1062 and All That

GOP Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona has vetoed Senate Bill 1062, which would have make it okay for businesses to discriminate against gays based on the “religious beliefs” of their owners and employees.  No soup (or wedding cake) for you!

As with Medicaid expansion, I hope other GOP governors will follow Brewer and do the right thing for their citizens.

Also today, a federal court in Texas found that state’s ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.

Back when I was growing up, right-wingers who saw Communists everywhere in this country wanted those on the left to move to Russia.  I think those on the right who are unhappy here should move to Putin’s Russia.

Punching Down

Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) got an employee at a gourmet grocery store, Drew Swope, fired because he said, “Thanks for nothing” to McCrory.  McCrory couldn’t say “Off with his head,” so he settled for “Off with his apron.”  Instead of taking a little criticism, rich and powerful McCrory took Swope’s low-paying job.

If I lived in NC, I’d feel the same as Swope, given the pass that Duke Energy’s dangerous practices are getting from McCrory, who worked for them for almost three decades before becoming governor.

Duke just had the third largest coal ash spill in history.  Of course, the people of NC should have thought twice before they elected a Duke Energy guy.  Specifically, they should have thought about foxes and hen houses.

Obamacare, Depoliticized

From “Over 1 Million Added to Rolls of Health Plan,” Michael D. Shear and Reed Abelson, NYT:

“But industry experts and insurance officials say that the reality is murkier than either party wants to admit and that the numbers at the heart of the national political debate are largely meaningless outside of Washington’s overheated environment.  The determination about whether the law works from an economic standpoint will not be clear for years, when individual insurance companies are finally able to tell whether their expectations about the health of their customers — and the premiums they set for coverage — were accurate.

“And the economic fate of the biggest health care overhaul in decades will be decided state by state, in hundreds of individual markets across the country, not in a theoretical national insurance marketplace that does not really exist.

“‘There’s going to be tremendous variation in the country,’ said Drew Altman, the president and chief executive of the Kaiser Family Foundation.  He said the focus on national numbers, like reaching the target of enrolling seven million people in the first year, ‘never had anything to do with the real success or failure of the law.’”

Sochi Hypocrisy?

WaPo has an interesting story* pointing out that eight U. S. states have so-called “no homo promo” bans in their school curricula that are very much like Russia’s anti-gay laws.  These states — and I’m sure you already guessed some of them — are Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma.

But I’m still not watching the Olympics because of the dog killing.  You spent $50 billion and you couldn’t build an animal shelter?

* “Eight U. S. states have policies similar to Russia’s ban on gay propaganda,” Niraj Chokski

New Hampshire to Expand Medicaid

New Hampshire will become the 27th state (plus the District of Columbia) to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.  About 50,000 people will gain coverage.

New Hampshire refused to expand traditional Medicaid, but now will use an HHS waiver to let people buy private insurance using federal Medicaid funds.

Note to Republicans in non-expansion states — if you want to do the right thing and help your people, HHS will figure out a way for you to save face, you big babies.

Christie Got the “Enforcer” He Wanted

“In his office’s statement from last night and his subsequent email tonight, Governor Christie alleges that the lane closures were David Wildstein’s idea – tonight he called them ‘David Wildstein’s scheme.’

“That may be true. Perhaps David Wildstein is the guy who came up with the idea of closing lanes one day and then filed it away as an off-the-shelf plan to execute if and when necessary to accomplish a political end.

“Yet there’s a reason David Wildstein is seeking legal immunity and reimbursement for his legal bills: the order to close those lanes – the motive – seems to have come from Trenton.

“And here we get to the heart of the matter. David Wildstein was put in the Port Authority by Chris Christie, in a job Christie invented, to be the governor’s eyes and ears – his enforcer. Wildstein was put at the Port so Christie could more effectively use the Port as an extension of his political operation (as Steve [Kornacki from MSNBC] and I are documenting, more and more, with each passing week).

“So spare us the shock that Wildstein is ‘a political animal.’ Christie knew who Wildstein was before he appointed him to this job. There is no sense in distancing yourself from one of your own appointees who was given a job specifically because his skills matched what you were looking to accomplish with that appointment.”

Brian Murphy (who worked as a reporter for David Wildstein when he ran PoliticsNJ.com under the nom de plume Wally Edge), “Well, That Escalated Quickly,” TPM Cafe at Talking Points Memo

Quote of the Day

“One person said we should see the release of this email as a message to funders.  If so, the message seems to be ‘I’m desperate and losing my mind.’

“If I’m a Republican power player reading this to a get a read on what’s actually happening, what’s likely to happen next week or next month, I think I come away thinking things are considerably worse than I realized.”

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo on Chris Christie’s bizarre email attacking David Wildstein.