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  • And up here in the Pacific Northwest, a federal judge jailed young anarchists for contempt for refusing to become general background informants on other young anarchists. Some of them actually did time in solitary; the government conceded they had no knowledge of specific crimes under investigation.

    Tactics like this and no-fly-list extortion are right out of the Stasi and Securitate playbook. It makes you start to wonder if there ever really was any difference between our “rule of law” and theirs. There certainly doesn’t seem to be much difference now.

  • PCM commented on the blog post White House Brings In Oligarchy Heirs To Discuss Future

    2014-04-22 09:49:13View | Delete

    Yes, progressives have never done the hard work of not being completely blackballed by the corporate media from which the great majority of Americans get their political news. Heck, they haven’t even done the hard work of not being arrested when they try to participate in Congressional healthcare hearings or national presidential debates! Like Shiites in Bahrain and Amerindians in Guatemala, those lazy progressive assholes have only themselves to blame.

  • Thankfully, you don’t need a college degree to be a part-time shelf-stocker at Walmart,* and Obamacare has made healthcare affordable for everyone. All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. (For those who aren’t familiar with me, I suppose I should throw in a pro forma /s…)

    *Although, come to think of it, you probably do need a college degree to be an unpaid intern at most places.

  • PCM commented on the blog post White House Brings In Oligarchy Heirs To Discuss Future

    2014-04-21 15:27:54View | Delete

    Actually, I think it’s probably pretty common to hate traitors more than enemies.

  • PCM commented on the blog post White House Brings In Oligarchy Heirs To Discuss Future

    2014-04-21 15:17:19View | Delete

    Are you sure it wasn’t more of an NGO “career day” for the White House’s current occupants? Or Obama trying to set up suitable non-profit payoffs for Congressional Progressive Caucus members who voted for the ACA? But most likely, it was just an open house for the folks that actually own the place.

  • Voters informed by American commercial media elected Reagan.

  • Big business loves your solution. The more power and autonomy is devolved to multiple small jurisdictions, the easier it is to play them off against each other in a race to the bottom for the little people — in labor standards, environmental standards, public service, tax regressiveness, tax breaks, etc. It’s the true motivation behind “states’ rights,” [...]

  • PCM commented on the diary post Remembering Bloody Ludlow – One Hundred Years On by RFShunt.

    2014-04-21 09:44:17View | Delete

    Curiously, I don’t think they taught us about the Ludlow Massacre (or the Battle of Matewan) in my public-high-school American history class. I’m pretty sure I would remember. Including Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee in the reading list was about as iconoclastic as the curriculum got. (We were, however, lucky enough to have a Palestinian [...]

  • PCM commented on the diary post Full Show: Climate Catastrophe Now + The Most Important Question About Obamacare {aTV 001} by Dennis Trainor Jr.

    2014-04-21 08:45:40View | Delete

    I’ve been thinking a little about our Sparkle Pony Children’s Crusade, and maybe it ought to start in earnest with a drive to switch to preferential (instant-runoff) voting in states that allow citizens’ initiatives. (Of course, we’d have to ensure that vote counts are rigorously, adversarially audited and double-checked, but that’s a technical issue.) If [...]

  • PCM commented on the diary post Same As It Ever Was: War, Peace, Wall Street, and the Smothers Brothers by Kit OConnell.

    2014-04-17 14:11:28View | Delete

    Stewart occasionally rises halfway to the occasion — I enjoyed his “World of Class Warfare” segments* — but on the whole he is a tame Democratic Party “liberal voice” working for a commercial TV network that is controlled by a Democratic-Party-leaning billionaire media magnate. I consider Colbert (and his writing team) to be considerably more progressive, [...]

  • PCM commented on the blog post Who would have thought?

    2014-04-17 11:44:41View | Delete

    Well, I guess it’s only a matter of time until the Charles Koch Foundation offers the Princeton and Northwestern poli sci departments some really fat grants … with the understanding that Charles and his team’s opinion will be welcomed when it comes to hiring and tenure decisions. You know: like they did at George Mason and Florida State University. And then maybe some French academic can write an article entitled “Testing Theories of American Academia: Elites, Interest Groups, and Academic Integrity.”

  • PCM commented on the blog post Medicaid Works Well at Expanding Coverage

    2014-04-16 11:05:04View | Delete

    Your copay is higher than a French GP’s total fee.

    In 2014 France, the total fee for a standard consult with a general practitioner under contract with national health insurance (which the great majority of GPs are) is a little under $32 (23€). If you’re among the ~15% of Frenchmen who don’t have an inexpensive medigap policy, and you aren’t destitute, and you aren’t being treated for a serious or long-term illness, and you haven’t maxed out your low daily, monthly, or annual caps on out-of-pockets, your copay for that consult would be 30%, or around $9.50. Otherwise, it would be either 1€ (~$1.40) or zero.

    Of course, French physicians don’t need to employ billing clerks (a card swiper does the job), and French physicians have no medical-school debt to speak of (education in France being essentially free to students). There are also around 50% more of them per capita than here (after the universities flunk out ~80% of first-year med students).

    It sure puts your $45 copay into an international perspective…

  • PCM commented on the blog post CBO Again Lowers Cost Estimates for Obamacare Coverage Provisions

    2014-04-15 09:01:57View | Delete

    Do report back to us after you have fallen seriously ill or have had a serious injury. In Canada, your out-of-pockets for the great majority of care would be zero (except for out-patient pharmaceuticals in some provinces), and your Canadian Medicare coverage would cost you roughly the same as you are paying out-of-pocket for your Obamacare policy — probably less, if you factor in the the direct and indirect healthcare taxes you are paying on top of your premiums. If you’re happy that you’re getting less screwed than you were before, good for you … but you’re still getting screwed.

    Full disclosure: There are inauspicious developments in Canada. Stephen Harper’s Conservative federal government has allowed an accord between the provinces and the feds to expire, which will cut federal healthcare subsidies to the provinces by around 50%. Greater disparities between provinces and increased resort to “patient cost-sharing” is expected. Sixty percent of Canadians voted against the Conservatives in the last federal elections; hopefully, the Liberals and New Democrats will get their act together and run a single common candidate per riding in 2015 so as not to split the vote this time ’round.

  • PCM commented on the diary post Torture Is Mainstream Now by David Swanson.

    2014-04-15 08:39:11View | Delete

    I have to admit that I am becoming more ambivalent about torture; jawboning with fellow citizens, posting comments online, emailing representatives, signing petitions, participating in diffuse, ephemeral boycotts, protesting, voting, and clamoring for impeachment no longer seem adequate to the task of defeating the corporate oligarchs who have taken over the country and much of [...]

  • Tell me about it. I actually had to watch this clip the other day to cheer myself up

  • PCM commented on the diary post Google’s Terms Of Service: We Can Do Whatever We Want by Consumer Watchdog.

    2014-04-12 18:40:00View | Delete

    We have a Bill of Rights (such as it is) to protect us (theoretically) from government overreaching, oppression, and abuse. I think it’s time we had a second* Bill of Rights to protect us from overreaching, oppression, and abuse in the private sector. Well, our government’s hopeless; when it comes to 800-lb. gorillas like Google, regulatory and [...]

  • PCM commented on the blog post Comcast PAC Gave Money To Senators Looking At Time Warner Merger

    2014-04-11 20:25:42View | Delete

    Do we have the senators on tape explicitly agreeing to vote for the merger in exchange for cash? If not, there’s no quid pro quo and it’s all perfectly kosher … at least according to the Five Horsemen of the Apocalypse on the US Supreme Court. I’m sure Comcast just had a bunch of spare cash hanging around* and liked the cut of their jib.

    *a bunch of my cash, actually

  • Hey, you! Don’t be playin’ the Rice card on us! ;-)

  • PCM commented on the blog post Brown Poll: Support for Pot Legalization in Rhode Island

    2014-04-11 20:14:00View | Delete

    Ah, the seniors: “Damn pot-smoking hippies! Comin’ in from Massachusetts and Connecticut to get high and, uh … and, uh … and, uh … eat all of our quahogs!”

  • PCM commented on the diary post Catherine Rampell Is Right: Medicare Is a Steal, but for Whom? by Dean Baker.

    2014-04-11 16:37:26View | Delete

    Hi, marym in IL — I still think you’re still the best voice on health care here at FDL (including the writers), roughly tied with Sarah B but with the patience of a saint. For what it’s worth, the 85% and 80% mandatory minimum medical loss ratios translate to a 17.6% cost-plus markup on large-group policies [...]

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