May 042017
 

Latest Threat To Obamacare

Today, the House Republicans will vote on yet another GOP proposal on health care – no, not to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, but modify it – that will limit benefits and costs of President Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act. It will be the second (not counting a draft that wasn’t put for a vote at the last moment) attempt of the Trump administration to pass it. After intense negotiations, now the Republicans believe that they’ll have sufficient support to succeed.

The proposed GOP health care bill is very controversial. Patient advocacy groups (including American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society), consumers and Democrats are up in arms over the changes it proposes.

Apart from other unfavorable modifications, it endangers access to medical insurance of patients with pre-existing conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or cancer, not to mention people with congenital disorders and MANY others).

The two previous GOP health care proposals didn’t provide protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This one – as President Trump stated on CBS “Face The Nation” last Sunday – will.

His reassuring words aside, let’s consider the source. In his first 100 days in office alone, President Trump has been caught in a lie or made a misleading statement at least 488 times (according to Washington Post). The statements he made in regard to the 2010 Affordable Care Act alone are blatantly untrue. Here are a few them excerpted from Washington Post. (Click on the link for sources and detailed explanations.)

Falsehood: “We will save perhaps $900 billion….I’m saving a tremendous amount — hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars we’re saving on health care.”

Fact: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report on the Republican bill said it would reduce the deficit by $337 billion over the next decade. Trump appears to be referring to a $900 billion reduction in revenue from the repeal of Obamacare taxes, but that’s actually money lost to the federal government. The proposed law would have reduced federal spending on health care by $1.2 trillion but the repeal in taxes means the impact on the budget is significantly smaller.

Falsehood: “You’ve all heard my speeches. I never said repeal it and replace it within 64 days. I have a long time.”

Fact: He repeatedly pledged he’d start the repeal process on “day one” and that the repeal would be immediate. In a January 2017 interview, he said an Obamacare repeal vote would happen before his inauguration and replacement would come “very quickly or simultaneously, very shortly thereafter.”

Falsehood: “First of all, it covers very few people. And it’s imploding. And ’17 will be the worst year. And I said it once, I’ll say it again — because Obama is gone — things are going to be very bad this year for the people with Obamacare. They’re going to have tremendous increases.”

Fact: Credible estimates suggest the health-care law boosted the number of people with health insurance by 20 million. The Congressional Budget Office said that the individual market would be stable in most markets at least for the next ten years under the Affordable Care Act.

Falsehood in regard to Obamacare Website: “This is a website that works. This is not the $5 billion Obamacare website. Do we remember that? Nobody remembers that. Does anybody remember the $5 billion website? No, I don’t think so.”

Fact: The Obamacare website did not cost $5 billion. The Department of Health and Human Services offered an estimate that topped $800 million. A study by Bloomberg News, with a more expansive definition of federal spending, came up with an estimate of $2.1 billion. Moreover, while the website had trouble in its early months, those were quickly fixed and it now works.

Falsehood: “The House plan follows the guidelines I laid out in my recent address to Congress – expanding choice, lowering costs, and providing healthcare access for all.”

Fact: The House plan, as drafted, does not expand choice, lower costs and was estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to reduce the number of people with health insurance compared to current law.

Bottom line: be afraid, be very afraid especially if you or someone you love has a preexisting condition. Unlike any other president in American history, President Trump doesn’t consider taking care of vulnerable populations his responsibility.

UPDATE: Republicans succeeded in the first stage of the process; their bill passed in the House.

Mayor Garcetti in response to House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act:

“Americans have been clear: If this is Trumpcare, we want to opt out. Health care is a fundamental right for all, not a privilege for the wealthy few — and the bill pushed through today by House Republicans would put lifesaving care out of reach for millions who desperately need it. No one should be allowed to die because they can’t afford to live, and this legislation would reintroduce that nightmare into the lives of families across America.”

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Jan 192017
 
President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama makes a point during a National Security Council meeting he convened on Counter-ISIL, at the State Department in Washington, D.C., Feb. 25, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Mayor Garcetti on President Obama’s Final Day in Office

“I have cherished memories of huddling in the Iowa snow with other early believers in a message of hope and change, knocking on doors in Des Moines to talk to people about a charismatic young senator from Illinois, and celebrating an Election Night that will live as one of the most transformative chapters in the story of our republic.

There was just something about Barack Obama that lit a spark in the American people, and spoke to the nation we aspired to be. As candidate and President, he inspired an entire generation of young people to engage in the civic process and take ownership of their country for the first time.

President Obama has led America with wisdom, integrity, compassion, and grace. I am privileged to call him a friend, honored to have served on his Climate Change Task Force, and grateful that he has been such an extraordinary ally to Los Angeles during his time in the White House. The Obama Administration has been a steady partner with our city, making investments and providing guidance that will leave a lasting legacy in L.A. His leadership has helped us expand our transportation network, house more homeless veterans than any other city, invest in young people who need a second chance to complete their education or enter the workforce, develop new technologies that will deliver the next generation of manufacturing jobs, begin to bring the L.A. River back to life, strengthen relationships between police officers and the communities they serve, preserve our natural heritage by declaring a national monument in the San Gabriel Mountains, and make L.A. the only city in the nation with two Promise Zones. These are powerful achievements that testify to remarkable progress, and speak to what can be accomplished when we unite behind unyielding hope and a fierce determination to bring change.

The Obama presidency will be remembered not just because it represented a landmark moment in our history, but because you can’t listen to the President and First Lady without feeling an abiding love for this country. They inspired us to believe again in the power of government as a force for good — and over the past eight years reminded us why we have to look out for the poor, speak up for the defenseless, and take a stand for working people and Americans who for too long have lacked basic necessities like quality health care they can afford. Angelenos and people throughout our nation and world owe President Obama a huge debt of gratitude — and though his leadership will be missed, we will forever treasure his friendship and look forward to seeing what the next chapter will bring.”

Anything L.A. Magazine joins L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti with its appreciation of Obama’s presidency. Thank you President Obama for a job well done!

According to Gallup, President Obama’s approval rating is well above the average 52%. These are the top-rated U.S. Presidents:
Bill Clinton 66%
Ronald Reagan 63%
Barack Obama 57%

 

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Jan 162017
 
President Obama Honors Vice President Joe Biden With The Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Obama Honors Vice President Joe Biden With The Presidential Medal of Freedom

A planned private farewell in the State Dining Room of the White House turned into a surprise of a lifetime for Vice President Joe Biden when President Obama honored him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom (with distinction which in this case means with an additional veneration), the nation’s highest civilian honor.

A military aide read the citation:

“Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. In a career of public service spanning nearly half a century, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., has left his mark on almost every part of our nation, fighting for a stronger middle class, a fairer judicial system and a smarter foreign policy; providing unyielding support for our troops; combatting crime and violence against women; leading our quest to cure cancer; and safeguarding the landmark American Recovery and Reinvestment Act from corruption.

With his charm, candor, unabashed optimism, and deep and abiding patriotism, Joe Biden has garnered the respect and esteem of colleagues of both parties, and the friendship of people across the nation and around the world. While summoning the strength, faith and grace to overcome great personal tragedy, this son of Scranton, Claymont, and Wilmington has become one of the most consequential Vice Presidents in American history, an accolade that nonetheless rests firmly behind his legacy as husband, father, and grandfather.

A grateful nation thanks Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. for his lifetime of service on behalf of the United States of America.”

(The Medal of Freedom was presented.)

During the surprise ceremony President Obama said of Vice President Joe Biden (these are selected excerpts):

“He was the best possible choice, not just for me, but for the American people. This is an extraordinary man with an extraordinary career in public service.”

“And for the past eight years, he could not have been a more devoted or effective partner in the progress that we’ve made. He fought to make college more affordable and revitalize American manufacturing as the head of our Middle Class Task Force. He suited up for our Cancer Moonshot, giving hope to millions of Americans touched by this disease.
He led our efforts to combat gun violence, and he rooted out any possible misappropriations that might have occurred. And as a consequence, the Recovery Act worked as well as just about any largescale stimulus project has ever worked in this country. He visited college after college — and made friends with Lady Gaga (laughter) — for our “It’s On Us” campaign against campus sexual assault. And when the Pope visited, Joe was even kind enough to let me talk to His Holiness, as well.”

“Behind the scenes, Joe’s candid, honest counsel has made me a better President and a better Commander-in-Chief. From the Situation Room to our weekly lunches, to our huddles after everybody else has cleared out of the room, he’s been unafraid to give it to me straight, even if we disagree — in fact, especially if we disagree.”

“And all of this makes him, I believe, the finest Vice President we have ever seen. And I also think he has been a lion of American history. The best part is he’s nowhere close to finished. In the years ahead, as a citizen, he will continue to build on that legacy, internationally and domestically. He’s got a voice of vision and reason and optimism, and a love for people. And we’re going to need that spirit and that vision as we continue to try to make our world safer and to make sure that everybody has got a fair shot in this country.”

Vice President Biden responded (selected excerpts):

“The reason why when you send me around the world, nothing gets — as my mom would say, gets missed between the cup and the lip, it’s because they know when I speak, I speak for you.
And it’s been easy, Mr. President, because we not only have the same political philosophy and ideology, I tell everybody — and I’ve told them from the beginning. And I’m not saying this to reciprocate. I’ve never known a President and few people I’ve ever met my whole life — I can count on less than one hand — who have had the integrity and the decency and the sense of other people’s needs like you do.”

“I get to be the last guy in the room and give you advice on the most difficult decisions anyone has to make in the whole world. But I get to walk out, and you make it all by yourself. All by yourself.
Harry Truman was right about the buck stopping at the desk. And I’ve never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never once doubted, on these life and death decisions, I never once doubted that your judgement was flawed — not once. Not once.”

“And we’ve disagreed, and we’ve argued, and we’ve raised our voices, one of which we made a deal we’d be completely open like brothers with one another. But, Mr. President, I watched you under intense fire. I will venture to say that no President in history has had as many novel crises land on his desk in all of history. The Civil War was worse, the World War Two was worse, but, Mr. President, almost every one of the crises you faced was a case of first instance — a case of first instance. And I watched that prodigious mind and that heart as big as your head — I’ve watched you. I’ve watched how you’ve acted.”

“And I just hope that the asterisk in history that is attached to my name when they talk about this presidency is that I can say I was part of the journey of a remarkable man who did remarkable things for this country.”

*

The relationship between the President and Vice President wasn’t always smooth. They disagreed over a number of issues (one example: same-sex marriage) and Biden has been often blamed for speaking too frankly, occasionally even in public. Theirs wasn’t a match made in heaven from the beginning of Obama’s presidency.

The expression “bromance” is funny. The truth however is that powerful bonds are forged while overcoming (work-related and personal) adversity together. If the President and the Vice President proven their integrity and value under trying circumstances to each other and developed mutual respect, we’ve had the BEST at the steering wheel of our Country. Together they carried us through the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Together they brought about many positive changes. And for that we are grateful to both.

 

 

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Dec 282016
 
2016 Kennedy Center Honorees

2016 Kennedy Center Honorees
Photo credit: John Filo / CBS

The 39th Kennedy Center Honors were a star-studded gala as always but this year perhaps a little more solemn than usual in spite of plenty world-class and lighthearted entertainment.

“The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates the spectacular talents of artists whose brilliance has left a lasting impact on our society,” stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. This year’s Honorees have.

2016 Honorees Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, James Taylor, Eagles and Martha Argerich were seated with President Obama and the First Lady. The master of ceremony was the brilliant Steven Colbert. But the spotlight of the evening was on the memorable achievements of each of the honorees which were celebrated in words and tribute performances by their artist and celebrity peers.

It was impossible not to feel that Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, James Taylor, Eagles and Martha Argerich not only shaped culture of their times – in the case of Mavis Staples perhaps even impacted history – but left indelible mark on our lives.

The legendary Al Pacino created a genre all his own. His rare blend of vulnerability, masculinity and passion rendered with dramatic effect like no other’s became a symbol of the many productions he starred in.
A special tribute to Al Pacino was paid by Chris O’Donnell, Bobby Cannavale, Lily Rabe, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Spacey, Gabrielle Anwar and Sean Penn.

Describing Mavis Staples as a soulful and powerful singer doesn’t do her justice. She is the embodiment of passion: a passion on stage and a passion for social justice.
A special tribute to Mavis Staples was paid by Bonnie Raitt, Elle King, Don Cheadle, Andra Day and others.

James Taylor and Eagles are not only brilliant songwriters, musicians and singers. They are the music of our lives. We associate their hits with events in our lives.

A special tribute to James Taylor was paid by President Bill Clinton, Darius Rucker, Sheryl Crow, Yo-Yo Ma, Garth Brooks, James Taylor Tribute Cast and others.

A special tribute to Eagles was paid by Ringo Starr, Kings of Leon, Vince Gill, Bob Seger, Juanes, Steve Vai, Steuart Smith, Eagles Tribute Cast and others.

Martha Argerich (Argentinian piano virtuoso) galvanized classical music and revitalized the public’s interest in classical concerts. Her immense talent and unparalleled virtuosity have garnered awards worldwide and impressed her peers and as well as competitors.
A special tribute to Martha Argerich was paid by Jeff Goldblum, Itzhak Perlman, Yefim Bronfman, Placido Domingo, Yuja Wang and others.

Other highlights of the 39th Kennedy Center Honors?

  • The John F. Kennedy Tribute given by Jack Schlossberg accompanied by his sisters Rose Schlossberg and Tatiana Schlossberg, President John F. Kennedy’s grandchildren.
  • Cynthia Erivo’s rendition of “The Impossible Dream” was inspired and stirring. Intertwined with recordings of President John F. Kennedy’s speaking on the importance and value of the arts, her interpretation of “The Impossible Dream” could be an anthem of the Kennedy Center, not to mention a mantra for aspiring artists everywhere.

Unlike previous Kennedy Center Honors ceremonies, this year’s was particularly moving. These were the last Kennedy Center Honors of President Obama’s administration. The evening had glitz and glamour and featured great artists of our time. The standing ovation of the night was given to… President Obama.

 

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Dec 252016
 
President Obama’s Legacy

President Barack Obama listens while meeting with Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman and Jeffrey Zients, National Economic Council Director, in the doorway of the Oval Office, Jan. 28, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Obama era is coming to an end, President Elect Trump will be sworn in the office in a few short weeks. Nearly half of Americans look forward with anticipation and hope to his inauguration and his turn at the wheel.

It is a tradition however to look back before closing a chapter. President Obama is considered one of the least popular presidents in the U.S. history, right now. What is President Obama’s legacy?

President Obama is being blamed for his policies, decisions and actions whether they were right, wrong or beyond his control, as if no one noticed that the unpopular today President has in fact… saved America.

A few examples of things the President is scrutinized for:

  • his economic policies
  • his internal policies
  • his international policies
  • his policies on climate change
  • and – of course! – Obamacare

When President Obama took over the White House, he inherited many liabilities. To name just a few: a growing recession, high unemployment rate (7.8%) and the costly war in Iraq. These inherited liabilities were a growing threat to the Country as he was taking the oath of the office, way before he was able to make – leave alone, implement – any decisions.

Bottom line, President Obama took over a sinking ship – we’ve come dangerously close to sinking! – and not only restored it back onto an even keel but corrected some of the crisis’ causes AND moved us as a nation forward.

President Obama stopped American economy from collapsing

  • Confronted with the greatest recession since the Great Depression, President Obama signed the 2009 $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to stimulate hiring. His strategy was a success and produced desperately needed jobs.
  • His HAMP and HARP programs helped save millions of American homes from foreclosure.
  • He repeatedly extended unemployment benefits to protect the jobless until they find employment.
  • To prevent future predatory lending, President Obama created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • To make sure that Wall Street doesn’t continue its questionable business and trading practices, he enforced stricter regulations of the financial industry.
  • President Obama bailed out the American automotive industry and he was right. The bailout helped turn the industry around and created over 100,000 jobs.
  • By attracting private investment into the nation’s largest banks, he orchestrated a privately-funded bailout of the banking system.
  • The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act protects consumers from exploitation by credit card companies.
  • To end wasteful spending, President Obama eliminated banks from the Federal Student Loan Program and expanded Pell Grant for students from low-income families.

President Obama worked with other nations to prevent global recession
He played an important role in securing over 500 billion dollars from the G-20 countries for the International Monetary Fund to ensure financial liquidity of emerging markets. The President’s participation helped prevent global recession.

President Obama ended the war in Iraq and improved national security

  • He’s ended the war in Iraq.
  • In a covert operation of U.S. Special Forces, the head of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Ladin, was executed.
  • President Obama eliminated the use of interrogation techniques which violated the Geneva Conventions. (These techniques were approved for use and used by his predecessor’s administration.)

President Obama advanced civil rights

  • Because of President Obama, members of the LGBT community can now openly serve in the American military. There is no “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” anymore.
  • Obama expanded the definition of Hate Crimes in the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The definition now includes – in addition to religion, color, race and national origin – also disability, gender and sexual orientation.
  • To ensure that progressive values are represented in the U.S. Supreme Court, President Obama nominated Judges Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Both were confirmed and are serving on the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Obama protected environment

  • He laid the groundwork for closing old, coal-powered power plants that release the most carbon monoxide emissions. Once implemented, it will curb global warming and protect human health.
  • Obama signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act which expanded areas eligible for protection including wilderness, rivers and historic as well as hiking trails.
  • The President was responsible for the speedy reparations paid by British Petroleum to the victims of the Gulf Oil Spill.
  • He invested more than any other U.S. President in research in the area of renewable energy from biofuels and cleaner coal to electric cars and other forms of efficient energy use and production.

President Obama created THE FIRST healthcare system for all Americans

His historic Health Care Reform is the first universal health insurance in the United States. It is intended to provide health security to all, including patients with preexisting conditions, adult children still living with their parents, etc. (As we all know by now, Obamacare is costly and imperfect. It can be modified, improved and made cost-effective. Its concept however is sound.)

***

President Obama has accomplished all of these and a lot more (the items listed above are merely a few highlights) while improving the image of America in the world.

The most recent act of our “unpopular” President? He’s working on making a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling in areas of the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard a law.

With President Barack Obama at the helm, we’ve made significant progress in:

  • Achieving economic balance at home
  • Ensuring balance in the world economy
  • Creating financial consumer protection
  • Financial protection of students
  • Advancement of civil rights
  • Environmental protection
  • Providing – FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AMERICAN HISTORY! – health insurance coverage for all
  • (this is a very incomplete list of President Obama’s accomplishments. It doesn’t include also Michelle Obama’s advocacy for military families, children, education or healthy nutrition.)

We are reading plenty of criticism of the President, lately. I wonder why?

  • Imagine the outcome of the last recession without Barack Obama in the Oval Office. We’d all be likely citizens of… China, today.
  • Imagine the outcome of the unemployment crisis without Barack Obama as President. There’d be soup kitchens on street corners and millions of people lining up for a bowl.
  • Imagine the outcome of the foreclosure crisis without Barack Obama as President. There’d be more homeless people than housed…
  • Imagine the auto industry collapse without Barack Obama in the Oval Office. For the first time in history of the automobile, there’d be no American-made cars.
  • Imagine the banking system collapse without Barack Obama in the Office. We’d experience another Great Depression!
  • Imagine consumers’ exploitation by the mortgage industry without Obama’s intervention. We all know that not all homes were foreclosed on for their owners’ fault. Many were cheated out of their homes. President Obama closed the “free-for-all” flood gates.
  • Imagine civil rights without Barack Obama. Tolerance is the mark of a civilized society. Thanks to President Obama civil rights in the United States have been expanded to include special protections for the disabled as well as for members of the LGBT community.
  • Imagine environmental protection without Barack Obama. Actually, you don’t have to imagine: you’ll see it soon after the President Elect takes office. Start saving for oxygen masks for yourself and your loved ones: that’s what the Chinese use to survive.
  • Imagine sick people in need of medical care without Obamacare……

It seems that nearly half of the population either didn’t realize the seriousness of the crisis Obama took on and didn’t consider the potential case scenarios we would have faced if it wasn’t for President Obama….

Anyone with some basic understanding of politics can appreciate the fact that even the President’s powers have limits and are set in context. Barack Obama is a democratically elected President of a Country that is a part of the international community, not a king or a dictator in the only country on Earth. His decisions were moderated by many factors. In some cases they reflected his personal values, but in most they were the best compromises available. He didn’t support senseless violence, didn’t gamble American lives to settle personal grievances, respected human rights, managed relationships with lenders the U.S. is beholden to the best way possible. He tried to do the most good for the greatest number and succeeded.

The results frustrated many. Those most frustrated chose to believe that presidential power has no limits and that electing a Republican political novice will make all their dreams come true. The most disappointed segment of population voted for – and elected – Donald Trump. Bad news: there is no job (even in the government of the United States!) and no person with an absolute or super power. Your dreams won’t come true under the incoming President, either.

It’s quite simple really, there is a moment every month when you have a “choice” to pay your mortgage / rent or take the money for your mortgage / rent payment and blow it on something you really want or need. Why don’t you follow your heart? Because the “choice” to pay for housing or blow the money foolishly isn’t really a choice. The same applies to the decisions a president gets to make: damn if he does and damn if he doesn’t. Of course, we are all “dumb” to be paying for housing as opposed to a dream vacation and we know it. So, why do we?….

To me personally – my opinion may not reflect the opinion of Anything L.A. Magazine – Barack Obama is a Hero, in more ways than one. The job of a President is to consider the welfare of all citizens and to ensure safe future of the Country. Barack Obama has done an extra-ordinary job and we were blessed to have him as a President especially at a time of a major crisis. He’s done right by our Country and by fellow Americans. He cares about our economy, safety, health, education, finances, civil rights, environment and the progressive direction of the United States. He – and his family – brought honor and grace to the White House, again. He restored America’s authority and image internationally.

President Obama’s legacy is a testament to his wisdom, courage and foresight. He may not have gotten everything right. We may not “love” the final outcome. But there is no denying that the unpopular President Obama saved America. We owe him a debt of gratitude. Time and history will do him justice.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Good work Anything LA

★★★★★
5 5 1
Any moron can criticize, it takes someone with a brain to distinguish facts from fiction.

I don’t leave comments Online

★★★★★
5 5 1
I’m making an exception to say thank you to the President. My house was in foreclosure, I still own it. I lived on unemployment benefits for a while. I’m no expert on global warming, but my family and I survived because of Obama’s policies. Thank you Mr. Obama. You had my back.

About time to put things in perspective!

★★★★★
5 5 1
SIX STARS: Excellent piece. The much berated President deserves credit!
Oct 072016
 

Hurricane Matthew Is The Worst Still To Come?

UPDATE: Hurricane Matthew ravaged Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina. At least 40 in the United States have died because of the hurricane. The estimated damage – most notably in the Carolinas – is 10 billion dollars. Much of Matthew-related costs will be shouldered by the residents: some homeowners were uninsured and of those insured, most have high deductibles. Human deaths and material damage are traditionally listed, first. Human suffering, interrupted lives and lost jobs are harder to quantify. Despite of the repeatedly lowered category of Hurricane Matthew, the damage it caused is massive.

*

ORIGINAL STORY: After inflicting extensive damage and killing hundreds of people in Haiti last Thursday, Category 3 Hurricane Matthew has arrived on Florida’s coast. Florida is being battered by hurricane-force winds (wind gusts of 107 mph have been recorded at Cape Canaveral, FL), coastal flooding and storm surge flooding. There are currently 22,000 Floridians in emergency shelters. Two are dead and over one million without power. Still, in spite of dire predictions, Hurricane Matthew appears to have spared Florida a direct hit.

The forecast based on satellite and radar imagery is continually adjusted. According to The Weather Channel right now, the anticipated route and schedule of Hurricane Matthew is:

  • East-central, northeastern Florida: Through Friday night
  • Georgia coast: Friday evening through Saturday morning
  • South Carolina: Saturday through Saturday evening
  • North Carolina (mainly south): Saturday afternoon through early Sunday

As Matthew turns north, heavy rain which may lead to rainfall flooding is expected mainly along the coastline of northeast Florida, eastern Georgia and South Carolina.

State of emergency has been declared in Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina.

“It’s going to get a lot worse before it (has) a chance of getting better.” warns Richard Knabb, the Director of National Hurricane Center.

President Obama following a meeting with the leadership of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security said: “I want to emphasize to everybody that this is still a really dangerous hurricane.”

 

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Apr 302014
 

Clippers Owner Donald Sterling  racist!Calling racist statements that were allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling “incredibly offensive,” President Obama says he is confident the NBA will resolve the controversy that erupted after was aired this weekend.
“I don’t think I have to interpret those statements for you; they kind of speak for themselves,” Obama said when he was asked about the recording during his visit to Malaysia Sunday. He added, “When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk. And that’s what happened here.” The president also noted that the NBA has “an awful lot of African-American players. It’s steeped in African-American culture. And I suspect that the NBA is going to be deeply concerned in resolving this.” “Donald Sterling will not be receiving a lifetime achievement award from the LA Branch of the NAACP,” the civil rights organization says, echoing statements made on Meet the Press Sunday by NAACP Interim President and CEO Lorraine C. Miller.
Sterling had been in line to receive the award, the latest honor that was to come his way from the NAACP. In a , Miller said she is urging the Los Angeles branch of the organization to rescind the earlier awards, as well. On NBC’s , Miller appeared alongside longtime sportscaster Bryant Gumbel, who said, “I guess I’m surprised that anyone is surprised.” Gumbel said, “Donald Sterling’s racial history is on the record. It has cost him money. It cost him his reputation long before this.” Saying that “I’m kind of surprised that the NBA is being let off the hook on this,” Gumbel added, “David Stern and the NBA owners knew what kind of a man Donald Sterling was long before this.”

Our original post continues:

The NBA says it is investigating the audio recording to determine whether the man speaking on it is in fact Sterling. Commissioner Adam Silver said last night that the recording is “disturbing and offensive” and that the league hoped “to have this wrapped up in the next few days.”
As we reported Saturday, the recording is of a man and woman arguing about several things, particularly her sharing photos online that show her “associating with black people,” as the man puts it.
The recording was posted online by Friday night, sparking anger and controversy that derailed talk about this weekend’s NBA playoffs. Last night, the Clippers released a statement in which the organization didn’t outright deny that the voice on the recording belongs to Sterling. But the team says the views aired in the recording are “the antithesis” of who Sterling is.

Here’s part of the Clippers’ statement about the recording, via the :

“We do not know if it is legitimate or [if] it has been altered. We do know that the woman on the tape — who we believe released it to TMZ — is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would ‘get even.’ ” The team says that Sterling is upset about the “sentiments attributed to him” and that he apologizes to anyone they offended — including Magic Johnson, who is mentioned by name in the recording when the man says, “don’t bring him to my games.” In discussing the controversy, President Obama talked about “the vestiges of discrimination” that are still present in America. And he said that in a sense, the outrage over the remarks is itself a sign of progress:

Writen by Bill Chappell  for NPR News