Wednesday, July 30, 2014

With 2 Days to Go, the House passes something

++House Resolution 694--the Authority to Sue President Obama--passed with 227 yeas, 196 nays, and 9 not voting. No Democrat voted yea.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kentucky Poll

++The Human Events-Gravis poll has Alison Grimes and Mitch McConnell tied at 45-45.

Monday, July 28, 2014

4th Circuit Court overrules Virginia

++With the world in chaos and Congress having four more days in session, LBGT rights keep chugging ahead. The 4th Circuit Court has overturned the Virginia same sex marriage ban. 

++I was wondering like Josh Marshall what does that do for the other states under the court's jurisdiction. The Court covers South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia and, of course, Virginia.

++With two Circuit Courts now ruling,same sex marriage should be heading to SCOTUS soon. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Torture Report Frolics

++This past week saw the European Court on Human Rights rule against Poland for "hosting the CIA's secret prison" as part of its rendition program. The Court ruled that Poland had to pay damages to two of the Arabs who had been tortured on their facilities.

++But the day of reckoning is coming in the United States. News is leaking out that the Torture Report by the Senate is being "reviewed" by the CIA before its executive summary is released to the public. 

++No sooner do we have that news and George Tenet emerges to start a campaign against the report and demand he testify on the Hill.

++The AP has run a story that CIA agents mentioned in the report had been promised the opportunity to review the text about them but were told on Friday that they would not be able to because the report will only be reviewed by the top brass.

++Expect these types of things to frame the discussion, not the issue that the CIA's torture practices were even more horrible than described before.

++The question should be asked about the European Court's ruling--why should an American ally be punished for our actions.

Friday, July 25, 2014

One Week Until Congressional Recess

++Your congress critters are going on recess in a week. They will take all of August off and the first two weeks of September.

++The following hasn't been done:
     -the extended unemployment insurance
     -raising the minimum wage
     -agreeing to the Sanders-McCain bill to fix the VA
     -filling the Highway Trust Fund
     -Passing the request by the Obama Administration for emergency funding to handle the humanitarian crisis on the border

++The House Committee on Rules did pass a motion to sue the President for failure to do something. All Democratic amendments to disclose the cost to the American taxpayers and to deny law firms with business before Congress were defeated.

++Rep. Issa on the Oversight Committee wants to subpoena the political outreach office of the White House to see whether they violated the Hatch Act. The Office of Ethics issued a statement that they had not. Issa says he will forgo a subpoena if the office submits to be deposed.

++Rep. Camp of Ways and Means says that an IRS computer analyst claims that Lois Lerner's hard drives were "scratched" and that professional IT people could recover her emails. No one knows whether the congressman is blowing smoke but he wants the IRS to hire outside computer experts to try.

++The White House says that Boehner's suit is a preliminary attempt to move toward impeachment. It might seem strange that the White House would use this word but my e-mails suggest it isn't. The Democrats have been coining money since Boehner first mentioned his suit. This period was the most successful in the House Democrat's fundraising history.

++The White House is contemplating providing preliminary asylum for the children from Honduras. If Congress doesn't pass President Obama's request for border funding, I expect President Obama to move through executive orders on the immigration question.

++The Congressional buildings are now being used for different programs by outsiders because nothing is being done.

Polls on Oklahoma and Georgia Governor's Races

++Rasmussen, a Republican polling firm,has Mary Fallin at 45% over obscure Democrat Joe Dorman's 40%. In this reddest of red states,Fallin has a blow 50% approval rating and has been criticized for not expanding Medicaid. 7% are for another candidate and only 8% are undecided.

++In Georgia, Landmark Communications, which has a reputation of leaning Republican,has Jason Carter at 48.7% and Governor Nathan Deal at 41.3%. Libertarian Andrew Hunt pulls down 4%. Deal is now engulfed in an ethics controversy. Carter has an imposing 2 to 1 lead among women.

++Republican operatives this week commented on their research into Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn."These are the two cleanest candidates we ever researched."

Kansas Clarification

++The Democratic candidate, even though he hasn't won the primary yet, is Chad Taylor.

++The shrinking Roberts candidacy is attributed to the rise of Greg Orman running as an independent. He nets 14% of the vote, double what he had last month.

++The Libertarian Randell Balson nets 4%

Poll on Kansas Senate Race

++Kansas governor Sam Brownback is in deep political trouble because of his polarizing policies and the failure of his tax-cutting policies. But most observers thought Senator Pat Roberts was immune this year. But then he had trouble like Dick Lugar in Indiana explaining where his primary residence is. You can drive there from my house. This is getting him in trouble.

++Today's SurveyUSA poll shows Roberts' leading dwindling to 5 points. He only leads his Democratic competitor 38 to 33.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Poll on Virginia Senate Race

++Roanoke College did a poll that shows Mark Warner having a 47-22 lead over Ed Gillespie. This is in a state where Obama's approval is underwater. The major issue in the state is the GOP obstacle to the expansion over Medicaid. Basically,the GOP hoped that Gillespie would have a greater name recognition to force the national Democratic Party to spend much-needed cash to keep the seat. It looks too late in the day. The poll basically mirrored the findings of the previous month.

Polls on Governor Races

++Survey USA has the Democratic candidate Davis at 48 to 40 over Sam Brownback in Kansas. This week Republican legislators rebelled and backed Davis because Brownback's economic policies have been so ruinous to the state.

++In Wisconsin, the Marquette poll, which is the premier poll in the state,has Scott Walker leading Mary Burke among registered voters 46 to 45, with 8 percent undecided. However, among likely voters, the results are the reversed. Mary Burke at 47 and Walker at 46.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Poll on Florida

++Quinnipiac latest poll on Florida. Charlie Crist 45 to Rick Scott 40. But add in the libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie and it is too close too call. Crist 39, Scott 37 and Wyllie 9. The Wyllie voters are "leaning toward Crist" and could make the difference.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

SurveyUSA Poll on Florida Race

++Charlie Crist jumped out to a 46-40 lead against Governor Rick Scott. Two weeks ago, he was trailing by 2. Rick Scott has only been in the lead in 3 out of the 8 polls conducted do far. He has never led by more than 2. However, Rick Scott has buckets of money while Crist's campaign is publicly funded depending on thousands of small donors.

New PPP poll on North Carolina

++Kay Hagan had a five point lead in June, a two-point lead in May despite millions spent against her. Now she leads Tillis by 41 to 34, with the libertarian netting 8%.

++While this race in North Carolina will turn out very tight at the end, it looks remarkable because Hagan has a 40% approval rating and 50% disapproval.

++She has a 44 to 27 lead among women.

++But state senator Tillis is looking weirder. Only 19% of North Carolinians have a positive view of what their legislature is doing. Tillis himself only has a 24% approval rating and a 47% disapproval rating

4th Circuit Court Upholds Subsidies

++The 4th Circuit Court upheld the ACA's subsidies for the federal exchange. This ruling was based on the  discrepancy for implementing agencies. 

++I would like a better decision based more on the thrust of the entire law but I'll take it.

++In the meantime, the Obama Administration said the previous 2-1 decision would not affect subsidies, while it seeks an appeal.

Administration to Seek En Banc ruling

++The Obama Administration will seek an en banc ruling on the DC Appeals Court decision. It tweeted it immediately.The decision would upend the private insurance market and create chaos over half the country. 

++If we lived in a saner country,Congress could just insert "and Federal Government" in the law and everything  would be fine. But it can't be done.

++The state exchanges were concessions to Republicans to get them to support healthcare reform. As a strategy to oppose it,red states didn't create the exchanges. So with the refusal of red states to expand Medicaid and now the court decision, this dooms over half the country to worse health insurance coverage than before.

++Court observers believe this will make its way to the Supreme Court.

Federal Appeals Court Ruled Against ACA

++The case that George Will cheered on has ended. By a vote of 2-1, the D.C. Federal Appeals Court ruled 2 to 1 that those who enrolled on the national exchange should not get subsidies, only the state exchanges. The decision was decided by two Republican judges. The case was brought by the Cato Institute and other conservative groups. As this blog noted, the government should move to an en banc decision, bringing the whole Appeals Court to decide it . The decision, if left standing, would affect over 5 million people.

++Meanwhile,a federal judge threw out the case brought by Senator Johnson against ACA because he had no standing. This case really is relevant to John Boehner's suit against the President and the issue of standing.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Forget the World Cup--It's the World Lacrosse Championship

++The Iroquois Nation, all 150,000 of them,now is a Superpower in World Lacrosse. The Iroquois Nation team romped over Australia 16 to 5 for third place in the championship. 

++They battled champion Canada to a 8-8 tie and then lost by a goal. Previously,they lost to the United States team by 18 to 5.

++Even though they invented the game as a spiritual exercise a thousand years ago,the American Indians had been excluded from competition for years. White teams complain that they use their traditional hickory sticks which lead to injuries. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The State of the Senate

++The pundits have been refining their views on the Senate. The Washington Post has it 52 Republicans,46 Democrats and 2 Independents.
Etten at FiveThirtyEight has the Democrats in perilous shape but holding the Senate with 51 seats.

++Charlie Cook has his toss-up list:Alaska,Arkansas,Colorado,Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina. He also calls Georgia and Kentucky as toss-ups. he has Iowa and New Hampshire as leaning Democrat.

++Stu Rothenberg has the Democrats in poor shape in South Dakota, Montana and West Virginia. He has Iowa, Arkansas, Alaska, North Carolina,Colorado as toss-ups but leaning Democratic. He has Mary Landrieu as way ahead but because of Louisiana's system it will depend on whether the Senate's control will hinge on this race whether Landrieu can absorb the flood of money by the GOP at the end. 

++On the House side, Nancy Pelosi says the Democrats will pick up 25 seats. Almost all pundits say the GOP has over a 90% chance of keeping the House because of gerrymandering and voter suppression. But strangely, Nancy Pelosi, who is known to count votes well, made a cogent case of each individual. This is street politics.

Around the Polls

Colorado Senate NBC/Marist. Udall 48%- Gardner 41%  Udall has a 12pt advantage among women and 31percent Latinos

Michigan: NBC/Marist. Peters (D)43 to Land 37. Peters has a +13 advantage among women.

EPIC/MRA: Peters 47 to Land 38.

New Hampshire: Sheehan 50 to Scott Brown 42.

Georgia Senate: Landmark. Michelle Nunn 49 to Kingston 41; Nunn 48 to Perdue 43.


Landmark Communications,a Republican outfit
Jason Carter 49%, Deal 41% and Hunt (L) 4%.

Philadelphia Daily News/F&M poll
Wolf 47, Corbett 25, 27% undecided.

Snyder 46, Schauer (D) 43

Michaud Internal
Michaud 41, LePage 37, Cutler 13

Coakley 39 Baker 36

Monday, July 14, 2014

Impeachment Fever

++Bill Kristol said on the Sunday Talk Shows that no Republican with any influence advocates impeachment. He was dissing Sarah Palin's impassioned plea to impeach President Obama. Observers claim that John Boehner's "law suit" is away to steer away from impeachment, while Democrats believe that this is the first step to impeachment. The GOP is concerned that all the Tea Bag support for impeachment has been a big fund-raising plus for the Democrats.

++The Huffington Post/YouGov poll shows that 68% of Republicans favor impeachment, 37% Independents,and only 8% Democrats.

++The Rasmussen poll showed that in July 2007,39% of Americans wanted to impeach President George W. Bush. Today,7 years later, 32% want to impeach President Obama. That is the same number who say he is the worst President in the post WWII period.

++In a more relevant poll, PPP has Gov. Kasich at 45% and against 44% for the Democrat Ed Fitzgerald in the race for Ohio governor.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Which Party Shows Fiscal Restraint?

++David Atkins at Washington Monthly raises this question after the House Budget passed with 287 billion in tax cuts without any balancing revenue. At the same time,he argues that no one can tell the differences between the parties because the Democrats are actually practicing austerity. In other words, the actual politics of political economics is reversed to the general image of the parties. 

++With the re-emergence of the cheerleaders for the Iraq War in the news,including the incredible Weekly Standard piece written by Dick and daughter Cheney,this got me to do a rough tab of some of the most egregious budget excesses in recent memory.
(The Cheney piece ran his best hits on Iraq--that Saddam had connections with Al Qaeda,was working on Weapons of Mass Destruction,etc.)

++The American economy represents about 22.5% of the world's economy. It is about 16.8 trillion dollars.

++Now let's look at the true Audacity of Then.
The cost to the economy of the Bush Tax cuts,according to this week's study in Al Jeezera,$6.6 trillion.
The estimated cost of the Afghanistan-Iraq Wars: $4-6Trillion.
The Cost of the F-35b,not so stealth bomber: $1 trillion.
The Cost of Privatized Social Security proposed by George W. Bush: $2.5 Trillion

++Total (with top estimates of the wars): $16.1 Trillion.  

++In other words,the whole GOP agenda during the Bush years ,nearly cost us the entire American budget--In fact it did for those years(our economy then was 16.08 trillion), with the exception of privatizing Social Security, which didn't happen. 

++Or to out it another way,all these items were equivalent to about one-fifth of the entire world economy.

++Now I would say you would have to square the circle to say you were a fiscal conservative with this record. 

++I have been thinking about this because I have noticed during the Obama era that all the GOP proposals simply don't add up. Savings turn into deficits. Proposals to privatize lead to greater national debts. I guess War is Peace. This is Orwellian mathematics. But maybe the American voter will believe that the House GOP are fiscal conservatives. Certainly they fell for the last guy.

Save The Date

++July 23 at the National Mall. The Koch Brothers-backed Generation Opportunity is holding a "Creepy Carnival" complete with clowns,acrobats, jugglers,trapeze artists and a haunted hospital. The purpose of this event is to show how "Obamacare is the freak show it is."

++Maybe it will have the same effect of all those creepy ads against Obamacare sponsored by the Koch Brothers. Brookings Institute found that the $100s of millions of ads against the ACA actually led to a greater interest in Obamacare and increased enrollment by the young.

++And as an ironic side note, President Obama was nominated for an Emmy for his role in Between The Ferns ,which was his plug to the young to enroll in Obamacare.

Friday, July 11, 2014


++The budget at the end of the year is estimated at $583 billion,not $366 billion, which was the deficit until the end of June.

Deficit Drops

++The government actually had a $30 billion surplus this month because of increased tax revenues and only a 1% increase in government spending. The deficit is now at $366 billion for the first half of the year, nearly 28% down from this time last year. It is the lowest deficit in the Obama years. At the end of the fiscal year it should be $366 billion.


++Bill McKibben of is right that the announcement by the World Council of Churches about divesting from oil, gas and coal is a big thing. For all the talk about the NSA being used to crack down of domestic dissidents,my candidate for most endangered person is Bill and environmentalist groups. If Fusion Centers were used against Occupy Wall Street,the same will happen against groups that protest the XL Keystone Pipeline and the fossil fuel industry. 

++The statement by the WCC, which represents 345 Christian denominations,covers 590 million people worldwide. 

++Its action has been supplemented by Pope Francis speaking for the Catholic Church and issuing a statement on the Sustainability of the Planet. 

++In the United States, smaller actions have been taken by Union Theological Seminary in New York and the United Church of Christ,the first denomination to divest from the fossil fuel industry. 

++The Unitarian/Universalist Association's National Assembly also voted to divest.

++Otherall the momentum to divest from fossil fuels has gained speed.

The Sort of Wild and Weird

++Drudge brought his siren back. The breaking news was that President Obama had a 72% approval rating among MUSLIMS!  That was the story. But in the same Gallup poll he has a 55% approval among Jews, 59% approval rating among non-Christians and a 54% rating among those with no religion or atheists. With Christians he is below the waterline and with Mormons he is at 18% approval/78% disapproval.

++John Boehner's alleged lawsuit, which may not be as successful as his defense of DOMA, which cost the taxpayers millions of dollars,is that the President DID NOT IMPLEMENT OBAMACARE FAST ENOUGH. Here's a man who tried to repeal Obamacare dozens of times and whose party disapproves of the employer's mandate on principle. So to keep the base fired up, he decides to sue on Obamacare. 

++Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball shows while Congress' approval is at single digits this has been one of the best for incumbents during the primaries. 273 out of 275 incumbents won their primaries. 18 out of 18 incumbents won theirs. This is one of the best performances for incumbents since WWII. Eric Cantor's loss represented 1/2 of the losses in either party.

++Steve Stockman (R-Texas) doesn't want to be outdone by John Boehner. He proposed today that the sergeant at arms of the House find IRS official Lois Lerner and arrest her for contempt of congress charges. I guess he wants her imprisoned in the small cell in the House Chambers.

++A federal judge in Florida issued a 41-page ruling that invalidated Florida's congressional districts on the rounds that it was so heavily tilted to Republicans and violated the state's Fair District standards.

++ Senator Mary Landrieu still leads in the Louisiana race.The issue is that Louisiana has the jungle primary and the winner must have 50% of the vote so that it looks like the race will go to a second round.

++The New York Times expanded on the theme of how strange polling for the mid-terms is and how difficult some states are. In particular, they focus on North Carolina and the strange bubble the libertarian always has until the end, the difficulty of polling in Alaska and the strange situation in Arkansas where Pryor tops all Democratic and non-partisan polls while Cotton wins all Republican polls.

++Yes, LeBron James is going back to Cleveland.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Commonwealth Fund Study

++Alexandra Sifferlin in Time magazine has a piece on 20 million that gained health insurance through the ACA. Remember the Sibelius number was 22 million and Brainwrap aka Charles Gaba had the figure around 24 to 25 million.

++Ironically, this comes the same day that John Boehner announced he was going to sue the President for failing to implement the employers mandate. 

++The Commonwealth Fund's year long study about Obamacare came out today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

++So what are the findings. Fewer working age Americans are uninsured than at any time in history.
20% of those 19 to 64 years old were uninsured from the period July to September 2013. This went down to 15% in the period April-June 2014.

++Uninsured males --19-34 years old--declined from 28% to 18%. There are now estimated 5.7 million fewer young adults who are uninsured.

++60% of those with new coverage have accessed medical care.

++The uninsured at the poverty rate when from 28 to 17%. But in areas which did not expand Medicare the uninsured went from 38 to only 36%--barely decreased.

++6 out of 10 would not have been able to access affordable care.

++73% of people who bought health plans were somewhat or very satisfied with their new health insurance.

++87% of those who signed up with Medicaid were somewhat or very satisfied with their new health insurance.

++74% of newly insured Republicans liked their plans.

++77% of those who had insurance before were satisfied.

++58% of those with new insurance said they were better off now than before.

++Latinos were the group that most benefited.
36% were uninsured from July-September 2013.
23% were uninsured during April to June 2014.

++African Americans only decreased by 1%.


++We are getting into the season when political polls start to have some relevance. Josh Marshall at TPM has a cautionary tale of the situation in Arkansas. He takes the New York Times new substitute of Nate Silver "Upshot" as an example. If you look at the Democratic and the "non-partisan" polls,Pryor is ahead by 4. If you take the GOP pollsters,Cotton is ahead by 4. But if you omit Rasmussen from the "non-partisan" poll and just keep the normal non-partisan polls--Pryor leads by 8. This is the problem with the "aggregators". The proliferation of unreliable GOP pollsters that appeared at the end of the 2012 campaign,have skewed polling results and predictions.

++WMUR/University of New Hampshire has Jeanne Shaheen at 50 and Brown at 38. Sheehan has picked up six points since last month's poll.

++In Florida polls, Gov. Scott has a 45-42 lead over Charlie Crist. Scott has a 9 pt lead among those aged 65 or over.

Immigration Executive Actions

++President Obama in Dallas set up his executive actions on immigration by unveiling his package for added security and humanitarian assistance to the recent flood of kids at the border.

++Why I say this is that it is clear that Republicans in Congress believe that filibustering the request will benefit them for the by-election. However, Jennifer Rubin in yesterday's Washington Post pointed out that polling by the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable indicate that Republicans overwhelmingly support immigration reform, enhanced border security and a path to citizenship.

++By the way, the cost of deporting all undocumented immigrants would cost in the neighborhood of $280 billion. Besides can you imagine what the world would think.

++President Obama is the Deporter-In-Chief , deporting roughly 400,000 per year, or over 2 million. He has deported more people than all the Presidents combined back to the 19th century.

++But the political dance in Texas was a setup to executive actions that President Obama discussed with the immigration activists at the White House. According to Greg Sargent in the Imperial Post ,Obama is about to lay a bomb before the mid-terms.Major Garrett in the National Journal described the meeting which La Raza was not invited to because of their criticism of President Obama. The tone was mixed. President Obama spoke harshly and callously about the children that had pour over the border recently. But before that he said he was going to go Big on immigration reform.

++In the polls that Jennifer Rubin quoted, the vast majority of Americans simply do not believe the reasons the Boehner gives for not addressing immigration reform--namely the House doesn't trust President Obama.

++Informed by Speaker Boehner that there would not be any movement on immigration reform this year,President Obama said that he would act with executive action and referred yesterday to the lack of movement on the Hill. 

++If President Obama is to beef up the border guards, he needs to move them away from other tasks. To do that, he needs to move them away from enforcement. 

++Major Garrett writes that President Obama told immigration activists that he was thinking of going DACA to the 10th power. That is not prosecuting non-documented immigrants . He said that he was thinking of allowing 5-6 million to obtain legal status and provide them with work permits. This would be a big bomb.

++In fact, John Boehner wants to include immigration in his suit. 

++Observers at the meeting with Obama believed that he simply doesn't care about the impact of these moves on the mid-terms. It would only help marginally in blue states and might negatively affect Democrats running in red states. Observers believe Obama's attitude was focused more on his legacy.

Andrew Sullivan Meep Meep Watch

++With John Boehner about to get the House Ok to sue the President and Sarah Palin and the Iowa GOP Senate candidate asking for impeachment, Andrew Sullivan reverts to form to ask about how President Obama is doing in his second term.

++The ACA went in one year from a bomb to a success. The rate of healthcare costs have moderated. Andrew cites the new Commonwealth Study which documents the in-roads the ACA has made. 

++The Imperial Post, "the humanitarian interventionists" and the neo-conservatives have blasted the President on Syria. But as Andrew points out that the most significant development in non-proliferation has been the removal and now destruction of Syria's chemical weapons without the United States firing a shot.

++The threat of Putin has gone away. The Ukraine has signed an agreement with the EU and Putin even looks like he is holding the separatists out to dry.

++The economy, which Obama has been criticized by the GOP from the beginning, has marked a record number of months with job creation and soon we will slip underneath the 6% unemployment mark.

++The Deficit has gone from 10%GDP to 2%GDP,which if under a Republican there would be dancing in the streets.

++The two remaining unknowns are the negotiations with Iran on the nuclear program and immigration reform.

++The last year has seen the GOP squander any advantages they might have gained. It is quite clear that the GOP is against contraceptives,have been put into a box on immigration reform and their impeachment talk has alienated middle America.

++Oh by the way, Colorado ruled for same sex marriage. It appears ,according to SCOTUSBLOG that it is likely the Supreme Court will take the case in the fall of 2014, hear arguments in March 2015 and decide in June 2015. Probably the case they will rule on is the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Comparisons of the Lawless Presidents

++President Obama had 30 signing statements. 20 of these are on separate provisions of the 2013 Defense Authorization Act alone.

++President George W. Bush used signing statements on 1,200 provisions of 172 laws,twice as much as all his predecessors combined.

++According to John Hudak of the Brookings Institute,President Obama has issued fewer executive actions than any of his predecessors since Grover Cleveland.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Gallup Obama Approval

++President Obama's approval rating has climbed five points in 3 days. Gallup now has him at 45%.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Brainwrap Responds

++Charles Gaba aka Brainwrap responds to the New England Journal numbers in the Dailykos.

++He takes as his start-off point Kathleen Sebelius comments to Charles Kessler at the Washington Post about 20 million enrolled in Obamacare.

++Gaba works through the numbers as Sebelius mentioned them compared to his computations. He had off-exhange sign-ups and other additions that were caused by the ACA.

++He also mentions flaws with the New England Journal of Medicine's numbers. He says that used figures from the mid-March signups on the exchanges, which means that NEJM is about 3 million less than the actual number.

++Read the piece to see how he arrives at his numbers.

++Brainwarp's numbers compared to Kathleen Sebelius' final at 22 million--is 24 million to 29 million have obtained health insurance.

The Six Month Review of Obamacare

++Joan McCarter at the Dailykos reviews Obamacare's six months in. She refers to the New England Journal of Medicine saying that 20 million Americans enrolled in health insurance because of the law. The Journal anticipates that insurance premiums will increase 1-2 percent in 2015 since the demographics of the exchanges were favorable.

++7.8 million young adults were covered by their parents insurance. 
++5 million signed up outside of the exchanges since the ACA changed the conditions for getting insurance, namely no pre-existing conditions. 
++6 million has gained health insurance through Medicaid/CHIP expansion. 

++I anticipate that the total number of much, much higher because the Journal's piece did not add those in the exchanges.

++The Journal said their findings were preliminary but that the law has performed better than thought.

The Fading American Dream

++The Detroit Free Press ran a piece today about how the American Dream is seen as unobtainable by a majority of Americans now. By the American Dream,Americans believe it is not about getting rich but having security. This means having a healthy and personally fulfilling life and being able to retire in comfort. 

++The Brookings Institute conducted a poll in 2008, which found that 3/4ths of Americans believed that the American Dream was harder to obtain than ever before. Of course, the poll was conducted during the Great Recession.

++USA Today put a price tag on the American Dream. For a family of 4,including a house,cars and medical care and retirement fund,the total is $130,000 per year. Of course, you can move to cheaper areas. But think about it,only 1 in 8 Americans earned $130,000 a year. The median income of the American household is $51,000. 

++No wonder people are anxious and frightened of the future.

++Previous studies have found "happiness" in terms of income equals $75,000 per year. That seems to be the magic psychological number.

Every Sperm Is Sacred

*Always great from Monty Python's "Life of Brian"

++Religious organizations are not too thrilled by HobbyLobby because they consider the company hypocrites and sacrilegious because it claimed that the company has a "soul" and "firmly held religious convictions" which seemed to become a little fluid when the ACA was passed. Religious groups, which also include fundamentalist Christians,are in mutiny because of the extent of closely held corporations in the United States. Think Koch Industries. Think Cargill. Is the Koch donations to Catholic universities just a trick to set-up the proposition that the Koch family will pretend to be religious?

++A blogger using the name Xaxnar at the Daily Kos may have hit on something in his piece "The Supreme Court (and Conservatives) Versus Funny Papers". The author summarizes the proliferation of cartoons and drawings lampooning the Court's decision. He does us all a favor by embedding the Monty Python song "Every Sperm is Sacred" as a great example of taking the situation ad absurdam. Perhaps the greatest weapon against such nonsense is Ridicule.

++Xaxnar does a lengthy analysis of the mindset that leads to such decisions. Of particular interest is a 2012 article in Altnet by Sara Robinson entitled," Why Patriarchal Men are utterly petrified of Birth Control--and Why we'll still be fighting about it 100 years from now." 

++Xaxnar runs through recent examples of how the authoritarian mindset responds to popular culture around the world such as North Korea's reaction to a recent Hollywood Comedy that focuses on them or Islamic extremist reactions to the Danish cartoon of Mohammed and the video on Islam that inflamed the Muslim world and ignited the riots that led to Benghazi and the attack on Cairo. The suggestion is that the Roberts Court would have condemned them also.

++Humor is the ultimately subversive tactic. Think the Pussy Riot or the Plastic People of the Universe in Czechoslovakia during the Velvet Revolution.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Final Argument for Obama

++Consider this--for the time of Obama's Presidency we have listened to a sophisticated musical soundtrack. Could you imagine the music under a Republican Administration? Could you even imagine the music under Hillary Clinton? At least we got to hear some jazz and the White House encouraged a great range in our songbook. Do you think we would have a White House hooked up to the social media as this one is? 

++Do you really want to see a lot of white men my age controlling Congress--let alone the White House?

4th of July

++It might be useful if you know a Teabaggers to remind them that the Boston Tea Party was a protest against corporate tax cuts. The Crown has cut the taxes on the East Indian Tea Company so that it could dump tea onto the American market and drive the small American merchants out of business. Sounds familiar hey.

++Dana Millbank floats the idea in the Imperial Post that President Obama would be better off with a Republican Senate because they would have a moment of overreach and then have to govern. On all social issues President Obama would have public opinion on his side and would have to use his veto pen, which he has only used twice. This, Dana tells us, would make President Obama look strong and he might accomplish something his second term. Of course, he would have to settle for some rollback of his healthcare reform and face the GOP trying to cut away at all he has achieved. 

++TO Millbank's credit, he does quote Norm Ornstein about how crazy the GOP has become and that they would make life miserable for Obama. I agree. I also think they will not hesitate to impeach him for real and imaginary crimes. The problem is not that the GOP needs time to govern. It is that they pathologically hate this President and it would take years--too many for the remaining time Obama has in office--before they would act constructively.

++No, they would not pass immigration reform if they controlled Congress. Millbank hopes for a Clinton time of welfare reform, which was awful, and a balanced budget, which makes no fiscal sense. The nomenklatura wants to control Obama in his last years. He has escaped the noose in his climate change rules and Obamacare. They don't want him to leave town unpunished. Maybe they can blackmail him into another war.

++Democrats have been writing recently about how better things will be in 2016, when they have a better electoral landscape in the Senate and have a better advantage for the Presidency. Democrats are still in a great position to maintain control of the Senate. The atmosphere is toxic but congress' low approval rate is something that can work to the Democrats advantage.

++Millbank warns that the GOP would hold up executive appointments and force the remaining staff to use their man hours on answering the congressional inquests. They would only accelerate this if they won the Senate.

++What would happen if the Republicans won the Senate would be the passage of the TPP and the European Trading Pact. These would be an exponential NAFTA experience. A Senate controlled Congress would also make the Grand Bargain a reality. We have passed the point where this exercise is even worth it.

++A Republican Congress would set up 2016. Remember 2000. Clinton had run off 57 straight 200,000+ months, reduced unemployment to 4.2% and had balanced the budget and had a surplus. And then we got George W. Bush. It was the atmosphere that the House GOP had created that made another Democratic presidency unlikely. That's what they are trying to do here. 

++The public and the media have not come to grips with how crazy the GOP is and how radically right their agenda is. By allowing the GOP to win the Senate would only be to reinforce their craziness. The GOP has not done the necessary self-reflection to even merit being allowed to govern. 

++Right now, President Obama still controls the political language in this country. Even with this moribund Congress,it is important that this language continues to dominate so it lasts a generation.

++While Democrats have become disillusioned with this President, he still stands a chance of dominating the political language of the next generation much like Reagan did. It is important that he be given a chance to end his term without having to experience a full Republican onslaught. 

++We are talking only of two years. The last year will be consumed with the presidential elections. So he has effectively a year and a half left. Personally, he has picked up wind and his executive orders have had a profound impact on governance. From the latest court decisions--more to come--he will have to fight rearguard actions all the way out.

++But the other aspect of a Republican win, would be to let the GOP off the hook so it doesn't change its policies. The Beltway pundits, who have written Obama off since 2010,will do so again and emphasize the Republican themes they mimic anyway. That's not where the country is at. It is also a place the US can't go to if it is to survive and flourish.

++Finally, I want to emphasize that the Koch Donor Network--there is such a thing--has recently pledged $500 million to take back the Senate. It's important that they fail because any progress made in the last 6 years will be jeopardized. The libertarian argument for dismantling the social welfare state will be in hyperdrive and the media will sell it to all of our disadvantage.

++President Obama's achievements are in all the small initiatives that have not received publicity. His innovations in alternative energy will be crushed. His outreach to minorities,native Americans and others will be squashed. It's important for us as a nation to finally accept the tremendous diversity in this country. And, for you women, forget it. Do you want to hide for two years and pray that Hillary gets elected to be recognized again?

++There is nothing about the future in the "Reformist conservative" policy proposals. There is still no understanding of the larger world in which we have to operate. There is less than any knowledge about the global economy. The reformist conservatives accept the Ryan budget. A Republican Senate would insure the Ryan Budget gets passed. As this blog has repeatedly said--the Ryan Budget would string deficits out to the far horizon and convert the US into an aircraft carrier. And frighteningly the neoconservatives are trying to mount a comeback without any sense of shame and the awesome cost of their adventures. Nothing the GOP has done this year indicates they will avoid costly errors. They passed in the House further tax cuts that would add $500billion to our deficit without any additional revenues. This is all a big Con.

++I wrote before that this is like the summer of the BP oil spill. How much of W's mess must President Obama clean up? Progressives are deluding themselves if they will be able to comeback if Obama is crippled. The whole exercise of the press and the corporations is to so demoralized America that you will never dare to dream again. What we are experiencing is a massive psychops experiment on the American people. Its aim is to promote absolute surrender to the unseen forces trying to control us. If you want to re-legitimate the system through libertarian language,that will serve the illusion. But that language is far removed from any fact-based reality and will be tougher to fight.

Further reflection on HobbyLobby

++Ruth Bader Ginsberg's dissent on Hobby Lobby pointed out all the different procedures that various different religions could object to that are currently covered by health insurance. The idea that Hobby Lobby was decided using religious reasoning is extremely problematic. Women rightfully object its targeting of women's preventive health care. I've pointed out that the ACA was aimed at ending the prejudice against women in health insurance.

++But one of the problems with having 6 Catholics and three Jews on the Supreme Court is that in such a case the protestant religious reasoning is missing. Protestants do not object to birth control and do not think IUDs and Plan B cause abortions. The primary objection to birth control in Christendom comes from the Catholic Church. Only by the Vatican's reasoning can you move from birth control directly to abortion. And Hobby Lobby itself is not a Catholic corporation.

++Pat Robertson said yesterday that he did not object to contraceptives. Even fundamentalist Christians do not think that married sex is evil and solely for the purpose of procreation. That is a Catholic thing. Frank Schaeffer has written how positively influential his fundamentalist mother was on his sexual attitudes. Where people get confused is the political alliance between evangelical Christians and Catholics on abortion. 

++There are several cases coming from corporations that "pretend" they are religious, which object to a host of medical procedures. Ruth Bader Ginsberg is right that this case has opened up a can of worms. 

++I have a question. From a religious point of view,mainstream protestants have not problem with sexual attitudes, even lifestyles. In fact, legal abortion is supported by a majority of these protestants. If you were going to write a list of religious priorities, the issues of war and peace seem to me to be larger than the issue of contraceptives, which was settled law before I became a teenager.

++If I have a corporation, why can I not object from "sincerely held religious beliefs" to paying that percentage of taxes that go to the Pentagon, NSA, and CIA. Unlike HobbyLobby, where their sincerity is questionable,in this case there would be no question and the appropriate religious texts could be quoted. Or is the "religious" corporation only to believe in things surrounding medical care? 

++Could we understand that 51% of women take contraceptives for migraines,cysts,acne,and other complications. Why isn't this covered? Why vasectomies and viagra are covered for men? In fact Sandra Fluke's defense of contraceptives was not for sexual reasons but for the medical problem of a friend. The ignorance about this issue is awesome. Sean Hannity kept peddling the idea that if women wanted to have sex they can always buy a box of condoms. The Supreme Court even said that the government could give away birth control to women separate from health insurance. Try that one out against the Hyde Amendments. 

++Already Hobby Lobby is being made an issue for the mid-terms. Scott Brown said yesterday that a corporation should be able to deny healthcare for women. I want to see what the Democrats make out of that. The full-throated embrace of the patriarchal should really go over well. Democrats are now zeroing in on single women for the mid-terms. The demographic changes in the country indicate that women are marrying later and have many relationships before then. The Democrats have already been trumpeting the war against women. This war is intensifying.

Hobby Lobby and Sotomayor's dissent in Wheaton College injunction

++Laurence Tribe, President Obama's constitutional law professor at Harvard, says the verdict is in,"The winds of SCOTUS are blowing in a conservative direction." While he says the decisions are not as bad as they could have been, he wonders whether these are just the first tactical steps toward much more wide-ranging opinions. He cites the gutting of the Voting Act as being based on a previous modification that even had liberal votes but once they found out what it meant they rebelled.

++A blogger at Dailykos caught the legal meat of Justice Sotomayor's scathing dissent against the court issuing a temporary injunction against Wheaton College having to comply with the ACA birth control mandate. The three women justices hollered that only one day after Hobbylobby the court went back on its word that the Hobbylobby case was a one off. Sotomayor was incensed not only by the birth control aspect of the case but that to issue such an injunction the Supreme Court has to use the All Writs Act, which the court has ruled must be used sparingly and that this injunction was extraordinary since she beeves that the school's "sincere religious beliefs" do not trump its social and religious obligations to fill out the PCCA forms. 

++If you have read this blog, you will know that I accepted Mike Papantonio's interpretation of HobbyLobby as ruinous to the veil of corporate indemnity. Mike has pointed out that no business association had filed an amicus curiae brief for HobbyLobby because they thought it jeopardized the immunities granted under corporate law. 

++But Mike said SCOTUS would never side with HobbyLobby. He was wrong. But court observers believe he ultimately is right. Alex Park in Salon writes how 44 corporate law professors filed an amicus curiae brief for the government against Hobby Lobby warning precisely about this situation. They argue that if individuals can push the corporate veil for religious reasons than regulators and shareholders can push back the other way. 

The Halbig versus Burwell Case

++Since the Obama Administration has had an erratic record in court cases recently,court observers are concerned that all of the ACA could come undone by Halbig vs.Burweill, which was crafted by the CATO Institute and Case Western Law School. 

++Previously the plaintiff's lost at the D.C. District Court and has appealed it to the Circuit Court of Appeals. The case challenges the notion that the subsidies for the taxpayer are available for the federal exchanges. The federal exchange was simply envisioned as a stopgap measure for states who opted out of ACA. But when the Roberts Court ruled that both the Medicaid expansion and the ACA were optional for states, the federal exchange assumed the burden of absorbing some 36 states.

++Without the subsidies for health insurance,observers fear that this would destabilize the healthcare market and force premiums to rise because of the prohibitions against pre-existing conditions. It would presumably eliminate the much needed young enrollees who are too poor to buy regular health insurance.

++The D.C. District Appeals Court is a three judge panel, two of whom are Republicans and who have already made disparaging remarks about both the law and the government's case. The judges expressed sympathy to the plaintiff's argument that the language of the ACA only confirmed that subsidies were confined to the state exchanges.

++The Democratic leaders for the ACA in Congress submitted an amicus curiae brief that said that the law meant to include subsidies for the federal exchange because it was a fallback position. It sounds lamer than it was worded.

++If the ACA loses, the administration could and should ask for an en banc ruling by the full D.C. Circuit Court. There the odds are more favorable. 7 Democrats and 4 Republicans sit on the court. This was one of the reasons for filibuster reform so the administration could fill this court.

++ Given the horrendous decisions of the last week by SCOTUS, it is not unreasonable to expect another horrible decision by the three-judge panel. There has been a proliferation of court cases to destroy the ACA. So the SCOTUS rulings give their Republican brethren an excuse to score more headlines and create a potential disaster.

++Only TPM has really followed this case with any seriousness while other democratic blogs dismissed the case as a blatant political attempt to destroy ACA, which it is, that has no merits. I hope they are right but George Washington's Jonathan Turley has argued the language of the ACA was poorly drafted and left this gap. George Will has written two columns that this case will doom Obamacare. 

++There is another dimension here. The law is 5 years old and between 17-24 million people have benefited. How many of these received subsidies? How many would be thrown off if the Court decided against the administration? Would a court rule against a law that benefits millions? We have seen in Hobby Lobby that it did and would. Would you or I rule in a way to deny millions healthcare? No, but the courts have shown in recent years a strange distance from reality.

++The added problem to this case are the optics. The right is revving up stories about the confusion on the first figures in the federal exchange and the need to verify incomes and nationality. Today, Breibart wrote a piece that millions of illegals have been allowed health insurance because of this confusion. Probably, like all rightwing talking points on the ACA, it is wrong but it will take a week or more to get the real facts. In the meantime,the two Republican judges might want to get a headline to muck things up for the mid-terms.

++Of course,you could insert a short clause in the law to straighten things out. But with this Congress, that would be impossible and the GOP have bet the ranch on a strategy to kill health care.

Unemployment for Other Presidents

++Just out of curiosity, I looked into the presidents who were missing in the previous post.

++JFK-- 4.8%
++George H.W. Bush--7.2%

++Now you know where the meme that any President with an unemployment rate above 7.2% never was re-elected came from. Of course, President Obama has inherited an economy collapsing with a 7.8% at his election in 2008.

++The post-WWII Presidents with the best employment records were Harry Truman,Kennedy/Johnson, and Bill Clinton. Republican presidents tended to be worse, with the regular ones averaging about 5.5% unemployment.

++President Obama may well be on target to beat the 5.5% rate after the worst recession since the Great Depression. 

Unemployment under Presidents

During the last election,Allan Lichtman said that if a President' unemployment was less than when he came in he'd be re-elected. That's what happened.

I decided to look at where the Presidents left office. I forgot JFK,Ford and Carter,and George H.W. Bush but here are the results.

Truman--2.9% * wonder whether minorities were counted.
LBJ--3.4% * again I wonder about minorities.
George W. Bush--7.8%
Barack Obama--6.1% and counting

In High School, an old economics professor told me that an economy working at the highest efficiency could only sustain 5% unemployment--otherwise unemployment would have to increase. That is why the figures of Truman and LBJ are so stunning and why I keep saying that President Obama will erode the unemployment rate to about 5.4% or less before he leaves office.

In the last labor report, the April figure was re-adjusted to 300,000 and I expect the same will happen for the June figures when the July numbers come out. Psychologically, it would be good for President Obama if the numbers drop below 6% before the election. So far,he has not been responsible for any economic downturn unlike Reagan,Nixon and George W. Bush.

The Tale of the Tape:The Worst President Versus The Second Best

++The jobs report recorded the 52nd straight month of job creation. This beats by one month President Clinton's record of 51 months from February 1996 to April 2000. 

++The five months of 200,000+ jobs is the longest streak since 1999.

++The 1.4 million jobs created in the first half of the year represents the best record since 1999. 

++The lowering of the unemployment rate by 1.2 points this year represents the sharpest decline in 30 years. 

++The full range of economists could find nothing to complain about once they dug deep into the report.The lingering debate is whether the rate of participation in the job market represents an inevitable decline as the Baby-Boomers and others retire or is the larger economy really just shrinking.

++As Jonathan Bernstein cautioned Democrats, the job reports and the fact that the economy looks like it has takeoff will not help their chances in the mid-terms as President Obama's approval rating continues take a beating for a host of reasons.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rick Warren Wants A Waiver to Discriminate but Receive Federal funds

++After Judge Alito invented a law out of whole cloth,14 religious leaders,including Rich Warren, petitioned the Obama Administration for a "religious"waiver on his executive order to end LBGT discrimination by federal contractors. 

++Now, let's follow this logic--you are a religious organization receiving federal government funds through contracts. Now you petition the government for the right to discriminate because this is a religious belief. Why not a Southern Baptist petitioning to discriminate against blacks? And, by the way, how are you going to determine whether a woman is a lesbian or a man gay? 

++TPM and Andrew Sullivan go into this issue today. Unfortunately,the Obama people involved in faith-based initiatives have publicly said that the religious exemption demand is an issue that needs to be addressed.

++In the stone age, Pat Robertson warned Christian churches about taking federal funds because of the demands which would be placed on them to bring them up to the legal code. Now the churches want both federal funds and the ability to discriminate. What happened to "Hate the sin, love the sinner". I guess you just "hate the sinner" and take the cash.

DOW Surpasses !7,000 for first time ever


++The government jobs report shows an increase of 288,000 jobs. The unemployment rate is now down to 6.1%, the lowest it has been since 2008. There are still 3.4 million long-term unemployment.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


++Quinnipiac has President Obama edging out George W. Bush as the worst President in the post WWII period. Ronald Reagan is the best.

++A Franklin Marshall poll has Wolf (D) still ahead of Corbett 47 to 25 with 27 undecided in Pennsylvania's governor's race.

++Rasmussen has Cochran at 46 and Childers at 34 in Mississippi.

++Rassmussen also has Obama's approval rating at 47 and Gallup has it at 41.

++PPP has The Michigan Senate race Peters 41 and Land 36. It has the Michigan governor's race  a tie at Snyder 40 Schuer 40%. Snyder's approval has dipped to 37%.

++Several new polls have Governor Scott with a 43-41 over Charlie Crist.

++The Huffington Post generic congressional poll has Democrats at 41 to GOP at 39.6%.

++The Democrats reported that oiler 1 million small donors had contributed to their House fund for the first time in history.

ADP Jobs Report

++ADP reports a gain of 281,000 jobs in June, the highest monthly gain in over a year and at least 40,000 more than the previous high of the year. The report notes a big boost to construction of 36,000 and another 117,000 in small businesses. Thursday will be the Federal Report.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wild Times in the Middle East

++The Iraqi parliament couldn't reach a decision on the new government today as it had to adjourn because fights broke out among the factions. It was postponed because it lost its quorum. So far there is no candidate for Prime Minister Maliki, who wants an unconstitutional third term.

++Israel buried the three teenagers who has been kidnapped and slain. Israel bombed the Gaza Strip while reports exist that the mastermind of the kidnapping is hiding in Turkey.

++For those who are appalled that President Obama has sent 800+ troops back into Iraq, remember there are also 20,000 security contractors already there and we are already paying billions for their services.

++The United States and the EU has issued a high threat warning about Al Qaeda possibly attacking Europe or the United States in reaction to their being pushed off stage by ISIS or the Islamic Caliphate.

++The Caliphate announced, according to the Daily Telegraph, that their next target is…drumroll…ROME!

++One wonders why it isn't Saudi Arabia or Jerusalem. Rome? 

++The Supreme Court actually did something nice yesterday. It refused to dismiss the case against the Saudis by the families of the 9-11 victims.

++In Florida, a muckracking journalist discovered through the Freedom of Information Act that the FBI had discovered trash in someone's garbage that outlined the training schools and plans for terrorism of the Saudis in Florida prior to 9-11.

Hobby Lobby,SCOTUS,Same Sex Marriage

++Today the Stock Market edged nearer to the mythical 17,000 mark. Later this week we will have the jobs report and other economic indicators.

++The Blogosphere teemed today with thoughts, ruminations and widespread disgust at the Hobby Lobby decision and the Harris vs. Quinn decision.

++The Supreme Court issued a clarification on the Hobby Lobby decision by saying they really meant all 20 types of birth control for women were eliminated. Hobby Lobby issued their own statement that women would continue to receive contraceptive coverage, except for IUDs and Plan B. Having five Roman Catholic male judges decided on the sincerity of the religious beliefs of any plaintiff is appalling but also on the subject of women's health is mind-boggling.

++Americans by a two to one margin support the contraceptive mandate. 60% of independents and 78% of Democrats. Among those 18-34 years old it is 81%. 

++It should be pointed out that the Supreme Court did not rule on vasectomies ,which are covered by health insurance and by Hobby Lobby. It should be remembered that in the 1870s, the first woman to pass the bar in Illinois was deprived of a job because the court ruled her place was in the home. 

++The decisive vote appeared to be Judge Kennedy, who was led by the Hobby Lobby lawyers to believe that IUDs and Plan B caused abortions. The fact that phony science should sway a decision is amazing.

++Tom Hartman has several segments on the Supreme Court today. He pointed out that with Harris versus Quinn, the Roberts Court had a 100% record for voting against workers and trade unions. It has a 73% record of voting against minorities.

++Hillary Clinton expressed dismay at the decision and rightfully linked it to the desire of males to control women's bodies and health. She was pressed by the moderator that the bill used to justify the decision was the Religious Freedom Act signed by her husband. The act actually meant that someone could not force their religious opinions on another. That is that the individual would be more powerful than the more powerful entity. Judge Alito in his majority opinion opined that the government was coercing the company as opposed to the company coercing the employee.

++The amazing decision that a corporation has "sincere religious belief" called up again the Roberts Court attributing to corporations rights and privileges previously reserved for flesh and blood people. A guest on the Thom Hartman show suggested there really was a solution to this. Change the Dictionary Law. The Law defines all words that legal cases use. Under person, it lists among other things corporations.

++Judge Ginzberg in her dissent used Judge Marshall original definition of corporation, which had served American law until the Roberts Court. It should go back to that.

++Since the case was on a federal law, there are constitutional grounds for challenging the decision. If a group if women organized against it, they could challenge it on sex discrimination. 

++A Male commentator said that Hillary Clinton was going after the Beyonce girl vote. Rush Limbaugh actually was taken back by the voracious attack on the decision at Scotusblog and Democraticunderground, expressing genuine fear of the intensity of the reaction.

++One of the saddest elements of the case is that the religious value that receives the highest value and worth in court concerns contraception and abortion. That is what religion has boiled down to on the Right.

++Meanwhile the momentum in same sex marriage continues. A federal judge ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in Kentucky, although stayed the decision until an appeal. That would make 20 states and D.C. to recognize same sex marriage. The state of Indiana was ordered today to legalized a marriage between two lesbians.