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    • Inequality is Unnatural
      I’ve been reading UltraSociety, by Peter Turchin. Turchin’s a biologist turned to mathematical models of human society, and he’s done interesting work, not all of which I agree with (or agree is quite as radical as he claims.) But one of the points he makes in UltraSociety, which has been made by many archeologists and […]
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Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

Health-care Waterloo Nightmare Pseudo-Reform

I know he’s a douche but this is really good.

This is a very good question: Why should we preserve the he for-profit health insurance industry? Really, why?
What’s so great about private health insurance?

The bloody battle in Congress over a ‘public option’ ignores the insurers’ role in creating the nation’s healthcare crisis and their efforts to throttle reform.

This is truly “deja vu over again”.
Health Plan Opponents Make Voices Heard

The protests, organized by loose-knit coalition of conservative voters and advocacy groups, were a raucous start to what is expected to be weeks of political and ideological clashes over the health care overhaul President Obama is trying to push through Congress.

Our Government runs the best health care in the US

The US Family Health Plan is a military health plan sponsored by the Department of Defense. The USFHP offers benefits to active duty family members and all military retirees and their eligible family members, regardless of whether or not they participate in Medicare.

Democrats May Bypass Republicans on Health Plan, Schumer Says

Senate Democrats may decide to pass a U.S. health-care overhaul without Republican support if some opposition lawmakers don’t agree to a plan by mid-September, Senator Charles Schumer said.


Big Dawg To The Rescue

Bill Clinton in North Korea to Seek Release of U.S. Reporters

Former President Bill Clinton landed in North Korea on Tuesday to negotiate the release of two American television journalists sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for illegally entering North Korean territory, according to a person briefed on the mission.

Bill Clinton’s Novel Role: the Spousal Envoy


Economy Watch

A government program is working and Republicans don’t like it. Quelle surprise!
Senate Republicans aren’t buying ‘cash for clunkers’

Senate Republican leaders railed against it Monday, calling the program a model of government inefficiency and out-of-control spending. The program originally got $1 billion, but all but exhausted that funding last week, its first. The House of Representatives approved another $2 billion on Friday, but the Senate’s balking.

Goldman’s new ‘American Socialism Manifesto’

8 ways ‘The Conspiracy’ is destroying our American democracy

Morning in America Means `Long Slog’ as Nobel Winner Phelps Eyes Recovery

Just as banks from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. rushed to raise their forecasts for U.S. growth in coming quarters, Nobel laureate Edmund Phelps warned the economy is in for a “long slog.”

What recession? Not that I’m gloating here but we’re on the list twice, starting with the first spot. Just sayin’.
15 Government-Heavy (and Recession-Resistant) Cities


Around The Nation

Just because Right-wingers were having a collective orgasm when Gallup said 40% of Americans consider themselves conservatives.
Political Party Affiliation: 30 States Blue, 4 Red in ’09 So Far

An analysis of Gallup Poll Daily tracking data from the first six months of 2009 finds Massachusetts to be the most Democratic state in the nation, along with the District of Columbia. Utah and Wyoming are the most Republican states, as they were in 2008.

Rather sues to return CBS execs to $70 million suit

Former TV news anchor Dan Rather sued CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward on Monday in a bid to have them reinstated as defendants in his $70 million lawsuit against the network.
[…]
“These are the two individuals who committed the crime on behalf of CBS and we’re holding them personally responsible,” said Rather’s lawyer, Martin Gold.

Ruth Madoff Can’t Spend $100 Without Telling Trustee

Bernard Madoff’s wife, Ruth, can’t spend more than $100 on herself without telling the trustee liquidating her husband’s investment-advisory business, a bankruptcy judge ruled.

Olbermann not playing nice with News Corp.

MSNBC personality Keith Olbermann is disputing a report that his feud with Bill O’Reilly, Fox News and News Corp. has had the kabosh put on it.


Op-ed Columns

A Canadian doctor diagnoses U.S. healthcare

The caricature of ‘socialized medicine’ is used by corporate interests to confuse Americans and maintain their bottom lines instead of patients’ health.

Quite an interesting approach.
Safe at Home

THE financial crisis has given rise to all sorts of wrongheaded ideas, among which is the notion that we should not subsidize the “losers” who can’t make their mortgage payments. In fact, the solution to our troubles is not to restrict homeownership, but to expand it.

Ross Douthat, are you on crack? Liberalism is to blame for California’s woes and Texas is a model state?
Blue-State Blues

Responses to Ross’s silliness are here: More on Red States and Blue States


Around The World

China’s Broken Olympic Promises: Detained Activist’s Kafkaesque Nightmare

Ji Sizun, a legal activist who represented ordinary people, disappeared into the clutches of Chinese state security a year ago, on the fourth day of the Olympic Games in Beijing. He had wanted to demonstrate in one of the official “protest parks.” Instead, he ended up in prison.

Their fiscal stimulus seems to work better. How about their healthcare reform?
China eyes health care cure to rebalance economy

A new plan to provide universal healthcare in China could rein in its sky-high savings rate and stimulate private consumption — a boon to the world economy, which is counting on Chinese consumers to start spending.

Will a Police Probe Take Down Israel’s Foreign Minister?

After 13 years of on-and-off probes into his private and political affairs, Lieberman has had good reason to believe that Israel’s police were bugging his calls. And it certainly came as no surprise to the leader of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party when the police National Fraud Squad on Aug. 2 recommended that Lieberman be indicted for money-laundering, accepting bribes and obstruction of justice.

A Mafia Boss Breaks Silence on an Assassination

Salvatore (Toto) Riina, the Mafia’s notorious former boss of bosses, has broken his silence from his prison cell near Milan, where he is serving a life sentence for dozens of homicides, including the masterminding of the Borsellino hit and one three months earlier of another crusading Sicilian prosecutor, Giovanni Falcone.


From The Department of Huh???

Seattle bank teller chases robber, loses job

A Seattle bank teller has lost his job because he ran down a would-be bank robber and held him until police arrived. Jim Nicholson, 30, who had worked for more than two years at a Key Bank branch near the Seattle Center, says he understands the bank’s strict policy that employees comply with robbery demands and avoid confrontations.

Why couldn’t this guy adhere to the rules? How hard is it?


From Cuckooville

Birthers release forged Kenyan birth certificate for Obama

To hear the Birthers tell it, their Holy Grail has been found: Over the weekend, de facto movement leader Orly Taitz released a photo of what is supposedly a certified copy of a Kenyan birth certificate for President Obama, which shows that he was born in Mombasa, Kenya, and not in Hawaii.

Birther or Not, Here They Come! Rightbloggers Work the Obama Birth Certificate Angle

As you may have heard, there is among certain people a controversy as to whether Barack Obama was really born in the United States. They generally believe that Obama’s certification of live birth and the confirmation of Hawaii’s State Department of Health are either bogus or insufficient.

Why isn’t this guy in a straitjacket? If not for his own sake, at least for the sake of society.

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56 Responses

  1. Hmmm.

    That graphic reminds me of this one (proving the rule that remakes are never as good as the original)

  2. I love the Big Dawg.

    And, yes, I hope Hillary had LOTS to do with the decision for him to go to North Korea!

    • Yes, love how the raçist couple seems indispensable after all! 😀

      And love how The White House apparently has “no comment”?!

      • As I see it, it’s party before your own integrity.

        Obama slimed and smeared and trashed and demeaned Clinton, and now the “Big Dawg” sucks up to the borg? Not so big a dawg after all.

        • Don’t blaspheme in here.

          The Big Dawg is trying to rescue two people that don’t deserve to be locked up in a Pyongyang prison.

          He ain’t doing it for Obama.

        • ANM, I really don’t see how President Clinton 😉 is sucking up to anyone! As I don’t se him being selfish or it having anything to do with party either. I’m sure he would have done the same with a Rep. in The White House, if asked.

          He sure is a caring Big Dawg!

  3. I ain’t too sure about that red state/blue state poll.

    They say California is blue by 22% but Obama only won by 4% and we got a GOPer for Governator and 1 Senator that’s a DINO-saur.

    It also falls into the “don’t count your chickens” category.

  4. Excellent roundup as usual!
    Here’s my addition – NY Times is trying to muddy Obama’s power grab
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/whither-separation-of-powers-further-down-on-cheneys-path/

  5. I hate hate hate Keith Olbermann. I couldn’t watch the whole thing, but how the hell do I know he wasn’t ordered by his bosses to do that last night to make it look like they aren’t controlling the news.

    When Olbermann starts reporting on GE’s deals with the Government and their involvement with Iran maybe I’ll listen. And let’s see if he stops using Richard Wolffe on his show.

    • He says he was not party of any “peace process”. Let see what will happen in the next couple of days in this saga.

      • What Olbermann says is utterly meaningless at this point. He destroyed his credibility during the primaries. Glenn Greenwald had multiple sources to show that the events did happen, despite the fact the the NYT writer is an idiot.

        • Frankly, I hope O’Reilly goes right back to exposing GE’s questionable corporate practices. I won’t shoot the messenger if he tells the truth. I’d like to see it out in the open. Corporations are destroying our country and the media is complicit in the destruction.

          • The problem is that the media is a disinformation network cloaked by the entertainment industry. And it really shows just how shortsighted the “powers that be” are. They can’t even see that they’re ruining their playground. Vanity and greed are cruel masters. Too bad they’ll end up taking us all out.

  6. The Gallup red/blue designation for Texas is… competitive? Oklahoma leans blue?

    This polling seems like it could be more of a “conversation piece” after an election rather than a reflection of true electoral shifts.

    • On the other hand, if they do reflect true shifts, can’t wait for my state (Texas) to turn blue.

      • Texas was once blue as blue could be.

        • Hillary might have carried Oklahoma in the general.

          • KY for sure. There she even had enough coattails to carry Mitch McConnells’ opponent.

          • As for KY, I loved how someone at TL back then suggested the following day’s headlines to read something like:

            “Obama in a secure second place.
            Hillary came in last but one.”

            😀

          • That was me:

            “Obama comes in second, Hillary finishes next to last.”

          • Ooops sorry.

            Still a good one, lol! 😀

        • And, California used to be red.

        • Sure was but it hasn’t been since Yarborough was succeeded by Lloyd Bentsen.

          Ralph Webster Yarborough (June 8, 1903 – January 27, 1996) was a Texas Democratic politician who served in the United States Senate (1957 to 1971) and was a leader of the progressive or liberal wing of his party in his many races for statewide office. As a U.S. senator, he was a staunch supporter and author of “Great Society” legislation that encompassed Medicare and Medicaid, the War on Poverty, federal support for higher education and veterans. He co-wrote the Endangered Species Act and was the only southern senator to vote for all civil rights bills from 1957 to 1970 (including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965). Yarborough was known as “Smilin’ Ralph” Yarborough and used the slogan “Let’s put the jam on the lower shelf so the little people can reach it” in his campaigns.

          • Texas has been conservative since Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna.

          • Yep, fiscal conservative but populist liberal campaigns used to be winners. no on has ever been elected in TX on today’s progressive or fauxgressive platform.

        • Texas could easily be blue depending on how you define blue.

          Texas will never, ever be blue in the sense of real true “big government, leaning pacifist, we-are-the-world” blue like some other states, but a fiscally conservative, socially liberal, sort of LBJ common-sense democratic centrist blue? Oh, yeah, easily.

      • Be careful what you wish for. My “blue” governor is Tim Kaine. Might as well be a Republican.

        • Yeah, but we have…Rick Perry.

          • That’s Rick “Good Hair” Perry.

          • but what hair he has 🙂

          • Okay so I googled Rick Perry hair and the results are pretty funny. “Va-va-voom hair and Rick Perry’s jerk factor,” just the headline made me laugh. My son blames my grandson’s haircut for his burgeoning independent streak calling it “jerk hair.” So now we blame the kids’ hair whenever they’re acting up.

        • It could have been worse. While Kaine is not my first choice by any stretch he’s an improvement over Gilmore and the Gilmore clones that the GOP insists on running here.

          • That’s true but anyone’s an improvement over Gilmore. I’m tired of choosing between worse, worst and wretched. It’s frustrating that there’s no one for us liberals to vote for and I’m done with the Virginia Democrats. But, as a Gynocrat, I will vote for Wagner. Thank goodness there’s at least one woman running this year.

  7. Whaaa! The smile of the talking head Glen Beck had scared me so much, I had to turn me off. No clown ever came this close to that.

  8. Thanks for the round up!!

    The bloody battle in Congress over a ‘public option’ ignores the insurers’ role in creating the nation’s healthcare crisis and their efforts to throttle reform.

    well “duh…” .

    The caricature of ’socialized medicine’ is used by corporate interests to confuse Americans and maintain their bottom lines instead of patients’ health.

    well double ” duh” … it’s so simple , that sometimes its hard to grasp. If a profit seeking company could take 30% of another’s dollar for denying them the service they supposedly paid for…why wouldn’t a company do it? Also if Congress is getting boat loads of that cash, ( now nice nicely laundered) why would they turn off the spigot? They wouldn’t . We are asking for justice from a packed fox court.

    The only reason insurance companies exist right now ( particularly as the boomers age) is to keep the payola stream a gushing…that is the code blue here as far as our elected official are concerned.

  9. According to journalism.org, health care reform again topped the news last week.

    http://tinyurl.com/nw5ktx

    I guess that’s a good thing, but can’t help wondering, if all Americans know what “single payer” means? (At first I took it as a threat: “You’re gonna pay for this!”).
    Or HR3200/HR676? During the primaries I was disappointed to learn, that HR676 wasn’t about Hillary Rodham! – It could also be the name of a new flue!
    And what is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

    And no, I do not take every-day-Americans to be morons (like me, heh!), but wonder if the mainstream media is as thorough in educating the users as this and other liberal blogs are?

    Kind of sad, if this quote by William Schneider (from the link) is true – which I’m afraid it is:

    ”The public is not sure about the policy, but it does not want to bring this president down. The more it’s about him, the more he’s likely to win.”

    • Sick.

    • That explains magazine covers showing Obama in a doctor’s coat, looking concerned . When in reality he’s removed from any of it besides the photo ops. He rubber stamps whatever is put before him and forgets what he said as soon as the teleprompter is off . imo.

  10. Don’t you think that Olbermann’s whining about the Repugs and Blue Dogs just serves to make W2’s watered down weak joke of a plan look noble and ground breaking? I think it was pure propaganda. I don’t see anything any different than what I saw in the primaries.

    Oh, and did W2’s have a “plan” that he talked about incessantly during the campaign? Where is it? I mean if the Messiah shows up with Holy Tablets so to speak, what the hell are we doing negotiating with g*ddamned Repugs and Blue Dogs anyway?

  11. mablue, forgot to say thank you for the round up! Always much appreciated!

    And thank you (K-bird?) for putting up a picture of one of my all time favorite people. Such a beautiful person inside out!

  12. Thanks for the humor moment, mablue 😀 In 1961, Kenya was still a British colony (?) (protectorate?).

    This sort of reminds me of the time when a student handed me a term paper, and was such a lazy cheater he forgot to change the header from last year’s date.

    Pathetic.

  13. http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20090803/sc_livescience/savetheplanethavefewerkids

    The fundies will have a fit. ///////////

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

    • There’s also this:

      Sometimes abortion is the better choice

      Do we really believe the conservative religious line that women who act “heroically” by continuing unintended or difficult pregnancies are somehow more moral than those who chose to abort? In the current rush to end the U.S. abortion war, some very pro-choice people are suggesting that a push toward pregnancy continuation is a reasonable response to high abortion rates.

  14. Has Ross Douthat ever written anything that made a lick of sense? I mean really, the boy is just an embarrassment.

    And that writer who argues for more homeownership — ugh. Just ugh. He means well, and point taken that poor people didn’t cause the housing bust, but Jesus in a Jumpsuit, the last thing we need to do is artificially “prop up the housing market” and “extend the dream of homeownership.” Oh my aching head…this guy’s like the liberal version of a zombified Republican still arguing for trickle-down economics.

    • Did you read his column about women’s happiness? If not, you’ve never read a bad column.

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