Kentucky has decided to take advantage of new Federal Medicaid rules and add a work requirement to those receiving Medicaid payments in order for them to be eligible for continued payments.  Recipients in the typical working age range of 19-64 must do 80 hours—two weeks—of what the State terms “community engagement.”  There are, of course, exceptions for those who cannot work.

As Kentucky’s governor Matt Bevin (R) noted in his tweet about his decision to approve the new rule,

There is dignity associated with earning the value of something that you receive. The vast majority of men and women, able-bodied men and women … they want the dignity associated with being able to earn and have engagement.

A Justice Misunderstands

The Supreme Court heard arguments the other day on an Ohio voter registration law.  That law removes voters from the roll if they haven’t voted over a two-year period and don’t respond to a follow-up notice from Ohio’s Secretary of State.

It’s a partisan case from the Left’s perspective: those opposing the law argue, with some justification, that those who live in urban regions (and who happen to vote Democratic) relocate more frequently than do those who live in the ‘burbs and out in the country (and who happen to vote Republican).  This would seem to put Democrats at a disadvantage in elections since they’re more likely to have not voted over a two-year period and not responded to the follow-up notice.

It’s a Start

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has been instructed by President Donald Trump to adjust its rules to allow the States to adjust their own rules to require work for Medicaid payments.

This is a very good start.  There are two remaining steps, though.  The funds transferred to the States in support of Medicaid need to be converted to block grants with no strings attached.  Each State knows its own medical support needs far better than does the Federal government.

Privacy Innovation

The FBI’s management says it supports strong encryption, but out of the other side of their mouth they claim that the FBI’s

inability to access data [is] “an urgent public safety issue” that requires “significant innovation.”

Here we go again.  Heads up for FBI Director making plain what he’s now only hinting at: he wants a backdoor into our encryption so Government can enter whenever it takes a notion to.

FBI Director Chris Wray is seeking to reboot the privacy-versus-security debate surrounding law enforcement’s inability to access data on electronic devices protected by powerful encryption.

The Price of Labor

…is also a cost to labor.  Minimum wage mandates took effect at the start of the year in 18 States and in 20 cities.  These mandates have drastically raised the cost to labor.

Late Monday, casual dining chain Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) announced that it would eliminate bus boys at 570 restaurant locations, a move that is expected to save the company an estimated $8 million over the course of the coming year. The company’s chief financial officer said the decision was made in order to “address the labor increases we’ve seen.”

Congressional Districts and Gerrymandering

North Carolina’s Congressional districts are illegally drawn, says a special three-judge court.

A special three-judge court invalidated the North Carolina map after finding Republicans adopted it for the driving purpose of magnifying the party’s political power beyond its share of the electorate.

I’ll leave aside the disparate impact sewage that local districts must reflect the larger State’s electorate “demographics.”  The larger problem is with the underlying premise of gerrymandering: that some groups of Americans need their political power enhanced relative to other groups of Americans because some groups are, in some sense, fewer in numbers than other groups.

Northern Korea and Talks

Jonathan Cheng had a piece in the Wall Street Journal that talked about differences in policy held by RoK President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump, especially concerning northern Korea.  He seemed surprised that friends or allies could disagree with each other rather than one simply being a satrap of the other.

Withal, though, I want to comment on one remark he had at the end of his piece.

[Moon suggested that] the end goal of international pressure and sanctions is to “find a way for North Korea to live together in peace with the international community”—a comment that appears at odds with the US goal of denuclearization.

A Federal Judge Has Overstepped

DACA was implemented by Department of Homeland Security memorandum—not even through Rule Making—and it can be removed by the same process or by Executive Order.  There is no legislation being ignored or abused here; this is purely and solely an internal Executive Branch affair.  Alsup is nakedly insinuating himself in what is only—can only be—a political matter and not a judicial one in a blatant violation of Constitutional separation of powers.

Even ex-Progressive-Democratic President Barack Obama (D) confessed he had no Constitutional authority to order the things DACA orders—before he had his DHS Secretary issue her memorandum.

A Presidential Library

Ex-President Barack Obama (D) plans to build a Presidential library in Chicago, and he’s looking at a non-standard concept for his library.  The folks on the Left don’t like it, as exemplified by the Chicago Tribune‘s Ron Grossman.

It seems the proposed library has a test kitchen in it, in which FLOTUS’ views of proper nutrition can be explored.  There’s also supposedly room for a yoga center; although, that’s not defined in the architectural plans.  The horror.  How unpresidential.  How unlibraryish.  Grossman bleated

President Obama, is that how you want to be remembered? As the healthy-eating and meditation-advocating president?

Tax, Tax, Tax

That’s the position of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.  With Great Britain going out from the European Union, Juncker says the remaining nations will have to pony up yet more money “if we are to pursue European policies and fund them adequately[.]”

Currently, the EU budget is capped at 1% of the total of the EU members’ aggregated GDP.  However, it’s not enough, though, that the remaining nations will have to fill the large-ish gap created by the British departure.  Juncker wants yet more.

Yet, even that “have to fill” bit remains unjustified in any concrete terms.