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Friday, July 31, 2009

Of Course We Do Sir, It's A Cheese Shop


Bend Over And Get Ready

Careful with those songs you've d/l'd from Kazaa or Limewire or whatever P2P platform you use. The RIAA is not fucking around around anymore.

Recording Industry Association of America is going for the jugular in an ongoing file sharing trial in Massachusetts, urging a federal judge to clarify jury instructions so panelists would award up to $150,000 in damages for each of 30 songs at issue.

The move, made Thursday in the Joel Tenenbaum case, suggests the RIAA stands behind its $1.92 million jury verdict against Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the nation’s first defendant to take on the RIAA at a file sharing trial.

The RIAA has until Aug. 12 to inform the Thomas-Rasset judge whether the $80,000 fine a jury awarded for each of two dozen songs was so out of whack that it was unconstitutionally excessive. The June verdict garnered national headlines because of the unusually large award.

One has to wonder exactly who determines the overall value of a not just the song, but the potential after-effects. Are these people that d/l songs online never going to buy liscensed recordings again? Are they going to stop going to see concerts? After all, the concert circuit if where bands make their real money. You tour and get your talent out there and people will buy your CDs.

Also, you get something unique when you purchase a CD. Aside from the artwork, labels may add incentives for the consumer, like exclusive content ( i.e. programs to run on your computer or video and unreleased tracks ). And for all the speculation that downloading tracks from the internet is going to destroy the recording industry, the RIAA has yet to produce any viable information that would support their claim.

This isn't to say that buy a CD is cheap, it actually isn't. With the average cost of one CD from just about any band ringing up at close to $20 for a single disc, it's no wonder that many people are turning to the internet for free music. But how does the RIAA justify fining someone such an unblushingly massive amount of money for one song?

I think Gordon Gecko has the answer.

New Idea

On Fridays, I'm no longer going to blog on politics. I actually think I'm experiencing some bizzare form of political blogger sickness. There's just so much crap out there to talk about that it's becoming overwhelming.

So, from now on, Fridays are anything but politics.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fancy A Trip To Amsterdam?

( h/t to John Cole )

I've never been to Amsterdam, but I know it can't possibly be as bad as Bill O'Reilly and his pretty-blonde-entourage would have us think it is.

Aparently you have to be high to believe whatever O'Reilly and ( insert name of blonde Fox personality ) are talking about. Come to think of it, his audience has probably mixed their Percocets and Xanax with a little Ensure and coped a wicked buzz while watching.

Manipulating The Elderly And Un-Informed

It's to be expected that the GOP are going to play the role of obstructionists simply because they are in a position to do so. I won't belabor the very real point that this is not going to help them gain any votes next year, save from the very fringe elements of their voting block, but it should be pointed out that they are perpetuating one of the largest lies in regards to the proposed healthcare legislation. And they are playing on the fears of the elderly and un-informed in order to get what they want.

Here's a sampling of what they are telling people about "end-of-life" issues.

And when one reads the language that conservative appear to be referencing within the bill, they aren't even marginally close to making a semi-valid point. It's rand fabrication and lies from the moment they open their mouths. Take a look.

Igor Volsky at The Wonk Room breaks it down:

To substantiate their claims, conservatives point to SEC. 1233 of the House Tri Committee bill, a section titled “ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION.” But while the language allows Medicare to reimburse providers for consulting with patients about end-of-life issues, nothing in the section mandates a consultation. On page 429, the bill specifically states that seniors “may” consult with medical professionals — not government bureaucrats.

No mention of a 5 year visit from someone representing the Federal Government. No mention of mandating anything.

Naturally, one would expect the particular language within a bill would be spun in one direction or the other ( dependant upon who wants to make what point ) but this is creating an issue that simply is not there.

End-of-life care is very important and personal. Lest we forget, the Right made quite the issue out of Terri Schiavo.

Did Someone Say Ratings?

One can almost smell O'Reilly's Pavlovian response to hot-button issues. If he thinks that it will get more people to watch him, and facts be damned, he will exploit, spin, and offer up his own particular style of "reporting" in order to keep something alive for as long as he can. The dead horse meme almost doesn't apply to O'Reilly, since his ability to keep something going has reached new and obsured lows.

You can always tell when Bill doesn't want any opposition on an issue by the guests that he has on to discuss whatever topic he's latched onto at the time. When it's Hillary Clinton, he has on Dick Morris. And, when it's anything media related, he has on Bernard Goldberg to offer up some verbal ego massaging.

So when it came time to discuss the "birther" nonsense, Goldberg was back to offer his own brand of idiotic analysis.

So if Dobb's is peddling such ratings poison with this manufactured controversy, then why does it look like O'Reilly is going to have Dobbs on his program?

After slamming the birthers story during Monday's show (though defending Dobbs' right to free speech), O'Reilly wants Dobbs to join him on the O'Reilly Factor. Last night, after a segment answering viewers' questions on birthers, O'Reilly added: "By the way I think we're going to have Lou Dobbs on this program tomorrow. That should be interesting."

I hardly believe that O'Reilly is merely championing Dobbs' right to free speech, as this is shaping up to be a conservative firestorm of an issue and O'Reilly, with complete disregard to the fact that his own network is perpetuating this myth as gospel-truth, thinks he has something to gain from jumping into the fray.

And to add another element to this equation, if one is to believe O'Reilly and Goldberg's preposterous theory that the "birther" story is somehow being maintained by the Obama administration, then why is O'Reilly willing to continue talking about it?

Even if the later were true, that elements within the Obama White House were keeping this story going in order to further damage the conservative movement, do you really think that's going to stop O'Reilly from talking about it if it will make his numbers look better?

Ensuring That The GOP Maintains Rural, Southern, "Traditions"

Some time ago, a former co-worker was venting his frustration at the very real fact that it looked like Barack Obama was going to win the Presidency. The man with whom he was speaking agreed with every statement made and the way in which the conversation was framed. It was casual, but quite serious, and appeared to be quite the common topic of discussion. What made this conversation stand out was the unblushing use of the most racist language imaginable.

Watching former GOP Congressman Tom Davis of Virginia on Hardball, I realized that what he was postulating of the GOP, in regards to the direction in which they are currently moving, is all too true.

In the South, more than any other region in the US, there is a "tradition" of racism. And in the more rural areas of the southern states, that racism can and has manifested itself into some of the most grizzly forms you can imagine. And, to that, there should be pointed out that there are levels of racist behavior and speech. While all are equally pathetic and have no place in this country, some ( if not many ) aspects of racism are not only being condoned but they are actually being encouraged.

Within the conservative movement, the racial divisiveness has grown at an alarming and exponential rate since January. It is, by all accounts, a mainstream form of socio-political discourse that is being embraced by massive segments of the Republican voting block.

Racheal Maddow takes on this in a segment from her MSNBC program last night.

That conversation, that I ultimately had to get involved in after I could no longer listen to the word nigger again, listen to two men talk about how Martin Luther King Jr. was a terrorist, that interracial couples should be imprisoned, has moved from the corners of rural Kentucky workplaces and spread to the airwaves broadcasting conservative talk-radio and the 24 hour news cycles on television.

But make no mistake about it, this is not making the GOP or the conservative movement look any better. But, as long as there are people receptive to the message of racism, they will continue to have a platform.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Poor Man's Ann Coulter

When conservatives talk about race, it's generally predicated on something that could potentially happen to white people when someone that isn't white acts a certain way or excels in life to a specified degree.

Those within the fringe elements of the conservative movement, such as Michelle Malkin, have nothing but complete contempt for non-caucasions. What sets Malkin aside is the very real fact that she is a minority and will exploit that very fact when the opportunity presents itself. That's what makes this statement from her a little hypocritical.

I'm reminded of a post that I did some time ago where Malkin and Joe Hicks were discussing race and the GOP. Both agreed that the GOP didn't need minorities, which came off as more than a shade odd, as Joe Hicks is black and Malkin is Phillipino.

I would have to press Malkin far more than Matt Lauer did in this interview, as the Gates dust-up had little to do with race from Obama's perspective as it did the very real fact that the arresting office ( having determined that Gates was in his own home ) decided to take matters further simply because he was proven wrong. The race issue was manipulated by people like Michelle Malkin. But, to their advantage, both Gates and Obama are black.

It would seem that, since Barack Obama is who he is, regardless of the context of any given statement on any day, his words have to be tilted because of his race. This is how Malkin views the world, through a prism of stereotypes. To her, every hispanic is an illegal immigrant, every Arab is a terrorist, and every black man got to where they are by Affirmative Action. The catch is, if you are any of these AND a Republican ( which I will never be able to understand ) then you're alright in her book.

Much in the same way that Glenn Beck calls Obama a racist, Malkin means the same thing - she'll just attempt to dress her rhetoric up with as many polysyllabic descriptors as possible.

In the end, Malkin's books are teaming with racial opportunistic language. That makes her statement to Lauer all the more predictably hypocritical.

Shorter Kid Rock

Twitter Is Gay

I've been pretending to be a badass for years. It's what I get paid to do. Twitter is as gay as my management team tells me to say it is. Will it matter next week that I'll be on Twitter? Fuck no, cause I'm a rebel. Well, I'm a rebel in as much as my consumerist nature lets me be.

Breaking News On Fox"Nation": Bill Clinton Eats

No, I'm serious. There is a highlighted piece on the Fox"Nation" website about former President Bill Clinton eating.

Seems that Fox"Nation", and ABC "reporter" Rick Klein take this to be a serious issue.

According to The Washington Post’s “Reliable Source” column (which has the photo to prove it), the former president waited in line Saturday night at Z Burger in Washington’s Tenleytown neighborhood, posing for photos and signing autographs as his take-out order was readied.

His order: double burger (hold the mayo), onion rings, French fries, and an apple-pie milkshake.

Fox"Nation" has taken issue with presidential food habits before. Not long ago there was another nonsensical piece revolving around Barack Obama's use of dijon mustard. Because, as we all know, socialists and hypocrites love fancy condoments and double-cheese burgers.

Next thing you know, Fox"Nation" will attempt to tell us that IHOP is a testing ground for biological weaponry and Obama was spotted in one of their restaurants talking to employees. Beware the new pineapple upside-down pancakes.

White Man's Burden

It's not just Pat Buchanan or Rush Limbaugh or even Sean Hannity that stoke the fires of racial divisiveness within certain segments of America. Glenn Beck is becoming somewhat of a champion of what many would claim to be nothing more than abject racism.

On Tuesday's Fox and Friends, Beck - milking the Henry Louis Gates dust-up for more than it's worth - went so far as to call Obama a racist and then say that he never suggested it at all.

There are several aspects of Becks inflamatory rhetoric that show not only distrust and distaste for blacks ( as this viewpoint likely extends beyond Obama since Beck seems willing to hold up "white culture" as something that is in trouble ) but for anyone that isn't white and takes up a contradictory position against himself or those that he claims to identify with.

In the end, it's nothing more than an easy way for Beck ( or any white conservative that wants to concern troll and issue ) to completely ignore the real, and teachable, aspects of tense interactions between whites and any other ethnic group.

Rabid conservatvism has always built itself around key pillars that benefit the few rather than the many. One of those pillars has been, and continues to be, that the white man in society comes first. The way that it plays out in the ways conservatives present themselves is by doing what Beck, and many others like him, continues to do - play the role of victim. It's a rather interesting way to approach issues of race, considering the very real fact that it is the minorities within a given society that have to struggle for the most basic of rights that white have enjoys for centuries.

Is Glenn Beck a racist? Who's to say with absolute certainty one way or another. But one thing is clear, he doesn't like being accused of having fear of black people, so what makes it so easy for him to call Obama a racist?

There are a variety of reasons that Beck would say this. First, and paramount to anything that he may actually hold deep in his heart, is that it makes him money. Glenn Beck, as well as others that I mentioned before, make a good living off what has been called "angertainment".

Profit, above all, is another of the pillars of conservativism. And, if it can be done with minimal damage to the image of white men, profiting off racial divisiveness will remain. And ever since Obama announced he would run for President, conservatives have been profiting on a daily basis.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Further Proof That Evolution Exists

I always have to laugh at people that don't believe that there is any sort of evolutinoary process. No matter what sort of lifeform is being discussed, the ultra-religious will stick to their guns.

This next case study is rather intriguing, and I'm inclined to agree with it.

If more attractive parents have more daughters and if physical attractiveness
is heritable, it logically follows that women over many generations gradually become more physically attractive on average than men.

"In men, by contrast, good looks appear to count for little, with handsome men being no more successful than others in terms of numbers of children. This means there has been little pressure for men’s appearance to evolve.

More here from the Times Online.

The only problem with this hypothesis is that there has to be a set definition of what "beauty" is. And that, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder.

Shorter John J. Miller

G.I. Joe: A Real American (?) Hero

This movie is going to suck if they don't have Joe "The Plumber" and Sarah Palin on the team and don't sing "God Bless America" while whipping Cobra's ass or drive a Hummer with a giant Old Glory painted on the hood. Hollywood sucks but i'm still going to watch the movie because my consumerist nature holds sway over just about everything else in my life.

Palin Get's The Shatner Treatment


And to think that is verbatim from her speech.

That's Another Republican Talking Point Debunked

And by the group that they have been quoting for weeks now.

The report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the public option proposed by Democrats would not drive private insurers out of business and most people would still choose to get their medical coverage through employers.

Considering that Republicans, en masse, completely ignored the CBO's finding in relation to the cost of the Bush Tax Cuts ( upward estimates were over $2-trillion ) I'm guessing they are either going to spin this or ignore it as well.

Bachman Just Can't Help Herself

Congressional procedures can be a bit tricky and often counter-productive. But, take a look at what Michelle Bachman does during Rep. Neil Abercrombie's (D-HI) introduction of a resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of Hawaii becoming the 50th state of the U.S.

Not only has the crazy cat lady from Minnesota just shed more light onto her own insanity, but she's willing to drag as many Republican congressional members into what would have been a simple resolution so that they will have to vote one way or the other.

How many House Republicans do you think will vote "no"? Well, considering the language of the resolution, it's fair to say that Bachman won't be alone in this one.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) introduced a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood. The resolution also proclaims the state as President Obama’s birthplace, a point the Plum Line’s Greg Sargent noted may “put House GOPers who are flirting with birtherism in a jam.” This afternoon on the House floor, Abercrombie spoke of his measure and specifically noted that Obama had been born in Hawaii.

She just doens't know when to quit, does she.

More from Think Progress

Monday, July 27, 2009

Some Monday Jams

Wiseblood, from a hindsight viewing, was one of the great LPs of the late 90s. Here's one of my fav cuts from the Pepper Keenan and company. Some good memories come flowing back after hearing this.

Goodbye Windows.

How Many?

Considering that the "birther" conspiracy is becoming a more acceptable meme within not only the conservative movement, but the Republican party as a whole, I wonder how many Republican mambers of Congress believe such nonsesnse.

From FireDogLake

Mike Stark has been up on the Hill all week whipping Democrats to hold fast on the public plan, and in his spare time, he decided to ask Republicans if Barack Obama was born in the United States. Not only do they not want to answer -- they run.

He asks Republicans Tom Price, Thaddeus McCotter, Jeff Fortenberry, Charles Boustany, Aaron Schock, Greg Harper, Mike Coffman and others what they think. Tim Murphy hides, looking at pens for 20 minutes to try and avoid him.

So, Thaddeus McCotter is busy with healthcare? Really?

THIS....... IS........... SPARTACUS!!!!

This looks to be fucking choice.

( h/t to Calvin's Canadian Cave Of Cool )

It's obvious that this new series from Starz is biting on Zack Snyder's directorial stylings from 300, but it looks to be quite the homage to his trendsetting film. Now, I guess I need to add Starz to my cable line-up. Dang.

Watch Out Michelle Bachman

There's someone possibly even crazier than you.

Of course, not to say that this young lady is without merit. I'm sure that if she moved to Alaska that there would be plenty of people willing to vote for her to be Governor.

Disconnected With Her Own Movement

Never again will it suprise me to see (m)Ann Coulter attempting to marginalize and minimize the very real aspects of racism and nativism within her own party.

And, as a point of referece here, Media Matters really dropped the ball when titling this particular video. It reads "On Geraldo, Coulter proclaims Dobbs "wrong on this issue" of Obama's birth". The problem with the title is that it is very misleading. Once you watch the video, you realize that Coulter is saying the Dobbs is wrong simply because she is trying to claim that there is no racism or nativism within the conservative movement. As the foundation of her thesis, she says that this is the same as the "three people" that are still in the KKK. Really? Perhaps she should visit Western Kentucky to see exactly how out of touch she is with Republican voters around here.

Palin's New Magazine

( h/t The Mom )

With the glut of conservative media outlets practially masturbating on live TV yesterday during Palin's final speech as governor, it wouldn't suprise me to see a magainze distributed by The Heritage Foundation or the John Birch society that talked about the benefits of giving up.

But They've Got Time For This?

It's not so much that the GOP are purely and blatantly the "obstructionist" party since January 20th of this year, but they are more than willing to waste valuable legislative time with nonsensical resolutions that mean little to nothing to anyone except a few fringe members within their own sect.

At a time of economic distress, two wars, and a health care reform effort stalled by political friction, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, (R-Mich.) is set to introduce a bill calling on Barack Obama to formally apologize to the Cambridge Police.

The Michigan Republican announced on Friday that he would introduce the resolution unless Obama apologized to Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley for criticizing Crowley's handling of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s arrest last week.

Here's the text of the proposed resolution:

Whereas on July 16, 2009, Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Sergeant James M. Crowley responded to a 911 call from a neighbor of Harvard University Professor Henry Louis ("Skip") Gates, Jr. about a suspected break-in in progress at his residence, which had been broken into on a prior occasion;
Whereas on July 22, 2009, in responding to a question during a White House press conference President Barack Obama stated: "Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don't know all of the facts involved in this local police response incident"

Whereas President Obama proceeded to state Sergeant Crowley "acted stupidly" for arresting Professor Gates on charges of disorderly conduct;

Whereas, as a former Constitutional Law Professor, President Obama well understands that all Americans are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and their actions should not be prejudged prior to being fully and fairly judged by an appropriate and objective authority after due process;

Whereas, President Obama's nationally televised remarks may likely detrimentally influence the full and fair judgment by an appropriate and objective authority after due process regarding this local police response incident and, thereby, impair Sergeant Crowley's legal and professional standing in relation to said incident; and

Whereas, President Obama appeared at a daily White House Press briefing on July 24, 2009 to address his denouncement of Sergeant Crowley and stated: "I could have calibrated those words differently" but "I continue to believe, based on what I have heard, that there was an overreaction in pulling Professor Gates out of his home to the station."

Whereas, President Obama's refusal to retract his initial public remarks and apologize to Sergeant Crowley and, instead, reiterate his accusation impugning Sergeant Crowley's professional conduct in the performance of his duties;

Now therefore be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

Calls upon President Obama to retract his initial public remarks and apologize to Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Sergeant James M. Crowley for having unfairly impugned and prejudged his professional conduct in this local police response incident.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee also has a petition going around asking "Do you think it's appropriate for our nation's Commander in Chief to stand before a national audience and criticize the men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day, when by his own admission, he doesn't even know all the facts?"

It's interesting to hear anyone within the GOP that would go along with this proposed resolution talk about "facts" when they are peddling completely false, misleading, or misguided information on healthcare.

More from The Huffington Post.

Tron 2

Leading lady Olivia Wilde talks the Tron sequal with Wired at Comic-Con

And here's the cleaned-up trailer that was initially leaked from last years convention.

This is going to be a HUGE money maker for Disney next year. I'm looking for them to get at least 2 Acadamey Award nods for this one.

I Feel Sorry For Whomever Was Typing Out The Closed Captioning

I didn't start watching this yesterday until the final 5 minutes of her speech. Having watched it now, I am completely agast at how this woman can function in a position of power.

As several of us discussed on Twitter yesterday, isn't it more than just a tad disingenuous that she is telling people to stand up and take action while she is abandoning her post as the elected Governor of Alaska.

One can but speculate what Palin has in store. Honestly, I'm of the mind that even she doesn't know what the hell she's going to be doing.

Profiled And Pontificated

I've hesitated posting anything about Prof. Henry Louis Gates and Barack Obama until I have read enough of the relevant data to make my decision.

While Obama's statements during what was intended to be his healthcare news conference, he was asked about the Gates arrest. His answer has gotten more coverage by the establishment press and talk radio than Gates himself.

The police acted supidly. And he's right.

However, it wasn't exactly what he should have said.

Sure, Barack Obama is going to have strong opinions on certain issues, but when you are the President, you have to temper your words, evaluate the situation, make sure that you are clear but not so divisive that you face backlash. All this has to be done within moments of specific things happening. Sometimes it's seconds, as in the case of being asked a quesiton at a presser. Well, there are those that claim that the reporter that asked that was a plant, but those same people think Sarah Palin is of giant intellect and is a formidable opponent for the Democrats in 2012 - but that's another issue.

So where does profiling come into the equation?

One has to but look at the "birther" movement to see that racism and nativism is just as strong as it was decades ago. The entire movement is predicated on a black man being in a position of power. So, how is Gates connected to this?

( From Stanley Fish with additional h/t to Dayvoe @ 2 Political Junkies )

As the story unfolded in the press and on the Internet, I flashed back 20 years or so to the time when Gates arrived in Durham, N.C., to take up the position I had offered him in my capacity as chairman of the English department of Duke University. One of the first things Gates did was buy the grandest house in town (owned previously by a movie director) and renovate it. During the renovation workers would often take Gates for a servant and ask to be pointed to the house’s owner. The drivers of delivery trucks made the same mistake.

The message was unmistakable: What was a black man doing living in a place like this?

It's easy to forget that while many of our parents were young a black man and woman couldn't drink from the same water fountain, use the same restroom, even dine in the same restaurant. Now, some short decades later, a black man is holding the highest office in the land.

Both Obama and Gates have been racially profiled. Would you have reacted simularly if you had been the subject of repeated police visits because you happened to not fit the description of everyone else living in your neighborhood? How would this mutate your view of law enforcement.

Of course, it doesn't help that the arresting officer fit so neatly into the stereotype of condecending twat. But what has caused him to become the man or the officer that he is today?

Both Gates and Obama reacted in a way that shows that racial profiling is not dead - and neither is racism as a whole. But another problem exists within this story - the very real fact that conservative media outlets ( whether on cable or radio ) are laboring under the assumption that racism is dead now that Obama is in office. So, to them, the only real reason that both Gates and Obama reacted in such fashion is that it is in fact THEY who are racists.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Of Markets, Healthcare, And The Divide Between Them

Downpage some, a friend of mine from some year back and I got into a very detailed discussion of not only the cost of healthcare but how it could even possibly exist in the intangible space known as "the free market".

While the standard positions on both our parts revolved around cost, availability, and quality, the talk revolved primarily around the perception of "the free market" and what it really is.

My friend states of this invisible space as follows:

In a truly free market, you would have, at minimum, the following: property rights protections, including an ability to sue for actual harm done, information transparency (clear and accurate labelling laws), and laws against initiation of force and use of fraud.

Competition would drive down prices, because with competition, you can shop around for the cheapest price. Of course, insurance (both private and government) in no small part prevents that from happening, so in reality something has to be done about insurance to keep them from driving up costs, as they do.

While all of this sounds like a fantastic concept, the keystone of "free market" theory is that if there is competition, then prices will be driven down.

That's when I ran across a new piece by Economist Paul Krugman that postulates that "free market" theory can work with certain aspects of society ( ie shopping for groceries or a car ) but healthcare cannot and will not be able to survive in the realm of "free market" philosophy:

There are two strongly distinctive aspects of health care. One is that you don’t know when or whether you’ll need care — but if you do, the care can be extremely expensive. The big bucks are in triple coronary bypass surgery, not routine visits to the doctor’s office; and very, very few people can afford to pay major medical costs out of pocket.

This tells you right away that health care can’t be sold like bread. It must be largely paid for by some kind of insurance. And this in turn means that someone other than the patient ends up making decisions about what to buy. Consumer choice is nonsense when it comes to health care. And you can’t just trust insurance companies either — they’re not in business for their health, or yours.

After reading this, I noticed somewhat of a connection between what Krugman was stating and why my friend had said about healthcare. The subject was "catastrophic care".

Ideally, if one could eliminate all health insurance as it currently works and only have catastrophic insurance (like the kind you have for your house), that would cause people to shop around, driving down costs. If you insist on a safety net, one could set up health care savings accounts that you could contribute to, and in which the government could put money to ensure that everyone has money available for regular healthcare costs.

While it seems, on the surface, that there is a partial agrement with how insurance works ( between my friend and Krugman ) the "shopping aroud" aspect is still quite vague. At what point is a certain form of healthcare classified as "catastrophic"? Who would make that choice?

It is here that we find an example of their being someone in between you and your healthcare choices, something that Republicans and many Blue Dog Democrats are using to stoke fear within the winds of Americans. They say that this would be a major problem with a universal or single payer system. The only problem to their hysterical fear-mongering is that this already happens, a lot.

Also, this idea of healthcare savings accounts sounds a lot like Social Security, an entitlement program that many ( if not most ) Republicans take massive issue with. If we are to put money into this hypothetical program ( with government matching a set percentage of contributions by the taxpayer ) wouldn't this be a "socialistic" style of providing afordable healthcare?

But, back to the "free market" issue.

If this style of economic thinking relys on competition, how will that competition be drawn to a specific area? How does one ensure that there will be competition in a specific county or region of a state. The illusion or perception of "choice" begins to dwindle when one realizes that in certian ares of the US have only one hospital as a choice. When and if there is a competative market set up in "Anytown, USA" could take years if not decades.

From my perspective, in the discussion with my friend, I talked about a local hospital that essentially has a monopoly on care for not just my county, but surrounding counties as well. It is widely seen by not only myself, but many, that it is not the ideal healthcare provider nor employs he best doctors in the region. My small city has a population of just over 19,000 - a negative shift of 1% since the year 2000. While there is choice for specific, standard, care ( i.e. doctors that will give yearly physicals, write standard scrips like blood-pressure medication or allergy medication, or administer necessary booster shots for children ) there is literally NO CHOICE when it comes to having surgery or other, less serious, care that would fall between the "catastrophic" catagory and non-serious, or standard, catagory. That is, unless one has the ability to travel outside the county and possibly even the state.

So, what is there about my community that would bring in competition? This is one of the flaws in the "free market" argument. It would seem that the success model of "location, location, location" is seen here as well, only in a sort of reversed prism.

Krugman continues:

The second thing about health care is that it’s complicated, and you can’t rely on experience or comparison shopping. (”I hear they’ve got a real deal on stents over at St. Mary’s!”) That’s why doctors are supposed to follow an ethical code, why we expect more from them than from bakers or grocery store owners.

You could rely on a health maintenance organization to make the hard choices and do the cost management, and to some extent we do. But HMOs have been highly limited in their ability to achieve cost-effectiveness because people don’t trust them — they’re profit-making institutions, and your treatment is their cost.

And perhaps my ultimate standpoint is this - people that live in smaller communities already lack the ability to shop-around for healthcare sevices ( dependant on what those services may be ) and there appears to be virtually no incentive for healthcare providers to move into those areas.

But, this isn't to say that a "free market" doesn't exist and isn't successful for certain aspects of our society. My friend points out the example of movies:

Movies are a good example of a free market good, by the way. And boy are they cheap to consume, whether at the cinema, at places like Blockbuster, or online. In theory, for less than a dollar a movie, through places like, I could watch a movie a day for under a dollar a day.

The only problem with this example is that you are placing the choice of what big budget film staring Will Smith you want to watch on the same playing field as finding the cheapest doctor around to take out you apendix. Sure, you can find "I Am Legend" on Netflix or your local video stry anytime you want. You can even watch it at the same time that someone else is, as multiple copies are readily available. But, if left up to the devices of the alleged "free market" you might have to travel 2 hours to find that reputable doctor that will take out your apendix at the best price. And if you didn't have the luxury of medical-tourism on your side, you would be forced with your limited options, if there even were any.

But let's say we let the healthcare industry operate in the "free market" environment. How long would it take for these chioces to appear in your city, your county, your state? Then we get into the waiting game - another meme of the Right that they don't seem to think exists in the current American system.

Krugman ends his piece:

All of this doesn’t necessarily mean that socialized medicine, or even single-payer, is the only way to go. There are a number of successful health-care systems, at least as measured by pretty good care much cheaper than here, and they are quite different from each other. 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. And people who say that the market is the answer are flying in the face of both theory and overwhelming evidence.

In the end the alleged "free market" ( as it would relate to healthcare ) would provide no solution to the problems we are currently facing. And, from Kugman's piece, it is shown that the "free market" wouldn't work on any level. Living in larger, urban, settings does provide covering fire for those that espouse "free market" ideals based explicitly on the fact that they are surrounded by illusion of medical choice already.

Friday, July 24, 2009

This Might Be Interesting

Kristen Stewart is playing Joan Jett in the movie about the band The Runaways.

-But I'm not so sure I can buy Dakota Fanning portraying Lita Ford.-


A commenter has pointed out that Dakota Fanning is not portraying Lita Ford. Sloppy posting on my part. I'm enough of a user of IMDB that I should have known that before I published this.

Lita Ford is actually being portrayed by Scout Taylor-Compton

The Prisoner Is Coming

Can't wait until this come out.

I first discovered The Prisoner back when I worked at a Hollywood Video in college. I was amazed at the surreal nature of the program and how it stood out in virtually every aspect from any other show of its time.

From his extensive Shakespearean roots to his knockout X-Men and Lord of the Rings roles as Magneto and Gandalf, Sir Ian McKellen boasts a prowess so refined that he’s now playing a role, The Prisoner’s power-hungry villain Number Two, previously inhabited by not one actor but 17.

Yet McKellen insists this isn’t your grandmother’s Number Two.

“There’s no point in wondering how am I going to measure up to the other Number Twos, because it’s just a different script altogether,” the soft-spoken knight explained to after addressing an auditorium of TV reporters at Hollywood’s Universal Hilton earlier this year.

Here's the intro to the original:

Considering AMC track-record of original programming ( AMC also had Breaking Bad and Mad Men on their roster ) I'm sure that the revamp of The Prisoner will be nothing short of spectacular.

This is a fantastic time to reboot a program like The Prisoner. With the original dealing in secret government programs, espianoge, surveillance, and technology, it's a whole new world for Number 2.

The trailer for the new Prisoner premiered at Comic-Con.

Nutcase Has Stroke On Live TV

As I watched this last night, I was starting to wonder if Liddy was going to pass out.

What's all the more interesting is that Liddy, as well as all the crazies that go along with this spectacularly pointless conspiracy, will believe what he wants to believe regardless of the facts that are presented to him.

BlueGal has a new video that echoes some of my own thoughts on this non-issue-issue

The only reason that I think that this debate should continue, is that it shows an increasingly larger number of fringe conservative crazies are beginning to show up. They're not so much a minority in the party any longer. And, if not for anything else, this is going to be a defining segment of the GOP from now on.

Did Glenn Beck Violate US Flag Code? He Sure Did.

Glenn Beck, and many like him, love to use the image ( whether literal or methaphorical ) of the American Flag to promote their own particular style of "patriotism". In regards to states rights, the rights of the individual, or to lambast percieved unpatriotic behavior in those with whome they disagree, these conservatives ( most ofen those within the fringe elements of the movement: ie birthers, nativists, racists, and outright lunatics ) will use the image of the American Flag not to promote what it means to the nation but to attempt to give credance to whatever they are attempting to pass off at the moment.

These same people are also the first ones to cry foul when someone else uses the flag as a demonstrative tool and, in one fashion or another, violates US Flag Code. And it seems that this code doesn't apply to them. Observe.

US Flag Code clearly states:

(a)(1) Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(b) As used in this section, the term 'flag of the United States' means any flag of the United States, or any part thereof, made of any substance, of any size, in a form that is commonly displayed.

....a flag is a flag or anything "by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag."

The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

Is this to say that Beck should be taken to jail and fined? Not really. It is simply to point out the rnak hypocrisy that he has for the image of the country that he claims to love.

Of course, Glenn Beck isn't the only one to have violated the flag code. His favorite woman on the planet recently had a photo take where the flag literally was a stage prop:

The fringe conservatives, who's ideals and voices are becoming more of a mainstream portion of the movement as a whole, are filled with such hypocritical gasbaggery when it comes to the flag that it is no longer suprising when they act in such a manner.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Talking Shit And Taking Credit

It is rather typical of conservatives to complain about a given situation and do little to nothing to either improve it or offer alternatives. The Economic Stimulus was a classic example. From Texas governor Rick Perry to Sarah Palin and now Bobby Jindal, conservative Republicans lambasted the stimulus at every turn and then, as if they had no issue with it, were ready with their hands out when the money started coming in.

But Bobby Jindal has a slightly different, but equally pathetic, way to make an Obama idea that is working look like his own.

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has been touring his home state of Louisiana for what he calls a “Louisiana Working” tour to promote “jobs, jobs and jobs. That must be our No. 1 priority.” On the tour, Jindal is giving stump speeches decrying “Washington, D.C. and other officials” for seeking to “spend more money” during an economic downturn.

Indeed, on Monday, Jindal declared the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to be a failure, calling it a “stimulus that has not stimulated.” In local Louisiana newspapers, Jindal touted his administration’s intent to “not run things here in Louisiana the way they do in Washington.”

As he travels to each community, Jindal has been gaining many positive headlines by sponsoring press events where he gives out jumbo-sized checks to towns and parishes. Below is a picture compilation of checks Jindal has presented to Louisiana communities such as Lafayette, Terrebonne Parish, St. Landry Parish, and Vernon Parish.

The only problem is that millions and millions of dollars that accompany the gimmicky "giant check" ( complete with Bobby Jindals name on it ) are from the Stimulus that Jindal claims is an abject failure.

...Jindal presented Lafayette with yet another jumbo-sized check that contained at least $2,125,584 in Recovery Act funds. Though the money came from spending policies authorized by the Recovery Act, Jindal did not appear to credit the Recovery Act at all.

More from Think Progress

Shorter Jim DeMint

DeMint fires back at 'false' DNC ad

Nevermind that we've been letting loose with an unblushingly massive load of false personal attacks against Obama for the past two years, but this is just too much. I mean, how can this guy say all this stuff about me and the Republican party. I'm the one that's supposed to bring the pain. Nevermind that Republicans don't have any sort of relevant option for healthcare reform. So, what have we done to deserve this? We haven't done anything.

Wilco Releases New Album

Normally I'm not that fired up about bands releasing albums. There's a handful of artists that still have the ability to create something new and that number seems to dwindle each and every year.

I would have to say that Wilco is close to the top of the list, along with Tool, Steve Earl, and Robert Plant.

Wilco's new album just arrived and it's some of Tweedy's finest work since Hotel Yankee Foxtrot.

And speaking of, here's my favorite cut off that album.

Ashes Of American Flags

Like The Old West, Only A Black Man Is In Charge

Having grown up in a family where guns were not only used for sport, they were a tradition, of sorts.

I am proud to be the holder of a shotgun that my grandfather made himself back in the early 40s. It is one of my most prized possessions. I also own two small caliber rifles that my father bought me when I turned 13. I haven't used them for many years, but they are still treasured heirlooms.

Several men in my family are avid hunters and my brother owns what can only be described as a cross between a Desert Eagle and something that Harry Callahan would have threatened thugs with in films.

I can understand and appreciate people owning guns, whether to take to the range and fire off a few rounds after work or to hunt with so they can have some trophy or perhaps dinner on a camping trip. But what is the rationale for not only carrying your gun on you at all times but taking it across state lines?

The Thune Amendment thankfully died in the Senate yesterday afternoon.

In a 58-39 vote, supporters of the looser gun law -- including all but two Republicans and 20 moderate Democrats -- fell two votes short of the 60 they needed under Senate rules to approve the measure. The amendment, sponsored by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), showed the bitter divisions among a Democratic caucus that now holds 60 seats, many of whom got to the Senate by winning in conservative states as they proudly supported gun rights. It also divided the party's leadership, as Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), campaigning for re-election in 2010, sided with gun rights supporters. His top lieutenants, Sens. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), led the push against the measure.

Even in defeat, the debate demonstrated the continued power of the National Rifle Association and gun rights advocates in Congress, because the Thune amendment was considered the most far reaching federal effort ever proposed to expand laws to allow weapons ownership.

Considering the very real rift that is growing ever larger within the American community over how Barack Obama and his administration are running things, is this really the time to create a law that would allow anyone with a conceal/carry permit to go trotting across the country with pistol, rifle, shotgun at the ready?

Is this such a concern in these times? Is that what is on the minds of people ( not only in South Dakota ) but in my state of Kentucky - whether or not you can take a gun with you on your travels?

And make no mistake about it, there are some crazy people that own and carry guns.

More from Think Progress

The Classics And Their Modern Counterparts

Gary Numan - Metal

NIN - Metal

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland : Official Teaser

And once again, another long wait begins

Racism Dressed Up As Concern

Chris Matthews questions the "birther" movement as well as Congressman John Campbell ( R - CA ) about proposed legislation that he is sponsoring that would require Presidential candidates to provide a birth certificate.

For all the allegedly relevant data that Campbell nervously attempts to put forward, it doesn't seem to fit with his thesis - that this isn't about Obama. If, in point of fact, it isn't, then why wasn't this sort of legislation crafted earlier? Why, if he indeed does believe that Obama was born in America, is he legitimizing the conspiratorial set in the conservative movement? Is he being honest here? I rather doubt it.

Then, there's Lynn Cheney.

Liz, while tip-toeing very carefully around the issue at hand, parsing her words as gently as she can muster, comes quite close to the real issue behind this.

What people are uncomfortable with ( people meaning ill-informed, right-wing, conservative, racists ) is having an African American holding the highest office in the land. That's it. Case closed. You can create all the subtle nuance that you want, it doesn't remove the very blatant thesis that the "birther" movement is promoting.

And, as was readily apparent, Cheney wouldn't even answer whether she thought these conspiracy theorists, which she seems to have no discomfort keeping them within the Republican party, have any grounds for concern. She refuses to denounce their very actions.

Does this mean that Liz Cheney is a racist? Who knows. One thing that is quite clear is that many that feel that discomfort with having an African American in the White House will validate their racial fears by raising concerns about a persons actions and how they relate to that persons safety. Whether it be a black person applying for a job, moving into the neighborhood, or simply a black person excelling in life where they aren't. These people may not consider themselves racists, they may not be full blown KKK lynching nut-cases, but they - for whatever reason - don't trust or even like people that aren't white.

A Question Of Economics

Apparently Michelle Bachman's way of persuading the public to oppose the Obama administration's healthcare reform is to talk about how inexpensive it't going to be.

Approximately 114 million Americans are expected to leave private health insurance. Why? Their employers will drop the insurance because the taxpayer-subsidized plan will be 30 to 40 percent cheaper. This action will collapse the private health insurance market, and then the Federal Government will own the health provider game.

As stated before, I'm no economist. I took Micro Econ in college and made a solid B in the class, but that's it. However, I'm well away the first thing that you don't do when attempting to prevent someone from selling their product is telling their potential customer base that the new product is going to be less expensive.

Bachman's rationale appears to be that the higher the price, the better the care. This is about a valid a standpoint as saying that simply because Fox"News" has higher ratings that their reporting is proportionally more accurate and fair. The same excuses have been given in relation to the Bush administration's policies and how they have kept us "safe". I can take the standpoint that I have worn the same pair of shoes all year and haven't gotten cancer, so that must mean that Etnies prevent cancer in 100% of studies.

But lets postulate for a moment that all the hypothetical set that Bachman has mentioned are considering leaving their current provider for the government plan. Wouldn't that cause their current provider to lower their rates? Isn't this how businesses keep their customer base, incentives?

Your AOL Hotseat Poll

Weighted Against Her Position

You can often find the people at Fox"News" creating issues out of whole cloth. They love to pick people apart, find nuances that aren't even there, and generally take up a contradictory position to any and all things that don't bare the mark of the status quo conservative Republican.

Neil Cavuto is a master of the question that has no relevance to the situation. John Stewart has pointed out Cavuto's use of the question mark as the Cavuto Mark - is your mother a whore? Have you stopped beating your wife? You get the picture.

Now it seems that Cavuto is ready to take a stance against Obama's choice of Surgeon General. Not because she is less qualified than others. Not because she's a woman - well, maybe a little because of that. But it's because she's "fat". No, really.

Micheal Karolchyk appears to fit that stereotype of douche-master, weight trainer who take suppliments and drinks protien shakes three times a day. You've seen the type - guy that spends all his time in the gym talking about his 1% body fat, snapping wet towels on his friends bare asses in the locker room.

But more to the point, it appears that Cavuto set up a piece that he knew would get people talking and then realized that his guest was that oafish prick that has taken so many energy drinks that his dick has shriveled into a flacid string. Why else would he speak ill of a woman in power?

TPM has more.

Perhaps Karolchyk doesn't realize that a "lazy" person isn't exactly one that excells in the medical field, much less one that is going to be our new Surgeon General. I would think it's safe to say that this woman isn't running 10 miles every morning in favor of doing her job making sure that her patients are healthy.

So, is this the new vetting segment for conservatives? Your weight is directly related to how you can do your job? I'll have to look into how Reagan's SG was on the body mass index.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When You Get Schooled By Tom Arnold.....

....then you should know one thing - not all "hollywood types" are as ill-informed or as predictable as they may seems.

Arnold's manner of speaking when performing, his act, is simply that - an act. It appears that Sean Hannity has fallen into the trap of thinking that just because an actor is one way on screen then that must mean this is the way they are in real life.

I'm trying to find this whole segment on YouTube right now. I'm sure the panel and Hannity do quite a bit of squriming that we aren't seeing here.

Nicholl e Belle has a take on this at C&L:

00:58 – Blakeman says: We got Medicare and we got Medicaid, what did we get for it? We got abuse, fraud, and mismanagement.
01:11 Arnold replies: You don’t think the private sector has fraud and abuse (like the government)?

01:15 Blakeman replies: But not to the scale of government.

This whole exchange is laughable. The fact that Blakeman is even trying to claim that the private sector, which is strictly in business for profit, is not as corrupt as the government, is idiotic at best.

01:21 Blakeman asks: What’s your recourse if government provides you with substandard health care? What are you going to do, sue the government?

I would like to know what Mr. Blakeman thinks his recourse would be if he received substandard care from a private insurance company?

As for recourse if you are receiving substandard care from a public health plan, yes of course you can sue the government. Why would an American not be able to sue the government? It happens all the time.

But even before that, an American has a litany of contacts at their disposal in the form of public, elected officials that would act as the patient’s advocate, and they do it for free, and they would do it well because their job depends on making their constituents happy, and keeping their voters alive.

Blakeman has no idea what he is talking about.

From my own perspective on healthcare, it's costs, and what companies are doing to those that use their services, I heard something interesting today. A man that I work with took his wife to see a doctor that is directly across the street - they've been going there for quite some time and have suddenly their insurance has been denied. Not only is the doctor's office not accepting their insurance, but the proceedure and tests that the man's wife had done recently would not be paid for, even though they appeared on their statement and had paid the initial co-pay.

Now, this man is trying to drop his coverage but the provider, and our employer, aren't letting him.

How's that for the best healthcare in the world?

Double Teamed

Is anyone suprised that The Bush Twins were hell on wheels?

Now you can read all about it.

President George W. Bush's twin daughters were a Secret Service nightmare, a new book claims.
Jenna and Barbara Bush would pull every trick imaginable to lose their security detail it has been claimed.

'Jenna would purposely try to lose her protection by going through red lights or by jumping in her car without telling agents where she was going,' author Ronald Kessler writes in 'In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect.'

Of course, none of this is suprising. When conservatives cut loose, they cut loose. Whether it be binge drinking in Mexico, picking up hookers outside the 7/11 on weekends, wearing diapers while you are getting banged by a tranny in Cabo, or snorting lines of crank off the bare ass of a 17 year old Puerto Rican, you can be guaranteed that the people that present themselves as purer than others are tainted beyond belief.

The G.rand O.bstuctionist P.arty

In a recent memo distributed to Republicans from the RNC, it calls for like-minded individuals to do all they can to slow the legislative process. Not so much to act on alternatives, as the GOP has none, but to make sure that healthcare reform essentially dies on the table.

The Republican National Committee will engage in every activity we can to slow down this mad rush while promoting sensible alternatives that address health care costs and preserve quality.

The aspect of this that continues to be troublesome is that many Republican voters don't seem to see that the party that they wish to keep in office has no real solutions. Each and every time Republicans take up their continued and unblushing stance of "no", they offer no rebuttle, no alternative, only rejection based on the fact that they can reject it.

Lost In Transmutation

Recently I wondered what it would be like to diagram a Sarah Palin sentence. Well, while sifting through some of my favorite spots on the interwebds, I came across at piece at Political Carnival that wasn't quite what I wanted - it was so much more.

Here's some edited copy from Sarah Palin's intial exti-interview earlier this month.

I thought this part was especially noteworthy:

They had to insert the word "God". Yes, God apparently slipped her mind. Oh, and she got her presidents mixed up. I guess attending all those universities didn't pay off.

Ther veritable word-salad that is offered up daily, in super-sized portions, from Sarah Palin is always something to treasure. I can't wait for these "non-politically correct tweets" that she's been teasing about lately.

Please Explain The Validity Of This

In which the Huffington Post gives Ferris Bueller and that chick with legs like knotted tree-trunks press for going on a date.

The headline reads "Sarah Jessica Parker And Matthew Broderick's Night Out After Babies".


I mean, it's not like Parker carried her twins for 9 months. Nah, she left that job up to a surrogate so that her ming wouldn't hang like a wizard sleeve. So, what exactly is the relevance of this article? Are we intended to somehow feel good for this couple because they went to some trendy party and talked cod-shit to people they don't realy care about?

Journalism in action.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Adam Yauch Of The Beastie Boys Diagnosed With Cancer

Here's the official statement from Yauch.

If you pray, no matter who to, say a little something tonight.

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch (yawk) has what is described as a "very treatable" cancerous tumor in his salivary gland.

An announcement came Monday from the group, which is canceling its tour dates and postponing an album release.

A statement says the tumor was found early. It's confined to one area and is considered very treatable.

He will need surgery and other treatment, but the statement says his vocal cords will not be affected.

The 43-year-old Yauch is not only part of the pioneering rap group, but has also emerged as a film producer.

The Face Of Indoctrination

Whenever I hear a child this age speaking about "freedoms" and what this country is loosing, I often times feel rather sorry for them. One can but wonder what their home life is like.

Are they homeschooled? After all, the ultra-conservative - and blisteringly religious - set tend to favor homeschooling over public ( and sometimes even private ) institutions of learning.

And to that effect, what has this girl been taught of American history?

It's far too easy to speak in glittering generalities of what has and what hasn't happened in and to America - what has been done in the name of this country, for either good or ill. Actually, there is no "ill" done in America's name when conservatives speak.

In the end, this girl is being used as a tool, a gimmick, by her parents. I honestly feel sorry for her.

Some Thoughts On Healthcare Reform And The CBO

Here's some food for thought in regards to the CBO, deficits, and the concerned conservatives that have issue with the cost of healthcare.

1 - In 2004, the CBO predicted that Bush's tax cuts ( for the richest 1-2% of Americans ) would cost around $2.75 trillion over 10 years. That's more the twice the cost of the Obama administrations proposed healthcare.

2 - When Republicans attempted to spin the cost of the tax cuts, the CBO later found that, through stimulating rather than spending, the cuts would still produce a deficit of around $1.2 trillion which those same Republicans ignored en masse.

3 - The Obama adminstrations healthcare reform proposal will cost less than the occupation of Iraq and the continuing conflict in Afganistan. Of course, Republicans will cry that this money is being used to spread freedom, democracy, and keep American safe. But the reports of money being mispent or simply "lost" are increasing. These stories too are largely ignored by Republicans.

So, due to the practices of the Bush adminstration, we are still within the 10 year buffer zone stated by the CBO. That's $2.3 trillion dollars in deficit that has been left for America.

Thank God For Thora Birch

Awesome in more ways than can be enumerated.


The Crazies Are Multiplying

And the wingnut-o-sphere keeps going and going and going.

This is not only getting out of hand, but it is increasingly more and more obvious that these people are attempting to disguise their blatant racism as concern for their country.

Once and for all, he's an American citizen.

And the Fox"Nation" is loving it

The Final Judgement Of Political Expediency

It is not suprising to any that have seen Lt. Col. Ralph Peters in action on conservative media that he would openly advocate against the military and/or individual personel should the opportunity present itself.

That is exactly what he has just done.

Considering Peter's former position in military intel, I find his statements here on Fox"News" beyond troubling. Although they are quite predictable - given his particularly canted, ideological, perspective - but the very real fact that with one breath Peter's asks for restraint in commenting on the captured Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl and then opening advocates for the Taliban to kill him.

The "AWOL" meme is already being picked up by right wing blogger Michelle Malkin. Her initial reaction is typical of her style, playing both sides in order to formulate her position should the outcome vary from what she initially thinks.

Regardless of how Malkin is soft-peddling the issue, the very real fact that people like her and Peters use the military as covering fire for themselves and their abject hatred of anyone of liberal or progressive mindset is beyond reproach.

The questions that they are not asking are something else that is troubling.

If Pfc. Bergdahl is a deserter, what caused him to do it?

Since when are are they dismissive of statements and confessions made under duress? It is the very same people like Malkin and Peters that were willing to accept statements made by enemy combatants held at Guantanamo under torturous condition.

Why is Peters completely ignoring his own warning in order to create the aura that he knows what he's talking about?

It should be noted that John McCain, while being held captive in Vietnam, made statements that appeared on Vietnamese television. According to Peters' standpoint, should McCain have been scrutinized in the same way? Granted, his capture was different, but claiming that statements made under duress do not count seems quite contradictory to the standpoint of what it means to be a war hungry ideologue.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Power If Jesus Is In My Mullet

( h/t to EIT )

The Beck Freakout Rock Star Remix


The Black Widow

Oh yeah, Iron Man 2 is going to fucking rock.

Conservative Lie Of The Day

Here's Minnesota Wingnut Senator Michelle Bachman talking with former comedian turned right-wing chew-toy Dennis Miller about the Obama Administrations Healthcare bill.

Well, what does that mean? That means that politicians are going to substitute their choice for your doctor’s choice for you. That’s exactly what this bill does. Here’s the other thing about that bill. It’s a monstrosity. I have the bill printed out on my desk, it’s over 1,000 pages long. On the 16th page, it says whatever health care you have now, it’s going to be gone within five years. So your current health care plan, you’re not going to have in five years. What you’re going to have is a government plan and a federal bureau is going to decide what you get or if you get anything at all.

To bad that's not what is one page 16.

More at Think Progress

One would think that the ability to not only read but understand basic english would be a prerequisite for gaining employment with the US Senate.

Advantage - Racheal

As I watched this last night, I was literally standing and cheering Racheal Maddow on.

From the jump, Buchanan frames his side of the debate around the fact that Sotomayor isn't qualified or is somehow less qualified because she hasn't written anything that he has read. Granted, her publications are limited, but simply because she hasn't made the NY Times Best Sellers List is a bit of a flimsy stance to take.

But then the other shoe drops and Buchanan calls her an Affirmative Action hire. The patently ignorant and racist side of Pat Buchanan seeps onto the screen from there.

I don't believe I have ever heard anyone state that because white men wrote the Constitution and The Declaration Of Independance that that is the reason that only white men should be appointed to the Supreme Court. And, if one follows Buchanan's logic all the way down, it means that only white mean should be allowed any high level job in government - and more than likely the private sector as well.

And to claim that not enough black men died during wartime to warrant their entire race from accending to any position of power - whether in government or the private sector - is one of the most disturbing and shameful things to even consider.

And to add to Maddow's explicitly valid point that Sotomayor has more judicial experience coming into her nomination, it should be stated that her experience is also unique, as she has heard cases involving 21 century technology that no other Supreme Court Justice ever has. In taking this into account, Sotomayor is truly more qualified than Pat Buchanan could possibly imagine.

It is people like Pat Buchanan, who are so overtly eager to play the victim any and everytime a person of differing ethnicity moves upward in this country, that are attempting to drag America back into an era where discrimination based on race, creed, color, and even religious affiliation was acceptable.

The Playlist Of Doom

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