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Posts from — June 2009

Miller Endorsement

The Pensacola News Journal reports that our local Congresscritter has decided to take a stand on something – Miller: Rubio the man

U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller announced Thursday he has endorsed former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio in the state’s U.S. Senate race.

“Marco Rubio is a young, fresh voice for our cause, and he does believe in limited government,” said the Chumuckla Republican.

Miller, who said the race has “tremendous implications for the future of Florida,” becomes the first member of Congress to publicly announce his backing of Rubio.

Miller’s endorsement puts him at odds with top Florida and Washington Republican Party leaders who are backing Gov. Charlie Crist for the nomination.

His endorsement is the latest among conservatives; within the last two weeks, Rubio picked up support from former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.

This is great news. One can only hope that it encourages the local rabid Republicans to back Rubio and deplete meager resources in a primary fight between Crist and Rubio. A Meek-Rubio Senate race would be a gift to the Florida political media.

June 26, 2009   1 Comment

Friday Cat Blogging

Mr. “Suave” Takes a Nap

Friday Cat Blogging

Zzzz…

[Editor: Property Income ignores the joys of a cat bed to sprawl at the back of my office chair. I not only zapped him with the flash, but he didn’t move when I sat down. I had to physically extract him from the chair. He takes naps seriously.]

Friday Ark

June 26, 2009   14 Comments

Iran Problems Not Over

The CBC report says that Iranian opposition will continue to challenge election results: Mousavi. The ABC writes Eyewitness: Massacre in Baharestan Square.

The Iranian authorities have come down so hard and cut off so many avenues of reporting that it is hard to judge the reliability of information coming out of Iran, or to determine if it is coming from actual witnesses, or from people with an agenda.

In the early days there were still enough journalists on the ground to evaluate the raw data based on comparison to the professional reporting. Lately you can’t be sure if some of the reports aren’t agitprop designed to inflame the situation.

The election was a sham. I have been voting for forty years, so I have a really good feel for how long elections like Iran’s take, and they announced the results too quickly. They don’t have the requisite number of elections to find the “magic precincts” that will predict an election with minimum returns. They don’t have exit polling to give them an idea of what happened. They waited a couple of hours and announced a result – just not possible.

[Read more →]

June 25, 2009   Comments Off on Iran Problems Not Over

Say It Ain’t So, Doc

Well, the Miami Herald was busy yesterday on the medical fraud front: Feds: Miami-based Medicare fraud ring busted, and Medicare fraud probe targets 53 suspects in Miami, elsewhere.

There were two separate cases of fraud being pursued by the Feds at the same time, and both involved the Republican, capitalistic, Cuban entrepreneurs, and members of the medical professions from Miami. When the Feds closed in a number of the people involved decided that Fidel wasn’t so bad.

Hundreds of millions are being stolen from insurance companies by these schemes. They should be sentenced to two weeks in an HCA hospital as a patient, but the Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishments.

June 25, 2009   2 Comments

Stop Projecting

CNN reports on the latest Supreme Court finding: Teen strip-searched in school wins partial victory

The justices concluded that the search was unreasonable but that individual school administrators could not be sued.

The Supreme Court found little agreement on key issues. Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed that the search was illegal but would have also made individual officials liable for damages by Redding.

“Wilson’s treatment of Redding was abusive, and it was not reasonable for him to believe that the law permitted it,” said Ginsburg, who was especially forceful oral arguments in April criticizing the school’s actions.

But Justice Clarence Thomas took the opposite view: that administrators deserved immunity but that the search was permissible.

“Preservation of order, discipline and safety in public schools is simply not the domain of the Constitution,” he said. “And, common sense is not a judicial monopoly or a constitutional imperative.”

Mr. Justice Thomas, what part of “Constitution of the United States”, I assure you it says that in the preamble of the document, can be interpreted as “except schools”. Everything that involves government in the United States is in the domain of the Constitution. In some cases the Constitution tells government to not do something, like conduct unreasonable searches, and in other cases it is told it must do something, conduct a census, but it is the domain of the Constitution.

I do agree that you are a prime example of your second point on common sense.

June 25, 2009   2 Comments

Hmmm…

In comments Cookie Jill mentioned the possibility of speculators driving up the price of wheat. That reference triggered a curious thought: have you noticed the price of gas lately?

The thing is, the price of oil jumped over that past 6 weeks or so, and then it stalled and started to drop. What is so odd is this – when is the last time you saw the price of oil drop when there were riots in the streets of a major oil producing country, like Iran?

A suspicious person might conclude that there was absolutely no reason for the price of oil to rise other than speculation, and it had risen to an unsustainable level.

Just a thought.

June 24, 2009   12 Comments

ENOUGH!!!

funny pictures of cats with captions

While I accept the possibility that there is some underlying reason for married Southern politicians to become involved with women from Argentina, I have zero interest in being pressured into reading about it, nor in having it be the single most important story on what purport to be news programs. The gossip belongs on Divorce Court, not the evening news.

I don’t give a rat’s patoot about other people’s sexual activity. I already know that Republicans are hypocrites, so this isn’t news. I didn’t care when it was Democrat Wilbur Mills, so why would I care if it’s Republican Mark Sanford? Aren’t there several wars going on? Is the economy no longer in the tank? Was everyone suddenly granted health care? Has climate change been halted? Is there nothing else newsworthy in the world?

June 24, 2009   16 Comments

Could Someone Explain This

The entire Democratic leadership, from the White House down, would starve in a Tijuana market. They don’t even understand the most basic steps in negotiations. If you are going to buy anything in most of the world, you need to know how to haggle, or what you get will be less than worthless.

They need to be locked away for a week with a couple of grandmothers from a colonia to learn how it’s done, or at least with some seasoned labor negotiators to learn the basics.

You want Medicare-for-all? You start with the British National Health Service, and then negotiate down to single-payer.

If these wimps negotiated a labor contract, we would have slavery reintroduced in this country. They really suck.

June 24, 2009   10 Comments

Iran Update

This is from the CNN coverage Violence flares again in Tehran

Iran is saying that the woman who has emerged as an emblem of the Iranian government’s crackdown against protesters might have been shot dead by “mistake,” the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported Wednesday.

The report said the investigation into the death of Neda Agha-Soltan is ongoing, “but according to the evidence so far, it could be said that she was killed by mistake. The marksmen had mistaken her for the sister of one of the Monafeghin who had been executed in the Province of Mazandaran some time ago.”

Monafeghin refers to the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran, which promotes a secular, Marxist government for Iran and has waged a violent campaign against the fundamentalist Islamic Tehran government — including bombings that killed politicians, judges and cabinet members.

Is it “Islamic” to assassinate, without arrest or trial, the sisters of terrorists? Where is that found in the Quran or Sharia law?

CNN also reported Iranian football stars ‘retired’ after match protest. I would hope that FIFA again imposes sanctions on Iran, as they did in 2006, for political interference. Americans have never really understood about the place of football [soccer] in most of the world, but FIFA [the international body that rules football] sanctions have more meaning for the average citizen than UN Security Council resolutions. Consider what would happen in the US if the government caused the NFL and NASCAR seasons to be canceled.

June 24, 2009   Comments Off on Iran Update

Going Nuts II

I noted the pistachio problem back at the end of March, but [via Cookie Jill in comments] UPI notes FDA issues another pistachio warning.

You want to avoid California Prime Produce- or Orange County Orchards-brand pistachios distributed to retail locations in airports and hotels nationwide in clear 6-ounce flexible plastic Ziploc bags, with “Sell By Dates” of “7/30/09” and “8/30/09.”

What has happened is that, knowingly or unknowingly, a distributor has repackaged some of the pistachios that were recalled and sold them.

June 23, 2009   2 Comments

Just Say No

Based on his choice for Chief Technology Officer, I didn’t put much hope in Obama’s plan to create a Cyber Security Tsar.

If Digby is right, and the CyberCrat is going to be Representative Tom Davis [R-VA], I will have been proven correct.

Digby had just featured Davis in her post, Let Them Eat Fancy Feast¹, with his aristocratic attitude towards the problems of working people who need health care. Apparently he is unaware that we are in the GOPression with double-digit unemployment, because his response was for a woman to find a job that offered health insurance.

I guess putting qualified technology professionals in technology jobs isn’t enough of a change.

1. For non-cat people: Fancy Feast is overpriced wet cat food in tiny cans that is labeled “gourmet”.

June 23, 2009   7 Comments

The Lies Aren’t Even Interesting

In the latest BBC Iran summary you will find this gem:

On Tuesday, the country’s legislative body, the Guardian Council, said there had been no major polling irregularities and the result would stand.

Guardian Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhoda’i said there had been “no major fraud or breach in the election”.

Let’s see, 3 million more votes than voters from 50 cities by their own admission and there was no “major fraud”. No doubt the spokesman has a fatwa to excuse his lies.

The BBC also noted that the UK expels two Iranian diplomats in response to Iran’s expulsion of two UK diplomats. Obviously the British officials were doing something undiplomatic, like noticing that there were protests in the streets and people were being attacked and occasionally killed by government security forces.

June 23, 2009   Comments Off on The Lies Aren’t Even Interesting

Some Good News

The Culture Ghost has been undergoing cancer treatment for a while, and today he got the news that his latest scans are clear.

June 23, 2009   7 Comments

Some Truth From The Insurance Industry

MSNBC has an AP story, Insurance industry lays down health marker, about a letter that the health insurance industry has sent to Congress that actually contains some truth.

The industry claims that a government health insurance program would increase their costs. That’s true, because with competition they would actually have to start paying for the health care of their policy holders to keep them. They would no longer be able to take premiums and give nothing in return because their customers would have the option of going to the public plan.

They claim that a public plan would dismantle current employer coverage, which is also true, if the insurance companies don’t change their ways and become competitive.

The health insurance companies brought this on themselves by being greedy. When they decided to use denial management and rescission to inflate their profits, they sealed their own fates. They have managed to organize regional monopolies by consolidation, and have been acting in the arrogant and greedy fashion of all monopolies.

If you can’t compete as a business, you should fail – it’s called capitalism and big business doesn’t like it.

June 23, 2009   2 Comments