LeBron James is free to go to Miami. He's free to market himself on ESPN. But fans in his hometown also are free to say he never should have embarrassed us by spurning Cleveland and the Cavs in front of a global audience.
One disappointed fan -- Thomas Johnson of Bridgeport, Conn. -- was prepared to express his opinion after LeBron James' announcement on Thursday night.
While you read this, your humble curator of the Wrap will be celebrating the boy child's 9th birthday at Dodger Stadium, watching the Los Angeles Dodgers beat a certain team from the north side of Chicago favored by a certain founder of this blog.
But that doesn't mean we go Wrapless on this Thursday. Not when even the House of Ras has to admit that Mark Kirk is in deep doo-doo in the Land of Lincoln. Not when leading Colorado Republican candidates are sprinting from the chairman of their party. And not when a Democrat is running for Congress on the promise of getting the mean old government off of Wall Street's back.
All that (and more!) in the Thursday edition of the Wrap...
CO-Sen: Norton hits her stride...(running away from Steele)
What if you threw a party, and no one wanted to come? Embattled RNC chairman Michael Steele found out today, when he went to open a new GOP Victory office in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He invited both gubernatorial frontrunner Scott McInnis and NRSC Senate darling Jane Norton. Both had pressing laundry concerns, or something else on their calendars, that prevented them from participating with Steele. Norton did announce raising a monster sum this week of just under a million dollars for the quarter, which might signal that reports of her political demise might be at least slightly premature.
FL-Sen: Jeff Greene staffs up, and hangs out with...LiLo?!
If earning your fortune profitting off of the housing crisis and supporting Republican candidates (in this election cycle!) doesn't seal the fate of nouveau Democrat Jeff Greene, then damned well ought to do so. Apparently, there are photos circulating of Greene revelling in the Caribbean on New Years Eve with none other than Lindsay Lohan. Seriously.
In other news, the uber-wealthy Greene continues to staff up. It looks like Greene will hire strategist Jessica van Denberg, who is a veteran of the campaigns of Virginia Senator Jim Webb and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.
NY-14: Debate charges fly in bizarre Dem primary
Two stories out today draw attention to the deeply strange Democratic primary in Manhattan between incumbent Carolyn Maloney and challenger Reshma Saujani. The crew at WaPo profiled Saujani today, highlighting something that folks like DavidNYC have noted for months: she is running as the candidate who will have Wall Street's back in Congress. One might think that such a strategy would be political suicide, but Saujani is banking on it working in the very well-off 14th district. Saujani has been eager to share the stage with the incumbent, and her eagerness has apparently extended to accepting debate invitations from Maloney that evidently did not exist. Saujani sent out a press release announcing that Maloney had agreed to a debate. Team Maloney immediately countered that no such acceptance was made.
RI-01: Loughlin latest to latch onto Arizona law as lifeline
Who knew that blaming the brown folks played politically as far north as Rhode Island? GOP contender John Loughlin left the Northeast for a campaign trip...to Arizona. There, he took a helicopter tour of the desert and walked the border. Upon his return, he loudly criticized the Obama administration's decision to file a federal lawsuit against Arizona's controversial SB 1070. Loughlin faces token opposition in the GOP primary, which leads me to presume that he went the full Minuteman on this issue to attract the attention (and the dollars) of national Republicans in this open-seat race to replace the retiring Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy.
CA-Gov: Brown rips Whitman for immigration reversal
As I noted earlier today, Meg Whitman has been sprinting away from her party's Minuteman-esque positions on immigration (which she clearly flirted with during the GOP primary). Today, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown decided to call her on it. Brown appeared with a dozen leading Latino political leaders, several of whom offered their endorsements. The line of the day goes to Congressman Xavier Becerra, who noted that:
"Jerry Brown broke bread with Cesar Chavez. His opponent breaks bread with Pete Wilson."
CO-Gov: Maes' fundraising circling the drain in gubernatorial bid
Apparently, a convention endorsement doesn't always translate to campaign momentum. Dan Maes' victory in the GOP convention over frontrunner Scott McInnis seemed to be a big boost for the underdog, but things since then have stifled any notion of momentum. Not only did he get hit with a record fine earlier in this week for campaign violation, but the Maes campaign also released campaign finance figures that...well...won't cover the fine he received from the Secretary of State. Maes only raised $32K in the past fundraising period, and is sitting on just over twenty grand.
FL-Gov: Gazillionaire challenges "millionaire's amendment"
Uber-wealthy hospital magnate Rick Scott is defending the Bill of Rights, dammit. But, before the ACLU gets ready to bestow him with an award, the "free speech" he is defending is his right to grossly outspend his rival for the GOP nomination, Bill McCollum. Scott is headed to court in order to block the state's "millionaire's amendment", which grants opponents of self-funding candidates a state-financed dollar for every dollar the self-funder spends above a predetermined limit ($24.9 million). Scott clearly fears for American democracy if he can't outspend McCollum by a eight figures. Inspirational, I think we can all agree. Alas, given court precedents in other cases, Scott is favored to win his case.
The House of Ras checks out two high-profile Senate races. They go according to Ras-sie form in the Sunshine State, where they have Marco Rubio out in front. But even the crew at Ras has to admit that Mark Kirk has taken a hit in recent weeks. If Giannoulias is beating Kirk in a Rasmussen poll, then times must be tough for Team Kirk...
FL-Sen: Marco Rubio (R) 36%, Charlie Crist (I) 34%, Kendrick Meek (D) 15%
FL-Sen: Marco Rubio (R) 37%, Charlie Crist (I) 33%, Jeff Greene (D) 18%
IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 40%, Mark Kirk (R) 39%,
Yeah I know this is one of the most watched Youtubes in all of history but there are times when it's just the cure for what ails ya.
Open thread below...
The most heated debate in Washington these days involves deficits and unemployment. There are lots of heated rhetoric, finger-pointing, and hyperbole. What there isn't is a surplus of actual facts. For instance, this headline reads[...]
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(Blogger’s Note–This is a post from Texas Liberal New York City correspondent Lyuba Halkyn. Lyuba posts at Texas Liberal roughly every couple of weeks. She’s a great addition to the blog and I encourage you to read her posts. If you type Lyuba’s name in the search engine box to the right, you’ll be able [...]
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President Obama came to Kansas City to visit Smith Electric Vehicles and attend a pair of fundraisers for Robin Carnahan. He wound up his time on the ground here by delivering a speech on the economy to a full house of around 2000 ticket holders at the Folly Theater downtown, following the minimum-thousand-dollars-a-plate luncheon that was held a block away at the Downtown Marriott.
I covered Candidate Obama a gazillion times during the primary and then the general election campaign, rallies as small as a few hundred and as large as a hundred thousand, plus. I know he gives good speech. But this was the first time that I had seen him as President.
He was on fire. He chided John Boehner on his assertion that regulating wallstreet would be like killing an ant with a nuclear weapon, finishing his chiding of the orange dude from Ohio with "they should make a movie...The Ant That Ate the Economy!"
Then he tore into Joe Barton. "So I've got the House Republican chairman of the Energy Committee, who has jurisdiction over the oil companies -- he, in a hearing, says to them, "I apologize that the President strong-armed you" here he paused, before thundering "Chicago-style." The audience roared. "'I apologize -- I think this is a tragedy that you are being made to compensate these folks.' Really? I mean, when I heard that I was -- I said, 'no, he didn't say that. ... No. He didn't say that.' But he did. Because they don't think in terms of representing ordinary folks. That's not their orientation."
He looked great, and he was genuinely having a blast. I could almost see his eyes twinkling from the balcony when he would go off-script and interact with the audience members.
This was the guy we voted for.
There is a story about FDR addressing a group of reformers who thought that all they had to do was tell the president what they wanted done. FDR, realizing more so than the people in front of him that he was not their king, but their president, and as such was limited by the Congress, looked them dead in the eye and said " I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."
I truly believe that he wants to do the things we want him to do, but he can't. Not with this congress. He needs more and better Democrats, so he can deliver on the promises he made during the campaign, and that he wants desperately to keep.
We just have to do our part and make him.
They decided they didn't want to talk to me any more, and stomped off. Too bad. I was just getting warmed up. They did stand across the street and give me dirty looks though, so score one for me!
There are several pictures of him in action below the fold, and you can watch the whole slideshow here.
We really are a friendly crowd for him here. In fact, if he ever gets tired of Chicago winters after he's done in DC, we would welcome him here with open arms, and feed him lots of barbecue. We'll even help him keep it secret from Michelle.
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La Rosa Carrington has more than enough to worry about. She’s a single mother with two teenage daughters, she’s fighting a type of leukemia that requires five days of chemo a month for four months, and she lost her job in May.
So the last thing she needed was news that her health insurance benefits would be terminated because she hadn’t paid her premium in full. The shortfall? One penny.
She kept her insurance after losing her job using COBRA, but hadn't yet received notification of what her new monthly payment would be. Worried about what would happen if she paid late, she calculated what the payment would be and sent it in on time, but short one cent. Which was enough for Discovery Benefits to drop her.
Carrington said she talked twice to a customer service representative, who told her it was policy that the penny be received before the benefits could be reinstated. Write a check or send a money order, Carrington said the representative told her.
“‘I’m in the hospital receiving chemotherapy; I can’t get you a money order,’” Carrington said she told the rep. “If this is how you treat people, you need spiritual training.”
When she threatened to go to the media, Carrington says, a supervisor relented. Discovery Benefits says it was all a rounding error, and that “our staff member reached out to her supervisor and immediately received approval to pay the penny ... due to the rounding difference.” One would think that the staff member who found the rounding difference of one penny when the payment was made would have taken these steps. Or the customer service representative, the first time Carrington called.
There are, indeed, others who have had the penny-owed experience, said June Harryman, supervisory benefits adviser for the federal Employee Benefits Security Administration regional office in Kansas City.
“We’ve seen it before,” said Harryman, whose agency works on COBRA issues. “It’s not the first, and it won’t be the last.”
You shouldn't have to go to the media in order to get an insurance company to do the right thing, but chances are that's going to have to be the route many patients have to take until all the provisions of the Affordable Care Act kick in. Even then, patients will have to be informed, educated, and vigilant. If after all the bad press the industry has received in the past year over practices like this, an insurer would still revoke a cancer patient's insurance over a penny, you can bet that it's going to take a lot of vigilance to force them to comply with the letter of the law.
Let's face it. The crazy world of politics involves a lot of mock surprise and feigned outrage. But every so often I hear something and can't help but think: You're kidding. We're really talking about this? I just happened upon this article in the[...]
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Maybe writer?s block isn?t a problem as much as it is a symptom, something that simply needs some attention of a different kind. What about you? Do you get writer?s block? What do you do about it?[...]
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It's still hot outside and there is no relief in sight. What's a good field Negro to do? I get tired of going from home, to car, to office. I need some sun y'all. But I guess times are tough as hell, so we might as well feel like it .
Speaking of feeling like hell: you have to feel sorry for the good folks of Cleveland tonight. King James just went all Sheila E on them and opted for the "glamorous life" on South Beach. Let's see how those championship rings work out for you LeBron, you still have to get past "Black Mamba" out on the left coast. I don't care if you have Wilt and MJ playing alongside you, if you don't have Kobe's heart you will never get to drive in that convertible down Biscayne Boulevard while Pat Riley smokes his victory cigars.
The folks over at Radio Rwanda are doing their best to make the president's life hell. Are they serious with the manufactured story about the New Black Panther Party? (Just watched the video again, and my man is a buck fifty soaking wet. The white dude standing next to him and the white female behind him sure don't look scared. But, then again, they are Philly white folks, and they aren't afraid of black people.) Still, you have got to give it them, they sure know how to pick a story to scare some white folks and get their base all fired up.
And white folks, if you really want something to be scared about, you shouldn't be worried about the New Black Panthers, you should be worried about OJ's dumb ass. It seems that he is on his way to marrying another white woman. Can you really stand to lose another young blond to this man?
Finally, to stay with the hell theme: The "Grim Sleeper" won't be making life a living hell for some residence of LA anymore. Hopefully the LAPD has finally caught this monster. If you haven't heard of him don't be embarrassed; his victims were not young white women, so I honestly wouldn't expect you to.
Stay cool people.
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