Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Sunset Dump


I've now driven CA-1 from Santa Cruz to Ft. Bragg (not all in one day) and I'm here to tell you that it's some of the most beautiful scenery that you will ever see. It's also a one-lane, hairpin twisting road that hugs the mountains and is surprisingly remote with almost zero cell phone access, so be prepared for anything. That modern safety net of instant communication is gone, although there are call boxes at various widely-spaced turnouts where you can contact authorities if you're really stuck. Be prepared to walk.

Some leftovers on this Friday....

Privatizing Medicaid. Big money to be had in Florida: Gov. Rick Scott's 'new perspective': expand Medicaid after all
"His endorsement of the expansion came hours after the federal government agreed to grant Florida a conditional waiver to privatize Medicaid statewide for the state's more than 3 million current recipients, more than half of which are children or people under age 21... The privatization expands on a five-county pilot program that has been rife with problems. Critics worry for-profit providers are scrimping on patient care and denying medical services to increase profits. Some doctors have dropped out of the pilot program, complaining of red tape and that the insurers deny the tests and medicine they prescribe. Patients have complained they struggled to get doctor's appointments." And there's more. Go read. And learn. Quick.

Fire up the machine: Organizing for Action targets GOP lawmakers in first ad buy
"The online ad buy, which cost close to six figures, is the first such campaign by Organizing for Action, the month-old advocacy group formed by top advisers to President Obama to build momentum for his legislative agenda. The ads are going live the same day as the group launches its first national mobilization, a so-called day of action featuring 100 events around the country aimed at demonstrating support for Obama’s gun violence reduction plan."

Hillary Watch: Texas GOP Chair: State Could Be In Play In 2016 If Hillary Runs
"It's been more than three decades since Texas went blue in a presidential election, but a top Republican there fears that the GOP may not have the state's 38 electoral votes in the bag in 2016 if Hillary Clinton is at the top of the Democratic ticket. Steve Munisteri, chairman of the Texas GOP, told Real Clear Politics in a story published Friday that Clinton would strip the state of its "solid Republican" status and insisted that national Republicans are taking her candidacy seriously — even in the crimson red Lone Star State."

Big John weighs in on the sequester with a yawn: US businesses sanguine about sequestration
"John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable, which represents America’s largest companies, said the automatic spending cuts would do minimal harm, compared with the large tax hikes and possible default on US debt threatened during other big budgetary crises of the past two years." Tell that to Wal-Mart.

While America falls further behind: Former NIH director: The sequester will set back medical science for a generation
"I think the suddenness of it and the depth of it would be a disaster for research, which is not an activity that you can turn on and off from year to year. It’s an activity that takes time. The most impacted are the young, new investigator scientists, who are coming into science, and will now abandon the field of science. There will be a generational gap created."

Republicans want the cuts to happen, and they want Democratic constituencies to pay for them. Krugman: Sequester of Fools
"House Republicans, on the other hand, want to take everything that’s bad about the sequester and make it worse: canceling cuts in the defense budget, which actually does contain a lot of waste and fraud, and replacing them with severe cuts in aid to America’s neediest. This would hit the nation with a double whammy, reducing growth while increasing injustice."

Today in Whack-a-doodle: Bizarre bills fill nation's state houses
"If Washington’s lawmakers want outside-the-box ideas for today’s complex problems, they might want to start looking at the states. The laboratories of Democracy are hard at work finding solutions — sometimes to problems you might not have even known you had, such as human-animal hybrids... The ban on human-animal hybrids is included in a larger abortion bill." There you have it, the real agenda. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Climate now. Or very soon: Poll: One-third say action on climate 'essential' this year
"About one-third of people in the United States say action on climate change is "essential" in 2013, according to a USA TODAY/Pew Research Center poll released Thursday. Thirty-four percent of people in the poll called taking action on climate change “essential this year." Thirty-nine percent said climate change needs to be addressed in the next few years, while 19 percent said nothing should be done and 8 percent had no opinion."

Grover and the Tea Party: Still working against popular opinion on climate:
"Grover Norquist and tea party activists are combining forces to battle EPA's expected greenhouse gas controls on power plants and the agency's renewable fuels mandate. The effort by Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform and the tea party-linked FreedomWorks would seek a successful Senate challenge through the Congressional Review Act of EPA's greenhouse gas controls on new power plants, once that rule is finalized. "From our perspective, I view this as the last stand on climate for us," said David Banks, a policy adviser to the Heartland Institute and former Senate GOP aide, who's helping to organize the effort. The conservative activists would also seek congressional repeal of the EPA-supervised renewable fuel standard that Congress created in 2005."

Play ball!

Have an excellent day...