Overnight/Early Morning Open Thread

England Prevails! Or not. The Invisible Hand is weighing in now.

 



Paying To Be Cruel

Balloon Juice’s own presidential aspirant, ¡Baud! 2016, reminded me of something I meant to FP yesterday:  how red state Republicans have chosen to pay — hugely — for the privilege of denying their fellow Americans access to health care.  Let me turn the mic over to Kevin Drum:

In 2015, according to a survey by the Kaiser Foundation, spending by states that refused to expand Medicaid grew by 6.9 percent. That’s pretty close to the historical average. However, spending by states that accepted Medicaid expansion grew by only 3.4 percent.

In other words, the states that have refused the expansion are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. They’re actually willing to shell out money just to demonstrate their implacable hatred of Obamacare. How much money? Well, the expansion-refusing states spent $61 billion of their own money on Medicaid in 2014. If that had grown at 3.4 percent instead of 6.9 percent, they would have saved about $2 billion this year.

Two billion eh?  Pocket change!  Take it away, Kevin:

The residents of every state pay taxes to fund Obamacare, whether they like it or not. Residents of the states that refuse to expand Medicaid [22 of them — map here] are paying about $50 billion in Obamacare taxes each year, and about $20 billion of that is for Medicaid expansion. Instead of flowing back into their states, this money is going straight to Washington DC, never to be seen again.

So they’re willing to let $20 billion go down a black hole and pay $2 billion extra in order to prevent Obamacare from helping the needy.

V0017593 A surgeon extracting the stone of folly. Oil painting by Pie Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org A surgeon extracting the stone of folly. Oil painting by Pieter Huys. By: Pieter HuysPublished: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

 

Ladles and Jellyspoons!  Your modern Republican party!  Ready to fork over handsomely to make sure the wrong people suffer.

 

PS:  Let me call out the could-be great state of Texas for vicious derp on a grand scale:

Statewide, Texas hospitals had to eat 5.5 billion dollars in uncompensated care last year. The reason is this – after the Affordable Care Act passed, the amount of money the federal government provides to hospitals for uncompensated care was significantly reduced. It’s cause and effect; if 9 out of 10 Americans have health insurance, the amount of uncompensated care hospitals have to provide goes down. But when the U.S. Supreme Court gave the individual states the option to opt out of part of the Affordable Care Act, then-Texas Governor Rick Perry could not opt out fast enough.

Vote, folks, as if your life depends on it.  ’cause it very well may.

Image: Pieter Huys, A surgeon extracting the stone of folly, before 1584.



Can the Kochs Deliver the Mail Better than Florida Man?

kochrepAs I mentioned in comments on a thread yesterday, the Florida mailman who landed a gyrocopter at the US Capitol to draw attention to the corrupting influence of money in politics lives in the same media market I do and had informed a local paper of his plans prior to taking off. His stunt is therefore receiving more attention and in-depth coverage here than elsewhere.

The mailman is disappointed that the national corporate media outlets are focusing almost exclusively on the security vulnerabilities his flight revealed rather than the two-page campaign finance document he prepared for each congresscritter. The local outlets, having access to the mailman and greater interest due to the regional angle, are covering the campaign finance aspect. Not in sufficient depth, but at least they aren’t ignoring it altogether. The mailman won’t let them. Read more



After taking several readings

Nothing I’ve read today about ol’ Aqua Budha’s candidacy can approach the inadvertent genius of this, so probably we should all give up:

This guy doesn’t even look like a Republican, with his jeans and cowboy boots, his tie-but-no-jacket look, his mop-in-need-of-cutting coiffure. Mitt Romney tried to rock those jeans, but no 20-something — no 30-something, actually — looked at his Brylcreemed hair and thought: I want to hang out with this guy.

[….]

With the laconic delivery and soft bluegrass accent that lent a certain stoner quality to his speech….

This did amuse me though.








CATO, interns, King and privilege

Scott Lemieux is, correctly, pointing and laughing at Michael Cannon and the Cato Institute for their inability to find sympathetic plaintiffs for their bullshit argument that the Moops invaded Spain and therefore the Spanish now must learn to speak Moopish.

  • The fact that former Cato interns wanted no part of the troofer lawsuit;
  • The title implying that Politico hacked into Cannon’s email, rather than the massively more likely possibility that the email was provided by one of the recipients, or
  • Cannon complaining about the Cato institute being described as “right-leaning.”

I’d say they’re all winners.  Like any great comedy routine, the elements build on each other.

I was unfortunate enough to have known several CATO, AEI and Heritage Foundation interns during my undergraduate years. At first I was surprised that none of the younger siblings of those gliberterian fantasists would have signed on to the lawsuit, but then I remembered some more facts about the class of people who intern at right wing think tanks for fun and profit.

Those internships were either poorly paying or not paid at all with a requirement that the interns live in D.C.  That means parental support was often needed.  One of the interns I was acquainted with had a monthly allowance from her parents that was greater than the a semester’s tuition at a good state school.  Furthermore, most interns that CATO was trying to recruit are under the age of 26.  All of the interns that I knew had a serious and chronic pre-existing condition of either cranial rectal inversion or gaping  rectum syndrome.  Finally, they all knew how to cover their own ass.

PPACA’s provisions and exemptions took away most of the potential intern plaintiff pool.  The combination of keeping young adults on their parents’ insurance until age 26, and cheap catastrophic plans for young adults removes most potential sympathetic plaintiffs from the pool. Read more



Would Be A Shame If Something Happened To Your City There, Bill

New York’s Finest, at their finest.

NYPD traffic tickets and summonses for minor offenses have dropped off by a staggering 94 percent following the execution of two cops — as officers feel betrayed by the mayor and fear for their safety, The Post has learned.

The dramatic drop comes as Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio plan to hold anemergency summit on Tuesday with the heads of the five police unions to try to close the widening rift between cops and the administration.

The unprecedented meeting is being held at the new Police Academy in Queens at 2 p.m., sources said.

Angry union leaders have ordered drastic measures for their members since the Dec. 20 assassination of two NYPD cops in a patrol car, including that two units respond to every call.

It has helped contribute to a nose dive in low-level policing, with overall arrests down 66 percent for the week starting Dec. 22 compared with the same period in 2013, stats show.

Citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587, during that time frame.

So your brilliant, devious plan is this: you’re going to show the people who believe that the NYPD is full of power-hungry bullies and paramilitary goons what for by displaying to the country exactly how most of the collars you make are in fact wholly unnecessary exercises of petty microagression towards the citizenry you hold in open and rancorous contempt.

Okay then.  Go with that plan, guys.

The Thin Blue Line, indeed.



NN ’14

I’m going to Netroots Nation for Balloon Juice tomorrow. I went in 2011 and mistermix and DougJ went in 2012. Also, there was the famous John Cole and ABL Balloon Juice trip to the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

I will cover the keynotes: Vice President Biden, Senator Warren and Reverend Barber. I’m also going to the Ohio caucus and I hope to hit some other state caucuses. I will (of course) go to the public education privatization panel (my personal obsession) and anything I can find on voting rights. I’m also going to the Fight for Fifteen panel and lunch. I have corresponded with Angry Black Lady and when I figure out which panel she’s on I’ll go to that too.

Here’s the schedule of events. I’ll do my best to get posts up on events in a timely manner but as you probably have figured out by now I am not very good at speedy-quick “BREAKING NEWS” type dispatches, so just be your patient and kind selves and remember I am not (actually) a journalist.

This thing looks huge, just a jam-packed schedule. I am absolutely thrilled it’s in Detroit this year.