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September 22, 2009

Firm cancels health insurance coverage for girl, 17, after celiac disease diagnosis

Firm cancels health insurance coverage for girl, 17, after celiac disease diagnosis -- chicagotribune.com
When 17-year-old Brianna Rice was diagnosed with celiac disease in February, she had health insurance. She doesn't now. In the months that followed her diagnosis, her insurance company, American Community Mutual Insurance, combed through her medical records and ruled that her parents lied on her application last year. In May, American Community not only canceled her policy, but also rescinded coverage all the way back to the day it started -- Nov. 1. Her parents, Dale and Pat Rice of Deerfield, insist they were truthful on Brianna's application and say the insurance company is trying to back out of covering their daughter because of the February diagnosis. American Community disagrees, saying that if the Rices had given the company Brianna's full heath history when they applied for coverage, it would never have been granted.

September 19, 2009

The intertwined insults and apologies of the antebellum U.S. Congress

There used to be something called honor to which lip service was paid. Op-Ed Contributor - Joe Wilson’s War - NYTimes.com
As antebellum congressmen well knew, serious insults required serious apologies. So important were these rituals that they sometimes required hours or even days of negotiations for acceptable terms. In 1837, when Representative John Bell, an Anti-Jacksonian from Tennessee, called Leonard Jarvis, a Jacksonian from Maine, a liar during a debate, the outraged Jarvis first insisted that the matter would have to be settled “in another manner,” meaning in a duel. Jarvis also made clear that he wouldn’t retract the words that had prompted Bell to insult him in the first place. After several hours of wrangling by dozens of congressmen, Bell withdrew his words unconditionally. No one assumed that such apologies were heartfelt. As The New York Times groused in 1859, these “Congressional rowdies” seemed to “have got it somehow into their heads that they can descend to any depth of blackguardism, if they only make an apology immediately afterwards.” Even so, these apologies meant something. By publicly apologizing to his colleagues, a congressman not only paid obeisance to the dignity and order of the House or Senate, but he also upheld the civility of Congressional proceedings as a whole. This sentiment was perhaps explained best by Senator Louis McLane, a Jacksonian from Delaware, in an 1828 debate over the vice president’s right to call men to order. Written parliamentary rules were useful, he said, but the Senate’s tradition of “liberal comity” was “more efficient than any written rule.” What would preserve the Senate was “the great moral influence of the power of the body for its own preservation.” For this reason, the Congressional culture of insult was necessarily accompanied by one of apology. Whether it exists today remains an open question.

September 18, 2009

This president can speak Hebrew. The last president couldn't speak English.

Happy New Year. YouTube - President Obama: Warm Wishes for Rosh Hashanah

We Thank You, Internet, for the Trademark Violation We Are About to Receive

Amen. YouTube - Indian Superman...

This is why you should never eat at Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel Attack: Tasha Hill Beaten In Front Of Daughter, Called Racial Slurs (VIDEO) It's hard not to see this unprovoked attack on a veteran as anything more than a result of the incessant goading of Fox News, Glenn Beak, and the Conservative hate machine.
On Tuesday evening police arrested Troy Dale West for beating an African-American army reservist in front of her daughter outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Morrow, Georgia. The woman, Tasha Hill, was entering the Cracker Barrel as West was leaving, and she asked him to "be careful" of the restaurant's swinging door hitting her child. "The man slung open the door pretty hard and fast and I had to push my daughter out of the way. I turned to the man and I just said, 'Excuse me sir, you need to watch yourself you almost hit my daughter in the face.' And from there it just went downhill," said Hill. At that point, West became enraged and began to beat the victim in front of her 7-year-old daughter, according to police. Hill said she told West she was an Army service member and she did not want any trouble. West threw her to the ground and hit her in the head with his fists and feet, police said. During the exchange, witnesses said West could be heard screaming racial slurs towards the victim.