Monthly Archives: July 2014

RT @StephanieWSOC9: Hospital: Patient was tested risk of communicable diseases LOW. Patient will be sent home. I’m asking what country he/s…

RT @StephanieWSOC9: BREAKING: CMC has now re-opened part of it’s ER. Says patient came in after visiting country w/high risk of infectious …

So Long It’s Been Good To Know You

So… we're experiencing the deadliest outbreak of ebola in history.  It's so bad that the leading ebola doctor died yesterday.  Fortunately, it is all happening in Sierra Leone and other parts of Africa.

But then this happens:

Part of CMC ER roped off  officials say patient being tested   www.wsoctv.com

 

UPDATE:   They were checking out a patient who wanted to be checked out because s/he just came back from a country with infectious diseases (country and possible diseases unknown).

Not to alarm anyone, but USA Today reported this morning than an American from North Carolina was infected with … ift.tt/1zvgjWj

Really good long-read story about how the current lead counsel for the NRA actually shot and murdered a couple o… ift.tt/1AtzdOM

So… this is a thing now: a conservative alternative to Facebook, called Reaganbook, because Reagan. reaganbook.com

Sarah, Possibly Drunk (You Decide), Serving Red Meat

You really have to see the video to believe it, but this write up gives a fair overview:

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin ripped President Obama on Saturday, saying in order to “save the Republic” Americans must “have the guts to talk about impeachment.”

Palin bashed Obama on a variety of topics, including immigration and veterans services during a speech before the 2014 Western Conservative Summit in downtown Denver.

“These days you hear all of these politicians, they denounce Barack Obama, saying he’s a lawless imperial and ignores court orders and changes laws by fiat and refuses to enforce laws he just doesn’t like,” she said.

“That’s true. But the question is, “Hey politicians, what are you going to do about it?’ ” Palin said, as the crowd in the Hyatt Regency ballroom roared.

The former governor of Alaska, Palin rose to prominence in 2008 when Sen. John McCain of Arizona tapped her as his running mate on the GOP ticket. When talk-radio host Dan Caplis introduced Palin, he billed her as the most influential woman in the history of the Republican Party.

Line after line about Obama fired up the crowd.

“If Obama won’t do his job and enforce the borders, then it’s not immigration, it’s invasion,” she said.

“We’re not going to dethrone God and substitute him with someone who wants to play God,” she also said.

I think Dave Neiwert said it best:

Did Sarah Palin get into Aunty Peggy Noonan’s jar of Magic Dolphin Pills before her speech in Denver this week?

It does have that slightly slurry quality that so defines Noonan which is a change for Palin who has been rather crisply incoherent in the past if nothing else. But the crowd loved it. As much as we don’t want to admit it, she really does speak for a large number of people in this country.

Also too, Sarah now has her own online pay-TV network. What is they say about suckers born every minute?

Fourth Circuit Overturns Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Ban

The religious right continues losing their reactionary culture war, as a federal appeals court strikes down Virginia’s ban on marriage equality.

And this ruling will also affect conservative bans on same-sex marriage in West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, so it’s a significant defeat for the forces of atavism.

“We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws,” the divided three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit in Richmond concluded.

[…]

The 4th Circuit opinion also will affect marriage laws in other states within its jurisdiction, including West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Only Maryland has legalized same-sex marriage.

Here in North Carolina, there are three cases which challenge the same-sex marriage ban.  In one of them, one of the plainitiffs is medically ill, and the ACLU has asked for expedited relief.  I expect the judge in that case will, in light of the Fourth Circuit decision, strike down NC's ban as well.

That might not mean gay marriage is coming to North Carolina.  More likely, it will be put "n hold" pending an inevitable Supreme Court decision.

Kudos to my nephew, Noah, for (eventually) getting Big Papi’s home run ball! ift.tt/1nyucjK

The Cost Of Obamacare Repeal

The GOP wants to run on repealing Obamacare in the upcoming elections?  How will that play at the state level?  A new Department of Health and Human Services report documents the impact federal subsidies under Obamacare are having on the insurance costs of people receiving them, and the Plum Line gives the bottom line:

But if subsidies were repealed, people would not lose coverage, instead seeing premiums jump from loss of the tax credit.

– In North Carolina, 357,584 people are paying an average monthly premium of $81 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsidies/cost increase of $300.

– In Michigan, 272,539 people are paying an average monthly premium of $97 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsidies/cost increase of $246.

– In New Hampshire, 40,262 people are paying an average monthly premium of $100 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsidies/cost increase of $290.

– In Louisiana, 101,778 people are paying an average monthly premium of $83 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsides/cost increase of $314.

– In Iowa, 29,163 people are paying an average monthly premium of $108 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsidies/cost increase of $243.

– In Alaska, 12,890 people are paying an average monthly premium of $94 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsidies/cost increase of $413.

– In Georgia, 316,543 people are paying an average monthly premium of $54 — and repeal would result in an average monthly loss of subsidies/cost increase in premiums of $287.

Let that be known.

UPDATE: Apparently, the courts are doing it for the GOP.  This morning, the D.C. Circuit court (the most conservative of the circuit courts) ruled in a case called Halbig v. Burwell.  Here is the D.C. Circuit Halbig ruling:

A federal appeals court dealt a huge blow to Obamacare on Tuesday, banning 
the federal exchange from providing subsidies to residents of the 36 states it serves.

A divided three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the text of the Affordable Care Act restricts the provision of premium tax credits to state-run exchanges. The two Republican appointees on the panel ruled against Obamacare while the one Democratic appointee ruled for the law.

"We conclude that appellants have the better of the argument: a federal Exchange is not an 'Exchange established by the State,' and section 36B does not authorize the IRS to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal Exchanges," Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote for the court in Halbig v. Burwell.

His ruling was joined in a concurring opinion by George H. W. Bush-appointed Judge A. Raymond Randolph, who said it would be a "distortion" to let the federal exchange provide subsidies. "Only further legislation could accomplish the expansion the government seeks," he wrote.

Carter-appointed Judge Harry T. Edwards voted to uphold the subsidies.

"This case is about Appellants’ not-so-veiled attempt to gut the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," Edwards wrote in his dissenting opinion.

The ruling is very troubling for the Obama administration because the subsidies are critical to the success of Obamacare. The law encourages states to build their own exchange, but if they don't the federal government operates one on their behalf. The subsidies, or premium tax credits, exist to help Americans between 133 percent and 400 percent of the poverty line buy insurance. That imperils the practicality of the individual mandate to get covered and the market regulations to protect sick people.

UPDATE #2:  Fourth Circuit to the rescue.  A few hours after this morning's D.C. Circuit case, the also-conservative Fourth Circuit comes out with an opinion in King v. Burwell, which goes in the other direction and upholds the subsidies in Obamacare.  The opinion is here.

Money quote:

No case stands for the proposition that literal readings should take place in a vacuum, acontextually, and untethered from other parts of the operative text; indeed, the case law indicates the opposite. National Association of Home Builders v. Defenders of Wildlife, 551 U.S. 644, 666 (2007). So does common sense: If I ask for pizza from Pizza Hut for lunch but clarify that I would be fine with a pizza from Domino’s, and I then specify that Iwant ham and pepperoni on my pizza from Pizza Hut, my friend who returns from Domino’s with a ham and pepperoni pizza has still complied with a literal construction of my lunch order. That is this case: Congress specified that Exchanges should be established and run by the states, but the contingency provision permits federal officials to act in place of the state when it fails to establish an Exchange. The premium tax credit calculation subprovision later specifies certain conditions regarding state-run Exchanges, but that does not mean that a literal reading of that provision somehow precludes its applicability to substitute federally-run Exchanges or erases the contingency provision out of the statute.

UPDATE #3:  I didn't realize this before, but the DC Circuit opinion was en banc.  It was not the full circuit.  Therefore, the 4th Circuit "wins" out for now.  The Obama administration is appealing the DC Circuit opinion to the full DC Circuit.

And we danced. With everyone at Dave Wils and Amanda Mitchell wedding ift.tt/1k3EBUa

RT @michaeljnelson: I’m looking forward to “Taken 3: Please for the Love of God Will You Stop Getting Taken?!”

Ripple Effect

Among the dead in the Malaysian Air shootdown — about 100 people from the World Health Organization going to an AIDS conference.  According to the Associated Press, the exact number of individuals who were killed on their way to the conference is unconfirmed. However, Australian officials have noted that “there is no doubt it’s a substantial number” that includes “medical scientists, doctors, people who’ve been to the forefront of dealing with AIDS across the world.”

Morons With Missiles

Yes, indeed.  Putin should be embarrassed.  

When you listen to the audiotapes, you become keenly aware that the pro-Russian separatists in the Ukraine are total boobs… or, as Josh Marshall writes:

The audio tapes posted by The New York Times might as well be from some future Russia-based version of Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show, a comical rendering of rustics and morons stumbling into an event of vast carnage and international consequence mainly because they're hotheads and idiots – the kind of people no one in their right minds would give world class weaponry to. It's like finding some white supremacist/militia types on their little compound in the inter-Mountain west and giving them world class missile launchers and heavy armaments.

This is a f'-up on Putin's part of almost mind-boggling proportions. Yes, a tragedy. Yes, perhaps an atrocity. But almost more threatening, a screw up. Malign intent is one thing. So is aggression. But goofs of this magnitude by someone who controls a massive military arsenal and nuclear weapons are in a way more threatening.

No Danger At All

So a bunch of children from Central America are trying to enter this country, and of course, the right wing is throwing fit because 'Merica.

The real issue is whether they are seeking asylum from persecution, in which case we have to, by law, let them into the country.  As opposed to them just being some lazy Spanish types who are trying to cross our borders to vote for Democrats (as the Republicans fear).

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and others have said that the unaccompanied children entering the United States hope to escape gang violence and drug dealers in their native land.

Well, a couple of GOP House members decided to find out for themselves.  Congressman Steve Pearce and a seven-member working group from the U.S. House of Representatives visited Guatemala and Honduras over the weekend.  And guess what?

They came to the conclusion that the reason the kids fled was because of economic reasons.  Here's the article that says so.

And here's the money quote from the article:

Pearce said he and the rest of the House delegation that visited Honduras and Guatemala did not venture from their hotel very often because of the dangers, but the message they received in both countries was consistent: "Send back our children."

Right. It's much too dangerous for God fearing Real Americans to venture out into the streets but little kids are wily and quick and they can slither out of the grasp of the violent criminals who want to kidnap, torture and kill them. Anyway, it's character building.

So send em back.  </sarcasm>

Somehow, I’m not surprised. I never quite trusted this product’s hype. ift.tt/1mWoWVN

Senile Old Man Talks Crazy Shit On CNN

Dick Cheney:

TAPPER: But do you think the decisions that you made, your administration really has nothing to do with what's going on in Iraq right now? 

CHENEY: I think, when we left office, we had, in Iraq, a very stable situation.

January 18, 2009 — two days before Obama took office:

Baghdad

– A roadside bomb detonated in front of the deputy Sahwa leader's house in Furat neighborhood in western Baghdad on Saturday night. Five people were injured including the Sahwa leader who had a serious injury.

– Three mortar shells hit Jamia’a neighborhood on Saturday night. One shell fell near an army check point. Two soldiers were wounded.

– A roadside bomb targeted an American patrol in Ameen neighborhood in eastern Baghdad around 11 a.m. Three people were wounded, Iraqi police said. The MNF-I response as the following “ Soldier died of wounds suffered following an improvised explosive device in eastern Baghdad Jan.18 at approximately 11 a.m”.

– A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Meshtal neighborhood in eastern Baghdad around 8 p.m. Two policemen were wounded.

– A roadside bomb targeted a trailer carrying blast walls in Jordan intersection in Yarmouk neighborhood in western Baghdad around 8:15 p.m. Two people were wounded.

– A roadside bomb detonated in front of Ibtisam restaurant in Palestine street in eastern Baghdad around 8:30 p.m. Eight people were wounded.

Mosul

– A roadside bomb detonated in Dorat al Swais neighborhood in Mosul around 4 p.m. Two people were wounded including one policeman.

– A suicide bomber targeted the former major general Hassan Zaidan, whose son Falah is a parliament member of the national dialogue blog at the Haj Ali village in Qaiyara (south of Mosul) around 6 p.m. Zaidan was killed in that incident.

Basra

– A magnetic bomb planted under a car belongs to an employee of the Basra prisons near a petrol station in western Basra city. The employee was wounded.

January 19, 2009 – the day before Obama took office and last day of Bush-Cheney

Baghdad

– A roadside bomb targeted a civilian car in Zafaraniyah neighborhood in eastern Baghdad near Siaada Gas factory and few yards from an army check point around 7 a.m. The driver was killed and seven other people, including a soldier, were wounded. The driver of the car was a captain from the Ministry of Interior, police said.

– Two roadside bombs targeted a police patrol in Amil neighborhood in western Baghdad around 2 p.m. Five people were wounded including two policemen.

Mosul

– A roadside bomb detonated in downtown Mosul around 11 a.m. Four people were wounded.

– A roadside bomb targeted an army patrol in the Bakir neighborhood in Mosul around 5 p.m. Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded.

In January alone, 372 Iraqi civilians were killed in violence. By the end of the year, an estimated total of 5,175 people were killed in Iraq.

That's what "very stable" means.

RT @flightradar24: Last positions of #MH17 directly from Flightradar24 database. Signal was lost around 13:21 UTC at 33,000 feet. http://t.…

For Mary Lea. At least you weren’t stupid. ift.tt/1t3MPLP

Oh, By The Way, No Benghazi Scandal

I wonder if Fox will touch this:

Military officers testified that there was no "stand-down order" that held back military assets that could have saved the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed at a diplomatic outpost and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya. Their testimony undercut the contention of Republican lawmakers.

The "stand-down" theory centers on a Special Operations team – a detachment leader, a medic, a communications expert and a weapons operator with his foot in a cast – that was stopped from flying from Tripoli to Benghazi after the attacks of Sept. 11-12, 2012, had ended. Instead, it was instructed to help protect and care for those being evacuated from Benghazi and from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

The senior military officer who issued the instruction to "remain in place" and the detachment leader who received it said it was the right decision and has been widely mischaracterized. The order was to remain in Tripoli and protect some three dozen embassy personnel rather than fly to Benghazi some 600 miles away after all Americans there would have been evacuated. And the medic is credited with saving the life of an evacuee from the attacks.

Transcripts of hours of closed-door interviews with nine military leaders by the House Armed Services and Oversight and Government Reform committees were made public for the first time on Wednesday.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the oversight panel, has suggested that Hillary Rodham Clinton gave the order, though as secretary of state at the time, she was not in the military chain of command.

Despite lingering public confusion over many events that night, the testimony shows military leaders largely in agreement over how they responded to the attacks.

And by the way, the article goes on to explain about time travel and how it is not possible:

Military officials differ on when that telephone conversation took place, but they agree that no help could have arrived in Benghazi in time. They put the call somewhere between 5:05 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. local time. It would take about 90 minutes to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi. The next U.S.-chartered plane to make the trip left at 6:49 a.m., meaning it could have arrived shortly before 9 a.m., nearly four hours after the second, 11-minute battle at the CIA facility ended at about 5:25 a.m.

 

Fun, especially if you remember the movie version. ift.tt/1qo9aSH

Grandfather shot and wounded the father, so the 11-year-old grandson show and killed the grandfather. Yay, guns!!!! fw.to/i3nBafD

That’s the chorus.

I can’t believe you like the person you’ve become. Perhaps you don’t recall the things you’ve done. And the investment I made. Weirdo.

….and there is a hurricane off the Florida coast. Sharks and a hurricane. That would be a cool movie. ift.tt/1lA28Ga

RT @AndyRichter: Who wants to watch “In Bruges” tonight?