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The latest blue state political news, from the most reliable sources, all in one place.

Daily Kos Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:47:06 GMT  

CBO: Medicaid even better deal for states than originally predicted
Infographic showing result of decision by states to refuse Medicaid expansion money.

Last week's report from the Congressional Budget Office was a barnburner for the Affordable Care Act, predicting that Obamacare was set to deliver insurance to more people, with lower premiums and more savings for the government than all of their previous prediction. But that's not all. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities digs a little deeper into the report, and discovers that the CBO says Medicaid expansion is an even better deal for states than originally predicted.
CBO has sharply lowered its estimates of the costs to states of adopting the Medicaid expansion.
  • CBO now estimates that the federal government will, on average, pick up more than 95 percent of the total cost of the Medicaid expansion and other health reform-related costs in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) over the next ten years (2015-2024).
  • States will spend only 1.6 percent more on Medicaid and CHIP due to health reform than they would have spent without health reform (see Figure 1). That’s about one-third less than CBO projected in February. And the 1.6 percent figure is before counting the state savings that the Medicaid expansion will produce in state expenditures for services such as mental health and substance abuse treatment provided to the uninsured.
Now the CBO is projecting fewer people—who were eligible but not enrolled for Medicaid before health reform—will enroll in it now. That's because of a variety of factors: some will just refuse to sign up, but some will become eligible for private coverage. Because of that increasing flux in the population that has always been eligible for Medicaid, CBO now expects fewer of them to enroll, and thus expects states to spend less over the next decade than it previously assumed.

Expansion states are saving money by taking the expansion. They're no longer having to pay hospitals and other providers for the care they are providing that isn't covered by private insurance or Medicaid. And none of the states that is rejecting the expansion is going to save money over the next decade because of it.

So as many as 17,000 people could die prematurely and unnecessarily this year, and next year, and the next, because states aren't willing to spend 1.6 percent more on Medicaid and CHIP. Purely out of political spite.


Pensito Review Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:47:07 GMT  

Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian, Encourages the South to Secede Again


Mike Luckovich Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:47:07 GMT  

01/08 Luckovich cartoon: Chilled out

010814-toon-luckovich-ed


ThinkProgress Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:47:07 GMT  

Oklahoma Won’t Stop Trying To Restrict Women’s Access To The Abortion Pill

For the third time, Oklahoma has approved legislation to make it more difficult for women to access medication-induced abortion.

The post Oklahoma Won’t Stop Trying To Restrict Women’s Access To The Abortion Pill appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Welcome To Oklahoma Sign

CREDIT: Shutterstock

Oklahoma lawmakers aren’t deterred when harsh abortion restrictions get overturned in court for violating the bounds of Roe v. Wade. They simply try again.

For the third time, the state has approved a measure that will severely restrict women’s access to the abortion pill, a non-surgical method of ending an early pregnancy. The move comes less than a year after the courts prevented Oklahoma from enforcing a similar law that was passed in 2011.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, the group that has repeatedly litigated against Oklahoma’s recent attempts to undermine reproductive rights, isn’t mincing words about how frustrating it is to keep fighting the same battles.

“Oklahoma politicians have yet again proven they are hell-bent on restricting women’s access to a safe and proven method of ending a pregnancy at its earliest stages,” Nancy Northrup, the group’s president, said in a statement. “Courts time and again have found these restrictions unconstitutional, and yet Oklahoma politicians refuse to give up their costly crusade of choking off access to safe, legal abortion care.”

Essentially, this type of legislation requires doctors to adhere to the FDA’s extremely outdated protocol for administering the medication used to induce an abortion. Even though women have been safely terminating pregnancies with a lower dosage of drugs for over a decade, these state laws force them to take an unnecessarily high dose. That ultimately makes the procedure more expensive, necessitates additional trips to a clinic, and prevents doctors from using their own judgment to follow the best medical practice available.

Last year, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that these abortion pill requirements are unconstitutional, noting that the regulation “restricts the long-respected medical discretion of physicians.” The court also determined that the vague language in the state law amounted to a total ban on medication abortion.

So now, the new law is more specific about the fact that it’s not intended to ban the abortion pill entirely, and state lawmakers hope that will help it to withstand a court challenge. But the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is currently challenging a similar law in Arizona, says the new law will still compromise doctors’ ability to administer the abortion pill — something that could force some women to have a surgical procedure even when they would have preferred a medication-induced abortion.

“Physicians know better than politicians how to best treat their patients,” Northup noted, “and medical decisions should be made according to their advice and expertise, not any politician’s ideological agenda.”

Nonetheless, this is a popular anti-choice strategy. Bolstered by Americans United for Life, a right-wing group that writes draft legislation for abortion restrictions, four other states have also attempted to require doctors to adhere to outdated regulations for administering the abortion pill. And 14 states in total have imposed some type of medically unnecessary restriction on this type of abortion service.

Oklahoma specifically has already enacted some of the harshest abortion restrictions in the nation. In addition to undermining women’s access to medication-induced abortion, lawmakers are also attempting to impose tighter regulations on abortion clinics that may force some of them to close.

The post Oklahoma Won’t Stop Trying To Restrict Women’s Access To The Abortion Pill appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Hours After Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action Ban, Wisconsin Lawmaker Offers Copycat Proposal

If Michigan's history is any guide, Grothman's amendment would drastically reduce minority admissions in Wisconsin's top schools. At the University of Michigan's flagship Ann Arbor campus, black enrollment dropped 30 percent after that state's affirmative action ban passed in 2006.

The post Hours After Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action Ban, Wisconsin Lawmaker Offers Copycat Proposal appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Affirmative Action Protest

CREDIT: (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld a Michigan ballot initiative banning race-conscious affirmative action in that state’s university system. The decision surprised virtually no one, given this Supreme Court’s longstanding skepticism of affirmative action programs.

Nevertheless, Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R) waited only a few hours after the decision was handed down before taking a victory lap. Not long after Court delivered its opinions in this case, Grothman announced that he would reintroduce a similar ban on race-conscious admission in his home state. Grothman’s offered similar proposals in the past without success.

Because Grothman’s proposal is a state constitutional amendment, it would need to be approved by lawmakers in two consecutive legislative sessions before it was placed before the state’s voters for final approval.

If Michigan’s history is any guide, Grothman’s amendment would drastically reduce minority admissions in Wisconsin’s top schools. At the University of Michigan’s flagship Ann Arbor campus, black enrollment dropped 30 percent after that state’s affirmative action ban passed in 2006. At the campus’ elite law school, just 14 black students enrolled in 2008, and the number has not topped 18 since that year.

In 2003, prior to this ballot initiative, the Supreme Court upheld Michigan Law’s affirmative action program — although with retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor casting the key fifth vote. As Justice O’Connor explained in her opinion for the Court, affirmative action enriches all students on campus, including white students, by allowing them to learn from the diverse experiences of their classmates. “‘[C]lassroom discussion,” O’Connor wrote, “‘is livelier, more spirited, and simply more enlightening and interesting’ when the students have ‘the greatest possible variety of backgrounds.’”

The post Hours After Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action Ban, Wisconsin Lawmaker Offers Copycat Proposal appeared first on ThinkProgress.

All Four Of North Carolina’s GOP Senate Candidates Are Climate Deniers

“Is climate change a fact?” the moderator asked. The questioned produced a brief flurry of laughter from the audience as well as several repressed snickers from the candidates.

The post All Four Of North Carolina’s GOP Senate Candidates Are Climate Deniers appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Rev. Mark Harris, right, was one of the four Republican primary candidates for North Carolina's Senate seat who denied the reality of climate change Tuesday night.

Rev. Mark Harris, right, was one of the four Republican primary candidates for North Carolina’s Senate seat who denied the reality of climate change Tuesday night.

CREDIT: AP Photo / Ted Richardson

On Tuesday, all four Republican candidates vying for North Carolina’s Senate seat were asked if climate change is a fact. All four said no.

It was the first televised debate of the primary campaign, and featured four candidates: State House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-NC), who is leading in funding and in the polls; physician Greg Brannon, a Tea Party member and Tillis’ main rival; Charlotte pastor Mark Harris; and nurse practitioner Heather Grant. It was the first of three scheduled debates, after which a primary election on May 6 will decide which of the four will face off against incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) in the fall.

“Is climate change a fact?” the moderator asked in the video, which was posted by Buzzfeed. The questioned produced a brief flurry of laughter from the audience as well as several repressed snickers from the candidates. All four then followed with a curt “no” — though Brannon did append “God controls the climate” to his answer.

At the national level, over 58 percent of Congressional Republicans throughout the House and Senate have gone on record denying that climate change is happening.

North Carolina’s political culture specifically has long had problems with climate and environmental issues. In 2012, the state legislature banned officials from using sea level rise predictions in designing rules for coastal development. Meanwhile, Governor Pat McCrory worked 28 years for Duke Energy and received hefty financial support from the company during his campaign. Duke runs seven coal-fired power plants in the state, along with over 30 coal ash slurry ponds. Those ponds have been the subject of an ongoing lawsuit, with environmental groups charging that poor safeguards and lax oversight have allowed the coal ash slurry to pollute North Carolina’s drinking water.

A massive new spill from one of Duke’s ponds earlier this year generated renewed scrutiny of McCrory’s relationship with Duke, and sparked a federal investigation into whether the state’s environmental regulator — the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources — failed in its duty to properly oversee Duke’s activities.

It’s not clear if any of the four candidates in last night’s debate were asked about the issues with Duke, but several local reports make no mention of any such question.

The post All Four Of North Carolina’s GOP Senate Candidates Are Climate Deniers appeared first on ThinkProgress.


PoliticusUSA Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:47:07 GMT  

The ACA Becomes a Democratic Weapon as Sen. Mary Landrieu Uses It to Destroy GOP Opponent
In the key state of Louisiana, Sen. Mary Landrieu isn't running away from Obamacare. She is using the ACA as weapon to point out how Republicans who have health insurance deny it to others.

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Jon Stewart Highlights The Blatant Sexism In Politics And The Media’s Double-Standard
On Tuesday night's episode of The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart devoted an extended-length segment of the show to the media's treatment of women in politics.

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Conservative Pundit: Rand Paul’s Blue Jeans Will Carry Him to the White House
Who knew Neo-Confederate, white supremacist Christian Nationalism could be so cool? Forget the 1930s. Völkisch is so 21st century!

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Paul Krugman Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:47:07 GMT  

Class-Ridden America
The rich think differently from you and me.
Inequality 1992
An old article, still useful when the cockroaches come back.
ECO 348, The Great Recession: Long-Run Fiscal Prospects
CBO Oh-oh.

Media Matters for America - Latest Items Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:47:08 GMT  

How Conservatives Helped Dinesh D'Souza "Get His Story Out There"

Dinesh D'Souza, the conservative filmmaker and author charged this January with violating federal campaign finance laws, allegedly said that while he might eventually admit his guilt, he would initially plead innocent because it would give "him a window of opportunity to get his story out there." Conservative media have been happy to lend him a hand in doing so.

In January, federal prosecutors announced that D'Souza was being charged with filtering excessive campaign donations through straw donors to Republican Wendy Long, a friend of his who lost her 2012 campaign to unseat Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. D'Souza pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to The New York TimesD'Souza's lawyer is claiming that the conservative pundit is being "targeted...because of his consistently caustic and highly publicized criticism" of President Obama. (The prosecution has called these claims "entirely without merit.") The Times also reports that prosecutors claim to have a recording made by the husband of a woman D'Souza was "involved with romantically" who was "one of the alleged straw donors." According to the woman, D'Souza said that if he were eventually charged, he might plead not guilty to help "get his story out there":

Prosecutors also said they had obtained a copy of a recording made surreptitiously last October by the husband of a woman Mr. D'Souza was involved with romantically around the time of the donations, when Mr. D'Souza was separated from his wife. In making the recording, the husband was not acting at the government's direction, prosecutors said. The woman, Denise Joseph, was one of the alleged straw donors.

Ms. Joseph was recorded as saying that Mr. D'Souza had told her that if he were charged he might plead guilty, but would initially plead not guilty because that "gives him a window of opportunity to get his story out there," the government said. Ms. Joseph had no comment, her lawyer said.

Conservative media have been crucial in helping D'Souza "get his story out there" -- his allies on Fox News, talk radio, and right-wing online outlets have loudly and repeatedly claimed that D'Souza is a victim of persecution because of his political beliefs.


Right Wing Watch Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:47:08 GMT  

Michael Bresciani Chides Gay People As Lower Than Monkeys

Christian Post blogger Michael Bresciani is out with another warning that the “gay agenda” and the purported rise of “perverted and libidinous behavior” is creating a “world that is plunging in unison to what we now well know will lead to – Armageddon.”

Insisting that “we are not the dung under the feet of Barack Obama,” Bresciani calls on conservatives to fight gay rights with the zeal of soldiers, adding that monkeys are more moral than gays: “Academics are assuring our children that they are the progeny of monkeys who are now on the cusp of conquering the stars. Yet, even the monkeys have not blurred gender distinctions nor do they indiscriminately destroy their young on a daily basis.”

Noting the backward slide into every prurient, perverted and libidinous behavior Americans can conger, is largely treated like scolding and rebuke rather than a call to return to the faith of our fathers.



This idea is now replaced with academically sanctioned dismissal of God, gay agenda indoctrination and mealy mouthed churches raising the white flag of apostasy and condescension. But not all!

Bill O’Reilley shrugs off the plunge into the gay “marriage” battle as social inevitability due to emergent acceptance of it into the fabric of our nation and yet, he still dares to refer to himself as a “culture warrior.”

Take a hint from your noble friends in the Wounded Warrior Project Bill - real warriors never give in or give up!



It will take a national revival to call God back to our side. First to forgive us, second to renew our commitment to righteousness and lastly to show our resolve to a world that is plunging in unison to what we now well know will lead to - Armageddon.

Academics are assuring our children that they are the progeny of monkeys who are now on the cusp of conquering the stars. Yet, even the monkeys have not blurred gender distinctions nor do they indiscriminately destroy their young on a daily basis. They exist without hoarding gold and silver or prepare for retirement. Is it time to tell the Darwinists that acting like monkeys is not proof of evolution?



Revival is a return to following only the voice of the Good Shepherd. We are not the children of O’Reilly; we are not the dung under the feet of Barack Obama and his horrible notion of ‘Change.’ We are not the dupes of indoctrination for academic fools who soothe themselves with tenure, turpitude and depravity masquerading as classical formal education.

http://blog.buzzflash.com/rss.xml Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:47:08 GMT  


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liberal adj.
  • Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
  • Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
  • Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
  • Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.




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