Friday, November 22, 2013

Cheap shots and extreme shrieking

Secrets of Glenn's success:

Greenwald: "Extreme hackery", "endless shrieking" made me what I am today.
Hey, you're welcome. Any time you need me shrieking and hacking so you can advance your career another step, pal. 'Coz everybody really loves being treated as an asshole by the person they essentially created.
The Shrieking Affliction. From Magic: The Gathering, via.
Lamar!  and Leviticus! and more below the fold:

Why do they hate democracy? Oh, I remember...
In an agenda for a December meeting posted on ALEC’s website, one of the items up for review is language for a bill, called the Equal State’s Enfranchisement Act, that would allow state legislatures to add a candidate’s name to the ballot for a U.S. senate seat, along with the names of those nominated by voters....
it is the latest in a long line of efforts to roll back, and potentially eventually repeal, the [17th] amendment. Several Senate candidates have argued that their own elections should be decided by state legislatures, and they’re even joined in that opinion by a sitting Supreme Court Justice. During the Texas race for Lieutenant Governor, both candidates unabashedly voiced their support for repealing it, saying that without it the country wouldn’t see “Gross overreaches of the federal government, like Obamacare.” (ThinkProgress)
Never would have happened without the tyranny of majority rule, for sure. At least if you made sure to have the right minority in charge. Now how exactly do you go about doing that?

Lamar! Alexander (via Mother Jones)
Update: "Raw partisan political party" is a transcription error originating, I think, with Josh Marshall at TPM. What Lamar said was "raw partisan political power" which sounds more like the cliché he intended. It's funny, though, that Obamacare I (the Affordable Care Act) and Obamacare II (the end of the filibuster for most judicial appointments) both took place before the perpetual opportunity for the tyranny of the majority existed, or something.

As far as the US of A goes, though, I kind of always just assumed majority rule was in the Constitution and everything, just the kind of thing those democracy-addled Founding Fathers were bound to get up to. Interestingly enough, this proves not to be the case. It's written as if they thought there was no need to even mention it. Article 1, for example, talks about the Representatives being "chosen by the people" and bills being "passed" but it doesn't say anything about a majority being required to do the job, except in the case of overriding a presidential veto, only that the Houses make their own rules. Same for Article 3 and the Supreme Court...

Hey, I guess by Scalia originalist standards that means it's really not there!
Speaking Points. Via Martin County Democrats, Florida.
Fast and Spurious
In another black eye for the beleaguered agency that regulates guns and investigates tobacco trafficking, a new report found that federal agents lost track of 2.1 million cartons of cigarettes and paid an informant more than $4.9 million without requiring him to account for his expenses.
“We found a significant lack of oversight and controls to ensure that cash, cigarettes, equipment and other assets used . . . were accurately tracked, properly safeguarded and protected from misuse,” Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general, said in a 68-page report released Wednesday. (Washington Post)
Let's see. Obviously they just want us to think they're incompetent tools, there must be some kind of conspiracy going on here. I know, smoke-walking! They're deliberately allowing contraband cigarettes to circulate, in the hope of creating an artificial cancer crisis so they can ram through harsh new tobacco policies. With that damn majority rule again.

Abominations Watch
Speaking of conspiracies, Elizabeth Hasselbeck of Fox News was down like a clown on a little-known wrinkle in the Affordable Care Act, the effort to cut down on Medicare expenses by leaning on the private Medicare Advantage plans to cut theirs; thus UnitedHealth dropping 10 to 15% of its Medicare Advantage providers:
The company said it is managing its network, in part, to provide more value for members, particularly given Medicare’s new five-star rating system that ties bonus payments for insurers to certain measures of cost and quality.”That’s what’s driving our actions,” said Austin Pittman, president of UnitedHealth’s networks. He also said, “It’s no secret that we are under substantial funding pressure from the federal government.” (Via Millennium Medical Solutions)
Hasselbeck immediately saw the danger:
“That leaves hundreds of thousands of patients without the doctor that they’ve had for many many years,” Varney added. “We don’t know how many thousands have been dropped, but thousands have been dropped. What about their patients? What about the people who used to have this doctor who now no longer have this doctor? Broken promise.”
“And many of those people are women who are expecting babies and who may just have a real relationship with their physician and want to see the same doctor deliver possibly their second child...” (Raw Story
Especially when you're over 65, as all Medicare patients are. Seniors are creatures of habit, and you can't ask them to have their babies under the care of a total stranger.
If she only would have waited another three years! Via FeministWire.

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