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Republicans Still Think You’re Stupid

From the National Memo website December 11, 2014, we’re posting the entire post here and including the direct link below. It’s a post that was hard to summarize:

The only time Republicans admit what they’re really up to is when they attack Democrats for doing the exact same thing they’re either currently doing or have already done.

As soon as Senate Democrats released the executive summary of a report detailing the CIA’s torture regime under the George W. Bush administration, a Fox News host was already calling it a distraction. “I find it ironic that they’re dropping this report on the same day that Gruber’s testifying, to knock that out of the front pages,” Outnumbered’s Jesse Watters speculated.

Ah, Jonathan Gruber. The #Benghazi of all #Benghazis.

He’s the real issue that America needs to focus on now that the election is over, and Republicans can stop pretending that they care about ISIS, or Ebola, or governing.

If you exist outside of the conservative media wormhole, you’ve probably vaguely heard of Gruber. But you may not be aware of why.

Earlier this winter, a conservative investment advisor dug up tapes of Gruber serving up a PenthouseLetters-quality fantasy to a right wing that sensed a renewed chance to gut the Affordable Care Act, with the help of an offensively specious reading of the law — one that’s made its way to the Supreme Court.

In these tapes, Gruber personifies the right’s worst caricature of the liberal elite. He brags about using the “stupidity of the American voter” to get some of the law’s least popular features — like the individual mandate and the “Cadillac” tax on insurance policies worth more than $25,000 a year — sneaked into the bill.

It’s awful stuff for defenders of the Affordable Care Act, including me, who’ve relied on Gruber’s pedigree of having worked for George W. Bush and Mitt Romney to make the case that Republicans oppose the law purely out of partisan spite. Some on the left have been warning against Gruber for years, for failing to disclose his contracts with the government and his conservative tendencies. But his explanation of how “winners” under the law would vastly outnumber those who lost policies they liked was taken as gospel by many ACA proponents. And his quote describing GOP opposition to expanding Medicaid as“awesome in its evilness” was repeated by Paul Krugman and retweeted by liberals throughout the land.

So… checkmate.

Except that what Gruber said was pretty much BS. (Please verify this, PolitiFact.)

Passage of the Affordable Care Act was excruciatingly transparent. For months upon months, the Senate Committee on Finance met publicly to hash out the law (with far too much input from lobbyists), hoping to win over even one Republican supporter with a proposal that cloned an approach to health care reform conceived almost entirely by the right.

Democrats hedged on whether the individual mandate was a tax. But when the Supreme Court saved the law, it clearly labeled it that way. And Republicans didn’t make a big issue of this fact in the 2012 presidential campaign, because they’d nominated the first guy who ever signed an individual mandate into law.

Even it it weren’t BS, who cares? Gruber’s stray comments that seemed to support the Republican argument that red states can deny tax credits to their citizens doesn’t erase how his models and commentary directly contradicted their point.

But he’s an architect!

You can call Gruber the architect of Obamacare and Romneycare. I did. And what does that change?

An “architect” of the Iraq War said it would pay for itself. The “architects” of the Bush tax cuts said they would be good for the economy, and we got the first decade without job growth in 70 years. And Republicans are vowing to use the same voodoo math that justified the lowest tax rates on the rich in a century again — even as inequality hits its worst point since before the Great Depression.

Can the Supreme Court invoke the “architect” clause to reverse these actual disasters?

But it’s about transparency! Republicans scream, right before insisting that a report detailing torture notbe released.

This is a party that cares so much about transparency that it went to the Supreme Court to make sure Dick Cheney wouldn’t have to disclose which energy overlords he met with in the White House.

Of course, Gruber is a distraction. A distraction from reports showing that 10.3 million Americans have gained health insurance, health spending growth is at a 53-year low, hospitals are saving more money and lives, people have more freedom to work or not work and the projected cost of health care for taxpayers has shrunk faster than anyone could have imagined.

Republicans suggested that Obamacare would destroy the economy. Instead we’re in the middle of thebest job growth of this century.

Study after study shows the Affordable Care Act is working. It isn’t perfect. People lost plans and doctors,as they did before the law. But now they have the security of knowing they cannot be denied coverage due to insurer discrimination, and at least 80 percent of what they pay is going toward actual health care. And the GOP’s desperate attempts to talk about anything but how the law is working may be our best proof of this success.

After six years of promises, Republicans still haven’t put together any Obamacare alternative, because they know it will invite every criticism they’ve been making of the president since 2009. Instead, they’re hoping the Supreme Court will act as the Republican National Committee offshoot it has become to rob middle-class workers of tax credits they need to buy health insurance.

The Gruber hearings disappointed some on the right.

“Perhaps conservatives were better off when the mainstream press was largely ignoring Gruber-gate,”Hot Air‘s Noah Rothman wrote  after the media didn’t offer any of the anti-Gruber backwash that conservatives have been ricocheting around their echo chamber, as if anyone but the people who already hated the law even cared.

That’s the problem with distractions. Eventually people may wonder what you’re distracting them from.


Here’s a link to the original post.

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Your 2014 DFL Team and Other Races

 Yvonne Selcer for HD48A

Yvonne Selcer copy 2

Joan Howe-Pullis for HD48B

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Mark Dayton and Tina Smith
for Governor and Lt. Governor


Lori Swanson for Attorney General


Steve Simon for Secretary of State


Rebecca Otto for State Auditor


 Al Franken for U.S. Senate

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Sharon Sund for Congress


Mike Freeman for Hennepin County Attorney


Eddie Frizell for Hennepin County Sheriff


Eden Prairie City Council

These seats are non-partisan. No DFL party endorsement has been given.

Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens is running unopposed. We believe Ms. Tyra-Lukens has served the people of Eden Prairie well during her tenures as Mayor and deserves another term.

Council Members Kathy Nelson and Sherry Butcher-Wickstrom are running for re-election along with Andrew K. Moller. We believe Ms. Nelson and Ms. Butcher-Wickstrom have also served the people of Eden Prairie well during their terms. And, therefore, deserve another term.

Mr. Moller filed for office, but doesn’t seem to have a campaign website.

Judgeships on the Ballot

At this month’s Third Congressional District Central Committee meeting, many of the judge candidates spoke to the body. CD3 then compiled information from those discussions and researched candidates. We’re including information on those races in our area with more than one candidate.

Associate Justice — Supreme Court 2, John Hancock, Wilhelmina (Mimi) Wright — Judge Wright has a website with an extensive list of DFL supporters including Sharon Sayles-Belton and Karen Thissen.  There is no contact information nor website for her opponent.  http://wrightforjustice.com/

Associate Justice — Supreme Court 3, Michelle L. MacDonald, David Lillehaug —  Judge Lillehaug is a known in the Twin Cities.  Please peruse his list of supporters for your information.  If you wish to know about his opponent, please do an internet search with her name to find out about her.  http://www.justicelillehaug.org/supporters

4th District Court 16 — Bruce Michael Rivers, James A. Moore — Judge Moore did not attend, as he has signed the agreement with the Hennepin County Bar Association to not participate in any partisan activities.  His endorsement list is here for your information: http://www.judgejamesmoore.org/endorsements/. Bruce Rivers joined us and spoke about his experience as a criminal defense attorney.  He is running a grassroots campaign and does not have a campaign website.  He links to his personal law firm website for information:  http://www.riverslawyers.com/

4th District Court 43 — Paul Scoggin, Bridget Ann Sullivan — Both of these very engaging candidates joined us last evening and spoke about their backgrounds, personal views and experience that draws them to run for this open seat.  Paul Scoggin offers an impressive list of supporters for our information:  http://www.scogginforjudge.com/#!supporters/c11vk.  Bridget Ann Sullivan also offers an impressive list of supporters http://www.sullivanfor43.com/index.asp?SEC=EA964D88-8CE3-461C-9D27-72FEC4E3292F&Type=B_EV.  Both are passionate and dedicated to their craft of advocating for justice.

4th District Court 53, Bev Benson, Chris Ritts — We were joined by both candidates for this open seat.  They spoke about their backgrounds, cases they have tried and the passion that drew them to run for this seat.  Bev Benson lists many supporters that will give credence to her speech: http://bevbensonforjudge.com/index.asp?SEC=8A65E138-CA67-4B2A-8866-19EF5E058525&Type=B_BASIC  Chris Ritts has an informative website that covers his background.  http://rittsforjudge.com/

4th District Court 61, Amy Dawson, Bevery J. Aho — We were joined by Amy Dawson, who spoke about her passion, experience and personal drive to serve the needs of justice last evening.  Her list of supporters is as extensive as her passion: http://www.amydawsonforjudge.com/  Her opponent is a known GOP activist, GOP state delegate who raised funds for George W. Bush. There are numerous writings online from her if you need more information.

Please look into all these candidates, read about them and make your decisions. Then, call them for a lawn sign and share your information with your friends, neighbors and family. Judges decide many issues in our community and we need to do our due diligence to make property decisions to elect those who share our values.

You can check on the licensure and other basic information of lawyers here.

Sample Ballots

We were able to download sample ballots and mark our endorsed candidates on them. If you’d like to take a completed sample ballot with you when you go to the polls, just click the link for the area you live in.

House District 48A Living in Eden Prairie

House District 48A Living in Minnetonka

House District 48B 


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These Charts Show Just How Good Congress Was At Being Terrible In 2013

 from a December 23, 2013 Huffington Post blog post:

Congress did very, very little in 2013 — setting all-time records for both most unproductive and most unpopular Congress ever. Both the House and

Senate have passed dozens of bills that the other chamber ignored, leaving only 65 bills to make their way to the White House and be enacted into law. This count is the latest as of Monday, Dec. 23, and includes the most recent eight bills signed into law by President Obama on Friday, Dec. 20.

House Speaker John Boehner had this to say about what’s been accomplished: “The House has continued to listen to the American people and to focus on their concerns. Now, whether it’s the economy, whether it’s jobs, whether it’s protecting the American people from ‘Obamacare,’ we’ve done our work.”


Infographic by Alissa Scheller for The Huffington Post.

Here’s a link to the original post.

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erik-paulsenA new report released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that the Affordable Care Act has helped more than 7.3 million seniors on Medicare save $8.9 billion on their prescription drug costs, saving an average of $1,209 per person. Unfortunately, Congressman Erik Paulsen continues to insist on scrapping and repealing the Affordable Care Act – which would reopen the “donut hole” that left millions of seniors without critical coverage for these prescriptions. Instead of eliminating these savings for seniors, all he has to do is join Democrats to fix and improve the law.

“This new analysis is another painful reminder that Congressman Paulsen would raise prescription drug costs for Minnesota seniors because he is obsessed with repeal,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Our seniors are saving an average of $1,200 on their prescriptions thanks to the Affordable Care Act, but Congressman Paulsen has spent the past year fighting to take those benefits away, leaving many Minnesota seniors in the ‘donut hole’ to fend for themselves to buy their medicine. Seniors shouldn’t have to go back to choosing between buying food or medicine, but that’s exactly what Congressman Paulsen’s obsessive repeal effort would force them to do.”

In the weekly Republican radio address, Congressman Paulsen’s Congressional Republicans doubled down on their repeal-only approach, with CBS News describing their agenda with this headline: “GOP on Obamacare: Don’t fix it, ‘scrap it.’”  On Tuesday, the DCCC launched a social media campaign directing constituents to the Facebook page “Republicans Sabotaged Your Health Care,” which lays out a graphically detailed timeline of Congressman Paulsen and House Republicans’ obsession with repealing and undermining the Affordable Care Act—from the 46 separate votes for repeal to shutting down the government for 16 days over the Affordable Care Act.  Earlier in the year, Congressman Paulsen voted for the Republican Budget that would end the Medicare guarantee for seniors forcing them to pay thousands more and negotiate with health insurance companies for care.


CMMS: The Affordable Care Act has Saved 7.3 Million Seniors Nearly $9 Billion in Prescription Drug Coverage. “According to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, 7.3 million people who reached the ‘doughnut hole’ in their Medicare prescription drug coverage have saved $8.9 billion on their prescription drugs since the law was enacted in 2010. That’s an average savings of $1,209 per person. The ‘doughnut hole’ refers to the gap in prescription drug coverage in which seniors must shoulder the full costs. Coverage under Medicare Part D provides an initial coverage limit on insurance and catastrophic coverage once costs hit a certain threshold. In between, seniors must pay the full costs.” [The Hill, 11/26/13]

Congressman Paulsen Voted for the House Republican Budget That Would Cut Medicare Spending by $356 Billion and Would Make Medicare “Look Unrecognizable.” In 2013, Congressman Paulsen voted for the House Republican budget, that the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said would cut Medicare by $356 billion over ten years. The National Journal explained that “…for those younger than age 55, Medicare could look unrecognizable: People receive a fixed sum of money from the federal government to buy health insurance in their old age, regardless of the way inflation has caused health care costs to increase.” The bill passed, 221-207. [HCR 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/13/12; National Journal, 3/10/13]

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image002With Congressman Erik Paulsen and his broken Congress hurtling the country toward a government shutdown, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching “This Is Insanity,” a paid Facebook campaign to urge Congressman Paulsen not to shut down the government in order to pad health insurance companies’ profits. The DCCC’s Facebook campaign will engage young voters in Minnesota to sign a petition to tell Congressman Paulsen to stop playing political games with our economy and focus on commonsense solutions that protect our heath care and grow our economy.

Congressman Paulsen voted on Friday to give in to Tea Party demands and shut down the U.S. government, all so that they can take away critical patient protections and give insurance companies free rein to raise health care costs.

“No one in their right mind thinks Congressman Erik Paulsen’s march toward shutdown is sane, and young voters are especially disgusted with padding insurance companies’ profits at their expense,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Congressman Paulsen decided that it’s more important to give insurance companies free rein over our health care decisions than make sure we pay military families and distribute seniors’ Social Security checks – and that’s just insanity.”

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©2014 DFL SD 48. Prepared and paid for by Senate District 48 DFL, Sharon Borine, Chair, 18285 Croixwood Ln, Eden Prairie, MN 55347