"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

KTRS Video: GOP Activist Chris Arps Responds To Clinton’s Visit to St. Louis

June 29th, 2015 by Mark Truman ·

Hat tip: KTRS550TV

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Tags: St. Louis · Videos

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VIDEO: Sen. Blunt Reiterates Calls For Stopping U.S.-Iran Negotiations Until U.S. Hostages Are Released

June 29th, 2015 by Mark Truman ·

During a speech on the U.S. Senate floor, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) raised concerns over the lack of U.S. influence in the ongoing Iranian nuclear negotiations. Blunt also reiterated his calls for the Obama Administration to cease all negotiations until the American hostages detained in Iran are released, including Pastor Saeed Abedini, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, and Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, and until Iran cooperates with the U.S. in locating former FBI official Robert Levinson.

Related:

Iranian Leaders Demand Immediate Sanctions Relief In Nuclear Deal, In Sharp Contrast To Obama Administration Statements

AP: “Former Guantanamo Detainees Are Back In The Middle East And Returning To Terrorist Organizations”‏


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Politico: Obamacare Is Still “Highly Unpopular, And Significant Structural Issues Remain”‏Politico: Obamacare Is Still “Highly Unpopular, And Significant Structural Issues Remain”

June 29th, 2015 by Mark Truman ·

Despite the triumphant rhetoric from President Obama and Democrats in Congress, yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Court on federal exchange subsidies doesn’t change the long list of problems inherent to Obamacare, nor does it change the law’s longstanding unpopularity with voters.

Recognizing this reality, Politico writes today, “Obamacare has cleared a second major hurdle at the Supreme Court — but its troubles are far from over. The law is still highly unpopular, and significant structural issues remain: Health insurance rates are rising, many people don’t have as much choice of doctors and hospitals as they’d like, some states continue to struggle with their exchanges, and 21 states still haven’t backed Medicaid expansion. . . .

“Some of the states that decided to set up an exchange are dealing with ongoing technological problems or financial difficulties, especially now that they can’t get federal grants.

“Hawaii decided earlier this year to move to HealthCare.gov for enrollment, and Colorado and Vermont are still working to fix problems with their systems. Some Republicans in blue states are already saying their states should switch to the federal exchange now that the subsidies will stay nationwide. . . .

“The law’s legal problems are not yet over, either. Another challenge to the ACA mandate that employers cover contraception in their insurance plans is moving through the courts — and very likely to return that issue to the Supreme Court in the next term. And a suit backed by the House of Representatives against the law’s cost-sharing provisions was filed earlier this year. . . .

“The law remains underwater in the polls. The most recent Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking poll found that 42 percent of people have unfavorable views of the law and 39 percent had favorable views. Those numbers have fluctuated since the law passed in 2010, but generally, the legislation has been viewed negatively.”

Politico then looks at the many reasons Americans remain unhappy with the effects of Obamacare: “For one, the public is frustrated with insurance premium increases that they view as directly related to Obamacare. A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that 2016 premiums are up by a greater percentage than in 2015. Benchmark silver-level plans are rising by an average of 4.4 percent in a select group of cities but could be much higher in parts of the country — with a Wellmark plan in South Dakota wanting to raise rates by 42.9 percent, CareFirst seeking a nearly 30 percent increase in Maryland and Health Care Service Corp. going after a 51.6 percent hike in New Mexico. While premiums were on their way up before the law passed, the public faults Obamacare — and that’s something the White House hasn’t been able to shake.

“Some people who have signed up have been shocked to discover the size of their deductibles or that they can’t go to the doctor they want because insurers have imposed narrow ‘in-network”’ care. . . .

“The law’s future is also threatened by the potential repeal of a few elements that are particularly vulnerable to Democratic opposition.

“Repeal of the medical device tax passed the House last week with nearly enough votes to override a presidential veto. A Medicare payment board that is tasked with controlling health care spending is unpopular with House Democrats, too, and likely to get a repeal vote soon. . . .

“The ‘Cadillac tax’ on high-cost employee health insurance plans, which goes into effect in 2018, is vehemently opposed by labor unions and some Democrats on Capitol Hill.

So while the president tried to declare the discussion of his unpopular health care law over yesterday, there are clearly many many problems with it that must be highlighted.

In an op-ed today for The Wall Street Journal, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), a doctor, writes, “No one . . . can change that ObamaCare is an expensive failure—unpopular, unworkable and unaffordable.

“ObamaCare enrollees are facing double-digit premium increases, the opposite of what they were promised. The president’s health-care law was supposed to ‘bend the cost curve’—and it has, in the wrong direction. ObamaCare piled mandates on the insurance industry while drastically increasing uncertainty in the market. Early on, insurers were working with incomplete data when setting rates. They didn’t know how sick or expensive their millions of new enrollees would be. Now they have a better idea and are proposing enormous rate hikes—30% or more in states such as in Maryland, Tennessee and New Mexico.”

“It’s time,” Sen. Barrasso writes, “for the president to focus on addressing the real problems with this law, not on protecting his legacy. He has conceded before that the law isn’t perfect, and that there is more work to be done. Now he can show he means it.

“Republicans have good ideas about how to lower costs, improve access and help Americans lead healthier lives.

“First, some of the health-care law’s most unpopular and expensive mandates should be scrapped. These include the long list of coverage requirements that drive up costs and force many people to buy insurance that is more than they want or can afford. For example, one of my constituents in Wyoming asked me why the law forced her to pay for maternity coverage after she had a hysterectomy.

“Americans deserve the freedom to buy coverage that is right for their needs and budgets, not the dictates of Washington. No two patients are exactly alike. Health-care reform should not attempt to be one-size-fits-all either. . . . Employers and workers should be freed from the parts of the law that reduce jobs, wages and economic growth. For instance, the mandate that businesses with more than 50 employees provide health insurance only covers workers who spend 30 hours or more a week on the job. That led many employers to cut or cap workers’ hours to below that threshold. In January, the House passed a bipartisan bill to repeal the 30-hour workweek by restoring “full-time” employment to the traditional definition of 40 hours a week. It has been introduced in the Senate with 40 co-sponsors, including two Democrats.”

Related:

Jay Says He’s No Kay


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Pro Marijuana Group Plans Informational Meeting in Nixa

April 9th, 2015 by Mark Truman ·

Mark Pedersen will be discussing the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act in Nixa, Mo. on Friday, April 17th from 6-8 pm. Pederson will discuss many of the patients that cannabis has purportedly helped and saved.

Organizers say this is an opportunity to learn how important the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act is. They will also have the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act petition there to sign. The Nixa Meeting Center is at 160 and South Street and there is a sign directing you there.

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Iranian Leaders Demand Immediate Sanctions Relief In Nuclear Deal, In Sharp Contrast To Obama Administration Statements

April 9th, 2015 by Mark Truman ·

USA Today reports, “Tehran will not sign a final nuclear deal unless world powers simultaneously lift economic sanctions imposed on Iran, the nation’s president said Thursday. . . .

“In a televised address Thursday at a ceremony marking Iran’s nuclear technology day, President Hassan Rouhani appeared to rule out a gradual removal of the sanctions, which have hit the nation’s energy and financial sectors hard — and devastated its economy.

“‘We will not sign any agreement, unless all economic sanctions are totally lifted on the first day of the implementation of the deal,’ he said. ‘We want a win-win deal for all parties involved in the nuclear talks.’ ‘The Iranian nation has been and will be the victor in the negotiations,’ he added.”

This is in contrast to what President Obama has been saying about the agreement, as USA Today notes. “‘It has never been our position that all of the sanctions against Iran should be removed from Day One,’ White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday.”

But it’s not just Rouhani saying this. According to Reuters, “Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday demanded that all sanctions on Iran be lifted at the same time as any final agreement with world powers on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program is concluded.

“Khamenei, the Islamic Republic’s most powerful figure and who has the last say on all state matters, was making his first comments on the interim deal reached between Iran and the powers last week in the Swiss city of Lausanne. . . .

“His stand on the lifting of sanctions matched earlier comments by Rouhani, who said Iran would only sign a final nuclear accord if all measures imposed over its disputed atomic work are lifted on the same day. These include nuclear-related United Nations resolutions as well as U.S. and EU nuclear-related economic sanctions. ‘All sanctions should be removed when the deal is signed. If the sanctions removal depends on other processes, then why did we start the negotiations?’ Khamenei said.”

As The Washington Post editors said earlier this week, the gap between what the Obama administration about lifting sanctions and what the Iranian leaders are saying is a significant problem. “Worryingly, the fact sheets issued by the U.S. and Iranian governments differ sharply on this point: While the U.S. version says that “sanctions will be suspended after” the International Atomic Energy Agency ‘has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps,’ Tehran’s account is that ‘at the same time as the start of Iran’s nuclear-related implementation work, all of the sanctions will be automatically annulled on a single specified day.’

“The gulf between those two scenarios is extremely important. Unless sanctions relief is conditioned on Iranian performance, the United States and its partners will lose their leverage.”

Related:

AP: “Former Guantanamo Detainees Are Back In The Middle East And Returning To Terrorist Organizations”‏

Video: Peaceful Iranian Freedom Rally in St. Louis


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Cleaver: Traffic Tickets Discourages Ferguson Residents From Voting

April 6th, 2015 by Mark Truman ·

What a sad commentary from Mr. “Satan Sandwich” himself. Many of these folks’ ancestors were literally “beaten down” in order for them to have a chance to vote and participate in the Democratic process, so just because they’ve gotten traffic citations from their local police department, this will discourage them from voting?

“Cleaver said one of the biggest challenges in getting out the vote is convincing people that the political process can effect change. “If you live in a community (like Ferguson) where you’ve had taxation by citation or strobe-light lynching, then you’re going to be less likely to want to vote,” Cleaver said. “I mean, you’ve been beaten down.” Read more…

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Tags: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver

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