Friday Morning News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians! TGIF.

The weather continues to be very very strange. We in southern New England are being left out of another terrible winter storm. I’m reading that there is an “intense winter storm” in the Northeast:

A huge, windy winter storm lingered Friday over the Northeast, cutting power to at least a half-million customers, fanning a hotel fire in New Hampshire, and disrupting air and road travel across the region.
Power failures were so bad in New Hampshire that even the state Emergency Operations Center was operating on a generator. Winds across the region were near 50 mph as utility companies prepared for even more outages due to toppled trees and near-blizzard conditions.

Public Service of New Hampshire, the state’s largest utility, reported power cut to at least 237,000 customers and said it would take days before everyone’s lights flickered back on.

New Hampshire? How did this storm miss us here in Boston? I’m looking out my window and I see sun. We did have strong winds blowing around last night and some rain, but that was it.

Officials in Massachusetts said the storm had knocked out power to 100,000 homes and businesses by early Friday, mostly in the northeastern part of the state. The numbers were 200,000 in New York, mostly in the Hudson Valley north of New York City, 25,000 in Vermont and more than 1,500 in New Jersey.

In New York City, 10 inches of snow had fallen before dawn and more was expected. A man was killed by a falling snow-laden tree branch in Central Park, one of at least three deaths being blamed on the storm.

The storm it somewhere in Massachusetts apparently, but not in my part of the state. I hope all you Conflucians who did get it are surviving okay.

In other news, the President held a “health care summit” yesterday. I missed the whole thing, but I got updates from the live blogs here at TC. It didn’t sound to me like much got accomplished. I don’t see a whole lot of new reaction in the big media outlets. I wonder if the whole thing is just going to fall down the memory hole.

Via right wing blog Hot Air, self-important pompous ass and CNN talking head David Gergen thinks “the Republicans had their best day in years and that they were intellectually superior to the Democrats in their arguments. Is he for real?

The Boston Globe lists some “exchanges” that took place at the “summit.” It’s a pretty short article for the highlights of a 7 hour meeting.

Jake Tapper posted a kind of open thread at his blog Political Punch, but didn’t even get many comments. This one was pretty good:

What an interesting look into the fall-out of “accelerated promotion.” You have a junior member of congress who catapults into the presidency after serving only 28 months in the body. The setting yesterday revealed Obama’s continued need to prove himself worthy of his title. What he lacks in experience and rapport with other members of congress is replaced with bravado-the only card he can play..as if his arrogance in some way makes up for his lack of qualifications in the eyes of the people in that room-most of whom, up until last year, vastly “out-ranked” him.

I think most Americans have just about given up on this administration doing anything for anyone but giant corporations.

Looking at more liberal media outlets, Lindsay Beyerstein at Alternet had this to say:

arguably, the real purpose of the summit was to captivate the attention of the media while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., figured out how to push ahead with health care reform through budget reconciliation — a parliamentary procedure that would sidestep the filibuster and the 60-vote supermajority required to overcome it, allowing Democrats to pass Senate legislation by a simple majority of 51 votes.

I still have no idea what is in this bill. Does anyone know? If they still plan to force me to buy crap insurance I can’t afford, I’m not sure what to do.

At Talking Points Memo, Greg Sargent tries to put the best possible face on Obama’s performance, while not sounding very confident about it. Sargent seems to agree with Beyerstein that the only point of the summit was to put the Republicans’ arguments on display and then go ahead and push the bill through. But did Americans get the message that Obama wanted them to get? I don’t know.

In other news, David Patterson is in more trouble in New York.

A range of political allies and even some close friends urged Mr. Paterson privately and publicly to end his bid for election. They said his political standing had been irreparably damaged by revelations on Thursday that the State Police had contacted the woman pressing a domestic violence complaint against a close aide, and by the allegation that the governor had spoken with her a day before she was due back in court.

While no prominent Democrat called for Mr. Paterson to resign, several said it would be impossible for him to both govern and run a campaign while dealing with the allegations, which the governor has asked Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo to investigate. Other officials said that if an inquiry showed that Mr. Paterson tried to influence the woman’s decision not to continue the case, he should resign.

While I was at Alternet, I found this fascinating and horrifying article by Mark Ames on Ayn Rand, who is the favorite author of many of the public officials who are destroying our country:

Ayn Rand, Hugely Popular Author and Inspiration to Right-Wing Leaders, Was a Big Admirer of Serial Killer

There’s something deeply unsettling about living in a country where millions of people froth at the mouth at the idea of giving health care to the tens of millions of Americans who don’t have it, or who take pleasure at the thought of privatizing and slashing bedrock social programs like Social Security or Medicare. It might not be as hard to stomach if other Western countries also had a large, vocal chunk of the population who thought like this, but the US is seemingly the only place where right-wing elites can openly share their distaste for the working poor. Where do they find their philosophical justification for this kind of attitude?

The answer is Ayn Rand’s writings. Among her fans are

former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan and SEC Commissioner Chris Cox — along with other notable right-wing Republicans such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

The loudest of all the Republicans, right-wing attack-dog pundits and the Teabagger mobs fighting to kill health care reform and eviscerate “entitlement programs” increasingly hold up Ayn Rand as their guru. Sales of her books have soared in the past couple of years; one poll ranked “Atlas Shrugged” as the second most influential book of the 20th century, after The Bible

And according to Rand’s biographer, the novelist based her most famous male characters, John Galt and Howard Roark, on a serial killer named Walter Hickman, with whom Rand was obsessed and described as “genuinely beautiful soul.” You can read more about Hickman at the link. This is a must-read.

Speaking of serial killers, I’m guessing Rand would also have been an admirer of Amy Bishop. The latest news on Bishop’s case is just incredible. There’s video at the link of Norfolk County DA William Keating making an announcement last night that the case of Bishop’s shooting of her younger brother Seth in 1986 has been reopened, and he is asking for an inquest. The reasons for this are first that Bishop’s parents have refused to speak to investigators and second that new evidence has been found.

Keating also said there were inconsistencies in the police reports, including two different accounts of Seth Bishop’s body position when he was found, with one saying he was face-up and another saying he was face-down.

And he said that a crime scene photo from that era showed that next to the rifle shells found in Amy Bishop’s bedroom, there was a newspaper with an article that chronicled a similar attack to the one she allegedly committed.

Keating said he questioned whether the shooting was truly accidental, and he added that an inquest could lead to a homicide charge against Amy Bishop.

During the press conference, Keating said that the article lying next to Bishop’s bed was about someone who killed a family member and then escaped by stealing a car from a dealership, which is exactly what she tried to do. What more can come out about this woman? My only question is, was she planning to kill her brother or her father? The father is the one she had had an argument with just before she went upstairs to get the shotgun. Keating wants to know what that argument was about.

So what are you reading this morning, and are you buried in snow?

HAVE A FABULOUS FRIDAY!!!!!!!

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94 Responses

  1. Good Morning, BostonBoomer — that stuff about Ayn Rand is fascinating to me. I used to work with an Ayn Rand nut. He was working his way through all her books & “annotating” them – whatever THAT meant. I never could stand her & it was really interesting to me to meet someone who loved her. Sadly, he was my boss….

    I still think that the health insurance bailout is a mistake but, if I end up paying something less than 25% of my take home pay for premiums (thanks to tax credits or whatever form the “subsidies” take) I’ll pretend to be happy.

    Our premiums don’t have to go up 40% for them to be unaffordable — if they go up another 10%, I don’t think we can keep it.

    One thing I was wondering yesterday, do people realize that the plans don’t include dental or vision?

    • Did you read the whole thing? And she is the idol of one of our Supreme Court Justices.

      {{shudder}}

      • I’ve read all the Ayn Rand things and I’m looking forward to reading the articles once I get home from classes. Thx for the links!

      • No, I have a severe alergy to Ayn Rand — Just from reading your post I had to rub my whole body down with a baking-soda-paste to avoid an outbreak of hives.

        • Ayn Rand was the epitome of callousness when I was first in college … I had several roommates who suffered through one of her books. I was so repelled by their reports that I’ve never subjected myself to actually reading a Rand book.

          Too bad she’s still influential.

      • Look Ayn Rand on YouTube as well. There are a number of interviews with her where she talks easily rebuttable rubbish. Once I saw them, I was flummoxed that anyone could be swayed by her. Must require some kind of predisposition.

        *****A

  2. Another great round-up, bb.

    I read this morning that Bishop’s attorney described her as a “violent time bomb waiting to explode”. Waiting? I think she already has exploded. Her lawyer is also convinced that she is a paranoid schizophrenic. Assuming that’s true, is ps an inherited trait?

    • She isn’t schizophrenic. Her attorney has backed off that claim. It makes no sense. She probably has one or more personality disorders.

      • Are those likely to be genetic? Are her children at risk?

        • Just about every psychological disorder is partly genetic. But it also takes environmental contributions to trigger them to manifest in an individual. Most diseases are like that.

          Based on what I know about Amy Bishop, I think she at least has Borderline Personality Disorder. That tends to be associated with sexual abuse in childhood. That’s why it would be very interesting to know what she fought with her father about. And you never know about the brother really. The family is clearly very strange.

          • I’m going to try to find time to pull a post together on it over the weekend.

          • I think it is possible, not definite, that Amy Bishop’s killing of her brother was accidental. It is obvious that she didn’t know how to handle the gun. Why else would she have blown a hole in her bedroom ceiling? What purpose would that have served except to warn the intended victim (possibly her father) that Amy was coming for him and give him time to get away (in addition to making her room uninhabitable)? Then Seth arrived home, and was accidentally (by this scenario) killed by another mishap of the gun. I think she intended to kill one of them, but it’s hard to tell if she got the one intended.

          • In the article I read, at the car dealer, she told them that her husband had tried to kill her. But it was actually her father with whom she had fought. She had no husband at that time. I did not know whether this was a mistake in the article, or an indication that the relationship with her father was too much like that of a husband.

          • I think Bishop is “strange” but not crazy in the legal sense. We’ll have to wait for the psych evaluation, but that’s my gut feeling. I also think she knew how to use the shotgun, at least to the extent that she knew how to point it at a target and pull the trigger. If anything, she may not have realized the kickback and that’s why her first shot hit the ceiling. After that, she was ready for it and compensated. IMO, she did not kill her brother accidentally. She is a person who uses violence to deal with anger. Now, she might have thought her brother was her father when he walked in the door and got off the shot before she realized it wasn’t her intended victim. But that’s still murder.

          • Actually the first shot was into her bedroom wall right near the doorway.

          • Oops – I stand corrected on that. Still pretty clumsy of her.

  3. We haven’t had more than a trace of snow here in Western Massachusetts this whole month. (Our biggest snowfall this winter was 4.5 inches in December.) Yesterday was messy with slush and rain. Out here a lot of people (okay, me) have snow-envy. It’s weird. It’s the new global climate — weather patterns are much less predictable than they used to be. Hold on to your hats — the fun is just beginning!

    • Where was the snow in MA then? I heard yesterday they were going to get some in Worcester.

  4. OMG – I read Rand when I was 18, back in the ’60s – a lot of people I knew were reading her. I always had the feeling she was very paranoid, but I had no idea that her ideal man was based on a psychopath – I couldn’t even get into page 2 of the link without feeling sick and I’m don’t think that I can go back to finish reading it.

    • The author of the article called Rand a sociopath. She sure sounds like one.

    • Likewise.

      My first year in grad school, I took a course called “The Literature of Social Protest.” Everyone else in the class chose a leftist writer/organization for their semester project. I took the radical righties and Ayn Rand, and decided two things:

      1. Her ideas are both banal and inimical to democracy; and
      2. Her books are boring as hell.

      You have to be a committed rightwinger to get through her stuff without feeling you’ve been on Napoleon’s long slog through the Russian winter.

      • the John Galt speech is like the sermon from hell … it took me forever to actually read the damned thing. First time out, I skipped it.

        • You went through it a second time?

          I hereby award you a bronze star for valor and a purple heart (that had to hurt).

  5. <Health insurance hikes stun small businesses

    Tom Simmons, president of an Oakland design and consulting firm with four employees, said he had just read about the Anthem increases when he opened a letter from his insurer, Blue Shield of California, informing him his monthly family premium would go up to $1,596 a month from $908, a nearly 76 percent increase.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/26/MNLV1C78RH.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0gegqyXxu

    I want Single Payer…this trend of premium hikes is just plain extortion and people need Health Care!

    Single Payer

    • Do you think that some of this is a negotiation technique? That they know their increases are being scrutinized & are demanding HUGE increases while totally prepared to cut them in half? Or whatever.

      If you start with 10% increase (which is REALLY bad) then you might have to scale back to 5%. But, if you start demanding 75% (oh my God!) then 35% sounds pretty good (snort — in a world where people have a spare 35%. As my sister would say, Fuckers.

      • Yes, the latter of which you said…what is the difference between them and the mob? Doesn’t the mob at least start at 20% and goes up to the 30s…70+% hike in premiums is criminal!

  6. Good morning, and great collection BB. I’m a bit stunned by Gergen’s reaction. Then again, he’s bonkers. That summit was bizarre. What a circus.

    I don’t know what I’m going to do about insurance, like many here. The though of uprooting and just leaving becomes more tenable every day. And that’s really sad.

  7. “Children ‘over-exposed to sexual imagery’”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8537734.stm

    From the BBC article:

    Children are being increasingly exposed to sexual imagery and their parents have limited opportunities to stop it, a report for the Home Office warns.

    (snip)
    Author Dr Linda Papadopoulos said there was a clear link between sexualised imagery and violence towards females.

    (snip)
    The report said this “drip-drip” exposure was distorting young people’s perceptions of themselves, encouraging boys to become fixated on being macho and dominant, while girls in turn presented themselves as sexually available and permissive.

    One outcome had been the rise of sexual bullying in which girls felt compelled to post topless or naked pictures on social networks, it added.

  8. The Ayn Rand information is indeed telling, bb. It’s setting up an “us versus them” dichotomy that attempts to justify dropping the general welfare from American consciousness. Conservatives have done such a good job of tarnishing perfectly good words such as “welfare”, “liberal” and now Beck’s going after “progressive”. Creating “hate” targets rather than actually achieving anything positive for our country is the distraction that immobilizes.

    • The latest Beck screed was really amazing. I’ve never followed him, but he is truly dangerous.

      • I get tired of insane people getting huge public voices just because some one makes profits. I know it’s a first amendment thing, but it’s like he screams fire! in EVERY one’s auditoriums, I swear. And he does it DAILY!

  9. Good Morning Boston Boomer, I always enjoy your postings. I also am closely following the Amy Bishop case. In previous postings it appeared that you felt that she may have been unfairly denied tenure. Do you still feel that she was treated unfairly? If so, on what basis?

    It doesn’t look like Bishop’s tenure file has been made public. Would she have known what was in her tenure file? All the information I have been able to find regarding tenure is consistent with what is in the link below.

    “Students said they signed a petition and complained to no avail about the classroom conduct of Amy Bishop. Bishop’s students say they wrote a letter to biology department chairman Gopi K. Podila – one of the victims – then met with him and finally submitted a petition that dozens of them had signed.”

    HOW IRONIC – Bishop’s husband, James Anderson, said the “vast majority” of students were happy with her. He said his wife taught the “cut course” for nursing students, who would either go on toward a degree or quit the program based on how they did in her class.

    “If they didn’t make it through, they didn’t make it,” he said. “So it’s natural for some to be unhappy.” BUT NONE OF THE CUT STUDENTS MURDERED HER!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/02/17/national/main6216765.shtml

    • No, I don’t think she was unfairly denied tenure. I’m not sure I ever said that. I do think there was some bullying going on, but the more that comes out the more you have to wonder how she got the job in the first place. I guess they didn’t look past the Harvard degree.

      Bishop seems to be very impulsive to the point where she really can’t control her emotions well at all. I’m sure people thought she was weird and probably gave her the cold shoulder (not that I blame them). But that probably contributed to her paranoia. I also think her husband was involved. I saw one report that a neighor saw them loading up their car with stuff before the shooting.

      • This is a comment that I am remembered. I wondered at the time what you had heard to indicate possible unfair treatment. That’s all. I really appreciate your interest in this case and insights and clarification into the human psychology aspects.

        bostonboomer, on February 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm Said:

        Did you ever talk to her? I agree that she had to be under a lot of stress, and from what I have heard I do think she may have been treated unfairly. I couldn’t put everything in this post, but I’m going to keep watching for more info. Her husband claims that the department was ordered to give her tenure or start over. However, he seems to be a little strange as well, so I don’t know how trustworthy he is.

        Normal people don’t flip out and go on shooting sprees though.

        • A lot more information has come out since I wrote that. And her husband lied about the the tenure appeal.

          • This comment on the link really set my imagination spinning:

            What people do not know or remember is that Mr. Anderson was her boyfriend at the time of this shooting. I get the feeling he eggs this woman on, and she takes the action.

            Wouldn’t it be weird if Anderson is the sociopath behind this woman’s outbursts? Someone with no conscience would think manipulating her to violence was great fun. Have to say that he comes across strangely detached in that interview.

            *****A

        • “This is a comment that I am remembered.”

          Wow. I really do need another cup of coffee. Should be “This is a comment that I am remembering”. Also it’s hard to type when the grandchildren are playing under your feet.

      • I’ve spent over three decades in higher ed in the South and any degree from any Ivy League school bedazzles any college president. It’s the old expert thing–someone from a 100 miles away who uses Powerpoint. Of the several Ivy League degrees I’ve worked with, one was an Obama type, and one was a Bush type; the rest were regular human beings. That is about the same ratio as degrees from any other institution. I’ve worked in a tenured enviornment, though I am familiar with several nearby institutions that practice that sort of thing. Frankly, I see it as a way of shifting a manager’s job on the shoulder of faculty, and in the end, unless you have a really good union, if management wants to screw you, they will find a way.

  10. Bipartisanship is bad. Glenn Greenwald on Morning Joe. Gridlock is good for media, maybe.

  11. I found this on the bloghopenchangery. Then I looked it up on youtube.
    How did we get here from there

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  12. Just got a letter today from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. My premiums went up 30%.

    Yep, 30 fricken percent.

  13. OK – I love Ayn Rand’s books. I take what I want from them and leave the rest. I love Dominique and think she portrays the media fairly accurately in the Fountain Head.

    anyway – this quote here from today’s articles – ” but the US is seemingly the only place where right-wing elites can openly share their distaste for the working poor. ”

    Obviously this writer has never been to India. Or for that matter Africa – which I think is a lost continent. The latter is truly corrupt and those in power don’t give a crap about their own people only their immediate gratification and power ego.

  14. Where I am, kids got another snow day.
    Paterson is getting payback for not obeying Obama when told to not run for another term. Now they are trying to get him to resign. They’ve got nothing, but that won’t stop them.
    What is in this bill? Everything that was bad in the senate bill – only vaguer (CBO could not assess costs because of that). Mandates, anti-choice, no anti-monopoly provisions for insurers, no employer mandate to insure – the whole miserable lot. Ah, and the “Cadillac” thinghie for all – only deferred to 2018

    • They did pass a repeal of the anti-trust exemption for insurers earlier in the week, at least that’s what Nancy said.

    • It is unclear to me what the bill may be since it seems to me that they are going to have to probably go to reconciliation. That means that they are basically going to pass the Senate bill in the House and then “reconcile” some differences in the Senate for final passage. That would leave all the crap in the Senate bill. But I also heard that they can carve out a hole in the Senate bill after passage by the House and fill that hole with “reconciliation of differences”. I think they are opening new territory and we just don’t know.

      I think if what we get is the Senate bill with all its cancers intact, the Dems will pay a pretty price.

  15. NY Post is reporting that Paterson is not seeking a full term as governor. http://www.nypost.com/

  16. This get rid of Paterson campaign has been going in full force ever since he didn’t pick Kathleen for Hillary’s Senate seat. I figured it was only a matter of time before they finally got to him.

    • I mean Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg.

    • But who in Albany was really pushing for Caroline. My sense was the pressure was coming from DNC types outside the state. Could be they’re still sore, but to the degree of setting up Paterson for this battery case…seems a stretch imo.

      • No setup. I think Paterson was an idiot who deservers to be booted. I’m just saying they’ve been gunning for him since then waiting for an opening. Eventually he was going to do something stupid, and he did.

        And yep, that’s all from Chicago DNC. You cross them, they’ll do you in no matter how long it takes. See. :-)

    • And not did he not pick Kennedy, he was a stalwart Hillary supporter. He’s not been a pushover for the 0 apparatus, so his time was coming.

  17. Re: Insurance increases. I was trapped in my car yesterday on a long drive entertaining myself with the health summit and news. On one of those news forays I heard that the insurance companies are saying that the rate increases are unfolding from huge increases in ER services for uninsured which are resulting in hospitals moving to try to shield their losses by putting those ER costs onto insurance paying resources. In other words the existing practice of insurance payers paying for the uninsured has greatly accelerated.

    You can take this with whatever salt you think is necessary.

  18. Re: the health care summit. What I was able to listen to (between my needs for periodic relief) would cause me to tend to agree with Gergen. Both Coburn and Alexander sounded reasonable, rationale and reform minded. What I heard of O was the pedantic and the pissed. To me he was very haughty and arrogant in many of his comments critiquing R comments as “talking points and props (because they brought the Senate bill with them which allegedly was the topic of conversation). In the clips I saw on tv he appeared to move between arrogant and angry. I think my bias against him undoubtedly colored my judgement.

    I did see the infamous Luntz with his live polling schtick. His focus group was evenly split between those who voted for McCain and those voting for O. The poll results from them was essentially that they did not think the summit ever addressed the real concerns of Americans. He asked them about the Dems moving to reconciliation to pass the Sen. bill. Only 3 people thought that was a good idea. Overwhelmingly most wanted a reset/do-over.

    Again, take all of that with whatever salt you need.

  19. I’m going to be laughing all day over this one.

  20. Ayn Rand makes my blood boil. The idea that anyone would even read her books, let alone find any value in what she says is a pure travesty to me. Watching her interviews on You Tube and seeing her cold contempt for the poor makes my hands shake.

    She is consumate evil.

  21. Here’s one I can’t believe:

    http://washingtonindependent.com/77696/citibank-shuts-down-gay-entrepreneurs-bank-account-over-blogs-content

    Jason Goldberg is the CEO of a company called Fabulis, which is developing a website, iPhone app and social media application targeted at gay men. His company — which is at least his third start-up — is funded by investors including The Washington Post and the venture capitalist Allen Morgan, and they just launched their beta version this month. You would think he would be the kind of customer Citi would want — but Citi decided otherwise after a compliance officer reviewed his site and decided that a social networking application for gay men was “objectionable.”

    • You’d think making lots of money would be interesting to them. Then again, why bother when the tax payers give you all the money you need.

      Of course the really scary thing is the whole idea that some things will not be funded if they’re “objectionable”. That can include lots of things like anything that helps women, anything that’s pro liberal causes/policies, and of course like in this case, anything that wacko wingers wouldn’t like.

      There is a long list of people to line up when the revolution comes.

  22. Medicare For All HR 767 NOW
    http://www.hr676.org/

    How long will we stand for the GREEDOS in our Health Care Sytem? We must call our legislators and demand a SINGLE PAYER CHOICE! There is no other option for working folks in America.

  23. He hit the big 20

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  24. Ayn Rand was twisted in many ways. Her ex-lover, Nathaniel Brand, wrote about her obsessive attempts to control him and how she expelled him from her sacred circle of admirers when he dared to confess he was attracted to a younger woman.

    Good review of two bios of her at Slate reveal that this “this fifth-rate Nietzsche of the mini-malls” (love that line) was an amphetamine addict and near psychopath who died alone and bitter.

    “We all become weak at some point in our lives, so a thinker who despises weakness will end up despising herself. In her 70s Rand found herself dying of lung cancer, after insisting that her followers smoke because it symbolized “man’s victory over fire” and the studies showing it caused lung cancer were Communist propaganda. By then she had driven almost everyone away. In 1982, she died alone in her apartment with only a hired nurse at her side. If her philosophy is right—if the only human relationships worth having are based on the exchange of dollars—this was a happy and victorious death. Did even she believe it in the end?”

    http://www.slate.com/id/2233966

    This is the person whose thinking pervades our current government. No wonder we’re in so much trouble.

  25. Clinton says U.S. deficit now a security issue
    Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:23pm EST

    * Clinton blames Greenspan for debt crisis

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2511749320100225

    • Global economics outside the US is relevant to the diplomatic and national security work of the State Department. We look like bumbling amateurs having BO and Geithner firewall that from State. Head in the sand 19th century mindset. One doesn’t have to be an imperialist to be an internationalist.

  26. http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/

    backtrack and his overworked middle finger

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALIST AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  27. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33594.html

    The dems are turning on Charlie Rangle.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  28. Until today I didn’t know that there are well read people that don’t think The Fountainhead is one of the greatest books ever written. I’m not sure I can process this.

  29. :) The comment from Jake Tapper’s page about him being out-ranked and playing President is exactly what goes through my head every single time I see him interacting with congress. How does he manage to get their attention when most of them must be sitting there caught in the distraction of “where does this junior doofuss get off?” The guy was only in the early stage of being mentored into the Senate when arrogance answered the call to leap.

  30. “What an interesting look into the fall-out of “accelerated promotion.” You have a junior member of congress who catapults into the presidency after serving only 28 months in the body.”

    If you go for a meteoric rise, you’d best be made of the stuff that can withstand crash and burn. What we’ve got is more in the fizzle realm.

  31. Desiree Rogers leaving her Social Secretary post….now I’m wondering what the investigation of how the two incidents of State Dinner crashing showed.

    http://www.politico.com/politico44/

    Politico has a bunch of interesting stuff on it today.

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