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While more than half of our American U.S. states are proficient enough at math to conclude that free dollars from the federal government to expand healthcare access to low-income citizens is a really good deal, some Republicans who are terrible at math and terrible at legislating and terrible in general still can't quite add it up. Five years after passage of the Affordable Care Act, some red states are still debating, or outright refusing, free money because they just really REALLY hate President Obama:


Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia said yes to Medicaid expansion when the law went into effect. Since then, just six more have signed on. States that say yes get billions of additional federal dollars, but many Republican lawmakers are loathe to say yes to the Obama administration.

The expansion enables adults with incomes up to 138% of the poverty level to receive Medicaid. The federal government picks up the whole tab for their care through 2016, then tapers its support down to 90% of the costs.

It would be HI-larious, if the consequences weren't so severe and even fatal, that states who've happily sucked off the government teat for years are all of a sudden uninterested in federal dollars for poor people to be able to go to the doctor. Because, as many maps, including this one, have demonstrated over the years, those freedom-loving red states also happen to comprise America's welfare states, taking more federal dollars than they contribute. Deadbeat moochers, if you will -- while blue states like California pay their bills for them, without dictating what kinds of food they can buy or demanding they piss in cups to prove they're not junkies.

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But for some reason, these very states just can't bring themselves to accept government assistance for a healthcare program signed into law by evil weenie dictator Barack Obama. Gov. Rick Scott, for example, really wants the federal government to continue to subsidize Florida's healthcare program for low-income patients, as it has for years. But he doesn't want to do it through Obamacare; he wants non-Obamacare federal dollars, for a lesser program that covers fewer patients.

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Other states, like Utah and Wyoming, have flatly refused to expand Medicaid through Obamacare. They have yet to refuse the other federal dollars they happily accept every year.

Montana, another welfare state, has been fighting like hell, with an assist from the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity, to keep out those icky ACA bucks, with Republicans and Democrats finally compromising on a bill that still requires federal approval, which Montana Republicans insist is not Medicaid expansion. But FINE, Montana will reluctantly accept some help to insure its low income citizens.

Alaska, one of the biggest welfare queens in America, doesn't know what the hell to do with itself. On the one hand, that oh-so-independent rugged maverick wild frontier state already has its grubby little hands out for Washington DC's charity, instead of pulling itself up by its own bootstraps. On the other hand, Alaska is SO independent and also too hates the president, like, extra hard. What to do, what to do?

In Alaska, Gov. Bill Walker, a former Republican who is now independent, has made Medicaid expansion a top priority.

But Republicans leading Alaska's state House and Senate blocked expansion during the legislative session that just wrapped up.

Funny thing about Alaska: Republican legislators think Medicaid expansion is a terrible idea, but regular Alaska-Americans don't; 65 percent of them would like to have that, please and thank you. And Alaska is in even worse trouble than usual:

The state is currently facing a massive budget deficit because of the plunge in oil prices. And Walker says even in better financial times, Alaska doesn't usually decline more than a billion federal dollars.

"If that was a road project or if that was some infrastructure project, we would be all over that," he says. "This is health care."

Yeah, Alaskan Republicans wouldn't hesitate to ask for government assistance for other stuff. Like, say, a bridge to nowhere? But ooh gross, Obama, so while even the Republican (sorry, "independent") governor realizes turning down free money that would cover an additional 40,000 Alaskans is really stupid, the rest of his party just can't go there. But please do keep sending those other federal checks, so long as they don't say OBAMA on them.

[NPR / Mother Jones]

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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

Follow your FDF on Twitter!

Money us, PLEASE! Throw a tip in the jar, or click here to keep your Wonkette snarking forever.

[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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