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Obamacare Tally: Florida Subsidies Average $3,000, But Some Families Complain of Costly Exclusion

| April 1, 2014

And yet only one in four Floridians who qualifies for a subsidy had enrolled in a plan by March 1, leaving 1 million eligible residents uninsured. A mother describes how the law’s employee-insurance provision barred her family from subsidies.

Economy Adds 175,000, Reversing
Early Winter Plunge; Unemployment at 6.7%

| March 7, 2014

Despite successive cold spells and snow storms in the east, the national economy added 175,000 jobs in February, reversing a two-month trend that saw job creation fall. The unemployment rate, however, ticked up a decimal point, to 6.7 percent.

Global Warning Olympics: Closing Ceremonies for Winter

| February 23, 2014

Watching the Olympics requires too much of a suspension of disbelief to make the effort worth the time or the self-deception. There was an added and quite massive invention to these games: faking winter in a warming world, though in that regard we’re all self-deluded Russians.

The Slow-Motion Lynching Of President Barack Obama

| January 10, 2014

If this country will lynch a brilliant, civil, kind, humble, compassionate, moderate, articulate, black intellectual we’re lucky enough to have in the White House, argues Frank Schaeffer, we’ll lynch anyone. What chance does an anonymous black man pulled over in a traffic stop have of fair treatment when the former editor of the Harvard Law Review is being lynched?

The Shame of Guantanamo, 11 Years On

| January 4, 2014

The irony should not be lost on us that our congressional district is represented by Ron DeSantis, the sort of fanatic who had no trouble advertising his brief service in Guantanamo’s kangaroo courts as a badge of honor while leaving silent his employment with a more legitimate Florida corporate law firm. With political charlatans like that in Congress, it’s no wonder Guantanamo endures.

88,000 Floridians Lose Emergency Jobless Benefits Today as Congressional Deal Skirts By

| December 28, 2013

The emergency benefits, begun in 2008 under President George W. Bush, were created to help unemployed workers who had exhausted their state jobless benefits during the economic recession. But about 1.3 million Americans’ unemployment checks weren’t part of the bipartisan budget deal passed by Congress last week and signed by President Obama on Thursday.

Obama’s Free Press Problem: Why Reporters in the U.S. Now Need Protection

| November 29, 2013

The Obama administration has made the most concerted effort since the Nixon years to intimidate officials from talking to a reporter. Paul Steiger, Paul Steiger recipient of this year’s the Burton Benjamin Memorial award from the Committee to Protect Journalists, argues for a response.

What Government Shutdown? U.S. Economy Adds 204,000 Jobs, Beating Expectations

| November 8, 2013

The three-month tally of 605,000 jobs is the best three-month total in almost two years, though the unemployment rate still went up by a decimal point, to 7.3 percent as the labor force shrank by 720,000 in October, a reflection of the government shutdown.

Marco Rubio’s Slimy Flip-Flop Against Judge William Thomas

| October 30, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio is blocking President Barack Obama’s nomination of Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge William Thomas to a seat on the federal bench for the Southern District of Florida, even though Rubio himself recommended Thomas to Obama previously.

Shutdown-Delayed Unemployment Report: Rate Down to 7.2% But Only 148,000 New Jobs

| October 22, 2013

The September unemployment report due on Oct. 4 was released only at 8:30 this morning, delayed by the 16-day government shutdown. But it could have been predicted, as it follows the pattern of most reports of the past three years: anemic job growth, very slow decline in the unemployment rate, and checkered signs of improvement (or retreat, depending on your point of view) ahead.

Your Policy Is Cancelled: Insurers End Coverage That Falls Short of Affordable Care Act

| October 21, 2013

The main reason insurers are cancelling policies offer is that they fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1. By all accounts, the new policies will offer consumers better coverage, in some cases, for comparable cost — especially after the inclusion of federal subsidies for those who qualify.

Congressman Ron DeSantis: A Tea Party Fanatic Who’s Earned His Walking Papers

| October 20, 2013

Ron DeSantis, who represents Flagler County, is not interested in governance. A standard-issue tea party reactionary, he’s a saboteur. He derails, with self-righteous bombast and distortions. He is part of the suicidal extremists willing to plunge the country in default over Obamacare, rather than fight to amend it legislatively. He should pay the price of his recklessness.

Favoring Defense Industry Over Human Rights, Obama Loosens Restrictions on Arms Exports

| October 19, 2013

The United States is loosening controls over military exports, in a shift that former U.S. officials and human rights advocates say could increase the flow of American-made military parts to the world’s conflicts and make it harder to enforce arms sanctions. In 2011, the U.S. concluded $66 billion in arms sales agreements, nearly 80 percent of the global market.

The Difference Between Name-Calling and Calling Out Yahoos Holding America Hostage

| October 13, 2013

Steve Robinson angered some people with his last column when he compared tea party Republicans to Know-Nothings. But, he argues, likening the narrow-minded nativist sentiments of that short-lived 19th-century party to the ideals of this current group of ideological fringe-dwellers is really not that far off.

Shutdown Geezers: The Medicare
Generation’s Immoral War on Obamacare

| October 4, 2013

Opponents of Obamacare think that by doubling down on hurting Americans through a shut-down, they might stun them into submission. They must be stupider than they let on. The Affordable Care Act has its issues. Lacking for moral high ground isn’t among them.

The GOP’s Shutdown Zealotry: What John Boehner and Yasser Arafat Have In Common

| October 3, 2013

Republicans’ reincarnation of Know-Nothings have let their tea party zealots control them at the expense of the nation’s welfare, and of their own party, argues Steve Robinson, consigning themselves to the dustbin of political hacks.

Shutdown Hits Home: Castillo de San Marcos and Ft. Matanzas Among Parks Off Limits

| October 2, 2013

Starting Tuesday, the National Park Service closed all 401 national parks, including Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments in St. Augustine, affecting the local tourism economy. Potential foreign visitors’ visas are facing processing delays.

Flagler Democrats Will Demonstrate For Obamacare in Front of Health Department Tuesday

| September 30, 2013

The noon demonstration by the Flagler County Democratic Club marks the first day of Obamacare’s insurance exchanges, and protests Florida’s sustained opposition, and various obstacles, to the law, including the prohibition against use of local health departments to make it easier for the uninsured to get coverage.

The Trouble With American Exceptionalism

| September 21, 2013

Do we have moral authority as a nation, asks Cary McMullen. Do we have the humility Obama spoke of, namely that we are acting not in self-interest but in the interest of justice? Are we exceptional not just in our history but in our standing among nations as an exemplar of righteous ideals?

Florida Groups Helping Uninsured Are Getting “Intimidating” Letters from GOP Lawmakers

| September 9, 2013

Eight groups that are hiring and training “navigators” to help uninsured Floridians enroll in Obamacare have been sent letters by 15 GOP members of a U.S. House committee seeking information on their activities — a letter the Obama administration called a “blatant and shameful attempt to intimidate.”

Obama’s Born-Again Missile Envy Over Syria: Wrong on All Counts

| September 6, 2013

Whether the Syrian regime used chemical weapons or not, Obama would be wrong to attack, even if Congress approves. It’s not America’s war to fight, it’s not Obama’s judgment to make, and his red line is an absurd marker when contrasted with two and a half years of atrocities, and 100,000 deaths, that never got a peep.

Unemployment Rate Ticks Down to 7.3% But Job Creation Is a Hazy 162,000

| September 6, 2013

The 7.3 percent unemployment rate for August is the lowest rate since December 2008, but job creation remains anemic, and June and July figures were revised downward by 74,000 jobs. The economy is still generating barely half the jobs necessary to return to pre-recession health.

Freddy Krueger Act: Donald Rumsfeld’s False Notes Against Intervention in Syria

| September 2, 2013

Donald Rumsfeld, who helped orchestrate an invasion on false pretenses to hunt for weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist, is the last man to be giving President Obama lessons about what to do in Syria, argues Steve Robinson.

Family Insurance Premiums Rise 4% for 2nd Year, Still More Than Double Inflation Rate

| August 20, 2013

With average family plan premium topping $16,000 for the first time, with workers paying on average $4,565, workers will feel an increased pinch: More than a third have annual deductibles of at least $1,000 before insurance kicks in, while wages continue to grow far more slowly than health insurance costs.

Unemployment Falls Slightly, Job Rolls Grow Slightly, Austerity’s Anemia Persists

| August 2, 2013

There’s nothing terribly bad about the July unemployment report, released this morning. There’s nothing terribly good about it, either: the economy added just 162,000 jobs, and the 7.4 percent unemployment rate is the lowest since December 2008, but improvements are at a crawl.

Obama in Jacksonville Thursday in Economy Tour as GOP Ridicules Visit

| July 23, 2013

President Barack Obama plans an appearance Thursday in Jacksonville to talk about economic issues, and the Republican Party of Florida has already launched a counter-attack.

Obama on Stand Your Ground and Zimmerman Aftermath: “Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me 35 Years Ago”

| July 20, 2013

As protests have continued and grown, President Obama Friday afternoon spoke on the stand your ground law, the Zimmerman trial aftermath, Trayvon Martin and race more expansively and in more personal terms than he had since his speech on race from Philadelphia as a presidential candidate in 2008. The full text and video are included.

Gun Rights Advocates and Church Join in Suit Against NSA as Companies Petition White House

| July 18, 2013

Sixty-three companies are asking the federal government to allow companies that receive foreign-intelligence surveillance requests to publicly discuss those requests in basic terms, while gun rights advocates have joined the Unitarian Church and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a lawsuit against NSA spying on First Amendment grounds.

The Undoing of Barack Obama

| July 15, 2013

President Barack Obama is no longer on a roll. We have become a laughingstock in the international community, writes Donald Kaul, obstructionist House Republicans are treating the immigration bill as their favorite hostage, and many more landmines await.

Selective Memory Surveillance: Obama, the NSA and September 11

| June 22, 2013

Those making the argument that the NSA’s domestic spying program would have stopped the 9/11 attacks had it been in place have ignored a key aspect of historical record, including the fact that USA intelligence already knew the identity of a hijacker long before the attack and could have found him.

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