Wannabe President Tommy's record: Medicaid

I'm no expert on this, and I don't pretend that this report is complete, but it's what I know and what I think others may not, but might want to, know. And it ain't pretty.

As governor of Wisconsin, Tommy Thompson's approach to Medicaid -- health services for the poor -- was at best corrupt and at worst destructive.

Thompson tried to eliminate the personal care option for disabled residents, but was forced to back off when the TV cameras picked up the Capitol rotunda filled with angry people in wheel chairs.

Thompson's administration audited and demanded millions in repayment of Medicaid funds from personal care providers based on "violations" of a provider manual that didn’t exist – often the "violations" occurred because providers followed the specific instructions of consultants the administration had hired to train them. When called to answer for these actions before a Senate committee, the administration claimed it had collected millions in fraudulent Medicaid payments and sent dozens of home health providers to jail. I immediately checked with the state's Department of Justice and found that both claims were outright lies. In fact, no licensed home health care provider had ever been convicted of Medicaid fraud in Wisconsin.

Georgia on the New York Times' Mind Too

Today's New York Times carries an editorial on the continuing scandals involving pressure to investigate trumped-up charges against Democrats throughout the country, and its relationship to the federal prosecutor findings. It uses Georgia Thompson as the prime example. The issue being raised here and elsewhere is - If some prosecutors were fired for not pursuing enough cases that benefited the Republicans - what did the others do to keep their jobs? 

As Congress investigates the politicization of the United States
attorney offices by the Bush administration, it should review the
extraordinary events the other day in a federal courtroom in Wisconsin.
The case involved Georgia Thompson, a state employee sent to prison on
the flimsiest of corruption charges just as her boss, a Democrat, was
fighting off a Republican challenger. It just might shed some light on
a question that lurks behind the firing of eight top federal
prosecutors: what did the surviving attorneys do to escape the axe?

State GOP Pushed Vote Fraud Issue

Hate anyone to miss Daniel Bice's piece at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Brew City Brawler covered_it, but buried it under the Georgia problem)

The mystery is solved.

For weeks, it was unclear who whined to the White House last year that not enough voter fraud cases were being prosecuted in Milwaukee.

Now we know.

The state Republican Party went straight to the top in its efforts to make voter fraud an issue in Wisconsin.

Sources tell No Quarter that Rick Wiley, then the executive director of the state GOP, directed a staffer in 2005 to prepare a 30-page report on election abuses in Wisconsin so Wiley could pass it along to a top White House official.

That document, entitled "Fraud in Wisconsin 2004: A Timeline/Summary," turned up last week in the horde of White House and U.S. Justice Department records released by the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

"The report was prepared for Karl Rove," said a source with knowledge of the situation. "Rick wanted it so he could give it to Karl Rove."

Yeah, that Karl Rove, President Bush's political mastermind and his deputy chief of staff.

The same guy who was knee-deep in helping decide which U.S. attorneys to keep or to boot.

Rest at JS

Filtered news 4/7

Jeers to misnamed holidays 2007 years ago today, a bunch of Roman thugs nailed a guy (who talked too much about love) to a cross while a filthy rabble with six teeth among them and a combined IQ of 12 watched the poor sap bleed to death.  Good Friday my ass.

"Hillary Clinton is running for president. She set a fundraising record---she's already raised 26 million dollars. That's a lot of money. To put that in perspective, that is more money than President Bush lost in all the years he was a businessman." --Jimmy Kimmel

President Tommy? GOP says "yawn".....

WhenTommy Thompson ran for president back in 1996, I wrote an op-ed piece for the Wisconsin State Journal detailing why he could never be elected president. At the GOP convention in San Diego, he was referred to by the Republican delegates as "Governor Whiner" and his spotlight never shone beyond the borders of his own skull. Now, he's back and running again.
In later posts, I'll recount why Thompson cannot be elected president and why his record is one of someone who shouldn't be trusted to clean your garage, much less run the country. In this post, I'll examine a factor even more fatal to his overblown hopes: The collective yawn from conservative opinion leaders and faithful.

Will Sprawl Follow In the Wake Of This Lake Michigan Water Diversion Request?

Last year, the City of New Berlin sought permission to divert water out of the Lake Michigan basin, and other Great Lakes states said the application was incomplete and inaccurate. 

Michigan flatly said "no."

So the application has been redone. Read here and decide if you think the result will be more sprawl development, and the movement of capital and jobs away from Milwaukee, where the outflow of resources to New Berlin and other Waukesha County communities has already distorted the regional economy.


Earth Day 2007 Too Quiet In Wisconsin

Earth Day 2007 Approaches: When It Comes To Great Lakes Water, Wisconsin Will Celebrate With Inertia

Media love round-number anniversary dates - - the tenth anniversary of this, the 25th of that, and so on.

So here's a number that's worth considering, but since it's not perfect, maybe I'll construct a little on-line daily reminder box as a better marker.

Earth Day 2007, which is April 22nd (a little history about Earth Day and its founder, the late Sen. Gaylord Nelson here), is almost the 500th day exactly (actually day #495 by my count), since the eight Great Lakes state governors and two Great Lakes Canadian provincial premiers signed the amended Great Lakes Compact.

Eavesdropping on Friday's Journal Sentinel editors meeting

"OK, so it looks like we're not going to win any prizes for starting the Georgia Thompson railroad. Turns out she's innocent. It did make the election more interesting though. Thought we had brought down Doyle for awhile. Damn!"

"Whose life can we ruin today, chief?"

"Don't call me chief."

OK, George."

"How about this UWM official?"

"The provost says she's done nothing wrong,that there's no personal gain, and no one got no special favor or benefit."

"When has that ever stopped us? Make it the top story on page one."

Georgia (Thompson) on my mind

Thoughts about the 7th US Circuit of Appeals' stunning reversal of the Georgia Thompson case:

This was a total, humiliating embarrassment for Milwaukee-based US Attorney Steven Biskupic. The poor assistant US attorney who was tasked with appearing to argue the government's case, Greg Haanstad, (where was Biskupic?) was like a lamb led to slaughter. The three-judge panel eviscerated the government's case against Thompson.

The fact that the was issued within hours after oral arguments is almost unheard of. It's like a jury returning a verdict in 5 minutes. Almost no deliberation was needed.

The order set Thompson free immediately. She has served four months in a federal prison, because the Republican-appointed prosecutor and Republican-appointed federal judge would not agree to let her remain free while the case was appealed. Too great a threat to society, apparently (unlike Scott Jensen, who's still at large after three felony convictions.)

Some highlights follow below, but you can listen to the oral arguments yourself. Start at just before the midpoint to hear Haanstad being roasted.


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