Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Unwanted Return of Cull Day

Too many bookmarks and open browser windows, and I have to shut down the machine come morning to go work at a convention (because that's what I do).

So, I declare today a Cull Day- when I take all the bookmarked stories and stuff I won't be able to make a full-length post on anytime soon, and hand them to you, my handful of readers, with a few personal notes.

Beginning with Rep. Bart Stupak (D in name only-M). One day he claims to anticipate a compromise on his holding out for an amendment to the Senate health care bill to essentially ban all insurance coverage for abortions (so that federal subsidies and tax breaks can't be used to pay for abortions). Today he says there's no compromise in sight, and that he and eleven other Democrats will still vote no on health care over the abortion issue. Well, thank goodness he's getting a serious primary contender... maybe I should send off a campaign donation.

Texas judge rescinds anti-death penalty ruling - See, this is why judges should NOT be elected. At most a recall or retention election might be a good idea... but subjecting the justice system to political pressure, and allowing scum like Goodhair Perry to appeal to the ignorance of the people to threaten the tenure of a sitting judge, is a HORRIBLE way to ensure that justice is done.

Alan Grayson introduces Public Option Act - Why can't I have THIS guy for my representative? Well, besides the fact that he's from Florida. Anyway, it's not even the classic public option- it's literally Medicare For All, except that those under 65 would have to pay premiums if they want in, so that the expansion is revenue-neutral.

Fired Up - Andrew Sullivan is glad to see Obama finally taking his fight for health care reform to the people. I'm not so enthusiastic- mainly because Obama has fought to kill any publicly-funded competition to insurance corporations while doing absolutely nothing to prevent healthcare providers from jacking up their charges once this passes- you know, like they did in Massachusetts, when pretty much an identical health insurance reform was enacted, and health care costs promptly jumped 60% in three years. But more to the point: why, exactly, has Obama remained silent until his cornerstone program was in imminent threat of total collapse?

Creeping Clintonism; Or How Rahm Is A Scaredy-Cat - This time I agree with Sullivan so completely that I have absolutely nothing to add.

The Pro-Israel Lobby And The New Israel - Another Sullivan post- I'll quote my favorite bit here:

Nothing illustrates better the total bizarreness of the US-Israel relationship. No one in Washington - apart from a few Likudniks and Palinite end-timers - actually supports more settlements or any settlements i the West Bank. At the same time, Washington exercizes a UN veto to protect Israel from international law, funnels a vast amount of foreign and military aid to the country, helped finance the pulverization of Gaza last year, provides absurd international cover for Israel's 150 nukes, has worked tirelessly to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capacity, and on and on.

In return? Fuck you, Obama. To which the overwhelming response in Washington is: Obama screwed up.

Cornyn Pledges GOP Will Run On Repealing Health Care Reform - And this, folks, is why health care reform SHOULD take place IMMEDIATELY... and not be postponed until (under the most current version) 2018, after Obama is long gone. It's almost certain to be repealed by a Republican Congress and a Republican President before then- and there WILL be such a combination, because the health care reform package is going to remain deeply unpopular unless it contains a public option or unless the individual mandate is repealed. Only when (and if- I have the liveliest doubts) the reforms prove their worth in making health care affordable for everyone will they become too popular to repeal... and that won't happen, by DESIGN, for ten years.

GOP Lawyer's Latest Gambit: State Bill That Could Tie Up Health-Care Reform - Nullification lives, despite being quite obviously and blatantly unconstitutional... and can secession be far behind?

Waterboarding for dummies - Yes, despite what we were told, the American version of waterboarding turns out to actually have been MORE cruel than methods used by the Spanish Inquisition, the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II, and the Khmer Rouge. But not to worry, torture advocates- your poster boy's former boss is still on the Supreme Court, still ruling that torture is perfectly legal.

On a similar note, you simply must read this essay by Andrew Sullivan about what torture is doing to our nation. Especially since, despite the uncontested evidence, every door that might lead to justice keeps being slammed shut.

Virginia AG To State Colleges: Scrap Protections For Gay Workers - To explain, a quote:

In a letter to the state's institutions of higher learning, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli argues that the schools lack the legal authority to ban anti-gay discrimination, because only the state legislature can do so, the Washington Post reported over the weekend. That's a step that the GOP-controlled legislature recently declined to take.

Now, in my book this isn't just an order to all the colleges in Virginia to take away protections against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. This is, in effect, a direct order to begin/resume discriminating against gays. Cuccinelli is saying that colleges do not have the authority to NOT discriminate. And this is after the newly elected governor of the same state repealed all anti-discrimination protections for homosexuals. Republicans prove themselves once again opponents of freedom and advocates of fear, hatred and evil.

That's all for now- see you all next week.

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