Mitt Thinks the Middle Class is 250k or Less and Obama Agrees with Him

Liberals have been blasting Mitt Romney for his absurd claim that those making 250k and less make up the middle class, but here’s something they won’t tell you, President Obama agrees with him.

More proof that Mittens and Obama are more alike than either side care to admit.

 

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Obama Campaign Goes on Offensive Against Navy SEAL Group

Obama campaign officials have decided it is in their best interest to strike back against the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, a group of former U.S. Special Forces and intelligence officials accusing President Obama of leaking vital national security secrets and taking too much credit for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The group has released anti-Obama TV ads as well as a 22-minute film, which the Obama campaign is comparing to the 2004 John Kerry “Swift Boat” attack ads.

“The Republicans are resorting to ‘Swift Boat’ tactics because when it comes to foreign policy and national security, Mitt Romney has offered nothing but reckless rhetoric,” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told Reuters. Another campaign official added “No one in this group is in a position to speak with any authority on these issues and on what impact these leaks might have and it’s clear they’ve resorted to making things up for purely political reasons.”

As a May 2011 USAToday/Gallup poll showed, Americans overwhelmingly credit the U.S. military and the CIA for the Bin Laden raid over the president. “Nearly 9 of 10 (89%) say the military deserves ‘a great deal of credit,’ while 62% say the same about the CIA.” wrote Gallup’s Frank Newport.

A number of OPSEC leaders identify themselves as Republicans such as Fred Rustmann, who worked for the CIA for 23 years before retiring in 1990, Scott Taylor, a former Navy SEAL and chairman of OPSEC, and Chad Kolton, an OPSEC member and former flack in the Bush administration.

Watch the 22 minute OPSEC video entitled “Dishonorable Disclosures” below:

 

 

Barofsky: “Geithner Admitted Housing Policies Stretched Out Foreclosure Crisis”

How anyone can watch this video and still support Obama is beyond me.

President Obama Begs Campaign Donors For More Cash

“The majority on this call maxed out to my campaign last time. I really need you to do the same this time,” the president said in a highly unusual  fundraising pitch from Air Force One on his way back to Washington from assessing the horrible wildfires in Colorado Springs. A special phone on the government aircraft is dedicated to political calls that are paid for by the campaign.

“I’m asking you to meet or exceed what you did in 2008,” the presidential pitch continued, speaking to donors who were invited to dial in based on their contributions during the last election. “Because we’re going to have to deal with these super PACs in a serious way. And if we don’t, frankly I think the political [scene] is going to be changed permanently. Because the special interests that are financing my opponent’s campaign are just going to consolidate themselves. They’re gonna run Congress and the White House.”

Continuing his desperate plea the president said “In 2008 everything was new and exciting about our campaign, and now I’m the incumbent president. I’ve got gray hair. People have seen disappointment because folks had a vision of change happening immediately. And it turns out change is hard, especially when you’ve got an obstructionist Republican Congress.”

But lest any of his donors believe the president sounded defeated, Obama quickly added: “Nevertheless, we’ve gotten more done in the last three years than most presidents do in eight years … I just hope you guys haven’t become disillusioned. I hope all of you still understand what’s at stake and why this is so important … I still believe in you guys, and I hope you still believe in me and the possibilities of this campaign.”

Obama went on to lament the cash advantage of Republican nominee-designate Mitt Romney, but offered his superior ground game and popular message as hope for his reelection. “We don’t have to match these guys dollar for dollar because we’ve got a better grassroots operation and we’ve got a better message,” he said. “The American people—the nice thing is they agree with our message when they hear it. We just can’t be drowned out … A few billionaires can’t drown out millions of voices.”

Obama noted that campaign-finance law requires both him and Romney release monthly reports on fundraising—“and that could be a double-edged sword,” he said. “The downside is that the media hear these numbers and hyperventilate over it, and there’s a tendency to blow them out of proportion. But it does make the process more transparent. We see where we stand. And right now on a month-to-month basis, we’ve fallen behind.”

The president added: “Last month the Romney campaign raised $76 million. We raised $60 million.” That determines “our planning for whether or not we are gonna go on the air in Florida or Ohio or any of these battleground states, how much advertising we buy, what we spend when it comes to organizing teams.”

He added: “The truth is that early money is always more valuable than late money. And what we don’t want to do is be in a situation where, because everybody thinks that somehow we’re gonna win or people will just think Mr. Romney doesn’t know what he’s talking about—and then suddenly we get surprised later because it turns out that a couple of billionaires wrote $20 million checks and have bought all the TV time and we find ourselves flat-footed in September or October … We’ve got to make sure that we purchase advertising through August and September before the conventions,” he went on. “I think it’s fair to say that if we wait till the last minute we could be in for a pretty rude surprise, and that’s part of what we’re trying to avoid.”

The president warned: “I can’t do this by myself, and the progress we’ve made could unravel pretty quickly.” He urged his listeners on the conference call to contribute “today or as soon as possible” because “we’ve got to have the resources to make the choice crystal clear for the American people both in the air and on the ground.” Obama’s solicitation was followed up by an urgent email from campaign manager Jim Messina asking recipients to write a check immediately.

“The good news is we’re spending a lot more money on our ground game and grassroots organizing and voter registration,” the president said. “We just can’t be outspent 10 to 1. That’s what happened in Wisconsin recently. The Koch brothers and their allies,” he said, referring to billionaire conservative super-PAC funders David and Charles Koch, “spent more than the other side’s entire campaign—our side’s entire campaign.”

Obama contrasted the former Massachusetts governor unfavorably with Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee last time around. “We’re facing a much different opponent than last time,” the president warned. “I don’t mean just the candidate—although last time we were running against somebody who at least believed in climate change, believed in campaign-finance reform, believed in immigration reform.”

“It’s also because the landscape’s changed because of the Supreme Court ruling Citizens United,” continued Obama. “We are going to see more money spent on negative ads through these super PACs and anonymous outside groups than ever before. And if things continue as they have so far, I’ll be the first sitting president in modern history to be outspent in his reelection campaign.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Says He Won’t Implement Obamacare

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says that his state will not implement the federal health care law because it’s bad policy and cost too much.

The governor told Fox News he thinks the law should be repealed, hopefully by Mitt Romney in November. But in the case that President Obama wins a second term he said Florida will not be setting up a health-insurance exchange nor will they expand Medicaid.

“We’re not going to implement Obamacare in Florida,” Scott told Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren on Friday night. “We’re not going to expand Medicaid because we’re going to do the right thing. We’re not going to do the exchange.”

State Rep. Mark Pafford, the ranking Democrat on the Florida House committee that handles health care funding, said he was not surprised.

“This is a guy who was in the private sector. He created an organization to fight the Affordable Care Act,” said Pafford, of West Palm Beach. “He then was so upset that he became governor using his own money. So it wouldn’t make sense that he would do anything else.”

Under the Affordable Care Act law, states must implement a health insurance exchange by 2014, a Web-based marketplace where people can shop for insurance, or defer to a federal program. States need to submit plans to the federal government that demonstrate their readiness to launch health exchanges by Nov. 16. States also must decide whether to move forward with an expansion of Medicaid to reduce the number of uninsured residents.

In Florida about 3.8 million people, or 21 percent, are uninsured.

The Supreme Court ruling made it clear that states can not be financially penalized for non-compliance. The federal government has promised to cover nearly all of the costs of the Medicaid expansion in the early years, but Scott said Medicaid is already too expensive and the expansion would put further strain on the state budget.

“We care about having a health care safety net for the vulnerable Floridians,” Scott said on Fox. “But this is an expansion that just doesn’t make any sense.”

Many of the most popular aspects of the Affordable Care Act are already in effect and do not require state involvement. That includes provisions like prescription drug discounts for seniors, allowing young adults to remain on parents’ insurance plans and free preventative care.

Scott said other Republican governors agreed their focus should be fighting the law and supporting Romney, including Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

“Here in Louisiana, look, we refused to set up the exchange. We’re not going to start implementing Obamacare,” Jindal told POLITICO. “We have not applied for the grants, we have not accepted many of these dollars, we are not implementing the exchanges, we don’t think it makes any sense to implement Obamacare in Louisiana.”

Scott said the governors arrived at the same conclusion that expanding Medicaid and creating exchanges are not good for taxpayers.

“We care about the citizens of our state,” he said. “We know this will be bad for our health care. We want jobs in our state. This is going to put American businesses at an unbelievable disadvantage as compared to businesses around the world.”

Scott cited the law’s requirement for businesses to offer insurance to employees. He told Van Susteren a story about a Florida business owner who said he may have to shut his doors.

“They walked up to me and they said, ‘Governor, is this really going to become the law? Because if it does, we’re out of business,’ ” Scott said. “ ‘We have 20 employees; we know we won’t be able to buy any health care for anybody.’ ”

The law actually grants companies with fewer than 50 employees an exemption from any requirement to buy insurance.

One of Scott’s biggest concerns is the cost of adding an estimated 1 million people to the Medicaid rolls.

“We can’t pay for that; there is no way Floridians can pay for that,” he said.

Democrat Rep. Pafford believes that Republican lawmakers should be embracing provisions that expand health care access, he said, and new revenue streams like a tax on internet commerce could help pay for it.

“We can afford it,” he said. “There are plenty of ways to do that. They just don’t want to afford it.”

The Legislature sets the budget, so it will ultimately decide whether or not to allocate money to implement provisions of the health care law.

Incoming Senate President Don Gaetz said he and incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford will work with the governor’s office in reaching a final decision. But for now, they are waiting on staff to digest what the court ruling means and its impact, Gaetz said.

“It’s not a matter of not having made up my mind yet, it’s a matter that this 110-page opinion, which is nearly as complex as the law itself, is not 48 hours old yet,” said Gaetz, R-Niceville. “I believe in ‘ready, aim, fire,’ not ‘ready, fire, aim.’ ”

Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, said there isn’t an immediate need to move forward on implementing the law. There is no harm in waiting a few months to see if the outcome of the November election changes the political climate, he said.

“There is an opportunity to bring new leadership to the United States of America,” he said, “and if that happens it’s going to change everything.”

Up to 17 Million Poor People May Still lack Coverage Despite Affordable Care Act Being Upheld

Millions of poor Americans may still be left without  health insurance despite the Supreme Court upholding President Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court ruling did not give individuals the option to opt of the law’s mandate but states were granted the option to not expand their Medicaid programs leaving coverage for at least 17 million poor people in limbo.

Republican officials in more than a half-dozen states said they are either opposed to or had serious doubts about expanding Medicaid, regardless if the federal government picks up all the costs in the first few years and covers at least 90 percent of the expenses after that.

In writing the law, Congress assumed that the poorest uninsured people would gain coverage through Medicaid, while some people with slightly higher incomes would receive federal subsidies to buy private insurance. Now, poor people who live in a state that decides to not expand its Medicaid program will find themselves unable to obtain either Medicaid or subsidies.

Under the law, subsidies are available to people with incomes from the poverty level up to four times that amount, but not to people with incomes below the poverty level ($23,050 for a family of four).

Governors in Kansas, Nebraska and South Carolina, among other states, have said they would have difficulty affording even the comparatively small share of costs that states would eventually have to pay.

Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska, a Republican who is chairman of the National Governors Association, indicated that he was against expanding Medicaid eligibility.

“As I have said repeatedly, if this unfunded Medicaid expansion is implemented, state aid to education and funding for the University of Nebraska will be cut or taxes will be increased,” Mr. Heineman said.

In South Carolina, Rob Godfrey, a spokesman for Gov. Nikki R. Haley, said, “We’re not going to shove more South Carolinians into a broken system that further ties our hands when we know the best way to find South Carolina solutions for South Carolina health problems is through the flexibility that block grants provide.”

In New Hampshire, State Representative Andrew J. Manuse said he and other Republicans were already working to block the expansion of Medicaid. “We can’t afford it,” Mr. Manuse said. “It’s as simple as that. Thank God the Supreme Court gave us an option.”

Republican governors in Wisconsin and Louisiana said they would wait to see the results of November’s elections before deciding whether to expand Medicaid, in the hope that Mitt Romney will be elected president and undo the health care law. “That’s why we have refused to implement the Obamacare health exchange or the Medicaid expansion,” said Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

“Because the expansion is such a good deal for states, they should move forward and cover low-income adults in their states,” said Judith Solomon, a health policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal research and advocacy group. “But what happens in states that do not go ahead and provide coverage? The poorest adults — primarily parents and other adults working for low wages — will be left out in the cold.”

Richard J. Umbdenstock, the president of the American Hospital Association, said that hospitals around the country would lobby for the Medicaid expansion. “If states do not avail themselves of this opportunity,” he said, “the federal money will go to other states, and hospitals will be left with large numbers of the uninsured.”

Nancy M. Schlichting, chief executive of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, said she “absolutely will lobby” for the expansion of Medicaid. She said she expected Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, to support the expansion, but she added, “he may have trouble” getting it through the Michigan Legislature.

Congress has repeatedly expanded Medicaid in the last 25 years, and states often had new sources of revenue, like money from the settlement of lawsuits against major tobacco companies. “But this time is different,” said Dennis G. Smith, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. “Virtually all states are struggling to sustain their current Medicaid programs.”

Illinois, facing severe financial problems, has already delayed Medicaid payments to some health care providers.

“Many hospitals are not being paid for six months or more after they provide services and file claims,” said Danny Chun, a spokesman for the Illinois Hospital Association. “Illinois is dead broke.”