Monday, August 17, 2009

Cowardly Lions

Canary in a coal mine.

Gates Foundation Sells Off Most Health-Care, Pharmaceutical Holdings -

"SAN FRANCISCO -- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private philanthropy fund, sold off almost all of its pharmaceutical, biotechnology and health-care investments in the quarter ended June 30, according to a regulatory filing published Friday."

Roaches before the light is turned on.

In MI., Blue Cross raising individual, group rates 22 pct.:

"Insurer originally sought 56 percent rate hike, but regulators refused

Michigan insurance regulators have approved a 22 percent increase for group and individual Blue Cross Blue Shield health policies in the state, according to reports published Thursday"

Great read. Rinse and repeat.

Rick Perlstein -- Birthers, Health Care Hecklers and the Rise of Right-Wing Rage

In the early 1950s, Republicans referred to the presidencies of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman as "20 years of treason" and accused the men who led the fight against fascism of deliberately surrendering the free world to communism. Mainline Protestants published a new translation of the Bible in the 1950s that properly rendered the Greek as connoting a more ambiguous theological status for the Virgin Mary; right-wingers attributed that to, yes, the hand of Soviet agents. And Vice President Richard Nixon claimed that the new Republicans arriving in the White House "found in the files a blueprint for socializing America."

When John F. Kennedy entered the White House, his proposals to anchor America's nuclear defense in intercontinental ballistic missiles -- instead of long-range bombers -- and form closer ties with Eastern Bloc outliers such as Yugoslavia were taken as evidence that the young president was secretly disarming the United States. Thousands of delegates from 90 cities packed a National Indignation Convention in Dallas, a 1961 version of today's tea parties; a keynote speaker turned to the master of ceremonies after his introduction and remarked as the audience roared: "Tom Anderson here has turned moderate! All he wants to do is impeach [Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl] Warren. I'm for hanging him!"

Before the "black helicopters" of the 1990s, there were right-wingers claiming access to secret documents from the 1920s proving that the entire concept of a "civil rights movement" had been hatched in the Soviet Union; when the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act was introduced, one frequently read in the South that it would "enslave" whites. And back before there were Bolsheviks to blame, paranoids didn't lack for subversives -- anti-Catholic conspiracy theorists even had their own powerful political party in the 1840s and '50s.

But here is the money quote:

"Good thing our leaders weren't so cowardly in 1964, or we would never have passed a civil rights bill -- because of complaints over the provisions in it that would enslave whites."


The finger must continue to point.

Who's behind the attacks on a health care overhaul? | McClatchy:

"WASHINGTON — Much of the money and strategy behind the so-called grassroots groups organizing opposition to the Democrats' health care plans comes from conservative political consultants, professional organizers and millionaires, some of whom hold financial stakes in the outcome."

From a Republican.

The GOP's Misplaced Rage - The Daily Beast:

"In my opinion, conservative activists, who seem to believe that the louder they shout the more correct their beliefs must be, are less angry about Obama’s policies than they are about having lost the White House in 2008. They are primarily Republican Party hacks trying to overturn the election results, not representatives of a true grassroots revolt against liberal policies. If that were the case they would have been out demonstrating against the Medicare drug benefit, the Sarbanes-Oxley bill, and all the pork-barrel spending that Bush refused to veto.

Until conservatives once again hold Republicans to the same standard they hold Democrats, they will have no credibility and deserve no respect. They can start building some by admitting to themselves that Bush caused many of the problems they are protesting."


Concentration of wealth in hands of rich greatest on record:

"The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans now have a larger share of total income than they ever have in records going back nearly a century — an even larger amount than during the Roaring Twenties, the last time the US saw such similar disparities in wealth."

Going after them... finally.

Tax dodgers scramble to come clean amid crackdown - Yahoo! News:

"President Barack Obama, in his proposed 2010 budget, asked Congress to pay for 800 additional agents, examiners and lawyers to go after people who hide money overseas. Obama also wants Congress to require overseas financial institutions doing business in the U.S. to share more information with the IRS."

Very cool. Of course, via China.

'Hidden Portal' Concept Described: First Tunable Electromagnetic Gateway:

"ScienceDaily (Aug. 14, 2009) — While the researchers can't promise delivery to a parallel universe or a school for wizards, books like Pullman's Dark Materials and JK Rowling's Harry Potter are steps closer to reality now that researchers in China have created the first tunable electromagnetic gateway."

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