Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion

By Sharon Ward, Third and State

There is growing bipartisan agreement that the optional expansion of Medicaid provided by the Affordable Care Act is too good an opportunity to pass up.

This month, the Governors of Arizona and North Dakota, both Republicans, announced their intention to opt-in to the Medicaid expansion, joining their counterparts in Nevada and New Mexico. To date, 14 states have decided to expand Medicaid in 2014, and another seven are leaning toward expansion. Pennsylvania remains among the 21 undecided states.

Support for Medicaid Expansion Growing

Here’s what Arizona Governor Jan Brewer had to say about Medicaid:

Sen Casey seen as a swing vote on climate change

It continues to blow my mind that so many legislators are willing to stake their legacies on denying climate change. Just because you can find some well paid off scientist in some nothing university to tell you that he's a climate change skeptic doesn't change the fact that the evidence keeps piling up.

And piling up.

Climate Change is real. It's probably too late for us already, but we should at least not run off the cliff like a lot of lemmings.

That's why it was so important when the courts rules that Greenhouse Gases can, in fact, be regulated as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, but now that major step is coming under serious fire by members of the GOP, according to this report on Politico.

Fortunately, the President is saying he'd veto it (that is, assuming it was glommed onto something he can't veto):

White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairman Nancy Sutley repeated the veto threat Wednesday. “The president’s advisers have said if it comes to a straight up or down, they’d recommend he’d veto it,” she told reporters. “And I think that continues to be where we are.”

Unfortunately, not all Dems are on the right side here, and the GOP has Bob Casey on a list of Dems they think they can bring along.

“There’s anywhere from 12 to 15 Democrats that we are eying that we think would have an interest in supporting a bill like this,” the aide said. Among the Democrats Republicans are watching: Bob Casey (Pa.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Jim Webb (Va.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), John Rockefeller (W.Va.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Tim Johnson (S.D.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.).

If you think that sucks as much as I do, then tell Casey it sucks. Do it here.

If you want to help the working poor, then for God's sake gouge the rich

If you haven't seen it, have a look at this quote from President Obama's press conference on the deal he cut with the Republicans.

So this notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate that we had during health care. This is the public option debate all over again. So I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans, something that Democrats had been fighting for for a hundred years, but because there was a provision in there that they didn't get that would have affected maybe a couple of million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people and the potential for lower premiums for 100 million people, that somehow that was a sign of weakness and compromise.

Now, if that's the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let's face it, we will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are, and in the meantime, the American people are still seeing themselves not able to get health insurance because of preexisting conditions or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out.

It's a nice piece of rhetoric (Talking Points Memo has the transcript of the whole press conference), but it nails down precisely my problem with the President's approach. My problem with Health Care Reform aligns with my problem with the auto industry bailout, financial reform and the latest tax deal. In every instance, the President has hidden behind some vulnerable community in order to excuse himself from sticking it to the rich and the very rich, as he should.

Let's bust some trusts. We live in a world where the rich are so rich that their richness is fat and lazy and self-perpertuating it has left us with an ever more boring, decadent, uninventive world, a world where the captains of industry work harder to keep things easy than create new markets by coming up with new products or services that folks could really use. That's where we are as a people. Drug companies spend more money on advertising than research. Banks screw their depositors six ways from Sunday and call it "financial innovation" and the Scions of Microsoft sit in Seattle and look only for good ideas to steal rather than coming up with good ideas of their own. We live in a world where rich people only get richer at the expense of other people, and you can sure as hell bet that those other people aren't other rich people.

OK, that's going to be my only purely rhetorical paragraph: let's get to the point. Obama isn't willing to play the serious brinksmanship it's going to take for the very rich to finally lose a fight. The screed goes on. Hit the link below and hang with me past the break.

GOP- KKK, same thing, now!

In the middle of a very contentious political battle over civil rights legislation, President Lyndon Baines Johnson muttered prophetically about the ugly political schism that would shape America's future, for generations to come. He essentially stated that if the Democratic party were to fully embrace and push for civil rights legislation, offering equal protection for millions of Americans who had been dealt an ugly historical misfortune, the party would "lose the South for 50 years". He knew why he said what he said. After all, he had his roots in that great southern state of Texas -- not know for its warm hearted embrace of civil or equal rights. Sadly, which may be more evident today than it was in 1964 or 65, he was correct.

Calling Out Dominic Pileggi

As everyone knows, Dominic Pileggi has decided to hold up a one-cent sales tax hike in Philadelphia because he's in a pissing match with Governor Ed Rendell. Pileggi says Philly wants a bailout, which is pretty funny coming from a guy who's getting $45 million from the state for a soccer stadium in Chester, one of the most depressed cities in the entire country.

Please visit the Philly Weekly, where Sean Dorn and I catalog the carnage:

So much for the "law and order" party:

Drug Education & Law Enforcement -100%

Violence Prevention - 100%

Police on Patrol - 100%

Safe Neighborhoods - 100%

Got cancer? Epilepsy? A sick child? Dominic says "Go to hell!" Oh, and "GOOOOOOOALLLLLLLL!"

Regional Cancer Centers - 100%

Tourette Syndrome - 100%

Hemophilia - 100%

Epilepsy - 100%

Dominic Pileggi is on Facebook

Bravo to Sean Dorn for his open letter to Dominic Pileggi:

and his related petition, calling for the Guv and the DRPA to cut off funding for his stadium until the he disconnects Philly's budget the state budget process:

I encourage you to sign.

if you are a facebook user, I encourage you to btemporarily ecome a fan of mr. pileggi, who has a presence there:
(if the link doesn't work, just search for his name, it'll come up quickly enough).

fans of mr. pileggi can post comments on his facebook wall, which anyone visiting his page will see.

I think you can see where i'm going with this.

hey senator pileggi: why not stop holding up Philadelphia's sales-tax.

"Police State of Mind" at Collateral News

Jennifer wrote about hired police informers that join resistance groups a while back. I just thought I'd let everyone know that a new Philadelphia news and video effort is following the ongoing stories of police infiltrators. I really did think that that crap went out with the Hoover era, but i guess not.

The video above chronicles underground and independent coverage of police action against protesters in Minnesota. The worst parts are the ones where they invaded people's homes before they'd done anything. The only evidence they had that the groups they pulled a storm trooper act on were really going to do anything wrong is that which their spies told them. And they won't even share that.

Protest McCain TOMORROW

John McCain is coming to town tomorrow. Supporters of peace, womens rights and a fair economy must raise our voices against his retrograde politics and the Third-Bush-Presidency

For more info contact Fabricio at or 215-732-8318

When: 9:15-9:30 AM on Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Where: National Constitution Center
Independence Mall
525 Arch St , Philadelphia , PA 19106
Location: Arch Street Sidewalk (between 5th or 6th),+525+Ar...


Go, Inqy, Go! - Political contributions and the Parking Authority

I love the way THE INQUIRER is pounding the quote-unquote "Philadelphia" Parking Authority. City GOP benefits from Parking Authority. It needs it. The story starts off promisingly:

Though the Philadelphia Parking Authority has fallen short in its promised funding for city schools, it certainly has been a boon for the Philadelphia Republican Party.

Authority employees and consultants have contributed at least $214,000 to the Republican City Committee since 2001, according to an Inquirer analysis of campaign finance data.

The contributions this year have reached at least $33,210, or more than 14 percent of the party's total.

I wonder if that's the single biggest cadre of funders? Of course, "cadre of funders" gets hard to define for a newspaper article, but still I wonder.

My humble suggestion to Philadelphia reporters pursuing these questions: the story I'd like to see is some attempt to sort out how much money could, potentially, be going to schools and how, exactly, the law designates that they are supposed to determine that figure.

This schools issue is a big part of why I want to lambast the PPA so badly. If it were just an issue of over-spending and patronage, I would care but I wouldn't care as much. The simple fact is that the PPA is making our city harder to live in by tightening up parking rules, but they aren't delivering on the promised benefit of that: getting some more money into education.

Pound them, Inqy! Pound them!!!

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