Morning Must Reads: August 29

In the news: Syria, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the immigration reform calendar, ObamaCare, James Risen, small business optimism, and what has changed since Lehman failed

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • “The Obama administration appeared Wednesday to be forging ahead with preparations to attack Syria. It dismissed a Syrian request to extend chemical weapons inspections there as a delaying tactic and said it saw little point in further discussion of the issue at the United Nations.” [WashPost]
    • Russia and China urge restraint. [WashPost]
    • “I have not made a decision on Syria,” President Obama told PBS NewsHour.
    • “Deep inside the Pentagon, General Goldilocks and her war planners are now in the final stages of calibrating U.S. war plans to attack Syria—not too big, or too small, but just right. That’s always a challenge when it comes to delivering high explosives from hundreds of miles away…” [TIME]
    • Obama will brief congressional lawmakers Thursday on the range of retaliatory options. Here’s how Congress will respond. [TIME]
    • “Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who ushered the U.S. into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003, said the Obama administration has not clearly justified an attack on Syria.” [Hill]
    • Parody: The Political Press Corps Prepares for Syrian Strike [TIME]
  • “Fifty years after the March on Washington, President Obama tried to rekindle the enthusiasm and activism that marked his rise to the White House in 2008 in a commemorative speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Wednesday.” [TIME]
    • “For many like Ruby Reese Moone, it was full circle after coming to Washington on Aug. 28, 50 years earlier…” [TIME]
    • Watch Presidents Obama, Clinton, and Carter speak. [TIME]
    • “Speaker John A. Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the House’s two most senior Republicans, were invited to speak at the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington—but declined.” [Roll Call]
  • “For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data. Adding even more out-of-pocket expenses to consumers’ monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles under the Affordable Care Act.” [National Journal]
  • “Immigration reform advocates have a new enemy: the congressional calendar.” [Politico]
    • “The frustration is evident in Rep. Luis Gutierrez’s voice…” [Hill]
  • Obama Administration asks court to fource NYT reporter James Risen to reveal source in a criminal trial over the alleged leaking of US state secrets. [Guardian]
  • “Small-business optimism surged in July and August to some of the highest levels since the recession started, according to a handful of recent surveys.” [WSJ]
  • What Has Changed Since Lehman Failed? [New Yorker]
  • Prettier in print:
747 comments
sacredh
sacredh

Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to Suicide Prevention training I go. This was supposed to be a vacation day for me. I have to drive 50 miles to take this class. I'm depressed.

ahandout
ahandout

And by the way, when interest rates hit just 6% the US will be paying $1 trillion per year on debt interest.  That's double the current Medicare budget.  Thanks for caring.

Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Government Health Care

Nevertheless, the central finding — that Medicare wastes a substantial portion of its nearly $500 billion annual budget — has held up to many different research strategies. Dartmouth researchers have produced a sizable and credible body of research that suggests as much as one third of Medicare spending is little more than a wealth transfer from taxpayers and premium-payers to health care providers and medical suppliers.

http://www.cato.org/publications/congressional-testimony/waste-fraud-abuse-government-health-care

retiredvet
retiredvet

OT:

I didn't like shopping there anyway. Yesterday I was at my local grocery store buying a large bag of Pedigree dog food for my loyal pet and was in the checkout line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog. What did she think I had, an elephant?  So,  since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse I  told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Pedigree Diet again.  I added that I probably  shouldn’t, because I ended up in hospital last time, but I'd lost 30 pounds before I woke up in intensive care with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IV's in both arms. I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with Pedigree nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry.  The food is nutritionally complete so it worked well and I was going  to try it again.  (I have to mention here that  practically everyone in line was now  enthralled with my story.) Horrified, she asked me  if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food  poisoned me.  I told her no, I stepped off the curb  to sniff an Irish Setter's bum and a car hit me. I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart  attack he was laughing so hard.  I'm now  banned from the store.  Better watch what you ask retired  people.  They have all the time in the world to  think of daft things to  say.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Heysoos!

Tropical downpour. It's been 75 with 90% humidity the past two days.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@ahandout 

Barry is still not going to negotiate just cause you're stamping your feet.

Now go cry in a corner or something.

sacredh
sacredh

@retiredvet, thanks. That made my morning. I think everybody with a twisted sense of humor has these kind of incidents. Never be afraid to let the freak flag fly.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@retiredvet Pfffffffffftttttttttt! ::wipes Merlot from computer screen::

"Strong with the trollery is this one!"

Well played, ret-vet, well played!! ::claps:: 

Robbert5
Robbert5

Btw r u watching the Sox on NESN?

Robbert5
Robbert5

@retiredvet You should stay away from Sacred, I can see the power of influence he has over you.  He will pull you to the dark side.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@fitty_three Similar stats here in Michigan. More rain and 80s on the way, then cooling down on Labor Day.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@retiredvet 

Eventually, the baggers will be breeding a new race of crazy, I think.  The rest of us are too diverse to stand much chance of inbreeding.

sacredh
sacredh

@retiredvet, OT, but I had a good time at the fair today. It was too hot though. 

ahandout
ahandout

@fitty_three @ahandout  News Flash:  Barry has caved on Obamacare, 53.  Not very informed are you? 

How's that Cairo speech working for ya?

How's that hope and change working out for the unemployed?

Don't ever change Barry, you suck just the way you are.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@Robbert5   I need to catch up with the Sox. So I can get let down as usual.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@Robbert5  I try to drag him to the light but it ain't easy. Have no fear. I can handle it.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@kbanginmotown @fitty_three I hate you both. It's just now 85 here, was 90 at 10 p.m. And we're looking at 102-104 tomorrow, with no rain in sight. Burn bans are everywhere.

And this has been a mild summer.

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout   No. I oppose government, socialized healthcare.  Socialism kills incentives.  Government programs waste resources.

Where are the new inventions and medications coming from in the healthcare industry?  They come from publicly owned corporations.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@mantisdragon91 

I think that the reason @ahandout has been so quiet is that he's learning how to become a socialist at home in his spare time for just 9.99.

He's just keeping us up to date on what he's learning.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@retiredvet

The hivemaster finds it hilarious. You will be rewarded with a speedy absorption.

That is all.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Sue_N

By the way, does the fact that being hated by you hurt so much better than, say when ahandout hates me make me a bad, bad person?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Sue_N

What? They are regulating fire?

Aren't you feeling that that racists Barry O is ripping away your God given right to burn whatever you want?

Grab your guns! Take America Back!

[panting with exhaustion]

There. I got it out...

sacredh
sacredh

@kbanginmotown, when I dropped my pants, the doctor just froze. He looked like he'd seen BigFoot or something.

sacredh
sacredh

@retiredvet, I am off to bed now, but they called where I work when i was on my way back. As soon as I walked in the door, the boss yelled "ARE YOU INSANE!!??". I was seeing the counselor at the time and told him I wasn't supposed to talk about it.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@sacredh  Get some rest. I'd say you'd come back to your senses in the morning. But I'm not optimistic.

sacredh
sacredh

@retiredvet, our physicals used to be a lot more thorough. I won $50 by wearing crotchless women's underwear to one.

sacredh
sacredh

@retiredvet, the guy I'm going up with bet me $20 I won't do it. Lol. The idiot. 

sacredh
sacredh

@retiredvet, I'm whipped. I'm heading off to bed. I'm getting up a little early tomorrow morning and bandage both my wrists. I have to go to the area office for Suicide Prevention Training tomorrow. I'll give them a little something to complain about. Me? Inappropriste? Never!!

retiredvet
retiredvet

@sacredh @retiredvet We don't have space to grow corn. But there's a farm close by that grows the best sweet corn and lots of other stuff. Peaches, apples, and many kinds of vegetables. 

sacredh
sacredh

@retiredvet, we stopped at White House Farms in Canfield (about an hour away)and bought a bunch of fruit and vegetables on the way home. The ears of corn were about a foot long.

sacredh
sacredh

@retiredvet, I ate like a pig. They had apple pie too but i was so stuffed I didn't risk it.

sacredh
sacredh

@retiredvet, the Presbyterians had chicken. The Baptists had BBQ ribs (with mashed potatoes, gravy, bisquits, corn on the cob and cole slaw for $12). Praise the Lord and pass the pepper!

sacredh
sacredh

@retiredvet, it turned out really good. Our friend from Florida flew up to go with us. The sky cleared up and dried everything out by the time we got there. It was a little too hot though. I even skipped the junk food and had a BBQ rib dinner at the church tent. Yes, all of my convictions go out the window when I smell cooking meat.

ahandout
ahandout

@stuart_zechman @MrObvious @mantisdragon91 @ahandout

Socialism in my definition does not only refer to the stated political system of a nation, but the system by which the means of production and capital are regulated and (re)distributed by the government.  With high tax rates and government programs that control a large percent of their economies, nations such as Sweden, Greece, and France among others, qualify as socialist.

stuart_zechman
stuart_zechman

@MrObvious @mantisdragon91 @ahandout Thanks for setting the record straight, MrObvious.

Cuba is a socialist country. All of the countries you mention are healthy capitalist systems.

Apparently many folks are confused about this.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout 

There's no socialism in Scandinavia. Most of them experimented with Mixed Market and the only one close to something like 'socialism' is Norway at the moment with the largest public sector, no debt and they're saving all the money for when the oil runs out instead of wasting it on tax breaks. They're happy, well off, well educated and have great social and public infrastructure.

Only lazy people confuse social democratic party's within nations with a strong social contract in Democracies with Socialism. The last socialistic countries died under the heavy hand of the Soviet as they consolidated Eastern Europe.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout @mantisdragon91 Socialism kills incentives? Can you explain to us why Scandinavian countries which are the most Socialist in Europe were also the best to weather the recession?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@ahandout  

That's good news.  

Now if you actually liked me, then I would be worried.

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout @fitty_three What is your point?  You lauded the accomplishments of Lenin.  When your best intentions leads to a totalitarian maniac who kills millions of his own people, your efforts illustrate that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@fitty_three@mantisdragon91From the link Handy provided

After leading the October Revolution, Lenin served as the first and only chairman of the R.S.F.S.R.. In 1919 Lenin founded the Communist International. In 1921 Lenin instituted the NEP. During 1922 Lenin suffered a series of strokes that prevented active work in government. While in his final year – late 1922 to 1923 – Lenin wrote his last articles where he outlined a programme to fight against the bureaucratization of the Commmunist Party and the Soviet state. Lenin died on January 21, 1924, as a result of multiple strokes.

The sad part is if Lenin remained in power for another decade or more the Communist Party would have been a much better force for good and perhaps had even stood up to Hitler, instead of signing a non aggression pact with him the way Stalin did.