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Guns don't kill people, people kill people and in Missouri that is exactly what happened when they repealed their gun background check laws. According to a study out of Johns Hopkins gun deaths increased by 23% since Missouri's state legislature repealed the background checks

The report concluded

The law’s repeal was correlated with a 23 percent spike in firearm homicide rates, or an additional 55 to 63 murders annually from 2008 to 2012, according to the study conducted by researchers with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research and to be published in the Journal of Urban Health.
“This study provides compelling confirmation that weaknesses in firearm laws lead to deaths from gun violence,” Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research and the study’s lead author, said in a news release. “There is strong evidence to support the idea that the repeal of Missouri’s handgun purchaser licensing law contributed to dozens of additional murders in Missouri each year since the law was changed.”
Good luck out there Missourians.
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Andrew Cuomo (D-inc) 68%
Donald Trump (R) 24%

This is the polling out of New York for a potential Governor's match up. The Donald as you can plainly see is getting clowned by Andrew Cuomo. Of course with Trump's name recognition this is just down right embarrassing.

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SHUTDOWN THE GOVERNMENT! SHUT IT DOWN! WE HAVE TO STOP OBAMACARE SHUT IT DOWN!!!!!

This is the rallying cry for the right, unfortunately shutting the government down won't stop the implementation or even the funding of Obamacare. The only way to stop any funding for Obamacare is passing a law in both houses and having the President sign it into law. Obamacare aka The Affordable Care Act, which falls under the guidance of the Health and Human Services Department is considered involving the safety of human life this makes it essential to the operation of the country and therefore can not be affected by a shutdown.

From Salon

Part of the reason a shutdown wouldn’t stop the health care law is that government doesn’t grind to a halt. National defense, law enforcement, air traffic control and other activities involving the safety of human life and the protection of property continue.
Ditto for big entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, whose “mandatory” funding does not have to be renewed annually by Congress. The Affordable Care Act is the newest addition to that club of budget heavyweights.
 The employees who administer such programs may also be considered essential. During the Clinton-era shutdowns, Social Security brought back nearly 50,000 employees to handle claims work after initially giving them furloughs.
No Obamacare also won't be defunded through a shutdown. I want to make this very clear. The only way Obamacare can be defunded is by passing a law in both chambers and having it signed into law by the President of the United States, or over riding a veto by 2/3rd of the House.

There is a reason for this. The way budgeted programs and laws are funded. There are basically three types of spending applications for the US government -- discretionary spending, mandatory spending, and net interest.

Net interest deals with the debt and has nothing to do with this conversation.

Ok, bare with me, this is where this piece gets a little wonky...

Discretionary spending is optional as part of fiscal policy, in contrast to entitlement programs for which funding is mandatory. Basically discretionary spending, which is spending that is not specified by a law passed by Congress and signed by the President is optional and subject to the particular likings of Congress. There are major entitlement programs Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and you can add Obamacare to that list now that are considered mandatory spending. There are other smaller mandatory spending programs like SNAP, TANF but these programs account for a small portion of mandatory spending. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare account for about 70% of all mandatory spending. Mandatory spending is spending enacted by law, but not dependent on an annual or periodic appropriation bill.

This is significant because the passage of the law itself provides that this program is fully funded regardless of the budget agenda of a particular Congress. For example federal judicial pay is considered mandatory spending. This to protect these programs, typically programs that are direct transfers of funds (pay, welfare, unemployment insurance, medicare, Obamacare, etc.) from the whims of Congress.  So right wingers tweeting me in all caps, no a shutdown won't stop Obamacare's implementation because it is considered involving the safety of human life and it won't be defunded because Obamacare funding, like federal judicial pay, is considered mandatory spending not subject to annual renewal and appropriations of Congress. Its source of funding is derived from the law enactment itself not from an appropriations process.

Senator Ted Cruz attempted to use the continuing resolution (a law passed by Congress) to defund Obamacare. How that works is Cruz would attach what is called a "rider" to the CR that defunds all of Obamacare. This rider was striped in the Senate. This is also why Congress had to pass the sequester. The only way to affect levels of funding in mandatory spending programs is to pass laws in Congress and have them signed by the President specifically outlining the changes. Of course none of this is a secret Ted Cruz could have just asked the Congressional Research Council.

This was cross posted on The Political Line

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On this blog I write a lot about policy outcomes. Meaning that programs and policy should be evaluated for sound outcomes. We should only be funding and running programs that are actually achieving preferred policy outcomes for the greatest good. The SNAP program which has a stated policy goal of offering nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities.

The House voted today to slash the SNAP program by $40 billion dollars. SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as The Food Stamps Program, is not only good policy for the fact that is helps families put much needed food on the table during touch economic times but is an economic booster to our economy as a whole. Every $5 dollars in new SNAP spending benefits generated $9.00 in total community spending. Since the SNAP program is increasing in correlation with the unemployment we would assume policy makers would want to provide people assistance with their food needs while simultaneously improving the overall economic output. It turns out that the SNAP program

SNAP is not only an economic booster to our economy the SNAP program has 98% accuracy rate for eligible households. The program goes through a rigorous measurement analysis pooling a sample size of 50,000 participants in the program to thoroughly review for fraudulent payments. In fact the program goes through such a rigorous analysis for misappropriated payments that we have actually seen a decline in the program. According to one internal audit only 3% of over payments were actually made to recipients.

As far as sound public policy is concerned the SNAP program is an important aspect of not only our collective responsibility to help those in need through government action but this is a cost effective program that have high returns for all society.
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There is a trend in the discussion in relation to Obamacare about the shift to part time work. This is just false. The move to part time workers is actually a larger market labor trend that began during the Great Recession. As the chart below highlights you can see a clear spike in the rise of involuntary part time work, that is part time workers who are working part time but wish to work full time.

In fact what the data is actually showing us in this chart is not only Obamacare NOT the cause of the part time worker, as those who oppose Obamacare are falsely pushing on network tv, but the number of involuntary part time workers is actually coming down since it's peak just after the start of The Great Recession.

This post was cross-posted at The Political Line

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Yes, the Republicans are still trying to rebrand their image after losing consecutive Presidential races. Of course though you can rebrand your party and the characters in it all you want, but as Reince Prebius is sadly learning you can't stop them from talking in public.

This week's rebrand effort fail comes from the great state of Oklahoma.

Freshman Congressman Markwayne Mullin had this to say about President Obama..

I believe what you’re saying and I don’t support this president whatsoever. But ma’am, we lost November 6th. We had the opportunity to get another president in there. [...] We had four years to take care of that. Our country’s facing some serious issues. If the rest of the American people thought that was a big enough issue which, I thought it probably would’ve been. Who would’ve thought we would ever actually be questioning if we had a natural-born president being president? Who would’ve ever thought that we’d actually be there? [...] So when I say we lost the argument, we lost that argument. Now let’s move on to some other issues. I believe it’s still there, but my God if we didn’t prove it the first four years, what do you think the chances are now?
Don't forget to like The Coalition To Stop Right Wing Insanity on Facebook
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Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 07:08 PM PDT

Georgia... Wow!

by Political Line

The news is just getting worse and worse for the GOP. After disappointing news that Allison Lundergan Grimes was polling in not one but two seperate polls ahead of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last week the GOP had to contend with their defacto Senate leaders being attacked from both sides (or as Matt Bevin put it straight over the top of Mitch McConnell) this weekend.

Michelle Nunn is tied and or polling ahead of potential GOP challengers. That is all.

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Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:50 PM PDT

GOP Logic

by Political Line

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