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Yesterday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch lead editorial, The Medicaid Expansion Argument is Winning in Missouri, exposes the pure political spite driving many GOP State Senators refusal to expand Medicaid.  This refusal comes at the expense of Missourians and the health care community.  Can’t help but wonder if a certain candidate for Recorder of Deeds finds himself in the same situation as Sen. John Lamping?

Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, challenged Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue, one of the chief opponents to expansion of Medicaid in Missouri, with this information during a debate on the Senate floor this month.

Here’s part of that debate:

Silvey:“So the idea of taking any money out of the ACA, unless it’s a block grant, that’s just a non-starter for you?”

Lamping:“Yeah … By no means do I believe we should further expand our financial relationships with the federal government.”

Mr. Silvey then asked Mr. Lamping about funding two specific programs in Missouri with federal dollars that are part of the ACA. One of them helps keep senior citizens at home rather than in nursing homes, which ultimately saves the government and health care industry money. Another increases reimbursements to doctors who take Medicaid patients, to try to increase overall access to health care. Mr. Lamping said he didn’t know enough specifics about the programs to get into a debate on the Senate floor.

Then this happened:

Silvey:“Let me share something with you senator. Those two items have been in the budget the past two years. You have voted four times to take about $120 million out of the ACA and put it into our broken Medicaid system.”

Lamping:“Then I made a mistake.”

The discussion laid naked the bankrupt intellectual argument, to the extent there ever was one, against expanding Medicaid in Missouri.

Making a mistake is one thing, compounding it by continuing in the face of evidence is another…

Speaking of moral values: Mr. Lamping, a devout Catholic, told us in 2010 that as a legislator, he would make “no decision without considering the impact on the least in society.” That was one reason why we endorsed his candidacy.

Last week, the Missouri Catholic Conference, the lobbying arm of the church, urged lawmakers to pass Medicaid reform and expansion.

It’s time for senators like Dr. Schaaf and Mr. Lamping to allow their minds the freedom to overcome stubborn loyalty to a political belief that contradicts both their previous votes, and, we hope, their hearts.

Vote no if you must. But stand down from unwise filibuster threats and allow “the least in society” to participate in a health care system that wants to serve them.

From Matthew 25:

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

 

Thom Hartmann came across the 1980 Libertarian Party platform endorsed by their Vice-Presidential candidate, David Koch.  Yes, that Koch Brother.

In this seven minute video you will learn the Koch Brothers plan to repeal all taxes, eliminate public schools, OSHA, Food Safety and Consumer Protection laws, and of course put Social Security and Medicare in the dustbin of history.  What a country KOCHisstan would be!  Enjoy and be sure to share with your conservative uncle.

Jim Hightower takes on the hypocrisy of the right-wing on who deserves to eat and who should pay for it in School lunches vs Fat-Cat dinners.

Ah, progress! In the 2012 elections, Republicans cast themselves as budget balancers by promising to whack welfare programs for the poor, snarling that such people are “takers” and “moochers.”

Such vindictive sourness didn’t play too well with voters, and Republicans now seem to have learned their lesson. Oh, they’re still going after food stamps, school lunches, etc. with a vengeance – but this time, with a gentle, even loving tone.

The GOP’s official message massagers now have their members saying that they want to “help the poor” by eliminating those programs, referring to them as soulless giveaways that sap their initiative and tether them to the cold, uncaring hand of government. The message is: We’re doing this for the poor people’s own good. Their chief budgeteer, Rep. Paul Ryan, trotted this theme out at a recent right-wing rally, condemning school lunches as unloving “Obamafare” plopped on plates by unsmiling cafeteria personnel: “What they’re offering people is a full stomach and an empty soul,” he oozed.

If that doesn’t make you gag, try another subsidized lunch program that tender-hearted GOP budget whackers never mention, much less demand that it be eliminated. It’s the tax subsidy for corporate meals, drinks, and entertainment. Multimillionaire CEOs can go wining and dining on your and my dime, writing off their high-dollar lunches, cocktails, dinners, and club hopping as a business expense. And expensive it is for us taxpayers – this subsidy adds up to more than $12 billion a year. And that doesn’t count the human cost of executive initiative that is sapped by this giveaway and the lack of love a CEO feels from being dependent on unsmiling taxpayers.

We ought to be subsidizing healthy meals for poor people, but not a dime for fat cat CEOs dining out at Chez Gourmand.

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s new book, A Fighting Chance, will be available soon.  Lucky for us she is offering a free chapter if you sign up for it.  They Elizabeth Warren for MA - Otiswill send it to you On April, 22nd.  Click here to get the link.

This book tells a very public story about fraud and bailouts and elections. It also tells a very personal story about mothers and daughters, day care and dogs, aging parents and cranky toddlers. It’s not meant to be a definitive account of any historical event—it’s just what I saw and what I lived. It’s also a story about losing, learning, and getting stronger along the way. It’s a story about what’s worth fighting for, and how sometimes, even when we fight against powerful opponents, we can win.

AlterNet takes this look around the world and analyzes six nations that are taking different approaches to improving workers lives.  The contrast with the right-wing vision for American workers is unmistakable.

 Workers in the United States are typically pushed to the edge and stressed out. Millions lack paid vacations or even sick days, and both of

those seemingly minimal and fundamental benefits are not required by law in the majority of the country. The right to organize in workplaces is continually under attack.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Many European countries, which have strong labor unions, have learned that lesson.

Study after study has demonstrated that the U.S. lags far behind most European countries when it comes to paid vacation, sick days, work-life balance, labor conditions for women and much more. Recent initiatives in France and Sweden have brought these stark differences into the spotlight.

Here are six countries that have pursued innovative approaches to improving workers’ lives. The U.S. ought to take a close, hard look at them.

The Wire takes a look at how Republicans are talking about Obamacare now.  As their talking points, from death panels, socialized medicine, a malfunctioning website, and low enrollment have washed away like Missouri dust off a new car in a spring storm.  You know when the chief complaints are whether folks will pay their second and third month premiums and recycled proposals for tort reform that they have lost the battle.

DailyKos has this video of a Florida congressman resorting to the lame, old Health Savings Account as an answer to a constituent that challenges him on his opposition to Obamacare.  Check out his body language during this verbal backpedal.

 

Andy Borowitz shares the new GOP strategy of how to look smart besides standing next to Sarah Palin…

With an eye toward a Presidential run in 2016, Rick Perry, the Texas governor, is hoping that a two-pronged strategy of wearing glasses and not speaking will make him appear smarter to voters, aides to the Governor confirmed today.

“After the 2012 Republican primary, we knew that we needed to solve what we called the Governor’s smartness problem,” said Harland Dorrinson, an aide to Perry. “The fix that we came up with was glasses, but, as it turned out, that was only half the solution.”

After outfitting Perry with designer eyewear, aides sent him on the road to reintroduce himself to voters, but the response, Mr. Dorrinson said, was underwhelming: “The problem was, he was still talking.”

A round of focus groups convinced aides that only through a combination of wearing glasses and not emitting any sounds could Perry overcome voters’ initial impressions of him.

At a recent political stop in San Antonio, the newly minted Governor Perry was on display, wearing his glasses and gesticulating expressively while saying nothing for thirty minutes.

“Our focus groups show people no longer know what Rick Perry is thinking,” said Mr. Dorrinson. “That’s a huge improvement.”

Investigative reporter and film director Greg Palast is offering his latest effort, Vultures and Vote Rustlers as a free download for the next two days!  Just click here then look to the right side of his homepage and click the link – Voila! It’s yours.

Greg Palast investigates the biggest banksters, the oiliest oil companies and the other predators swiping your money and your vote.

Greg Palast’s latest, unforgettable documentary reports for BBC Newsnight and Democracy Now!.

An hour of hard-hitting reports by Palast at his best!

Automotive News has this list of the top 15 automakers and how they rank in number of recalls…

U.S. consumers may be watching in dismay as General Motors trudges through its high-profile safety recalls. But GM has recalled fewer units per 100 vehicles sold in the United States than several of its competitors during the past decade, according to data compiled by iSeeCars.

Researchers at the suburban Boston used-car shopping site calculate that of the 15 top-selling automakers in the United States, Toyota — followed by Honda, Volvo and Ford — has the highest number of recalls per 100 vehicles sold in the United States from 2005 to 2014.

The iSeeCars list ranks GM in the middle, with 96 recalls per 100 vehicles sold.

Mercedes-Benz was the least-recalled manufacturer, with 38 recalls per 100 vehicles sold, according to iSeeCars. Toyota had 167 recalls per 100 sales.

The period includes Toyota’s large-scale 2010 recall of millions of vehicles over allegations of unintended acceleration. But it does not include Toyota’s announcement last week that it will recall 6.4 million vehicles worldwide — including 1.8 million in the United States — for a variety of potential problems.

 

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