Tuesday, September 29, 2009

No Public Option = No Peace!

What did I get for voting a straight Democratic ticket this last time?


I will not support any Democrats again for the rest of my life if they can't at a minimum pass the public option. We have a Democratic Prez, they own congress - and yet they can't do anything constructive in favor of a progressive agenda. Their collective bargaining strategy is to throw away the best option from the first and then water down an already compromised position until there is nothing left worth supporting.

Why aren't we 100% behind the Prez? Because he is not 100% in the leadership position. He can't get our support unless he champions goals worthy of our support. All this incrementalist bullshit is just that - bullshit!!!

I wanted single-payer. The Dems tossed that out without a second thought and tried for a public option instead. I have the distinct feeling that we can't even get that. You can't start bargaining from the middle position and expect to have anything like real reform. Real reform is to the left of the middle. It's thinking outside the box at this point. In 2009, true health care reform is a political impossibility. And we aren't hearing too much about Democratic leadership on the issue because all the important Dems have their lips firmly attached to and encircling corporate cocks.

Do we have financial reform? No.

Do we have mortgage reform or any meaningful foreclosure help for Main Street? No.

Do we have any significant oversight of the banking, financial institution, or insurance company bailouts? No.

Have they passed any legislation to return normal consumer protections to student loan debts? No.

So what have they done for me lately? Nothing.

Oh yeah, like I will ever vote for them again. For what? I can't even get a reach-around here while they are taking turns fucking my ass.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Graft vs. Consumer Choice


Arkansas "Democrats" Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Rep. Mike Ross - we come for you! Be the public servants your constituency demands of you or prepare to get your lives turned upside down as every crooked deal you have ever made is exposed to the daylight. The Walmart-ization of Arkansas is over. With their backs against the wall economically, the true ruling class of this country is finding its backbone. And you have made it so.

Stand tall or fall, motherfuckers!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Keep Health Care Profiteering Legal!

Billionaires for Wealthcare

Protect Insurance Companies PSA

Rachel Maddow Talks to Bill (Only a Bill)

Lila Rose: Abortions Performed in Public


I'd hit it. But damn, what a dingbat...!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Understanding Conservatism

Once again, I quote from Bill Moyers Journal last Friday...


SAM TANENHAUS: Well, one reason is that America very early on in its history reached a kind of pact, in the Jacksonian era, between the government on the one hand and private capital on the other. That the government would actually subsidize capitalism in America. That's what the Right doesn't often acknowledge. A lot of what we think of as the unleashed, unfettered market is, in fact, a government supported market. Some will remember the famous debate between Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman, and Dick Cheney said that his company, Halliburton, had made millions of dollars without any help from the government. It all came from the government! They were defense contracts! So, what's happened is the American ethos, which is a different thing from our political order-- that's the rugged individualism, the cowboy, the frontiersman, the robber baron, the great explorer, the conqueror of the continent. For that aspect of our myth, the market has been the engine of it. So, what brought them together, is what we've seen in the right is what I call a politics of organized cultural enmity. Everybody--

BILL MOYERS: Accusatory protest, you call it.

SAM TANENHAUS: Accusatory protest. With liberals as the enemy. So, if you are a free-marketeer, or you're an evangelical, or a social conservative, or even an authoritarian conservative, you can all agree about one thing: you hate the liberals that are out to destroy us. And that's a very useful form of political organization. I'm not sure it contributes much to our government and society, but it's politically useful, and we're seeing it again today.


Tanenhaus is quite generous with his praise of conservatism. To a degree I can almost agree with some of it too. The sticking point for me is the disconnect with reality that seems to exist at the heart of conservatism: you can't be a rugged individualist if your every move is subsidized by the government. Just as you can't oppose a government health care system and still accept Medicare. Just as you can't possess billions and still try to claim some sort of absurd underdog status. Well, actually conservatives can claim anything they want. And they do tend to claim some truly insane things.

It's just that the rest of us can also immediately identify those many preposterous claims for all of their inherent hypocrisy and rightly reject them.

And that's why conservatism is dying.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Novelty vs. Quality

Why You Can’t Get a Good Phone With Verizon


Verizon’s extremely conservative approach to new handsets, the company’s long and rigorous testing procedures and its emphasis on the network rather than the phone has created a portfolio that’s a complete buzz kill, say experts.


Hmmm...lemme see if I can work this out...


Can people really give a shit what sort of tool they use to get stuff done. Are people that fucking stupid and trivial. Oh wait, I forgot I live in the United States. I have my answer already. Wired is one of those sites that lingers lovingly over every fucking rumor that exists about new technology. The fetish with the "next big" technological device borders on the truly perverse. It's just STUFF, people. Do yourself a favor and buy that hooker/gigolo that would cure you of all of these sexual sublimation problems. Jeez...!

Here are my thoughts on technological devices: Does it get shit done? Does it do what you wanted it to do? Are there extra cool things that it does? Is it quality? Will it last?

I would hate to inform on myself about how old some of my bits of technology happen to be. But, like a proper geek, I can claim that my server is a from the mid 90s - it's old as fuck and still does the job, thank you for your concern.

Quality beats novelty, now and forever. If you must spend, spend on quality.

Then, wring the fucker out of every drop of possible use. When this thing - whatever it may be - is finally good and fucking dead maybe you can consider getting another newer and better one.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Per Person, U.S. Health Care Now Costs...

4 Countries With Better Healthcare Than Ours


There's little dispute that the United States has the most expensive healthcare system in the world. Our nation spends about $7,300 per person on healthcare every year, nearly 2.5 times the average for developed countries, which is $2,964, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.


The source is normally deemed credible so I have therefore chosen to cite this important stat. Elsewhere it only costs people around $3K per annum for health care that is better than, or at least as good as, our health care system in terms of documented outcomes.

Good to know.

Potter in Support of H.R. 3200
Opposes Baucus-Care

Wendell Potter:
...if Congress goes along with the so-called "solutions" the insurance industry says it is bringing to the table and acquiesces to the demands it is making of lawmakers, and if it fails to create a public insurance option to compete with private insurers, the bill it sends to the president might as well be called...

...The Insurance Industry Profit Protection and Enhancement Act.

H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, encompasses a comprehensive set of reforms that address the critical need for expanded coverage, lower health care costs, and greater choice and quality. Other legislative proposals, including the "Baucus Framework" being considered by the Senate Finance Committee's "Bipartisan Six," would benefit health insurance companies far more than average Americans.


more and more Americans have fallen victim to deceptive marketing practices and bought what essentially is fake insurance.

The insurance industry is insistent on being able to retain what it calls "benefit design flexibility." Those three words seem innocuous and reasonable, but if legislation that reaches the president grants insurers the flexibility they claim they must have, and requires all of us to buy coverage from them, millions more of us will have little alternative but to buy policies that appear to be affordable but which will be prove to be anything but affordable if we become seriously ill or injured.

The big insurers have spent millions of dollars acquiring companies that specialize in what they call "limited-benefit" plans. Not only are the benefits extremely limited, the underwriting criteria established by the insurers essentially guarantee big profits.


Over the past several weeks, I have repeatedly told audiences around the country that the public option should not just be an "option" to be bargained away at the behest of insurance companies who are pouring money into Congress to defeat substantial and essential reforms. A public option must be created to provide true choice to consumers or reform will fail to truly fix the root of the severe problems that have been caused in large part by the greedy demands of Wall Street.

By creating a strong public option and restricting the insurance industry's ability to enrich executives and investors at the expense of taxpayers and consumers, H.R. 3200 will truly benefit average Americans.

The Baucus plan, on the other hand, would create a government-subsidized monopoly for the purchase of bare-bones, high-deductible policies that would truly benefit Big Insurance. In other words, insurers would win; your constituents would lose.

It's hard to imagine how insurance companies could write legislation that would benefit them more.

Over the coming weeks, I implore each Member of Congress to put the interests of ordinary, extraordinary Americans--the people who hired you with their votes--above those of private health insurers and others who view reform as a way to make more money.


And what did Baucus get for his sniveling capitulation to the private health insurance industry?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oligopoly! Not Capitalism...

Wiki says:
An oligopoly is a market form in which a market or industry is dominated by a small number of sellers (oligopolists). The word is derived from the Greek oligo 'few' plus -opoly as in monopoly and duopoly. Because there are few participants in this type of market, each oligopolist is aware of the actions of the others. The decisions of one firm influence, and are influenced by, the decisions of other firms. Strategic planning by oligopolists always involves taking into account the likely responses of the other market participants. This causes oligopolistic markets and industries to be at the highest risk for collusion.

More here:


Americans Have Been Taken Hostage

The American people have been taken hostage to a broken system.

It is a system that remains in place to this day.

A system where bank lobbyists have been spending in record numbers to make sure it stays that way.

A system that corrupts the most basic principles of competition and fair play, principles upon which this country was built.

It is a system that so far has forced the taxpayer to provide the banks with the use of $14 trillion from the Federal Reserve, much of the $7 trillion outstanding at the US Treasury and $2.3 trillion at the FDIC.

A system partially built by the very people who currently advise our President, run our Treasury Department and are charged with its reform.


Why is this? Who does our Government work for? How much longer will we as Americans tolerate it? And what, if anything, can we do about it?

As we approach the anniversary of the bailouts for our banks and insurers -- and watch the multi-trillion taxpayer-funded programs at the Federal Reserve continue to support banks and subsidize their multibillion bonus pools, we must ask if our politicians represent the interests of America? Or those who would rob America of its money and its future?

As a country, we must demand that our politicians stop serving those whose business models are based on systemic theft and start serving those who seek to create value for others -- the workers, innovators and investors who have made this country great.

Living in the Asylum...

...it's hard to understand that everyone - and I mean EVERYONE - from elsewhere thinks of U.S. Americans as socio-political-economic morons.

Seriously. They do. Fact.

U.S. film distributors are right to fear a Conservative Christian backlash in this case. And that is very sad. Conservative hooliganism of every stripe seems to rule the day.

We operate on the basis of some of the most dumb-ass, fucked up, political ideology ever conceived. People on the right need to stop dreaming about Capitalist-Libertarian-Conservative Christian pie in the sky. It ain't gonna happen. Not while the corporatist can skim off the top of a culture that serves them so well. And no, you aren't going to win the lottery nor become wealthy enough to join their ranks. The existing class hierarchy is incredibly rigid and people rarely move from one class to one higher up on the ladder. If anything, and given the current economic climate, there are plenty of people on their way down that ladder - so make way.

If there was an industry in which the U.S. might still - maybe - see itself as a leader it would be in the sciences and technology. But given the tactics of the radical-right I should think that there might be a dumbing down of the next American generation in the offing. Do you suppose that the folks at Genentech are Creationists? Do you imagine that we shall find cures for humanity's many ills by merely praying for them?

We were screwed the minute Europeans sent Puritans and Quakers packing to the New World. This nation is the political offspring of a people possessed of a very narrow world-view.

Evidently Chickentown

© 1980 John Cooper Clarke

the fucking cops are fucking keen
to fucking keep it fucking clean
the fucking chief's a fucking swine
who fucking draws a fucking line
at fucking fun and fucking games
the fucking kids he fucking blames
are nowehere to be fucking found
anywhere in chicken town

the fucking scene is fucking sad
the fucking news is fucking bad
the fucking weed is fucking turf
the fucking speed is fucking surf
the fucking folks are fucking daft
don't make me fucking laugh
it fucking hurts to look around
everywhere in chicken town

the fucking train is fucking late
you fucking wait you fucking wait
you're fucking lost and fucking found
stuck in fucking chicken town

the fucking view is fucking vile
for fucking miles and fucking miles
the fucking babies fucking cry
the fucking flowers fucking die
the fucking food is fucking muck
the fucking drains are fucking fucked
the colour scheme is fucking brown
everywhere in chicken town

the fucking pubs are fucking dull
the fucking clubs are fucking full
of fucking girls and fucking guys
with fucking murder in their eyes
a fucking bloke is fucking stabbed
waiting for a fucking cab
you fucking stay at fucking home
the fucking neighbors fucking moan
keep the fucking racket down
this is fucking chicken town

the fucking train is fucking late
you fucking wait you fucking wait
you're fucking lost and fucking found
stuck in fucking chicken town

the fucking pies are fucking old
the fucking chips are fucking cold
the fucking beer is fucking flat
the fucking flats have fucking rats
the fucking clocks are fucking wrong
the fucking days are fucking long
it fucking gets you fucking down
evidently chicken town

Talking Heads Agree!

In short, Robert Reich and Pat Buchanan both agreed that some big banks should have been allowed to fail. When two such politically polar opposites agree on anything it has to be accepted that anyone with functioning brain cells should also agree with them.

So why did congress bail out the banks in the precise manner that they did? Why didn't they follow a Swedish style plan as recommended here on this blog? Why was congress better pleased to condemn the U.S. to a jobless recovery ala Japan (a.k.a. the "Ten Year Plan")? Why was the taxpayer of today, and of future generations also, asked to pay for this hideously undemocratic and anti-capitalistic bailout?

As my old pal, Cicero of Rome, once said: "Cui bono?" "To whose benefit?"

The 1% got floated their life rafts first. The rest of us can go straight to hell. But right, there is no such thing as class warfare. It just so happens that every branch of government in this country seems to only do things that benefit huge corporatist interests. It's not intentional; it's a mere accident of fate.

Animated Gifs | http://www.graphicsgrotto.com

Below we have Elizabeth Warren schooling us on the way the federal government has utterly failed us. Believe what you like, what they didn't do was anything like the right thing because they didn't stop ANY OF THIS from happening variously through anti-trust proceedings, RICO, existing anti-monopoly laws, SEC regulation, etc. In fact, if anything, the federal government entirely caused this to happen by deregulating the financial and banking markets in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Ultimately, even Warren doesn't go far enough. she's wearing the kid gloves here. We have a completely corrupt collapse of our nation as we know it, and the throat of the American public has been symbolically placed into the psychopathic grip of financial Jack the Rippers that want to dismember the body politic.

Broken News

I find the phrase "breaking news" (sometimes just "breaking") strangely farcical. Today another celebrity died. Another celeb is likely to keel over tomorrow. If I don't find out about it until next week these "news-makers" will be just as dead then as now.

Most news you see on TV is really more in the way of advertising - literally created by public relations firms in the form of PR videos.

Your local station doesn't actually go to Pfizer and interview people about the benefits of some new wonder drug that will make your cock harder for longer periods of time, Pfizer provides that material as a PR video. Then, your local news station might do some strange editing that shows one of their own interviewers asking questions with the Pfizer representative apparently answering these amazingly incisive questions. Except that the backgrounds and lighting might be different as they bounce between one subject and the other - just as if the interviewer and the interviewee were not in the same place at the same time. Just as if the whole thing had been awkwardly ultra-scripted and the two subjects had been filmed up to several months apart. Amazingly - it's an advert!

So when you watch the news - itself often one long advert of some kind or other for a whole host of things - and they break away for actual commercials, what is happening is that one bigger advert is being interrupted by a series of shorter adverts. It all just blends together.

Even the news from the government is shocking pre-prepared and sanitized. The government has been known to hire PR firms to get certain propaganda shoved down our throats. Of course, we paid for it too.

U.S. Army Commercial Slogan: Be all that you can be.

Pos-T-Vac Commercial Testimonial: "You're gonna be all that you can be, or you're not gonna be all that you can be. It helps you be all you can be."

I can't think of the last time I heard something that was so truly momentous that knowing about it "this minute" was somehow important.

It's all adverts in the main. Almost all of it aimed at the young, vain and foolish; or at the old, vain and foolish. When your a kid it's all about pimple creams and the tinsel strength of long hair. And apparently, when you're over sixty years old two of the most important things are to wear adult diapers and to have a mechanism for maintaining erections that last several hours.

I know what you're thinking: this guy is completely conflating/confusing the idea of news with the idea of advertising.


So, I ask you: what is the difference between 95% of what you see offered as news and an advertisement?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Source: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/09/analysis-public-option-is-likely.html

I voted for Obama and all I got was that lousy speech.

Bob Cesca: The Most Nightmarish Health Care Reform Bill Ever


And the Baucus Plan doesn't offer a public insurance option.

So you're basically screwed if you have moral objections to being forced by the government to hand over a chunk of your monthly income to the same corporate criminals who heretofore have engaged in practices that can accurately be defined as death panel-ish: canceling the policies as soon as you get sick, denying claims, refusing to pay for life-saving procedures, or, as we read about this week, randomly hiking the premiums for 114,000 Michigan residents by around 30 percent effective immediately. If you happen to object to financing such corporate practices (past or present), there's no public option waiting for you in the Baucus Plan.

Instead, you would have to buy a private insurance policy or be penalized by the federal government like so:
Penalties for failing to get insurance would start at $750 a year for individuals and $1,500 for families. Households making more than three times the federal poverty level -- about $66,000 for a family of four -- would face the maximum fines. For families, it would be $3,800, and for individuals, $950.
Let me repeat this another way. Max Baucus wants to force us to hand over billions of dollars in free cash to the private health insurance cartels and if we refuse, we'll be fined thousands of dollars if we object to paying these mafia-style tributes to Baucus' dons.


I'm glad I am not the only one to notice these significant defects in anything currently being offered, with the notable exception of HR676 (which hasn't any traction at the moment).

I think there are legal challenges waiting to be made on this kind of mandate. It's one thing to trigger having to buy liability insurance by wanting to drive a car; it's quite another to be forced to hand over hard-earned money to a private industry just for being alive and able to pay.

Cenk Uygur: The Problem with Obama's Speech


In his analysis, Uygur cites this portion of the speech:

Obama: It is only one part of my plan, and should not be used as a handy excuse for the usual Washington ideological battles. To my progressive friends, I would remind you that for decades, the driving idea behind reform has been to end insurance company abuses and make coverage affordable for those without it. The public option is only a means to that end - and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal.

What has to be noticed by anyone actually looking at those words is that Obama is pointedly re-framing health care reform as merely correcting the abuses of the private insurance industry. As if we all wanted private health insurance - NOT!

Obama is really out to lunch on this one. I NEVER wanted a mere band-aid on private health insurance. I don't want to fix it. I don't want to buy it. I don't want to be forced to buy it or face a fine. I don't want the private health insurance industry to gain millions of new customers that can't afford their weak tea bullshit.

Seriously, what the fuck is this? If that's Obama-care, he can fucking keep it.

Single-payer or nothing. Truly.

Let's put the U.S. health insurance industry in its grave.

Kucinich Opposed

From his website:


The President's health care policy speech was brilliant but when you get into the details another picture emerges. Unfortunately, at this point, the proposal outlined last night is the ultimate corporate giveaway. It's not health care, it’s insurance care. As many as thirty million new customers for an insurance industry which makes money not providing health care. The only way this country will see true health is by investing in real health care. That is the essence of HR676, the single payer bill.

The President opened his speech speaking of how we have solved the economic crisis - how? By rewarding those who caused the crash! Is this the way we solve the health care crisis? Rewarding the insurance companies? Helping insurance and pharmaceutical stock to soar, propping up markets while skimping on health care? The very same system which caused the health care crisis is being rewarded with the guarantee of tens of millions of new customers mandated - by law - to have health care. The latest plan rewards the very companies that have denied treatment, denied care, denied drug coverage while their profits grow daily.

The only way this country will see true sustainable economic recovery is through investment in the real economy, priming the pump through job creation. The only way this country will see true health is by investing in real health care.

The "public option" has been relegated to insignificance. What we will now get is yet another "private option", not a public option, because single-payer is "off the table." We the people deserve better. We have been faced with general warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan - multi-trillion dollar bailouts for arms merchants, $12 trillion in bailouts for Wall Street, bailouts to coal and nuclear industries, and now proposed huge subsidies for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. What's wrong with this picture? Everything!


Yeah, that's how I saw it too. What a total dick Obama is turning out to be. Totally fucking useless.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Obama's Health Care Reform Speech 9 Sept. 2009

This was more of the usual smooth-talking fluff.

The Good:

Obama: What this plan will do is to make the insurance you have work better for you. Under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. As soon as I sign this bill, it will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or a lifetime. We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick. And insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies - because there's no reason we shouldn't be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse. That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives.

That's what Americans who have health insurance can expect from this plan - more security and stability.

Now, if you're one of the tens of millions of Americans who don't currently have health insurance, the second part of this plan will finally offer you quality, affordable choices. If you lose your job or change your job, you will be able to get coverage. If you strike out on your own and start a small business, you will be able to get coverage. We will do this by creating a new insurance exchange - a marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for health insurance at competitive prices. Insurance companies will have an incentive to participate in this exchange because it lets them compete for millions of new customers. As one big group, these customers will have greater leverage to bargain with the insurance companies for better prices and quality coverage. This is how large companies and government employees get affordable insurance. It's how everyone in this Congress gets affordable insurance. And it's time to give every American the same opportunity that we've given ourselves.

For those individuals and small businesses who still cannot afford the lower-priced insurance available in the exchange, we will provide tax credits, the size of which will be based on your need. And all insurance companies that want access to this new marketplace will have to abide by the consumer protections I already mentioned. This exchange will take effect in four years, which will give us time to do it right. In the meantime, for those Americans who can't get insurance today because they have pre-existing medical conditions, we will immediately offer low-cost coverage that will protect you against financial ruin if you become seriously ill. This was a good idea when Senator John McCain proposed it in the campaign, it's a good idea now, and we should embrace it.

The Bad:

Obama: That's why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance - just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. Likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers. There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still cannot afford coverage, and 95% of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements. But we cannot have large businesses and individuals who can afford coverage game the system by avoiding responsibility to themselves or their employees. Improving our health care system only works if everybody does their part.

The "lie" part:

Obama: Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple.

A little later he also said this:

Obama: My health care proposal has also been attacked by some who oppose reform as a "government takeover" of the entire health care system. As proof, critics point to a provision in our plan that allows the uninsured and small businesses to choose a publicly-sponsored insurance option, administered by the government just like Medicaid or Medicare.

So let me set the record straight. My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition. Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75% of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90% is controlled by just one company. Without competition, the price of insurance goes up and the quality goes down. And it makes it easier for insurance companies to treat their customers badly - by cherry-picking the healthiest individuals and trying to drop the sickest; by overcharging small businesses who have no leverage; and by jacking up rates.


Obama: Add it all up, and the plan I'm proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years - less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans that Congress passed at the beginning of the previous administration. Most of these costs will be paid for with money already being spent - but spent badly - in the existing health care system. The plan will not add to our deficit. The middle-class will realize greater security, not higher taxes. And if we are able to slow the growth of health care costs by just one-tenth of one percent each year, it will actually reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the long term.

My thoughts:

The obvious intent is for the public offering to be floated as if it were meant to take over as a similar plan did in Canada. But, now the details...

One of the problems is the timing of it all. If this all happens 4 years from now, who's to say it won't be a political football for all of the time intervening between now and then? Might it be rescinded by a new president and a new congress four years hence? What's with the four years anyway - is Obama trying to get himself and his congress re-elected with this stuff?

And 5%? WTF? That will not be enough to have this thing take over. It will be too small and too weak.

We won't save on administrative overhead (i.e. paper pushing bullshit) because we will still have a kabillion private insurers biting back for every dollar. So the possible 30% savings that could be realized there is now gone.

I am very concerned about mandates. I am also concerned about penalties connected to a mandate. It's all too ambiguous. Too flimsy.

The last thing I want is to have to buy insurance from the same private insurance companies whose numerous acts of criminality are what necessitated a movement for health care reform in the first place. And what's the option again? Buy or pay a fine. Fuck that noise.

Matt Taibbi has neatly laid out how true reform was torpedoed from the first (see previous posts for links). David Sirota doesn't seem too impressed either, as is summed up at the end of a recent HuffPo piece:


David Sirota on "Reviewing President Rahm Emanuel's Health Care Speech"

I mean, I seem to remember an election just a few months ago that resulted in a Democratic president, and huge Democratic majorities in Congress - and I seem to remember there was a Barack Obama who only a short while ago said geting those electoral results was the only obstacle to a full-on single payer health care system, much less a weakened public option. But again, I guess it's just too bad that after that election, President Emanuel now rules America.


To echo Sirota's and Taibbi's many excellent points along the same lines: who are the Democrats attempting to appease? They own congress and the oval office. They could just ram through whatever the fuck they like. But no, first it has to be watered down into meaningless pap.

Okay, so maybe Obama's now only 95% Cheney as per Greg Palast's equation.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Taibbi: Sick & Wrong Update

Rolling Stone has updated their site with the full text here:
or print version:
or download this digest-sized PDF version:


In anticipation of painfully botching health care reform...

Yes, congratulations! You still can't get shit done because both parties represent the same interests: those of the corporations that rule over you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mass Media Heroes:
Maddow, Olbermann, Franken


That's right, Obama. We'll fucking replace your cowardly ass.

Notice how Franken actually talks sensibly to a mob of people opposing his views. I do see a candidate as beholden to the will of his constituency, but I do also agree that they must vote in a candidate that is capable of discerning what that "will" actually happens to be. You could almost see that woman's jaw drop in the clip, but Franken's response is spot on. One could almost hear his side bar thoughts: "I am doing the will of the 80%, you tea-bagger types are so egregiously misinformed that you don't actually have either a reasoned nor a coherent viewpoint that anyone could actually represent."

The other day on HuffPo a wingnut posted something like:
"No socialized medicine! Don't touch my Medicare!"

Well, which way do you want it, buddy? Catch a fucking clue.

New Blog Title...

Okay, I've settled on this one. And yes, I am throwing my hat into the ring. Soon I shall announce the policies, foreign and domesticate, that shall form my platform. When next you enter into a voting booth, ask yourself this simple question:

"Is this person worthy of my vote?"

We are abso-fucking-lutely through the looking glass on this one, Alice. I can see the death of this country written on the walls. I can see the United States taking its place among the many "also ran" countries that were finally toppled, teetering under the heavy weight of their own corporatist, oligarchical bullshit.

You have to be able to vote FOR someone who will actually do something; and not just vote against the asshole the opposition is running.

Let's be honest: that's how we ended up with this house negro Obama. We voted against McCain and a continuance of the policies of the Bush administration. The legacy of that decision is that Obama has co-signed and thereby effectively enshrined many of the failed policies of the former president. He has pointedly made 180 degree turns on the very things he claimed during his campaign for president. We have been lied to again. And again. And again. The fucker is 98% Cheney.

The answer to your voting booth question has to be a resounding "Yes!"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Larry Flynt: Does Anybody
Really Know What Time it Is?


You hear it more and more, sometimes spoken in code, sometimes spelled out as clearly as a neon sign. We have reached the tipping point. The enemy has been identified. It's not left versus right it's democracy versus greed. This realization sits there like an unexploded bomb. We stare at it, waiting only for someone to light the match.



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Suckered Again! Oh the Horror...

Roxanne's Nonexistent Revenge


Heard about the rapper who forced her label to pay for her Cornell Ph.D.? It never happened.


Oh for fuck's sake, why lie about something like that? That's right up there with the eBay Pez story. What a bunch of assholes.

New Blog Title

The association with wingnuts, racists, gun fanatics and other "fun" members of the right-wing has motivated me to change the title of this blog. I'm kind of in flux about it all, so the new one is only provisional.

Sorry Thom!

Hilariously, I am unable to change the URL. Suck it, wingnuts! It's all mine here on blogger! Muahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

A Fool and His Health Insurance Money

Think you've got health insurance? Rescission could leave you broke and sick


The practice is "rescission": an insurance-industry procedure of retroactively canceling approved health-insurance policies obtained in the individual market after the policyholders get sick and file large medical claims.

Rescissions are often used to stop fraud on the part of enrollees who have misrepresented their health histories to obtain coverage. But consumer advocates say that insurance companies are driven by profit to revoke coverage based on even inconsequential discrepancies between the application and the medical record. Many insurers even pay employee bonuses for meeting a cancellation quota and for the amount of money saved.

"This amounts to post-claims underwriting," says healthcare advocate Jerry Flannagan of Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit consumer education and advocacy group. "They're supposed to look at your medical records ahead of time -- but once they offer the coverage, you should be able to rely on it."


I know a solution for this: single-payer universal health care. You know, because it makes sense and is a good value...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Fool and His Money...

The Article Cash4Gold Doesn't Want You To Read


Seriously, folks - did any of you believe those TV adverts? It was not immediately obvious that Cash4gold was most probably a total fucking scam? How were they paying for the advertising? I assume by ripping people off is how, although I can't prove anything. I guess we'll have to wait and see how all this shakes out, but those adverts certainly called out my red flags.

Big time.


Edited for follow-up from Consumer Reports here:

Our mystery shoppers sent identical 18-karat chains and pendants (retail price $175; meltdown value about $70) to three gold buyers between mid-May and early July. They also took the gold to jewelry stores and pawn shops in Louisiana, New York, and Texas. The cash-for-gold companies paid 11 to 29 percent of the day's market price for gold; the other venues, about 35 to 70 percent. All the checks arrived a few days after the companies received the jewelry.


So, if I understand that correctly, a reputable company's lowest offers would begin at 6% above the highest offers made by the "cash-for-gold" type companies. There's quite a difference between getting $10 versus $70 for something with an actual value of $100. I guess some people want the easy way out, but why even give up the last $30 on a prized object? Sell it yourself to someone that wants it for what it is - maybe you can't get $175 (full retail), but maybe you can snag at least $100 (well over the melt down value of the gold alone). I guess there are risks in selling it yourself, but I would think it would be worth it overall.

Links for Being a Vocal~Visible Citizen
or Even Just a Nuisance

Guerrilla Etiquette + Postering Techniques

ACLU: Know Your Rights [PDF]

ACLU: Bust Card [PDF]