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Last year, Tennessee (state motto: We’re Vaguely Rectangular!) got into the hot new game of drug testing welfare recipients to make sure that none of them were spending their time having any fun. Because what good is having poor people if you can’t systematically scold and humiliate them for being poor? Now the results of the first six months of testing are in, and how are they? A rousing success, if your definition of success is busting a whopping 0.2 percent of people who applied for public assistance.


The people tested had all applied for aid under the Families First program, which gives financial assistance to families with children. Part of the application process is answering questions about drug use. Of the 16,017 applicants to the program in the second half of 2014, the state tested 279 of them based on their answers, and 37 came back positive for illegal drugs. So extrapolating that to the overall number of people applying, the program indicates one quarter of one percent of welfare recipients are using. Money well spent!

Meanwhile other recipients of federal assistance, such as students (talk about fish in a barrel for drug testing!), bankers (ditto), farmers, university professors, small-business owners, large-business owners, veterans and old people do not have any such requirement. But those groups make up such a small percentage of the overall population, obviously.

Oh well, at least Tennessee’s program hasn’t been ruled unconstitutional yet, unlike Florida’s. Poor people, go to Florida. It’s warmer and you can use your SNAP benefits to get high.

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Personally, we think the drug testing money would be better spent on healthcare for the poor, since that could include drug treatment for addicts. But Tennessee disagrees with us on that one too.

Governor [Bill] Haslam’s market-based, state budget-neutral plan for Medicaid expansion would have brought billions of dollars into the state. Called “Insure Tennessee,” its implementation also would have meant coverage for up to 280,000 Tennesseans.

Last week, the Tennessee state legislature rejected Haslam’s plan.

Yeah, because gosh durn it, ain’t none’a those lazy poor people gonna get no hardworkin’ taxpayer money for health insurance. Not so long as Tennesseans are smart enough (with the help of the Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity) to know that “Insure Tennessee” is just a fancy codename for Obamacare.

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No seriously, polling showed that 85 percent of Republicans opposed Obamacare, while only 16 percent opposed Insure Tennessee. But AFP made sure everyone, particularly the state’s Republican-dominated legislature, knew that Insure Tennessee was actually a (conservative governor’s negotiated, state budget-neutral) Medicaid expansion that was a part of the Affordable Care Act, and presto! No healthcare for 280,000 poor Tennesseans.

Tennessee! Truly the Volunteer State, in that you must volunteer to never be poor or needy. Otherwise you can hike your ass on over the state line and try your luck in Kentucky, loser.

[ThinkProgress / NBC / Tenneseean]

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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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