As regular readers of this blog will know, I’ve been writing often in recent weeks about the fact that the Texas forced sonogram law is state-mandated rape. In addition to my postings here, I’ve co-written a letter to Amnesty International asking that this organization come to Texas to investigate this matter, and to take any [...]
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I don't know about you, but every time I read the term "Obamacare," I can't help but hear Michele Bachmann's voice saying it, in that singsongy Minnesota accent. But I guess Team Obama thinks I'm in the minority, because they've decided to go ahead and embrace the term. As David Axelrod wrote in an email to supporters, "Can you imagine if the opposition called Social Security 'Roosevelt Security'? Or if Medicare was 'LBJ-Care'? Seriously, have these guys ever heard of the long view?" Which is fine. There's nothing inherently pejorative about "Obamacare," unless you react with an involuntary retch every time you hear the name "Obama." The people who have used the term most enthusiastically up until now certainly do, so they thought that everyone else would be repelled by it. But the thing is, in the long run it doesn't really matter what we call the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That's because unlike Social Security or Medicare, Obamacare isn't actually a program. Which means that eventually, we won't be talking much about it at all.
People get checks from Social Security every month. People get their health insurance from Medicare. So when those programs come under attack, they immediately understand what it means and rally to their defense. But while the ACA (OK, OK, Obamacare) has wide-ranging implications and effects, it won't be a program in the same sense. Though many millions of people will have insurance because of Obamacare, no one will get their insurance through Obamacare. They'll get private insurance, or Medicaid.
In the decades to come (assuming the law is upheld), the provisions in the ACA will likely be modified, changed, and expanded. Once it fully takes effect in 2014, Republicans will stop talking about repealing the entire thing, and will focus whatever minimal remaining energy they have on health care on particular provisions they don't like. Because once it's in effect, they won't want to take away the things people will actually like and rely on (like the elimination of exclusions for pre-existing conditions). But those arguments will be about the particular provisions at issue. And before long, only historians will talk about "Obamacare."
Most days I'm outraged that FOX News gets away with it, and other days I just scream to the teevee, "FOX News, Thanks For Being YOU!"
Open thread below....
NOTE: Tomorrow at 11 am Pacific / 2 Eastern, our old friend, former Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter (D-NH), will be joining us for a live blogging session here at Crooks and Liars. Carol's unlikely grassroots victory in 2006 over a Rahm Emanuel corporate Democrat in the primary and then over a conservative Republican incumbent in the general was a highpoint for progressive activists. Four years later, though, Carol was defeated by a Tea Party extremist in the mania that turned New Hampshire, a deep, deep shade of red. After just two years of right-wing extremism up close and personal, polls show that New Hampshire voters have come back to their senses and are ready for a course correction. Blue America is proud to endorse Carol again and we're asking our members to consider contributing to her campaign.
Juliet Eiperin writes:
The Environmental Protection Agency will issue the first limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants as early as Tuesday, according to several people briefed on the proposal. The move could end the construction of conventional coal-fired facilities in the United States.So what does that mean? Existing coal-fired power plants will continue operations. But natural gas-fired operations which can easily meet the new standards (43 percent lower than existing coal plants) will, along with wind, solar, geothermal and other renewables, be supplanting any new coal-fueled power plants. The rule, if finalized, obviously could also make the building of nuclear power plants more likely.
The proposed rule ? years in the making and approved by the White House after months of review ? will require any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt of electricity produced. The average U.S. natural gas plant, which emits 800 to 850 pounds of CO2 per megawatt, meets that standard; coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt. [...]
The EPA rule, called the New Source Performance Standard, will be subject to public comment for at least a month before being finalized, but its backers said they were confident that the White House will usher it into law before Obama?s term ends.
More natural gas will mean more hydraulic fracturing?"fracking"?the high-pressure injection of fluids to extend cracks in tight rock formations containing the fuel. That process has its own environmental problems, including the potential for earthquakes and tainted water supplies. These are far less hazardous than the damage from mining and burning coal, however. Burning coal not only adds vast amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere each year, but it also kills thousands of people, 15,000 a year in the United States alone just from fine particulates, according to the Clean Air Task Force.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2005:
President Bush broke his public silence on Saturday about the deadliest U.S. school shooting in six years, touting the government's response "at this tragic time" after some American Indian leaders complained he paid little attention to the rampage.
Bush's delayed public reaction to the shooting stood in contrast to his swift and high-profile intervention this week to prolong the life of Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman in Florida whose feeding tube was removed.
Bush's "culture of life" applies only to those subjects that interest the Religious Right. And the American Taliban won't concern itself too much with a poor Native American killing nine and himself at his school.
When I got to college I got a speech about not going anywhere with anyone I didn't know, not walking alone after dark, not drinking too much, not leaving my friends alone at parties, generally not behaving in any way like a person might expect to be able[...]
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In one of the most significant reversals of Bush-era policy, the Obama administration plans tomorrow to issue greenhouse pollution limits for new power plants, a major step in the fight against global warming. The new rule — which will go into effect in 2013 — confirms the end of the era of dirty coal-fired power plants:
The proposed rule — years in the making and approved by the White House after months of review — will require any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt of electricity produced. The average U.S. natural gas plant, which emits between 800 and 850 pounds of CO2 per megawatt, meets that standard; coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt.
Since the late 1990s, “natural gas has been the fuel of choice for the majority of new generating units,” and in the 2000s, wind power generation also grew significantly. With the high cost of its toxic pollution from mine to plant, coal has been losing out to cleaner sources of fuel in the electric utility sector. Although few new coal plants have been built in the last twenty years, aging plants — some built in the 1930s — still produce about 40 percent of U.S. electricity, and about 80 percent of carbon pollution from the power sector.
In March 2001, newly elected President George W. Bush reversed a campaign pledge to limit greenhouse pollution from power plants, the source of 40 percent of United States global warming pollution. In 2008, Bush White House officials refused to open an email sent by its own Environmental Protection Agency which called for action against man-made climate change.
“This is the third major executive action launched by the Obama administration to reduce carbon pollution,” writes Center for American Progress senior fellow Daniel Weiss. “With growing evidence that the serious impacts of climate change are already here, President Obama deserves credit for this new standard. We must urgently adopt and implement these new pollution reduction standards for power plants.”
Title: I Can't Go For ThatArtist: Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers
Here's an interesting vid I stumbled across of Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers, covering one of my favorite Hall & Oates classics while driving in their van. Check it.
?God, Doomsy, you ?libtard? (actually miss that one a bit), are you ever going to stop whining about guns??
No, I?m not?
One of the most important questions the Justices will likely bring up tomorrow in the deliberation about the individual mandate will be: Is health care -- or heath insurance -- actually unique? There is an argument that the constitutionality of the[...]
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