This is… not optimal.
Obviously not the news we’d hoped for: Senate Press Gallery has denied our #presspass application, won’t renew Lyle’s. Next up: the appeal.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) April 11, 2014
Mind you, I want the unions to win this one. After they’ve gone round and round with the Greenies a few more times. Which is horribly partisan of me; then again, so is everybody else.
A letter distributed Friday by the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) to the districts of 27 House Democrats calls for union members to make sure their representative “feels the power and the fury of LIUNA this November.”
Their crime: signing a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry last month urging him to reject Keystone, which would carry oil sands from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.
What makes this particularly savory is that the Congressmen involved are hardcore progressives; the letter is hard to find, but what lists I’ve seen of signatories suggest that they’re not too used to intra-party squabbles of this sort. This is free media that can’t particularly splash back on us, in other words; and there’s going to be hurt feelings among our political opponents either way. Pass the popcorn.
In the aftermath of Friday’s protest in front of the San Francisco home of a Google lawyer, a reporter says that he was assaulted for wearing Google Glass in the city’s Mission District.
Kyle Russell, of Business Insider, said that his Glass was torn from his face as he was walking to a local BART (subway) station after filing his story on the protest.
Suey Park, perhaps not understanding the concept of ‘fifteen minutes,’ writes:
Many dismissed the protest we undertook last month with #CancelColbert, a hashtag we set up in response to a blatantly racist Tweet about Asians from the Colbert show’s account.
…Given that that protest probably sealed the deal for Stephen Colbert’s new gig (“See! He’s getting flack from both sides!”), can you really blame them, Miss Park? (more…)
Megan McArdle finished up her article on Vermont’s single-payer woes by pretty much saying that, but I already knew it anyway. The basic problem? It’s going to cost at least $1.6 billion a year (or about 59% of Vermont’s current annual budget)… and there’s no way to pay for it except via massive tax hikes. Megan notes that Vermont’s taxes aren’t actually high at all right now, and that implementing single-payer would immediately skyrocket that state’s rate to the highest in the country. And then she got puckish:
Now, you can argue that people should be glad to make this trade-off, not just for peace of mind, but because they will trade higher taxes for lower (no) insurance premiums. You can also argue that poor people in America should be laughing and dancing and singing all day because every one of them is economically better off than starving farmers in drought-ridden regions of Africa. Neither argument will do you much good, however, because that’s not how people think.
We are pretty much at the “marvelous cynicism” part of the Obama era arc at this point: the punditocracy has stopped taking the President seriously and has started to visibly not care if he likes the way that they talk about him. I mention this, not because Charles Krauthammer has ever been shy about knocking a Democrat, but because he is increasingly losing his status as a voice in the wilderness in that regard. Expect more people to be this casually dismissive in the future:
I am not surprised, but I suspect that the Democrats are:
Quarterly fundraising reports filed in Tallahassee on Thursday illuminate the big advantage Republicans are likely to have heading into this year’s governor’s race, in which Gov. Rick Scott will fight for re-election against likely Democratic opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist.
Combining fundraising by their state parties, their campaign organizations and the independent committees backing each candidate, Scott and the Republican side raised about three times as much as Crist and the Democratic side in the first three months of 2014.
Dear Lord, but this is going to be bloody: “Last week the information Tony Podesta was giving was the divorce complaint he had filed in D.C. Court against his wife Heather. The hands receiving that information belonged to a gossip columnist for the Washington Post, who made the “informed decision” to report on it. Later in the day Heather, who is also a lobbyist, informed the Post the text of her counter-suit. It published a follow-up.”
…OK. I know that most of my readers are kindly people, who feel that people’s private lives are their private lives. Your instinctive reaction to this will be to move slightly away from the monitor screen. Your forehead will slightly furrow; your eye muscles will tighten. At the top of your forebrain will dart the thought Divorces are scary things; people who are afflicted with them should be given space. In short, you will automatically not want to pursue this story further. And that’s a good thing! That’s proper behavior. (more…)
Yes, I know that the Latin is bad. Alas, I cannot make myself care, because reality has defeated me:
One last miscue for #Sebelius — "unfortunately a page is missing" in binder with farewell remarks
— Ed Henry (@edhenryTV) April 11, 2014
…I got nothing, folks. If this was in a book, people would rightfully mock it as being unbelievable. But it happened, so bring out the trapeze artists and the clown with the sad trombone.
Well, isn’t that cozy.
Background: this is from a 2009 judgement by the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals on an appeal by tech firm Accenture alleging a most traditional conflict of interest in a job bid process (a process that Accenture lost, and a firm called ACS won): “According to Appellant, [then-Chief Information Officer for the Maryland Department of Human Resources] Ms. [Isabel] FitzGerald is married to a Mr. Paul FitzGerald who Accenture claims “is a Principal at the firm Deloitte, LLP, and ACS identified Deloitte as a subcontractor for ACS on this procurement.”” Turns out that the appeals court didn’t buy that argument. OK.
Now let us fast forward to 2014. The existing Maryland state exchange is collapsing, and the state is desperate to salvage what they can from the wreck: “…the board overseeing Maryland’s health exchange voted unanimously Tuesday to ask federal officials for their approval — and $40 million to $50 million more in funding — to hire Deloitte Consulting to replicate its work on the exchange in Connecticut.” And, yes, Mr. Fitzgerald is still at Deloitte. And where is Mrs. Fitzgerald? Still the MD DHR CIO?