We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for December 17th, 2011

Secret Santas Pay Kmart Layaway

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Secret Santas Pay Kmart Layaway
NPR: The young father stood in line at the Kmart layaway counter, wearing dirty clothes and worn-out boots. With him were three small children. He asked to pay something on his bill because he knew he wouldn’t be able to afford it all before Christmas. Then a mysterious woman stepped up to the counter. “She told him, ‘No, I’m paying for it,'” recalled Edna Deppe, assistant manager at the store in Indianapolis. “He just stood there and looked at her and then looked at me and asked if it was a joke. I told him it wasn’t, and that she was going to pay for him. And he just busted out in tears.”



Late Late Night FDL: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Kermit The FrogHave Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, set to video by AnimeSnatcher.

Kermit The FrogHave Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, set to video by AnimeSnatcher.

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the coffee table, and try to keep the spitballs off the screen please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?


‘Left, Right & Center’: Leaving Iraq, for Better or Worse

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

‘Left, Right & Center’: Leaving Iraq, for Better or Worse
What’s America’s legacy in Iraq going to be? Can we read it accurately from this moment, now that the war is “officially” over? Also on this week’s rundown of topics for “Left, Right & Center” panelists Robert Scheer, Matt Miller, Chrystia Freeland and Mark Tapscott are Fannie and Freddie vs. the SEC and a farewell to Christopher Hitchens.

What’s America’s legacy in Iraq going to be? Can we read it accurately from this moment, now that the war is “officially” over? Also on this week’s rundown of topics for “Left, Right & Center” panelists Robert Scheer, Matt Miller, Chrystia Freeland and Mark Tapscott are Fannie and Freddie vs. the SEC and a farewell to Christopher Hitchens.

Related Entries



Aaron Anson: Confronting Moral Beliefs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Aaron Anson: Confronting Moral Beliefs
Government and religions are hell-bent on setting the barometer for society to live by. Coupled with our mob mentality to assimilate, this creates a false sense that their values are also our own.

Arloc Sherman: Taking Stock of the Safety Net, Part 1: Overview
Unemployment and long-term unemployment remained very high, as did the percentage Americans without health insurance. Yet things aren’t nearly as bad as they could have been.

#OccupyNuclearPower
Members of Occupy Toledo gave a surprise “mic check” Thursday to audience members of a public meeting on a proposed nuclear power plant in Monroe,…


News Outlets Widely Ignore News That 2.5M Have Insurance Because Of ACA

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

News Outlets Widely Ignore News That 2.5M Have Insurance Because Of ACA

On December 14, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Affordable Care Act contributed to 2.5 million young adults getting health insurance. This news was widely ignored by television news outlets, receiving 3 minutes, 22 seconds, of total coverage by CBS, ABC, and MSNBC on December 14, while CNN, Fox News, and NBC did not mention the ACA news.

HHS: “Affordable Care Act Helps 2.5 Million Additional Young Adults Get Health Insurance”

On December 14, HHS Announced That ACA “Help[ed] 2.5 Million Additional Young Adults Get Health Insurance.” In a December 14 press release titled, Affordable Care Act Helps 2.5 Million Additional Young Adults Get Health Insurance,” HHS stated:

Today, the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data illustrating that the Affordable Care Act continues to significantly increase the number of young adults who have health insurance.

Because of the health care law, young adults can stay on their parents’ insurance plans through age 26.  This policy took effect in September 2010.  Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) shows that since September 2010, the percentage of adults aged 19-25 covered by a private health insurance plan increased significantly, with approximately 2.5 million more young adults with insurance coverage compared to the number of young adults who would have been insured without the law.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 2.5 million more young adults don’t have to live with the fear and uncertainty of going without health insurance,” said Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “Moms and dads around the country can breathe a little easier knowing their children are covered.” [HHS, 12/14/11]

ABC, CBS, MSNBC Devoted 3 Minutes, 22 Seconds, Total Coverage To ACA News On December 14

CBS Evening News Devoted 2 Minutes, 26 Seconds, To ACA News. On December 14, the CBS Evening News devoted 2 minutes and 26 seconds of coverage to the news that the health care law contributed to 2.5 million young adults gaining health insurance. CBS also covered the Republican presidential primary, the end of the war in Iraq, and marriage rates in the United States, among other stories. From the CBS Evening News:

SCOTT PELLEY (host): One thing both Romney and Gingrich agree on is their desire to repeal President Obama`s health care reform law. Much of it hasn`t taken effect yet, but one significant part has started — that part that allows young people to stay on their parents` health insurance until they`re 26 years old. We wondered whether it`s working. We asked Wyatt Andrews to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREWS: Caryn Powers (ph) is one of those young adults who already benefits from the health care reform act. At 24 years old, she has Crohn`s disease, an immune disorder that attacks the stomach and intestines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s like having the stomach flu, but it`s 100 times worse.

ANDREWS: Caryn`s medicine alone costs more than $3,000 a month. If she could not stay on her parents` health insurance, she says, she`d be bankrupt and unable to work as a nurse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I had to go off my parents` policy, I would not be able to have the medications that I need, the treatments that I need. I`d be unable to go to the doctor`s. I would be very, very sick.

ANDREWS: The administration says 2.5 million young adults now have insurance thanks to their parents and to health care reform. Patients rights advocates like Ron Pollack (ph) of the nonprofit group Families U.S.A. call this an accomplishment, because young adults 19 to 25 are the most likely not to have health insurance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a benefit for those people who are struggling to find a job or who are in an entry-level job and they can`t pay for health insurance. And now they have the ability to stay on their parents` policy until their 26th birthday.

ANDREWS: But as life saving as this was for Caryn, the young adult provision is not free. Last year, the administration itself projected that this one benefit alone could increase group insurance premiums nationwide by up to 1.2 percent. High-cost projections are precisely why Republican candidates like Mitt Romney say ending the health care act is the first thing they will do.

ROMNEY: And if I`m president, on day one, I will take action to stop Obamacare in its tracks and I will get it repealed.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREWS: So the announcement of this early success was in part a political answer to the Republicans, that the more people come to depend on health care reform, Scott, the tougher it will be to repeal it.

PELLEY: Wyatt, thanks very much. [CBS Evening News, 12/14/11, via Nexis]

ABC’s World News Devoted 20 Seconds To ACA News. On December 14, ABC’s World News devoted 20 seconds to the ACA news. World News‘ coverage also included the end of the Iraq war, the Republican presidential primary, and New York City’s gun control efforts, among other stories. From World News:

DIANE SAWYER (host): And there was an announcement from the White House today about the President’s health care reform.

The government said 2.5 million young adults who were uninsured now have received health insurance because of that law, which allows children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. [ABC, World News, 12/14/11, via Nexis]

On MSNBC, ACA News Received 36 Seconds Of Coverage When David Axelrod Noted “2.5 Million Young People … Have Health Insurance Now Who Wouldn’t Have.” On the December 14 edition of MSNBC’s Hardball, host Chris Matthews interviewed Obama senior adviser David Axelrod. At the conclusion of the interview, in which Axelrod and Matthews covered the end of the Iraq war and Osama bin Laden, Axelrod noted that “there was a new report out that shows that 2.5 million young people between 19 and 25 have health insurance now who wouldn`t have had health insurance because of the — because of the health care reform, the Affordable Care Act.” From Hardball:

MATTHEWS: He also caught probably the worst fiend in American history, Osama bin Laden. So he`s done specific things.

As you go into next year`s election, do you expect the president will lay out some mission goals with the same kind of specificity for a second term, where we can judge him? In other words, will he say, I did health care in this first term, I`m going to do something else that I will point to in the second term?

Will there be that kind of scoreboard setup as there was last time?

AXELROD: Yes, there will be, Chris.

Let me just say before we move on to that on health care, just today, there was a new report out that shows that 2.5 million young people between 19 and 25 have health insurance now who wouldn`t have had health insurance because of the — because of the health care reform, the Affordable Care Act.

So it`s just one more indication of — of the impact of that law, the positive impact of that law as it`s begun to be implemented. So that`s going to be important for — certainly for those kids and those families, but for the country as well.

Look, you know, I think this president`s done some enormously positive things. You named some of them. Saving the American auto industry is another, ending don`t ask, don`t tell. I mean, there`s a whole range of things we can talk about. [MSNBC, Hardball, 12/15/11, via Nexis]

CNN, Fox, NBC Did Not Mention ACA News On December 14

CNN, Fox, NBC’s Nightly News Devoted No Coverage To ACA News. On December 14, CNN, Fox News, and NBC’s Nightly News devoted no coverage to the report that 2.5 million young people would now be insured because of the health care law. A search of CNN’s transcripts for the day show the network covered stories such as “Showbiz Movie Secrets,” the GOP primary, hazing at Florida A&M University, the payroll tax holiday, the end of the Iraq war, and “Deadly Distracted Driving.” Fox News’ primetime shows also heavily covered the GOP primary, while also featuring stories such as GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s body language, an interview with Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, and a Christmas card sent by San Juan, Puerto Rico, mayor Jorge Santini. NBC’s Nightly News featured stories such as “Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels sold at auction,” “Baby seal naps on New Zealand woman’s couch,” Iran’s connection with Iraq, and a guide to purchasing pajamas as holiday gifts.

Methodology

Media Matters reviewed December 14 programming on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, as well as the December 14 editions of NBC’s Nightly News, ABC’s World News, and the CBS Evening News. Media Matters searched Nexis transcripts for the terms “health care,” “insurance,” and “2.5 million.” For transcripts of programs not available in Nexis, Media Matters searched the TVEyes database.


Sessions Defends Buchanan Over Allegations Of Illegal Campaign Finance Scheme

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2011 5:41 am by HL

Sessions Defends Buchanan Over Allegations Of Illegal Campaign Finance Scheme
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, is defending NRCC Finance Chair Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) over allegations he schemed to illegally reimburse employees of his former car dealership for donations to his political campaign.


Justice Department To Announce Results Of Investigation Into Sheriff Joe Arpaio
The head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will announce the results of a long running investigation into in Joe Arpaio’s Maricopa County Sheriffs Office in Arizona on Thursday.


The Death of the Newt World Order

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

The Death of the Newt World Order


The Great Rope a Dope trick

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

The Great Rope a Dope trick
Barack Obama learned a political trick from Muhammad Ali called Rope a Dope. For you youngsters, this refers to the epic Rumble in the Jungle Heavyweight fight against George Foreman in 1974. Here is the Wikipedia explanation. The rope-a-dope is…



Presented By:
Win New Customers
 

Ads by Pheedo


An Offer To The President
Mr. President, we heard what you said last week in Kansas – about the dangers to our economy and democracy of the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top. We agree. And many of us are prepared to…

Obama in Kansas
I’m ready to wager that when the campaign of 2012 is all over, President Obama’s speech yesterday in Osawatomie, Kansas will be seen as the turning point that led to his victory in November 2012. Readers of this blog know…


Federal Government Offers States Greater Flexibility In Designing Essential Benefits

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2011 5:35 am by HL

Federal Government Offers States Greater Flexibility In Designing Essential Benefits
Despite the GOP’s characterization of the Affordable Care Act as a one-size-fits-all federal mandate, the actual provisions of the law and the regulations promulgated by federal agencies reveal a state-based reform that allows governors and state legislators significant leeway and input in its implementation. For instance, today, the federal government issued guidance about oh the […]

Despite the GOP’s characterization of the Affordable Care Act as a one-size-fits-all federal mandate, the actual provisions of the law and the regulations promulgated by federal agencies reveal a state-based reform that allows governors and state legislators significant leeway and input in its implementation. For instance, today, the federal government issued guidance about oh the law’s essential health benefits: the standard benefits insurers will have to offer beginning in 2014.

Regulators have long sought to balance affordability with comprehensiveness and in today’s “pre-rule bulletin,” the federal government has chosen to leave that task up to the states. Instead of establishing a single national standard, “states will be able to design benchmark plans based on one of four choices: The benefits offered in one of the three largest federal employee plans (by enrollment), one of the three largest plans offered to their state employees, one of the three largest small-business plans in the state or the plan offered by the largest HMO in the state,” Kaiser Health News explains:

Those benefits, which must be offered by insurers in most policies sold to individuals and small businesses, are one of the key flash points in the federal health law. Patient advocates have called for a broad national standard covering a wide range of treatments, while business groups say affordability must be a top consideration, even if it means a more limited package.

Because state employee plans and policies sold in the states can vary widely, the move means there will likely not be one national standard benefit package, but rather “benchmark” plans in each state. That gives states the flexibility they had called for, but also means coverage will vary.

Indeed, the package will vary depending on the coverage levels in each state, though the differences may not be too great. The law requires that all insurers offer at least 10 general categories of services like hospitalization, maternity care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and prescription drugs, and states will, as HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius put it, “tailor their package to the needs of their own residents.”

NBA Official Allegedly Fired For Reporting Sexual Harassment Against Female Employees
A long-serving NBA official with a sterling record says he was fired from the organization in July for sticking up for women who were being sexually harassed: A former N.B.A. security official says that he repeatedly warned his superiors that women in the office were being sexually harassed or discriminated against, but that his concerns […]

A long-serving NBA official with a sterling record says he was fired from the organization in July for sticking up for women who were being sexually harassed:

A former N.B.A. security official says that he repeatedly warned his superiors that women in the office were being sexually harassed or discriminated against, but that his concerns were ignored and that he was ultimately fired for his actions on the women’s behalf. He is suing the league for lost wages and damages.

Warren Glover, 50, was fired as a security director in July, after 10 years with the N.B.A., despite a glowing performance record for most of his tenure, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday morning in New York State Supreme Court. In the suit, Glover accuses senior N.B.A. security officials of creating a “hostile work environment” in which he was “demeaned,” “treated differently from other employees” and denied promotions because of his willingness to speak out.

Glover says he witnessed several disturbing incidents, including a senior security official making sexual advances toward a female colleague, then demeaning her publicly when she rejected him. One secretary quit when her boss forced her to photocopy lude materials for a presentation to NBA players.

But Glover says it was his cooperation with a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bernard Tolbert, who was then the league’s senior vice president for security, that ultimately led to his ouster. The woman reportedly received a large settlement, and Tolbert told him, “It’s all your fault. You testified for your girl.”

Tolbert and Gregory Robinson, the senior director of security, also failed to act when Glover relayed sexual harassment complaints by two women against the same official. According to the suit, Tolbert even “delivered a thinly veiled threat” that Glover would be fired if he told the women that their peers had experienced the same treatment. Glover expressed his concern to Joel Litvin, the NBA’s president for league operations, but they fell on deaf ears.

This is not the first time the NBA has been under fire for enabling a culture of rampant sexual misconduct. In 2007, Anucha Browne Sanders, a former Knicks executive, received a $11.5 million settlement in her suit against Madison Square Garden and coach Isaiah Thomas. She said she was fired from her job for pursuing a sexual harassment case against Thomas.

Glover’s attorny, Randy McLaughlin commented, “I think there’s a culture of misogyny in this association…and it’s tolerated and condoned at the higher levels. Because there’s nothing being done.”


SEC charges former Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac executives with fraud

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 17th, 2011 5:34 am by HL

SEC charges former Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac executives with fraud

The SEC charged six former executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with securities fraud Friday, saying they misled the public about the companies’ exposure to subprime loans during the mortgage meltdown.

The executives charged in the civil suits include Daniel H. Mudd, former chief executive of Fannie Mae, and Richard F. Syron, who was chairman and chief executive at Freddie Mac.

Read full article >>

Could 2012 be the most competitive Senate election in years?

Twenty Senate seats have changed hands since 2006, the most competitive back-to-back-to-back election cycles since the 1940s. And it might only get more competitive in 2012.

The nature of the map and the high number of quality candidates who have stepped forward in the first year of the 2012 election cycle could put upwards of half of the 33 Senate seats in play.

Read full article >>

Obama defends Israel policy in speech to Jewish group

President Obama delivered an impassioned defense of his policy toward Israel in an appearance Friday before a conference of progressive Jews, tacitly scolding his Republican rivals for characterizing his support for the Jewish state as uncertain.

“We stand with Israel as a Jewish democratic state because we know Israel was born of values that we share,” Obama said in a speech before more than 5,000 people attending the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial conference, billed as the largest gathering of North American Jews this year.

Read full article >>

Perry drawing annual pension on top of governor’s salary

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry is collecting a $92,000 annual pension on top of his salary as the governor of Texas, according to documents filed Friday.

In the reports he filed to the Federal Election Commission, Perry also disclosed that he has as much as $1.4 million in assets, including a share in an oil well.

Read full article >>

Gingrich’s tough talk and his not-so-tough talk | #CampaignReads

Thank you to everyone who pitched us stories for the first week of #campaignreads. We didn’t publish our picks yesterday as we were prepping for debate coverage, so here are our picks for Thursday and Friday.

Read full article >>