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Obamacare enrollment numbers exceed expected figures

Editors Note: I am reposting the article below by Michele Richinick from the MSNBC News Blog from Friday, September 19, 2014.

As always all appropriate, on topic, thoughts and comments are always welcome.

09/19/14 11:29 AM—UPDATED 09/19/14 1
++1:33 AM

Obamacare continues to deliver surprises.

The 7.3 million people who are now enrolled in government-sponsored health insurance plans exceeds the 6 million individuals the Congressional Budget Office predicted would register this year. The chief of Medicare revealed the recent data — the first since May — during a committee meeting on Thursday.

Such a large number originally seemed unlikely following the botched rollout of on Oct. 1 of this past year. Enrollment figures during the first month of sign-ups in the online marketplace fell far below the expected outcome. Many users and reporters gave the platform negative reviews because of corresponding widespread glitches, which initially prevented millions of Americans from registering for insurance plans. Some people believed President Barack Obama failed at dealing with the crisis.

On March 31, the deadline to register for coverage this year, the website wasn’t available in some cases to accept new applicants. Sign-ups were extended, and the open enrollment period ended in April instead.

As the GOP gears up for the midterm elections by renewing their attack on the Obama administration for the website’s flaws, a new report released earlier this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of uninsured Americans fell in the early months of this year. The figures depict a constant decline that began in 2010.

After the government worked out glitches in the online marketplace, and a new tech manager took over to deal with the troubled platform, Obamacare numbers have consistently met or surpassed goals. The president reached his target for enrollments by April when officials reported that more than 7 million people had signed up for Obamacare through federal exchanges.

The website serves Americans shopping for health plans in the 36 states that did not create individual exchanges.


GOPer allegedly says firing gay people is ‘freedom’

EDITORS NOTE:This article was copied from the MSNBC Blog Friday, September 19, 2014. As always all appropriate, on topic, thoughts and comments are welcomed.

GOPer allegedly says firing gay people is ‘freedom’
09/19/14 08:43 AM—UPDATED 09/19/14 10:07 AM

By Michele Richinick

Firing gay people is a “freedom” employers enjoy, North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger allegedly said, drawing condemnation from gay rights groups.

“It’s like smoking bans,” the Republican congressman reportedly told a writer from ThinkProgress at a town hall meeting in Charlotte earlier this month when asked if he supported legislation to protect gay people from discrimination at work. “Do you ban smoking or do people have the right to private property?”

“I think people have the right to private property. If you have a business, do you want the government to come in and tell you you need to hire somebody? Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy?” Pittenger allegedly said, according to NBC News Charlotte.

His communications director denied to msnbc that Pittenger discussed “firing gay individuals.”

“After the event, a blogger asked for an interview and then asked about [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act]. His opposition to ENDA was ‘translated’ into ‘firing gays’ by that blogger,” the director, Jamie Bowers, wrote in an email to msnbc on Friday.

Following the event, Pittenger issued a response acknowledging that “Americans are well protected already.”

“Where does it stop? Is the next regulation going to prohibit a layoff even during an economic downturn? Will the next law mandate full employment? Where does the government’s role in dictating our daily lives end? That’s the debate we should be having,” he said in a statement.

In 29 states, including North Carolina, it is legal for employers to fire workers based on their sexual orientation. Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court began allowing same-sex couples to wed, but residents in half the country still risk being fired or turned down for a job, simply for being gay. Hundreds of companies, however, have authorized policies protecting LGBT employees.

Despite the nonexistence of such laws in the Old North State, many people said Pittenger’s remarks were discriminatory. The Human Rights Campaign, which strives for equality among LGBT citizens, is asking residents to sign a petition condemning the congressman’s comments. The Charlotte Observer also called out the politician in an op-ed on Tuesday, which pointed out that government intervention once was necessary to secure basic civil rights for African-Americans against racial discrimination.

In his continuing efforts to improve the lives of LGBT individuals in the country, President Barack Obama earlier this summer signed an executive order banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by federal contractors. He also formally amended a separate measure to include workplace protections for transgender employees of the U.S. government. The order doesn’t protect all LGBT employees, but it applies to about 20% of the national workforce.

Obama has also urged Congress to act on the ENDA, which would ban any manager from firing, refusing to hire, or otherwise discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The U.S. Senate passed a version of the bill last November, but it remains in the House. Its first incarnation was initially proposed on the House floor in 1974.

Another Republican, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, compared homosexuality to alcoholism at an event earlier this year. Perry, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in the 2012 election, is eyeing another possible presidential bid in 2016 as he serves his last term as governor.

The Pending Goverment Shutdown.

With the deadline fast approaching  it seems like all the Republican and the Tea Party want to do is play more games. The latest that I heard is the Teapublicans are willing to pass a temporary budget but only if Present Obama  delays implanting The Affortable Health Care act for one year. They’re are also a demanding that the President  severely restrict or abolish woman’s access and rights to contraceptives.

They say that thy really don’t want to shut down the Government and are just trying to protect the American people. To this I say B☆☆l S☆☆☆t. The only thing they’re are trying to protect is themselves and the wishes of there finachal backers on the far, far right.

The poor, the uninshured and the underinsured are the ones that the AFC would help the most but they and the majority of women do not vote Republican so they don’t seem to matter to them. The majority of people that I know and have spoken to like and want the ACA and a woman’s right to contraceptives is granted to them by law. But this doesnt seem to matter to the Teapublicans one bit in there efforts to turn back the clock.

Another thing that makes the Teapublicans so afraid of the ACA is a little known fact of a 1930’s federal law that gives consumers the right to register to vote when they sign up for insurance and no matter how much they try they can’t stop it. Imagen what a nightmare that would be for the Teapublicans, a bunch of poor working people registering to vote!

As much as I hate to say it I hope they go ahead with their plan. I hope the President stands firm for the American people and calls their bluff. And if they do shut down the government I hope every American voter remembers this when they go to the poles in both 2014 and 2916.

I am sorry if this post is very choppy and for any misspelled words but besides having my dander up I am also trying to type this on a new cell phone and I am still in the process of learning all the buttons and gizmos. As always feel free to post your comments and questions to this and any other post that I have published.













Even On Mother’s Day

Editors Note:  For more on gun violence and the need for enhanced gun background checks watch the attached You Tube video from MSNBC  “The Rachel Maddow Show”  To give you some quick background information the show was broadcast the day after Mothers Day and  dealing with the shooting that happened at the New Orleans Mother’s Day Parade in which numerous bystanders, including a 10-year-old boy and girl, were wounded.

Also for anyone keeping track this is my first attempt to add a video to this blog. If this works I will try adding more video’s not only to bolster my point but also hopefully make this blog more interesting for you to read and watch.

As always please feel free to send in any questions, comments or concerns you might have and I will try to address them.

To view the video please click on the hyperlink below.

A Time For Action

Meet the 45 Senators Who Blocked Background Checks
—By Dana Liebelson Wed Apr. 17, 2013 5:25 PM PDT

President Obama said that “there was no coherent argument for why we wouldn’t do this. It came down to politics.”

An amendment proposed by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to require background checks for commercial gun sales (but not for sales between “friends and neighbors”) was shot down Wednesday afternoon in a 54-46 vote, failing to capture the 60 votes it needed to advance. The bill would have been a modest victory for gun control advocates, while ceding numerous concessions to the gun lobby (the NRA initially called it a “positive development.”) Nevertheless, only four Republicans voted for the proposal, with 41 voting against it. Five Democrats rejected the proposal as well (Reid was a special case; see below). Standing with families of Sandy Hook victims, President Obama said that “there was no coherent argument for why we wouldn’t do this. It came down to politics.”

More MoJo coverage of the Senate’s failed background check bill.

Here’s Why the NRA Won and Gabby Giffords and Mike Bloomberg Lost
“Shame On You!”: Senate Rejects Gun Background Check Compromise
Why Did These 4 Democrats Vote No on Gun Background Checks?
Have You Seen Mitch McConnell’s Facebook Page?
10 Reasons the Background Check Bill Means Victory for the NRA
Map: Most Americans Support Background Checks for All Gun Buyers

Also read our special report on gun laws and the rise of mass shootings.

Here’s a list so you can see how your Senator voted:

Republicans Who Voted for the Proposal
◾Susan Collins (R-ME)
◾Mark Kirk (R-IL)
◾John McCain (R-AZ)
◾Pat Toomey (R-PA)

Democrats Who Voted Against the Proposal
◾Max Baucus (D-MT)
◾Mark Begich (D-AK)
◾Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
◾Mark Pryor (D-AR)
◾Harry Reid (D-NV) (Voted “no” as a procedural move to preserve option to reintroduce the bill.)

republicans Who Voted Against the Proposal
◾Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
◾Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
◾John Barrasso (R-WY)
◾Roy Blunt (R-MO)
◾John Boozman (R-AR)
◾Richard Burr (R-NC)
◾Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
◾Dan Coats (R-IN)
◾Tom Coburn (R-OK)
◾Thad Cochran (R-MS)
◾Bob Corker (R-TN)
◾John Cornyn (R-TX)
◾Mike Crapo (R-ID)
◾Ted Cruz (R-TX)
◾Michael Enzi (R-WY)
◾Deb Fischer (R-NE)
◾Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
◾Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
◾Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
◾Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
◾Dean Heller (R-NV)
◾John Hoeven (R-ND)
◾Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
◾Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
◾Mike Johanns (R-NE)
◾Ron Johnson (R-WI)
◾Mike Lee (R-UT)
◾Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
◾Jerry Moran (R-KS)
◾Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
◾Rand Paul (R-KY)
◾Rob Portman (R-OH)
◾James Risch (R-ID)
◾Pat Roberts (R-KS)
◾Marco Rubio (R-FL)
◾Timothy Scott (R-SC)
◾Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
◾Richard Shelby (R-AL)
◾John Thune (R-SD)
◾David Vitter (R-LA)
◾Roger Wicker (R-MS)

democrats Who Voted for the Proposal
◾Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
◾Michael Bennet (D-CO)
◾Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
◾Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
◾Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
◾Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
◾Ben Cardin (D-MD)
◾Thomas Carper (D-DE)
◾Bob Casey (D-PA)
◾Christopher Coons (D-DE)
◾William “Mo” Cowan (D-MA)
◾Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
◾Richard Durbin (D-IL)
◾Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
◾Al Franken (D-MN)
◾Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
◾Kay Hagan (D-NC)
◾Tom Harkin (D-IA)
◾Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
◾Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
◾Tim Johnson (D-SD)
◾Timothy Kaine (D-VA)
◾Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
◾Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
◾Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
◾Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
◾Carl Levin (D-MI)
◾Joe Manchin (D-WV)
◾Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
◾Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
◾Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
◾Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
◾Christopher Murphy (D-CT)
◾Patty Murray (D-WA)
◾Bill Nelson (D-FL)
◾John Reed (D-RI)
◾Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
◾Brian Schatz (D-HI)
◾Charles Schumer (D-NY)
◾Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
◾Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
◾Jon Tester (D-MT)
◾Mark Udall (D-CO)
◾Tom Udall (D-NM)
◾Mark Warner (D-VA)
◾Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
◾Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
◾Ron Wyden (D-OR)

◾Angus King (I-ME): Yea
◾Bernie Sanders (I-VT): Yea

Front page image: Jay Mallin/ZUMA Press
Dana Liebelson
Dana Liebelson is a reporter in Mother Jones’ Washington bureau. Her work has also appeared in The Week, TIME’s Battleland, Truthout, OtherWords and Yahoo! News. RSS | Twitter


The article above by written by Denna Liebelson appeared in Mother Jones.

I strongly suggest that every one check where their Senator’s name is and ask you to please call, write or email then to tell them thank you for voting yes or shame on you for voting no and explain why you think they shooed not have voted the way they did.

I believe that the no votes were primarily bough  directly by the NRA, either in the form of promised campaign backing or threats against withholding support.

I strongly support the idea that it is time for us the American people to start taking back control of our government. For way to long groups, backed by and financed by, outside interest such as the Koch brothers, American Legislative Exchange Committee (ALEC), Americans for Prosperity, and high-priced Washington Lobbyist, to name just a few, have been calling the shots behind the scene.  It is time that We The People let our voices be heard loud and clear. It’s time to remind our elected officials who voted them into office and who at the next election can vote them out of office.

As ex Congress Women Gabby Gifford, a victim herself of gun violence  said “If our Senators refuse to act to prevent gun violence I think that it is time to get new Senators” If everyone reading this post takes just a few minuets to call, write or email their Senator to express there view on enhanced background checks for parching guns and encouraged at least one more person to do the same I think that we might start to see a change. as always please let me know your Senators reply. Thanks.


Save Social Security and Medicare from Budget Cuts and Chained CPI



The Power of One


UAW chief: War on workers not the answer

The article below was written my Mr. Bob King  president of the United Auto Workers and appeared in the Tuesday, November 20, 2012 issue of The Bay City Times opinion page D 1 as a guest columnist.

” I want to thank the Times for publishing the guest editorial ” Don’t even think about right-to-work law” (Nov. 15).

The editorial calls on Gov. Rick Snyder to stand firm against fellow Republicans who want to divide Michigan voters with a push for right-to-work legislation.

I agree. What our state needs right now is a climate of cooperation. It’s time to get back to work in creating economic success.

The UAW is committed to working with all sectors to create jobs and prosperity for all Michiganders,  just as we have done in the auto industry with General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and many suppliers.

In 2008, the auto crisis threatened thousands of much-needed jobs and critical revenue for our state.

We did it together

Today the domestic industry is roaring back. There is new investment in factories, more jobs created in our state and work coming to Michigan from overseas.

This is a testament to the sacrifice made by UAW members and government, labor and the community, working together to find sensible economic solutions.

We are proud to have shown the world that it can be done, and that collective bargaining is part of that formula for success.

A recent poll by Progress Michigan and the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center showed strong support for collective bargaining in Michigan. A strong majority of voters ( 70 percent) continue to support the right of workers to organize and bargain over wages, benefits, and working conditions.

The poll also showed that with the election behind us, voters overwhelmingly (83 percent agree, 64 percent strongly agree) are ready for politicians in Lansing to get to work creating jobs and improving education, not changing rules about unions.

It is time to halt the bickering. A war against workers is not the answer.

It is time to move forward. It’s time to get to work in creating a better Michigan.

Let’s draw those lines.

The editorial stated that Gov. Snyder has repeatedly said right-to-work legislation is not part of his agenda and that he should go further. It called on the governor to boldly pronounce that he doesn’t want to see a bill on his desk. It goes even further to encourage the governor to say that if a bill does appear, he will veto it.

We agree. What’s good for working families is good for business and good for  Michigan.

Together let’s devote our energies and resources to fostering mature relationships to save jobs, create more jobs and make this state attractive to those who share those mutual goals.”

Another stab at right-to-work ?

The below listed article was written by Mr. Rick Haglund of Michigan Business and appeared in the Sunday, November 18,2012 issue of “The Bay City Times” Michigan Business page D 1.

I agree with what Mr. Haglund says in the article and suggest that it should be taken as a warning to all who oppose right-to-work laws in Michigan.

” There’s much speculation that lawmakers soon will take upright-to-work legislation after voters rejected a ballot proposal that would have locked collective bargaining rights in the state constitution.

Former Kalamazoo-area State Rep. Jack Hoogendyke, who is pushing to make Michigan a right-to-work state, says now is the time.

Right-to-work laws prohibit companies from negotiation contracts with unions that require the payment of union dues.

” If conditions were ever perfect for this to happen, they are right now.” Hoogendyk, who represents an organization called Michigan Freedom to Work, said in a news release last week.

Or are they?

Yes, voters rejected guaranteeing collective bargaining rights in the state constitution.

And there is support for right-to-work among Republican lawmakers who control the Legislature.

But not all legislative leaders are on board. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville has said he is opposed to right-to-work.

Gov. Rick Snyder continues to dance around the issue. Snyder told reporters the day after the Nov. 6 election that right-to-work still is not on his agenda because it is too divisive.

But Hoogendyke points out there’s a YouTube video of Snyder ( see it at ) in which he said in 2010 he would sign a right-to-work bill should one reach his desk.

Rep. Mike Shirkey, a Grass Lake Republican who has been itching to introduce right-to-work legislation for months, isn’t convinced Snyder is supportive.

And Shirkey told me for a post-election story I wrote for Bridge magazine he will not introduce a bill until he knows Snyder will sigh it.

” I’m not going to give up, but having the governor’s support is absolutely key to this.” he said.

Shirkey says he supports collective bargaining rights but says workers should have the right to decide whether they want to be part of a labor union.

Unions say right-to-work laws create ” free riders, ” workers in union shops who don’t pay union dues but who are represented by unions in contract negotiations and grievance proceedings.

And that’s the point.  Right -to-work advocates are counting on lots of workers covered by union contracts to opt out of paying dues, shrinking the financial muscle of labor unions.

Some lawmakers and business lobbyists say the unions brought on this fight by putting collective bargaining on the ballot.

But union leaders say it was the right-to-work saber-rattling that pushed them to try to protect collective bargaining, especially for public workers.

Hoogendyke is stretching it when he says this is the ” perfect ” time to enact right-to-work. But bad blood between labor and right-to-work supporters ensures the issue won’t soon go away.”


Making Michigan a Right To Work State

The post copied below was taken from a Republican blog dated 12 November 2012. I think that it is a very good example of what I have said before (see earlier post about proposal 2) that if proposal 2 did not pass what would happen.

In the past Governor Snyder has said that ” making Michigan a right to work state was not on his agenda.” Now that doesn’t mean that it is not on the Legislators agenda and he has refused to say if he will sign it into law is it comes across his desk from the State Legislators.

The Michigan House and Senate have 80 some bills right now ready to go to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law such as the Right to Work for Less bill, a bill to abolish the Michigan Health and Safety Act, and a bill making it illegal in the State of Michigan for workers to picket. just to name a few.

    In the next few articles that I post I will try to show why I think that making Michigan a Right To Work State would be a very grave mistake and would severely hurt Michigan Workers while making Michigan Corporations and the upper 1 to 2 % richer and the middle class and the poor even poorer than they all ready are.
     I should also note that the facts and figures listed below by Mr. Hogendyde come directly from the Mackinaw Center which is directly associated with and receives a large part of its financing from the American Legislative Exchange Committee (A.L.E.C.) which I will also try to explain more about in the following posts.

By J. Gillman
Jack Hoogendyk offers a timely opinion on a very important matter.

It is time for Michigan to become a right-to-work state. If ever the conditions were perfect for this to happen, they are right now. Consider:

•We have a Speaker of the House who has publicly expressed support for RTW.
•A solid majority of House members and, I believe, Senate members have expressed a willingness to vote for a RTW law, if it comes to a vote on the floor.
•We have a Governor who has pledged to sign a RTW bill if it gets to his desk.
•We have a veto-proof majority in the Senate.
•Three unabashedly pro-union ballot proposals were soundly defeated at the polls last week.
•Indiana became the 23rd RTW state this year.
•Wisconsin, the birthplace of public-sector unions has beaten back multi-million-dollar efforts by the union bosses to recall the governor and many legislators. In spite of their efforts, the governor remains and the Assembly and Senate have retained or won back Republican majorities.
•Polling data has shown that a solid majority of Michigan residents support RTW for Michigan.
•We are entering the “lame-duck” session, a time when anything can happen, and usually does.
•There is a wealth of data to give evidence that right-to-work states create more jobs, more wealth, fewer residents on welfare, higher per-capita disposable income, and much more. Find the data here and here.
With all this compelling data, and circumstances being as ideal as they have ever been, what is holding up the legislation that has already been written, from being introduced in the House and the Senate?

The answer lies with one person, the Majority Leader of the Senate, Randy Richardville. He has gone on record opposing RTW in Michigan. In spite of the fact that a majority in the House and the Senate, and the people of Michigan support RTW, and the governor has agreed to sign the bill, Mr. Richardville has flatly refused to support this bill.

It is time to encourage the Majority Leader to support RTW or to respectfully ask him to step out of the way and allow this bill to be heard and voted on. He can vote against it if he wishes, but I believe the Senate will pass it if given the opportunity, the House will follow suit, and the Governor will quickly sign it.

Please contact Randy Richardville here and respectfully ask him to give Right-to-work for Michigan an up or down vote. Let’s put job creation in the Great Lakes State on the fast track.


Jack Hoogendyk


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