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    April 2010
    S M T W T F S
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    The Confluence

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    • Cheaters
      Profits on Medicare Advantage plans are at least double what insurers earn from other kinds of policies. Gee, I wonder why? There is tons of evidence that insurers in the program have been manipulating a program that pays them extra fees for enrolling customers with more illnesses. The change took away payments for some of … Continue reading Cheaters
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    • The First Great Environmental Crisis Will Be
      Water. As I’ve said for many years. The world is facing an imminent water crisis, with demand expected to outstrip the supply of fresh water by 40 percent by the end of this decade, experts have said on the eve of a crucial UN water summit. I’ll use the US as an example, though this going to effect almost all countries, some much worse than others, and it wi […]
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Things that make you go “hmmm…”

Moving in different directions?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Ottawa this week for the G8 Summit, and she had something to say about abortion rights (in Canada).

“I’m not going to speak for what Canada decides, but I will say that I’ve worked in this area for many years,” Clinton told reporters. “And if we’re talking about maternal health, you cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.”

More from Clinton on abortion rights in Canada:

“We should be beyond arguing about family planning. Rich women in every culture have access to family planning. It’s poor women who don’t. And I’ve always believed if it’s good enough for a woman of education and affluence, then why isn’t it good enough for a woman who is struggling to raise the children she already has? So family planning, to me, should be just obvious and available.”


Now isn’t that interesting? Of course it must be just a coincidence that President Obama recently issued an executive order that will effectively make insurance coverage for reproductive health care unavailable for most U.S. women.

Conservative Canadians are quite put out that Secretary Clinton saw fit to lecture them on abortion rights, especially considering Obama’s recent actions. For example, Lawrence Martin of the Globe and Mail writes:

On the issue of maternal mortality and the need for access to abortion, Ms. Clinton’s views should have come as no surprise. In case anyone wasn’t aware, they got the news brusquely at a news conference.

Martin wonders why Clinton’s criticisms of Prime Minister Harper’s views on abortion couldn’t have been delivered privately. Is it possible her message was intended for someone other than Harper?

What do you think?

Pretzel Logic

BTD does a awesome take-down of Boo-hoo-man:

Booman just can not accept that he is endorsing triangulation. So he invents a new definition – triangulation is NOT what Barack Obama does, even though it is exactly like triangulation:

I am going to posit that triangulation is a pejorative. It is a political act that is contrary to the interests of principled people on either the right or the left. Its use puts the immediate needs of the president over the needs of his party. It weakens his party and harms the issues for which his party stands. It’s possible to argue otherwise. Some might see triangulation as a savvy strategy that is appropriate in certain circumstances (e.g., a Democratic president faced with a Gingrich Congress). But, I believe we are correct to condemn triangulation, provided we are careful to be sure we know what we mean by the term. And we are not careful.

All of this is a prelude to Booman tying himself in knots to explain why Bill Clinton triangulated but Barack Obama is not triangulating. Silly stuff.

Then he takes a shit in his own post:

Let’s be clear (5.00 / 1) (#15)
by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 01:30:28 PM EST

LIKE ALL POLS, Obama is acting in his own political interest as he perceives it.

From what I know, on the politics, this is a smart move for Obama.

People often think I am criticizing Obama most of the time. I am past that now. Mostly I am criticizing New Progressives mostly now.

Obama is a pol. And they do what they do.

Progressives need to detach themselves from pols.

I’m not disagreeing with anything Armando/BTD says about Boo-hoo-man and his ilk. But what BTD believes is just as bad or worse, albeit somewhat more logical.

Whether you agree with Boo-hoo-man or BTD, everything Obama does is okay. Boo-hoo-man rationalizes Obama’s actions while BTD simply gives him a get out of jail free card.

Let’s remember that BTD supported Obama because he was the “media darling” and because he said there wasn’t any significant difference between Obama and Hillary. Both men (along with most progressive bloggers) consider us outcasts because we refused to support Obama.

Neither one of them will admit that we were right about their candidate. We said Obama was a conservative wolf in progressive sheep’s clothing. We said McCain was the lesser of two evils and Obama the evil of two lessers. The proof slaps them in the face on a daily basis.

Obama supporters warned us of all kinds of dire consequences if Hillary won the nomination or McCain won the election. Pretty much every one of their predictions has come true – only with Obama.

Meanwhile just about every reason they gave for supporting Obama has turned out to be wrong. Except that “media darling” thingie.

I just turned 50 – I’m getting too old for this shit.


I just realized that I neglected to mention the third way of progressive blogging. It can be summed up by what I call the “Mandos Doctrine”:

“Obama sucks, but we must support him anyway.”

Thursday, Reading the News (Oh, me, oh my!)

The shocking lack of news continues.  I’m starting to think someone’s hiding something ::

Barack Obama eases offshore oil drilling ban

The White House says drilling will be allowed off Virginia and considered off much of the rest of the Atlantic coast.

The plans would overturn moratoriums on exploration put in place in the 1980s.

Analysts say the move, designed to cut dependency on foreign oil, is aimed at appeasing Republicans to help pass Mr Obama’s climate-change proposals.

The Democrat-backed climate change bill, which calls for binding emissions’ limits, has been languishing in Congress for months amid Republican opposition.

Or as the BBC said in their intro to this story, “Oil firms could be given the chance to explore for reserves off the US coast for the first time in decades, under plans outlined by President Obama.” — sweet!

I don’t know about you guys but, speaking for myself, our endless wars make me VERY uneasy.

Shocking Admission on Killing Civilians by Top US General Almost Completely Ignored by Corporate Media

“We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat,” says top American commander.

At the same time, an astonishing open admission of possible US war crimes by Obama’s man on the ground in Kabul, senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan General Stanley A. McChrystal, was reported by Richard A. Oppel Jr. in the New York Times… and then promptly ignored by the rest of the mainstream media.

“We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat,” McChrystal said during a recent video-conference to answer questions from troops in the field about civilian casualties.

IPhone-Weary TV Broadcasters Gear Up to Fight FCC for Airwaves

“Why is the iPhone entitled to more spectrum than local broadcasters?” said Nexstar Chief Executive Officer Perry Sook, whose Irving, Texas-based company owns or provides services to 62 stations. “When the snowstorm hit Washington, did people rush to an iPhone app to find out what was going on? No, they turned to their local broadcasters.”

Is that guy kidding?? — Of COURSE we watched the Weather Reports on TV….. But, we were also hammering on any Internet site we could find (our local weatherman has a great blog & THAT’s where we went to find out what was going on — the detail on his blog was incredible!) And I don’t even have an iPhone.

Frankly, any headline dated April 1st is suspect. But, I don’t think this is a joke:

Job cuts surge 61%

Employers announced plans to cut 67,611 jobs in March, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. That’s up 61% from February, when 42,090 jobs were lost, the lowest level in nearly four years.

“Unfortunately, many people are still jobless and many businesses still shuttered,” said John Challenger, chief executive officer of the firm, in a statement. “This combination is having a significant negative impact on state and local tax revenues and, in turn, leading to continued downsizing in this sector.”

Government job cuts led March’s surge, accounting for nearly 75% of the total jobs shed. Year to date, government job losses have made up about a third of all announced cuts.

Sung to the tune of Que Sera, Sera ::

Geithner: Disparity in recovery ‘deeply unfair’

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday it’s “deeply unfair” that some financial institutions that got taxpayer-paid bailouts are emerging in better shape from the recession than millions of ordinary Americans.

He acknowledged public outrage over that and said people watched with disdain as Washington protected high-risk banks and investment houses, even as the national unemployment rate was soaring to double-digit levels for the first time in a generation.

But in a nationally broadcast interview, Geithner also argued that President Barack Obama had no choice when confronted with a financial crisis.

“As the president has said, we had to do some very unpopular things,” Geithner said. “People looked at what had happened.”

“It’s not fair. It’s deeply unfair,” he said. “He (Obama) had to decide whether he was going to act to fix it or stand back … and that would have been calamitous for the American economy.”

In the end, even Yahoo News let me down. Either there’s nothing much going on . . . Or they aren’t telling us about it.

What have you been reading this morning?

Eliminating waste, fraud and abuse

La Cebolla News:

In an effort to reduce wasteful spending and eliminate non-vital federal services, the U.S. government announced plans this week to cut its long-standing senator program, a move it says will help save more than $300 billion each year.

According to officials, the decision to cut the national legislative body was reached during a budget review meeting on Tuesday. After hours of deliberation, it was agreed that the cost of financing U.S. senators far outweighed the benefits they provided.

“Now more than ever, we must eliminate needless spending wherever possible,” President Obama said at a press conference Wednesday. “When we sat down to go over our annual budget, we asked ourselves, where can we safely trim back? What programs can we do away with without negatively impacting the American people? Which bloated and ineffective institutions can we no longer justify having around?”

“The answer was obvious,” Obama added. “The U.S. Senate just needed to go.”

Established in 1789 as a means of overseeing the passage of bills into law, the once-promising senator program has reportedly failed to contribute to the governing of the nation in any significant way since 1964. Last year alone, approximately $450 billion was funneled into the legislative chamber, an amount deemed fiscally unsound considering how few citizens actually benefit in any way from its existence.

In fact, the program has gone unchecked for so long that many in Washington are now unable to recall what purpose U.S. senators were originally meant to serve.

“I’m sure when it was first introduced the U.S. Senate seemed like a worthwhile public service that would aid vast segments of the population and play an important role in the years to come,” said Sheila McKenzie, president of the watchdog group the American Center for Responsible Government. “But in reality, this program has been a complete and utter failure.”

Would I lie to you? Would I lie to you about something important?

Would I lie to you about something important on a day like today?