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I can never quite remember whether The Pretenders or the Specials/Go-Go's/Oingo Boingo concert was my first event. Seeing The Pretenders two nights in a row back in 1979 (or was it 1980?) at the Tower Theater in Philly was a fantastic experience. Pity that guitarist James Honeyman-Scott died so young only to be followed a few months later by the bass player Pete Farndon. Listening to Honeyman-Scott live was impressive. So much talent lost to drugs and the band drifted from that early sound that I enjoyed so much. The video is kitchy in a funny way and it always cracks me up to see big American cars over this way. My heart stops just thinking of how much it must cost to fill those gas tanks when gas is anywhere between $4 to $6 per gallon.
Leave it to Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)!Watch the Right-Winger; David Gratzer (R-Health Care Pirate) pout and throw his pen on the desk and play the silent treatment!Dennis Kucinich wins, and Health Care Geeks loses worse than Reese Witherspoon’s play Legally BlondePosted in Uncategorized Tagged: David Gratzer (R-Puke), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), GOP, GOP Disease, GOP Evangelicals, health [...]
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As News International finally break a three day silence to deny the Guardian's claims that they have illegally bugged thousands of people's telephones, Polly Toynbee gives us a perfect example of the way in which politicians fear to get on the wrong side of Rupert Murdoch.
She starts telling the tale of Ofcom's most recent criticism of Murdoch's stranglehold of certain aspects of the British media:
One could reasonably expect the Tories, the party which constantly shouts about the need for competition to applaud Ofcom's desire to see true competition in the marketplace as that - according to the Tories - is what is best for the consumer.
On 26 June Ofcom published a report into the pay-TV market. After long investigation, it concluded that Sky had a monopolistic control: its 80% of Premier League football and 100% of movies from the big Hollywood studios prevent others from entering the market, and Sky sells these rights to others at too high a price. As a competition regulator, Ofcom's job is to keep the market open. Its new ruling requires Sky to sell on its rights to all comers at some 30% less than it currently charges. BT reckons this will drop the average cost of watching top-flight football by £10 a month.
Ofcom's boldness drew an amazed intake of breath from industry players and observers. This is the first time a regulator has seriously challenged Murdoch's market power. Those who stood to gain ? BT Vision, Virgin Media, Top Up TV and others ? were delighted their protests were so bravely answered.
Sky's chief executive replied immediately that it would challenge Ofcom using "all available legal avenues". This time, however, Ofcom is not expected to allow Sky to use the tactic of delaying regulators in the courts for years ? it must comply and can appeal afterwards.
"Ofcom as we know it will cease to exist. Its remit will be restricted to narrow technical and enforcement roles. It will no longer play a role in making policy."Now, the restricting of Ofcom's powers would suit one company and one company alone, and that is Murdoch's Sky TV.
So, Cameron's irrational hatred of all things European can be traced to a desire to please Murdoch, just as his attack on Ofcom - an attack which carries little public support as few care what Ofcom does - can be traced to a similar impulse.
Europe has been Murdoch's one unwavering political obsession. The reason is commercial: the EU is the one regulatory power stronger than his ability to twist the arms of national politicians. EU law nearly stopped him launching Sky until Margaret Thatcher demanded a special exemption to let him start up with almost entirely US content. The one Cameron policy that sits oddly with his bid for centre-ground moderation has been his anti-EU extremism, greater than Mrs Thatcher's, marching his troops out of the influential EPP group in Brussels. Murdoch has shaped our foreign policy by using his press and his political power to inflame Europhobia.
Title III of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 2008 required the Inspector Generals of the elements of the intelligence community that participated in the President's Surveillance Program (PSP) to conduct a comprehensive review of the program.[...]
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...time to pass the hat and raise the funds to make the yearly sojourn to Netroots Nation. This blog - this platform, the design and format - are the result of last year's trip.
This year, I am looking forward to the panels that will help me come home to KC armed with the knowledge I need to share with my cousins in the northern tier so we can take back at least one chamber of the state house in 2010.
I am fortunate beyond measure that I can do this full time - and I have that luxury because I have a group of loyal and dedicated readers who believe in what we are doing here and hit that button on the side when ever I find I need to ask.
Thank you guys. You always come through and I always appreciate it.
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NY Times right-wing columnist David Brooks won't tell which Republican senator fondled him under a table. Presumably they'll try to blame it on ex-Senator Larry Craig, in order to protect current Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who insiders claim is the actual groper. Many years ago, McConnell was kicked out of the military-- after just a few days-- for inappropriately touching a private's privates. He's been very successful at covering that up for decades although Inside the Beltway it's well known that McConnell is an active closet queen with a make believe marriage similar to Craig's.
Right wing propagandist Ann Althouse, of course, blames the victim. Her readers are betting on Lindsey Graham. Now Graham is the other high profile hypocritical right-wing closet queen and he likes being billed as a "life-long committed bachelor." Although it isn't just Althouse's readers who are speculating that he was the one responsible for Brooks' dirty grab, folks who actually know Graham also know he is a prissy little queen from South Carolina, and in a committed relationship with a young man; he doesn't grope strangers under tables.
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Not much of a surprise here. It's good to see Obama pushing the others on the subject of fulfilling their previous promises. There's nothing wrong with asking others to deliver what was publicly promised when the cameras were rolling.
The world's richest nations will fail to meet their landmark pledge made at the 2005 Gleneagles summit to double aid to the poorest countries.
Officials at the G8 summit in Italy said yesterday there was "little chance" the eight countries would keep the promises they made at the meeting four years ago to double their aid to $50bn (£30bn) a year by next year.
While Britain is on course to meet its target share, Italy and France are falling short. They resisted pressure at the G8 summit this week from leaders including US President Barack Obama and Gordon Brown to increase their contributions before next year's deadline. "We will keep our promises," one British source said, "but overall it's not going to happen".
Every single day recently the news from Afghanistan seems to be worse. I can't work out what is causing such an astonishing spike in the death rate.
Ministers were bracing themselves for an increasingly bloody conflict in Afghanistan as it became clear that a further eight British soldiers have been killed in 24 hours, the worst combat death toll since the war began.
Five troops were killed in a single incident after they were caught in a bomb blast while on foot patrol. Officials confirmed that 15 troops have been killed in the last 10 days.
Ainsworth's comment confuses me. What does he mean when he states this conflict is not winnable "in the short term"? We have been there for almost eight years. In what sense can any of this be considered "short term?"
Bob Ainsworth, the defence secretary, said the conflict was "winnable" but warned there would be no early end to the fighting. "I do believe that we are making progress and I do believe that this is winnable, but it is not winnable in the short term," he told the BBC. "We are going to have to ? get behind our armed forces who are doing the brave fighting."
The day began with the confirmation of two deaths in Helmand province the previous day: one from 4th Battalion The Rifles by an explosion while on foot patrol; the second from the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, during a battle with insurgents near Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital. Later, a third soldier from the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment was confirmed as having been killed when the Viking armoured vehicle in which he was travelling was hit.
Then there was worse news as it was confirmed that five troops had died and others were injured in a bomb blast. The deaths took the total number of fatalities in Afghanistan to 184, five more than the total lost in the Iraq conflict.
However, in a withering denunciation of the war strategy, former UK ambassador to the UN Sir Jeremy Greenstock said it was ?cruel? to send soldiers into an open-ended war with no clear permanent solution. He said: ?What we need to create a stable Afghanistan is a whole host of things that are not happening. It looks cruel for our troops to be there without an end in sight.?That's my problem with this war. I can't see the end game anywhere in sight. Ainsworth constantly tells us that "this war is winnable", but that's not the same thing as telling us that we are winning. And it sure doesn't feel like we are at this moment in time.
[from the diaries - BarbinMD]
MIKE FERGUSON: What is the proper role of government, and what are the potential impacts of the direction that we're going right now?
BLUNT: Well, you could certainly argue that government should have never have gotten in the health care business, and that might have been the best argument of all, to figure out how people could have had more access to a competitive marketplace.
Government did get into the health care business in a big way in 1965 with Medicare, and later with Medicaid, and government already distorts the marketplace.
The Eagle 93.9
Interview with Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
July 9, 2009
House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) today praised President Bush’s signing of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. With his signature, the promise of a modern Medicare is a reality for millions of seniors:
“In 1965, President Johnson signed Medicare into law, and in 2003, President Bush and Congress modernized this program that millions of seniors depend on . . . The 108th Congress put aside partisan politics and provided the president with a bill to strengthen Medicare for America’s seniors and future generations.
“And today, after years of debate and deadlock, Congress and the president delivered for today’s seniors and future generations who will rely on Medicare and prescription drugs.”
BLUNT: MODERN MEDICARE A REALITY FOR SENIORS
Press Release from Rep. Roy Blunt's office
December 8, 2003
The lying, hypocritical scumbag is right about one thing: government does distort the health care market -- by writing big fat checks to the medical-industrial complex, without imposing any real cost discipline.
Of course, having the federal government directly negotiate Medicare drug prices with Big Pharma, or including a competitive public option in the health care reform bill -- or, even better, dispensing with the "free market" charade and moving to an effective single-payer system -- would at least put a throttle on the money pipeline running from the U.S. Treasury to the health care industry's bottom line.
But we can't have that -- not when the profits of Mr. Blunt's friends, campaign contributors, ex-staffers and future employers are at stake.
A "parliament of whores" doesn't even begin to fucking cover it.
Update 12:05 AM ET: It strikes me that the dueling quotes above present, in microcosm, the brutal tragedy that passes for health care policy in this country.
Liberals want health care coverage for all -- or at least, as many as they can get -- but traditionally have cared much less about cost control. Conservatives, on the other hand, traditionally haven't given a rat's ass about universal coverage, but have been big on pinching the taxpayer's pennies (as long as those taxpayers have plenty of pennies to pinch, that is).
But today's pseudo-conservatives (i.e. the modern GOP) also don't give a rat's ass about cost control -- at least, not if it's at the expense of the powerful business interests sucking on poor Uncle Sam's withered old tits.
What's more, since Medicare feeds many of those selfsame business interests, and might even win the GOP a few votes every once in a while (think: Shrub's prescription drug boondoggle and its intended role in the 2004 congressional elections) Blunt and his fellow prostitutes will even vote for expanded benefits every once in a while (although apparently not at the moment.)
As a result, the path of least resistance for any legislative compromise (on those rare occasions when the knuckledraggers see a need to compromise) is to expand benefits without meaningful cost control, which is how Medicare -- not Social Security -- became the federal entitlement program that really is going to eat us out of fiscal house and home.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like our latest health care reform "debate" is going to end any differently, no matter how tough progressives talk about demanding a real public option. Are they really going to hold fast when Obama caves -- as he inevitably will to avoid a Clinton-style failure -- and cut their own president, the great, um, liberal hope, off at the knees? I'm sorry, but I'll believe that when I see it, and not before.