Archive for washington d.c.

The Importance of Being Earnest, and Honestly, a Little Feisty



It's rather refreshing to have a Press Secretary at the podium who has a bit of vinegar in his delivery. That touch of acid we all crave.

Meet relative newcomer, and at what a quiet time in world affairs, new 1600 Pennsylvania Main Face: Josh Earnest. Flippant Oscar Wilde tie-ins aside, it truly is a dramatic turn of events. Domestically. In a good way.

Now you're listening.


The West Wing personnel department might had been catching up on Scandal and went "Man, we have to really up our game around the real deal," or just relaxed a bit as it eases on to the final, two year stretch.

It will certainly be more interesting, and we all want interesting. Less Tea Party, more interesting.

Within the #OhButWeKid category of media-watching perspective is also no small amount of awe that the Obama team let a bit of a bulldog out to man a pretty public desk. A Press Secretary with teeth, topics get fleshed out when the pearly whites are flashing … always a plus for discussion.

In any case, it makes for fine embed video. This bit courtesy of Morning Joe Schmoe, and so you also get the Full Pith of the Panel. 'pologies.

You can tell by the sub-titles these days how the production team is going after the differing viewership over the course of their day. "Caught?" The actual Question and Answer are transcribed below.

Q: One other question on a different subject. The Washington Post report this weekend about the information available to the administration about the border and expectations of a surge at the border. Can you comment on whether the administration was advised, and then overlooked or disregarded the information that was available to DHS and the White House?

MR. EARNEST: Well, Alexis, I’d first point out that you’re asking about a story that’s based entirely on anonymous sources. So that should be reflected in the record. The second is, if you do take a look at what this administration’s response has been not just in the last couple of months, but over the last few years, you’ve seen that this administration has repeatedly sought additional resources to deal with this specific problem at the border. That if you look at the trajectory of the budget from Fiscal Year 2011 to the 2012 to 2013 to 2014, that there has been a steady increase in the amount of resources requested to deal with this precise problem. That is a pretty good indication that this is something that we’ve been watching carefully and preparing for.

What also happens to be true is that there are a number of steps that were taken by this administration in the months before, or at least in the weeks before this became the media sensation that it has been over the last several weeks, that there were repeated visits by the Secretary of Homeland Security to the border and to facilities that were used and have been used to detain unaccompanied minors.

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There were steps taken by the President to direct the FEMA Administrator to coordinate the activities of DHS and the Department of Defense, and Health and Human Services, to coordinate the response for detaining these children and these families in a humanitarian way.

So this is something that the administration has been focused on for quite some time. And we have seen, as I mentioned at the top of the briefing, the tide at least start to turn over the last couple of weeks. But we’re not going to turn our attention away from that; in fact, the President is having a meeting on this today, because he believes that this is the kind of significant problem that merits sustained attention.

Everyone's an editorialist.



Nancy Of the Neighborhood, the Pelosi Political Girlhood in Baltimore



Thomas Roberts had a in-depth and finely-accessed interview with former [and furure] House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in all kinds of forms, Tuesday.

Here are just a couple. With a documentarian for a daughter, and being 'on camera' for so much of her modern life, Pelosi may be loosening up on the cam cam confessional moments. And she hit Colbert in the NYC also. Too.

Those unguarded glimpses are rare, like the elusive and/or mythical palimpsest, hidden text, of medieval and magical manuscript repute … and they offer one quite a different angle on the woman who reached the highest seat in the American political system yet via her Speaker Chair.


One down, two to go.

Roberts started his footage reveal on Way Too Early, we've already established that I adore Thomas, but Mika rubs me the wrong way five days a week. Then on to MJ.

At the end of the media experience, back at the Morning Joe Schmoe (blessedly absent) table, Roberts in real time in the 7:30 a.m. block asked Rep. Pelosi a phenomenal question about the problems at The Borders, in the wake of the news that Rick Perry is sending in the National Guard, Yee Haw, down in Texass.

Halperin pitched the political softballs. P-pew p-pew. Methinks the Speaker also too played softball in high school. In Baltimore.

The video footage that shows her softer side, walking around the old Charm City neighborhoods, are very illuminating. To think of Pelosi as one of those white be-gloved, fifties, early Mad Men Era 'political daughters' ... it's eye-popping. You also see strong Italian and Irish women in there, so it all makes perfect Lady Sense.

For fun and extra insights, Pelosi on Stephen Colbert last night, good timing.

Part 2.

Only Colbert gets those questions to land!


Breaking: Federal Appeals Court Gives Obamacare Significant Setback



More details to come, Fvx Nation has Karl Rove practically limboing under a pole, so they think it's good news over in fantasy world.

A Washington D.C. Federal Court of Appeals has just tried to make an end run around Obamacare and fee/subsidy systems as they pertain to the I.R.S., a decision that could seriously imperil implementation of the Affordable Care Act. As MSNBC reported," … without those subsidies, insurance could become prohibitively expensive, seriously hurting the law and potentially pushing it into a death spiral." Link below.

MSNBC looks as if they will be updating their coverage regularly, link here.

Footage as soon as possible of John Earnest's first block of questions in the Press Room.

From the New York Times.

Federal Appeals Court Deals Setback to Health Care Law
In a ruling that could upend President Obama’s health care law, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the government could not subsidize premiums for people in three dozen states that use the federal insurance exchange. The 2-to-1 ruling could cut off financial assistance for more than 4.5 million people who were found eligible for subsidized insurance in the federal exchange, or marketplace.


Under the Affordable Care Act, the court said, subsidies are available only to people who obtained insurance through exchanges established by states.
The law “does not authorize the Internal Revenue Service to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal exchanges,” said the ruling, by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The law, it said, “plainly makes subsidies available only on exchanges established by states.

Update, 12:35 PMEST  Another federal appeals court in the neighborhood, hailing in from Virginia this time, made some opposite news shortly after lunch. Think Progress reported that the first case rests just about on a typo:

Punishing Millions For A Proofreading Error

The two Republicans’ decision rests on a glorified typo in the Affordable Care Act itself. Obamacare gives states a choice. They can either run their own health insurance exchange where their residents may buy health insurance, and receive subsidies to help them pay for that insurance if they qualify, or they can allow the federal government to run that exchange for them. Yet the plaintiffs’ in this case uncovered a drafting error in the statute where it appears to limit the subsidies to individuals who obtain insurance through “an Exchange established by the State.” Randolph and Griffith’s opinion concludes that this drafting error is the only thing that matters. In their words, “a federal Exchange is not an ‘Exchange established by the State,’” and that’s it. The upshot of this opinion is that 6.5 million Americans will lose their ability to afford health insurance, according to one estimate.


Update 2:35 PMEST Ultimately, the ruling in Virginia opposed the decision made in the District. Think Progress said:

Unlike the DC Circuit’s opinion, the Fourth Circuit is a model of judicial restraint and humility. Although all three judges on the Fourth Circuit panel were nominated by Democratic presidents (Judge Roger Gregory, who authored the opinion, has the unusual distinction of being nominated by both President Clinton and the second President Bush), the majority opinion does not claim, as the DC Circuit did, that this case is a slam-dunk for their political party’s preferred outcome. Indeed, it claims that different provisions of the law seem to conflict with one another, and that the meaning of the statute is ambiguous. Though Judge Gregory’s opinion concludes that the Obama Administration “make[s] the better of the two cases” regarding how the law should be read, he also writes that “we are not convinced that either of the purported statutory conflicts render Congress’s intent clear.”


The NC GOP Mayor Takes His Medicaid Expansion Cause On the Road


Mayor on the march!

Remember how cool and progressively impressive we found the small town Mayor Adam O'Neal (living compassionate conservative, at least he was) who was going to the mat for rural hospitals and the expansion of Medicaid to all states?

Here's the link if you need to catch up, we've been cheering him along at the Carnival for a while now - he is walking the walk, literally.

Earlier this week, fellow fan of the good mayor, Lawrence O'Donnell, scored the big interview … the end of the mayor's first -- of fifteen days-- on the road to the Capitol. He's hoofing it to Washington D.C. to talk Medicaid expansion into his state.

And hospital closings that are already handing out death sentences in his county.

Yes!! That guy, the one Rachel Maddow has been giving props to as well, the sane voice in the wilderness … after they indeed closed the rural hospital he opposed the tampering with, there was some snap(!) in his disappointment.

Sure enough, that Southern dissatisfaction turned into action, and the conservative Carolinian mayor should arrive within the beltway by the end of July. They covered 17 miles yesterday, which hikers will be impressed with - never mind pundits. Enjoy Lawrence's exclusive.

Then the punch in the gut that comes with a well-reported story. It turned personal. The closure of that rural hospital in Belhaven North Carolina had claimed a life. A 48 year-old woman, mother of three small children, was over an hour in an ambulance following a heart attack and expired in transit.

The GOP Regressive Right pinch-purses have their first trophy, if they care to display her. She won't see you try to deny any complicity, but let us hope her family, friends and the media are loud enough to make it ring clear.

It is not right. It is not just. It has nothing to do with compassion. This is not the country we would still send our sons and daughters to risk death to defend, any longer.

priority fail gop fail

The right bitched and moaned about waiting times in Socialist Canada and, even worse, the United Kingdom during early Obamacare Hysteria, remember that? Oh no, waiting lines and wait times would be inconvenient.

This woman wasn't inconvenienced. She didn't wait a little too long in the Urgent Care waiting room overflow area because there's a bad bug in the circle of small towns it serves. She died, unnecessarily, in the arms of some pitiable First Responders and local volunteer medics, likely friends or 'friends of'. Who feel like hell today.

I had my latest ambulance ride from a friend's place last Friday, and was startled at the difference in times I hadn't really had to think about in years. And because I had just written the other story about a small rural hospital that takes care of my own heart and other organs on a pretty regular basis.

Seeing that footage, with the exhausted but determined mayor having to publicly process the news that the first victim was identified, the first heroine down and will be buried by her family soon, in this heat … it was so close to home for so many of us.

That lady should be going home to her children after a stint got put in and her husband freaked out and told her to take better care of herself and her Mom held her close and thanked a God she usually doesn't believe in that her only daughter was all right because they had gotten her to the doctors in time. This time.


Too many of us understand this tragedy. Moms Against Guns and MADD and the sensible sisterhood of mothers and aunts and grandmas who get this stuff had better align right along with this quirky mayor.

People are dying because of GOP obstructionism and budget ethics. Even Doonesbury can't do this shite justice.