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‘Hollowing out’ the military?

Useful! Via Naked Capitalism:

Which side are you on, Dems?

The supercommittee was a super dud, but Congressional Republicans continue to outmaneuver and cow Democrats, who are supposed to be protecting the social safety net. More here.

I Got a Woman

She saves her lovin’
Early in the mornin’
Just for me.

Washington Post thins their staff

Interesting, because a few months ago, I commented in a Post piece about long-term unemployment and they contacted me to ask if I would write about my experience. “You mean, for free?” I said, ever tactful. “Well, no, we really don’t have the money,” the guy said. (He said he was an intern.) I told him I wasn’t interested in working on the Graham family’s content farm, but “thanks for asking.” So this doesn’t surprise me:

At least thirteen people have departed the [Washington] Post under “cake-less” circumstances (i.e. quietly) in the past year, writes Guild unit co-chair Fredrick Kunkle.

The script goes like this: an employee is summoned to a meeting where she hears that “the bar has been raised.” She is told her work does not meet this supposed new standard. She is handed an envelope with a buyout offer and given a deadline to surrender her job or face disciplinary action because of her allegedly poor performance. She is reminded that disciplinary action progresses from warnings to suspensions and termination.

Never mind that the people targeted so far have included veteran journalists with years of distinguished service. Or that talk of a “raised bar” comes as the Post relies more than ever on interns, bloggers, freelancers, readers or comically inexperienced content creators to fill pages.

Kunkle points out that half the thirteen who have left so far this year have been African-Americans or Latinos, but that the reason this is happening is a lack of money. The Post lost $6.2 million in its most recent quarter.

The original Guild piece adds:

Or that some allegations of poor performance – as documented by the new, pseudoscientific evaluation system and its across-the-board top score of “3” – have included highly subjective and weaselly criticisms such as inserting too many pop culture references in stories. (We are not making this up.) Other reasons worthy of disciplinary action? Not having enough sources. Not writing more “impact” stories. Not landing on A1 often enough. One staff writer was given a 30-day production quota as follows: at least one deeply textured A1 story, at least one news feature, profile or takeout worthy of the Metro front or A1, at least three dailies a week and at least three blog posts per week. No mention of a Twitter quota. Yet.

No mention of too many anonymous sources or too many self-serving leaks, of course. After all, their paper would be almost empty!

Bat signal

I totally stole this from Riverdaughter:

Oh sure, I believe it!

I find this very improbable:

FBI headquarters in Washington, DC claims it does not have any internal documents on the protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street, according to a letter the agency sent to Truthout in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

On October 31, Truthout filed a FOIA request with the FBI seeking a wide range of documents, including “emails, memos, audio/video, transcripts, reports, threat assessments” in which Occupy Wall Street was discussed internally by agency officers and senior officials and/or any correspondence the agency had with local law enforcement and/or with local government officials.

Our request also sought documents related to any discussions that may have taken place “between FBI personnel, including FBI field agents” and the “CIA and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), related to the protest movement known as ‘Occupy Wall Street.'”

FBI FOIA Chief David Hardy responded to our FOIA request in a letter dated November 15, which said, “based on the information [Truthout] provided, we conducted a search of the Central Records System. We were unable to identify main file records responsive to the FOIA.”

47%

If you’re having Thanksgiving with a wingnut relative, read this carefully. And when you quote it, take special pleasure in pointing out it’s from the National Review.

Mayor Nutter

Reelection safely behind him, is turning up the screws on Occupy Philly.

Supercommittee!

Doesn’t it give you a good warm fuzzy feeling to know that the DEMOCRATS were the ones to put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid on the table? Disgusting.

Adventures in health care

Spent the entire day at the hospital – first, for an appointment with a gastroenterologist, then such a thorough probing of my eyes that I didn’t think it was possible outside of a movie about Nazi medical experiments, and then a meeting with the lovely financial services staff. (The counselor told me I could have gotten a referral from the city health center, but since that would have involved me standing outside in a long line in the cold when I could barely stand to begin with, moot point.)

“Fortunately” (and I use the term in the most ironic way possible), if you don’t have insurance and you need surgery, you can sign a financial contract with them to pay off surgery, should it be necessary. And yes, they tell me, it appears likely I will need to get my gall bladder out. I have to go back to the hospital tomorrow (I feel like they should give me half a bureau drawer and half a closet, I’ve been there so many times in the past five days) to get an ultrasound. The GI doctor seemed a little bit upset about how the hospital I was previously taken to handled it; he pursed his lips, shook his head and said, “I can’t comment on your treatment there.”

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