Item One: Cliven Bundy is a racist a**hole.
He said he would continue holding a daily news conference; on Saturday, it drew one reporter and one photographer, so Mr. Bundy used the time to officiate at what was in effect a town meeting with supporters, discussing, in a long, loping discourse, the prevalence of abortion, the abuses of welfare and his views on race.
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.
“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
If there were a Nobel Prize for abject and utterly un-self-aware cluelessness, I think Bundy’s remarks on “government subsidy” above would have sewed it up. And that soft shuffling sound you hear is from retreating Republican politicians who suddenly realize they may not want to be associated with Bundy, after all.
Item Two: Conservatives think Latina women lack the gravitas to be serious Supreme Court justices.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s impassioned defense of race-conscious admissions policies Tuesday hit a nerve with conservatives and inflamed an already bitter ideological chasm over race in the Obama era.
The National Review published an editorial trashing the Obama-appointed justice’s blistering dissent as “Orwellian” and “legally illiterate” after the Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action.
“Her opinion is legally illiterate and logically indefensible, and the still-young career of this self-described ‘wise Latina’ on the Supreme Court already offers a case study in the moral and legal corrosion that inevitably results from elevating ethnic-identity politics over the law,” wrote the editors of the influential magazine. “Justice Sotomayor has revealed herself as a naked and bare-knuckled political activist with barely even a pretense of attending to the law, and the years she has left to subvert the law will be a generation-long reminder of the violence the Obama administration has done to our constitutional order.”
Appearing on Fox News, Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard said the first Latina justice’s lengthy opinion was driven by “emotion.”
“This was a decision written by somebody who was writing about emotion,” he said, as quoted by the Daily Caller. “It was President Obama’s ‘empathy standard’ — that’s what he was looking for when he nominated her, that’s what I think he got.”
Listen, dudes, next time just call her a silly chickita and tell her to shut up and fetch you a cold Corona and some nachos. Everybody knows it’s what you really want to say, so you might as well say it.
Item Three: Red state governors refused Medicaid funds because they’re spiteful and stupid.
By now it’s pretty clear that the states refusing to expand health coverage under Medicaid aren’t really worried about the expense. They’re motivated entirely by ideological stubbornness — “for no other reason than political spite,” as President Obama said last week.
New figures, in fact, show that the cost to the states of expanding Medicaid is less than previously thought. In February, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the expansion would cost the states $70 billion through 2024. This morning, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noticed a figure in the April update to the C.B.O. report that said the state costs have dropped by a third, to $46 billion. (The price tag is so low over a ten-year period because the federal government will pick up 95 percent of the total amount.)
The real costs to the states will be even less, though, because if they expand Medicaid, they will no longer have to pay for much of the emergency care of uninsured people that now takes place at hospitals and clinics. Estimates of this savings, according to the CBPP, range from $26 billion to $101 billion through 2019.
The 19 states that have flatly refused to expand the program are ignoring these facts. (The issue is under debate in another five reluctant states.) Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, one of the loudest in the “hell, no” chorus of anti-Medicaid Republican governors, claims the state cannot afford even the small fraction of the cost it would have to bear. But the expansion would actually save the state as much as $78 million this year in uninsured costs and $134 million next year, according to the state’s own budgetary analysis. Expanding Medicaid would also add about 15,000 new health care jobs in Louisiana.
Mary Landrieu is talking to Louisianians about the “Jindal gap.” Democrats, take note.