How can they possibly ‘govern’ without staffing?
By Doug Porter
As the clock counts down towards full implementation of the Affordable Care Act Republicans and their allies are mounting a full court press designed to disable, deceive and defund the law.
Marching to the tune of “Backward Christian Soldiers:, the House of Representatives voted for the 40th time yesterday to in some manner or fashion to repeal the President’s health care law. (h/t Jules Witcover)
Republicans Mike Lee (Senate-Utah) and Mark Meadows (House-North Carolina) are leading an effort to shut down the federal government this fall rather than let the law take effect.
During the coming summer break on Capital Hill, Republicans along with their allies like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage.
Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS is pursuing a campaign aimed at older voters, pushing the oft-disproved claims that efficiencies built into MediCare as a result of ObamaCare are endangering seniors’ health care.
The Koch brothers funded Americans for Prosperity is spending $1 million on TV ads campaign against the healthcare law featuring a young pregnant mother who asks questions that suggest the law will raise premiums, reduce paychecks, prevent people from picking their own doctors and leave her family’s healthcare to “the folks in Washington.”
FreedomWorks, funded by Philip Morris and foundations controlled by the Scaife family, has designed a symbolic “Obamacare card” that college students can burn during campus protests.
Now for the fun stuff. From The New York Times:
Under a wrinkle that dates back to enactment of the law, members of Congress and thousands of their aides are required to get their coverage through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.
But the law does not provide any obvious way for the federal government to continue paying its share of the premiums for the comprehensive coverage…
…“It’s a very serious concern,” said Representative Billy Long, a Missouri Republican who said staff members were “freaked out” at the prospect of paying the full cost of insurance out of their own pockets.
“They’re thinking about leaving government service,” said Mr. Long, noting that some staff members already lived in group houses and cramped apartments to make ends meet on Capitol Hill salaries. “They’re thinking about taking jobs other places. We have tried, and tried, and tried to get the answer on what they’re going to be paying. The Office of Personnel Management cannot tell us.”
The best part of all this: the provision in the law requiring Congress to use the same plans as ordinary Americans was introduced by the GOP, who were shocked when the Dems called their bluff.
Congress currently has about a 15% approval rating, and 57% of all people surveyed recently in a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll said they’d love to throw all the bums out.
Blood Pressure Rising in Mission Valley
The City Council reportedly is poised to approve a prevailing wage requirement to all public works projects today and the UT-San Diego is apoplectic about it. After all, it’s part of the “Mayor Filner agenda”, which must mean that anybody who votes for such a deal favors driving the city into bankruptcy (OR they secretly condone the hizzoner’s bad behaviors.)
Detroit or Hell–those are our choices, according to Manchester’s Mission Valley minions.
Filner News -#LegalFees
Mayor Filner’s lawyer has asked the City government to pay his legal fees, a request that will be considered in closed session of the City Council later today. Apparently fearful that a majority of Dems on the council might actually consider such a request, President Todd Gloria spent the day yesterday, urging locals to voice their ‘concerns’.
And the UT’s Craig Gustafson pulled the ever so useful and anonymous ‘many’ out of the hat, declaring: “it surprised many that Filner would ask taxpayers to foot the bill for his legal troubles.”
While I don’t see taxpayers supporting Filner’s request, it’s hardly unexpected. Of course you ask. I also really don’t see people digging into their wallets to support a recall movement.
Filner News – #Recall
Michael Pallamary held another press conference yesterday, hoping to grab the recall issue by the horns. From the UT-San Diego:
Land-use consultant Michael Pallamary filed the required paperwork Monday to launch a recall petition. He sought to seize control of the recall movement by taking the first three steps necessitated by city law. He published a public notice in Sunday’s U-T San Diegoand then Monday served Filner with a copy of the notice and filed an affidavit with the City Clerk’s Office.
The next step belongs to Filner who has until Aug. 11 to submit a response of 300 words or less. Pallamary would then have to publish that response in the newspaper before he could begin circulating a petition as of Aug. 18.
Complicating matters is the recall bid by LGBT Weekly Publisher Stampp Corbin, who published his public notice on Friday. Suspicions were immediately raised about the motives of Corbin, who Filner appointed chairman of the Citizens Equal Opportunity Commission. Corbin said his notice came first which makes him the leader of the recall movement.
Pallamary yesterday gave Corbin 24 hours to withdraw his recall Filner campaign, threatening to file a complaint with the district attorney. Without the support of any of the major political organizations in the area, I doubt any recall effort has much of a chance. Getting over a hundred thousand signatures is no easy task and requires a large body of dedicated people.
As one commenter at the UT story about the press conference put it:
I think most of these “1000” signature gatherers are just symbolic. If it’s anything like the fans of his Facebook page, they all seem to from out of town: person after person is from El Cajon, Fallbrook, Solana Beach, Santee, etc. and they all say “how come I don’t know a single person supporting Filner”? Well, think about it, you live in Lakeside.
NOT Filner News – #NotTheWeiner
While we’re talking about Mayoral messes, let’s take a look at this spin from Fox News on the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal in New York. From Think Progress:
A Fox News panel on Friday managed to expose the real story that the rest of the media has managed to miss in the New York Citymayoral race: the deep Muslim Brotherhood ties that Huma Abedin (Weiner’s wife) supposedly possesses.
“It’s not about Weiner’s wiener.” The real story, [radio host Monica] Crowley insisted, is the fact that Huma is so closely linked to Clinton, who Crowley referred to as “soon to be maybe next president of the United States.”
Not So Fast
The Guardian reports that thousands of fast food restaurant workers walked off the job yesterday in various cities around the country.
Employees of selected branches of McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC and Wendy’s walked off their shifts at various points throughout the day. In New York City more than a hundred workers marched to a McDonald’s in Union Square, chanting for the restaurant to “supersize” their wages.
The Fast Food Forward campaign is calling for workers to receive a minimum of $15 per hour, more than double the federal minimum wage.
Fox news responded to reports of strikes at various fast food locations by mocking them. Really. From Media Matters:
To respond to the day long strike, Fox trotted out Richard Berman, failing to identify him as a highly paid consultant to the food and beverage industry. He proceeded to threaten fast food workers, claiming if they demanded incomes allowing them to live above the poverty line, the only solution would be to replace them with iPads.
On Your World with Neil Cavuto, Fox Business’s Charles Payne claimed that the striking workers’ demand for a living wage was akin to rewarding “mediocrity.”
From an air conditioned studio in Rockefeller Center, the handsomely compensated Fox contributor asserted that a wage of $15 per hour earned spending countless hours on your feet without a break, in front of a hot stove, serving hundreds of customers, would be “cursing” those workers, ridding them of the impetus to “get better,” “go to college,” or “improve” their lot in life.
At the luxurious wage of $15 per hour minimum wage workers would spend their days “play[ing] video games” and “hav[ing] large families.”
Meanwhile there’s this from Huffington Post:
Doubling the salaries and benefits of all McDonald’s employees — from workers earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour to CEO Donald Thompson, whose 2012 compensation totaled $8.75 million — would cause the price of a Big Mac to increase just 68 cents, from $3.99 to $4.67, University of Kansas research assistant Arnobio Morelix told HuffPost. In addition, every item on the Dollar Menu would go up by 17 cents.
KNSJ to Feature Lori Saldaña for Community Celebration
Listener supported KNSJ Radio will be hosting a “launch party” this weekend at the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center.
On Saturday, Aug. 3 from 6-9pm the station will host a fundraiser and cultural event with Native American flute players, museum exhibits, sunset watching and star-gazing from the expansive outdoor terrace overlooking the park.
Featured will be a live multi-media musical performance by Ricardo Beas, presentation of the “Golden Mic Awards” to local leaders and activists and a keynote speech by former CA Assemblywoman and Sierra Club President Lori Saldaña. Food, wine and beer tasting from local vendors will be available.
Tickets are $25 (2 for $40) in advance until Aug. 1 and can be purchased at www.knsj.org.
On This Day: 1619 – The first representative assembly in America convened in Jamestown, VA. (House of Burgesses) 1945 Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, then commander of U.S. troops in Europe, was informed about plans to use the A-bomb in Japan. He voiced grave misgivings about the decision, saying use of the weapon was not needed to save American lives. (h/t Greg Mitchell) 1965 – Medicare became law. It was controversial and confusing at first, but today is wildly popular.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@
Check us out on Facebook and Twitter AND ! You can now follow SDFP on Instagram.
Is there any legal basis, at all, for a complaint filed with the DA by Pallamary against Corbin? What the heck could the DA do about the fact that Corbin ran his published announcement in the UT before Pallamary? To me it sounds like a spoiled three year old whining “No Fair! He got to do it before my turn!”
Tom Hunter says
Just to make everyone happy -Pallamary could have a recall the recall.
Judy Swink says
I LOVE the story about the Obamacare requirement that members of Congress and their employees must pay for their own medical insurance coverage beginning 2014! NOW they’ll find out what it’s like for most of the rest of us who have always had to pay or at least pay part of the cost if covered by employer-sponsored coverage, except – of course – for those who don’t earn enough to pay for any coverage at all. Wonder how many staff members in Congress will fall into that latter category?
Congress does a lousy job WITH staff – this could be a big improvement.