Richard Blair

Karl Rove Cited For Contempt

The House Judiciary Committee voted this morning to hold Karl Rove in contempt of congress. Big deal. The entire Bush administration has held congress in contempt for the past seven years. And there is no intent on the part of the House to actually, you know, enforce the citation. So what's the point?


So what?

The Bush administration has held congress in extreme contempt for the past seven-plus years. For five of those years, it didn't much matter. The past two years haven't made much of a difference either.

So, Conyer's committee cites Karl Rove for contempt of congress because he wouldn't comply with a subpoena, claiming "executive privilege". And now, the full House must vote on the citation, at least if that isn't off of Speaker Pelosi's table, too.

11-Year-Old Girl Dies When Parents Choose Prayer Instead of Medical Care

It's not a long trip down the road to drive me absolutely insane, but these kind of reports are simply too prevalent in 21st century America:

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A Novel Idea for Gun Control? Vasectomies for a Permit

The Supreme Court has taken up the issue of a restrictive gun control ordinance in Washington, D.C., and is hearing the case today. It goes without saying that uncontrolled handgun proliferation, particularly in urban areas, has become anathema to law enforcement agencies across the country, but don’t look for SCOTUS to uphold the D.C. ordinance.

Perhaps there are other ways, more voluntary in nature, to control the permitting, licensing, and distribution of handguns? Hmmmmmm….
A bandit-infested region of India is trying to persuade men to undergo sterilization by offering to fast-track their gun licence applications, an official said on Tuesday.
Officials in central Madhya Pradesh state’s Shivpuri district decided to adopt the policy — already tried out by some neighboring states — to increase the low vascectomy rate.
“I came to know that it had to do with their perceived notion of manliness,” said Manish Shrivastav, administrative chief of Shivpuri district, part of the Indian Chambal region, which is famed for its lawlessness and bandits.
“I then decided to match it with a bigger symbol of manliness — a gun licence,” he said. “And the ploy worked.” …

What Do Nataline Sarkisyan and Britney Spears Have in Common?

They were both treated (or not, as the case may be) at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Just to refresh everyone’s memory, Nataline Sarkisyan was the young woman who, just before Christmas last year, was denied a liver transplant by her insurance company until it was too late. She died at UCLA Medical Center on the day that the transplant was approved.

And Britney Spears? Just to refresh everyone’s memory…oh…never mind. But she’s also been treated at UCLA Medical Center on various occasions. Britney gave birth there, and has also had a few encounters with staff in the psychiatric wing of the hospital.

The reason I bring up Nataline is that right after she died, I asked a simple question: why in the hell didn’t the hospital just do the transplant, and figure out the financials at a later time? I don’t believe that anyone at UCLA Medical Center was ever held to account for this lack of decision making that led, directly or indirectly, to the young woman’s death.

However, apparently some staff members at UCLA Medical Center were caught peeping in Britney Spears’ medical files - and have been fired for the offense:
UCLA Medical Center is taking steps to fire at least 13 employees and has suspended at least six others for snooping in the confidential medical records of pop star Britney Spears during her recent hospitalization in its psychiatric unit, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.
In addition, six physicians face discipline for peeking at her computerized records, the person said…

Listen, I’m the last person in the world who would make excuses for any medical personnel violating the privacy of any patient, celebrity or not, by snooping in patient records for prurient information. Anyone at UCLA Medical Center who wasn’t directly involved in treating Britney had no business prying into her personal records, and should have been fired when the discovery was made. That was the correct call. (Interestingly enough, it appears as if staff were fired, but not doctors. Go figure.)

A Democratic Do-Over in Florida Is Unlikely

It's looking increasingly like the proposed do-over of the Democratic Party presidential primary is DOA. There have been several proposals batted around, the latest of which is a mail in ballot type of affair. The Dem chairperson in Florida appears to be concerned about the sheer logistics of conducting such a vote:

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Will There Be a Florida Democratic Primary Do-Over?

As those who follow this kind of stuff are well aware, the DNC stripped Michigan and Florida of their delegates to the Democratic Party convention as a penalty for moving up the state primaries. Hillary Clinton won both primaries decisively, in what was essentially a "straw vote", since neither state can seat its delegates (as things stand now).

Interesting enough, with the nomination hanging in the balance, and the talking heads chattering that if Clinton can't win both Ohio and Texas tomorrow she should quit the race, Florida governor Charlie Crist has thrown a bit of a monkey wrench into the works. He says he's willing to give the Dems a do-over vote in the Sunshine State:

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Motivational Coaching Company Accused of Waterboarding an Employee

A motivational coaching company in Utah is being sued by a former employee for using waterboarding as a performance improvement technique. No word yet on whether snarling dogs, loud music, or pictures of Dick Cheney were also being used to properly inspire the employees.

So, you think you have a crappy job?

This is what happens when torture becomes acceptable in the mainstream. It's also quite a stark commentary on the state of corporate employee / employer relationships:

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US Army Still Broken and Getting More Hollow By the Day

The question is: will a Democratic Party controlled congress do anything about it?

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey went before the Senate Armed Services Committee today, and told them:

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When Did the Ability to Kill Animals Become Prerequisite for the Presidency?

Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton was doing some campaigning in Kenosha, Wisconsin. At a Q&A session, a question was raised on what she would do to prevent tragedies such as occurred last week at Northern Illinois University, in which 5 students were killed and 22 more wounded by a former NIU student who had gone off his meds.

Her answer was troubling to me - not her stock political answer (background checks, no gun permits for terrorists or the mentally ill) - but that she felt the need to impress Wisconsin voters with her own killing credentials:

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Catholic School Fires Teacher for Being Single and Pregnant

Why is it that the Catholic Church would rather have a single mother become unemployed and/or on welfare than either have an abortion or a job to provide for her child? When a diocese fires a single woman for becoming pregnant out of wedlock, that's the message they're sending.

This is one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situations.

An unmarried 5th grade teacher at St. Felix school in Wabasha, Mn. found herself in an unfortunate position when she became pregnant. True to her faith, she decided against having an abortion - but then found herself on the short end of the employment stick. She was given the choice by school administrators to resign or be fired:

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