Nov. 19th, 2003

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Go read this and the precedent post.

I still want you off my damn lawn, Northrup. Your cats can stay.
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from the WSJ, via alicublog:
"What planet are these people living on? No normal person in a supermarket checkout line frets over whether the clerk has health insurance."

So if you're normal (apparently this involves being able to see the benefits to America at large of having people with untreated communicable diseases handling your food) you can just fold your hands at this point.
Otherwise you might want to donate to the strike fund, via Jeanne.
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World O'Crap with some Bush sanctity of marriage notes.

Roger Ailes (the other one) points out where prominent Bush supporter Andrew Sullivan may have gotten a little overtrained on the parsing the president thing.

You know, sometimes it's not a cigar after all.

This all seems very counterintuitive to me. If they want gay men and women to suffer, the GOP should encourage them to plan weddings. Possibly with the assistance of their mothers. That'll show 'em.
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Lacan
You are Jacques Lacan! Arguably the most important
psychoanalyst since Freud, you never wrote
anything down, and the only works of yours are
transcriptions of your lectures. You are
notoriously difficult to understand, but at
least you didn't talk about the penis as much
as other psychoanalysts. You died in 1981.


What 20th Century Theorist are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
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from the Washington Monthly, via Josh Marshall, the unsurprising news that Professor Reynolds (with his Tech Central Station column) works for DCI, a company which exists to create phony grassroots groundswells of opinions for Republican initiatives on behalf of rich folks by, er, lying.

This is an enormous comfort to me. He seems like an intelligent fellow, and I was starting to wonder about his grasp on reality.

Now that I know he's being paid by a company which subsidizes faux populists to be deliberately dishonest for money, I feel much better.

edit: Hey, cool! Two of our own! Jane Galt works for them too!

You have absolutely no idea how much more sense she makes now.

Well, not her positions, just that she purports to hold them out of conviction.
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via Calpundit:
Two Republican senators are seeking to shelter their states from part of an emerging Medicare bill, fearing their constituents could face higher premiums because of competition between traditional coverage and new private health plans for seniors, officials said Friday.

...."I ... strongly protest the possible use of my constituents as a testing ground for premium support," Specter wrote top Republicans recently. He noted that Pittsburgh and Johnstown in his state meet the criteria for an experimental program under discussion, and added that those "who are negatively affected by this proposed demonstration must be indemnified."

In much the same way that Republicans "support" vouchers but don't want voucher programs tested in their states, they also "support" Medicare competition but want no part of it for their constituents.

And you have to love the call for "indemnification." Translation: we already have to bribe the healthcare providers $12 billion because they don't want to participate in this program, and even then the program sucks so bad that we need to bribe the participants too. Give me a break. If we're going to pay the providers an extra $12 billion and Specter still thinks his constituents are likely to get crappier service than they do now, what does that tell you about Republican faith in the wonders of competition?

Republican Senators from Oregon and Arizona are also worried about the Medicare bill because they fear that Portland, Tucson, and Phoenix might be used as testing grounds. It kind of reminds me of Alaska congressman Don Young, who supported efforts to privatize air traffic control but insisted on exempting the airport next to his hotel.

To sum up: this plan is so terrific for seniors that powerful Republican legislators insist that their constituents, if not completely exempted, must be paid a premium to participate in it.

No such premium is required if constituents of Democratic legislators are involved.

Libertarians? "Reagan Democrats"?

[chirp]

Heh. Indeed.
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I haven't felt really naive about the extent of perfidy supporters of the current administration and their policies are willing to go to in ages.

Gosh, thanks, Howie.

Specifically, when I read this morning's stories about Governor Dean's brother's body being found in a grave in Laos, where he disappeared in the wake of the Vietnam war.
The Democratic presidential candidate told reporters the government's POW-MIA unit has told his family it has found bones and shoes, a sock and bracelet believed to be those of Charles Dean. Dean said there is a 99.9 percent chance his younger brother's remains have finally been found.

"We greet this news with mixed emotions, but we are gratified we are now approaching closure," Dean said in a brief statement here.

Charles Dean, then a 24-year-old graduate of the University of North Carolina, was on a trip down the Mekong River with a companion, Neil Sharman of Australia, when they were captured by communist Pathet Lao guerrillas on Sept. 4, 1974. The two were reportedly held in a remote prison camp for a few months on suspicion of being spies. The U.S. and Australian governments strongly protested, saying they were tourists. They are believed to have been killed in December 1974 by the North Vietnamese.

I saw that story and I said to myself "This is going to disappear without a ripple. There's no way to spin Dean's brother rotting in an unmarked grave for thirty years after being killed by communist enemies of the United States to make Dean look as if he's sympathetic to communists or enemies of the United States."

Well, damned if I didn't forget Howie, via Atrios.

"Howard Dean, speaking with reporters Tuesday afternoon following a campaign appearance in Bedford, N.H., expressed relief that the 30-year wait for answers about what happened to his brother might finally be over. As he has since the disappearance of his brother, Dean was wearing a belt buckle that belonged to Charles Dean as he spoke. "'This has been a long and emotional journey for my mother, Jim, Bill and me,' Dean said. 'We greet this news with mixed emotions but are gratified that we may now be approaching closure to this painful episode in our lives.' "Dean, in a soon-to-be released autobiography, called the capture and death of his brother 'the most traumatic events of my life.'"

I wonder if the remains would have been found if Dean wasn't running for president.

Ya know.

I had issues with Howie's probity when, after years of beating the crap out of all Democrats because Bill Clinton got a blowjob, he went soft (as it were) on Arnold Schwarzenegger's history of sexual misbehavior without revealing that his wife was on Schwarzenegger's campaign team.

Now he's willing to suggest that the POW/MIA team that found Charles Dean was in some way pandering to the Dean campaign?

Not everyone loses interest in americans when they're killed in war, Howie.

Just everyone you know.
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Well, the boys and girls in Ashcroft's Justice [sic] Department have brought the practice of sending suspects to the jurisdiction most friendly to the prosecution to levels hitherto unthought of.
A senior Justice Department official personally approved sending a Syrian-born Canadian citizen suspected of terrorist links to Syria last year after consulting with CIA officials, according to U.S. officials.

Then-Deputy Attorney General Larry D. Thompson, in his capacity as acting attorney general, signed the highly unusual order, citing national security and declaring that to send the man, Maher Arar, home to Canada would be "prejudicial to the interests of the United States," according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

This was, for a number of reasons, not a legal act.

The main problem with it: We're not allowed to send prisoners to countries that use torture on their prisoners.

You know, like freedom-loving Syria.

Presumably, though, since they're our largest trading partner and walking distance from major American cities, we can't trust Canada to deal appropriately with their own citizens.

Details at Body and Soul.
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it's just that we assume they're terrorists and should be treated accordingly by the police. via Elayne
PHONE operators have refused to co-operate with police to block anti-Bush protesters from using mobile telephones in Central London.

An emergency plan to create a mobile-free “bubble” for the President was branded “hysteria” by Orange, the second-largest mobile phone provider. It said that the police had no power to compel Orange to switch off its transmitters.

Scotland Yard wants to prevent mobile calls and text messages whenever the President arrives or leaves Buckingham Palace.

But an Orange spokeswoman said: “The rules state that we only have to block phone calls in this manner when there is a national emergency. That means during a war. The visit of a foreign dignitary is not a national emergency. It’s Bush hysteria.”

Police sources said that they were considering introducing the measure during Mr Bush’s visit as mobile phones have been used to detonate bombs.

...

The plan being considered is to create a “sterile area” some 15 minutes before Mr Bush gets into his armoured Cadillac and 15 minutes after his return. Among the many demands made by the White House was a mobile telephone blackout whenever the President left Buckingham Palace.

US officials were kept informed of the tests carried out by Scotland Yard. It is understood that mobile users in the test area did not realise that the short break in signals was due to the experiment.

Senior officers insist that such a draconian step is to combat terrorists, though such a ban will disrupt the activities of militant anarchist groups who rely on their mobile telephones to co-ordinate attacks during mass demonstrations in the capital.

Scotland Yard admits that it is waging a high-tech battle with the groups to try to eavesdrop on their plans for disruption over the next three days. The worry is that they can send text-messages to alert small groups who have infiltrated the main march.
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House and Senate agree to defy Bush on media consolidation, deadlock on overtime rules
House and Senate negotiators last night defied a White House veto threat and agreed to a provision that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from loosening rules on ownership of multiple media outlets.

With little discussion, the lawmakers tentatively included the measure in a huge, evolving spending package needed to keep the government operating.

The decision is a setback for President Bush, who has strongly endorsed the rule change. The plan, drafted by FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell, would have allowed a company to own television stations that could reach almost half the viewing public in a given area.

The House-Senate negotiators, however, could not resolve another major dispute between Congress and the White House, this one over the administration's bid to change the nation's policies on overtime pay. The House last month reversed course and joined the Senate Appropriations Committee in opposing White House efforts to make it easier for employers to exempt many higher-paid workers from overtime pay. The action marked a significant victory for Democrats and labor leaders, who said the administration's plan would deny overtime benefits to millions of employees when they work more than 40 hours a week.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) are trying to use the $284 billion "omnibus spending" bill to reverse Congress's position on overtime, as Bush has urged them to do.

"The president said he would veto the bill over that . . . [and] the speaker doesn't think it's useful for us to send legislation to the president to veto," said John Feehery, Hastert's spokesman.

But Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of an Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the issue, are resisting pressure from House leaders and the White House to drop the overtime provision.
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