On primary night last Tuesday, Charlie Rangel declared victory, Adriano Espaillatgave a concession speech, and everything seemed set. The third-longest serving Congressman had held his district again. Well, it's now the 13th, instead of the 15th, with slightly different borders (albeit still the most population-dense district in America.) But a funny thing happened on the way to the ultimate outcome:
As of Friday evening, 32 precincts – six percent of all votes cast – had yet to be accounted for. And another 2,447 affidavit ballots and 667 absentee votes hadn’t been counted yet either. According to the city Board of Elections, Rangel’s lead over second-place finisher state Sen. Adriano Espaillat stood at 1,032 votes, with enough outstanding ballots to alter the outcome. Source
Today everyone goes to court.
The two sides are due in court Monday over an Espaillat lawsuit that alleges valid ballots are not being counted and some voting machines were broken.
Rangel’s margin has been adjusted to 802 votes — far fewer than the number of paper and absentee ballots still to be counted this week.
Whoever wins the primary will hold the seat that Rangel won from Adam Clayton Powell back in 1971. If it's Espaillat, he will be the first Dominican-American to hold a Congressional seat. The issue is Washington Heights and Inwood, two neighborhoods in the district that appear to have been undercounted, with missing vote sheets, reports of voter suppression, and a large Hispanic population. The Dominican American National Roundtable has asked the Federal DoJ to oversee the NYC count.
Charleston, SC ? There?s no doubt that Bobbie Rose was glad to hear the Supreme Court?s decision on the Affordable Care Act this morning. All one had to do is hear the first word out of her mouth after learning of it.
?Amen!? Rose says in response to the 5-4 ruling that upholds the Act, which she calls ?one of the most important decisions the Supreme Court will make in our lifetimes.?
It?s a fantastic decision for three key reasons, says Rose, the Democratic candidate for South Carolina?s 1st Congressional District: ?First, we have an overwhelming number of citizens in our state who lack adequate healthcare. Second, that high number of uninsured is affecting others; the uninsured were adding to the coverage costs and medical expenses of those with insurance. Lastly,? she concludes, ?our current representative?s effort to overturn this needed law has just been stopped.?
Offering details of those three points, Rose offers ?One of out of every five citizens in South Carolina is without health insurance because they can?t afford it. This Act provides them with a needed avenue to receive the care they need at a cost they can afford.
?Their lack of insurance has had fatal results, too,? Rose notes. ?Every year, about 300 uninsured South Carolinians die from treatable causes, but are unable to afford treatments. Lack of insurance alone is their cause of death.?
Rose also notes the benefits of the Act to those who already have insurance. ?No more ceiling on coverage, no more pre-existing exclusions,? she offers as examples.
She also points out another key benefit of ACA: without it, those with health coverage have been paying the medical bills of the uninsured directly through their own insurance premiums.
The amount uncollected by medical providers from uninsured patients is traditionally added to the bills of those with insurance, for a total annual increase of over $1,000 in individual insurance policy costs to families and employers.
The Act helps us with insurance save quite a lot more in a quite a few other ways, says Rose.
?Just so far in its implementation, it?s already saved senior citizens in our state over $60 million. And over a quarter-million South Carolinians already with private insurance will be getting rebates from their insurance companies this year, totaling almost $20 million back in their pockets.?
Had the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Act, the costs of insurance premiums were projected by experts to increase shortly after the decision. Even hospitals and medical offices would have a tax increase if the Act had been repealed, according to recent reports.
?While my third reason for supporting today?s decision is nowhere near as important as the first two,? Rose says, ?I have to say I?m mighty glad to know that Representative Scott?s efforts to remove our right to affordable health care have just been stopped.
?He?s been trying to do this for quite a while, after all, even before the Act passed into law.?
While still a state representative in November 2009, Scott was the primary sponsor of two bills (H 4171 and H 4181) to block the use of the Act in South Carolina, and while it was still under debate in U.S. Congress.
After the Patient Protection & Affordable Health Care Acts passed in March 2010, Scott tried to block it again with a new bill (H 4825).
?He?s continued this fight against our rights to affordable health care since moving on to D.C., too,? says Rose.
Scott?s first bill to U.S. Congress was H.R. 698, which would ?deauthorize and rescind funding? for the healthcare act.
?Maybe he forgot he?s no longer in the insurance business, and is supposed to be representing his constituents instead of his lobbyist donors,? Rose says.
Allstate Insurance Company, which Scott represented until winning the 2010 election, sells supplemental health insurance, which is supposed to help with medical costs that ordinary health insurance doesn?t cover. The Affordable Care Act can substantially reduce, if not eliminate, the need for this secondary format of insurance because of the Act?s removals of many policy limitations.
?Those insurance lobbyists are his biggest donors, too,? Rose quickly points out.
Over the last two election cycles, Scott?s received $164,125 in campaign donations from the insurance industry; over $100,000 was donated in this 2012 election cycle alone, making that industry Scott?s top current donor.
?Hopefully,? Roses adds, ?Scott will stop spreading that ?17,000 IRS agents? falsehood, which was proven false long ago, but which he?s still telling his constituents.?
At a recent Town Hall meeting on May 23, Scott told attendees that the Affordable Care Act requires the IRS to hire 17,000 agents to enforce its law.
He made this claim in his last campaign, too. During a radio interview of August 2010, for example, he criticized the Act by stating it will ?create 17,000 new bureaucrats in the IRS(.)?
However, that premise had been proven false five months before the 2010 interview.
In March 2010, a Republican report from the House Ways and Means Committee claimed that the Act would require the IRS to hire 16,500 ?agents.? Less than two weeks later, the non-partisan FactCheck described the claim to be ?wildly inaccurate? and ?partisan.? The Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact continues to label this claim to be of ?pants on fire? invalidity, too.
?Now that this is a closed subject for him,? Rose says, ?maybe he?ll start paying attention to this upcoming election!?
In conclusion, Rose adds, ?Obamacare ? fair, affordable healthcare for all Americans. Oh, happy day!?
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A book I have anxiously awaiting to read, Roosevelt's Purge does not disappoint.
Written by award winning author Susan Dunn, the books details the great - and failing - fight to change the Democratic party by Roosevelt himself injecting his stances, views and candidates in Democratic primaries.
Liberal challengers, mind you. Roosevelt was constantly doing his best to challenge conservative Democrats.
He didn't like where those conservative Democrats were taking the country. He used it all - from the White House bully pulpit to his mesmerizing charm and personality to sway the public to vote for candidates who aligned with him and who could work to get more done for the American people.
And how fitting is this book detailing the fight from 1938, it story in today's politics. Conservative democratic lawmakers - 17 of them - voted to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. We, as a whole, are still dealing with this.
Roosevelt's fight indeed failed. However, Roosevelt's Purge ought to be looked upon as a reminder of why we need to fight for strong Democratic candidates who will not buckle and will support a Democratic president we elect.
And, also fitting, is the fight against federal government in South Carolina and the relation back to the late 1930s.
In 1938, "Cotton" Ed Smith ran against Roosevelt's New Deal programs. The same Smith walked out on a Democratic convention just because a black minister gave invocation.
Although Smith was an early supporter of Roosevelt, he understood how to play the people of South Carolina. Smith knew what he had to do to win.
Smith was facing a primary where Roosevelt backed Gov. Olin Johnston. Johnston himself had segregationist views and was no winner, but Roosevelt's intention was seen.
It was time to battle entrenched Democrats who have become complacent.
Roosevelt's Purge is an eye-awaking read as it not only details the entrenching fight from the late 1930s, but gives a foundation for future ways to work on electing strong Democrats.
That foundation being the people, not party brokers, should be the doing the purging.
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It has been a bad week, allegedly, for the banksters of Barclays -- though as ever a much worse week for its clients and its home nation, Great Britain.And the American CEO of the bank is under some pressure, but Bob Diamond is hanging on, like a good[...]
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I'm not a big fan of the Whore of Babylon, but you can't fault the Catholic Church's commitment to conducting cutting edge compelled childbirth research. No other group does more to counter femislmunistofascist lies about reproductive science. I'm particularly impressed with Der Pöpenführer's research into the therapeutic and pharmacological importance of man seed.
From 1flesh, a new pro-procreative website for Catholics:
Semen is an antidepressant. A study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior found that ?not only were females who were having sex without condoms less depressed, but depressive symptoms and suicide attempts among females who used condoms were proportional to the consistency of condom use.? Semen contains a hormone called prostaglandin, and the female genital tract absorbs this hormone. The greater the amount absorbed, the lower the rate of depression. Condoms ruin this effect of sex by preventing semen from naturally entering a woman.1flesh also notes that man essence is an important nutritional source for not-men:
A major cause of female infertility is zinc deficiency. A man?s semen supplies this vital nutrient to his wife, as well as ascorbic acid, blood-group antigens, calcium, chlorine, cholesterol, choline, citric acid, creatine, fructose, glutathione, lactic acid, magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, sorbitol, and vitamin B12 ? all important to a woman?s reproductive health.Finally, 1flesh's researchers cite a 1947 study proving that spunk improves a not-man's womb size and, presumably, the monetary value of a man's uterine property:
The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology compared two groups of women with sterile, underdeveloped wombs. The first group was encouraged to have natural sex, the second group to use barrier methods of contraception. Nine of fifteen women in the first, non-contracepting group whose uteri were ?palpably small and immature? grew to normal size in four-and-a-half to six months. The second group showed little change, even after two years. The author of the study concluded that ?any thing or any method which prevents, retards or alters the normal degree of physiological absorption of human semen from the vagina carries with it during the early months and years of marriage a risk of future sterility??A tip o' the ol' helmet to this guy.
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I couldn't agree with this more! Why does every generation have to relearn this? Isn't it just common sense?
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The Bush tax cuts, which mainly went to the rich (who got huge cuts while other Americans got tiny cuts), are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. Neither party wants all of the cuts to expire. The Democrats want to keep the small cuts for those making under $250,000 a year, while the Republicans want to keep the cuts for the rich. Last year, the Democrats gave in and voted with Republicans to extend all the cuts, but that is unlikely to happen this year. The Democrats can read the polls, and they know that a large majority of Americans think the rich should be paying more in taxes.
So what's going to happen? It's starting to look like nothing will happen. Since neither side has the votes to get their way in the current Congress, it is starting to look like they both may just wait until the new Congress meets next year. That means they will let the cuts expire for everyone.
Both parties are hoping to do well enough in the November elections to get their way next year. They would then pass a new tax cut bill in 2013. If Romney and the Republicans win in November, those new cuts will go to the rich and the corporations. If Obama and the Democrats win, the new tax cuts will only go to the working and middle classes. In other words, they are going to let the voters decide who will get tax cuts and who won't.
This is just one more reason (among many) to vote the Republicans out of office in November.
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Political Cartoon is by John Cole in the Scranton Times-Tribune.
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Once again the Republicans here in Texas (and probably most other places too) are running on a pledge to not raise taxes. It would take a fool to believe them though. They ran on the same promise in 2010. They didn't keep that promise then, so why would they do it now?
Now some of you fellow Texans may be thinking "I don't remember a tax raise. Isn't the sales tax the same as it was before?" -- in which case I have to think you must not have been paying attention. Yes, the rate of the state sales tax (the most lucrative tax for state government) is the same as it was in 2009. But that one fact doesn't mean taxes weren't raised.
First of all, all kinds of fees were raised. This is a favorite dodge of Republicans. If they raise a fee, they can claim they didn't raise taxes. But that's just playing word games. The fact is, if they government is taking more money out of your pocket, then they have raised taxes -- and calling it a fee instead of a tax doesn't change that a bit.
Second, the claim they didn't increase sales taxes is not true. They increased them by making sure that they now apply to anything any Texan buys off the internet. Now I'm sure the Republican legislators will say this wasn't a tax raise -- just a clarification of tax law. But the fact is that Texans weren't paying taxes on items bought off the internet, and now they are.
One company tried to fight the new internet tax -- Amazon.com. But the Republican State Comptroller, Susan Combs, went after them. And Amazon finally capitulated. On July 1st, they started charging Texas customers the required state sales tax. There won't be any more tax-free books, tapes, etc.
I'm not really against the new sales tax. I think it just levels the playing field between local retailers and internet retailers -- and that's a good thing for your local neighborhood businesses. But I just don't like hearing Republicans claim they didn't raise taxes. I didn't use to have to pay a tax on internet purchases and now I do -- and that's a tax raise, whether they want to admit it or not.
Just remember, the next time you hear a Republican say he/she "won't raise taxes", there is some fine print to that pledge. And that fine print says taxes on the rich or on corporations won't be raised. The new internet tax (and the higher fees) mean nothing for a rich person or a corporation (since it is such a tiny portion of their income or doesn't apply to them at all). But for the poor, the working class, and many in the middle class, it's not negligible at all. It's a tax raise and it means they have less to spend on other things.
Republicans don't really mind raising taxes -- on everyone but the rich.
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