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January 22nd, 2010

Honesty

I’m listening to Barney Frank talking with Rachel Maddow recently, and he admitted his controversial remarks were said when he was still in a bad mood.

(However, he was either in denial about Republican Party discipline, when asked about it, or speaking facetiously of the pressures faced by Republican centrists.)

Par for the course

Meanwhile, some groups that favor the continuation of the Cuban embargo, are not pleased with the signs of cooperation. It's "absolutely unconscionable to try to use tragic disasters -- such as Haiti's earthquake -- as a springboard for bilateral relations," wrote Mauricio Claver-Carone, executive director of the hardline Cuba Democracy Advocates.

( http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/01/us_and_cuba_show_rare_signs_of_cooperation_in_hait.php )

When do I get my money back?

How far down the food chain do you think I am, to get back some of my podcast fee when AAR is liquidated? I’ll probably end up needing it to pay for Randi Rhodes podcasts.

:)

(Actually, since Randi Rhodes is associated with a regular network that carries some of the right-wing blowhards, too, paying for service wouldn’t be ethically virtuous in the same way.)

Changing corporate law

Oh, and Barney Frank said that they are looking at dealing with the campaign finance fiasco by changing corporate law.

I say just eliminate corporations completely, and turn them all into shmorporations.

Ballpark

The picture in the lower right shows a new ballpark in a more sensible orientation, I think, than the one that would have given the worst. park. ever. –
http://saintsbaseball.com/

BTW Kristy and I are very concerned whether we will be able to park closely enough, though, seriously, I think Kristy will be able to get a disabled parking permit. The other thing is the location of seats. Climbing stairs has become intolerable for us, again particularly for Kristy; and leg room is a serious issue.

Price is a problem, too. We are on ‘a very fixed income’.

Downtown-ness may or may not be a problem. It is closer to where we live, and traffic would be heavy mainly in the other direction. Lowertown isn’t the easiest part of the city center to get to, though, from our direction.

Randi v. Turley

Randi Rhodes and Jonathan Turley just had a really interesting discussion about the Supreme Court ruling. I missed the beginning, unfortunately. It was a real back and forth, because Randi was upset by the bill, in the usual way (Mike Malloy called it the end of the democratic experiment, on his website, but he would say that if the milkman missed a delivery and there were nothing better to talk about on the show); Turley, a civil rights libertarian, seemed generally pleased with the outcome, although he would have written the opinion differently.

Anyway, it was interesting. I somewhat agree with Turley that campaign finance control is not sufficiently effective and so recovering what was lost is not a great approach; and I agree that whether personhood of public corporations should include First Amendment rights would be a worthwhile debate. (Randi had raised the question.) Personally, I think getting rid of those rights would be a good idea, but we still would have to deal with super-rich individuals. My personal, radical solution would be regulations on the use of accumulated wealth – a ‘use it or lose it’ rule for which campaign spending is not considered a ‘use’ – but we know that isn’t going to happen anytime soon, so I’m punting the question.

The mechanics

See http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/01/how_the_democrats_may_solve_th.html

The concerns about the Senate certainly have been among my concerns. The question I have had is whether it would be worth any delay, but caution is almost always a good thing if you are working out how a deal should proceed. (For example: Be careful if you trade in a car with no collision coverage for a new car! In Minnesota it would get the same coverage.) The bad thing would be if anyone tried to make significant changes right now.

The News at 11

Here’s the big news – Alan Grayson thinks this week’s Supreme Court decision is worse than Plessy v. Ferguson: http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/01/grayson-courts-campaign-finance-decision-worst-dredd-scott

(If Grayson wore a thinking cap more often, his hyperboles would be more consistently good. I myself am underwhelmed by the comparison.)

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