Saturday, June 20, 2009

Face of Iran, June 20, 2009

Andrew has a talent for this sort of thing. No need to say more.

'They Clean The Blues Off You'

R.I.P., Pretty Boy.
“But pets open up that heart center. There is something about the unconditional love; they clean the blues off of you.
“That’s their mission. That’s why a lot of New Yorkers have pets.”

Blood In The Streets

Iran, June 20, 2009. As predicted.
I regularly check Andrew Sullivan, who says he's blogging from the end of a pier in Cape Cod (sigh) and Nico Pitney at Huffpo. They both link to other sources, if you're that keen.

Pitney recommends this NYT piece. So do I.
In essence, the core of the struggle is between two competing views of what this country’s Islamic revolution sought to achieve.
“One side wants a gradual evolution of democratic institutions and a more democratic reading of Islamic institutions,” said Kavous Seyed-Emami, a political science professor at Imam Sadeq University in Tehran. “The other side is for a populist and more or less authoritarian reading of Islam.”

Last I read, Obama will have a live statement in about an hour.

Whoa, Nellie!

Couldn't believe my eyes. The donut hole is one of my biggest nightmares.
Drug manufacturers have agreed to offer up to $80 billion in prescription drug discounts to government programs like Medicare, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing an unidentified source close to the talks.
I just finished writing to Obama today again about health care, and this little tidbit emerges. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff going on, folks. Kabuki, I tells ya.

And then we have Bob Reich over at TPM urging Obama to turn himself into LBJ. Frankly, I don't see that happening. It's going to happen like the above, quietly, behind the curtain, then emerge as a paragraph in the great big bill nobody but wonks will read. Oh hell, what do I know?

Here's another petition. Thanks, EE.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Republican Health Care Plan: Bwahahahaha!

Krugman nails it:’s evil for government to “ration care” by only paying for things that work; it is, however, perfectly OK, indeed virtuous, to ration care by refusing to pay for any care at all.

Contrarienne Languishing

For no apparent reason, she is not motivated, the reason for the lack of posts. Not that you asked, of course.
There seem to be only two news items. Andrew Sullivan and Huffpo are on top of Iran and TPM has the Republican hypocrisy market cornered, especially on the Ensign story.

Even Jon Stewart is all over it. Or, put it better, as usual Jon Stewart is all over it and for some reason the embed isn't working so here's a link.
Happy Friviality Friday.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Quote O' Teh Day

"Marriage for my parents was prety much wat it was in the rest of my neighborhood. A lo-o-ong truce, is what it was."
Woody Allen on Fresh Air tonight

Big Coal and The Energy Bill: Action Alert

MoveOn wants your name on an online petition. C'mon, it's so easy. People in Iran are risking their lives, fer X sakes, for what we have.

Iran: 38 Best Photos

Esp. #29

Miles, Of Course: World's Sexiest Song

Oh, Generique, from an old Louis Malle film.

Doctors And Costs

The NYT editorial today cites a New Yorker article and a story about the study that found 30 percent higher Medicare costs due to overtreatment, a way for docs to enhance income — or protect themselves from lawsuit. Whatever.
I don't feel I have been overtreated. I feel I've been largely undertreated. Much of the appropriate treatment I've received has been at my own request. But that's just me, and just one provider.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

It is being tweeted.

Caught By Surprise

Iranian leaders clearly did not anticipate what has happened.

Iran's supreme leader ordered Monday an investigation into allegations of election fraud, marking a stunning turnaround by the country's most powerful figure and offering hope to opposition forces who have waged street clashes to protest the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Republican Racism 101

Some South Carolina pol told a racist joke about Michelle Obama, then blamed it on her, with a lie.

Which brings is to comment o' teh day:
Those that believe that they did not evolve from lesser primates probably haven't, yet.

Health Care: Call This Week

Some diarists at Daily Kos want more than just FAXes and emails to relevant lawmakers. Hell, I've got a phone card, why not?

PLEASE CALL the White House and let President Obama know that you don't want him to consider the "7-year trigger" for the public option. Let him know that you're ANGRY that he's doing this. Tell him it won't be REAL health care reform without an immediately available, strong, robust Medicare-like public option.
CALL the White House at: 202-456-1111 and E-MAIL them as well!
PLEASE CALL these Senators on the Senate Finance Committee today to demand a strong, robust affordable Medicare-like public option. Here's a list of talking points below:
Tell Senator [Name] that you DO NOT want the 7-year trigger for the public option and take it off the table, and that you want him to support an affordable strong, robust Medicare-like public option. We NEED a strong, robust Medicare-like public option NOW OPEN TO ALL AMERICANS AND AFFORDABLE, not more of the SAME broken system that's given us unaffordable premiums, little private insurance coverage, and rising co-pays. Also, DON'T TAX OUR EMPLOYER HEALTH BENEFITS. Instead, follow the proposal by President Obama to tax the wealthy above $250,000, eliminate the overpayments in Medicare Advantage, and put tax capital gains to help fund health care reform.
Please CALL Senator Max Baucus at (202) 224-2651
Please CALL Senator Charles Schumer at 202-224-6542
Please CALL Senator Edward Kennedy at (202) 224-4543
Please CALL Senator John Rockefeller at (202) 224-6472
Please CALL Senator Ron Wyden at (202) 224-5244
Please CALL Senator Kent Conrad at (202) 224-2043
Please CALL Senator Jeff Bingaman at (202) 224-5521
Please CALL Senator John Kerry at (202) 224-2742
Please CALL Senator Blanche Lincoln at 202-224-4843
Please CALL Senator Debbie Stabenow at (202) 224-4822
Please CALL Senator Maria Cantwell at 202-224-3441
Please CALL Senator Bill Nelson at 202-224-5274
Please CALL Senator Robert Menendez at 202-224-4744
Please CALL Senator Thomas Carper at (202) 224-2441

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bovine Jawbone, MMM


Almost noon and the morning gloom shows no signs of burning off. I gave up and kicked the heat on to knock down the chill and looked for Jane Monheit's priceless version of Tea For Two on YouTube to give you this morning. But it's not there.
So you get this:

If anyone has taken on Eva Cassidy's mantle, it's Jane. I shiver every time KPLU plays one of her songs.

Iran: What Does It Mean?

Contrarienne would prefer to let others read all the competing information and come to a conclusion she can trust.
But Josh Marshall and Andrew Sullivan are saying over and over that they just can't judge yet, the information is too confusing and there isn't enough credible reporting on the ground. When there is, it must be translated and who's to be sure the translations are accurate.
Josh points to Juan Cole for expertise.
But I have my own biases. This via Sullivan fits right in with them:
Iran is no longer a theocracy. To blame this on "The Mullahs," or worse, Iran's "Right-Wing" is to fundamentally misunderstand what is taking place there. This is a secular power grab done under the guise of Islam and revolution. The perpetrators are the enemies of western rapprochement, and the proponents of economic isolation. The Revolutionary Guards benefit from Iran's economic isolation, much like the mafia benefited from prohibition and other criminalized behavior. As any stereotypical movie gangster might say, "why ruin a good thing?"
I believe we are witnessing the disposal of Islamic pretense, and in fact a more honest and apparent Iranian police state. How that affects their place in the region and the world is still to be determined.