Approximately 5.8 mln of the poorest Americans who would have been eligible for Medicaid had their states expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act will either go uninsured or be forced to find other, more expensive means of health coverage, according to a detailed new county-by-county analysis by the Urban Institute.
Sy Mukherjee notes at ThinkProgress.org (2/11) that 25 states and the District of Columbia have committed to accepting generous federal funds to raise Medicaid eligibility to all Americans earning up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Had every state expanded Medicaid — as the law originally intended — the Urban Institute estimates that 10.3 mln poor and uninsured adults would be newly eligible for the program.
Instead, just 4.4 mln uninsured low-income adults will become eligible in the pro-expansion states, while 5.8 mln will be shut out of Medicaid in the other half of the country — including more than 1 mln in Texas, where a quarter of workers are uninsured. And since the ACA did not expect states to refuse Medicaid expansion, it did not provide insurance subsidies for people earning poverty wages. So 27% of uninsured adults in states refusing Medicaid expansion would have been eligible for coverage had their states accepted it, and nearly 5 mln of these Americans are expected to fall into a coverage gap where they make too little money to qualify for the health law’s private insurance subsidies but too much to qualify for their state’s existing Medicaid program.
Opposition to the Medicaid expansion also disproportionately impacts poor people of color. An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that approximately 60% of uninsured black Americans, 51% of uninsured Hispanics, and 53% of uninsured people of color generally have incomes below the Medicaid expansion threshold. In fact, the White House sent out a fact sheet to reporters (2/11) claiming that more than 95% of eligible uninsured Latinos would qualify for “Obamacare” subsidies or Medicaid coverage if every state agreed to expand Medicaid.
Consequently, existing health disparities among these groups in these states — which already struggle with public health issues such as obesity and diabetes — are expected to get even worse.
States that have expanded Medicaid have seen robust enrollment to date. For instance, West Virginia has already cut its uninsured population by a third thanks to the expansion. A recent study by Avalere Health concluded that between 1.1 and 1.8 mln of Americans who enrolled in Medicaid between October and December of last year became newly eligible under expansion. If the Urban Institute’s and Avalere’s figures are correct, than somewhere between 25% and 41% of the newly eligible working poor have already enrolled in government health plans.
But Medicaid expansion is still on precarious footing in red states. Arkansas Republicans, who struck a historic agreement with Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe and the Obama administration to implement an alternative, private plan version of the Medicaid expansion, have reversed course and are now considering nixing the hugely popular program. More than 80,000 low-income Arkansans would be kicked off their health plans if the GOP successfully repeals the so-called “private option.”
One of those residents would be 40-year-old Anita Geiger, a receptionist who works 15 hours a week at a school for disabled children. Geiger had a physical for the first time in five years after enrolling in a private option plan — particularly fortuitous because she found out she suffers from hypertension, which puts her at risk for a stroke, and can now afford medication for her condition. When the New York Times asked her how she feels about the prospect of being kicked off her plan by conservative lawmakers, she tearfully replied, “Have them walk in my shoes. I’m working, I’m going to school, I’m trying to better myself, and this is a help.”
THOUSANDS WILL DIE FROM MEDICAID OPT-OUT. As many as 17,000 Americans may die as a result of the refusal of 25 states to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid to cover families who live in poverty. Researchers at Harvard Medical School and the City University of New York estimate that between 7,115 and 17,104 deaths will be attributable to the lack of Medicaid expansion in opt-out states. Medicaid expansion in the opt-out states would result in 712,037 fewer persons screening positive for depression and 240,700 fewer individuals suffering catastrophic medical expenditures. Medicaid expansion in these states would have resulted in 422,553 more diabetics receiving medication for their illness, 195,492 more mammograms among women age 50-64 years and 443,677 more pap smears among women age 21-64. The study, “Health and Financial Harms of 25 States’ Decision to Opt Out of Medicaid Expansion” by Sam Dickman, David Himmelstein, Danny McCormick, and Steffie Woolhandler, was published on the HealthAffairs.org blog (1/30).
In Texas, the largest state opting out of Medicaid expansion, the researchers found 2 mln people who would otherwise have been insured will remain uninsured due to the opt-out decision. Medicaid expansion in Texas would have resulted in 184,192 fewer depression diagnoses, 62,610 fewer individuals suffering catastrophic medical expenditures, and between 1,840 and 3,035 fewer deaths.
CBO SAYS: REALLY, GOP, WE DIDN’T SAY OBAMACARE WOULD KILL 2.5M JOBS. In a reflection of just how committed Republicans are to lying about that Congressional Budget Office report on how many people might end up leaving their jobs as a result of the Affordable Care Act, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf felt compelled to put out another memo, this one reiterating what was clearly stated in the actual report: As many as 2.5 mln people may choose to leave full-time work when they have the option of getting affordable health insurance somewhere.
One of the “Frequently Asked Questions” in the memo is “Will 2.5 Million People Lose Their Jobs in 2024 Because of the ACA?”
Elmendorf answers, “No, we would not describe our estimates in that way.
“We wrote in the report: ‘CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5% to 2.0% during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor.” The reason for the reduction in the supply of labor is that the provisions of the ACA reduce the incentive to work for certain subsets of the population. ...
“Because the longer-term reduction in work is expected to come almost entirely from a decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply in response to the changes in their incentives, we do not think it is accurate to say that the reduction stems from people ‘losing’ their jobs.”
Dean Baker wrote at HuffingtonPost.com (2/12) that the withdrawal of people from the labor market would likely have a positive effect on those who want to work. “At a time where we still have millions of people unemployed or underemployed, the people who retire or cut back hours to be with kids will be opening up jobs for younger workers unable to find work or full-time jobs. Since we have a Congress that is unwilling to take the steps to increase demand in the labor market, the best way we may have of increasing job openings is by reducing supply.
“The reduction in labor supply is also likely to have a positive impact on wages. In fact, the CBO numbers implied that wages would on average increase as a result of the ACA. While it projected hours worked would fall by between 1.5-2 percent, it expects that compensation will only fall by 1%. This implies an increase of 0.5-1 percent in average hourly compensation.”
UNINSURED RATE DROPS. The nation’s uninsured rate dropped modestly in January as the major coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act got underway, according to a closely watched survey. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (2/12) found that the uninsured rate for US adults dropped by 1.3 percentage points in January, to 16%, the lowest number Gallup has recorded since 2009.
Based on interviews with more than 19,000 Americans since Jan. 1, the Gallup numbers could be the first evidence that core provisions of Obama’s much-debated law have started delivering on the promise of access for nearly all Americans. Under the law, all Americans need to be insured by 3/31 or pay a penalty of $95 or 1% of income, whichever is greater. Those who would qualify for Medicaid but live in an “opt-out” state are exempt from the insurance requirement.
The new poll suggests that the health-care law played a role in the new drop, since more people report getting their health insurance through the individual market and Medicaid than in the last quarter of 2013, Sarah Kliff noted at WashingtonPost.com (2/12).
The Obama administration announced (2/12) that 1 mln people signed up for private insurance under the health care law in January, raising the total who have signed up since 10/1 to 3.3 mln. Another 6.6 mln working poor have been deemed eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan and more than 3.1 mln young people up to age 26 (a study by the Commonwealth Fund says it’s more than 7.8 mln) have gotten insurance through their parents’ policy under the ACA.
REPUBLICANS BOYCOTT OBAMA FARM BILL SIGNING. When President Obama went to East Lansing, Mich. (4/7) to sign the new $956 bln farm bill into law, he was accompanied on Air Force One by several Democratic lawmakers and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Many Republicans were invited to the bill signing, but no Republicans accepted the invitation.
Politico noted that House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) — both of whom might be expected at event like this, since they helped write the bill — are red-state incumbents facing primary challengers. Both declined invitations.
“It’s a long way,” Cochran said of the trip to Michigan. (For the record, Steve Benen noted at Maddowblog.com [4/7] that the senator would have flown there and back on Air Force One.)
“And while this is obviously just one bill-signing event, which in isolation is easy to overlook, the fact that every Republican invitee declined the White House’s offer should send a pretty loud signal to those Beltway pundits who still believe Obama would thrive in Washington if only he schmoozed more,” Benen wrote.
‘CLEAN’ DEBT LIMIT BILL A WIN FOR OBAMA. House Speaker John Boehner apparently got the word from the Republican Party’s corporate sponsors: stop messing around with the debt ceiling, which unsettles the financial markets. Despite demands from the tea-party wing that Republicans gain some sort of concession from President Obama in return for the permission to pay the bills Congress already has appropriated, and possibly motivated by a desire to finish business before a blizzard descended on Washington, Boehner told House Republicans (2/11) that he would bring legislation to a vote that would raise the government’s borrowing authority with no strings attached.
Boehner said his conference was frustrated with President Obama’s refusal to negotiate over a debt ceiling increase. “And so the fact is we’ll let the Democrats put the votes up. We’ll put a minimum number of votes up to get it passed.”
The debt limit increase passed in the House 221-201 (2/11), with 193 Democrats and 28 Republicans voting for it, while 199 Republicans and 2 Dems voted against it. (Among the House Republicans voting for the debt increase were Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy. Budget Chairman Paul Ryan voted against the bill.)
Earlier, Boehner had proposed to link the debt ceiling increase to legislation that would have reversed a cut to veteran retirement benefits. But conservative Republicans opposed the plan, and Republican leaders worried that Democrats would not go along, holding firm to Obama’s demand that no policy attachments come with a debt ceiling increase, the New York Times reported (2/11). Obama has indicated that he supports bipartisan efforts to reverse a trim of 1 percentage point to cost-of-living increases for working-age veterans, Gene B. Sperling, director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters (2/11).
In the Senate, where Republicans had hoped to avoid a cloture vote, because they knew the bill needed to be passed but they didn’t want to vote for it, grandstanding Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) forced the cloture vote, which required Republicans to come up with at least five votes to help the Dems reach the 60-vote threshold to advance the bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), who both face primary opponents, were among the 12 Republicans who voted with the 55 Democrats to allow the bill to proceed. The Senate then voted 55-43 along party lines to pass the bill that raises the debt limit.
DEMS CALL BOEHNER’S BLUFF ON IMMIGRATION INACTION. After Republican leaders bowed to their white-supremacist base and put off any action on immigration reform, House Speaker John Boehner tried to place the blame on President Obama, claiming that there was “widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the GOP’s bluff. “There’s a simple solution: Let’s enact the law this year but simply not let it actually start until 2017, after President Obama’s term is over,” Schumer, the third-ranking Senate Democrat said on NBC’s Meet The Press (2/9).
A spokesman for Boehner rejected Schumer’s idea, saying it would remove the impetus for Obama to enforce immigration laws during his remaining time in office.
Laura Clawson commented at DailyKos.com (2/10), “That simply makes no sense. Lots of laws are passed to take effect in the future, and no one worries that existing laws won’t be enforced in the interim. This is pure excuse making and dodging. Guys, you just don’t want to pass immigration reform. Admit it. ‘We don’t want to fix a broken system because we don’t like brown people.’ You can even leave off the ‘we don’t like brown people’ part; it’s not like we can’t fill it in mentally.”
BATTLE FOR THE SENATE SHAPES UP. The battle for control of the US Senate is shaping up as Democrats prepare to defend 21 seats that are up for election this year (including 1 special election to fill an unexpired term) while Republicans defend 15 seats (including 2 special elections). Republicans need a net gain of six seats to take control of the Senate and make President Obama a lame duck for the two years remaining in his term. Dems (with 2 independents) now hold a 55-45 majority.
The most endangered Democrats are Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Mark Begich in Alaska and Mary Landrieu in Louisiana. Dems also face long odds in holding onto the seats Jay Rockefeller is giving up in West Virginia and Tim Johnson is giving up in South Dakota. Democrats also must replace retiring Democratic senators in Iowa, Michigan and Montana. Also facing tough re-election races are Mark Udall in Colorado, Kay Hagan in North Carolina and Jean Shaheen in New Hampshire.
Dems’ top pickup opportunity is in Kentucky, where Sen. Mitch McConnell faces a well-financed teabagger challenge from businessman Matt Bevin while Dems have Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who polls show is competitive in the race.
Dems also have a shot to turn a seat in Georgia, where Michelle Nunn, daughter of longtime Sen. Sam Nunn, likely will face the winner of a spirited Republican primary race among teabaggers for the seat Saxby Chambliss is giving up.
SOLAR JOBS GROWING. The US solar industry added over 23,600 solar energy-related jobs last year, bringing to total number of solar jobs to 142,698 Americans, the Solar Foundation reported (1/27). The 16.5% growth in employment since 2012 compares with a 1.9% general increase in employment in the national economy. Between September 2012 and November 2013, the US solar industry added an average of 56 solar workers each day.
California, Arizona, New Jersey, and Massachusetts account for nearly 50% of total solar jobs in the US.
While over 50% of California’s 47,223 jobs are in the installation sector, California also has a strong manufacturing presence, representing 22% of the state’s solar jobs. Growth is expected to surge this year, adding 10,500 new jobs to the Golden State by the end of 2014.
Arizona remained in second place with 8,558 solar jobs, down from the 9,800 jobs it had in 2012, but solar employment in Arizona is expected to grow by 5.6% in the next 12 months. New Jersey was third with 6,500, up from 5,700, and Massachusetts was fourth with 6,400, up from 4,500. New York increased from 7th to 5th, with 5,000 jobs; Texas grew from 8th to 6th, with 4,100 jobs; Florida jumped 5 spots, from 12th to 7th, with 4,000 jobs; Ohio jumped from 10 to 8, with 3,800 jobs; Colorado dropped from 6 to 9 with 3,600 jobs; and North Carolina surged from 18th to 10th with 3,100 jobs. For more, see thesolarfoundation.org.
CLIMATE CHANGE MAY HIKE GROCERY PRICES. If California’s drought continues, it might show up soon in the nation’s grocery bills. Emily Atkins notes at ThinkProgress.org (2/10) that California’s $44.7 bln ag industry is “supermarket of the world,” producing nearly half of all the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in America.
The most abundant source of produce is the Central Valley, which produces 8% of America’s ag output by value. But the Central Valley is the biggest victim of the state’s three-year drought. And there’s no sign that things will get any better in the coming years. Higher commodity prices may mean higher prices for beef and milk, and with water scarce farmers are unable to plant as many seeds, so prices of artichokes, celery, broccoli and cauliflower could rise at least 10%. California is the top producing state for lemons, limes, peaches, strawberries, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios — these and other crops could face production problems.
Plants that grow on vines and trees are in an especially tough position, as Mother Jones notes. Those plants have to be maintained year-round. And while it takes more than one drought season to kill a tree, California’s drought has been long-running. It takes time for supplies to replenish, too — meaning spiked prices could last more than just one season, even if the drought were to end.
“However bad this year, it will be worse next,” Ken Shackel, a tree-crop expert at the University of California-Davis, told Mother Jones. “Really bad this year means really, really bad next year.”
This year, California farmers will likely leave 500,000 acres unplanted — about 12% of last year’s acreage, according to the Executive Director of the California Farm Water Coalition. Because yields will be so bad, a report in Ag Professional notes, some farmers may even make more money selling their water than they can make growing crops.
“We are at that point the risks for the future are really significant,” Peter Gleick, president of the nonpartisan research organization Pacific Institute, told Bloomberg News. “We have to fundamentally change the way we manage water.”
In declaring a drought state of Emergency (1/17), California Gov. Jerry Brown Jr. called on residents to voluntarily cut water consumption by 20%. So far, though, only a handful of cities have enacted mandatory water restrictions and it is too soon to tell whether people are actually following the consumption cuts. As it is now, California needs 15 to 36 inches of rain to end the drought.
Until then, California and those who eat its crops may have to brace for the worst, as the state’s recent dry spells grow longer and stronger — a fact many leading scientists link to climate change. As climatologist James Hansen told ClimateProgress’ Joe Romm, “Increasingly intense droughts in California, all of the Southwest, and even into the Midwest have everything to do with human-made climate change.” The warming by itself helps dry out the soil and reduce the snowpack, robbing the region of a reservoir needed for the summer dry season.
BIG OIL WANTS MORE TAX BREAKS. Big Oil raked in more than $93 bln dollars in profit in 2013, but they’re still begging Congress for more tax breaks, Thom Hartmann noted (2/11). A new report from OpenSecrets.org exposed the massive profits of just five companies – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Shell; together these oil giants make about $177 thousand a minute. Despite those profits, Big Oil is lobbying lawmakers to lift the ban on exporting crude oil, and asking them not to place any new limits on tax breaks that cost Americans billions of dollars every year, Hartmann noted. Barclays Bank estimates that lifting that ban would add $10 bln dollars to gas prices in the US. These companies already get billions of tax breaks, not including the external costs of their toxic products. Hartmann concluded: “It’s time to cut the tax subsidies for oil companies – not increase them – and it’s time to make them pay the real price for the damage they inflict on our environment.” (ThomHartmann.com)
SENATE DEMS TALK ABOUT KILLING THE FILIBUSTER NEXT YEAR. Will Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid move to kill the filibuster altogether? Kevin Drum has his doubts. Writing at MotherJones.com (2/11), Drum notes that killing the filibuster for presidential nominees made sense because nominations require only Senate approval. But with the House under Republican control, it wouldn’t do Democrats much good to remove the filibuster just so they could move a bill that would die in the House. “And as unlikely as it seems, Democrats do need to be concerned with the possibility of complete Republican control after 2016. It’s a slim possibility, but it’s a possibility. If that happens, why hand over the rope to hang themselves?”
If Republicans win control of the Senate in 2014, Drum noted, “A lot of liberals take it as an article of faith that they’ll immediately kill the filibuster completely. But why? With Obama still in office, it wouldn’t do them any good. And they have to be deeply concerned about complete Democratic control after the 2016 election. It’s not just a slim possibility, it’s a very real possibility. If that happens, why hand over the rope to hang themselves?”
He concludes that the fear of what the other party would do in a filibuster-less world will continue to far outweigh the negligible benefits of killing the filibuster while government remains divided. But after 2016, if one of the parties wins total control of Congress and the presidency, it’s harder to predict. “I still think that fear of what the other party could do without a filibuster runs deep, and may well prevent either party from axing it. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Both Republicans and Democrats will be chomping at the bit to break the grinding deadlock of the post-2010 era, and either party might decide to finally take the plunge, he wrote. “But if it happens, it will be after 2016. The benefit of killing the filibuster after the 2014 election is just too slim to make it worthwhile.”
TELECOMS MOVE TO STOP MUNI COMPETITION. A bill filed in the Kansas Legislature on behalf of telecom companies would prohibit municipalities from providing cable TV and broadband Internet service that might compete with private businesses.
The Senate bill, which apparently was filed by the Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association without a Senate sponsor, originally stated that cities and towns may not “Offer or provide to one or more subscribers, video, telecommunications, or broadband service” except in “unserved areas,” defined as places where 90% of households lack access to any broadband service, whether it be “fixed or mobile, or satellite broadband service.”
KCTA President John Federico told ArsTechnica.com that definition was “overly broad,” and would be revised, but he said the cable lobby’s board members “stand firm in their belief that scarce taxpayer dollars should not be used by municipalities to directly compete with private telecom providers.”
The Community Broadband Network (muninetworks.org) reported that a number of prominent companies quickly signed on to a letter opposing the Kansas bill to block competition for Internet providers. Firms signing the letter include Alcatel-Lucent, American Public Power Association, Atlantic Engineering Group, Calix, CTC Technology & Energy, Fiber to the Home Council, Google, National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, OnTrac, Telecommunications Industry Association and Utilities Telecom Council. Christopher Mitchell, who runs MuniNetworks.org for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, noted that most community networks do not use taxpayer dollars.
Similar bills may be heading to a legislature near you as the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council has distributed a model bill to limit “the authority of municipalities to own and operate telecommunications and advanced service and cable television facilities and to provide public and advanced telecommunication and cable television services to a municipality’s inhabitants.” See AlecExposed.org.
FOOD STAMP CUTS EAT WALMART PROFITS. Fourth quarter sales were down for Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, the Financial Times reported (1/31). Previously, Walmart had announced that sales were expected to be flat, but in January it said sales are likely to be “slightly negative.” Official results were due on Feb. 20.
Kathleen Geier noted at WashingtonMonthly.com (2/1), “What’s especially interesting is that Walmart is citing food stamp cuts as one reason for declining sales. Fully 20% of Walmart’s customers use food stamps.
Other retailers experiencing a bad fourth quarter last year ranged from Sears to Best Buy to Amazon. “But all of this bad business news is continuing evidence that the economy has yet to recover from its prolonged, Japan-style slump,” Geier said.
CONSERVATIVE ASSAULT AGAINST EARLY VOTING. After Republicans gained control of many state legislatures in the 2010 elections, the party moved to limit early voting opportunities that were used by Democrats to get working-class supporters to take advantage of weekend voting to “bank their vote early.”
A bipartisan election commission which President Obama created to look at long lines and other election problems has endorsed greater use of early voting, Rick Hasen noted at Slate.com (2/10), but even though Mitt Romney’s campaign lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, was a co-chairman of the commission, conservatives have mobilized to attack early voting.
“George Will bemoans early voting as ‘diffuse and inferior.’ [J. Christian] Adams says [in the Washington Times], ‘Early voting means stubborn voters will make uninformed decisions prematurely. Voting even one week early produces less-informed voters and dumbs down the electorate.’ [Eugene] Kontorovich and [John} McGinnis complain [in Politico]: ‘People will be able to vote when the mood strikes them—after seeing an inflammatory ad, for example. Voting then becomes an incoherent summing of how various individuals feel at a series of moments, not how the nation feels at a particular moment.’”
Despite their opposition to early voting, Kasen noted, Kontorovich and McGinnis don’t seem to have a problem with “old fashioned absentee ballots,” but he added, “That’s nonsense. If one really believes that we need a set Election Day to all make a deliberative choice together, absentee balloting is even worse than early voting because it does not even happen in public with other voters and it raises a real risk of voter fraud—much more than in-person voting.”
As conservative writer Jonah Goldberg put it in a 2005 Los Angeles Times column: “Voting should be harder, not easier—for everybody. ... If you are having an intelligent conversation with somebody, is it enriched if a mob of uninformed louts, never mind ex-cons and rapists, barges in? People who want to make voting easier are in effect saying that those who previously didn’t care or know enough about the country to vote are exactly the kind of voters this country needs now.”
Hasen added, “It is probably no coincidence that the comments on Adams’ piece on the Washington Times website go even further, by endorsing things like literacy tests or civics test before voting. I wish the calls to cut back on early voting were merely partisan. But I fear not.”
MASSIVE PROTEST IN RALEIGH, N.C. More than 80,000 people from 32 states turned out to protest four years of drastic state Republican initiatives in Raleigh, N.C. (2/8).
The “Moral March on Raleigh,” organized by Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) and the North Carolina NAACP, marched from Shaw University to the state capitol to push back against the “immoral and unconstitutional policies” of Gov. Pat McCrory (R) during the 2013 General Assembly session. Since North Carolina Republicans took over both legislative chambers in 2010, legislators have eliminated a host of programs and raised taxes on the bottom 80%, repealed a tax credit for 900,000 working families, enforced voter suppression efforts, blocked Medicaid coverage, cut pre-kindergarten funding, cut federal unemployment benefits and gave itself the authority to intervene in abortion lawsuits.
Activists have gathered at weekly protests, called “Moral Mondays,” in North Carolina since 2013 as a way to give voice to individuals whose rights were under attack by the Republican-controlled legislature. While there were no reported arrests in the Feb. 8 protest, hundreds of nonviolent protesters were arrested during last year’s Moral Monday events. (Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, ThinkProgress.org, 2/9)
From The Progressive Populist, March 1, 2014
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