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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: States seek wiggle room on March 31 deadline

I hate to quote the Washington Times, but....

The White House insists it is sticking by the March 31 deadline for enrolling in Obamacare, but states are forging plans to try to find extra wiggle-room that could let Americans complete their sign-ups months after the “drop-dead” date passes.

Read below the fold...

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Eight-time loser Robert Shrum recommends that Democrats run on ObamaCare

Christian Science Monitor (podcast):

Democrats can’t run away from Obamacare. They own it. So in the spirit of “if you can’t beat it, join it,” Democrats might do best in the fall midterms by going on offense. And that means touting the popular aspects of the health-care law.

That, in a nutshell, is the argument of veteran Democratic strategist Robert Shrum, who sees a conventional wisdom setting in that Democrat Alex Sink lost a winnable special House election in Florida last week because of Obamacare. She argued for “fixing it, not repealing it.”

People keep forgetting to mention Sink was former Florida President of Bank of America. Given the foreclosure crisis, and the popularity of banks generally, could that have had anything to do with her defeat? Not according to the political class, who are silent on the matter. Shrum's advice: Read below the fold...

The 12 reforms (basic version) [beta 4]

[Sounds like I should have a new plank: X. Religion has no special civil status. UPDATE Guess not. --lambert]

It's been pointed out that the 12 Reforms haven't received the attention that the 12-Point platform has; this is understandable, since the 12 Points are about concrete material benefits. The 12 Reforms, by contrast, are about putting in place the systemic changes that will make it possible to bring about the 12 Points; their benefits are dispersed throughout the political economy.

Here are the 12 Reforms again. I changed #1 because why should we keep fighiting the Net Neutrality battle over and over again? We only have to keep fighting it because the Comcasts and the Time-Warners of this world would love it if net neutrality went away. So make their control of the Intertubes go away instead!

1. Net Neutrality The Internet as Public Utility
2. Fairness Doctrine
3. Local Ownership of Media
4. Public Campaign Financing
5. Electoral Integrity
6. Self-Organizing Web-Based Citizen Deliberation
7. MMT Macro-economic Policies
8. Preserve and Expand the Commons
9. More Co-operatives, Fewer Corporations
10. "Fiat Justitia. Ruat Caelum."
11. Strategic Non-Violence
12. Points and Reforms Are Indivisible

Read below the fold...

Turning poor neighborhoods into toxic waste dumps

"Petcoke." Reminds me of a famous dot com era bust, but no. FT:

The powdery substance – familiar to locals as the black dust coating their houses, cars and, many say, lungs – is petroleum coke, or “petcoke”, a byproduct of the Canadian tar sands boom. It is stored at two terminals owned by KCBX on the banks of the Calumet River. A dust storm last autumn spurred the community to action.

Community activism has brought the substance to the attention of local, state and federal officials, who have initiated a flurry of legislative action, litigation and regulatory scrutiny. The recent furore has pit regulators and a poor community against Charles and David Koch, the billionaires who own KCBX. Read below the fold...

MH370 Roundup: More evidence plane was under skilled control, and radar evasion theories

Malaysia plane's flight path changed by cockpit computer

Rather than manually operating the plane's controls, whoever altered Flight 370's path typed seven or eight keystrokes into a computer situated between the captain and the co-pilot, according to officials.

The computer is called the Flight Management System. It directs the plane from point to point specified in the flight plan submitted before a flight.

It is not clear whether the plane's path was reprogrammed before or after it took off, the Times said. ...

The Times said the changes made to the plane's direction through the Flight Management System were reported back to a maintenance base by ACARS, according to an American official.

This showed the reprogramming happened before the ACARS stopped working, at about the same time that oral radio contact was lost and the airplane's transponder also stopped. This fuels suspicions that foul play was involved in the plane's disappearance.

Investigators are scrutinizing radar tapes from when the plane first departed Kuala Lumpur because they believe the tapes will show that after the plane first changed its course, it passed through several pre-established "waypoints", which are like virtual mile markers in the sky, the Times said.

That would suggest the plane was under control of a knowledgeable pilot because passing through those points without using the computer would have been unlikely, it added.

So, that's interesting. Here's one way radar could have missed the plane, even assuming all countries had all radar turned on, which they didn't. Did 'terrain masking' allow the pilots to elude radars? Read below the fold...

The war nerd on Crimea

I tend to trust Pando on the Ukraine/Crimea mess more than anyone because Mark Ames was in Russia, running a newspaper, when the Soviet Union fell apart. So Ames knows the players and has the appropriate level of cynicism. The War Nerd, too: Read below the fold...

More food pr0n

Warm salt pork salad with mind and onions and little hot things.

Read below the fold...

The two commandments of neo-liberalism

A greatly expanded version of the same idea.

Neo-liberalism Expressed as Simple Rules

Neoliberalism (a.k.a. The Washington Consensus) is the dominant ideology of the political class in Washington D.C., shared by both legacy parties. In fact, it's not clear there is another ideology, which is why we get seemingly weird policymaking processes like RomneyCare morphing into ObamaCare, even as proponents of each version of the same plan hate each other, "narcissism of small differences"-style. Of course, in neo-liberalism's house are many mansions, many factions, and many funding sources, so it's natural, or not, that an immense quantity of obfuscation and expert opinion has accumulated over time, making fine distinctions between various shades of neo-liberalism. Read below the fold...

MoDo throws Obama under the bus

What a shame, even if nobody reads her anymore. Politico quotes her (and I can't find the original):

MAUREEN DOWD, “Dems In Distress: Obama will never be king of the Democrats”: “So now Democratic panic has set in. … Democrats in Congress are looking over at the White House and realizing that the president is not only incapable of saving them, but he looks like a big anchor tied around their necks. … The state of relations between congressional Democrats and the administration has been deteriorating every week, but now it’s hitting a new bottom … Hill Democrats are seething at Obama … Obama’s approval ratings will shape the midterms, and some Hill observers compare his crumpling numbers to an illness. The president didn’t do the basic things to take care of himself, and now he’s gone terminal and contagious. …"

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!! Read below the fold...


It's comin' right at ya! Along with the crispy basil!

Read below the fold...

Annals of stupid "progressive" email blasts

Subject line: "Not One Dime Cut From Social Security" ("from," or at least signed by, Robert Borosage of Campaign for America's Future*). Read below the fold...

From the Skytrain...

From the upper deck BTS Thong Lo station.

Read below the fold...

You need Corrente, and yes, Lambert needs the money

[Note: You do not have to join Corrente to contribute. The PayPay buttons are to your right. Click away! --lambert]

So, how are we doing? First, you met Coyote Creek;s $250 challenge! And as of this evening, in terms the monetary total, we're 64% there ($3193 of $5000). And we have 72 contributors, with a goal of 112. Thank you! Read below the fold...


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