Politics

Texas teacher who tried to contact Trump to have her students deported is officially fired

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 12:39

A Texas school board voted unanimously to fire a teacher whose xenophobia was exposed by her own inability to properly use social media.

In June, The Washington Post got its hands on tweets sent to Donald Trump from Fort Worth high school teacher Georgia Clark. Those tweets asked Trump to “clean up” Fort Worth, and get rid of the undocumented students from her district. She also had other racist things to say, such as “Texas will not protect whistle blowers. The Mexicans refuse to honor our flag.” Clark said she thought the tweets were “private,” though of course they weren’t. Clark’s terrible mindset and social media skills unearthed investigations of previous infractions by Clark that seemed to run along racial lines. Examples included calling a group of students “Little Mexico,” and telling a girl that her hair was “nappy.”

Almost immediately, the Fort Worth Independent School District board voted 8-0 to terminate Clark’s employment. Clark appealed her firing but on Tuesday, the Fort Worth ISD unanimously overruled her challenge and made its previous decision final.

Categories: Politics

LeBron James' 'I Promise' School Delivers Results For Underprivileged Students

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 12:36

A follow-up to last year's opening (video above) of the LeBron James' "I Promise" school in Akron, Ohio.

Students at the "I Promise" school have made astonishing strides in their learning in just one year. According to The New York Times,

Unlike other schools connected to celebrities, I Promise is not a charter school run by a private operator but a public school operated by the district. Its population is 60 percent black, 15 percent English-language learners and 29 percent special education students. Three-quarters of its families meet the low-income threshold to receive help from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Its students went from scoring in the 1st percentile (1%) in reading to 9th (9%) or 14th (14%), depending on their grade. In math, they moved from 1st to 18th percentile (3rd grade) and 2nd to 30th percentile (4th grade) in one year. And the even better measure of their learning is their individual growth goals. Where do they start? What are their obstacles? What is a reasonable expectation for improvement over the course of an academic year, and how can a school best meet those goals? Well, sit down for this.

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Categories: Politics

If Trump Is Reelected, California’s Pollution Waiver Is History

Kevin Drum - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 12:35

Donald Trump, as part of his war against little ol’ California, says he is revoking the state’s waiver to set its own pollution rules under the Clean Air Act. Can he get away with it?

My very tentative guess is yes. This is hardly the first time it’s happened, after all. George Bush refused to approve California’s most recent waiver request in 2007, and only the election of Barack Obama saved it. The same thing might happen this time if Trump loses next year and President Harris instructs the EPA to stand down.

But what if Trump wins? The key phrase in the statutory text is that California must demonstrate that it needs a waiver “to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions,” and back in the day that was pretty easy. LA smog was legendary, after all, and California’s auto standards were aimed specifically at smog-causing pollutants.

Today things are different. California smog is still the worst in the nation, but not wildly so. What’s more, California’s latest auto mileage regulations are aimed more at CO2 than at smog, and it’s hard to make the case that California is uniquely vulnerable to global warming.

That’s not to say that the case can’t be made. But the relevant question isn’t whether the case can be made. The relevant question is whether the Supreme Court’s five Republican justices are likely to accept the arguments of America’s most Democratic state. Call me cynical, but I doubt it. If Trump is reelected, my guess is that California’s waiver is history.

Categories: Politics

McConnell and Trump continue deadly game of hot potato while nation awaits next gun massacre

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 12:28

Tuesday night, Senate Democrats took over the chamber floor to demand action from Mitch McConnell on gun safety legislation. They urged him to take up the background check legislation ready and waiting for the Senate, passed months ago by the House.

McConnell, however, is continuing the fiction that he's powerless to act until Donald Trump decides what he wants to do. "I still await guidance from the White House as to what [Trump] thinks he's comfortable signing," he told reporters again on Tuesday. "If and when that happens, then we'll have a real possibility of actually changing the law and hopefully making some progress."

Meanwhile, the White House is pretending to work with Congress, with Attorney General William Barr meeting with Republican members, spreading the story that Trump might just be okay with background checks so that his "conservative allies in Congress" have the chance to say they won't agree to them. "We went through this last year, and our members remained firm in where they were," a Republican leader told CNN. "Overall there isn't widespread support and I don't see it changing enough for it to happen."

Thus Trump can say he can't sign anything Republicans in Congress won't support—although eight of them voted with Democrats in the House on background checks—and McConnell can say he won't put anything on the floor that Trump won't sign. So, McConnell says, Congress has to remain "in a holding pattern."

It doesn't. McConnell can bring the background checks bill to the floor at any time. He is the leader of the Senate, after all. He probably is hearing from his vulnerable Republican senators that they're too chicken to take this vote. So he puts the onus on Trump. Who puts it back on Congress.

And the deadliest game ever of hot potato continues.

Lives are at stake. Please give $1 to our nominee fund to help Democrats end McConnell's career as majority leader.

Categories: Politics

Black detective files civil rights lawsuit after white officers beat him while he worked undercover

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 12:26

After he was beaten during 2017 protests, an undercover black police detective has filed a lawsuit alleging civil rights violations at the hands of four white St. Louis police officers and other city officials. Immediately after the shooting homicide of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014, St. Louis quickly became a focus of calls for police reform and protests against police brutality, particularly along racial lines. Three years later, in 2017, former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was acquitted of first-degree murder charges in the death of a black man named Anthony Lamar Smith; the acquittal launched new protests, as well as more allegations of law enforcement mistreating protestors and generally not living up to their sworn duties as peacekeepers.

One particularly egregious case involved Detective Luther Hall, and took place during protests two days after Stockley’s acquittal. Det. Hall, a 22-year veteran of the force, who is black, was working undercover when he found himself the victim of the same sort of police brutality that protesters were fighting against.

He was reportedly thrown to the ground by three of St. Louis’ finest, and beaten with a baton before becoming one of over 100 protestors handcuffed that night. Subsequently, the officers and the police department allegedly worked feverishly to cover up the incident. They failed, and Officers Bailey Colletta, Randy Hays, Dustin Boone, and Christopher Myers were indicted in Dec. 2018 on federal charges; evidence showed Boone sent the others text messages before the protests, joking about beating protestors. Colletta has since pled guilty to her federal charges, admitting she lied to the FBI and to a grand jury about Hall’s arrest. The other three are set to face trial in December. 

On Monday, a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed by Hall and his attorney concerning the incident and subsequent fallout. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the filing includes an allegation that Mayor Lyda Krewson made a “flip comment” about damage done to Hall’s “cute face” during a short elevator ride. The mayor’s office insists that Mayor Krewson did not remember making such a remark. The lawsuit also points out that Officer Joseph Marcantano, allegedly involved in the beating of Det. Hall, not only escaped censure, but was promoted to sergeant shortly after federal charges were filed against him, proving that “misconduct is not only protected but rewarded by the city and department.

Hall’s attorney says he has not returned to work, in no small part due to “multiple herniated disks,” and injuries to his jaw and lip. As for the four officers, Colletta could face up to three years in jail, based on federal sentencing guidelines. Considering the system at work here, it is unlikely she will receive that kind of time.

Categories: Politics

Professional Liar Sarah Sanders Wants Straight News, Not Opinions

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 12:16

Former Trump Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was exposed as lying to the American people by the Muller report, now claims all media is lost and with a straight face said, "I think that we have to start taking so much of the opinion out of the news."

This coming from one of the most odious spreaders of opprobrium this country has ever seen.

The faux outrage from Republicans over the New York Times story on Brett Kavanaugh has reached such a fevered pitch from Fox News and Fox Business that you'd think Brett suffered the same fate as those students massacred at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

It's more outrageous then locking up migrant children in cages, having a president lie about payoffs to mistresses, brag he's a serial sexual assaulter, etc.

While Varney & Co., were discussing Lewandowski's awful testimony, guest host David Asman brought up the Kavanaugh story.

And Sanders, the new Fox News contributor interjected, "There is no victim. A crime without a victim."

Asman then discussed Trump's views on the New York Times.

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Categories: Politics

Elizabeth Warren dominates Daily Kos Straw Poll, Sanders and rest of field far behind

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 12:00

The Elizabeth Warren consolidation of the Daily Kos Left continues. Yesterday’s straw poll results:

9/17 8/27 8/14 8/2 7/17 7/2 6/11 5/29 5/14 5/1 4/15 4/2 3/18 2/18 2/5 1/22 1/8 WARREN 43 39 34 33 35 29 34 25 25 19 12 12 12 10 17 18 22 SANDERS 15 17 23 25 20 25 25 34 26 34 40 33 38 44 13 12 11 Yang 11 9 7 5 4 3 2 2 - - - - - - - - - Biden 9 11 10 12 11 7 12 10 14 18 5 8 - 8 11 13 14 BUTTIGIEG 7 7 6 6 7 7 10 9 9 10 21 18 6 - - - - HARRIS 5 6 8 7 14 19 7 11 11 8 9 11 11 15 27 27 14 OTHER 8 9 10 10 9 10 * * * * * * * * * * * UNSURE 2 2 2 2 ** ** 3 2 3 4 3 4 5 4 6 6 9 (VOTES) 54K 58.5K 54K 59.3K 57.2K 63.2K 57.5K 39.8K 60K 53.1K 35.5K 40.2K 52.5K 56K 42.2K 28K 35.5K

That’s some impressive spamming by the Yang crowd, pushing Uncle Joe down to fourth place around these parts. Meanwhile, Sanders continues to fade as an option as Warren continues her slow, methodical, purposeful climb—here and in the outside world. 

Look at the combined totals from the Warren-Sanders Left the last seven straw polls: 58%, 56%, 57%, 58%, 55%, 54%, and 59%. That’s not to say Warren isn’t growing from other places. Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and others have slid significantly from their high-water marks. Some of that support has likely landed with Warren. And even the “other” category has inched down. But the consistency of the two-candidate Warren and Sanders vote is striking. 

Categories: Politics

Sandy Hook Promise Ad Throws Back-To-School Reality Into Sharp, Painful Focus

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 11:58

On Tuesday night, Senator Kamala Harris shut down a dudebro who put airquotes around the words "assault weapons" and implied a mandatory buyback program would violate the Second Amendment. She argued passionately that we have traumatized an entire students with active shooter drills, and even moreso with the reality that at any moment, an active shooter could actually come through the doors of their classrooms.

This morning, Sandy Hook Promise released a devastatingly powerful PSA that acts as the perfect follow-up on that answer. Stephanie Ruhle introduced it by showing footage of a few of the Democrats who took to the Senate floor last night.

RUHLE: Last night, 21 Democratic senators took to the Senate floor to call on Congress to expand background checks on firearm purchases. But it might all be for nothing. As before Democrats took to the floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate is in a holding pattern on gun legislation, waiting to hear what the president is willing to sign. But as they wait, students across the country have returned to school, and a new normal, preparing for potential attacks. In 2018 alone, thirty people were killed and fifty injured in eight school shootings, averaging one every 45 days.

This morning members from the gun safety advocacy group, Sandy Hill Promise a new back-to-school, school shootings prevention PSA. We warn you, this video is very hard to watch.

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Categories: Politics

Abortion rate plummets to lowest level since the procedure became legal nationwide in 1973

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 11:37

Campaign Action

Both the rate and the overall number of abortions in the United States has plummeted to the lowest level on record since the safe medical procedure became legal across the country in 1973. A new report from the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that explicitly supports abortion access and rights, made this finding based on data from 2017.

Before we get into the data, it’s important to reiterate that this report does not include data concerning the abortion bans we’ve seen this year. So while incredibly restrictive bans have been passed in a handful of Republican-controlled states including Alabama and Georgia, none of those bans have taken effect yet. And while it’s entirely possible the bans have already made it harder for people to access abortions, that timeframe isn’t included in the context of this study. 

Now, let’s look at some specifics from this report. In 2017, the abortion rate was 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women in the 15 to 44 age group. Compared to 2014, that’s an 8% drop. Going all the way back to 1980, when the U.S. had its highest abortion rate, it’s a 54% drop. The 2017 rate is less than half of what it reached in 1990.

Here’s another way to look at these numbers: This report found 826,000 abortions in the nation in 2017. In 2014, the number was 926,000. In 2011, it was about 1 million. 

Why the drop? The report offers two possible explanations. One, the country has an overall declining pregnancy rate, which lowers possible abortions. The other reason? The concerning disparity between abortion clinic access depending on the state (or city) you live in.

Relatedly, it’s also possible that there’s been an increase in self-managed abortions, due to access or cost barriers for the procedure. It’s also possible that contraceptive use has gone up (remember all of the people who said they were going to get long-term birth control as Trump neared office?). ACA coverage for some birth control methods also may have contributed to the declining rate.

Categories: Politics

Mercenary Nation: Trump declares Saudi Arabia a 'great ally' because 'they pay cash'

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 11:30

On Wednesday morning, Donald Trump announced that he was tightening sanctions on Iran. Exactly how these sanctions were to be tightened when Iran is already cut off from exporting or importing all but a handful of products wasn’t exactly clear. Trump is apparently leaving it up to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to decide. Which is appropriate—because this is all about the money.

In an interview on Tuesday, Trump made that very clear. Saudi Arabia, said Trump, is not one of those countries that wants aid from the United States. “No, no. Saudi Arabia pays cash.” Trump repeated this while giving absolutely inaccurate numbers for the amount that Saudi Arabia spends in the United States and the employment that results. Just like that, Trump made clear—again—that his idea of a good ally has nothing to do with upholding democracy, defending human rights, or working toward peace and stability. It’s just cash. At least when it comes to Saudi Arabia. “We would certainly help them,” said Trump. “They’ve been a great ally. They spent $400 billion in our country over the last number of years.” No matter what “number of years” that is, Trump’s figure is wrong. And even if were right, it’s sickening.

France, a country that Trump routinely berates, sent 4,000 troops to assist the United States in Afghanistan. Germany sent 2,500. Dozens of smaller nations sent smaller contingents. Nations like Ukraine, where Trump withheld military aid for months despite desperate need, opened their air space to the United States following 9/11, provided bases for cargo flights, and sent its own troops as part of the NATO ISAF mission.

Saudi Arabia did nothing. It provided no troops. It provided no support. It didn’t open its landing strips for U.S. planes traveling to Afghanistan. It provided … nothing.

And it’s not as if its status as a majority Muslim nation meant it couldn’t have helped in the conflict. Qatar, that tiny nation right next-door which Saudi Arabia is still blockading and which Trump has joined in attacking, did allow U.S. bases there to be used as staging grounds for Afghanistan and offered other facilities for assistance. Egypt provided field hospitals. Turkey helped. Oman helped. Kuwait helped. Saudi Arabia … did not. Its sole contribution to events around 9/11 came in contributing terrorists.

But Trump only measures allies in dollars. Especially dollars coming to his own pockets.

Categories: Politics

Trump names his 4th national security adviser in 3 years, a man who didn't want the job or Trump

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 11:22

The only things you can count on in the Trump administration are high turnover and public humiliation on the way out the door. We’ve seen it time and time again, from Omarosa Manigault-Newman to Rex Tillerson to John Bolton. People come into the Trump administration with high hopes, hitching their wagons to the incompetence and whimsy of Donald Trump, only to be tossed aside and publicly humiliated when the mood strikes their man.

And so begins Robert O’Brien’s march to a humiliating end. In a tweet, Donald Trump named O’Brien his fourth national security adviser in three short years. If there was ever a position where you wanted stability, overseeing national security would be the one. During his eight years in the White House, President Obama had three national security advisers, with Susan Rice in the role for the final five years of his presidency. 

O’Brien comes to the role from the State Department, where he was the chief hostage negotiator. Trump apparently admired his work in Sweden, where he tried to intervene in a case with rapper A$AP Rocky, who was jailed for his role in a skirmish involving his bodyguards and two men who were following them. In the end, it was a judge who set them free, not the work of O’Brien. In April, Trump tweeted praise of himself, praise he said came from O’Brien, but the State Department refused to confirm the source of the quote. 

Categories: Politics

The Day After Israel’s 2019 National Election Part 2: Everything Is Clear as Mud

Balloon Juice - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 11:04

With 91% of the votes counted, we still have no really good or clear idea of what the actual election outcomes in Israel are going to be for the next government of Israel. Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan Party still has a one seat edge over Bibi’s Likud, with 32 to 31 projected seats. However, as night gave way to morning in Israel the potential coalition politics both got clearer and murkier at the same time. Both Ayelet Shaked who runs Yamina – basically what would happen if you gave Ann Coulter a political party – and the Joint Lists Ayman Odeh have both stated they’re headed to the opposition in the next Knesset. Shaked who is farther right than Bibi wants to present herself and Yamina as the new, better, younger, hipper, and more telegenic Likud against a potential national unity government. Odeh has stated that he wants to be the leader of the opposition. Avigdor Liberman, whose Yisrael Beytenu Party appears to have won 9 seats, is still calling for both a national unity government with Likud, Kahol Lavan, and Yisrael Beytenu.

Here’s the rub. If Shaked won’t support Bibi, then his potential coalition goes from 55 seats to 46 seats. But things get worse for Gantz. If Odeh won’t join or isn’t invited to join in a coalition with Kahol Lavan, Labor, and the Democratic Union, then Gantz’s potential 57 seat coalition drops down to 43 seats. This gives Bibi and his potential coalition more seats, which he’ll use to claim he should be given the opportunity to try to form the next government. Liberman has also said that he will not allow a third election to happen, but his non-negotiable demands, which include both excluding Odeh’s Joint List and that Bibi has to go, may be non-negotiable, but they may also be non-starters. Likud said last night that they were sticking with Bibi, though pressure will build to both keep him and pitch him over the side. It is unclear right now, how much control Bibi can exert to save himself right now, but he has just concluded a meeting with the other right wing parties and the initial reporting is he has shored up support among them, and he has a 55 seat coalition ready to move forward and try to form the next government.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make a press statement at 6 p.m., in about half an hour, following his meeting with the senior leadership of the Jewish Home, New Right, United Torah Judaism and Shas parties at his office.

The factions agreed to function as a “bloc” and conduct coalition negotiations together, Likud says.

A Likud source tells The Times of Israel that he is expected to announce the support of all the parties, which will control some 55 Knesset seats according to preliminary election results.

While not enough to form a coalition on its own, Channel 12 reports Netanyahu is hoping that Rivlin will consider the 55-seat bloc as a single party and therefore agree to task the premier with forming the next government for having a bigger faction than the standalone Blue and White party.

Given that Ayelet Shaked’s Yamina Party isn’t mentioned, I don’t see how he gets to 55 seats, but that’s the reporting.

Everything is now clear as mud.

Open thread!

Categories: Politics

Fucking Bloody Hell

Balloon Juice - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 10:33

I got no words:

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is facing a censure vote from the Arizona Democratic Party, brought by progressives who deem her politics too accommodating to President Donald Trump at the expense of Democratic values.

Sinema, D-Ariz., built a moderate political brand during her three terms in the House of Representatives, which has extended to her early days in the Senate. According to the FiveThirtyEight Trump Tracker, she has opposed Trump while in the Senate 81% of the time. In the House, she supported Trump’s agenda 54% of the time.

While Sinema’s political centrism has earned her Republican support, it has grated on progressives — some of whom silently protested her during a state fundraising dinner in downtown Phoenix. Democratic state committeemen will consider the resolution on Saturday, at the Arizona Democratic Party’s quarterly meeting.

She barely won, and that was not because there were more progressive votes to be had left on the table. I mean, Arizona, ffs. She replaced Jeff Flake. If you know a self styled progressive in Arizona, tell them to fucking pull their shit together.

Categories: Politics

Recent Republican-pushed federal shutdowns gained nothing, but cost taxpayers at least $4 billion

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 10:30

A new Senate report pegs the cost of the last three government shutdowns, from the bizarre 2013 Republican shutdown demanding the end of "Obamacare" to the two 2018-2019 Trump-led shutdowns over whether or not he would be granted taxpayer funds to build his Great Wall of Racism, at about $4 billion dollars. That's $4 billion dollars from American taxpayers that was effectively lit on fire by Republican hostage-takers, in addition to the closure of government offices, national parks, and other non-"essential" facilities.

The vast majority of the bill, $3.7 billion, represents back pay to furloughed federal workers. Those workers aren't paid, during shutdowns, often resulting in enormous consequences (missed rent or mortgage payments); when Congress eventually returns with its tail tucked between its legs to solve the self-imposed crisis, they typically restore that back pay in an effort to keep federal workers from quitting en masse. Other costs might include the cleaning and repairing temporarily abandoned public spaces; in an effort to soften public anger at Trump's longest shutdown, the administration attempted to keep some parks open even without staff to monitor them, with predictable effects. The Senate report does not include the costs to all government agencies—such as the Department of Defense.

What did the American public gain, in exchange for that $4 billion? Nothing. Not a thing. Closed parks, closed government offices, delays in critical paperwork, licenses and so forth, with a fat bill attached. It was done for no reason other than self-promotion by sets of posturing Republican cranks; none of the three recent shutdowns came with a Republican plan for how "shuttered government offices" would result in "Obamacare goes away" or "Trump gets funding for a boondoggle project so absurd that even unified Republican House and Senate rule had refused to pay for it."

There you go, then. A trillion dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy, a few billion here and there for Ted Cruz or the Idiot in Chief to use as fodder for fundraising letters, and a party-wide commitment to pumping both private and government cash into Donald Trump's pockets via his own still-held for-profit businesses.

To be sure, some American taxpayers will find all of this worth it. They are extremely devoted to Republican Party racism and conspiracy-mongering, and are willing to piss away quite a bit of their own paychecks in order to prop those things up. Those costs are getting steep, though. One wonders how many in the Republican base are fully aware of that.

Categories: Politics

Pelosi driving mixed messages from House on impeachment; it's time she knocks it off

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 10:14

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not just inviting, but demanding, that the media do stories about Democrats in disarray and she's doing it over the critical issue of impeachment, if Politico is to be believed. And seeing the last disastrous few weeks of Democratic muddied waters on the issue, this time it seems likely.

In last week's conference meeting, she reportedly "stunned lawmakers and aides with a swipe at Democratic staff on the House Judiciary Committee," saying that committee aides are pushing too hard when the entire conference hasn't agreed on impeachment, although now more than half have. She added, according to multiple attendees, "And you can feel free to leak this." For one of the smartest, most effective leaders the Democratic party has had, she's really flubbing the messaging to the outside world. Inexplicably. Because this:

"I think the speaker wants to be careful of all the different members of the caucus," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a vocal impeachment advocate. "She doesn't always want to use the word 'impeachment' but believe me, she signed off on every piece of what has been put forward."

A spokesman for Chairman Jerry Nadler agrees, saying Pelosi has been "fully supportive of our investigative work." But she's slamming Nadler's team in private and inviting people to share that with the traditional media. One Judiciary member trying to straddle what appears to be a very real divide between Nadler and Pelosi, says that "Nadler is talking about law, Pelosi is talking about politics. Rep. Jamie Raskin from Maryland, a member of the Judiciary Committee, continued. "Nadler is looking at high crimes and misdemeanors, and we are inundated with them in the Judiciary Committee. But Pelosi is looking at the political side of it."

Categories: Politics

Churn, baby, churn

Balloon Juice - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 09:57

At the Health Affairs blog, Jamie Daw, Katy Kozhimannil and Lindsay Admon examine insurance churn among mothers in the time surrounding the birth of a child.

An analysis of the 2005–13 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey found that prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nearly 60 percent of pregnant women experienced a month-to-month change in insurance type in the nine months leading to delivery, and half were uninsured at some point in the six months following birth

Why does this matter?

  • The health of mom influences the health of the baby
  • Churn from one type of coverage to another is disruptive and costly
  • Medicaid (especially in non-expansion states) has a very short off-ramp for post-partum moms

There is a split in uninsurance of the mother between Medicaid expansion and Medicaid non-expansion states as we should expect by now.

Using this table we can’t quite say that Medicaid expansion causes much lower uninsurance rates at all of the relevant time frames as the states that have expanded Medicaid (especially the states that expanded on 1/1/14) are different in very meaningful ways from the states that have still not expanded Medicaid.  The biggest one is political which is confounded in all sorts of way with ideology and state economic situations and distributions.  But even with that piece of caution, an expectant mother is most likely to have a better shot at a good set of outcomes in an expansion state.

Medicaid (both traditional and expansion) seems to be doing its job at the point of delivery.  Traditional Medicaid covers otherwise uninsured pregnant women who earn up to 194% the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) in Mississippi while other states may further expand income eligibility for this category of beneficiaries.  Mothers in Medicaid expansion states may be administratively switched from the expansion population group to the legacy population group with minimal to no disruption to their coverage.  Expectant mothers are more likely to be young than in their peak earning years, so a lot of mothers at the moment of delivery are covered by Medicaid.

However, legacy Medicaid pregnancy coverage terminates after sixty days from delivery unless the state adopts a waiver to extend eligibility at the higher income levels.  In Medicaid expansion states, some of the women will automatically retransfer back to the income eligible Medicaid expansion categories with no more disruption than perhaps a new ID card that arrives in the mail three weeks later during the first sleep regression.

However, quite a few women who are no longer eligible for pregnancy related Medicaid will be dropped from Medicaid.  This will trigger a Special Enrollment Period either at work or on the ACA Exchanges.  However, we know that the transition of insurance creates administrative burdens and administrative frictions.  People will fall out due to paperwork.  People will fall out due to perceived or real affordability concerns.  People will fall out.

Churn is bad when it is administrative and eligiblity criteria churn.  It is bad for the mothers, it is bad for the babies, and it is also bad for insurers as it worsens the risk pool incrementally.

Categories: Politics

Alisyn Camerota Steamrolled In Interview With Corey Lewandowski

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 09:53

Why did CNN invite Corey Lewandowski to appear on New Day -- the day after he admitted he lies to the media? They will keep inviting him, and he will keep lying -- all the way to a Senate seat. Congrats, corporate media!

In his first appearance since his disgraceful performance yesterday, Alisyn Camerota asked Lewandowski, "Will you will be held in contempt?"

"I don't have any reason to be held in contempt," he said. (Oh Corey, don't tempt me.)

"I've told the members of Congress I'm happy to come back and answer more questions, after the five or six-hour charade i went through yesterday. "

Camerota homed in on the moment where he was being questioned about delivering a message to Jeff Sessions from Trump.

"That's what he wanted you to deliver to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, correct?"

"I believe that's an accurate representation."

"And he wanted you to deliver it to Jeff so that Jeff could say it to the people, right?"

"I believe so."

"So you confirmed that you were asked to obstruct justice."

No, no, no, he continued to insist.

You can watch the rest, but you will only get further confirmation that Camerota was way out of her depth, trying to interview Lewandowski. It was a fool's errand and a net positive for the slimeball. He wants Trump's support to become a U.S. Senator (God help us) and every TV appearance only moves him closer to his goal.

CNN doesn't care, of course. They only care that people were watching.

read more

Categories: Politics

Watch as House Judiciary counsel Barry Berke knocks the smug off Corey Lewandowski's mug

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 09:18

Anyone watching the appearance of Corey Lewandowski before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday was very likely to come away thinking it was a complete waste of time. Or, at least, a waste of time for those who were trying to learn something about Donald Trump’s efforts to get Lewandowski to obstruct justice by forcing then-Attorney General Jefferson Sessions to halt the investigation into the Trump campaign in 2016. Those who tuned in to see Republicans roll their eyes, pound their fists, and say “Hillary Clinton” over 40 times while making references to both Stalin and Lenin were richly rewarded. After five hours of watching Lewandowski insult representatives and refuse to answer questions, every news network tuned out. Even C-SPAN moved the hearing from CSPAN 1 to did-you-know-there’s-a-CSPAN-3? But that’s when it got good.

Because that’s when Barry Berke—on loan as a consultant to the committee from a top New York law firm—got his chance to question Trump’s former campaign manager. And the result was genuinely electric. Had Berke gone first, it’s fair to say that the Lewandowski hearing would be at the top of every paper on Wednesday, rather than buried somewhere in the depths. The whole point of bringing Berke in to begin with was so he could do exactly what he did on Tuesday. The effectiveness with which he easily threw Lewandowski off balance and ripped away his script of nonanswers is really something to see; it’s too bad almost no one saw it. 

The lesson coming out of Tuesday was simple enough: Let Berke go first. The five-minute rule and the back-and-forth nature of questioning by representatives result in a process that’s both ineffective in extracting information and prone to promoting grandstanding. Even from the Democratic side, the questions involved a lot of loud declarations about Lewandowski being a “hit man” or Trump using him as “an enforcer,” which might be good as a shot at getting a line on the evening news, but were utterly useless in getting a response.

Watch Berke do his thing … and imagine how these hearings could be.

Categories: Politics

CNN shamelessly booked admitted liar Corey Lewandowski and it predictably went off the rails

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 09:17

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and after hours of questioning, in which Lewandowski stalled, deflected, and at times outright mocked members of Congress and their oversight finally provided fireworks during the last thirty minutes of the day. Under questioning from criminal defense attorney Barry Berke, who is consulting with the House Judiciary Committee, Lewandowski admitted he lied in media appearances, saying, “I have no obligation to be honest to the media.” You can see that moment in the clip below.

Corey Lewandowski admitted he lies on national television, which means he therefore lies to the American public about key issues related to the president, and you’d think that would be enough to get him banned from more appearances, right? Wrong. CNN immediately booked him for an appearance this morning and it went about as well as you would expect. Lewandowski was brash, childish, combative, and again thoroughly proved himself to be a serial liar and a person of unquestionably low character. This is the train wreck CNN willingly booked today:

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Categories: Politics

House Counsel Barry Berke Backs Slippery Corey Lewandowski Into A Corner

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 09:04

It was hard to watch, as the slimey Corey Lewandowski slipped out of the grasp of one Democrat after another.

And then Barry Berke began his questioning.

One can only hope that Jerry Nadler will make more extensive use of the litigator who filleted Corey Lewandowski while he was still alive. His questioning happened late in the hearing, when the only cameras still rolling were good old C-SPAN. Go watch the whole thing, it was a real pleasure to see someone take down the slippery, too cute by half Lewandowski for his lies.

Categories: Politics

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