Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The four horsemen

"Deadly Tuberculosis Outbreak In Florida Covered Up By GOP Governor Rick Scott: When the Center for Disease Control issues a warning about a large outbreak of Tuberculosis(TB), a rational person would prepare to address the issue; perhaps notify the local hospitals or shelters. If the area had a top-notch treatment center, I suspect notifying them would likely be at the top of one's to-do list as governor. Instead, Governor Rick Scott of Florida ordered the shutdown of the state's only TB treatment facility, the A G Holley State Hospital in Lantana, Florida - part of a larger Department of Health budget cut signed just nine days before the state was notified. The shutdown was accelerated after the notice was given, and the facility shut down 6 months ahead of schedule back in June. The reason given; austerity, in order to fund the tax cuts for the rich."

The Blue Dogs Are A Spent Force... Until You See How They've Ditched The White Sheets And Hoods And Morphed Into The New Dems: ""Former" New Dems Steve Israel (who is also a "former" Blue Dog) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are pushing caucus members to elect New Dem chairman Joe Crowley, the most corrupt Democrat in Congress, to the position of House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman over iconic progressive Barbara Lee. They are pushing the meme that the New Dems are the rising force inside the Party. In fact, they're doing more than pushing the meme." Meanwhile, Andrew Cuomo is another Republican cuckoo in the Democratic nest, and Atrios says we will destroy his presidential aspirations in 2016.

"How Hostess screwed the workers" - I can't look anywhere without seeing some nitwit claiming that this story is about how unions screwed themselves out of jobs, but the fact of the matter is that Hostess was badly managed (in the current management style of persistently undercutting their own business to pocket money that should have been reinvested in the company to update it and make it solvent), and the workers were being offered what amounts to swallowing something like a 25% pay cut (closer to 50% if you count concessions already made in recent years). And all so a few tightwads could keep ripping off a dying company to make themselves richer. (And vote the CEO a 200% pay rise, and steal the pension fund.) Unions have in the past treated these pay-cut offers as if their bosses were acting in good faith, but they weren't and the whole country is suffering the consequences of consistently lowered wages for most Americans. Good on the unions for telling Hostess their miserly attitude had killed the golden goose. (Oh, and Krugman on how the unions made life better, and rich people managed to live with it.)

When I see Tom Friedman writing about how employers can't find skilled workers who can do science and math, I see Tom Friedman opening the door to more BS about how employers should be hiring people who aren't Americans and will work for less. Dean Baker tells you who can't do math.

Don Dorito recommends: "Jodi Dean sez - The more neo-liberalism has entrenched itself the more we have been hearing this language of democracy, as if participation was going to solve all problems - but this is a fantasy because the fundamental truth is that it is not going to solve these problems. Keeping all the activity in the democratic sphere makes it seem as if people are busy, engaged etc. without ever affecting the basic structure. It's a fantasy because it functions like a screen. The rest of the interview can be found in: Saying ‘We' Again: A Conversation with Jodi Dean on Democracy, Occupy and Communism. "

So-called social programs: Actually, I'm in favor of not calling them "social programs". Since they have obvious economic benefits to the entire country, I think we should call them "national economic security programs". Social Security, for example, provides more security to America in every way than Homeland Security ever could. So does Welfare, for that matter - not just because the people who collect it are not dying in the streets, but because the money they spend is good for the whole economy.

"Did Anonymous really stop Karl Rove from stealing another election?" While some may think it's all a hoax, the fact that both Bob Fritakis and Thom Hartmann think it's credible means it's worth serious consideration. And some of us still remember that funny things happened in Volusia County, Florida in 2000 and in Ohio in 2004. And this. (And, once again, people: When the announced vote totals contradict the exit polls, something is wrong.)

"Trafficking and the new civil liberties debate" - No one wants to see human beings enslaved (not that this is stopping our own government from turning Americans into slaves in numerous ways, not least of all our prison industry, but also in some of our foreign military contracts), but moral panics lead to bad laws. By the way, it's almost impossible to get real numbers for trafficking - no one knows how many people are being illegally trafficked or how many people are involved, and as with other moral panics, we see advocates of anti-trafficking laws pulling huge numbers out of the air and bandied about authoritatively without any foundation at all.

A graphic look at budget cuts

Tom Tomorrow on the Petreaus scandal.

I am startled to learn that, before I was born, Martin Landau was a comic strip artist.

APOD: Cathedral to Massive Stars
(If you keep clicking the arrow for previous APODs, you see some nice shots of the recent total eclipse, and also this lovely meteor and moonbow.
And I've never seen clouds like this. Or like like this.)
And a nice Aurora, and another, and another, and another.
Here's a different look at aurorae.
And here's a neat optical illusion.


  1. At Daily Kos, Kos intervened personally to put the kibosh on speculation about Anonymous thwarting Rove's vote-rigging schemes.

    For that matter, I thought Anonymous was thwarting the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Seems like a more worthwhile effort than protecting American elections.

  2. Speaking of Thomas Friedman, you should have entered the contest!


    Who doesn't want an attractive hand grenade paperweight!

  3. Yes, Avedon, Happy Thanksgiving. And to Mad, also, whose site I visit all too rarely.

    And to the Sideshow faithful, peace and joy and turkee.

  4. Just wanted to stop by before Mrs. JP and I start dinner to thank you all who've stopped by P'ville to help us out during these ongoing trying times. While I'm first and foremost grateful to have Barb and Popeye the surly cat for sharing my life, my readers and erstwhile readers who've donated to Pottersville over the years definitely come a close second. Happy Thanksgiving, all!

  5. on the intermittent trafficing uproar --
    There are all sorts of estimates of the numbers of women and girls involved, but I have never seen those numbers extrapolated to numbers of customers. Either an astonishing (to me, anyway) number of men regularly patronize prostitutes, or some of the numbers are overestimated.