Thursday, 11/21/13, Public Square



by | November 21, 2013 · 6:00 am

10 responses to “Thursday, 11/21/13, Public Square

  1. Forewarned is forearmed. These are the instructions given to the republicans and the talking points they are to use. You’ll hear them repeated ad nauseam.

    Having failed electorally and failed in the courts, Republicans are hell-bent on destroying the Affordable Care Act in Americans’ minds. A document circulated among House Republicans (revealed in today’s NY Times) contains talking points to be repeated continuously: “Because of Obamacare, I Lost My Insurance.” “Obamacare Increases Health Care Costs.” “The Exchanges May Not Be Secure, Putting Personal Information at Risk.” Fox News and right-wing radio amplify them. The mainstream media reports them as news.

    Admittedly, Obama played into their hands by botching the roll-out of the Act. But keep in mind the larger reality: Private for-profit insurers have wrecked the American healthcare system. Ours has been the only system in the world designed to avoid sick people. A single-payer system would have been preferable, and we’ll eventually get there. But the Affordable Care Act at least sets minimum standards, requires insurers to take people with preexisting conditions, bars them from dropping coverage of people who get sick, and extends insurance to the poor and working class. These are huge accomplishments relative to where we’ve been. Initial problems with the website, and cancellations of some policies by insurance companies that can’t meet the standards, are small potatoes. — Robert Reich

    G.O.P. Maps Out Waves of Attacks Over Health Law

    • Testing…Testing…Testing…..

      This is the fourth time I’ve tried to post the same comment here at the exact same spot..

      Maybe it’s something I said?

      • There…that’s more like it..

        My comment was……..I have noticed my health care costs rising – but it has nothing to do with Obamacare.

        Ever since the Catholics bought out my doctor’s clinic – the cost of his office visits have more than doubled….

        I think it is pure G-R-E-E-D……and nothing else.

  2. Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. Thought you all might like to see this.

    Complaint alleges two-tier voter registration scheme illegal under Kansas constitution
    Wichita, Kans: Equality Kansas (formerly the Kansas Equality Coalition) represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, joined two individual plaintiffs in a legal action challenging the constitutionality and legality of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach`s “two tier“ voter registration and election scheme. The complaint, filed today in Shawnee County District Court, states that Kobach`s dual system divides eligible voters into separate classes with vastly different rights, violating Kansas` Constitution`s equal protection guarantees.
    “`Separate but equal` has been tried before in this country,“ said Stephanie Mott, chair of the Equality Kansas board of directors. “Secretary Kobach is now applying his extremist ideology to Kansas elections, setting up a system where some voters are more equal than others. This is unacceptable and must end immediately,“ said Mott.

    In August, Secretary Kobach was presented with a letter from the ACLU, Equality Kansas, the Kansas League of Women Voters, and the Kansas NAACP demanding he immediately comply with Federal law, and accept and use Federal voter registration forms to register Kansas voters. This letter followed the ruling of the United States Supreme Court in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, where the Court directed the State of Arizona to “accept and use for the purpose intended“ Federal voter registration forms. The “proof of citizenship“ document provisions of the Arizona voter registration law were ruled unconstitutional, and are nearly identical to provisions in Kansas law that were backed by Kobach in 2011 and 2012. The Federal form requires that registrants sign an attestation, under penalty of perjury, that they are citizens of the United States and eligible to vote.

    “This is yet another example of Secretary of State Kobach`s disdain for the law, and for the people of Kansas,“ said Thomas Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas. “He didn`t like the Arizona ruling, and claimed it didn`t apply here in Kansas. After our August demand letter, he began developing what we believe is an illegal scheme to continue to deny Kansans their right to vote,“ said Witt.

    Since the Arizona ruling mandating state acceptance of the Federal voter registration form, Equality Kansas switched from conducting voter registration drives using the Kansas form to exclusively using the Federal form. In statements to the press and others, Secretary Kobach has described a two tier voter registration scheme that will deny voters who use the Federal form the right to vote in state and local elections, will deny their right to sign petitions, and will deny their right to run for state and local office in Kansas.

    “We serve the LGBT community in Kansas, and many in our constituency face significant hurdles in providing some of the documents required by Kobach`s law,“ said Witt. “In a reversal of long standing state policy, transgender voters are now denied the right to amend their birth certificates. Same sex couples who have married out of state are being denied the right to update their Kansas identification documents. These discriminatory state policies create insurmountable barriers to voter registration, and indeed to voting itself,“ he said. “It`s time for Kobach to recognize the dignity of all Kansans, follow the law, accept the Federal form for all elections, and let citizens register and vote.“

    Formerly the Kansas Equality Coalition, Equality Kansas works to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and to ensure the dignity, safety, and legal equality of all Kansans.

    • I always miss you and worry a bit too. Happy to read you!

      Kobach must be UNelected and sent into obscurity. How much money do you think his idiocy has already cost Kansas, not to mention other states where he has written laws which prove to be illegal? Has he done anything which wasn’t proven to be unconstitutional? Once he is UNelected how many states will file lawsuits against him?

  3. Okay, now the last election really means something! The filibuster is a rule. A rule the Senate made up in the early 1800s, and used rarely for over 150 years. Judicial appointees — a power the Constitution actually mentions, unlike the filibuster — is the responsibility and part of the legacy of elected presidents. Appointing competent people who share his/her judicial philosophy on the bench is one of the consequences of presidential elections. Republicans won’t be able to obstruct that process going forward and our government will operate the way it was intended!

    Watching republican hissy fits today reminded me of two year olds, of course this certainly wasn’t the first time their behavior was childish.

    I’m pretty sure we’ll see the worst of their childishness is to come in the future since now they feel the need for retribution and revenge. Probably any SCOTUS appointment will be filibustered. But then, let’s remember the current state of the Republican Party and find some comfort in knowing they’re unable to win the electoral votes necessary to elect anyone at the national level, and even have trouble with Senate races since their gerrymandering is only effective for U. S. House seats.

    • (from the link): If the Founding Fathers could see the Senate after today’s vote by Senate Democrats to prohibit filibusters of most presidential appointments, they would, of course, be appalled. ”What are all these women doing here?” they would ask. But as for the filibuster reform, they’d wonder what all the fuss was about.

      There is no mention of the filibuster in the Constitution. Until very recently in U.S. history, filibusters were rarely used. Half of all filibusters of executive-branch nominees have occurred under President Obama, and it was obvious from the first day of his presidency that Republicans would use the tactic to hamstring the government and block Obama.

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, then, had every right to push for changes to filibuster rules four years ago, when GOP use of the filibuster was already out of control. But instead, Reid offered deal after deal to Senate Republicans. They accepted some. They honored none.

      Over the last 50 years, we have added a new veto point in American politics. It used to be the House, the Senate and the president, and now it’s the House, the president, the Senate majority and the Senate minority. Now you need to get past four veto points to pass legislation. That’s a huge change of constitutional priorities. But it’s been done, almost unintentionally, through procedural strategies of party leaders.

    • Republican have been screaming about government not working and getting elected to prove it as long as I’ve been alive. That’s a few years. They got what they’ve deserved for a long time today.

      (from the link): But what if filibusters came at a cost of some sort? There have been several proposals along these lines, and all of them would have allowed the minority party to obstruct things they truly felt strongly about. But there would have been a limit to how many things could be obstructed, or how long the obstruction could go on, and the majority party could eventually have gotten its way if it felt strongly enough. It would have been ugly, but at least Republicans would have retained some ability to gum up the works.

      Instead, by refusing to compromise in any way, they’ve lost everything. Just as they lost everything on health care by refusing to engage with Democrats on the Affordable Care Act. Just as they lost everything on the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. Just as they lost the 2012 election.

      Hard-nosed obstinacy plays well with the base, but it’s not a winning strategy in the end. Republicans never seem to learn that lesson.

      Once Again, Republican Obstinacy Bites Them in the Ass

  4. The Obamacare rollout is exactly like Hurricane Katrina. There are no differences. Literally none. Have we talked about the number of people who died? Wait, maybe one…

    • I do have to say,…….when it was the debut of the Obamacare website….

      Then why in the Hell was this website not checked, double checked and triple checked before it was ever allowed to go online?

      I don’t think President Obama had any clue the damn thing did not work.

      Maybe Obama was reassured that ‘all is well’ – when it really wasn’t?

      But…are we really surprised to hear that our government spent good money on a lousy product?

      I remember those infamous $600 screws and $1200 toilet seats……

      Or ….how about the showers provided for our soldiers in Iraq that was electrocuting people?

      IIRC – those showers were purchased through a sweet contract deal with none other than – Halliburton.

      Where was the outrage at George W. Bush and Halliburton’s best friend – Dickie Cheney?