Sunday, July 26, 2009

No health care for Texas

In another act of Republican genius, Texas Governor Rick Perry said Thursday that he would consider invoking states’ rights protections under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution to resist a federal health care plan. Like the Republican Governors that the Clarion Content told you were resisting the stimulus plan, Governor Perry's stance is pretty vile, prima facie. Unless he is willing to give up the generous taxpayer funded health care he enjoys, denying others who have no insurance government health care is awfully cruel without a viable alternative.

Governor Perry was quoted on the conservative Dallas talk radio show hosted by Mark Davis. The governor predicted that Texas and a "number" of states might resist the federal health mandate. According to the Fort-Worth Star Telegram, Governor Perry refused $555 million in federal unemployment stimulus money earlier this year. He also, "heartily backed an unsuccessful resolution in this year’s legislative session that would have affirmed the belief that Texas has sovereignty under the 10th Amendment over all powers not otherwise granted to the federal government."

Texas has a higher percentage of uninsured people than any other state, with one in four Texans lacking health coverage.

Read the whole article here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

In America?

We found this story hard to believe, that this happened in America. Because we know very little about the history and facts of this case, it is difficult to analyze the whys. It was just our astonishment at the outcome that meant we had to post about it.

Our thanks to the Philadelphia Inquirer for their full story.

H. Beatty Chadwick, seventy-three years old, has been imprisoned for fourteen long years for contempt of court - a U.S. record for that charge. According to the Inquirer, "a Delaware County judge had issued the order to jail Chadwick for failing to deposit $2.5 million in a court-controlled account to be used to pay alimony to his ex-wife, Barbara "Bobbie" Applegate [in 1995]." Mr. Chadwick contended that he didn't have the dough. He said he lost it in overseas investments. The judge didn't believe him. A series of investigations have turned up no hidden money.

Ten days ago Judge Joseph P. Cronin said after fourteen years the contempt order had lost its coercive effect and become punitive. According the Inquirer, "when Chadwick's attorney, Michael J. Malloy, arrived to pick him up, about 50 people - prison staff as well as inmates - gathered inside and out to see him off... People were crying and hugging Chadwick and shaking his hand."

The moral of the story as we see it, don't go ostrich America. Things of this nature demonstrate that bizarre, unusual and even extraordinary detention can and does happen to people here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


The Clarion Content approves of the walk softly path the President Barack Obama is treading with Iran. That Iran's most recent elections were dirty is hardly in doubt, the ability of the United States to do something effective about it is much more nebulous. We are glad that President recognized that massive overreach by the last United States' President destabilized democracies and pseudo-democracies the world over from Thailand to Pakistan.

The statistical analysis from one of the most fascinating political bloggers, the FiveThirtyEight, is why we are convinced Iran's elections were fraudulent. The will of the people is the most important lever to the control of a society, far more relevant than external actions.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Too rich

Some stories just write themselves. The tale of Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign is one such beauty. The Associated Press reported today that Senator Ensign's parents gave the Nevada Republican's mistress and her family nearly $100,000 "out of concern for the well being of longtime family friends during a difficult time," according to the Senator's attorney.

The married Senator Ensign had already paid the married with two kids, Cindy Hampton, $25,000 in hush money, errr, severance, when she quit as the treasurer of two of his campaign committees. Senator Ensign is a born-again Christian and a member of the Promise Keepers. What the Clarion Content finds really amazing is the lack of shame from the party that tried to impeach a President for Oval Office fellatio. Senator Ensign, like South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, continues to insist he has no plans to resign.

Hampton's husband was quoted in the Las Vegas Sun, "The actions of Senator Ensign have ruined our lives and careers and left my family in shambles."

Resign? Why?

Nice guy, Senator John Ensign. It hardly looks like America is in the Nero stages of the Roman Empire.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


It struck the Clarion Content as quite the juxtaposition when we popped open Google the News last month. Context, there is no morning paper delivered to the office. The old timey ritual of looking at the front page of the daily fishwrap has disappeared, probably forever. Frequently then the equivalent is the first time of the day we head to Google the News which encapsulates the stories of the day with links. It is a brilliant idea. It has sections: World, US, Business, Sci/Tech, Entertainment, Sports, Health and Most Popular (other). However, unlike the traditional newspaper, columns or leads in one section or one part of the page pay no mind to the other. There is no central orienting by a single editor or designer.

Thus it came to be last month that right next to a series of articles about the meeting of the heads of the G-8 economies were a series of articles about the impending bankruptcy of the amusement park chain Six Flags. In article after article, the wonkish economists of the state offered bland reassurance that the world economy was indeed doing better. Things had stabilized. Heck, the Germans even advocated that not as much stimulus as once thought would be needed. Starkly juxtaposed with those articles was the massive bankruptcy of the huge amusement park operator. It is billions of dollars in debt, despite 25 millions visits to its parks last year and record revenues.

In the staid conference rooms of Lecce, Italy it may look like the world is getting better. But back here on the front lines of the midway, not so much. Fiscal worry still hangs heavy.