Thursday, December 31, 2009

Assisted Suicide Hope

Ruling by Montana Supreme Court Bolsters Physician-Assisted Suicide - "The Montana Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that state law protects doctors in Montana from prosecution for helping terminally ill patients die. But the court, ruling with a narrow majority, sidestepped the larger landmark question of whether physician-assisted suicide is a right guaranteed under the state’s Constitution..."

O Gets Dose Of The Double Standard

Nation & World | Obama criticized on airline incident when Bush wasn't | Seattle Times Newspaper: "Eight years ago, a terrorist bomber's attempt to blow up a trans-Atlantic airliner was thwarted by passengers and revealed gaping holes in airline security only months after the Sept. 11 attacks.

But President George W. Bush, then on vacation, made no public remarks for six days about the so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, and there were virtually no complaints from the media or Democrats that Bush's response was sluggish or inadequate..."

The Bad And Badder Spat

Obama and Bush partisans now argue about terrorist attack - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency: "It seems sadly inevitable, but the failed Christmas terrorist attack has become the subject of the latest ideological battle between partisans of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Former Bush Vice President Dick Cheney and other Republicans have challenged Obama's national security bona fides in light of the attack..."

I try to never get in the middle of a skunk fight, but this is the two worse Administrations in history dueling, though Obama has quite been in office long enough to really contend for the title of "Worst President Evah." Bush was in office that long and is the current title holder, so before the GOP starts crowing too much over our latest security snafu, I must respectfully inquire: how many Americans have died on the homeland under Obama compared to Bush?

Rush Pain

Rush Limbaugh 'Resting Comfortably' at Honolulu Hospital - ABC News: "

Popular talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh is recovering in a Honolulu hospital today, hours after being admitted for chest pains he suffered while on vacation. "Rush was admitted to and is resting comfortably in a Honolulu hospital today, after suffering chest pains," according to a statement from "The Rush Limbaugh Program..."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New GOP Pledge

GOP’s ‘Repeal Health Care’ Plan Faces High Hurdles « The Washington Independent: "As soon as the Senate passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Dec. 24, Republicans and conservative activists started making a promise to voters. Give them a victory in the 2010 midterm elections, and they’ll repeal the bill.

“Every Republican in 2010 and 2012 will run on an absolute pledge to repeal this bill,” said Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House who remains a key strategic thinker for the party, on the Dec. 27 episode of “Meet the Press...”"

"Repeal Health Care" has a nice positive ring to it, doesn't it? I suggest they also add "Kill Puppies Now" to their mantra.

Taser Restrictions

Federal court restricts Taser use by police -- "Federal court restricts Taser use by police
Ninth Circuit ruling -- allowing an officer to be held liable for injuries a man suffered after being Tasered -- sets a precedent that may force agencies to revisit their policies..."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stealing Newt's Playbook?

Rove, wife, divorce after 24-year marriage - Politics-

Driving Into The River

GPS gets couple stuck for three days | Technically Incorrect - CNET News: "Are you submissive? Do you do what others or other machines tell you to do?

Well, according to the Associated Press, John and Starry Rhoads took a high road that almost turned into a very low road indeed, all because they did what their Toyota Sequoia's GPS told them to..."

Uh, no comment.

DeMint's Anti-Union Efforts Continue

Senate Democratic spokesman: Blocking of air safety chief "disgraceful" - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency "...Though the Christmas Day attempt on a Detroit-bound jetliner is increasing calls for a permanent head of TSA, DeMint shows no sign of backing down. Today his office sent reporters a document in support of his view. Granting collective bargaining rights to the TSA's 50,000 screeners, it argues, "would reverse the flexibility given to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to perform its critical aviation security mission..."

Managerial, meaning those in power, types often call for flexibility, which is nonsense. They want control, pure and simple. I had a manager once upon a time who just couldn't understand why people wouldn't be flexible. I told him it made a great deal of difference in the arena of "flexibility" if you were the flexor or the flexee.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sign Flap

Furor Erupts Over Atheist Display At Illinois State Capitol - "...The sign reads: 'At the time of the winter solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.'

The sign was also on display at the Capitol at this time last year. The group says it filed for a permit to post the display in response to the state's decision to put up the nativity..."

Remember Immigration

Pelosi’s immigration dodge - SignOnSanDiego Newsletter - "Two years ago, when Congress last debated immigration reform, it was hard to tell whether the Democrats who controlled the institution were looking for a workable solution or were simply content to have a wedge issue to use against Republicans in future elections. After all, the GOP had during the 1990s made significant inroads with Hispanic voters. Those gains were lost when prominent Republicans began trading in just enough inflammatory nativist rhetoric to give many of those voters the impression that the GOP was hostile to immigration reform.

This time, however, as Congress tentatively wades back into the debate thanks to a new bill by Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., it’s not hard to figure out what Democrats want. One wedge issue, coming up. What else are we to conclude now that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reportedly informed House Democrats that she intends to spare them the ordeal of having to show leadership by taking on the immigration issue?..."

And This Is A Problem Because?

New photo shows someone who appears to be JFK on boat with naked women -

Iranian Pot Boiling

Leading Iranian dissidents arrested, body of Mousavi's nephew missing --

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bribing The DC Press Corps

Now That Is Some Kind Of Generous Gift : NO QUARTER: "...Isn’t it refreshing to see SOME in the media finally waking up to Obama and who he really is? About time. Though I don’t expect those reporters plus one in Hawaii at a luxury hotel on OUR DIME are going to look too deeply anytime soon.

You know what would make me happy in the New Year? For this kind of bribery to stop with these politicians, be they the president, senators or representatives. If they or their plans cannot stand on their merits, then they deserve to fail. I am way, way past over it. How about you?"

Kindle Boom

Amazon sold more Kindle books than physical books this Christmas -

Friday, December 25, 2009

Save The Hmong!

BBC News - Fears for Hmong soon to be deported by Thailand to Laos: "Fears are growing for the safety of about 4,000 Hmong refugees, subject to deportation from Thailand within days..."

Shin Bomber Makes A Move

BBC News - Transatlantic jet incident 'was terror attack bid': "An incident on an airliner arriving in Detroit from the Netherlands was an attempted terrorist attack, a senior administration official told the BBC..."

Health Care Lessons

Health Reform Debate Taught Some Important Lessons - Industry News - "A Mandate Is a Terrible Thing to Ignore:..." is just one of them...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Excellent Snow Pix From WNC

Snowy Night in Downtown Waynesville, NC

Click on the link above to see several more.

O Graphic Novelet Seuss Style

Cannon graphicly filets Obama: Cannonfire--"How the Bro Stole the Country."

Ft.Hood Terror Link Bombed

Yemeni air strike kills 30, targets home of cleric linked to Ft. Hood attack - "Yemeni forces killed at least 30 suspected militants in an airstrike early Thursday on an alleged al-Qaeda hideout in southeastern Yemen, the second such assault in the past week, according to Yemeni security and government sources.

According to some accounts, the strike appeared to target the home of Anwar al-Aulaqi, the extremist Yemeni American preacher linked to the suspected gunman in the Fort Hood Army base attack in November..."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MoDo Wants To Know

Op-Ed Columnist - Is There a Real McCain? - "...Watching him, one can only wonder: Is McCain betraying his best self? Who is the real McCain?

Even some of McCain’s former aides are disturbed by the 73-year-old’s hostile, vindictive, sarcastic persona — a far cry from The Honorable Man portrait so lovingly pumped up in books by his former aide and co-writer Mark Salter..."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


From the "Leiberweasel School Of Reliable Treachery" -- Rep. Griffith of Alabama leaves Democrats for Republicans - "Freshman Rep. Parker Griffith (D-Ala.) switched his affiliation to the Republican Party on Tuesday, saying he could "no longer align myself with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country..."

He prefers to align himself with a party that has wars that are bad for the country.


Watch live video from Epitafios II en jtom2000's channel on

If you like film noir, you'll love Epitafios. The anitseptic world of CSI et. al. this ain't. Not since the days of Homicide: Life On The Streets have I so eagerly anticipated a weekly dose of crime drama. HBO presented the series with English subtitles, which caused few problems as far as distractions go. The second season has ended its run and I'm now looking for the first season on some media that does have English subtitles. If you understand a little Spanish, you'll get a good sense of the show from the clip above, and, by the way, do not think you can anticipate where the plot is going nor what you think will happen. You will be surprised. And pleased.

What Will Clinton Do?

Falstaff: "As a demonstration of governing ability": "...The most interesting thing to me, political-leader-wise, is Hillary's position. I think she's holding a remarkable hand. If/when it becomes obvious to a majority of Americans that Barack Obama is Jimmy Carter II -- i.e., a flop as president -- she's got two options: She can either resign from the Administration over some matter of principle -- and ipso facto become the presumptive nominee (doing to this one-term Carter what Teddy couldn't do to the first one) -- or she can choose to ensure his re-election by accepting his desperate plea to run with him as Veep in 2012... and then get elected President on her own in 2016..."


Are HP Computers Racist? - Reviews by PC Magazine: "...In a video posted to YouTube this week, two co-workers - one white and one black - tried out the webcam face-tracking software on an HP MediaSmart computer. It is supposed to follow users as they move, but it fails to recognize Desi, a black man. When his co-worker Wanda, who is white, enters the frame, it immediately recognizes her and follows her in the frame.

"As soon as my blackness enters the frame ... it stopped," Desi said. "As soon as white Wanda appears, the camera moves. Black Desi gets in there? Nope, no facial recognition anymore, buddy. I'm going on record and I'm saying it. Hewlett-Packard computers are racist..."

No Rudy In Senate

Giuliani won't run for Senate, Lazio says : Home: The Buffalo News: "Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani today will end speculation that he will run for governor or senator in 2010, and he will support Rick Lazio for the Republican gubernatorial nomination..."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Why You Will Buy

Why require people to buy health insurance? -- "...All insurance is based on the idea that most of the time, most people are not filing claims. As it applies to healthcare, supporters say, most people are pretty healthy most of the time, but eventually almost everyone incurs major medical expenses. If only sick people bought insurance, the system would collapse because plans would be forced to pay out more than they took in. And since nearly everyone who develops a serious medical problem gets treated (with or without insurance), the cost of treating the uninsured is passed on to other people. In effect, those with insurance are helping pay the costs of those without it..."

In rural areas for sure, when someone gets seriously ill and he or she is without insurance, bake sales, hot dog suppers and silent auctions and other activities spring up to raise money for the sick person. A similar set of events often occurs when houses burn down and the owners have no insurance. So if I carry fire insurance for thirty years and never have a claim, how exactly am I paying for people who rely on cake walks to buy a used recliner? Not an exact analogy for sure, but people hitting the public dole for health care still owe some medical provider money, so why aren't the providers collecting? They sure hounded the hell out of me for every nickel I owed.

Abortion Rights Advocate On Health Care

Cynthia Nixon: Abortion debate's new voice - "It's been a little more than a week since Cynthia Nixon flew back from filming 'Sex and the City 2' in Morocco, and she's already diving headfirst into the debate surrounding abortion and health care reform.

Nixon, a longtime abortion rights activist, says she can't keep quiet about the recent health care bill amendments that would limit insurance coverage for abortions.

'It's a very basic female right that we need to protect,' Nixon said. 'What's so frightening about this Stupak ban is that he's found a backdoor way to basically not cover abortion for the vast majority of American women...'"

You want to know how to get everyone in the U.S. covered by some sort of public option? Simple-- include a complete ban on abortions and the Right would pile right in. Suddenly, the public option would seem like a good idea. Of course, you are then screwing most Americans out of the fundamental right to control to their own bodies-- but why the hey-- greatest good? Nah. I think not. Single payer should also include abortion provisions because pregnancy is a health issue.

O Trimming Contracting

White House says on track on trimming contracting costs | Reuters: "An Obama administration program to cut $40 billion in annual contracting costs is on track after government agencies identified more than $19 billion in savings in the current fiscal year, the White House said on Monday..."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Serious Snowballing

From the "Never Bring A Knife To A Gun Fight" Department: BBC News - US policeman 'draws gun' at Washington snowball fight: "Police in the US are investigating a detective who appears to draw his gun during a mass snowball fight on the streets of Washington DC..."

GOP Nightmare

Democrats will invoke Bush in 2010 -- "It's an axiom in U.S. politics that the party in power in the White House loses seats in off-year elections. So every Democrat is girding for the fight in 2010.

But Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told reporters last week that Democrats have a plan: Remind voters of George W. Bush..."

As they should. It will take decades, if ever, for the country to recover from ruinous reign Skippy The Lesser Shrub, and they need to be held accountable for it. The GOP also deserves the "credit" for Obama-- if they had turned out for McCain the way they turned out for Bush, then we would have someone competent in the White House.

From The Mountains And Mole Hills Department - McCain Brushes Off Palin Cap Flap

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Daily Flashback: McCain-Franken Edition

Video tape is hell sometimes. Don't throw stones, etc. etc. etc. etc. Think Progress » Flashback: McCain Refused To Grant 30 Seconds Of Time During Iraq War Debate

Happy In The South

Southern States Are the Happiest: "There may be something to be said for southern hospitality and sunshine. A new study shows that Southern states are the happiest while coastal rivals New York and California are at the bottom of the list.

Researchers ranked the happiest states (plus the District of Columbia) on self-reported measures of happiness as well as objective measures like sunshine, congestion, and housing affordability and found six out of the top 10 happiest states were in the South.

Louisiana topped the list, followed by Hawaii, Florida, Tennessee, and Arizona rounding out the top five..."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Franken Doing His Job - For Franken, No More Mr. Funny Guy: "Former comedian Al Franken apparently is done cracking jokes.

In the past month, Franken, the junior Democratic senator from Minnesota has publicly slugged it out with a GOP senator, privately rebuked another one and on Thursday took the unusual step of shutting down on the Senate floor a longtime member of his party's caucus: Sen. Joe Lieberman.

Unlike during his days on 'Saturday Night Live,' no one is laughing.

'Sen. Franken is certainly not making friends on either side of the aisle,' GOP strategist Ron Bonjean, a former Capitol Hill aide, told Fox News..."

Gee, Republicans worrying about Al making friends. How touching. Maybe Al should get a dog. A pit bull.

Clinton Redux

Are Hillary Clinton supporters murmuring I told you so?: "With a new NBC/Wall Street journal poll showing Obama hitting his lowest approval rating in that poll, and the same poll showing that people are getting increasingly fed up with Obama, the Democrats and how both have handled health care,(how they handled it, not rejecting things that are in it, like the public option) those who supported Hillary Clinton for president in the Democratic primaries are starting to say 'I told you so'..."

I never quit saying it. Furthermore,

"...Ed Schultz, Arianna Huffington, the people at The Nation, Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone, and Michael Moore are just a few of Obama flag wavers now wavering in their support and scratching their heads saying "what happened"?

The answer is nothing happened. Obama is being the same Obama he always was, the same Obama that was apparent during the Democratic primaries, the same Obama that 18 months ago after listening to a couple of speeches, caused me to write that he was a snake oil salesman and the most underhanded, deceitful politician since Richard Nixon. But the press. who was in Obama's pocket, refused to see it.Or report it..." (same source).

Bad Shooters

Why do rappers hold their guns sideways? - By Brian Palmer - Slate Magazine "As police chased Raymond "Ready" Martinez through Times Square on Thursday, the street hustler and aspiring rapper fired two shots, holding the gun sideways "like a character out of a rap video." According to the New York Post, Martinez's side grip caused the gun to jam, enabling police to shoot and kill the suspect. What's the point of holding a gun sideways?..."

Holy Traitor

Traitor Joe -- "The legendary Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield used to caution fellow senators: "Never question another man's motives, question his judgment." Maybe so, but it's hard not to question the judgment, motives, and sanity of Joe Lieberman, who has single-handedly derailed any meaningful health care reform legislation.

For years, Lieberman's been a strong advocate of universal health care. Campaigning for vice-president in 2000, he first proposed resolving the plight of the uninsured by allowing them to buy into Medicare and Medicaid -- a plan he endorsed as recently as September 2009 in an interview with a Connecticut newspaper..."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Liberals In Fighting Mood? - Liberals Ready to 'Fight' Over Conceralsessions in Senate Health Bill: "Liberal outrage over the Senate's health care reform bill is reaching a boiling point, with a number of organizations, unions and House Democrats warning that the watered-down version they see creeping toward a vote will not survive in its current form..."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

GOPer Obstructurus

Republican delay tactics infuriate Sanders - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-: "Sen. Bernie Sanders was at the center of controversy Wednesday on the U.S. Senate floor when he introduced an amendment to the health care bill. Sanders wanted to debate a single-payer system. But Republicans blocked the move by invoking a rule to have the entire amendment read out loud. The Senate came to a standstill while clerks read from the 767 page amendment for more than 2-and-a-half hours. Finally, Sanders gave up and withdrew his amendment and then lashed-out at Republican leaders..."

Solution: write shorter bills.

Super Earth Spotted (MagnaTerra)

Name the New Super-Earth | Wired Science | vote for calling the planet MagnaTerra.

Dean Says Kill

Health-care bill wouldn't bring real reform - "If I were a senator, I would not vote for the current health-care bill. Any measure that expands private insurers' monopoly over health care and transfers millions of taxpayer dollars to private corporations is not real health-care reform. Real reform would insert competition into insurance markets, force insurers to cut unnecessary administrative expenses and spend health-care dollars caring for people. Real reform would significantly lower costs, improve the delivery of health care and give all Americans a meaningful choice of coverage. The current Senate bill accomplishes none of these..."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kinky Switches

Kinky Friedman withdraws from Texas governor's race - Politics AP - "Austin author-entertainer Kinky Friedman dropped out of the Democratic governor's race Monday to run for agriculture commissioner and said he tried to persuade Houston businessman Farouk Shami to also switch campaigns to clear the field for outgoing Houston Mayor Bill White..."

Smart Octos

Tool Use Found in Octopuses | Wired Science |

Monday, December 14, 2009

How Much Are Execs Worth?

Executive Compensation: How Much to Pay?

Journalistic Spatting

From the "Surprise! Surprise!" Department:

Rupert Murdoch accused of using Wall Street Journal to 'play politics' | Media | The Guardian: "When Rupert Murdoch bought the Wall Street Journal two years ago, Manhattan's media observers predicted it wouldn't be long before battle lines were drawn between the two US newspaper titans.

And today the antagonism that has been simmering between the Journal and its liberal rival, the New York Times, boiled over, with editors of the esteemed organs trading a series of barbed comments..."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

O Power Grab - Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid of Obama's Latest Big Brother Plan: "The Obama administration seeks to empower a very powerful government agency you have probably never heard of with new and expanded powers that will have a direct consequence on every American if they are successful in their efforts to implement national health care reforms.

The Obama White House is also drunk with power and is seeking to expand the powers of government agencies to oversee and act out to affect Americans in ways that this country has never seen before.

What is the Office of Personnel and Management and why should you care?..."

GOPers Acting Like Dems

The Republican Party fights ... with itself / The Christian Science Monitor - "intra-party squabbling among conservatives – especially with Tea Partiers thrown into the mix – is not good news for the GOP. They're beginning to act like Democrats..."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Environmental Dick

Op-Ed Columnist - Going Cheney on Climate - "In 2006, Ron Suskind published “The One Percent Doctrine,” a book about the U.S. war on terrorists after 9/11. The title was drawn from an assessment by then-Vice President Dick Cheney, who, in the face of concerns that a Pakistani scientist was offering nuclear-weapons expertise to Al Qaeda, reportedly declared: “If there’s a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping Al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response.” Cheney contended that the U.S. had to confront a very new type of threat: a “low-probability, high-impact event.”

Soon after Suskind’s book came out, the legal scholar Cass Sunstein, who then was at the University of Chicago, pointed out that Mr. Cheney seemed to be endorsing the same “precautionary principle” that also animated environmentalists. Sunstein wrote in his blog: “According to the Precautionary Principle, it is appropriate to respond aggressively to low-probability, high-impact events — such as climate change. Indeed, another vice president — Al Gore — can be understood to be arguing for a precautionary principle for climate change (though he believes that the chance of disaster is well over 1 percent)...”"

Not Dancing With The One That Brung Ya

The Associated Press: Obama blasts banks for opposing financial overhaul: "President Barack Obama singled out financial institutions for causing much of the economic tailspin and criticized their opposition to tighter federal oversight of their industry.

While applauding House passage Friday of overhaul legislation and urging quick Senate action, Obama expressed frustration with banks that were helped by a taxpayer bailout and now are 'fighting tooth and nail with their lobbyists' against new government controls..."

Another One Bites The Dust, Again

Drone Kills a Leader of Al Qaeda - "A U.S. drone strike this week killed a senior al Qaeda operator in a Pakistani tribal area near the Afghan border, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Friday.

U.S. officials said Saleh al-Somali, who was responsible for al Qaeda's operations outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan, was killed in the strike Tuesday. He was on the Central Intelligence Agency's list of the top 20 al Qaeda targets, according to an official familiar with the list..."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Crist Battle Is Symbolic Of GOP Woes

Analysis: GOP facing more bitter battles - "...Crist is the popular first-term governor who's decided to run for the Senate next year rather than another term in Tallahassee. Mainstream Republicans have backed him.

Rubio is the darling of the right. Last month the conservative Club for Growth, an anti-tax organization, backed Rubio and went up with an ad slamming Crist. Days earlier, the Family Research Council, a powerful social conservative group, announced that its political action committee endorsed Rubio..."

Crist can win a general election; Rubio can't appeal to either Democrats or moderate Independents. Like the Democrats, the Republicans can find ways to blow their toes off.

O Nobel Speech Dissected

Do conservatives know what they're embracing? | Michael Tomasky | Comment is free |

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Missing Clinton Panties

Wanda Sykes compares Obama to Underwear

Onerous Headline

UPDATE 1-Obama to give $600 million to health centers | Reuters: "President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he will allocate nearly $600 million from the $787 billion economic stimulus plan to help create jobs at 85 community health centers..."

Okay, the text is not as bad as the headline, but let's just remind Obama and his fluffers that he can't give away something that is not his. That is our money, and I am tickled to see if going toward public health.

Caving Dems

After the majority caves to the minority, what to do next? May I suggest that we, yet again, vote everyone out office and we keep doing that until we find representatives who are not scared of insurance companies and GOP hit men? (To be fair, or Democratic hit men either). What the Senate health-care deal would mean for consumers -

Wireless Boo-Hoos

Whiny Toddler AT&T Now Blaming Customers for its Problems - PC World Business Center: "...As I've said, I don't think AT&T is the devil's spawn of the wireless industry (at least no more than the other carriers). We customers understand that the success of the iPhone has been a bit of a mixed blessing for the carrier, but, really, AT&T's whining needs to stop..."

They all suck. Everyone is being vastly overcharged for all sorts of communication services; from land lines to cable and satellite to wi-fi, if you're paying anything, then you're probably paying too much. Yeah, there are people who need to pay since they are bandwidth hogs; me, I use about five minutes per month of cell phone time so I'm subsidizing a lot of people. Basic communication services, like basic health care, should be free-- the taxpayers, either through direct intervention or through tax breaks and research subsidies, have built the vast majority of the communication infrastructure, or did we all forget who funded the space program?

Getting Northing Done

Forgetting Sarah Palin - The Filibuster - GOOD: "...It's no secret that the President and his party have had a hard time making the strides they want to make, particularly on the legislative front. There was, of course, the success of the stimulus, which passed by the skin of its teeth, and only after it had been measurably, and tragically, weakened. But beyond that, the 'change' has been scarce: No health care bill, no climate change bill, and we're less than a year from an election, the results of which will likely reduce the Democrats' big majority in Congress, further diminishing their hopes of actually accomplishing anything..."

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Elephant In The Waiting Room

Economic Scene - Congress May Be Finding the Nerve to Cut Health Costs - "...But here’s the thing: It is abundantly clear that our medical system wastes enormous amounts of money on health care that doesn’t make people healthier. Hospitals that practice more intensive medicine, to take one example, get no better results than more conservative hospitals, research shows. And while the insured receive better care and are healthier than the uninsured, the lavishly insured — those households with so-called Cadillac plans — are not better off than households with merely good insurance.."

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Church Discrimination Against Women

Great rant from Riverdaughter: It took these guys 350 years to accept the world goes ’round the sun « The Confluence.

Lieberweasel Barks

From the "Who Cares" comes another Liebercrap: Lieberman assailed for role in health-care debate -

Why The Swiss Aren't Bigots

Here is a terrific article that looks at the other side of the bigot argument: Anne Applebaum - A preemptive strike against Muslim extremism in Switzerland -

The No Party

Hoyer blasts GOP as 'Party of No' - Washington Times: "House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer on Monday said Republicans have failed the test of leadership by refusing to come to the table on the big issues facing the country, offering a preview of a line of attack in next year's campaigns.

The Maryland Democrat, in a speech to the Center for American Progress Action Fund, said Republicans are making all of Congress less effective by deadlocking on issues, and he began to lay the groundwork for arguing that Democrats' failures are the result of a Republican Party that won't help..."

Lotta "No" from the GOP, except when it comes to tax cuts for the rich, war, and abortion rights.

Coffee And Prostate Cancer

Coffee May Reduce Risk of Deadly Prostate Cancer (Update1) - is the exact opposite of what I was told last year when the cancer/prostate mavens cut me off coffee for six months. Oh well.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Fat Genes

NATION: Obesity in some children tied to DNA, study finds -- "Some children get severely obese because they lack particular chunks of DNA, which kicks their hunger into overdrive, researchers report."

So if we outlaw fat, either through scorn, fees, or taxation, aren't we in fact discriminating against people for their inherited characteristics? Therefore, what makes makes this less onerous than discriminating because of skin color?

Discomfort In Iran

Sometimes the other shoe drops and you put it on the wrong foot. Of course, I'm underwhelmed with sympathy for the Iranian regime.

Students clash with riot police as protests erupt on Iranian campuses - Times Online: "Violence erupted in Tehran today as thousands of students and opposition activists staged fresh protests against a regime they consider illegitimate.

Riot police using tear gas and batons charged demonstrators in two of the capital’s main squares. Security forces flooded the streets and sealed off universities. They were reported to be firing in the air and bringing in water cannon, but they still failed to prevent students demonstrating on campuses across Tehran and in other Iranian cities.

The authorities cut off internet services and took down the mobile telephone network in some places, but snatches of grainy footage still reached the West..."

Palin Confronts Death Panel

Palin faces 'death panel' and leaves 'em laughing :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Lynn Sweet: "...Palin mocked herself -- and the reporters -- all in the spirit of the evening, which called for heavy doses of self-deprecating humor and gentle barbs: 'It's good to be here though, really, in front of this audience of leading journalists and intellectuals, or as I like to call it, a death panel...'"

Conflation Of Illogic

Global Warming and Mt. Kilimanjaro - "...This, according to climate groups, is a critical and urgent problem. Greenpeace warns there could be no ice left on the mountain within just eight years. 'This is the price we pay if climate change is allowed to go unchecked,' warns the group..."

But since pro-warming scientists did a bad thing, then that means global warming is not occurring and we have nothing to worry about and more tax cuts for the rich are needed. Right? Right?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Poor Are Coming! The Poor Are Coming!

Edward Miller: Health Reform Could Harm Medicaid Patients - "Both the House and Senate health-care reform bills call for a large increase in Medicaid—about 18 million more people will begin enrolling in Medicaid under the House bill starting in 2013, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Actuary Richard Foster estimates.

We at Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) endorse efforts to improve the quality and reduce the cost of health care. But we also understand all too well the impact a dramatic expansion of Medicaid will have on us and our state—and likely the country as a whole.

A flood of new patients will be seeking health services, many of whom have never seen a doctor on more than a sporadic basis. Some will also have multiple and costly chronic conditions. And almost all of them will come from poor or disadvantaged backgrounds..."

Clinton And Italian Justice - Clinton Busy But Willing to Hear Concerns on Amanda Knox Verdict: "...Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington state, has said she plans to bring her concerns to Clinton, and has already approached the Italian embassy in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. ambassador in Rome.

'I am saddened by the verdict and I have serious questions about the Italian justice system and whether anti-Americanism tainted this trial,' Cantwell said in a statement on Friday..."

Citigroup Dumped By Kuwait

Do the Kuwaitis know something we don't? Kuwait fund sells $4.1 billion stake in Citigroup - MarketWatch: "The Kuwait Investment Authority said it made a profit of $1.1 billion from the sale, or a 36.7% return on the investment, Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing an emailed statement..."

Palin Talks

Ho-hum here--Sarah Palin: What she said at Gridiron dinner |

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Giving Vampires Less Blood

Today’s AYFKM? Award: Senate Dems To Limit Insurance Execs Pay: "...How big a leap is it from “curb the pay of executives at health insurance companies that benefit from federal subsidies” to curb the pay of all executives at health insurance companies, to curb the pay of all executives, period? I mean we “let them” start down this particular slippery slope of manure with the financial industry, so don’t you dare be putting the blame anywhere else than exactly where it needs to be placed; liberal democrats, republicans that walked hand in hand with their progressive socialist democrat brethren, Barack Obama, and George Bush who said, “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system” (AYFKM?!!). I would include the rest of us in the blame, but we actually are that small percentage that has always had their heads screwed on straight, knows how to stick to a budget, and were against all the bailouts and freebies that both Bush and Obama have been tossing like moldy bread out to the roman crowd.

No bone in my body has any sympathy for the executive class, which has become just another nobility feeding off the blood, tears, and sweat of the common man. Social Darwinism at one time was used extensively to justify the overcompensation of one class at the expense of all others, and some people still think genetic markers determine wealth as opposed to say-- luck. But that's all beside the point, really. If we're concerned about the survival of this country, we need to be concerned about those things that could ultimately tear us apart, and nothing matches the annual spectacle of the richest Americans crying and whining for more tax breaks and now tax bailouts. Eventually, the great mass of the screwed will explode, with sometimes horrific results (see the French Revolution for an example). The "slippery slope" argument is often used to justify a continuing unfair practice, but it's a far stretch from limiting executive compensation for those people who took our tax money to government controls over all wages. If you don't like our rules, then don't take our money.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Pervert In Paradise

The Associated Press: Polanski's house arrest is a splendid captivity

Palin In Favor Of Conspiracy Hobbies

Palin On Her Birtherism: It's Andrew Sullivan's Fault - The Atlantic Politics Channel:

Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose. I've pointed out that it was seemingly fair game during the 2008 election for many on the left to badger my doctor and lawyer for proof that Trig is in fact my child. Conspiracy-minded reporters and voters had a right to ask... which they have repeatedly. But at no point - not during the campaign, and not during recent interviews - have I asked the president to produce his birth certificate or suggested that he was not born in the United States."

The Dems Must Do Something

Dylan Loewe has compiled an interest list of actions the Democrats can take to fight back against GOP incursions: How theDemocrats can fight back | Dylan Loewe | Comment is free |

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

War Reminder

Op-Ed Columnist - A Tragic Mistake - "“I hate war,” said Dwight Eisenhower, “as only a soldier who has lived it can, as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

He also said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed...”"

One Is Not The Loneliest Number

Loneliness May Be Catching - US News and World Report

Medicare Flashbacks

The Associated Press: Tempers flare as Senate debates health care: "A Republican senator asserted Tuesday during a rancorous floor debate that President Barack Obama's health care overhaul will shorten the lives of America's seniors by cutting Medicare.

'I have a message for you: You're going to die sooner,' said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., an obstetrician-turned-lawmaker..."

Reagan on Medicare:"...The problem with the quote was that Reagan was, at the time, condemning the very idea of Medicare. In context, Reagan actually said, "[I]f you don't [stop Medicare] and I don't do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free." The line wasn't about "freedom," it was about a program to provide seniors with health care..."

Gingrich and Dole on Medicare:
"Was it not Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, leader of the Republican revolution, that said he wanted Medicare to, quote, 'wither on the vine'? Was it not Sen. Bob Dole, the [Republican] standard-bearer for president in the 1990s, who said he had fought against Medicare and was proud he voted against it?"

Why The GOP Has Switched Horses: "If there was ever a more glaring example that the Republicans in Congress are simply against anything the Democrats come up with, it still couldn’t compete with this health care reform debate. Since the passing of Medicare in 1965 and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Republicans have demonized it and made it their number two whipping dog, right behind the welfare program, as the cause of deficits and national debt. But over the past week or so they have suddenly become the champions and defenders of Medicare..."

When confused by position changes, when bewildered by contradictory rhetoric and improbable action, remember to always follow the money. Greed is the only principle, the dollar the only real patriot.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Daily Uh-Oh

COBRA subsidies begin expiring for the unemployed --

The Daily Worm Turner

Peggy Noonan: He Can't Take Another Bow - "...As I read Ms. Drew's piece, I was reminded of something I began noticing a few months ago in bipartisan crowds. I would ask Democrats how they thought the president was doing. In the past they would extol, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, his virtues. Increasingly, they would preface their answer with, 'Well, I was for Hillary.' This in turn reminded me of a surprising thing I observe among loyal Democrats in informal settings and conversations: No one loves Barack Obama. Half the American people say they support him, and Democrats are still with him. But there were Bill Clinton supporters who really loved him. George W. Bush had people who loved him. A lot of people loved Jack Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. But no one seems to love Mr. Obama now; they're not dazzled and head over heels. That's gone away. He himself seems a fairly chilly customer; perhaps in turn he inspires chilly support. But presidents need that rock—bottom 20% who, no matter what's happening—war, unemployment—adore their guy, have complete faith in him, and insist that you love him, too..."

Medical Shopping

Patient Money - Shopping Around for the Best Prices in Medical Care - "...Take Katie Kyser, 30, the mother of a year-old daughter, who lives north of Seattle. She and her husband, Jason, who works in construction, recently moved from California. They have no health insurance, so they pay all costs out of pocket.

When Ms. Kyser needed a routine gynecological exam, she called a handful of local doctors, all of whom were charging $200 or more. “There’s no way we could pay that,” Ms. Kyser said. “I had to find another way.”

Having seen an ad for, a new Web site that lists doctors throughout the country who are willing to post their prices and negotiate with patients, she decided to try it. Ms. Kyser found a nearby clinic where doctors charged only $75 for the exam.

“I was a little nervous at first because the price was so cheap, but when I got there, it was wonderful,” Ms. Kyser said. “Everyone was so professional and helpful.”

The crucial part of shopping wisely for health care (or anything else for that matter) is comparing prices the way Ms. Kyser did..."

One of the hospitals in the local area offers a substantial discount for paying copays and other ancillary costs up front-- the discounts can amount to 25%, certainly nothing to sneeze at (no puns here), and a factor I take into account when looking for medical services.

Black Not As Bad As Blue

Windows Black Screen of Death: What You Need to Know - PC World