A reader writes that they're going to a constituent dinner with Bernie this Saturday, and at the dinner they're going to get to ask Bernie questions; that's the format. Here is theirs:
Can you promise me that we will get that ACA waiver for single payer in 2017 and if so, can you explain to me why you see no danger of the law's enemies being able to change that by then?
How can we insure that won't happen and pursue getting the waiver ASAP?
Readers? Can you improve this? (The reader's main priority is the waivers.) Read below the fold...
Obama's nominee to head "Justice's" National Security Division avoids email and prefers to talk on the phone
Gosh, why would that be? Obama's nominee is John Carlin, and critics view him as a White House operative, instead of an independent voice:
Two individuals drew comparisons to John Yoo, the controversial Justice Department attorney in the George W. Bush administration, who was known to have his own relationships with White House officials and was seen as operating outside channels meant to guard against political influence.
"It shouldn't be that way," said a former government official who doesn't support Carlin's nomination. "There should be some walls between the Justice Department and the White House. The White House should not have a direct feed."
Yeah, because that would make the Obama administration uncomfortable like the Bush administration. Seriously, these guys are surprised? But it gets better: Read below the fold...
Long good speech in the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sidney but published in the San Francisco Sentinel. Read it all -- especially if you're a PC weasel or a PE guy -- but here's one of the many good parts:
And one of the things that capital would want unequivocally and for certain is the diminishment of labour. They would want labour to be diminished because labour’s a cost.* And if labour is diminished, let’s translate that: in human terms, it means human beings are worth less.
From this moment forward unless we reverse course, the average human being is worth less on planet Earth. Unless we take stock of the fact that maybe socialism and the socialist impulse has to be addressed again; it has to be married as it was married in the 1930s, the 1940s and even into the 1950s, to the engine that is capitalism.
Mistaking capitalism for a blueprint as to how to build a society strikes me as a really dangerous idea in a bad way. Capitalism is a remarkable engine again for producing wealth. It’s a great tool to have in your toolbox if you’re trying to build a society and have that society advance. You wouldn’t want to go forward at this point without it. But it’s not a blueprint for how to build the just society. There are other metrics besides that quarterly profit report. Read below the fold...
I don't follow the budget stuff so much because I figure both legacy parties are out to fuck me over, so what's the diff? But DSWright at FDL has a nice takedown (which I color coded a bit, because it was so horrible):
The Ryan-Murray budget deal to restore profligate military spending and cut the pension system is not winning many supporters. But not everyone is displeased with the Ryan-Murray budget deal. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, said he sent an email to Ryan and Murray profusely thanking them and that the deal is a sign of good things to come.
DIMON: I sent an email to Patty Murray and Paul Ryan yesterday basically saying ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ and may the lord bless them [!!!] because the country is getting stronger every single day [!!!!]. And not shooting ourselves in the foot is a very good thing not to do.
While Dimon is enthused, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi seems less ebullient but no less committed to supporting the Ryan-Murray deal. Pelosi reportedly told her congressional colleagues to “embrace the suck” at a party caucus meeting.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told Democratic House members at a meeting Thursday morning to “embrace the suck” and encouraged enough members to back the budget deal on the floor to allow passage, according to an attendee of the meeting.
“We [who?] need to get this off the table so we can go forward,” Pelosi told her members, according to someone inside the closed meeting of the caucus.
Yes, embrace failure and total capitulation to right-wing interests – that’s leadership. Everyone please work hard in 2014 to make this woman Speaker again – embrace the suck.
Online WSJ (a little stale, but nice to have this confirmed):
Study Shows Baldness Can Be a Business Advantage
Wharton management lecturer Albert Mannes conducted three experiments to test peoples' perceptions of men with shaved heads. In one of the experiments, he showed 344 subjects photos of the same men in two versions: one showing the man with hair and the other showing him with his hair digitally removed, so his head appears shaved.
In all three tests, the subjects reported finding the men with shaved heads as more dominant than their hirsute counterparts. In one test, men with shorn heads were even perceived as an inch taller and about 13% stronger than those with fuller manes. ... Read below the fold...
'People who make "bad" financial decisions should die.' That is the end-point of market-based thinking where everyone is a "rational maximizer."* Readers, do I unfairly caricature? Read below the fold...
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Washington state Exchange debits people prematurely, but they can't correct their invoices because the website is down
For the second week in a row, the Washington Healthplanfinder website is down, and it's causing problems for people who are dealing with billing issues. Some of them say the website is mistakenly debiting their accounts.
Shannon Bruner of Indianola logged on to her checking account Monday morning, and found she was almost 800 dollars in the negative.
“The first thing I thought was, ‘I got screwed,’” she said.Read below the fold...
Insurers using high drug cost sharing to scare away patients with expensive chronic disordersRead below the fold...
The nation’s new health-care law says insurers can’t turn anyone away, even people who are sick. But some companies, patient advocates say, have found a way to discourage the chronically ill from enrolling in their plans: offer drug coverage too skimpy for those with expensive conditions.
A household cook typically earned $10 a week in 1910, century-old books on the etiquette of hiring servants show. That is $235 per week in today’s money, while the federal minimum wage for 40 hours comes to $290 a week.
At first blush, that looks like a real raise of $55 a week, or nearly a 25 percent increase in pay. But in fact, the 2013 minimum-wage cook is much worse off than the 1910 cook. Here’s why:Read below the fold...
1. In a spirit of generosity and good will, Wisconsin Transparency Force requests your assistance in purchasing a pair of fireproof pants for the Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker.
Due to his penchant for fabricating events that never occurred and his numerous "Pants on Fire" ratings from Politifact, we the people of W.T.F. feel certain that Scott Walker's trousers are in constant danger of immolation.
Read below the fold...
Continuing on in the series, we're up to the 2012 interview now, podcast about 20 minutes long. More about McCollum and his memo, a lone spy in Honolulu, wandering carriers and Battleship Row, and those who objected and those who obeyed. P.S. A comment by a great-nephew of the admiral who objected.
Transcript below the fold.