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Buzz Kill

February 23, 2010

So after bemoaning the dearth of new and decent science programming the other day, I find out that we have a new series called Life to look forward to which begins airing in March on the Discovery Channel. There’s a brief description of the programming here a more detailed rundown of the episodes in the series’ wikipedia entry. Several cephaloblog favorites will be making an appearance including weedy sea dragons,a Humboldt squid hunting party, Pacific octopus, giant cuttlefish and even a baldheaded Jeebus H bugeating Xrist lizard.

Of course the series was not produced in the US but imported from the BBC so instead of Sir David Attenborough’s learned voice, in the dumbed down American version we get to listen to Oprah yapping instead. Boo.

In related news, to insure that such a travesty does not happen again scientists are rewiring the genetic code in an attempt to create synthetic life and are hoping to one day engineer a flytrap large enough to eat Oprah.

50 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    February 23, 2010 10:43 am

    So did a guy fly a plane into a Federal building last week or something and leave a detailed explanation as to exactly why he did it? Hard to tell by looking at the news. The Boston Globe has not one but two front page articles on the crazy woman who shot up her colleagues in Alabama but nothing about Joe Stack. About the only discussions going on are brain freezingly insipid ones about the proper use of the word “terrorist”. Guess I was dead wrong in thinking there may be some rumination by the chattering classes about what Stack actually had to say regarding the state of our country today. Seems that has been quickly brushed under the rug.

    • Stemella permalink*
      February 23, 2010 11:10 am

      Definitely under the rug. Dylan Ratigan brought him up on his show yesterday briefly and Bill Maher did too on his latest show, but the overall consensus was to write him off as a madman worthy of no further consideration. When I saw Eliot Spitzer declare his actions of that of a psycho it was clear that Stack or his parting message would receive any further consideration.

      His message and act combined are too dangerous to the status quo.

      • cometman permalink*
        February 23, 2010 12:18 pm

        The thing that worries me is the silence about it. Makes me wonder what other pre-prepared Patriot Act-esque legislation designed to strip us of even more civil rights the oligarchs are about to trot out.

  2. triv33 permalink
    February 23, 2010 10:58 am

    Oh, man! Not The “Oprah.” She really gets on my wick. I spent the last two evenings watching the King Tut specials on the Discovery Channel. They were DNA-ing Tut’s family tree and as you can imagine, Zahi Hawass was beside himself with joy. That stuff’s infectious.

    • cometman permalink*
      February 23, 2010 11:15 am

      There was more than one? I thought it was just one two-hour program which I recorded but haven’t watched yet. If it’s a two-parter I guess they’ll probably replay part II so I don’t miss it.

      And is it illegal to produce a program on ancient Egypt without granting Hawass a bunch of face time? I actually think there is some arrangement requiring him to be consulted due to his position as head of Egypt’s archaeology. I like the guy, but c’mon, give somebody else a chance to get a word in edgewise once in a while ;)

      • triv33 permalink
        February 23, 2010 11:42 am

        Oh, I believe there’s a Hawass Rider on all Film contracts in Egypt. His eubelence knows no bounds. I’m hard pressed to recall a doc on this particular subject where he wasn’t present and I watch every one I find. It was on Sunday and Monday. I wouldn’t have known but for a tiny mention at the end of Sunday’s show.

        • Stemella permalink*
          February 23, 2010 2:28 pm

          He was in this one too, but only minimally. Nova Riddles of the Sphinx

          If you haven’t seen it, see if you can find a rerun or a version online. The mysteries of the Sphinx are all answered in terms of how it was made and whose face is on monument.

        • cometman permalink*
          February 24, 2010 9:12 am

          So I watched the King Tut show last night. Hawass is quite the showman and the program was overall very good.

          The hype they put into the programs bugs me though. They start off by saying nobody knows who Tut’s family were however scholars have known for years who his family was because the ancient Egyptians wrote all this stuff down. I could have told you Ahkenaten was his father without watching the program. Later Hawass briefly mentioned that this has been known all along. They also made it sound like Hawass was the first one to start piecing together all kinds of evidence to back up his theories even as they show him walking through tombs that have been thoroughly examined, and with the artifacts conserved, cataloged and studied for many years. The theories aren’t his alone and this stuff had been gone over many times.

          Basically what it boiled down to was that Hawass had finally given permission to have the mummies’ DNA analyzed, something he had resisted for a while. That was really the only new part about the show.

          Anyhoo, even though I could have done with a little less showmanship the program was very educational. The Amarna period is one of the most fascinating in all of history if you ask me. And without the showmanship to bring attention to Egyptian archaeology, Hawass probably wouldn’t be able to get as much funding for projects as he does.

          • artemis54 permalink
            February 25, 2010 9:48 am

            Well I missed this one but after your (or Stemellla’s ?) notes the other day about the “Science” channel I had to laugh looking through the “History” channel’s offerings, including one on witchcraft and another on the Bermuda Triangle.

            • triv33 permalink
              February 25, 2010 10:58 am

              The (cough cough, ahem) “History” channel…yeesh! I hate what they’ve done to the place. Ice Road Truckers? Pawn Stars? Puh-lease! I thought when we got History International we might get some interesting programs on History we haven’t seen a dozen times…nope. It’s where the “History” channel’s old show’s go to die. Show me “China: The Dragon’s Descent” one more time, I really want to be able to recite the narration verbatim.

  3. cometman permalink*
    February 23, 2010 11:19 am

    Ooooh look! Sounds like the US wants to ‘help’ the Europeans! If only they’d bankrupt themselves even more with increased unnecessary defense spending to pay for US wars, surely their economies will recover.

  4. cometman permalink*
    February 23, 2010 1:02 pm

    Since I posted the thread while you were making this comment I’ll reply to it here.

    Those two articles taken together were a nice contrast. The Simon Johnson piece does do a good job of laying out what ought to be done in order to change the system from within but after reading it the proposals aren’t very realistic and have little chance of working. I’m sure Johnson himself is probably aware of it himself as he’s become a fairly prominent figure in the last year or two making the rounds on TV and in print and yet nobody in a position of power has listened to him and don’t appear as if they’re about to start. Things like this seem hopelessly naive:

    ….we need our leading fiscal and monetary policymakers to admit their role in generating this doomsday cycle through successive bailouts.

    We may get the occasional confession like we heard from Greenspan that in general terms his ideology was wrong but we’ll never hear the bankers admit that they concocted these deals in bad faith to enrich themselves or the politicians admit that they looked the other way as long as campaign contributions kept rolling in. We’ll keep being told that nobody could have seen it coming although there were many many people who did and called it what it was- criminal fraud.

    But as Hedges makes clear, it is too late to reform the system from within as the oligarchs will not freely give up their power. Violence from outside the system will not work either because as tempting as it may be, the ruling class will use any violence against it to crack down on everyone even further. And even if violence were able to topple the existing structure, the most violent among the opposition tend to rise to the top and make things just as bad. The best we can hope for is to hang on until the inevitable collapse and work on a new type of society in small ways where we can in the interim.

    Last night I witnessed a very small thing which I think is indicative of society at large and it really bothered me a lot. I belong to a pool league where you pay $5 a week to play and at the end of the year prizes are paid out and basically you just get the money you already put in back. Play well and you get a little more, play badly and you get a little less but nobody really wins or loses a lot since it’s supposed to be mainly a chance to get a night out, drink a couple beers and have some fun. One of the guys on my team is also the head of the league and based on the current standings he figured he’d manipulate the playoff system so that our team would stand to make a little more money at the end even if it required people on our team to lose a few games on purpose. I listened as more and more people on the team seemed to think this would be a good idea just to win an extra $20 and going through my head was all the corruption and cheating in society at large and how so many seem to think that rigging things in your favor is the way to go since everyone else seems to be doing it. I may not be able to fix the rigged economy but I’ll be damned if I’m going to participate in the same type of thing on a smaller scale so I spoke up.

    From the Hedges piece:

    Resistance will be reduced to small, often imperceptible acts of defiance…

    Speaking up about a small thing like that was pretty imperceptible. But maybe one of two of the other guys on my team who weren’t saying much realized that not everybody felt that blatant dishonesty was OK and took some comfort in that.

    So thanks for posting that Hedges piece. Reading it made me feel better about spouting off last night. I really enjoy the small pocket of resistance we four or five people have here and I’m looking forward to the next tiny act of defiance when I start planting my garden in a few months. Creating our own Department of Peas may be the best we can do for now.

    • Stemella permalink*
      February 23, 2010 2:20 pm

      Good on ya. The times we do speak up, spouting or even whispering, do make an impression and do count; they do add up. Each question asked, each authoritarian and/or deceiver confronted with a simple question, they add up too. So too do the stories, questions and lessons shared with the youngsters whether at home, at work or in the classroom. Those lessons and stories are our seeds for sowing that might come to flower and fruition of further resistance after we are gone.

      Glad you’ve got the Department of Peas covered. I will handle the Departments of Green Beans and Marigolds.

    • artemis54 permalink
      February 23, 2010 2:52 pm

      Good luck with those peas, comrade.

  5. artemis54 permalink
    February 23, 2010 2:54 pm

    I thought you were kidding about her Oprahness. The reproductive cycles of some of those frogs ought to blow her wig right off.

    There’s always the mute button.

    • Stemella permalink*
      February 23, 2010 3:06 pm

      Speaking of wigs, hear are some from the Department of Useless Crap that Surely Signals the End is Near

      Giant inflatable Hair Dos

      and in the even more useless crap for crap department

      Glow in the dark loo roll !!

  6. artemis54 permalink
    February 24, 2010 3:46 am

    What’s the matter with California?

    Miss Beaverly Hills 2010 endorses death for gays

    Follow the link for a good look at this jumped up trash. No over/under yet on how much her fake tits – and collagen lips – cost her pimp.

    • Stemella permalink*
      February 24, 2010 9:17 am

      Here she is discussing boob augmentation and plastic surgery, like oh. mah. gawd.
      Gawd is like, good. total wanna be valley girl.

    • cometman permalink*
      February 25, 2010 6:44 am

      OK now you had me fooled. When you wrote Miss Beaverly I thought it was some porn star who was spouting off so I waited until I was on my home computer to check it out.

      Based on the general level of stupidity in the article and the video, if she isn’t a porn star now she’ll probably wind up as one eventually.

  7. Stemella permalink*
    February 24, 2010 8:01 am

    Here we go again …

    Greek police fire teargas at protesters in Athens

    Film footage was just shown on CNBC from earlier in the day. There appeared to be much head bashing with billy clubs. They said it had become a national strike.

    From the Guardian, yesterday

    Protesters blockade Athens stock exchange

    and today
    Greek police clash with protesters as national strike takes hold

    • cometman permalink*
      February 24, 2010 9:49 am

      Sounds like they are able to get organized pretty quickly over there. Any unions in the US paying attention yet?

      This won’t go over well either:

      …Olivier Blanchard, the head of the IMF, warned that Greece was among the European countries that faced up to 20 years of “extremely painful” belt-tightening.

      If that’s the case then Greece and the rest of Europe may wind up facing a couple decades of painful strikes and riots.

      Can’t remember if we mentioned it here or not, but I read one article recently that said Greece had a huge number of undocumented immigrants right now and Greece was considering giving them all papers making them legal EU citizens as a threat to the rest of the EU since presumably they’d start making their way to other countries once they got papers.

      At least they’re fighting back.

  8. Stemella permalink*
    February 24, 2010 9:04 am

    And now for something completely different

    The Grand Poobah speaks out on protecting the Papal Package


    can you say shrinkage? ;P

    • cometman permalink*
      February 24, 2010 9:51 am

      Ha! It’s either the shrinkage or he doesn’t want anyone to see all the altar boys he keeps in his pants.

  9. cometman permalink*
    February 24, 2010 10:09 am

    Oh for fuck sake. Looks like the military in Afghanistan is intent on confirming that history repeats itself first as tragedy and then as farce. They’ve done a bang up job with the former and now are working on the latter.

    Employees of the CIA-connected private security corporation Blackwater diverted hundreds of weapons, including more than 500 AK-47 assault rifles, from a U.S. weapons bunker in Afghanistan intended to equip Afghan policemen, according to an investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee. On at least one occasion, an individual claiming to work for the company evidently signed for a weapons shipment using the name of a “South Park” cartoon character. And Blackwater has yet to return hundreds of the guns to the military.


    On one of those occasions, in September 2008, Chief Warrant Officer Greg Sailer, who worked at 22 Bunkers and is a friend of a Blackwater officer working in Afghanistan, signed over more than 200 AK-47s to an individual identified as “Eric Cartman” or possibly “Carjman” from Blackwater’s Counter Narcotics Training Unit. A Blackwater lawyer told committee staff that no one by those names has ever been employed by the company.

  10. cometman permalink*
    February 24, 2010 10:24 am

    Don DeLillo has a new book out. Sounds pretty good.

  11. cometman permalink*
    February 24, 2010 10:34 am

    More on plans to gut social security. Coming soon to an old person near you, just after the next election!

  12. cometman permalink*
    February 24, 2010 11:26 am

    Joe Bageant has another excellent column up discussing the inevitable collapse of the Empire. Among other things he touches on the Chris Hedges article Stemella linked to yesterday and the attempts at a better system being made in Latin America.

    I liked this part:

    You can argue that people have always screwed other people for a buck, or a drachma or a shekel. You will win with that argument every time. However, the real issue is about how many people got screwed and how hard by how few. Under 250 years of capitalism, the rising take from the ongoing screw job has grown astronomical. Enough to buy every political tub-thumper in Washington and a Supreme Court. Enough that if the elite cartels on Wall Street rip 300 million Americans for trillions, leaving them squinting at the fine print on their eviction notices, they cannot do jack about it. Except pay the next ransom demand for their credit . On their credit cards. Then sign their children into future debt slavery.

    As I’ve mentioned before there will always be corruption and graft in any economic or political system but the key is keeping it down to a dull roar rather than institutionalizing it as the US has done over recent decades.

    Then he threw in this little jaw dropper:

    By the way, a Latin American country does not have to be socialistic to get hammered by capitalist interests. Even Mexico, governed by corrupt capitalist and business overlords of the first order, men who have consistently sold their country out to foreign capitalist interests both before and since its revolution, is a target for covert action and sabotage — from Israel of all places. In October 2001, a month after 9/11, two Israelis, MOSSAD agent Salvador Guersson Smecke and another Israeli who slipped into the country covertly, were arrested inside the halls of the Mexican congress, while posing as two rather lumpy looking photographers. The lumps turned out to be nine hand grenades, a dozen sticks of dynamite, detonators and detonator wiring and two Glock 9mm automatics. Immediately following the arrest, Ariel Sharon sent a top envoy, who sprang them, following strong pressure from Israeli government. They were whisked off, leaving Mexicans to wonder, What in the hell was THAT all about?” One neighbor here in Mexico says wryly, “That must have cost the Israelis millions in bribes.”

    He links to an article about it and that article has a link to a mention of the incident from the Mexican PGR party’s own website. It’s in Spanish which I don’t understand all that well but the gist of it does seem to say that two Israeli people were arrested packing heat. Anybody know Spanish? – here’s the link.

    I’m at a loss for words about this. Never heard the least bit about it before. If this is really true how could it have been swept under the rug like this? WTF?!?!?! Anybody else know anything about this?

    • Stemella permalink*
      February 24, 2010 4:30 pm

      Bageant is terrific as usual at deflating any possible hope I might feel along with Hedges and everybody else’s analysis and writing I appreciate these days.

      As to the Mexican story, I had never heard anything about it either and find it rather disturbing to say the least. Here’s a translation for you:

      Concerning the situation of the 2 men arrested on Wednesday near the San Lázaro Legislative Palace, the Attorney General’s Office reports that the Israeli citizen or Saer Ben-Zvi Saar Noam Ben Zvi was made available to the First Court of District “A” federal criminal proceedings in the Federal District, while the Mexican Salvador Gersson Smeck was issued an order of freedom with the reserves of the law, because there were no elements for inscription.

      Under that when he was arrested carrying a gun Gersson Smeck 9 millimeters, was released with reserves of law and we looked after the Ministry of National Defense in relation to permit carrying of firearm counts.

      The Israeli Ben Zvi was admitted in the Northern Men’s Prison, pending that he resolved his legal position as probably responsible for the commission of crimes of violation of the General Population Act, provided for and punished by Articles 123 and 143 General Population Law, all in accordance with the 6th. And 7., Section 1, 8 º. 9th and 13th, Fraction II of the Federal Penal Code, thus begins the necessary criminal proceedings.

      Upon further google searching the names and year, the sites referencing it are places like Stormfront. I didn’t see any regular news organizations listed, Mexican or otherwise. I’d want to see more variety in sources to get a better understanding.

      • cometman permalink*
        February 25, 2010 8:43 am

        Feel the same way about Bageant’s and Hedges writing. David Michael Greene too. Not very hopeful at all but then again they sure seem to be right. Even the insufficient measures like a public health care option or the Volcker rules, as flawed as they are from the outset, still make me think just a little bit that maybe some people are at least trying to address the needs of the citizens of this country. And then we find out time and time again that proposals like this were just lip service and never really taken seriously by the vast majority of legislators or often not even by those who proposed them. The actual facts seem to back up the views of Bageant et al. And the thing is these guys aren’t some hard core radicals – I know that Bageant and Greene at least voted for Obama (don’t remember if Hedges mentioned who he voted for) thinking things would turn around somewhat so they aren’t writing to say “I told you so”. I think their making an honest assessment of the reality of the situation.

        Thanks for the translation of the Spanish. I did some searching yesterday too and came up with the same types of sources you did. The article Bageant references said there were TV reports for a day or two after it occurred and I tried to see if there were any youtubes about it from the TV station mentioned but came up empty. I tend to trust Bageant though and haven’t run across anything in the past from him that made me doubt his veracity. Very odd how he just kind of dropped that in there. Maybe it was something he just heard about recently through word of mouth since he mentioned a neighbor talking about it with him. I’d definitely like to hear more about this too, especially in light of the stories of Israeli agents being picked up in NY after the Trade center attacks and the more recent news about the Mossad assassination in Dubai. That latter one seems pretty well documented which really makes me wonder about the two other stories from around 9/11/01. Lots of things just stopped being talked about all together in the aftermath.

  13. cometman permalink*
    February 24, 2010 1:04 pm

    Not that this comes as any surprise, but those Volcker rules we heard about (which wouldn’t have been nearly enough to fix the problems with the financial sector to begin with) appear to be dead in the water.

    • Stemella permalink*
      February 24, 2010 2:05 pm

      Financial “reform” is as much a joke as the health “reform” Why the hell do they even pretend?

      Obama has been out professing his love and appreciation for free market capitalism and the banksters and captain pirates of industry. He should stop pretending he will push for any reform whatsoever.

  14. Stemella permalink*
    February 24, 2010 2:02 pm

    An Orca has killed one of its trainers at Sea World Florida today. I got a kiss from one of the Shamus when I was little. I knew as a 6 year old that it was a ridiculously stupid fucking thing to do. Big tongue. Big sharp teeth. Terrible fish breath.

    Here’s the story Shamu

    • artemis54 permalink
      February 24, 2010 2:32 pm

      I think your link might be messed up. Greatly surprised this hasn’t happened already.

      For a long time the claim was made that no killer whale had ever attacked a human. Who knows what happened here? For instance, a number of “rogue” elephants that have attacked their trainers have been found to have brain tumors when a post mortem is done.

      I have been to that Seaworld. This is not appropriate treatment of these animals imo. People say they are “happy” which isn’t really the point anyway, but it is just their intelligence and urgent need for social interaction finding whatever outlet they can in a sterile blue cage. Perfectly analogous to the treatment of elephants. (btw, don’t know if you are aware, but India for one has already banned the keeping of elephants in zoos and circuses.)

    • artemis54 permalink
      February 24, 2010 2:36 pm

      Uh oh. This may be Tillikum’s third involuntary homicide.

      Maybe they should let him go.

      • Stemella permalink*
        February 24, 2010 4:09 pm

        I remember hearing about the second person the whale killed. He had won a Darwin award posthumously for voluntarily taking a swim with the orcas after hours.

        I bet they send the whale up to Norway or wherever it was they sent “Free Willie” Keiko where he very shortly died after arrival. I suppose he can’t be released to the wild after so many years in captivity.

        Sad story all around.

        • artemis54 permalink
          February 24, 2010 4:31 pm

          That case was not at all hard to understand. The unknown to them human entered their little home off the schedule and in way the trainers never would.

          I used to keep a sulfur crested cockatoo. (I know, but it was in the way of a rescue.) He was quite gentle and never offered to bite anyone, even kids or the dog, neither of which he really liked much. But his cage was his, not anyone else’s, and when he went inside it, especially if he pulled the door shut, he did not appreciate anyone opening the door or sticking their fingers in except maybe me after approaching him the right way.

    • cometman permalink*
      February 25, 2010 9:12 am

      Caught an NPR report last night which said that there was some confusion as to how the death occurred. Like the print article says, numerous witnesses reported the attack as having happened in the middle of a performance but “officials” of some kind or another were trying to say that it really happened in a backstage area when a trainer slipped into the tank. For Xrissakes is it really that hard to figure out!?!?! We can’t get any transparency about anything these days, not even a whale attack. Perhaps Homeland Security has now taken over Seaworld. Sounds to me like somebody is afraid that people might stop coming to the shows and damage the Seaworld economy if they know there might be blood in the water.

      Normally I cheer a little when a wild animal eats somebody but this just seems sad. The trainers seem to care about the animals a lot. Would have been much better if the orca had eaten somebody in the crowd ;)

  15. Stemella permalink*
    February 25, 2010 8:25 am

    Here’s an interesting longer view take on the meta of politics in this country these days.

    Three polar politics post petroleum

    It puts “<o" in a context that makes sense, I think.

    • cometman permalink*
      February 25, 2010 10:00 am

      I think the context makes sense too, although it’s hard to be sure. He threw everything but the kitchen sink into that one. I tend to agree with his conclusions but not with some of the assumptions he made to get there.

      Anyhoo, I do agree that it’s what we call progressives who have the ideas needed to move this country forward but whether they would be allowed to act even if they wanted to is doubtful. I still think collapse is going to happen before we get any improvement. I think it was in that Bageant article from yesterday where he said its easier to start something new from scratch than to try to convince a few billion people that your position is the right one. But it is extremely important for progressives or whatever people want to call them to start and continue organizing their communities as Hedges mentioned so that when the collapse does get here there will be a new model to replace the old one. I think that is the major difference between the American and French revolutions. The Americans had a system in place ready to take over and got a republic, however flawed. The French got a reign of terror and then an emperor.

      • Stemella permalink*
        February 25, 2010 10:31 am

        I think that was the important take away too, from this article and the others we’ve been linking here for the last many months. Namely, revolution in whatever form is probably not going to be completed in our life times. Our generation gets to witness and participate in the decline and beginning stages of the fall. It will the our children’s and their children’s generations that get the impact of fall and collapse. What we should be doing is making sure the best of what we have as part of human communities is somehow preserved, in knowledge, experience and infrastructure, so that they don’t have to reinvent the wheel after living through another dark ages. Making sure there is still something left of the natural world to live on might be a really good idea too!

  16. Stemella permalink*
    February 25, 2010 8:42 am

    Another mishap of an aquarium nature

    Shark-filled aquarium in Dubai shopping centre cracks open

    and speaking of sharks, here’s the Guardian’s latest take on the assassination of a Hamas member in Dubai by the Mossad, hmmmm maybe there was something to that story in Mexico

    Mystery over Dubai killing of Hamas official deepens

    • cometman permalink*
      February 25, 2010 8:48 am

      I just posted about that above. That is what has really got me thinking about that little nugget from Bageant yesterday. It isn’t as if things like this don’t happen. We’re just supposed to believe that it’s only the “evil” nations that perform such acts (Saddam tried to kill my Poppy!) and not the “good” ones like Israel and the US.

  17. artemis54 permalink
    February 25, 2010 9:59 am

    Stop the Trophy Hunt in BC

    It is a disgrace.

    • Stemella permalink*
      February 25, 2010 10:19 am

      I hope that petition does some good. In light of what is happening to wildlife these days it seems a really sick thing to continue to promote the great white hunters of the world.

  18. cometman permalink*
    February 25, 2010 10:07 am

    Here’s a little bit if justice with some rib tickling writing to boot – Zombie rights. Ha!

    The U.S. Court of Appeals on Wednesday released a ruling in favor of a group of zombies who say they were wrongfully arrested while protesting consumerism during the 2006 Aquatennial. The ruling reanimates the group’s federal lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and its police, seeking damages of at least $50,000 for each person arrested.

  19. cometman permalink*
    February 25, 2010 10:19 am

    Good article from Robert Reich – Bust Up the Health Insurance Trusts.

    I should probably condemn the following as nothing but meaningless lip service but it would be a step in the right direction and it’s the first I’d heard of it:

    …President Obama on Tuesday announced his support of a House bill that would repeal health insurers’ antitrust exemption, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled that she would put it toward an immediate vote.

    They probably won’t do it but at least it gets the idea into the public mind. Have to say I didn’t realize these companies had anti-trust exemptions until recently. Thought it was just baseball.

    • Stemella permalink*
      February 25, 2010 10:45 am

      That is a good article. I like Reich even if he was a Clintonite ;)

      Here is a piece by Matt Taibbi on the anti-trust legislation that the House passed yesterday

      Dems get religion on health care antitrust exemption

      • cometman permalink*
        February 25, 2010 10:54 am

        Wow, Taibbi manages to elucidate the problem in just those two short paragraphs about the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Just imagine if anyone in Congress other than Bernie and Kucinich could muster the cojones to say the same thing. Like Taibbi I expect the Senate to crush this before it has any chance of gaining momentum. I can hardly wait to see what the bastards at Anthem have in store for me this year. Rrrrrrrrrrr.

  20. cometman permalink*
    February 25, 2010 10:33 am

    Great. Patriot Act renewed again in the Senate with no debate at all. Note the subheading “Democrats retreat….” Those motherfuckers aren’t even willing to make a peep about it.

    • Stemella permalink*
      February 25, 2010 10:52 am



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