Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Not Public Option

Offer the Federal Employees plan instead.

Not A Public Option, Not A Trigger

but a "new option" on the table in health care reform negotiations.
Oh, and Olympia's back.
Obama will address Senate Democrats on Sunday afternoon.
Will they have something new to show him?

Friviality Saturday

BW passes this along from a friend in the UK.

 The new council tax re-evaluation policy wants to charge us  more if we live in a nice area. That ought to mean discounts for those  of us who live in rough areas.

There is a huge council house in  our street.
 The  extended family is run by a grumpy old woman with a pack of fierce dogs.  Her car isn't taxed or insured and doesn't even have a number plate, but  the police still do nothing.

Her bad-tempered old man is  notorious for racist comments. A shopkeeper blames him for ordering the  murder of his son and his son's girlfriend, but nothing has been proved  yet.

All their kids have broken marriages except the youngest,  who everyone thought was gay.

Two grandsons are meant to be in  the Army but are always out partying in nightclubs. They are out of  control............................... 

..............................I hate  living near Windsor Castle.

Blog Journalism

There's a little kerfluffle going on over Montana Sen. Max Baucus' late Friday revelation about his relationship with a woman he had nominated to be U.S. Attorney for the state.
Someone at Daily Kos did a little journalism and comes up with some very disturbing details about her career and behavior because of her relationship with the state medical examiner while she was prosecuting in Iowa.
This may never go anywhere in terms of Baucus' career or anything else, but it's a case study of what anyone with a computer and an internet connection can do in a matter of hours, something the traditional media — the "real journalists" — often don't bother with.
It's short and worth a read also because you get a real time view of how things often work in power circles.
Don't bother with the comments, they're mostly in the weeds about whether we should protect compromised Democrats who are going to vote our way, blah-blah.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Another Reason Not To Own A Cell Phone

From TPM this evening:
with a few keystrokes, police can determine in real time the location of a cell phone user through automated systems set up by the phone companies.

Gift Ideas

Somebody at Daily Kos put together some non-traditional sources.
I was hoping the L.A. County Coroner's Office would have something besides t-shirts, but no.
Guess I'll stick to despair.com, although contrariennes everywhere will be taken with etsy.

Oh, Please God, Make It True

Palin's got everybody in the 'sphere squirming over her support for the birthers. She's tried to backtrack, but you know how that works.
The problem is, unless the GOP — and that includes Rush Limbaugh and the other cotton candy conservatives who wield a lot of influence — stand up and denounce her in no uncertain terms, birtherism will have gone completely mainstream in the Republican Party. If that happens, you might want to forget about any significant gains at the polls for the GOP in 2010," - Rick Moran, PJM.

It's Not The Wedding Dance

But they get a big donation for women's health after reaching 1 million hits. Don't know what they get now that it's past 3 million.

UPDATE: A friend checked Snopes. Not money for hits, money for cases of gloves sold. Still fun.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bring Your Daughter To War Day!

Courtesy The Onion, of course. Still.

Army Holds Annual 'Bring Your Daughter To War' Day

Action Item

Pat Leahy needs your help.


Andrew Sullivan cites this in Popular Mechanics including a nice summary of what we know.
Most scientists know and acknowledge these uncertainties, and reason as follows. We're in an unprecedented situation, with regard to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and the rate at which it is rising. Because this is unprecedented, we are not sure what is going to happen. But global warming is very likely, and reasonably probable outcomes could be fatal. Ignoring it would be like Russian roulette. Want to play? I do not.

So Long Public Option?

I still haven't read the Paul Starr piece that Josh Marshall pointed to earlier, but now there's an item out of the White House that makes it look like the wheeling and dealing for Snowe and maybe even Collins has some substance.
That's if, of course, the Senate can get past the Republican obstruction plans. With those two votes, they probably can.
Here's a link — if you can bear this —  to the debate among Starr and his two co-founders of The American Prospect (oh, that Paul Starr. No, actually never heard of him either.)
Bottom line:
If the Democrats can't get a strong public plan through the Senate but can get a strong design of the exchanges by trading off a weak public plan, they should take that deal and pass the bill.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Big Pharma And You

I'm in the donut hole right now and paying a Canadian pharmacy less than a third of the U.S. name brand retail price for the two equally effective generics not available here.
This is probably why.

Al Franken: Remember Him?

The issue is legal recourse for the women working for contractors who have been raped or otherwise sexually assaulted. Franken offered a remedy. All but 10 Republican senators voted against it, since the employers should be protected, right?
Anyway, read this quick article and be sure to read the comments, which are also enlightening.
And tell any fence-sitting friends you may have about it, too.

Only 23 Days Left

And a little winsomeness for each day, via this animated Advent calendar.
I was disappointed that it has no music.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fuckistan Cont'd

Sullivan has put together various responses, including his own, to the president's decision.
Me, I've got my fingers crossed. Really, he thought about it, he consulted, he decided.
He's The Decider now.


Wrong city, wrong police chief. Senior moment. Sorry.

My favorite tidbit from the story of the Lakewood cop assassinations is from the guy who reported the stolen car, left running and with the hood up when found by the Seattle police officer who shot and killed Clemmons during a confrontation:

"It's not a very reliable car." he said. "We only use it for short trips."

Random Thought

Woody Allen ought to retire and take up blogging, and devote more time to his music.
Oh, wait, he already has. Case in point: Vicki Christina Barcelona.

Post-Modern Journalism

Sullivan, riffing on Balk, has it in a nutshell:

Increasingly, these journos see themselves as conduits for politicians, not as independent actors determined to get at the truth and hold the powerful accountable. There are no follow-ups any more; and when you see how Palin was insulated from real questioning in the campaign and book tour, you realize how corrupted the MSM has become.

Mike Allen has done this before - giving Cheney or Rove a platform as well as anonymity - with no pushback or skepticism. What matters is the "get" and the pageviews, not the substance. These people are not checks on power; they are increasingly its willing accomplices.

Okay, we've still got McClatchy and a few magazine independents, but in most cases, the Cheneys and Palins of this world don't talk to them, so there is no follow-up allowed.

When Everything Changed

is the name of Gail Collins' new book on the history of feminism.
I plan to read it, but this brief discussion exerpted from a much longer dialogue between her and Joan Walsh from Salon brings back a very clear memory, one of those events in life that made me a contrarienne for life.
I had joined and become active in Seattle NOW radicalized, I like to joke, by being at home alone all day with a two-year-old. (She was four when I joined.)
Somewhere along the way, I helped organize a workshop by Alinsky acolyte Heather Booth and her husband, whose name I forget.
Booth told us right up front. It wasn't our in-the-streets, in-the-face activism that was opening doors. It was the economy, stupid. I knew she was right. I never forgot that.

For more Walsh/Collins snippets, go here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Tradeoff

Josh Marshall points to a little-noticed emerging theme among Democrats in Congress and the White House's apparent acquiescence, if not dowright support.
It's called for lack of a catchier term, entitlement reform, the notion of getting Social Security and Medicare under control.
I'm all for both, as long as I don't take a hit.
But more importantly, I'm sort of thinking it steals some anticipated Republican thunder in the upcoming mid-term elections, especially for the conservative Dems who must run again in shaky districts.
So, yeah, there's reform, and then there's reform politics.
With populist hueing and crying, some newsworthy items from the proposed commission just might dampen the anti-government flame that burns beneath the surface.
Oh, and for their trouble, the threatened Democrats go along on health care reform.
Kabuki, I tells ya.
Krugman says deficits aren't really any big deal and scratches his head in wonderment. But if you look at it not from an economic perspective, but from a political one, it makes much more sense.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Too Lazy

to live blog the outstanding HBO special made from last month's Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame live concerts at Madison Square Garden.
Stopped short when my god, Paul Simon, brings out Dion Damucci to do The Wanderer.
Anthony and the Imperials. Why did I think du-wop was a Philly phenom? Damn you, American Bandstand.
But besides all that, a lot of fat, old grey-haired guys who are still hugely talented. And now I know who Jeff Beck is.
I am thankful for rock 'n roll.
Catch this on DVD when you can.

Art Garfunkel looks like Dick Shawn.

Just In Case

the route of reconciliation rears its hydra head in the discussion over how to get health care reform passed in the Senate, here's a little primer.
I used to think, based merely on the comments of a lot of other know-nothing progressives like myself, that reconciliation would be the end game.
I no longer believe that because I've read some analysis of what it actually means in practical legislative terms.
That's not to say it's not in Harry Reid's back pocket, he even issued a reference to it not long ago, but quickly withdrew it.
It basically seemed to be a warning to the recalcitrant conservative Dems that their prima dona act could be squelched. But not easily. Not even likely.

About The Sunday News

Best quote so far comes from Josh Marshall:
Who could have predicted that building a fully-enclosed ski resort on the edge of the Persian Gulf might be a sign of a bubble economy?

I'm betting that the police chief in Lakewood, WA, where four of his officers were gunned down this morning, wishes he had run for Kitsap County commissioner after all and left the profession. Condolences, Mike.

After all the hype, news begins to trickle in — as we knew it would — that the Black Friday shopping season kick-off was abysmal. What to watch for: Reports from the credit card trackers. Won't be good. Forget all that breathless crap and interviews with shoppers and shop keepers.

The Book I'd Write

if I knew anything at all.
Given the circumstances, I'll just read it.