Thursday, February 4, 2016

CONYERS, Dingell, Kildee and Lawrence Urge Fixes to Visa Waiver Program


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, four Democratic members of the Michigan Congressional Delegation, U.S. Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Daniel T. Kildee (MI-5), and Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) cosigned a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson urging the Administration to establish waivers to protect dual nationals from discriminatory travel guidelines, and ensure that no American is treated differently due to their national origin or ancestry.

In the letter, the Members request that the Departments of State and Homeland Security implement their authority under Section 203 of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act to support American interests abroad; establish waivers to protect dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Sudan; and to ensure uninterrupted visa-free travel to VWP countries for American citizens who have visited Iran for family, academic, or tourist related purposes.

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representative
John Conuyers, Jr.
Reps. Conyers, Dingell, Kildee and Lawrence stated, “As Members of Congress we must balance the need to maintain our national security with our responsibility to safeguard the civil rights and liberties of the American people. The recently implemented Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act may cause dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria to be excluded from the Visa Waiver Program. These recent changes to the long-established Visa Waiver Program, which is based on reciprocity, could result in discriminatory impact on U.S. citizens.

“Equal treatment of all American citizens is a central tenet of our national principles, regardless of their birthplace. We will continue to work on legislation, such as the Equal Protection Act of 2016, with our Congressional colleagues on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to ensure that the rights of all Americans are protected, while strengthening the Visa Waiver Program.”

Additionally, Reps. Conyers, Dingell, Kildee and Lawrence are cosponsors of H.R. 4380, the Equal Protection Act of 2016, which was introduced on January 13, 2016 in response to discriminatory changes made in the VWP in December 2015.   If passed, the legislation would strike the dual national provisions to ensure that no one would be discriminated against on the basis of their nationality or ancestry.
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Is Michigan Speculating On Medicaid Marijuana For Agra-Pharm Industry?

Whenever I see amending of the Michigan False Claims Act, I seem to take a pause.

I remember well the last time the Act was reviewed by HHS because it was addressed to the previous attorney general and I called for correction.

This was done in 2011 and Michigan has yet to bring the Act into federal compliance.

Now, there is a Bill to build an exception being offered for one specific condition which sounds really fishy.

For the benefit of the doubt of being ethical and knowing how sneaky Michigan is, I did a cursory backgrounder.

Marijuana has been known to provide a wide array of health benefits so I would understand why the state would want to preemptively adopt the medicinal purposes into billing law, but why the State False Claims Act when it has yet to come into federal compliance?

This is the legislative analysis of the Health Care False Claims Bill and I have reservations:
The bill would amend the Health Care False Claim Act to include a payment from a drug manufacturer for a health care service associated with the use of a multiple sclerosis drug in an exception to a prohibition against kickbacks, bribes, and rebates for furnishing health care goods, services, and benefits.
Is this the agricultural-pharmaceutical industry's way of getting into the Medicaid billing game by qualifying medical marijuana through the back door of this Act?

Michigan is known for experimenting with socio-economic policy.

One would think the legislators would want to first bring the Act into federal compliance and include provisions for Medicaid fraud in child welfare, but what do I know?

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

CONYERS Addresses Diversity In Academy Awards

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
The below letter was sent earlier today to Ms. Boone Isaacs, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (“the Academy”) from U.S. Representatives Hank Johnson (D-GA) and John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) regarding racial and gender diversity of its membership.

"Your recently announced plan to increase diversity within the Academy should be seen as a first step toward a broader plan to increase diversity in Hollywood as a whole; however, we hope to ensure that this is not a false step.  The motion picture industry has long been a crucial ally in the fight for justice, telling the stories that help us to see one another in a different light.  We believe Hollywood should be on the leading edge of inclusion, and the Academy, by recognizing excellence from all viewpoints, can help achieve that goal." said Conyers,
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Congressional Hearing Of The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform On Flint Water Crisis, February 3, 2016

Congressional Hearing Of The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform On Flint Water Crisis, February 3, 2016.

The matter is currently being criminally and civilly investigated by the U.S. DOJ.

There will be future congressional hearings.


  
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Statement of the Honorable John Conyers, Jr. for the Markup of a Resolution Establishing the House Committee on the Judiciary Executive Overreach Task Force


    
Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
   “Debates about the proper scope of executive power and its relationship to legislative authority are as old as the Nation itself.

       “As the Committee charged with examining issues arising under our Constitution, it is important that we regularly discuss such fundamental matters about our Nation’s basic governing framework.

       “Today’s resolution, which would establish an ‘Executive Overreach Task Force’ for the next 6 months, is ostensibly the latest effort to fulfill this important obligation.

       “As we move forward with the creation of this Task Force, however, we must keep several matters in mind.

       “To begin with, it is my fervent hope that this Task Force not devolve into a partisan political witch hunt.

       “Sadly, I have seen too many examples of task forces, select committees, and other bodies that have been set up merely to become venues for roving political attacks.

       “During the Obama Administration, we have seen the use of a select committee to question the Administration’s conduct concerning the attacks on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  After nearly 2 years and $5.8 million taxpayer dollars spent, that committee has yet to find evidence contradicting the key findings of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board or prior congressional investigations finding no wrongdoing.

       “There also appears to be a vigorous effort to undermine women’s health and equality through the establishment of a select committee that seeks to de-legitimize the work of Planned Parenthood.

       “These efforts seem to many to be nothing more than political fishing expeditions designed not to get to the truth but to energize the Republican Party’s base voters in preparation for this year’s elections.

       “Given the importance of the question of whether Executive authority has become too concentrated and too open to abuse, I hope that this will not be the case with the so-called ‘Executive Overreach Task Force.’

       “Assuming for now that the Task Force represents a good faith effort to study executive power substantively, I would like to highlight several issues that I would recommend the Task Force consider.  These include:

●   Expansive and frequent assertions of the state secrets privilege, including efforts to potentially shield evidence of government wrongdoing;
●   The need to enact press shield legislation that would provide a qualified privilege that prevents a reporter’s source material from being revealed, with limited exceptions;
●   The need for enhanced and strengthened legal protections for whistleblowers, including for federal employees who report high-level governmental misconduct to Congress;
●   The need for legislation to strengthen Congress’s contempt power, including a clear and expeditious mechanism to enforce congressional subpoenas civilly against current and former Executive Branch officials;
●   The need for legislation to expand the Department of Justice Inspector General’s jurisdiction to allow investigation of misconduct by senior Department officials and United States Attorneys; and
●   The overuse of presidential signing statements to challenge legal provisions, not merely to explain the President’s legal interpretations.

       “These are among several areas that are ripe for finding common ground.

       “Indeed, our Committee has a long and distinguished history of task forces operating in a productive and non-partisan manner.

       “Task forces such as the Task Force on Over-criminalization and the Task Force on Antitrust and Competition Policy offer promising precedents for working cooperatively to consider important issues.  It is my hope that this latest effort will continue that tradition.”

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Rep. Lawrence to host press conference regarding the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing on Flint’s water crisis

press-banner
TODAY, February 3, 2016, 2 p.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) will host a press conference today following the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing regarding the Flint water crisis. She will be joined by Reps. Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; G.K. Butterfield, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; Dan Kildee, who represents the Flint community; and many more Members committed to ensuring a crisis of this magnitude never occurs again in America.

WHAT:
Press Conference re: OGR hearing on the Flint water crisis.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-07), Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform;
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus;
Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus;
Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus;
Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-05), Congressional Representative for Flint, Michigan;
Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Ranking Member of OGR Subcommittee on the Interior and host;
Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee

WHEN:TODAY, February 3rd, 2016 at 2 p.m.

WHERE:Capitol Visitor Center studios, HVC 114, House Studio A.


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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

CBC Message To America: Rep. Conyers Breaks Down The Root Cause Of Crime & Poverty

“Ultimately, the same amount of energy poured into reforming our criminal justice system must also be centered on expanding education, job creation and access to affordable healthcare"

  

Representative John Conyers (D-MI) delivered this week’s CBC Message To America addressing the deeply rooted issues of crime, persistent poverty in urban communities of color, and criminal justice reform.

Rep. Conyers, a Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, explained,

“The number of high poverty urban neighborhoods in the nation’s largest cities have tripled over the last 40 years.”

As a result, “Increased poverty has resulted in further segregation of neighborhoods and reduction of employment opportunities, access to affordable housing, and educational services.” 

Conyers continued, “Increased food and transportation services have all added yet another barrier for working class families to stay a float.”

“These conditions make our communities more vulnerable to crime, and the government’s knee-jerk response of over-incarceration has deprived our communities of the resources necessary to encourage economic development and crime prevention programs.”

“Disproportional sentencing laws have had a deep impact on high poverty,” Conyers said. “One in ten Black men in their thirties is incarcerated on any given day and more than 60 percent of our prisoners are racial and ethnic minorities.”

To combat these alarming trends, Rep. Conyers introduced the Law Enforcement Integrity Act to make police officers more accountable.

Conyers also highlighted the End Racial Profiling Act and the Sentencing Reform Act, which would narrow the scope of mandatory minimum prison sentences, and other pieces of legislation that could have a major impact in reversing the broken criminal justice system as well as curb mass incarceration.

Rep. Conyers told viewers he would continue to work even more to reverse the damage of persistent poverty in urban communities and mass incarceration, but the legislation he discussed in this week’s CBC Message to America would be a ”good start to bringing hope to families who’ve suffered from overly strict sentences.”

“Ultimately, the same amount of energy poured into reforming our criminal justice system must also be centered on expanding education, job creation, access to affordable healthcare, and housing and crime prevention programs,” said Conyers.

Rep. Conyers wrapped his remarks: “Proactive investment in our communities now is vital to a successful future.”

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Michigan Attorney General Can Strip Immunities At An Executive Whim

I find this to be an interesting turn of events.
The ethical conflict of interests of the Michigan Attorney General

For almost a decade I have intensely analyzed, isolated, and threw out to feed the politically voracious leaders who wish to address the rights of society.

I have torn apart the one small power yet to be questioned, which was over looked by the mightiest state attorney general in the nation, built by the one and only Frank Kelly.

How can the state attorney general contemporaneously "advocate and advise"?

See, in child welfare, it is the Michigan Attorney General who prosecutes cases of child abuse and neglect, and also termination of parental rights.

The Michigan Attorney General also represents the privatized contractual arms of child welfare.

A series of state laws rammed through the legislature, in essence, stripped immunities from these state contracts.

Prior to that, the Michigan Emergency Manager Law put in a cute little section, basically saying that the state can throw any emergency manager under the bus.

The executive Office of the State of Michigan has granted itself with the powers to grant immunities.

I even know of a situation where a city has granted itself immunities, or rather, a very unique interpretation of the transfer of immunities, found somewhere in the Type III Transfers under state executive orders.

I could go through and insert lots of hyperlinks to support my position in previous posts, but I just realized that I wrote a book on this.

In essence, the attorney general can pick and choose who it represents, devoid of any ethical standard.

If they will do it to kids, they will do it to their own employees.

UPDATE: TOLD YA SO

DEQ workers will get state-funded lawyers in Flint case

It seems Mr. Schuette had a change of heart once the feds stepped in.

State might not defend DEQ workers in Flint water suit

Attorney general says his office can defend only Snyder, state

A new legal migraine could be kicking in for seven Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees who are being sued over the Flint water crisis.

According to a federal court filing, State Attorney General Bill Schuette said his office "likely" can’t defend the DEQ workers and that they need to find their own lawyers to represent them in a pending lawsuit filed by Flint residents. Schuette has asked a federal judge to decide the issue of whether his office has to defend the DEQ employees -- which is typically done when a state agency or its employees get sued --  or if they should get their own attorneys.

"We’re not just opening the door and sending them out into the world with no assistance," Schuette spokeswoman ... said of the DEQ employees. "We’re going to work with the governor’s office to make sure these folks have lawyers."

DEQ officials declined comment citing pending litigation, but said it is reviewing Schuette's recommendation that the DEQ employees get their own attorneys.

In a move that could suggest friction is building between various state agencies over the Flint fiasco, Schuette has said that his office can defend the governor and state, but not the DEQ employees, because their interests could be at odds as defendants in the case.

“As the issues surrounding the situation in Flint have unfolded, particularly in the last week, it has become apparent that there is a potential conflict of interest between the Governor and State of Michigan on the one hand, and the individual MDEQ employees on the other,” Schuette wrote in a late Friday filing in the court case. “Given this conflict, counsel have determined it is likely they cannot effectively represent both sets of clients.”

Schuette, consequently, asked the court for an additional 30 days to respond to the allegations in the lawsuit, saying he needs more time to go over the case, and the DEQ defendants need more time to find a new lawyer.

The lawsuit centers on allegations by Flint residents that the city and state endangered their health by exposing them to dangerous lead levels in their tap water after switching their supply last year in a move to save money.

Specifically, the lawsuit revolves around Flint’s decision in 2014 to switch to water from the Flint River instead of Detroit's water system, after Gov. Rick Snyder had placed the city under an emergency financial manager.

The switch, the lawsuit claims, has triggered a host of health issues,including dry skin, lesions and respiratory disorders. And even though Snyder decided in October to switch Flint back to Detroit’s water system, the lawsuit says the move is too late and that too many people have already been harmed.

The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 10 plaintiffs, but seeks class-action status on behalf of all Flint residents. The plaintiffs want compensatory and punitive damages, a medical monitoring fund to be created, and the appointment of a monitor to oversee Flint's water.

The defendants are Snyder, the state of Michigan, seven DEQ employees, the city of Flint, two former emergency managers of Flint, the former Flint mayor and three city employees.

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Marie Cohen Is A Classic Example Of A Chattel Hustler

I came across this particular piece, under child welfare, of by this former child welfare worker,

Marie K. Cohen
— Marie K. Cohen
This is the comment I left because I am quite sure she will not approve my comment:
This has to be one of the most convoluted, contrite proposals I have seen in a long time. I would prefer applying the term "ass-backwards" but that would be redundant, considering the fact that this comes from the mouth of a former child welfare worker who is poorly attempting to find her way back into the industry with a made up authority.
Seriously, you wish to promote legislation to pay someone else a substantial living wage to raise kids whose original parents have had their kids removed for living in poverty, and suffering the ills of such.
In short, this is nothing but a roadmap to selling chattle. 
The reason the Families First Act disregards foster care shortage is because it is designed to help families, you know, not use foster care because it does not work and is too expensive.

This is why the act is focused on home based, community based services, not, institutional.

It is a bill to keep families together.

This is the mentality which keeps poverty codified as a crime.

I guess she did not read my congressional testimony on this.

This woman is nothing more than a chattel hustler.

Families First Act Disregards Foster Care Shortage, Need for Some Group Homes

Congress appears to be on the right track with child welfare reform, as evidenced by a summary of the new Families First Act, which may soon be marked up by the Senate Finance Committee. The centerpiece of the legislation is the expansion of Title IV-E to provide preventive services to assist children in danger of being placed in foster care.
With the passage of this legislation, federal funding will support keeping children at home as much as it does foster care. It is a change that almost everyone seems to support.
The other major part of the legislation, however, is not without controversy. That is the part that seeks to eliminate most federal support for foster care group homes.
The legislation eliminates funding for placements that are not foster family homes after two weeks, with three exceptions: Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP’s), facilities for pregnant and parenting teens, and independent living arrangements.
The definition of QRTP has not been released, but it appears that Congress has in mind the types of arrangements that are currently known as residential treatment programs, which are large institutions where clients attend school and receive mental health treatment.
I have several concerns with this provision.
First, the bill fails to recognize the need for a continuum of care depending on the child’s needs. Such a continuum should include family foster care, therapeutic foster care, therapeutic community group homes and residential treatment centers. A child who leaves residential treatment is not necessarily ready for a foster family, and a child who can’t function in a family may not need a residential treatment program. What’s missing from the options provided by the new bill are therapeutic group homes, such as those operated by Boys Town, using the evidence-based Teaching Family model.
Secondly, the bill contains no provisions to increase the supply of high-quality foster care to meet the needs of all the children who will need to be accommodated when group homes close down. Today, there is a critical foster care shortage around the country, with children staying in offices, hotels and emergency shelters because foster homes are not available to them.
To make matters worse, many existing foster homes provide care that is neglectful or even abusive. As a former social worker with District of Columbia foster children, I have writtenabout neglectful foster parents. There was the foster parent who hadn’t been to her foster child’s school in more than a year, and refused to pick her up even when she was vomiting. There was the foster parent who refused to go to a meeting at her foster child’s school, saying, “If I cared I would go, but I don’t care.”
I asked my agency to close these homes, but the request was not granted. With the shortage of foster homes, agencies are reluctant to close homes that are anything short of abusive. And even in the case of abusive homes, we have all heard the stories of children who have been killed or injured in foster care.
Sometimes, as in the case of two-year-old Laila Marie Daniel in Georgia, it turns out that agency staff disregarded multiple reports of trouble in the home. I’m sure that the critical shortage of foster parents is part of the explanation.
Abusive and neglectful foster homes need to be closed, but they must be replaced and added to with a new source of high quality foster homes. How can this be done? The only way is to pay foster parents enough so that one foster parent in each home can stay home with the children, thus attracting a completely new source of foster parents.
In an earlier column, I wrote about the SOS Children’s Villages in Illinois and Florida. They not only pay foster parents a salary but provide houses large enough for six children. The provision of housing is particularly important in order to attract foster parents to cities with high housing costs, where many foster kids live.
Paying foster parents a full-time salary is an expensive proposition. But this expense can be offset by recruiting foster couples (either married couples or two single people living together as house parents) to care for five or six children. By locating them in communities like those provided by SOS Children’s Villages or the Mockingbird Society, foster parents can be empowered to help each other, and services to the children can be provided on site.
It would be irresponsible for Congress to pass the Families First Act without provisions for a therapeutic option between foster homes and residential treatment and for increasing the supply of quality foster care. The Senate Finance Committee should modify its bill by adding a provision for short-term therapeutic group homes and by providing new funding and incentives to encourage states to improve the quantity and quality of their foster homes.

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Privatization Of Human Capital

Privatization of human capital is evolving in national policymaking.

This is an initiative out of Wisconson to privatize public water utilities through a scheme to allow out of state contractors to come in and circumvent state level regulation.

Since there is a push to deregulate the EPA and its water oversight, more than likely their budgets are going to be cut again, making any type of enforcement a far fetched pipedream.

Wisconsin did it incrementally.

Michigan went along the route of the emergency manager.

Unfortunately, the Flint water fiasco kinda threw a monkey wrench into the water privatization scheme, but let's watch to see what this new state task force and congressional hearings turn up.

Bills Would Make It Easier to Privatize Public Water Utilities

Two bills are moving through the legislature that would make it harder for Wisconsin residents to have a say about whether their publicly owned drinking water supplies should be controlled by private corporations.

The measures, Assembly Bill 554 and Senate Bill 432, change the process for selling or leasing municipal water and sewer utilities. AB554 has been approved by the Assembly and sent to the Senate, and SB432 has received a committee hearing. The Republican-controlled legislature, which hopes to wrap up its work for the current session by March, seems likely to act on at least one of the bills before it adjourns.

Under current law, a municipality that wants to sell or lease its water utility must pass an ordinance that authorizes the sale, and then get the proposal approved by state Public Service Commission (PSC), which also sets the terms and price of the sale. The final proposal with terms and sale must then be approved by local voters in a referendum.

Under AB554, adoption of an ordinance for the sale would still be required, but a referendum would only be held if a petition with signatures equal to at least 10 percent of the votes cast in the municipality in the last governor’s election is submitted within 60 days of the ordinance’s adoption. If there is no referendum, or the referendum is approved, the PSC would then be required to give final approval and set the terms and price of the sale.

Among the bills’ backers are the construction industry; AquaAmerica, a private water and wastewater treatment utility that serves three million people in eight states; and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, which represents nearly 600 of the state’s cities and villages.

The bills are opposed by numerous environmental groups, like the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, a handful of municipal utility groups, and AFSCME.

The League of Conservation Voters and AFSCME contributed about $95,000 between January 2010 and June 2015 mostly to Democratic candidates for statewide office and the legislature.

Construction interests, which support the bills, contributed nearly $8.1 million between January 2010 and June 2015 mostly to Republican candidates for statewide office and the legislature.

AquaAmerica employees did not make campaign contributions, but the company spent $36,500 on lobbying in 2015 when the bills were being developed.

The eight sponsors of the bills received just over $53,000 in construction industry contributions between January 2010 and June 2015. The sponsors and their construction industry contributions were:

Republican Sen. Frank Lasee, of De Pere, $17,957
Republican Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, of New Berlin, $8,758
Republican Rep. Joel Kleefisch, of Oconomowoc, $8,075
Republican Rep. Dave Murphy, of Greenville, $5,112
Republican Rep. Dan Knodl, of Germantown, $4,610
Republican Re. Tyler August, of Lake Geneva, $3,685
Republican Rep. Ken Skowronski, of Franklin, $3,675
Democratic Rep. Josh Zepnick, of Milwaukee, $1,299

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Michigan Medicaid Expansion Request For Flint Times Perfectly With Financial Markets

With Q2 earnings reports looking pretty darn good, it seems like this is the best time of any to start
watching financial trends in the world of Medicaid revenue maximization schemes.

When I mention financial trends, I do not strictly focus on private investment strategies, I look at tax write off to its own philanthropic foundations which, in turn, turn to the government sector to "leverage its investments", oops, I mean charitable contributions, with a return of garnering a cheap labor force and customer loyalty, to improve the lives of the less fortunate.

I then look at the government sector, and this area is what I call social programming.

Michigan just so happens to have graciously demonstrated itself as a living, breathing, real time model to observe the psyche of its fiscally conservative administration, as always, of course.

Here we have the Flint water crisis center stage with Detroit awaiting in the wings in dealing with the future well-being of its children.

These are two major municipalities, high density population, historically economically disadvantaged, which have been administratively abused and neglected under the foster care of an artificially created czar called an emergency manager, via a bill of attainder.

Children were harmed with the switching to a lesser quality water source, only for parents and people of affinity to be blatantly dismissed through obfuscatory policy making, like the 'boil water advisories' or the infamous 'two babies in a bath full of lead water' public health awareness poster.

The question now presents itself as to why such indolence to the concerns, validated by independent authorities, of the citizens of Flint, and I am also going to include Detroit as the problems with lead poisoning in Detroit far exceed Flint's man made disaster, were blatantly dismissed.

Going out on a limb, knowing just a little bit more than the average bear on Medicaid fraud in child welfare, I am going to have to take the bull by the horns and say it probably had something to do with a revenue maximization scheme to tap into the great big giant coffers of the Social Security Trust Fund.

I have alleged, and not one person has yet to assuage for me to think otherwise, that Michigan was executing its next phase of selling chattel, more intuitively known as launching the next wave of religious based, non profit, tax exempt (redundant, I know, but I am only emphasizing a point) social welfare programs fully cost reimbursed through the Medicaid Expansion.

Now, I know there are the naysayers who will call me out as, hmmm, how would you say....a disgruntled client by proxy, but when Maura Corrigan presented testimony to the U.S. Senate Ways and Means Committee on behalf of the American Enterprise Institute, laying out the red carpet for the latest and greatest social programming to "rehabilitate the poors" through Medicaid just a few months before Flint water crisis began to unfold, I would have to say that those naysayers need to sit down and let the DOJ take over.

Social investment is an emerging market as it is expanding its realms of unregulation as this is all far outside the purview of the SEC and IRS because they are non profits and deal with the privacy protections of child welfare.

This following article is from a commercial industry consulting firm of which sells child welfare Medicaid industry reports.

New Analysis Finds More Than Half Of Foster Children Enrolled In Medicaid Managed Care

Over half of foster children are now enrolled in some Medicaid managed care plan. And, that answer varies significantly by state – from 0% to 100%.

Why the variation? Medicaid eligibility criteria for children in foster care are as variable as Medicaid plans. States fall in three general categories with regard to these eligibility criteria:

Mandatory enrollment in FFS: The state requires all foster care children regardless of the circumstances to receive Medicaid services through the FFS delivery system. Historically, most foster care children were served in the FFS delivery due to a high rate of complex health issues, multiple touch points within the social service system, and a high amount of transiency.

Optional enrollment in Medicaid managed care plans: The state allows the foster care child to enroll in either the FFS or managed care delivery system. It is up to the child’s team – caseworkers, guardian ad litem, foster care family, etc. – to determine the delivery system that they think best fits the needs of the child.

Mandatory enrollment in Medicaid managed care plans: The state requires all foster care children, regardless of the circumstances to receive Medicaid services through the state’s managed care delivery system. This model has gained popularity as more states have moved towards the managed care delivery system and enrolled more and more complex populations in this model.

Q3 should be quite interesting, too!

Stay tuned as Detroit may be next in the Medicaid expansion request.

This is Michigan's latest bottom-up model for the last hold States to begin to roll out Medicaid expansion programs in child welfare.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

CONYERS and Jackson Lee Praise President Obama’s Actions on Solitary Confinement

              
WASHINGTON - Yesterday, President Obama announced that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Department of Justice, in response to the President’s directive in July, has issued a report concerning the use of solitary confinement in America.  The report includes recommended strategies for prisons at the federal, state, and local levels to pursue, safely reduce solitary confinement, and details changes that the federal Bureau of Prisons will undertake. The President also stated that he will adopt the recommendations in the report, and will direct all related federal agencies to review the findings and develop a plan to address their use of solitary confinement.

In response to the announcement, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) released the following statements:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
Congressman John Conyers, Jr.:  “I applaud the release of the report on solitary confinement by the President, and I am grateful for the thorough work of Attorney General Loretta Lynch in preparing the report and its recommendations.  Prisons have long over-relied on solitary confinement, which is often inhumane, ineffective, and financially wasteful.  As the report makes clear, we can reduce the use of solitary confinement while maintaining effective prison administration and not jeopardizing safety.   I hope states will adopt the changes that the President has directed to take place at the federal level, and I am particularly heartened that federal prisons will no longer place juveniles in solitary confinement, a practice that is harmful and inappropriate.  These changes are an important part of reforming our criminal justice system, I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress to pass measures that will make the system both more effective and fair.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee: “The President’s action is a major and crucial step that will save lives of young juveniles. Solitary confinement is inhumane and can be especially destructive to children locked up in an already harsh system. Juveniles should be in a system that is rehabilitative, not life ending."

“That is why Ranking Member Conyers and I introduced a package of youth incarceration reform bills, including Kalief’s Law (H.R. 3155), a measure named in honor of a young man who tragically took his own life after spending two years in solitary at Riker’s Island without ever receiving a trial. Among other things, this bill would help avoid the loss of more young lives by banning solitary confinement for those 21 and under. "

“The President’s action is important and comes on the heels of the Supreme Court’s much needed action to grant relief to juveniles serving sentences of life without parole. But it is even more important that Congress codify both of these just and humane steps for all young people, not just juveniles. Our children deserve nothing less. I am committed to making this a reality through our bipartisan criminal justice reform initiative, a key component of which will be comprehensive young justice reform legislation.”

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Michigan Adopts Three Fifths Legal Representation Of Parental Righrs

This case, as I determine as of this moment, is going to be historically pivotal in the direction of legal
Individual vs.States in economic rights
standings and policies of this nation towards the procurement of human capital, or in this specific incidence, the medical dependency of youth.

What we have here is a dramatic shift in the interpretation of child welfare law.

A judge, through a dependency court, has essentially emboldened the state with the powers of shared parental rights.

Even though the individual "sharing" parental rights with the state is a non-biological entity, the powers are split, without delineation percentage or weighted parental oversight in decision making.

What is most compelling of an interest is that there is distinct movement to expand, or, why do I not put this in a much more graphic term, how about, "bring back from the dead the raw power of Dred Scott standing, mixed with a heavy seasoning of the 'three-fifths' consideration of having constitutional rights".

Which party will possess the three-fifths of parental authority to have constitutional legal standing?

It began with the stripping of voting rights, and now comes the parceling of parental rights.

In this particular case, the Guardian Ad Litum has an unspecified percentage, and the step-father has a percentage.

To be fair, I have not read the ruling and cannot comment if this issue of which portion of the shared rights trump has been addressed.

Now, as this is a Michigan case, there is a possibility, but I am pretty sure I am spot on, the state is about to awaken, with the final ritual of policy making, the sleeping authoritative monster called the Michigan Children's Institute.

Through the history of this institutions, its powers have expanded and contracted along side of socio-economic shifts.

Through the lens of privatization I can see the next pattern emerge in social programming, with cost reimbursements through Medicaid in dealing with an older youth population.

This has nothing to do with one's ancestry.  This has to do with maximizing billable opportunities.

Here is how it started.  Let's sit back and keep an eye on this case.

Teen taken by CPS reunited with family after nearly three months in Children's Village


PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) - After spending 80 days away from her family at Oakland County Children's Village, the state is allowing a teenager to finally go home.

7 Action News cameras were there as 17-year-old Leiani McMichael exited the Oakland County Courthouse a happy teen, ready to go home.
Edwin Santana, her step-father, is happy to finally have her back.

"She's like, she's like my own daughter," Santana said. "She's been with me since she was 6 1/2."
Santana will have limitations when it comes to Leiani. Under an agreement with the state, Santana will share guardianship with a state appointed attorney. The attorney will have exclusive medical decisions over Leiani.

Child Protective Services took Leiani to live in Children's village in early November after accusing her mom of failing to give Leiani proper medical care.

Leiani's doctors contacted CPS concerned her mother, Rebecca Campos, was causing the teen to suffer from Conversion Disorder.

“Up until February 2015, Leiani was completely healthy, an amazing, thriving child,” said Rebecca.
Then, she started complaining that her stomach hurt. Doctors then diagnosed her with hernias, cysts, and removed her appendix. When she couldn’t keep food down, they gave her a feeding tube.

“Nobody could answer. Nobody knew why it got so extreme that a feeding tube had to be in place,” said Rebecca.

Then there was a problem with the feeding tube as Leiani visited her father who lives in California. Leiani needed surgery.

"After surgery Leiani didn’t wake up. She went into a coma,” said Rebecca.

She remained unconscious for days. When she did finally wake up, mom says Leiani was weak,
needed a wheelchair, had memory problems and started having seizures.

She took her to doctor after doctor searching for answers. Then, one doctor at the University of Michigan diagnosed her with conversion disorder. The doctor said Leiani didn’t need a feeding tube or a wheelchair. The problem was in her head.

"My wife was the one being accused of taking her to too many doctors appointments I guess, or not enough doctors appointments, it just snowballed," said Santana.

The family believes the state went too far and their attorney agrees.

As part of today's agreement, Leiani's mother and her younger sister must move out of their home, into an extended stay hotel.

"I don't like it but, it is what it is. As long as my girls are safe and they get to be reunited again and take the proper steps to bring them both together, my wife and I as a family then that's all that matters," said Santana.

The court has ordered a therapist help reintegrate the family that will now be split a second time by the state. 


 
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