Wednesday briefing and open thread

Hello hello, happy humpday, I hope your week is going well.

I have scheduled a google hangout for the MI Progressive Bloggers caucus-wannabe for tomorrow night at 8pm. Let me know if you would like an invite to the hangout.

And now for the good stuff:

  • From DK – Reid moving forward with filibuster reforms

    As the majority leader, I intend to run the Senate with respect for the rules, for the minority rights that the rules protects. […] I’ll do my part as majority leader to foster respect for the rules and traditions of our great institution. I say here, Mr. President, on this floor that I love so much, that I believe in the Golden Rule. I am going to treat my Republican colleagues the way that I expect to be treated. There’s no “gotcha,” no “get even.” I will do everything that I can to preserve the rule and the tradtions of this institution that I love.

  • For Scott Walker, Walls Are Closing In

    Even as Scott Walker tries to position himself for a run at the presidency, the long arm of the law may be reaching out for him.

    According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the last player in the Walkergate case is his right-hand man, Tim Russell, who just reached a plea deal with prosecutors over his alleged embezzlement of funds from a veterans group.

    Russell, as you might recall, is also the person who was alleged to have set up the secret email system inside the capitol so that others could conduct political business on others’ time. On November 29, 2012, we are likely to discover more information about what happened, when it happened, what Scott Walker knew, and when he knew it.

  • The Mackinac Center is still bitching about A123 Systems going bankrupt after receiving federal funds.

    He said a mindset of “crony socialism” is running green energy programs. He points to the 2008-2011 Wall Street Journal surveys of chief executive officers that highlight the top five priorities of CEOs.

    In each of those annual surveys, CEOs cited a need for some sort of government subsidy as a top priority, Michaels said.

    “You can’t just blame the government for this,” Michaels said. “You have to understand these large corporations are begging for favors to produce cars that no one wants.”

    Of course they are absolutely right. It’s kind of like when the government was paying for all that air travel that no one wanted, and then Florida Airlines went bankrupt even though the taxpayers pumped millions of dollars into the industry. That air travel sure was a dead end.

  • John Light over at Bill Moyers’ site: A Look at the Numbers Behind Obamacare

    But the Kaiser analysis also demonstrates that even if every state opted out of the expansion, the number of Americans on Medicaid under the ACA will still increase because other ACA-related programs (such as the health care exchange) will encourage uninsured Americans already eligible for Medicaid to enroll in the program.

    For more, check out Wonkblog’s analysis of the Kaiser report, or read the report itself.

  • Education is under attack in our state

    The state has been cutting funding to our schools for years, and now it wants to allow private companies to move in to make decisions on a business profit model rather than based on best educational practices.

    Parents beware!

  • Steve Gunn: Modern American fight their civil wars in the ballot box, not through secession

    I am a dedicated Republican and I have little use for President Obama. I believe he’s a weak leader who’s sleepwalking through one of the most challenging eras in our history.

    But modern Americans fight their civil wars at the ballot box, based on the understanding that the winners will govern and the losers will serve as the loyal opposition until the next election.

    The key word there is “loyal.”

    America could not become a world power until the question of having a permanent union was permanently resolved. A war had to be fought and millions of lives destroyed for the issue to be settled.

    Given that painful history, no person with any sense of decency would ever mention secession again, even in a lighthearted manner. Our nation may be divided politically, perhaps more than it’s been in decades, but that’s no excuse to even mention the idea of severing our national bond.

    For anyone who fails to appreciate how I feel, I strongly recommend the new Spielberg movie. It beautifully and painfully illustrates the awful price paid by our forefathers to create the great nation we live in today.

Census Daily Wednesday, November 28th. Americans are going to the doctor less often. From 2001 to 2010, working age adults went to see doctors, nurses and other medical providers an average of 3.9 times in 2010, compared to 4.8 times in 2001, according to Census Bureau figures. Those who answered the survey were much less likely to visit a dentist than a medical provider in the last year — 59 percent went to the dentist, while 73 percent saw a medical provider.

Fifty-seven percent of the population did not take prescription medications in the previous year, while 35 percent take them on a regular basis.

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There are no cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Follow me on Twitter - @christinebarry
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