The Last 24™


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West Wing Week: 9/26/14 or “Stronger When We Stand United”

 

Published on Sep 26, 2014

This week, the President unveiled the “It’s on Us” campaign, signed the America’s Promise Summit Declaration and headed to New York City for the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

 

 

 

President Barack Obama speaks at the Global Health Security Agenda Summit in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington.

 

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The President Delivers Remarks at the Global Health Security Agenda Summit

 

Published on Sep 26, 2014

President Obama addressed 44 nations gathered at the White House for the Global Health Security Agenda Summit on September 26, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's Raining Videos™

It’s Raining Videos™

 

FAA: Fire at facility stops Chicago air traffic

 

Published on Sep 26, 2014

Chicago air traffic has been stopped due to a fire at an FAA facility in Aurora, Illinois, according to an official.

 

 

 

NRA Women Love at First Shot | Ep. 1 Bonus Clip: Being Responsible

 

 

I believe you can’t see ignorance & dumbfuckery unless you see ignorance & dumbfuckery.

 

 

With cuts to similar programs, the Common Pantry feeds more New Yorkers

 

Published on Sep 26, 2014

New York’s millionaires have increased cost of living, leaving many residents struggling to pay for both shelter and food.

 

 

 

Pierre Boussaguet Quartet – Live at The New Morning 2003 [Full HD]

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks at Meeting of the Open Government Partnership

 

Published on Sep 26, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a meeting of the Open Government Partnership in New York, New York on September 24, 2014. A text transcript can be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-o…

 

 

 

Muslim Cleric from Contentious Fox and CNN Interviews Arrested in Counterterrorism Raid

 

Published on Sep 26, 2014

The Muslim cleric featured in heated interviews on both CNN and Fox News last month was arrested Thursday as part of a London police counterterrorism raid.

 

According to The Guardian, Anjem Choudary was among nine Islamic men arrested on suspicion of “being members of a proscribed organization, or supporting a proscribed organization, as well as encouraging terrorism.”

 

Choudary was once spokesman for al-Muhajiroun, a radical group now banned in England. The organization has reformed under various aliases, officials allege, while the cleric himself has denied ever supporting acts of terror.

 

Mediaite readers may be familiar with Choudary from his appearances on Fox’s Hannity and CNN’s Reliable Sources. Both TV hits were shouting matches: In the latter, host Brian Stelter confronted the cleric for making an off-color 9/11 joke during soundcheck; in the former, Sean Hannity shouted at the cleric, “Are you that dumb or ignorant?” during a discussion of “Sharia law.”

 

 

 

The Daily Show: 9/25/14 in :60 Seconds

 

Published on Sep 26, 2014

Lindsey Graham worries about the safety of Americans, Native American activists protest the Redskins logo, and Steven Johnson discusses “How We Got to Now.”

 

 

 

Yes Please Comedy: Automated Teller Assholes

 

 

 

Top 5 Reasons to Prosecute Bush and Cheney

 

 

 

President Obama Addresses Deadly Ebola Outbreak

 

Published on Sep 26, 2014

President Obama urged nations to aid in the efforts to prevent the spread of ebola in West Africa during a speech at the Global Health Security Agenda Summit from the White House.

 

 

 

Ferguson Missouri Police Chief: I’m truly sorry the Michael Brown shooting saga

 

 

 

Arrests in Ferguson Missouri Following Police Chief’s Apology

 

 

 

Ferguson Police Chief & Ferguson Police Have Shoving & Riot Starts

 

 

 

‘Why did you shoot me?’ video shows police shooting unarmed man

 

 

 

South Carolina Officer in Dash-Cam Shooting Video Faces Charges

 

 

 

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It’s Raining Videos™ During A Twitter Storm™


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It's Raining Videos™

It’s Raining Videos™

 

Journeys to Australia

 

A documentary about the experiences of five remarkable young people who journeyed to Australia as refugees, fleeing conflict and persecution from various corners of the globe.

 

 

 

Friends Are Waiting”

 

 

 

Black Guy Breaks Into A Car

 

Is there a difference between a white guy trying to break into a car vs a black guy? Two guys test a well-known stereotype on the streets of Los Angeles.

Don’t forget to share and like this with your friends.

 

 

 

Post Maven Mars Orbit Insertion News Conference

 

 

 

NASA’s MAVEN orbiter aproaches Mars to study its atmosphere

 

 

 

Man Seen With Uva Student Faces Driving Charge

 

Published on Sep 21, 2014

A man seen with a University of Virginia student before she disappeared was being sought Sunday on arrest warrants charging him with reckless driving, police announced at a news conference. (Sept. 21)

 

 

 

Missing U-Va. student Hannah Graham’s father John Graham pleads for help

 

Published on Sep 21, 2014

Missing U-Va. student Hannah Graham’s parents appeared at a news conference Sunday. Graham’s father, John Graham, pleaded people to share information regarding his daughter who disappeared eight days ago in Charlottesville, Va

 

 

 

Massive climate rally in New York

 

Published on Sep 21, 2014

Hundreds of thousands attend the People’s Climate March in New York City – two days before the UN Climate Summit.

 

 

 

Voices From The Historic 300,000+ Strong ‘People’s Climate March’

 

Published on Sep 21, 2014

TRNN speaks to some of the hundreds of thousands of participants who marched Sunday to ask them their demands of the climate justice movement and leaders.

 

 

 

NRA News Commentators | Ep. 86: Nikki Turpeaux “Knowledge is Power”

 

 

Just so you can see what stupid looks like, and observe whats wrong with The United States Of AmeriKKKa.

 

 

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The MilitantNegro™ Potpourri


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President Obama Guidance & Schedule Sept. 20, 21, 2014 At Camp David

 

President Barack Obama is spending the weekend at Camp David.

 

On Saturday, the President has no public events scheduled and will remain overnight in Camp David with the First Family.

 

On Sunday, the President will return to the White House.  The arrival of Marine One at Joint Base Andrews and return to the White House will be covered by the in-town travel pool, and there are no public events scheduled.

 

US President Barack Obama holds his first Twitter Town Hall

 

Schedule for the Week of September 22, 2014

 

On Monday, the President will sign America’s Promise Summit Declaration at an event at the White House.

 

On Tuesday, the President and the First Lady will travel to New York City for the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). In the afternoon, the President will deliver remarks at the Climate Summit 2014. Afterward, the President will deliver remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative 2014 Annual Meeting. In the evening, the President will attend a DSCC event. Afterward, the President and First Lady will attend a reception for visiting Heads of State and Government. The President and First Lady will remain overnight in New York City.

 

On Wednesday, the President will address the United Nations General Assembly. The First Lady will also attend. In the afternoon, the President will meet with Sam Kutesa, President of the United Nations General Assembly. Afterward, the President will attend a luncheon hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Later in the afternoon, the President will chair a United Nations Security Council summit on foreign terrorist fighters. Afterward, the President will attend a meeting of the Open Government Partnership. The President and First Lady will remain overnight in New York City.

 

On Thursday, the President will deliver remarks at a United Nations meeting on the Ebola epidemic. In the afternoon, the President and First Lady will return to the White House.

 

On Friday, the President will deliver remarks at the Global Health Security Agenda Summit at the White House.

 

On Saturday, the President will deliver remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner in Washington, DC.

 

 

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Weekly Address: The World is United in the Fight Against ISIL

 

“We will use our air power. We will train and equip our partners. We will advise and we will assist. And we’ll lead a broad coalition of nations who have a stake in this fight. This isn’t America vs. ISIL. This is the people of that region vs. ISIL. It’s the world vs ISIL.” —President Obama

 

 

 

Mensaje De La Casa Blanca

 

 

 

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Remarks by The First Lady at a Reach Higher “Prep” Rally

 

Published on Sep 9, 2014

As part of her Reach Higher initiative, the First Lady joined Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on his “Partners in Progress” Back to School Bus Tour event at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta. In 1924, Booker T. Washington High School became the first public high school for African-Americans in the state of Georgia, and Dr. Martin L. King Jr. is among its graduates.

 

 

 

9/19/14: White House Press Briefing Featuring NSA Susan Rice

 

 

 

President Obama & Vice President Biden Speaks at the Launch of the “It’s On Us” Campaign

 

Published on Sep 19, 2014

On September 19, 2014 in the East Room of the White House, President Obama delivered remarks to help launch “It’s On Us,” a campaign to end campus sexual assault.

 

 

 

CNN: White House fence jumper arrested on air

 

Published on Aug 2, 2011

CNN’s John King is interrupted on his live show when the Secret Service arrests a man for jumping the White House fence.

 

 

 

West Wing Week 09/19/14 or, “You guys aren’t normally this quiet are you?””

 

Published on Sep 19, 2014

This week, the President celebrated the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, awarded the Medal of Honor to two American heroes, detailed U.S. efforts to combat the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa at the CDC in Atlanta, spoke to the troops at MacDill Air Force Base about our strategy against ISIL before returning to meet with the Ukraninan President. That’s September 12 to 19 or “You guys aren’t usually this quiet are you?”

 

 

 

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“FLORIDA MASS SHOOTING MUST BE A CALL TO ACTION,” SAYS EVERTYOWN FOR GUN SAFETY AFTER EIGHT PEOPLE ARE KILLED

 

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Tonight’s Murder-Suicide Mass Shooting Killing Six Children and Two Adults in Bell, FL was the 111th since 2009

 

See Everytown’s Full Analysis of Mass Shootings in America Here

 

In response to reports of a murder-suicide where it has been reported that a grandfather with a prior criminal record that should have prohibited him from possessing firearms killed six grandchildren ranging in age from 3 months to 10 years old and his daughter in Bell, FL, Everytown for Gun Safety calls on elected officials pass stronger gun laws. The shooter also reportedly previously killed one of his sons while in illegal possession of a firearm.

 

Employing a widely-used definition of mass shooting that is drawn from the FBI, a recent report from Everytown for Gun Safety provides a comprehensive analysis of incidents in which four or more people were murdered with guns since 2009. Among the findings is the fact that mass shootings have a disproportionate impact on women – whereas women make up only 13 percent of total gun homicide victims, they make up 51 percent of mass shooting victims.

 

STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT, EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this family, which is the latest ravaged by America’s gun violence epidemic. While details are still unfolding, one thing we know for sure is that the best way to prevent mass shootings is to keep dangerous people and domestic abusers from getting guns in the first place. At least 42 percent of mass shooting perpetrators possessed their guns illegally — as this man reportedly did — because they were felons, domestic abusers, or were otherwise prohibited under federal law from having guns. Our goal is saving lives from gun violence and as Americans we should all be able to agree that the way we’ll do that is through better gun laws.”

 

STATEMENT FROM SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER, MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“Like all of us watching this news unfold tonight, my heart breaks for the family and community that now must cope with the loss of six children and a mother today due to gun violence. The tragic story coming out of Bell, Florida, is yet another clarion call to action: gun violence is an American problem that can, and does, effect every town, every day. As Richard Martinez, father of a UCSB shooting victim, said, ‘We don’t have to live this way.’ Our leaders can and must do more — now — to prevent mass shootings in America. Let this horrific shooting result in tangible action, and not simply serve as another painful reminder of the gun violence epidemic that is ravaging our country.”

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND ABOUT THE BELL, FL SHOOTING:
  • A gunman, identified as Don Spirit, reportedly shot and killed his daughter and her six children before killing himself. Spirit was a convicted felon who shot and killed his son in a 2001 hunting accident.
  • The Gilchrest County Sheriff’s office received a 911 call from the gunman at around 4pm today. He made threats to himself and his family.
  • The shooting occurred in the gunman’s residence, but it’s unclear if the victims lived in the home as well.
  • Police had been called to the home in the past for a range of issues, but Sheriff Robert Schultz did not provide specifics. He did confirm that the gunman had a criminal record.
  • The children ranged in age from 3 months to about 10 years old. All the victims likely died before police arrived.
  • Bell is located in Gilchrist County, about 30 miles west of Gainesville. The town has a population of about 350 people
ABOUT EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY

Everytown for Gun Safety is a movement of Americans fighting for common-sense policies that will reduce gun violence and save lives. Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than two million supporters including moms, mayors, survivors, and everyday Americans who are fighting for reforms that respect the Second Amendment and protect people. At the core of Everytown are Mayors Against Illegal Guns, founded in 2006 by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots movement of American mothers founded on the day after Newtown. Learn more atwww.everytown.org and follow us @Everytown

ABOUT MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA

Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to change laws regarding drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to build support for common-sense gun reforms. The nonpartisan grassroots movement of American mothers is demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. Since its inception after the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting, Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and is part of Everytown for Gun Safety along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than two million supporters including moms, mayors, survivors, and everyday Americans who are fighting for reforms that respect the Second Amendment and protect people. For more information or to get involved visit www.momsdemandaction.org. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction or on Twitter at @MomsDemand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Last 24™


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First Lady Michelle Obama visits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

 

Published on Sep 17, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama visits patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Wednesday September 17, 2014.

 

 

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President Obama’s statements on ISIS at MacDill AFB – FULL SPEECH

 

Published on Sep 17, 2014

At MacDill, President Obama reaffirms U.S. combat position.
(AP) TAMPA – Underscoring the multiple challenges facing his administration, President Barack Obama consulted with military officials Wednesday at MacDill Air Force Base about the U.S. counterterrorism campaign against Islamic State militants.

 

Obama met with top officers at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, which oversees U.S. military efforts in the Middle East. Accompanying him were his national security adviser, Susan Rice, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Obama was to address Central Command troops, providing him another opportunity to make a case for the air strike campaign he wants to carry out against Islamic State.

 

The President also spoke to troops after meeting with military brass, thanking them for their service.

 

“You play a central role in our combat and counterterrorism efforts,” Obama told the MacDill troops. “Your work is as vital as ever. In an uncertain world, full of breathtaking change, the one constant is American leadership.
“It is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists, including the group in Iraq and Syria known as ISIS.”

 

The president says the fight against the Islamic State group cannot be America’s alone and will require a broad coalition.

 

He says some nations will assist the U.S. with airstrikes and others will help train forces.

 

On Tuesday, the top U.S. military officer said American ground troops may be needed to battle the militants if Obama’s current strategy fails.

 

His meeting with top U.S. commanders comes amid newly raised doubts about the ability of the United States to rely on Iraqi forces, Kurds and Syrian opposition fighters to carry out a ground fight against the Islamic State militants and whether U.S. troops might have to play a combat role.

 

It also comes as Congress prepared to vote on Obama’s request for authority to equip and train Syrian opposition fighters whom the administration deems as moderates in the Syrian civil war.

 

Lawmakers in both parties have raised worries that the U.S. might be unable to find enough Syrian rebels who could be trusted to confront the Islamic State or that their numbers would be sufficient against the extremists.

 

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, raised new doubts about Iraq’s role in the fight, telling a small group of reporters traveling with him to Paris that about half of Iraq’s army is incapable of being an effective partner with the U.S. to push the Islamic State back in western and northern Iraq. He said the other half needs to be partially rebuilt with U.S. training and additional equipment.

 

Dempsey told senators Tuesday that if it became necessary for U.S. military advisers to accompany Iraqi troops into combat he might “go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of ground forces.”

 

The White House, however, remained firm about Obama’s view. “What he’s been very specific and precise about is that he will not deploy ground troops in a combat role into Iraq or Syria,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in response to Dempsey’s comments.

 

 

 

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President Obama Talks with First-Graders at Tinker Elementary School

 

Published on Sep 17, 2014

On September 17, 2014, President Obama dropped by a first grade class at Tinker Elementary School in Tampa, Florida.

 

 

 

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Dr. Jill Biden at the International Congress on Vocational & Professional Education & Training

 

Published on Sep 16, 2014

In Winterthur, Switzerland, Dr. Jill Biden speaks on the Obama-Biden Administration’s commitment to higher education and job-training programs to ensure American workers have the skills they need to succeed in the global economy.

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks on Ebola

 

Published on Sep 16, 2014

Speaking at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, President Obama provides an update on the U.S. plan to help combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. September 16, 2014.

 

 

 

We the Geeks: Miss America

 

Streamed live on Sep 17, 2014

Join us Wednesday, September 17th at 3:00 p.m. ET for a special #WeTheGeeks to highlight women and girls in STEM fields with the +Miss America Organization. Hear from the Miss America STEM scholarship winners as they share their stories from crowns to classrooms, personal role models, and advice for the next generation of women in #STEM  → http://wh.gov/ilixP

Got a question? Post it right here on Google+ or tweet it with #WeTheGeeks .

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks at the Congressional Picnic

 

Published on Sep 17, 2014

Preside Obama addresses Members of Congress at the Congressional Picnic at the White House on September 17, 2014.

 

 

 

Invictus Games Dinner

 

Published on Sep 12, 2014

At the Naval Observatory, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden host a dinner for the athletes headed to the Invictus Games in London.

 

 

 

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5 Things to Know: The President Lays Out the U.S. Plan to Degrade and Destroy ISIL

 

 

 

President Obama travelled to Tampa, Florida to speak to service men and women at MacDill Air Force Base about the U.S. strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, a terrorist organization that is killing innocent, unarmed civilians  in both Iraq and Syria. ISIL, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State, is also responsible for the brutal murders of American journalists Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff.

 

“In a world where technology provides a small group of killers with the ability to do terrible harm, it is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists,” he told servicemembers. To effectively do so, the U.S. will execute a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy that will empower the international community and local leaders to decimate these terrorists.

 


“If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

 

Read More

 

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Today Is Constitution Day. Here’s What That Means:

 

On September 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed and adopted the Constitution at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. What exactly does that mean?

 

We’ve got the facts for you, courtesy of the Constitution page at WhiteHouse.gov.

 

What did the Constitution aim to do?

 

As drafted, the Constitution’s purpose was to create a government that had enough power to act on a national level, but without so much power that individuals’ fundamental rights would be at risk.

 

The Constitution accomplished this, in part, by separating the government’s power into three branches, and then including checks and balances on each of those separate powers to make sure no single branch would gain supremacy. Each branch’s powers are spelled out in the Constitution, and the powers not assigned to them are reserved for the states.

 

This was all no coincidence — it was based largely on the experience that the Constitutional delegates had previously had with the King of England and his powerful Parliament.

 

Read More

 

ViolBord

 

Michelle Obama: Malia is driving

 

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WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama disclosed on Wednesday that daughter Malia, who turned 16 on July 4, “just started driving.”

 

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama and the first lady said Malia, their oldest daughter, would be taking driving lessons.  Mrs. Obama said Malia was actually driving during a conversation she had with young patients at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

 

“I think in many ways I’m like any working mom,” Mrs. Obama told the children.

 

“I’ve got to make sure that I do my job and that I try to do it well, but I’ve got to make sure my girls are good.  They’re going to school and I’ve got an open house to go to tomorrow night, and I’ve got to make sure that — Malia just started driving — whew!  I know, that’s scary.  I’ve got to hang out with my husband.  He needs attention, too.  So it’s all a balance, just like your parents.  It’s the same thing.  So you just learn that rhythm.  You got to do it and you’ve got to do it all well.”

 

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ViolBord

 

U.S. Companies Leading to Reduce Emissions of HFC Climate Pollutants

 

We the Geeks: Miss America

 

New Data Show Early Progress in Expanding Coverage, with More Gains to Come

 

Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance in the United States in 2013

 

A Look Back at Lehman Brothers and Where We Stand Six Years After the Financial Crisis

 

Opening the People’s House

 

Our Comprehensive Response at the Border, By the Numbers

 

Welcoming the Third Class of Presidential Innovation Fellows

 

Here’s What a Medal of Honor Presentation at the White House Looks Like:

 

 

 

Growing Our Economy and Strengthening Our Financial System

 

Dr. Jill Biden Cheers on Team USA at the Invictus Games in London

 

Continuing the Conversation: VAWA at 20

 

ViolBord

 

Speeches and Remarks/Statements and Releases

 

Notice to Congress — Terrorism

 

Message from the President on the Extradition Treaty between the US and Chile

 

Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

 

Readout of the President’s Meeting with General John Allen, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and Ambassador Brett McGurk, Deputy Special Presidential Envoy

 

Readout of National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice’s Meeting with National Security Office Director Kim Kwan-Jin of the Republic of Korea

 

Statement by the President

 

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Partners with Private Sector on New Commitments to Slash Emissions of Potent Greenhouse Gases

 

FACT SHEET: U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa

 

Presidential Nominations and Withdrawal Sent to the Senate

 

Remarks by the President at MacDill Air Force Base

 

Remarks by the President on the Ebola Outbreak

 

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Dr. Jill Biden at the International Congress on Vocational and Professional Education and Training

 

Remarks by the President at Presentation of the Medal of Honor to Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins and Specialist Four Donald Sloat

 

Remarks by the President at a DSCC Event

 

Remarks by the President at the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary Event

 

It's Raining Videos™

It’s Raining Videos™

 

Reaction To Women Abusing Men In Public

 

 

 

WWYD? – Women Being Violently Abused By Their Boyfriends In Public!

 

 

 

WWYD? – Beaten Woman Enters The Diner With Her Physically Abusive Boyfriend..Where’s The Mace??

 

 

 

WWYD? – A White Preppy & Ghetto Boyfriend Attacking/Abusing His Girlfriend In Public!!

 

 

 

Interracial Couple Arguing: Would You Intervene?

 

 

 

What would you do – Domestic violence – Boyfriend abusing his girlfriend in public

 

 

 

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The Amazing ObamaCARES News Buried Inside A 283-Page Medicare Report.


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The amazing news buried inside a 283-page Medicare report

 

From VOX.com  By 

 

This is arguably the most unexpected piece of news in the new Medicare Trustees report: the government’s hospital insurance program might be spending less money to cover more beneficiaries than it did a year ago.

 

Tele-consultation between the neurology department in Besancon hospital, France and A&E in Dole hospital, France. Dole hospital doesn't have a neurology department which makes detecting a CVA a difficult task. Telemedicine allows A&E doctors at Dole

 

Medicare’s hospital insurance program — known to wonks as Medicare Part A — spent $266.8 billion covering 50.3 million people in 2012. In 2013, the the same program spent $266.2 billion to cover 51.9 million people. These figures come from Table II B.1 in the 2012 and 2013 reports.

 

Medicare’s hospital insurance program is gigantic; it spends more money in a given year than the entire state of Wisconsin. In that context, $600 million is not much more than a rounding error. And some senior administration officials I spoke with cautioned against reading too much into these particular figures; receipts for services rendered in 2013, for example, might trickle after the year has ended.

 

But what’s definitely clear — and what’s driving this trend — is that Medicare is spending significantly less per person than they did two years ago. And this report expects that trend to continue for another two years going forward.

 

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By 2015, the Medicare Trustees’ Report projects that the program will spend less per person on hospital care than it did in 2008. This doesn’t happen much in health care: not just slower growth, but the actual dollar amount spent on a given type of care dropping.

 

These figures only represent the hospital insurance part of Medicare (this is Medicare Part A). The government insurance program has separate programs for doctor visits (Medicare Part B) and prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D).

 

But even when you look at the overall picture, it generally looks pretty good: per-person Medicare spending has grown by an average of 0.8 percent since 2009. That’s a lot slower than the rest of the economy, which has grown at an average 3.1 percent rate. Between 2012 and 2013, it was even slower: Medicare’s per person costs stayed exactly the same.

 

As Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell put it at a press briefing today, “that is a growth rate of 0 percent.”

 

As to why this is happening, that’s the big question. There has been an overall slowdown in health care spending, some of which is likely due to the recession: when people have less money to spend, they don’t buy as many medical services.

 

But Medicare beneficiaries should be somewhat insulated from the economy. They don’t lose insurance coverage during economic downturns, for example, as many who lose their jobs do. Many live on a more fixed income, too.

 

Its certainly possible that the overall economic climate might have impacted seniors’ decisions about health care. And its possible the health care law, and its changes to the Medicare system (this report estimates there are 165 of them) have had an impact as well.

 

The Affordable Care Act, for example, penalizes preventable readmissions — times when seniors turn up at the hospital a second time after something goes wrong during their first visit. Readmissions have been falling pretty steadily for the last few years, and those reductions could be showing up in the lower per-person spending.

 

readmission_rates

 

 

Last, the downward shift in hospital spending could just reflect larger trends in how doctors deliver medicine. As new innovations happen, procedures that used to be more invasive — and require a hospital stay — improve, become easier and shift into an inpatient setting, or can be treated with prescription drugs. You see that change below, with hospital care, since the early 1980s, becoming a slightly smaller portion of the country’s overall medical bill.

 

healthcare3

 

(California Healthcare Foundation)

 

Overall, this report suggests a pretty positive trend for Medicare spending — it just doesn’t totally explain the forces that are driving it.

 

CARD 6 OF 15 LAUNCH CARDS

How much of health-care spending is wasteful?

A lot: about one-third of all health-care spending — $785 billion — goes to things that aren’t making us any healthier, according to a massive Institute of Medicine study published in 2012.

 

Most of the waste comes from the way the United States delivers medical care, with a fragmented system that delivers a lot of care that isn’t needed. The IOM estimates that we spend about $210 billion on unnecessary care, with doctors delivering care that isn’t recommended by medical guidelines. Unnecessary care can be harmful to patients, too, especially when it involves surgical procedures that didn’t need to happen.

 

Administrative costs are another huge driver of wasteful spending in the United States. Every doctor typically takes in payments from numerous health insurers, and need to employ lots of billing staff to handle the deluge of paperwork. The average doctor in the United States spends $82,975 dealing with insurers each year.

 

Last but not least, the American health-care system tends to have much higher prices than other countries. Most developed countries have some form of government rate-setting in health care, where bureaucrats set a specific price for any given medical treatment. The United States doesn’t have that — and also has thousands of health insurance plans, each negotiating their own price with doctors and hospitals. This helps explain why an appendectomy costs $8,156, on average, here — and $4,498 in the Netherlands.

 

 

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