Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Kathleen Sebelius

Midweek Midday

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* There’s really only one label for the pathetic exercise we’ve just witnessed in South Africa: deceit. The whole climate-change negotiation process and the larger political discourse surrounding this horrible problem is a drawn-out and elaborate exercise in lying – to each other, to ourselves, and especially to our children. And the lies are starting to corrupt our civilization from inside out.

* Aaron Bady: The case for making a storm in the ports. I feel certain 90% of the impetus for this piece was the desire to use that pun.

* Oh, UVM. You know better.

* Judge: Obama Administration May Have Politicized Morning After Pill Approval Process. May have?

* Plutocracy watch: More than 80 percent of giving to Super PACs so far has come from just 58 donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the latest data, which covers the first half of 2011. The Republican groups have raised $17.6 million and the Democratic groups $7.6 million. Those numbers will balloon, with American Crossroads, the main Republican Super PAC, aiming to raise $240 million.)

The exceptions are two public employee labor unions, whose massive donations match those of some of the largest moguls. The rest are individuals with vast fortunes at their disposal.

* Ladies and gentlemen, Andy Serkis: Official plot synopsis for The Hobbit. Rise of the Planet of the Apes director shares his sequel plans.

* Government shutdown, again? Really? Well, I guess it’s been a few weeks…

Still Fighting

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OpenLeft, bless its idealistic heart, is reading an awful lot into a throwaway statement from Kathleen Sebelius on The Rachel Maddow Show:

MADDOW: “The private insurance company writ large hasn’t done a great job. That’s why we want a public option to compete with them. These 18 Democratic senators want to bring that back into the fold. If that happened, would the administration fight for it?”

SEBELIUS: “Well, I think if it’s…Certainly. If it’s part of the decision of the Senate leadership to move forward, absolutely.”

I don’t know that she was really endorsing the idea, much less throwing any weight behind it; her statement could just as easily be taken as a disavowal. Still, if the public option does come back at the 11th hour, the antagonistic stance of OpenLeft and similar places in the progressive blogosphere towards Congressional Dems and even the Obama White House will have had a lot to do with it. Tonight they get no complaints from me.

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February 19, 2010 at 12:17 am

Monday Public Option Blogging!

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Nobody seems to know what’s going on with the potential public-option-drop I blogged last night. Ambinder and the Huffington Post indicate that Sebelius’s comments are being walked back:

An administration official said tonight that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “misspoke” when she told CNN this morning that a government run health insurance option “is not an essential part” of reform. This official asked not to be identified in exchange for providing clarity about the intentions of the President. The official said that the White House did not intend to change its messaging and that Sebelius simply meant to echo the president, who has acknowledged that the public option is a tough sell in the Senate and is, at the same time, a must-pass for House Democrats, and is not, in the president’s view, the most important element of the reform package.

A second official, Linda Douglass, director of health reform communications for the administration, said that President Obama believed that a public option was the best way to reduce costs and promote competition among insurance companies, that he had not backed away from that belief, and that he still wanted to see a public option in the final bill.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (R-TX) also indicated that the public option may be a deal-breaker for the progressive caucus.

For his part, Krugman wrote on Saturday that there are viable alternatives to the public option, and SEK now thinks that public option was never really on the table in the first place, but was rather a kind of negotiating tactic with the long-term side effect of shifting the Overton Window left on health care. Nate Silver is still counting votes, but doesn’t seem optimistic.

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August 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Sunday, Sunday

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Sunday, Sunday.

* The New Yorker has fiction from the late great David Foster Wallace as well as discussion of his unfinished final novel. (There’s also a profile of Rahmbo.) Discussion at MeFi.

* Even more six-word science fiction. More at MetaFilter.

* The twenty-first century: an FAQ from Charlie Stross.

* Hypothesis: Sufficiently usable read/write platforms will attract porn and activists. If there’s no porn, the tool doesn’t work. If there’s no activists, it doesn’t work well. (via)

* Maybe Dollhouse shouldn’t have been as series: io9 clues into the central problem facing American television production, open-ended perpetual serialization. Discussion at Whedonesque.

* Sebelius to HHS.

* The formula that killed Wall Street. Some talk at MetaFilter.

* Anime Peanuts. More along these lines at MeFi.

* Reverse-plot movies. Reverse-plot games.

* Aside from their nihilism and incompetence, the biggest problem facing Republicans is that their mythology has become too difficult for the average person to follow. It’s like a comic book “universe” where the writers have been straining to maintain continuity for decades — all the ever-more-fine-grained details are really satisfying for the hardcore fans, but intimidating for potential new readers, who are left asking, “Trickle-what? Chappaquid-who? What’s that about Obama’s birth certificate? Obama’s European now? I thought he was a Muslim! Darn it, I’ll never catch up!”

I suggest, therefore, that the Republicans use their current time of wandering in the wilderness to do their own version of Crisis on Infinite Earths. They wouldn’t have to ditch their favorite heroes, of course — we could also be treated to limited series like Rush Limbaugh: Year One, Newt Gingrich: Year One, etc. They can reboot all the plotlines, free the beloved characters of the chains of continuity, and then do it again, and yet again — until finally they find success in some genre other than politics, much as comic book superheroes have moved on to the movies. GOP: Year One.

* See also: the GOP’s voice and intellectual force, Rush Limbaugh.

* Forget Switzerland: Is Ireland the next Iceland? Don’t forget your recession tourism.

* Slowly but surely, here comes marijuana decriminalization/legalization. Don’t forget your revenue stream.

* Imprisoned fifteen-year-old beaten by police officer. On tape.

* And put aside that old question of “justifying” the humanities: the real problem is that for much of the past decade, the culture isn’t listening to what the humanities have to teach.


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Sebelius: senator (1, 2) or secretary (1, 2, 3)?

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February 8, 2009 at 6:18 pm

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More Eco Links

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More eco and politics links.

* From the comments comes a link to, a web site devoted to popularizing the largely defunct 55 mph speed limit in the name of carbon efficiency. A thing like this is long on science but short of politics—I don’t think I know a single person who voluntarily limits their speed, and I know a whole lot of hippies and eco-freaks. Better to advocate policies that eliminate people’s need to drive, like functional light and high-speed rail systems, than to try and rewrite human nature.

* Has the high price of oil put the brakes on globalization?

* John McCain: “A surprisingly immature politician.”

* See also: Multiple Oil Company Executives Gave Huge Contributions To Electing McCain Just Days After Offshore Drilling Reversal. More at Grist, including a sharp new Obama ad.

* Why Kaine over Sebelius?

So far as I can tell, Kaine’s advantages over Sebelius consist of these: his swing-state residency (not useless, but I thought consensus is that picking veeps for their regional influence is so last century), his faith (he’s Roman Catholic), and his Y chromosome.

Update: Several readers point out Sebelius is also Catholic.

It’s a good case, even if it shoots my Virginia Strategem to hell; the more I find out about Kaine the more I sour on him. More here.

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August 5, 2008 at 1:56 am


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Chris Dodd’s on the short list for Obama’s VP, as is Kathleen Sebelius, the latter getting Ezra Klein pretty excited. Who else? I guess we’ll hear more as rumors trickle out.

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July 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Ted (& Al) & Barack

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By now a lot of you have probably seen that the Ted Kennedy endorsement is official. So let me just throw this out there: would they really use Ted Kennedy on Monday if they didn’t have Al Gore waiting in the wings for the weekend?

UPDATE: And Sebelius for Tuesday/Wednesday, right after she’s done with the State of the Union response. Although she’s not necessarily all that well-known in North Carolina, she’s apparently a big name in the Midwest; I’ve heard a lot of people throwing her name around for vice president in the last few weeks.

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January 27, 2008 at 9:39 pm

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