House Negro Alert: TAVIS SMILEY: ‘IF YOU’RE BLACK OR BROWN,’ NOT A LOT OF ‘GOOD REASONS’ TO TURN OUT TO VOTE.


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On Sunday’s broadcast of ABC’s “This Week,” PBS host Tavis Smiley acknowledged the Democratic Party has not given some minority voters the inspiration to turn out to vote in this election cycle.

 

“If you’re black or brown, if you’re — let’s be frank about this — if you’re black or brown other than helping to save the Democrats’ hide, give me three good reasons that you turn out to vote this time. Now, I’ll catch hell for saying that,” Smiley said.

 

“I’m not suggesting that people ought to stay at home and sit on their hands but what I’m suggesting is neither party has focused clearly on the issues of black and brown voters to inspire them and motivate them to turnout in 2014,” Smiley added. “And we may say the same thing in 2016.”

 

Steve Harvey Calls Tavis Smiley & Cornel West Uncle Toms For Criticizing Obama

 

 

TAVIS SMILEY: That’s a good point. And I think that issue would probably play better. And a lot of the reasons it might not be the top of the agenda is that Democrats respectfully know that they haven’t even done everything they could have done on this issue.

 

The slogan that it could have been worse is not a winning slogan. And I think the economy is certainly better now that we expected it would have been a couple years ago. I think the president gets some credit for helping put what policies that have turned this economy around slowly.

 

Having said that, there’s been no real fight even by Democrats for increasing the minimum wage to a living wage in this country. That measure can only go so far if you don’t have the record to back that up.

 

There’s a front-page story, George, as you know, in “The New York Times” today. They talk about the black vote is what the Democratic Party is relying upon now to save the Senate. News flash: if you’re relying on the black vote, in a midterm election — and I’m not suggesting that black voters don’t care about this — but if you’re relying on that vote, then I think it’s uninspired because we have double- and triple-digit unemployment in the African American community.

 

And again, if the message is something other than employment and what we’re going to do for you, then what’s the reason to go vote?

 

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SMILEY: But if you’re black or brown, let’s be frank about this. If you’re black or brown, other than helping to save the Democrats’ hide, give me three good reasons and you turn out the vote this time.

 

Now I’ll catch hell for saying that…

 

No, I am not suggesting — I’m not suggesting that people ought to stay home and sit on their hands. What I’m suggesting is that neither party has focused clearly enough on the issues of black and brown voters to inspire them and motivate them to turn out in 2014. And we may see the same thing in 2016.

 

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I don’t ever have to say much about Tavis Smiley, his predatory lending scam against HIS OWN BLACK people, the very same Black people he and his partner in stupid, Dr. Cornell West, profess to love, say all that needs to be said. Read from a plethora of reports on his agenda below:

 

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From All Voices:

 

Melissa Harris-Perry compares Tavis Smiley to Tuskegee syphilis study‘s black nurse

 

It is no secret that there has been some very “bad blood” flowing between, on one side, Dr. Harris-Perry, and on the other, Tavis Smiley and Princeton Professor Dr. Cornel West. Indeed, I have written about their ongoing feud in the past. The attention has mainly been focused on Drs. West and Harris-Perry. Today, however, Dr. Harris-Perry exponentially ratcheted up her critique of Smiley by directly comparing his role in the Wells Fargo bank’s now defunct “wealth building” program to nurse Rivers’ function during the TSE.

 

Wells Fargo will pay at least $175 million to settle lawsuits charging that it discriminated against African-American and Hispanic borrowers in violation of fair-lending laws, the Justice Department announced last September.

 

Wells Fargo is this nation-state’s largest residential home mortgage lender. From 2004 to 2009, the bank allegedly engaged in a pattern of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers. Deputy US Attorney General James Cole said the bank’s discriminatory lending practices resulted in over 34,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers in 36 states and the District of Columbia paying higher rates for loans solely because of the color of their skin.

 

Wells Fargo also will pay $50 million in direct down-payment assistance to borrowers in cities most targeted by the bank: Washington, DC; Chicago; Philadelphia; Oakland; San Francisco; New York City; Cleveland; Riverside, Calif.; and Baltimore.

 

The problem Dr. Harris-Perry has with Tavis Smiley involves his contracting with Wells Fargo — for a reported $4 million — to organize and orchestrate putative “wealth building” seminars in black neighborhoods nationwide starting in 2005. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan demurred and called these seminars nothing more than sales pitches for high-rate subprime loans through Wells Fargo.

 

Since the settlement, however, Richard Prince has reported in his “Journal-isms” column that Smiley has promised to sever all ties with Wells Fargo. Interestingly, until recently Wells Fargo sponsored Smiley’s radio show on Public Radio International (now canceled), and underwrote the annual C-SPAN-televised “State of the Black Union” conference that Smiley organizes (now defunct). Smiley’s foundation also distributed Wells Fargo materials to young people at foundation events.

 

“I cut everything off with Wells Fargo,” Smiley declared. He said the move cost “a lot of money”; he would not say how much. Smiley said his relationship with Wells Fargo was a “package deal.” In return for the company helping to finance his radio show, he went on the road for Wells Fargo.

 

On her show today, Dr. Harris-Perry argued that the seminars only appeared on the surface as a way to help black borrowers build wealth. They were actually just the opposite. By signing up for subprime mortgages they could not afford, foreclosure was the inevitable result. Often the bank would not even try to help the defaulted lenders, nor would it even attempt to re-sell the foreclosed properties. Instead, it let them sit in once “nice” neighborhoods, essentially abandoned. The run-down and abandoned appearance of these homes spread blight throughout their neighborhoods. In many cases, whole neighborhoods were simply destroyed.

 

In the now settled lawsuit filed by Attorney General Madigan, it was charged that from the outset Wells Fargo’s plan for the “seminars” was to target black borrowers for higher-cost subprime mortgages, not for wealth-building. And the seminars were a part of the bank’s overall illegal and discriminatory practice of steering black and Hispanic borrowers into riskier and more expensive loans, the suit said.

 

Opinion:

Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry is essentially calling Tavis Smiley a traitor to his race for his role in Wells Fargo’s “wealth building” scheme in black communities. Her comparison of him to Nurse Eunice Rivers is telling. She knew that the men she was “treating” for syphilis were not being treated at all, but were, in fact, being destroyed by her and the government’s efforts. It is not clear, however, whether Smiley knew beforehand whether Wells Fargo was simply trying to further feather its own substantial nest at the expense of poor black and Hispanic mortgagees. He says he did not know. That, to me, seems incredible. How could such an otherwise astute businessman and media mogul not know, or at least suspect, that something nefarious was going on here?

 

And then there is his relationship with Walmart. The retail giant has been under fire for years for its reprehensible treatment of its employees. Yet Walmart has been a staunch supporter, advertiser and sponsor of many of Smiley’s business ventures.

 

I once wondered why Melissa Harris-Perry has never deigned to have Tavis Smiley or Cornel West on her show. Now I do not have to wonder any more.

 

Thank you All Voices.

 

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From The American Prospect:

 

When the NAACP filed suit against Wells Fargo for allegedly targeting black people regardless of income or credit history or sub-prime loans, the bank became a symbol of how greed and racism contributed to the outsize effect the foreclosure crisis has had on the black community. In court affidavits, former Wells Fargo employees testified that the bank deliberately targeted the sub-prime loans — or “ghetto loans” as they were referred to internally — at “mud people.” In Baltimore, for example, 71 percent of the homes vacated due to foreclosure on a Wells Fargo loan were in black neighborhoods. Wells Fargo was the eighth largest recipient of bailout money — they received $25 billion.

 

Wells Fargo, however, has also long been a sponsor of the State of the Black Union,Tavis Smiley‘s annual black political symposium. Mary Kane reported that Smiley had been hosting “wealth building seminars” in black communities since 2005 — according to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the seminars were part of Wells Fargo’s attempt to lure black voters into buying sub-prime loans. One employee was even told she was “too white” to speak at one of the seminars — the company wanted a face nervous black folks buying a home for the first time could trust. A black face. Someone well-known and trustworthy. Someone like Tavis Smiley. Wells Fargo maintains they have done nothing wrong and are fighting the suit.

 

Smiley would also hardly be the first important black political figure to have ties to sub-prime lenders. As Stephanie Mercimer reported for Mother Jones last year,Charles Steele Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference defended sub-prime lenders in the Washington Post last year, Al Sharpton has cut commercials for LoanMax, Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition has worked with Compucredit on “job fairs and economic summits,” and the Urban Leage has worked with the Consumer Financial Services Association to conduct “financial literacy seminars.”

 

Following Kane’s article, Richard Prince reported that Smiley was cutting all ties with the bank.

 

“I cut everything off with Wells Fargo,” Smiley declared. He said the move cost “a lot of money”; he said he did not know how much.

 

I’m not sure how much moving away from Wells Fargo cost Smiley. But if the information in the suits against Wells Fargo are accurate, probably less than the folks who lost their homes because the bank foreclosed on their “ghetto loan.”

 

The revelation of Smiley’s efforts in helping Wells Fargo sell sub-prime loans in the black community is likely to further erode Smiley’s standing among black folks. During the 2008 campaign, Smiley criticized Barack Obama for not attending one of his symposiums, which many felt was somewhat self-serving and unfair. At the time, Smiley said, “Just because Barack Obama is black, doesn’t mean he gets a pass on being held accountable on issues that matter to black people.”

 

Thank you The American Prospect

 

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From Febone 1960.net Blog:

 

Wells Fargo Uses Tavis Smiley For Subprime Loan Trap?

 

 

Did Tavis Smiley help Wells Fargo herd black people into subprime loans? Yes, according to information contained in a lawsuit filed recently by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The suit alleges that Smiley was the hook used to draw in potential customers for subprime mortgages.

 

You might be familiar with the “Wealth Building” seminars that Wells Fargo conducted beginning in the year 2000. Smiley was the headline speaker at these events, held in Baltimore; Chicago; Richmond, Va.; and San Francisco. The seminars were advertised aggressively in black media and aimed directly at black communities. They were a huge success. Often, standing room only audiences would hear Smiley speak about how he mostly disliked banks while strongly urging attendees to invest in real estate as a sound strategy to build wealth.

 

Turns out that keynote may be responsible for many unsophisticated, would-be home buyers being particularly vulnerable to the subprime loan slop Wells Fargo allegedly intended to push toward them:

 

But what appeared on the surface as a way to help black borrowers build wealth was actually just the opposite, according to a little-noticed explanation of the “Wealth Building” seminar strategy, contained in a lawsuit recently filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

 

Wells’ plan for the seminars all along was to target black borrowers for higher-cost subprime mortgages, not for wealth-building, the suit charged. And the seminars were a part of the bank’s overall illegal and discriminatory practice of steering black and Hispanic borrowers into riskier and more expensive loans, the suit said.

 

According to a former Wells Fargo Home Mortgage employee, one of these “Wealth Building” seminars held in Maryland was planned for an audience that would be virtually all African American, the suit said. The plan for the seminar was for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage employees to talk about sub-prime mortgages, although they were directed by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage to use the term ‘alternative lending’ when marketing these products.” The former employee, who is white, was scheduled to speak at the seminar, but was told by a manager that she was “too white,” and that only black employees could make presentations, the suit said.

 

Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders and a recipient of $25 billion in government bailout money, has denied all the charges in the Illinois suit, as well as other allegations of unfair lending. The bank did not respond to requests for comment on the seminars. Smiley, an author and advocate who hosts the late-night talk show, ‘Tavis Smiley,’ and who organizes the State of the Black Union symposiums each year, also declined comment. Source: Suit Alleges Trusted Black Figures Drew Minorities to High Rate Loans, Washington Independent

 

These are extremely serious allegations that will play out in the legal arena. But having worked with Smiley during the last “State of the Black Union,” I do not believe he intentionally set out to hurt black people or poor people in general. That would be like me believing that Wall Street intentionally set out to destroy its own money-making schemes.

 

There are at least two glaring takeaways from this. For Smiley, I’m sure he’s learned the hard way to be much more careful about how people use him and his established goodwill to sell stuff. I am skeptical of all corporations. But the other takeaway is the observation that this white company used a black spokesman to instantly gain trust and credibility where it had done little work on the ground in the black community to EARN it themselves.

 

All of us need to be particularly cautious when any company pushes a black person to sell you something they want you to “feel” good about and not understand.

 

Thank you Febone 1960.net Blog.

 

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From CLUTCHMAGAZINEONLINE:

 

In 2007, the NAACP brought a predatory lending suit against banking giant Wells Fargo — and eventually, 14 others like it, including Citibank and HSBC — for lobbing unfair and discriminatory practices against brown folks. Last year, in the first formal enforcement action and largest consumer-enforcement fine ever imposed by the agency, the Federal Reserve strong-armed the Wells Fargo powers-that-be into paying $85 million in restitution for allegedly steering borrowers—again, of the Black and Latino variety—into high-cost, subprime loans, though they never really admitted any guilt.

 

Then, in the beginning of 2012, the company also agreed to a $175 million settlement in a fair-lending case for saddling the same kind of customers with those cursed and dreaded adjustable-rate loans, forcing them to unknowingly pay more than white borrowers. Between 2004 and 2009, Wells Fargo was showered with accusations and findings that pointed to the active pimping of our communities. It’s not a secret, it’s not classified information. It’s all over the news, corporate press releases and the web.

 

So it stands to reason that, even if he didn’t know anything about their underhanded financial debauchery before, Tavis Smiley could’ve, at the very least, performed a simple keyword search online (“Wells Fargo, African-Americans” works quite nicely) before agreeing to galvanize the masses and lead them into “wealth-building seminars.” Hosted by Wells Fargo for five years until 2009, the events, held in Black communities, were introduced as part of the company’s reparations package following its reign of lending tyranny. Tavis was the face of the effort and lent his celebrity and credibility to get attendees involved in the programs. Incidentally, Wells Fargo also helped to finance his radio show.

 

For leading the lambs to slaughter, he was paid a handsome $4 million. All we got was shafted with what Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called “nothing more than sales pitches for high-rate subprime loans.” Tavis severed his relationship with Wells Fargo and issued a statement about his involvement, throwing in that closing the deal caused him to lose a great deal of money, but the damage was already done. Before you sign up for any endorsement deal or business partnership, it’s your responsibility to know who you’re working with.

 

So on her show last week, Melissa Harris-Perry took Tavis to task, albeit a little late, comparing him to Nurse Rivers, the woman who infamously led some 600 men into deception about the real purpose of the Tuskegee Experiment with syphilis. (Mmmm…ouch.) One consciously allowed the people under her care to be put through agonizing medical trial, the other rallied the troops to jump over the financial cliff.

 

Now, we already know there’s bad blood between her, Tavis and Dr. West. There’s nothing worse than when a group of highly intelligent, highly influential, highly visible Black folks with a heavy dose of media influence and airtime dedicate their energy to volleying digs back and forth at one another. It’s exhausting for the viewer (namely me) who just wants to know the issues without being sucked into the commentator’s personal vendettas. I love me some Melissa Harris-Perry — this video right here is part of the reason why — but it took a little dirt-digging to come up with this one. Still, Tavis deserved to be called out for his double-dealing. That obligates her to stay squeaky clean, though, because best believe he and Dr. West are going to be on the prowl for the next round of retaliation. Scholars gone wild…even better than Real Housewives.

 

Thank you CLUTCHMAGAZINEONLINE.

 

Tavis Smiley and Cornel West

 

From The Wattree Chronicle:

 

A QUESTION FOR BOTH TAVIS SMILEY AND CORNELL WEST

 

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Mr. Smiley, do you intend to return the Millions of dollars to the people who lost their lifesavings and homes that you reportedly made from herding poor Black people and Hispanics into the Wells Fargo “Ghetto Loan” Scam? And Dr. West, in your learned opinion, what is the appropriate course of action for your friend and associate to take, in accordance with the “prophetic tradition,” of course?

 

A discrimination lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice, and several articles, including one seeded on Newsvine entitle, “Tavis Smiley – “Ghetto Loan” Peddler for Wells Fargo,” closely associates PBS talk show host, Tavis Smiley, with the Wells Fargo Bank scam targeting poor and middle-class Black and Hispanic borrowers. The article quotes Kelvin Boston, host of “Moneywise, and Keith Corbett, of the Center for Responsible Lending, as calling Tavis Smiley “the big draw” of the Wells Fargo scam. Specifically, the article states the following:

“Smiley was the keynote speaker, and the big draw, according to Boston [host of “Moneywise”] and Keith Corbett, executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, who attended two of the seminars. Smiley would charge up the audience — and rattle the Wells Fargo executives in attendance — by launching into a story about how he hated banks, and how they used to refuse to lend him money for his real estate projects in Compton, Calif., and elsewhere… But what appeared on the surface as a way to help black borrowers build wealth was actually just the opposite, according to a little-noticed explanation of the “Wealth Building” seminar strategy, contained in a lawsuit recently filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

 

“Wells’ plan for the seminars all along was to target black borrowers for higher-cost subprime mortgages, not for wealth-building, the suit charged. And the seminars were a part of the bank’s overall illegal and discriminatory practice of steering black and Hispanic borrowers into riskier and more expensive loans, the suit said.”

 

Subsequent to the law suit, Richard Prince reported in The Washington Independent that Smiley issued a statement indicating that he would sever all ties with Wells Fargo until charges that the company steered minorities into higher-rate loans are resolved. The article went on to say,

 

“Wells Fargo sponsored Smiley’s radio show on Public Radio International, and underwrote the annual C-Span-televised “State of the Black Union” conference that Smiley organizes. Smiley’s foundation also distributed Wells Fargo materials to young people at foundation events, he told Journal-isms.

 

‘“I cut everything off with Wells Fargo,’ Smiley declared. He said the move cost ‘a lot of money’; he said he did not know how much.”

 

On July 12, 2012 Charlie Savage reported in the New York Times that Wells Fargo Bank agreed to pay $175 million to settle the discrimination suit which, according to the Department of Justice, targeted over 30,000 Black and Hispanic borrowers for subprime loans with a higher interest rate than for similarly situated White borrowers between 2004 and 2009.

 

State Of The Black Union

 

What makes it particularly ironic that Tavis Smiley would be associated with this scheme to target poor and middle-class minorities is that Smiley is the primary promoter of what he calls “The Poverty Tour,” along with his friend and associate, former Princeton professor, Cornel West. During the tour, on their joint radio talk show, and on numerous media appearances, Smiley and West have gained a reputation for being President Obama’s harshest critics, indicating that the president is not sufficiently focused, and “accountable,” to the nation’s poor and minority community.

 

In a statement by Wells Fargo put out after the bank agreed to a settlement of $175 Million, they said that while not admitting to any wrong doing, Wells Fargo agreed to a settlement of the law suit because the bank felt that it was the right thing to do.

 

CNNMONEY quoted Mike Held, president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, as saying, “Wells Fargo is settling this matter because we believe it is in the best interest of our team members, customers, communities and investors to avoid a long and costly legal fight, and to instead devote our resources to continuing to contribute to the country’s housing recovery.”

 

The settlement includes Wells Fargo paying the Black and Hispanic victims of discrimination $125 million in compensation, and an additional $50 million in down-payment assistance to borrowers in the affected communities.

 

So the question that remains is, if Wells Fargo Bank feels that paying compensating to the poor and middle-class victims of this scam is the right thing to do, shouldn’t Tavis Smiley, the most strident advocate of “accountability” and fervent crusader for the interest of the poor, feel obliged to do the same? Certainly, benefiting from the misery of the poor and minority community would run counter to Mr. Smiley’s zeal for the need of the powerful to maintain accountability.

 

We’d also like to put that question to Smiley’s friend and associate, Dr. Cornel West. What do you think your good friend and associate should do, Dr. West? What does the “prophetic tradition” dictate is the proper course of action?

 

We’ll be anxiously awaiting your response.

 

Thank you The Wattree Chronicle.

 

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Fmr Wells Fargo Subprime Loan Officer: Bank Targeted Black Churches for Subprime Loans 1/3

 

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Up until two years ago, Elizabeth Jacobson was the top producing loan officer in the subprime division at Wells Fargo. Today she is speaking out against the practices of her former company. Earlier this summer, she filed a sworn affidavit with a federal court in support of the city of Baltimores lawsuit against Wells Fargo for pushing high-interest, subprime loans onto African Americans in Baltimore and the Maryland suburbs, leading hundreds into foreclosure.

 

 

 

Subprime loans target black churches, at taxpayers expense!!!-2/3

 

 

 

Subprime loans target black churches, at taxpayers expense!!!-3/3

 

 

 

ALL OF THIS WAS GOING ON WHILE CORNEL WEST WAS SAYING THE FOLLOWING ABOUT OBAMA (NOTICE THE WELLS FARGO LOGO):

 

Cornell West on Barack Obama

 

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Princeton professor not pleased about Obama’s snub of Covenant With Black America conference

 

 

 

Cornel West: Obama is ‘Republican in Blackface’

 

 

 

Cornel West Introduces Barack Obama

 

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Cornel West Introduces Barack Obama at the Apollo Theater, Nov. 29, 2007

 

 

 

As evidenced by the above videos, The Dr. Cornell West loved Barack Hussein Obama’s dirty boxers until he imagined Barack snubbed Cornell’s  Covenant With Black America conference. The dislike Cornell has comes from this petty bullshit. Not to mention Barack’s social secretary made the mistake of ignoring a request from Cornell for additional 2009 inauguration tickets…thus was born Dr. Cornell West’s “issues with Barack.”

 

The moronic Tavis Smiley had Barack on his PBS TV show….

 

Barack Obama on Tavis Smiley

 

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Obama 2012: Are you in? http://my.barackobama.com/tavis3vid

Tavis Smiley interviews Barack on October 18, 2007.

 

 

 

The “story” of the split between Barack & Tavis is said to be born from Barack not accepting an invite to a Tavis function shortly after Barack took the Oath Of Office. Barack had a previous commitment and sent 1st Lady Michelle in his place. That made Tavis very unhappy with Barack. Now personally I’d take Michelle over Barack any day…

 

Can you say petty ass Black folks?

 

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Militia Group Plans To Target African-American Democrats At Polling Places In Wisconsin…Illegally.


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From PoliticusUSA:

 

Militia Group Plans To Target African-American Democrats At Polling Places In Wisconsin

 

A militia group in Wisconsin is planning to target African-American Democrats at polling places in order to suppress the vote and keep Republican governor Scott Walker in office.

 

Here is a Twitter exchange where the group details their plan:

 

 

A visit to the group’s Facebook page features makes it clear exactly who they are targeting. All of the pictures on the page feature African-Americans. The group is trying to get African-Americans who may have outstanding warrants arrested in order to keep them from voting. The group wants people to report those they suspect of having warrants out on them to the police on election day, “Do the community a favor and keep an eye out for people wanted on warrants and report them to the police on election day.”

The “poll watchers” also plan on harassing and following people who they suspect of being wanted on warrants to their homes. The plan seems to be to use the police to intimidate African-Americans into not voting in November’s election.

The group admits that they are targeting Democrats. They aren’t exactly subtle in making it clear that they are targeting African-American voters. The scheme is an attempt to intimidate African-American voters while getting around the Voting Rights Act. The point of this campaign isn’t to get felons off the streets. The “poll watchers” are trying to keep African-Americans away from the polls.

The fact that they are targeting a specific group of individuals based on race and perceived political affiliation means that their operation is a violation of the Voting Rights Act. According to theJustice Department, “The administration of elections is chiefly a function of state government. However, federal authorities may become involved where there are possible violations of federal law. In cases where intimidation, coercion, or threats are made or attempts to intimidate, threaten or coerce are made to any person for voting or attempting to vote, the Department of Justice can consider whether there is federal jurisdiction to bring civil claims or criminal charges under federal law. Depending on the nature of the allegations, they may fall into the jurisdiction of different parts of the Department. If you have information about allegations of intimidation, please contact us.”

Wisconsin Republicans are desperate to keep Scott Walker in office, Currently, Gov. Walker is tied with Democrat Mary Burke in the polls. A voter intimidation effort that could prevent African-Americans from voting might be enough to get Walker reelected. The right-wing Wisconsin poll watching group is planning on engaging in illegal activity. The group is just getting started, which is why it is a perfect time to send the message that these tactics will not be tolerated.

You can contact the Justice Department here, and request that the election be monitored.

The right to vote must be protected, and those who attempt to intimidate voters need to be held accountable.

Thank you PoliticusUSA.

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From The New York Times:

Voter Harassment, Circa 2012

 

This is how voter intimidation worked in 1966: White teenagers in Americus, Ga., harassed black citizens in line to vote, and the police refused to intervene. Black plantation workers in Mississippi had to vote in plantation stores, overseen by their bosses. Black voters in Choctaw County, Ala., had to hand their ballots directly to white election officials for inspection.

 

This is how it works today: In an ostensible hunt for voter fraud, a Tea Party group, True the Vote, descends on a largely minority precinct and combs the registration records for the slightest misspelling or address error. It uses this information to challenge voters at the polls, and though almost every challenge is baseless, the arguments and delays frustrate those in line and reduce turnout.

 

The thing that’s different from the days of overt discrimination is the phony pretext of combating voter fraud. Voter identity fraud is all but nonexistent, but the assertion that it might exist is used as an excuse to reduce the political rights of minorities, the poor, students, older Americans and other groups that tend to vote Democratic.

 

In The Times on Monday, Stephanie Saul described how the plan works. True the Vote grew out of a Tea Party group in Texas, the King Street Patriots, with the assistance of Americans for Prosperity, a group founded by the Koch brothers that works to elect conservative Republicans. It has developed its own software to check voter registration lists against driver’s license and property records. Those kinds of database matches are notoriously unreliable because names and addresses are often slightly different in various databases, but the group uses this technique to challenge more voters.

 

In 2009 and 2010, for example, the group focused on the Houston Congressional district represented by Sheila Jackson Lee, a black Democrat. After poring over the records for five months, True the Vote came up with a list of 500 names it considered suspicious and challenged them with election authorities. Officials put these voters on “suspense,” requiring additional proof of address, but in most cases voters had simply changed addresses. That didn’t stop the group from sending dozens of white “poll watchers” to precincts in the district during the 2010 elections, deliberately creating friction with black voters.

 

On the day of the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, the group used inaccurate lists to slow down student voting at Lawrence University in Appleton with intrusive identity checks. Three election “observers,” including one from True the Vote, were so disruptive that a clerk gave them two warnings, but the ploy was effective: many students gave up waiting in line and didn’t vote.

 

True the Vote, now active in 30 states, hopes to train hundreds of thousands of poll watchers to make the experience of voting like “driving and seeing the police following you,” as one of the group’s leaders put it. (Not surprisingly, the group is also active in the voter ID movement, with similar goals.) These activities “present a real danger to the fair administration of elections and to the fundamental freedom to vote,” as a recent report by Common Cause and Demos put it.

 

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits intimidation or interference in the act of voting, but the penalties are fairly light. Many states have tougher laws, but they won’t work unless law enforcement officials use them to crack down on the illegal activities — handed down from Jim Crow days — of True the Vote and similar groups.

 

Thank you The New York Times.

 

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BULLIES AT THE BALLOT BOX: PROTECTING THE FREEDOM TO VOTE AGAINST WRONGFUL CHALLENGES AND INTIMIDATION

 

By….

Protecting the freedom to vote for all eligible Americans is of fundamental importance in a democracy founded upon the consent of the governed. One of the most serious threats to the protection of that essential right is the increase in organized efforts, led by groups such as the Tea Party affiliated True the Vote and others, to challenge voters’ eligibility at the polls and through pre-election challenges. Eligible Americans have a civic duty to vote, and government at the federal, state, and local level has a responsibility to protect voters from illegal interference and intimidation.

 

As we approach the 2012 elections, every indication is that we will see an unprecedented use of voter challenges. Organizers of True the Vote claim their goal is to train one million poll watchers to challenge and confront other Americans as they go to the polls in November. They say they want to make the experience of voting “like driving and seeing the police following you.” There is a real danger that voters will face overzealous volunteers who take the law into their own hands to target voters they deem suspect. But there is no place for bullies at the ballot box.

 

Even in states with clear legal boundaries for challengers and poll watchers, too often these boundaries are crossed. Laws intended to ensure voting integrity are instead used to make it harder for eligible citizens to vote – particularly those in communities of color. Moreover, the laws of many states states fall short when it comes to preventing improper voter caging and challenges. This should concern anyone who wants a fair election with a legitimate result that reflects the choices of all eligible Americans.

 

Clear rules that protect voters from improper removal from the rolls by voter caging and challenging, as well as from intimidating behavior at the polls, can help prevent interference with voter rights. This report describes the threat posed by potential voter challenges in the 2012 elections, and assesses the extent to which ten key states — Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia — are prepared to protect the rights of eligible voters to cast a ballot in the face of such challenges. The ten states examined here include states where races are expected to be competitive, which makes voters in those states particularly vulnerable to challenges. We also survey states where a history of aggressive voter challenge programs in recent elections threatened to intimidate voters or interfere with their access to the ballot.

 

 

Overview

This report first provides background on the current threat of overly aggressive voter challenge tactics and the history of such efforts in previous elections. The report then details what is permissible and legal when it comes to challenging a voter’s eligibility, both before and on Election Day and inside and outside the polling place. We analyze laws in ten states governing:

 

  • The process for challenging a registered voter’s right to vote before Election Day and the use of voter caging lists;
  • The process for challenging a registered voter’s right to vote on Election Day;
  • The behavior of poll watchers or observers at the polls on Election Day; and
  • Protections for voters against intimidation, outside and inside the polls.

 

The report measures the extent to which each state’s laws protects voters’ rights in these areas, and assesses them in a set of comparative charts as satisfactory, mixed, or unsatisfactory. Each section includes recommendations for best practices in each of the areas we examine.

 

 

Findings

In examining the ten states’ laws governing challenges to voters’ right to vote before Election Day, including the use of voter lists created through caging or other unreliable practices, we find Colorado, Nevada, and Ohio are satisfactory, North Carolina and Texas are mixed, and Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia – five out of the ten states – unsatisfactory.

 

In assessing these states’ laws governing challenges to voter’s right to vote on Election Day, and procedures for determining those challenges, we find that while some of the ten states have practices that protect voters’ rights, other states need improvement.

 

  • Texas does not allow for any voter challenges on Election Day, and Ohio only allows challenges by election officials; Colorado, New Hampshire, and North Carolina also have satisfactory protections for voters from improper Election Day challenges.
  • Missouri, Nevada, and Virginia have laws that are mixed, with some provisions that protect voters’ rights but also room for improvement.
  • Florida and Pennsylvania have laws with unsatisfactory protections to guard against inappropriate Election Day challenges to voter eligibility.

 

Our analysis of these states’ laws governing poll watchers or observers and their conduct at the polls shows they are also mixed in the extent to which they protect voters’ rights. The laws of Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia are satisfactory; Florida, Missouri, and New Hampshire are mixed. However, Pennsylvania and Texas allow behavior by poll observers or poll watchers that could endanger voting rights.

 

We also summarize these states’ laws protecting voters from intimidation, both outside and inside the polls. State and federal laws barring intimidation of voters can be used to protect voters from harassment.6 However, the efficacy of these protections depends on robust enforcement by election administrators and law enforcement officials.

 

We call upon election administrators and officials with the Department of Justice to take steps in advance of and during the elections to protect voters from bullying at the ballot box. Our intent is to help minimize the level of activity that moves from positive civic engagement to voter intimidation and suppression. There must be zero tolerance for bullying behavior that stands between an eligible voter and her ballot.

Read the entire report here.

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18 U.S. Code § 594 – Intimidation of voters

 

Whoever intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing such candidate, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

 

 

Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia Facebook Page

 

CLEAR UP YOUR WARRANTS and you have nothing to fear.

DO NOT CLEAR UP YOUR WARRANTS and we will do our best to make sure you are hauled off in cuffs as soon as possible.

 

Please match up names on outstanding warrant lists to those people listed here:

http://www.putwisconsinfirst.com/

If you have a hit, please forward the name to us and we’ll get one of our members to check it out.

 

Douglas County, Wisconsin outstanding warrant list.

 

Wood County outstanding warrant list.

 

La Crosse County outstanding warrant list.

 

Dodge County outstanding warrant list.

 

Manitowoc County outstanding warrant list.

 

Jefferson County outstanding warrant list.

 

Attention all members: Militia training will be at HQ on September 20, 2014 at 0930. We will hand out updated watch lists, duty assignments, and discuss rules and regulations. Expect it to take around 2-3 hours. After our discussion we will be headed to the range for anyone who wants to participate.

 

!!!!Nitorious

 

Now if you stop and think about this for a few minutes, these backwoods ass, cousin fuckin, red neck, sister marrying, caucasians, Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia members must be the epitome of stupid. What idiot thinks criminal with “Warrants” would show up to vote, AND SHOW Identification? Besides violating 18 U.S. Code § 594 – Intimidation of voters…..

 

§594. Intimidation of voters

Whoever intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing such candidate, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 720; Pub. L. 91–405, title II, §204(d)(5), Sept. 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 853; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

These assholes in the Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia think they can stop and detain voters in the state of Wisconsin…and the law prohibits such actions on election day in the vicinity of polling places.

I wish I lived in the neighborhoods these ignorant Kocksuckers were visiting in Wisconsin. I have been carrying a CCP (Concealed Carry Permit) since 1985, upon discharge from the United States Military, and I would welcome anyone from the Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia approaching me on election day. Or ANY day for that matter.

 

I have a suggestion for the Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia. Come to the Southside of Chicago, Harlem, Compton, South Philly, or any crime infested city in the ghetto, and try that bullshit. We’ll see how long you continue to breath after arrival. 

 

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A Brand New Day™: HuMpDaY Wednesday The 23rd Of October


 

By Jueseppi B.

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White House Tweets – October 23, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

White House Schedule – October 23, 2013

 

 

In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

 

Later, the President and the Vice President will meet for lunch in the Private Dining Room. This lunch is closed press.

 

In the afternoon, the President will welcome Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan to the White House. The Vice President will attend. The meeting will highlight the importance and resilience of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and provide an opportunity for us to strengthen cooperation on issues of mutual concern, such as energy, trade and economic development, regional stability, and countering violent extremism.  There will be a pool spray at the bottom of the meeting.

 

Later, the President and the Vice President will meet with Secretary of the Treasury Lew in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

 

 

Wednesday, October 23 2013 All Times ET

8:15 AM: The Vice President meets with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan, Naval Observatory.

 

 

10:45 AM: The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing, Oval Office.

 

 

11:30 AM: First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden host a tea with Mrs. Kalsoom Sharif.

 

 

12:00 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, Brady Briefing Room.

 

 

12:30 PM: The President and the Vice President meet for lunch, Private Dining Room.

 

 

2:10 PM: The President holds a bilateral meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif; the Vice President also attends, Oval Office.

 

 

4:15 PM: The President and the Vice President meet with Secretary of the Treasury Lew, Oval Office.

 

 

7:45 PM: The Vice President delivers remarks to the Kennedy Forum on community mental health, The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

 

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Next Up…

October 23, 2013 12:00 PM EDT

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

The White House

 

 

October 23, 2013 7:50 PM EDT

Vice President Biden Speaks at the Kennedy Forum Community Mental Health Gala

Audio Only

Boston, Massachusetts

 

Watch & Listen At White House LIVE!! Streaming

 

 

Statements and Releases

 

President Obama Signs Kansas Disaster Declaration

 

Readout of Vice President Biden’s Breakfast with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

 

Statement by the President on the Anniversary of the Attack on the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon

 

 

The White House Blog

 

A Better Bargain for the Middle Class

 

Immigration and the Economy

 

White House Mobile Apps

 

The Employment Situation in September

 

Here’s What’s Being Done to Make HealthCare.gov Better

 

Economic Activity During the Government Shutdown and Debt Limit Brinksmanship

 

Training Clean Energy Leaders of the Future

 

Ohio Medicaid Expansion Will Provide Health Coverage for 270,000 Previously Uninsured Residents

 

You’re Invited: Join the White House Fall Garden Instagram Meetup

 

Watch: The President’s message for you from BarackObama.com

You’re probably hearing a lot about Obamacare’s website glitches, especially from health reform‘s opponents.

 

Let’s be clear about this — it’s absolutely frustrating to know that while hundreds of thousands of people have filled out applications for affordable coverage online, there are many who haven’t been able to because of technical problems.

 

That’s why President Obama recorded a personal message for OFA supporters — he wants to speak directly to you on where we go from here, and why he needs your support even more over the next five months.

 

Watch the President’s message for you — then join Team Obamacare to help make sure people know the facts about Obamacare.

 

 

JOIN PRESIDENT OBAMA ON TEAM OBAMACARE

 

President Obama recorded a quick video for OFA supporters on the first weeks of Obamacare and where we go from here. He’s counting on Team Obamacare to help.

Join the team.

 

Published on Oct 22, 2013

President Obama recorded a personal message for OFA supporters about Obamacare, the new online health insurance marketplace, and why he needs your support even more over the next five months.

 

 

 

The reality is that Obamacare is more than just a website — it’s a law that is already helping millions of Americans get better, more affordable coverage. And anyone looking to shop for coverage can do so in person or over the phone, as well.

 

And in spite of everything that’s happened in Washingtonover the past few weeks, one thing hasn’t changed:

Obamacare is still the law of the land.

 

Over the next five months, it’s going to be up to people like us to make sure folks know the facts about how to get covered, and how the law is already working for them and their loved ones.

 

Watch the President’s message just for you, then join Team Obamacare:

http://my.barackobama.com/Message-from-President-Obama

 

 

#GetCovered Because: There Are Four Ways To Sign Up For Health Care

 

Published on Oct 22, 2013

You can sign up for ObamaCare in four ways. Online at http://healthcare.gov, by mail, in person, or on the phone at 1800-315-2596.

 

 

 

ObamaCare: Jim DeMint‘s Heritage Foundation‘s Hypocrisy Mandate

 

 

 

The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare

 

Published on Jul 17, 2013

2014 is coming–are you ready for Obamacare? Join the YouToons as they walk through the basic changes in the way Americans will get health coverage and what it will cost starting in 2014, when major parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” go into effect. To download the video, please visit http://www.kff.org/health-reform/video/youtoons­-obamacare-video/

 

 

 

Texas judge slams Republicans in video announcing he’s now a Democrat

 

Judge Carlo Key

 

Judge Carlo Key Kicks The TeaTardedRepubliCANT Tea Party RepubliCANTS under the bus…..at the curb.

 

 

A Texas judge puts the blame squarely on Tea Party Republican rhetoric for his decision to run for re-election as a Democrat in a campaign video he released on Sunday.

 

“Rational Republican beliefs have given way to ideologicalcharacter assassination,” Bexar County Judge Carlo Key says in the video, over shots of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other Republican lawmakers. “Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake, I have not left the Republican party. It left me.”

 

 

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In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)


 

By Jueseppi B.

in-case-you-missed-it

 

 

Texas judge slams Republicans in video announcing he’s now a Democrat

 

Judge Carlo Key

 

Judge Carlo Key Kicks The TeaTardedRepubliCANT Tea Party RepubliCANTS under the bus…..at the curb.

 

 

 

A Texas judge puts the blame squarely on Tea Party Republican rhetoric for his decision to run for re-election as a Democrat in a campaign video he released on Sunday.

 

“Rational Republican beliefs have given way to ideological character assassination,” Bexar County Judge Carlo Key says in the video, over shots of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other Republican lawmakers. “Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake, I have not left the Republican party. It left me.”

 

Press Briefing

October 22, 2013 | 01:01:46 |Public Domain

 

 

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

White House Tweets – October 22, 2013

 

 

 

 

Readout of Vice President Biden’s Meeting with Prime Minister Victor Ponta of Romania

 

 

Readout of the President’s Call with President Hollande of France

The President spoke today with President Hollande of France. The United States and France are allies and friends, and share a close working relationship on a wide range of issues, including security and intelligence. The President and President Hollande discussed recent disclosures in the press – some of which have distorted our activities and some of which raise legitimate questions for our friends and allies about how these capabilities are employed. The President made clear that the United States has begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share. The two Presidents agreed that we should continue to discuss these issues in diplomatic channels moving forward.  The two leaders also discussed the ongoing violence in Syria and the importance of a political solution to the crisis.

President Obama Speaks on the Affordable Care Act

October 21, 2013 | 44:11 |Public Domain

 

President Obama says that the health insurance that’s available to people through HealthCare.gov is high quality and affordable, and his Administration is working around the clock to address problems that make the site slow and difficult to use.

 

Remarks by the President on the Affordable Care Act

Rose Garden

11:33 A.M. EDT

 

THE PRESIDENT:  Everybody, have a seat.

 

MS. BAKER:  Hello.  My name is Janice Baker.  I have the privilege to say that I’m the first person in the state of Delaware to enroll for health insurance through the new marketplace.  (Applause.)  Like many consumers out there, it took me a number of frustrating attempts before I could apply for and select my plan.  I kept trying because I needed access to the new health care options.

 

I had applied to three private insurance companies only to be rejected due to preexisting health conditions.  I am too young for Medicare, but I’m too old not to have some health issues.  I was able to find a policy I am thrilled with, saving $150 a month, and much lower deductibles than my previous policy that I held through my small business.

 

I’m here today to encourage other people like me who needs access to quality, affordable insurance, and to tell them to have patience with such a new system.  Without this ability to get this insurance, I know that a single hospital stay could have bankrupted me and my business.

 

Thank you all.  And I am now honored to introduce the President of the United States.  (Applause.)

 

THE PRESIDENT:  Great job.

 

MS. BAKER:  Thank you.  Thank you.

 

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you, everybody.  Well, thank you, Janice.  And thanks to everybody here for coming on this beautiful day.  Welcome to the White House.

 

About three weeks ago, as the federal government shut down, the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces opened for business across the country.  Well, we’ve now gotten the government back open for the American people, and today I want to talk about how we’re going to get the marketplaces running at full steam, as well.  And I’m joined today by folks who have either benefited from the Affordable Care Act already, or who are helping their fellow citizens learn about what this law means for them and how they can get covered.

 

Of course, you’ve probably heard that HealthCare.gov –- the new website where people can apply for health insurance, and browse and buy affordable plans in most states –- hasn’t worked as smoothly as it was supposed to work.  And the number of people who have visited the site has been overwhelming, which has aggravated some of these underlying problems.

 

Despite all that, thousands of people are signing up and saving money as we speak.  Many Americans with a preexisting condition, like Janice, are discovering that they can finally get health insurance like everybody else.

 

So today, I want to speak to every American who’s looking to get affordable health insurance.  I want you to know what’s available to you and why it may be a good deal for you.  And for those who’ve had some problems with the website, I want to tell you what we’re doing to make it work better and how you can sign up to get covered in other ways.

 

But before I do that, let me remind everybody that the Affordable Care Act is not just a website.  It’s much more.  For the vast majority of Americans — for 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance through your employer or Medicare or Medicaid -– you don’t need to sign up for coverage through a website at all.  You’ve already got coverage.  What the Affordable Care Act does for you is to provide you with new benefits and protections that have been in place for some time.  You may not know it, but you’re already benefiting from these provisions in the law.

 

For example, because of the Affordable Care Act, young people like Jasmine Jennings, and Jessica Ugalde, and Ezra Salop, all of whom are here today, they’ve been able to stay on their parents’ plans until they’re 26.  Millions of other young people are currently benefiting from that part of the law.  (Applause.)  Another part of the Affordable Care Act is providing seniors with deeper discounts on their prescription medicine.  Billions of dollars have been saved by seniors already.  That’s part of the law.  It’s already in place.  It’s happening right now.

 

Already, because of the Affordable Care Act, preventive care like mammograms and birth control are free through your employers.  That’s part of this law.  (Applause.)  So there are a wide range of consumer protections and benefits that you already have if you’ve got health insurance.  You may not have noticed them, but you’ve got them, and they’re not going anywhere.  And they’re not dependent on a website.

 

Here’s another thing that the Affordable Care Act does.  In states where governors and legislatures have wisely allowed it, the Affordable Care Act provides the opportunity for many Americans to get covered under Medicaid for the first time.  So in Oregon, for example, that’s helped cut the number of uninsured people by 10 percent just in the last three weeks.  Think about that.  That’s 56,000 more Americans who now have health care.  (Applause.)  That doesn’t depend on a website.

 

Now, if you’re one of the 15 percent of Americans who don’t have health insurance — either because you can’t afford it or because your employer doesn’t offer it, or because you’re a small businessperson and you have to go out on the individual market and buy it on your own and it’s just too expensive — October 1st was an important date.  That’s when we opened the new marketplaces where people without health insurance, or who can’t afford health insurance, or who aren’t part of a group plan, can finally start getting affordable coverage.

 

And the idea is simple.  By enrolling in what we’re calling these marketplaces, you become part of a big group plan — as if you were working for a big employer — a statewide group plan that spreads risk between sick people and healthy people, between young and old, and then bargains on your behalf for the best deal on health care.  What we’ve done is essentially create a competition where there wasn’t competition before.  We created these big group plans, and now insurers are really interested in getting your business.  And so insurers have created new health care plans with more choices to be made available through these marketplaces.

 

And as a result of this choice and this competition, prices have come down.  When you add the new tax credits that many people are eligible for through the law, then the prices come down even further.  So one study shows that through new options created by the Affordable Care Act, nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans will find that they can get covered for less than $100 a month.  Think about that.  (Applause.)

 

Through the marketplaces, you can get health insurance for what may be the equivalent of your cell phone bill or your cable bill, and that’s a good deal.

 

So the fact is the product of the Affordable Care Act for people without health insurance is quality health insurance that’s affordable.  And that product is working.  It’s really good.  And it turns out there’s a massive demand for it.  So far, the national website, HealthCare.gov, has been visited nearly 20 million times.  Twenty million times.  (Applause.)  And there’s great demand at the state level as well, because there are a bunch of states that are running their own marketplaces.

 

We know that nearly one-third of the people applying in Connecticut and Maryland, for example, are under 35 years old.  They understand that they can get a good deal at low costs, have the security of health care, and this is not just for old folks like me — that everybody needs good quality health insurance.  And all told, more than half a million consumers across the country have successfully submitted applications through federal and state marketplaces.  And many of those applications aren’t just for individuals, it’s for their entire families.  So even more people are already looking to potentially take advantage of the high quality, affordable insurance that is provided through the Affordable Care Act.

 

So let me just recap here.  The product is good.  The health insurance that’s being provided is good.  It’s high quality and it’s affordable.  People can save money, significant money, by getting insurance that’s being provided through these marketplaces.  And we know that the demand is there.  People are rushing to see what’s available.  And those who have already had a chance to enroll are thrilled with the result.  Every day, people who were stuck with sky-high premiums because of preexisting conditions are getting affordable insurance for the first time, or finding, like Janice did, that they’re saving a lot of money.  Every day, women are finally buying coverage that doesn’t charge them higher premiums than men for the same care.  (Applause.)  Every day, people are discovering that new health insurance plans have to cover maternity care, mental health care, free preventive care.

 

So you just heard Janice’s story — she owns her own small business.  She recently became the first woman to enroll in coverage through Delaware’s exchange.  And it’s true, it took her a few tries, but it was worth it after being turned down for insurance three times due to minor preexisting conditions.  So now she’ll be covered, she’ll save 150 bucks a month, and she won’t have to worry that one illness or accident will cost her her business that she’s worked so hard to build.

 

And Janice is not alone.  I recently received a letter from a woman named Jessica Sanford in Washington State.  And here’s what she wrote:  “I am a single mom, no child support, self-employed, and I haven’t had insurance for 15 years because it’s too expensive.  My son has ADHD and requires regular doctor visits and his meds alone cost $250 per month.  I have had an ongoing tendinitis problem due to my line of work that I haven’t had treated.  Now, finally, we get to have coverage because of the ACA for $169 per month.  I was crying the other day when I signed up.  So much stress lifted.”

 

Now, that is not untypical for a lot of folks like Jessica who have been struggling without health insurance.  That’s what the Affordable Care Act is all about.  The point is, the essence of the law — the health insurance that’s available to people — is working just fine.  In some cases, actually, it’s exceeding expectations — the prices are lower than we expected, the choice is greater than we expected.

 

But the problem has been that the website that’s supposed to make it easy to apply for and purchase the insurance is not working the way it should for everybody.  And there’s no sugarcoating it.  The website has been too slow, people have been getting stuck during the application process.  And I think it’s fair to say that nobody is more frustrated by that than I am — precisely because the product is good, I want the cash registers to work.  I want the checkout lines to be smooth.  So I want people to be able to get this great product.  And there’s no excuse for the problems, and these problems are getting fixed.

 

But while we’re working out the kinks in the system, I want everybody to understand the nature of the problem.  First of all, even with all the problems at HealthCare.gov, the website is still working for a lot of people — just not as quick or efficient or consistent as we want.  And although many of these folks have found that they had to wait longer than they wanted, once they complete the process they’re very happy with the deal that’s available to them, just like Janice’s.

 

Second, I want everybody to remember that we’re only three weeks into a six-month open enrollment period, when you can buy these new plans.  (Applause.)  Keep in mind the insurance doesn’t start until January 1st; that’s the earliest that the insurance can kick in.  No one who decides to purchase a plan has to pay their first premium until December 15th.  And unlike the day after Thanksgiving sales for the latest Playstation or flat-screen TVs, the insurance plans don’t run out.  They’re not going to sell out.  They’ll be available through the marketplace — (applause) — throughout the open enrollment period.  The prices that insurers have set will not change.  So everybody who wants insurance through the marketplace will get insurance, period.  (Applause.)  Everybody who wants insurance through the marketplace will get insurance.

 

Third, we are doing everything we can possibly do to get the websites working better, faster, sooner.  We’ve got people working overtime, 24/7, to boost capacity and address the problems.  Experts from some of America’s top private-sector tech companies who, by the way, have seen things like this happen before, they want it to work.  They’re reaching out.  They’re offering to send help.  We’ve had some of the best IT talent in the entire country join the team.  And we’re well into a “tech surge” to fix the problem.  And we are confident that we will get all the problems fixed.

 

Number four — while the website will ultimately be the easiest way to buy insurance through the marketplace, it isn’t the only way.  And I want to emphasize this.  Even as we redouble our efforts to get the site working as well as it’s supposed to, we’re also redoubling our efforts to make sure you can still buy the same quality, affordable insurance plans available on the marketplace the old-fashioned way — offline, either over the phone or in person.

 

And, by the way, there are a lot of people who want to take advantage of this who are more comfortable working on the phone anyway or in person.  So let me go through the specifics as to how you can do that if you’re having problems with the website or you just prefer dealing with a person.

 

Yesterday, we updated the website’s home page to offer more information about the other avenues to enroll in affordable health care until the online option works for everybody.  So you’ll find information about how to talk to a specialist who can help you apply over the phone or to receive a downloadable application you can fill out yourself and mail in.

 

We’ve also added more staff to the call centers where you can apply for insurance over the phone.  Those are already — they’ve been working.  But a lot of people have decided first to go to the website.  But keep in mind, these call centers are already up and running.  And you can get your questions answered by real people, 24 hours a day, in 150 different languages.  The phone number for these call centers is 1-800-318-2596.  I want to repeat that — 1-800-318-2596.  Wait times have averaged less than one minute so far on the call centers, although I admit that the wait times probably might go up a little bit now that I’ve read the number out loud on national television.  (Laughter.) 

 

But the point is the call centers are available.  You can talk to somebody directly and they can walk you through the application process.  And I guarantee you, if one thing is worth the wait, it’s the safety and security of health care that you can afford, or the amount of money that you can save by buying health insurance through the marketplaces.  (Applause.)

 

Once you get on the phone with a trained representative, it usually takes about 25 minutes for an individual to apply for coverage, about 45 minutes for a family.  Once you apply for coverage, you will be contacted by email or postal mail about your coverage status.

 

But you don’t have to just go through the phone.  You can also apply in person with the help of local navigators -– these are people specially trained to help you sign up for health care, and they exist all across the country, or you can go to community health centers and hospitals.  Just visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov to find out where in your area you can get help and apply for insurance in person.

 

And finally, if you’ve already tried to apply through the website and you’ve been stuck somewhere along the way, do not worry.  In the coming weeks, we will contact you directly, personally, with a concrete recommendation for how you can complete your application, shop for coverage, pick a plan that meets your needs, and get covered once and for all.

 

So here’s the bottom line.  The product, the health insurance is good.  The prices are good.  It is a good deal.  People don’t just want it; they’re showing up to buy it.  Nobody is madder than me about the fact that the website isn’t working as well as it should, which means it’s going to get fixed.  (Laughter and applause.)

 

And in the meantime, you can bypass the website and apply by phone or in person.  So don’t let problems with the website deter you from signing up, or signing your family up, or showing your friends how to sign up, because it is worth it.  It will save you money.  If you don’t have health insurance, if you’ve got a preexisting condition, it will save you money and it will give you the security that your family needs.

 

In fact, even with the website issues, we’ve actually made the overall process of buying insurance through the marketplace a lot smoother and easier than the old way of buying insurance on your own.  Part of the challenge here is that a lot of people may not remember what it’s like to buy insurance the traditional way.

 

The way we’ve set it up, there are no more absurdly long application forms.  There’s no medical history questionnaire that goes on for pages and pages.  There’s no more getting denied because you’ve had a preexisting condition.  Instead of contacting a bunch of different insurers one at a time, which is what Janice and a lot of people who are shopping on the individual market for health insurance had to do, there’s one single place you can go shop and compare plans that have to compete for your business.  There’s one single phone number you can call for help.  And once the kinks in the website have been ironed out, it will be an even smoother and even easier.  But in the meantime, we will help you sign up — because consumers want to buy this product and insurance companies want to sell it to you.

 

Now, let me close by addressing some of the politics that have swirled around the Affordable Care Act.  I recognize that the Republican Party has made blocking the Affordable Care Act its signature policy idea.  Sometimes it seems to be the one thing that unifies the party these days.  (Laughter.)  In fact, they were willing to shut down the government and potentially harm the global economy to try to get it repealed.  And I’m sure that given the problems with the website so far, they’re going to be looking to go after it even harder.  And let’s admit it — with the website not working as well as it needs to work, that makes a lot of supporters nervous because they know how it’s been subject to so much attack, the Affordable Care Act generally.

 

But I just want to remind everybody, we did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a website.  That’s not what this was about.  (Applause.)  We waged this battle to make sure that millions of Americans in the wealthiest nation on Earth finally have the same chance to get the same security of affordable quality health care as anybody else.  That’s what this is about.  (Applause.)  And the Affordable Care Act has done that.

 

People can now get good insurance.  People with preexisting conditions can now afford insurance.  And if the launch of this website proves anything, it’s that people across the country don’t just need that security, they want that security.  They want it.  (Applause.)  And in the meantime — I’ve said many times — I’m willing to work with anyone on any idea to make this law perform even better.  But it’s time for folks to stop rooting for its failure, because hardworking, middle-class families are rooting for its success.  (Applause.)  And if the product is good, they’re willing to be patient.

 

I got a letter last week from a self-employed man named John Mier in Leetsdale, Pennsylvania.  He used the new marketplace to get himself and his wife covered and save a lot of money.  And here’s what he said, because it pretty much sums up my message today:  “Yes, the website really stank for the first week.”  (Laughter.)  “But instead of paying $1,600 per month for a group insurance plan, we have a plan that will only cost us $692 a month –- a savings of $900 per month.”  (Applause.)  John said that while he saw — when he saw what they’d be paying, he turned to his wife and told her, “We might just pull through.  We can afford this.”  And John eventually predicted that “the website will work like a champ.”

 

So John, he was frustrated by the website, but he’s feeling a little less frustrated once he found out that he was saving 900 bucks a month on his health insurance.  (Applause.)  And John is right, the website is going to get fixed and the law works.  That’s why we fought so hard to pass this law — to save folks like John money; to give people who don’t have health insurance the chance to get it for the first time; to lift from the American people the crushing burden of unaffordable health care; to free families from the pervasive fear that one illness — (on-stage participant becomes ill) — there you go, you are ok.  I’m right here.  I got you.  (Laughter.)  No, no — you’re okay.  This happens when I talk too long.  (Laughter.)  You’ll be okay.  Here, why don’t you go.  (Applause.)

 

Good catch, by the way, whoever was here.  (Laughter.)

 

But that’s always our goal, to free families from the pervasive fear that one illness or one injury might cost you everything that you dedicated a lifetime to build.  Our goal has always been to declare that in this country the security of health care is not a privilege for a fortunate few.  It’s a right for all to enjoy.  (Applause.)  That’s what the Affordable Care Act is all about.  That’s its promise.  And I intend to deliver on that promise.

 

Thank you very much, everybody.  God bless you.  (Applause.)

 

END

12:00 P.M. EDT

 

 

James H. Stock
October 22, 2013
05:16 PM EDT

 

The government shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship have had a substantial negative impact on the economy. A new report released today by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) attempts to estimate the actual impact of the shutdown and default brinksmanship on economic activity as measured by eight different daily or weekly economic indicators. Overall it finds that a range of eight economic indicators in what we call a “Weekly Economic Index” are consistent with a 0.25 percentage point reduction in the annualized GDP growth rate in the fourth quarter and a reduction of about 120,000 private sector jobs in the first two weeks of October (estimates use indicators available through October 12th). These estimates very likely understate the full economic effects of the episode because of its effects that continued, and will continue, past October 12th.

 

The shutdown directly affected the economy by withdrawing government services for a sixteen day period, which not only had direct impacts but also had a range of indirect effects on the private sector. For example the travel industry was hurt by the closing of national parks, businesses in oil and gas and other industries were hurt by the cessation of permits for oil and gas drilling, the housing industry was hurt by the cessation of IRS verifications for mortgage applications, and small businesses were hurt by the shutdown of Small Business Administration loan guarantees. In addition, a reduction in consumer confidence and an increase in uncertainty associated not just with the shutdown but also the brinksmanship over the debt limit affected consumer spending, investment and hiring decisions as well.

 

Read More

 

 

Rebecca Matulka and Matty Greene
October 22, 2013
11:14 AM EDT

 

Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the U.S. Department of Energy. You can see the original post here.

 

 

 

 

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 wrapped up. Even though the sun has set at the Solar Decathlon village and students have gone home, their hard work is having a lasting effect on sustainable design and our nation’s clean energy leaders.

 

A two-year competition that challenges collegiate teams to build energy-efficient, solar-powered houses, the Solar Decathlon is a perfect example of how the Energy Department is training and inspiring the next generation of architects, engineers and entrepreneurs. Over the course of the competition, students gain hands-on experience in everything from fundraising and marketing to design and construction. Showcasing their houses to the general public allows students to get feedback on their designs and how they work in the real world — something that many of them would never get in the classroom.

 

Read More

 

 

White House Announces Public Tours

 

The Employment Situation in September

 

Ohio Medicaid Expansion Will Provide Health Coverage for 270,000 Previously Uninsured Residents

 

You’re Invited: Join the White House Fall Garden Instagram Meetup

 

Follow the Council of Economic Advisors @CEAChair & @CEABetsey on Twitter

 

Here’s What’s Being Done to Make HealthCare.gov Better

 

 

CNN on Obamacare

 

 

 

History Made: Lorraine Miller Appointed Interim NAACP President And CEO

 

Shut Down The Tea Party (TeaTardedRepubliCANTS) This “NO”vember 4th, 2014

 

Whats In A Name? Racism. Disrespect. Evil. Hatred.

 

 

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Barack Speaks On Sequester Mess


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

themanyfacesofobama

 

 

 

President Obama Delivers Remarks on Sequester Cuts Mean Job Loss

 

 

Published on Mar 1, 2013

President Obama Delivers Remarks on Sequester Cuts Mean Job Loss
A fiscal deadline all but blown, President Barack Obama says he once again wants to seek a big fiscal deal that would raise taxes and trim billions from expensive and ever growing entitlement programs. But with automatic federal spending cuts ready to start taking their toll, the path toward that grand bargain Obama campaigned on last year has significantly narrowed.

 

The president has summoned the top bipartisan congressional leadership to the White House, a meeting designed to give all sides a chance to stake out their fiscal positions with a new threat of a government shutdown less than four weeks away. There were no expectations of a breakthrough.

 

But for Obama, Friday’s session would be his first opportunity to spell out his 10-year, $1.5 trillion deficit reduction plan in a face-to-face meeting with congressional allies and adversaries.

 

His chances are squeezed by anti-tax conservatives, by liberals unwilling to cut into Medicare and Social Security, and by a Republican leadership that has dug in against any new revenue after ceding to Obama’s demands two months ago for a higher tax rate for top income earners.

 

On Thursday, two ill-fated proposals aimed at blunting the blame over the cuts — one Democratic and the other Republican — failed to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate. Obama placed the responsibility on Republicans.

 

“They voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks on the Impact of the Sequester

 

Published on Feb 26, 2013

President Obama highlights the devastating impact of automatic budget cuts on jobs and middle class families if Congressional Republicans fail to compromise to avert the sequester. February 26, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks on the Sequester

 

Published on Feb 19, 2013

President Obama urges Congress to take action to avoid the automatic budget cuts scheduled to hit next Friday if lawmakers fail to find a path forward on balanced deficit reduction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OBAMA RE ELECTED

 

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