Gun Fail, New Mexico

Yet another school shooting. This time in Roswell, New Mexico. The boy's family members issued a statement Wednesday afternoon expressing their sorrow.
"We love our young son and grandson dearly, as does everyone in his extended family," the statement said. "His whole family is heartbroken, as are many others in our tight-knit community in Roswell. We understand that having guns in the home increased the chances of a tragedy like this happening and, while it it too late for the victims in this case, we are going to turn all of our firearms over to the proper authorities and begin working toward making Roswell a better, gun-free, community." [Editor's note: fixed that for them.]


Real Life Obamacare Scenario

Real life Obamacare scenario:  I have a friend who was buying her own insurance policy (for herself and her adult son) on the individual market.  She has an Anthem/Blue Cross policy that offers decent coverage for the two of them with a $250 monthly premium. 

She recently received a letter from Anthem notifying her that the company was required to cancel the policy – because of the Affordable Care Act! (Right Wing horror story #1) – but they helpfully suggested she take a comparable “replacement policy” with a monthly premium of $550! (Right Wing horror story #2).  If that were the end of it, I’d be first in line to agree that this Obamacare thing is a travesty of economic injustice.

A visit to a qualified “ACA Navigator,” however, working through coveredca.com, California’s Affordable Care Act portal, found this lady a much more generous “Silver plan” policy ($2000 deductible and $6300 max out-of-pocket per year, $0 preventive care visits, co-pays in the $15 range and $5 for prescription drugs) that will cost her $60 per month, thanks to the ACA subsidy.  For another $20/month she could move up to a Gold Plan. The choice is hers.

Make no mistake about it, the Affordable Care Act is going to help improve the lives of millions of Americans.


Law of Unintended Consequences

If the Republicans are hellbent on fixing the healthcare.gov website, I guess we'll just have to let them.


Loose Lips Sink Ships

Pretty sure neither George Smiley nor "Bond, James Bond" would ever get caught blabbing away in an "off the record" top-secret conversation in such a public place.
Former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden is more used to being the one listening in on conversations than the one being eavesdropped on himself. The tables were turned on Thursday, however, as Hayden suddenly found his supposedly private conversations blasted across the Internet. 
Riding on the Acela express train between New York and Washington, DC, Hayden had the bad luck of sitting near entrepreneur and former MoveOn.org director Tom Matzzie. “Former NSA spy boss Michael Hayden on Acela behind me blabbing ‘on background as a former senior admin official’,” Matzzie wrote on his Twitter account. “Sounds defensive.” For the next twenty minutes, Mattzie continued to livetweet Hayden’s conversations slamming the Obama administration, all the while insisting that he be referred to only on background.
Dude must have thought he was under the cone of silence. Hilarious denouement: The eavesdropper even managed to get a photo with Maxwell Smart Elmer Fudd Michael Hayden at the end of the train ride.

Message from the Messiah

Russell Brand is a helluva a lot smarter than people think...

Q:  "You don't believe in democracy. You want a revolution, don't you?"

Russell Brand:  "The planet is being destroyed; we are creating an underclass; we are exploiting poor people all over the world; and the genuine legitimate problems of the people are not being addressed by our political parties."

Q:  "All those things may be true..."

RB:  "The are true!" [...hands outstretched in exasperation...]


Q:  "What would a revolution be like?"

RB:  "Well I think what it won't be like, is a huge disparity between rich and poor, where 300 Americans have the same wealth at 85 million poorest Americans; where there is an exploited and underserved underclass being continually ignored; where welfare is slashed while politicians go to court to defend the rights of bankers to continue receiving their bonuses."

Q: "But what's the scheme?  You talk vaguely about revolution.  What is it?"

RB:  "I think a socialist egalitarian system based on the massive redistribution of wealth with heavy taxation of corporations and massive responsibility for energy companies and any companies exploiting the environment. I think they should be taxed. I think the very concept of profit should be reduced. David Cameron says "profit isn't a dirty word," I say profit is a filthy word, because wherever there is profit there is also deficit, and this system currently doesn't address these ideas. And so why would anyone vote for it?  Why would anyone be interested in it?"

Tell it brother!


Fingerprint File

A Man of Principle

What the world needs is more people like Judge Carlos Key...

"I cannot place my name on the ballot of a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that would provide health care for millions of people throughout our country."


What About Young Annalee?

So, I just finished watching the dark, sad and barely bittersweet film documentary "Ain't in it for My Health," the story the last days -- and previous high times -- of Levon Helm, legendary drummer for The Band.

The most remarkable, confounding and absolutely infuriating thing about this film, more so than the clips of The Band at Woodstock, or the whole, legendary ensemble guesting on the Ed Sullivan show, or the private jet with John Lennon on board, or the sad reality that two members died before the age of sixty (Richard Manuel and Rick Danko), more so even than Levon's lingering bitterness toward Robbie Robertson, it is, ultimately that a golden, melodic voice, reduced to a rasping cough taken by cancer, is all that is left to describe what it's really like to get sick in America:
"Yeah well, you know, along with...that's the problem with gettin' sick...uh...you know...first you try and get well and...uh...then you try and keep from going bankrupt."

The Truth Laid Bare

Veni, vidi, ego quidam asinum calce.



Double-Entendre or Bald Truth?

Well played, McCain. Well played...