1. Michele Bachmann announces she will not run for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ms. Bachmann, leader of the congressional Tea Party Caucus, says it has nothing to do with the fact polls are showing she is very likely to lose the next election. (She barely eked out a victory last November and is currently under investigation by a variety of federal and state organizations including the FBI, the Office of Congressional Ethics, the Federal Elections Commission and a second ethics panel in Iowa for a variety of alleged misdeeds, none of which is likely to help her if she were to choose another re-election bid.)
One political writer quoted some of her more bizarre proclamations and ideas and ended by saying she has become "a caricature of herself. Bachman will be missed, but mostly by the nation's comedy writers."
Well, I've never thought of myself as particularly funny, but I know I'll miss her.2. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) puts the brakes on any new legislation until she gets approval for the expansion of Medicaid for her state.
Uber-conservative Republican Governor Jan Brewer recently promised to veto any bill coming from Arizona's state legislature until that body votes to expand Medicaid. The legislature, which has Republican majorities in both chambers, apparently thought she was bluffing and passed five unrelated bills, sending them to her to sign last week. Ms. Brewer made her threat real and vetoed all five.
Gov. Brewer has been an outspoken opponent of President Obama's ACA from the very beginning; but, apparently even she could not ignore the fact that without the Medicaid expansion, many of her state's poor would still be left out even after the ACA becomes fully active next year...not a good position to be in when seeking re-election.
The federal government will fund the expansion 100% for the first years, gradually reducing its commitment to around 90%, which would seem to make it a no-brainer; but there are still lots of red state hold-outs.
I would have expected Ms. Brewer to be solidly in the hold-out camp and I'm not alone. Her stance has taken quite a few by surprise. It will be interesting to watch what happens in Arizona as a conservative Republican governor faces off with her fellow Republicans over her support of a Democratic sponsored health care program.