Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Great Comment Section

If you have an interest in murdered federal employees, child rapists, and invading aliens, then you might just be insane, but you will enjoy the comment thread here: The Mahablog » Is Dan Riehl a Serial Rapist?

Burner Duct-Taped

Flag Burner Pilloried by Veterans: "This is a red, white and blue village that is still seeing red after a flag that flew over Iraq was burned by a 21-year-old.

The payback? He was publicly humiliated last Sunday by being duct-taped to the flagpole of Veterans of Foreign War 1938 say he desecrated Sept. 18..."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

About Roman

Anglachel reminds us that Anglachel's Journal: Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13 year old child.

Telepathic DNA

The DNA Mystery: Scientists Stumped By "Telepathic" Abilities: "DNA has been found to have a bizarre ability to put itself together, even at a distance, when according to known science it shouldn't be able to. Explanation: None, at least not yet..."

Palin Still A Hot Ticket

Republican base still wild about Sarah Palin | U.S. | Reuters: "Despite a torrent of criticism from the media, Democrats and even some in her own party, Sarah Palin remains the hottest brand name in politics..."

After her "death panels" nonsense, I've cooled a bit on Palin, though still, in general, favor her-- if for no other reason than she is not male. We'll have to see what else emerges as a choice.

Murdering Poll

Secret Service Probing Facebook Poll on Obama | 44 | washingtonpost.com: "On Sunday, a blogger at The Political Carnival noticed a user-generated poll on Facebook that asked, 'Should Obama be killed?' The blogger wrote about the poll, then called the Secret Service to alert them to it..."

I don't recall something like that ever being for Duh Bush, but I may be wrong.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Good Voting News

Americans Following Politics News Unusually Closely | 44 | washingtonpost.com: "Thirty-six. That's the percentage of Americans who say they are following national political news 'very closely,' the highest off-year number since Gallup began asking the question in 2001.

Back in 2007 that number stood at 30 percent and in 2005 -- the last off-year election without a national presidential contest year in the offing -- just more than one in four Americans (28 percent) said they were following national political news closely..."

We can hope that this higher number will result in wiser choices at the polls, but I'm not holding my breath.

Recognizing Unfairness

Actor212 in "Fairness: Simply Left Behind: The Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: "Fairness. It never has to be justified. But unfairness does."

Note that. If something must be justified somehow, then is probably unfair. We all know the difference between right and wrong, and if you're screaming loudly about righteousness then you are probably in the wrong. (See Jesus if you don't believe me.)

Ebert And More On Mortgages

The following snippet comes from Roger Ebert re Michael Moore quoted in Cannonfire: "...Whether or not you agree with Michael Moore, he has one piece of invaluable advice in his new film, 'Capitalism: A Love Story.' If a bank forecloses on your home, ask them to prove their ownership by producing a copy of the mortgage.

In the film, Marcy Kaptur, the Congresswoman from Toledo, says, “Don't leave your house if they try to throw you out.” Why not? 'In many cases, they can't,' Moore explains, 'because it's already been cut up, chopped up and bundled and rebundled and a piece of this mortgage is sitting in China...'"

Being Mean To The Rich

From the "You Say That Like It's a Bad Thing" Department: Michael O. Leavitt, Al Hubbard and Keith Hennessey: Health ‘Reform’ Is Income Redistribution - WSJ.com

Ig-Nobel Awards

High entertainment for some, compelling science for others. I'm in the school of "There's No Such Thing As Wasted Research," and for my example I would offer the compelling saga of the Space Program and the gazillions of inventions spun off from its research-- like the gizmo you're using to read this post. Pointless research: top 10 Ig Nobel award winners for silly science - Telegraph

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Clinton Talks Right Wing

Bill Clinton: 'Vast right-wing conspiracy' as 'virulent' as ever - CNN.com: "The 'vast right-wing conspiracy' that attacked him during his presidency has been weakened, but continues to operate against President Obama, former President Clinton said Sunday..."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chickens Roosting Uptown

UPDATE 2-More tax cases vs wealthy, US banks -US prosecutor | Deals | Regulatory News | Reuters: "The U.S. government is stepping up prosecutions of wealthy individuals dodging taxes through offshore accounts, with new cases expected to be made public 'every couple of weeks,' a top government attorney said on Saturday..."

Terror Shopping

Feds: Zazi Trips, Shopping Led to NY Terror Threat - ABC News: "...By the time Najibullah Zazi checked into a nearby hotel suite with a kitchen in September, he had at least 18 bottles of peroxide-based hair lighteners and pages of notes for how to turn the beauty products into bombs, authorities say..."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lying Liars: Health Care Edition

My bold below:

Calling liars to account - Leonard Pitts Jr. - MiamiHerald.com: "...Wallis, a celebrated theologian and author of The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America, says Sojourners is trying to redeem things people ``really should've learned in Sunday school.

``For example, Sean Hannity said we're going to have a government rationing body that tells women with breast cancer, `You're dead. It's a death sentence.' That's just not true. So instead, [in our e-mail] we told the story of a real person, a real woman who was denied her breast cancer surgery because of her health provider's discovery of a pre-existing condition called acne.''

He adds, ``A lot of the things the talk show hosts say will happen are already happening because of the behavior of the healthcare providers. They're not true because of healthcare reform, they're true because of the present system...''"

Public vs. Private Payer

I left most of the following in a comment over at Cannonfire but think it is worth repeating here. My comments were basically in reaction to another comment comparing the terrible government agencies with the wonderful private sector entities.

I live in NC and the DMV functions quite nicely, thank you. Both Medicare and the VA function reasonably well. I have seen no compelling evidence that extending medical benefits to all will create a huge new class of bureaucrats. That is an assumption.

Blue Cross charges NC $10 for every claim filed. The previous administrator, EDS, charged 50 cents. Is there a disconnect there? And no, I don't know why we switched, but suspect if you follow the money you would know. So given the outrageous overhead noted from the private sector, how could it be any worse? Will the public employees of this new health care hullabaloo be compensated in the tens of millions like the private sector employees?

No way in Hell, so you already have savings in place.

It doesn't matter if it is tax or a copay, it still comes out of your pocket.


Frankly, most people would be better off with a modest tax increase rather than being nickeled and dimed to death for basic health services. (How much are going to have to pay for a flu shot? My copay will be $30 so I'm told.) Younger folks will complain that they don't consume health services so they should have to pay. Well, don't get injured or don't get pregnant, because if you do, you will discover that a broken appendage is extremely expensive and even with a good delivery and a healthy child, your costs will at least in the neighborhood of $5k. Do you have that laying around in petty cash?

I'd like to see a study on all this that I could really believe, as opposed to people pulling numbers from Dirty Harry's opinion.

Lest We Forget: Idiot Edition

David Brooks: our nation's premier expert warrior - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com: "...Needless to say, Brooks was writing all the same things in late 2002 and early 2003 about Iraq -- though, back then, he did so from the pages of Rupert Murdoch and Bill Kristol's The Weekly Standard. When I went back to read some of that this morning, I was -- as always -- struck by how extreme and noxious it all was: the snide, hubristic superiority combined with absolute wrongness about everything. What people like David Brooks were saying back then was so severe -- so severely wrong, pompous, blind, warmongering and, as it turns out, destructive -- that no matter how many times one reviews the record of the leading opinion-makers of that era, one will never be inured to how poisonous they are..."

O'Good?

Obama scores twin coups on Iran, economy | Reuters: "PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - President Barack Obama scored twin diplomatic coups on Friday, seizing the world stage to forge a new allied call for action against Iran and a framework for global economic growth..."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Couplets For Little O

Cannon has a fine time with a send-up of an O-worshiping video. Following is his concluding stanza (for the whole treat click above):

(or below)

Cannonfire:

"...Barack Hussein Obama
Choose between a sell-out clutz
or those drooling right-wing nuts
Mmm mmm mmm!"

Murder And Far Reaching Politics

Allison Kilkenny: Discussion Of Dead Census Worker Highlights Right-Wing Paranoia: "...Setting aside the fact that this would be the mother of all bizarre suicides, Johnson seems oddly confident that this was not a political killing considering the word 'Fed' -- short for 'Federal' -- is a loaded label that usually indicates anti-government sentiment. 'Federal' means 'Big Government,' and the word has taken on a derogatory meaning in right-wing circles where fear and paranoia reign supreme. I agree with Johnson that this seems like an apparent homicide, but it's not 'nothing else.' By utilizing the branding 'Fed,' the killers were clearly trying to make a political statement, namely 'Obama: Stay Out.'

The word definitely packs an ideological punch, but not only is it anti-government, it's anti-Obama. Let's remember that most of the fringe now screaming about the dangers of Big Brother never made a peep during eight years of Bush's ballooning executive branch. Suddenly, big government is a big problem, and the 'Feds' are to blame..."

CEO Pay Examined

Very comprehensive look at the top grades world wide: Executive pay: Maligned, or misaligned? | The Economist.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First Race Card

Thank You, Tucker Carlson! : NO QUARTER: "...[Tucker:] But let me just say, very clearly, it was the Obama campaign that first bought up the race question. It was the Obama people who smeared the Clintons as racists, Bill and Hillary Clinton. They made the case to reporters off-the-record, including me, that the Clintons were racists. They started this.

So for him to get up with a straight face and say the media is bringing this race issue up… No, it was your campaign that started this..."

Bank Thievery Compared

From the "No Kidding" Department: Study shows U.S.bank CEO pay dwarfs rest of world | Reuters: "...The contrast illustrates the massive differences in pay among the CEOs of the world's top banks. The compensation of the CEOs of the largest U.S. banks towers above what's paid to banking chiefs in other parts of the world, according to a Reuters analysis of pay at the 18 biggest banks by market value..."

More from the "No Kidding" Department: "Biden: ‘I Want Insurance Companies to Make Money'"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Top GI Quitting?

McChrystal to resign if not given resources for Afghanistan - Threat Matrix - by The Long War Journal: "Within 24 hours of the leak of the Afghanistan assessment to The Washington Post, General Stanley McChrystal's team fired its second shot across the bow of the Obama administration. According to McClatchy, military officers close to General McChrystal said he is prepared to resign if he isn't given sufficient resources (read 'troops') to implement a change of direction in Afghanistan:..."

Lest We Forget: Enemies Edition

New word – “beck” « The Confluence: "...People need to wake up and smell the coffee. This isn’t just another right-wing attack on Obama, it’s part of an all-out war on liberalism. I know some of you chortle with glee seeing Obama getting treated like a piƱata, but you need to understand:

RIGHT-WINGERS LIKE GLENN BECK AND ANDREW BRIETBART ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS!

We cannot afford to spend the next 3 1/2 years sitting passively while watching the wingnuts undermine, dismantle and destroy every liberal/progressive program, policy and idea. Clapping and cheering for those same wingnuts just because Obama is being discomfited in the process is short-sighted and stupid..."

Update via Simply Left Behind-- look at this link for a regulatory flashback to 2004.

O'Marriage Tales

Author: Barack and Michelle Almost Split - The Early Show - CBS News: "Michelle and Barack Obama's marriage was so shaky at one point that they almost separated, according to a new book that gives what it says is a behind-the-scenes look at the Obamas' life together..."

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Different View Of The DC Tea Party

Columnist David Brooks literally runs through the D.C. Tea Party and discovers something quite telling--

Op-Ed Columnist - No, It’s Not About Race - NYTimes.com: "...Then, as I got to where the Smithsonian museums start, I came across another rally, the Black Family Reunion Celebration. Several thousand people had gathered to celebrate African-American culture. I noticed that the mostly white tea party protesters were mingling in with the mostly black family reunion celebrants. The tea party people were buying lunch from the family reunion food stands. They had joined the audience of a rap concert.

Because sociology is more important than fitness, I stopped to watch the interaction. These two groups were from opposite ends of the political and cultural spectrum. They’d both been energized by eloquent speakers. Yet I couldn’t discern any tension between them. It was just different groups of people milling about like at any park or sports arena..."

ACORN Dodging Denutting

ACORN Chief Dodges Congressman's Call to Come Before Congress - Political News - FOXNews.com: "ACORN's top officer on Sunday dodged repeated calls to come before Congress and testify about the embattled group's finances and ties to other organizations..."

More For Afghanistan

The Associated Press: Report: More troops needed for Afghan war success: "The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan has reported to President Barack Obama that without more troops the U.S. risks failure in a war it's been waging since September 2001..."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Money Making Reformers

Health reform's 'gang of 6' reaps political cash: "The bipartisan 'gang of six' senators who helped craft the health care reform bill going before a key Senate committee Tuesday represent less than 3 percent of the U.S. population - but they hold a lot of power at a crucial policy-shaping moment in Congress.

That's why, analysts say, health care industry lobbyists have showered them with more campaign cash on average than other senators this year, in an attempt to influence the outcome..."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hate And Haters

On Faith Panelists Blog: Rage, Racism And American Unreason - Susan Jacoby: "...I am also sick of hearing the talking heads point out that liberals can be just as 'uncivil' as these right-wing haters bringing loaded guns to crowded rallies and praying for the president's death. The 'liberals are just as bad' mantra is nonsense. Historically, anti-rational movements have existed on both the left and the right, but it's all coming from the right today..."

Short memory, dude. I remember the hatred hurled at Hillary Clinton and Sara Palin, so the Left is just as capable of hate as the Right; they're just not as sanctimonious.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Death By Choice

We Need to Talk About Death | Newsweek Health | Newsweek.com: "My mother wanted to die, but the doctors wouldn't let her. At least that's the way it seemed to me as I stood by her bed in an intensive-care unit at a hospital in Hilton Head, S.C., five years ago. My mother was 79, a longtime smoker who was dying of emphysema. She knew that her quality of life was increasingly tethered to an oxygen tank, that she was losing her ability to get about, and that she was slowly drowning. The doctors at her bedside were recommending various tests and procedures to keep her alive, but my mother, with a certain firmness I recognized, said no. She seemed puzzled and a bit frustrated that she had to be so insistent on her own demise..."

What will you do if the mother above is you?

Uninsured Dying At High Rate

Study Links 45,000 U.S. Deaths to Lack of Insurance - ABC News: "Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday..."

Attacking The Fatters

UPDATE 1-Calif. lawmaker plans hearings on soda-obesity link | Markets | Markets News | Reuters: "...The California lawmaker who spearheaded a high-profile anti-obesity effort across the country's most populous state is now training his sights on sugar-sweetened drinks.

Sen. Alex Padilla, who led a campaign requiring big restaurant chains to disclose calories in meals, said on Thursday he planned to hold hearings in November on the link between soda consumption and obesity..."

Bad Bill List

You already know most of them but in case you've missed one: Top Five Reasons the Baucus Bill Is Really, Really Bad | The Smirking Chimp.

Corps, Idiots, And Dowd

A must read. The Howler starts with corporate looting then transits to MoDo for a justifiable thrashing. The Daily Howler--"WHAT MAUREEN HEARD! Maureen Dowd heard a very bad word–a word she used to employ:"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Feeding The Vampires

Why Force the Poor into Subsidizing Insurance Companies? « The Confluence: "This health insurance reform bill has sunk to a level that makes me wonder why all the huge corporations in the country don’t line up in front of the white house on Halloween, with bags, dressed as burglars, yelling trick or treat! The Baucus plan is yet another corporate welfare program masquerading as public welfare policy. If this is the plan that goes forward from here, we all should be working hard to defeat it. It just makes me want to scream. What on earth is going on with the Democrats these days?..."

'Rasslin' In The Senate?

We've already had singin' in the House, so why not? Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Resigns to Run for Senate - WSJ.com: "World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Chief Executive Linda McMahon stepped down from her post, one day after joining the increasingly crowded Republican field looking to run against Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd..."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Doctors Like Public Option

Poll: Doctors Among Public Option's Biggest Fans : NPR: "A new poll shows that doctors are among the biggest supporters in the United States of a public option in the health care overhaul. One reason: Many say they've had largely good experiences with Medicare..."

Given the U.S. worship of physicians, then the reform package ought to sail through Congress now. (Unless money [insurance] speaks louder than reverence.)

Allies Fighting

GIs' Afghan Guards Clash With Afghan Troops: "KANDAHAR -- A clash has taken place between Afghan National Army [ANA] troops and Afghan guards of U.S. troops..."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lest We Forget: Neocon Edition

Cannonfire: "...You know the old saying 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'? Well, screw that. The neocons who gave us Iraq are going after Obama big time. Just because I don't like our foolish president doesn't mean I'm going to ally myself with the bloodthirsty creeps who, under Cheney and Bush, brought this nation to near-ruin..."

Health Reform Trickery At Hand?

Obama sets stage for using budget maneuver to pass health reform - TheHill.com: "President Barack Obama this week has been laying the foundation for Senate Democrats to use a controversial budget maneuver to pass healthcare reform..."

Even Weirder Molester

Police: Michigan Mom Found Long-Lost Son Online, Raped Him - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - FOXNews.com: "Michigan police say a 35-year-old mother used the Internet to track down the son she gave up for adoption a decade ago, seducing and raping the teenage boy when she found him after an online search..."

Another One Bites The Dust

BBC NEWS | Africa | Profile: Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan: "Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a top al-Qaeda suspect, has been on the FBI's wanted list for years.

He was killed in an attack by US forces in southern Somalia on 14 September, a US official says. This has not been officially confirmed by Washington..."

Osama wants us to end the war. Why doesn't he end it? Surrender is an option, mister murder.

Defending Jackasses

...is hard: Russell Brand defends Kanye West - Access Hollywood - msnbc.com

Academic Murder

The Associated Press: Clues point to inside job in Yale killing: "Clues increasingly pointed to an inside job Monday in the slaying of a Yale graduate student whose body was found stuffed inside a wall five days after she vanished from a heavily secured lab building accessible only to university employees..."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Managing Professionals

What is said about geeks in this post is probably applicable to every professional except those with MBA's. (Don't bother with the hate mail--I don't care.)

Opinion: The unspoken truth about managing geeks: "...Few people notice this, but for IT groups respect is the currency of the realm. IT pros do not squander this currency. Those whom they do not believe are worthy of their respect might instead be treated to professional courtesy, a friendly demeanor or the acceptance of authority. Gaining respect is not a matter of being the boss and has nothing to do with being likeable or sociable; whether you talk, eat or smell right; or any measure that isn't directly related to the work. The amount of respect an IT pro pays someone is a measure of how tolerable that person is when it comes to getting things done, including the elegance and practicality of his solutions and suggestions. IT pros always and without fail, quietly self-organize around those who make the work easier, while shunning those who make the work harder, independent of the organizational chart..."

MalReformed Malpractice

Malpractice reform can help build a better health system - The Boston Globe: "PRESIDENT OBAMA was on target in his speech to Congress Wednesday when he called for pilot projects to reform medical malpractice. The medical malpractice system is not the eight-cylinder driver of health costs that its most full-throated critics claim it to be, but it is dysfunctional. The overwhelming majority of patients who suffer from physician errors never get any compensation, and the much-publicized cases with million-dollar judgments do not lead to safer, higher-quality care. The Institute of Medicine has estimated that medical errors of all kinds, not just by physicians, cause 98,000 deaths a year..."

Outburster Gets Even More Attention

islandpacket.com | In Beaufort, protesters rally for -- and against -- Joe Wilson: "hey were on separate sides of the street -- literally and figuratively.

In front ofU.S. Rep. Joe Wilson's Beaufort office on Port Republic Street, protesters held up signs that read 'Learn Respect.' Protestors chanted 'Joe Must Go.'

On the other side of the street, Wilson's supporters shouted back at his detractors and held signs that read 'Joe Wilson is right' and 'Joe Wilson is my spokesman...'"

Keep it up people and pretty soon we will have legislators streaking during Presidential addresses.

Simple Reform

George S. McGovern -- The Simple Health-Care Solution: Medicare for Everyone - washingtonpost.com: "...We know that Medicare has worked well for half a century for those of us over 65. Why does it become 'socialized medicine' when we extend it to younger Americans?..."

The Daily Uh-Oh

BBC NEWS | Americas | Venezuela to get Russian missiles: "Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has announced that the country will soon take delivery of Russian missiles with a range of 300km (185 miles)..."

Friday, September 11, 2009

ACORN Takes A Hit

Second Opinion: ACORN, prostitution and tax evasion - A virtual meeting of The Sun's editorial board, where issues are discussed, opinions made - baltimoresun.com: "Yes, taped with a hidden camera, two Baltimore ACORN workers give advice to a man and a woman identifying themselves as a pimp and a prostitute on how to evade the authorities and cheat on their taxes, including how to claim 13 underage El Salvadoran sex slaves as dependents. At no point in the video do the ACORN workers bat an eyelash or give any impression that they find this unusual.

Once the video became public, ACORN promptly fired the two workers, though it's hard to know how seriously to take the organization's reaction. Baltimore ACORN board chairman Sonja Merchant-Jones told WJZ-TV that 'We've investigated and we found nothing that they did to be illegal. Absolutely zero.' Really? Advising someone to claim girls trafficked into the country illegally as sex workers as dependents on her tax returns?..."

And another hit.

Uninsured Numbers Rise

Census: Uninsured rose to 46.3M in 2008 - San Francisco Business Times:: "The number of Americans without health insurance reached 46.3 million in 2008, up from 45.7 million a year earlier, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau..."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Little O And The Big Speech

This post caused me to spew coffee. A sample: Has an Obama speech ever changed anything? « The Confluence: "...Obama decided that the Staples Center in Denver wasn’t grand enough for his coronation acceptance speech, so his supporters in the banking and telecom industries rented Mile-High stadium for him and built him his own faux-Grecian temple. After being carried to the stage in a sedan chair by a team of oiled-up and stripped-down fanboiz, Obama gave the greatest speech of his life up until then. The speech was so good that Chris Matthews couldn’t control himself and began humping Keith Olbermann’s leg on the air..."

Diabetic Hope

Molecular Mechanism Underlying Form Of Diabetes Revealed: "ScienceDaily (Sep. 10, 2009) — By investigating a rare and severe form of diabetes in children, University of Iowa researchers have discovered a new molecular mechanism that regulates specialized pancreatic cells and insulin secretion. The mechanism involves a protein called ankyrin, which UI researchers previously linked to potentially fatal human heart arrhythmias..."

Call For Uncommon Sense

On your next incarnation, consider the two lines forming for sense before you return. In one line you can have "Common Sense," and in the other line, you can receive "Uncommon Sense." Now which would you prefer? I'd take uncommon sense, because common sense is, well, so common. And often wrong. Common sense typically involves conclusions based on direct observation or reported direct observation, which means it so subject to sensory misinterpretation (what! you've never seen water shimmering on a hot highway?) or miscommunication (Joe said Ralph said Suzie said Jane saw...) I'm not the only one contemplating this bugger of a problem:

Better world: Beware of common sense - 10 September 2009 - New Scientist

"Good intentions are not enough. If leaders and governments are serious about achieving their aims, they must base their actions on hard evidence.

YOU break your arm. At the hospital, the doctor tells you his team is going to inject iron nanoparticles into the broken bone and use electromagnets to realign it. Wow, you say, you've never heard of this method. "Oh, it's never been tried before," says the doctor. "But our hospital needs some publicity, and it sounds really impressive and high-tech, doesn't it?"

You would rightly be appalled if hospitals chose treatments this way. We expect medical therapies to undergo rigorous trials to ensure they are safe and effective. Yet we seem content to let our leaders conjure up policies based on what sounds good, rather than on what has been proved to work..."

Another View Of The Protocol Disruption

Actor212 has a different take on the outburst than I do. He's also written a darn good post in support of the public option, which I completely agree with. A sample:

Simply Left Behind: And It's....OUTTA HERE!: The Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: "...It didn't hurt that one member of the opposing team balked, and gave him a chance to show the Republicans for what they have been for twenty years: obstructionist corporatists interested only in servicing their wealthy capitalist masters at the expense of the citizenry. Americans will put up with a lot of rowdy behavior in lots of places, even some that formerly had been places of quiet and respect, but to diss a President on national TV like you were heckling a stand-up comedian, no matter how abject the apology, is going to harm the cause faster than if you took a shot at him..."

Kitchens And Heat

In Lawmaker’s Outburst, a Rare Breach of Protocol - NYTimes.com: "...In an angry and very audible outburst, Representative Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, interrupted President Obama’s speech Wednesday night with a shout of “You lie!...”"

If the President can't handle it, he ought to resign. If Rep. Wilson can't handle it, he ought to resign. Protocol and decorum? Really? I prefer the House of Commons and the British Prime Minister anytime as far addresses and debate go. Let them yell.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Lest We Forget: Death Penalty Edition

From the "Supreme Court Nominations Matter" Department:

The elusive search for the sufficiently innocent criminal. - By Dahlia Lithwick - Slate Magazine
"...One might think that all this would put a thumb on the scale for death-penalty opponents, who have long contended that conclusive proof of an innocent murdered by the state would fundamentally change the debate. But that was before the goal posts began to shift this summer. In June, by a 5-4 margin, the Supreme Court ruled that a prisoner did not have a constitutional right to demand DNA testing of evidence in police files, even at his own expense. "A criminal defendant proved guilty after a fair trial does not have the same liberty interests as a free man," wrote Chief Justice John Roberts. And two months later, Justices Scalia and Thomas went even further than the chief justice following an extraordinary Supreme Court order instructing a federal court to hold a new hearing in Troy Davis' murder case, after seven of nine eyewitnesses recanted their testimony. Scalia, dissenting from that order, wrote for himself and Justice Clarence Thomas, "[t]his court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is 'actually' innocent."

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

It's All About O

The speeches are all about Obama « Not Your Sweetie

Frank Post Planned?

Barney Frank wants Cabinet post - TheHill.com: "Rep. Barney Frank is interested in capping his political career as a member of the president’s Cabinet, according to a new biography of the Financial Services Committee chairman..."

Monday, September 07, 2009

Denial Of Benefits

State attorney general targets health insurers - Sacramento Business, Housing Market News | Sacramento Bee: "...The nurses union said some of the companies had denial rates between 27 percent and 40 percent during the first six months of this year, with PacifiCare rejecting 39.6 percent of claims it received.."

And this is why insurance companies should be on the menu instead of at the table.

Moore Aiming Low

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Michael Moore takes aim at money men: "Agitator supreme Michael Moore is back with a new target - and this time he wants the world to rebel against it.

In his sights is the American banking system and the people who run it..."

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Getting Out Of The Kitchen

White House Official Resigns After G.O.P. Criticism - NYTimes.com: "White House officials on Sunday tersely accepted the resignation of the administration’s special adviser for environmental jobs after a number of his past statements became fodder for conservative critics and Republican officials..."

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Psychic Punidit Predicts

Why the Obama Administration Will Implode In Weeks - FOXNews.com: "Never has an administration had more political firepower at their disposal yet been set to so totally fail in the next six to eight weeks. It is nearly a foregone conclusion. It is nearly unavoidable. And it defies all logic given the sizable majority the administration has in both houses of Congress.

Since I was the first pundit to predict Obama's presidency (back in December 2006) it behooves me to tell you the course I believe the next few weeks will take. Just think, it was only a few months ago that the left looked unstoppable in bringing about their plan to radicalize, nationalize, and federalize America..."

Ashcroft Is Not Above The Law

This is an AP story so be careful. They may charge you for clicking on the link. Appeals court rules against Ashcroft in 9/11 case | PressDemocrat.com | The Press Democrat | Santa Rosa, CA

Jacksons Disquieted

Michael Jackson's brother says media choppers disrupted burial service | L.A. Now | Los Angeles Times: "One of Michael Jackson's brothers complained that media helicopters disrupted the pop star's burial service at Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale on Thursday..."

Well, I'm sorry, but if you, your family, and everybody you know makes money off celebrity, then don't expect the attention to stop-- ever.

Fear Of Public Speeches

Though this excerpt may make the article seem like it is nothing but a leftist attack on rightist attitudes, it is far more subtle than that. Good essay. Good points. Politics of fear are still with us - Salt Lake Tribune: "So President Obama wants to talk to kids about education. The political right is horrified. It's not only a socialist plot, they say, it's illegal. Even worse, the president is trying to steal the children's minds in some scenario in which a live video of Obama's speech will turn the little ones into leftist automatons..."

Friday, September 04, 2009

Advice For Obama And Advice For Advisers

What Obama should say to Congress on Wednesday: "...I'm not President of the Democratic Party, I'm President of the whole country. The left-wing pundits say the goal is to get reform, and they apply a narrow litmus test for what constitutes reform. To them, if that means the Senate has to pass a bill with 51 votes, so be it. I know 51 votes is all that's technically required, but personally that's unacceptable to me. We're talking about the biggest domestic policy change in a generation. I want 60 senators to embrace a common vision. I believe in the importance of a public option. But I'm not going to let it stand in the way of getting a good bill..."

What nonsense! Sixty votes? Since when does the winning party set a new majority rule for itself? Again a problem with limp Dems. The GOPers have never had a problem ramming a one vote law down anyone's throat, and as far as serious consequences go, what could be more serious than an unnecessary war and pissing away a trillion dollar surplus? The GOP is not going to support anything that in any harms its base-- the rich, which nowdays basically means insurance companies and their majority stockholders.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Little O Being Noted

NJ Governor’s race is a referendum on Obama « The Confluence: ..."There’s a reason why support for Obama and his policies have eroded over the summer. He didn’t start out of the gate with the hope and change he promised, didn’t protect taxpayers from the bankers and didn’t present a strong health care policy that takes the profit out of insuring people’s health. He didn’t do those things because he’s never really been much of a Democrat, much less a liberal one. He has no core Democratic principles, something Jane Hamsher, Chris Bowers and Markos Moulitsas didn’t think was so important last year. Well, that was before they became racists..."

Texas Execution Horror

Cameron Todd Willingham, Texas, and the death penalty : The New Yorker: "...Some legal scholars believe that the commission may narrowly assess the reliability of the scientific evidence. There is a chance, however, that Texas could become the first state to acknowledge officially that, since the advent of the modern judicial system, it had carried out the “execution of a legally and factually innocent person."

Stupid Move By GA Slapper

Among the list of things you should not do... Georgia Man Slaps Stranger’s Child At Wal-Mart | ModernMom.com. I wonder how much slapping would have gone on if dad were around.

Health Care Distortions

9/3/2009 - Look At The Facts About Government Health Care - Opinion - Chattanoogan.com: "There are many perspectives by which you can look at any object or issue, but there is only one object or issue to see. The opposition to Health Care reform has created many aspects to the issue that just aren't there. They act as if they clearly see what they call problems, but they are not looking at the real proposals. When you look at the bills and the statements of those supporting reform, there is no perspective that support the opponents' claims..."

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Powerless People Screwed

From the "No Kidding" Department:" Low-Wage Workers Are Often Cheated, Study Says - NYTimes.com: "Low-wage workers are routinely denied proper overtime pay and are often paid less than the minimum wage, according to a new study based on a survey of workers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago..."

The article makes a good, albeit unintentional, argument about the need for unions.

America Flogged Over Ted

Mark Steyn: Things only a Kennedy could get away with | kennedy, ted, chappaquiddick, mary, senator - Opinion - OCRegister.com: "...The senator's actions in the hours and days after emerging from that pond tell us something ugly about Kennedy the man. That he got away with it tells us something ugly about American public life."

He has a point.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Civil Liberties Chipped Again

Some Suggestions If You Are Traveling Into The USA : NO QUARTER

"...Once again, I am SO “disappointed” to have my civil liberties curtailed. Sheesh. Seriously, people, there are stronger terms for having our Constitution dismantled by The One over whom you ooh-ed! and ah-ed! as such a great Constitutional Scholar, and the Anti-Bush. All I can say is, perhaps you wouldn’t have experienced this “disappointment” had you bothered to actually listen to what he man said (remember the return to Bush I’s foreign policy? How about voting for the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill?) or what he did (remember that FISA vote? Yeah, you were “disappointed” then, too.). So many examples, so little time. The point is, had your eyes been open instead of closed as you swayed in rapture to the tones of The One and TOTUS, perhaps you wouldn’t be oh-so-surprised by this.

The rest of us aren’t."

Tricky Dick Healthcare

Op-Ed Columnist - Missing Richard Nixon - NYTimes.com: "...But the Nixon era was a time in which leading figures in both parties were capable of speaking rationally about policy, and in which policy decisions weren’t as warped by corporate cash as they are now. America is a better country in many ways than it was 35 years ago, but our political system’s ability to deal with real problems has been degraded to such an extent that I sometimes wonder whether the country is still governable.

As many people have pointed out, Nixon’s proposal for health care reform looks a lot like Democratic proposals today. In fact, in some ways it was stronger. Right now, Republicans are balking at the idea of requiring that large employers offer health insurance to their workers; Nixon proposed requiring that all employers, not just large companies, offer insurance..."