Monday, March 31, 2014

Brainwrap's Latest

++Charles Gaba can do his end-zone dance. He writes that the number will be 7.08 million at midnight.


++AP has confirmed that Health Insurance Enrollments would top 7 million by midnight. The AP printed a story that touched on the lines around the country and the problems with the last day's website. At points,it was operating at 250,000 simultaneously, way above its capacity. Those in a virtual line by midnight will have the chance to sign up later. One man in Delaware said,"This is Epic." He's right.


++ZOOM! Charles Gaba trying to emerge from the data says he is confident by April 15th-ACA will reach 7.5-8 million enrolled in the exchanges. We are now talking over 16 million when you add adult kids on parents insurance, and the Medicaid expansion people. 

++How would you like to campaign on taking all that away from the American people?

Brainwraps Final Projection for Midnight

++Brainwrap ala Charles Gaba has been working the media for the last few days and friends have filled in. The Nate Silver of Obamacare's final projection for midnight tonight is 6.9-7 million on the exchanges. In short, it would hit the original CBO estimate.

++Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of HHS says that 83-90% of the enrollees have paid at least their first months insurance bill. This was to be the next great GOP talking point.

++ Sensing this isn't going their way, Fox and Friends kept challenging Lindsey Graham about where was the GOP alternative. Crickets.

First Time Obamacare Hits Positive in ABC/Post poll

++The last time Obamacare managed a tie in an ABC/Washington Post poll was July 2012. Today, it hit 49 approve,48 disapprove.
For more reliable polling on health issues, always consult Kaiser.

Obamacare Surge and Other News of the Day

++While the website went down this morning,HHS is already calling this the biggest day yet for Obamacare or ACA as its success will be known. Matthew Dowd on Sunday said it is already being distanced from the President and now he will be known for the economy.

++Fox News claimed the target for today was 7 million and 66,000. That may actually be under but we will not know for a couple of weeks according to the government. Lines went around the block at sign-up places in Red States. 

++No matter,Rush Limbaugh has repeated the right-wing meme that the "books are cooked". Lindsey Graham is convinced that the Obama Administration is "totally" fixing the books on Obamacare.

++Germany has confirmed that Russia is withdrawing troops from the Ukrainian border as reported by Reuters this morning.

++Israel refused to release the last set of Palestinian prisoners they agreed to yesterday. Al Fatah said it would pursue the Palestinian state through the United Nations. John Kerry was flown to Israel to calm everyone down. Rumors surfaced again that Israel will only go forward with the peace negotiations if Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard is released from his American jail. One wag commented last week that you know the Mideast talks are in jeopardy anytime Pollard's name is brought up.

++Dmitri Medevev went down to the Crimea to promise all sorts of goodies. Putin's economic adviser said that Fearless leader wants to annex the Baltics,Belarus, and Finland. Maybe that's the reason Belarus made noises last week about joining the EU.

++Lest we forget,Egypt is heading into its May elections, holding 15,000 dissidents in prison and have sentenced 529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death.

Obamacare's Deadline Today

++ The LA Times front-page article has a conservative number of 9.5 million uninsured receiving health insurance for the first time. The article goes on to say this is the largest expansion of health care in over 50 years since Medicare.

++The Washington Post reports that there were 8.7 million visitors to this past week and 2 million this past weekend. The call centers took 2 million inquiries this past week.

++Brainwrap aka Charles Gaba revised his revised projection to say 6.8 will sign up on the federal and state exchanges by the end of the day,maybe 7 million, which would meet the CBO's original projections. 

++Michael Tomasky at the Daily Beast has a piece how Democrats should use Obamacare's success. Brian Beutler at Salon agrees and weighs in on the affect the GOP doubling down on repealing Obamacare will affect them.

++Mitch McConnell said this weekend that if the GOP takes over the Senate,it will be no problem repealing Obamacare. So naturally, taking health insurance away from 15 million Americans is a winning slogan.

++But the GOP is occupied by other things this morning. GOP senators have called for a Special Committee to investigate Benghazi.

++Karl Rove went ballistic over Young Wallace at Fox News calling the Christie report a "whitewash."

++That didn't take long. Joe Scarborough of Morning Joe, a strong Christie supporter, changed sides and supports Jeb Bush in 2016. He argues that only Jeb can beat Hillary Clinton. In Quinnipiac polls of the key states of Florida and Ohio,Clinton leads Jeb by 11+ points.

++A majority of Venezuelans think that President Maduro is not "democratic".

++The Senate Report on Torture concludes that torture yielded no information that led to the capture and killing of Bin Laden. In the DC media, they still call torture "enhanced interrogation". 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday-Still Frigid Rain in D.C.

++Same sex marriage is now a reality all over the United Kingdom. Big Ben struck twelve twice. Elton John announced he was getting married.

++Ross Douhout in the New York Times tried to explain today why the Red States with supposedly conservative religious values leads the nation in poverty,health care problems,divorce and porn addiction. He doesn't really.

++General Martin Dempsey is in Israel today to pacify Israel on its complaints about American policy in the Ukraine and in the Middle East in general.

++The classified American documents about Israel stealing American weapons-grade uranium in the late 1960s and 1970s have been released.

++Paul Krugman wonders why there is a news blackout about Obamacare hitting its numbers when the website screwup dominated the news for months.

++Senator Barraso of Wyoming claims that the Obama administration is fudging the figures--sort of like the labor numbers.

++Michelle Bachmann screamed about the lawlessness of the Obama Administration changing the healthcare deadlines. Interesting HHS has the right, according to the law, to set the deadlines as it sees fit.

++Democrats are missing an opportunity by not seizing on the fact that red states are cheating over 7.7 million Americans out of health insurance by denying Medicaid expansion.

++The National Review admits that ACA was the biggest defeat for "small government " conservatives in a generation.

++Chris Christie blew his audition with Adelson in Vegas by referring to the West Bank as occupied territory. Republican Zionist organizations lectured him on the miscue and he blew them off. GOP donors are so hysterical they are courting Jeb Bush to throw his hat in the ring.

++Wisconsin may have made it into the Final Four but it is now 2nd in job losses in the United States.

++The New York Times and other media outlets are finally getting hip to the efforts by the GOP to limit voting in key Swing States. 

++Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with John Kerry in Paris today. Russia wants greater autonomy for Southern and Eastern Ukraine and insist they will protect Russian speakers. But, of course, they will not invade the Ukraine.

++One of the common themes at the Vegas show-and-pony show was the United States must become "aggressive against international challenges." Has anyone figured out yet that the GOP has no foreign policy experts anymore. The Grade B team of neo-cons will be in their late 60s and early 70s by 2016. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Brainwrap's Revised Prediction

++Paul Krugman said that Charles Gaba aka Brainwrap did data better than Nate Silver. Brainwrap takes that as a compliment and not an afterthought by Krugman in his new war with Silver.

++Since Gaba has been inundated with media requests,e-mails and new data, he has revised his final prediction for 3/31 to be--drumroll--6.5 million with a chance that by April 15th with all the backlog that Obamacare will reach its original CBO prediction of 7 million enrolled.

++An interesting sidebar to this is whether the Federal Court will rule against subsidies for those policies bought on the federal exchange. I think this would be a nightmare. But with 7 million, 3.1 million adult children, and over 5 million Medicaid added,isn't this a nightmare for the GOP. Over 15 million Americans newly insured that they want to strip of their policies? 

Saturday Musings

++I knew I was on to something. John Nichols at the Nation writes about how Elizabeth Warren has stepped up the populist message. She endorsed Rick Weiland, whom I wrote about yesterday. Nichols mentions that Weiland has now visited 300 out of South Dakota's 311 communities. Weiland was the head of the state's AARP.

++Chris Wiegant in his Friday Talking Points reveals the Democrats' 2014 strategy and says how effective Democratic ads pushing back on criticism of Obamacare have been. For instance,in West Virginia, Democrats are pointing out that because of Bob Byrd the ACA covers "black lung" disease,the scourge of the coal-mining regions. Sadly, it might be useful for Democrats to go back to mentioning the individual aspects of the insurance reform--like no pre-existing conditions,same costs for women as men,no lifetime caps,adult children on the parents' plan.  All of these get in the range of 80% approval ratings. No one mentions them anymore.

++About that crazy ad against Al Franken. It seems that one of the more obscure Koch front-groups funded it to defend the Koch Brothers. Apparently,there are more to be seen in your neighborhood this year. After all Senator Vitter proclaims the Koch Brothers the most patriotic Americans. 

++North Carolina is being forced by the courts to submit the racist e-mails on their new voting law. Surprise! They were aiming to suppress the minority vote.

++The Democratic Governor of West Virginia vetoed the bill that restricted abortions to 20-weeks.

++Will Putin invade the Ukraine? The Business Insider and Vice say "yes" because of the nature of the 50,000 troops on that country's border. Putin says no but he wants the Ukraine to become a federation. The ousted President has called for referenda in the Eastern part on whether to secede.

++On Obamacare,I answered my own question. Yes, you can enroll during the rest of the year if you have a life-changing event--like losing your job, having a kid,etc. 

++It's always nice to see America's staunch allies stand with this country. Israel abstained from condemning Russia's annexation of the Crimea at the UN General Assembly. I guess Bibi is mad.

++President Obama just finished one of the most distasteful tasks an American President has to do--pacify the Saudis. President Obama had to reassure the Saudi King that he wouldn't take just any deal with Iran on their nuclear program and that he would step up armed support to the Syria rebels. 

++In the phone call with Putin, Obama heard the Russian leader protest about the problems in the Transdniestr. I hope the President shut him down. Most observers see this as the next piece Putin will pick up.

++Tass ran a fascinating editorial on how much Russia and the United States have cooperated since the end of the Cold War and that we share many issues in common. It tried to minimize the Ukraine disagreement. I found this encouraging.

++Facebook is running amok with right-wingers saying that the Pope slapped President Obama down on Obamacare. They say they thought the Pope is a Communist but maybe there is hope for him. But there is no record of him saying this except rumors reported on Fox News.

++Since when did creationism deserve equal time. Even in my Sunday School as a kid,no one ever spoke of creationism. Now it is supposed to be equal to scientific theories? 

++Today in the Huffington Post,there was a smart article in their religion section about Pat Robertson's assertion that gays would be stoned in Jesus' time. The writer, a Jewish religion author,said that even under Leviticus this would not be true. There would have to be two eyewitnesses to men having anal sex and these two would have to warn the men about what they were doing wrong. And even then,there would be no capital punishment because at that time it wasn't in Jewish law. Now you know why we need more Jewish members of the Supreme Court.

++Ron Fournier,the former head of AP and a staunch Republican, thought he was clever and tweeted that Obamacare's six million enrollments was like Bush's Mission Accomplished. Conservative politicians have tweeted that their state exchanges, when they exist,didn't enroll enough to fill (blank) the largest stadium in their state. The White House tweeted back that the enrollments would fill all the pro-football stadiums three times over. The number of enrolled will literally be ignored by the GOP this year.

++This past week Rachel Maddow had a small segment on how the new GOP orthodoxy is anti-contraception. As a former Republican, I find this deeply disturbing and shocking. This was once a party whose leading women and first ladies sat on the board of Planned Parenthood. But as Dr. Maddow pointed out every GOP Senator voted in the last year on a bill that would allow employers not to buy health insurance that covered contraception. So not only does the GOP wage war on women but also women employees.

++Someone who could use Obamacare is Bridget Kelly,the aide to Chris Christie who is now blamed for causing the George Washington Bridge closing. Christie's white-washed report on the issue blames her and her alone for the lane closure. Bridget is a single mother with three kids. I hope she goes on the Obamacare exchange to cover her family. But if you believe she alone created this snarl, I have a bridge I could close for you.

Friday, March 28, 2014

General Alexander Steps Down From The NSA

++ General Keith Alexander stepped down from the NSA after nine years and ended his 40-year military career. He said that "Edward Snowden revelations would haunt him for the rest of his life." He is replaced by Vice Admiral Mike Rogers, a cryptologist.

++Today President Obama sent out a more detailed plan for ending the NSA's bulk-data collection of phone calls.

Take A Look At Rick Weiland for Senate

++ Rich Weiland is being snubbed by the Democratic leadership because he became the victim of a feud between Tom Daschle And Harry Reid. He will be running in South Dakota against Republican former Governor Mike Rounds and Independent former Senator Larry Pressler.

++The reason I am intrigued by his campaign is because he has been accused of running for Senate as if he were running for mayor. His campaign consists of meeting citizens in all the towns and cities in the state. He caught my eye when he started his campaign by deliberately choosing this way of running. 

++I like outliers. Heidi Heitkampf was one of my choices from the last election. She pulled off an upset because she campaigned heavily among the Indian nations,which ultimately provided her with the margin of victory. Weiland is the refreshing type of candidate who has eschewed money so far and is running to his own tune.

A Break In The Action?

++President Putin called President Obama, while our president was traveling abroad. Putin said that he wanted a diplomatic solution to the Crimea and President Obama said he wanted a written response to the diplomatic proposal he had out forward. The two men tasked their Foreign Minister and Secretary of State to meet to discuss this. President Obama also said Russian troops should withdraw from the border of the Ukraine because the world believed they were going to invade. Stay tuned.

Chris Christie Is Doing The Best He Can

++Chris Christie held a press conference today after his lawyers exonerated him from Bridgegate. He still attacked David Wildstein, saying he was never a friend. The reason for the bridge closure was because the Mayor of Fort Lee would not endorse him. But the blame goes to the young woman, Bridget Kelly, because she was an emotional wreck because of family problems and her love affair with his Chief of Staff. 

++David Samson, the former Attorney General of New Jersey, has resigned as head of the Port Authority. He will return to his law firm and presumably get a bonus for all the Port Authority business he generated.

++Last night Chris Christie said Bridgegate was the toughest time in his life.

This is the END,the only End, my friend

++10,853 scientists agree that climate change is real and caused by humans. Two do not.

++I have been avoiding writing about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report because it has expanded the concerns of scientists on what the ultimate impact is of climate change. They have moved from the environment and extreme weather to everything from access to water to extreme poverty.

++Patricia Romero Lankao of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, said,"The polar bear is us."

++Thom Hartmann has been following the climate change debate closely. The debate is not about whether but about how catastrophic. He had Michael Mann, Mr. Hockey Stick on his show, who basically said we had twenty years to adopt policies to slow the planet's warming.

++Yesterday, he had Guy McPherson on via Skype,who matter-of-factly said humans had until 2040 before we go extinct. He said it will be very difficult for humans to find habitats to live in. His basic point that the methane leaking up from the Arctic Ocean alone--as one factor--can raise the temperature 10C above the base number. There have been no humans on the planet at this temperature. In fact there have never been any humans at 31/2 degrees above base line. 

++So that will prove the old maxim--When I die, the earth ends." Even under Mann's conservative scenario by the end of my life we will be at the tipping point. 

++As we see in the debate over the Ukraine--gas and oil policy, our political system can not deal with this issue. There is simply no sense of urgency on climate change. We have a political party and the media who simply refuse to believe it is real. If the Republicans win the Senate in 2014,Darryl Imhof, a climate denier who believes God will not allow this to happen, will be in charge of the Senate Committee overseeing energy policy.

++As George Carlin said," Oh, the planet will be fine,it will cope. It's just humans will disappear."

Today in the news

++The Washington Post actually did a fact-check on the film Noah. They didn't get to the issue of whether the whole biblical episode is based on any facts.But you will be able to order the DVD from their owner Amazon.

++Thousands of Crimean Tatars fled to the Ukraine.

++John Boehner says that even if the Senate voted for an extension of unemployment benefits the House doesn't have time to consider it. This will not hurt the Republicans.

++Hungary opposes economic sanctions against Russia. Angela Merkel is toughening her stance on Putin despite internal opposition in Germany.

++President Obama will expand American covert operations in Syria. 

++Senate Democrats propose a 60-vote threshold for any changes in Medicate--good idea.

++Eric Holder will recognize Michigan's same sex marriages even if Governor Snyder won't.

++A Federal court upheld Texas' draconian anti-abortion law. Since another shot one down in Wisconsin, this will end up in the Supreme Court.

++Another reason for the right to hate Obamacare. It's estimated that 3-7 million new voters will be registered through Obamacare or roughly 10% that have been registered.

++Unemployment dropped in 29 states,rose in 10, and remained the same last month in 11. Hiring rose in 33 states and fell in 17.

Sort of Good News

++Trying to shake the D.C. winter and the mood.

++Papantonio: Hobby Lobby is DOA. This was posted on DailyKos by a blogger named "Man from Wasichustan". The gist of the post is that when a corporation becomes a real person and is granted favors or exemptions for the owners' beliefs, this spells the end of corporate indemnity, which is one of the reasons you incorporate in the first place. The Guardian has a piece about this yesterday so legal beagles are ready to pounce if this decision goes the wrong way.

++Washington Monthly has a piece this morning that basically sums up the religious right's new strategy. They concede same-sex marriage and the other changes in our society but want to use the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to legally segregate themselves from American society. Hobby Lobby is one of those ways to do this.

++Torture Report. Senator Feinstein says that a vote on the Torture Report will occur April 3. The Senate Committee added 100 pages to the executive summary and it now runs in the excess of 6,300 pages. Buried in the McClatchy article on the deliberations is this stunner--All the Republican members of the committee have boycotted the investigation and the preparation of the talk. Tom Coburn said that the Republicans would issue a response to the full report like they did on Iran-Contra. Senator Collins is reportedly concerned that the report could be used for "partisan purposes".

Dick Cheney said about torture--"He would do it again if he had to."

++If you have wondered what Democrats are going to do about the mid-term fallout, there is the Bannock Street Project.This is so named because it is based in Colorado at Michael Bennet's headquarters  on that street. The DSSC has spent $40 million to launch a 10 State data-given operation and an aggressive voter registration drive and a Get Out The Vote effort this year.

++Chris Christie was found innocent by his own lawyers,who also contribute to his campaign. The taxpayer funded review blamed everyone ,including his political enemies. The federal investigation and the New Jersey Legislature haven't concluded their investigations.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Latest Kaiser Poll on Obamacare

++Kaiser, who is the best at measuring healthcare attitudes, has a new poll out on ACA. 49% of Americans want to keep it and improve it, 10% want to keep it as is. 11% want the Republican replacement, whatever that is, and 18% want it repealed. 

++Mike Papantonio was on Thom Hartman's show and explained again his take on how the Hobby Lobby case breaks the corporate veil and exposes persons to liable and fraud charges. His point is that when a corporation like Hobby Land really is considered a person as they would have to be for them to win this case,it opens up a can of worms in terms of corporate law. I would love to see someone else examine this case like this.

Don't Defend The Past

++President Obama tried to make the unfortunate distinction between the US invading Iraq and Russia invading Crimea in Brussels. The remark has sparked an uproar in the blogosphere and occasioned a piece in Salon.

++The problem dates back to his Move Forward statement at the beginning of his first term. The crimes of the George W. Bush administration would be seen as past events and to avoid a messy partisan confrontation he let sleeping dogs lie. However,those he gave a by remained relentless critics of his policies,most notably Dick Cheney. This past week Don Rumsfeld made an analogy of President Obama to a trained ape, who should have gotten a Force Agreement with Afghanistan since we have them with over 100 nations. Rather than focus on why Afghanistan won't sign a security agreement and the problems created by the last Administration in not getting one with Iraq,everyone emphasized the racist remark.

++With the ghosts of the Neo-Cons rising from the grave with the Ukraine crisis,it's time President Obama fights back. He may say we have many more challenges than to revisit the recent past but the country really can not move on until our past is acknowledged.

++President Obama should de-classify the Torture Report by the Senate Intelligence Committee and let the chips fall where they may. It is likely the report implicates officials presently serving in the CIA,maybe up to John Brennen. It is silly to let the discussion simply center on who spied on whom and whether Senate staff might have gotten the "Panetta Review" by underhanded methods.

++The other item seems to be small but, of course,with the President's trip to Saudi Arabia it looms in importance. It is time to declassify the part of the 9-11 Commission report chaired by Governor Tom Kean on the Saudi role and financing of the 9-11 hijackers. While the Saudis are now angry about the talks with Iran and the lack of follow-up on Syria,it's important to give the American public the reasons why Saudi Arabia are not our natural allies.

++President Obama's plan to end the NSA's bulk data gathering of American phone calls should be welcomed. I suggest Congress will have a hard time accepting this as House reforms actually extend the spying.

++But the subterranean clashes that have gone on throughout President Obama's time of office should be brought to the head. Otherwise,he is out on the point defending the indefensible.

You May Have Missed This

++The House passed the Doctor Fix for Medicare by a voice vote that provoked laughter from Rep.Dingell and outrage from Louie Gohmert,who said it reminded him of how the House was run under the Democrats.

++Quinnipiac has Senator Warner romping against Nick Gillepsie.

++Kos of the Dailykos had a word to the wise about the GOP's chances of taking over the Senate. Backed by polls and forecasts from 2012,Marcos explains how the GOP were supposed to win the Senate in 2012 when they only needed 5 to win. His point is if Democrats vote, they win.

++Washington Monthly counters with an analysis of mid-term drop-offs, showing that the Democratic coalition because it is younger and multi-ethnic votes less during the midterms and the Baby Boomers are increasing the over 60 vote. Why that vote remains Republican is beyond me at this stage.

++Rep. Issa said that it was time to get beyond Benghazi since his investigation flopped.

++The Koch Brothers ran an ad against Al Franken accusing him of trying to prevent non-profits from engaging in political activities. Weird because they are.

++President Obama met with Pope Francis today and the meeting lasted an hour and the two guys got on like a house on fire. Later he went off to meet the Italian government.

++Congress approved a whopping $1billion for the Ukraine and additional sanctions, which are more than the Obama Administration wants. The IMF approved a package of $15-18 billion for the Ukraine so that poor country will face austerity measures.

++You probably missed the Nuke Summit in Brussels. The only one who ever covers this is Rachel Maddow. I will post more about this later.

++Steve Benen deserves credit for pointing out that despite Florida's attempt to block their citizens from accessing Obamacare 440,000 Floridians signed up for ACA. The state has over 3.5 million uninsured and the state refuses to expand Medicaid.

++Catch Tom Hartmann because he is running down the history of SCOTUS ruling for corporations. His shows concern Hobby Lobby's case.

++The United Nations General Assembly voted that Russia's seizure of the Crimea was against international law. 

Brainwrap Wrong

++The ACA, Obamacare, saw enrollments pass the 6 million mark today,breaking the OMB's revised projection. This is two days before Charles Gaba's aka Brainwrap's prediction. But give him credit, he's the only one who saw it would go this high. Medicaid has already pass├ęd the CBO projection.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Since He Doesn't Get Much Respect These Days

++Since it won't get much press, check out President Obama superb speech to an audience of European young adults. It is an inspiring treatment of what binds people together. It is on the White House website.

If You Want War...

++The last few weeks have seen the re-emergence of neo-cons from their caves as well as their media enablers. This can even be seen among Democrats who penned a letter to President Obama that insisted that even with an Iranian nuke deal, he should not take the military option off the table. Even though Russian cooperation continues on the Syrian chemical weapons and the P5+1 negotiations with Iran,the congress and the Washington based media seem to be beating the drums of war.

++When I started this blog,I wrote that the American people have very little say on whether the country goes to war or not. I still believe that is true.

++If you want to go to war, for whatever reason, please make sure it is paid for--the last two have not been and we will be paying for Iraq for the next 100 years.  I suggest a War Tax on everyone earning more than $250,000 a year. 

++Since very few of us have really suffered from the past two wars except as they affect economic development, I suggest restoring the Draft. You can either serve in the military or serve in a civilian capacity in social programs.

++The present volunteer army was not designed for serial rotations to a war zone or a protracted war. We have now had two Vietnam length wars in the last decade. The troops can not really stand another one.

++It's time to end this fixation on a country that has to be in perpetual war. We have constantly been fighting for roughly 25 years without end. Official Washington has not changed its ways. The security surveillance government is tired of President Obama not wandering off to war helper-skelter. It's a matter of time until he has to appease the war Gods. If that has to be done, then make sure the American people have real skin in the game.

Hobby Land--What Does God Want Me Not To Pay For?

++Hobby Land made news the last Jewish Holiday because they didn't have materials to make Jewish holiday decorations because Jewish Holidays were not part of their product calendar. Now the corporation has appealed to the Supreme Court for a religious exemption from paying for health insurance that would cover contraceptives. Now,they have insured for 14 types of contraceptives previously but they now think--contrary to medical opinion--that two cause abortions. This last point seemed to impress Judge Kennedy.

++Judge Roberts is trying desperately to find a narrow solution for "closely-held" companies to avoid the contraceptive mandate. 

++Jeffrey Tobin in the New Yorker had an excellent piece on the gallant women on the Court dominating the debate and handing his hate back to Clement arguing for Hobby Land.

++Lawyer Mike Papantonio takes a unique position as a liberal on this question. He would love HobbyLand to win the case. A successful litigator against the tobacco companies he argues that the corporate veil, the protections of the owners against personal suits and claims against their personal property would be torn, opening up a field day for lawyers seeking punitive damages from closely held corporations.

++He points out that usually the Roberts Court sides with corporations 93% of the time. But he claims this case is a horror show for companies. He notes that there are no amicus curiae briefs filed by any companies or the Chamber of Commerce. 

++Others argue that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act violates the establishment clause. Previously passed in the late 1990s,this was a reaction to the Supreme Court,led by Tony Scalia,ruling that American Indians did not have the right to use peyote in their religious ceremonies. What then are real religious convictions?

++The Supreme Court previously ruled against an Amish-run firm that believed in self-sufficiency and did not want to pay the Social Security taxes.

++What if a company has as its religious convictions not to pay taxes? Or if owned by Christian Scientists, not wanting to pay insurance that covered blood transfusions? 

++The women justices raised the question whether employers can make decisions for employees and particularly determine the treatment of women employees.

++Can companies really have a religious dimension when they have nothing to do with religion per se,just that their owners might belong to one? Why not discriminate against gays or if your a Mormon against blacks? 

++The men on the Court seem to lean toward HobbyLand and getting rid of the contraceptive mandate in Obamacare. Of course,with the exception of Breyer, they are all Catholic.

++Vast majorities of Democrats,Republicans,Independents, Catholics, Protestants and Jews are against any restriction on contraception. Can a billionaire religious zealot,if he really has a religious thought in his head,really dictate  what Americans don't want?

++I find the case obscene. We resolved this issue of contraceptives before I was a teenager. The employer doesn't have to buy any and maybe his employees won't either. But can an employer on mere whimsy prohibit a benefit from a law to an employee?

++This case is messy and I am dubious that Mike Papantonio will prove correct--that this is too much of a reach? Let's hope SCOTUS does the right thing.

Brainwrap Goes Silent

++Brainwrap aka Charles Gaba alerted the Daily Kos crowd that he was so swamped with media requests for his moment of fame he was not going to post his daily numbers for a while., his website, projects that Obamacare will reach the 6 million mark sometime on Saturday. His projections now are at 6.3 million total.

++70% of the uninsured do not have a clue about the healthcare program.

++I will have more on the SCOTUS case--the Hobbylobby and the Federal Court case challenging subsidies later. They are two cases that are threats to the full implementation of the program.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Brainwrap Predicts

++Charles Gaba aka Brainwrap,the Nate Silver of Obamacare, says that enrollments will hit 5.5 million today. You can read his post at Dailykos today where he cites his record so far. The guy is in the high 90 percentiles in terms of accuracy.

++Democrats are fighting back with ads against the Koch-funded anti-Obamacare ads. The latest is against the Koch "Red-haired Lady" about how healthcare is working and you don't leave here.

++Matt Drudge surprised the world this week by saying he paid his Obamacare tax already,even though it would not be until tax time next year.

++Let me thank the American people for all subsidies you have given my family and me through all those tax deductions this tax year. 

Forget March Madness--The Dodgers are undefeated

++The L.A. Dodgers opened the season in Australia with two wins over the Diamondbacks. If you want to read about how the Diamondbacks liked Australia,just check out the Washington Post. If you want to know about Clayton Kershaw's first win and the Dodgers,read the L.A. Times.

++It was a wild week. Yes, Fred Phelps is really dead.

++Fox News reports that 138% of Americans disapprove of the way President Obama is dealing with the Ukraine situation.

++Forget the secession of Crimea from the Ukraine,the most important story for art fans and those who like to drink coffee in Europe's first coffee houses is the vote in Venice. Venice voted 89% to separate from Italy.

++The second most important secession story is about the Vikings in Scotland or inhabitants of the Shetland Islands who sided with the Scots' independence campaign.

++Erick Rush said that President Obama killed everyone on board the Malaysian airliner as a jihad against China. Bill O'Reilly attacked cable news for focusing on the Malaysian Airliner because the tragedy deflected from the IRS scandal and Benghazi.

++CNN had a psychic on that said the passengers were still alive and she had been hired to communicate with those that had died.

++Do yourself a favor and read Michigan judge Bernard Friedman's opinion declaring the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. A Reagan appointee , he eviscerates the anti-gay defendants on the issue that marriage is for procreation. He unravels this argument by saying that the law makes no provisions for nullifying the marriage of those who do not have children and then he lists by class and race all those who might not be good parents. He argued that ,according to the defendants,only rich,well-educated,Asian-Americans should marry. Yesterday, he postponed the implementation of his running until Wednesday,putting hundreds of marriages in limbo.

++It was a great week for oil. It was revealed that the Koch Brothers hold 1.1 million acres of Tar Sands, making them the largest lease holder in Canada. 

++It was also revealed that the FBI consulted with Transcanada on security threats to their proposed pipeline.

++ExxonMobil proclaimed that their billions of joint projects with Russia will go forward and that progress on the Crimean gas fields will be delayed until the situation settles down.

++Congress is urging that liquid gas ports be developed to export natural gas to Europe to undercut Russia. Th result would be gas prices would rise in the United States and the recovering manufacturing base in America would suffer.

++Russia is moving its focus on gas and oil to its Asian allies to alleviate the pain European and American sanctions will cause Moscow.

++The Ukrainian crisis has moved the United States to suggest there is an urgency to reaching a trade agreement with Western Europe. This would enable the United States to export natural gas and oil to Europe,

++House Republicans moved to prohibit President Obama from declaring any more national parts like he did in California. The reason--there could be oil on lands which he might be interested in.

++Hillary Clinton is said to have moved to the right of President Obama on foreign policy. More interesting is that yesterday, she urged that a grass-roots movement be created to fight climate change because that is an issue the next generation has to deal with. I thought was that movement. 

++Vice Magazine showed a video on the melting of Greenland, which will result in a massive surge on ocean tides.

++Nate the Great Silver is back with his website on ESPN. Nate predicts that the GOP has a slight advantage in picking up the Senate this year. His previous prediction was that it was a toss-up.

++This is the week that Putin declared the annexation of Crimea to be official. So what does that mean to our relationship? The nuclear arms treaties remain in place, Syria has already gotten rid of half it chemical weapons, and ,despite promising to sabotage the P5+1 talks over the Iranian nuclear program, the Iranian foreign minister said all things were on track to conclude an agreement on time.

++President Obama's step-by-step approach to the crisis with Russia didn't win the hearts of war hero Bill Kristol but it had some interesting results. Belarus, of all people, announced it want to join the E.U. Standard and Poors downgraded Russian bonds. The OSCE agreed to send observers to the Ukraine and Putin agreed. The Ukraine signed the European Association deal. Unfortunately this will mean they will have to undergo austerity measures. And the plutocrats in Moscow lined up for hours to see Putin and complain about the sanctions and his actions in Crimea.

++Vice President Biden flew to Lithuania to reassure the Baltic States that NATO would defend them. Western observers felt that Putin would test Estonia and the Transdniestr region of Moldova in his new Lebenstraum. Poland has asked for more NATO forces in Central Europe and the United States has agreed to supply Ukraine with arms. Putin has mobilized troops on the Ukrainian border and seized Ukrainian military posts in the Crimea. The United States has expressed fears about an invasion of the Ukraine. The United States and the EU will hold a G-7 meeting in the Netherlands after Angela Merkel declared that G-8 was suspended for now, meaning Russia was exiled.
Nato's chief Anders Rasmussen said events in the last week have been a "wake-up" call.

++In Israel, Bibi has told the Israeli armed force to prepare for an attack on Iran this year. He has allocated $3billion to the program. His defense minister loudly complained that Obama's policy was weak and feckless. Israel bombed Syrian positions on the Golan Heights and raided the largest tunnel from Gaza. 

++Pope Francis appointed his panel for investigating the "indiscretions of priests", meaning sex abuse.

++Uruguay announced there were accepting 5 prisoners from Gitmo.

++Bill Donohue of the Catholic League wants to march in New York's Gay Pride parade with a sign that says,"Straight is Great". The organizers agreed but Bill says they are putting too many conditions on his participation.

++Larry Sabato at Crystal Ball says Christie is dead and that the favored GOP presidential candidate is Jeb Bush.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Obama Derangement Syndrome

++World Nut Daily conducted their poll of the most "evil" man in the last 100 years. The Results are in:
Barack Obama--50%
Adolf Hitler--23%
Stalin        --12%
Mao          --  6%
Idi Amin    --  1%

++Los Angeles had a severe earthquake yesterday. Fox News blamed it on Obama.

++Ralph Peters, who must be off his meds, said that Putin played "Games of Thrones", while Obama was "Downton Abbey".

++Franklin Graham said that Putin had a higher moral ground than President Obama because of his stance against gays.

++Willard Romney writes in the Wall Street Journal that Obama's timing was off and his leaderless foreign policy created the Crimean mess.

++Bill Kristol, war hero,writes in the Weekly Standard that he is tied of the war fatigue and that Americans stand ready to be rallied again.

++Morning Joe says that because the country believes we are going in the wrong direction, this is a winner message for Republicans. I hate to tell everyone this. The American people have polled that we are going in a wrong direction for the last decade.

++Robert Parry is worried that neo-cons have come alive again with the Ukraine/Crimea crisis. But they never went away because they are part of the nomenklatura. They did not pay for any of their mistakes and now with the controversy over the Torture Report it is clear they will not pay for their crimes.

++It is very bizarre to see pundits who know nothing about warfare to argue for a stronger response to Putin's actions. Maybe President Obama should advocate thermonuclear war and then let John McCain talk him down.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Did Brainwrap Get To Giddy

++Brainwrap from and featured on the Daily Kos and even quoted now in Amazon post congratulated himself--rightfully-on nailing the date Obamacare sign ups passed 5 million. They are now at 5.2 million.

++From his analysis, he sees 6 million being possible and even 6.5 million by the time the deadline at the end of the month is reached.

++If enrollments hit 6 million, they will meet the CBO's adjusted projection. The original 7 million was adjusted after the bad month of rollout.

++WE will see. I wonder why the Obama campaign waited until this week to make the final push.

Odd Items

++Covered California's exchange as of Saturday recorded that 1,018,315 applied. The CBO estimate was that California would produce 800,000. They have surpassed that and are now targeting the young and Hispanic.

++82 Senators signed the AIPAC letter to President Obama listing their conditions for a final deal with Iran or else they will vote for Senator Mendendez' bill for additional economic sanctions against the regime. The deal breaker is the insistence that Iran not have any capability to enrich uranium. That is the Israeli government's position and one that has not viability in the negotiations.

++President Obama met today with Mahmoud Abbas about the Palestinian-Israeli talks. Only a few weeks remain for the agreement to be reached. Abbas spoke about his basic support for the general principles. President Obama lowered expectations that there would be any agreement.

++President Obama enacted the strongest sanctions against Russia since the end of the cold war and insisted that the world community would not recognize the Crimean referendum. The EU also announced sanctions against specific Russians and Ukrainians. Senator Cruz wants missiles to be deployed to Central Europe. Vice President Biden is flying over to Europe to meet with the Baltic states and Polish authorities. President Obama is supposed to fly their next week.

++Former Senator Bob Graham spoke on Real News and said that one of the reasons President Obama may be reluctant to release the torture report of the CIA is because it will demonstrate agency incompetence. He urged President Obama to declassify the 6,300 page report and release it to the public. Other D.C. sources argue the fight over the report right now is focused on the black sites, where the United States renditioned people during the Bush years.

++Courtney Love claims she discovered the Malaysian Airline. She says it sank in the Indian Ocean. The full report with her own graphics appears at Talking Points Memo.

++The Syrian war has reached its 3rd anniversary. 

++Thom Ricks is fed up with Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald for not denouncing Putin on the Ukraine. Ricks thinks this is more insidious than just negligence.

Democrats Doomed Because of Snow in D.C.

++The Amazon Post this morning ran several articles on the GOP making a big push in 2014. Morning Joe claims the Republicans are unbeatable. Karl Rove says the GOP will win big. Even David Plouffe warns that the Democrats could lose the Senate. Although he did say it will be caused if Democrats stay home.

++One indicator for the pundits is the entry into the New Hampshire Senate race of Scott Brown, who moved to New Hampshire from Massachusetts. In all the polls he runs far behind Jeanne Sheehan. His best poll shows him ten behind.

++The big new this morning is that the GOP will offer up after 6 years an alternative to Obamacare. I won't go into the details until they really,really unveil this alternative. It might be good for Democrats on the campaign trail to ask their GOP counterpart what the alternatives are. We know they want to sell junk insurance across state lines,let small business pool their insurance,have tort reform,and have catastrophic insurance but not have the protections of Obamacare. The initial price tags are an increase in the national debt and the uninsured.

++Brainwrap may end up being right about his 5.5 million prediction. Today,the 5 millionth person signed up for Obamacare. 

++The Koch Brothers pulled their anti-Obamcare ads because the pushback from fact-checkers got too much that even the cancer victim had to hide.

++Talking Points Memo had a piece today about how the GOP will monkey around with Obamacare , presuming they win the Senate.

++The mindlessness today reminds me of 2010. But we should withhold judgment until June. The generic poll has Democrats leading except in the NYTimes where Republicans have a 3+ lead. All the Sunday pundits point to Obama's shrinking approval rating as evidence this will be a big year for Republicans. Today's Rasmussen is 49 Approve,49 disapprove, not the territory that W had at this point. 

++Republican governors still face uphill battles in Maine, Pennsylvania,Florida, Wisconsin and Georgia. Wendy Davis is only double digits behind in Texas.

++Historically,the President's party gets hit in the 6th year of a presidency. And yes, this year the Democrats are defending more seats than the Republicans. And, yes, the Democrats have only a 36% approval rating. But, the GOP has 20%. That's a winning ticket?

++The American public have lived through the Tea Party revolution and the government shutdown and 52 attempts to repeal Obamacare without a replacement. Will this generate the same type of second term midterm that is projected?

++As the demographic of the GOP base--over 60,white male, I still can't understand why older Americans would favor the GOP when they know they are committed to destroying Social Security, Medicare and are committed to war.

++Millennials have real beefs with the Obama Administration. In particular, the continued issues of the national security state or the Deep State. Dana Millbank reports on this in the Amazon Post. The other critique is that no one was punished for their role in the 2008 collapse of the global economy.

++Any woman who votes for the GOP has to have her head examined now that the war against women has entered into the bizarre realm of trying to outlaw contraceptives, a decision that was made by the Supreme Court before I was a teenager.

++Republicans have vowed nothing significant will be done this year in Congress. A great message to elect them to total control of Congress.

++So where will the economy go. Obama, the Socialist, created the situation where there is now a record millionaires in the United States--9.63, who will of course vote against Democrats. Household wealth is now at 80.7 trillion. Consumer confidence is at its second highest since August. Retail sales increased for the first time in 3 months. As a fed official said, we are not in a "soft patch" in the economy.

++Since the extended unemployed are thought not to vote, the 2 million will have to wait until after the St. Paddy's day congressional break for a Senate vote. The House will probably not vote on it.

++President Obama's directives on overtime tries to remedy a long-time wrong and will affect millions of workers. The private sector are beginning to scream about it.

++With immigration reform receding as the GOP wants to strengthen their white vote, President Obama has decided to review deportation figures.

++Referenda on raising the minimum wage and medical marijuana may serve to get out the Democratic vote in 2014 the way anti-gay marriage votes got out the Republicans. In Florida, where the Democratic party is weak, this would be a big plus in the governor's race of Crist versus Scott.

++The GOP is great at proclaiming victory prematurely. But there is something happening that is under the radar. Last election, I wanted President Obama to campaign in Georgia because I thought he could win it. This year, we have Michelle Nunn, Sam's daughter, and Jason Carter both leading in the Senate and Governor's races. 

++The last Alaskan race I liked Senator Begich because of his campaign and no-nonsense ,low-key campaign. I like how he slapped down this year's Koch ads on Obamacare and the cap and trade law--which doesn't exist and won't. I still lean toward him to win re-election.

++The two Democrats I see in trouble are Pryor in Arkansas and Hagen in North Carolina. But they are still competitive in their races. Weirdly, I think Mary Landrieu has a decent chance in Louisiana. The reason is that Jindal's approvals are in the toilet and the gubernatorial race will feature lingerie-wearing Senator Vitter.

++Democrats should consider the mini-Obama strategy that won Virginia against the Cooch.It can be duplicated. 

++I still believe organization triumphs over money.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Is Fred Phelps Dead Yet? Abe Vigoda Isn't

Crimea Votes

++Russian-occupied Crimea voted today to join Russia with 93% voting "yes" and no one could vote "no".

++The Obama administration made sure the world knew they did not recognize the vote.

++Russian troops seized a town within Eastern Ukraine and a gas plant.

++Angela Merkel called for more observers in the Ukraine. She said Putin agreed to it.

++Most bizarre story was from yesterday as journalists reported that the referendum on the Crimea actually started two days earlier than planned.

++Putin's motorcycle gang has entered the Ukraine to support the Russian population.

++The leader of the Crimean tatars pledged to wage jihad against the Russians.

Friday, March 14, 2014

House Votes for the 52nd Time to Repeal Obamacare

++The House holding doctors' pay hostage repealed Obamacare for a stunning 52 times. But this will not affect the GOP.

++Bobby Jindal has answered the ads on his refusing the expansion of Medicaid by saying it hurts the disabled.

++Since January of this year alone, there have been 31,000 ads against Obamacare.

++The Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-funded front group, now claims they are the leading organization for the freedom of healthcare.

++Senate Republicans blocked aid to the Ukraine because they insisted that Koch-funded 501-C-4s be protected against any IRS regulations.

++Brainwrap issued his final projections for Obamacare. He thinks 5.5 million will have signed up by the end of March and over 5 million will receive Medicaid expansion. Throw-in the 3.1 million adult children covered by their parents and you got about 14 million benefiting directing from the ACA. If you already have insurance you already benefit from the additional protections.

++The number one generator of traffic to is Obama appearance on the Do or Die  comedy "Between the Ferns". Of course,he demeaned the office of President.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

If You Don't Vote, You lose

++The media is piling on that the House election in FL-13 was a referendum on Obamacare. Alex Sink, the Democrat, lost by 2.5% points to David Jolly. Jolly ran the House GOP campaign on "replacing" Obamacare, when there is no replacement. The District had been Republican for 31 years and only had one Democrat in its history. David Jolly had more than $200,000 dollars advantage in outside funding. David Weigel said that both candidates were awful. The Republican areas of the District voted 50%, while the Democrats only 30%. 

++Why wasn't the Virginia gubernatorial race a referendum on Obamacare when the Cooch made it the centerpiece of his campaign and Terry McAuliffe made Medicaid expansion and support of Obamacare the center of his?

++Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo mentions that we are now in the Third straight election where Obamacare is a major issue. And Republicans think the third time is the charm. Since 2010 showed us that no matter how crazy Republicans are,they do not pay a price unless Democrats register and vote.

++Progressives have been wailing about the injustice of the Senate not approving Debo Adegbile as the head of the civil rights division of the Department of Justice. They should focus more on what that means. There will be no one in place to focus on the voter suppression efforts in NorthCarolina, Florida,Ohio,Texas,and Pennsylvania.

++The Republicans have so far successful recalibrated their framing of Obamacare as "Replacing it with the Republican Plan." Democrats must push them to explain that and cite the House plans and their ruinous effects on the average voter. Stop playing defense on this issue.

++Bloomberg today printed their poll on Obamacare. 64% of Americans support the law. 51% support it as is but with "small changes". 13% support it as is. 34% want it repealed. (Note--the 34% vote in midterms.) 52% said it would be a major factor in how they vote. 20% said a minor factor.

++With Obamacare,the number of uninsured fell to 15.9%, the lowest since 2008. Because of Obamacare,13 million are insured. 3.1 million adult children are insured through their parents plans. Healthcare costs have fallen 1% and premiums for insurance by 4%.

++Let's get personal. My musician son is insured on our plan. Obamacare puts caps on out of pocket expenses for illness. I am at the age where my health problems would cost real money. Without the protection afforded by the ACA, any remotely serious illness would mean I would have to become bankrupt and incur unpayable debt. 

++Now let's put this in perspective,I buy the equivalent of a good used car every year for healthcare insurance. So I expect that I will be covered in the event of real health issues. Under the old system, that was not true. 

++Bloggers have written how welcomed it was that the GOP in the Senate and in the House had begun to discuss their alternatives. I don't. In my earlier post, I showed you want these alternatives really mean. Increased premiums,less insured and the protections to Americans stripped from their policies.

++No, the Jolly victory was not a referendum on Obamacare but it might fueled the media and the GOP to frame this entire election as one--unless the Democrats fight back against the crazy.

An Odd Week

++Yesterday, President Obama finally said that he would declassify the Senate's Torture Report--when it was done. That's good news but someone of us were under the impression it was done.

++McClatchy reported yesterday that the Obama Administration did not release 9,400 documents requested by the Senate for its investigation into the torture and detention program.

++The Senate will not get around to extending unemployment insurance until after their recess. The House won't get around to it at all. This will not affect Republicans in the elections at all.

++The House Republicans went after the Dreamers and passed a bill requesting they be deported. The Enforce Act. This also will not affect the GOP in the elections.

++Ukrainian Aid passed the House and Senate but Senate Republicans are against because of expense. This also will not affect the Republicans.

++President Obama is signing an executive order concerning overtime pay, which will positively affect 10 million.

++Paul Ryan says that too many people in the inner city are too lazy to work. Dog whistles on race will not hurt Republicans.

++Chris Matthews says the Democrats have already lost the Senate this year. That would be a real disaster. Realists know the House will remain Republican maybe until 2020. A Republican Senate for the last two years of Obama would mean a fast-track for the TPP and a series of attempts to abolish Obamacare,efforts to cut Social Security and privatize Medicare. The whole goal of a Republican Congress will be to eliminate all changes made in the Financial System, cut the Consumer Protection Agency, and to cut taxes for the wealthy. If you don't know this, you are crazy

++And the good news is that American corporations hold two trillion in overseas accounts to avoid taxes.

Obamacare and GOP responses

++Brainwrap continues his search for the definitive numbers for Obamacare. Now about 4.5 million on the exchanges and 5.5 million on Medicaid expansion. The illusive number is the large enrollments with insurance companies that bypassed the exchanges. While the Washington Post says that the number of young enrolling is far less than the Obama Administration hoped,it still is not demographically fatal. At the end of the day, the numbers will be too complicated to explain to the layperson.

++Democrats are on the defense on Obamacare. The GOP is hellbent on destroying it. Why don't Democrats run ads against Republicans for their crazy  votes on healthcare? 

++The House Republicans want to postpone the individual mandate for five years and their hostage is refusing to pass the Medicare Doctors Fix to alleviate the shortfall in payments to doctors handling Medicare patients. This genius idea has been scored by the CBO. It increases the debt,increases the uninsured by 13 million, premiums on the rest of us by 10-20%. 1 million Americans with employer-granted insurance will lose theirs,5 million on Medicaid and the CHIP program will be kicked off, and 7 million from individual exchanges will lose their insurance.

++And Obamacare is worse than that! There are real people voting form this nonsense. All the House members are up for election this year. Where are the ads against Republicans who systematically want to deprive millions of their existing health insurance? The baloney about millions losing their healthcare from Obamacare has nothing on this reality.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Alex Sink Loses Again in Florida 13

++Alex Sink who lost by 1 pt to Governor Scott in Florida does it again against lobbyist David Jolly. This time by 2 1/2 points. 

Day Light Savings Time

++It's that time of year when my servers go down twice a day and the political rhetoric goes off the charts into insanity.

++We have escaped AIPAC and CPAC this year. CPAC got more media coverage than they have political support. Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo should be commended for telling it like it is. Media outlets don't have to spend money to cover like Netroots. DC is a Republican biased town. And besides CPAC organizers know "crazy" sells.

++Andrew Sullivan at his Dish tells us that just as you think the Obama era is over,it is now reaching its maximum impact in the economy. Check out his charts.

++Liberal blogger Bartcop,Terry Coppage, died at the age of 60 from pneumonia and leukemia. It is amazing that he had been blogging since 1999. Democratic blogs have spent two days genuinely mourning his loss.

++We are in the final stretch of signing up for Obamacare. Rather than avoid it, Democrats are fighting back against crooked ads bought by the Koch Brothers. Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats are now openly attacking the Koch Brothers. Effective ads refuting their healthcare ads are running in North Carolina,Alaska, Michigan and Louisiana. 

++The I.G. of the Post Office has endorsed the idea of having the Post Office provide cash checking services for customers and same-day loans. The idea was actually used in the early 20th Century . His report supports Senator Warren's proposal of the same.

++We were entertained by the CPAC attacks on Obama as a tyrant who is weak. One thing I noticed was that CPAC seemed to go out of its way to invite felons. Ollie North, Scooter Libby and Bernard Kerik were in attendance.

++2 million people on the White House website signed a petition against the Keystone Pipeline. Bill McKibben thanked the millions who have demonstrated against or signed the petition,saying the grassroots came through.

++Rand Paul romped to victory in the CPAC poll. Republicans are now split between the Paul-Snowden wing and the Putin supporters. Peter King is upset by the Paul victory because it means that the isolationist wing of the party is growing.

++Obama won a plurality of Americans 48 to 43 on his handling of the Ukraine situation. 

++But the Sunday shows wanted Blood and Guts Cheney to advocate a military option. I guess that means thermonuclear war.

++The Crimean Tatars have vowed jihadist actions if Russia takes over the Crimea permanently. Terrific!

++Senator Feinstein is very angry that the CIA spied on the Senate. Spare us the melodrama. Just release the Detention and Torture Report. The public has the right to know. It's a little late in the game to cry that the CIA violated the constitution. When hasn't it?

++There is a little Cold War by Saudi Arabia against Qatar for their not treating the Moslem Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. 

++The Iraqi President al-Maliki charged that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are terrorists themselves for supporting Sunni insurgents in Iraq.

++Refugees from Syria now number 4 million and counting.