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The problem

With Santorum’s position that doctors be criminally prosecuted for performing abortions, he’s really saying that the hired gun who performed the homicide be prosecuted, but the person who hired them is actually a victim.

He’s a lawyer, he knows better. And if he knows better, he knows the wives, friends, sisters and mothers will be prosecuted for murder. Gee, I wonder how most people would feel if he put it that way?

Enriching his friends

New Jersey’s answer to Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking the first steps toward enriching his friends and benefactors by privatizing public schools:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced a pilot program on Thursday that would allow private companies to run public schools in some of the state’s chronically underperforming school districts.

The public-private partnership would authorize school management organizations to operate five schools, and would target some of the 100,000 New Jersey students now enrolled in 200 chronically failing schools, the governor’s office said.

The state’s teachers union, which has clashed with the Republican governor over cuts to school aid and other issues, said the plan was part of Christie’s “ongoing effort to privatize public education in New Jersey.”

[...] Christie has appointed as his acting education commissioner Christopher Cerf, the former president of Edison Schools Inc., the country’s largest private-sector manager of public schools. The company is now called EdisonLearning.

Oh yeah, Christopher Cerf! Look at the chart at the top of this post and see if you can follow with this post from Blue Jersey:

Billionaire Rupert Murdoch owns Fox News, which promotes both a “corporate education reform” agenda and politicians like Governor Chris Christie to carry that agenda out. Murdoch recently hired Joel Klein, former NYC Schools Chancellor and toady to billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to run Wireless Generation, Murdoch’s venture into the education business.

Klein is the former boss of Christopher Cerf, currently Acting Commissioner of Education under Chris Christie. Cerf’s last edu-business venture before accepting the position was as founder of Global Education Advisors, which “consulted” with the Newark schools on a plan to vastly increase the numbers of charter schools in the city.

The $500,000 for the report came from the Broad Foundation, funded by billionaire Eli Broad. The foundation also funded Cerf’s training as an education administrator.

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Oh swell

They just started digging up the street outside my window. And today was the first day that was cool enough to turn off the air-conditioning…


My dear daughter-in-law, a real style maven, was mentioned on the MTV Style blog (she’s the one on the right.)

Oddly enough, it’s for an outfit on which she quotes my son as saying, “You look like you’re going to participate in a drum circle, then milk a cow and then jump on a motorcycle”.

Brits put the foot down

No American-style health care!


As my buddy Dave points out, cutting government spending at this point may crash the economy – and lose the election. Wheee!


I’m happy to announce that last night, with the help of Tech Sensei Chris, I finally got my printer working and now have a real live boarding pass.

He’s mentioned before that he hates HP printers with a passion, and now I understand. Four days of this torture…

Three down, one to go

If I lived in Seattle, I’d leave. Of course, it’ll spread to the rest of the Northeast eventually, so there’s no place to run:

June 12 (NHK) – The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been forced to reconsider its plan to cool the spent fuel storage pool of the No. 4 reactor.

Water injection from a special vehicle has not been intense enough to cool the water in the pool, allowing the temperature to remain at more than 80 degrees Celsius.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, aims to install a circulatory cooling system that will pump water out of the pool and return it there as coolant. The utility originally hoped to put the system in place next month.

On Friday, workers entered the 4th floor of the No. 4 reactor building where the pool is located for the first time since the nuclear disaster took place.

They found a large hole in a wall created by the March 15th explosion. They also discovered that a nearby pipe necessary for the cooling system had been mangled.

TEPCO says the repair team found it hard to work near the pool as equipment had been destroyed and debris was scattered on the floor.

Fixing the damaged pipe is expected to be extremely difficult. In addition, it remains unclear if there is another pipe that can be used for the cooling system.

Medicare saves money


Well, as the health economists Austin Frakt and Aaron Carroll document, right now Americans in their early 60s without health insurance routinely delay needed care, only to become very expensive Medicare recipients once they reach 65. This pattern would be even stronger and more destructive if Medicare eligibility were delayed. As a result, Mr. Frakt and Mr. Carroll suggest, Medicare spending might actually go up, not down, under Mr. Lieberman’s proposal.

O.K., the obvious question: If Medicare is so much better than private insurance, why didn’t the Affordable Care Act simply extend Medicare to cover everyone? The answer, of course, was interest-group politics: realistically, given the insurance industry’s power, Medicare for all wasn’t going to pass, so advocates of universal coverage, myself included, were willing to settle for half a loaf. But the fact that it seemed politically necessary to accept a second-best solution for younger Americans is no reason to start dismantling the superior system we already have for those 65 and over.

Now, none of what I have said should be taken as a reason to be complacent about rising health care costs. Both Medicare and private insurance will be unsustainable unless there are major cost-control efforts — the kinds of efforts that are actually in the Affordable Care Act, and which Republicans demagogued with cries of “death panels.”

The point, however, is that privatizing health insurance for seniors, which is what Mr. Lieberman is in effect proposing — and which is the essence of the G.O.P. plan — hurts rather than helps the cause of cost control. If we really want to hold down costs, we should be seeking to offer Medicare-type programs to as many Americans as possible.

Suburban soccer mom values

Yes, I’m sure there are some exceptions, and sorry if you get lumped in with the rest of them, but yeah, I pretty much agree. The only thing she missed are those annoying little stick figure decals of Mommy, Daddy, Little Boy, Little Girl and a dog that infest the back window of every fricking minivan.

WTF? People have been reproducing for a long time — do you want some kind of an award?

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