January 24, 2010 archive

March for Life: Health Care and Abortion

originally posted by Will Urquhart at Sum of Change

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Between Games Edition.

Colts 30 – 17.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Bulldozers move into Haiti capital as victims pray

by Jordi Zamora and Charles Onians, AFP

2 hrs 35 mins ago

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Thousands of Haitian voices rose in prayer from ruined churches Sunday, as recovery teams began to bulldoze the capital’s devastated centre and a French ship carrying supplies arrived.

Twelve days after a catastrophic earthquake razed much of the city, hundreds of thousands of Haitians remained in desperate need of food, water and shelter, despite a large-scale US military intervention and UN-run aid program.

In Port-au-Prince, morning prayers and song gave way to apocalyptic scenes as earthmovers cleared downtown rubble, spewing rotting corpses into the streets and opening new routes for looters to swarm through the ruins.

Why Bernanke should not be re-appointed

University of Newcastle economist Bill Mitchell (“Professor of Economics” in a University system where Professor means something far more than just “university teacher”) addresses the disconnect between Ben Bernanke’s economic universe and the real world in The Great Moderation myth. This is one of his (typically) long blog posts with the (normal) very high signal to noise ratio combined with (typical) substantial amount of detailed economic discussion which may be off-putting to those with poor tolerance for economic discussion.

However, in his post, he has two diagrams which perfectly capture an important element of the disconnect between Bernanke’s world and the real world.

So, two diagrams and a handful of paragraphs on why Bernie Sanders is quite right: we need somebody different from Bernanke as Fed Chairman.

source of image is the linked to piece by Bernie Sanders in the Guardian’s Comment is Free

Jets v. Colts Liveblogging

So the storyline goes something like this-

Colts == Peyton Manning, Super Quarterback.

For the last 2 weeks of the season, after they clinched the playoffs, the Colts put their scrubs on the field including the game on the 27th that they lost to the Jets 29 – 15.

In addition they totally dicked over Baltimore in their move to Indianapolis.

Now as satisfying as it would be to see them punished for their arrogance, I’ll take the time to remind you the Jets are one of the most conservative donating teams in the NFL (though the league as a whole is only slightly less conservative than NASCAR) so it’s basically a pick ’em on who to hate more.

It doesn’t matter anyway since they’re both playing for second because both the Vikings and the Saints can beat either of them.

Starting Now on CBS.



You’ll have to wait on that Weekend News Digest for sure.

Scott Richard and Dennis

No, Scott Stevens, Richard “ballon boy” Heene and Dennis “space preservation act” Kucinich.  Yes, there is a connection.  What is it?

Charge a President with Murder

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    If accountability is off the table, so is Democracy.

    In an age when the rich and powerful have more control over the creation of the law than ever we face the greatest threat to our Democracy we have ever known. We have met the enemy, and he is us.

    If the rich and powerful can bribe lawmakers to do their bidding AND those lawmakers are not subject to the same laws they are supposed to uphold than there is no freedom, there is no equality, there is no justice. The biggest threat to our democracy is not a man with a bomb in his pants or a hijacker flying a plane, it is a man with unlimited power and no one that he must answer to. If that man is an American he is capable of doing more damage to America than any terrorist could ever dream of.

   If you love freedom and Democracy please join me below the fold.

Grayson challenges the Supreme Court give away

The Decision

by Alan Grayson — Thu Jan 21, 2010

In a 5-to-4 decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that corporations have the “right” to spend an unlimited amount of money to influence and manipulate federal elections.  The decision overturns more than a century of law and precedent.  


“The Supreme Court has decided to protect the rights of GE, Volkswagen, Lukoil and Aramco, at the expense of our right to good government,” Grayson added.


Today, Rep. Grayson called for immediate action on his Save Our Democracy bills.  “If we do nothing, then before long, there won’t be Senators from Oklahoma or Virginia, there will be Senators from Citibank and WalMart.  Maybe they will wear insignias on their $500 suits, like NASCAR drivers do.”

Question is, do our Legslators have the guts to make use of our Constitutional “Checks and Balances”?  

Can the Legslators actually pass laws to reel in the excesses of the Corporate Rights enabling Court?

Put America Back To Work

Just one of many ways, and not only as to the VA facilities but Federal and State buildings etc. as well. And boy could I make a huge list of overlooked and ignored infrastructure needs!

I did this a number of years back, but it wasn’t because of a collapsed economy. I came off some eight years on the road, mostly in the northeast some midwest and a few southern states, building and supervising the building of stores in the new enclosed Malls that had grown out of strip malls all over. I just happened to have hit a call for a carpenter to lay a couple of VCT floors at the VA facility in Syracuse and was one of two hired. After we finished that we were asked to stay on and work out of their maintenance office and shop doing repairs and preventive maintenance. We ended up working there for a year plus. The other carpenter, older then myself, stayed on, I left to go back into commercial Rebuilds and continued in Commercial and Residential for the years since, up to the collapse of it all and the to little going on now.

Docudharma Times Sunday January 24

Sunday’s Headlines:

Desperate Haitians learn to tackle earthquake aftermath alone

You need a brave heart to stomach haggis

2009 Democratic agenda severely weakened by Republicans’ united opposition

Firms, trade group held fund GOP legislators’ retreat

Future of Okinawa base strains U.S.-Japanese alliance

Glimmers of hope as Nato targets hearts and minds in Afghanistan

Iceland’s children paying for slump

La bolshie vita: Fury in the Fellini family

PM on Mitchell meet: Interesting ideas raised on renewing talks

Bodies pulled from wells after mob rampage in Nigeria

Venezuelan cable television channel taken off air

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Mood Piece

I like to reach into the Wisdom of the Past to try and illuminate the times in which we live.

This little clip illustrates, I believe, the psyche of the American voter in the New Millennium:

Or perhaps it’s just that I’ll use any excuse to post a video of The Producers.


Earth to Dems: It’s the Mandate Stupid.

Beltway smartguy Nate Silver has posted a chart of results from the latest Kaiser Health tracking poll (PDF).

Nate uses this chart to argue that the lack of support for HCR is due to people not knowing how great it really is.

What we see is that most individual components of the bill are popular — in some cases, quite popular. But awareness lags behind. Only 61 percent are aware that the bill bans denials of coverage for pre-existing conditions. Only 42 percent know that it bans lifetime coverage limits. Only 58 percent are aware that it set up insurance exchanges. Just 44 percent know that it closes the Medicare donut hole — and so on and so forth.

Nate says that the Dems should pass HCR, teabaggers be damned, because once passed, the program’s benefits will become apparent.

Obviously, it’s not as though this is going to do much to help the bill’s popularity in the immediate term. But in the long term, once people actually see the go bill into effect, their perceptions are liable to improve, in ways that might help the Democratic party. Although there are a few things like the individual mandate which the public obviously does not like, most of the other components of the bill are things they are liable to be quite pleased with and to find quite reasonable.

Now, everybody knows Nate’s a smart guy, so one would think he would apply his vaunted statistical sense to make the obvious case that HCR stands a far better chance of being a popular program if the individual mandate is jettisoned.

After all, under Nate’s logic, if the individual mandate is already at minus 40% net favorability  (62% against: 22% for), just wait until the bill passes and everyone not only knows about it, but is forced, under pain of IRS audit, to buy overpriced, underperforming, for-profit health insurance.

But Nate won’t go that far.  Instead of advising Dems to fold on the mandate, he’d rather them take a blind gamble that the popularity of the benefits of HCR will outweigh the unpopularity of the individual mandate – and thus essentially repeat a strategy that has already contributed to the loss of Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat to a teabagger.

Truly, the establishment Dems’ studied denial of the individual mandate’s political liabilities, even by its most respected analysts, borders on the absurd.

(x-post @ Big O)

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