Who’s covering state-level politics, anyway? Are they… suitable?

Eleanor Clift is very upset that nobody is covering state-level politics: “On a good day, state news is under-covered, especially compared to its importance. While multitudes of reporters in Washington chronicle the gridlocked Congress, the number of full-time reporters covering 50 statehouses has fallen to roughly 300, down from 500 in 2003, according to the Pew Research Center.” But is the situation that there is no coverage, or simply that the coverage is not by the right sort?

The decline in reporters working for mainstream or legacy media outlets has been filled in part by journalists hired by specialty news outlets like the Alaska Budget Report, which charges $2,397 for a year’s subscription, and the pro-free market Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. Mark Jurkowitz, one of the authors of the Pew study, says the ideologically driven reporting tends to be on the right. Pew found only one organization in North Carolina identifying as progressive. “With resources stretched as thin as they are and reporters caught up in the day to day ping-pong, enterprise reporting or looking for scandal goes by the wayside.”

Continue reading Who’s covering state-level politics, anyway? Are they… suitable?

Washington State threatens to send #Obamacare costs through the roof.

OK, here’s the situation. There are three major elements to healthcare plan decisions:

  • Cost: How much does it cost per month or year, just to have it?
  • Deductible: How much does the consumer have to kick in for any given procedure?
  • Network: Who is willing to take you on as a patient, if you use that plan?

Continue reading Washington State threatens to send #Obamacare costs through the roof.

Report: it will take $45M and almost two years to ‘fix’ Cover Oregon.

That’s under current conditions (keep the database, keep current vendor Oracle), at least according to the Deloitte Development report that the state of Oregon commissioned on how to get from under the horrible state exchange disaster inflicted on Oregon by Governor John Kitzhaber and his fellow Democrats. Reading the report, it looks like Deloitte’s recommendation would be that Oregon simply cut Cover Oregon loose and join the federal exchange. As the Oregonian noted:

Oregon could hook up to the federal exchange far sooner and for a fraction of the cost, according to the report obtained by The Oregonian. A hybrid solution mixing the federal exchange and an unfinished Oracle-based small-business section of the exchange would also be faster than sticking with the current plan, as well as cheaper.

Continue reading Report: it will take $45M and almost two years to ‘fix’ Cover Oregon.

End the state/local tax deduction!

I’m with Instapundit and National Review Online: if you’re a Democrat talking tax hikes and you are NOT talking about ending the deduction of state/local taxes from federal returns, then you are simply NOT being serious on fiscal responsibility.  Particularly since it’s a tax that mostly avoids the middle class (NRO worked it out as “households in the $200,000-and-up range would pay an average of $5,166 more without the deduction, while those in the $30,000-to-$50,000 range would pay only $70 more”).  But, of course, if that happens then a lot of high-tax states – which, shock! Surprise! vote Democratic – are likely to discover that their constituents will suddenly have a remarkably different (and more jaundiced) view over what exactly constitutes a reasonable state/local income tax burden.

Which should not stop the GOP from taking this policy initiative, smiling nicely at the Democrats, and folding said initiative until it’s all corners…

Moe Lane

PS: Actually, I live in a high-tax Blue state. So Democrats don’t even have that excuse for being so regressive about this, the greedy piglets.

Not One Dime for Obamacare federal exchange funding.

Not without a budget.

This paragraph from the Investor’s Business Daily article on the Obama administration’s remarkable inability to get states to sign off on state Obamacare exchanges caught my eye, particularly the part I bolded:

In the states with federally run exchanges, HHS will be tasked with hiring the people to run the exchanges, ensuring that insurance plans applying to be on the exchange are compliant with ObamaCare regulations, and setting up and running the websites for the exchanges. Congress has not yet appropriated the money to let HHS hire exchange employees.

Continue reading Not One Dime for Obamacare federal exchange funding.

End the state/local income tax deduction! #fairshare #sharedsacrifice

Charles Lane (no relation) makes the obvious point:

What the deduction does is enable higher-income states and localities to tax — and spend — more than they otherwise would, while shifting some of the cost to other states. It also encourages them to collect revenue in forms that are easier to deduct on federal returns.

Two states, California and New York, reaped almost 30 percent of the deduction’s value in 2009, the latest year for which I could find Internal Revenue Service data. Other states that benefit disproportionately include Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland.

I’m arguing against interest here, by the way.  My taxes would go up.  I assume, so would Charles’.  And so would about 3/4ths of the Media elite’s, which is why you’re going to see a lot of people in print and broadcast journalism get the vapors over this.  These folks are on the sweet side of a wealth transfer, after all.

…Which is something that they should be disclosing, mind you.

Moe Lane

A handy checklist for people who wish to complain about the RiNOs in the GOP.

[UPDATE]: Here are couple more links for you:
Rebuilding the GOP: The Committeeman Project
Get Your STORC On

I am not ordering anybody to follow this checklist. I’m not even going to nag about it. I am merely suggesting that you consider answering the questions on them before you go off on how the party isn’t listening to you.

  • What is the name of your local GOP group, on the county / district level?
  • Who is the chair?
  • When do they meet?
  • What was discussed at the last meeting?
  • What happened at that meeting that you disagreed with the most?
  • How did they address your concerns?
  • When does the group or sub-group that would best resolve your concerns meet?
  • Who else in that group or sub-group would you say is your best ally in resolving that concern?
  • Who in your area is running for state, county, and local office?
  • What did they say that they needed the most help with?
  • Who is the greatest obstructionist in your group, and how do you get around him or her?

I’ll keep saying it until it sinks in: there’s no cavalry coming to save us, ladies and gentlemen. That’s because we’re the cavalry.

And we are perfectly capable of saving ourselves.

Crossposted to RedState.