Monday, June 17, 2013

Last Call For A True Motive

Do we finally understand the true motive behind Edward Snowden, folks?

NSA leaker Edward Snowden on Monday criticized President Barack Obama for empty promises in a wide-ranging online interview, saying that the president’s alleged failings influenced his decision to release the secret information on government surveillance.

“Obama’s campaign promises and election gave me faith that he would lead us toward fixing the problems he outlined in his quest for votes. Many Americans felt similarly. Unfortunately, shortly after assuming power, he closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantanamo, where men still sit without charge,” Snowden said in a response to a question from a commenter on The Guardian’s website.

Snowden was responding to this question: “Why did you wait to release the documents if you said you wanted to tell the world about the NSA programs since before Obama became president?”

All Obama's fault.  Got it?  Patriot Act, NSA warrantless wiretapping, STELLARWIND, all of the stuff under Bush?  It didn't matter until Obama was President, see.  All this bad stuff started on January 20, 2009, remember?

Do we finally understand "Why now?" and "Who benefited from the timing?"

Even if you agree with Snowden's basic message that we need far more checks on power like this (which I do) he's done so much damage to his own message with this loopy Obama Derangement Syndrome garbage that he's setting the message back by light-years.

So congrats, folks.  Your civil liberties spokesman is Jason Stackhouse.

He Still Can't Stop Lying About Obamacare

Despite getting his clock cleaned by a number of health care policy wonks two weeks ago and then moving the goalposts and declaring victory while getting crushed again, it seems paid anti-Obamacare hack Avik Roy is at it again with yet another inflammatory if not outright false claim about how much Obamacare will raise premiums on people in California, this time stating that Obamacare will cause health insurance premiums to double for women.

While premiums will go up equally for men and women in California, women should benefit more from Obamacare’s subsidies. That’s because 40-year-old women have lower average incomes than men do. According to the Census, in 2011 the median income for 35-to-44 year olds was $36,724; however, for men it was $43,967, and for women it was $29,095.

That’s great news for women whose wages are below the national average, or whose households that are larger than the national average. But it’s terrible news for those with above-average incomes, along with those who are unmarried or childless. And it’s also bad news for the men who today pay for the disproportionate share of Obamacare’s subsidies. (Over time, the gender-based income gap is likely to narrow; for more than a decade, women have outnumbered men in American colleges, and educational status is highly correlated to income.)

So now, Roy's narrow, narrow group is "single childless women who make more than the national average but don't have any health insurance."  He predicts those women will get "hammered" and he bases this conclusion on the same debunked math that got him into trouble two weeks ago.  In other words, not only does Roy not correct his math, he then uses that same faulty math to create more awful assumptions about Obamacare.

Second, how many people fall into the category of women who make more than the national average, but somehow work for a company that doesn't offer health insurance?  Existing California law makes that whole "not offering health insurance" part difficult, if not impossible.  In fact, the entire premise of Roy's idiotic assumption that Obamacare is a "war against women" is because California requires equal rates for both sexes, and that being a woman is not a more expensive "pre-existing condition".

Roy's final assumption is that this is yet another "massive" group of people who will "drop out" of Obamacare altogether and pay the fine instead of buying insurance, raising rates on the rest of us.  but since we know his base assumptions previous to this point are all hogwash, why would this be true at all?

The answer of course is that it's not, unless you think that single, upper-class childless women who don't get their health insurance through work are a huge segment of the population.

Immigration Versus Obliteration

The Republican Party is about to be split on immigration for good.  The Lindsey Graham/Marco Rubio/Chris Christie corporate wing of the party believes that without immigration reform, the combination of Latinos, African-Americans, and LGBTQ voters will put victory for the GOP permanently out of reach.  The problem is, the Louie Gohmert/Steve King/Michele Bachmann God-botherers believe that passing immigration will amount to the same thing.

Both of them can't be right.  Both of them believe the other will destroy the party forever.

Long knives are out, people.

“If we don’t pass immigration reform , if we don’t get it off the table in a reasonable, practical way, it doesn’t matter who you run in 2016,” Graham warned during on appearance Sunday on NBC’s Meet The Press. “We’re in a demographic death spiral as a party, and the only way we can get back in good graces with the Hispanic community, in my view, is pass comprehensive immigration reform. If you don’t do that, it really doesn’t matter who will run, in my view.”

"Demographic death spiral" is right.  The party of old, rich, white privilege is dying.  Unfortunately, it looks like they are going to go down burning instead of trying to fix the error of their ways, and if the last six weeks are any indication, they're going to try to take out the rest of America along with them.  If they can't run the country, then we won't have a country left to run.


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