Denying what Americans want is considered a victory? (QH: 29 July 2009)

In today’s edition: health care passage, why you shouldn’t use the company e-mail for bad things, and a very brave woman.


Conservative Democrats in the House, known as “Blue Dogs”, have graciously decided to stop holding up health care reform in the chamber and move the discussion along further toward a vote.  They believe that they are doing the work of the people by putting off what the people – a vast majority of them – want: health care reform.  They have managed to stall the actual vote until September, past Obama’s first deadline of early August.  This was, for some reason, cause for celebration:

“We have successfully pushed a floor vote to September,” Mike Ross (D-Ark.) told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “The American people want us to slow down, and that’s what we’re doing here.”

The Blue Dogs wrestled some concessions out of Waxman (D-Calif.), particularly related to a public health care option and employer mandates. The committee’s current version of the public option now more closely resembles that of the health committee in the Senate.

There is a bit of weasel language in here, so allow me to parse.  By “slow down” they mean “delay”, and by “delay” they mean “kill”.  The ultimate thought process behind delaying the bill’s vote is to ultimately kill it, as will be put on vivid display in the month of August, with the Republican National Comittee planing to spend upwards of $1 million in advertising meant to turn public opinion against a national health care plan.  In the event that doesn’t work, the “compromise” the Blue Dogs have struck make this entire process all but not worth it:

For instance, rather than linking the public option to the rates enjoyed by Medicare, the new language would require a separate agreement without Medicare’s bargaining power, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said.

In our hyper-capitalistic society, far too many members of Congress have reasoned – beyond logic – that taking care of the people of this country should some how be a for-profit industry.  What they are trying to do right now will solidify that for decades to come.


Here’s something that can become a regular feature at this blog: Why you don’t use your company e-mail to send incredibly stupid e-mails!, with this month’s edition coming from the Boston Herald:

An officer in the Boston Police Department was suspended yesterday for allegedly writing a racially charged e-mail about Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. to colleagues at the National Guard, a law enforcement official said. …

The law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Officer Justin Barrett referred to the black scholar as a ” jungle monkey” in the letter, written in reaction to media coverage of Gates’s arrest July 16.

E-mail at work is not, and never will be private.  If you’re going to be an ignorant, bigoted, racist asshole, do it on your gmail account.  (and just when you might think the fire from this story was starting to die down…)


Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein is a female journalist in the Sudan.  This would be the same Sudan that still brings us the Darfur conflict, and is one of many countries where concepts like gender equality are a long, long way off from being widely implemented – mainly thanks to religion (in this case, Islam).  Like any movement against a seemingly all powerful establishment though, there are people willing to stand up and willing to accept the harsh consequences:

A Sudanese court on Wednesday adjourned the case of a woman journalist facing 40 lashes for wearing “indecent” trousers, with 10 women already whipped for similar offences against Islamic law.The judge deferred the case to Tuesday after Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, who works for the left-wing Al-Sahafa newspaper and for the media department of the United Nations Mission in Sudan, waived the immunity given to UN workers.

Religion: holding back progress since the dawn of time.  Here’s the kicker, however…

She wore the same clothes to court as when she was arrested — moss-green slacks with a loose floral top and green headscarf.

She waved defiantly to crowds as she left the court.

One stand by one stand, in most cases, even the toughest regimes can crack with enough time.