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Member since: Sat May 15, 2010, 04:48 PM
Number of posts: 5,545

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The real danger of Ferguson . . .

Posted by markpkessinger | Tue Nov 25, 2014, 12:38 AM (9 replies)

The Onion rings uncomfortably true for Ferguson

Heavy Police Presence In Ferguson To Ensure Residents Adequately Provoked
FERGUSON, MO—Ahead of a grand jury’s decision over whether to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, police in the city of Ferguson have reportedly heavily increased their presence this week to ensure residents are adequately provoked. “We’ve deployed additional officers throughout Ferguson in order to make absolutely certain that residents feel sufficiently harassed and intimidated,” said St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar, assuring locals that officers in full riot gear will be on hand to inflame members of the community for as long as is necessary. “It’s absolutely essential that the people of Ferguson have full confidence that law enforcement is committed to antagonizing them every step of the way.” At press time, the Missouri National Guard was on standby with tanks and urban assault vehicles in case Ferguson residents required additional incitement.
Posted by markpkessinger | Mon Nov 24, 2014, 06:09 PM (23 replies)

The Obama administration is pushing for redactions in the Senate's torture report . . .

I'm shocked -- SHOCKED, I tell you!

Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Nov 19, 2014, 10:23 PM (5 replies)

The notion that Landrieu would have retained her seat if Keystone XL had been approved is absurd

The suggestion that Senator Landrieu's electoral fate is tied to the outcome of the Keystone XL vote is preposterous. She is in a runoff in which, prior to the pipeline vote, she was slated to most likely lose. That remains the case afterwards. Her gambit in forcing a vote on the issue has never been anything more than a last-ditch effort -- a "hail Mary pass" if you will -- and the suggestion that she would have retained her seat had the pipeline been approved amounts to groundless speculation. Surely, even the pipeline's most ardent supporters would have to credit her for giving it her best shot. And if they weren't willing to so credit her, then there remains serious doubt as to whether there is anything she could have done to gain their support.
Posted by markpkessinger | Tue Nov 18, 2014, 09:02 PM (43 replies)

Both the Congressional vote on Keystone XL, and the President's promised veto may be moot

From Bloomberg:

Keystone Be Darned: Canada Finds Oil Route Around Obama

So you’re the Canadian oil industry and you do what you think is a great thing by developing a mother lode of heavy crude beneath the forests and muskeg of northern Alberta. The plan is to send it clear to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast via a pipeline called Keystone XL. Just a few years back, America desperately wanted that oil.

Then one day the politics get sticky. In Nebraska, farmers don’t want the pipeline running through their fields or over their water source. U.S. environmentalists invoke global warming in protesting the project. President Barack Obama keeps siding with them, delaying and delaying approval. From the Canadian perspective, Keystone has become a tractor mired in an interminably muddy field.

In this period of national gloom comes an idea -- a crazy-sounding notion, or maybe, actually, an epiphany. How about an all-Canadian route to liberate that oil sands crude from Alberta’s isolation and America’s fickleness? Canada’s own environmental and aboriginal politics are holding up a shorter and cheaper pipeline to the Pacific that would supply a shipping portal to oil-thirsty Asia.

Instead, go east, all the way to the Atlantic.

< . . . . >

Posted by markpkessinger | Sun Nov 16, 2014, 12:57 AM (1 replies)

NYT: Joan Rivers’s Treatment Had Numerous Violations, U.S. Inquiry Finds

If the medical errors in Ms. Rivers' treatment weren't bad enough, the then-medical director of the clinic, Dr. Lawrence Cohen, stopped by the operating room to snap unauthorized cell phone photos of her on the operating table and under anesthesia. A doctor at (what was supposed to be) a reputable clinic taking trophy photos of a celebrity patient -- just . . . .wow.

The article says Dr. Cohen no longer practices at the clinic, but I think the bigger question is, does he still have a license to practice medicine at all, and if so, why.

Joan Rivers’s Treatment Had Numerous Violations, U.S. Inquiry Finds

A Manhattan clinic treating Joan Rivers in August did not notice that her vital signs were deteriorating for at least 15 minutes before she went into cardiac arrest, leading to her death several days later, a federal investigation has found.

Released on Monday, a report said that Ms. Rivers’s blood pressure and pulse decreased precipitously while she was on the operating table on Aug. 28 between 9:12 and 9:26 a.m., yet cardiopulmonary resuscitation began at 9:28 at the earliest.

< . . . . >

Investigators also reported that Dr. Lawrence Cohen, then medical director of the clinic, took cellphone pictures of Ms. Rivers and Gwen Korovin, her ear, nose and throat doctor, while Ms. Rivers was lying on the operating table unconscious from anesthesia. Dr. Cohen told the others in the room that Ms. Rivers might want to see the pictures in the recovery room.

< . . . . >

As for the photographs, the report said, “There was no documentation of prior consent by Patient No. 1 authorizing her photographs to be obtained by the facility’s staff members during the procedure.”
Posted by markpkessinger | Sun Nov 16, 2014, 12:45 AM (1 replies)

A Party that loses an election and blames voters for not showing up at the polls . . .

. . . is rather like a widget manufacturer who blames consumers when his product doesn't sell. Just sayin'.

(On edit, and as stated in #38 below: I don't mean to suggest that voter turnout isn't crucial to winning elections. Of course it is. But low voter turnout is a symptom; it is not the disease itself. And so long as we remain focused on the symptom instead of addressing the condition that caused the symptom, that symptom will recur time and time again.)
Posted by markpkessinger | Fri Nov 7, 2014, 06:09 PM (181 replies)

Got a lovely surprise today!

An old friend called to say he had an extra ticket to Tuesday night's performance of the opera, "Death of Klinghoffer" at the Met -- the controversial work by composer John Adams the performance of which has been met with protests -- and asking if I would be interesting in joining him. You bet I would! Very much looking forward to this!
Posted by markpkessinger | Thu Nov 6, 2014, 11:34 PM (2 replies)

The Democratic Party faces an existential choice

After all the post-mortems, I think it comes down to something very basic: the Democratic Party must decide what it wants to be, and whose interests it will ultimately represent.

Since the mid '90s, the party has courted the big money donors to be found in the financial/corporate sector, while simultaneously purporting to continue to retain its historical identity as a populist party of common people. Those two sets of interests are fundamentally at odds with each other, and ultimately cannot coexist in the same party. Those big, corporate donors will always expect their pound of flesh in return, and as recent elections have been demonstrating, voters are no longer willing to buy into a faux populism that tries to serve two masters. Whatever set of interests the party is going to represent, if it expects to have any success at the polls, it must represent those interests authentically -- being inauthentically anything will simply no longer cut it. I think this is borne out by the fact that across the nation, even in states where Democrats fared poorly, progressive ballot initiatives did well. So long as we continue to try to have it both ways, we will continue to lose.
Posted by markpkessinger | Thu Nov 6, 2014, 08:14 PM (141 replies)

Several have raised the spectre of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement being fast-tracked . . .

. . . and given the President's repeated indications that he would sign such a pact, there is reason to worry.

But isn't it a rather sad irony that we have to be anxious about the possibility that a Democratic President might be willing to do the GOP's bidding?
Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Nov 5, 2014, 01:20 PM (9 replies)
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