Friday, July 31, 2009

A Friday Musical Interlude

The actual title is "Talking Vietnam Pot Luck Blues"

The Perfect Slice

To the rest of the country this might refer to your half assed golf game, but in The City it means pizza. And in this NY Times article, the perfect slice is served up in Brooklyn, at $5 per.
Di Fara, one of the most acclaimed and sought-after pizza shops in New York City, now sells one of the most expensive — and still-sought-after — slices in New York City, on a no-frills Brooklyn block next door to, of all places, a 99-cent store. The price of a slice increased to $5 on July 1, up from $4, the cost for the past year and a half. Just about everything else went up as well: Plain round pies are $25 and specialty square pies are $35.
Hey, we're talking New York here. But you outlanders may be wondering what makes a $5 slice.
Mr. DeMarco uses imported ingredients. The flour, extra-virgin olive oil, San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese are all brought from Italy, and the basil is from Israel.

The only person who makes a Di Fara pie is Mr. DeMarco, because, in his words, “I believe only one guy should make the pizza.” When Mr. DeMarco is not available to make the pizza, Di Fara shuts its doors, as it did for several weeks in January while Mr. DeMarco recovered from a car accident.

A $5 Di Fara slice is thin and crispy, the dough a few seconds shy of burnt, topped with a tangy, subtle sauce, served on a paper plate, over a sheet of wax paper, in an overheated 44-year-old pizzeria with a worn floor, a drippy air-conditioner and a handwritten sign reading, “Bathroom is out of order.”
But don't worry if you plan to visit the City. You can still get a slice for $2.50 and even a bad New York slice is better than what the rest of the country calls pizza.

The straight skinny from the Beer Summit

A message for Ben Nelson

From one of the people who thought Ben was his senator.

Quote of the Day

If the bank lost money, where do you get the money to pay the bonus?
Andrew Cuomo, NY Attorney General asking the question that Wall St ignores because everybody knows the answer is "taxpayers".

Krugman says, Don't let that tree block your view

Of the forest behind it. Today he explains to us how health care insurance run by and or regulated by the government works far better than private insurance run by the creepy dead hand of the market.
And in their efforts to avoid “medical losses,” the industry term for paying medical bills, insurers spend much of the money taken in through premiums not on medical treatment, but on “underwriting” — screening out people likely to make insurance claims. In the individual insurance market, where people buy insurance directly rather than getting it through their employers, so much money goes into underwriting and other expenses that only around 70 cents of each premium dollar actually goes to care.

Still, most Americans do have health insurance, and are reasonably satisfied with it. How is that possible, when insurance markets work so badly? The answer is government intervention.

Most obviously, the government directly provides insurance via Medicare and other programs. Before Medicare was established, more than 40 percent of elderly Americans lacked any kind of health insurance. Today, Medicare — which is, by the way, one of those “single payer” systems conservatives love to demonize — covers everyone 65 and older. And surveys show that Medicare recipients are much more satisfied with their coverage than Americans with private insurance.

Still, most Americans under 65 do have some form of private insurance. The vast majority, however, don’t buy it directly: they get it through their employers. There’s a big tax advantage to doing it that way, since employer contributions to health care aren’t considered taxable income. But to get that tax advantage employers have to follow a number of rules; roughly speaking, they can’t discriminate based on pre-existing medical conditions or restrict benefits to highly paid employees.
It really is simple if you get the facts straight.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Your 2 Minute Ed

Psycho Talk? Yup, another GOP talking head.

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Nurses speak out for Health Care reform

Brother can you spare a dime?

Last week we posted a YouTube clip of a very funny ad from a local fast food chain here in the District. They are locally renowned for their use of humor in the marketing and that extends to the paper tray liners they use, with thetheme and jokes changed every few months. The latest one uses a Monopoly game board layout to drop a bunch of locally topical cracks that I won't bore you with. In the middle of the "board" was a new verse for that classic Depression song, "Brother can you spare a dime".
Once my 401K did reach right
up to the sky,
and the value of my home,
whoosh, up it would fly!
Now all I can say is, brother,
can ya spare a dime?
Is this too true to be funny?

You can find the original song here.

Banned in "Bama

After reading this news report one might easily think it is sentient thought that is banned, but no it is a humble wine label.
Alabama's ban on a wine that features a nude nymph on the label became a business opportunity for a California vintner who is preparing a marketing campaign to capitalize on being "Banned in Bama."

The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board recently told stores and restaurants to quit serving Cycles Gladiator wine because of the label. Board attorney Bob Martin said the stylized, art-nouveau rendition of a nude female with a flying bicycle violated Alabama rules against displaying "a person posed in an immoral or sensuous manner."

Bill Leigon, president of Hahn Family Wines in Soledad, Calif., said Thursday that visits to the company's Web site have increased tenfold since news of the ban broke late last week, and callers from across the country have been asking where they can buy the wine.

Because of the interest, he's developing store displays that say "Banned in Bama" and "Taste What They Can't Have in Alabama."

Hahn said he will never miss the 500 cases sold annually in Alabama. "There is going to be a significant increase in our sales," he predicted.
Still, one could say it is just the uptight Baptists on the Booze Board because when not worrying about the morals of their wine drinkers, Alabama government also does this.
Although nude art bothers the alcohol board, it's not a problem for some other branches of Alabama government.

The Alabama Tourism Department distributes a brochure with a cover featuring Hiram Powers' 19th century nude statue, The Greek Slave, which is on display at the Westervelt Warner Museum of American Art in Tuscaloosa. It is available in museums statewide, interstate highway welcome centers and visitors' bureaus statewide.

"We haven't had any concerns about it," Tourism Director Lee Sentell said.

And Alabama's Capitol has historic paintings on display, including two that show several topless female Indians.
And what is so bad about the label?

You be the judge.

Howard the Host on Health Care

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Do not ask for whom the toon Toles

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Heads we win, tails you lose

And we still win, so why would we want to change this. And when President Obama asks the mortgage industry to speed up its efforts to assist troubled borrowers, he should be aware of what he is up against.
But industry insiders and legal experts say the limited capacity of mortgage companies is not the primary factor impeding the government’s $75 billion program to prevent foreclosures. Instead, it is that many mortgage companies are reluctant to give strapped homeowners a break because the companies collect lucrative fees on delinquent loans.

Even when borrowers stop paying, mortgage companies that service the loans collect fees out of the proceeds when homes are ultimately sold in foreclosure. So the longer borrowers remain delinquent, the greater the opportunities for these mortgage companies to extract revenue — fees for insurance, appraisals, title searches and legal services.

“It frustrates me when I see the government looking to the servicer for the solution, because it will never ever happen,” said Margery Golant, a Florida lawyer who defends homeowners against foreclosure and who worked in the law department of a major mortgage company, Ocwen Financial. “I don’t think they’re motivated to do modifications at all. They keep hitting the loan all the way through for junk fees. It’s a license to do whatever they want.”
Nobody will cooperate if it breaks their rice bowl.

R.I.P. Reverend Ike

You were the real deal.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

For the love of health insurance thieves.

From the pen of Dwayne Powell

Your 2 Minute Ed

If it's Psycho Talk it must be coming from Republicans.

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They send e-mails, too

I received a lovely little note from my dear friends in DC. I just had to share it with you.
Dear Friend,

If you’re like most Americans, there’s nothing more important to you about health care than peace of mind.

Given the status quo, that’s understandable. The current system often denies insurance due to pre-existing conditions, charges steep out-of-pocket fees – and sometimes isn’t there at all if you become seriously ill.

It’s time to fix our unsustainable insurance system and create a new foundation for health care security. That means guaranteeing your health care security and stability with eight basic consumer protections:
  • No discrimination for pre-existing conditions
  • No exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles or co-pays
  • No cost-sharing for preventive care
  • No dropping of coverage if you become seriously ill
  • No gender discrimination
  • No annual or lifetime caps on coverage
  • Extended coverage for young adults
  • Guaranteed insurance renewal so long as premiums are paid
Learn more about these consumer protections at

Over the next month there is going to be an avalanche of misinformation and scare tactics from those seeking to perpetuate the status quo. But we know the cost of doing nothing is too high. Health care costs will double over the next decade, millions more will become uninsured, and state and local governments will go bankrupt.

It’s time to act and reform health insurance, drive down costs and guarantee the health care security and stability of every American family. You can help by putting these core principles of reform in the hands of your friends, your family, and the rest of your social network.

Thank you,
Barack Obama

They all have government run health care.

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Tom Toles today

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Thank God they are safe

They being the silver mercury amalgam fillings in your mouth.
Silver dental fillings containing mercury are safe for use by adults and children ages 6 and above, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday. Only people who are allergic to mercury should avoid that type of filling, the agency said.

After reviewing more than 200 scientific studies, the agency concluded that mercury vapor released by the filling was not enough to cause brain damage. Still, the agency for the first time classified the fillings as a Class II, or “moderate risk,” medical device.

The move acknowledges the risk for patients and allows the agency to impose tighter safety controls.
No word on how many teeth it takes to be hazardous.

MoDo compares Hillary and Caribou Barbie

In the end it is no contest.
Sarah should follow her own advice to Hillary and work harder to be capable. Until then, she’s all cage, no bird.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday is David Bromberg Day in my house

Morning Joe is not bad without Joe

And Ms Van den Heuvel is an eloquent spokeswoman.

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Why aren't KBR contracts being cancelled, NOW!

All their work with the US military should be summarily cancelled and the company barred from any government facility period, end of story.
More than 19 months since her son, Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, was electrocuted in the shower while serving with the Special Operations Task Force in Baghdad, Cheryl Harris finally has some sense of justice.

Yesterday, the inspector general of the Department of Defense issued a report proclaiming that the contractor tasked with performing facility maintenance at the Radwaniyah Palace in Baghdad, along with military leaders there, failed to properly perform its duties to ensure safety for servicemen and women stationed there and throughout Iraq.

"The results are revealing and contrary to what KBR and its president have continually stated over the last year," Ms. Harris said. "The report says that KBR installed the water pump that killed my son -- a point KBR has flatly denied for the past year."
This was not the only time they killed, or tried to kill the troops they are being paid to support, with our tax dollars. This is totally and completely inexcusable.

If only we had listened to The Onionback then

May 2, 2001 The Onion had a confession from the Senator from Montana. If only we had paid attention back then.
I've been "serving" the great state of Montana in the U.S. Senate since 1978. You'll notice I put "serving" in quotes, because, let's face it, I suck. My wife has been pleading with me not to say this publicly, insisting that it's not true, that I'm a capable and dedicated public servant, blah, blah, blah. Bless her dear heart, but she's just being nice. Because, folks, I am telling you, I am hands-down the shittiest senator in the history of the Senate. The worst.
Who has ever heard a senator or member of Congress be so searingly honest. Or have they ever given such valuable, yet ignored advice like this.
So, people from the great state of Montana, forget you ever even heard the name Max Baucus. Max Baucus... more like Trash... Ruckus.
Despite promising to retire, he did not do so and we are all paying the price today.

h/t to Suburban Guerrilla for the link

See what 40 years in the military can do to a man.

Forty years later, Henry A. Moak Jr. still loves his pound cake.

The Army colonel popped open a military C-ration can of pound cake from 1969 at his retirement ceremony, and dug in.

Moak got the drab olive can as a Marine helicopter pilot off the Vietnamese coast in 1973. He vowed to hang on to it until the day he retired, storing it in a box with other mementos.

After a formal retirement ceremony, dozens of friends and relatives joined Moak in the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes as he opened the can to cheers. Moak joked earlier this week that he hoped the can wouldn't explode. It let off a whooshing sound as the pressure seal broke.

Tom Toles Tuesday

Whoo boy, some fun, eh!

The new models of the often lethal Taser are now capable of doing 3 people without having to reload. Or as sometimes happens, 3 shots to the same person. Let the good times roll.

So when do we hang Cheney?

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Need a good laugh

Check out Drug Limbaugh's secret recipe for success on your 2 Minute Ed.

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Reach deep into your wallet

Because you and I are covering Goldman Sachs bets. Not just the ordinary risk of a bank holding company, but the risk that comes with some of Wall Sts more outrageous gambling. And all this at a time when it should be reducing its risk.
Goldman Sachs is using its new taxpayer-subsidized status to bring increased risk to the financial system, a group of House members charged Monday. They want to know why the Federal Reserve is allowing it.

The group on Monday sent a letter to the Fed asking for an explanation of why Goldman Sachs is being allowed to speculate wildly even while officially redesignating itself a bank holding company, which theoretically means stricter regulation. The bank designation gives Goldman access to dirt-cheap Federal Reserve loans.

Goldman initially applied for the new designation last fall, so that it could access bailout funds (since paid back). Because bank holding companies, unlike investment banks, have access to a host of valuable taxpayer subsidies, they are required to reduce the risk associated with their investment activity. But Goldman then applied to the Federal Reserve for an exemption to the rules, saying that it takes time to alter a business model. The exemption was granted in February -- and Goldman went on to take even greater risks. Its Value-at-Risk model, a widely used measure of the risk of loss, recently showed potential trading losses at $245 million a day; in May 2008, it was $184 million a day.

The bets paid off in the most recent quarter as the market rose and Goldman posted stellar earnings. Morgan Stanley, meanwhile, was similarly given an exemption by the Fed but did what it said it would do and reduced its risk. The company lost money, largely as a result of that decision.
Poor old Morgan Barney Stanley, they played by the rules and they lost money. Goldman, knowing full well it had its own crew in the Treasury and had no fear of restraint, went hog wild and made a huge profit, most of which will be sheltered somewhere from corporate taxes.

Jim DeMint doesn't like this ad

It's my new favorite. Watch it and share it with your friends.

Pity the poor Aetna

For the second time this year the poor old health insurance scammer has had to cut its profit forecast. And what is the cause of this fiscal disaster for this icon of health insurance thievery? You and me.
Aetna Inc., the third-largest U.S. health insurer, cut its full-year earnings forecast for the second time in two months as rising medical costs eroded revenue gains from selling lower-priced policies.

Aetna’s net income for the second quarter fell 28 percent from a year earlier, the Hartford, Connecticut-based insurer reported today. The results, after adjustment for pension costs and a legal settlement, missed analyst estimates by 10 cents a share.

Chief Executive Officer Ronald Williams said in a statement that medical costs were “not fully captured in 2009 pricing.” In June, Aetna said the recession was raising expenses by spurring workers to use benefits before they lose their jobs. U.S. unemployment has continued to mount, last month reaching 9.5 percent, the highest in 26 years.
Imagine that! Poilcy holders are actuually expecting old Ma Aetna to pay for their helth care expenses. And those same people, in anticipation of the loss of their jobs, want to go out the door healthy. The nerve of those shameless people, using funds that were supposed to impress Wall St. But all is not lost, a good thief always has a backup plan.
Aetna is raising premiums and trying to control costs through measures such as audits of high-volume hospitals or doctors, the company said in its statement. While rates in a quarter of contracts are already locked in for 2010, the company expects to benefit in the first quarter, Williams said on a conference call with analysts. Aetna’s willing to forego new business to be more profitable, he said.

“We have a sound business model that with hindsight was not adapted quickly enough to a changing environment,”
Raise the rates and get rid of doctors and hospitals who encourage good health among their patients. Ya just can't keep a good thief down.

Paul Krugman says the Blue Dogs are full of shit

And he is right, so go on over and read the why of it.

Is nothing sacred anymore?

From the AP:
Thousands of people took to the streets of a Scottish town Sunday to protest against the planned closure of a whisky plant with the loss of some 700 jobs, organisers said.

Holding banners, 20,000 protesters, including politicians, workers and their families and members of the town football team, marched through Kilmarnock in western Scotland where Johnnie Walker started blending whisky in the 1820s.

John Conyers has a good idea

As the chairman of the House Judiciary committee he want an investigation and hearings into the rampant lawlessness of the Bushoviks.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has called for both a criminal investigation and a blue-ribbon panel to look into "Bush administration abuses of power and misconduct."

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) told the National Press Club Friday that both avenues should be pursued because a criminal investigation would be done in private, while a blue-ribbon "9/11-type" panel would work publicly and would create a public record of the Bush administration's actions.

Conyers also slammed former Bush administration officials who are refusing to testify before the judiciary committee. He rejected the notion that "executive privilege" prevents Bush White House officials from answering questions before Congressional committees.
Go, John!

Monday Music Blogging

A beautiful musical paean to his homeland by Smetana, played by the NBC Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra created for one of the great conductors of the 20th century, Arturo Toscanini

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quote of the Day

All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian.
Pat Paulsen, erstwhile Presidential candidate who was far ahead of his time.

Dead whale jammed in cruise ships bow

So many damned cruise ships out there it's not safe to go swimming anywhere


From the pen of David Horsey

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Why the free market is bad for your health.

Dr Krugman has posted a teachable moment on his NYT blog about the economics of health care and why the free market is particularly unsuited to deliver adequate health insurance. One point that stands out.
This problem is made worse by the fact that actually paying for your health care is a loss from an insurers’ point of view — they actually refer to it as “medical costs.” This means both that insurers try to deny as many claims as possible, and that they try to avoid covering people who are actually likely to need care. Both of these strategies use a lot of resources, which is why private insurance has much higher administrative costs than single-payer systems. And since there’s a widespread sense that our fellow citizens should get the care we need — not everyone agrees, but most do — this means that private insurance basically spends a lot of money on socially destructive activities.
There is more, read it carefully, but in the end one thing should be remembered.
There are, however, no examples of successful health care based on the principles of the free market, for one simple reason: in health care, the free market just doesn’t work.

Today's Scripture

Matthew 25:34-40 KJV

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Call up a Blue Dog today and ask him if he supports Matthew 25:34-40 KJV.

Folks, this is in Virginia

The next state over from our glorious capitol city inside the Beltway, Washington DC.
WISE, Va. - Nearly 2,000 people crowded onto a southwest Virginia fairgrounds Friday and waited hours to receive free dental care, eyeglasses and medical procedures.

Remote Area Medical founder Stan Brock said the daily limit of 1,600 patients for the three-day clinic in Wise County was reached by 5:30 a.m. Friday. Another 200 people were admitted to the treatment area later in the morning, but several hundred more had to be turned away.

"If there's an event that more dramatically displays the need for health care, I don't know what it is," said Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, who spent an hour volunteering at a registration table Friday.

Brock said the number of people showing up for free care because they have either no jobs or no health insurance demonstrates a need to revamp the American health care system.

"It's outrageous that we've got all these people waiting all day," Brock said.

Brock started his organization with the goal of using volunteer medical professionals to serve underdeveloped nations, but it now devotes 64 percent of its efforts to care in the U.S. because the need is so great.
The United States of America, leader of the Third World.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Frank Rich makes a neat comparison

Between the journalism practiced by Walter Cronkite and the mealy mouthed knob gobbling of current media stars.
What matters about Cronkite is that he knew when to stop being reassuring Uncle Walter and to challenge those who betrayed his audience’s trust. He had the guts to confront not only those in power but his own bosses. Given the American press’s catastrophe of our own day — its failure to unmask and often even to question the White House propaganda campaign that plunged us into Iraq — these attributes are as timely as ever.

That’s why the past week’s debate about whether there could ever again be a father-figure anchor with Cronkite’s everyman looks and sonorous delivery is an escapist parlor game. What matters is content, not style. The real question is this: How many of those with similarly exalted perches in the news media today — and those perches, however diminished, still do exist in the multichannel digital age — will speak truth to power when the country is on the line? This journalistic responsibility cannot be outsourced to Comedy Central and Jon Stewart.

Moving as it may be to repeatedly watch Cronkite’s famous on-camera reactions to J.F.K.’s death and the astronauts’ moon landing, those replays aren’t the story. It’s a given that an anchor might mist up during a national tragedy and cheer a national triumph. The real test is how a journalist responds when people in high places are doing low deeds out of camera view and getting away with it. Vietnam and Watergate, not Kennedy and Neil Armstrong, are what made Cronkite Cronkite.
Others this week have also pointed out the sad deterioration of those once called journalists in their quest for the ultimate cocktail wienie. On a hopeful note, we still have Jon Stewart.

It's almost Sunday

Here is a little tune to prepare you for the morning.

Want to feel like your boss?

roughly 146,000 Americans — many of them restaurant, hotel, car wash and nail salon employees — who are paid mainly through customer tips and therefore earn a lower federal minimum wage, $2.13 an hour.

That federal floor wage for tipped workers has been stuck at $2.13 hourly for 18 years in many states.
$2.13 plus whatever you leave. So if you really want to feel like your boss, stiff your waiter or waitress, just like your boss did for your last review.

Unbearable thought of the day

The Guardian has a report of British scientists managing to program E. coli bacteria to act as a living computer. This living computer even managed to solve a standard math problem faster than current silicon computers. E. coli are the bacteria that live in your digestive tract and those of almost every living mammal.

This could give a whole new meaning to " Shitting your brains out".

Jiffy Lubes with bedpans

Bill Maher gives his take on the demise of non profit institutions.

If conservatives get to call universal health care "socialized medicine," I get to call private health care "soulless vampires making money off human pain."

The last British WW I veteran has died

Rest in Peace Harry Patch.

And let the leaders of the world take this time to condemn the leaders that began The Great World War for reasons that more deserved the public whipping of those leaders than the deaths of Millions of soldiers, sailors and civilians.

Was there no law they wouldn't break?

It would seem that as part of Dickwahd al-Cheney's efforts to overthrow the legitimate government of the US there was no law or part of the Constitution itself that was inviolable to Dickwahd and his weasel wording minions if it got in the way of presidential power.
Top Bush administration officials in 2002 debated testing the Constitution by sending American troops into the suburbs of Buffalo to arrest a group of men suspected of plotting with Al Qaeda, according to former administration officials...

...In the discussions, Mr. Cheney and others cited an Oct. 23, 2001, memorandum from the Justice Department that, using a broad interpretation of presidential authority, argued that the domestic use of the military against Al Qaeda would be legal because it served a national security, rather than a law enforcement, purpose.

“The president has ample constitutional and statutory authority to deploy the military against international or foreign terrorists operating within the United States,” the memorandum said.

The memorandum — written by the lawyers John C. Yoo and Robert J. Delahunty — was directed to Alberto R. Gonzales, then the White House counsel, who had asked the department about a president’s authority to use the military to combat terrorist activities in the United States.

The memorandum was declassified in March. But the White House debate about the Lackawanna group is the first evidence that top American officials, after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, actually considered using the document to justify deploying the military into an American town to make arrests.
Does Dickwahd have to kill somebody as part of the Super Bowl halftime show before somebody prosecutes this gangster?

Judge calls bullshit on Gitmo Kid Case

And strangely the DOJ pleads with the judge, but it's good bullshit your honor.
The Justice Department conceded Friday that it lacks the evidence to hold a teenage Guantanamo detainee as an enemy combatant after a federal judge last week ruled that his confession was inadmissible.

In a hearing last week, U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ruled that Mohammed Jawad's confession to Afghan officials was inadmissible because it had been extracted through torture. She also questioned whether the Justice Department had any evidence to proceed with a trial to determine whether he can be held as an enemy combatant.

Huvelle called the case an "outrage" and told Justice Department lawyers that their case against Jawad had been "gutted."

"Without his statements, I don't understand your case," she told Justice Department lawyers. "Sir, the facts can only get smaller, not bigger. . . . Face it, this case is in trouble. . . . Seven years and this case is riddled with holes."

She then urged the lawyers to "let him out. Send him back to Afghanistan."

Department lawyers, however, signaled they may bring him to the U.S. for a criminal trial.
So like any good bureaucracy, the DOJ refuses to admit to a mistake, especially one that has aged 7 years. Does it violate every legal and ethical code? Was it initiated by someone else who could easily be blamed? No matter. Like a good soldier, a good bureaucrat pushes on until the Big Fool says otherwise.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Watch David have a stroke

Every time his guest, rightly, says that it is the media who is making a star of Dickless Cheney.

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And now a word from our sponsor*

*not really

Which pill is used by Republicans?

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Krugman writes about Obama's Health Care presser

Something the talking heads were enjoined from doing by their corporate masters.
Now President Obama is trying to provide every American with access to health insurance — and he’s also doing more to control health care costs than any previous president.

I don’t know how many people understand the significance of Mr. Obama’s proposal to give MedPAC, the expert advisory board to Medicare, real power. But it’s a major step toward reducing the useless spending — the proliferation of procedures with no medical benefits — that bloats American health care costs.

And both the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats have also been emphasizing the importance of “comparative effectiveness research” — seeing which medical procedures actually work.

So the Obama administration’s commitment to health care for all goes along with an unprecedented willingness to get serious about spending health care dollars wisely. And that’s part of a broader pattern.
It is much more than the public option, but they better not forget that.

Quote of the Day

Their comments aid and abet our enemies during a time of war and the burden is on Fox News to prove that they reject this by taking the tangible action of issuing an apology and firing both of them
Rep. Eric Massa, D-NY, reacting with outrage to the despicable comments of Ralph Peters and the mealy mouthed support for them from noted boot licker Bill O'Reilly.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Your 2 Minute Ed

With a real Canadian talking about real Canadian health care.

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A new petition for the common good

Putting this up top in hopes of getting a few more to sign on (28,000 so far)

This one, over at Firedoglake, calls for Congress to stay in session until health care reform is passed.

You can sign on here.

PS It doesn't cost you anything to do it.

Your Daily Aphorism

Whenever a Republican or a Blue Dog lies about health care, another uninsured patient dies.

And here is why we trust Jon Stewart with the news

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Born Identity
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

R.I.P. John Dawson

Keep on riding, dude.

Jon Stewart America's Most Trusted Newsman

Now that Walter Cronkite is dead, it is only fitting that the one man who asks the hard questions that make people like David Gregory piddle themselves turns out to be the most trusted newsman in America. The poll results may be found here.

Thursday Toles

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How politics works

Gail Collins enlightens us on what it takes to get a favorable legislative result in DC using the recent success with the F-22 as an example.
Everybody pulled out all the stops to give wavering senators the spine to take a stand. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made a big we-are-at-the-crossroads speech in Chicago, telling the nation that if the F-22 stayed in the budget, all hope of sane procurement practices was lost forever.

The president threatened to veto the entire $664 billion defense appropriations bill if there were F-22s in it. Vice President Joe Biden was on the phone talking and talking and talking. Rahm Emanuel was threatening to bite people on the leg — it was terrible, seeing those swing votes limping down the halls with the White House chief of staff gnawing at their ankles.

And they won! Who says the Senate can’t make the hard choices?
If you think Congress is simply stupid speeches and up or down votes, this is not the read for you. Bit it is fun.

Ron Paul and I agree on one thing

The best way to fund health care for everybody.
And to finance health reform, Paul would like to see the US end its overseas military engagements. “I would cut from overseas spending, I would cut from these trillions and trillions of dollars that we have spent over the years and bring our troops home so that we can finance it [health care].”

Paul said that President Obama’s decision to cancel the F-22 fighter jet program was “a first very very minor step … and I applaud Obama for that. But we don’t need one [defense project] removed, we need to change our foreign policy, then we could afford the health care that is necessary
To his credit Paul, who does not like the idea of government paying for healthcare, realizes in this world people do need care and the private sector is not getting it done.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A tune of Wednesday

Wednesday's Child is full of woe so we offer my favorite Canadian blues lady and all around top notch guitar picker to raise your spirits.

When "non-partisan" and "independent research" equal astroturf

Just about anytime you hear those words coming from a Republican mouth it is probably true that he or she is lying. The latest burst of sunshine shriveling the GOP world is the revelation that one of the more quotable "nonpartisan independent research" groups used by the GOP in their fight to keep Americans from wasting America's precious health care resources is a wholly owned subsidiary of a major US health scam corporation.
The political battle over health-care reform is waged largely with numbers, and few number-crunchers have shaped the debate as much as the Lewin Group, a consulting firm whose research has been widely cited by opponents of a public insurance option.

To Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican whip, it is "the nonpartisan Lewin Group." To Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, it is an "independent research firm." To Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the second-ranking Republican on the pivotal Finance Committee, it is "well known as one of the most nonpartisan groups in the country."

Generally left unsaid amid all the citations is that the Lewin Group is wholly owned by UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation's largest insurers.

More specifically, the Lewin Group is part of Ingenix, a UnitedHealth subsidiary that was accused by the New York attorney general and the American Medical Association, a physician's group, of helping insurers shift medical expenses to consumers by distributing skewed data. Ingenix supplied its parent company and other insurers with data that allegedly understated the "usual and customary" doctor fees that insurers use to determine how much they will reimburse consumers for out-of-network care.
Fancy that, they have already been caught lying for fun and profit. Another of the many surprises paid for by premium dollars instead of being wasted on coverage.

Your 2 Minute Ed

Facing down more Republican lies.

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R.I.P. Gidget

Now you can get all the Taco Bell you want after waiting 105 dog years.

Another perfect score

This one from Pat Oliphant.

The Can't Do Nation

Harold Meyerson looks at the right wing Blue Dog Democrats and sees a symptom of a greater ill than has been yet acknowledged in our country.
Watching the centrist Democrats in Congress create more and more reasons why health care can't be fixed, I've been struck by a disquieting thought: Suppose our collective lack of response to Hurricane Katrina wasn't exceptional but, rather, the new normal in America. Suppose we can no longer address the major challenges confronting the nation. Suppose America is now the world's leading can't-do country.

Every other nation with an advanced economy long ago secured universal health care for its citizens -- an achievement that the United States alone finds beyond the capacities of mortal man. It wasn't ever thus. Time was when Democratic Congresses enacted Social Security and Medicare over the opposition of powerful interests and Republican ideologues. In fact, our government used to actually pave roads, build bridges and allow for secure retirements by levying taxes on those who could afford to pay them.

To today's centrist Democrats, this has become a distant memory, a history lesson they cannot grasp. The notion that actual individuals might have to pay to secure the national interest appalls them. In the House, the Blue Dogs doggedly oppose proposals to fund universal coverage by taxing the wealthiest 1 percent of the nation's households. Their deference to wealth -- whether the consequence of our system of funding elections or a byproduct of the Internet generation's experience of free access to information and entertainment -- is not to be trifled with.
Whether you agree or not, you can't help but ask, Where is the leadership?

What does Obama see in Cheney

For some strange reason, President Obama seems intent on giving gifts to former VP and current Venomous Slug Dickwahd al-Cheney. The why of it remains hidden but the latest goodies are:
Arguing before Washington, D.C. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Smith said Tuesday that the court should not unseal Cheney’s interview with prosecutors during the Valerie Plame case because it could make future vice presidents hesitant to cooperate with investigations. He added that Cheney’s words could also be used for political embarrassment and must be kept under wraps until it can only be used in a “historical context.”

Smith has previously argued that the court should keep Cheney’s words secret because they may turn up on Comedy Central’s fake news program The Daily Show, embarrassing the former vice president.

He asked the court to delay disclosure for 10 years from the day President George W. Bush left office.
On Tuesday, President Obama reportedly granted a request from Cheney to extend secret service protection for the former vice president. Cheney’s security detail was set to expire six months after he left office. The extension grants him another six months of taxpayer-funded, personal security detail.
The last thing Dickwahd needs is protection. Like his colorful cousins on the sea floor, he is too venomous to approach safely, much less harm.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

DNC web ad

Lewis Black on Health Care Reorm

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Health Care Reform
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Political HumorJoke of the Day

The GOP lies so much, so often

That we thought it would be a good idea to present a real Canadian talking about the real Canadian Health Care System. And not just any Canadian, but a former deputy minister of health and deputy minister of treasury and economics for Ontario who should probably know more than any GOP could ever learn.
As President Barack Obama drafts his health-care plan, he could profit from reviewing the successes and shortcomings of the Canadian system that has operated successfully for more than 40 years. Canada spends more than a third less per capita on health than the United States and still covers everyone, whereas the U.S. system leaves 46 million people without insurance.

Since our health statistics are markedly better, average Americans would be healthier and live longer if they lived in Canada. Here, doctors do not have to waste time seeking insurance approvals. Medical need is the only requirement and pre-existing conditions don't matter. The reduction in the bloated overheads and bureaucracy among insurance companies and government is one of the secrets to our lower costs. If the U.S. were to copy this, it could save $1 trillion a year and cover everyone. The lower costs would also help make employers more competitive.

In our system, wait times have been the largest complaint but some progress is being made. We do have a good referral system, which means that urgent cases mostly get treated in a timely fashion, hence our excellent health statistics.
Curiously, those that have closed their minds to the reality and their hearts to their fellow citizens insist inthe comments that they know better.

Do Not Piss Off the Judge

He may decide to do something like this.
A federal district judge ruled Monday that the CIA repeatedly misled him in asserting that state secrets were involved in a 15-year-old lawsuit involving allegedly illegal wiretapping.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth also ordered former CIA director George Tenet and five other CIA officials to explain their actions or face potential sanctions.

Lamberth also questioned the credibility of current CIA Director Leon Panetta, saying that Panetta's testimony in the case contained significant discrepancies, and rejected an Obama administration request that the case continue to be kept secret. He released hundreds of previously secret filings.

"The court does not give the government a high degree of deference because of its prior misrepresentations regarding the stated secrets privilege in this case," Lamberth wrote. "Although this case has been sealed since its inception to protect sensitive information, it is clear . . . that many of the issues are unclassified."

Tom Toles Tuesday

On target again.

click pic to big

What is it with cops and Tasers?

This time it is sheriffs deputies in Southern Illinois who lost it.
A shelter for adolescents in southern Illinois is suing the local sheriff’s office for what it describes as an unprovoked attack by two police officers on four children, three of whom were tasered, and one of whom was threatened with sodomy by a sheriff’s deputy.

The Southern Thirty Adolescent Center near Mount Vernon, IL, filed the lawsuit on behalf of three children in its custody, who the lawsuit says were tasered by Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies who had been called to help subdue two misbehaving children, aged 11 and 12. Neither of those children were among those who were tasered during what one news service described as a police “rampage.”
The ones they were called to subdue were untouchedbut as for the others,
, one deputy “physically pushed R.E. towards his bunk and shocked him repeatedly with a taser. … R.E. was tased multiple times to multiple locations on his person, including, but not limited to, his neck. Deputy Bowers shouted to B.B. to lie down in his bunk and physically forced him to lie down.

“Without physical provocation and/or physical gestures from B.B., Deputy Bowers held B.B. down on his bed and shocked him repeatedly with a taser. While he was tasing B.B., Deputy David Bowers threatened to sodomize B.B. As a result of this repeated and excessive tasing, B.B. urinated and defecated himself. Deputy David Bowers was aware that B.B. urinated himself after the tasing.”
And to add insult to injury, they worked over a female visitor.
“As Z.P. was being repeatedly tased, [17-year-old] Megan Geisler pleaded with Deputy David Bowers and Deputy Lonnie Lawler to stop. Deputy David Bowers ordered Deputy Lonnie Lawler to handcuff Megan Geisler. … Deputy David Bowers grabbed Megan Geisler by her arms, lifted her off her feet, and carried her through the male dormitory to a nearby closet. On the way to the closet, Deputy David Bowers lifted Megan Geisler off the ground, pressed her against a wall and choked her. While choking her, Deputy David Bowers said, ‘do you want to live or die bitch’ to Megan Geisler. Megan Geisler was then thrown into a closet. At this time she began vomiting and heaving.”
Apparently pleading with runaway deputies is a heinous crime. And how does the Sheriff view this sort of behavior?
the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says the deputies “acted appropriately.”

Monday, July 20, 2009

Your 2 x 2 Minute Ed

I gotta say I.m beginning to like Ed more than KO

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CBO Scores Confirms Deficit Neutrality of Health Reform Bill

We print this press release in its entirety because, thanks to all the clueless "Sons of Walter Cronkite", you would not otherwise see it.
Washington, D.C. -- The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released estimates this evening confirming for the first time that H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, is deficit neutral over the 10-year budget window – and even produces a $6 billion surplus. CBO estimated more than $550 billion in gross Medicare and Medicaid savings. More importantly, the bill includes a comprehensive array of delivery reforms to set the stage for lowering the future growth in health care costs.

Net Medicare and Medicaid savings of $465 billion, coupled with the $583 billion revenue package reported today by the House Committee on Ways and Means, fully finance the previously estimated $1.042 trillion cost of reform, which will provide affordable health care coverage for 97% of Americans.

"This fulfills the strong commitment of the President and House leadership to enact health reform on a deficit-neutral basis," said Chairman Henry A. Waxman, Chairman Charles B. Rangel, and Chairman George Miller. "The reforms included in this legislation will help control health care costs and expand access to quality, affordable coverage to all Americans in a fiscally-responsible manner."

The estimates also cover important reinvestments in Medicare and Medicaid, including phasing in the closing of the "donut" hole in the Medicare drug benefit. The bill’s long-term reform of Medicare’s physician fee schedule to eliminate the potential 21 percent cut in fees, and put payments on a sustainable basis for the future, will cost about $245 billion. Those costs, however, are not included in the net calculations above, as they will be absorbed under the upcoming statutory "pay go" legislation that is pending in the House.

Quote of the Day

Don't make a woman mad, especially if she has a concealed firearm
Lamount Friend, ex-con shot in the back by his former prison psychologist and girlfriend as he was exiting the car after a fight. He says he still loves her.

R.I.P. Gordon Waller

You and Peter were great fun to listen to and you will be remembered.

Bad place for it

If there is any place for a busted toilet, it is not anywhere that you can not just step outside and "kill a bush". The absolute worst for this is the International Space Station and wouldn't you know it, the first big party they have and the plumbing goes south.
The bathroom lines at the already crowded space shuttle and space station complex got a lot longer Sunday because of a flooded toilet.

One of two commodes aboard the international space station broke down, right in the middle of complicated robotic work being conducted by the two crews. The pump separator apparently flooded.

Mission Control advised the astronauts to hang an "out of service" sign on the toilet until it could be fixed. In the meantime, the six space station residents had to get in line to use their one good toilet. And Endeavour's seven astronauts were restricted to the shuttle bathroom.

There have never been so many people – 13 – together in space.

The toilet repair work fell to Belgian Frank De Winne and American Michael Barratt, who had to don goggles, gloves and masks. They ripped apart the compartment, working well into the evening. Mission Control finally instructed them to call it a day and resume the effort Monday morning.

Flight director Brian Smith declined to speculate whether overuse caused the toilet trouble.
Probably the one area the designers thought did not need overengineering.

Now they do it

For years there have been rumors and then actual reports of all manner of bad shit going on at Bagram prison in Afghanistan. So bad that it sounded more like a bad Hollywood movie than an American run prison. Sadly, it was true and now, after a US soldier has been captured by the Taliban, the military has decided to do something about Bagram.
A sweeping United States military review calls for overhauling the troubled American-run prison here as well as the entire Afghan jail and judicial systems, a reaction to worries that abuses and militant recruiting within the prisons are helping to strengthen the Taliban...

...Under the new approach, the United States would help build and finance a new Afghan-run prison for the hard-core extremists who are now using the poorly run Afghan corrections system as a camp to train petty thieves and other common criminals to be deadly militants, the American officials said.

The remaining inmates would be taught vocational skills and offered other classes, and they would be taught about moderate Islam with the aim of reintegrating them into society, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the review’s findings had not been publicly disclosed. The review also presses for training new Afghan prison guards, prosecutors and judges.
Applying the lessons learned in Iraq which begs the question, Why did the lesson have to be learned?

Monday Music Blogging

Linda Ronstadt at her best.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

About that $3.44B profit at Goldman Sachs

Did you know it came out of your pocket and mine? If you didn't, you really should read Matt Taibbi more often. When you are done you might feel like this guy.

It's not our role*

Glenn Greenwald writing in Salon, takes a gimlet eyed view of modern "journalism" at the time that profession is basking in the reflected glory of their paeans to Walter Cronkite.
So, too, with the death of Walter Cronkite. Tellingly, his most celebrated and significant moment -- Greg Mitchell says "this broadcast would help save many thousands of lives, U.S. and Vietnamese, perhaps even a million" -- was when he stood up and announced that Americans shouldn't trust the statements being made about the war by the U.S. Government and military, and that the specific claims they were making were almost certainly false. In other words, Cronkite's best moment was when he did exactly that which the modern journalist today insists they must not ever do -- directly contradict claims from government and military officials and suggest that such claims should not be believed. These days, our leading media outlets won't even use words that are disapproved of by the Government.

Despite that, media stars will spend ample time flamboyantly commemorating Cronkite's death as though he reflects well on what they do (though probably not nearly as much time as they spent dwelling on the death of Tim Russert, whose sycophantic servitude to Beltway power and "accommodating head waiter"-like, mindless stenography did indeed represent quite accurately what today's media stars actually do). In fact, within Cronkite's most important moments one finds the essence of journalism that today's modern media stars not only fail to exhibit, but explicitly disclaim as their responsibility.
Glenn is not kind in his comparisons of Cronkite and David Halberstam to the like of David Gregory and Timmeh Russert, but he does not miss his mark.
In other words, Cronkite's best moment was when he did exactly that which the modern journalist today insists they must not ever do -- directly contradict claims from government and military officials and suggest that such claims should not be believed. These days, our leading media outlets won't even use words that are disapproved of by the Government.

Despite that, media stars will spend ample time flamboyantly commemorating Cronkite's death as though he reflects well on what they do (though probably not nearly as much time as they spent dwelling on the death of Tim Russert, whose sycophantic servitude to Beltway power and "accommodating head waiter"-like, mindless stenography did indeed represent quite accurately what today's media stars actually do). In fact, within Cronkite's most important moments one finds the essence of journalism that today's modern media stars not only fail to exhibit, but explicitly disclaim as their responsibility...

...That's why they so intensely celebrated Tim Russert: because he was the epitome of what they do, and it's why they'll celebrate Walter Cronkite (like they did with David Halberstam) only by ignoring the fact that his most consequential moments were ones where he did exactly that which they will never do.
And so we will hear many times before it is over that Uncle Walter was the most trusted man in America, but you can be sure they will avoid telling you why we trusted him.

*David Gregory, MSNBC, May 28, 2008.

EXTRA: Non Sequitur sums it up nicely today

Quote of the Day

"It's in the spirit of making good from bad that I am committing to you and the larger family of South Carolinians to use this experience to both trust God in his larger work of changing me, and from my end, to work to becoming a better and more effective leader,"
Gov. Mark Sanford, asking South Carolina to believe that, after 49 years, God has finally made him an honest man.

Frank Rich and MoDo both rip the GOP

And you have your choice of disdainful contempt for the current gang of GOP idiots infesting Congress. Frank sez:
The antediluvian political culture of Coburn and his peers, for all its roots in the race-baiting “Southern strategy” of the Nixon era, is actually of a more recent vintage. It dates back just 15 years, to what my Times colleague Sam Tanenhaus calls conservatism’s “most decadent phase” in his coming book “The Death of Conservatism.” This was the Newt Gingrich revolution, swept into Congress by the midterms of 1994. Its troops came armed with a reform agenda titled the “Contract With America” and a mother lode of piety. Their promises included an end to federal deficits, the restoration of national security, transparent (and fewer) House committees, and “a Congress that respects the values and shares the faith of the American family.”

That the class of ’94 failed on almost every count is a matter of history, no matter how hard it has retroactively tried to blame its disastrous record on George W. Bush. Its incompetence may even have been greater than its world-class hypocrisy. Its only memorable achievements were to shut down the government in a fit of pique and to impeach Bill Clinton in a tsunami of moral outrage.
MoDo sez:
The religious boardinghouse in Washington where Sanford sought succor from fellow conservatives, where he agonized to pals about his tango with the enticing María, is also back in the news. Affiliated with a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship — which also sponsored Bible study and prayer circles attended by Hillary Clinton when she was a senator — the pious dwelling is becoming a tourist attraction, a monument to Republican hypocrisy.

The C Street house, as the flag-flying brick rowhouse near the Capitol is known, serves as a residence and Bible study retreat for many Christian conservative lawmakers. But it looks as if what these guys were praying for was a chance to get lucky.
They are both a good read today, click on over and enjoy.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Your Weekend Ed

A little more than 2 minutes but he has Wendell Potter.

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Green sex?

And I do not mean your first grope in the back seat at the drive in. A brothel in Berlin is trying to drum up business by being good to its customers and the environment, too.
Customers who arrive on bicycle or who can prove they took public transportation get a 5-euro ($7) discount from the usual 70-euro ($100) fee for 45 minute sessions, Goetz told Reuters. He said the environmentally friendly offer was working.

"We have around 3-5 new customers coming in daily to take advantage of the discount," he said, adding the green rebate has helped alleviate traffic and parking congestion in the neighborhood.
Gives a whole new meaning to helmet head.

1,534 children

The local Santa Fe newspaper included in its coverage of local demonstrations in favor of health care reform a listing of how much the New Mexico congressional delegation has taken from "health care interests". They have included an interesting way of looking at those donations, the number of children who could have been covered based on the cost of basic coverage for a person under 18 in the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool.
What follows are total campaign donations from health care interests to New Mexico’s congressional delegation members over the span of their careers, as calculated by the Center for Responsive Politics at

Only Bingaman had significant insurance industry contributions, so SFR didn’t list insurance contributions to the other lawmakers. For comparison’s sake, the average US representative has taken $34,676 in donations from “health professionals;” the average US senator has taken $84,983.

Rank of “health professionals” among industry contributors: 2
Total from health pros: $547,616
Rank of the insurance industry: 11
Total from insurance: $160,875
Number of New Mexico children who could’ve been insured for a year with the sum of those contributions: 968*
Boilerplate health care statement from website: “I strongly support a public option. The most critical elements of such a plan are that it would be established and overseen by the federal government, and made available to all Americans.”

Rank of health pros among industry contributors: 9
Total from health pros: $276,170
Children that money could’ve insured: 377
Interview talking points: “I’m in support of a public option. I think we need it to keep the insurance companies honest. I think we need the competition that a public option would bring,” Udall tells SFR.

Rank of health pros among industry
contributors: 9
Total from health pros: $41,050
Children that money could’ve insured: 56
Boilerplate: “It’s time to fix this broken system that is making it difficult for families to make ends meet. Ben supports comprehensive health care reform that makes health care affordable and accessible for American families.”

Rank of health pros among industry
contributors: 10
Total from health pros: $56,550
Children that money could’ve insured: 77
Boilerplate: “We should use our ingenuity to develop a fair, common sense plan to make sure that every American has access to high quality affordable health care.”

Rank of health pros among industry
contributors: 14
Total from health pros: $40,900
Children that money could’ve insured: 56
Boilerplate: “Harry will work to make sure every American takes responsibility for his or her health by choosing an option that is affordable and works for them. Harry also believes that in order to decrease the cost of health insurance, we must bring a new focus on prevention.”
Enough money to insure 1,534 kids spent to make sure those kids and others like them never get the coverage Americans deserve. And that is just one small state whose crew doesn't even break the Top 20 money list.

GOP congressmoop lets the truth slip out about health insurance.

Republican Congressman Tim Murphy (PA) is probably going to catch a load of shit for this. At the least the insurance companies will cut off his subsidy.

Isn't it a wonder

That, as Paul Krugman points out, the 6 right wing Senators who sent a letter to the White House asking that health care reform be delayed so the insurance industry can kill it, did so expressing fiscal concerns that were nowhere evident in previous years.
What’s especially galling is the hypocrisy of their claimed reason for delaying progress — concern about the fiscal burden. After all, in the past most of them have shown no concern at all for the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook.

Case in point: the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which denied Medicare the right to bargain for lower drug prices, locked in overpayments to private insurance companies, and did nothing, nothing at all, to pay for its proposed outlays. How many of these six self-proclaimed defenders of solvency voted no on the crucial procedural vote? One. (Joe Lieberman, to my surprise.)

And let’s not forget that Ben Nelson, who appears to be the ringleader, has fought tooth and nail against competition from a public option — which would almost certainly save a significant amount of money, as well as providing much-needed competition.
They say you should dance with the one that brought you. In this case it is dancing with the one that bought you.

Friday, July 17, 2009

R.I.P. Walter Cronkite

You leave this world at a time when there is not a reporter worth the spit to shine your shoes.

Oh, I'd hate to be this Oscar Mayer Wienermobile driver

story here

Your 2 Minute Ed

Tonight his take on a cowardly major who has disgraced his uniform and his service.

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