After 18 Months, Iowa Investigation Finds A Voter Fraud Rate Of .00075 Percent

The Des Moines Register reported Monday that the investigation, which has cost the state about $150,000 so far, has unearthed a total of 16 cases for criminal prosecution.

Five of these cases have been dismissed, while five others have resulted in guilty pleas. Three guilty pleas were submitted by felons who thought their voting rights had been automatically restored upon getting out of prison, as they would have been before a 2011 executive order by Gov. Terry Branstad (R).

via After 18 Months, Iowa Investigation Finds A Voter Fraud Rate Of .00075 Percent | ThinkProgress.

And that’s about how much time we should be spending on “Voter ID” laws.

Massive, willful, voter fraud just doesn’t happen in this country in the modern era.

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Congress Passes Budget Deal

“We’re in for a little bit longer of a whole lot of do-nothing Congress,” said Chuck Cushman, a senior fellow at Georgetown’s Government Affairs Institute. “Not enough will have changed for some dramatic explosion of legislative success to occur. It’s not impossible, but I’d be very surprised.”

via Congress passes budget deal, but cuts will sting for some | Al Jazeera America.

At least now the inability of Congress to do anything won’t stop everyone else who serves the public from doing *their* jobs.

Quick ideological sidenote: The GOP continues to refuse to entertain the notion that taxes can be used to pay for debts, and it appears those that have come out *against* this deal (mostly derping Tea Patronizers), are also against any reduction in spending, if it affects the military in any way.   So the Tea Derpers only way to balance the budget excludes any new taxes or any military spending cuts….which is why they should be ignored by rational people, as happened in this debate, and is why we have even a modest deal.

How Politically Distorted Beliefs about Human Resources are Stunting Innovation in America

Meanwhile, child poverty in the United States is higher than what exists in virtually all other rich nations. In a study that examined 41 of the worlds richest countries by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, the United States ranked 37th, with a child poverty rate of 21% over the last decade; and the majority of these impoverished children are going hungry.

via | Survival State: How Politically Distorted Beliefs about Human Resources are Stunting Innovation in America.

Longer piece with some stats and graphs and a step-back-and-look-at-it style approach.

Congress’ NDAA [2014 Version] Deal Could Make It Easier For Obama To Finally Close Guantanamo

“Today, Congress took one step forward and one step back on Guantanamo,” said Steven Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “The Senate’s provision that clarifies transfers to other countries is an important and welcome improvement that President Obama must leverage as soon as possible. However, the House’s restriction on transfers to the US, even for trial or medical treatment, is a terrible blow for human rights. President Obama must find a solution to end the Guantanamo crisis.”

via Congress’ NDAA Deal Could Make It Easier For Obama To Finally Close Guantanamo.

Quick couple points, 1) there is an NDAA every year (for the past 52 years), it got a lot of attention last year because of some of the other implications of 2) it is the House GOP that makes it impossible to actually close GITMO by refusing to fund any action that could resolve the situation of the prisoners there.  When the GOP and the ever-present derpers complain about how Obama isn’t closing GITMO, mention to them who it is that is currently blocking his ability to do so.

Obamacare gets Cheaper

Over the next few years, the government is expected to spend billions of dollars less than originally projected on the law, analysts said, with both the Medicaid expansion and the subsidies for private insurance plans ending up less expensive than anticipated.

Economists broadly agree that the sluggish economy remains the main reason that health spending has grown so slowly for the last half-decade. From 2007 to 2010, per-capita health care spending rose just 1.8 percent annually. Since then, the annual increase has slowed even further, to 1.3 percent. A decade ago, spending was growing at roughly 5 percent a year.

But even though the Affordable Care Act might be more a beneficiary of changes in health care spending than the primary driver of them, the law’s provisions to control costs could prove increasingly important as the economy improves, demand for health care increases and spending picks back up.

via Cost of Health Care Law Is Seen as Decreasing – NYTimes.com.

So even as this continues to work, and the magic of the market does its thing….the GOP is going to lie about both working, while encouraging people to not get healthcare, not take responsibility for their own lives, and instead be parasites.

I’m pretty sure their hatred of Obama has killed the notion that the GOP is a national entity and a rational actor.