• President Obama stopped shaking hands for a moment today so that he could embrace a sobbing woman whose uninsured sister recently died of colon cancer. The sister of Stephanie Miller, from Sandusky, OH, would have been covered if Obamacare were fully implemented when she got sick. Instead, the woman was left without insurance and couldn’t get the health care she needed.
• There are a lot of Stephanie Millers in America and far too many people who’ve found themselves in the shoes of her sister, Kelly Hines. And while Republicans continue to argue that the uninsured just aren’t important, for now we have a president who’s championing those who know better.
• “So the question becomes, are you doing that because of politics?” Obama said. “Are you abandoning a principle [Romneycare mandate] that you fought for, for six years simply because you’re getting pressure for two days from Rush Limbaugh or some critics in Washington?”
• For me, this is the number one reason why the GOP should not be in power. Mitch McConnell has signaled that the best solution to the health care crisis is for those of us with pre-existing medical conditions is to be bankrupted by medical bills…or just die.
• Obamacare Is A Major Tax Cut For Middle Class Families: Following the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act ruling, Republicans — including Mitt Romney — have vigorously insisted that the Affordable Care Act is a tax on the American people. But instead of being a tax increase, Obamacare will provide millions of families with large tax credits to make health care more affordable. Only about 1 percent of Americans who could afford health care but don’t buy coverage would have to pay the tax, and the penalty would only be an average of $600. The Center for American Progress shows how Obamacare is actually a major tax cut for many families [thinkprogress/Angela Guo/5 july 2012]
• John Boehner… loves to go on the tube with his drunk, tan face, and say that America has the “finest health care system in the world.” Do we really, though, Boehner? Hells naw. We’re not even Rwanda. In Rwanda, 96% of people have health insurance. They have a per-capita income of $550 a year. And they have the most beautiful, gleaming, hospitals in all of central Africa.
A Case of the Right Wing Crazies:
• “There’s been a real deterioration in conservative thinking. And that has to lead people to re-examine and modify their thinking. I’ve become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy,” Reagan-appointed Judge Richard Posner, one of the most highly regarded judges in the country, said.
Last week, the House held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for reasons arising from the House GOP-dominated probe into the “Fast and Furious” non-scandal, despite solid reporting, via CNN, that the vast architecture of a Congressional inquiry into a massive conspiracy was built on one disgruntled employee and a couple of lunatics with blogs. One good reporter exposed the lies at its heart, and it all came tumbling down.
Now, the same House Oversight Committee wants to bring in the chief of Abound Solar for a hearing. Abound filed bankruptcy after receiving $70 million in Department of Energy loan guarantees. In a nonpoliticized world, Abound was one of many solar manufacturers being hit hard by industry consolidation and Chinese competition; to Darrell Issa’s GOP, it’s another excuse to politicize clean energy.
I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that there is no vast architecture of conspiracy allowing Abound to get a loan, just as there was nothing beyond cheap GOP talking points at the heart of the Solyndra investigation.
Call it Sunny and Spurious.
[Daily Kos/RL Miller/05 Jul 2012]
• Since the Obama’s birth certificate is real, birthers are now claiming that his Social Security number is fake and are trying to get him thrown off the ballot in Ohio. WND: If Barack Obama has an immediate eligibility problem, it is more likely to derive from the Social Security Number he has been using for the last 35 years than from his birth certificate.
• Apparently, many Greenwood, Arkansas rodeo fans’ idea of family entertainment includes violent displays of hate toward President Obama. A crude effigy was produced during the rodeo on Saturday night, and then violently beaten and destroyed in response to an announcer’s call to the audience: “Who wants to rip Obama’s head off?”
• Racial Double Standards 101: First Google “michelle obama”+angry. Then Google “ann romney”+angry. Note the difference in the results: in the former, the adjective is nearly always applied to the person; in the latter, almost never. Now ask yourself which spouse is actually saying angry things. Here endeth the lesson.
• How Right-Wingers Scam People Into Buying Their Toxic Philosophy
• “No, Ashleigh, this wasn’t a slip-up. I don’t regret anything I said.” – Rep. Walsh flips out, digs in on criticism of double-amputee veteran.
• Rupert Murdoch’s Twitter War on Romney Campaign. Murdoch’s tweet was followed up with a hostile editorial in the Wall Street Journal. But it doesn’t end there; the editorial goes on to criticize virtually every aspect of the Romney campaign, including the campaign messaging.
• A chorus of prominent conservative voices is worrying aloud that Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s play-it-safe strategy is jeopardizing his chance to win the presidency.
• Raul Castro, a 96-year-old former governor of Arizona who made history in 1974 when he became the state’s first and only Mexican-American governor, was stopped by agents at a checkpoint on a U.S. highway north of Nogales, Arizona, on June 12 as he was being driven to a lunch in Tucson to celebrate his birthday. Castro said he had undergone medical tests on his pacemaker the previous day, which had likely caused the sensor to go off.
• It’s an honest mistake, assuming that the Constitution only protects your own personal megachurch faith. But one Louisiana Republican is learning the hard way that religious school vouchers can be used to fund education at all sorts of religious schools, even Muslim ones.
Show Me The Money:
• “Oh, what a contrast, my friends, between these two men who would be president!” Strickland said, standing outside the Wolcott House Museum. “President Obama is betting on America and American workers, and Mitt Romney is betting his resources in the Cayman Islands, in Bermuda, in Switzerland and God only knows where else he is putting his resources.”
…web exclusive for “The Last Word with Laurence O’Donnell” where David Cay Johnston has five questions for Romney that can only be answered with his tax returns.
“1. Did you buy any illegal or gray area tax shelters?
“2. Did an IRS audit ever uncover serious problems with any of your tax returns?
“3. Did you make use of offshore vehicles to defer, or avoid paying, federal income taxes?
“4. Did you take advantage of any tax strategies that the IRS did not uncover in audits?
“5. Did you fully tithe to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints every year and take a deduction on your tax return that shows that?”
These are important questions. We know that Governor Romney has had a Swiss bank account, as well as money in other tax havens like the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Bermuda, and Ireland. Romney’s answer to any question about his taxes has basically been, “Trust me.” But the guy’s running for President, for Pete’s sake. He owes us more than that.
…The bottom line is that there is a lot of unsettling information in what investigators have so far been able to piece together about Romney’s finances. The easiest way for Governor Romney to put to rest what his campaign described to Shaxson as “unfounded allegations and insinuations” would be to release his tax returns. Yet he has not done so and shows no sign of changing his mind. Josh Marshall calls the questions “kryptonite” and thinks Romney will come under a lot of pressure to release more tax returns. Let’s hope so. The guy’s running for President, for Pete’s sake.
[Middle Class Political Economist/Kenneth Thomas/05 Jul 2012]
• Instances of voter fraud may be rarer than lightning strikes, but in Pennsylvania more than 758,000 voters may be disenfranchised this election season because lawmakers insist on solving the “problem” of voter fraud.
• In one of the states where they’re trying to make voting harder, the state admits that it’s really hard to get one of the new free photo IDs that let you vote if don’t have a license. Mississippi’s Secretary of State tells the Jackson Free-Press that yes, there’s an infinite loop.
• To Get Voter ID, Mississippi Voters Need Birth Certificate; To Get Birth Certificate, They Need ID – One of the requirements to get the free voter ID cards is a birth certificate, but in order to receive a certified copy of your birth certificate in Mississippi, you must have a photo ID. Not having the photo ID is why most people need the voter ID in the first place.
Bits and pieces:
• A study in the August edition of The Journal of School Health finds that the generations old theory of a “gateway drug” effect is in fact accurate for some drug users, but shifts the blame for those addicts’ escalating substance abuse away from marijuana and onto the most pervasive and socially accepted drug in American life: alcohol.
• WikiLeaks … began a release of the Syria Files. The files, according to the media organization, consist of over two million emails from “Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies, dating from August 2006 to March 2012.”
• Nearly three million Libyans may vote in the country’s first election in 60 years, hailed by U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon as a “march toward democracy.” Voters Saturday choose representatives for a 200-seat National Assembly as a temporary government that will then be charged with drafting a constitution, Voice of America reported.
• An Argentinian court Thursday found two former dictators guilty of stealing dozens of babies during the country’s dirty war. Jorge Rafael Videla, who ruled as a dictator between 1976 to 1981, was sentenced to 50 years in prison
• With 99.92% of election returns officially counted, Enrique Peña Nieto has been confirmed as the winner of Mexico’s presidential election. Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, was ahead of runner-up Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador by 6.6% of the vote, an outcome in line with preliminary results and a quick count.
• The World Health Organization (WHO) and Cambodian health officials are investigating why at least 61 children in the country have died mysteriously after suffering severe neurological and respiratory complications.