Morning Reads for Friday December 27th, 2013

It’s the last Friday of 2013, and also the third day of Christmas. That means today is the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist and Apostle. With Obi’s Sister still out of pocket, and not wanting Ed to do three morning reads in one week, I was asked to return from my Christmas break to entertain you. Thanks, Charlie.

If you bought a ticket on Delta yesterday, you might have gotten a good deal.
Should Georgia Medicaid recipients be required to pay for some of their care? Josh McKoon thinks so. Let’s see if he gets pilloried the way Jack Kingston did for suggesting students shouldn’t get a free lunch.
Bryan County will ask the state if it can have its own TSPLOST.
Gwinnett paramedics respond after a 911 call about someone hanging from the roof while putting up Christmas decorations.
The Dawgs make a young fan’s dream come true.

In Utah, Boy Scouts deliver pizza to gay couples waiting to marry.
Is Carlos Danger Anthony Weiner planning a comeback (again) in 2014?
Glow in the Dark sidewalks are being installed in the UK. Cue the Agenda 21 protesters.
Mitt Romney is named Man of the Year.

Random Everywhere:
How Waffle House Explains the GOP.
If you’re getting tired of your Christmas house guests, here are ten ways to get rid of them.
How not to give a campaign speech.
Texas A&M is planning on wearing special uniforms for Tuesday’s Chick-Fil-A bowl.

That’s it. Eric will be back with the morning reads on Monday if he’s not too tired from celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family. And I will probably be filling in for Ed’s Morning Reads during part of February. Happy New Year.


  1. xdog says:

    Thanks for stepping up with the news, Jon.

    That Waffle House story not only mentioned the Five Points WH but it quoted Jim Cobb, who’s not one of those Cobbs but who can write and has an point of view, not a bad combination.

    • Jon Lester says:

      I was a coffee regular at that one for many years. My favorite thing every day was to go in and read the whole newspaper, sometimes with a meal, too. The smoking ban pushed me to make coffee at home and get my news online. Since then I’ve been so sick of the menu that I really didn’t care either way when I heard the parent corporation donates some of its profits to far-right anti-gay organizations.

        • Jon Lester says:

          Biases? Because I’m against discrimination? After 20+ years, I think it’s not unreasonable to completely tire of a menu that isn’t especially healthy to begin with, and that goes for other parts of the experience, as well.

  2. CJBear71 says:

    The Indiana plan Josh McKoon wants to implement was effectively Medicaid expansion before Medicaid expansion was cool. Indiana expanded Medicaid to childless adults under a Section 1115 waiver. It expanded Medicaid to 200% of FPL, but capped the expansion at @ 36,000 people. The ACA was supposed to do away with Section 1115 waivers, as people were supposed to transfer into the Exchanges at 138% of FPL, and the rest were to be transfered into Medicaid. The Obama Administration extended the waiver for Indiana for 1 year, but persons above 100% of FPL will transition to the Exchanges, freeing up some space from the 48,000+ person waiting list.

    Here’s more information from the Kaiser Family Foundation:

    Rather than berate Sen. McKoon, let me praise him. I don’t know if the plan he has in mind is available anymore. But the Obama Administration did approve a similar plan in Iowa – expanding Medicaid to all childless adults, but some additional premiums paid by the new Medicaid recipients. They are using the Medicaid expansion funds to purchase private insurance in the exchanges. There were some limitations – premiums could only be charged to persons between 100%-138% FPL, not below. Arkansas is doing something similar.

    I’m hoping this is the first step to finding a solution to Medicaid expansion that works for us. We can’t leave 600,000+ Georgians without any health insurance whatsoever. It’s wasteful. People can’t get preventive care, and the cost of emergency care is often passed on to the insured and tax payers. We’ve gotta find a different solution.

  3. notsplost says:

    The Bryan county move by the county commissioners bears watching. I was afraid of this type of development. However it may just be grandstanding at this point.

    My understanding of the TSPLOST legislation is that changing the tax to apply only to individual counties is likely a no-go. Unless the State Legislature amends or changes the original 2010 TIA.

    However what I am unclear on is what it would take to simply bring back the tax for another re-vote in 2014, region-wide. By law the tax cannot be voted on again for 48 months following the original defeat, which likely means not until the November general election. However the mechanism to bring it back is not clear to me and I’ve never gotten a good answer from anyone.

    Would it be simply a vote by all the county commissioners in a region, i.e. could Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb, and other counties in the Atlanta region bring it back by themselves? Or would it require action by the General Assembly and Senate ? What about the executive branch, would they have a say? Governor Deal was pretty clear after the defeat that it was DOA and he is up for re-election.

    The law itself is rather unclear (I’ve read it several times and there was only one very short section pertaining to the “what if it gets defeated” scenario.)

    I’d like to hear others thoughts on this.

  4. Richard says:

    It would be instructive to compare right to work states with Waffle House locations. I suspect a strong correlation.

  5. Dave Bearse says:

    It’s Christmas week. Two toys you may be interested in below.

    This one provides detailed property tax information by county:

    Note the map tabs, avg property tax, avg home value, and tax as a share of home value. I think the latter most interesting. Hold cursor over a particular county for that information for that county plus rank of those value by county.

    This one provides a measure of GOP and Dem House members ideology and unity from 1857 to 2011: Use the slide bar to select a Congressional session.

    It’s not a surprise that the GOP has usually been more unified than Dems. It’s interesting to observe how unity and ideology has varied over time, The late 1950’s into the 1980’s were the period of least unity, perhaps because of significant social change and more importantly with respect to unity, party switching.

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