Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for June 23rd, 2009

No comment

Posted by Charles II on June 23, 2009


(Image found on Bartcop)

Posted in election theft, Iran | Comments Off on No comment

Jane Hamsher Has A Job For You

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 23, 2009

Your mission, should you choose to accept it (and you really should) is to whip the Democrats into shape on health care.

Read, then do. It’s the most fun you’ll have that doesn’t involve Crisco!

The beauty of it is that it gets the legislators publicly committed to a public stand — and that makes it harder for industry lobbyists, who depend on us not knowing how our congresscritters will vote:

Legislative vote counts are one of those things that the Web can transform. They’re typically closely held — counting is an insider’s art — and deliberate ambiguity is a key negotiating tactic. Legislators who would prefer to vote no, for instance, might be willing to be the last vote, for a price. So while this has the effect of pushing members toward Obama’s position, it also shines a spotlight on members who might prefer to stay uncommitted, or to wait for details and compromises.

You know what to do.

Posted in health care, health issues | Comments Off on Jane Hamsher Has A Job For You

Heard on the public airwaves

Posted by Charles II on June 23, 2009

DemocracyNow hit the trifecta: charter schools, deep packet inspection (wiretapping), and a detailed analysis of a number of cases of innocent men held at Guantanamo.

On Charter Schools, Stanford University has come up with a new report called The Credo Report (interesting choice of names) which looked at 16 states. They found charter schools very slightly underperforming traditional schools, which is bad news for the movement, since it is promising improvements. Arne Duncan is trying to spin this by saying, well, yes, if we got rid of all the bad charter schools, they would be better than public schools. Of course, if we properly funded and did oversight on bad public schools, they’d be better than charters. Anyway:

this study reveals in unmistakable terms that, in the aggregate, charter students are not faring as well as their TPS counterparts. Further, tremendous variation in academic quality among charters is the norm, not the exception. The problem of quality is the most pressing issue that charter schools and their supporters face.

but with a surprising twist:

two subgroups fare better in charters than in the traditional system:
students in poverty and ELL students.

Bob Peterson of Rethinking Schools gave a powerful rebuttal, demolishing EdSec Arne Duncan’s record and pointing out that charter schools, contrary to the assertions of the Credo Report, cherry pick by dumping students with behavior problems. In Illinois, 15% of traditional classrooms are special needs children, while only 10% of charters are.

Deep Packet Inspection means searching mail/phone/FAX/etc. for keywords (but “words” could include, for example, the ISP, the type of program used to generate the transmission, or the time of day) and referring them to a police agency. Siemens and Nokia set up a centralized system for Iran’s government, which is how they have managed to all but shut down communications. China uses a decentralized system. The US has the capability and it’s legal, according to Josh Silver of FreePress.Net.

I know for a fact that deep packet inspection is used by at least one ISP, which used it for a time to block transmitting things like the link to the Cornell University site on the Constitution! The potential for abuse in a society so completely dependent on electronic communication is enormous.

The segment on the innocence of many Guantanamo detainees added some important detail to what we know. Andy Worthington delivered such a solid exposition that I’m adding him to the links. The case of Abdul Rahim, who was tortured by Al Qaeda and held in a Taliban jail, only to be seized and transferred to Guantanamo was particularly moving. The Syrian government is unlikely to accept him, so as the final (or so we hope) indignity, he will become a stateless person, forever separated from his family.

Posted in Barack Obama, Guantanamo, NSA eavesdropping | 8 Comments »

More Clueless Heartlessness from Republicans

Posted by MEC on June 23, 2009

Republicans continue to prove that “stupid” and “evil” are not mutually exclusive.

Tom Davis of Virginia declared that people who can’t get insurance coverage because of pre-existing condtions should just get themselves a job with a major employer where they won’t be excluded from the coverage pool.

Mr. Davis, I will type this slowly in hopes you can read it. Major employers are not exactly begging people to take jobs with them. They are, in fact, shedding jobs, not creating them. The unemployment rate, in fact, is the highest it’s been in years, and likely to go even higher. Your “solution” is not realistic.

The solution to the health-care crisis is not to rely on “major employers” to provide health insurance for the people lucky enough to have jobs with them. The solution is to develop a health system that doesn’t rely on the job market and on profit-making corporations, because neither of those will protect the wellbeing of the people who need health care.

That’s reality. Face it.

Posted in Republicans as cancer | 2 Comments »

The stolen Iranian election

Posted by Charles II on June 23, 2009

Via Juan Cole, Chatham House gives chapter and verse on why they think the election was stolen. Prof. Cole says that The Nation will have a piece by Robert Dreyfuss summarizing the evidence, and here it is.

Posted in election theft, Iran | 3 Comments »

Tuesday Morning Republican News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 23, 2009

cat-herding.jpg

This is just what I was talking about when I talked about the Republicans making Ahmedinejad smile.

— RE: Governor Sanford — Might I suggest checking around Fire Island or Christopher Street, instead of the Appalachian Trail? Might be a lot easier.

Oh. My. Goodness. You’re slipping, Pat — ten years ago you would have caught this.

Posted in Iran, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, Silly Republicans, WTF? | 6 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: