Okay - I am not sure whether to laugh or rage at this. If you toddle over to Digby's place you can see the most remarkable GOP ad I have ever seen. Check it here:
Apparently this came from here:
Where are my Cialis pills - my I am getting the vapors
The question was everywhere. Where is John Galt. Nowhere was the question asked more often than in the quietly, well appointed conference room of OE Bank & Trust.
The employees used to laugh that the name stood for Overly Engorged. Now, the running joke was that the initials stood for Over Extended. Few, outside the solemn sanctum of the executive suite knew that the founder, as an homage to his heroine, Ayn Rand christened the use of the initials to stand for Obscenely Erect. It was true that he could not make a woman's pulse quicken with his steely producer like gaze or his granite sculpted posture or even the towering pinnacle of his intellect. But it was such a wonderful image - a few producers - set free from the shackles of the clawing underbelly to stride with giant steps across the landscape and simply by devoting all life and energy to self-worship, self-indulgence, self-enshrinement they would make all the world hum and throb with beauty and success.
But today Orville Ensign could not make the question stop - Where was John Galt?
Major General Paul Eaton was, to the best of my memory, one of the principals who led the so-called "revolt of the Generals" whose clear-eyed clarion call for the removal of Donald Rumsfeld led to the ouster of the disastrous Secretary of Defense.
Last night the General appeared on Countdown and had the singular failing of being utterly straightforward and blunt. His assessment was clear - Republicans and their bizarre calls for selectivce application of the Constitution, for liberal use of torture and for their general posturing and preening on national security is not only misguided - it is dangerous to national security.
To my mind General Eaton did a rare thing in our public discourse - he laid the blame for this counterproductive nonsense right where it belongs - it is Republicanism. More below.
I confess - I like the way this story ends. It began innocently enough - a young Houston prospective college student has dreams of higher education, so she sells her car - and in return takes money orders.
Most of the funds were to go to pay tuition at Texas Southern University. However she stops in a Houston area Wal mart to purchase some retail items. There, when she wants to pay with the money orders, Wal mart has her arrested. She spends two days in jail. Wal Mart sends threatening letters demanding she pay them $200.00 and asserting she was trying to pass fraudulent money orders and essentially taking the position that she pay the $200.00 bucks or they will report her for shop lifting.
The Harris County D.A.'s office investigates and finds out - the money orders were genuine.
The story concludes below:
When I was in law school - (yes they had law school even in the Jurassic Period) - I would frequently endure the calumny of my fellow students as being to the right of Genghis Khan. The central thesis of our argument, regardless of the various guises under which it arose, was always the same - I argued that using judicial power to achieve social ends - without rigorous adherence to well reasoned and articulated judicial principles regardless of the loftiness of the intentions - was an invitation to abuse.
I remember distinctly having an argument with a fan of the Warren court - and I am sad to say that my prediction of that day haunts me for its accuracy: that if we did not claw back from the fuzzy reasoning we were allowing and the authoritarians took the reins that they would sweep away the fundamental protections the Constitution enshrined for the individual over the collectives.
Yesterday that day came - and now I have seen the light
Like you, I have watched with great interest the year long battle about HCR. In my view the core question was always what reform coulb be enacted to provide sufficient incentive to peruade the Health "Insurers" to adopt a business model that included actual delivery of a valuable product.
Now, if I understand right - many are talking about changes to "preexisting condition" exclusions and limits on amount of premiums received devoted to claim payment (as opposed to claim denial.) However, if I get this right - the government will enforce a mandate to buy "insurance." However, if an insurer refuses to abide by the reforms - what mechanisms exist to provide enforcement against the insurer on the just barely possible contingency that said insurer might (I know, human beings wouldn't actually allow others to die just for a few bucks - would they? nah - what am I thinking) engage in wrongful conduct?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics today announced job survey results that came as a surprise to "analysts and economists": the unemployment rate has started down. America has come to grips with the most serious economic crisis it has faced since the 1930s. Now, we the common people of America have a simple message to you - the haves and have mores of elite Republicanism - have the common decency to be quiet and let us get back to work. Why you might even think about actually getting back to work yourself.
Perhaps a brief review of our recent economic and political history will be useful.
Yes - they are a pitiable group of business stalwarts those poor downtrodden insurers of saintly Marcus Welbies. Why - as we all just know (and forget statistics, empirical studies and anything resembling fact, please) America (oh, yeah - founded by those nasty lawyers) is overrun with lawyers and lawsuits and those pursuing the rule of law. So these magnificent critters of the corporate jungle soldier on bravely - and then - why, who could have ever predicted - the biggest profit making industry of the Fortune 500 - yep- you guessed it:
Austin, Tx - once a sleepy college town that bustled for six months every two years when the Texas legislature met for its then brief 3 or 4 month sessions on a biannual basis - was known for the beauty of the rolling hills overlooking spacious, rippling lovely Lake Travis. Today, this Hill Country gem is dying - under the relentless drought of 2009 that is changing the Texas landscape.
These pictures are really kind of hard for a long time Texan to take - but here they are:
Although not as dramatic as a hurricane or as sudden as wildfires - Texas - more particularly the southern half of our beautiful state - is enduring a climate catastrophe. We are sweltering under an onslaught of triple digit temperatures combined with an almost total cessation of rain. Lakes are drying, rivers reduced to trickles, public pools closed and most acutely farmers are watching the bounty of the land wither to nothingness. A look at this drought index reveals just how stark things have become:
The state official in charge of agriculture, Mr. Todd Staple, is singing a much different tune than the irresponsible figurehead Governor Perry and his bizarre talk of secession: "we hope God will bless us with moisture to relieve some of the pressure facing our producers,” he said. “While we wait, state and federal agencies are working together to offer assistance and I urge producers to take advantage of these critical resources."
I thought somebody might diary this - but now showing - on another network as they say - is an enormously entertaining and instructive clip starring Dennis Kucinich. See it here:
It is not long - but it is effective.
This is what good cross examination of a hostile witness looks like - and there are themes worth understanding - both on the issue and in the technique
Okay, I confess, one of my guilty pleasures in the early morning is to turn over to CNBC when they have their countdown clock (which includes showing the time in hundreths of seconds - talk about breathless) signalling the time (usually 8:30 am EST) when some significant piece of economic data will be released.
They gather round the table and chatter excitedly - they invite in lots of peoples who all speak in econobabble - e.g.: "dollar depreciation is affecting the yield curves against the expectations that Chinese reserves will reflect trade imbalances dependent on petro vs. Euro pegged instrument derivatives...."
But this morning - well - follow below and maybe somebody can translate for me - because there is an unexplained mystery that seems -- to my poor brain - of some moment.