You know what would be a good deal? A good deal would be if Obama agreed to delay the individual mandate for a year (or forever) if the Republicans agree to get rid of the debt ceiling. Really. Look who thinks so: the old Barack Obama. Note his main point: The reason people don't buy health insurance is because they can't afford it. What he doesn't say is that they especially can't afford to pay for an overpriced product that doesn't do what they're paying for.
Ted Rall checked the website, and he's not finding any affordable options: "New York State's healthcare plans range from Fidelis Care's 'Bronze' plan at $810.84 per month to $2554.71 per month for something I didn't bother to look up because if I had $2500+ a month to spend on doctors, I'd buy a doctor and have him/her live with me and dole out pills like I was Michael Jackson. The deductibles - the amount you pay out of pocket every year before you the insurer has to give you anything at all - are outrageously high. Fidelis Care Bronze has a $3000/year deductible per person. I'm in pretty good health; it's a rare year I spend that much on doctors. After the $3000/year deductible, they pay 50% of your bills. So if you rack up $5000/year in medical bills, you pay $4000 and they pay $1000. Pretty damned crappy." That doesn't even qualify as insurance, it's just extortion.
"Obama: We're Willing To Fund Government With Republican Priorities [...] 'The bill that is being presented to end the government shutdown reflects Republican priorities,' Obama said, addressing federal employees at FEMA in Washington. 'It's the Republican budget. The funding levels of this short-term funding bill, called the CR, is far lower than what Democrats think it should be.'" Gosh, I wonder how we ended up there? That headline, by the way, is at Talking Points Memo, where I guess it's supposed to prove how amicable dear old Barack is, contrary to Republican charges. Which would be great if we had wanted a Democratic president so that he could give the Republicans whatever they want.
"The Obama Administration and the Press [...] 'I think we have a real problem,' said New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane. 'Most people are deterred by those leaks prosecutions. They're scared to death. There's a gray zone between classified and unclassified information, and most sources were in that gray zone. Sources are now afraid to enter that gray zone. It's having a deterrent effect. If we consider aggressive press coverage of government activities being at the core of American democracy, this tips the balance heavily in favor of the government.'"
"Judge recants own decision on GOP polling place photo id law later upheld by SCOTUS: This is nothing less than remarkable. The 7th circuit court judge who wrote the majority opinion in the landmark Crawford v. Marion County Election Board case, has now admitted he got it wrong! 'I think we did not have enough information,' Judge Richard Posner said in remarks today. 'If the lawyers had provided us with a lot of information about the abuse of voter identification laws, this case would have been decided differently.'" Richard Posner! That's twice this year that Posner has shown signs of being more than just a right-wing operative. I can't help but wonder where this sudden respect for liberal government came from.
"Edward Snowden says NSA surveillance programmes 'hurt our country': Video clips posted to WikiLeaks website show former NSA analyst speaking for the first time since July asylum plea. In short video clips posted by the WikiLeaks website on Friday, Snowden said that the NSA's mass surveillance, which he disclosed before fleeing to Russia, 'puts us at risk of coming into conflict with our own government'. [...] 'They hurt our economy. They hurt our country. They limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative, to have relationships and to associate freely,' Snowden said."
"Swiss to Vote on Guaranteed $2800 Monthly Income for All Adults: The Swiss really know how to kick us when we're down - while our congress is busy shutting itself down because it's run by soulless opportunists, the Swiss people have gathered enough signatures to force a referendum on whether they should guarantee $2800 in monthly income for all adults." You know, we should be doing this. (via)
"Vets and Seniors Are Ending the Drug War [...] Pollsters are finally accepting (though scratching their heads over the fact) that older Americans are the fastest growing segment of the population to support the Drug Peace era. The reason is pretty simple: in a pill-popping society, any plant that will, with negligible side-effects, reduce the number of capsules in the weekly pill box is welcome. [...] So that explains seniors. Guess what? The reasons the second 'surprising' group to support the end of the war on cannabis - military veterans returning from combat in harm's way - also feel so strongly, are nearly identical to those expressed by seniors across the nation. They are eager to be free of addictive or otherwise harmful pharmaceuticals after their service has ended."
"Democracy Alliance, Network Of Rich Liberal Donors, Signals Shift Away From Partisan Political Activity." Took their damned time.
@ggreenwald: "At some point, things like this [Edward Snowden should be put on kill list, joke US intelligence chiefs] - become a pathology, not a "joke" [Obama threatens Jonas Brothers with drone strikes] - [Time correspondent under fire for tweet suggesting Assange be killed in drone strike]"
I actually couldn't believe my radio Saturday morning. I'd managed not to pay much attention to the news Friday but it turns out the war on a free press is taking a giant step over here with the government's proposal that newspapers should have a royal charter. Then I just watched the previous night's Have I Got News For You and Ian Hislop was explaining that this law includes a provision that says that if someone sues your unchartered newspaper and you win, you still have to pay their costs. So if you run an unchartered newspaper, it's open season on you for nuisance suits.
In case you forgot, I'm a big supporter of being a big supporter of organizations that genuinely do good, and if you're going to pay for mobile phone service in the US, you could do a lot of good by signing up with CREDO - and that includes supporting Sam Seder by signing up through his site at that link. You might also want to get the free Majority Report app, which everyone says is really great. I can't tell you anything about any of it, because I don't live there and I hardly ever use my phone at all, so I have a dumb phone that, y'know, does a few rare phone calls and text messages and is pay-as-you-go so it costs me almost nothing every month. I listen to Sam's show at home on my computer. And, speaking of Sam, he did some great shows recently that included interviews with Digby, Becky Bond, and Guy Lawson of Rolling Stone (recommended).
100 years ago, America met modern art.
"This anamorphic optical illusion is the most mind-bending thing you'll see today" - I think they should have added a pipe just so you could say - well, you know.