TODAY’S LINKS—JULY 9, 2012

This is a resumption of occasional postings highlighting articles and opinions I’ve found on the internet.

Our first entry is a scathing criticism of former Representative Harold Ford, Jr. (D-Tenn.) who has become a Wall Street mogul and frequent contributor on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Glenn Greenwald of Salon berates Ford for his life of unearned successes, some of his votes in the House, and his unmitigated support for President Obama’s relentless campaign to eliminate suspected terrorists abroad through outright murder including that of innocent teenagers, not actual terrorists.   http://www.salon.com/2012/07/09/harold_ford_jr_smirking_sociopath/

What strikes me as more significant than any perceived or real departure from Democratic Party ideals and philosophy is that Ford defends the indefensible, actions I have been criticizing Obama for ever since the revelation of last year’s assassination by drone without any process, let alone due, of Anwar al-Awlaki.

And here the significance to me is that nary a peep of scorn has emanated from conservative quarters on this issue, the same folks all too eager to jump on Obama for not creating jobs since he trims his own fingernails. 

And of course this silence is because conservatives/the GOP are wringing their oily hands with delight at the opportunity to adopt these abuses themselves and even expand upon them.

This next link, a gift from an old friend from back home, Jeffry Young, a doctor in California, is itself linked to another tale from today’s news.

http://sn105w.snt105.mail.live.com/mail/#

That is a report on the results of a study in Oregon on the possible benefits of or problems with getting more people on Medicaid as their primary source of health insurance. The study draws some interesting conclusions for the short term, but the experiment is still new so long term effects are not yet known.

Yet, despite the study’s short term nature, and the proven need for people to have coverage, it offers optimism that Medicaid expansion will be a large factor in improving access to care.

But in Texas Governor Rick Perry has already decided that the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable care Act to be effective in 2014 simply ain’t the Texas way. Thus he will have his state opt out of both the Medicaid expansion (to be paid for entirely by the federal government initially) as well as the health exchanges called for under the law to facilitate the uninsured in obtaining affordable health insurance that meets their specific needs.  http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/07/09/rick_perry_rejects_obamacare_reform_for_texas_.html

Of course Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents of any state, 26%. Way to go, Rick. Keep your state Number One!!

From the “Oh, hell, it’ll be YEARS before these chemicals can begin to kill you” department comes this report about analysis from the National Academy of Sciences that the assertions by gas industry flacks that fracking occurs so far underground that the chemicals used will NEVER affect your drinking water just doesn’t…ahem…hold water.  http://www.salon.com/2012/07/09/confirmed_fracking_can_pollute/

The formation of the underlying geological structure is varied and irregular enough that liquids injected as much as 6500 feet deep may migrate to near-surface aquifers much more quickly than industry estimates.

My final link is local, from the Morgantown Dominion Post, but is relevant with regards to the demand in many states to require voters to have a photo ID. http://ee.dominionpost.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=RFBvc3QvMjAxMi8wNy8wOSNBcjAwMjE0&Mode=Gif&Locale=english-skin-custom

We do not have such a law as yet in West Virginia but since the first of this year the documentation needed to renew a driver’s license or procure a photo ID has become oppressive.

One needs a birth certifcate AND a Social Security card to prove you have been born and that you are a citizen. (Other forms may be acceptable.) But then, you need TWO forms of documentation to prove residency, from among leases, utility bills, voter registration, etc.

Regular renewal fees apply for driver’s licenses and I believe a small fee is charged for a mere photo ID.

But the story I linked to describes the odyssey of a 90 year old woman, Though holding a license for 72 years, she took several days and $150 to get all her documentation aligned under a consistent name. Why?

Well as the daughter of Italian immigrants teachers and others had a habit of simplifying names which finally led her father to make it official. Her first name lent itself to a variation which was changed still further to the name she has used most of her life and was on her license. She also married along the way.

So any documents she had did not necessarily agree with each other. While her case is assuredly not typical, it is not unique either. Her experience will be replicated thousands of times in many states. But I wonder how many people will be discouraged by both time and cost that will leave them out of the voting booth come November.

 P.S. My own license is due for renewal by this Saturday and I’m worried as hell that despite my documentation, the DMV bureaucrats will declare me to have been born in Kenya.

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Comments

  • little_minx  On July 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    In other “news,” “Atheist’s restaurant beef defies belief”:
    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/ruth-ann-dailey/atheists-restaurant-beef-defies-belief-643874
    I’d so-o-o-o enjoy seeing you give this stupid columnist the legal-logic thrashing of her life!

    • umoc193  On July 14, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      I read Little Ruthie’s column and the first set of comments, and then the rest of those by re-reading your link. Frankly I found the atheist’s complaint a little far fetched but the reaction to it by Ruth and her ilk is also unwarranted.

      I keep wanting to go to a Curves fitness center and enroll knowing I’ll be turned away because I am a man. There are other examples of discrimination that are really rather silly.

      I’m not sure that presenting a legal argument in response would draw any attention since the column is so old. At that, I’m not even sure that one should be made. But your calling attention to this inspires the possibility of a piece dripping with satire. Let me give that some though.

  • little_minx  On July 14, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    1. Satire? Vous??? The more apt parallel with Curves would be not to be charged more than a woman for the same services.

    2. The following news article is more likely to make one weep (actually, I didn’t realize there were enough Catholics in WV to warrant their own bishop). “West Virginia bishop under investigation for 2007 fondling complaint”:
    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/west-virginia-bishop-under-investigation-for-2007-fondling-complaint-644703

    3. Have you found any reportage yet re whether Jerry Sandusky was molested or commenced his child-rape career in Washington, PA.? Or are there mutual acquaintances you could ask?

    • umoc193  On July 24, 2012 at 5:32 PM

      Sorry for a delay in replying but I got caught up in some other things.

      Curves? Frankly I don’t recall my own reference point but there are so many areas where one gender is given an advantage over another and most of it seems to me very petty. I don’t have the energy to fight these fights. But if I were a woman I could be persuaded to go to war against clothing manufacturers and dry cleaners who seemingly charge more to women for buying or cleaning their garments which, as a rule, are smaller than men’s.

      I’m aware of the complaint against the bishop. Remember W.Va. was settled by large numbers of Italians and Eastern Europeans who worked in the mines, hence a decent sized Catholic presence.

      Sandusky has been a topic of conversation on my hometown FB page but those who grew up with him or knew him well claim no knowledge of any prior abuse in his youth. His parents who ran a local rec center are looked upon almost as saintly due to their community involvement and no one can inagine Sandusky himself being abused at home. However, it would not be a total shock if such tales eventually emerged, based solely on what is the general pattern of pedophiles.

  • little_minx  On July 24, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    “…looked upon almost as saintly due to their community involvement and no one can imagine…”

    Well, that was true of Jerry for decades as well. Serial molesters develop skills to deceive the public.

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