Poll: U.S. Uninsured Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since Late 2008

us uninsured rate 350x217 Poll:  U.S. Uninsured Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since Late 2008

Poll: U.S. Uninsured Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since Late 2008

A new Gallup poll released Monday found that the uninsured rate in the U.S. is the lowest level it has been since 2008.

Gallup reports the uninsured rate dipped to 15.6% in the first quarter of 2014, a 1.5-percentage-point decline from the fourth quarter of 2013. The uninsured rates for blacks also fell, while the enrollment rate for young people in Obamacare, fell.

The uninsured rate falling kinda makes the Republican Party’s aversion to Obamacare utterly ridiculous. The fact is, the legislation can work, with tweaks as needed. It can’t be repealed at this juncture.

The uninsured rate for every major demographic group declined in the first quarter of 2014. The uninsured rate for lower-income Americans dropped 3.2 points to 27.5% — the largest decline within any key subgroup — while the uninsured rate for blacks fell 3.3 points to 17.6%. Hispanics remain the subgroup most likely to lack health insurance, with an uninsured rate of 37.0%, though their rate dropped 1.7 points in the first quarter.

 Poll:  U.S. Uninsured Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since Late 2008

White House Upset Samsung Promoted David Ortiz ‘Selfie’ with President Obama

david ortiz selfie with obama 350x249 White House Upset Samsung Promoted David Ortiz Selfie with President Obama

White House Upset Samsung Promoted David Ortiz ‘Selfie’ with President Obama (Credit: Getty Images via Twitter)

Trouble for Samsung over the David Ortiz selfie with President Obama. Last week, the White House warned warned Samsung against using the president’s likeness for commercial gain, after baseball star David Ortiz used one of its cell phones to snap a photo of himself and Obama.

The picture shows President Obama smiling broadly and holding a Red Sox jersey as he stood next to Ortiz. The White House was peeved after Samsung tweeted the shot and it went viral. Now White House lawyers are now pursuing the matter.

Here’s Samsung’s retweet:

 White House Upset Samsung Promoted David Ortiz Selfie with President Obama

Fox News Jeanine Pirro: Vladimir Putin ‘Bitch-Slapping’ Obama Since Edward Snowden Mess

jeanine pirro 350x196 Fox News Jeanine Pirro: Vladimir Putin Bitch Slapping Obama Since Edward Snowden Mess

Fox News Jeanine Pirro: Vladimir Putin ‘Bitch-Slapping’ Obama Since Edward Snowden Mess

Fox News continues it’s love-affair with President Vladimir Putin with Judge Jeanine Pirro claiming he is ‘bitch-slappingPresident Obama since the “Edward Snowden mess.” You know, the Republicans have been kissing up to Putin while calling President Obama all manner of names — Socialist, Marxist, Kenyan and so on. I just love how Fox News continues to revise history as they go only with their fawning over a shirtless Putin.

Given Jeanine Pirro’s ex-husband, Albert Pirro’s,  ‘colorful’ history during their tumultuous marriage, the last person who should use the term ‘bitch-slap‘ with a straight face is Judge Pirro. I’m just saying…..

Here’s an excerpt from Pirro’s screed delivered on her show Saturday night: “You Draw Lines, Putin Crosses Them.’

Sometimes the perception of power is more important than power itself.

As our president continues to fumble on the world stage, he single-handedly is bringing about the decline of the U.S. as a world power, something that impacts you in every way from your pocketbook to your safety.

This decline in power has been ongoing since Barack Obama took office.

Starting with the red lines…

The finger wagging…

Removing economic sanctions against Iran, allowing it to continue its nuclear buildup…

Relying on Russian President Putin to broker a deal for Syria’s removal of its chemical weapons just to save face after announcing plans to attack Syria…

Not even sending reinforcements to protect our men in Benghazi…

Unilaterally removing the missile defense system that protects eastern Europe from Russia…

All the while trumpeting the reduction of our military on the world stage with pride.

Not only are we now perceived as weak…

Our enemies emboldened…

mpacting your safety and mine.

With this loss of power – or the perception of that loss – goes manufacturing jobs, trade alliances, allies standing with us.

Weakness encourages aggression.

Putin’s perception of power is so strong that he took Crimea with virtually no one hurt or killed.

Our president threatens costs, claiming to speak for the international community. Except the international community wasn’t with the president. The UN, NATO, the EU – no one with initials – nobody was with him.

Our president revokes a few Russian businessmen’s visas to Disney World and withdraws Putin’s invitation to tea with the G7 – formerly the G8 – Putin being the odd man out.

Mr. President, while you’re moving tea cups, Putin is moving soldiers and tanks. Today 80,000 Russian soldiers on the Ukraine border.

Now you come out and say there will be more costs should Putin take more than Crimea.

Since Putin already took Crimea, you really didn’t mean what you said, and didn’t say what you meant, so why should he listen?

While you’ve got a pen and phone running around wagging your finger, Putin is running around with tanks and soldiers.

You brag about reducing the U.S. Military. He increases Russia’s military by 79 percent.

Putin’s influence in Europe and the Middle East increases. Russia is on its way to becoming the dominant world power. And you say this??

“Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors – not out of strength, but out of weakness.”

A regional power? Weak? Really?

You engaged him to broker a deal with Syria after you didn’t have the fortitude to follow through on your threat, relying on this KGB agent’s “truth telling” that Syria would eliminate its chemical weapons – all the while he’s selling weapons to Syria.

And don’t we rely on Russia to get us into space now that we’ve shut down our own program.

And take a listen to this…

“And I think the strong condemnation that its received from countries around the world indicates the degree to which Russia is on the wrong side of history on this.”

I’ll tell you who’s looking like they’re on the wrong side of history.

You are not listening to history. And he who doesn’t learn from history is destined to repeat it.

Ronald Reagan was a strong president. He trusted, but he verified. He ended the Cold War.

You come in taking down the missile defense system in eastern Europe with nothing in return. Why are you doing this? Do you even know who our enemies are? Do you know that your obligation is to protect us and our economy?

And you say Russia is a regional power? With all due respect Mr. President, Putin is a pig, but he’s been bitch-slapping you since the Edward Snowden mess.

And speaking of perception, your Secret Service bozos, passing out drunk in hotel hallways traveling with you in Europe makes you look weak yet again. Do you think Putin’s KGB guys would dare do something like that?

I suspect they can handle their Stoli better.

You draw lines… Putin crosses them.

You play make believe war games… He sends the troops.

You sit around moving tea cups… He moves armored tanks.

And you want to poke this tiger in the eye?

The perception of power – as strong as power itself.

I am guessing Jeanine Pirro was either out of the country and not reading any newspapers or any online news outlets during the George W. Bush administration or living under a rock. I can’t recall hearing peep out of her when Putin invaded Georgia or when a number of US embassies were attacked overseas or even when we invaded Iraq on a lie. I’m just saying…

President Obama Presents Pope Francis with Chest of Seeds from White House Garden

obama meets pope 350x249 President Obama Presents Pope Francis with Chest of Seeds from White House Garden

President Obama presents Pope Francis with fruit & vegetable seeds from White House garden (Credit: Twitter)

President Obama gave Pope Francis a custom-made wooden chest with a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds from the White House garden, according to @petermaercbs

Pope Francis gave President Obama two medallions, including one that symbolizes need for solidarity and peace between hemispheres, and copy of ‘The Joy of the Gospel,’ according to @NBCNews

I can hear the chorus of haters chiming in about the president’s gift to the Pope in the tradition of him giving Queen Elizabeth an iPod.

This comes as President Obama’s disapproval rating has climbed to a new high. A new poll conducted by AP-GFK finds that nearly six in 10 people disapprove of President Obama’s job performance in a new poll. According to the survey released Wednesday, 59 percent disapprove of Obama’s job performance while 41 percent approve.

President Obama meets Pope Francis:

Donald Rumsfeld: Obama Worse Than A “Trained Ape” on Foreign Policy

donald rumsfeld 350x213 Donald Rumsfeld: Obama Worse Than A Trained Ape on Foreign Policy

Donald Rumsfeld: Obama Worse Than A “Trained Ape” on Foreign Policy (Credit: Fox News screengrab)

I am always amazed at the hubris of former vice president Dick Cheney and former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld. They will stop at nothing to criticize President Obama for just about any issue, even if it’s a throwback to the George W. Bush administration. During an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, Rumsfeld complained that relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai had gone “downhill like a toboggan” under President Obama, even though the George W. Bush administration’s ties with him had been “first rate.” He went on to compare the nation’s first black president to a “trained ape.”

This administration, the White House and the State Department, have failed to get a status of forces agreement. A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It does not take a genius.

Strong words coming from a man who literally ran his his position after a strong of black marks, including the torture program and the photos leaked from Abu Ghraib. Let’s not forget the war crimes he directly authorized. Also evident to many, but lost on people like Rumsfeld and Cheney is the massive fraud perpetrated with the Iraq invasion and the mess they left behind in Afghanistan. Um, remember George W. Bush’s ‘mission accomplished’ stunt? All hell broke loose in the immediate aftermath with thousands of soldiers losing their lives. So, it’s laughable and bare-faced that Donald Rumsfeld (with no conscience) dares to criticize President Obama on his foreign policy.

Funny he should accuse President Obama of bungling Russia’s invasion of Crimea, when the same thing happened on his home-boy’s watch — Russia invaded Georgia. Diplomacy took a turn for the worst under the Bush administration. That’s both Bushes — father and son. So, it’s a joke that he should say America’s diplomacy is now terrible.

United States diplomacy has been so bad, so embarrassingly bad, that I’m not the least bit surprised that he felt cornered and is feeling he has to defend himself in some way or he’s not president of that country. We have so mismanaged that relationship … I personally sympathize with him to some extent. Nobody likes to hear a foreign leader side with Putin on the Crimea the way he has. But I really think it’s understandable, given the terrible, terrible diplomacy that the United States has conducted with Afghanistan over the last several years.

I think Donald Rumsfeld has forgotten a few gems he left us as a reminder of his incompetence. Speaking on Iraq in February 20013, he said, “…it’s not knowable if force will be used, but if it is to be used, it is not knowable how long that conflict would last. It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.” Not the duration of the Iraq invasion — “I doubt six months.”

Second, on the matter of “weapons of mass destruction,” Rumsfeld said in March 2003, “We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” To my know, no “weapons of mass destruction” were ever found, so should Donald Rumsfeld ever open his mouth to even compare President Obama to a ‘trained ape?’ Besides the comment being racist, it’s an insult.

Report: Vladimir Putin to Retaliate Over EU, US Sanctions by Banning U.S. Senators

vladimir putin 300x208 Report:  Vladimir Putin to Retaliate Over EU, US Sanctions by Banning U.S. Senators

Report: Vladimir Putin to Retaliate Over EU, US Sanctions by Banning U.S. Senators

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin is preparing to ban certain U.S. senators from visiting his country as sanctions have been imposed by the U.S. and the European Union. Not to be sarcastic, but I certainly think we can all get by without our lawmakers going to Russia.

Putin is expected to release his retaliation list as early as Tuesday and while the final list is still being crafted, it will include top Obama administration officials and high profile U.S. senators, in an effort to roughly mirror the U.S. sanctions against Russian officials and lawmakers, according to diplomatic sources. At the top of the list in Congress is Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who recently co-authored a resolution criticizing Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

Durbin’s inclusion on Putin’s list would mirror Obama’s naming of Valentina Matvienko, the head of the upper chamber of the Russian Duma. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are not expected to be on the Russian sanctions list. Source: Daily Beast

Sen. John McCain says he would be honored to be one of the senators banned from Russia, which he characterized as a gas station. McCain said, “You think I’m not going to be on it?”“I would be honored to be on that list.”

The following are banned by the U.S.:

Kremlin aides

Vladislav Surkov – An aide to President Vladimir Putin, he was once considered one of Russia’s most powerful men. He has been called the Kremlin’s “gray cardinal” for his role as a power broker behind the scenes. He’s also credited the architect of Russia’s political system, with power concentrated in the presidency. In the past he was credited with shaping the ideology of the ruling United Russia party. He has also written rock music lyrics and is rumored to have authored a book.

Sergei Glazyev – An economic aide to Putin who oversaw relations with Ukraine. He frequently blasted the protest movement in Kiev and was outspoken in his criticism of American and European support for the protests.

Top government official

Dmitry Rogozin – An outspoken, hawkish Deputy Prime Minister, he’s known to have a close friendship with Hollywood actor Steven Seagal. As a member of Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s government, Rogozin is responsible for the armed forces and arms industry.

 Russian lawmakers

Elena Mizulina – A senior lawmaker, she is considered one of the Kremlin’s morality enforcers in the parliament. She is perhaps best known as the co-author of last year’s homosexual “propaganda” law which sparked outrage overseas. She also proposed a measure to give Ukrainians Russian passports.

Leonid Slutsky – A lawmaker in the lower house of Parliament. He is the chair of the Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration, and Relations with Compatriots. He was one of the Russian observers attending Sunday’s referendum in Crimea.

Andrei Klishas – A member of the upper house of Parliament, the Federation Council, who proposed retaliatory action in case of Western sanctions on Russia. He is chairman of the Federation Council Committee of Constitutional Law, Judicial, and Legal Affairs, and the Development of Civil Society. 

Valentina Matviyenko – The head of the Federation Council, she is the most senior lawmaker on the sanctions list.

Crimean officials

Sergey Aksyonov – Once an obscure pro-Russian politician in Crimea, he has now been declared the prime minister.

Vladimir Konstantinov – The newly declared speaker of Crimea’s parliament.

Ukrainian officials

Viktor Medvedchuk – A pro-Russian politician, he is being sanctioned for having “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support” to impeached President Viktor Yanukovich. Ukraine’s opposition has accused him of orchestrating or aiding a crackdown on protesters and opposition.

Viktor Yanukovich – The ousted president of Ukraine. He was elected in 2010 but was chased from office by protests last month. Source: ABC News

 Report:  Vladimir Putin to Retaliate Over EU, US Sanctions by Banning U.S. Senators

White House Condemns Crimea Referendum, Calls Russia’s Actions “Dangerous”

crimea ukraine3 300x233 White House Condemns Crimea Referendum, Calls Russias Actions Dangerous

White House Condemns Crimea Referendum, Calls Russia’s Actions “Dangerous”

#BREAKING #CRIMEA SECESSION:  Exit polls show 95 percent of voters in Ukraine’s Crimea region supported union with Russia. The White House has condemned the referendum, calling Russia’s actions ‘dangerous and destabilizing.’ The U.S. rejects the Crimea vote as held under “threats of violence and intimidation” by Russian military.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “This referendum is contrary to Ukraine’s constitution, and the international community will not recognize the results of a poll administered under threats of violence and intimidation from a Russian military intervention that violates international law.” He added, “No decisions should be made about the future of Ukraine without the Ukrainian government. Moreover, this vote was not necessary.”

Carney also reiterated the Obama administration’s condemnation of Russia’s Crimean invasion.

“Russia’s actions are dangerous and destabilizing. The UN Security Council recognized this in a vote yesterday that only Russia opposed,” Carney said. “In this century, we are long past the days when the international community will stand quietly by while one country forcibly seizes the territory of another,” he added.

Here’s the official statement from the White House on Crimea’s vote to secede from Ukraine:

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2014

The United States has steadfastly supported the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine since it declared its independence in 1991, and we reject the “referendum” that took place today in the Crimean region of Ukraine. This referendum is contrary to Ukraine’s constitution, and the international community will not recognize the results of a poll administered under threats of violence and intimidation from a Russian military intervention that violates international law.

No decisions should be made about the future of Ukraine without the Ukrainian government. Moreover, this vote was not necessary. The Ukrainian government has made clear its willingness to discuss increased autonomy for Crimea, and the presidential elections planned for May 25 provide a legitimate opportunity for all Ukrainians to make their voices heard on the future of their country.

In addition, Ukraine, the United States, the EU, the OSCE, the UN, and others have called for Russia to allow international monitors into the Crimean peninsula to ensure that the rights of ethnic Russians in Ukraine are being upheld. Russia has spurned those calls as well as outreach from the Ukrainian government and instead has escalated its military intervention into Crimea and initiated threatening military exercises on Ukraine’s eastern border.

Russia’s actions are dangerous and destabilizing. The UN Security Council recognized this in a vote yesterday that only Russia opposed. As the United States and our allies have made clear, military intervention and violation of international law will bring increasing costs for Russia – not only due to measures imposed by the United States and our allies but also as a direct result of Russia’s own destabilizing actions.

In this century, we are long past the days when the international community will stand quietly by while one country forcibly seizes the territory of another. We call on all members of the international community to continue to condemn such actions, to take concrete steps to impose costs, and to stand together in support of the Ukrainian people and Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Read more at http://littlegreenfootballs.com/#YOmzju8dWbFGdiIi.99

NBC Host Ahmad Rashad Reportedly Secretly Dating Obama Adviser, Valerie Jarrett

ahmad rashad dating valerie jarrett 300x157 NBC Host Ahmad Rashad Reportedly Secretly Dating Obama Adviser, Valerie Jarrett

NBC Host Ahmad Rashad Reportedly Dating Obama Adviser Valerie Jarrett

NBC host Ahmad Rashad, who is the ex-husband of ‘Cosby Show‘ star Phylicia Rashad, is reportedly secretly dating senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. So, that explains why he’s one of President Obama’s golf buddies.

The rumors have been flying about the two being a couple, but no-one has really confirmed that to be true. Rashad even told the New York Times to “get a hobby while I get my phone number taken off the listing,” when he was asked if the two were a couple.

Ahmad Rashad, who changed his name from Bobby Moore when he converted to Islam, hasn’t been publicly seen together with Valerie Jarrett, but the chatter continues nonetheless. The former Minnesota Vikings’ star attended Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday party and was at President Obama’s unveiling of his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, which is aimed at helping young black and Hispanic men find career paths. Rashad was also seen playing golf with President Obama during a recent family vacation, though Valerie Jarrett didn’t join them on the trip.

Ahmad Rashad, who has a daughter with Phylicia Rashad, Condola Rashad, was also married to socialite Sale Johnson.

5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

marijuana 300x200 5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized (Credit: Drome)

The legalization of marijuana (cannabis) is gaining steam and the push has some strong supporters. This comes as Weedmaps.com founder Justin Hartfield said he plans to legalize marijuana nationwide and become the Philip Morris of pot. Here are five powerful Americans who believe marijuana should be legalized in some fashion:

president obama1 300x193 5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

President Barack Obama believes marijuana should be legalization

1.President Obama:  “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do… We should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing. It’s important for [the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington] to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.” - The New Yorker

bill clinton monica lewinsky scandal 5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

Former president Bill Clinton backs decriminalization of marijuana

2. Former president Bill Clinton:  “I think that most small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in some places, and should be. We really need a re-examination of our entire policy on imprisonment.” - Rolling Stone

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Federal court judge Richard Posner backs legalization of marijuana

3. Federal Court Judge Richard Posner on U.S. Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit: “I think it really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana. I can’t see any difference between that and cigarettes. But also I’m skeptical about the other drug laws … The notion of using the criminal law as the primary means of dealing with a problem of addiction, of misuse, of ingesting dangerous drugs, I don’t think that’s sensible at all. That is responsible for a high percentage of our prisoners. And these punishments are often very, very severe … It’s all very expensive, and it’s a waste of a lot of high quality legal minds, but it’s also a waste of people’s lives who could be as least moderately productive with having to spend year after year in prison. That is a serious problem.” - Lecture at Elmhurst College

grover norquist 300x194 5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

Grover Norquist backs legalization of marijuana

4. Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform:  “[Letting states legalize marijuana] would free federal law enforcement resources for the more urgent tasks of thwarting, apprehending, and prosecuting international terrorists or murderers … [A]s a matter of States’ rights, regulating marijuana and alcohol seem indistinguishable; and, alcohol policy has been entrusted to the States since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933.” - Letter to Congress

andrew cuomo 300x193 5 Powerful Americans Who Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo backs the legalization of marijuana

5. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo:  “[There are] roughly 50,000 arrests in New York City for marijuana possession [every year] … Of those 50,000 arrests, 82 percent are black and Hispanic … These arrests stigmatize, they criminalize, they create a permanent record. It’s not fair, it’s not right, it must end and it must end now … Stop stigmatizing these young people, making it harder to find a job, making it harder to get into school, making it harder to turn their lives around.” - 2013 State of the State Address

GOP Rep. Randy Weber Attacks Obama for Appearance on “Between Two Ferns”

obama between two ferns 300x167 GOP Rep. Randy Weber Attacks Obama for Appearance on Between Two Ferns

GOP Rep. Randy Weber Attacks President Obama for Appearance on “Between Two Ferns”

President Obama was asked by actor Zach Galifianakis during an appearance of “Between Two Ferns” what it feels like to be the last black president.

The interview began with the president needling Galifianakis, saying that “when I heard that people actually watch this show, I was actually pretty surprised.” Obama went on to express his admiration for Galifianakis’s co-star in The Hangover.

“I’ve seen the show before, and some of the episodes were definitely better than this,” Obama said. “Like the one with Bradley Cooper, that was definitely a great show.”

Galifianakis responded testily, asking Obama, “what is it like to be the last black president?”

“What’s it like for this to be the last time you ever talk to a president?” Obama shot back.

“You said you would not want your son to play football,” Galifianakis said. “But what if your son didn’t want to play football. What if he was a nerd, like you?”

“Do you think a woman like Michelle would have married a nerd? Why don’t you ask her whether she thinks I’m a nerd,” the president responded.

“Could I?”“No,” the president said. “I’m not going to let her near you.” Source: Raw Story

The right wing isn’t to be outdone in its criticism of President Obama, no matter how ridiculous. Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) popped off on Twitter saying “Instead of wasting time with a parody interview, he [Barack Obama] should be focusing on finding answers re: #Benghazi. Really?

Watch President Obama on “Between Two Ferns:”