Saturday, August 29, 2009

The health care debate and our corporate media

Bill Moyers, via Glenn Greenwald:
And I think the reason for that is -- in the time since I was there, 40 years ago, the Democratic Part has become like the Republican Party, deeply influenced by corporate money.
Money has flowed in such a flood into both parties that the Democratic Party gets a lot of its support from the very interests that -- when the Republicans are in power -- financially support the Republicans.

Bill doesn't mention that these same interests also own the mainstream media in our country. Our MSM which has become increasingly concentrated in a small number of hands over the last 40 years.

Here's Joe Klein at Time, regarding the public option:
Meanwhile, I never had much interest in a public option. I think the perils of government-delivered (as opposed to funded) services are obvious and immense. Sarah Lyall had an excellent piece in the Times today about her dealings with the British National Health System, which has some very real strengths, but also some terrifying weaknesses.

As is immediately pointed out by the common taters, Joe K. is being foolish. But he knows the corporate line, and he's going to toe it.

Newsweek's Howard Fineman gives Ben Nelson a tongue bath, and in the process mentions:
If and when the Democrats get to 60, the party's core liberal-progressive interests are likely to demand prompt action on a host of topics. But if every action requires 60—and that's becoming the norm in the Senate—the ironic result will be to empower the party's centrist wing.

Anyone remember when the Republicans had a Senate majority?

Howard Fineman: Silly Democrats, let our President save us from the terror!

Jamison Foser: The media's health care filibuster

This is the role of Howard Finemans and Joe Kleins: to define the left edge of the Overton window. Past here, unserious liberals be. More to the point, unemployable liberals, at least in the corporate media. Stay with the herd, it's safe there!

And that is my point: the tycoon class doesn't just buy our politicians directly (the carrot), they also wield the media that they own (as a stick or as a carrot).

Want a public option? On the right, Rush Limbaugh, FAUX, and the WSJ are all opposed. On the other hand, you have Joe K. and Howard F. Freedom from Choice!

Want to see Bush, Cheney, and company brought to justice for torturing people?

On the right, Rush Limbaugh, FAUX, and the WSJ are all opposed. On the other hand, here's Joe Klein. Freedom from Choice!

Remember our spectacular success in Iraq when we freed the Iraqi people (from food, homes, limbs, and lives)?

Time Magazine's Joe Klein, for instance, last week claimed he has "been opposed to the Iraq war ever since 2002." Readers were expected to forget about his nationally televised declaration in late February 2003 -- the critical days just before the invasion was ordered. "War may well be the right decision at this point," Klein told NBC's Tim Russert. "In fact, I think it probably is."

"We had controversial wars that divided the country. This war united the country and brought the military back."
(Newsweek's Howard Fineman--MSNBC, 5/7/03)

I post at Swampland occasionally. I've seen Joe Klein occasionally respond to comments. I think I'll try to get him to anwer this one:

Remember those dirty fucking hippies who turned out to be completely correct about Iraq, in sharp contrast to yourself? Do you think it might be possible that those same DFHs are correct about a public option for health care insurance and prosecuting Bush Administration officials for torture?


This has created an imbalance that requires a Fox-like network that is as liberal as Fox is conservative. MSNBC seems to be trying to fill this role, but very half-heartedly for reasons I am unclear about.

That would be Bruce Bartlett, a veteran of the Reagan and H.W. Bush administrations, in an email to Steve Benen.

I think he is missing the point, deliberately or else because his ideological blinders prevent him from seeing it.

NBC doesn't want to be liberal. The fact that FAUX nooze crazies allow them to present their right wing, corporate friendly spin as "liberal" is a perfect circumstance for their parent, GE.

This is what manufacturing consent is all about.


Twice in the past month, my private communications have been splashed about the internet. That such a thing would happen is unfortunate, and dishonorable, but sadly inevitable, I suppose. I ignored the first case, in which a rather pathetic woman acolyte of Greenwald's published a hyperbolic account of a conversation I had with her at a beach picnic on Cape Cod. Now, Greenwald himself has published private emails of mine that were part of a conversation taking place on a list-serve. In one of those emails, I say that Greenwald "cares not a whit for America's national security."
I am not a religious reader of Greenwald--he does go on, and on--and it's possible that I missed extensive posts in which he praises the Armed Forces or makes positive suggestions about how to track possible communications between terrorists abroad and their confederates here. But I sort of doubt that.What I have seen from him, ad nauseum, are intemperate attacks in which he questions the character of--no, it's worse than that: he slimes--anyone who has the temerity to disagree with him.

"...private emails of mine" and "a conversation taking place on a list-serve". OK, Joe. I guess it's like that rule of law thing for the rest of us, but not the important people in the Village.

I didn't realize Glenn Greenwald was training an army of Amazon Warrior Priestesses. But I guess it makes sense.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Red Rock State Park part 2

Mouse over pics for captions, click on pics for larger views.

Update: Uncropped velvet ant photo added for research porpoises:

velvet ant~

Monday, August 24, 2009

Red Rock State Park part 1

Mouse over pics for captions, click on pics for larger views.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Taste of Gallup, New Mexico

My Left Foot

Gallup, New Mexico


I considered staying here, but the online reviews warned me away.

They had a hamburger called "The Ronald Reagan": cheddar, bacon, side of jelly beans. I thought "My name isn't Nancy!"

My hamburger - Let me show you it
Next: A death-defying hike in Red Rock Park!

Racing a train on Route 66.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

A picture, a thousand words, and Chuck Todd

I thought a picture was worth a thousand words?

But maybe not:

But hey, look at the whooping I'm giving Duncan Hack in average visit length and average page views per visit.

Ehhh? EHHHH?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Godwin Month!

Rush Limbaugh, via GG

Van the Loon at S,N!

Barney Frank responds to the B.S.:

P.S. This post has been sitting around for a while (i.e. the S.N! post was not 8 hours ago). But the Barney Frank response finally provided motivation.

UPDATE: J— posted in the comments, just before I went to work (late as usual...was busy editing my blog!)

This Barren Country - Barney Frank: Land Without Bread Hero

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Three Little Birds and some finches

Bob Marley & the Wailers Soundcheck, 1980
Embedding disabled, but well worth the click to youtube

These finches were part of a large group I passed on the way to the store the other day.


Monday, August 17, 2009

The GOP wants to kill Social Security and Medicare

REP. ARMEY: This, this, this defies logic.

MS. MADDOW: This is a really important point. The anti-healthcare reform lobby thinks that Medicare is tyranny, OK?

REP. ARMEY: I did—I said...

MS. MADDOW: This is an—I mean, you said in 1995 that “Medicare is a program I would have no part of in a free world.”

REP. ARMEY: Right. Absolutely right.

MS. MADDOW: You said in 2002, “We’re going to have to bite the bullet on Social Security and phase it out over a period of time.”

Meet the Press, 8/16/2009

For the pithier version, See Culture of Truth

These asshats are running around scaring seniors with talk about "Death Panels". They used the same lies and scare tactics in 1993-1994.

It's time we pointed out the truth: There is a party that wants to eliminate Social Security and Medicare. It's the Republican Party.


Conservatives push Reagan's 1961 attacks on "socialized medicine" but ignore that he was criticizing Medicare

I like Media Matters, they do a good job.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Health insurance companies want you to die

(But only after they take all your money.)

Screen cap from the forthcoming issue of Harper's:

Cue Rhonda Hackett:

Myth: Canada's health care system is a cumbersome bureaucracy.

The U.S. has the most bureaucratic health care system in the world. More than 31 percent of every dollar spent on health care in the U.S. goes to paperwork, overhead, CEO salaries, profits, etc. The provincial single-payer system in Canada operates with just a 1 percent overhead. Think about it. It is not necessary to spend a huge amount of money to decide who gets care and who doesn't when everybody is covered.


Update: In response to Another Kiwi, I thought I'd post something from Digby's comments.

I would only say this:

It’s politically smart to go after the leaders. It’s politically dumb to name-call the people who get fooled by the leaders.

It’s also hard to defend on the merits. We liberals get fooled by our leaders all the time. How many people really believe that our leaders are currently trying to address the fundamental lunacy of our health care “system,” including the vast wells of profit which make our level of spending so crazy?

I don’t believe that our leaders are trying to do that. But our leaders keep saying they are. Most of us implicitly believe them. Does that mean that we’re stupid too?
bob somerby | 08.15.09 – 12:40 pm |

It's not yet clear what is happening here, to me at least. (Unlike the era from 2001-2008, in which we were all relentlessly lied to by the most incompetent and evil Administration in history.)

But I have to respect Bob's opinion, he's been right about the right for a long time.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Boogie til you puke!

Cleaning woman
Found me on the floor
Can't wait 'til tomorrow
To boogie some more!

TGIF, also.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Project Liberty


After he recovers from his injuries, Kenneth plans to travel across the country to promote "Project Liberty", a new educational program designed to teach America's youth about their fundamental rights under the Constitution.

To Kenneth, this is not about Left versus Right nor Democrats versus Republicans. This cause is about personal liberties and freedom of speech. Project Liberty will sweep across this great nation to unite people for the common cause of protecting our individual liberties.

But Freedom™ isn't Free™, is it?

Project Liberty is "people-powered." As with any endeavor of this magnitude, there are costs associated with this. If you would like to help defray these costs in this fight for liberty, stand up with Kenneth and donate today.

I am Kenneth Gladney. You are Kenneth Gladney, Remember, we all are Kenneth Gladney.

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

Screencap time: Who should I see in the local fishwrap this morning?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kenneth Gladney, meet Ashley Todd

The Sadlies have this covered

New information!

Nothing quite like having your lawyer there for 2 seconds of vicious assault.

Lawyer David Brown, in the white shirt, is yelling over and over "You attacked him!". The SEIU guy on the ground at the start of the video is apparently just a prop. Maybe he should have brought a lawyer.


To add tags and such as, and for the primary porpoise of this post: screengrabs.

First up, Jim Treacher!

TJ Works 'Gubmint runs on MAH MONEY', Tort Reform (har har), and then blames Norbiz for wanting to give people health care.

Finally (for now!), we have MK:

Well said, MK.

What astonishes me about this episode is how hard the wingnuts are pushing their outrage and victimization in the face of a video that discredits the entire thing.


Monday, August 10, 2009

A Fred Hiatt diet

Fred is concerned!

Here are two versions of the summer sizzler "President Obama and the Exploding Deficit," playing in a cineplex near you:

1) Some stupid right-wing asshole blows up the nation with his tax cuts for the rich and his stupid war on Iraq.

Freddie Hiatt says: Brilliant! Even Better with Extra Surge!

2) This massive, unprecedented failure leads to some new president trying to clean up the damage.

Freddie Hiatt says: Oh my YAHWEH! Spending money on the poors instead of on bombs? I AM VERY CONCERNED!!!!one1111!!!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Looking at the Right

Looking at the Left decides to look the other way.

I see a need for health care. Lots of it.

Free Market Solutions™?

Tort Reform?

The Right. Wrong as usual.


This is central to my point:


Friday, August 7, 2009

Brought to you by Emusevier

Brought to you by Emusevier, the world's largest publisher of medical and scientific literature:

Inducing relaxation in the queen conch Strombus gigas

Five potential relaxant chemicals were evaluated: 2-phenoxyethanol, menthol crystals, benzocaine, MS-222, and magnesium chloride to induce relaxation in the queen conch for cultured pearl production.
Only 30 g L− 1 magnesium chloride induced adequate relaxation in S. gigas to attempt pearl seeding. Conch exposed to all other treatments, except 0.25 g L− 1 menthol, showed a strong ‘kicking’ (escape) reaction during the initial 2 min to 7 min of exposure. After such reaction, conch retracted into their shells and within the 30 min exposure period they showed no signs of relaxation.

Maybe they should have tried the classics?