Congratulations to Christine Ferguson, who Gov. Chafee tapped to run the new Health Benefits Exchange. Rhode Island now has one of the sharpest minds in health care running one of the nation’s most innovative state-run systems. This is a phenomenon known as good news, Ocean State. Let’s do more stuff like that.
Some people call Rhode Island the most liberal state, which it isn’t (take it from someone who has lived in Oregon, Hawaii and Vermont). Nate Silver of the New York Times calls it the most elastic, or the state most “relatively sensitive or responsive to changes in political conditions.” Ted Nesi writes, “Silver’s conclusion fits with the long-running debate over whether Rhode Island is truly a blue state.”
Gina Raimondo might not like payday loans … but some of her political associates don’t seem to mind them all that much, reports Ian Donnis.
Mother Jones, the long-running lefty mag out of San Francisco, takes a look at our new Homeless Bill of Rights. It was sloppy and irresponsible of me not to include this on my recent list of progressive victories in this year’s legislative session.
Steve Brown, executive director of the local chapter of the ACLU, pens a blog post about the Pleau case and the feds decision to seek the death penalty for him on the ACLU’s Blog of Rights site. He writes, “We know that the death penalty is not a deterrent, that it is imposed in a discriminatory, arbitrary and irrational manner, and that it remains capable of convicting innocent people. Even more fundamentally, as part of a civilized society, it should be unacceptable for our government to respond to a heinous crime with another act of barbarism and violence.”
“Is Rhode Island the worst state,” asks nationally-renowned education expert Diane Ravitch on her blog. “I personally don’t think Rhode Island is the worst state, as compared to states like Louisiana, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Indiana,” she writes. “But it deserves credit for moving in the same direction and seeking to earn its spurs in the competition for worst.”
Progressives, for the record, have nothing against charter schools … it’s when charter schools and their advocates get all anti-union that they run afoul of the left.