Actually, anyone is welcome to chip in, even the neanderthals. But it is a lovely afternoon for the Palm Street Progressives' street party, underway on Palm between Lee and Kavanaugh — food, drink, kids, district political candidates. (PS — a good crowd still on hand when I drove by about 4 p.m., but I think that's officially the ending time, so don't all rush out at once.)
And a shoutout to Felix Baumgartner, who did a record-setting skydive today from 128,000 feet over New Mexico.
In that progressive spirit:
* THE HOLLOW MAN: What does Mitt Romney stand for? When he talks about budget discipline and health care, you'd do well to look at the Medicaid shell game he ran in Massachusetts as governor.
…Buried in his 2004 budget, Romney proposed maximizing federal aid by taxing hospitals, shifting the resulting tax payments in and out of an uncompensated care fund, back to hospitals as adjustment payments, and diverting resulting federal Medicaid funds to state general revenue. He also proposed using taxes on nursing homes and pharmacies in his efforts to maximize and divert federal aid.
* ON A WACKY NOTE: The radical Republicans are going crazy for fear they may not prevail in Arkansas elections. On Twitter, Sen. Jason Rapert and his allies in the right-to-deprive-women-of-medical-autonomy movement are casting me and others as baby killers, including legislators who voted for amendments that would continue to allow victims of rape and incest to obtain abortion (often meaning morning-after pills). It is a short step from there to prosecuting woman who choose to prevent a pregnancy in its beginning hours for these reasons or, somewhat later, for fear of terrible medical consequences. That's precisely the dimension of what's at issue this year in Arkansas legislative elections. Message to Senator Rapert, whose legislation last session included a mandatory fetal hearbeat bill that would have forced vaginal probes of unwilling women in early pregnancy stages: Much as you might wish a morning-after pill to be deemed murder and punishable under the criminal statutes, it currently is not. It is a libel per se to call people felons for receiving, much less merely supporting, legal medical services.
* ON A STILL WACKIER NOTE: Radical Rapert is also busily rebroadcasting on Twitter a fringe religious organization's notion that Barack Obama's wedding ring is a secret tribute to Allah. Snopes calls likely B.S. on this. But facts never mattered to Rapert or any of the other faithful. Chuck Norris and Jason Rapert may follow World Net Daily, but I'd hope most Arkansas legislators do not. In the Republican era, though, the wackjobs shall lead us, when ALEC and the Kochs don't otherwise set the agenda.