10 things to know today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:
AP Wire
Mar 13, 2014


The revelation could focus the search for the missing Malaysian jetliner in the sea off the southern tip of Vietnam, near the plane's original flight path.


A tenant says an "unbearable" odor of gas permeated one of the buildings in East Harlem for weeks before the deadly blast.


The victory by a congressional candidate who pledged to repeal "Obamacare" gives the GOP what it believes will be a potent issue all the way to Nov. 4.


He says last-ditch diplomatic efforts could lead to a "rethinking" of Sunday's Russian-backed vote.


Francis has endeared himself to the public by looking out for the poor and shifting the church's focus to mercy rather than moralizing.


Rachel Canning's suit seeking child support and tuition has been settled "amicably," and the New Jersey family is now asking for privacy.


The court's ruling says the envoy — whose arrest and strip-search caused an international flap — had diplomatic immunity when she was indicted in New York City.


The canceled TV show gets new life on the big screen — thanks to 91,585 Kickstarter backers and their $5.7 million.


Arthur Chu caused an uproar among "Jeopardy" fans for his aggressive style of play — hopscotching around the board rather than following the usual practice of polishing off each category's questions in turn.


In just two days, the Denver Broncos have signed pass rusher DeMarcus Ware, cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward. The Lions signed WR Golden Tate for five years.



#3. In addition to being a referendum on Obamacare the election was also a referendum on immigration. The losing Democrat who greatly outspent the Republican challenger not only supported keeping but fixing Obamacare versus the winning Republican's position that it needs to be repealed, the Democrat supported amnesty (comprehensive immigration reform) for illegal aliens while the Republican opposed it. http://www.redstate.com/2014/03/...


Gets testy with Hispanic caller who says he can't afford Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act)

"I guess what I would say, if you looked at that person's budget, and you looked at their cable bill, their cell phone bill, other things that they're spending on, it may turn out that it's just they haven't prioritized health care because right now everybody is healthy." http://hotair.com/archives/2014/...

Of course, since he never takes responsibility for anything he does, Obama also blamed states that protected their budgets by not expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, so that the Hispanic gentleman, earning $36,000 per year, could keep his cable and smart phone and we would pay for his health insurance - what a guy!


#3. Conservatives seem to be able to read the Tea Leaves on the Jolly/Sink election (we couldn't make up those names) and discern a message the rest of us can't quite distinguish. Alex Sink lost by just 2% of the vote - 3,450 - in a special election held in March, in a district that the Republicans have held for something like 50 years, and where there are more registered Republicans than Democrats by double-digits. Which means Alex Sink pulled more Independents and some Republicans in. She was running on Obamacare - and received 90,000 grass root, small donations.

But then there is the McAuliffe/Cuccinelli Gubernatorial Race in Virginia where Democrat Terry McAuliffe won over Tea Party candidate Ken Cuccinelli. The campaign was based on Obamacare and he won - plus Virginia was hard hit by the 16-day government shutdown orchestrated by the Tea Party Congressional Caucus, which didn't help their cause.

A referendum on Obamacare? Looks like a wash to me. And House Republicans are (quietly) working on proposals to FIX rather than REPEAL Obamacare!! And immigration reform has been a bipartisan effort all along, with many proposals brought to us by Florida Republican Marco Rubio. Darn! - No matter how you draw the line, your dots just aren't connecting!

11. "..states that protected their budgets by not expanding Medicaid under Obamacare...". Better be careful here, Vlad. You are starting to spew nonsense again!

Study: Refusing Medicaid expansion will cost states billions of dollars.

"When the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the federal government could not compel states to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, it gave Republican opponents of the measure the opportunity to decline to participate in one of the law’s central tenets. But a new study estimates the decision not to participate will cost those states billions of dollars over the next decade — costs that will be passed on to taxpayers.

The Affordable Care Act requires the federal government to pay 100 percent of the costs of expanding Medicaid for three years. After that period, the law mandates the federal government pay 90 percent of the costs of expansion.

The 10 percent investment that would be left to the states, the study’s authors conclude, would be justified by the huge investments from the federal government.

Conversely, states that refuse Medicaid expansion will continue to be on the hook for billions in uncompensated care costs – as when uninsured residents visit the emergency room. By refusing to expand Medicaid, Texas will forgo $9.2 billion in federal funding in 2022, the authors said. Florida, another state that has said it won’t expand Medicaid, stands to lose more than $5 billion." http://www.washingtonpost.com/bl...

So, essentially, states that do not choose Medicaid expansion will be seriously hurting their residents in several ways:

a.) Deliberately leaving millions of people without health care insurance. Many of these states have some of the worst health outcomes in the nation with the highest number of people uninsured, and, coincidentally, also receive the highest amount of Federal dollars with paying the least amount of taxes.

b.) The Red State Governors who are refusing Medicaid Expansion are then passing the buck onto their taxpaying citizens for their deliberate and callous lack of concern about their respective state budgets, as the taxpaying citizens will now be picking up the tab for the uncompensated hospital ER costs that are now the only option for the uninsured.

As to that smart phone, the Koch Bros ALEC and their Big Communications Company benefactors are deliriously happy as it falls nicely into their model communications legislation that capitalizes on the popularity of cell phones, giving them carte blanche to erode regulation, oversight, and competition of the communications industry.


#3. "Young was a Republican, but many political observers gave Sink the edge in the St. Petersburg-area district where Barack Obama narrowly outpolled Mitt Romney. On paper, she was a stronger candidate, having been elected statewide (as chief financial officer, in 2006). Jolly is, as David Freddoso puts it, a lobbyist "with personal issues--a divorce, a girlfriend people referred to as his 'child bride,' and an auto accident from decades ago in which he'd killed someone." There was also a Libertarian in the race, who pulled nearly 5% of the vote. Nonetheless, Jolly won the seat with a 48.5% plurality.

Professional political observers and journalists touted the election as a bellwether. "It's rare in politics that anything other than a presidential contest is viewed as a 'must win'--but the special election in Florida's 13th District falls into that category for Democrats," wrote Stuart Rothenberg back in January:

A loss in the competitive March 11 contest would almost certainly be regarded by dispassionate observers as a sign that President Barack Obama could constitute an albatross around the neck of his party's nominees in November. And that could make it more difficult for Democratic candidates, campaign committees and interest groups to raise money and energize the grass roots.

Sure enough, here's National Journal's Josh Kraushaar:

The results are a clear warning sign to Senate Democrats, whose majority is threatened thanks to a Republican-friendly map and a national environment that's tilted in the GOP's favor. At least seven Democratic-held Senate seats are being contested in states more conservative than the Florida House battleground. Conservative groups, led by Americans for Prosperity, are already airing ads blasting Democratic senators for their support of Obamacare, and their attacks have negatively impacted the incumbents' poll numbers." http://online.wsj.com/news/artic... (And comparing a gubernatorial election to a Congressional election? Desperation!

#11. Ah, the Koch Brothers again - do they manufacture Obamaphones? http://youtu.be/tpAOwJvTOio

Medicaid expansion assumes the federal government will continue to reimburse states at the high levels promised in Obamacare. As we have seen, nothing in Obamacare is set in stone because Obama, and presumably future Presidents and Congresses can change it at will. Virtually none of the President's promises about Obamacare have been kept - if he lied to us about keeping insurance and doctors we like, and saving $2500 per family, who's to say he didn't lie about reimbursements?

There's also the issue of not having enough doctors and medical facilities to treat the large number of people who would sign up for the expanded entitlement.

Finally, although not of concern to liberals, there is the matter of principle - not expanding the welfare state further when what we have now is unsustainable, unless, of course, you raise taxes significantly on everybody - there aren't enough so-called "rich" to pay for all this. And, of course, not having insurance is not the same as not having health care, which has already been mandated by the feds.


#3. If you want to crow about your victory in Florida, have at it. I'm not willing to resort to hand-to-hand combat over David Jolly, who won, rather narrowly in a special election, a 10-month term. In a retirement state that elected Rick Scott, who was CEO of a health care company that, under his watch, has the distinction of orchestrating the largest Medicare fraud in the history of Medicare - bilking US taxpayers of over $1 Billion in fraudulent Medicare claims.

#11. "There's also the issue of not having enough doctors and medical facilities". So now you are complaining about all the new jobs being created by Obamacare, such as for PA's, nurses, medical technicians, construction of clinics, advances in streamlining protocols and procedures, IT technologies. Vastly more than the Keystone Pipeline XL that would initially create 42,000 jobs, but within two years drop down to about 50.

Of course, you have to know that you and I, as taxpayers, have been paying for health care costs for the uninsured since Rowdy King Reagan passed the bill in 1985. These are the extremely expensive costs for people who have no other option than to go to the ER for rashes and sore throats, or be admitted for advanced treatments for health issues that could have been prevented with basic preventive care.

And, finally, the Obamaphone video! Another Rowdy King Reagan piece of legislation. This is how it works. A conservative president signs the original legislation to allow for phone service for the poor, then another conservative president expands the program to give free cell phones to the poor. So now we have all levels of society saturated with cell phones.

Then, Koch Bros - heavily - funded - ALEC begins to slowly write lots of state model legislation with the missions of deregulation of the broadband communications industry, and the stripping away of consumer oversights and competition that would keep costs down. Then, as prices soar, and more of the fringe working poor end up qualifying for free Obamaphones, (even tho at this point Hillary will be president) Big Communications Corporations, through contracts to sell beaucoup numbers of cell phones to the gubmint, will have created a nice tidy bit of Corporate Welfare for themselves, in addition to even greater profits and monopolies than they already enjoy!

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