‘A Loss Of Life, Caused By Partisan Politics – The Denial Of Obamacare’

charlenedill

If every Democrat actually came out and voted, we wouldn’t have these sad, sad stories:

Born in Pennsylvania to a warm family, Charlene moved to Florida when she was 18 years old. She worked at fast food joints and Disney, cleaned houses and babysat, but through the years found herself as a single mother with 3 kids. She had heart issues that needed to be managed. Her teeth needed to be fixed and constantly had infections, but Charlene never complained. She made $11,000 dollars last year – babysitting other peoples’ children and cleaning other peoples’ houses. She proudly paid her property taxes in February and took care of her little trailer, which she owned and took all three kids to school.

But, Charlene had no health insurance. Charlene was unable to get Obamacare, because she made too little to get the subsidies to purchase health insurance. She had no dental insurance. Her teeth hurt her at night and had so many cavities, but could not find a way to get the decay in her teeth fixed. She was denied medicaid and when she went to get Obamcare she was told she could not get subsidies.

So she went to the emergency room 2012. She had heart issues and was told to get on medicine and be monitored. But, had no health insurance to do so. 2012 Obama won and we all were so sure… NOW Charlene would have health insurance. But the Republican Party of Florida and Rick Scott turned down medicaid expansion. In December Charlene went to the emergency room with abcesses in her legs. Her teeth hurt her constantly. Charlene never complained. She took her two older kids to school each day and reported for work at her various jobs. Recently she began selling vaccuum cleaners in addition to the babysitting and house cleaning. She took antibiotics. She got her healthcare at Florida hospital emergency rooms.

On March 21st, she was supposed to come see me – on my first day off, in a while. She was excited about seeing my daughter who she had raised since she was 3. The kids were all going to play together. She had only 2 short appointments in Osceola County, to show the vaccum to customers. At about 4 pm, that afternoon, I got a message from her niece that she had died at the customers house. They rushed her to Poinciana Medical Center and worked on her. They could not bring my best friend back. She died. She was 32.

You see, the main argument Republicans use is that its some lazy person who needs medicaid expansion. That, those of us living without healthcare or dental care are lazy. But my friend, a single beautiful mother, worked 3 jobs. She paid taxes. She paid her house taxes. And now she’s dead.

Please think of Charlene when you decide who you are going to vote for in August and December. Please vote democrat. Please vote for people who want people like Charlene and me to have healthcare – to have a fighting chance.

I am burying my best friend soon, because of Rick Scott and Will Weatherford. I am buring my best friend, because of the policies of the Republican Party. I am burying my best friend, because had medicaid expansion passed her needs would have been met. She is one of the 7 people who will die each day, because the Florida House of Represenatives Republicans and Tea Party decided that we are not worth living. We are not worth healthcare. We were not worth medicaid expansion.

Please vote for Charlene.

Please help get the Republicans out and expand medicaid. I’ll never have her back. I’ll never see my friend again. I’ll never have another day with her, because of the Republican House of Representatives. Please, for Charlene and for me, register to vote and promise to vote against Rick Scott and any Florida Republican who runs. They need to know we know. We know who they hurt and we see what they are doing to the poor of Florida.”

– Charlene Dill 1981 to 2014

Charlene leaves three children and no insurance. If you would like to help her family, you can donate here to help with funeral expenses.

You’re on Candid Camera

March 24, 2014 at 12:20PM

They are never, ever, EVER going to get rid of the data. Ever.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is trying to figure out what the LAPD is doing with the mountains (and mountains) of license-plate data that they’re harvesting in the city’s streets without a warrant or judicial oversight. As part of the process, they’ve asked the LAPD for a week’s worth of the data they’re collecting, and in their reply brief, the LAPD argues that it can’t turn over any license-plate data because all the license-plates they collect are part of an “ongoing investigation,” because every car in Los Angeles is part of an ongoing criminal investigation, because some day, someone driving that car may commit a crime.

As EFF’s Jennifer Lynch says, “This argument is completely counter to our criminal justice system, in which we assume law enforcement will not conduct an investigation unless there are some indicia of criminal activity.”

This reminds me of the NSA’s argument that they’re collecting “pieces of a puzzle” and Will Potter’s rebuttal: “The reality is that the NSA isn’t working with a mosaic or a puzzle. What the NSA is really advocating is the collection of millions of pieces from different, undefined puzzles in the hopes that sometime, someday, the government will be working on a puzzle and one of those pieces will fit.” The same thing could be said of the LAPD.

Hobby Lobby SCOTUS hearing today

Live blog here of the arguments before SCOTUS in the case where Hobby Lobby insists the company should be able to exempt itself from birth control coverage for its employees. As you can imagine, the implications are enormous. For instance, if you go to work for a Jehovah’s Witness, should they pay for blood transfusions? Do Christian Scientist employers get to exempt their employees from any medical treatment?

The culture of poverty

The Corner

Yeah, this is what you see in Philly when people don’t want to do anything about the schools: It’s “the culture,” i.e. excuse for not doing anything. Eugene Robinson:

Blaming poverty on the mysterious influence of “culture” is a convenient excuse for doing nothing to address the problem.

That’s the real issue with what Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said about distressed inner-city communities. Critics who accuse him of racism are missing the point. What he’s really guilty of is providing a reason for government to throw up its hands in mock helplessness.

The fundamental problem that poor people have, whether they live in decaying urban neighborhoods or depressed Appalachian valleys or small towns of the Deep South, is not enough money.

Alleviating stubborn poverty is difficult and expensive. Direct government aid — money, food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance and the like — is not enough. Poor people need employment that offers a brighter future for themselves and their children. Which means they need job skills. Which means they need education. Which means they need good schools and safe streets.

The list of needs is dauntingly long, and it’s hard to know where to start — or where the money for all the needed interventions will come from. It’s much easier to say that culture is ultimately to blame. But since there’s no step-by-step procedure for changing a culture, we end up not doing anything.

This is what Ryan said in a radio interview: “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

What exactly does he mean by culture? In the context of “our inner cities,” Ryan can’t be talking about rap music and baggy pants. If so, he ought to visit any high school in any affluent suburb, where he will find kids listening to the same music and wearing the same clothes — kids who will grow up to be doctors and lawyers.
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Coverup?

ibrahim_todashev

I’ve seen things that lead me to suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Bomber, was actually an FBI operative. It’s funny how hostile people are to the idea — the FBI uses undercover assets all the time, just like the CIA, and obviously they’re not eager to admit it in a case like this. Was this yet another case where the FBI was encouraging a terror attack they planned to thwart? The circumstances surrounding the death of Ibragim Todashev, Tsarnaev’s associate, aren’t reassuring, because it looks more like an execution:

Ending an interrogation in its investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing with a dead body and a host of new questions was not the sort of thing the FBI wanted.

But on May 22, an FBI agent shot Ibragim Todashev – a 27-year old former mixed-martial arts fighter and associate of one of the suspected bombers – seven times, killing him. The agent had just completed a lengthy interrogation of Todashev in his Orlando apartment, part of an inquiry into the already-dead bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. One of the bullets appears to have entered through the top of Todashev’s head.

The FBI’s story, doled out through anonymous leaks, changed several times in the weeks that followed. First, Todashev, who had voluntarily endured hours of questioning, lunged at the FBI agent with a knife, or even a sword. Then it was a length of pipe. Other accounts had him knocking over a table. At least one account held that Todashev was unarmed. The version that currently stands is that Todashev wielded a metal pole – or, perhaps, a broomstick.

Little is known about that mysterious pole-slash-broomstick: its heft, its dimensions, its use. Yet it is likely to be a major difference between vindication and damnation of the FBI’s handling of the case. A Florida prosecutor examining the case is expected to publish the results of an long-awaited investigation into Todashev’s death on Tuesday morning.

Unknowns accumulate in the Todashev shooting. Two Florida detectives reportedly aided the FBI interrogation, and their role during the shooting remains unclear. Florida’s autopsy report, available since July, was barred from release by the FBI. The bureau’s months of silence over the case have compounded the questions it faces.

But the FBI has already reached its conclusion. An internal FBI inquiry vindicated the agent, whose name is not public, months ago. That’s typical for the FBI – between 1993 and 2011, its agents fatally shot 70 people and wounded another 80, and the bureau found no major improprieties in any of those cases, according to records obtained by the New York Times last year.

Counterpunch has more.

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