Tuesday Twitter roundup

If this isn't in your top ten most important issues, you're part of the problem:

I don't usually play that "you're part of the problem" card, but there simply is no region/area where affordable housing isn't becoming a crisis. We all need to work on this.

And once again, I find myself astounded that WUNC continues to give Marc Rotterman air time on its network. This "no big deal" comment above is actually mild compared to some of the right-wing trash he pushes on Twitter. Case in point:

The Deep State doesn't even exist as an entity, much less one that could engage in "shenanigans." The damn bar hasn't just been lowered, it's on the ground.

I agree to a certain extent, but there are just way too many voters out there who don't care about this stuff. Some even admire him for taking advantage of the situation.

Okay, this is a really long and in-depth article that you should read, just to see how heinous the privatization of mental health care management has become. But here's a few notables:

Cardinal, Topping and Drake have for years viewed the agency as an independent contractor as part of state Medicaid reform, gaining financial and business flexibility from the legislature beyond those of the other behavioral-health MCOs as part of a behavioral-health management experiment.

That included being allowed to build up its fund balance from what was supposed to be prudent cost-cutting not harmful to Medicaid recipient services.

However, Cardinal is considered a political subdivision of the state, with oversight contracts subject to approval by the health secretary and executive compensation subject to N.C. Office of State Human Resources guidelines.

Why the dispute is important is that Topping, Drake and the former board used the independent contractor viewpoint to not only justify Topping’s salary of $635,000 a year, but also to sue the state in October for the right to keep paying it even though it was nearly 3½ times what state law permits for an MCO.

Topping was formally removed as CEO on Nov. 27 by N.C. Secretary of Health Mandy Cohen as part of the state’s takeover of Cardinal, the state’s largest behavioral-health managed-care organization, or MCO, in North Carolina. Cohen also disbanded the board of directors at the time.

That's the difference between a good Governor (Cooper) and a bad one (McCrory). There's no way Aldona Wos would have interrupted that gravy train, and she'd probably have thrown more money at him.

This is getting really sad, not to mention weird. I'm about 97% sure this Twitter account is actually Peter Boykin, patently unstable gay Trump supporter who is also running for the Legislature. And it's not the first alter-ego or sock puppet account he's set up, either.

This is kinda confusing without the parent Tweet:

Ohhh, right right. But for some reason, it's not as funny as it was before the clarification...

Which might also explain why Republicans don't want to do it. Because on a level playing field, their progeny might just fall over.

Just a couple of takeaways from this: California is (by far) the most populous state, at around 40 million people. That $1.3 billion is only 5% of its Medicaid tab, meaning the Federal government is covering the almost $25 billion balance. And some of that tax money probably comes from NC, making the GOP's refusal to expand Medicaid here even more stupid. You will be seeing more about this from Civitas et al in the coming months, because they know it's going to be a big issue in these mid-term elections. A lot of the GOP's base is in that donut hole and would have been covered had we expanded Medicaid here, and those families are (finally) starting to realize it.

Man, this thing stinks from the top all the way down:

As part of Putin's "active measures," Hall says, Russia has attempted to influence right-wing and populist factions abroad, preaching unity around social conservatism: "'We're both religious-based countries – we have the Orthodox Church that's a big deal for us.' " The Russians, Hall believes, "made a natural transition in the United States to the NRA"; over time Putin became determined to exploit the American gun lobby "and decided Mr. Torshin is going to be the guy to do it for him."

Torshin and Keene forged a quick friendship. "Just a brief note to let you know just how much I enjoyed meeting in Pittsburgh during the NRA annual meeting," Keene wrote in a 2011 letter later obtained by anti-corruption activists in Russia. Extending a personal invitation to the following year's event, Keene added, "If there is anything any of us can do to help you in your endeavors . . . please don't hesitate to let us know."

Torshin's "endeavors" included a plan to back a gun-rights group in Moscow. "We will start organizing our own Russian NRA," Torshin soon tweeted. The NRA president seemed flattered, seeing Torshin as a powerful Russian eager to build a gun organization that mirrored his own, and even secured a Russian translation of the NRA charter.

The FBI is now investigating whether Torshin, the current deputy governor of the Russian central bank, illegally funneled cash to the NRA to support the election of Donald Trump, according to a report by McClatchy that has sparked a probe by the Federal Elections Commission. Moscow's NRA connections have also become a focus of House and Senate Russia investigators. In his House testimony, made public in January, Simpson pointed to "Russian banker-slash-Duma-member-slash-Mafia-leader" Torshin and his "suspicious" protégé, a young gun activist named Marina Butina. "It appears the Russians," Simpson said, "infiltrated the NRA."

On that jaw-dropping note, here's your Onion: