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February 21, 2014

Odds & Ends Open Thread


Aurora Borealis over Maine, Feb 19; pic by Mike Taylor


Manchin claims he will vote tomorrow to repeal Obamacare, but still wants to "fix" it.

Both parties agree on many aspects of the ACA, such as pre-existing conditions not being excluded from coverage and no lifetime caps, but there are still many kinks that need to be fixed, Manchin said.

“I will vote tomorrow to repeal (the ACA), but I want to fix the problems in it.”

He said the ACA is essentially a product and the government needs to find a way to “sell it” and make their customers want to buy it.

As previously reported, the FCC is dropping its lawless plan to monitor how media companies decide to report the news. But at the same time they announce another push for more control over the media.

The Federal Communications Commission has pulled the plug on its plan to conduct an intrusive probe of newsrooms as part of a “Critical Information Needs” survey of local media markets.

However, a revised version of the survey could raise new concerns: that it will trade its now-kiboshed news questions for a demographic survey that might justify new race-based media ownership rulemaking.

“[I]n the course of FCC review and public comment, concerns were raised that some of the questions may not have been appropriate,” the FCC announced in a statement Friday...

The Critical Information Needs (CIN) survey has been a slow-burning controversy since ever since this reporter first revealed its existence in October 2013.

First Amendment supporters objected that the design of the survey would have had FCC representatives interrogating newsroom staffers about how they make coverage decisions and select (or spike) story ideas. Many commentators objected to the potential intimidation involved in such a survey.

The original plan of the survey would also have taken the FCC out of its traditional purview of regulating supposedly scarce airwaves. Because the CIN sought to discover “underserved” consumers in a variety of “media ecologies,” the survey would have included not only broadcast media but newspapers, blogs and online news.

Joel Kotkin frets that we live in an age of "downward mobility," in which the middle class is becoming increasingly proletarian. Which is bad if true, because while the middle class will tend to vote Republican, the proletarian class will tend to vote socialist.

The judge rips the government for "slow-rolling" important information -- refusing to disclose it -- in the Sherrod-Breitbart case. If the government refuses to turn over information critical to Breitbart and Larry O'Connor, then they should accept the cost of whatever judgment Sherrod might win.

Watch the AP spin Obama's unilateral assumption of all legislative and executive power as something laudable:

For Obama, a new sense of purpose in acting alone

JULIE PACE

WASHINGTON (AP) - This week, President Barack Obama promoted tougher fuel efficiency standards for trucks. He touted progress on initiatives to strengthen the U.S. patent system. And he signed an executive order intended to speed up the process for approving import or export cargo.

Welcome to Obama's self-proclaimed "year of action," where hardly a day goes by without the president and his top advisers trumpeting policy initiatives the White House is undertaking without the help of Congress.

Seems like Julia Pace misspelled "legal, constitutional authorization" as "help."

In Ventura County, California, a retired sheriff is collecting $227,000 per year as pension. He actually collets more than that ($276,000), but he says even that's not enough: He's suing for $75,000 more. But the public is finally starting to resist.

Thanks to Just the Tip, @rdbrewer4, @conartcritic, @slublog, and the rest of the Morons.

I'm knocking off early. Have a great weekend!


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posted by Ace at 05:48 PM

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