Thursday, December 31, 2009

So Sad


A new Rasmussen poll shows that Americans favor waterboarding the underwear bomber by almost a 2 to1 margin.

So sad!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Be Afraid...


Be very afraid.

But of what?

Well, as the graph below shows, you should be much more afraid of dying due to lack of health insurance than terrorism.

For more, read this.

16 people died due to terrorism in 2009.
45,000 people died due to lack of insurance in 2009.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Pay More, Die Earlier

Here is an interesting figure that I picked up over at Angry Bear.

This figure compares healthcare cost per person (left side), life expectancy (right side), and number of doctor visits per year (line thickness).

The slope of the line relates cost per year to life expectancy -- low cost, high life expectancy gives positive slope.

The color of the line indicates if the country has universal health care -- blue for yes, red for no. There are only two red lines, the US and Mexico.

A couple of things to note:
  1. The US line is way different from all the others. VERY high cost, relatively low life expectancy, and very thin line. We are paying much more than everyone else, living less years than most, and rarely going to the doctor.
  2. Japan seems to getting one of the best values. Cost 1/3 of the US cost. Life expectancy about 5 years more, and they see to doctor about monthly.
So, our private insurance plan which practically every other nation in the world has discarded, gives us what? It costs more. We live fewer years. We rarely see a doctor.

But, our healthcare executives get to fly around in private jets. We are rewarding them for THIS???

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Republican Crazy Talk

Newt say that when the Republicans take back the House in 2010 (crazy talk number 1), Bachmann will become a committee chairman (crazy talk number 2).

I think he is just trying to put a move on her.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What?!? Republicans and Conservative Democrats Sucking On The Public Tit?


From an interesting article at Truthdig.com titled: "Michelle Bachmann: Welfare Queen"

"Republicans and conservative Democrats bitch and moan about the allegedly Marxist underpinnings of universal health care and do everything they can to deny struggling Americans access to social services. Meanwhile, many of them profit off taxpayers in a massive welfare program."

The massive welfare program? Farm Subsidies! How much have their families collected between 1995 and 2006?

Bachmann -- $251,973

Chuck Grassley -- $1,000,000

Sam Brownback -- $500,000

Max Baucus -- $250,000

Blanche Lincoln -- $715,000

Stephanie Sandlin -- $844,725

Socialism? It depends on who gets the money.

"According to 11 years’ worth of Environmental Working Group data that tracks $200 billion in subsidies, the wealthiest 10 percent of “farmers” have collected 75 percent of the money. That’s exactly the kind of socialism that Rep. Bachmann and her elite ilk like."

Monday, December 21, 2009

No To Military Spending


The more the republicans bitch and moan and lie and distort about healthcare, the more I like the bill. I mean, after all, if they are getting so upset about it that they would try to delay the vote on the military appropriations bill, there must be some good things in it.

So now, not only don't the republicans care if almost 45,000 people died each year because they don't have health insurance, they don't care about the troops either. They are willing to cut off military funding to satisfy their corporate insurance bosses.

Friday, December 18, 2009

McCain Is Having Another "Senior Moment"


Many of you have already seen the video of Al Franken telling LIEberman that he has used up is 10 minutes of speaking time. If not, you can view it here. Then McCain gets up and says that in all his years in the Senate, he has never seen "a member denied an extra minute or two to finish his remarks."

Well, Senator McCain is having a little memory problem. As reported by Think Progress, "
McCain has engaged in the very same behavior that he was criticizing Franken for yesterday."

Here is the exchange:

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator’s time has expired.

Mr. DAYTON. I ask for unanimous consent that I have 30 seconds more to finish my remarks.

Mr. McCAIN. I object.

McCain was eventually overruled, but he was trying to stop Mr. Dayton from speaking by refusing to give him an addition 30 seconds.

Selective memory -- isn't it a great thing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Where Is The Good?

With no single payer, no public option, and no Medicare for 55 - 64 year olds, what is left for the people. The insurance companies have:
  • Kept their anti-trust exemption
  • Will be able to sell insurance across state lines thereby avoiding stricter state regulations
  • Charge older people up to 4 times what they charge younger people
  • Charge more for pre-existing conditions
  • Can set annual limits
Keith can say it better than I can.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



And we have to buy it! Well, actually not all of us have to. Just those of us under 65. The rest of us get that socialized, single payer, popular, efficient government insurance program Medicare.

The insurance companies? They are in hog heaven. They have won. They have gotten what they want. They are in good shape. Just listen to what Wendel Potter (ex-insurance company executive) has to say about it.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



And I should support this insurance reform why?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Republican's Don't Let Facts Get In The Way

Al Franken says “We are entitled to our own opinions; we are not entitled to our own facts,” He goes on to say "...my good friends from the other side, say things that are not based on fact." I call them liars, but Al is more polite than I am. Listen to him below rip into John Thune (R-SD).


Monday, December 14, 2009

Soundgarden Got It Right

I am about fed up. What with the continuing republican obstructionism, the Democrats acting like a bunch of pussies, and now with it looking like the Democrats are going to cave in to Lieberman, of all people (the fucking asshole that he is), the band Soundgarden with their song Ty Cobb says what I am feeling right about now.

Listen for yourself:



If you can't understand the words, here are the lyrics.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kissy Kissy


You gotta love Alan Grayson. He does it again. Tonight on Hardball he said,

"I remember Bush Jr. kissing Prince Abdullah on the cheek and then holding his hand for an extended period of time. Maybe if he'd let him get to second base then gas would be a dollar a gallon."

No wonder Bush flew bin Laden's family out of the US after 9/11 when all other flights were grounded.

Monday, December 7, 2009


It's a wonder that the GOP is not rushing over to Copenhagen for the UN climate conference. After all, Prostitutes in Copenhagen have reportedly announced plans to offer their services for free to UN climate summit delegates.

David Vitter should be leading the charge. After paying for it for so long, he should be glad to get some freebies.

GOP Is Now Number 3


As reported in a Rasmussen poll here,

In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.

Rasmussen also reports that Sarah Palin has a higher favorable rating the Obama, so....maybe we should put too much stock in Rasmussen, or watch out for Sarah in 2012!

Good Question, Good Answer


The public option may be getting some more massaging in the Senate and it may be turned into a Swiss-type option. Bob Cesca over at his Awesome Blog gives a good answer to Jon Cohn's question:

If liberals give yet more ground on the public option, what should they ask in return?

Of the Swiss-type option, he says:

"The Swiss Plan has to be based on Medicare rates, the plan has to be available within a year and anyone can buy into it regardless of employment status. In other words, the premiums are based on Medicare premiums and it's a free choice plan. So it'd be like a robust public option, but with private insurance companies providing the risk and the government keeping them regulated and honest."

Good Answer!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Where's My Paper?

George Washington over at Washington's Blog has written an interesting article about why the corporate media is pro-war. I want to highlight on portion of it because it is indicative of what is happening across the board in Corporate America.

We've heard many comments about businesses getting too big to fail. Certainly this seems to be the case for the financial industry. Look at all the money, tax money, your money and my money, that has been funneled into it because we were afraid to let them fail. (When I say we, I mean our government and politicians.)

Too big to fail seems to be happening to the corporate media also. Look at the chart below.

We have gone from about 50 corporations in the 1980's to now only 5 corporations that control the majority of the U.S. media.

"Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) -- now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric's NBC is a close sixth."

Is it any surprise that we don't have the investigative journalism that we use to have? And these corporations are hardly the bastions of liberalism although the right would like to portray them as such.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Most Influencial Rush


So who do you think is the most influential conservative? If you guessed Rush Limbaugh, you are right.

In a poll conducted by 60-Minutes and Vanity Fair, Rush came out on top with 26% of vote, kicking the crap out of number 2 Glenn Beck (11%). Think about it. The most influential conservative voices are a couple of media talk hosts. These guys are f**king entertainers. They are not deep thinkers. They are not schooled in history and politics. They sit in front of a mic, or maybe in Beck's case wander around with a mic hanging over his head, and say things to attract listeners to them so they can collect lots of money from advertisers. They don't care about you or me. It all about the ratings and money. And these clowns are the most influential. No wonder the conservative movement is self-destructing.

Come to think about it, the great conservative god, Reagan, was an entertainer also, and not a very good one, so he had to go into politics.

I think I see a pattern here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Say NO to the Party of NO

My current "man love" does it again. Here is Rep. Alan Grayson on changing the cloture vote. It is time to stop the republican shutdown of congress. They are holding up over 100 bills in the Senate.

It is time to say NO to the party of NO.

Fuck them all and make they truly irrelevant.



Go to Stop Senate Stalling and sign the petition.

Origins Of Us

I picked this video up over at The Sirens Chronicles. Happy belated birthday, Darwin.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas VS Consumerism

I think Consumerism is winning.

Today, two of my grandchildren went to the Mall to visit Santa Claus. They were very excited to tell him what they wanted for Christmas.

The 10 year-old asked for a skateboard.

The 4 year-old asked for

A GIFT CERTIFICATE TO TARGET!!!

I was consumed with laughter and tears at the same time.

Palinisms

I wasn't going to blog about Sarah Palin's new book. There are plenty of other people doing it, and doing it well.

BUT THIS SHIT IS JUST TOO FUNNY TO PASS UP.

If you like Sarah and think she is an intelligent, educated, articulate woman who is a serious politician and has been treated unfairly by the majority of the press and people of this country, I suggest you don't watch the attached video. Just go somewhere else. I'm not interested in hearing your opinion of her or me.

If, on the other hand, you like a good laugh, watch this. It is high-lare-e-ous!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rush Limbaugh's Solution To Joblessness

Here is it folks. Rush Limbaugh's solution to joblessness. He was talking to an out of work, 49 year old man. Rush's solution? A massage! That's right. The republican faux leader Rush Limbaugh's answer to all those people out of work.

GO GET A MASSAGE!

Way to go Rush. Way to go republicans. It shows how much you really care!

Check it out for yourself in the video below. Fast forward to about 6 minutes into it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Columbus Go Home

This is too funny. The teabaggers have been punked! It just goes to show you that they do not listen to what is being said. They only hear a few key phrases.

From ThinkProgess.org:
On Saturday, a few dozen anti-immigration activists gathered on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol for a Tea Party, part of the nationwide effort by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC). But somehow, one of the counter-protesters, a “concerned citizen from Minneapolis” named “Robert Erickson,” manged to get on the speaking list. His address started with the standard anti-immigrant rhetoric, but then revealed that he was talking about European immigrants. By this time, however, the crowd was in a frenzy and joined him in his chants of “Columbus go home!” and “Europeans out!”

If you want to skip the boring parts, he starts talking about Europeans at about 2:18 and starts the Columbus go home chant at 3:20.

Health Deform


No, it is not a miss-spelling. I mean deform. It is the title of an interesting article by Carol Miller over at CommonDreams.org. She point out five deficiencies in the current house bill.

  • If passed, this law will move the U.S. farther from universal health care, making it harder than ever to accomplish health care justice in the future.
  • The legislation institutionalizes permanent inequality in health care.
  • Out-of-pocket costs remain sky high.
  • The legislation makes it illegal to not buy health insurance.
  • We will all be drowning in paperwork, which will continue to drive up administrative costs.
But what I like the best is her last paragraph,

"Imagine real reform, as simple as adding people ages 55 to 65 years old to Medicare in 2010, 35-55 in 2011, and so on until everyone is included by 2013. The bills that promote this kind of reform are under 200 pages, they are simple to implement, cost effective and equitable. Choose a doctor, choose a hospital when needed and let the government pay the bills. Everyone in one system."

It just makes so much more sense that what is currently being proposed!

Friday, November 13, 2009

What A Bunch of Pussies

Not the cats.



The republicans.



Five suspects from the 9/11 attack will be tried in federal court in New York City and the republicans are pissing their pants. What a bunch of pussies. They could not get the job done and now their running around like a bunch of scared idiots.

Fear! Fear! Fear! It is all the republicans have. No wonder only 20% identify themselves as republicans.

Jane Goodall On the Daily Show

Last night, Jane Goodall was the guest on the Daily Show. What a great lady and a great sense of humor also.

What I found interesting was a comment she made which Jon Stewart quickly passed over. It occurs at about 2:45 into the clip below. The key quote is:

"It's the fundamentalists...Fundamentalists are dangerous."

She's been watching chimps all her life and she gets it! What does that say about the rest of us?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Jane Goodall
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another View of Veterans Day

Here is Andy Rooney with his take on Veterans Day. (Please excuse the commercial at the beginning. I don't know how to strip it out.)


Watch CBS News Videos Online

I kind of like the idea of a No War Day.

Friday, November 6, 2009


It is no secret. The republicans hate the current health care bills before Congress. Fine! Let them. They finally have an alternative, much later than originally promised, but it is now out. The republicans have published their own health care plan.

So, where are the teabaggers and other republican pundits spouting off about what a great bill this is? Where are the ones saying that it is so much better, in all ways, than the current bills? Who is saying that it will solve our health care problems? Where are the rallies in favor of it? Where are the comparisons between bills that show the advantages of the republican plan.

I'm looking.

I'm listening.

I don't hear squat!

I wonder why?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Viagra Legislation


I heard an interesting suggestion for an amendment to the current healthcare legislation being discussed in congress. It was from a caller to the Stephanie Miller Show. This is something that the republican wingnuts should flock to given their support of family values and right to life issues.

There has been a lot of discussion about limiting or preventing any money from going to fund abortion or abortion rights. There has also been discussion about prescription drug programs not paying for female birth control medication. Well, how about a bill, or amendment, which would put restrictions on Viagra?

For example, let's do the following:
  1. Require that only MARRIED men could get Viagra. After all, we should not be promoting sex outside of marriage, should we?
  2. Require that wives must approve of the purchase of Viagra. After all, they will be intimately involved in the consequences of the use of Viagra, so they should have a say in its purchase.
  3. Limit the number of pills you could get at one time. We don't want to encourage the excessive use, or use by mulitple people at the same time.
In honor of the strong republican support that this measure should garner, I propose that it be called the Boehner bill. Seems appropriate to me. The guy's a big prick anyway!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

2010 California Marriage Protection Act

I have found something that I can agree on with the radical conservative wingnut fringe of the republican party. Where is Sarah Palin??? I am sure she will support this.

LET'S PROTECT MARRIAGE. IT IS OUR DUTY. IT IS AMERICAN!!!

I've been married for over 25 years. I love it. I want to protect it. Let's all get behind the 2010 California Marriage Protection Act.

Here is a PSA for it. Please please please. Let's save marriage.

Monday, November 2, 2009

CEOs Bitch


CEOs are more concerned with their profits than with the health of their employees. This is the general drift of an article by David Lazarus in the LA Times.

Kodak has laid off about 22,000 workers in the last 5 years.

Verizon has laid off about 16,000 workers with more coming next year.

Caterpillar has laid off more than 27,000 workers.

Pfizer Inc has laid off more than 20,000 workers.

AT&T has laid off more than 12,000 workers.

Citigroup Inc. has laid off more than 52,000 workers.

Bank of America has laid off 35,000 workers.

JPMorgan Chase has laid off 14,000 workers.

Millions can't get employer-provided health care or have been rejected by private insurers.
The country's 500 largest public companies has laid off over 611,000 workers since the beginning of the year.

The CEOs of both Verizon and Kodak said through a news conference called by the Business Roundtable (all the above companies are members) said that a government health insurance plan is bad for America.

Where do they expect all the people that they have laid off to get insurance? Do they care? After all, they laid them off because their profits were more important than their people. And for those they have not laid off, most leading employers have increased premiums, co-pays, and deductibles.

As Lazarus asks -- "where do business leaders -- especially CEOs with their gold-plated benefits -- get off telling Americans what sort of healthcare is best for them?"

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Question Of The Day

It has recently been puzzling me how conservatives, particularly the teabagger, wingnut wing of the republican party can complain about a government takeover of all our liberties. Yesterday I read an interesting article that kind of asks the same thing. It is by David Michael Green and published on CommonDreams.org. It is titled "Big Bad Government Is Coming To Get You".

He is asking how people who want
  • government to regulate women's reproductive systems
  • government to prevent people living in agony with terminal diseases from choosing to end their own lives
  • government to decide which substances people can imbibe
  • government to prevent doctors from prescribing medical marijuana to help retching chemotherapy patients stay alive
  • the government gutting the Fourth Amendment protection against searches and seizures without a warrant
  • laws controlling who consenting adults are allowed to sleep with
  • laws controlling who they're allowed to marry
  • laws controlling if they can use birth control
  • a Republican Congress passing legislation intervening in Terri Schiavo's family medical tragedy
can believe that "conservatism is the ideology of freedom from government repression".

They talk about less taxation, less spending, less regulation, and less government ownership of industries. "When Republicans like Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush come to power, they actually spend more than Democrats (who aren't terribly liberal, but leave that aside), by far. Reagan tripled the national debt in eight years, and Bush doubled it again, from $5.5 trillion to $11 trillion. The only real difference these days is that so-called conservatives use big spending for purposes of funneling money to cronies like Halliburton or Exxon-Mobil, while so-called liberals do a bit less of the same, and maybe also throw a bone or two to the middle class every once in a while.

"On the social side, however, the conservative trope about theirs being the ideology of freedom is a total joke and an ugly lie. These are the people who want the government in your underpants, who want the government reading your mail without a warrant, who want to control who you sleep with and who you marry, and who even want to force you to live in agony when you just want to crawl off and die. These are the people who stood in the doorways blocking the movements for racial and sexual equality.


I will take the liberal view of America over the conservative view any day of the week.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sorry, But That's the Truth


Two great points made by Betmo over at The Siren Chronicles.

One: "...why we continue to lose so many soldiers in iraq and afghanistan. um- we lose soldiers because we invaded their countries and they are trying to expel us. it really is that simple. they don’t like us because we invaded their country and blew it to smithereens with dirty bombs; allowed genocide; and allowed looting of national treasures. oh, and our private, war profiteering contractors stole their money, raped their women and murdered their relatives. does that about cover it? why are we still there? very simple- it has nothing to do with taliban or al quaida- and everything to do with war profiteering, oil profiteering and the opium trade."

Two: "as for the health care debacle- i mean debate- there isn’t one. it’s just a matter of how sweet a deal the congress critters and other pols can make with big insurance, big pharma and the ama. and, yes, it really is that simple. these ‘americans’ don’t give a rat’s ass about the rest of us"

It all comes down to MONEY and their own ASS. If you think they care about us, you are stupid.

Sorry, but that's the truth!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What A Difference 3 Years Makes

Here is Joe three years ago while campaigning for election.



This video is from Jed Lewison at DailyKos.

Was Joe lying then or lying now? Maybe he just changed his mind? It is not possible that he has been bribed, is it?

Joe "Lying Bag of Shit" Lieberman.

I guess he is just living up to his name. After all, the first three letters of his name are L I E

Come on, Joe...

show some balls and talk to Rachael.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How Many...

...of our 435 Congressmen and the other 99 Senators do you think could duplicate this effort by Senator Al Franken?



I bet no one! Hell, they would probably have trouble naming all 50 states, let alone drawing them -- and drawing them accurately.

Maybe it should be a requirement.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

McCain - Republican Tech Czar


Here is another interesting article from ThinkProgress.org.

John McCain has become the republicans technology czar by introducing the “Internet Freedom Act”. This is a bill to effectively block any net neutrality rules.

"The legislation would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from making sure that Internet service providers don’t create a pay-for-play system where they could selectively block or slow content and applications."

Want to know something surprising? McCain has collected $894,379 from the telecom industry over the past two years. This is out of a total of $9.4 million donated.

Of course McCain is the logical choice among the republicans because of his great understanding of every thing "computery". This is the man who has " called himself a computer illiterate who has to rely on my wife for all of the assistance that he can get, and he said he has “never felt the particular need to e-mail.

Just more evidence that corporate money needs to be taken out of politics.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another Example of Republican Hipocrasy

A new study released by Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) office today, as reported by ThinkProgress.org.

It shows "that 151 members of Congress “currently receive government-funded; government-administered single-payer health care — Medicare. Of those 151 members, 55 are Republicans who also happen to be steadfastly opposed [to] other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen.”

The report shows that the 55 Republicans are:
Rep. Ralph M. Hall
Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett
Rep. Sam Johnson
Rep. C.W. Bill Young
Rep. Howard Coble
Sen. Jim Bunning
Sen. Richard G. Lugar
Rep. Don Young
Sen. Charles E. Grassley
Sen. Robert F. Bennett
Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch
Sen. Richard C. Shelby
Rep. Jerry Lewis
Sen. James M. Inhofe
Rep. Ron Paul
Rep. Henry E. Brown
Sen. Pat Roberts
Sen. George V. Voinovich
Sen. John McCain
Rep. Judy Biggert
Sen. Thad Cochran
Rep. Harold Rogers
Rep. Dan Burton
Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon
Rep. Frank R. Wolf
Sen. Christopher S. Bond
Rep. Michael N. Castle
Rep. Joe Pitts
Rep. Tom Petri
Sen. Lamar Alexander
Rep. Doc Hastings
Rep. Cliff Stearns
Rep. Sue Myrick
Rep. John Carter
Sen. Mitch McConnell
Sen. Jon Kyl
Rep. Phil Gingrey
Rep. Nathan Deal
Rep. John Linder
Rep. Kay Granger
Rep. John L. Mica
Rep. Walter B. Jones
Sen. Jim Risch
Rep. Ed Whitfield
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner
Rep. Virginia Foxx
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite
Sen. Saxby Chambliss
Sen. Michael B. Enzi
Rep. Elton Gallegly
Rep. Donald Manzullo
Rep. Peter T. King
Rep. Ander Crenshaw

Here is a video of the announcement.


Alan Grayson Asks Questions Like Al Franken

If you liked my last video post, you will enjoy this one also. This clip is from ThinkProgress.org.

"Yesterday, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) challenged the constitutionality of one of these anti-ACORN measures being supported by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) during a hearing of the Science and Technology committee. Grayson repeatedly questioned Broun about the constitutionality of “bills of attainder” — which are punishments that single out a group or individual without a court trial."

The text of the questioning can be read here.

All Should Ask Questions Like Al Franken

This video has been shown on Bob Cesca's site, but it is too good to pass up and everyone should see it. Why don't more of our Senators question people and know their facts like Al Franken? This man has been a great addition to the Senate.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Corporations -- The New Super-Race


Just the other day THIRTY republicans voted in the U.S. Senate to deny justice to a human victim of rape in order to protect the so-called sovereign rights of corporations.

That right! To them, protecting the corporation is more important than protecting a PERSON that works for the corporation.

"A woman is gang-raped by her fellow employees at government contractor KBR. The company says her contract prohibits her from seeking justice in court."

"Thirty Republican U.S. senators voted to safeguard corporations from lawsuits in rape cases."

This is taking things even a step further than treating corporations as people, which is questionable itself. There was never a Supreme Court ruling on this matter. If was just mentioned in a headnote of an obscure 1886 ruling.

This is just more evidence that the republican party is becoming the party of the corporations, not of the people.

Corporations are the republican gods.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Goldman Sachs Obsenity


I guess the financial crisis is over for Goldman Sachs. They just awarded 23 BILLION dollars in bonuses. 23 billion dollars is a lot of dollars. How much you ask?

It could have paid for 460,000 full paying students to Harvard University for one year.

It could have paid health insurance for an American family 1.7 million times.

If you lived for 100 years, you could spend $230,000,000 every year of your life, or over $630,000 PER DAY for your entire life, or over $26,200 EVERY HOUR of your life, or about $437 every MINUTE of your life, or about $7.29 PER SECOND for your entire life.

I think we all understand how much 7 dollars is. Just think getting 7 dollars every second. It has taken me about 10 minutes to put this post together. 10 minutes is 600 seconds. I would have just made 4,200 dollars (actually closer to 4,370) -- just about the average monthly family income in the US.

$23 billion over 10 years is 230 billion or about ONE QUARTER of the cost of health care reform. And that is just the bonuses for this year, for ONE year, from ONE company.

And they say we can't afford universal health care???

THE HELL WE CAN'T!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

insurers Say Senate Bill Would Raise Cost of Premiums

"Late Sunday, the industry trade group America's Health Insurance Plans sent its member companies a new accounting firm study that projects the legislation would add $1,700 a year to the cost of family coverage in 2013, when most of the major provisions in the bill would be in effect."

Hey, if private insurance can't cut it, too bad. It just means that a public option is needed even more. The difference between the overhead of a public option and a private plan is more than $1700 per year. Poor private insurance companies. They will just have to figure out how to lower their costs and give up some of their profits.

What??? They might even have to contribute more of their premium income to paying for their policyholders medical bills?

Heaven forbid!!!

Blankets -- The New Sleep Aid

As you may know (or maybe not, or maybe suspect), my dogs sleep with me. Not actually on the bed, but on the rug around the bed. They are quiet, don't snore, and don't bother me until it is time to get up in the morning.

Friday we had the carpets cleaned. The cleaner did the bedroom. The dogs had left their "mark" on the carpeting. No, they did not pee on it, just oils from their hair. If you looked close, you could see their favorite spots.

When it came bedtime, the carpet was still damp so I put down their blankets that I normally use when they have to stay in the kitchen on the tile floor. Low and behold, they did not get me up until 730 am, a full hour later than normal. Hmmmm, I thought.

Last night, down went the blankets again.

This morning, up at 730 again.

I think I may have found a way to get an extra hour of sleep each night.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Obermann On Healthcare


For those of you that are interested, here is the text of Keith Obermann's special comment on healthcare courtesy of commondreams.org.

It is also available on video from Gryphen at theimmoralminority.blogspot.com.

Believe me, it is well worth you time to read or listen to.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

SF Public Option


If San Francisco can do it, why can't the rest of the nation?

Over the last two years, three-quarters of San Francisco's uninsured adults have enrolled in a public program that guarantees access to medical services, an effort that is being touted as a national model during the rancorous debate over healthcare reform... (continue)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

More Reasons For A Public Plan

Here are some interesting statistics from an article by Holly Sklar over at commondreams.org.

  • Lack of health insurance kills 45,000 American adults a year, more than die by terrorism, homicide, drunk driving and HIV combined.
  • Grandma could be dead from lack of health insurance before she turns 65 and gets Medicare - 80 percent of first-time grandparents are in their 40s and 50s
  • America is the only country that rations the right to health care to those 65 and older.
  • One out of three Americans under age 65 had no private or public health insurance for some or all of 2007-2008.
  • You can't go the emergency room for the screening that will catch cancer or heart disease early, or ongoing treatment to manage chronic kidney disease or asthma.
  • And even emergency care is different for the insured and uninsured. Studies show uninsured car crash victims receive less care in the hospital, for example.
  • Even with health insurance, many Americans are a medical crisis away from bankruptcy.
  • Research shows 62 percent of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical, a share up 50 percent since 2001.
  • Most of the medically bankrupt had health insurance
  • Premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance jumped 131 percent between 1999 and 2009 - from $5,791 to $13,375 - hurting businesses, employees and families.
  • The US is No. 1 in health care spending, but No. 50 in life expectancy, just before Albania
  • In Japan, people live four years longer than Americans.
  • Canadians live three years longer.
  • Forty-three countries have better infant mortality rates than the US.
  • One or two health insurance companies dominate most metropolitan areas in the United States.
  • There are 3,098 health sector lobbyists swarming Capitol Hill - nearly six for every member of Congress.
  • Obama's doctor for 22 years in Chicago, Dr. Scheiner says, "I have never encountered an instance where Medicare has prevented proper medical care ... Insurance companies frequently interfere and block appropriate care."
Why are we even debating the need for Medicare For All.

Getting private for-profit health insurance companies out of our health care will free up $150 billion dollars a year that they are taking out of our health care for profits. That $1.5 TRILLION dollars over 10 years, more than enough to pay for Medicare For ALL.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More Stoopid

From the state of Texas that gave us George Bush, here comes some more stoopid via Phil Plait from Bad Astronomy. The Texas board of education (and I use education lightly) is considering a proposal to remove Neil Armstrong from social studies textbooks because he is not a scientist.

I don't care if he is not a scientist. HE'S THE FIRST MAN TO WALK ON THE MOON. That might have some significance, but I guess not in Texas.

Also, I think an argument can be made about him not being a scientist also. He received an aeronautical engineering from Purdue University, and a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. He later was a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Baucus Bill

Here is a rather good critique of the Baucus healthcare bill. Read it and laugh!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who Benefits From The Public Option?

Corporations have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the interest of their stockholders over anyone else. Their first and primary responsibility is to their "beneficiaries interest".

This fiduciary responsibility holds true for health insurance corporations. Their first responsibility is to their stockholders. It is to their stockholders before their clients. That means if there is a choice between benefiting their stockholders or benefiting their clients, the stockholders win. Clients pay money to the health insurance company. Good for stockholders. Health insurance company pay clients' medical claims. Bad for stockholders. Paying out claims reduces health insurance companies profits. Lower profits bad for stockholders. Therefore it is to the stockholders benefit when the health insurance companies refuse to pay claims.

We, the people, suffer when the health insurance company refuses to pay our claims. But the insurance company is upholding it responsibility to its stockholders. It is maximizing profits, and hence benefits to the stockholders.

What we need is a health insurance company where we are the stockholders. What we need is a health insurance company that does not earn a profit, but rather benefits its stockholders by providing good service -- good service by paying medical claims.

That is what the public option is. It is a government health insurance company where we are the stockholders. We are also the clients. Our premiums pay the cost of the health care, but not profits to stockholders. It is a health insurance company that works for our benefit, we the people, not a select group of stockholders. We are the people who benefit from the pubic health insurance company.

Why don't people see that?

Monday, September 14, 2009

The 9/12 Billionaires

Let's preserve the status quo. Activity in DC this last weekend that Faux News didn't show. The republican solution to all our healthcare problems.


The 3 R's

Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic -- a widely-used abbreviation for the basic elements of a primary school curriculum. Nevermind that two of the three words don't really begin with R. Maybe that says something about our educational system, but that is another post.

The republicans have their own set of the 3 R's. Their set is:
  • Religion
  • Racism
  • Rudeness
The republican threes R's -- Religion, Racism, and Rudeness. They cater to the lowest common denominator -- the wingnut.

Are We Evolving?

Here is further evidence that we are a nation of wingnuts and asshats. According to a Gallup Poll last February, only 39% of Americans believe in evolution.


Less than half of us believe in evolution. No wonder there are crazies running around waving ridiculous signs and spouting off stupid slogans.

We are in trouble!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hmmmmm....Coincidence?

From Commondreams.org

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the first time yesterday suggested she may be backing off her support of the public option.

Then, this invitation:

From: Steve Elmendorf [mailto:steve@elmendorfstrategies.com]
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 8:31 AM
Subject: event with Speaker Pelosi at my home

You are cordially invited to a reception with

Speaker of the House
Nancy Pelosi

Thursday, September 24, 2009
6:30pm ~ 8:00pm

At the home of
Steve Elmendorf
2301 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Apt. 7B
Washington, D.C.

$5,000 PAC
$2,400 Individual

To RSVP or for additional information please contact
Carmela Clendening at (202) 485-3508 or clendening@dccc.org

Steve Elmendorf
ELMENDORF STRATEGIES
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS SOLUTIONS
900 7th Street NW Suite 750 Washington DC 20001
(202) 737-1655


Who is Steve Elmendorf, you ask?

Elmendorf is a registered lobbist for UnitedHealth.


Hmmmmmmmm!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

KISS

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Thom Hartmann gets it - Medicare Part E. Why don't the politicians? If the millions of dollars they are getting were coming from us instead of the health care industry, they probably would. Heah, there's an idea. Why don't we bribe them instead of corporations bribing them?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What Is Your Insurance Worth?

On the front page of the LA Times today is an article about taxing executive health plans. It starts off talking about the CEO of TRW Automotive Holdings Corp, John Plant. His healthcare benefits last year, as well as special "executive medical" coverage are worth an additional $38,272 according to company filings.

There are a couple of statements in the article that I found very interesting. The first one is:

"Plant and his wife will be entitled to healthcare for life. TRW values that coverage at $1.4 million."

Not bad! I wish I had coverage that good. You probably do too. Now here come the kicker. The next sentence is:

"That's enough, it said in public filings, to provide him the same level of care he would have received under the National Health System in his native England."

What?!?

You and I CAN get the same quality of health care as John Plant. We just have to move to England, England with their socialist health care that has been so berated by the wingnut republicians.

It is good enough for our executives, but not good enough for our citizens.

Monday, September 7, 2009

How Many More Will Die?

Here is another reason why we need healthcare reform:

"Army SPC Greg Missman had ended his military service 11 years earlier, but signed back on in order to provide his young son Jack with health insurance coverage.

After only one month on the ground in Afghanistan, Missman's father Jim received the news that Greg's convoy had been ambushed, and Greg was killed in the attack."


Sunday, September 6, 2009

By Popular Demand --

Here they are, in all their glory.

GINGER
NIKKI

They say "HI" to everyone.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Roundup Time - Or Here's Some Crap

I guess I have become kind of obsessed about health care lately. I just seems like a no-brainer to me. I turn 65 in March next year. I will be illegible for Medicare. I am looking forward to being eligible for Medicare. My premiums will go down, my medical expenses will go down, my medical care will stay the same or improve. What could be better than that? And why shouldn't everyone have the same opportunity? It seems like the rest of the world has figured it out. Why haven't we? The simple answer is MONEY.

But this is not what I intended to write about.

Summer is about over. School around here starts for most kids next week. The others have already started. For the Critter household, that means we will be back to our babysitting several times a week, but only for a few hours on the days that we have the kids, generally after school.

There are lots of family and extended family birthdays in September and October, so it will be party time. It is always nice to get together with family, although as I get older I find that I like the noise and crowd of people less and less. I tend to seek out more solitude.

The eyes are still a work in progress. The right eye is good. The left eye is still blurry. I am on new eye medication for the next month or so. There is still a question if the blurriness is caused by swelling or a thickening membrane over the retina. The medication should take care of the swelling. At $200 for a little, and I mean little, bottle it should. If it doesn't, then the retina doctor will remove the membrane. He may have to remove it anyway, if it continues to thicken. As some point it will start to put stress on the retina, and that is not a good thing.

After a relatively cool summer (high 80's, now 90's), the heat (high 90's, low 100's) has finally come to Southern California. Also the fires are here. The fires don't present any danger to the Critter Compound, but they do add a lot of crap to the air. You can smell the smoke in the air, particularly in the mornings. It is getting better the last couple of days as the firefighters get a handle on the fires.

That's about it for now. I am going to walk the dogs while it is still relatively cool out. Then it is a football afternoon. There are four schools that I follow and they are all on today. The TIVO will get a workout. I record the games and play them back. I can watch a game pretty quickly. The 30-second skip feature works great jumping from play to play. I watch two local universities (USC and UCLA) and the two universities that I went to (Washington and Illinois).

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cheney in 2012

This is too funny. Check out the ad starting at about 1:17 into the video.


Just think -- Cheney-Palin 2012. Or Palin-Cheney? I don't know which one is crazier. Hey!! There is even a website and people talking about it here and here, among others.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Who Is Paying To Kill Health Reform?

Click to enlarge the picture.

Check it out here.

AHIP is America's Health Insurance Plans, a national association representing nearly 1,300 member companies providing health insurance coverage to more than 200 million Americans.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Is He Still Listening?

Anne Lamott has an open letter to the President in today's LA Times. She reminds the president of the major campaign vow that got him into the White House.

Is he even listening anymore?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I've written about a health care solution before. But Thom Hartmann has laid it out much better than I ever could with an open letter to President Obama. In it, he details a plan to open Medicare to everyone. It is very simple and can be done in " just a few lines".

This would be similar to what was done when disabled people were added to Medicare. See, it has even been done before - Medicare benefits extended to people younger than 65. It does not take a 1000+ pages nor do we have to wait until 2013 like in the House bill.

And he has a way to pay for it. People under 65 just pay a " rate to be set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which reflects the actual cost for us to buy into it.

So it’s revenue neutral!

To make it available to people of low income, raise the rates slightly for all currently non-eligible people (like me – under 65) to cover the cost of below-200%-of-poverty people. Revenue neutral again."

I bet you 100:1 that the rate set by CMS and HHS will be lower than what most people are paying now. Don't want a government program? Fine. Go buy private health insurance. Want additional benefits not covered in Medicare? Go buy supplemental insurance just like people over 65 do now.

Medicare is a popular program. Practically no one is saying that Medicare should be done away with. Unfortunately, practically no one is saying that Medicare should be expanded either.

What? Too simple of a solution for our congressional brain trust to understand?

Unfortunately I think it is a solution that will dry up the ejaculation of health care honey into the congressional coffers, something our congressmen will feel flaccid without. That is why you do not hear anything about this plan.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Right Thing To Do


Roger Ebert, yeah him, the film critic, provides some excellent, emotional, answers to those that oppose health care reform. Read it at his blog here.

He believes that "universal health care is, quite simply, right. It is a moral imperative. I cannot enjoy health coverage and turn to my neighbor and tell him he doesn't deserve it."

He ends with a biblical quote (Matthew 25: 31-46), something more of the party of "NO" should thing about, and the following video.



Universal health care is not only a right, but it is the right thing to do.

Too bad "right" also is used for conservative thinking. It is so often wrong instead of right.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Who Opposes Healthcare?

A great post by Jim over at Stonekettle Station. Read it. He ends it with this:

You know who’s opposed to healthcare reform? People who have healthcare and don’t want you to have any – it’s sort of like Heaven in their minds, it’s only good if the riff raff can’t get in too.

You know who’s opposed to reform? People who have healthcare and think that anybody who doesn’t must be a drug addict or a boozer or nothing but a lazy parasite on society. Only losers don’t have healthcare, and we don’t owe losers a goddamned thing.

You know who is opposed to healthcare reform? People who think that Emergency Room visits for poor people are free.

You know who’s opposed to healthcare reform? People who think that having 46 million Americans who use the emergency room as their primary healthcare provider is somehow cheaper for the taxpayer and the people who pay for health insurance.

You know who opposes reform? People who think the government is going to balance the budget by turning old people into Soylent Green.

You know who’s opposed to healthcare reform? People who own houses – because they can always sell them and use the money to treat their kid’s leukemia or type II diabetes or a lifetime of Down’s Syndrome.

And you know who’s opposed to healthcare reform?
People who have million dollar book deals.

That’s who.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Credit Limits

Like most people, I have several credit cards. One of them just lowered my credit limit because I was not using the card enough. They cut the limit in about half. Even with the lower limit, I still only use about 10% of it each month, so it does not create a problem for me.

They make it sound like it is a benefit to me. The letter said that they were adjusting my credit limit to be more in line with my spending habits. Like they really care. They just want to free up some credit so they can give it to someone else that will use it.

It is all about making money. If the credit is not used, they don't make money.

Silly me. I thought the excessive use of credit was one of the things that got us into this economic mess in the first place.

The Great Fear - Government Run

One of the big fears being put out there about health care reform is that it will create a big government program that will control all of our health care. The government will tell us who can live and who must die. The government will tell us what procedures we can have and what procedures we cannot have. The government will take away all our freedom to make our own health care decisions. "Be afraid, be very afraid of big government.

Think about it for a minute. If government is so bad, if government is so inept, if government is incompetent, why do we allow the government to:
  • provide the army
  • provide the navy
  • provide air force
  • be in charge of defending our country
  • be in charge of foreign policy
  • provide police protection
  • provide fire protection
  • make laws
  • provide a judicial system
  • provide an interstate highway system
  • provide health care for our elderly
  • provide health care for our veterans
  • fund the majority of medical research
  • provide a system of colleges and universities
  • provide national parks
  • run a program that put a man on the moon
I could go on and on. There are all sorts of services and programs provided by the government. If government is so bad, why do we accept all these things from our government? Why doesn't private business step up and do these things? If private business could do it better and cheaper, why aren't they?

So why shouldn't government expand their already extensive health care system to cover all of us? The private system has already tired and failed. Let me repeat that. THE PRIVATE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM HAS FAILED. Everybody, Democrats and republicans, agree that health care reform is needed. The government programs are successful and preferred by their users over private programs.

Isn't it time to go with a winner instead of giving the losers another chance?

I'm just sayin'...

Tell Me It Is Not True

White House appears ready to drop 'public option'

WASHINGTON - Apparently ready to abandon the idea, President Barack Obama's health secretary said Sunday a governmen-run alternative to private health insurance is "not the essential element" of the administration's health care overhaul.

The White House indicated it could jettison the contentious public option and settle on nonprofit insurance cooperatives as an acceptable alternative, a move embraced by some Republicans lawmakers who have strongly opposed the administration's approach so far.

Read more here

I hope "could" is the operative word here and not "will" or "has". Is Obama breaking another promise and/or caving in to republican tactics?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Do Democrats REALLY Want To Pass Health Care Reform?

I am beginning to wonder if Democrats really want to pass health care reform or are they just going through the motions to appease us. The Democrats are raking in the money from the health care industry just like the republicans. Maybe not quite are much, but still, very substantial amounts.

The reason I ask this question is because of the kind of response that the Democrats have come up with to all the republican lies. The republicans, to their credit, are out there and are very vocal about their opposition to any health care reform. The problem is that they are lying about it. They are making things up. They are trying, and succeeding, to scare people. They have no legitimate claims, so they make crap up and then yell it at the top of their lungs.

The Democratic response has been weak, at best. They have done little to refute the republican claims.

Here's what I think they should do. This is a response from Stonekettle Station to an extremely offensive comment made about our President.

I'm sitting in the Elmendorf base exchange food court.

Fox News is on the TV. I'm watching the President of the United States answer questions on healthcare reform at a townhall meeting.

An old man and his wife sit down across from me.

He's wearing a US Army retired hat.

He says loudly and with anger in his voice, "I wish to hell they wouldn't put this fucking nigger on TV."

I was standing before I even realized it. Face flushed, blood boiling. I honestly haven't been that offended in a long, long time.

I spoke very, very harshly. I told him to take that army hat off in as much as a racist asshole like him had no business wearing the symbol of America's freedom. Fuck him, fuck his wife, and fuck the horse they rode in on. They're entitled to their opinion, as noxious and dishonorable as it is. They are not entitled to express it in public among the men and women sworn to defend this country and sworn to obey the orders of that very President. Then I told them to get the fuck out. They did, sullenly, but they did - and it's a damned good thing because I was fully prepared to punch a 70 year old man directly in his bigoted mouth.

I'm sick of these bastards telling me that I should leave this country, that I'm not American enough, that my president isn't American enough. I'm tired of hearing these nasty sons of bitches call the President a traitor and me a traitor for voting for him. I'm tired of being told that freedom means only thinking and choosing exactly as they do. I'm sick and tired of these sorry bastards and their spoiled childish sour grapes attitude. America voted, Americans exercised their right to democracy, Americans choose Barack Obama as their president overwhelmingly, the Electoral Collage choose Barack Obama in a virtual landslide, and these petulant whining pricks just can't seem to understand that America is so very much more than their stinking racist vision. These idiots let Bush run roughshod over us for eight damned years and they cheered while he pissed on the Constitution and did everything in his power to destroy this country. I've had it with these small minded ignorant backward assed fucks and their version of patriotism, and I'm sick of having to apologize for them, and I'm tired of cleaning up their messes, and I've been pushed as far as I'm going.

And if they don't like it, they are welcome to pack a bag and leave.

From now on, I'm showing these racist assholes the door.

It is time for Democrats to show the racist asshole republicans the door!