Code Blue :: Activism

Early Vote (now!) in North Carolina. Here's handy county Location list, map and Hours. Email Print

Early voting started Thursday. Bank your vote ahead at one of the vote centers in your county – so you don't get caught up in the "precinct shuffle" (disqualifying shenanigans) that can happen on Election Day.

Click below to see link to interactive map, with hours.

NC_map_mini

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Chris Christie. The Governor (of the National Pork Producers Council, Iowa) Email Print

Why did Chris Christie veto the agriculture bill to ban the farming practice that confines pregnant sows inside narrow, immobilizing "gestation crates"? Does it owe to Iowa being first-in-the-nation to hold its voting caucus for the Presidential nomination, in 2016? Iowa is the No. 1 hog producing state.

In May, the Des Moines based National Pork Producers Council (NPCC) contacted governor Christie and instructed him to not let the bill become law. The bill to ban the inhumane caging of pregnant sows passed the New Jersey legislature overwhelmingly in the spring, by votes of 60 - 5 in the Assembly and 29 - 4 in the state Senate.

g_crates

  The 2' x 7' cages for breeding sows are too narrow to permit the animals to turn around freely.  They are widely regarded as inhumane confinement. Supporting the assembly and Senate vote, a survey of New Jerseyans (Mason-Dixie) has 91% in favor of ending the practice, 4% opposed.

Christie vetoed the bill in June. Two months later, he vetoed 3 gun-control measures, one he had first proposed himself — after the lobby group Pro-Gun New Hampshire sent warnings they were watching him on these bills. (More info on the gun vetoes here.)

Increasingly, Christie will govern with an eye to Iowa and New Hampshire, instead of his own state interests.

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House: a Majority in name only. Is John Boehner Speaker in name only (SPINO)? Email Print

Let's face facts. When the votes were counted in November 2012, Democrats running for the House collected 1.7 million more votes than Republicans. For Democratic members, the ballots totaled 60.2 million and for Republican members, 58.5 million. (see link, pdf pg 15)

So it's fair to ask: is John Boehner of Ohio a SPINO, a Speaker in Name only?

The House majority from 2012 was manufactured almost entirely from the gerrymanders rammed through statehouses in 2010 that sent more R's than D's to the Capitol to take seats in the House of Representatives, 234-201.

The House is supposed to be proportional representation. It's not.



Vote counts by party for House of Representatives, 2012




HR result  

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Will Boehner get rid of premium rebates? Email Print

In August, insurers who overbilled subscribers in 2012 refunded $504 million. The rebates are required by law by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

From the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Aug. 5:

Next round of health insurance rebate checks going out

by Christopher Snowbeck

In two years, St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis has received nearly $25,000 in rebates from its health insurance company.

The rebate checks have been so large that they cover nearly all of the cost of the church's feeding ministries, said Sally Cuningham, a lay leader with the church.

"Our Sunday night supper costs us about $8,000 per year -- just for that one feeding," Cuningham said during a news conference Monday at the state Capitol. "And that's just one of the three ministries."

Cuningham joined U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., at the St. Paul news conference timed to coincide with the mailing of rebate checks, which were scheduled to be sent by Aug. 1.

The federal health care law of 2010 created the rebate rule, which requires certain insurance companies to spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar on patient care and quality improvement. If too much of the premium dollar goes to other things, insurers must issue consumer rebates.

The full list by state is published here at cms.gov website (pdf page)

The rebates vary by state. Here are some for individual subscribers (not in a group employer plan).

 - In FLA, 300,000 covered individuals get a rebate check averaging $164 per family ($40 million to individual households in Fla.)

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Dec 12, 2012 school attack with knife, 23 assault victims. 23 survived. Email Print

It's time to overcome timidity, the common wisdom and "consensus" seeking lawmakers -- and move to the floor of the Senate all major proposals for gun control. Time to face down the opposition. Senators can recognize what a majority of Americans have now come to realize and accept.

On December 12, 2012, in a primary school in Henan province, China, a 30-year old man carrying a long knife and unfiltered rage inflicted a senseless attack on 22 helpless children and 1 adult at the Chenpeng village school.  That fateful morning 23 victims were stabbed and wounded, and needed hospitalization.

In Henan China, 23 assault victims survived. In Newtown Connecticut, USA,  20 children and 6 adults succumbed to multiple gunshots. And lost their lives.

In the aftermath of the murders in Newtown, a convincing majority of Americans now desire curtailing assault weapons, says a recent poll from Quinnipiac University. In the April 4 poll, 59% favor a "nationwide ban" on the sale of assault weapons, and 36% are opposed.  

Even in GOP-friendly regions, the support holds up.  58% in the West and 60% in the South favor the ban.

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Hide this Presidential poll (Investors Business Daily) Email Print

The IBD-TIPP poll now has an even national race (O +0.7), and reports "Obama holding a slender 46.7% to 46.0% edge over Romney" (Likely voters).

* Obama's slight edge, which has emerged in the last 3 days, has in large part been built on a drop in independent support for Romney

On the front page of Investor's Business Daily:

"IBD/TIPP Poll: Obama Up 0.7 Point For 3rd Day"

It is a turn from what had been a 5-point lead for Romney in the IBD/TIPP poll release three days earlier, and from a 2-point lead for Romney four days earlier.

Yesterday's release of reults for IBD/TIPP was similar:

Day 5: Oct. 13, 2012

Obama: +0.7

Obama 46.4% | Romney 45.7%

In a further sign of a tight presidential race, the results remained unchanged in our most recent sounding of likely voters.

The bounce that took place immediately after Romney's strong performance in the debate with Obama seems to have diminished.



You'll have trouble finding any of the 3 days of poll releases posted at the usual suspect places (the wires, politico, networks etc.).

Here is today's update.

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John Boehner: Repeal THIS. Email Print

Rebate checks to subscribers from insurers

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives stages a dramatic – and pointless – spectacle to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  aka Obamacare.

For the GOP reps, the grounds they've claimed for reversing the law is to hold off costs for patients and keep the feds out of all things health and insurance related. Medicare excepted.

But what if a true repeal actually stopped your insurance carrier from sending a check in the mail to you? Not a future, theoretical check but an immediate, summer/2012 (due August 1) rebate.

For some Americans who hold individual policies, insurance carriers are rebating to 4 million of their subscribers excess premium collected, $390 million worth, required to be refunded Aug. 1.  Across 44 states, the average family refund, if your insurer overbilled, is $152 (sorry Arkansas, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont - at least in the initial published list, your carriers were efficient enough that your states are out of the running).

There's wide variation across states:  $240 on average for 300,000 subscribers in FLA, $193 for 24,000 in LA, $205 for 99,000 in Michigan, $139 for 181,000 in Missouri, $651 for 15,000 in Mississippi, $203 for 16,000 in Montana, $218 for 26,000 in NC, $267 for 30,000 in Nebraska, $106 for 130,000 in Oklahoma, $360 for 13,000 in OR, $238 for 133,000 in PA, $227 for 105,000 in SC, $356 for 657,000 in TX -- a whopping $134 million for the state of Texas alone.  Also $383 for 10,000 in WV, and $356 for 5,000 in Wyoming.

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How to End Campaign Finance Worries with Internet Voting Email Print

Like the horseless carriage 100 years ago, Internet voting is coming to the USA. Not only is it convenient and green, but security has been proven manageable by e-commerce.

An Internet voting system, rightly organized, can even neutralize the power of Big Money in all US elections. Democracy in the US can be enhanced immensely.  But how would that work?

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A Jobs Recovery - but are lawmakers cutting positions as fast as they can? Email Print

Firms in the private sector have added positions steadily since the spring of 2010, after painful shrinkage in 2008 and 2009.




The numbers, in thousands (000) and seasonally adjusted, are tallied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and they show a persistent drag on the economy from repeated reductions in headcount for teachers and public sector union employees.

These are decisions made in statehouses by our elected officials.

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The Picture backdrop at Reagan library debate Email Print

At the candidates presidential debate (MSNBC - Politico), the Republican contenders will vie to reclaim the mantle of the Ronald Reagan legacy. Here it is, in a surprise image:






It should be framed in gilt. The decade of the 80s begat the RR tax-cut and job-export policies (the notorious "twin deficits" of trade and federal budgeting) that flipped the US abruptly to net debtor nation status.

This was the natural outcome of "less is more" tax optimism ideology.

The roaring 80s was the first modern time when the country wasn't at war that the U.S. turned to finance the economy by giving foreigners ownership of more assets of ours than we had a stake in theirs.

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FTC Ruling-Consumer Rights Email Print

As a result of the FTC ruling, consumers now how the right to choose their own funeral goods and services regardless of the local funeral home they choose. This ruling means that when consumers buy their caskets online the consumer is protected so that the rest of the funeral service prices don't get padded or increased. Funeral homes are required by law to supply everyone with an itemized price list upon request. Once they have the price list in hand, then it is safe to purchase their Solid Wood Caskets online and have it delivered to "any" funeral home nationwide.

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Do Horse Betting Online Email Print

Horse Racing is a sport that has been around for centuries and has a very rich history of tradition and culture. One of the factors that have made it this way is the race tracks themselves and what they bring to the sport. I just find them very interesting and powerful animals I believe. I don't even know how to ride one but I feel so delighted every time I see horses everywhere. If you're looking for a good place to place bets on horse racing then Racebook.com is the way to go.

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Al Gore And Media Access Email Print

Yes, once again we hear the clamoring from the media that Al Gore is only allowing them five minutes in the room with him before giving his presentation on Aruba going green this next week...

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Tax cuts vs Social Security, dollars at stake Email Print

Most budget cassandras have Social Security right in their sights. Wyoming Republican Alan Simpson, the co-chair of the president's Deficit-reduction commission, has compared it to a "milk cow" in a vulgar broadside against the program. Each SS retiree, meanwhile, is pulling in a yearly average benefit of $13,900 — after having socked away a chunk or his or her paycheck into the fund continually through the working years.



Congress and the electorate can face up to a funding choice.

The SS fund has two sources of income: 1) the payroll tax and 2) interest income it receives every year on Treasury bonds it acquired when it had lent billions of dollars to the Treasury from surpluses it accumulated. Actuaries figure the fund's outflow will start to exceed its total yearly income around 2025. Over a 75-period, with no adjustments, the shortfall would amount to 0.7% of gross domestic product.

So to redress the shortfall during the 75-year actuarial period would require a dollar amount that's about 0.7% of GDP for the period.

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Obama Has done Exactly What He Promised to Do Email Print

We should've been so lucky as to have genuine single-payer, universal healthcare here like the dangerous and frightening socialists abroad.

We would've been ecstatic to welcome ALL of our soldiers back from desert wastelands to our beloved fields of grain and purple mountains majesty.

We could've sighed with relief as those who built the catalyst for financial collapse were brought swiftly and brutally to justice.

But reality got in our way.

In particular, we met a pipsqueak, congressional minority eager to abuse the power of filibuster, a belligerent foe willing to fill the void of a U.S.-less Iraq, a resurgent Taliban, and an economy that would cease to exist without a functioning banking system.

With all that, with all the obstacles, with all the critics (from both sides of the aisle), Obama was still able to fulfill the key promises of his campaign.

Below, I've compiled what I believe to be the presidents most important promises fulfilled.


Top 9 Obama Promises Kept (So Far)

1) Funded Stem Cell Research

Cell therapy is the medicine of the next century. It's the approach that has the potential to be the most game-changing medical advance since the introduction of antibiotics. George W. Bush's halt to federally funded stem-cell research, delaying progress for nearly a decade, was a crime against humanity. If there is any issue upon which Obama has restored hope, it is here, and we should all be eternally grateful.

Numbers two through eight are after the jump.

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