« U.S. intelligence estimates conclude that Russia has no intention of invading Ukraine. [...] A senior U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast that the timing of the military exercise, coming only days after the Ukrainian parliament voted to oust the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, was suspicious. But nonetheless, U.S. intelligence agencies have collected no information suggesting the training exercises were preparation for an invasion. » — 2014-02-27
« Behind the scenes, Obama administration officials are preparing a series of possible battle plans for a potential economic assault on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, an administration source close to the issue told The Daily Beast. » — 2014-03-02
It’s health insurance enrollment time again. I’m enrolling us, because let’s face it, I hate freedom. I’ve been watching the news, and I therefore know that Obamacare is a vile plot to make wealthy people pay a lot more for healthcare so that the undeserving poor can shirk their duty to die quietly of treatable ailments.
We’re not part of the 1% — not by a long shot — but I think we’re in the 20%, if that’s a thing, so apparently it’s up to us to pay for those single mothers. Over the last few months I had read that the middle class were going to get squeezed, because we would not qualify for any kind of subsidy because we make more than 4x the federal poverty level. Yes, people with pre-existing conditions on group plans would definitely lose out, getting less coverage and having higher costs. But how much higher?
The predictions were pretty dire — premiums were said to be going up by an average of 26% in Texas. Or maybe 37%, for middle aged people. Yes, 37% for middle aged men. Or maybe 88%, for middle aged men with pre-existing conditions opting for bronze-level or equivalent coverage in Texas. In fact, according to the experts at the Heritage Foundation, I could expect a robust 91% increase in insurance premiums.
So obviously, it was with trepidation that I read about the options available to me. Perhaps I would have to stop paying for the best available plan with the ultra low deductibles? I clicked through and saw the final cost. It has gone up by a massive, punitive 10% compared to 2012.
Obviously I am shocked, shocked to find out that so many dire predictions made by right-wing think tanks appear not to be accurate.
Robert Zimmerman Jr, discussing his brother George Zimmerman:
He has always feared for his safety. We have always feared for his safety and our safety as a family.
Clearly, you know, he’s a free man in the eyes of the court but he’s going to be looking around his shoulder for the rest of his life. There are factions, there are groups, there are people that would want to take the law into their own hands as they perceived it or, you know, be vigilantes in some sense that they think that justice was not served…
In an article from Harper’s Magazine I found the following:
“Economics are the method,” Margaret Thatcher told an interviewer in 1981, and “the object is to change the heart and soul.” In some ways, this was the core of Thatcherite governance, the distilled essence of all her Hayek talk and her monetarist schemes for battling inflation. The goals of politicians are ordinarily to win elections, reform this or that, and be done with it — but Thatcher’s aims were always grander. She wanted to reconfigure society altogether, to not only defeat her opponents at the polls but to wreck them for good.
And this was typical of the Eighties. The question of the decade was: What do we do about the left? The British historian Ross McKibbin sketches out Thatcher’s answer in a 2004 essay:
Her fundamental aim was to destroy the Labor Party and “socialism,” not to transform the British economy. If the destruction of socialism also transformed the economy, well and good, but that was for her a second-order achievement. Socialism was to be destroyed by a major restructuring of the electorate: in effect, the destruction of the old industrial working class.
What’s really remarkable about the career of Margaret Thatcher is the degree to which she succeeded in carrying out this contemporary Thermidor. The Iron Lady privatized countless industries, public housing, transit, and even water utilities. She abolished local governments, deregulated banks, instituted a punishingly regressive poll tax, and crushed the power of organized labor.
Of course, there’s a phrase for that: class warfare.