Tag Archives: Politics

Economy shows low job growth for August…Jobless rate stays @ 4.9%

Anybody Surprised?

After two consecutive months of hearty jobs gains, hiring eased in August, with the government reporting on Friday that employers expanded their payrolls by 151,000 workers.

The official unemployment rate, based on a separate survey of households, remained at 4.9 percent. Average hourly earnings grew slightly, bringing the 12-month increase in wages to 2.4 percent — a modest gain that still keeps most workers ahead of inflation.

The temperate performance and the absence of any wage pressure are expected to bolster the position of those within the Federal Reserve who favor a wait-and-see approach toward raising the benchmark interest rate when the central bank meets this month.

This report reflects only a single month of the labor market’s performance, but it aroused particular attention because it offers the last major piece of economic news before the central bank’s scheduled gathering on Sept. 20 and 21.

“This morning’s report is good but probably not good enough” to persuade the Fed to raise interest rates in September…..

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North Carolina Strict Voter Law vacated by the Supreme’s…

The Courts have been systematically throwing out Republican voter restrictive laws passed by Republican majority state legislatures…

Add North Carolina to the list….

U.S. Supreme Court rejects bid to reinstate North Carolina voting limits

By Lawrence Hurley @ Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a bid by North Carolina to reinstate for November’s elections several voting restrictions, including a requirement that people show identification at the polls.

The eight-justice court, divided in most part 4-4, rejected a request made by Republican Governor Pat McCrory after an appeals court ruled last month that the 2013 law discriminates against minority voters. Five votes are needed for an emergency request to be granted.

“We’re thrilled. Elections in North Carolina this fall are going to be conducted under a fair and nondiscriminatory election law scheme,” said Allison Riggs, a lawyer with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, one of the civil rights groups that challenged the law.

The U.S. Justice Department, which has also been involved in fighting the law, did not immediately comment on the decision.

McCrory said in a statement that the state “has been denied basic voting rights already granted to more than 30 other states to protect the integrity of one person, one vote through a common-sense voter ID law.”

The brief order noted that three of the court’s conservatives, including Chief Justice John Roberts, would have allowed the voter identification provision and limits on early voting to be in effect for the election. Justice Clarence Thomas agreed on that point, but was the only justice to say he would have also allowed a requirement blocking pre-registration of 16-year-olds to stay in place….

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DSD…..

 

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Healthcare Insurers CAN work the Affordable Healthcare Law…

Five Thirty-Eight offers a way for Insures to be FLEXIBLE and make the law work for American’s….

The Media focus has been on the BIG Insures , who want to the GOVERNMENT to adjust…NOT THEM….

Congress and the insurers SHOULD be  working TOGETHER….

But of course it’s Obamacare, Right?

Can’t help President Obama adjust things for the sake of the American uninsured public , Right?

Politics come FIRST….

The stakes are high now, and they will get much higher if the problem festers. Since Aetna, United and Humana serve at least 2 million people who buy individual coverage through Obamacare, those companies’ shrinking role in the ACA marketplace means lots of people need new 2017 coverage. More fundamentally, if insurers can’t make money, that could undercut Obamacare’s goal of using America’s existing private insurance system to achieve near-universal coverage. Even executives who have been critical of the details of the law don’t want to see it fail.

“People seeking care through these exchange products need this care,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in an earnings call with analysts. “These aren’t people running off to get services that they don’t need.”

Fixing Obamacare’s exchanges will take three main steps: First, companies need to adjust their strategies to the real economics of Obamacare, which are just now becoming clear. Second, regulators need to make changes to accommodate insurers that are facing sicker patients than expected and, especially, a wave of extremely expensive drugs concentrated in the treatment of hepatitis C. Finally, Congress needs to make fixes, the most important being subsidizing more of the premiums paid by middle-class customers — the kind of midcourse adjustment that Congress routinely makes for Medicare but which has been politically impossible for Obamacare.

First, insurers have to get their own act together and control costs where they can.

It’s a manageable problem: Obamacare losses aren’t that big, considering that health care is a $3 trillion-plus business. Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Humana collectively earned $5.5 billion in the first half of 2016 on $150 billion in revenue. According to Credit Suisse, the three companies’ total Obamacare losses won’t top $2 billion this year.

Insurers aren’t all struggling equally. Some, such as Molina Healthcare and Centene, are actually making money on the exchanges…..

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President Obama will campaign for Hillary Clinton and to Get Out the Vote….

While Clinton has a 4 to 1 chance to win the November General Election…

She STILL needs people to show up and VOTE….

President Obama will try to help seal the deal….

Image result for obama/hillary clinton

Mr. Obama’s task is not to try to persuade independents or Republicans that they should choose Mrs. Clinton over Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee, according to White House officials and the Clinton campaign. Instead, he will urge his most enthusiastic supporters — young voters and African-Americans — to register or to be sure to turn out to vote for Mrs. Clinton.

“The president’s focus is on getting the Obama coalition to the polls,” said Jen Psaki, the White House communications director.

Most of his appearances will be timed to coincide with voter registration deadlines and the start of early voting, White House officials said. On Sept. 13, for example, Mr. Obama will appear at a rally in Philadelphia, four weeks before the last day that Pennsylvanians can register to vote.

Neither the Clinton campaign nor the White House has announced any more appearances, in part because they want to be able to send Mr. Obama where they think they need him most. But his visits are likely to be concentrated in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nevada and Iowa, campaign officials said. Mr. Obama will generally campaign without Mrs. Clinton…..

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image…bbc.com

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Trump will fly to Mexico in the morning….

Then he’ll do a speech  against people IN Mexico?

When will the stunts end?

Donald Trump is jetting to Mexico City on Wednesday for a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, just hours before he delivers a high-stakes speech in Arizona to clarify his views on immigration policy, according to people in the United States and Mexico familiar with the discussions.

Peña Nieto last Friday invited both Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to visit Mexico, his office said in a statement provided to The Washington Post on Tuesday night.

Trump, sensing an opportunity, decided over the weekend to accept the invitation and push for a visit this week, according to the people familiar with the discussions.

Late Tuesday, Trump and the Mexican president confirmed that they will be meeting Wednesday.

“I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow,” Trump tweeted Tuesday night. Shortly later, Peña Nieto’s office tweeted that “El Señor” Donald Trump has accepted the invitation and will meet Wednesday privately with Peña Nieto….

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Sen. Grassley keeps possible Garland Supreme Court vote alive for this year…

With the numbers not looking good for Donald Trump , and the prospect of Democrats winning control of the Senate?

Republican  Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley is keeping his option to present a vote on Merrick Garland ascending to the US Supreem Court alive….

The Republican’s are probabaly a bit worried that with a win, Hillary Clinton could ask President Obama to cancel Garland and let her pick a more liberal judge to back fill Scalia’s open chair. after she gets in office ..That …..with a Democratic majority after January, would NOT make Republican’s happy at all…

Holding a Q-and-A at a meeting of the Sioux City Rotary Club, Grassley on Monday said there’s a widely accepted “understanding” that no Supreme Court vacancies be filled in the final year of a presidential term.

“It had nothing to do with Garland,” Grassley said, according to the Globe Gazette, referring to the Senate’s commitment not to give any SCOTUS nominee a confirmation hearing before a new administration takes over in 2017.

While unlikely, he added that Senate Republicans could change their position if enough senators push for a hearing after the November election, leaving the door open for Garland’s confirmation before the new Congress takes office should Donald Trump lose to Hillary Clinton.

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A Look at the Syria refugee life in America….

The Atlantic Magazine takes the time to actually humanize the lives of Syrian refugee’s who have come to America for a new star in their lives….

A very human look at people who Donald Trump wants you and me to be afraid of….

But, who are trying g to start a new life like Donald Trump’s family members did way back in the day….

The response to refugees in Erie [Pa.] didn’t surprise me. As we’ve traveled the country, we’ve found that the more immigrants or refugees settled in the communities, the less concern there was about the upsets or risks they might bring. In fact, the words we became used to hearing—in Sioux Falls, or Burlington, which both have similar refugee populations as Erie, or in Dodge City, which is newly 60 percent Hispanic—were “We embrace each other” or “They make our community stronger.”

Both the refugees and those who help them describe the advantages of Erie as a good place to start new lives. It is a small town, easy to navigate. The schools and neighbors are welcoming. It is safe.

I went to visit the Zkrit family in their modest house on the east side of Erie, a few blocks east of State Street, which is the socioeconomic dividing line in Erie. The fancier folks live on the west side. Arriving at the doorstep of their new home is often the hardest moment for the refugees, Jackson told me, especially for those who were lawyers, doctors, or other professionals in their previous lives. They were suddenly walking through the door to their new reality and a more humble life that would be at least temporarily permanent….

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Third and 4th Party Candidates aren’t on the ballot in all 50 States…

…from 270toWin….

For third party candidates, ballot access is crucial if polling support is to translate into votes on Election Day. As of now, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is on the ballot in 43 states + DC, with efforts underway to get access in the remaining seven states. Green Party nominee Jill Stein is on the ballot in 35 states + DC.

Johnson’s ballot access represents 487 of 538 electoral votes, while Stein is at 425. Although clearly less desirable, it is worth noting that some states allow limited access via write-in for names not printed on the ballot…..

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Trump wants ‘Tough Cops’ going after Crime….

A guy who has NO IDEA WTF Crime is like is advocating what?

Check Trump’s comments to Bill O’Reilly….(Mostly about Cops in Chicago where there IS a serious crime problem)

In the end he wants them to ‘counterattack’ to raise their ‘spirits?

“You have unbelievable—how? By being very much tougher than they are right now,” Trump said. “They are right now not tough. I mean, I could tell you this very long and quite boring story but when I was in Chicago, I got to meet a couple of very top police. I said, ‘How do you stop this? How do you stop this? If you were put in charge,’ to a specific person, ‘Do you think you could stop it?’ He said, ‘Mr. Trump, I would be able to stop it in one week.’ And I believed him 100 percent.”

Further efforts to clarify what exactly this “specific person” would do and what “tough police tactics” are did not get far.

“You have to have a warrant to arrest people,” O’Reilly said. “You can’t beat them up.”

Trump replied that he didn’t ask for an exact plan because he’s “not the mayor of Chicago.”…

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Update…

Beautiful. Remember Donald Trump’s claim that he’d talked to an unnamed but “very top” and “rough, tough” Chicago police official, and said rough, tough man had assured Trump that he could put a stop to violence in a week if were just allowed to use the right “tough police tactics”? The Chicago police department could have swatted that story down in a couple different ways. They could have said “our people did not say that,” for instance. But they went another direction—a direction Trump-watchers will find familiar:

“We’ve discredited this claim months ago,” CPD spokesperson Frank Giancamilli said in a statement. “No one in the senior command at CPD has ever met with Donald Trump or a member of his campaign.”

More @ Daily Kos….

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President Obama in Louisiana

….from Daily Kos….

President Obama speaks on Louisiana flooding from Baton Rouge

President Obama is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he’ll make a statement on the deadly and damaging floods that have hit the area. Noted disaster expert Donald Trump has assailed the president for not going to Louisiana sooner, but Gov. John Bel Edwards had specifically asked Obama not to visit until the situation was well enough controlled for presidential staffing and security needs not to detract from the disaster response.

The federal government has been actively involved in monitoring and assistance:

  • More than 979 housing inspectors are on the ground in Louisiana verifying damages reported by survivors who have registered for assistance. The number of inspectors is expected to increase rapidly over the next several days.
  • FEMA established an Incident Support Base in Camp Beauregard in Pineville, Louisiana to distribute supplies such as water, meals, cots and blankets to the state of Louisiana. These include over 800,000 liters of water, over 800,000 meals, over 20,000 cots, and 42,000 blankets.
  • FEMA Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) personnel and equipment are deployed to the Incident Support Base in Pineville to support the state with secure and non-secure voice, video and information services to support emergency response communications needs.
  • After the state requested a Federal Urban Search & Rescue task force, FEMA has deployed Texas Task Force 1 to Louisiana.
  • Six FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams are deployed to Louisiana to support response activities and ensure there are no unmet needs.

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Political Roundup For Tuesday, August 23, 2016…Trump Sick?…RRH Elections

Presidential News:

Clinton/Trump: On Monday, Trump did a fair job hitting Hillary on her email scandal, using the FBI’s discovery of 15,000 new emails that were never produced and the fact that Colin Powell won’t take a bullet for Clinton against her.

Judicial Watch: Conservative organization Judicial Watch released a treasure trove of over 700 emails yesterday, many of which show cozy relationships between Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State and Clinton Foundation donors. Busted!

Huma: It also appears that Clinton aide Huma Abedin left classified materials in the front seat of her vehicle in India. Whoops!

Trump sick?: Trump has cancelled events in Colorado, Nevada, and … Oregon for this week. It’s a little strange, the speculation is that Trump must be sick. Hopefully his health is ok.

Johnson: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson isn’t much of a libertarian. He’s now endorsed a carbon tax as a means of stopping carbon emissions and tackling global warming. While there is disagreement as to whether taxes are a legitimate part of a libertarian utopia, there aren’t many who suggest that new taxes are a good way of paternalistically changing social and commercial behavior. Frankly, Johnson is just a moderate, not a libertarian.

McMullin: Surprisingly, independent candidate Evan McMullin failed to turn in the required 275 signatures necessary to get onto the Tennessee ballot. This seems like a low threshold to miss…..

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Post Sanders campaign group effort has internal staff problems…

Hmmmm?

Troble in paradise as Bernie sending HIS guy Jeff Weaver in to lead the efforts results in  a lot of the staff leaving….

At least five people have left Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) new political group after Sanders brought in his campaign manager to lead it, Politico reported Tuesday.

Weaver, who ran Sanders’s presidential campaign that ended last month, was made president of the group Our Revolution, causing the exodus before the group officially launches.

Digital director Kenneth Pennington and four other team members departed over Weaver’s addition, Politico said.

“A majority of the staff quit as a result of Jeff joining,” one person told the news outlet, adding they had joined the group with a promise from Sanders that Weaver would not be involved.

“Over the last few days, almost the entire staff resigned from the organization because they would not work for Jeff Weaver or help to enact Jeff’s vision for the organization in any way,” one of the former staffers added Monday…..

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Political Roundup for August 22, 2016…Early Voting coming up Soon…RRH Elections…

President

Early Voting:  The election starts on September 8 when voters who request a ballot in North Carolina can receive one by mail.  That is approximately 60 days from election day!

Students for Trump: Trump’s college student following appears to be completely organic in existence as the candidate and campaign refuse to acknowledge its existence.  Maybe Trump associates anything involving college students as not fitting his working class white identity politics mania.

Stein:  Green Party candidate Jill Stein is campaigning on being a moral compass for America.  Was her desire to be a moral compass before or after she decided to embrace the vaccine truthers?

Clinton-Fundraising:  Hillary Clinton is half way to her $1 billion fundraising goal.

Trump-Immigration:  Apparently Trump is considering a flipflop on amnesty. Cue Nelson Muntz…

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Some adjustments are needed for the Affordabale Healthcare Law….

The Washington Post is out with a piece that offers sensible adjustment that should be taken to improve a program that has helped up to 20M American’s improve their healthcare coverage….

Even with those numbers?

Some people on both sides of the political aisle want scrap the new Healthcare program and try to re-invent the wheel….

THAT is NOT needed….

Tinkering with the current program is both easier and less radical therefore more PRACTICAL….

Aetna’s withdrawal from Affordable Care Act markets has sparked the latest round of dire predictions about the law’s survival. Yet time and time again the ACA has proved durable, insuring 20 million Americans with improvements each year. This time will be no different.

Contrary to popular perception, the “risk pool” — the balance of healthy and sick enrollees — has been stable. Indeed, it was broadened as total enrollment increased by 66 percent in 2015, and per enrollee costs declined 0.1 percent between 2014 and 2015. While data is not yet available for 2016, and results vary by state, this indicates that the Affordable Care Act is not facing a crisis.

So why are insurers substantially increasing premiums or withdrawing from markets? They are making a one-time correction to bring premiums in line with costs. Setting a price is difficult when entering new markets — when the ACA was implemented in 2014, many insurers did not initially price their products accurately, and some may have even underpriced their plans deliberately in an attempt to establish market share.

While this correction is significant, the subsidy structure of the Affordable Care Act holds harmless the vast majority of enrollees. According to a recent analysis, premiums will remain lower than they would have been without the ACA even after the correction — and they are already 20 percent lower than the Congressional Budget Office projected in 2009. Insurer’s financial losses must also be seen in context: Even Aetna’s losses are well below what it would have normally cost the company to expand its business.

That said, there are actions the next administration should take to ensure the exchanges remain stable and expand…..

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President Obama will go to Louisiana next week….

Baton Rouge , Louisiana  is still digging out from the flooding there….

Over 70,000 people have been dispel;aced….

The Governor of the state has asked for Federal help and a local paper asked why the President didn’t come and review the situation…President Obama being on vacation gives him the ability to do everything he would be able to do from his office in the White House…

Donald Trump has been there for a visit today….

But there isn’t anything he can do except get a photo op….

The Governor has told the President that a visit next week won’t take away from operation on the ground…So he’s going….

Oh, yea…

The Republicans ARE trying to beat up the President because he isn’t in a hurry to run down there and make promises like George W. Bush and get blamed for anything that they can find….

President Obama will visit the site of intense flooding in Baton Rouge, La., next week as part of the ongoing federal response to the natural disaster.

Obama directed aides to coordinate with Louisiana officials on an “appropriate time for him to visit” and they chose next Tuesday, the White House announced.

Obama has faced heavy criticism for not visiting the site this week. He received a briefing by phone from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday while on a two-week vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Baton Rouge newspaper The Advocate earlier this week called on Obama to cut short his summer vacation to come to the state. And former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee criticized his decision keep golfing and not visit the area this week…..

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Neither Congress or Hillary Clinton will honor the Sanders push for a Universal Healthcare Program…

Wouldn’t think so folks….

President Obama is STILl dealing with getting the Affordable Healthcare program to work for more people….

Trying to introduce a whole NEW Healthcare Program for EVERYBODY doesn’t have a prayer from either party  in Congress and the upcoming White House….

“Aetna’s announcement proves the larger point that private insurance companies are willing to deny care to make a few extra dollars,” Kait Sweeney, press secretary for the PCCC, wrote in a statement Tuesday, describing what she called “new urgency” for Clinton.

But a sustained push from Clinton for the public option would be fraught with risk, reopening old wounds in the Democratic Party.

The public option barely made it into the House’s initial versions of the healthcare law. It was later scrapped in the Senate over concerns from moderate Democrats.

After the law passed in March 2010 without a public option, Democratic leaders were accused of caving into corporate interests, while Obama was accused of “selling out.”

Six years after its passage, few of the Democrats who had opposed the public option remain in office. But that doesn’t mean that passing legislation has gotten any easier.

Given that Republicans are likely to control the House in 2017, any legislation tied to ObamaCare — let alone to the public option — appears to have little chance of passing.

“I think Republicans are still pretty hell-bent about destroying the Affordable Care Act, which makes it difficult to envision a scenario where you can get support for a public option in the house, even if Democrats take back the Senate,” added Murphy, who supported the public option while he was serving in the House in 2009.

Democrats also appear wary of another politically taxing battle over healthcare….

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