The Supreme Court’s ObamaCare decision is putting many states in a tight place: They’ve got to set up exchanges, the law’s health insurance markets, by Jan. 1, 2014. But by Jan. 1, 2013, they have to show those exchanges will be ready on time—or the feds will swoop in to “establish and operate” the exchanges for them.
That poses a particular challenge to the many states that haven’t taken action yet, hoping that the law would be overturned; only 10 states and Washington, DC, have implemented exchange laws, the New York Times notes. But even after the decision, some Republican-controlled states may choose to do nothing.
In the case of Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker says his state “will not take any action to implement ObamaCare” on the hopes that the law will be overturned if Republicans gain power in November. And USA Today reports that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said today his state will not be setting up an exchange. Meanwhile, states also must determine whether they’ll follow the law’s expansion of Medicaid. Republican governors in Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia, and Nevada have indicated they’re skeptical of the expansion, the Wall Street Journal notes, even though the feds are willing to cover the costs for the first three years, and 90% of the costs thereafter.
After a thorough investigation of corruption in state politics, the Center for Public Integrity has made up report cards for each state—and the results are depressing.
Not one state managed anything in the A-range, while eight—Michigan, the Dakotas, South Carolina, Maine, Virginia, Georgia, and Wyoming—scored Fs.
Coming in on top with a B-plus: New Jersey. Perhaps that’s surprising, given the state’s political reputation. But that reputation has prompted some tough anti-corruption laws; ditto for other possibly counterintuitive states in the top 15, like Illinois and Louisiana.
The investigation was conducted using 330 “Integrity Indicators,” that fall into 14 categories, including internal auditing and ethics enforcement. In many cases, laws to prevent corruption are on the books—but not followed or enforced. A sampling of the depressing stories uncovered:
- More than 650 Georgia government workers took gifts from vendors conducting business with the state in 2007 and 2008.
- Tennessee hasn’t issued one ethics penalty since it created a commission tasked with doing just that six years ago.
- A Maine senator didn’t disclose millions in state contracts to an organization he helped run; a legal loophole made that a-OK.
PETA’s controversial campaigns for animal rights dominate headlines—but behind the scenes, the picture is quite different, according to newly released documents.
Last year, the organization killed more than 95% of the pets in its charge at its Norfolk, Va., headquarters, the Daily Caller reports. Documents released by the state’s agriculture department show that the group placed 24 animals in 2011—and killed 1,911.
“It appears PETA is more concerned with funding its media and advertising antics than finding suitable homes for these dogs and cats,” says the head of the Center for Consumer Freedom, which posted the documents online.
PETA lacks “sufficient animal enclosures” to house the number of animals it reportedly takes in, says an investigator, who adds that the group kills 84% of the animals it receives within 24 hours.
A rep for the group didn’t contest the figures, but told the Daily Caller that it only kills animals due to “injury, illness, age, aggression, or because no good homes exist for them. Most of the animals we take in are society’s rejects; aggressive, on death’s door, or somehow unadoptable,” she added.
Authorities are investigating an incident where a five-year-old Virginia boy allegedly stabbed three people in his home – after an argument over a juice box!!
No word on exactly who the victims were, but they did say they were two juveniles and one adult. The boy, who his neighbor calls “a good dude,” is in police custody now.