Three Things You Need to Know - January 17, 2018

Kentucky now has work requirement for Medicaid

To receive Medicaid in Kentucky, some will now have to work for it.

Kentucky is the first state to require that able-bodied Medicaid recipients will have to work to keep their benefits. Opponents of helping people help themselves are getting ready to sue.

Republican Governor Matt Bevin received federal permission last week to implement the work requirement. Other states had tried before to get permission from the Obama administration but were denied.

So what will this cruel Republican plan entail? Starting this July, if you’re not disabled, and you’re aged 19 to 64, you must work a minimum of 20 hours a week to receive Medicaid coverage. The work requirement is broad – it can be volunteer work, job training, taking classes, caring for the disabled, or even searching for a job. There will also be exemptions to the requirement – people with medical conditions, full-time students, etcetera.

Governor Bevin said around half of the 350,000 Kentuckians who must meet the work requirement are already employed. People will also have to earn dental and vision benefits through things like working toward a GED or taking a financial planning course.

Really, what is so wrong with this plan, other than it coming from Republicans?

“It will soon become the standard and the norm in the United States of America,” Governor Bevin said, “and America will be better for it.”

But critics are already pouncing, saying this plan will seriously harm people and that it violates Medicaid law. So, they’d prefer people stay unemployed and on government assistance?

Another politician had something to say about that: “We must make it a national principle that we will not tolerate a large army of unemployed, that we will arrange our national economy to end our present unemployment as soon as we can, and then to take wise measures against its return. I do not want to think that it is the destiny of any American to remain permanently on relief rolls.”

What insensitive Republican jerk said that? None. That was Franklin D. Roosevelt. Apparently, not even the godfather of the American nanny state himself wanted people permanently on government relief.

Why do Americans seem to value the best ideas in all areas of life except government? Maybe because in politics we’re too concerned with who gets the credit.

Good for you, Kentucky. I hope this experiment works.

Japan has false missile launch alert

First Hawaii and now Japan. The flash message rang across cell phones yesterday:

“NHK News alert. North Korea likely to have launched a missile. The government J alert (which is the Japanese version of EAS): evacuate inside the building or underground.”

It took the state of Hawaii almost 40 minutes to issue the false alarm. The Japanese took just 5 minutes, but that makes two nuclear weapon false alarms, within the Pacific theater, in just a matter of days.

What’s going on? Oh wait, what’s that? We’ve got secret camera footage into the emergency broadcast control centers from both Hawaii AND Japan? We go there now:

Well now that explains everything. A little tip, Baby Groot is probably not the best employee to have pushing your emergency alert buttons.

After seeing the computer interface for the Hawaiian system, I’m not at all surprised a mistake finally happened. It looks like a screen grab from an old Apple 2. Hey guys, 1981 called… they want their technology back.

But I have absolutely NO idea what caused the false alarm in Japan, and the Japanese apparently don’t either. If they do, they aren’t telling anyone.

We better get a full and detailed explanation from both incidents because speculation is beginning to run wild, and you can’t really blame people for filling in the holes themselves when information is this scarce. Especially at a time when nuclear war seems more likely now than it has been since the Cold War.

It doesn’t help that this latest fake alert came simultaneously as Japan, along with 19 other countries, were meeting in Canada to talk about… wait for it… escalating pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program.

I don’t know whether it’s faulty out of date technology or if Kim Jong Un has weaponized Baby Groot, but these incidents are waking people up to a very dangerous reality, and that’s this: nuclear weapons are no longer the modern day first strike. Cyber warfare is. This is probably NOT what caused these false alarms, but we all have that creeping thought that these things are now all too possible in this day and age.

Science fiction becomes reality between now and the next 10 years. It’s a brave new world.

Corruption abounds in Puerto Rico following hurricane

The air was thick with tension as FEMA agents, U.S Army Corps of Engineers, and their armed security detail entered the warehouse.

They were on a mission to see if the rumors were true.

100 days after Hurricane Maria ripped through the island, half the population is still living without electricity, despite the relief aid and construction materials that were sent to restore the electrical grid.

There was speculation that the Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority (or PREPA for short) had been hoarding these critical materials.

Once inside the warehouse, it was easy to see this was true. It was filled to the brim with equipment and resources.

That explained why FEMA agents were always so perplexed by the lack of construction materials.

PREPA received the equipment to rebuild, they just failed to do anything with it.

So while the people of Puerto Rico are forced to get by without life-saving electricity every day, their salvation has just been sitting in a warehouse.

It’s just another example of government inefficiency and idiocy at the expense of its citizens. How many lives could have been improved or even saved, if PREPA just did their job and distributed the materials?

MORE 3 THINGS

On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck sat down with chief researcher Jason Buttrill to go over two bombshell developments that have recently come to light regarding former Vice President Joe Biden's role in the 2016 dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

"Wow! Two huge stories dropped within about 24 hours of each other," Jason began. He went on to explain that a court ruling in Ukraine has just prompted an "actual criminal investigation against Joe Biden in Ukraine."

This stunning development coincided with the release of leaked phone conversations, which took place in late 2015 and early 2016, allegedly among then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko.

One of the audiotapes seems to confirm allegations of a quid pro quo between Biden and Poroshenko, with the later admitting that he asked Shokin to resign despite having no evidence of him "doing anything wrong" in exchange for a $1 billion loan guarantee.

"Poroshenko said, 'despite the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges on [Shokin], and we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I asked him to resign,'" Jason explained. "But none of the Western media is pointing this out."

Watch the video below for more details:


Listen to the released audiotapes in full here.

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A recently declassified email, written by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and sent herself on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration, reveals the players involved in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and "unmasking" of then-incoming National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Rice's email details a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan 5, 2017, which included herself, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama. Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, fully declassified the email recently amid President Trump's repeated references to "Obamagate" and claims that Obama "used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration."

On Glenn Beck's Wednesday night special, Glenn broke down the details of Rice's email and discussed what they reveal about the Obama administration officials involved in the Russia investigation's origins.

Watch the video clip below:

Fellow BlazeTV host, Mark Levin, joined Glenn Beck on his exclusive Friday episode of "GlennTV" to discuss why the declassified list of Obama administration officials who were aware of the details of Gen. Michael Flynn's wiretapped phone calls are so significant.

Glenn argued that Obama built a covert bureaucracy to "transform America" for a long time to come, and Gen. Flynn was targeted because he happened to know "where the bodies were buried", making him a threat to Obama's "secret legacy."

Levin agreed, noting the "shocking extent of the police state tactics" by the Obama administration. He recalled several scandalous happenings during Obama's "scandal free presidency," which nobody seems to remember.

Watch the video below for more:


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Colleges and universities should be home to a lively and open debate about questions both current and timeless, independent from a political bias or rules that stifle speech. Unfortunately for students, speaking out about personal beliefs or challenging political dogma can be a dangerous undertaking. I experienced this firsthand as an undergraduate, and I'm fighting that trend now as an adjunct professor.

In 2013, Glenn Beck was one of the most listened to radio personalities in the world. For a college senior with hopes of working on policy and media, a job working for Glenn was a ticket to big things. I needed a foot in the door and hoped to tap into the alumni network at the small liberal arts school where I was an undergrad. When I met with a career services specialist in early March 2013 about possible alumni connections to Glenn Beck, she disdainfully told me: "Why would you want to work for someone like him?" That was the beginning and end of our conversation.

I was floored by her response, and sent an email to the school complaining that her behavior was inappropriate. Her personal opinions, political or otherwise, I argued, shouldn't play a role in the decision to help students.

That isn't the kind of response a student should hear when seeking guidance and help in kick starting their career. Regardless of the position, a career specialist or professors' opinion or belief shouldn't be a factor in whether the student deserves access to the alumni network and schools' resources.

Now, seven years later, I work full time for a law firm and part time as an adjunct teaching business to undergraduate students. The culture at colleges and universities seems to have gotten even worse, unfortunately, since I was an undergrad.

College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions.

I never want to see a student told they shouldn't pursue their goals, regardless of their personal or political beliefs. College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions. I never got access to the alumni network or schools' resources from the career services office.

Lucky for students in 2020, there are several legal organizations that help students protect their rights when an issue goes beyond what can be handled by an undergraduate facing tremendous pressure from a powerful academic institution. Organizations like Speech First and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), for instance, are resources I wish I knew about at the time.

When I experienced mistreatment from my college, I spoke up and challenged the behavior by emailing the administration and explaining what happened. I received a letter from the career services specialist apologizing for the "unprofessional comment."

What she described in that apology as a "momentary lapse of good judgement" was anything but momentary. It was indicative of the larger battle for ideas that has been happening on college campuses across the country. In the past seven years, the pressure, mistreatment and oppression of free expression have only increased. Even right now, some are raising concerns that campus administrations are using the COVID-19 pandemic to limit free speech even further. Social distancing guidelines and crowd size may both be used to limit or refuse controversial speakers.

Students often feel pressure to conform to a college or university's wishes. If they don't, they could be expelled, fail a class or experience other retribution. The college holds all the cards. On most campuses, the burden of proof for guilt in student conduct hearings is "more likely than not," making it very difficult for students to stand up for their rights without legal help.

As an adjunct professor, every student who comes to me for help in finding purpose gets my full support and my active help — even if the students' goals run counter to mine. But I have learned something crucial in my time in this role: It's not the job of an educator to dictate a student's purpose in life. I'm meant to help them achieve their dreams, no matter what.

Conner Drigotas is the Director of Communications and Development at a national law firm and is a Young Voices contributor.