Thursday, October 24, 2013

Last Call For The Race To The Bottom

Buncombe County, NC GOP precinct chair Don Yelton is a painful reminder of what I left behind when I left NC for good seven years ago.  Despite being the home of Asheville, pretty much the most liberal city in the state (and where I went to college), Buncombe County Republicans are pretty horrific, and Aasiv Mandvi's candid interview with Yelton from The Daily Show Wednesday night is breathtaking only if you didn't grow up a minority in small town western NC.

Yelton basically explains exactly what the intent of North Carolina's ridiculous new Voter ID law is:  to keep minorities from voting for Democrats, period.

There is some good news, however:  Yelton has been canned so fast he's considering a stint as a jar of preserves.

Buncombe GOP Chairman Henry Mitchell said Don Yelton officially stepped down from his position Thursday.

In a segment that aired Wednesday night, Yelton blasted "lazy black people that wants the government to give them everything," one of a slew of racially inflammatory comments he made in the interview.

Mitchell called the remarks "offensive, uniformed and unacceptable of any member within the Republican Party."

"Let me make it very clear, Mr. Yelton's comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe Republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon," Mitchell said in a press release. "This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party."

I got news for you, Henry.  Nobody outside the Buncombe County GOP believes for a millisecond that "this mentality will not be supported and propagated within your party" when your side has spent the last six years telling us how awful a black President would be, is, and always will be, and has made a cottage industry of being the Last Bastion Of White Male Privilege In America.  When your side makes laws designed to disenfranchise people so that you can win elections, then you lose any moral high ground you think you have. 

You lose, sir.  In more ways than one.

Young And Home Free

Meanwhile America has hit a new record:  the number of schoolkids in the US who are homeless has now reached nearly 1.2 million.

During the 2011-12 school year, there were 1,168,354 homeless students enrolled in preschool or K-12, a 10 percent increase over the previous year. A total of 55.5 million students were enrolled in preschool or K-12 that year, meaning nearly 2 percent of all students were homeless.

According to First Focus, a children’s advocacy organization, “the number of homeless children in public schools has increased 72 percent since the beginning of the recession.” The states with the largest increase in student homelessness include North Dakota (212 percent), Maine (58 percent), and North Carolina (53 percent).

It’s important to note that the number of homeless students in the United States doesn’t capture the full extent of youth homelessness. Many young homeless people are infants, weren’t properly identified as homeless by the survey, or have dropped out (or been kicked out) of school.

The last factor is particularly true for LGBT youth, who represent a disproportionate share of homeless youth. According to a new report from the Center for American Progress, factors like family rejection, bullying, and poor performance in school forces many LGBT youth onto the streets.

But clearly the answer is more cuts to schools, more cuts to affordable housing programs, more cuts to food stamps, more cuts to government workers, more cuts, more cuts, more cuts.  Oh, and refusal to expand Medicaid coverage.  It's what Jesus would do, right?

The Real Obamacare News

Republicans are relentlessly attacking the Affordable Care Act over the website (and the critics include more than a few liberals who should know better) but it's all an effort to hide the fact that the law is saving American taxpayers billions in lower premiums.  The Center for American Progress:

The Affordable Care Act is already working: Intense price competition among health plans in the marketplaces for individuals has lowered premiums below projected levels. As a result of these lower premiums, the federal government will save about $190 billion over the next 10 years, according to our estimates. These savings will boost the health law’s amount of deficit reduction by 174 percent and represent about 40 percent of the health care savings proposed by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform—commonly known as the Simpson-Bowles commission—in 2010. 
Moreover, we estimate that lower premiums will lower the number of uninsured even further, by an additional 700,000 people, even as the number of individuals who receive tax credits will decline because insurance is more affordable. 
In short, the Affordable Care Act is working even better than expected, producing more coverage for much less money.

But how can that be?!?   It's a failure because lawmakers are all top-end web portal system architects and they say so!

In an analysis of plans offered in the marketplaces, the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform found that new entrants into the market make up 26 percent of all insurers. These new entrants are introducing competitive pressures into the individual market. The McKinsey analysis found that new entrants tend to price their plans lower than the median premiums in their market. 
Moreover, in a preliminary analysis of plans offered in 18 areas, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that premiums are lower than CBO’s projected premiums in 15 of those areas. 
In March 2012, CBO projected an average family premium for the second-lowest-cost silver plan in 2016. This projection is equivalent to an average individual premium in 2014 of $4,700 (see sidebar). The actual average premium for the second-lowest-cost silver plan in 2014 turned out to be $3,936—16 percent lower than projected.

But 404 Healthcare Not Found error on the website LOL and stuff!  But horror stories!  But nobody can sign up!'s all smoke and mirrors designed to take away from the fact this law is working better than intended overall.

Now why would you suppose web glitches would be the only news you're hearing daily about Obamacare?


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