The father of Ibragim Todashev, the friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev who was shot and killed while being questioned by the FBI in Orlando, says his son was murdered to keep him from talking.

Todashev, who we now know was unarmed, was shot seven times, including once in the back of the head.

There Was No Knife

Now the government is saying that Ibragim Todashev, the Chechen friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev who was killed in Orlando by an FBI agent, was unarmed at the time of his death.  Original reports said that Todashev, who supposedly was about to sign a confession implicating himself and Tamerlan in a triple murder in Waltham, MA on 9/11/11, had a knife.

Happy Days Are Here Again…

Consumer confidence is at its highest level since February 2008.

Housing prices in 20 major cities jumped 10.9% in the past year, the biggest annual increase since April 2006.

We know the deficit is looking much, much better than expected, as recovery brings more revenue to the government.

So for 2014, the GOP is left trying to sabotage Obamacare and trying to milk all the mileage they can out of the Benghazi, IRS, and reporter (AP/Fox’s James Rosen) “scandals.”  I remain unconvinced that any of these is really a true scandal.

Please Help!

Please go to and sign the petition to get Austin McNary the drug Eteplirsen for his Duchene muscular dystrophy.

Austin’s brother Max, 11, has been in a clinical trial for the drug for almost two years and is doing great.  Meanwhile Austin, 14, is dying.

This is the petition site:

If this link doesn’t work, if you Google “McNary petition,” it will come up.

I sign these petitions all the time and don’t blog about them, but this one just grabbed me by the throat.

Quote of the Day

“Still, here’s what it seems is about to happen [as Obamacare goes into effect]:  millions of Americans will suddenly gain health coverage, and millions more will feel much more secure knowing that such coverage is available if they lose their jobs or suffer other misfortunes.  Only a relative handful of people will be hurt at all.  And as contrasts emerge between the experience of states like California that are making the most of the new policy and that of states like Texas whose politicians are doing their best to undermine it, the sheer meanspiritedness of the Obamacare opponents will become ever more obvious.”

Paul Krugman, “The Obamacare Shock,” NYT

Not just people who lose their jobs, but people who have stayed in jobs they hate just for the health insurance, and people who have worked full-time for health insurance who would rather work part-time.  To a lot of people, Obamacare will equal Freedomcare.

Quote of the Day

“It is my belief, shared by many lawyers who have followed the legal battles over Guantanamo, that the president could have shut the prison down if he had really been determined to do so.  One reason the prisoners can’t get out is that the courts have essentially ruled that a president has an absolute right to imprison anyone he wants during a time of war — with no second-guessing from either of the other two branches of government.  by the same legal logic, a president can free any prisoner in a time of war.  Had the president taken that stance, there would undoubetdly have been a court fight.  but so what?  Aren’t some things worth fighting for?”

Joe Nocera, “Obama’s Gitmo Problem,” NYT

Thank You, SCOTUS

When the Supreme Court voted that Obamacare was constitutional, they also held that states didn’t have to expand Medicaid as the law intended.  About 25 states, with GOP governors or legislatures or both, have so far refused to expand Medicaid.

This leaves us with the bizarre anomaly that more prosperous people will be eligible for health insurance subsidies, while poorer people still won’t be able to get health insurance.

The NYT* points out that the head of a family of four making $14 an hour will qualify for subsidies, but someone making $10 an hour won’t be able to get any help at all.

This is what happens when the law is an ass, and one of our two major political parties hates poor people.

*  “States’ Policies on Health Care Exclude Poorest,” Robert Pear

How Apple Stops the IRS from Biting

From “Here Comes the Sun,” Joe Nocera, NYT: