We have no government. We have a tax-cutting war machine run by an incompetent moron.
From the Washington Post:
In the three years since Americans gained federal protection for their private medical information, the Bush administration has received thousands of complaints alleging violations but has not imposed a single civil fine and has prosecuted just two criminal cases.
Of the 19,420 grievances lodged so far, the most common allegations have been that personal medical details were wrongly revealed, information was poorly protected, more details were disclosed than necessary, proper authorization was not obtained or patients were frustrated getting their own records.
The government has "closed" more than 73 percent of the cases -- more than 14,000 -- either ruling that there was no violation, or allowing health plans, hospitals, doctors' offices or other entities simply to promise to fix whatever they had done wrong, escaping any penalty.
By Neil the Ethical Werewolf It's nothing unexpected, but the historical polling data on gay rights is fun to look at. In 1977, Americans wanted gay people to have equal rights in employment by a 56-33 margin. By now, the...[...]
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Open Thread and Carl Hiaasen
Carl Hiaasen on 60 Minutes: Florida and terrorists:
"You know, after the second O.J. Simpson trial, I see his lawyer being interviewed on the steps of court house," says Hiaasen. "You know, 'Mr. Simpson may have to leave California. He doesn't have this kind of money, and he may have to leave California.' And I turned to my wife and I said, 'He's coming to Florida.' And here he is, you know." Unfortunately, the craziness of Florida provides a certain anonymity to all sorts of wackos, even terrorists. And if the place wasnt so dysfunctional, Hiaasen says maybe something could have been done about that.
"I was watching in the living room, and they started showing the pictures of Mohammed Atta and then the others in those photographs," says Hiaasen. "I said, 'I swear to God, those are Florida driver's licenses photographs.' At least nine of them, I believe, and possibly more had lived and worked and trained for their suicide mission here in Florida."
"And I always tell people, 'You think that was an accident? Where's the one place in the United States where the bar of bad behavior is so high that nobody's gonna notice these guys?'" adds Hiaasen. "Nobody's gonna think twice when they walk into a flight school and say, 'I'd like to get on a 757 simulator, but I don't need the part about where you land it. Just teach me how to fly it around.' And pay it in cash, and they say, 'Oh, right this way, Mr. Atta. Sit over here.'
"You know, the one guy, he goes to Minneapolis, he goes to Minnesota to learn and he's in jail in about 25 minutes. First I was surprised, and then it all made sense. It all makes sense when you think about it. Why not? Of course."...read on (h/t Russell)
From tomorrow's Newsweek:Though Bush himself has publicly embraced the amendment, he never seemed to care enough to press the matter. One of his old friends told NEWSWEEK that same-sex marriage barely registers on the president's moral radar. "I think it was purely political. I don't think he gives a s--t about it. He never talks about this stuff," said the friend, who requested anonymity to
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Busby: A little more help needed
Dear Friends and Bloggers,
I wanted to write a quick note of thanks for your engagement in my race -- I've seen great posts sorting out fact from fiction on all the desperate Republican attacks, and just as importantly we've seen a huge surge in volunteers over the past few days thanks to all of you as well as the DC CC, DNC, Louise Slaughter and Jane Harman. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.
We've got 300 volunteers lined up right now, and to give it everything we've got on Monday and Tuesday we need 400. I hate to ask, but if any of you can help us get there, we'll all be eternally grateful out here.
Anybody in the San Diego area who wants to help can let us know by emailing us at volunteer-at-busb yforcongress.org or calling us at (760) 479-0114.
Thanks either way, and onward!
Remember, if Bilbray is elected-we get a man who is hooked into the Tancredo-Tanton immigration wing and California can't be represented like that. Read this article for more information. The Republicans have outspent the Democrats 2-1 to win this seat so they feel it's a big one.
via Meet the Press
Harwood: "...It all comes down to turnout. Republicans have outspent the Democrats two-to-one in this seat, and they focused, in particular, on the early voting to try to juice that turnout that might not come naturally on Election Day because conservatives are so dispirited."
You can still donate here.
There's a rather breathless piece in the Toronto Star about how the Shanghai Co-Operation Organization may form a rival power to NATO, except in this case it would be Russia, China, the assorted 'stans, and possibly Iran, India, and...[...]
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I hope Our Leader gives out these posters when He meets with our country's moral leadership, tomorrow.
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Tonight is the final episode of the Sopranos until next year.
Kaisha: Tony gets Carmela's career back on track; Chris picks up where Tony left off; AJ gets a work perk; Phil won't let well enough alone.
What did you think?
It's a tough call.
The religious right is all excited because they get to go to the White House tomorrow for an event about banning gay marriage! Woo woo! And doubleplusgood, the Republican Congress is going to hold votes on the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage THIS VERY WEEK!
Now, sure, everyone knows the amendment isn't going to pass either the Senate or the House.
And sure, everyone knows that Bush isn't expending a lick of political capital to help get the amendment passed. Per Newsweek:
A White House official, who declined to be identified discussing strategy, says Bush has not made calls [asking members of Congress to support]... the amendment because "nobody has asked us."Yeah, right.
Though Bush himself has publicly embraced the amendment, he never seemed to care enough to press the matter. One of his old friends told NEWSWEEK that same-sex marriage barely registers on the president's moral radar. "I think it was purely political. I don't think he gives a s--t about it. He never talks about this stuff," said the friend, who requested anonymity to discuss his private conversations with Bush.But what matters to these so-called religious right leaders isn't actually passing the amendment. What matters is getting a photo op with the president! According to Newsweek, some of them even get a private meeting with the president! Gosh gee willickers. What would Jesus do? Who cares - we get a photo op!