From Pine View Farm

October, 2009 archive


David Corn on health insurance companies:

Just because you are vilified doesn’t mean you’re not a villain.


Light Bloggery 0

Heavy housecleaning.


Brendan Writes a Column 0

In which he goes on the Ses-tack.

And he supplements it here.


Wrong Way Corrigan, Delaware Edition 0

If I were fleeing the cops, the last place I would head for would the county office complex. Odds are, there are a fair amount of cops there. Then, again, if he had turned the other way, he would have been at the Air National Guard base, also not a good place for a malefactor.

He bailed out of the car and headed for the woods. The woods are bounded on one side by suburbs, on one side by a river, on one side by an industrial complex (where the local paper has its offices), and on one side by the airport.

He’s done got an orange jumpsuit in his future.

A county officer conducting speed enforcement in the area of Commons Boulevard and Reads Way spotted a silver Honda speeding about 9:49 a.m. and tried to catch up with it, Navarro said.

The driver tried to evade the officer by driving through the New Castle County Government Center’s parking lot and lost control of his car and hit two parked cars, Navarro said.


We Need Single Payer 0

But this is progress:

Democratic leader Harry Reid said on Monday the U.S. Senate’s healthcare overhaul will include a government-run insurance plan that lets states opt out, handing liberals an early victory on the bill’s most contentious issue.

After days of closed-door talks, Reid said he would include the “public” insurance option in a healthcare reform bill headed to the Senate floor for debate because it was the best way to lower costs and create competition.

This is hardly the final bill, but it’s a significant start. The “opt-out” provision is a joke; it makes no economic sense and is clearly a sop to advocates of the status quo; whether it survives will be interesting to watch.

The Booman has an excellent analysis of the politics of potential passage.

Interesting to note that, a few paragraphs farther down in the Reuters story was this gem:

(the health insurance industry’s) stock prices fell out of apparent concern about the prospect of competition from the government-run plan.

If they are doing such an all-fired good job, why are their investors concerned about a little competition?

It is clearly because they are not doing such an all-fired good job, except in the country-club membership for CEO’s department.

It really is all about their country-club memberships.


Cost Benefit 0

Noz points out

of course, when it comes to war, the answer to the “is it worth it?” question is often “no”. war is expensive, in terms of money, lives, general risk, and everything. that’s probably why people inclined to military solutions don’t like asking the question. and it’s also why the most warmongering people are the ones least willing to see the world in terms of trade-offs rather than absolutes.


From Ghosties and Ghoulies and Long-Legged Beasties . . . 0

. . . and ginormous Hallowe’en stores, good Lord protect us.

My favorite Hallowe’en costumes of all time were homemade from cardboard boxes.

She came as a grounded outlet; he came as a three-pronged plug.

They kept making a circuit of the dance floor.


We Need Single Payer 0

The fee hand of the market at work:

Consumer advocates say companies are taking advantage of the recession and the growing number of uninsured people — 1 in 5 American adults under age 65 — to sell “health coverage” that evaporates when customers try to use it, or provides far less than promised.

Just last month, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson sued two out-of-state companies for allegedly misleading customers with phony claims about their health plans; and ten more investigations are underway, she said.

Via Atrios.


You Won’t See This on “COPS” 0

And, in San Jose, it doesn’t seem to be an “isolated incident.”

The Booman has the details.


Neoconned 0

DougJ wants to know:

The thing I always wonder is: how did the neocons amass so much influence? Everything they attempt fails and, when you consider how unpersuasive their arguments are, this failure isn’t surprising. How did it come to pass that a naive-sounding theory with no supporting body of empirical evidence became so influential? Yes, part of it is that our media elites are hacks and morons, part of it is that the so-called think tanks are staffed by hacks and morons, but give that there are an infinitude of dumb-sounding, empirically unsupportable theories, why did this particular one become so popular?


Pat Suzuki 0

Fast forward to the 4:45 mark and skip the snappy banter. Get right to the singing.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

A catchphrase with credentials: BS, MS, PHD.

Warning: Language



Macauley, via the Quotemaster:

The Puritan hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to
the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.

The precursor to Mencken’s definition:

“Puritanism – the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

which is often rendered as “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be having fun.”

Macauley was quite the child prodigy. Bennett Cerf told the story that, when Macauley was three and in his pram, he was bawling about having bitten his finger while eating a snack. A woman came up to him and said, “Did Ooo hurt Ooo’s ittle bitty finger?”

He stopped crying, looked at her, and said, “Madam, the agony has somewhat abated.”

Then he resumed crying.


“In the Future, We Will Buy Things from the Television” 2

television shopping

In honor of my QVCing daughter, who turns 30 today.

Via La Contessa.


Fox. Henhouse. 0

Predictable results. Dan Froomkin:

Pretending that Fox News is fair and balanced only serves the right wing, in the same way that it only served the Bush administration when traditional-media reporters pretended Bush didn’t have a credibility problem — and didn’t call him out for his lies — for fear of appearing partisan. It’s self-muzzling, plain and simple.

One of the startling shifts in the last decade has been how so many of the most important policy issues of our time have become matters not of honest political debate, but of competing realities (only one of which, mind you, is supported by facts.) During the Bush years, whether it was related to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, progress in Iraq, torture, or tax cuts for the rich, Bush and his acolytes operated in their own fictional world — with the traditional media only rarely issuing a reality check.

The world of Fox News exists in ideology and wishful thinking, not in any objective reality (and, yes, there is such a thing as objective reality–if you doubt that, stick your finger in that electrical outlet over there and report back to me).


There’s One Born Every Minute, Gag Me with a Spud Dept., Reprise 3

Karen regales me with this picture from a grocery store somewhere in the Wild West, where she resides:

Microwavable Sweet Potatoes

The “Pay Extra for Saran Wrap” movement is growing.


One Born Every Minute, As Seen on TV Dept. 3

Gag me with a spoon.


Stray Thought 0

Investment banks making huge profits from fees on trades that they promote are like croupiers skimming bets they recommend.


Down at the Farm 0

Power failure.


Why He Fought 0

For freedom and equality.

Via Will Bunch.