Mar 31, 2010

Scandals on Both Sides

The GOP "Young Eagles" are caught up in scandal because they dropped in to check out the lesbian bondage themed Club Voyeur 'hottest spot' in LA and the cost was billed to the GOP.

The Republican National Committee has fired a staffer who helped organize a $1,946 visit last month to a sex-themed Hollywood club, and the GOP says it will recoup the money from a donor who also participated. Yahoo News

No dead hookers or live male children involved? Not a scandal. Sorry. This just doesn't have legs. Not when the Pope personally knew about child abuse, and may have had a hand in the cover-up. Not when there are 200 deaf boys being abused in Wisconsin. So you went to the club? Sure, if I had donated 2K to the GOP and didn't get to go to Club Voyeur to spend it with the Young Republicans, hell yeah I'd be pissed too. But then I'd have to spend my night with a group of fuggin' Young Republicans. Who the hell would want to be at that table?

"With them? You're kidding right? Oh, the bad blue suit and flag pin? Just a terrible coincidence. Can I have my lap dance now?"

Meanwhile, on the other side of the isle, let's not forget just how low the bar has been set. The Democrats are awash in ethics and corruption scandals in Congress and among the nation’s biggest governorships too.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged the Democrats would “drain the swamp” of corruption” in Washington, but much of the available evidence shows that the Democrats’ ethical record is noticeably worse. In many cases involving Democrats, investigations into wrongdoing have been swept under the rug or slowed to a snail’s pace and penalties have been just a slap on the wrist.

“Instead of draining the swamp of corruption in Washington as Pelosi promised, Democrats are now swimming neck-deep in it,” said Brian Walsh, chief spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“Whether it’s powerful committee chairs flouting tax laws, rampant earmark abuse, or a Senate nominee in Illinois who was a former banker to the mob, this isn’t change any American can believe in. Republicans will be running on returning accountability and checks and balances to Washington this November, and we are intent on earning back the trust of the American people while the Democrats continue to flout it,” Walsh said.

The House ethics committee, has more than half a dozen investigations pending into Democratic wrongdoing on everything from tax evasion to trading pork-barrel projects for campaign contributions.

At the same time, the independent, outside Office of Congressional Ethics, created in 2008 and headed by former Justice Department attorney Leo J. Wise, who won convictions against Enron executives, reports that 36 House members were under investigation, the most in more than a decade. And that's just Congress, we aren't discussing the Administration.

But Democratic majority leaders aren’t happy with OCE’s aggressive investigations of its members and have rejected most of its findings. Among 12 cases OCE referred to the House Ethics Committee in December, all but one were cleared of any wrongdoing, and three were pending.

The biggest scandal at the ethics committee came late last month when two lawmakers were cleared of allegations they had traded earmarks for campaign donations.
Wise’s report in this case was the product of dozens of interviews and some 200,000 pages of documentation of the little-seen insider trading between lobbyists and congressmen over earmarks. They put Martha Stewart away for less.

Wise’s stepped-up actions have angered House lawmakers and there has been talk in Democratic circles of limiting OCE’s authority.

But if anyone wants evidence of how hollow is Pelosi’s promise to drain the swamp, one need look no further than the scandals that have been long-swirling around Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York.

Rangel was forced to step down from the chairmanship of the powerful, tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee in early March after being admonished—the lightest “penalty” possible—for accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean.

But even then he was allowed to say his action was only “a leave of absence” as chairman, though few Democrats think he will be allowed to return to his post. He faces far more serious charges in an investigation that has dragged on for more than a year.

The ethics committee is still digging into allegations he used his House office to raise money for a building named in his honor at a New York college; failed to pay taxes on a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic; had to amend his congressional financial disclosure reports to show more than $500,000 in wealth that he had not reported, and that he improperly used his rent-controlled apartments for his campaigns. But other than that, what a swell guy.

Then the Democrats were hit by another scandal when New York Democratic Rep. Eric Massa suddenly resigned his House seat in the wake of allegations that the freshman congressman had sexually harassed a male staffer and had groped other male staffers in multiple incidents that triggered warnings to Democratic leaders last year. A Pelosi spokesman said concern over Massa’s inappropriate behavior was relayed to Pelosi’s office in October and was referred to the ethics committee. Yeah, I guess everyone just assumed he was a Republican.

The House Ethics Committee decided to drop its inquiry because of Massa’s resignation. But Republicans want an investigation into how—or even whether—House Democratic leaders responded to the earlier complaints, asking “what did they know and when did they know it?”

Pelosi, who aggressively went after Republican transgressions when the GOP was in control of the House, has been supremely indifferent to the Massa sex scandal, dismissing it as a minor matter. “It’s another subject people would like to make into a distraction,” she said in an interview on MSNBC.

Many other House Democrats were also facing ethics investigations, including Representatives Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, Alan Mollohan of West Virginia and Laura Richardson and Maxine Waters of California. But these, as well as other inquiries into House members, have been lingering for months, if not years, without any resolution.

And lest we forget two of the Democrats’ most far-reaching scandals in this election cycle have been among their governors.

In Illinois, a state notorious for its political corruption, Gov. Rod Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office last year for trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama to the highest bidder. Blagojevich, who now faces charges that include fraud and solicitation of bribery, goes on trial June 3.

Obama’s Senate seat, seemed safely in Democratic hands. But then, troubling questions were raised by Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris to temporarily fill Obama’s remaining term, and the Democratic nomination was eventually captured by state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias who has a notoriously checkered banking background that includes financial transactions with underworld figures who have heavily contributed to his campaign.

One of Giannoulias’ top donors is Nick Giannis who was arrested and charged with writing $1.9 million in bad checks from Broadway Bank, the Giannoulias family business. Giannis gave about $114,000 to Giannoulias’ campaigns for state treasurer and the Senate.

Huh? What? Is that wrong?

... and in New York, Gov. David Paterson, accused of interfering in a domestic-violence investigation, abruptly ended his gubernatorial campaign last month –the state’s second recent Democratic governor (Eliot Spitzer was first) to be snared by scandal.

Democratic scandals have also rocked several Senate races that have given Republicans a shot at major upsets in some of the country’s bluest states.

The fact anyone bothered to start to question Connecticut Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd, scared him in enough to stop seeking reelection. As the Senate Banking Committee chairman, with oversight over the U.S. financial industry, he benefited from two sweetheart (4.5% and 4.25%) home mortgage loans in 2003 from former Countryside chief executive Angelo Mozilo.

The mortgage deals reportedly saved Dodd $75,000 over the life of the loans, according to an analysis by Portfolio magazine. “The savings came from rock-bottom interest rates and a free ‘float-down’--the right to borrow at a lower rate if interest rates fall before you’ve closed on the loan,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

Dodd was not the only Democrat to benefit from Countrywide Financial’s VIP mortgage program. Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, chairman of the Budget Committee, was one of several other government officials who received favorable loans after making a personal phone call to Mozilo.

The scandal caused Dodd’s approval polls to plummet in the midst of the housing meltdown and foreclosure crisis, forcing him to give up his bid for re-election to a sixth term, and giving Republicans a shot at the open Senate seat.

And that's just what we know about. No doubt there's a whole field of dirt under the rug. And let's be perfectly clear that I mean BOTH SIDES. This isn't a score card of the GOP ethics vs the DNC's... I am merely pointing out that a cleaning of the oligarchy of elitist entitled windbags with zero ethics must be taken out at the ballot box - All of them! It's time to start a campaign of Dump Your Incumbent. They're all crooks. They only get to that position because they owe so many favors the only way to pay them back is to be your Senator or President, to paraphrase Gore Vidal.
"The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy". ~Edwin Washington Edwards
Guess we'll have to see about that? Let's put them in their place, and remind them that they are our employees. And, let's show them how bad the job market is out in the real world.

My source for text and research

You might be Taliban if...

This one just came in the mail bag. I post (almost) anything you people send me.

The following should be read in your best Jeff Foxworthy 'redneck' voice:

1. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to liquor.

2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.

3. You have more wives than teeth.

4. You wipe your butt with your bare hand, but consider bacon "unclean."

5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.

6. You can't think of anyone you haven't declared Jihad against.

7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.

8. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.

9. You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least four.

10. You've always had a crush on your neighbor's goat.

11. Your cousin is president of the United States

I like jokes.

Got a better one? Mail it in.

Drill Baby Drill

The McCain Administration, in an attempt to fulfill a longstanding campaign promise, and coming after the success of the Senate narrowly passing his plan which will force all Americans to purchase insurance - is expected to announce by Wednesday its updated plan for oil and natural gas drilling in U.S. waters, including whether to allow exploration for the first time along the U.S. East Coast.

The plan could pave the way for a significant new domestic source of energy, helping to reduce U.S. dependence on oil imports and boost supplies of natural gas used to displace coal in power plants as the country works to reduce emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases.

The administration has been weighing the pros and cons of offshore drilling since it took office and put the brakes on a Bush-era proposal that called for drilling along the East Coast and off the coast of California.

For more than 20 years, drilling was banned in most offshore areas of the United States outside the Gulf of Mexico because of concerns spills could harm the environment.

Congress allowed the prohibition to expire in 2008 and former President George W. Bush lifted a drilling moratorium that year.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the U.S. Atlantic coast waters may hold 37 trillion cubic feet of gas and nearly 4 billion barrels of oil, while the Pacific Coast has 10.5 billion barrels of oil and 18 trillion cubic feet of gas. (Or about three weeks worth, give or take a few iPads and conversion vans.)

To put that in context, the United States imports about 2 billion barrels of oil a year from OPEC nations and is expected to import 2.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from all sources this year, according to the Energy Department.

The proposed Virginia lease area, located about 50 miles from shore, may hold 130 million barrels of oil and 1.14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Mar 30, 2010

Oh what the hell...?

Pirates manager John Russell plans to begin the season with his pitcher hitting eighth, a move that will shift Andrew McCutchen from leadoff to second in the batting order.

When the Pirates start the season April 5 against Los Angeles, Russell plans to hit shortstop Ronny Cedeno ninth, followed by second baseman and lead-off hitter Akinori Iwamura and McCutchen.

McCutchen will occasionally lead off, the spot where he batted .286 after being recalled from the minors in June. Iwamura has experience as a leadoff hitter, batting .275 with a .350 on-base percentage for AL champion Tampa Bay in 2008.

The Pirates had a 13-20 record in 2008 and a 2-4 mark last season when Russell batted his pitcher eighth.

And is it any wonder why the Pirates have been in the gutter for almost 20 years straight?
Second thought, maybe it's time to just call the Pirates AAA and let some other farm team get a shot to play in a nice stadium?


Hate working on your own? Hate making a decision? Have a Meeting! All on company time!

Tea Party Might Save Harry Reid?

Marc Thiessen of the Washington Post seems to think that the Tea Party people in Harry Reid's backyard last weekend might actually save that dirty somofabich's job.

It probably didn't help that lead cheerleader was Sarah Palin, who shouted, "You're fired!" over and over.

Reid is one of the most vulnerable Democrats this fall. He's the Senator Harrison Roberts played by Dick Smothers in Scorsese's Casino. No, really!

And a Rasmussen poll found that 56 percent of Nevadans oppose Obamacare (51 percent strongly), while just 41 percent support it (and just 24 percent strongly). Just 20 percent of Nevada voters view the Senate majority leader favorably, while 48 percent view him unfavorably. And both of the leading Republican candidates -- former Nevada state senator and GOP chairwoman Sue Lowden, and Las Vegas businessman and Danny Tarkanian, a former UNLV basketball star -- have crossed the 50 percent threshold and have opened up double-digit leads over Reid.

Obama has even flown in a couple two, three times to support his lap dog running the Senate... which means certain doom for Harry.

Great news, except that asphalt contractor, Jon Scott Ashjian, has joined the race under the banner of the Tea Party of Nevada -- and a recent Las Vegas Review-Journal poll found that in a three-way showdown with a Tea Party candidate in the mix, Reid could pull off a narrow victory.

Thanks, but no thanks should be the reply... especially since Jon has 99 problems, and a woman ain't one. First off, the Tea Party doesn't recognize him as a real candidate, and even label him as a 'false flag,' or an imposter created by Reid as a ringer. (I wouldn't put it past Reid, except I don't know if he's that clever.)

Ashjian was not invited to appear at Saturday's Tea Party rally in Searchlight. But he was invited to appear last Friday in federal district court to defend himself against a lawsuit challenging his candidacy and claiming that he was not a member of the Tea Party of Nevada when he filed for the election on March 1. Ashjian failed to appear in court. Judge Todd Russell said he would give Ashjian "one more chance to show up," but if he refused the judge said he would be inclined to grant the motion to remove him from the ballot. And to add to Ashjian's troubles, the Clark County district attorney's office announced Friday that it would seek an arrest warrant for him Monday on felony theft and bad check charges. Ooooopppss.

Harry Reid had better contribute to Ashjian's legal fund. The Tea Party has targeted Reid, and having Ashjian on the ballot may be Reid's only hope of survival this November.


As we get older we sometimes begin to doubt our ability to "make a difference" in the world. It is at these times that our hopes are boosted by the remarkable achievements of "seniors" who have found the courage to take on challenges that would make many of us wither.

Harold Schlumberg is such a person.
I've often been asked, 'What do you old folks do now that you're retired'?
Well, I'm fortunate to have a chemical engineering background, and one of the things I enjoy most is turning beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages into urine”

Harold should be an inspiration to us all.

Mar 29, 2010

'Blasphemous' Billboard Ruled Not Blasphemous!

"Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow."

An Auckland church billboard which sparked complaints for alluding to the sexual activities of the parents of Jesus Christ has been ruled not offensive by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The repeatedly vandalized billboard outside St Matthew-in-the-City Anglican Church featured pictures of a sombre Mary and Joseph in bed, with the caption "Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow".

After four attacks on the billboard, the church took it down.

The ASA received a number of complaints, saying the billboard was offensive, insensitive, blasphemous, ridiculed the beliefs of Christians, perverse, and distorted children's perceptions of Christmas.

However, it chose not to uphold the complaints and sided with the church, saying the billboard may have been controversial, but it wasn't obscene.

It had no naked people on it, depicted no sexual acts and "had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society", the ASA said.

Imagine if it had Muhammad and his 9-year-old wife, Aisha on it? Hey, at least Joseph and Mary were married...

Concealed Guns Save Lives: MSNBC Reports

Wait, did you read the second line? You know where this came from? MSNBC! No, really!
(h/t CNSNews via Weasel Zippers):
Americans overall are far less likely to be killed with a firearm than they were when it was much more difficult to obtain a concealed-weapons permit, according to statistics collected by the federal Centers for Disease Control. But researchers have not been able to establish a cause-and-effect relationship.
In the 1980s and ’90s, as the concealed-carry movement gained steam, Americans were killed by others with guns at the rate of about 5.66 per 100,000 population. In this decade, the rate has fallen to just over 4.07 per 100,000, a 28 percent drop. The decline follows a fivefold increase in the number of “shall-issue” and unrestricted concealed-carry states from 1986 to 2006.

The highest gun homicide rate is in Washington, D.C., which has had the nation’s strictest gun-control laws for years and bans concealed carry: 20.50 deaths per 100,000 population, five times the general rate. The lowest rate, 1.12, is in Utah, which has such a liberal concealed weapons policy that most American adults can get a permit to carry a gun in Utah without even visiting the state.

The decline in gun homicides also comes as U.S. firearm sales are skyrocketing, according to federal background checks that are required for most gun sales. After holding stable at 8.5 to 9 million checks from 1999 to 2005, the FBI reported a surge to 10 million in 2006, 11 million in 2007, nearly 13 million in 2008 and more than 14 million last year, a 55 percent increase in just four years.

It must be noted that all of these vital statistics appeared on the third and final page of this article where likely few readers would see them.

Regardless, the data were supported by charts specifically showing how gun-related deaths have declined as the number of states opting for "shall issue" permits increased:

CNSNews's Joe Schoffstall elaborated:

In this decade, the gun-homicide rate has fallen to 4.07 per 100,000, which equates to a 28 percent reduction in homicides with the use of firearms. This decline in homicides follows a five-fold increase in a “shall-issue” (requirement of a permit to carry a concealed handgun, but where the granting of the permit is subject only to meeting certain criteria laid out in the law) and unrestricted concealed-carry laws in states from 1986 to 2006, reported

According to federal background checks conducted on the sale of most firearms, the decline in homicides comes as U.S. firearm sales are skyrocketing. [...]

The nation's highest gun homicide rates are in Washington, D.C., with 20.50 deaths per 100,000 people, five times the general rate. Yet the District of Columbia has the strictest gun-control laws in the nation. The lowest rate of gun-related homicides is in Utah: 1.12 deaths per 100,000 people. Utah’s gun-control policy is very unrestricted.

And believe it or not, this came from MSNBC?

Gun Control

Mar 28, 2010

Sunday Comics: The Week In Review

The Big Fuçkin' Deal passed this week. If we all don't turn into independent contractors, (I guess we'll really get single payers that way) and if you can find a competent physician in a couple years - we'll be one big happy, broke, nation.
Then and now...

Meanwhile, at the Vatican...
And the story of the 200 deaf boys who were abused in Wisconsin is getting a lot of play... pun unintended.

Yeah, let's get started on that one again. Republicans got a lot of heat for it last time. Let's see how their counterparts fare.

And China and Google aren't playing nice. Neither is Israel and the U.S. They're still fighting over a new subdivision. And a the Korean war might start getting all hot again, assuming that the ship that sank didn't just accidentally hit a mine? Stay tuned.
"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"
I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden."
Sounds like Tea Party rhetoric? Nope, Barry Goldwater. Barry's fiery and committed rhetoric made him a hero to arch conservatives but cost them an election and perhaps contributed to the creation of Johnson's Great Society. Barry would be a huge hero today for Tea Party activists and their tag-along GOP followers. But his proclaimed ideals led to a landslide defeat... Just friendly advice. Best start coming up with alternatives and plans -- and perhaps background checks on the folks you're looking to lead your movement. Racists and violence only intimidate and undermine the movement... ask anyone, such as your critics and also Yasser Arafat, Benito Mussolini, Castro and Francisco Franco.

Mar 27, 2010

What 'real' Socialists Think

I've said it many times here... anyone actually paying attention is pissed at the Health Care powergrab. Tea Party People. Right wingers. Conservatives. Libertarians. Socialists.

Yes, real - actual Socialists also hate this thing. Case in point:

March 22, 2009- Co-chair of the Socialist Party USA, Billy Wharton, opposes the healthcare bill passed yesterday by the House of Representatives and scheduled to be signed into law by President Barack Obama on Tuesday. Wharton's opposition is based on the belief that this bill is not a reform. Instead, it is a corporate restructuring of the health insurance industry created to protect the profit margins of private insurance companies.

The bill passed by the House yesterday would mandate all Americans to purchase health insurance coverage or face a fine. It would also create health insurance exchanges, an idea crafted by the right-wing Heritage Foundation, where people would purchase insurance from private companies.

Those not eligible for Medicaid but who still could not afford to purchase insurance would receive public funds from the federal government to purchase bare bones coverage insurance plans from private insurers.

Wharton opposes this restructuring on the grounds that the mandates allow private insurers to use the coercive power of the state to enhance their private profits. Insurance credits will serve as a public subsidy to private companies. It is yet another case of public money that could be used for necessary social programs being funneled towards companies that engage in practices that are abusive and detrimental to the overall society. He believes the bill is also a demonstration of how deeply corporate lobbyists and campaign contributions have infected the country's political system.

"This is not a healthcare reform bill," says Wharton, "It is instead a corporate restructuring of the American healthcare system designed to enhance the profits of private health insurance companies disguised with the language of reform."

See? I told you no one is happy.

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Here's the cartoons of the day - The opening of Lost, and Tron, as it 'might' have been in the 60's.

Saul Bass is known for his work in famous 60s title sequences like Psycho and North by Northwest. So what would it look like if he made the opening to Tron? Vimeo user Hexagonall gives us an idea.

Tron vs. Saul Bass from Hexagonall on Vimeo.

Mar 26, 2010

Something something Glass Houses?

Just found this gem on

An anti-government militant -- on disability

Activist Mike Vanderboegh urged his fellow extremists to break Democrats' windows. But he gets "Marxist" welfare.
By Joe Conason

Mike Vanderboegh is the far-right activist from Alabama who gained sudden notoriety when he posted a message this week urging his fellow extremists to smash the windows of Democratic politicians to protest healthcare reform -- a wingnut Kristallnacht. In a revealing profile in today's Washington Post, Vanderboegh explains that throwing rocks was merely meant to warn of an impending "civil war" against Washington's infringements on poor honest folk like him.

"So, if you wish to send a message that Pelosi and her party cannot fail to hear, break their windows," Vanderboegh wrote on a blog called Sipsey Street Irregulars. "Break them NOW. Break them and run to break again. Break them under cover of night. Break them in broad daylight. Break them and await arrest in willful, principled civil disobedience. Break them with rocks. Break them with slingshots. Break them with baseball bats. But BREAK THEM."

He assured the Post that untold numbers of alienated Americans "are not only willing to resist this law to the very end of their lives, but are armed and are capable of making such resistance possible and perhaps even initiating a civil war." So far there is no evidence that Vanderboegh followed his own advice, which might have entailed a personal risk for him, after all.

As a longtime "militia" organizer and Minuteman border patroller, he has advocated violence for many years without consequence. In a 2005 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Vanderboegh was identified as a hard-line nativist, obsessed with the notion of instigating a civil war in the United States.

Back in the mid-1990s, he wrote a document titled "Strategy and Tactics for a Militia Civil War" in which he discussed the utility of snipers using "violence carefully targeted and clearly defensive: war criminals, secret policemen, rats ..." SPLC director Mark Potok set Vanderboegh in the current context of "Patriot" extremism on NPR's "Fresh Air" yesterday.

While Vanderboegh claims to be a militant "libertarian," a tribune of the oppressed white middle class, and a student of Friedrich von Hayek, he appears to be an ordinary welfare case. Claiming to be too ill for gainful employment, he apparently spends most of his time stirring up violence, with a nice federal subsidy.

According to the Post, he lives off his wife, who works at a forklift company -- and also gets a monthly disability check from his "Marxist" federal government.

Mike, You're Blaspheme's Hypocrite of the Week buddy! You just narrowly beat out Congress and their staff members for not signing up for what they just made the rest of their countrymen have to endure. But with that, hey, at least it wasn't a surprise. We already know they're hypocrites. Oh, and one more thing, Mike. You're not a libertarian. Okay?

Massive Attack Monster Apocalypse

Massive Attack has released a series of low-budget videos for its new album Heligoland, each created by a different director. This one, called "Splitting the Atom," is an unforgettable, gorgeous scene from an apocalypse.

Directed by Edouard Salier, the video is a masterpiece of 3D rendering, done almost entirely in black and white with an Akira-Cloverfield-style nightmare. The best part is that the city under attack is frozen in time - the only thing moving is our perspective as we swoop between shattered towers, screaming people, helicopters in the process of exploding, and at last nearly into the jaws of a giant creature who appears to be attacking the city.

Shopping for TP

Why are Mitt Romney and Karl Rove's books in Women's Studies?

Taking the Ball, Going Home

Anecdotal, I'm sure, but I've had a lot of physician friends - and friends who know physicians who are not only pissed - but they're making plans to leave the field of medicine.

That's right. They're taking their ball and going home. Or just aren't going to participate.

To fuel that fire, here's a letter I got from a reader...
March 23, 2010

My Dear Patient,

As you must know, Congress has just passed extensive legislation governing health care delivery and insurance systems. Whether you agree with what it does or not, we are all now subject to this law and its sweeping changes.

I have always conducted my medical practice with my patient’s best interests as my first priority. Although not legally obliged to do so, I have routinely provided you with a receipt that has all the codes necessary to bill your own health insurance company for any reimbursement to which you are entitled. Until now, that insurance company was a free enterprise despite the fact that it was heavily regulated by state and federal laws. Now the situation is quite different. Through the new law’s mandates, regulatory powers and reform, health insurance is and will be largely a government activity which will have an ever larger jurisdiction over how doctors practice, make clinical judgments and are paid.

The new law provides for about 150 new government agencies, many of which are designed to be ‘oversight’ bureaucracies which will have the right to decide what medical care is legal to provide through insurance. Among other things, they will have the right to review my medical care of you and read your medical record. Now, as soon as you submit our economic transaction to your insurance company for reimbursement, you have involved me in these regulations and put me in the jurisdiction of government for my activities, decisions and behavior as your doctor.

No one can have two masters. Either I can serve you as my patient or I can serve the government. Either I can continue to make your welfare and health my only concern, including the protection of your privacy and medical records, or I can abide by ever-increasing amounts of government regulations and dictates to my decisions. I can’t do both. I choose to continue to follow my conscience and practice medicine to serve you.

For this reason, I am responding to the situation created by this new law by exercising my right not to participate in any health insurance program. I will still provide you with the same medical services that I always have, but the interaction will be exclusively and privately between you and me. This means that I will provide you only with a receipt for the services you have paid for, but without the additional information that is required to submit your receipt for reimbursement to your health insurance company. That is the only way I can make sure there will be no conflict between following the law and serving you. Because the law is now in effect, so must these changes be to my practice.


Linda Johnston, MD
So, you may have 'won', my Democrat friends... just like when you won your 'O.J.' prize.

Mar 24, 2010

Do as I say, not as I do

They made it, you have to eat it. They aren't going to touch it.

On page 158 of the legislation, there's a carveout for senior staff members in the leadership offices and on congressional committees, essentially exempting those senior Democrat staffers who wrote the bill from being forced to purchase health care plans in the same way as other Americans. Surprised? I'm not.

A major story during the course of the health care debate was whether members of Congress would commit to placing themselves in the same health care exchanges as average citizens, or whether they would hang on to their government plans — that’s why leadership chose to add this portion to the bill, serving as a guarantee that members would participate in the same health plans as the people. Here’s the relevant text:


(i) REQUIREMENT- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are–

(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or

(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).

Do as I say, not as I do. The way this language is written that those staffers NOT in personal offices, such as those working and paid under the committee structure (such as those working for Chairman Henry Waxman) or those working on leadership staff (such as those working for Speaker Nancy Pelosi) would be exempt from these requirements (emphasis added).

(ii) DEFINITIONS- In this section:

(I) MEMBER OF CONGRESS- The term `Member of Congress’ means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.

(II) CONGRESSIONAL STAFF- The term `congressional staff’ means all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.

According to the Congressional Research Service, this definition of staff will only apply to those staffers employed within a member’s “personal office” — meaning that it will absolutely not apply to committee staff members, and may not apply to leadership staff.

This problem was acknowledged earlier in the process — last year, Senator Grassley tried to repair it, but he was rebuffed.

As Speaker Pelosi said a few weeks ago, it’s only after this legislation is passed that we’ll truly find out what’s in it.

Since yesterday, Grassley is renewing his push. Here’s a release from yesterday:

“It’s pretty unbelievable that the President and his closest advisors remain untouched by the reforms they pushed for the rest of the country. In other words, President Obama’s health care reform won’t apply to President Obama,” Grassley said. “Last December, the effort to apply any new law to administration political leaders was rejected by the Senate Majority Leader. But there’s no justification for the double standard, and I’ll continue to work to establish fairness.”

The Senate legislation passed last night by the House of Representatives includes an amendment Grassley sponsored and got adopted by the Finance Committee last fall to have members of Congress and their staffs get their health insurance through the same health insurance exchanges where health plans for the general public would be available. During the closed-door negotiations on the bill late last year, the Senate Majority Leader carved out Senate committee and leadership staff from this requirement.

Subsequently, Grassley and Senator Tom Coburn attempted to offer another amendment to restore the requirement during Senate debate on the health care bill, but the Senate Majority Leader would not let their amendment to fix this loophole even come up for a vote. In addition to Senate committee and leadership staff, the amendment Grassley and Coburn filed during the Senate debate would have made the President, the Vice President, top White House staff and cabinet members all get their health insurance through the newly created exchanges. It would not have applied to federal employees in the civil service.

Grassley said, “It’s only fair and logical that top administration officials, who fought so hard for passage of this overhaul of America’s health care system, experience it themselves. If it’s as good as promised, they’ll know it first-hand. If there are problems, they’ll be able to really understand them, as they should.”

We’ll see if this gains traction? Yeah, right.

Mar 23, 2010

Do You Read Corporate Fonts?

I've often thought that corporate logos and brand names ought to be considered a second language. They will be the hieroglyphics of the 20th and 21st century English Language period of Earth's history.

I can imagine that if a brand goes out of business, the meaning of their font also dies with it in less than a generation. We're going to need some kind of Rosetta stone for those poor archeologists trying to sift through all the garbage we've been leaving for them.

The answers are in white text. Highlight to see the answers.

1. ABC 2. Budweiser 3. Coca Cola 4. Disney 5. Enron 6. Ford 7. GE 8. Honda 9. IBM 10. Johnson and Johnson 11. Kellogs 12. Eli Lilly 13. McDonalds 14. New York Times 15. Target 16. Paramount 17. Quicktime 18. Ray Ban 19. Superman 20. Texaco 21. United 22/23. Volkswagon 22. Xerox 23. Yahoo 24. Zenith

Introducing: Your New Taxes!

Because of the new revenue streams (taxes) to pay for the Health Care bill - I have a very good feeling that soon, no one will be an employee of a corporation or business anymore. Quite quickly new hires will all become 'vendors', 'contractors', and a much more easily disposable workforce. No business is going to want to cover your diabetic quadruple bypass surgery, or take the penalty for not giving you insurance - so now you're going to be a vendor. And when the layoffs come - "don't call us, we'll call you." Look how neat and tidy that will be!

And those Cadillac plans offered by the UAW, when they eventually get around to taxing you - that'll be 40% tax. In 2013 that should be about $8,500 for self - and $23,000 for any other level. [Bill: H.R. 3590 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Status: Awaiting President’s signature at 11:00 Eastern Time Today]

The tax on non-electing businesses who refuse to supply health care, [Bill: H.R. 4872 Reconciliation Act Status: Yet to be approved by the Senate] which means firms refusing to pay health insurance, but not meeting required exclusions, an 8% tax on wages will be applied. That's you Wal-Mart greeter, Gary. You're about to get 8% of your 6 dollar an hour paycheck taken away.

And there's still a giant loophole. You are to be taxed if you don't have acceptable health care coverage. [Bill: H.R. 4872 Reconciliation Act Status: Yet to be approved by the Senate] So, a 2.5% income tax on individuals who do not have health care coverage, limited to a cost less than the average national health care premium. Let's say that's 750 bucks. If the annual premium is 1200, even a graduate of second grade can figure out that there's no reason to buy in until they get sick - and since that math wizard cannot be denied insurance for any pre-existing conditions, why the hell wouldn't everyone do this? And considering THIS was the reason for them to pass the bill in the first place - to mandates that everyone kitties to the pool to make it fair - it seems to have failed to address or plug that major hole.

There's a tax on failing hospitals - 50K for those that don't comply with quality requirements... which is like taking away books at a failing school.

There's fees put on branded prescription drug manufactures and importers. That's based on volume. Grandpa, your Viagra is about to get very expensive.

Medical device manufacturers must pay a fee in relation to the sales of their product in the marketplace and the total sales of devices.

A fee applied to all health insurance providers based upon net premiums and any third party fees associated with the administration of those programs. There's no way you won't see your premium double in the next couple years - yet another goal of the bill was to cut that premium, and now it's going to skyrocket. Wait, you think the insurance company is going to eat that tax? Ha, no, that will be slid down your throat. And wait...

Bill: H.R. 4872 Reconciliation Act Status: Yet to be approved by the Senate
For self-insured plans, a fee on the the sponsor whether that is the employer or the employee organization. Also, a fee on the issuer of every health care plan imposed.

But there's still more! High income tax payers, making on a joint return over $250,000 and a standard return over $200,000, are required to pay an additional 0.5% of wages. This applies to both self-employed, and regularly employed individuals.

If by some miracle you are able to make any money after this... A 1% tax increase for individuals making between $350,000 and $500,000. A 1.5% tax increase for individuals making between $500,000 and $1 million. A 5.4% increase for individuals making more than $1 million.

And speaking of the rich, a tax of 5% is levied upon the am mount paid for any cosmetic surgery. This does not include the need for such surgeries created by trauma or a disfiguring disease. If the tax is not collected by that professional completing the procedure, their business is still liable for the requirement.

10% tax on tanning salons. Sorry Jersey Shore, dudes.

Twelve States Question Constitutionality of the Bill

West Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is planning on filing a "rocket docket" the second the president signs the House's version of the Health Care overhaul (which is premature since the Senate has to look at the revisions and debate each amendment to the bill - but that's just a minor part of parliamentary procedure that no one seems to give a rip about... even though it could still sink the bill.)

Cuccinelli is convinced that the since Virginia passed the Health Care Freedom Act on a bipartisan basis, which blocks individual mandates for health care for Virginia citizens, the individual mandate of the federal bill is in conflict with it. He shall go to court to defend the Virginia statute. He says,
"And normally, as you know, the supremacy clause would lead to the federal bill trumping, except when it is not constitutional, and that's where our allegation that the bill is unconstitutional comes in. They have overreached the commerce clause here, and we don't think the commerce clause can support this bill."
What's Unconstitutional, you ask?
The individual mandate is that they must buy health insurance or face penalties overreaches the authority of the Congress under the commerce clause. Buying health insurance can be said to be an act in commerce. Not buying health insurance, doing nothing, is not an act in commerce. And it has never before been included in a federal law to mandate that individual citizens buy something from some other entity, another citizen, another company.
What about mortgage insurance and car insurance?

Since the mortgage home insurance is required by your lender - not the State, it's different. Car insurance is not mandatory, unless you plan on driving.
Cuccinelli argues that it's not mandatory when you are born... and driving is a privilege, not a right. And even that authority is his State's responsibility, not the Federal Government's.

Florida's Attorney General Bill McCollum agrees,
"McCollum said, “This is a tax or a penalty on just living, and that's unconstitutional. There's no provision in the Constitution of the United States giving Congress the power to do that”."
Eleven other States plan on filing their own lawsuits... South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Nebraska, Idaho, Florida, North Dakota, Alabama, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington.

Mar 22, 2010

New Pressure

The Change you were looking for? Yeah, proof that everyone's scared of the new future, PepsiCo Inc. just announced plans to cut the sodium found in each serving of its key brands by one-fourth in five years, the company announced Monday, as the industry deals with pressure from the government and health-conscious shoppers who want more options.

The maker of Frito-Lay chips and Pepsi drinks announced several nutrition goals Monday at the start of a two-day investor conference. And I'm guessing that it's a little more than a nudge of a threat that the government will soon be taxing the living hell out of their products which will resemble the days of Big Tobacco.

The company also set two goals for the next 10 years: to cut the average added sugar per serving by 25 percent and saturated fat per serving by 15 percent, in addition to adding more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy into its array of products. Don't worry, 25 percent is still over 12 teaspoons of High Fructose Corn Syrup in a Pepsi Can.

Quote of the Day

"Tonight, we answered the call of history... I want to thank every member of Congress who stood up tonight with courage and conviction to make health care reform a reality. I know this wasn't an easy vote for a lot of people. But it was the right vote... We did not fear our future -- we shaped it."

-- President Barack Obama

That's great and all, and I feel really happy for you, but I have to ask: what are you shaping it to be?

Special Healthcare Report

Well, they flushed it, and it went down. With it passed, no political group will have the will or courage to go back, so we will go forward to the eventual fiscal collapse Unless China wants to give us a couple more Trillion? Unlikely.

I have to credit the stress the Democrats were under. Let’s see, if I hold out I might sell my vote for more, but if they get to 216, I’ll get nothing…. Oh, the challenge. And they had to work on a Sunday?! How quaint. Maybe they got double time for their efforts?

Reid promises to add public option to health care ‘in the coming months’
In a letter to two of his more progressive colleagues in the Senate — Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Bernie Sanders of Vermont — the Nevada Democrat implicitly apologized for his inability to get a government-run insurance plan into the final piece of health care legislation and promised to keep working to get the policy into law… “Nevertheless, like you, I remain committed to pursuing the public option. While I believe that the legislation we are considering does much to provide affordable coverage to millions of Americans and curb insurance company abuses, I also believe that the public option would provide additional competition to make insurance even more affordable. As we have discussed, I will work to ensure that we are able to vote on the public option in the coming months.” That was all that Bernie Sanders needed to hear — or rather, all the thin political cover that Bernie Sanders needed — to drop his bid to add a public option to the reconciliation bill. But here’s a fun footnote from HuffPo: “The search now is for a vehicle outside health care reform to get a public plan into law. The same institutional hurdles that killed the provision in the previous go-rounds — mainly that there aren’t 60 supportive senators to break a filibuster — remain. But aides on the Hill are already looking to future reconciliation vehicles to which they can attach the public plan, which would, in turn, allow for it to pass via an up-or-down vote.”

216 in reach: House Dems have the votes to pass Healthcare reform bill
Excerpt: House Democratic leaders have the votes to overhaul the nation's healthcare system.There are 35 Democrats who are planning to vote no and two undecided Democrats -- Reps. Bobby Rush (Ill.) and Loretta Sanchez (Calif.) -- according to The Hill's whip list. If every member votes, Democrats can have 37 defections and still clear the bill. The abortion deal struck by the White House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) put Democrats over the top. That compromise moved a handful of Democrats from the "no" column into the "yes" category.

The Take: Historic win or not, Democrats could pay a price
Excerpt: The lengthy and rancorous debate has inflicted considerable damage on the president and his party. It helped spark the grass-roots "tea party" movement and generated angry town hall meetings last summer that led to some opponents painting Obama as a socialist and a communist for advocating a greater government role in the health-care industry. The issue now is whether final passage of the legislation -- Senate leaders say they will take up the reconciliation bill this week -- will cause more harm or begin a turnaround in the Democrats' fortunes heading toward the November midterm elections. This is not how the struggle over health care was supposed to unfold. When the president decided last year to push for comprehensive reform, there appeared to be the best opportunity in a generation to ensure that nearly all Americans have access to health insurance. There also seemed to be a consensus among business, labor and health-industry groups that government help was needed to rein in the escalating costs of health care.

So, what’s in the bill?

There will be blood!!
Excerpt: I’m not crazy about congressional Democrats right now. As I write this, Congressional Democrats are engaged in a furious partisan battle to pass their idea of healthcare reform. Alas it is an idea the majority of Americans do not share. It is in fact an idea that the majority of congressmen do not share, which is why President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are twisting arms, bribing, cajoling and threatening all manner of mischief in order to eek out a majority vote – or non vote -- on a bill the people have made clear they do not want. They may succeed. I am not all that enamored of Congressional Republicans either. It is painful indeed to listen to the feigned outrage of so many Republicans who spent years in office redefining the meaning of concepts like “limited Government,” and “fiscal conservative”. Surely they must realize that their inept stewardship over so many years not only opened the door for the leftist now in power, but also rolled out the red carpet for them….If there is to be a second revolution then let it begin here and now! Let the political bloodbath begin in November followed closely by more bloodletting in 2012. No one will be safe. Neither a “D” nor an “R” following a name will be sufficient protection from the people’s blade! There is no time like now to begin the winnowing process; and there is no better reason than to dismantle a government that can’t be trusted to keep its part of the bargain.

Democrats Have Painted Themselves into a Corner
Excerpt: Democrats have painted themselves into an ugly corner with their Health Care Reform Bill (HCR). The Obama administration has managed to take what has been a standard Democratic vote-getting ploy -- promise government largesse to core constituencies and let the rest of the country pay for it -- and screw it up so badly that regardless of whether HCR passes or fails, Democrats will suffer heavy losses in the midterm election. Problem is, it's not just Democrats in the corner; they've got the whole country held hostage with them.

Now for the Slaughter
Excerpt: Excuse me, but it is embarrassing — really, embarrassing to our country — that the president of the United States has again put off a state visit to Australia and Indonesia because he's having trouble passing a piece of domestic legislation he's been promising for a year will be passed next week. What an air of chaos this signals to the world. And to do this to Australia of all countries, a nation that has always had America's back and been America's friend. How bush league, how undisciplined, how kid's stuff.

The Real Score Starts To Emerge
Excerpt: The Democrats are exultant over the preliminary CBO score (preliminary because even the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t had time to examine whether it jives with the previous Senate bill) issued this morning. The score (costing) is on the Democrats’ reconciliation adjustments to the Senate ObamaCare bill that it remains under $1-trillion in spending and that together with added revenues will further reduce the deficit. There’s increasing amazement at this bald-faced assertion. The real score will be seen this weekend in the Democrats' trickery vote and the consequences they face next November. The Republican leadership is still trying to decipher the fine print, but are quickly getting to the bottom line. Senator McConnell issued a press release saying: “They get there with even higher taxes and deeper Medicare cuts than the first Senate bill.

More cuts loom as state faces $295m in red ink
MassHealth, other services blamed for drain on coffers
Meanwhile, how’s State Government Healthcare working out for the folks in Massachusetts? Excerpt: Massachusetts is potentially facing a new budget gap of up to $295 million this year, a grim forecast that state officials said could spell yet another round of painful cuts before the fiscal year ends in June. Patrick administration officials blamed the gap on rising demand for the joint state and federal health care program for low-income residents known as MassHealth, increasing demand for homeless shelters, and on below-projected revenue from state fees and federal aid.

CBO to Ryan on real costs of the Healthcare bill

cutn'pasted from my source, The Old Jarhead

Good Morning America

Congratulations, you're now going to pay for this guy's diabetes, quadrupal bypass surgery, and all the other fun diseases swimming around and being hosted by this fatbody.

Otherwise, here's a title of this guy's movie: A Fridge Too Far.

Mar 21, 2010

There is no RIGHT to Health Care

I've had this emailed to me three times. I guess I'd better post it (again). Disagree, debate begins in the comments section.

There is no Right To Health Care
Statement before the United States House of Representatives, September 23, 2009
By Ron Paul
March 18, 2010

Government has been mismanaging medical care for more than 45 years; for every problem it has created it has responded by exponentially expanding the role of government. Points to consider:

1.) No one has a right to medical care. If one assumes such a right, it endorses the notion that some individuals have a right to someone else’s life and property. This totally contradicts the principles of liberty.

2.) If medical care is provided by government, this can only be achieved by an authoritarian government unconcerned about the rights of the individual.

3.) Economic fallacies accepted for more than 100 years in the United States has deceived policy makers into believing that quality medical care can only be achieved by government force, taxation, regulations, and bowing to a system of special interests that creates a system of corporatism.

4.) More dollars into any monopoly run by government never increases quality but it always results in higher costs and prices.

5.) Government does have an important role to play in facilitating the delivery of all goods and services in an ethical and efficient manner.

6.) First, government should do no harm. It should get out of the way and repeal all the laws that have contributed to the mess we have.

7.) The costs are obviously too high but in solving this problem one cannot ignore the debasement of the currency as a major factor.

8.) Bureaucrats and other third parties must never be allowed to interfere in the doctor/patient relationship.

9.) The tax code, including the ERISA laws, must be changed to give everyone equal treatment by allowing a 100% tax credit for all medical expenses.
Laws dealing with bad outcomes and prohibiting doctors from entering into voluntary agreements with their patients must be repealed. Tort laws play a significant role in pushing costs higher, prompting unnecessary treatment and excessive testing. Patients deserve the compensation; the attorneys do not.

10.) Insurance sales should be legalized nationally across state lines to increase competition among the insurance companies.

11.) Long-term insurance policies should be available to young people similar to term-life insurances that offer fixed prices for long periods of time.

12.) The principle of insurance should be remembered. Its purpose in a free market is to measure risk, not to be used synonymously with social welfare programs. Any program that provides for first-dollar payment is no longer insurance. This would be similar to giving coverage for gasoline and repair bills to those who buy car insurance or providing food insurance for people to go to the grocery store. Obviously, that could not work.

13.) The cozy relationship between organized medicine and government must be reversed. Early on medical insurance was promoted by the medical community in order to boost re-imbursements to doctors and hospitals. That partnership has morphed into the government/insurance industry still being promoted by the current administration.

14.) Threatening individuals with huge fines by forcing them to buy insurance is a boon to the insurance companies.

15.) There must be more competition for individuals entering into the medical field. Licensing strictly limits the number of individuals who can provide patient care. A lot of problems were created in 20th century as a consequence the Flexner Report (1910), which was financed by the Carnegie Foundation and strongly supported by the AMA. Many medical schools were closed and the number of doctors was drastically reduced. The motivation was to close down medical schools that catered to women, minorities and especially homeopathy. We continue to suffer from these changes made which were designed to protect physician’s income and promote allopathic medicine over the more natural cures and prevention of homeopathic medicine.

16.) We must remove any obstacles for people seeking holistic and nutritional alternatives to current medical care. We must remove the threat of further regulations pushed by the drug companies now working worldwide to limit these alternatives.

True competition in the delivery of medical care is what is needed, not more government meddling.

Mar 20, 2010

Sunday Comics: The Week in Review

The week that was...
The Pope outlined his new strategy in dealing with problems. The 'hear and speak no evil' plan seems to be what he's figured out will work the best.
Our friends in Congress have decided to go for the final flush this week. Arm twisting and character assassinations of Dennis Kuinich show that Nancy doesn't care about losing the House - just this bill - rules and bodies be damned.

Meanwhile, Israel is going ahead with that new subdivision.

And Tiger is back...
And Kansas lost... which leaves the old lady receptionist that doesn't know why she's leading in the office bracket pool right now. She made her picks based on what animals the mascots were.

Quote of the Week

"I also don’t get how anyone could have watched the Senate over the last year or so and not concluded that this thing is better passed with 50 votes than 60. With 50 votes, you have ten fewer Senators to bribe, which according to my calculations should bring the overall cost of the bill down by about at least fifty trillion dollars."

-- Matt Taibbi on reconciliation and the current health care bill

It's a Wonderful World

The Markness help Louis Armstrong perform “What a Wonderful World” the way it was always meant to be performed: Death Metal-style.

Joey Ramone's version stuck to the original chords though. I kind of wonder why The Markness didn't?

Saturday Morning Cartoons

From 1952, it's Tom and Jerry in Little Runaway.

Mar 19, 2010

Blasphemous Friday

Blasphemous Friday. Jesus backward... sus-ej. Yeah, that's sausage with a South Side Chicago pronunciation. It's legit!

Mar 18, 2010


No McDecomposition

Have you ever wondered what a McDonald's Happy Meal looks like after it's sat on a shelf (not in a freezer) for a year? This seems like one of those things I would learn accidentally, but writer Nonna Joann Bruso decided to find out on purpose.

The results? Not as disgusting as you might think, which itself is sort of disgusting.

She wrote:

“It smelled delicious for a few days. I’d get a whiff of those yummy French fries every time I walked into my office. After a week or so, you could hardly smell it. My husband worried that when the food began to decompose, there would be a terrible odor in our home. He also worried the food would attract ants and mice. He questioned my sanity.

NOPE, no worries at all. My Happy Meal is one year old today and it looks pretty good. It NEVER smelled bad. The food did NOT decompose. It did NOT get moldy, at all.”

The pitiful, slightly pained expression on the Littlest Pet Shop dog included with the meal says it all.

Happy Birthday to My Happy Meal [Baby Bites] (Thanks, Michelle!) Via Consumerist.


Vandalized McDonalds billboard in the Interbay/Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. Somebody's been reading AdBusters again?

Mar 16, 2010

Iron On Jesus

A woman from Methuen, Massachusetts claims that she saw an image of Jesus on her iron. Stop the press. [pun intended, but not intended to be funny]

Last August, Mary Jo Coady was going through a difficult point in her life. Not only had she and her husband separated, but Mary Jo’s hours at work were cut, meaning less income in a declining economy.

In the midst of life’s complications, Mary Jo saw an image of Jesus Christ on her iron, restoring her confidence that “life is going to be good.”
Jesus on Iron

Mary Jo Coady discovered the image of Jesus Christ when she walked into her daughter’s bedroom.

The brownish residue on the bottom of the iron looked like the face of a man with long hair. Mary Jo is convinced that it’s Jesus on the iron.

Coady, now 44 years old, was raised Catholic. She and her two college-age daughters agree that the image looks like Jesus and is proof that “he’s listening.”

Coady prays her story would inspire others.

Currently, the iron possessing the image of Jesus Christ is safe in closet.

Mar 15, 2010

Fat Accompli

It's good to have goals... but...

There's an obese mommy gaining weight in order to become the world's fattest woman.

Donna Simpson, from New Jersey, weighs 601 pounds but she has her overtaxed heart set on reaching her dream weight of 1000 lbs in two years. That's half a ton.

The 42-year-old already holds the title of the world's fattest mother after giving birth to her daughter in 2007 when she weighed 531.

"I'd love to be 1000lb ... it might be hard though, running after my daughter keeps my weight down," Ms Simpson said. "Running" did she actually say the word, "running?"

Ms Simpson, who needs a mobility scooter to go shopping, eats huge amounts of junk food each week and tries to move as little as possible so she doesn't burn off as many calories.

"I do love cakes and sweet things, donuts are my favorite," she said.

Ms Simpson said she also loved eating sushi and would often eat 70 big pieces in one go. There's a shortage of bluefin, why?

Her 49-year-old partner Philippe — who she met on a dating site for plus-size people — was encouraging her to reach her goal.

"I think he'd like it if I was bigger ... he's a real belly man and completely supports me," she said. I mean, there's chubby chasing, and then there's whale fishing, Philippe - maybe Stone Phillips should sit you down?

To put on enough weight, Ms Simpson will need to eat 12,000 calories a day, which is six times the recommended daily intake for a woman.

In order to pay for the enormous amounts of food she is eating — her weekly grocery bill is $815 — Ms Simpson makes money by running a website where men pay to watch her consume fast food. Would there be any doubt those IP address originate in North Korea?

Original Post sent in from D.

Bounty Hunters

U.S. Defense Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants

Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering program, a Defense Department official set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants, according to military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States.

Here's More: