Your Virtual Front Page, Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Very quickly:

  1. Allies Meet to Chart Post-Gadhafi Course (WSJ) — But, you know, we’re not trying to take him down or anything. The president, speaking to his base (which believes “regime change” is wicked, SAID we weren’t…
  2. Qaddafi Forces Counterattack After Rebel Advance Stalls (NYT) — The latest from the front. The LAT made it sound even more dire than that: Counterattack by Kadafi forces routs Libyan rebels
  3. Echoes of Bush in Obama’s Libya Speech (NYT) — This, in spite of the president’s best efforts to sound like ANYTHING else…
  4. Japan fights to end radioactive spread (WashPost) — The struggle continues…
  5. Supreme Court skeptical on Wal-Mart lawsuit (WashPost) — Looks like that one’s not going anywhere…
  6. Moore not interested in new USC seat ( — This is kind of non-news; I never thought Darla would be interested in Jake’s idea. But there’s nothing else local at the moment.

8 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page, Tuesday, March 29, 2011

  1. Doug Ross

    Son of a gun.. the “free” healthcare system in Massachusetts is found by the Inspector General to be full of waste, fraud, and abuse. Free can be very expensive.

    Gaping loopholes in the program that covers poor uninsured Bay Staters have cost taxpayers tens of millions in bogus claims from out-of-staters and foreigners —not to mention gynecological bills for men and foot X-rays for headaches, according to the commonwealth’s inspector general.

    “We’re finding overpayments, double payments and medically unnecessary payments,” Massachusetts Inspector General Gregory Sullivan said of his office’s scathing review of the state’s so-called Uncompensated Care Pool obtained by the Herald. “When the state set up the free-care pool, it was supposed to have the most cutting-edge anti-fraud system to go along with it, but it’s not up and running, and because of that, many millions of dollars are being wasted.”

  2. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    There’s a big difference between simply going in and removing a leader we don’t like, possibly because our leader’s father was faulted for not doing so (“regime change”), and supporting a grassroots insurgency that has no chance otherwise of succeeding against a leader who will not hesitate to fire on his own civilians.

  3. Phillip

    Re #3:
    Only because Obama has been so inaccurately portrayed as anti-American, anti-Western, or reflexively anti-interventionist (the latter simply because he opposed the Iraq invasion on the grounds that it was sold disingenuously to Americans, was misguided strategically, and was a detour from the more urgent Afghanistan situation, all three of which happen to be true) is it “big news” that he seems to share some of the same language of American exceptionalism as George W. Bush. This is not a surprise to me nor should it be to anybody who is not drinking the Glenn Beck Kool-Aid.

    However, Brad, even the Times acknowledged that “far more than Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama stressed the need to use that power in the context of multilateralism and cooperation.” The proof that Obama is not George W. Bush is simply that he is able to persuade people exactly like me to cautiously support this action. W’s doctrine was basically, if we think it’s right, we’re going to stick our nose wherever we want because we have the most guns and bombs. One could not imagine W looking at the Libya situation and viewing the acceptable threshold of American intervention as consisting of “an international mandate for action, a broad coalition prepared to join us, the support of Arab countries, and a plea for help from the Libyan people themselves,” as Obama put it.

    Then, as I write these words, 40 countries are forming a working group specifically to deal with all aspects of the crisis. 40 countries! How much more different could Bush and Obama be? Actually, if you want to talk about Obama sounding like Bush, the Bush he sounds most like is George Herbert Walker Bush, a leader who could be said to be a believer in American exceptionalism but also a foreign policy pragmatist, a grownup not a cowboy, and most definitely not a neocon adventurist.

  4. Brad

    Yep, Kathryn, we didn’t like him. Because he tried to whack a former president. Because he killed thousands of his own people (with WMD, by the way). Because he invaded Kuwait. Because he kept trying to shoot down our planes enforcing the “no-fly” zone.

    No, we didn’t like him a bit. With good reason. And we don’t like Qaddafi, either. With good reason. And we’re doing something about him. Which is good — for the people of Libya, for us and for the world.

    If anything, the case for taking down Qaddafi (which is what we’re trying to do, disclaimers to the contrary) is every bit as problematic than taking down Saddam. Bush the 1st didn’t want to take down Saddam because of concerns that the Iranians would fill the vacuum. Now, we have to worry about whether we’re helping al Qaeda in Libya.

    Geopolitics is complicate. But you weigh everything up, and when the reasons to act outweigh the reasons not to, you act. Whether your name is Bush, or Obama. Or Cameron or Sarkozy, come to think of it.

  5. Brad

    Doug: “Free?” Who wants a “free” healthcare system?

    Certainly not me. All I want is to keep paying my premiums — and that can be in the form of a tax, or whatever you want to call it — and have decent coverage no matter where I go or where I work. Even if I decide to (gasp!) stimulate the economy by starting my own business.

    This is such a simple and obvious concept. I don’t know why people make it out to be so hard. Just let me buy into the same system as federal employees and members of Congress. Put us all in the same boat. Or do as Alan Ray suggested to me yesterday over on Facebook — let us all buy in the system that STATE employees have. Although I think it would be FAR better to do it nationally. There aren’t many things the federal gummint needs to do — provide for the common defense, regulate interstate commerce and yes, patrol the borders — but this is one thing I’d add to that short list.

  6. Doug Ross

    My article was about the “free” system set up by Mitt Romney. People don’t have to pay to get service. And what happens? Fraud and abuse. Because there is no oversight like you would have with a profit driven system.

  7. Doug Ross

    I’m fine with letting everyone buy into the state system. Then you have to figure out how to pay for the people who can’t afford that. That means someone else footing the bill.

  8. Steven Davis

    You want in the state system, apply for a state position. I know private companies that have better insurance programs, yet you don’t see me crying about not getting what they have in their policies.

    Better yet, go meet with the head of ADCO and tell them how you want to restructure their insurance policy.


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