Saturday, February 27, 2010

Voice of The Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, Spanks Himself... and Squeals Like A Pig.

This is just too friggin' bizarre.
I'm rarely at a loss for words, but this is one of those times.

You can all insert your own "Deliverance" inspired joke here.

h/t to my friend Laffy at TPC.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Cost Of Health Care vs. Life Expectancy: National Geographic

While thumbing through the current issue of my National Geographic Magazine, I ran across this interesting blurb:
The United States spends more on medical care per person than any country, yet life expectancy is shorter than in most other developed nations and many developing ones. Lack of health insurance is a factor in life span and contributes to an estimated 45,000 deaths a year. Why the high cost? The U.S. has a fee-for-service system—paying medical providers piecemeal for appointments, surgery, and the like. That can lead to unneeded treatment that doesn’t reliably improve a patient’s health. Says Gerard Anderson, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who studies health insurance worldwide, “More care does not necessarily mean better care.”  —Michelle Andrews (emphasis mine)
It was accompanied by this chart, which pretty much spells out everything (click on the chart to enlarge):

Naturally, I navigated over to their web site and found the article so I could post it here.

This is one of the reasons I've always loved this magazine.

Clear, concise comparisons.

After taking a look at this, even the most ignorant American has to realize that there is something terribly, terribly wrong with this picture.

Most countries with "socialized" health care are doing far better at keeping their citizens alive... and doing it far more cheaply than we do.

We can't afford to "do nothing."
We can't affford to "start over."

The time to do something is NOW.

h/t to National Geographic Magazine Blog Central.

It's The Last Friday Of The Month. Time For The Asshat Of The Week Award! The Winner? Jim Bunning (R) Kentucky! UPDATED!

How about this guy?

Republican Jim Bunning, US Senator from Kentucky, is preventing an estimated 1.2 million American workers from prematurely losing their unemployment benefits next month.

See, Bunning wants the unemployment benefit extension to come out of Stimulus funds (which I'm pretty sure he voted against in the first place), otherwise it will be "deficit spending."  So he opposes it.

He's repeatedly blocked the appropriation.  When his Republican colleagues begged him to stop his crap, Mr. Bunning's response (on the Senate Floor) was:  
"Tough shit."
Tough shit?

These are people we're talking about, Senator Bunning.  
People who have bills to pay and mouths to feed, and are struggling to get by in very tough times.

In your own state, the unemployment rate (based on who is receiving those benefits) is 10.4%.

Your own people are hurting, and your response is "tough shit?"

Of course, you have "Big John" Cornyn (R-TX)  - another Asshat Award contender, sticking up for you:
"I admire the courage of the junior senator from Kentucky," he said. "Somebody has to stand up finally and say, 'No more inter-generational theft!'"
Yeah.  THAT'S what it's all about, I'm sure.

So, the Senate adjourned for the weekend, without taking any action.  They'll take it up again next month.

Yesirree.  This is Compassionate Conservatism at work.

Congratulations to Senator Bunning, Asshat of the Week!

h/t to Arthur Delaney, Huffington Post

UPDATE:  It gets even better (or worse).  According to Bob Cesca's sources, Bunning's petulant "tough shit" behavior has other unintended consequences...  like blocking the release of Highway Trust Fund money for the next 30 days... effectively shutting down the DOT and furloughing its employees.



h/t to my friend Bob Cesca.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Best "Poppycock!" on TV, or, Why Hasn't Shepard Smith Already Been Canned From Faux News?

Shephard Smith is the closest thing to a journalist working at Fox, so I can't figure out why he hasn't been fired.

He's done this before...and I'm guessing Shep will be saying "Oops - sorry about that!" inside 24 hrs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On The Eve Of The Health Care Summit... Keith Olbermann's "Special Comment" - UPDATE

Tomorrow, Congressional leaders will enter Blair House, and in meeting with President Obama, will try to achieve a consensus on health care reform.

During the debate in the last few months, a particularly offensive term has been bandied about by those who want to kill reform: 

Keith Olbermann is unabashedly liberal, and in my opinion, sometimes is his own worst enemy, because when editorializing, he can be over the top in his righteous indignation.

Not this time.  This time, his Special Comment is just about as right on as it could be.
Thank you, Mr. Olbermann... and the best of luck to your father.

UPDATE:  Mr. Olbermann said last night that if  his father "does not recover, you will not see me here for a while."

I've just learned that "Countdown" will not be aired tonight, so that Keith can spend time with his father.

Chris Matthews will host a special edition of "Hardball" instead, along with Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie.

Our thoughts are with you, Keith.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Party Before Country: Lisa Murkowski - Footsoldier in the Grand Obstructionist Party - UPDATED - UPDATED AGAIN.

Who in the hell in Congress wouldn't want to pass a bill that creates more jobs for Americans?  A bill to help create jobs for a hurting America seems like it should be a no-brainer, right?  

Even a paltry $15 billion measure to create jobs should get no opposition.

Question:  Who in their right mind would think that making Democrats (and this President in particular) fail is more important than helping American workers?

The GOP, that's who.

Yes, it was a trick question... the "in their right mind" part should have been the giveaway!

Today, in Washington, DC, a procedural vote (called cloture) was held to determine whether or not a Jobs Bill would reach the floor for a vote.   Under current filibuster rules, a bill needs at least 60 votes to end debate, and bring the measure to the floor for a pass/fail vote.

The GOP tried to filibuster the measure, and something very unusual happened:  They failed.

Newly-elected Republican Senator (and former Cosmo centerfold) Scott Brown (R-MA) - whose election the GOP cheered and chortled about because his vote made sure the Democrats no longer had the 60  votes needed to avoid a filibuster - bucked his party and voted for moving the bill to the floor.

The irony is delicious.

Brown was joined by Maine's Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.  When it comes to procedural votes, Snowe has locked horns with her party before, and both Collins and Snowe have made it clear that they will put party differences aside to create jobs.

Other Republicans joining Brown were Sen. George Voinovich (OH) and Sen. Kit Bond (Mo.), who are both retiring... and therefore have nothing to lose by telling their GOP colleagues to stuff it  - after no doubt getting some concessions from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed (D-NV) for their "Yea" votes.

So, by a tally of 62-30, the Jobs Bill evaded the dreaded filibuster and is headed to the floor for an up-or-down vote.

Unsurprisingly, Alaska's Mark Begich voted with most of the Democrats to move the bill to the floor.

But... who voted "NO!"?

Why, "Lock-Step Lisa" Murkowski, of course!

Hypocrite that Murkowski is, if and when any jobs created by this measure come home to Alaska, you can bet your ass on one thing:

Lisa will be out there smiling and taking credit for it.

When she does, she should be reminded that she was against jobs before she was for them.

It should be mentioned that this Jobs Bill was made up entirely of TAX CUTS.
You know, the Number One GOP Talking Point™?
So important that Sarah Palin had it scribbled on her hand?

So, in order to appease her GOP bosses, Senator Lisa is on now officially on the record as being OPPOSED TO TAX CUTS!
You know, because the Democrats thought tax cuts were a good idea.

UPDATE: This morning (2/24), the bill came to the floor, and passed by wide "bipartisan" (snort) 70-28 margin.
Of course, Lisa Murkowski was FOR it this time

That way, she can come back home and with a huge smile, claim she created jobs and cut taxes...
even though she opposed a floor vote for the measure in the first place.

Please, Alaskans.
Remember this arrogant duplicity.
Lisa's banking that you won't.

h/t to Bob Cesca.