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March 20: Journalistic Day of Atonement

The anniversary of the Iraq invasion should be an occasion for news organizations to reflect on what they've gotten wrong.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read below the fold...

Ta-Nehisi Coates eviscerates another career "progressive"

Read the whole thing. Here's the conclusion:

Obama-era progressives view white supremacy as something awful that happened in the past whose historical vestiges still afflict black people today. They believe we need policies--though not race-specific policies--which address the affliction. I view white supremacy as one of the central organizing forces in American life whose vestiges and practices afflicted black people in the past, continue to afflict black people today, and will likely afflict black people until this country passes into the dust.

There is no evidence that black people are less responsible, less moral, or less upstanding in their dealings with America nor with themselves. But there is overwhelming evidence that America is irresponsible, immoral, and unconscionable in its dealings with black people and with itself. Urging African-Americans to become superhuman is great advice if you are concerned with creating extraordinary individuals. It is terrible advice if you are concerned with creating an equitable society. The black freedom struggle is not about raising a race of hyper-moral super-humans. It is about all people garnering the right to live like the normal humans they are.

So, while trivial by the side of the American historical experience: Read below the fold...

Neo-Nazi Thug-Officials Rough Up National Ukrainian TV Head

According to Johannes Stern in “Svoboda thugs attack head of Ukrainian national television” there is a fascist “reign of terror” happening on the streets of Kiev thanks to the Western-backed coup at the end of last month.

A shocking YouTube video [click here to see Stern article with video] shows what happens when Neo-Nazis are put in charge of Ukrainian security/enforcement duties with the generous backing of the US and EU. (Sophisticated NATO weaponry still to come to these neo-Nazis). Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

An Open Letter to Don Beyer, VA – 8th Candidate for Congress

My Congressman, Jim Moran, is retiring this year and his seat is up for grabs in the VA – 8th Congressional District. This is a solidly blue district made even more solid by the Republican gerrymander following their win in the disastrous elections (for poor people, for women, for the middle class, and for minorities) of 2010 in Virginia. So, the question is, which of the eleven candidates who are running in the primary will win it, and become the heavy favorite to win the Congressional election in November.

The heavy primary favorite is Don Beyer, a noted auto dealer in Northern Virginia, who has served as Lieutenant Governor twice, and also as Ambassador to Switzerland. My impression of Ambassador Beyer has been favorable. I have a friend who bought cars from him over many years and who had his Volvos serviced at his dealership all the while, and he had nothing but good things to say about the integrity of the service he received.

That said, however, and personal characteristics aside, I'd like Beyer to clarify his positions on the issues. So, I'm addressing this open letter to him. Read below the fold...

US to Crush Russian Gas Trade via Demonization & Fracking?

Thread: 

Glen Ford has a compelling, troubling and revelatory article over at Black Agenda Report entitled, “U.S. Prepares to Gas Russia Into Submission.” Now I’m thinking maybe we should bottom-line the Ukraine fiasco by archly suggesting, “It’s about the Russian energy exports, stupid!” The new militarist playbook in the Ukraine is really the same old militarist playbook from Iraq. Nothing to do with humanitarian concern for democracy. Money, money, money. Oil, oil, oil. Gas, gas, gas. Read below the fold...

DCblogger's picture

Why does Alan Krueger have a job?

Obamacare Clusterfuck: Some premiums to double in 2014

The Hill:

Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration.

The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP’s prospects in November and hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015.

"... I think everybody knows that the way the exchange has rolled out … is going to lead to higher costs,” said one senior insurance executive who requested anonymity.

The insurance official, who hails from a populous swing state, said his company expects to triple its rates next year on the ObamaCare exchange.

The hikes are expected to vary substantially by region, state and carrier.

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

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: ObamaCare's narrow networks leave out best cancer centers

That's because only those who can afford to should be allowed to survive cancer.* AP:

Cancer patients relieved that they can get insurance coverage because of the new health care law may be disappointed to learn that some the nation's best cancer hospitals are off-limits.

An Associated Press survey found examples coast to coast. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by five out of eight insurers in Washington state's insurance exchange. MD Anderson Cancer Center says it's in less than half of the plans in the Houston area. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is included by two of nine insurers in New York City and has out-of-network agreements with two more.

Doctors and administrators say they're concerned. So are some state insurance regulators.

In all, only four of 19 nationally recognized comprehensive cancer centers that responded to AP's survey said patients have access through all the insurance companies in their state exchange.

That's not a bug. It's a feature. Read below the fold...

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Democrats organize civil disobedience for Medicaid expansion (but not, of course, for single payer)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

More than 40 people were arrested Tuesday in a string of protests targeting Gov. Nathan Deal’s decision not to expand Medicaid in Georgia under the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was pastor, was among those placed in handcuffs by Georgia State Patrol troopers. Warnock and a group of supporters staged a sit-in outside of Deal’s office Tuesday afternoon. They were arrested without incident and led away as the remaining crowd of protesters sang “We Shall Not Be Moved”

So fucking pathetic and tragic. Surely Dr. Raphael Warnock knows there is a better alternative for his congregation, and the protesters, then neo-liberal infested and cheapass Medicaid?* If he doesn't, he's a fool. If he does, he's a cynical manipulator. Read below the fold...

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...

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