Tuesday Reads

renoir-young-girl-reading

 

Good Morning!!

Today is the 40th anniversary of an amazing athletic accomplishment.

On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run and broke Babe Ruth’s “unbreakable” record of 714.

Sadly, on August 7, 2007, steroid popping cheater Barry Bonds supposedly “broke” Aaron’s record. But in the minds of many, Aaron’s amazing achievement still stands as the one that counts.

The NY Daily News has a wonderful article about Aaron’s record and the hell he went through to reach it. Even if you don’t like baseball, I hope you’ll read it.

Remembering 715: Forty years ago, Hank Aaron rocked bias and hatred with one mighty blow.

Tom House, an Atlanta Braves reliever at the time, tells about recovering the historic ball and giving it to Aaron after he touched home plate:

The game was stopped and, as fireworks flashed in the sky and Atlanta Stadium erupted into cheers, House made a jubilant dash toward home plate, where a relieved Aaron was being congratulated. “As fast as my legs would carry me,” House recalls. He held out the ball, which Sammy Davis Jr. had offered $25,000 for, and said, “Here it is, Hammer.”

Aaron, generally a portrait of quiet dignity and grace, was crying and holding his mother, Estella. “I had not seen much emotion out of Henry. That was cool,” House says now. “They both had tears in their eyes. She kept hugging him and hugging him.

“I heard later that she wouldn’t let go because she was afraid he was going to get shot. Some of the death threats had said he’d be shot at the plate.”

Hank Aaron hits No. 715 off Dodgers pitcher Al Downing on April 8, 1974 (NY Daily News)

Hank Aaron hits No. 715 off Dodgers pitcher Al Downing on April 8, 1974 (NY Daily News)

When Roger Maris broke the Babe’s single season home run record in 1961, it was a hellish experience for Maris. The abuse he endured forever changed his life and affected his outlook; but at least Maris was white. Aaron was a black man in an era of racial turmoil.

It remains an important moment in the game’s history not just because the quiet, dignified Aaron toppled Ruth’s 714, which was probably the most famous single number in sports. But because of what Aaron endured to get there — death threats, vulgar hate mail rife with the worst kind of racism imaginable.

All these years later, the home run is significant in another way, too — it reverberates in today’s game, among today’s statistics. Plenty of people believe Aaron is still the true home run king, not the Steroid Era Barry Bonds, who topped Aaron’s career mark of 755 by seven homers.

As he approached the record Aaron was getting daily hate mail.

In a UPI story that ran in the Los Angeles Times on May 17, 1973, Aaron said he got letters filled with invective every day.

“If I were a white man, all America would be proud of me,” Aaron was quoted as saying. “But I’m black. You have to be black in America to know how sick some people are. I’ve always thought racism a problem, even with as much progress as America has made.”

Aaron said he read the mail anyway. It wasn’t going to stop him.

There’s much more in the Daily News article, and I do hope you’ll go read it.

At Time, John Friedman argues that “Hank Aaron Would Have Faced Worse Racism Today.”

Henry Aaron’s record-setting 715th home run off Al Downing on April 8, 1974 still stands today as one of the greatest milestones in Major League Baseball history. By breaking the four-decade mark of the great Babe Ruth, Aaron strode out of the shadows – and stepped into a cauldron.

This accomplishment transcended sports. By his own accounts over the years, we can recognize that Aaron went through hell during that time. It was tough enough when reporters and camera crews chronicled his every at-bat and invaded his privacy. But that was the least of it. Here, a black man stood poised—while playing in the Deep South, to boot—to claim one of the sports world’s most storied marks. Bigots hounded Aaron and made his life miserable, at a time when he should have basked in the glow of both his historic achievement and the recognition that had eluded him for decades.

Still, you know what? We might conclude that Aaron got off easy four decades ago, long before social media dominated every facet of our lives and removed any shred of privacy.

Just try to imagine how much more intense and challenging his predicament would have been. Can you picture the potential for incessant racist taunts on Facebook and Twitter, not to mention the blogosphere? In the 1970s, the haters reached Aaron by what we call “snail mail.” Today, in our sped-up-world of modern communications, Aaron would have had no escape.

Is Friedman right? I hate to think so, but after what we’ve seen after Americans elected a black president, I have to wonder.

The situation in Ukraine continues to escalate. 

Pro-Russia protesters burn tires near a regional administration building in Kharkiv in a back-and-forth clash with riot police for control of the building. (Oleg Shishkov, EPA / April 7, 2014)

Pro-Russia protesters burn tires near a regional administration building in Kharkiv in a back-and-forth clash with riot police for control of the building. (Oleg Shishkov, EPA / April 7, 2014)

The LA Times reports, Ukraine cracks down on demonstrators; Russia issues warning.

Ukrainian riot police cleared a regional administration building and public square in the eastern city of Kharkiv of hundreds of pro-Russia protesters Tuesday morning, detaining scores in the process, officials said.

“Seventy criminals were taken into custody during the operation,” Ukraine acting President Olexandr Turchinov told the parliament in televised remarks Tuesday morning.

In response, Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a stern warning against the use of force on pro-Russia protesters in eastern Ukraine and alleged the direct involvement of private U.S. military experts.

“According to our information, Ukraine Interior Ministry and National Guard troops including militants of the illegal armed group the Right Sectort are being brought to the southeast regions of Ukraine,” read a statement posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official website Tuesday. “A special concern is connected with the fact that abot 150 U.S. experts from the private military organization Greystone dressed in the uniforms of [Ukraine] special unit Sokol are involved in the operation.”

“The organizers and participants in the operation are assuming huge responsibility for the creation of threats to rights, freedoms and lives of peaceful residents of Ukraine,” the statement said.

It really doesn’t look like Russian president Vladimir Putin is going to stop with absorbing Crimea into Russia. From the Wall Street Journal this morning: Ukraine Could Be Plunged into Civil War, Warns Russia — Update.

Ukrainian police on Tuesday regained control of a government building occupied by pro-Kremlin separatists in one volatile eastern city as pro-Russian protesters in another appeared to be slipping into disarray.

As Ukraine’s new government pushed to show its authority in the region, Russia warned that the use of force to dislodge demonstrators who had taken over government offices could plunge the country into civil war.

Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of instigating the protests that began Sunday in Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk, suggesting that their powerful neighbor is trying to orchestrate a takeover similar to its incursion and annexation of Crimea. They have vowed to subdue the secessionists.

Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Tuesday morning that an “antiterrorist” operation had been launched in Kharkiv and around 70 separatists who had control of the regional administration building had been arrested.

He said roughly 200 pro-Russian agitators had barricaded themselves inside overnight and threw stun grenades and fired pellet guns at police and national guard officers who had surrounded the building. He said the protesters then set fire to a wing of the building and smashed windows. After the fire was contained, Mr. Avakov said special forces units stormed the building, made the arrests and seized a cache of weapons.

“The night in Kharkiv was endlessly long,” he said. “The boorish, brutal, ordered and generously paid pro-Russian aggression of the ‘protesters’ was off the charts.”

Mr. Avakov said that the Interior Ministry was moving more forces to the east of Ukraine to protect against further separatist activity.

But Russia’s foreign ministry threatened that any heavy-handed action by Ukrainian authorities could set off further violence.

If you’d like to read an in-depth analysis of the situation, check out this blog post by Prof. John Schindler of the Naval War College, Putinism and the Anti-WEIRD Coalition.

Cornelius Gurlitt

Cornelius Gurlitt

Awhile back I wrote about the discovery of a huge collection of art works

that had been found in Germany, many of which had likely been stolen by the Nazis during WWII. Now even more stolen art works have come to light, according to this article at Raw Story: German recluse’s ‘Nazi art trove’ much bigger than first thought.

Around another 60 artworks, including pieces by Monet and Renoir, have come to light at the Austrian home of an elderly German recluse whose earlier discovered art hoard is suspected to contain Nazi-looted works.

The latest pieces were found at the property in Salzburg belonging to Cornelius Gurlitt, his spokesman said Tuesday, just months after the art world was rocked by news of a spectacular trove of more than 1,400 works unearthed at his German home in 2012.

A first inspection indicates there is no Nazi loot — artwork that the fascist regime stole from Jewish owners or bought from them cheaply under duress — in the latest discovery, spokesman Stephan Holzinger said.

“More works were located in Cornelius Gurlitt’s house in Salzburg,” he said in a statement….

The Gurlitt case first made headlines late last year when it emerged that investigators had found more than 1,400 artworks in his Munich flat, including long-lost works by masters including Matisse and Chagall.

Gurlitt is now cooperating with authorities and has agreed to return any stolen pieces. From the Times of Israel:

Gurlitt’s father, Hildebrand, was an art dealer on assignment to the Nazis who died in 1956 in an accident; his son inherited the collection. In 2012, customs agents investigating Cornelius Gurlitt for tax evasion confiscated his Munich stash of some 1,400 works.

The existence of the collection — which includes works by artists such as Picasso, Dürer, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Beckmann and Matisse – was kept under wraps until Focus magazine broke the story last fall.

Spurred by art provenance researchers and restitution advocates around the world, Germany established a task force to deal specifically with the Gurlitt case. It includes experts recommended by the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, among others.

In the meantime, works collected by the elder Gurlitt also were found to be stashed in his son’s home in Salzburg, Austria, as well as in other locations in Austria and Switzerland.

Gurlitt, 81, has maintained that his collection is legitimate. Earlier this year, his attorneys publicized a new website where possible heirs could contact him.

Yesterday The Smoking Gun broke a surprising story about activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton.

Rev. Al Sharpton with President Obama

Rev. Al Sharpton with President Obama

Al Sharpton’s Secret Work As FBI Informant: Untold story of how activist once aided probes of NYC wiseguys

Beginning in the mid-1980s and spanning several years, Sharpton’s cooperation was fraught with danger since the FBI’s principal targets were leaders of the Genovese crime family, the country’s largest and most feared Mafia outfit. In addition to aiding the FBI/NYPD task force, which was known as the “Genovese squad,” Sharpton’s cooperation extended to several other investigative agencies.

TSG’s account of Sharpton’s secret life as “CI-7” is based on hundreds of pages of confidential FBI affidavits, documents released by the bureau in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, court records, and extensive interviews with six members of the Genovese squad, as well as other law enforcement officials to whom the activist provided assistance.

Like almost every other FBI informant, Sharpton was solely an information source. The parameters of his cooperation did not include Sharpton ever surfacing publicly or testifying on a witness stand.

Genovese squad investigators–representing both the FBI and NYPD–recalled how Sharpton, now 59, deftly extracted information from wiseguys. In fact, one Gambino crime family figure became so comfortable with the protest leader that he spoke openly–during ten wired face-to-face meetings–about a wide range of mob business, from shylocking and extortions to death threats and the sanity of Vincent “Chin” Gigante, the Genovese boss who long feigned mental illness in a bid to deflect law enforcement scrutiny. As the mafioso expounded on these topics, Sharpton’s briefcase–a specially customized Hartmann model–recorded his every word.

Sharpton told Politico that he wasn’t technically an informant. He had turned to authorities for help because of threats against him.

“I was never told I was an informant or I had a number or none of that,” the MSNBC host told the New York Daily News. “Whether or not they used some of the other information they got during that period for other purposes, I don’t know.”

The paper reported that Sharpton said he contacted authorities after receiving death threats.

“If you’re a victim of a threat, you’re not an informant — you’re a victim trying to protect yourself,” Sharpton said.

Sharpton also noted that this isn’t breaking news; it has been reported more than once in the past.

“I don’t see this as news,” Sharpton told FoxNews.com. “This has been brought up three or four times now. I don’t understand. It’s crazy.”

The New York Daily News also has a lengthy write-up of the story if you want more details.

Those are the stories that caught my eye today. What are you reading and hearing? Please post your links in the comment thread, and have a great Tuesday!


37 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Update on Ukraine from Reuters:

    Ukraine ends one pro-Russia occupation but armed protesters hold out

    Ukrainian police cleared pro-Moscow protesters from a regional administration building in a lightning night-time operation, but others held out in two more eastern cities on Tuesday in what Kiev says is a Russian-led plan to dismember the country.

    Shots were fired, a grenade thrown and 70 people detained as officers ended the occupation in the city of Kharkiv during an 18 minute “anti-terrorism” action, the interior ministry said.

    But elsewhere in Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking industrial heartland, activists armed with Kalashnikov rifles and protected by barbed wire barricades vowed there was no going back on their demand – a vote on returning to Moscow rule.

    In the city of Luhansk, a man dressed in camouflage told a crowd outside an occupied state security building: “We want a referendum on the status of Luhansk and we want Russian returned as an official language.”

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Sign of Spring:

    Here’s a live-cam of a Bald Eagle nest in PA. The last of three eggs hatched recently.

    http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/watch-now-bald-eagle-egg-hatches-in-a-pittsburgh-nest/article_94ca6bfa-b914-11e3-af4e-001a4bcf6878.html

  3. janicen says:

    I believe Sharpton about not technically being an informant, that he had turned to them for help because of threats he received. If you think about it, who becomes an informant? Most of the time it’s people who had been arrested for something and are “turning” in order to reduce their sentence or get themselves out of trouble. If Sharpton had been arrested for anything that serious, the feds wouldn’t have wasted any time broadcasting that all over the place.

    • Sharpton was an undercover brother?

    • bostonboomer says:

      It sounds to me as if he did positive things, whether he was technically an “informant” or “victim” or both.

      • I was joking…I watched that movie the other day…and it was making me laugh to myself, I am in a pathetic PAD mood.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Oh, I didn’t mean any criticism of your joke–I was responding to Janice. I’ve seen a lot of haters on the right and left attacking Sharpton, that’s all.

    • Fannie says:

      Al Sharpton has been promoting himself since day one. I’ve seen it time and time again. Show me where he’s improved race relations? Where he is has helped poor people, and solved problems in the black ghettos. I believe he was propped up by the media, not so much by the people in the hood. Several things struck me in that article (it was a long read), “he knew how to act dumb”, and that makes me think of his dialect, it was one thing to speak negro dialect to FBI, and Mob, and then another to speak the black dialect in the hood. He was propped up by everybody that he came in contact with. He was definitely a tool. I hope you don’t take me wrong here, because the FBI was dealing and wheeling to get the goods on musicians, and student activist, and blacks and latino’s, anybody that they deemed were causing problems for US.

      I think like Rev. Jackson, Rev. Sharpton had to take some heat, because they became a back stabber, the snake it the grass, so to speak. It was Rev. Al who said Pres. Obama was given the Nobel prize because he was black. Jackson took the heat when they crushed Bill and Hillary in 2008, and said something about cutting Obama’s nuts out. I think the media only cared about the racism, and Al Sharpton was right out front with the media. That doesn’t mean I don’t have respect for him, because I see the difficulty in solving the problems, not just for blacks, but other poor people, in poor communities, and how the violence has increased. On the other hand Rev. Al doesn’t walk on water either.

      This song comes to mind:

      • janicen says:

        When info like this is released, it makes me suspicious. Does the FBI really release the names of informants while the informant is still alive? That’s pretty scary. I suspect, and only time will tell if I’m right, that the underlying purpose may be to create division and mistrust in the black community. Over the past 6 years, since the Obama candidacy for POTUS, the black community has united and organized and realized that they really do have power and that they can mobilize and win elections. How does the opposition stop that? I suspect we’re going to be hearing more stories about leaders in the black community that show those leaders to be untrustworthy to their community. There’s nothing worse to disenfranchised people than to learn that their leaders have sold out.

        • Fannie says:

          I had never heard until today, that Al Sharpton was a “snitch or an informant”. In my response to the article I made reference to the raw racial nerves of this country. Al Sharpton is a bit younger than I am, and I’ve not lived in the black ghetto. I have not lived his life, and he has to look in the mirror to see who he is. I am not going to judge him or any other on political grounds. There are certain problems unique in black communities. I don’t consider Al Sharpton to be an expert leader, regardless that he has been involved in the black culturalism, just as the Chicano have been, and the Native Americans, and poor whites, all trying to hang on to our human artifacts. It’s been very hard to grow emotionally in this country, that is because so many have been denied to enter through the door. I mean just today women will now receive equal pay, and able to see the data regarding the earnings of others. Today we are looking back to the LBJ War on Poverty, and how that experience has helped the poor people buy food, and put bread on the table, and pay for the essential things needed in life. That’s what it’s about.

          I suspect that the FBI has my name somewhere in their logs – as a student activist, as a feminist, as a hippie, and as part of counter culture. I remember back in the day we didn’t need the FBI to tell us who the narcs were, the “pigs” did a good job, and we created our own “paranoia” and division. Last week we were discussing the Vietnam vets coming home and addicted to drugs. Remember the movie Easy Rider…….there were good times, lots of music, and there were drug lords (still are). Les I forget, Bill Ayers, SNCC……a lot of us white students, admired, and still do, the black panthers. Early on the Muslims were noted for doing good things to change the communities, look at how that has changed today.

          When it comes to having black power, the leaders who understood and wrote and educated us were people like Eldridge Cleaver, Stokley Carmichael, Huey Newton, and James Baldwin and Nathan Hare, and it was Malcolm X, who contributed in significant and positive ways, that has given us improvements into “power to the people”. Back in 2008, there was a moment that I jumped and down, because I saw that women were a voting block, and there she was in New Hampshire. She voted for the Iraq war, and I don’t consider her a sell out.
          I think we all understand why.

          We are all still trying to reclaim democracy.

          • Fannie says:

            One more, Martin Luther King……..he truly organized communities, and those committed to peaceful and political actions. Can’t forget him and the group of black women who helped in the movement, like Fannie Lou Hammer.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Without Al Sharpton, the Trayvon Martin case would never have gotten the attention it did. It was hardly reported for months–it only got national coverage after Sharpton started holding marches and talking about it on radio and TV. I like him, and I think he’s gotten a bad rap.

            Of all the people on MSNBC (including Maddow) he spends the most time covering the war on women.

          • janicen says:

            I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to come across as being critical of your point. I was trying to make an adjunct point about the motive behind the release of this damaging info about Sharpton. I should have made it in a stand alone comment rather than as a reply to yours. Again, my apologies.

          • Fannie says:

            BB you are spot on about Rev. Al and Trayvon and exposing the war on women. He’d made the case for both these issues, and Obamacare too.

  4. janicen says:

    Is Friedman right? Is racism worse because of social media? I don’t know about that specifically but I do think racism is worse than we would like to think in part because so few people seem to recognize it. Did anyone watch the NBC evening news last night? They did a big story, apparently there’s a crisis, a crisis I tell ya, in Vermont. Young people are getting addicted to heroin! Wow! As if this hasn’t been a plague in poor black neighborhoods for decades but suddenly NBC is terribly concerned because it’s happening in Vermont! To white kids! Something must be done!

    When the story first started, I turned to my husband and said, “Uh, this is news? Hasn’t there been a problem with heroin addiction since the 70’s?” But as the story unfolded it became apparent why it is suddenly being reported on prime time national news.

    So yeah, on the surface it looked like a run-of-the-mill story but the racism was implied. So many of us grew up believing that we would do it better than our parents did and be less racist but I think in some corners, it’s just disguised better and that makes it more insidious. Social media feels more anonymous so I’m sure some people feel more comfortable getting their klan on and they can find/be found by supporters.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m not sure racism is worse–at least the violence associated with it seems not as blatant–but the 24-hour news culture and comment sections and social media probably would have added more pressure for Aaron. And, as you point out, the racism in the media is more insidious now, again not as blatant.

      Roger Maris was white and his career was surely shortened by the stress of all the abuse he took.

  5. Hey BB, did you see this? Snowden Speaks: A Vanity Fair Exclusive | Vanity Fair

    “Every person remembers some moment in their life where they witnessed some injustice, big or small, and looked away, because the consequences of intervening seemed too intimidating,” former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden tells Vanity Fair about his motivation for leaking tens of thousands of secret documents. “But there’s a limit to the amount of incivility and inequality and inhumanity that each individual can tolerate. I crossed that line. And I’m no longer alone.”

    Snowden’s extensive response is part of a 20,000-word narrative in Vanity Fair’s May issue, by special correspondent Bryan Burrough and contributing editors Suzanna Andrews and Sarah Ellison. The article is the first comprehensive account—bolstered by interviews with dozens of key players—providing an inside look at how a geeky dropout from the Maryland suburbs found himself alone in a Hong Kong hotel room, releasing some of America’s most carefully guarded secrets to the world.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    It appears that not only banking and credit card info, but also communications by Greenwald and his gang are now very vulnerable to hacking.

    From Ars Tecnika,

    Critical crypto bug in OpenSSL opens two-thirds of the Web to eavesdropping: Exploits allow attackers to obtain private keys used to decrypt sensitive data.

  7. RalphB says:

    Schindler’s analysis had some good pieces but read, like all seem to, as if by someone who would have missed the fall of the old Soviet Union like the intelligence community once did. I don’t take him too seriously since he really is an old cold warrior type. YMMV.

    His ideas that our international problems are caused by our promotion of our social values also seem a bit odd while not taking into account more direct actions like the invasion of Iraq and our other actions in the middle east and eastern Europe. Personally I tend to believe that Putin’s strategy mostly involves his own popularity at home, though he may well overplay his hand.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I didn’t agree with him on everything either. I just find his analyses interesting.

      Putin is clearly playing for his home audience, but he also seems to strongly believe that Russia should return to super-power status and recover as much of the old USSR as possible. And I didn’t get that from Schindler.

      • RalphB says:

        You’re right John is always interesting and almost always has something worthwhile to say on point.

        I think you’re right and Russian nationalism seems very real to me, both in Putin and the population as a whole. That just makes it more dangerous to me.

  8. RalphB says:

    Greg Abbott loses again in federal court…

    Bradblog: Federal Judge Orders TX to Produce Legislative Docs That May Prove Polling Place Photo ID Restriction Law Was Racially-Motivated

    By way of an eight-page Order issued late last week, U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos has directed the State of Texas to serve upon the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) documents that relate to the question of whether “state legislators, contrary to their public pronouncements, acted with discriminatory intent in enacting SB 14,” the Lone Star State’s polling place Photo ID restriction law.

    That law had previously been found to be discriminatory against minority voters in TX, and thus rejected by both the DoJ and a federal court panel as a violation of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). It was then re-enacted by the state of Texas almost immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted a central provision of the VRA in the summer of 2013.

  9. This is somewhat local but interesting: it’s about our latest kissing congress critter:

    http://cenlamar.com/2014/04/08/why-the-real-scandal-isnt-congressman-vance-mcallisters-philandering/

    But while the national media gawks over the lurid details and focuses on Congressman McAllister’s rank hypocrisy, they’re missing the real scandal here: Who leaked the video, and was this leak purposely timed? After all, this video was recorded nearly four months ago, from inside the Congressman’s own district office.

    To borrow a horror movie cliche, the call was coming from inside the house.

  10. If you like gymnasitics, this young woman from LSU is amazing! She’s scored a 10 with this floor ex. Check her out. She’s strong, bold, and truly a great athlete!!

    http://jezebel.com/gymnasts-awesome-hip-hop-inspired-floor-routine-scores-1560292129/all

  11. RalphB says:

    Dr Strangelove is my favorite film and it’s great to hear Kubrick narrate some high points in his rarely heard voice. Greatest promo reel evah!

    Stanley Kubrick Narrates a Promo Reel for Dr. Strangelove: Features Unused Takes

    Kubrick recounts the story of Dr. Strangelove — one as deeply familiar as ancient myth to those who have, like me, seen the movie countless times, always theatrically. He does so in a surprisingly flat, straightforward manner, given that the final product turned out so thoroughly shot through with the black comedy of the absurd.

    Over audible projector noise, he tells of all the now-familiar elements: …

  12. bostonboomer says:

    President Obama’s aunt, Zeituni Onyango, has died in Boston at age 61.

    Cleveland attorney Margaret Wong represented Onyango in her immigration case. She says Onyango died Tuesday in a Boston rehabilitation center. She says Onyango was being treated for cancer and respiratory problems.

  13. RalphB says:

    “If you want to say the further and further this gets down the road, the harder and harder it gets to repeal, that’s absolutely true. As far as repeal and replace goes, the problem with replace is that if you really want people to have these new benefits, it looks a hell of a lot like the Affordable Care Act.”

    — GOP congressional aide, quoted by TPM, on the increasing difficulty of ever repealing Obamacare. h/t Political Wire