At Blue Oklahoma, DocHoc writes—Editorial Complacency:
There are some encouraging signs on several fronts that widespread tornado safety improvements in this area will be one result of the May 20 killer tornado that struck Moore and parts of Oklahoma City.
But if we allow the underlying tone of recent commentaries in The Oklahoman about the tornado to prevail as we recover from the devastation, all this recent energy to make this a better place to live will be for nothing. [...]
The Oklahoman editorial page is basically repeating the negative attitude that has plagued the entire state since statehood. That attitude goes something like this: Stuff just happens here. There's nothing we can do about it.
At NorthDeCoder Chet
writes—"Want To Schedule A Meeting With Congressman Cramer? Let Me Put You Through To His Campaign Fundraiser"
I was intrigued when I read, a couple weeks ago, that North Dakota's only congressman, Kevin Cramer (R), has hired his wife as his in-state scheduler. She is allegedly doing the official staff work "pro bono." [...] I thought this was interesting because, at the same time, Cramer's wife is apparently being paid about $1,500 per month by Cramer's partisan political campaign. (FEC report) The question I'm trying to sort out is this: Is this a violation of Congressional nepotism rules?
I'm not asking because I'm sure it is a violation of the rules. In fact, the opposite is true. I'm not sure it is. But should it be a violation of ethics rules?
At Calitics, Rebecca Band writes—Report: "Walmart Loophole" Allows Big Employers to Undermine Affordable Care Act:
According to a new report released today by the California Works Foundation:
Walmart workers use 40% more public health care assistance than the retail average. The company's use of public assistance costs California $86 million per year, including $32 million for health care. The 19% of Wal-mart workers who are uninsured cost the state $10 million and the country $202 million. If other companies followed Wal-mart's practices, it could cost the state $410 million.
And these figures could skyrocket next year when the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect. The law is intended to ensure shared responsibility between workers, employers and the government. But thanks to the "Walmart loophole" in the ACA, big corporations can easily skirt their responsibility by forcing workers onto Medi-Cal.
of Mississippi, Matt Eichelberger
writes—MBJ columnist Nancy Anderson blasts Phil Bryant for misogynistic comments
Here's an excerpt from Dr. Nancy Anderson's post over at the Mississippi Business Journal about Phil Bryant's most ignorant comments to date:
Now Gov. Bryant suggests our education problems in Mississippi are because women fled the home in droves for the workforce. Well, I guess that lets him off the hook for underfunding education and for failing to find ways to help children and families succeed. If he’s right, then all we need to do is “git” those women back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, and magically, our children will regain genius status.
Yeah, that's pretty much it.
At Blue Virginia
writes—Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Nixes "Drill Baby Drill" Off Virginia's Coast
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Thursday that the White House won't allow drilling in the Atlantic Ocean while House Republicans are putting the finishing touches on legislation to do so.
Thank goodness. Now, can we stop figuring out more ways to destroy the planet, and turn our focus to jump starting the clean energy economy instead? Thanks.
"We've done a five-year plan—it doesn't include the Atlantic. I don't expect to go back on that," Jewell told reporters Thursday after a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.
P.S. Message to brain-dead Washington/Kaplan Post editorial board, which penned this pabulum this morning: being in favor of enriching Big Oil still further, while risking Virginia tourism, fisheries, U.S. Navy operations, and the environment in general, is not "centrist." It's just stupid.
At Appalachian Voices
, a multi-state blog, jw
writes—TN Representative Gloria Johnson Calls Out The Coal Lobby
Tennessee State Representative Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) went on WBIR this week to discuss her efforts in the legislature to protect our mountains. Representative Johnson mentions the fact that Tennessee coal is not used in Tennessee, popular support for her Scenic Vistas Protection Act legislation, and how the coal lobby is standing in the way of protecting Tennessee mountains.
At NC Policy Watch
, Sharon McCloskey
warns—All roads lead to the courthouse
The Moral Monday protests may die down come June 30, and state lawmakers may head home, but challenges to much of the conservative agenda jammed through the legislature this session will soon begin winding their way through the courts, resolved by judges largely unknown to most of us. [...]
The courts are the poor stepchild of our three branches of government – overlooked, overworked and underfunded. Still, Americans look to them to clean up legislative messes at both the state and federal level and reclaim individual rights and liberties snatched away by supposed co-equal governing partners.
But the courts themselves are now in trouble. At both the state and the federal levels, budget cuts are slowly grinding justice to a halt. Politics informs our selection of judges. And money infused from special interests now threatens the independence and impartiality of those judges.
At Grumpy Abe
of Ohio, proprietor Abe Zaidan
writes—Hey, Republicans finally claim a minority
It occurs to me that the Republicans have achieved a major break-through in their ancient mission to broaden their base by engaging minorities. They are now, in fact, reeking with Tea Partyers - a minority that polls tells us is hardly more than 30 pct. of the electorate. Way to go, GOP. Persistence finally paid off.
At The Mudflats
of Alaska, Jeanne Devon
writes—VW Takes Road Trip to Fake Fairbanks
It’s 1:43am, and a supermodelish woman in full makeup stretches, and slinks out of bed in her body-skimming, white camisole. She of the perfectly tweezed eyebrows and coral glossed lips goes to the window and parts the diaphanous curtains. Her beau, with no facial hair awaits her on the street in his convertible VW Beetle. He beckons to her. She playfully shushes him. It’s time for a drive …
They ride, top down in the sunlight, through pristine streets, passing a snoozing cop in a display window, an empty café, and stop to laugh with childlike joy at a reindeer standing in the intersection. The city is asleep, and completely deserted except for our two sweethearts on their vehicular adventure.
Did Fairbanks spring to mind? It only did if you’ve never been to Fairbanks.
The tip-offs might have been: full makeup, diaphanous curtains, lack of facial hair, deserted streets, cop snoozing in storefront window, a reindeer instead of a moose, the fact that it looked nothing like Fairbanks, and oh yes,… a convertible VW Beetle.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the Fairbanks. But this latest commercial for the VW Bug, which flashes to a roadside sign that says “Welcome to Fairbanks, Land of the Midnight Sun,” in the foreground of some clearly non-Alaskan landscape just missed the boat. Unless you put a block heater in that thing with the plug hanging out the front, and unless that car has 4-wheel drive, studded tires, and a roof not made of cloth… it’s not going to get many joyrides.
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