Monthly Archives: October 2009

Blame Canada anyway

Thanks to Steve Benen at Washington Monthly for a list of what he calls ‘conversation enders”. On the list is ‘In Canada you can’t get a hip replacement if you’re over 65!!!”

” . . .seniors in Canada get hip-replacement surgeries all the time: “‘At least 63 percent of hip replacements performed in Canada last year…were on patients age 65 or older.’ In 2006-2007, an additional 1,577 hip replacement surgeries were performed in Canada on patients over 85.”

Figures are from Politifact. They cite Canadian data. And they add that in England 3 out of 4 replacements are on people over 60.

Kristoff is good today

The column subject today is Afghanistan – from someone who knows it well. Here’s taste:

“We have been fighting in Afghanistan for twice as long as we fought in World War II, with a current price tag estimated to be more than $60 billion a year. Standard counterinsurgency ratios of troops to civilians suggest we would need 650,000 troops (including Afghans) to pacify the country. So will adding 40,000 more to the 68,000 already there make a difference to justify the additional annual cost of $10 billion to $40 billion, especially since they may aggravate the perception of Americans as occupiers?”

More:

“The American military has become far more sensitive to Afghan sensibilities in the last few years, and there are some first-rate commanders on the ground who cooperate well with local Pashtun leaders. That creates genuine stability. But all commanders cannot be above average . . .”

Good stuff.

But it’s not the same at all

The right is in full sputter about Obama meeting with (mostly) liberal reporters/talkers. Certainly we can count on the guest list from 2006  to continue the red-faced rage about October 2009.

So . . .from the way back machine .  . . here’s what came up first at Google.

From the Eeevil Conservative September 2006:

I have to let you all in on a scoop. On Friday, September 15th, 6 radio talk show hosts were invited to a private, closed PC-MADDOWdoor, off-the-record meeting with President George W. Bush. Mike Gallagher was one of those hosts, along with Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz, and Michael Medved. Rush Limbaugh was unable to attend. The meeting was originally planned to run for 30 minutes, but ended up lasting over 90 minutes (about 1 hour and 45 minutes).

And from Think Progress September 2006:

Bush hosts right-wing radio talk show hosts at White House.

The guest list included Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz, Michael Medved, Laura Ingraham, and Mike Gallagher. (Rush Limbaugh was unable to attend.) Friday’s off-the-record talk, set for 30 minutes, ended up lasting 90 minutes, where Bush told his guests that the war on terror has to be about right versus wrong, “because if it’s about Christianity versus Islam, we’ll lose.” He also showed them the pistol Saddam Hussein had when he was captured.

This is what should be ignored?

Good Lord.

Good morning

imagesThis is the eleventh hour

of the fifteenth day

of the ninth year

of the War in Afghanistan.

I like Senator Franken

He does his homework. And isn’t afraid to confront people. And that is a good thing.

Ain’t he sweet

scan0002Aidan is two. And he is beautiful. And did I mention he lives in New York and is a devotee of the ballet, the opera and FAO Schwartz.

Be afraid. Be very afraid

There is an email going around with an op-ed written by NC Rep. Sue Myrick. In it, she warns that the Muslim lobbying group CAIR is subversive and it is working  to fold the U.S. into the Caliphate or something.

Think Progress wrote about this and the book that inspired her op-ed (don’t look for a link here!) on 10/16:

“[the] much-touted memos [from CAIR] that the authors claim is evidence of a Muslim conspiracy to undermine the monkey imagesUnited States are remarkably benign. The passage the authors cite simply says that CAIR will “develop national initiatives such as a lobby day and [place] Muslim interns in Congressional offices.” As Glenn Greenwald notes, this is “consistent with what virtually every political advocacy group in the nation does; it’s normally called activism and democracy. But because, in this case, it’s a group of Muslims who are doing this, these House Republicans are depicting it as some sort of nefarious espionage plot against the U.S. that demands a criminal investigation.”

A few amusements from  the  comments at Think Progress:
The real conspiracy that we need to keep constantly under surveillance is the dominionist evangelical plot to establish a theocracy in this nation. They have already taken over the Air Force and its academy, as well as so many school boards and state legislatures across the South.
They wish to supplant our constitutional republic with a neo-Confederate evangelical superstate, with their own form of “sharia” based on their nonsensical “interpretations” of certain Biblical texts.
AND
If the Christians can’t “Christianize” America, how in the hell are Muslims going to “Islamize” it?? Seriously – how, exactly, is that supposed to happen?

Lucky Lord

Dick Armey of Freedom Works on CSpan this morning. He doesn’t give money to politics. He gives his money “to the Lord”.

Good morning

1TulipsThis is the ninth hour

of the fourteenth day

of the ninth year

of the War in Afghanistan

This week’s happy surprise

Turns out you can return mattresses! Who knew? I went to the local big huge mattress store because they have everything and take the old bed away when they deliver and set up the new one. Did my homework and shopping on line. Consumer Reports does not rate mattresses, so that makes it all a bit more difficult. They have a twenty thousand page explanation of why they don’t. So I just moved on.

Now most of us don’t buy mattresses more than once in a decade. Sometimes much longer. So it’s not like I had a clue image00111going in what was right for me. I had some price, quality info, but that’s only an elimination round. The hard part is next. Pick the damn mattress.

And I picked wrong. And they delivered it and set it up and I slept on it and it was wrong, wrong, wrong and did I mention, wrong. This is a lot of money, so what to do? I choose to stress out to an intolerable level for some hours. And finally in a rush of bravery went back to the store and asked “what happens when someone has bought the wrong mattress”. (With that mysterious tag and all, I assumed mattresses were like bathing suits – it’s a felony if you try to return after use.)

And they said “happens all the time.” And I choose another and they came out and switched it all out and I love my new mattress. Humanity has redeemed itself.

Good morning

lilacIt is the ninth hour

of the thirteenth day

of the ninth year

of  the War in Afghanistan

Lovely, just lovely.

At CQ Politics, the headline says it all, and “all” is quite seedy.

Ensign’s Parents Among Reid’s Campaign Donors

That would be disgraced momma’s boy Senator Ensign (R- Nevada) and the totally timid  Harry Reid (D-Nevada) who is apparently the Majority Leader of the US Senate.

kittenThey no longer represent competing political parties; they represent themselves and the eternal quest for campaign funds. Matters of conscience and ethics and purpose and mission and  patriotism? Push them aside for the dollars. They must have the dollars.

So while Reid and Ensign are busy funding their eternal campaigns, here in the real world where the rest of us live, all that’s needed is a tipping point in that populist anger that is clearly out there; then the picture becomes very unsettling.

As always on Mondays, James Howard Kunstler at Clusterfuck Nation has a few words about where things stand. Among them, he warns us that  “men living in their cars, who’ve lost nearly everything else, will still have guns”.

But that’s really okay as long as Harry and John raise enough money. The nation needs these guys. Really.

You know you’re old when . .

It’s time to sign up for Medicare Part D. I missed the window last year, which has not been a big issue. For you young’uns, Part D is the absolutely completely free drug plan that was never funded. Which should make it fun going forward.

Good morning

Yellow-Pink-Tulips.It is the eighth hour

of the twelfth day

of the ninth year

of the War in Afghanistan

Anyone out there who wasn’t for sale?

It wasn’t just the banks. The rating agency Moody’s had their fingers right in the middle of the pie. As usual, McClatchy has the full story and it isn’t pretty.

hand-money

“The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a blistering report on how profit motives had undermined the integrity of ratings at Moody’s and its main competitors, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s, in July 2008, but the full extent of Moody’s internal strife never has been publicly revealed.

Moody’s, which rates McClatchy’s debt and assigns it quite low value, disputes every allegation against it. “Moody’s has rigorous standards in place to protect the integrity of ratings from commercial considerations,” said Michael Adler, Moody’s vice president for corporate communications, in an e-mail response to McClatchy.

Insiders, however, say that wasn’t true before the financial meltdown.”

Victory is mine

And I have no idea why. So yeah for me. I mysteriously fixed my problem while off eating dinner and didn’t know it.

This is a test. This is only a test.

OopsMy posts are being published in the wrong direction. New posts are not making it to the top. They seem to be appearing under the last post. If it happens again with this one, I’m going to assume that I changed some setting in my sleep last night. But of course, I didn’t have much sleep so anxious was I for more news of the balloon boy.

Let us see where this one appears.

Good morning

2tulipsIt is the eleventh hour

of the eleventh day

of the ninth year

of the War in Afghanistan

Why do they even bother?

picture-8CNN not only has the least informative of the Sunday shows, it is also the most boring. And it continues to offend. Neither Bill Bennett nor Donna Brasile is going to inform the audience in the least, as they are professional apologists for their respective political parties and cancel each other out. So absolutely nothing is gained, learned, informed, improved. Nothing has been added to the dialogue except the droning of two people whose virtue seems to be that they are not shouting at each other. Perhaps CNN would consider reruns of  the National Spelling Bee. That’s actually pretty good TV.

UPDATE: This was posted prior to the one below. Otherwise the one below doesn’t make sense. Why WordPress has done this, I do  not know. And I hope they don’t do it anymore. Because it is simply impossible that I have made an error.

So, it’s actually possible

picture-8CNN outdoes even itself. On the same day and within a single hour. So, here I am, stuck at home with a project, and looking forward to Fareed Zacharia’s show, GPS, to air at its regular time of 1:00pm. And now it’s 12:58, now it’s 12:59 and wheeee! It’s 1:00!  And CNN breathlessly informs me that they are now going to a live press conference in Colorado – the balloon boy you know. Thank god, because like you, I’ve been up all night long yearning for more information.

Does anyone remember when press conferences were attended by actual “reporters” who then combed thru the info, added some context or history and then published or broadcast something called “stories”. Cutting our the reporter and story part allows much more time for ‘anchors’ to tell us what was just said by whom and, most critically, what they meant when they said it. I’m rapt.

Good morning

image002 (3)This is the tenth hour

of the tenth day

of the ninth year

of  the War in Afghanistan.

Didn’t even need to look it up

elephants

Always interesting to me is the makeup of the Congress. Gender, race, ethnicity etc. Some time ago I referenced the optics of the joint session when Obama spoke and the differences from one side of the aisle to the other were really stunning. So, since I’m feeling factual (and to keep it fair), I went to  the National Federation of Republican Women to get the actual numbers. Here we go:

CONGRESS   91 women total, 57 Dems, 17 GOP

SENATE   17 women total, 13 Dems, 4 GOP

Talk among yourselves.

Ahhhhh

I purchased a new mattress today. It is on my bed tonight. I fully expect this to be better than sex.

Save us.

Right now Ed Scultz has Michael Medved on to be the conservative voice in a discussion about the banks and the economy. Michael Medved is a movie critic. Way to go MSNBC. image006

Good morning

3_daiseys_693x555This is the tenth hour

of the ninth day

of the ninth year

of the War in Afghanistan

Good morning

6_BWC1This is the eleventh hour

of the eighth day

of the ninth year

of the War in Afghanistan

Okay, not liking this . . .

For the second time in as many weeks, posts have disappeared into thin air. About four, posted late afternoon yesterday? Not there. Were there last night. On the home page, fully visible, not in draft form.

Who took ’em? Fess’ up!!!!

Good morning

1TulipsThis is the seventh hour

of the seventh day

of the ninth year

of the War in Afghanistan

Health “Insurance”

POSTED BY DORIANDoc4

The Health Insurance industry is fighting the health care bill that THEY HELPED CREATE?
<bitter sarcasm>

Thankfully, everybody who’s sick and under- or uninsured is totally fine while this is going on, and can wait until everybody’s making enough money off this stupid clusterf%^ck.

Because the Free Market solves it all, and the greedy and immoral are naturally driven out of business, and what’s good for the Market is good for America.
Compromise is what traitors do and Compassion is for the weak, and both sound suspiciously like Socialism, which is Bad For America.

</bitter sarcasm>