In July, Gov. Walker capped the number of elderly and disabled Wisconsinites who could enroll in Family Care, a program that enables people to stay in their homes rather than move to nursing homes. The Feds told Walker he couldn’t do that and ordered him to lift the cap. On Wednesday, he staged a press conference to heroically announce he was lifting the cap.
Good publicity turned bad for Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday when details of a letter from the federal government cast doubt on his motivations for lifting the cap on a state safety net for elderly and disabled residents.
On Wednesday, flanked by advocates for the state’s needy population, the governor announced he was lifting the cap on Family Care and would offer legislation to expand by $80 million the program that keeps the elderly and disabled out of nursing homes.
But on Thursday the State Journal obtained a copy of a letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ordering the state to lift the cap and immediately enroll people not enrolled since Walker capped the program in July.
“Even those who loathe Karl Rove’s every word may be hard-pressed to dispute his pre-Christmas summation of the Republican circus so far: “the most unpredictable, rapidly shifting, and often downright inexplicable primary race I’ve ever witnessed.”
The amazing GOP race has also been indisputably entertaining, spawning a new television genre, the debate as reality show. It’s escapist fun for the entire family (Hispanic and gay families excluded). Or it would be were it not for the possibility that one of the contestants could end up as president of the United States.”—Frank Rich, The Molotov Party: For the New GOP, Conservative Isn’t Nearly Radical Enough.
“Next fall, thousands of students on college campuses will attempt to register to vote and be turned away. Sorry, they will hear, you have an out-of-state driver’s license. Sorry, your college ID is not valid here. Sorry, we found out that you paid out-of-state tuition, so even though you do have a state driver’s license, you still can’t vote.”—The New York Times, Keeping College Students From the Polls.
The American Free Press, which markets books like “The Invention of the Jewish People” and “March of the Titans: A History of the White Race,” is urging its subscribers to help it send hundreds of copies of Ron Paul’s collected speeches to voters in New Hampshire. The book, it promises, will “Help Dr. Ron Paul Win the G.O.P. Nomination in 2012!”
Don Black, director of the white nationalist Web site Stormfront, said in an interview that several dozen of his members were volunteering for Mr. Paul’s presidential campaign, and a site forum titled “Why is Ron Paul such a favorite here?” has no fewer than 24 pages of comments. “I understand he wins many fans because his monetary policy would hurt Jews,” read one.
Far-right groups like the Militia of Montana say they are rooting for Mr. Paul as a stalwart against government tyranny.
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.”—The Sun, 1897.
MOST VALUABLE LOCAL OFFICIAL: Sheriff Dave Mahoney
The brutality of police crackdowns on the Occupy Wall Street protests from New York to California was a reminder that police do not always protect and serve. But there were notable exceptions. The most remarkable came in Madison, Wisconsin, when Governor Scott Walker ordered thousands of pro-union demonstrators cleared from the state Capitol. Mahoney, who since 2006 has been the elected sheriff for Dane County (Madison), helped coordinate the law-enforcement response to the protests outside and inside the Capitol. The sheriff said his responsibility was to protect public safety and First Amendment rights. As such, he objected to breaking up peaceful protests and to using deputies to shutter public spaces. “I refused to put deputy sheriffs in a position to be palace guards,” explained Mahoney, whose deputies joined “Cops for Labor” demonstrations in solidarity with the protests.
Sherrod Brown of Ohio was named Most Valuable Senator and Raul Grijalva of Arizona was named Most Valuable Representative. Read the whole list here.
SOPA is a test for principle for members of Congress. If you wish to save the Internet, vote against it. If you wish to fight Big Government, vote against it. If you wish to protect friends in the “content” production and distribution business at extreme cost to every other business in the world, vote for it. If you care more about a few businesses you can name and nothing about all the rest of them — which will be whiplashed by the unintended consequences of a bill that limits what can be done on the Internet while not comprehending the Internet at all, vote for it.
“But the Motion Picture Association of America is giving us SO MUCH CASH,” said members of Congress.
Speak out. Raise awareness about what’s at stake. Call on our political parties to resist the temptation to suppress certain votes in the hope of attaining electoral success and, instead, encourage and work with the parties to achieve this success by appealing to more voters. And urge policymakers at every level to reevaluate our election systems – and to reform them in ways that encourage, not limit, participation.
Today, we cannot – and must not – take the right to vote for granted.
Despite scientific and military information to the contrary, Gingrich continues to push his weapons of mass destruction doomsday theory. He also apparently believes the U.S. should engage in pre-emptive military strikes against North Korea and Iran. From a fascinating/disturbing article in the New York Times:
Newt Gingrich, the Republican presidential hopeful, wants you to know that as commander in chief he is ready to confront one of the most nightmarish of doomsday scenarios: a nuclear blast high above the United States that would instantly throw the nation into a dark age.
“Millions would die in the first week alone,” he wrote in the foreword to a science-fiction thriller published in 2009 that describes an imaginary EMP attack on the United States. A number of scientists say they consider Mr. Gingrich’s alarms far-fetched.
In 2004, Philip E. Coyle III, a former head of Pentagon arms testing, wrote that the EMP lobby seemed to “extrapolate calculations of extreme weapons effects as if they were a proven fact” and “puff up rogue nations and terrorists with the capabilities of giants.”
“I don’t believe in neutrality because the world is already moving in certain directions and wars are going on and children are going hungry. Terrible things are happening. And so to be neutral in a situation like this when things are already moving is to collaborate with whatever is going on. And I don’t want to collaborate with the world as it is. I want to intrude myself. I want to participate in changing the direction of things.”—Howard Zinn (via cwnl)
Meet Ruthelle Frank. She was born on Aug. 21, 1927, in her home in Brokaw, Wisconsin. She has voted in every election since 1948.
But thanks to Wisconsin’s new voting restrictions, she no longer has the ID required to vote.
What she never had — and in 84 years, never needed — was a birth certificate.
But without a birth certificate, Frank cannot get a state ID card. And without a state ID card, according to Wisconsin’s new voter ID law, she won’t be able to vote next year.
Though Frank never had a birth certificate, the state Register of Deeds in Madison has a record of her birth. It can generate a birth certificate for her — for a fee. Normally, the cost is $20. ”I look at that like paying a fee to vote,” Frank said.
And for Frank, that might not be the end of it. The attending physician at Frank’s birth misspelled her maiden name, which was Wedepohl. To get a birth certificate that has correct information, she will have to petition a court to amend the document — a weekslong process that could cost $200 or more.
Many Republicans don’t regard government jobs as actual jobs, and are eager to see them disappear. Republican governors around the Midwest have aggressively tried to break the power of public unions while slashing their work forces, and Congressional Republicans have proposed paying for a payroll tax cut by reducing federal employment rolls by 10 percent through attrition. That’s 200,000 jobs.
But every layoff, whether public or private, is a life, and a livelihood, and a family. And too many of them are getting battered by the economic storm.
Announcing the best job numbers of his tenure with a splash last summer, Gov. Scott Walker left out the fact that his office had been told in an internal report that the monthly numbers were “very questionable” and “suspect.”
The snapshot of jobs in the state is normally announced each month simply through a news release, but in July Walker traveled to Milwaukee to announce that the month before the state had gained a net total of 9,500 jobs, a big chunk of the net total of 18,000 new jobs nationwide for that month. It was announced at the time as the biggest monthly increase in jobs since September 2003.The unusual announcement was made in the run-up to pivotal Senate recall elections last summer that were seen as a referendum on Walker’s policies.
But three days before the announcement, Walker’s office received a report from the state labor department that raised serious concerns about the numbers. The PowerPoint presentation was released to the Journal Sentinel under the state’s open records law.
"Results, while (federal Bureau of Labor Statistics) approved, are very questionable," reads the first line of the report.
Jon Hunstman is very conservative. This is news to no one, save for conservative commentators.
But they’re coming around. As they continue their desperate quest to find an alternative candidate to Mitt Romney, conservatives are starting to come around to Huntsman, the former governor of Utah and Obama ambassador to China who kicked off his campaign with a full-throated endorsement of the Ryan Budget.
“If A Christmas Carol was performed by the “Tea Party Dramatic Society,” it would be a cautionary tale about how the hero, Scrooge, a “blameless job creator,” is turned into a socialist through the corrupting influence of Tiny Tim. And the play would end with a simple plaintive question from Mr. Scrooge: “Just how much of my wealth does Mr. Tim think he’s entitled to?”—Bill Maher.