October 31, 2009

Young Rush: The Happy Halloween Special Edition


October 30, 2009

Study: Lack of health care insurance a factor in 17,000 child deaths

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 11:47 pm

I wonder how the pro-lifers who are against health care reform will react to this…

Lack of adequate health care insurance may have contributed to the deaths of some 17,000 hospitalized U.S. children over the past two decades, according to a study by the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

“Thousands of children die needlessly each year because we lack a health system that provides them health insurance. This should not be,” says co-investigator Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., director of Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins and medical director of the Center for Innovations in Quality Patient Care. “In a country as wealthy as ours, the need to provide health insurance to the millions of children who lack it is a moral, not an economic issue,” he adds.

Read more here:

Beck The Great Halloweenie


October 29, 2009

Pelosi’s not-so-public option

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 4:31 pm

House speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed the House version of a health care reform bill today that includes a public option, which she prefers to call a “consumer option.”

Whether one is for or against a public option in health care reform, one clear distinction must be made. A public option is not a single-payer system and therefore, would not be available to most Americans.

Lost amid the ideological battle is the fact that only about 10% of Americans would be eligible to participate in the public option, even in its most expansive versions. The public option would be available only to people not enrolled in employer-sponsored insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or VA health care.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, took to the House floor to voice his objections to the legislation unveiled Thursday. “Is this the best we can do?”

“When you ask people in a poll, ‘Are you in favor of a public option that would be available to everybody,’ they say, ‘Yes,’ ” Sen. Wyden said. “I don’t think they’re going to feel the same way about a public option available to only 10 percent of the population.”

Read more here:

It’s True: Junior Bush is a Motivational Speaker Now


43 Becomes Motivational Speaker
–Politico Staff, Oct. 27, 2009.

Here’s Stephen Colbert’s take on Bush’s first ‘inspirational’ speech:
Colbert Mocks Bush

October 28, 2009

A Halloween Column to Scare Liberals

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: — Bob Patterson @ 5:07 pm

Since this will be the weekend to contemplate scary nightmares, this column postulates the idea that Jeb Bush will win the 2012 Presidential Election and we’ll throw some “connect-the-dots” items out and let the readers have a chance to frighten themselves into a state of hysterical paralysis.


Most Liberals maintain that George W. Bush’s team (with Karl Rove as the captain calling the plays) stole the 2000 and 2004 elections but somehow didn’t engineer a win for Senator John McCain in 2008. 


The way conspiracy liberals tell it; in 2004 the electronic voting machines were used to steal the results in Ohio and that was enough to deliver the win.


If this is true, why didn’t they also put the fix in for John McCain?  How could they be so forgetful?


Perhaps, since the Republican political juggernaut was fomenting a massive amount of resentment for  wars, torture, and the handouts of bailout bonuses to the banking industry, they wanted to let the Democrats (almost) take over.  (You know like in the cartoons when the bird hands the dynamite stick with a burning fuse to the coyote?)  The conspiracy corner residents, who think that the electronic voting machines permit the Republicans to micro-manage results, might want to take note of the fact that the Democrats thanks to Joe Lieberman may not have a filibuster-proof majority after all.  Did Rove dream up an “almost, but not quite” style “majority”?


So, if the Republicans can sabotage the Obama program for four years, they can then run a campaign emphasizing that Bush’s successor did not accomplish anything and therefore he needs replacement.


If this premise is valid, won’t the electronic voting machines be used to further cripple the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, next year?


If, like President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama has to constantly battle a solid wall of recalcitrant Republican oppositionists, he would go into 2012 with an emaciated accomplishments list, which would set the stage for an “elect someone who will get something done” type Republican campaign against him.


The mainstream press has ignored the issue of the electronic voting machines’ reliability factor and so it seems likely they would greet a 2010 Republican “surge” with a shrug and a “the voters confounded the pollsters again” type of spin-cover story.


The possibility that the Republicans could use the kowtowing journalists in the (supposedly) liberal mainstream media to cast Jeb in a variation of a modern Restoration Drama role which would be as likely as your personal skepticism of journalism’s reliability factor would permit. 


With the help of a complacent press, Jeb could take the podium at the 2012 Republican Convention amid an enthusiastic partisan crowd and a “hear no evil, see no evil” press gallery would conveniently miss the zombie symbolism of the Bush family’s return to power.


Recently Smirking Chimp featured a story about the fact that Germany’s Supreme Court ruled that electronic voting machines were unreliable.


A few days earlier the Bradblog web site (which has been covering the electronic voting machines’ poor performance record in test situations) reported that a Georgia Supreme Court ruling established that electronic voting results can not be contested on grounds that voters were thereby disenfranchised.


At this point, it becomes a personal call for each member of this column’s audience:  If you can discount the 2004 objections, the failed tests stories, the ruling of Germany’s Supreme Court and the belief that the Republicans might stoop that low, then you can accept the possibility of a Bush Family return to power in 2012 as a legitimate news story.    If you concede all these points then you have to either find a plausible reason for the Republicans not to engineer such a scary scenario or you can start to prepare yourself for the gleeful Rush Limbaugh programs that would be used to (metaphorically) rub salt into the Democrats wounds following a Jeb victory in 2012.


This was just an attempt to provide a speculative Halloween column as entertaining as any of the installments of the Saw movie series.  If it turns out to be a prophesy . . . we tried to warn folks about the electronic voting machines, but they didn’t listen.  If we really wanted to scare you with this column, we’d elaborate on the particulars of just how long Bush’s “Forever War” is going to last.


Shakespeare wrote:

‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.


Now, the disk jockey will play the traditional Halloween carol of Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “Monster Mash.” (Were you expecting him to play the entire “Music to Scare the Hell Out of Your Neighbors” album?) We have to go see if our contact at Playboy can get us into this year’s party at the Mansion.  We are afraid that it ain’t gonna happen.  Have a “Don’t ever scare me like that again” type week.

New GOP Rebranding Ad


Wall Street meets main street in Chicago

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 12:45 am


Early this week, over 1500 banking executives gathered at the Sheraton hotel in Chicago for what is normally a tranquil, low-key event, the American Bankers Association (ABA) convention. Thousands of protesters from across the nation made sure it was different this year.

The morning protests started outside the Chicago offices of Goldman Sachs. A speaker on a megaphone shouted, “We’re here to tell Goldman Sachs, shame on you! Shame on you for helping bring this country to the brink of a depression!” The crowd responded, “Shame on you!” Organizers presented a list of demands for Goldman Sachs in a hand-delivered letter that was dropped off in the lobby, including that the bank stop resisting proposals for a Consumer Finance Protection Agency (CFPA) and that it donate the money set aside for bonuses to mortgage-modification programs. The protesters then marched down the street to the Chicago offices of Wells Fargo. There they also attempted to hand-deliver a similar letter to John Stumpf, the Wells Fargo CEO.

The march ended at the Sheraton outside the ABA convention, where demonstrators carried effigies of bank executives, including John Stumpf, former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Some displayed “Wanted” signs bearing the faces of bank executives that read “Wall Street Robber Banker.” They carried signs with slogans such as “No Bonuses for Big Banks” and chanted sayings like “Bailouts? No thanks! Bust up big banks!”

The difference, however, between this demonstration and other recent demonstrations was summed up by a student at UW-Madison who attended the rally. “There was a clear agenda here and clear goals, not misdirected anger. There were people here from all walks of life – blue collar, white collar; urban, rural; young, old – it was a true representation of Americans united for a common cause.”

Read more here:

View a slide show here:

October 27, 2009

Beltway Conventional Wisdom Wrong Again


October 26, 2009

On the Road to the Bloggers’ Hall of Fame

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , , , — Bob Patterson @ 9:27 pm

If Jack Kerouac were alive today, it seems quite likely that since he liked to be in the avant-garde contingent of contemporary writers, he would be blogging, but what sort of items would he deem worthy of his attention?  Would he point out the fact that after serving seven years as President, George W. Bush’s apologists were stoutly advocating the idea that some problems were the result of  Bill Clinton’s policies but a mere 8 months after President Barack Obama was sworn in, those same Republican folks were firmly maintaining that now all of America’s current problems are the results of the new President’s agenda? 

Perhaps Jack Kerouac would point out that the fact that Clinton had a long lasting effect and that the new President had quickly taken control might be a subtle indication that Bush’s interim period had been ineffective and impotent.  Do Republicans’ really want to imply that the USA’s first Negro President was a virile buck who has put his mark on world affairs that quickly and that Bush never managed to achieve that in seven years?  

After reading “Why Kerouac Matters,” by John Leland, this columnist realizes that a misperception had formed.  This reader had leaped to the assumption that Kerouac would sympathize with the political views of writers like Paul Krasner, Art Kunkin (of Los Angeles Free Press fame), or Hunter S. Thompson.  Such a surmise is very wrong.  Leland asserts that millions of Kerouac’s readers have misunderstood what Kerouac was saying.

Leland postulates that the father of the Beatnik movement actually held strong conservative convictions as far as political philosophy was concerned.  The literary critic then doles out the evidence to back up his contention.  (See page 28 in particular.)

Kerouac did not inject many (if any) references to the Korean War in his novels.

Who will win the Series?  Although Kerouac’s name was synonymous with New York City, he didn’t seem to care much about pro sports let alone root for the Dodgers, Giants, or Yankees.

For as much traveling as Kerouac did, he hardly ever extols tourist attractions.  He seemed to concentrate on jazz, drinking, and sex.  That and his spiritual visions endeared him to the hippies and they assumed that his mystical moments constituted permission to experiment with mind altering drugs. 

Would Kerouac have blogged about topics which were not to be found on the Internet, such as the hypothetical “Bloggers’ Hall of Fame,” or would he have extolled patriotic approval of all of George W. Bush’s war crimes?  What would you expect of someone whose hero was William F. Buckley?

If someone doesn’t start the Blogger’s Hall of Fame, what good is blogging?

How can a blogger compare the Golden Gate Bridge to the Sydney Harbor Bridge if he doesn’t make the effort to see and walk across both of them?  Why state a conclusion if there is no chance that the results won’t take the blogger a step closer to just getting nominated for a place in such a hypothetical institution?

Kerouac said “Why must I always travel from here to there as if it mattered where one is?” 

Isn’t the answer the same as the one to the question about why did that guy climb Mount Everest; “Because it’s there!”?

Kerouac did rewrites and polished his work and presented one draft of “On the Road” on one long continuous sheet of paper as if it were a product of a spontaneous burst of creative energy.  He gave encouragement to bloggers who tends to write fast and post in haste by saying:  “Why let your internalized high school English teacher edit what God gave you?”

Speaking of putting a roll of teletype paper into your typewriter and starting a marathon of keystroking, the folks at National Novel Writing Month ( are about to start their annual November typa-thon competiton.  Kerouac wannabes, you have been given ample notification.

Can you just imagine a talk show chat featuring Jack Kerouac and fellow conservative Ann Coulter?

Just before the posting process for this column was started, a quick bit of fact checking shows that the site for the annual blog awards ( contains a notation for repeat winners that they are considered to be at the Hall of Fame level of achievement. 

Who would get a link on a Kerouac Blog?  How about the teacher going around the world on a bicycle?  (  Talk about a road trip.

Why did this columnist and so many others leap to assumptions about Kerouac if the ideas weren’t in the words?  Leland leaves the questions about the possibility that those messages were present on the subconscious level and thereby more effectively communicated, to other future critics-analysts.

After reading Leland’s book, a re-read of “On the Road” seems quite likely.

“Why Kerouac Matters” doesn’t have an Index.  (Boooo!)  Somewhere in the book, didn’t Leland mention a jazz composition titled “Kerouac”?  Without an Index, that fact slips through the existentialist’s time warp and disappears into the either.  An Index would also help to determine which of George Shearing’s tracks Kerouac liked and which he didn’t because he thought they showed a new attitude of cool and commercial.

In “On the Raod,” Kerouac wrote:  “He said we were a band of Arabs coming to blow up New York.”

Now, the disk jockey will play Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray’s “The Hunt,” Prez Prado’s “Mambo Jambo,” and Slim Gaillard’s “C-Jam Blues.”  It’s time for us to bop out of here.  Have a “Go moan for man” type week.

The GOP on the Skids


October 25, 2009

The Christopublican Science Agenda: Ignorance is Bliss


October 24, 2009

The GOP: Movin’ and Doin’ It


October 23, 2009

The Tattlesnake – Who Said What? Edition

Time for a quiz? I thought so. Grab your paper and pencil and no cheating with the Google machine. As you read, you’ll catch on to the theme of this baker’s dozen of questionable quotes:

1. “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

A. Benito Mussolini
B. Adolf Hitler
C. Dick Cheney
D. Barack Obama

2. “Socialism is a fraud, a comedy, a phantom, a blackmail.”

A. Benito Mussolini
B. Adolf Hitler
C. Dick Cheney
D. Barack Obama

3. “War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to make it.”

A. Benito Mussolini
B. Adolf Hitler
C. Dick Cheney
D. Barack Obama

4. “We must be prepared to face our responsibilities and be willing to use force if necessary.”

A. Benito Mussolini
B. Adolf Hitler
C. Dick Cheney
D. Barack Obama

5. “The fate of nations is intimately bound up with their powers of reproduction.”

A. Benito Mussolini
B. Adolf Hitler
C. Dick Cheney
D. Barack Obama


Darth Cheney punked out by Gen. Eaton

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 12:45 am

Obama has a new ally in the war of words that Dick Cheney started after leaving his coffin and running his mouth once again in a speech to the Center for Security Policy.

His name is Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.), who served more than 30 years in the United States Army from 2003-2004 and oversaw the training of the Iraqi military. He is currently the National Security Network Senior Adviser for the Obama administration.

Today, Gen. Paul Eaton also had a few words for Dick Cheney. His words are clear and need no further elaboration:

The record is clear: Dick Cheney and the Bush administration were incompetent war fighters. They ignored Afghanistan for 7 years with a crude approach to counter-insurgency warfare best illustrated by: 1. Deny it. 2. Ignore it. 3. Bomb it. While our intelligence agencies called the region the greatest threat to America, the Bush White House under-resourced our military efforts, shifted attention to Iraq, and failed to bring to justice the masterminds of September 11. The only time Cheney and his cabal of foreign policy ‘experts’ have anything to say is when they feel compelled to protect this failed legacy.

The only thing to add to that it is audacious for someone like Cheney, who had five draft deferments and never served a day in the military, to consider himself a self-proclaimed expert on national security.

It is also ironic that Cheney speaks more to the press now than he did when he was in office. Mr. Cheney, you had your chance and you blew it big time. Now go crawl back into your coffin, or bunker or wherever you came from, and leave it up to the new administration to finish the wars that you and your cohorts started.

Read more here:

October 22, 2009

Health care industries on spending spree

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 1:43 pm

According to The Washington Post, the health care and insurance industries spent money “at a rate of $2 million per day” on lobbying against health care reform through the first half of the year.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the biggest spender is the pharmaceutical industry, which spent $47.4 million on lobbying in the first three months of 2009, up 36% from the first quarter of 2008.

Lobbying disclosure forms, which are filed with both the House and Senate, do not measure advertising, grass-roots organizing and other efforts by special interest groups, such as Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, to influence the debate outside Congress or the White House. Total spending on health-care reform ads, for example, surpassed $100 million nearly a month ago, already making it the costliest advocacy issue in U.S. history, according to media industry estimates.

When a clear majority of Americans still support a public option, it does not take a rocket scientist, or perhaps in this case, a brain surgeon to realize that the companies that are fighting health care reform in this country do not have your best health interests in mind, nor are they spending millions to defend or defeat obscure political ideologies. They are spending millions on lobbying to protect their profit margin, which is made at the expense of their clients, and ironically, the money they are using to do that was also made at their clients expense.

While the various health care industries may be able to buy out members of Congress, hopefully they will not be able to buy public opinion.

Read more here:

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