Yesterday, 76 people, including actor Noah Wyle, were arrested during a protest in the Cannon House Office Building. The protest, organized by the group Americans with Disabilities for Attendant Programs Today (ADAPT), was focused on Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, which makes deep cuts to federal Medicaid spending.
Ryan’s proposal would cut federal Medicaid funding by $810 billion, or 22 percent, over the next ten years, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). By 2022, states would be receiving an average of 34 percent less in federal Medicaid funding than they would under current law, a rate which would continue to rise alongside health care costs. As CBPP notes, the effects of this proposal could be devastating not just to state budgets, but also to millions of Americans who rely on the program:
States would have to offset these federal funding shortfalls by substantially boosting their own contributions to Medicaid or, as is more likely, using the greater flexibility that a block grant would provide to make deep cuts to eligibility, health and long-term care services, and/or provider reimbursement rates. Last year, when Chairman Ryan included a similar Medicaid block-grant proposal in his budget, the Urban Institute estimated it would lead states to drop between 14 million and 27 million people from Medicaid by 2021 (in addition to the 17 million people who would no longer gain coverage because of the repeal of the ACA?s Medicaid expansion).
States could respond to the funding dropoff by finding more revenue to pay for it themselves, through tax increases or spending cuts, or by cutting eligibility. As one protestor said of the cuts, “they’re gonna kill us first…If we can’t stay in our home, if we can’t get the things we need through Medicaid, we will die in the streets without that type of thing.”
The Wells Fargo Share Holders Meeting is Occupied. The large bank location where it was located is closed down due to the protests, and with the meeting in just under an hour it remains to be seen who will be let inside.[...]
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Wal-Mart announces creation of new global non-bribery czar.[...]
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Top Republican says he and his senate colleagues may push a government shutdown to get out of the debt deal agreed upon last year with President Obama. [...]
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The House of Representatives has released the following redistricting schedule:
9:00 a.m. Wednesday: Meeting of House subcommittee of the Joint Legislative Committee on Reapportionment and Redistricting (Room 401)
11:00 a.m. Wednesday: Full committee meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee on Reapportionment and Redistricting (Room 216)
1:00 p.m. Wednesday: Meeting of House Apportionment and Elections Committee (Room 401)
* If a resolution containing the House plan is adopted by the House Apportionment and Elections Committee it could come before the full House as soon as Thursday.
* Still no word on Senate maps or committee meetings to address the Senate plan
Minnesota GOPers proposed an anti-union bill last month, insisting it would result in more, better-paying jobs. If they'd had union jobs, maybe they wouldn't be getting evicted right now.
Poor Republicans! No one's donating enough money to pay your bills - at least, not enough to feed your delusions of grandeur:
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota's debt-plagued Republican Party has been served with an eviction notice for its party headquarters after failing to pay its rent payments since August.
The party's landlord filed the notice last week in Ramsey County court and it is scheduled to be heard next Tuesday.
Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Pat Shortridge told party members in a memo Thursday that officials are trying to renegotiate the lease to get one that better fits space and cost needs.
You mean, like a mortgage clampdown? MORAL HAZARD!!!! What incentive do you have to pay your bills unless you get kicked to the curb for renting a place that's too big? It's your own damned fault!
The GOP has 21 months remaining on a lease with Hub Properties Trust for space a block from the state Capitol.
Shortridge revealed that the rent hadn't been paid in eight months.
The Minnesota GOP owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to various vendors.
There’s something fitting about the fact that Tor, which publishes a lot of books in which people think about what the future might look like, has decided to remove digital rights management protection from their ebooks. From the company’s press release:
?Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time,? said president and publisher Tom Doherty. ?They?re a technically sophisticated bunch, and DRM is a constant annoyance to them. It prevents them from using legitimately-purchased e-books in perfectly legal ways, like moving them from one kind of e-reader to another.?
DRM-free titles from Tom Doherty Associates will be available from the same range of retailers that currently sell their e-books. In addition, the company expects to begin selling titles through retailers that sell only DRM-free books.
I don’t think that all DRM protections are inherently evil, though I think the limits on the number of devices on which you can consume content from Amazon and Apple could be higher to be responsive to consumers’ needs. But ditching DRM is a sign that Tor trusts its customers and wants to meet them where they’re at. More signals like that would be a welcome thing from the entertainment industry. Something like the movie industry’s Ultraviolet effort to bolster DVD sales by packing discs and digital copies together are sort of missing the point. They’re trying to create a new space rather than going to the cloud lockers and the means of distribution and consumption their consumers are already using day to day.
Deputies of the Moscow City Duma who are considering an anti-gay measure to fine anyone who distributes so-called “homosexual propaganda” in the city, say “they plan to push the initiative on the federal level.” City Duma speaker Vladimir Platonov said that it would be possible to “take up the pen and write the same law accepted by four subjects of the Federation” that would “prepare a good federal legislative initiative that would protect minors from all the negative information.” St. Petersburg, Russia sparked international controversy after adopting a similar measure last month and LGBT advocates around Russia are organizing to oppose the federal expansion. Gay rights activists will hold a parade for May 27 to “protest the advance of anti-homosexual legislation in Russia” and celebrate the “19th anniversary of the abolition of criminal prosecution for engaging in homosexual relations.”
The Missouri Chapter of the National Education Association (MNEA) is speaking out against a proposed “Don’t Say Gay” bill in the Missouri legislature that would prohibit teachers from ever addressing any questions of LGBT issues. MNEA President Chris Guinther points out that the measure would create both a safety concern for students and an employment concern for teachers:
GUINTHER: Educators want to help students, but this bill would make them afraid for their jobs. We have to untie their hands when they feel they should act or intervene in a situation that arises. Educators shouldn?t have to fear for their jobs when they want to act to help students.
The MNEA works to protect students from harassment through its No MOre Bullying program.