going to look at Obama through the implementation of Obamacare.” Maybe it’s just me, but I still find it difficult to compare a dismally functioning website to a war that resulted in more than 100,000 violent deaths and cost nearly a trillion dollars.

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Michael Hiltzik: The Myths Of Obamacare’s ‘Failure’

Attacks on the Affordable Care Act have stepped up over the last week or so. You’d think that the healthcare reform known as Obamacare is leading to the wholesale loss of affordable insurance by huge sectors of the American public, many of whom will be impoverished by being forced into low-quality health plans at exorbitant prices. You’d think the entire reform is on “life support,” as the usually judicious National Journal put it today, speculating that Democrats may soon start calling for its repeal.

Don’t buy the hype. The numbers tell an entirely different story. What they also demonstrate is that the myth of Obamacare’s “failure” is a product of the same Republican noise machine that has been working to undermine this crucial reform since Day One. It’s assisted by news reporting about canceled health policies that typically ranges from woefully misinformed to spectacularly ignorant, and even at its best is incomplete.

The fact is that Obamacare is here to stay. Its customer protections are worth real money to tens of millions of consumers, and it’s vastly expanding the insurance market. The politicians claiming that they’re only out to “fix” a broken program are playing you for suckers, and not for the first time.

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LA Times: Healthcare Plan Enrollment Surges In Some States After Rocky Rollout

Despite the disastrous rollout of the federal government’s healthcare website, enrollment is surging in many states as tens of thousands of consumers sign up for insurance plans made available by President Obama’s health law. A number of states that use their own systems, including California, are on track to hit enrollment targets for 2014 because of a sharp increase in November, according to state officials.

“What we are seeing is incredible momentum,” said Peter Lee, director of Covered California, the nation’s largest state insurance marketplace, which accounted for a third of all enrollments nationally in October. California — which enrolled about 31,000 people in health plans last month — nearly doubled that in the first two weeks of this month.

Several other states, including Connecticut and Kentucky, are outpacing their enrollment estimates, even as states that depend on the federal website lag far behind. In Minnesota, enrollment in the second half of October ran at triple the rate of the first half, officials said. Washington state is also on track to easily exceed its October enrollment figure, officials said.

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President Obama talks with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough while sitting at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, Nov. 18, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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On This Day:

President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak during an arrival ceremony at the Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

…. speaking to US troops at Osan Air Base, south of Seoul, on November 19, 2009

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…. at the East Asia Summit plenary session in Nusa Dua in Bali, on November 19, 2011

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First Lady Michelle Obama greets Lianyun Wu as she awards an International Spotlight Award to The 100 Dong Songs Program of China, during the 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards in the East Room at the White House, November 19, 2012

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A Burmese student at Yangon International airport awaiting President Obama’s arrival, Nov. 19, 2012

Nov. 19, 2012 – Pete Souza: “Police hold back the crowd as residents line the streets of the motorcade route to welcome the first sitting President of the United States to visit Burma. This photograph was taken through the bullet-proof window of the vehicle just in front of the President’s. I love that three of the police are also trying to sneak a glimpse, one with a smile on his face.” (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama poses for a photo in front of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, Burma, Nov. 19, 2012. All visitors must remove their shoes and socks while touring the pagoda. (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, guides, and Secret Service agents walk barefoot during a tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama pours water over the left shoulder of the Friday Buddha during a tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama signs a guest book during a tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, Burma, Nov. 19, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Crowds line a street outside the home of Aung San Suu Kyi as President Obama arrives to meet her in Yangon

President Obama greets Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a visit to her private residence in Rangoon (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama receives a floral tribute upon his arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport for the ASEAN Summit, November 19

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MoooOOOooorning! A gazillion thanks to UT for providing all the links for today’s R&S, I only had the pics done when I got stuck on a call for 30 minutes, and then had someone interfere with my TODing because he wanted to play.

14
Nov
13

Rise and Shine

Pete Souza: “We were on Air Force One heading to the Summit of the Americas in Singapore. Since the 1990’s, the host country for this Summit chooses a shirt that all heads of state wear to the formal ceremony. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was showing the President pictures of past leaders wearing – shall we say – not the most dignified of shirts.” Nov. 14, 2009

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Today (All Times Eastern):

11:35: President Obama to make announcement on a fix for health plans canceled under ACA

12:0: First Lady Michelle Obama delivers keynote address at Disney’s first-ever Veterans Institute workshop at Walt Disney World Resort

1:0: President Obama departs the White House

2:25: Arrives in Cleveland

2:30: VP Biden delivers remarks in Atlanta

2:55: President Obama tours ArcelorMittal, Cleveland

3:40: Delivers remarks on the economy

4:35: Departs Cleveland

5:30: VP Biden attends DNC event in Atlanta

5:45: President Obama arrives in Philadelphia

7:45: Delivers remarks at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

9:10: Departs Philadelphia

10:05: Arrives at the White House

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Igor Volsky: The Official Obamacare Numbers And What They Mean For The Future Of Health Care Reform

The Obama administration released October’s enrollment numbers for HealthCare.gov on Wednesday afternoon, providing the first official glimpse into the administration’s progress towards implementing the Affordable Care Act. Here is the breakdown: 106,185: filled out the application and have selected a plan through a federally run or state run exchange. 79,391: filled out the application and have selected a plan through a state-run exchange.

26,794: filled out the application and have selected a plan through a federal exchange. 846,184: filled out the application but have not yet selected a plan 1,509,883: individuals applying for coverage with completed applications 1,081,592: total individuals eligible to enroll in an exchange plan 396,261: eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. Enrollees by state: California 35,364; Federal exchange 26,794; New York 16,404; Washington 7,091; Kentucky 5,586.

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Media Matters: The Obamacare Fact-Check CBS Should Have Done (But Didn’t)

CBS News, already in trouble for not bothering to fact-check sensational claims about the Benghazi attacks, has stepped in it again with an exclusive story on the Affordable Care Act that has quickly fallen apart.

On November 11, CBS News reported that the “project manager in charge of building the federal health care website was apparently kept in the dark about serious failures in the website’s security.”

CBS investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s report was based on an exclusive “first look at a partial transcript” of closed-door testimony by project manager Henry Chao that was likely leaked to the network by Republicans on the House Oversight Committee. Other media outlets picked up CBS’s scoop and ran with it.

…. Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA) questioned Chao at a November 13 Oversight Committee hearing and revealed how misleading CBS News’ report was….

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Charles Pierce: If It’s Not One Thing, It’s CBS

…. Gee, CBS gets scammed by a con-man like Darrell Issa. Hoocoodanode?

Perhaps a CBS reporter who has proven to be a reliable mark in the past.

Sharyl Atkisson? The Sharyl Atkisson? The one who proved so valuable to Issa in his attempt to promote the Fast And Furious fakery? …. She was also a dependable mouthpiece in the early days of Benghazi, Benghazi!, BENGHAZI! …. the Sharyl Atkisson who did so much to mainstream anti-vaccine propaganda and give Julia Ioffe whooping cough? That Sharyl Atkisson?

The Tiffany Network is having a tough week.

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: What The Obamacare Enrollment Numbers Really Tell Us

To Larry Levitt, a vice president at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, another very telling number is this one: over 975,000 have been determined eligible for a marketplace but haven’t yet chosen a plan.

“That’s one of the most telling numbers — a million people have been determined eligible,” Levitt tells me. “That means if the website had been working well, and a million people had gotten to the end of the process, we’d be looking at a very different trajectory now. We heard about the surge in traffic when HealthCare.gov went live. This suggests there is in fact a lot of interest.”

Meanwhile, the 100,000 number is getting a lot of attention, but the report also finds nearly 400,000 were determined eligible for Medicaid. “In total that’s over 500,000 people who signed up for insurance in the midst of a tumultuous launch,” Levitt says. “People make a distinction between the marketplace and Medicaid, but those are both elements of the Affordable Care Act — both are mechanisms to get people insured.”

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Mother Jones: If GOP Repeals Obamacare, 137 Million Americans Could Get Cancellation Notices

how many Americans’ health plans would receive some form of cancellation notice if GOP hardliners got their wish and repealed Obamacare? Probably at least 137 million. Let’s do the math. Most of the 49 million Americans who were uninsured before the Affordable Care Act will now be eligible to obtain health coverage—either through the expansion of Medicaid or through federal subsidies they can use to purchase insurance on the cheap through the exchanges.

From that number, subtract the 30 million or so low-income people who will not sign up for coverage, either because they can’t afford it, or they live in one of the 24 states where Republican governors decided not to expand Medicaid. That takes us down to 19 million uninsured Americans whose coverage would disappear if Republicans repeal Obamacare. Now add to that number the 267 million Americans who have insurance, but will now receive better coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Bob Cesca: The Truth About The Obamacare Enrollment Numbers

You’ve probably heard the number 106,000 bouncing around the tubes today. It represents the supposed number of Americans who have signed up for health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Of course it’s not the most accurate indication of what October really looked like.

According to Jonathan Cohn, the total number of Americans who have submitted applications for coverage via Healthcare.gov and state exchanges? Try 1.5 million people, if you factor in households with multiple people receiving coverage — dependents and so forth, who, by the way, are included among the 30 million Americans without insurance prior to the ACA.

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ABC6: Obama Says He Will Visit Indian Country Next Year

President Barack Obama told Native American leaders Wednesday that he will make his first trip as president to Indian Country next year, expanding on his vow to enhance the bond between the federal and tribal governments. Obama told the tribal leaders at the fifth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference that the federal government still has work to do to sustain a strong relationship with tribal governments.

He says the United States can do more to give tribes more control over their communities and says that high rates of poverty among Native Americans are “a moral call to action.” In addition, he says the federal government needs to ensure that Native Americans have access to affordable health care and must help tribes be good stewards of their native homelands.

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Tim Dickinson: How Republicans Rig The Game

As the nation recovers from the Republican shutdown of government, the question Americans should be asking is not “Why did the GOP do that to us?” but “Why were they even relevant in the first place?” So dramatically have the demographic and electoral tides in this country turned against the Republican Party that, in a representative democracy worthy of the designation, the Grand Old Party should be watching from the sidelines and licking its wounds. Not only did Barack Obama win a second term in an electoral landslide in 2012, but he is also just the fourth president in a century to have won two elections with more than 50 percent of the popular vote.

What’s more, the party controls 55 seats in the Senate, and Democratic candidates for the House received well over a million more votes than their Republican counterparts in the election last year. And yet, John Boehner still wields the gavel in the House and Republican resistance remains a defining force in the Senate, frustrating Obama’s ambitious agenda. Through a combination of hyperpartisan redistricting of the House, unprecedented obstructionism in the Senate and racist voter suppression in the states, today’s GOP has locked in political power that it could never have secured on a level playing field.

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Steve Benen: HHS Releases Obamacare Enrollment Data

Over the first month of open-enrollment, 106,185 consumers signed up for health insurance through an exchange – about a quarter of that total signed up by way of the federal marketplace. In addition, another 396,261 Americans have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion. By this reasoning, about 500,000 consumers gained health insurance in October thanks to the Affordable Care Act

nearly 1 million consumers – on top of those who gained coverage – began the process “by applying and receiving an eligibility determination” but have “not yet selected a plan.” For many of these folks, this is the result of the broken website – the totals are not a reflection of demand, but rather, capacity.

And therein lies the point: the administration assumed that that demand for coverage would be there, and those assumptions were correct. The problem, of course, is the dysfunctional website – people haven’t been able to purchase the product they want to buy. Fix the site and the pieces of the system fall nicely into place.

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Digital Journal: President Obama Signs School Access To Emergency Epinephrine Act

President Obama today signed into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act during a ceremony attended by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) CEO John L. Lehr, members of FARE’s board of directors and key congressional sponsors. This historic and potentially lifesaving legislation is the first federal law encouraging schools to stock epinephrine for use in allergic emergencies, and has been championed by FARE for more than two years.

The law, passed by the Senate on Oct. 31 and by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 30, encourages states to require schools to keep lifesaving epinephrine on hand and ensure school personnel are trained to use it. The bill received strong bipartisan support and was passed by unanimous consent in both chambers. “We are thrilled to see this legislation signed by President Obama and thank him for bringing national attention to the need to protect students with food allergies,” said John L. Lehr, CEO of FARE

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Department Of Justice: Court Authorizes IRS To Issue Summonses For Records Relating To U.S. Taxpayers With Offshore Bank Accounts

U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood of the Southern District of New York entered an order on Nov. 7, 2013, authorizing the IRS to issue summonses requiring Bank of New York Mellon (Mellon) and Citibank NA (Citibank) to produce information about U.S. taxpayers who may be evading or have evaded federal taxes by holding interests in undisclosed accounts at Zurcher Kantonalbank and its affiliates (collectively, ZKB) in Switzerland; and U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman of the Southern District of New York entered an order today authorizing the IRS to issue summonses requiring Mellon, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA (JPMorgan),

HSBC Bank USA NA (HSBC), and Bank of America NA (Bank of America) to produce similar information in connection with undisclosed accounts at The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited and its affiliates (collectively, Butterfield) in the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Malta, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These cases once again demonstrate the department’s resolve to uncover and identify taxpayers who tried to hide money overseas as a way to avoid federal taxes,” said Assistant Attorney General Keneally.

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Think Progress: Senate Democrats Unveil Pro-Choice Bill To Prevent States From Chipping Away At Abortion Rights

Last week, Senate Republicans introduced a national abortion ban that would chisel away at the constitutional rights guaranteed under Roe v. Wade. Now, their Democratic colleagues are striking back with some abortion-related legislation of their own. a group of pro-choice senators plan to introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013, a measure intended to stem the barrage of state-level restrictions on reproductive rights.

the new bill would preempt state’s efforts to indirectly restrict abortion by requiring new laws to be medically necessary. The measure emphasizes that new abortion regulations shouldn’t decrease access to abortion services or require doctors to go against their best judgment.

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Michael Tomasky: The Democrats Need To Stop Freaking Out About Obamacare And Take Charge

Bill Clinton conceded those rhetorical inches to the right on Obamacare, which Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) seized on immediately. At least two blue-state senators, Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Jeff Merkley (OR), have jumped on the “fix Obamacare” bandwagon. At the same time, there’s no need for panic. Even with the continued existence and success of Fox, reality is still reality, and in the end, reality usually trumps cable and hyperventilating reports about who won the morning in Politico. And reality says the enrollment period doesn’t end until next spring, and it’s really not possible to tell how things are going until enrollment has ended and we see both the number of people who’ve enrolled and what percentage healthy vs. sick, because insurers made their guesstimates and pegged their rates to those guesstimates.

I remember a lot of other times when it was supposedly curtains for Obama, too, because inside the Beltway, the more disciplined Republicans, who after all are in the luxurious position of just sitting back and firing away, have an easier time winning news cycles. But out beyond the Beltway, the party that shut down the government for three weeks and killed immigration reform and wants to decimate food stamps and can’t even pass its own spending bills doesn’t look very appealing to most people. The fate of Obamacare can be changed. The DNA of the GOP cannot.

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On This Day:

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President Obama laugh as they brush their hair during a group photo during the APEC summit

First Lady Michelle Obama hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ spouses luncheon at Kualoa Ranch in Ka’a’awa on the island of Oahu in Hawaii on November 13, 2011 (Okay, a day late)

President Obama chats with Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, right, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, at the APEC leaders dinner in Singapore, Nov. 14, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama shares a laugh with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the APEC leaders dinner in Singapore, Nov. 14, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama eats a green tea ice cream bar during his visit to the Great Buddha of Kamakura at the Kotoku-in Temple in Kamakura, Japan, Nov. 14, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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