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[News] AstroTurf Galore: Energy Giants, Insurance Companies

  • Subject: [News] AstroTurf Galore: Energy Giants, Insurance Companies
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 14:02:37 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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A changing climate around nuclear energy

,----[ Quote ]
| A new, bipartisan consensus is building 
| around the environmental benefits of 
| nuclear energy in America.
| Just a few weeks ago, in a meadow in Rocky 
| Mountain National Park, Democratic Sen. 
| Mark Udall of Colorado joined Republican 
| Sen. John McCain of Arizona in concluding 
| that nuclear energy "has to be part of the 
| solution" as the country seeks to reduce 
| its carbon footprint and help reduce 
| greenhouse gas emissions.
| The debate about nuclear energy in Oregon, 
| and across much of America, has been a 
| highly emotional, often partisan affair. 
| This new alliance is a breath of fresh 
| air, representing a fundamental shift in 
| political alignment. Fifty-nine percent of 
| Americans polled by Gallup earlier this 
| year said they support nuclear energy as 
| one way to meet the nation's electricity 
| needs.


The Insurance Industry's Deceptive Report

,----[ Quote ]
| But if the PWC's report doesn't offer much 
| in the way of trustworthy policy analysis, 
| it is an interesting looking at the 
| changing politics of the issue. In short, 
| the insurance industry is getting scared. 
| After many months of quiet 
| constructiveness, they're launching a 
| broadside on the week of the Senate 
| Finance Committee's vote. The White House, 
| which had a pleasant meeting with the 
| industry's leadership last week, was 
| shocked by the report, and so too was the 
| Senate Finance Committee. The era of 
| cooperation seems to be over, and they 
| weren't given much advance warning. But 
| the report might have another impact, too: 
| The evident anger and fear of the 
| insurance industry might do a bit to 
| reassure liberals that this plan is worth 
| supporting, after all.


Patients Before Profits

,----[ Quote ]
| When an insurance company says an 11 
| percent increase in its rates â during a 
| recession â is too small, it is clear that 
| the health care system has lost its way. 
| Health care must be about patients and 
| medical treatment, not corporate profits. 
| Until the country and especially Congress, 
| which is currently writing and debating 
| health care overhaul legislation, returns 
| to this notion any reform will be more 
| akin to window dressing than the 
| fundamental change that is needed.



Against Transparency

,----[ Quote ]
| Reformers rarely feel responsible for the bad that
| their fantastic new reform effects. Their focus is
| always on the good. The bad is someone elseâs
| problem. It may well be asking too much to imagine
| more than this. But as we see the consequences of
| changes that many of us view as good, we might
| wonder whether more good might have been done had
| more responsibility been in the mix. The music
| industry was never going to like the Internet, but
| its war against the technology might well have been
| less hysterical and self-defeating if better and
| more balanced alternatives had been pressed from
| the beginning. No one can dislike Craigslist (or
| Craig), but we all would have benefited from a
| clearer recognition of what was about to be lost.
| Internet triumphalism is not a public good.
| Likewise with transparency. There is no questioning
| the good that transparency creates in a wide range
| of contexts, government especially. But we should
| also recognize that the collateral consequence of
| that good need not itself be good. And if that
| collateral bad is busy certifying to the American
| public what it thinks it already knows, we should
| think carefully about how to avoid it. Sunlight may
| well be a great disinfectant. But as anyone who has
| ever waded through a swamp knows, it has other
| effects as well.


Larry Lessig and Naked Transparency

,----[ Quote ]
| Lessig's essay is a call for us all to pay
| attention. Transparency cannot start and end inside
| the beltway, it needs us all. As Brandeis himself
| noted when he argued before the court in Muller v.
| Oregon (208 U.S. 412) in his pathbreaking Brandeis
| Brief, the first brief to use hard social science
| data to try and change the law of the land, âthe
| most important political office is that of the
| private citizen.â

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