I ran across this quote from William Burroughs the other day:
We have observed that most of the trouble in the world has been caused by ten to twenty percent of folks who can’t mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus. Now your virus is an obligate cellular parasite and my contention is that evil is quite literally a virus parasite occupying a certain brain area… The mark of a basic shit is that he has to be right.
If Rizzo were to admit that the representations he made to Yoo back in 2002 were false, then the legal sanction CIA got to conduct torture would crumble.
This is an update to my last transcript, Marcy Wheeler last month on CIA torture, comedic Senate oversight, and the presidential authorization for torture that we are not supposed to know about. That one. Just saw this new post up at emptywheel:
What could go wrong? Seattle Times:
Boeing’s December disclosure that it will transfer about 1,000 research engineering jobs out of Washington state has sown widespread internal dissent, distrust and confusion, according to internal employee feedback gathered by company managers.
Employees cited in the feedback meetings expressed concerns that those high standards can’t be maintained.Read below the fold...
Some of the favored children of the economic elite who have a public presence, work hard in their writing and speaking to divert attention from inequality and oligarchy issues by raising the issue of competition between seniors and millennials for “scarce” Federal funds. That's understandable. If millennials develop full consciousness of who, exactly, has been flushing their prospects for a decent life down the toilet, their anger and activism might bring down the system of wealth and economic and social privilege that benefits both their families and the favored themselves in the new America of oligarchy and plutocracy.
Here and here, I evaluated Abby Huntsman's arguments for entitlement “reform,” and, of course, Pete Peterson's son, Michael fights a continuing generational war against seniors in pushing the austerian line of the Peterson Foundation. Now comes Catherine Rampell, who, in a recent column, sets forth the position that seniors haven't paid for their Social Security and Medicare because they “generally receive” more in benefits out of these programs than they pay into them.
I'll reply to all of the main points in Rampell's argument, by quoting liberally and then replying to the points she makes in each quote. She says: Read below the fold...
(Wonkblog has improved since Ezra Klein went elsewhere, interestingly.) WaPo:
Last summer, the administration had hoped that 40 percent of exchange enrollees would be between 18 and 34, based on the Congressional Budget Office's estimates that 7 million people in all would enroll in 2014. Instead, the administration got 28 percent, which the White House and supporters very eagerly pointed out Thursday was nearly identical to youth enrollment in the first year of the Massachusetts health-care law that Obamacare was based on. ...*
The 2014 enrollment stories aren't over, however. We're still waiting to find out at least the following: How many purchased coverage off the exchanges, how many paid their premiums, what kind of coverage they purchased, how many joined Medicaid because of the expansion and more.
In a highly illuminating article entitled “The Global Money Matrix: The Forces behind America’s Economic Destruction” Dr. Gary Null cites psychologist Clive Boddy as maintaining that “the psychopathological behavior of financial executives was a major cause for the 2007 economic collapse.”
Boddy also has asserted that “individuals with the strongest psychopathic tendencies are those who tend to be promoted fastest.” Read below the fold...
These days, the captain always escape! OK, OK, the Korean ferry disaster has conveniently usurped the MH370 disaster*, but nothing prevents us from pointing out the obvious moral of the story:
And the Korean captain's behavior isn't an isolated case; the Costa Concordia captain did just the same thing**. And then there's this: Read below the fold...
One of ObamaCare's features not often touted is that mental health coverage is one of the essential benefits. Unfortunately, mental health coverage has all of ObamaCare's other coverage problem, except moreso. About the benefits:
Long-awaited improvements in insurance coverage for mental conditions and addictions are expected to become more widely available this year as a result of two major steps that the Obama administration has taken.
The president’s signature Affordable Care Act includes mental health care and substance abuse treatment among its 10 “essential” benefits, which means plans sold on the public health care exchanges must include coverage.
In addition, rules to fully carry out an older law — the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 — were issued in November, after a long delay. The parity law says that when health insurance plans provide coverage for mental ailments, it must be comparable to coverage for physical ailments. For instance, plans cannot set higher deductibles or charge higher co-payments for mental health visits than for medical visits, and cannot set more restrictive limits on the number of visits allowed.
So far, so good. So, knowing what we know about ObamaCare, what would be the first question to ask? Read below the fold...
Dartmouth College’s president lamented Wednesday that the Ivy League school’s promising future “is being hijacked by extreme behavior,” including sex assaults, parties with “racist and sexist undertones,” and a campus culture in which “dangerous drinking has become the rule and not the exception.”
Then the behavior isn't "extreme" but normal, right?
Philip J. Hanlon, a Dartmouth alumnus who took office in June, said such problems were taking a toll on the image of the 245-year-old college in Hanover, N.H. Applications to Dartmouth fell 14 percent this year, the sharpest drop in two decades, and the federal government has launched an investigation of issues related to sexual harassment and sexual violence there.
Good. Read below the fold...
I’m generally not one to brag or tell others “I told you so” but after reading more and more articles by other bloggers, writers, pundits and commentators over the past 5 years, I should claim to be some sort of clairvoyant.
More and more people have felt over the past 10 years that the U.S. was not just becoming more oligarchical, but was already an outright Oligarchy. My pessimistic view of the nation was finally vindicated.
“Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” was a report released this year that used extensive policy data collected between 1981 and 2002 to determine the oligarchic state of the US political system. The study stated “…the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” Read below the fold...
I hate to quote the NY Post, but since they got the story:
New York University’s controversial penchant under President John Sexton for doling out real-estate perks to top professors and executives also extended to his son.
Jed Sexton, whose sole affiliation with NYU was his status as the president’s son, for years enjoyed a spacious faculty apartment while the university experienced a “severe” housing shortage, The Post has learned.
In spring 2002, NYU ordered that a pair of one-bedroom apartments normally reserved for law school faculty be combined into a lavish, two-story spread in the heart of Greenwich Village, property records show.
The Harvard-educated Sexton, who was a 33-year-old aspiring actor at the time, shared the new duplex with his newlywed wife, Danielle Decrette, for the next five years, according to documents and people briefed on the situation.
How cozy! Read below the fold...