Saturday morning’s 9 semi-interesting things

1) F**king Alaska! Can we throw this state out of the Union already? – An Alaskan man has filed a lawsuit to prohibit President Obama from appearing on the November ballot not on the grounds that he was born in Kenya, but on the basis that his skin-color alone is enough to bar him from being a citizen. A man from Juneau, Alaska, has filed suit with the state’s Division of Elections to bar President Obama from appearing on that state’s ballot on the basis that the President is a “Mulatto”, and “the race of ‘Negro’ or ‘Mulatto’ had no standing to be citizens of the United States under the United States Constitution.” 

2) What Are the Gobshites Saying These Days? - Santorum decided to flagellat… er… explain himself to Glenn Beck, and to Beck’s audience of angry shut-ins… The two public intellectuals got into a discussion of religion, and Santorum said: “I saw one poll that said 62 percent of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it… I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely… The indoctrination that is going on at the university level is a harm to our country.”  …The putative Republican frontrunner is a fking religious loon. This, I believe, should be something of an issue in the campaign.

3) Rick Santorum: Americans With ‘Special Needs’ Won’t Survive Under Obama’s Health Reform - But the Affordable Care Act actually prevents insurance carriers from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions (and disabilities), prohibits health plans from putting a lifetime dollar limit on benefits and specifically invests in programs for people with disabilities. For instance, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has “announced $2.25 billion to extend the existing Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration Program, which is designed to facilitate people with disabilities staying in their communities instead of being placed in institutional settings” and has provided additional funding for aging and disability resource centers and other programs for sicker Americans. This why groups like the American Association of People with Disabilities, National Organization For Rare Disorders, and The Arc of the United States not only support the law, but have filed an amicus brief in its defense.

4) Romney Fails His Own ‘Moral Responsibility’ Test, Can’t Balance His Campaign’s Budget  - A series of ads lift excerpts from a speech Romney gave in November at an event in New Hampshire in which he says “we have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in,” and “it is a moral responsibility to believe in fiscal responsibility. We do and I do.” That raises serious questions about Romney’s morality then, since in January his campaign spent nearly three times more than it brought in during the month. Financial reports filed with the Federal Election Commission shows that the Romney camp raised about $6.5 million in January, but spent almost $19 million during the same period.

5) Can you imagine how fucked Obama would have been if he’d said Michelle drove a couple of Cadillacs? - For his embarrassing partial quote of the day, Mitt Romney ended a speech in Detroit with an apparent attempt to reach out to the car-making community there, saying, “I actually love this state. This feels good being back in Michigan … I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drove a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually.” Reporters have immediately jumped on the latter half of the comment as another example of Romney appearing “tone deaf” when making oblique references to his wealth among voters. (Think “I like being able to fire people” or “corporations are people, my friend.”) “Politically, I don’t there’s anything wrong with mentioning your wife drives a Cadillac. But it’s a little riskier if you mention she drives ‘a couple,’” writes The Hill’s Christian Heinze. “For the love of Pete,” tweets Politico’s Ben White. “… It would be better for that campaign if he didn’t speak.” “PROBLEM” adds Politico’s Dylan Byers. But let’s all take a step back. It could have been worse! Something like, “Ann used to drive two Cadillacs but that was years before we hired her a private driver.”

6) Higher gas prices: The folly of blaming Obama for higher gas prices  - The real problem is not that gas gets expensive sometimes, but that the United States, with its extremely high levels of per capita oil consumption, is much more vulnerable to supply disruptions than are rich countries in Asia and Europe. A larger share of Americans drive on a daily basis, and they drive heavier cars longer distances. Not coincidentally, gasoline is cheaper here thanks to lower taxes. But while American politicians like to pay lip service to the idea of tax reform that encourages work and investment, they refuse for political reasons to levy higher fees on environmentally and economically destructive gasoline in exchange for lower taxes on socially beneficial labor and savings. Until that happens we’re doomed to endless repetition of the pointless gas-price blame game every time global conditions push prices up.

7) Gov. Gregoire: Obama Is The ‘Inspiration’ Behind Washington’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill - Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) praised President Obama’s record on gay rights following a meeting between the President and Democratic Governors, thanking him “for his leadership on GLBT issues.” Gregoire, whose state recently passed a same-sex marriage bill, said that it was through his efforts they were able to achieve what they did, adding, “He’s been the inspiration that allowed the state of Washington recognize that we need to have equality.” President Obama says he is still “evolving” in his support for marriage equality.

I think at least they’re doing it the right way, which is going through voters, giving them a chance to vote and not having a handful of judges arbitrarily impose their will,” Gingrich said when asked about the votes in Washington state and Maryland. “I don’t agree with it. I would vote no if it were on a referendum where I was, but at least they’re doing it the right way.”Newt Gingrich on Washington state enacting same-sex marriage

8) Kansas may raise taxes on the poor to fund cuts for the rich - In the version of the bill approved by a House committee this week, half a million of the state’s poorest residents who earn less than $25,000 will wind up paying an average of $72 more per year, while the 21,000 Kansans who make over $250.000 will get an average tax cut of $1500. A source in the state legislature told the Associated Press that the legislation will also reduce state revenues by more than $850 million oer the next five years. Kansas Democrats are predictably outraged. “It’s been Robin Hood in reverse,” Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley complained last month. “What we are doing is stealing from the poor to give to the rich.” It could be worse. the plan originally proposed by Governor Brownback would have given the wealthiest Kansans a $5200 tax cut, while forcing the lowest-income residents to pay $156 more.

9) Why Medicaid Is Hard To Cut - The biggest share of the pie, or the greatest percentage of Medicaid money, is spent on the blind and disabled. It’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to cut care from that group. The next largest share of Medicaid goes to the elderly. Yes, even after they get Medicare, the very poor among those age 65 or older also get Medicaid. We call them dual-eligibles. Does anyone think that we’re going to cut from seniors after the 2010 elections? Unlikely. Should we cut from kids in foster care? Or perhaps “BCCA Women”, or women who are getting breast or cervical cancer assistance. No?