A collection of newsworthy information as reported from newspapers, magazines, and blogs.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Supreme Court Will Not Stop Our President From Achieving An Affordable Health Care Act

During my first term as President, I passed the Affordable Health Care Act.

During my second term as President, I will pass the Affordable Health Care Act again.

The President knocks it out of the park once again.  He's definitely funny!  C-SPAN: President Obama at the 2012 White House Correspondents' Dinner - http://youtu.be/6IoVSbjmTZs

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Romney - "You Lie!" Now, I'll Never Trust You Again

Mitt Romney: He ‘Lied’ About Individual Mandate.


A “Below 8% Unemployment Figure” Was Never Promised by Mr. Obama.

Interestingly, the information to disprove this claim exists on the 

Romney campaign Web site. Far from being anything that Obama 

said, the Romney campaign acknowledges that this 8 percent figure 

comes from a staff-written projection issued Jan. 9, 2009 — before 

Obama had taken the oath of office.

As Mitt Romney begins to pivot from the long Republican primary fight to a likely November duel with President Barack Obama, he is re-launching some of his most repeated -- and inaccurate -- attacks of the incumbent president.

  • He said that the Obama administration pledged to keep unemployment below 8 percent, a comment that we have previously rated Mostly False.
  • He said repealing the federal health care law would save money, a comment we twice have ruled False.
  • Romney said Obama apologized for America abroad, a comment we first ruled False but later called Pants on Fire as Romney recycled the line.
  • And Romney said  please apply what we did in Massachusetts nationally on an individual mandate.   “What does it say about a candidate who [is] faced with an op-ed that he wrote a few years ago, goes in front of people, and tells them something that he knows is not true, that the press knows is not true, and that the people in the audience knows is not true?” 

Romney - You Lie!  Now, I'll never trust you again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Say It Loud - Let's Re-Elect President Obama

You are the President's voice out there. 

You will be the difference between voters hearing our message or not.  

It's on us to speak the truth.  

Here are five other things that should give Americans pause.  So print these out, post them on your fridge, and share them on Facebook.  Send this list around to friends who are on the fence.  When and if your mother-in-law, or cousin, or best friend claims that Romney is "moderate," you need to know what to say.

1. Romney's positions are the most radically anti-women of any candidate in a generation: He supports banning all abortions, backed a so-called "personhood" amendment that could make certain forms of birth control illegal, and says he would "get rid of" federal funding for Planned Parenthood that provides preventive services like cancer screenings for millions of women.

2. Romney would repeal Obamacare. Insurance companies would once again be allowed to run up premiums, unjustifiably deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, drop patients when they get sick, discriminate against women by charging them more for coverage than men, and spend more of your premium dollars on CEO profits and bonuses instead of your actual health care.

3. Romney is a risk when it comes to foreign policy and national security. On many of these questions, he has shifted his position for political reasons, even within the same campaign. His only clear commitment is to endless wars: He has no plan to end the war in Afghanistan and would leave our troops there indefinitely. He called the President's decision to bring our troops home from Iraq by last Christmas "tragic."

4. Despite the lessons of recent history, Romney would double down on the disastrous tax policies that handed windfalls to the wealthy, but stacked the deck against the middle class. Under Romney, millionaires and billionaires would get a $250,000 tax cut, while families with kids making less than $40,000 a year would, on average, actually see their taxes go up. To the surprise of no one, Romney also opposes the Buffett Rule. He would allow millionaires to continue to take advantage of loopholes and special deals that often allow them to pay a lower tax rate than the middle class. And he supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

5. Romney would end Medicare as we know it -- replacing it with a voucher scheme that would drive profits for insurance companies by forcing seniors to purchase private insurance, paying whatever costs a voucher wouldn't cover out of their own limited budgets. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Thanks Mr. President

President Obama has signed 39 tax cuts worth $400 billion for families and small businesses, giving a tax cut of about $3,600 to the typical working family in America.    

Guiding Principles

Restoring Fairness

For too long, the U.S. tax code has benefited the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of the vast majority of Americans. That’s why President Obama has successfully fought to cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses. And it’s why he has called for reforming our tax code and closing tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires as well as hedge fund managers, private jet owners and oil companies.

Supporting the Middle Class

On September 12, 2011 President Obama sent The American Jobs Act to Congress. In keeping with these principles, the American Jobs Act would put more money in the pockets of working and middle class Americans by cutting in half the payroll tax that comes out of the paycheck of every worker, allow more Americans to refinance their mortgage, and cut payroll taxes in half for 98 percent of businesses.

Making Taxes Consistent and Simple

In addition, the President supports making refundable tax credits permanent and simplify confusing provisions in the tax code, encouraging saving and creating a tax system that works for all Americans.
Warren Buffett, a billionaire, pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

Think that's unfair? So does Warren Buffett.

Right now, millionaires and billionaires have nearly the lowest tax rates they've had in 50 years, while everyone else picks up the tab.

So President Obama is asking Congress to pass a commonsense bill, known as the Buffett Rule, to fix the tax code and make sure that millionaires and billionaires pay at least the same share of their income in taxes as middle-class families.

The Buffett Rule would reduce the deficit while helping to pay for investments in education, clean energy, jobs, and other programs that will help our economy grow. 

Many Republicans are dead-set against this commonsense step, so the unfortunate reality is that next week's vote may not go our way.

But tax fairness is one of the defining issues in this election, and supporting this policy is one of the touchstones of this campaign.

Not only does Mitt Romney oppose the Buffett Rule, but he wants to protect special breaks and loopholes that help wealthy Americans like himself avoid paying their fair share -- and he wants to shower them with even more tax breaks paid for by middle-class families and seniors.

If that's not the kind of country you want to see for the next four years, do something about it now.

Join President Obama in urging Congress to pass the BuffettRule:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm confident that the "Affordable Health Care Act" will be upheld because it should be upheld

Obama said he was confident the Supreme Court "will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law" passed by Congress.

"I think it's important and I think the American people understand and I think the justices should understand that in the absence of an individual mandate, you cannot have a mechanism to ensure that people with pre-existing conditions can actually get health care," 

 "So, there's not only an economic element to this and a legal element to this, but there's a human element to this and I hope that's not forgotten in this political debate."  Conservative Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, says "it must be nice living in a fantasy world where every law you like is constitutional and every Supreme Court decision you don't is 'activist.  Judicial activism or restraint is not measured by which side wins but by whether the court correctly applied the law"

The three-judge appellate ordered the Justice Department to address whether the Executive Branch believes courts have the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional.  Appeals Court Judge Jerry Smith, a Reagan appointee, asked if DOJ agreed that the judiciary could strike down an unconstitutional law.  The DOJ lawyer, Dana Lydia Kaersvang, answered yes and mentioned Marbury v. Madison, the landmark case that firmly established the principle of judicial review more than 200 years ago.  The other two judges Emillio Garza and Leslie Southwich, both Republican appointees, remained silent.

The Supreme Court is the final say on our Constitution and our laws, and all of us have to respect it, but it's precisely because of that extraordinary power that the Court has traditionally exercised significant restraint and deference to our duly elected legislature, our Congress. And so the burden is on those who would overturn a law like this,"  I expect the Supreme Court actually to recognize that and to abide by well-established precedence out there. I have enormous confidence that in looking at this law, not only is it constitutional, but that the Court is going to exercise its jurisprudence carefully because of the profound power that our Supreme Court has," Mr. Obama said.

Smith requested a letter asking “What is the position of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, in regard to the recent statements by the president?  What is the authority is of the federal courts in this regard in terms of judicial review?"  In asking for the letter, Smith said: "I want to be sure you're telling us that the attorney general and the Department of Justice do recognize the authority of the federal courts, through unelected judges, to strike acts of Congress or portions thereof in appropriate cases."  Some conservative legal sources privately expressed disappointment in the appeals court's order, saying it appeared punitive and petty to demand the Justice Department defend a position it had never disputed in court.
"It was like he [the judge] was giving a homework assignment to an unprepared student," said one right-leaning lawyer, who opposed the law. "It has the effect of putting the judiciary on the defensive, and could give rise to concerns the courts will look at the law from a political, not constitutional perspective."

David Cordani is the CEO of Cigna, the nation's fourth-largest health insurer. He says the insurance industry started changing itself before the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010. And the changes will continue regardless of what happens at the high court.  "The broader health care debate is way larger than the individual mandate,"