Thursday, July 23, 2009

Harry Reid - A Walking Medical Mystery!

Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) announced that the Senate would not act on a health care reform package prior to the August recess.

Since any momentum gained for the measure may now be lost, his action could kill any meaningful reform at all.

Frankly, Reid's lack of courage doesn't surprise me.

When push comes to shove, Harry Reid has repeatedly demonstrated that he can be pushed AND shoved.

What IS surprising is that Harry Reid can actually walk around without a spine.

To my way of thinking, a spine isn't the ONLY physical attribute that Harry is without - the other usually comes in pairs, though.

Thanks a lot, Harry.

Nevada - can you lend America a hand here?

WHY Jon Stewart, Late Night Comic, Is America's Most Trusted News Anchor!

This "Obama isn't really a natural-born American Birther Crazyshit™" is getting airtime (therefore lending credence to Insanity™) from the richardnoggins on the Mainstream Media, so I thought I'd play Stewart's take on it. I watched it on last night's show and enjoyed it immensely. I hope you do, too.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Once again (in an hilarious manner), Stewart gives Idiocy© the treatment it should be receiving from the news media.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Sign Of The Coming Apocalypse: Jon Stewart, Late Night Comic, Is America's Most Trusted News Anchor!

Time Magazine has conducted an on-line poll to determine who, since the death of Walter Cronkite, now holds the title of America's Most Trusted News Anchor™.

Bizarrely, it's Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

Now, Jon Stewart is not a news anchor. He's the first to admit it.

Stewart uses the news, and his interviews with news makers, as a foil for some pretty brilliant comedy.

As part of that comedy, he often presents his audience with what the "news" actually means.

Perhaps Stewart won because he was sort of the "odd man out" in the poll, which included "real" news persons Brian Williams, Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson.

I don't actually know Jon Stewart, but I do know that he is horrified when people treat him as though he were an actual journalist. He's knows just a comic.

Perhaps Time Magazine included him in the poll as a tongue-in-cheek measure.

But maybe, just maybe, Jon Stewart was included because he keeps doing the job that many actual journalists should be doing.

Over and over again.

Congratulations, Mr. Stewart.

I think.

Adding: If readers are interested in how Alaska (and every other state) voted in the poll, you can go here and see.

Cooking The Data On Health Care Reform - The "Unbiased" Lewin Group.

One of the numbers-crunching research firms constantly being touted by the Republicans in their battle to kill health care reform is the Lewin Group.

Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican whip, calls them "the nonpartisan Lewin Group."

GOP members of the House Ways and Means Committee, refers to the Lewin Group as an "independent research firm."

According to GOP Senator Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah (the second-ranking Republican on the Finance Committee) the Lewin Group is "well known as one of the most nonpartisan groups in the country."


The GOP fails to mention that the Lewin Group is wholly owned by UnitedHealth Group... one of America's largest insurers.

The Lewin Group is part of Ingenix, a UnitedHealth subsidiary that recently agreed to a $50 million settlement with the New York attorney general, and a $350 million settlement with the AMA, for cooking the books to help insurers shift medical expenses to consumers.

Ingenix supplied its parent company and other insurers with data that understated the "usual and customary" doctor fees that insurers use to determine how much they will reimburse consumers for out-of-network care.

No small wonder that the Lewin Group's research "backs up" the insurance industry's opposition to any plan containing a public option... and no small wonder that the Republicans conveniently forget this little detail.

You can read the whole Washington Post article about it here.

Please, Mr. President and Democratic members of Congress:

Call them on this bullshit.

h/t to Bob Cesca.

"Sarah Palin's Wild Ride," Installment 2

Anchorage television station KTUU has taken a sort of different approach in this series.

The 2nd installment was done by a different journalist. KTUU reporter Rhonda McBride.

Rhonda McBride was Governor Palin's Rural Advisor.


From January through October 2008.

Ms. McBride ostensibly resigned her position because she felt "an Alaskan Native would better represent the state's indigenous communities."

Many Alaskan Native leaders did feel that it was highly unusual to have a non-Native in the job, so there is some credence to the reason given.

The Governor's current Rural Advisor, John Moller, is an Alaskan Native. That certainly hasn't guaranteed good relations between Bush Alaska and the Palin administration... but that's a subject for another post.

However, McBride's resignation may have been a bit more complex than the reason offered.

During the 10 months McBride was Palin's advisor for rural Alaska, she had no meetings with the Governor. None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

McBride was understandable frustrated.

Despite that, I found that Ms. McBride's piece was extremely even-handed. In her segment, she treated Palin very fairly.

While I might have enjoyed it more if she'd hammered Palin, I have to give Rhonda McBride credit.

Unlike a number of reporters, she actually works hard at being a journalist.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

KTUU's Jason Moore (with whom Meghan Stapleton used to work) begins "Palin's Wild Ride" Series (UPDATED)(UPDATED AGAIN)

Yesterday, Jason Moore of NBC station KTUU in Anchorage began a series documenting Palin's Wild Ride" (why does this make me think of Mr. Toad and Disneyland?).

It's hard to say where it will go, but it sure as hell didn't start out as a very complimentary documentary.

The first installment was titled:

Pt. 1: From 'open and transparent' to something less.

In the article, Gregg Erickson, founder of the well-respected Alaska Budget Report, said that Palin evolved into "the most secretive governor in Alaska history, withholding several state documents and e-mails, and her practice of running government on her BlackBerry."

Dragon Lady Meghan Stapleton makes a number of statements explaining why Palin had to be secretive to be open and transparent.

Sort of like quitting to show you're not a quitter.

I can hardly wait for the next installment.


KTUU is now running a separate story, which indicates that Sarah Palin may not skate on at least one of the ethics investigations:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- An independent investigator has found evidence that Gov. Sarah Palin may have violated ethics laws by accepting private donations to pay her legal debts.

The report obtained by The Associated Press says Palin is securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts through the Alaska Fund Trust, set up by supporters.

An investigator for the state Personnel Board says in his July 14 report that there is probable cause to believe Palin used or attempted to use her official position for personal gain because she authorized the creation of the trust as the "official" legal defense fund.

The fund aims to help Palin pay off debts stemming from multiple ethics complaints against her, most of which have been dismissed.

Palin says she owes more than $500,000 in legal fees.

A call seeking comment from her lawyer was not immediately returned.

The plot thickens.

UPDATE 2: The ethics violation report can be read here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

In Honor Of The 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing (corrected):

From about a year ago: Correction: I was mistaken. It was about 7 years ago.

Buzz Aldrin, the 2nd man to walk on the moon (but undisputedly the first man to take a whiz there), explaining to "The Moon Landing Was Faked" conspirist Bartholomew Winfield Sibrel just why he might want to get the hell out of Aldrin's face.

Four things should be noted here:

1. Aldrin was lured to this location so that film maker Bart Sibrel could ambush him. Aldrin had been led to believe he was there to tape an appearance for a Japanese children's TV show.

2. Aldrin told Sibrel to back off... and Sibrel promptly responded by calling Aldrin a "coward and a liar."

Not a good choice by Mr. Sibrel.

3. Since he was born in 1930, by my reckoning, Aldrin was 78 72 years old when he put the smack-down on Sibrel!

Not a bad right cross, Buzz!

4. Every "proof" offered by "The Moon Landing Was Faked" wearers of the tinfoil beanies has been thoroughly debunked.

Happy 40th Anniversary, Apollo 11!

Soon-To-Be Ex-Governor Palin Packing Up The Mansion... And Incessantly Twittering... or is it Tweeting?

Y'know, I'd really like to stop talking about Sarah Palin. I really would.

As far as I'm concerned, her fifteen minutes of fame expired long ago.

But two things prevent her from disappearing into the sunset:

The first thing: Like most outrageous celebrity types, she makes great copy (think of her as "the Lindsay Lohan of politics").

Therefore, every time she does almost anything, good, bad, or inconsequential, it will trumpeted by the media.

The second thing:

She just won't shut up.

Personally, I think that she may be psychologically unable to do so.

On Sunday, she had to let the world know that she and the First Dude were working away to gather up their belongings from the Governor's Mansion in Juneau (can't be that much, they spent very little time there) so they can hie themselves back to the "cottage by the lake" in Wasilla.

Apparently, she's looking forward to the very near future when she can have a new Twitter identity as Ex-Governor, and she no longer has to be Politically Correct.

As I've noted before, irony is lost on this woman.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster help us all.