Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Morning Blog

I'm not entirely sure what precisely the difference is between a "sovereign nation" and a "sovereign entity" as far as the UN is concerned. However, inasmuch as they issue their own currency and stamps, enjoy diplomatic relations with 104 countries and are granted observer status at the UN, let's just go ahead and call the Knights of Malta the worlds teeny-weeniest country.

Things in Lebanon are pointed in a scary direction. Following the Saudi departure earlier this week, the Turks and Qataris have now left discussions meant to bring an end to Lebanon's ongoing political crisis.

Things aren't looking that great in Italy either for that matter: Berlusconi has vowed to punish magistrates that are pursuing charges that he had sex with an underage prostitute. He defends the women involved in the case as being mere "dinner guests". Why the Prime Minister of the worlds ninth largest economy is having dinner with dozens of prostitutes, strippers and most alarmingly, reality show contestants is a question best left unasked.

Pretty astonishing story here: A woman found herself. She was kidnapped as an infant 23 years ago and determined not only that the people raising here were not her parents, but who were real parents were.

The House voted to repeal health care reform. Which is to say that absolutely nothing happened. In other news, the House voted to require triangles to have four sides.

The Republicans (sooner or later. Probably later), do intend to introduce their own health care package:

Republicans said their package would probably include proposals to allow sales of health insurance across state lines; to help small businesses band together and buy insurance; to limit damages in medical malpractice suits; and to promote the use of health savings accounts, in combination with high-deductible insurance policies.

Those all sound pretty good to me. I'm leery of limiting medical malpractice because I don't believe that judges should be stripped of the ability to apply accountability to people. Other than that, I agree that those are sensible proposals. Whether they alone are sufficient is really beyond my ability to say. None of them seem objectionable however.

Interesting case before the Supreme Court: Do corporations have a right to personal privacy? I would hesitantly say 'no' based on the fact that state, local and foreign governments would all fall under the statutory definitions of persons deserving a right to privacy.

MTV may face legal trouble. The new series "Skins" might violate federal child pornography laws. Sadly, one way they could avoid criminal prosecution for an accurate depiction of teenage life would be to use puppets rather than actors.

The Justice department might consider this to be a better example of when to consider prosecution for this sort of thing.

Eric Prince, founder of Blackwater has been quiet for the past few months. Oh wait, my bad: he's been funding African mercenaries in Somalia. I like to look at things in a positive light and pretend that this is some sort of weird, sociopathic act of philanthropy.

Pro-lifers are bound to jump all over what can only charitably be called an abortion and pill mill. It truly sounds horrible. It also strikes me that it's an operation that was clearly and grossly illegal and in no way comparable to the vast majority of abortion clinics in this country. However, were abortion made illegal, I'll be willing to bet whatever you want that many providers would operate under similar conditions. Perfectly frightful.

The wealthiest American town. Sure, they've got buckets of cash. But can that compensate for a constant plague of Jonas Brothers? I think not.

A Babel of bards.

Now is probably not a good time to be a guy named Tony.

The secret lives of prairie dogs. I suspect that this might lead to the creation of the most irritating foreign language dictionary ever

We'll just end things with a rodent theme I guess. France is failing to protect its giant hamsters.

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