President Obama Extends Protections To Gay Couples Under Medicaid

Hi Guys, 

More change you can believe in, but not hear about:

The Obama administration is set on Friday to issue policy guidance to states expanding their ability to offer same-sex couples the same protections afforded to straight couples when they receive long-term care under Medicaid, the Washington Blade has learned exclusively.

Under the new guidance, dated June 10, states have the option to allow healthy partners in a same-sex relationship to keep their homes while their partners are receiving support for long-term care under Medicaid, such as care in a nursing home.

Medicaid kicks in for a beneficiary to receive care after an individual depletes virtually all of their money. To pay for the beneficiary’s expenses under Medicaid, a state could impose a lein, or take possession, of a beneficiary’s home to pay for Medicaid expenses.

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Grrrrr, it’s Politico, but this story warmed my heart to no end:

Barack Obama still sells sandwiches

Nearly a week after President Barack Obama’s unannounced visit to a Rudy’s Hot Dog joint in Toledo, Ohio, the residents of Five Points are still abuzz about the unexpected presidential visit to their neighborhood.

“The locals have been driving me nuts and going crazy,” said Harry Dionyssiou, whose family operates six Rudy’s diners. “Everybody wants to sit at the same table, on the same chair that the president sat in; they want to eat the same thing that he ate.”
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Even after the initial hype over the president’s visit has quieted, the financial benefits for business owners are long lasting. The media spotlight can help raise a restaurant’s profile, putting a little-known local spot on the national dining landscape and turning it into a destination eatery for tourists.

“We make over 1,000 po’ boys a day, and that number has really gone up since the president’s visit,” said Eileen Nix, co-owner of Parkway Bakery & Tavern in New Orleans, which the Obama family visited in August. (The first couple had shrimp po’ boys; daughters Sasha and Malia ordered hamburgers.)

David Thornton, who co-owns the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, N.J., said business is still up 10 percent since the president stopped by his shop almost a year ago.

“We can tell that there is still sort of a buzz about it,” said Thornton, who framed a picture of Obama with a sub in his hand. “One person came in shortly after the visit and sat in every chair to make sure he sat in the same chair as the president.”

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Garrett Graff, editor of Washingtonian magazine, said the Obamas eat out “more than any other first family in recent memory. George W. Bush only rarely ventured out. Bill Clinton ate out some, but I don’t think he was as regular or at as diverse a list of places as Obama.”

Public relations experts say there is no better publicity than the “celebrity halo effect” that follows a restaurant visit from the president of the United States.

It’s huge,” said Dean Small, founder and managing partner of Synergy Restaurant Consultants. “It’s like getting an official seal from the president that says, ‘This is where I choose to eat.’”

Obama’s impromptu visits also help raise morale in communities that have struggled during the economic downturn, said Dick Eppstein, president of Toledo’s Better Business Bureau.

“Toledo is a proud city, but we’ve had a very tough time, so a presidential visit really boosts everyone’s spirits,” he said.

Nix, who was raised in New Orleans and will turn 59 next week, said Parkway Bakery & Tavern is a family business that bears the scars of her city. In 2005, two years after the restaurant opened, Nix and her brother Jay shut down the store when it was submerged in more than 6 feet of water after Hurricane Katrina swept across Louisiana. Parkway reopened in December of that year.

Just five years later, the restaurant was hit again — this time by the BP oil spill that devastated the fishing industry along the Gulf Coast. For Nix, the sight of Obama and the first lady eating New Orleans shrimp po’ boys and gumbo spoke louder than any political speech.

“The president was just one man doing his best and trying to correct problems from the past,” Nix said. “He ate the shrimp to let people know that everything will be OK.”

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OMG. One more pretty good story from Politico. Somebody over there is going to get fired soon…

Obama shows charm on campaign trail

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“If anything, loosening up on the campaign trail is even more necessary for this president than most, because he is by nature far more formal than at least his most recent predecessors, and to say that 21st-century American culture is ‘loose and informal’ is to understate the case considerably,” said Clark Ervin, who served on Obama’s transition.

“Nowadays, regrettably in my view, the last thing the average voter wants in the White House is an intellectual, and since this president is the quintessential intellectual, it’s a wonder — another wonder, his race, heritage, short stint on the public stage being others — that he was elected in the first place”.

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Fingers crossed:

Second Half 2011 U.S. Growth Rebound Intact

Slowdowns in consumer spending and employment will prove temporary, giving way to a U.S. growth rebound in the second half of 2011, economists surveyed by Bloomberg News said.

After growing at a 2.3 percent annual pace this quarter, the world’s largest economy will expand at a 3.2 percent rate from July through December, according to the median forecast of 67 economists polled from June 1 to June 8.

Rising exports, stable fuel prices, record levels of cash in company coffers and easier lending rules will be enough to overcome the damage done by one-time events like poor weather and the disaster inJapan, economists said. Nonetheless, the current slackening means Federal Reserve policy makers will wait even longer to raise interest rates next year, the survey shows.

“The economic headwinds are well known, but if you look at the tailwinds, they are still pretty strong,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. “There are a lot of reasons to be fairly upbeat about the recovery. Growth will pick up in the second half.”

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Could this be true?

Qaddafi’s son has approached rebels to negotiate an exit from power for his father

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West Wing Week:

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Yea, a picture worth and all that…:)