Saturday, May 30, 2009

re: Sotomayor

The lack of background being provided behind her 'controversial' quote is the real sin of ommission in this entire discussion.
She was invited to speak at a memorial lecture specifically on the topic of diversity on the bench and in courtrooms in general. The subject of how background and heritage might affect decisions from the bench was the topic under discussion
She gave a lengthy speech on the subject but the only way they could hang her for an inappropriate statement was to slice it not just out of the paragraph it appeared in, but to chop the sentence itself in half in order to excise the phrase "I would hope".
The fact that this isn't explained in absolutely every story discussing the subject is solid evidence that the media is utterly uninterested in truth if it interferes with the outrage and controversy that is their bread and butter.
Even when the coverage is sympathetic to the candidate it's only centered around questions as to whether her critics have gone too far
If you ask me, the whole process is downright disgusting.

Read the Whole Thing

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Left on a Joe Klein thread re: Torture photos

I'd like to once again remind everyone that the pictures that were going to be released aren't CIA types carefully applying graduated techniques to elicit confessions but are home-movies of US soldiers run amok. If nothing else, they serve as a stark reminder that when cruelty is officially sanctioned, the normal checks to evil behavior are gone and this is what ensues. It's simple human nature and labels like "American" or "Taliban" don't change the basic equation.
The the moral authority that the US has enjoyed in the past is a direct result of our adherence to the principles of human rights even when it was inconvenient (or frightening). It's not too late to regain that authority, but if there isn't a sharp break between the current administration and the last one, then all the justification we have to engage in geopolitics in our current "world leader" role will dissolve into dust.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quoting Karen Tumulty....

Providers now get paid according to how much care they provide, rather than how good it is. If a botched surgery lands you back in the hospital, for instance, that means more profit for the health-care industry. "They are often penalized if they provide more efficient care, if they reduce readmission rates," Orszag says, adding that changing that kind of perverse incentive will be a major focus of health-care reform. .

The great thing about this paragraph is that it is way more generally applicable than just within the health care debate. Anywhere where we can ask ourselves "where are there situations where the optimum business decision is one that resuts in harm?" After all, you can't ask and should never expect businesses OR individuals to do anything but what is in their own best interest within the law.
This is the one thing that "Church of Reagan" zealots look right past. There are things that markets are good at doing and other things at which the really suck! Failure to consider that possibility is precisely what's brought us to our current brink.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thought for the day...

Paul thinks the world would make more sense if people stopped talking about places as if they were people. The United States says one thing, Israel feels differently and Iran reacts emotionally and Saudi Arabia is not amused.
File Under Stupid Human tricks......