Mara Liasson, "Let me tell you about young black people today."[...]
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In yet another sign that the President is pushing the Senate version of the health care bill, top House Democrats were summoned to the White House yesterday. They were told that the Senate's version of raising revenue by taxing health care plans that cost more. Expect the House to acquiesce, even though this provision is opposed by the one of the Democratic Party's key constituencies, organized labor:
President Obama told top Democratic House members on Wednesday that he favored a tax on insurance companies offering more expensive healthcare plans as a means of extending insurance to millions of people who are not covered, according to a person familiar with the meeting.Today, the Washington Post examined this tax, which Obama now supports and finds that it has many detractors:
The "Cadillac tax" is a feature of a healthcare bill that cleared the Senate before the Christmas holiday. But the House has chosen another financing method -- a tax hike on the wealthy.
Powerful labor unions at the core of the Democratic base are opposed to the Cadillac tax, saying that in some cases union members gave up wage increases in return for richer healthcare benefits.
"It's a very blunt instrument," said former labor secretary Robert Reich. "It makes far more sense on policy and political grounds to tax the top 1 percent rather than sweep in so many people that are paying more for health care, not because they are getting more health care but because they're older or working for small businesses."
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) notes that Obama pledged not to raise taxes on anyone earning under $250,000 and that he attacked Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on the campaign trail in 2008 over his plan to do away with the tax-free treatment of employer-provided benefits. Pro-Republican groups are already turning the tables by running ads accusing Democrats of wanting to tax benefits.
"It's a plan that has great political risk for the Democrats," Courtney said.
Previous Week (Week 17): (11-5)Year To Date: 167-88All-Time (2006 Through 2008 Combined Record): 335-195-1.Wow… I can’t even remember when/if there has ever been an opening NFL wild card NFL playoff weekend featuring three out of four games being rematches from the previous, final...
This is only a comment summary. Visit http://guntotingliberal.com to view the lastest content complete with some of the most outrageous original photoshops in the political blogosphere!
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Today, traders should pay close attention to the release of the U.S. Unemployment Claims report. This indicator always produces extreme market volatility in the major currency pairs. Traders may find good opportunities to enter the market following this vital announcement at 13:30 GMT.
The dollar fell against most of its major currency pairs yesterday after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting suggested the possibility of more stimulus measures for the economy. By yesterday's close, the dollar fell 0.4% against the EUR to 1.4417.
At 1:00 PM, the President will be making another statement on the "security review" following the attempted terrorist attack on that Northwest airlines flight. That's been his primary focus since he got back to D.C.
The House and Senate continue the preparation for their "ping-pong" game with the health care bill. It's not going to be a fun game to watch. The good guys don't win. Remember how we thought having the Presidency and control of both House of Congress would lead to really strong reform?
John outlined a number of changes he's made to the blog last night. He's constantly trying to make it easier to read. And, he's looking seriously at a new comments vendor. That should happen soon.
Okay...have at it.
Found at the excellent blog called What Would Jack Do?
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Why does this sort of thing have to happen every year? Last year, it was Micah Grimes at Covenant High School in the Dallas area. His girl's basketball team beat an outclassed opponent by 100-0. Even after he had the game well in hand, the coach continued to have his team run a full-court press. In his effort to humiliate the opponent, he just wound up embarrassing himself and his school.
This year it's Greg Wise and his Houston Yates boy's basketball team. They played Lee High School, a team they knew they had outclassed before the game even began (they were joking on the bus before the game about hanging 200 points on them). And they nearly did that. The halftime score was 100-12 and the final score was 170-35. Those are both state records.
Although Wise did play his second and third string toward the end of the game, he never let up on the gas. He had his team running a full-court press the entire game. It was like setting a state record was more important than teaching sportsmanship, leadership and respect for the game and the opponent (isn't high school sports supposed to be a learning experience?).
But Wise was not the least bit embarrassed by his actions. In fact, he tried to defend it. He said, "They work really hard in practice, and when they go in, they deserve the chance to play hard and compete, too. We are looking for another state championship, and we can't get that unless we are continuing to get better and perfect our game. We aren't scoring on other teams out of disrespect."
What a load of horse manure! You are not going to improve your team by continuing to do a full-court press on a team you had down by 100-12 at halftime. In fact, you're not going to perfect your game at all against such a weak opponent. You perfect your game against opponents who are as good or nearly as good as your team. What this coach did was try to humiliate an opponent.
I'm not saying he should ask his players not to do their best. But he could have stopped the full-court press, and had them work on their half-court defense (both man-to-man and zone). And on offense, why not have the substitutes (starters shouldn't have even played in the first half) work on their passing game?
When I played high school basketball, we got into a game like this where we were dominating a smaller and weaker opponent. The coach pulled us starters out in the second quarter and played his subs the rest of the game. It was his opportunity to teach the subs in a game situation (especially the passing game). We still won easily, but no records were set and no one was humiliated. And we learned a lesson about sportsmanship.
Coach Wise did his players no favor by his actions. In fact, if anyone was humiliated it was his own players and the school they represented. If this had been professional basketball, I wouldn't say anything. But it wasn't. And this coach passed up a wonderful teaching opportunity for his own self-gratification. He should be ashamed.
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