Monday, May 9, 2011

Headlines - Monday May 9

Pakistan lawmakers demand president step down after the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden and embarrassed the nation.
Go Pakistan. Chimpy embarrassed us every day and we re-elected him.

Republicans think that they have more leeway to attack Medicaid because it is a program designed for the poor -- and their conventional wisdom is that no one cares about them.  However, Medicaid funds are spent quite differently from state to state and in some places, the overwhelming amount of expenditures are on care for the elderly.  This Kaiser Foundation fact sheet on Medicaid is pretty fascinating -- North Dakota spends 64% of Medicaid dollars on long term care, while in California, 29% of the overall population is insured through Medicaid, a staggering number.  Nationally, about one in five Americans receive Medicaid funds and 33% of these dollars are spent on long term care for the elderly.  Again, Republicans will be shocked at the popularity of this program.

- Another -- at least to me -- mind boggling fact about Medicaid: it now pays for 42% of births in the U.S,, and in excess of 50% of births in several states.  So the idea of slashing this program poses a direct threat to the health of the next generation of Americans.  And it's not like we're winning any prizes to begin with in terms of maternal and child health.  We could, however, cut costs by eliminating fancy things like epidurals for these mothers, furnishing them instead with the time honored biting rag and a couple of shots of Wild Turkey.   

- One is struck in all of this by the degree to which the GOP seems to be motivated by sheer mean-spiritedness.  They want to eliminate funding for family planning services, they want to cut the amount of money available to those giving birth, and, apparently, in some instances, deprive them of pain relief. Every time these motherfuckers get characterized as "pro-life" it makes me want to scream.




Andy Card, President Bush's former Chief of Staff, who helped oversee the epic 'Mission Accomplished' victory lap and jet fighter landing, says President Obama has "pounded his chest" too much over the success of the bin Laden raid and shown too much "pride."


Hillary Clinton Photoshopped Out of Situation Room Photo:

Click here to read Hillary Clinton Photoshopped Out of Situation Room Photo


When is the UN going to start their investigation in Syria for crimes against humanity? There's little doubt that innocent civilians are being killed by the military and security forces. Why the delay?


Alabama's GOP delegation voted against funding for tornado forecasting.


Jurassicpork: bin Laden was a liberal.


Strange Minnesota teabaggers protest light bulbs, health care and 'bohica'

Did everybody go to the big Tea Party rally in Minnesota on Saturday? No? Well look what you missed! Wonkette special-ops operative "exmartinette" somehow infiltrated the teabaggers by simply walking around taking these pictures. He got away alive! But what is the "Bohica," and why is it on a baseball bat, and how did the Tea Party figure out what it meant? READ MORE »


If you want to see what food safety would be like if Federal regulations were enforced the way that the Tea Party would like (ie, "not at all") and that the acolytes of Ayn Rand would have ("not at all"), then you need look only at China, where contaminated and even falsified foods are sold for human consumption:

Even eggs, seemingly sacrosanct in their shells, have turned out not to be eggs at all but man-made concoctions of chemicals, gelatin and paraffin. Instructions can be purchased online, the Chinese media reported.

In case you are astonished, you should go look at the way things were done in this country up until the late 1930s. One company, Massengill,* sold an "elixer" that killed over 100 people and its only punishment was to pay a fine because the labels were not accurate.

There is this fantasy in some circles that holds that companies and businessmen will do the right thing because they do not want to besmirch their good name and reputation. Even if that were once true, it was true then because the businessmen lived in the same places where they made and sold their wares. If they sold defective shit, they heard about it, their relatives heard about it.

Those days ended with the development of steam-powered transport. When sausages were packed in Kansas City and sold in butcher shops in New York City, the sausage makers couldn't care less if someone in Brooklyn thought they tasted a little funny. The only thing that mattered was profit.

As a man in Shanghai, put it: "They really have no morals. They will do anything for money."

That is exactly right. Capitalism is an amoral system. Without regulators watching for product safety, food safety and everything else along those lines (including financial regulation), then capitalism degenerates in a race to the bottom, where everything is sacrificed in the name of profit.


"Pass me a kitten-ka-bob, Lynne!"

Cheney undecided on heart transplant operation and is also calling on Obama to commit war crimes like he did by reinstating the waterboarding program (that had nothing to do with getting bin Laden).


Boehner and his merry band of nihilists intend to keep screwing around with the debt ceiling.


Texas Republican crybabies will pout as Obama visits

This is the state whose governor talked in thinly veiled terms, in 2009, about secession. It's probably at a risk to life and limb that President Barack Obama will come here at all.

He's coming Tuesday to El Paso and Austin, two places where he has actually had good voter support -- but the Republicans will be pouting and reviling him.

It seems that his administration didn't approve federal emergency funds after wildfires burned up a lot of acreage, and more than a few posh vacation homes, in the state. Some ranchers are going to lose money, too, because of the destruction.

It's been bad here, but Obama has had a lot on his plate lately. I'd say, given the devastation and loss of life seen in places like Alabama, that the FEMA money is probably being better spent there. (By the way, I've never heard of Alabama being an especially pro-Obama stronghold, either.)

But Texas Republicans seem to think that Obama has a political vendetta against the state, and that he's taking it out on Texas now, amid scorched earth.

Bear in mind, it's not like he's going to be losing a lot of votes over all this. He wasn't getting Republican votes in Texas anyway, ever, so what's there for him to lose, politically?

Here's a McClatchy newspapers piece on the subject, at this link.

When you've got a brat governor who's talking secession, is it a surprise that Texas isn't high on the federal priority list? But I doubt that this is even the reason for the denial. The federal government is dealing with an enormous deficit right now, and decisions have to be made. With all the untaxed money there is here in this state, I suspect that Texas has plenty of money to deal with this situation, without the help of the federal government at this particular time.

Get over it, Republican crybabies.


Heartbreaking and infuriating. "Dozens of African migrants were left to die in the Mediterranean after a number of European and Nato military units apparently ignored their cries for help, the Guardian has learned. ... A boat carrying 72 passengers, including several women, young children and political refugees, ran into trouble in late March after leaving Tripoli for the Italian island of Lampedusa. Despite alarms being raised with the Italian coastguard and the boat making contact with a military helicopter and a Nato warship, no rescue effort was attempted. ... All but 11 of those on board died from thirst and hunger after their vessel was left to drift in open waters for 16 days. "Every morning we would wake up and find more bodies, which we would leave for 24 hours and then throw overboard," said Abu Kurke, one of only nine survivors. "By the final days, we didn't know ourselves ... everyone was either praying, or dying." ... International maritime law compels all vessels, including military units, to answer distress calls from nearby boats and to offer help where possible. Refugee rights campaigners have demanded an investigation into the deaths, while the UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency, has called for stricter co-operation among commercial and military vessels in the Mediterranean in an effort to save human lives. ... "The Mediterranean cannot become the wild west," said spokeswoman Laura Boldrini. "Those who do not rescue people at sea cannot remain unpunished.""

Trump: "I am the least racist person there is because a black guy won The Apprentice six years ago.
Pakistan has been paid off for years to be an ally of the United States. The U.S. would like them to start acting like it. Quickly. Some Pakistani officials were allowing Osama bin Laden to hide in their dusty gated community in the suburbs just miles away from a key military academy (and, probably, 20 Applebee's locations). Some officials recently tried to out the name of a CIA operative after the bin Laden crap hit the history fan. Who are these officials? The U.S. doesn't know, but they seem to be protected. For one thing, Pakistan won't let their "ally" talk to bin Laden's wives. "Our guess is that the wives knew just who was keeping Bin Laden alive for all these years," somebody told the New York Times. Maybe if we put them on that Wife Swap show? [NYT]
Family values: Limbaugh encourages listeners to send Mother's Day flowers to their mistresses. 
Wonkette: If Osama Were Alive, He'd Be Watching Himself On TV Watch Himself On TV




No comments: