February 1, 2010

Morning Reading

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi uses military airplanes to shuttle her family around the country without even bothering to go with them or providing any substantial tissue of even political necessity.  Millions of public dollars used to provide for one powerful woman's personal needs.  Will Collier quite fairly asks, will the media treat this like the scandal it really is?

Dave Schuler wonders, why all the outrage over the specter of a government-controlled healthcare pricing system producing a hybrid of public and private insurance payers?  That's what we have already -- the government effectively dictates the prices because it controls 60% of the medical insurance market under the status quo and the "free" market for the remaining two-fifths of healthcare spending is hardly operates the way you'd expect a "free market" to behave.  Nearly all the decisions about pricing are made on autopilot anyway.  A point worth careful contemplation on all sides -- to opponents of HCR, what exactly are they terrified of, and to advocates of HCR, why do they expect their proposal to make things any better?

And it's quite evident that the specter of a discretionary federal budget freeze for 2011 is even less meaningful than I sourly noted.  After all, and indexed freeze on spending for three years doesn't mean much when you pump up the spending to ionospheric levels before you freeze it, and as Doug Mataconis notes, we're only looking at reductions in the deficit if wildly-optimistic projections about economic growth in what the Administration hopes is President Obama's second term actually come true -- which will be difficult when the deficit represents nearly 5% of the money going in to the economy.

Howard Friedman provides one of many links to a story about ten Baptist -- missionaries? relief workers? -- who are being charged with kidnapping 33 Haitian kids.  They say they were only following Christian morals to try and take the kids to the US where they could be provided for.  The kids didn't want to go, and many of them were with their families.  In fact, Haiti has long had a problem with foreigners (many of them Americans) who take babies from Haiti to (effectively) sell them elsewhere.  The father of one of the detainees says that he's sure his daughter will be set free soon, because they have God on their side:  "When God calls you to a certain mission and a specific action he’s not going to let it fail, ... I’m convinced that nothing will stand in the way of Him accomplishing his purpose through this whole team. I know even as we speak and the 10 people sitting in the Haitian jail are convinced of the same thing."


mnuez said...

I like Baptists, the last thing that we need in the US of A is more nigglets. Keep em the FUCK out.

God damn nigglets...

A conservative is a liberal whose wife was raped by a bunch of illiterate motherfuckin nigglets who should have been aborted age the age of six

Matt Parker said...

First - I'd delete mnuez's comment as he's clearly an ass.

Second - I'd also like to know more about the Pelosi story. A big part of me is horrified, but a small part of me thinks there HAS to be more to this story. This is SO egregious, it can't possibly be as it seems. A friend of mine once told me about how you can fly cheap to random places if you pay for a "ticket" on a previously scheduled military transport. I'm wondering if she is reimbursing the DOD for these flights.

Burt Likko said...

I've thought about deleting mnuez's comments here and elsewhere (seven total were posted at various recent posts, growing less articulate and more profane and racist with each) and I may still do it, but I generally only delete comments if they contain advertising, and these do not. Here, I can discern a political opinion mixed in with the invective, so I'm going to let the comment stand for now despite the deeply offensive language.

Instead, I'm going to offer mnuez some constructive criticism.

It is really hard to tell what is being expressed here other than bile-choked racism. Other people who advocate restrictions on immigration policy are able to do so without resorting to racist language and profanity, and they are much more persuasive than this comment.

While the spelling here is actually pretty good, elsewhere the posts are really bad. Even if you are actually smart, a plethora of spelling errors leaves others with the impression that you are both unintelligent and uneducated. So slow down with the keyboard and keep a dictionary handy next time, big fella.

One suspects that mnuez has not actually learned how to articulate any kind of an argument, and therefore expresses himself with profanity. In fact, I don't mind profanity so much when you've got a reason for using it, when it adds something to your argument. That doesn't seem to be the case here. The profanity seems to be included for its own sake.

Mnuez doesn't do a good job of explaining why he likes Baptists -- at least, the post doesn't make me like Baptists more because mnuez has gone to some effort to be offensive while associating himself with a group you claim to like. This actually isn't very fair to the Baptists, who don't deserve to be tarred with mnuez's racist sentiments.

Finally, I'd suggest that mnuez switch to decaf.

Burt Likko said...

And as to your second point, Matt, I agree that there is probably a side to this that Speaker Pelosi needs to articulate in her own defense. I'll be waiting for that and I intend to provide an update when I have a chance.

trumwill said...

It's possible that Pelosi's actions are legally permissible if in every instance her family was being flown out for a public appearance. Some enterprising reporter should be looking into that. Outrage may not be warranted, but investigation surely is. Maybe they want to get their ducks in a row before making splashy headlines. It's probably worth noting that they did not show any such discretion to Sarah Palin when she was confronted with similar charges.