Archive for January, 2010

Dr. Margaret Flowers of PNHP at Corrente Wire

PNHP’s Dr. Margaret Flowers: Thurs, Feb. 4, 1:00PM EST

LIVE BLOG at Corrente with Dr. Margaret Flowers. What’s the latest in single payer advocacy? What about civil disobedience? What about the efforts in the States? And much more! Mark your calendars! Tell your friends! Prepare your questions!

Be there or be square!

Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein on HCR

Going Down the Same Old Tunnel

Having surrendered in advance to the private insurers and drug companies who profit from our dysfunctional health financing system, President Obama and the Democrats who lead Congress couldn’t rally the American people to support their woeful plan against Republican attacks.

The Democratic plan could only offer unpalatable funding options — stick consumers with ever-higher health costs, raise taxes, or drain money from care.

In the end, the Democrats’ back room deals produced a scheme reminiscent of the ones crafted by Mitt Romney (in Massachusetts, 2006) and Richard Nixon (Washington, 1972) -– but even less effective than those.

A simple single payer program could save $400 billion annually on insurance-related bureaucracy and profits, and tens of billions more by driving down drug prices. That’s more than enough to cover the uninsured and to upgrade coverage for insured Americans, without increasing health spending.

Today in misogyny

Fatwa demands isolation and 101 lashings for 16 year old rape victim

There are times to be eloquent, level headed, and respectful in our discussion of other cultures and religions. This is not one of those times. What the flying fuck?

Rape victim receives 101 lashes for becoming pregnant

A 16-year-old girl who was raped in Bangladesh has been given 101 lashes for conceiving during the assault. The girl’s father was also fined and warned the family would be branded outcasts from their village if he did not pay.

According to human rights activists, the girl, who was quickly married after the attack, was divorced weeks later after medical tests revealed she was pregnant. The girl was raped by a 20-year-old villager in Brahmanbaria district in April last year.

Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper reported that she was so ashamed following the attack that she did not lodge a complaint. Her rape emerged after her pregnancy test and Muslim elders in the village issued a fatwa insisting that the girl be kept in isolation until her family agreed to corporal punishment.Her rapist was pardoned by the elders. She told the newspaper the rapist had “spoiled” her life.

“I want justice,” she said.

If you wish to make a brief, courteous comment on this to the Embassy of Bangladesh, you can do so here.

So what is Harry Jaffe smoking?

Harry Jaffe

Michelle Rhee needs an image consultant. A marketing manager. A junkyard dog press agent. Something!

Rhee’s problem isn’t that she has a horrible image, her problem is that she is a horrible person. Listen to what students say about Michelle Rhee:

Questions for Sulaimon Brown

UPDATE: Sulaimon Brown has been kind enough to reply in the comments:

This is Sulaimon Brown and I appreciate the feedback posted here.

Please let me attempt to answer your concerns as I am working hard to do all over the District of Columbia.

In response to your first question, would I fire Michelle Rhee? Simply put; yes, without a doubt. I’ve mentioned this on Fox five morning news not to long ago and after her most recent false allegations about our beloved school teachers, it only solidifies my decision.

Further, I am not in favor of privatization of our public school system.

I have an excellent plan to improve our school system.

My plan entails stabilizing our teacher’s jobs, so they may focus more on our young people and not worrying about getting fired while doing so.

Second, increasing security in the schools, so the students can feel safe and focus on education.

Finally, implementing a board of educators with PhD’s in Education to oversee the school system.

Your next question asks, “Would he be willing to raise the top marginal rate of income taxes paid by our richest residents? Or would he continue with the stand and deliver parking fine banditry that passes for public finance here in DC?

In response to this I will say for the first part of this question, I’m not in favor of raising taxes on anyone, I’m more for increasing public oversight on the taxes we already are collecting.

The Fenty administration has grossly mismanaged our ax dollars and in some case illegally funneled our tax dollars to his friends.
As for the second part of this question, parking revenue is a standard part of collecting revenue in any city, but I don’t agree with the methods used in this city i.e. signs that are not clearly posted for law abiding residents to read and obey the law.

Your next question regarding jobs; We will implement a pairing program that will in our opinion open the door for greater job growth in the city. This program will give tax incentives to small businesses to hire residents. I spoke in detail about this issue on News Channel 8. Please log onto my website and click on the news link to watch the video.
As for your last two questions and concerns alluding to dog parks and swimming pools; fortunately the present administration has invested so much of the district tax money into this, I don’t think this will be an issue in my administration.

I love animals and I do swim, but our schools and young people come first.

Sulaimon Brown campaign for mayor is not about being disenchanted with Fenty, it’s about Love for DC.

Major credit to Sulaimon Brown for taking the time to respond to a Z list blog. Thank you very much.

I looked at the Sulaimon Brown web site, and I could not find anything on the issues.

Would he fire Michelle Rhee? And if he did fire her, would he just continue with the same privatization policies? Or would he work to preserve and improve our public school system?

Would he work to preserve public property?

Would he be willing to raise the top marginal rate of income taxes paid by our richest residents? Or would he continue with the stand and deliver parking fine banditry that passes for public finance here in DC?

How does he propose to bring more jobs to DC?

Will he establish more dog parks? more swimming pools?

It is not enough to be disenchanted with Fenty, you need to put forth your own program.

Michelle Rhee needs to be fired

Michelle Rhee’s Double Standard on Sex with Children

Michelle Rhee’s comment leads one to only three conclusions:

1. There were known pedophiles teaching in the DC schools and rather than going after them in court or at the least firing them for inappropriate contact with students, the disrtict merely let these people go merrily on their way to other schools and other school districts where they can again be around children.   Even if the district won’t hire them back, there are plenty of private and charter schools that will.  Plus they would be free to get other jobs that keep them in the proximity of schools.  She has done exactly the sort of thing that people have rightly complained about Catholic bishops doing–taking known pedophiles and instead of doing something about the problem moving them on to a new parish.

2. Michelle Rhee has slandered the names of the vast majority of the teachers who were let go.   She has said in the past that many were excellent teachers.  However, if you are hiring a teacher and you have two candidates.   One of them is good, but the other one is slightly better.   However, the one that is slightly better has a 2% chance of sexually abusing his students–are you really going to take that chance?  She has done irreparable harm to many good people and good educators.

3. On the other hand, it may simply be that Michelle Rhee doesn’t think sexual abusing minors is a big deal.  This is an appalling thing to say and perhaps an unfair accusation.  However, I do feel the need to bring it up because of her recent engagement to Kevin Johnson who has not only been accused of sex with minors, but records show that he paid one girl who filed a complaint against him $230,000.   Rhee has been accused of helping to kill investigations into the charges against Johnson.  Now, if I’m wrong here and Rhee believes that it is wrong and her future husband was wrongly accused, how dare she wrongly accuse others.

At worst this woman is aiding and abetting the sexual abuse of minors.  At best she is slandering the name of good people in a way that ultimately will destroy their career and their lives.   A woman like this should not be making decisions that affect our children.  A woman like this should not be allowed around children.

Call for blogger solidarity

cab drollery calls for help

I opened the mail and found the announcement that my health insurance premiums went up even higher than I had anticipated and my deductible had increased two days before the start of my annual physical which is required for me to keep my life insurance. I wrote the check to the health insurer and completely wiped out my checking account.

I’m broke. Flat busted.

So I would appreciate a little help from my friends.

If you have some cash to spare, I would appreciate a donation. Just click on the Donate button.

Thanks. The cats and I would be grateful.

If we are ever to get our country back, we need bloggers like cab drollery. The access bloggers are just getting sucked into the whole Versailles fail.

If you are in a position to donate, please send some kibble. It is so crucial to keep the movement alive.

UPMC Braddock Hospital closing protest

Yesterday between 5p and 6p 150 concerned citizens gathered in the parking lot of The UPMC Hospital in Braddock to protest the closing of the town’s only hospital.

Support single payer, support Corrente Wire

Keeping the heat on and the hamsters fed

Now, with Haiti, Arthur’s pain, Violet’s teeth, Susie’s ongoing troubles, this probably isn’t the best time to ask for help.

That said, help!

One of my two mistakes was paying a lump sum for the very expensive new pair of progressive [haw] tri-focals, to replace the ones that broke last spring, before the work that was going to come in fell through, leaving me scrambling and at risk of not only being unable to keep feeding the hamsters at my hosting service, but unable to fill the fuel tank when it empties, as it soon will. (The other mistake was, as usual, more plumbing work I didn’t count on.) It’s good to be able to actually see again, after almost a year of walking about with everything more than two feet away a colorful blur, but right now I’m seriously up against it, and a few hundred dollars for the hamsters and fuel would make all the difference in the world.

So, having given all the reasons why you should help out everywhere but the blog that everybody hates and nobody readsMR SUBLIMINAL They suck! They have no access!, let me list three of the good things that have recently happened here:

1. Corrente is the go-to blog for single payer. Where else can you go for a live blog with Kip Sullivan, and who else broke the story on Section 1332, and how will interfere with state single payer plans?

2. Corrente seems to have become the 19th Century London of the blogosphere: It’s the place where people go when they’ve been purged. (If only we had a library like the British Museum!) I’m sure we’ve all seen the influx of commenters and posters after Jane purged FDL of single payer advocates, which has been great for the blog (and our traffic, too, I might add).

3. Correntians, on their own initiative, have started to organize RL meetups. Rhizomic growth! (I know I need to create some private forums to support this, but, as I say, I’ve been scrambling.)

So, I think Corrente’s in the best shape it’s been for a long time, editorially, analytically, as a community, and in every other way. However, posting, moderating, administration, doing technical support, and networking with the other proudly C list blogs… Basically, that’s a full time job for me. That’s why I’m here from early morning to late at night. There are times when I need your help to keep doing the job, and this is one of those times!

NOTE I have one commitment for $150 twice a year. Ten or even twenty commitments like that would make all the difference in the world. But every little bit helps, and all is deeply appreciated. Thanks! You can donate using the PayPal buttons, and you don’t need a PayPal account.

Donate to Corrente Wire.

Chartered astroturf

Goodness, gracious me, it seems that the Chartered School movement did not spring up from the grassroots. Via Susie, Mad Floridian:

Here is how a lot of it has been accomplished. They call them grassroots parent groups, but in reality they are formed and funded by charter school corporations.