Reason Morning Links: The Public Option, the Afghan Election, the President's Safety

• The public option dies...or maybe it doesn't.

• Burma releases John Yettaw.

• The Obama administration joins the Bush administration in supporting an infamous RIAA suit.

• Taliban threats may keep voters home when Afghanistan holds its elections Thursday.

• "There has been no increase in the number of security threats to President Barack Obama despite the contentious town hall meetings taking place around the country, according to the White House."

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  • Jammie\'s Lawyers||

    In the case of Jammie Thomas--now Jammie Thomas-Rasset--a jury decided that she had willfully infringed copyrights on 24 songs and awarded the RIAA a total of $222,000. Her lawyers successfully argued for a new trial, in which the RIAA won $80,000 per song in damages, or a total of $1.92 million.

    We regret the errors.

  • Joe M||

    "I think there will be a competitor to private insurers," she said. "That's really the essential part, is you don't turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing."

    Gibbs agreed, describing the "bottom line" for the president: "What we have to have is choice and competition in the insurance market."


    Because we all know that's the one thing the free market can't do, is provide competition. They're definitely staying on the anti-capitalism message, and obviously, this is all part of an incremental movement towards the final single-payer goal.

    The important thing is to convince people that true competition doesn't exist unless there are non-profit players involved. Where's my barf bag...

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "They're definitely staying on the anti-capitalism message, and obviously, this is all part of an incremental movement towards the final single-payer goal."

    Exactly. The Obama administration overestimated their odds and are going with a less overt path that still allows the foot in the door. The libs would then just have to peck at it and be patient.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    In the case of Jammie Thomas--now Jammie Thomas-Rasset--a jury decided that she had willfully infringed copyrights on 24 songs and awarded the RIAA a total of $222,000. Her lawyers successfully argued for a new trial, in which the RIAA won $80,000 per song in damages, or a total of $1.92 million

    To state the obvious, the RIAA must have some incredible lawyers.

  • Average American||

    Decisions, decisions...nanny state or brutal, unfair capitalism? I don't really understand either one. But "nanny" means warm milk, and what kind of twisted fascist is against warm milk?

  • Mike in PA||

    going with a less overt path that still allows the foot in the door

    They've had their foot in the door for a long time, my friend. Government has far more patience than the citizenry. We always tire out first.

  • ransom147||

    government - the quintessential non profit

  • Rich||

    "The public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health care reform. This is just one sliver of it. One aspect of it."

    So, again, our position is made perfectly clear.

  • ||

    "They've had their foot in the door for a long time, my friend. Government has far more patience than the citizenry. We always tire out first."

    Unless we runout of money first.

  • Barry-O the ASL Ape (transcrib||

    BARRY-O LOVE PUBLIC MEDICINE HAPPY HAPPY

    BARRY-O HATE PUBLIC MUSIC SAD SAD GO CAGE NO BANANA

  • Mike in PA||

    Unless we runout of money first.

    HA! Like that's going to stop them! We ran out of money a long time ago. They'll just borrow more from the money we haven't made yet.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "HA! Like that's going to stop them! We ran out of money a long time ago. They'll just borrow more from the money we haven't made yet."

    You know, this needs to be said more often. I mean, read it again. It's direct, easy to understand, and true.

    It's also a complete mind fuck that's quite depressing.

  • Your Government||

    Unless we run out of money first

    That's why we, Your Government, are the perfect competitor! A few pertinent points, if we may:

    1) We can print money. We will never run out. Can the insurance companies make that claim?

    2) We have an army. How will the insurance companies protect you from the Taliban?

    3) We have Nancy Pelosi. We can out-retard the baddest insurance-company executives.

  • ||

    Though I like watching Democrats get yelled at, there isn't much joy seeing socialist geezers whining about their welfare. The lying media is still claiming the protests are right wing operatives, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. The most anger is coming from seniors who are worried about potential cuts to medicare, hardly right wingers.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I'm a twenty-year man. I can tell the difference between trolls who need a little lesson in manners, and the trolls like you who just enjoy it.

  • Rich||

    They'll just borrow more from the money we haven't made yet.

    Exactly. Money as we knew it is obsolete; in this modern world it's all about *credit* (we really need a new, more descriptive term).

  • *||

    Take a wrong turn somewhere, Art-P.O.G.?

  • Timmy||

    *credit* (we really need a new, more descriptive term)

    Sudomoney?

  • Joe M||

    How about Sodomoney. Cuz we are takin it up the ass.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Whomever the town hall protesters are and whatever their agenda, the better sport is watching the increasingly shrill and hysterical response they elicit.

  • ||

    Hugh,

    That Lupika collumn is full retard mode. There is not one substantive point in it. The left has really lost its mind.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Take a wrong turn somewhere, Art-P.O.G.?

    Oblique reference to someone upthread.

  • Joe M||

    John,

    Agreed. It comes across as, "I don't know how to write, but enjoy these buzzwords."

  • Rachel Maddow||

    Dear Mike Lupica,

    Please concentrate on your crappy sports columns and leave the political analysis to us professional retards. Thank you very much.

  • The Church Lady||

    Lupika: "They don't just want to hijack this debate, they want to hijack his presidency."

    Well, isn't that special?

  • Mike in PA||

    I'm actually saddened that they're contemplating removing the "public option." Doing that gives cover to many of these fucked up politicians to pass a watered-down bill.

    And then, in a few years, they will tell us the reason why everything is so fucked up is because we were unable to get the public option put in. Unless there is a serious paradigm shift, it will be inevitable.

    Inch by inch, the "public" plan will no longer be an option. You will all have it. Of course, if you're rich enough, you'll still be able to get the best care available. There will always be doctors that actually want to make money.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    That Lupika collumn is full retard mode.

    It's the NY Daily News. If I'm thinking of the right paper, they suck.

  • Xeones||

    And then, in a few years, they will tell us the reason why everything is so fucked up is because we were unable to get the public option put in.

    Fortunately, we won't be able to afford it then, either.

  • Andy Rooney Tourette||

    I've never met Rachel Maddow, but she seems like a nice lady. Whenever I meet a lesbian couple, I wonder who wears the strap-on in the family. Why is my cheese getting smaller and smaller?

  • Katie Couric||

    Burma releases John Yettaw.

    Burma, the country formerly known as Myanmar.

  • EJM||

  • Xeones||

    Can we just send the public option to Afghanistan?

  • ||

    "Fortunately, we won't be able to afford it then, either.Fortunately, we won't be able to afford it then, either."


    if we keep spending like we've got money, it will eventually be true.

  • ||

    I am not so sure they will be able to get away with passing something and declaring victory. Glen Reynolds made a good point the other day. The problem is that people don't trust Washington and don't trust that Obama and the Dems in Congress. So, they are not going to be able to pass anything without a good portion of the country believing that the bill is not what they say it is. I don't think they are going to get anything and anything they do get is just going to make them more unpopular.

    It is just priceless that the Lupika collumn of course mentions Palin. All liberal response to criticism must contain some mention of the great Alaskan satan.

  • ||

    "The most anger is coming from seniors who are worried about potential cuts to medicare, hardly right wingers."


    They are not socialist geezers. They are just old. And they know exactly what Obama is talking about when he talks about a "more efficent system" and cutting costs. I would be pissed if I were them to. I would also note that federal law requires you to be on medicare when you turn 65. So what happens is you work all of your life and buy into a retirement system that is supposed to provide you insurance when you get old. But then you turn 65, that insurance company you have paid into all these years dumps you on medicade and only acts as a suplement to medicare. So you are stuck on the government dime even though you worked your whole life and thought you were not going to be. And on top of that, you get some jackass like James Ard to come down and call you a socialist geezer even though the law says you must be on medicare and the corporations and the unions conspired with the government to dump you into the government system by law once you turn 65.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Can we just send the public option to Afghanistan?

    Yes...convince the Taliban of the efficacy of the Public Option...eventually they will be uable to purchase weapons...

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "It is just priceless that the Lupika collumn of course mentions Palin. All liberal response to criticism must contain some mention of the great Alaskan satan."

    Did you see the Palin artwork link from a thread here a day or two ago? I saw the nude Palin with beaver in lap picture and wondered where's the feminist outrage?

  • Wicks Cherrycoke||

    "To state the obvious, the RIAA must have some incredible lawyers."

    Or they can afford to outspend an individual who can only afford a sole practitioner or small-town lawyer versus big law firms with armies of associates.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    unable*

  • Wicks Cherrycoke||

    Isn't Mike Lupica one of the "sports journalists" who cried foul when George Will had the gall to write a book about baseball, when Rush Limbaugh became an ESPN analyst, and Dennis Miller got the Monday Night Football gig? Isn't he one of the people who argued that sports commentary should be left to the "experts?"

    Mike, leave politics to the grown ups, and stick to the sports cliches.

  • Rich||

    I saw the nude Palin with beaver in lap picture and wondered where's the feminist outrage?

    Some beavers are more equal than others.

  • ||

    John, I'm sorry if I touched a nerve. But these people are sleeping in the bed they have voted for over their entire lives. Medicare is broke, mainly because the old folks didn't pay enough taxes to sustain it. You crying about their situation is falling on deaf ears. My kids are totally fucked because the greatest generation stole their future from them, and you call me a jackass? Blow me.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Dear Mike Lupica,

    Please concentrate on your crappy sports columns


    I knew I recognized that name from somewhere. I just hope we get the Fairness Doctrine back in time to hear Bob Costas' rebuttal.

  • ||

    Sudomoney?

    It's behind the pharmacy counter and you have to show ID.

  • Warty||

    I'm unaware of any sportswriters who aren't moronic liberal idiots. Are there any?

  • Ben Kenobi||

    John--what large group of voters has been instrumental in getting the politicians elected that have foisted many of these things on us? What large group of voters opposes Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid reform?

    Yes, old people have paid into these programs and are forced to go on them, but they routinely oppose reform. Reform that may not even affect them.

    I'm 28, will pay into these programs most of my life, and will probably not see much return on them by the time I retire. I'll probably be lucky to get anything back in 40 years from Social Security. So fuck these old pricks that think its ok to keep taking from me and don't give a shit about young people's futures.

  • Spellcheck at John\'s work||

    I'm taking a nap you guys. I'm exhausted.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    and now we see why it is bad for the state to handle welfare in this first place: interest-group proxy warfare will, eventually, devolve into real warfare.

  • Xeones||

    interest-group proxy warfare will, eventually, devolve into real warfare.

    Fortunately, old people are brittle.

  • ||

    "I'm unaware of any sportswriters who aren't moronic liberal idiots. Are there any?"

    Warty - sportscaster Chris Collingsworth is one, probably comes from the fact that he graduated in accounting and finance from U of Florida. He also got a JD from U of Cinci. after his playing days. He is slated to replace Madden in 2009.

  • *||

    Or they [the RIAA] can afford to outspend an individual who can only afford a sole practitioner or small-town lawyer

    Don't do the crime if you don't have a dime.

  • ||

    Lupica is the guy on the Sports Reporters who, when Steve McNair was shot and killed, said (I paraphrase) "its too early to draw any conclusions about his being in a townhouse with another woman who is 20 years younger than him - we can draw the conclusion that this totally validates my northeastern liberal beliefs about gun control, just not anything about McNair".

  • Rich||

    Fortunately, old people are brittle.

    But they got *canes*.

  • ||

    "There has been no increase in the number of security threats to President Barack Obama despite the contentious town hall meetings taking place around the country, according to the White House."

    Gee, I wonder if - this may sound crazy - maybe it's because it's not about him. MAYBE it's about his policies. And now, apparently, his Granmama.

  • *||

    Ben Kenobi | August 17, 2009, 10:41am | #
    So fuck these old pricks that think its ok to keep taking from me and don't give a shit about young people's futures.


    Wow, Ben. Take a deep breath and remember that Congress passed all the Great Society programs, that many of its original adherents are long dead, that not all the "old pricks" favored Medicare and Medicade, that regardless of their views, they were forced to pay into the system and should expect to get something in return when they finally retire, etc. etc. etc. Class warfare is beneath us as a nation. When we go your route, Ben, we're doomed.

  • Ben Kenobi||

    *--obviously not all elderly people favor the current system or oppose reform. But there is a reason that the so called "Greatest Generation" is often referred to as the "Gimme Generation" on this board.

    When AARP comes out in favor of SS reform I'll change my tune. And I'm not that hard to please--I'll happily take the simple option of opting out of Social Security all together. What I see in the future is a massive increase in SS taxes along with means based testing. That, or I'll get to start collecting SS checks around the age of 90.

    The elderly as a group have a lot of power at the polls and they know it. And right now most of them do not want SS or Medicare/Medicaid touched. The least AARP could do is come out with a massive ad campaign thanking all the younger people of this country for supporting them. And apologizing for opposing meaningful reform.

    And I wouldn't call this class warfare as I think it spans classes. Age warfare perhaps, but don't tell it to me, I didn't start it and I support a massive reworking of the system. I'm not the one trying to hold onto the status quo.

  • tekende||

    From this story:
    Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas told CNN's "State of the Union," "because without the public option, we'll have the same number of people uninsured. If the insurance companies wanted to insure these people now, they'd be insured."

    I'm speechless. What do you even say to that kind of idiocy?

  • ||

    They're just making noises about dropping the public option to rile up their base and get the protesters to back off. They're lying.

  • ||

    First,

    The greatest generation is dead. The "old people" now are boomers. And not all boomers are hippie assholes. Lots of them fought the good fight against all this bullshit and lost. Many of them would love nothing better than to be able to get off medicare. I know my parents were shocked when they found out they got dumbed on medicare when they turned 65. I don't see how calling them socialist geezers for objecting to BO's plan to create treatment panels to figure which expensive old people we can kill off first is hardly fair.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Does anyone think that this is just going to encourage the protesters? I do - look at this way: they have a small victory under their belts! On to Whitehall!

  • ||

    U.S. pay czar says he can "claw back" exec compensation

    MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MASSACHUSETTS (Reuters) - Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration's pay czar, said on Sunday he has broad and "binding" authority over executive compensation, including the ability to "claw back" money already paid, and he is weighing how and whether to use that power.


    http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE57G0E820090817

  • alan||

    To state the obvious, the RIAA must have some incredible lawyers.

    So far in my life I have had the occasion to save two individuals from choking to death using the Heimlich Maneuver. If the opportunity happens again, I'll be sure to ask the victim if he is a lawyer working for the RIAA before I do so. Same goes for drowning men.

  • alan||

    I know my parents were shocked when they found out they got dumbed on medicare when they turned 65.

    Same happened to my hippie mum. Some how, proponents of the 'public option', are not factoring in that there will be no legal recourse for those who are dumped on the public plan after paying in for many years to a first rate private plan given the Federales legal standing under the law. Actually, the intent in the design of the 'public option' is to do just that, the love-me-some socialism no matter the outcome bastards.

  • ||

    John, there are plenty of the Greatest generation left. Mostly women, bur Dad enlisted in 1945 and I'm sure there a bunch of other 81 plus year old men out there. I don't have a problem with people protesting the death panels. But I'm seeing a lot of complaining about the looming medicare cuts. Socialists geezers may sound harsh, but if you go to a town hall meeting and bitch that your government healthcare might be limited, then you are acting like a socialist.

  • ||

    These "socialist geezers" paid into Medicare and Social Security all their working lives.

    I reserve my right to bitch about the fact that I'll never see a dime from either despite paying in. That doesn't make me a socialist.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    See, the problem is that the government sold this as a program, and it fooled everybody. Old people really do think that they have accounts, under government purview, held in their name/SS#.

    Tulpa, you may have paid into it all your life, and that sucks, but it needs to be said: government programs are funded by taxes, and you are not entitled to other peoples' money via social welfare payments funded through taxes.

  • ||

    Tulpa, what about the fact that the voters should have recognized the problem with their beloved government spending every Goddamned penny of the tax receipts on other shit?

  • ||

    Gee, I wonder if - this may sound crazy - maybe it's because it's not about him. MAYBE it's about his policies. And now, apparently, his Granmama.

    Nope. I continue to read liberals posting comments on non-partisan websites that it is because "the majority of America is racist and they are just trying to ruin the black president." They never seem to understand that America voted for and elected the black president by a large margin and that the reason people are pissed is the cumulative effects of Bailout + Stimulus + Costly Health Care Reform with a little "We know the govt sucks at everything they do" thrown in.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Nick,

    What you fail to understand is that these Americans are so racist that they elected the black president just so they could ruin him later.

  • ||

    Americans are so racist that they elected the black president just so they could ruin him later

    Some of these racists are quite clever.

  • ||

    My Detroit governance morning (PDT) link -

    Detroit school board files lawsuit against Bobb

    The Detroit school board today filed a lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court against state appointee Robert Bobb. It alleges that he violated state law by failing to consult with the school board concerning financial matters as required by law.

    Bobb is the emergency financial manager appointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in January to take over the district's $1.2-billion budget. The district had an estimated $400-million deficit which Bobb has whittled to $259 million through 2,500 layoffs and other cuts.



    SugarFree,
    where's our feminist blog link?

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "Some of these racists are quite clever."

    Naw, they've just seen the movie "Carrie".

    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1281792000/tt0074285

  • ||

    Some of these racists are quite clever.

    Not any I've met.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    BTW, Obama is the greatest homecoming queen eveh!

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "Not any I've met."

    So you haven't met Obama I gather.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    Or Skip Gates.

  • Vehical Driver||

    Don't you guys get it? The public option is a LOSS for Democrats. The Democrats don't profit from a public option. They profit from lambasting the Republicans for not supporting a public option. The Democrats counted on the Republicans to scuttle any public option. The Democrats never believed that they would control the legislative and executive branches in the near future.

    Now, the Democrats are shitting themselves. The last thing the Democrats want to do is get involved in a visible way in health care, which would make them to blame in the eye of the public when the system screws up. Thus, the Democrats had to spin a bunch of angry AARP members worried about Medicare into some imaginary right-wing cabal.

  • ||

    The Democrats don't profit from a public option. They profit from lambasting the Republicans for not supporting a public option.

    They profit from people being dependent on govt for healthcare. They always have the GOP to blame for not spending enough, despite their original claim that they created the damn thing to reduce spending.

  • ||

    J sub D,

    Another in the their long line of PETA outrage posts. I have a hard time deciding who to root for.

    I was planning on taking [my family] to the beach to enjoy the beautiful day when I saw a billboard that made me want to cry.

    ...We all sat there and stared at it for a minute and everyone in the car was silent. No one wanted to mention my weight. I laughed it off as usual, but it really had made me so embarrassed, so self conscious and so ashamed about my weight that I dropped off my family at the oceanfront and left to go home, making the excuse that I wasn't feeling well.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    When do we start drawing paychecks?

  • ||

    "Not any I've met."

    So you haven't met Obama I gather.


    Put down the remote and back away from the Glenn Beck program.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I have a hard time deciding who to root for.

    Heh heh. Side with Feministing. You know you want to.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "Obama to seek to rally support for Afghan war effort"

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090817/pl_nm/us_obama_afghanistan_1

    Goddam chickenhawk.

  • ||

    Also, Reason's silence over the "Is Lady Gaga a hermaphrodite?" controversy is quite telling. First Kelly Clarkson and now this? For shame, Reason, for shame.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "Put down the remote and back away from the Glenn Beck program."

    If you think Obama is 100% racist-free you don't have a brain.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    And Glen Beck is a stupid pussy. And closeted with a wife and kids, unless my gaydar suddenly crashed.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    "Is Lady Gaga a hermaphrodite?"

    Only one way to find out. :(

    Anyway, I'm as outraged as you, Sugarfree. For a magazine called Reason...

  • ||

    Tulpa, what about the fact that the voters should have recognized the problem with their beloved government spending every Goddamned penny of the tax receipts on other shit?



    Exactly what was the government going to do with those taxes? How, exactly, were they going to "save" for your retirement? Sure it's nice to fantasize about SS being back by real assets but do you really want Uncle Sam playing around in the equity or bond markets buying marketable securities to do it?

    The "Social Security Surplus" was always about diverting money that people were led to believe was a "pension plan contribution" into general revenues to be spent on anything pols though would buy them votes.

    The sooner that people understand that Social Security was structured the way it was so that it would be primarily a revenues raising tool the better.

    If the people who set up SS had really cared about the welfare of old people they would have set up a means tested income supplement for the elderly paid for out of general revenues.

    Some definitions to remember.

    FICA: at tax masquerading as a pension plan contribution.

    Social Security: a welfare scheme masquerading a a pension plan.

  • ||

    Social Security: a welfare program masquerading as a pension plan.

    That's better.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Also, Reason's silence over the "Is Lady Gaga a hermaphrodite?" controversy is quite telling.

    We're too busy investigating the possibility that she's a puppet of the Illuminati.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    That "vigilant citizen" article was awesome.

  • ||

    That's fantastic, Jesse. Anytime you can tie Baphomet to a public figure is enlightening. I wish they had worked in the osculum infame for more gay-themed hilarity.

    But aren't they related? Don't all puppets of the Illuminati have ambiguous genitalia? Or am I just thinking of Warty again?

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    Whene AREN'T you dreaming of Warty?

  • ||

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    Damn! Just Damn!

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I wish they had worked in the osculum infame for more gay-themed hilarity

    By pure coincidence, I got done watching the Rob Zombie American Witch video a little while back. Or was it a coincidence?

    And I'm not clicking on that link...

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Don't all puppets of the Illuminati have ambiguous genitalia?

    That Mechanical Animals album cover is kind of disturbing...

  • Meta4||

    "I could stop if he'd didn't keep sending me pictures of himself."

    If I were that dog I'd be plenty worried.

  • Meta4||

    "That Mechanical Animals album cover is kind of disturbing..."

    Must be tough being a "shock artist" these days given that nothing no longer shocks anyone.

    Poor, Marilyn Manson.

  • Rich||

    If I were that dog squash I'd be plenty worried.

  • ||

    what's with the use of the word retard? so hurtful and demeaning. so 7th grade.

  • han||

    There has been no increase

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