Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Obstructionist Republican Party

What's left of the Republican Party has a new motto. It's "Just Say No" again, and again to anything proposed by the current administration. It could be argued that the Republicans are fulfilling their role as the loyal opposition. However, that argument is terribly thin because it is hard to know what the Republican Party stands for, if it stands for anything at all.

The main mission of the Republican Party seems to be to prevent President Obama from implementing any plan in any area. The Republicans voted against the stimulus package, and offered very little in the way of an alternative that made sense to anybody but fellow Republicans. They were against the bailout of the big three automakers which ought to be interesting the next time they're trying to get votes in Ohio and Michigan.

The essential nature of the current Republican Party position was eloquently stated in July, by Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. When talking with Republican activists regarding efforts to stop the current health care initiative he said, "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." If Senator DeMint were interested in serving the interests of the people of South Carolina, he might remember the large percentage of his constituency, which has either no health insurance or inadequate health care coverage. The senator from South Carolina may be prescient in his prediction of Waterloo, but it may be about his own party rather than the president.

The Republicans rightly raise concerns about the amount of money being spent by the Democratic Congress and the Obama administration. Unfortunately, the Republicans are adept at raising concerns, but short on offering realistic alternatives to solving the critical problems facing this country today. The continued absence of meaningful leadership within the Republican Party has allowed Sarah Palin to develop delusions about her ability to run for the presidency in 2012. Perhaps the Republican Party will get its just reward after all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Health Insurance Companies Cannot Be Trusted with Our Health.

In an article in Slate magazine, Timothy Noah stated, "Private insurance companies dump very sick claimants based on stupid technicalities. That's reason enough to support health care reform." To back up his point, Noah described what is known as "Rescission," which is the process health insurers use to avoid paying out benefits to treat serious illness by finding minor errors in policyholder's paperwork that can justify canceling the policy. John Grisham's Book, The Rainmaker, described this process in detail, and was the basis for the movie of the same name starring Matt Damon.

Noah's article describes two specific instances in which persons were denied critical health care based on the flimsiest of excuses. Actually, it's very simple. Health insurance companies are in the business of making money. Their primary obligation is to their stockholders, not to the people who purchase health insurance from them. Is it fair to castigate everyone working in the health-insurance business? No, but that's besides the point. The system isn't working. That is the point.

This country has the highest level of medical technology in the world, but an inept, fragmentized, and at times highly unethical system of delivering health care services. The current health care system is bankrupting the country and denying critical medical services to millions of people. It is the ethical responsibility of Congress to put in place a better system. Of course, no one wants to put in place a system that can't be funded. Members of both political parties owe it to their constituents to work together to put in place a system that can at least start to provide adequate health care coverage for everyone.

I wanted to keep this post a positive one, except for the comments about the health-insurance industry. However, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Senator Jim Demint of South Carolina. Senator Demint's personal beliefs are more important to him than the welfare of the constituency he is supposed to serve. Otherwise he wouldn't be making reference to stopping President Obama on health care being the equivalent of his Waterloo. Senator Demint created his own personal Waterloo by making this remark.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Supreme Court and Other Myths about Judges

For two days Sonia Sotomayor has repeatedly stated the mythical mantra that all decisions made by judges are based on the law. She has had to do this while Republican senators have baited her about her "Wise Latina" remark. Again, and again she has reassured each Republican Senator that her decisions have been, and will be, based solely on the law. Did you miss that? Her decisions have been, and will be, based solely on the law. If she were to do this, then she would probably be the first judge in history to accomplish this feat.

Every human being makes decisions based on a variety of factors. The decisions that people make are ultimately based on information they believe to be true. This information is gathered through a filtering process based on people's belief systems, emotions, and a whole host of unconscious and subconscious feelings and experiences that all people possess. To assert that a judge is able to bypass to all past experience, ignore emotions and feelings, and be totally aware of all the subconscious motivations is utter nonsense. Millions of people saw the interview with Chief Justice Clarence Thomas on 60 minutes. Can anyone actually believe that this angry man who grew up with a tyrant of her grandfather does not have his decisions influenced by that experience?

During the current hearings to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, stated that in every major case Supreme Court Justice Roberts sided with the prosecution over the defendant. I'm sure that the Chief Justice could cite his reasons for each and every case, but the sheer consistency on his decision-making pattern speaks to an internal believe system that outweighs the impartiality of the law. Justice Roberts has a view of the way the world should be. The information he gathers on a cognitive basis is filtered through that worldview. To believe that all all his decisions are based solely on the Constitution, legal precedent, and total impartiality beggars the imagination.

The notion that "facts are facts" is also nonsense. I live in the South where the civil war never happened. Rather, there was a war of Northern aggression called by Southerners the War between the States. The southern conceptualization of the civil war is very much alive, and if anyone doubts it, there are many Southerners who would be more than willing to debate the issue. Belief systems structure "facts" and marshal them into a coherent view of the world that enables people to live in a society that make sense to them. Judges, and Supreme Court justices, are not immune to this process and cannot render judicial systems in isolation from the society in which they live in the believes they have about themselves in the world around them. The fact that only one member of the Supreme Court is a woman is testimony to the impact of society. The fact that only one member of the Supreme Court is black or Hispanic is also testimony to the impact of society.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Price of Oil: Problems in Future Predictions

When the price of a barrel of oil went below $40, no one expected it to stay that way. The question was how high the price of a barrel of oil would go once it had bottomed. Now that it is approaching $70 a barrel, all sorts of experts are making predictions about future prices. I am not an expert, but it doesn't take a forty year background in the oil industry to know that in the short and intermediate term the price of oil will go up. The big question is the long-term price of oil, meaning how high will it go.

An article in Fortune states, "there are signs that a demand recovery could be on the way in Asia. China's crude consumption averaged 7.6 million barrels per day in April, according to Alidena the highest level on record, amid reports that the government was stockpiling commodities. Goldman Sachs was confident enough of a demand rebound to come out in early June with a price target of $85 a barrel for West Texas intermediate crude by the end of 2009 and $95 by the end of 2010." There are some, although not many, who predicts that oil will reach a price of $250 a barrel.

As a worldwide recovery begins, the demand for oil will increase. Most experts say that worldwide production of oil is at or near its peak. The problem with long-term predictions is that they don't take into account the secondary effects that high oil prices to create. While the amount of energy produced by wind power is very small at the present time, $100 a barrel oil will have a significant impact on it. Also, the nations of the world know that their economies begin to begin to slow down significantly as the price of oil arises. No one can predict the impact of all the measures taken by the major oral consuming countries as a response to high oil prices. On a recent trip, I continually parked my Toyota Corolla between fleets of SUVs and minivans. When the price of gas goes over three dollars a gallon again, people will seek other options. In fact, the new SUVs are becoming much more fuel-efficient.

The wild cards in the deck in efforts to predict future oil prices are things yet to come and be invented. New wind power generators take up much less room, and people can now have a wind power energy generator put in their backyard for $8,000 to $10,000. With so much money can be made in viable alternative energy production, it is impossible to predict what new inventions will be created the young men and women at MIT and Caltech as well as the large oil companies. For an undefinable period of time the price of oil will be high in the amount of economic pain will be all also be high. But in the long run, those countries that are thriving on the production of will eventually be trying to find a market for unwanted thick black sludge.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Dark Shadow of Socialism Descends on America

First, the government took over the banks, and then it took over the automobile companies. A completely socialistic health-care system is next on the agenda for the Obama administration. These people call themselves "progressives" are really socialists bent on destroying the free market system and the American way of life. Only a handful of conservatives led by such people as Newt Gingrich, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and the number of others are crying out into the sending darkness that will obliterate America as we know it. Shame on us for letting this happen.

The mistakes made by the Bush administration, compounded by its free spending ways, helped lead to the perilous situation we now face. Yes, there was greed and avarice on Wall Street and elsewhere in America, but the Socialists have been patiently biding their time waiting for an opportunity to force their agenda on the rest of the American people. Freedom of choice will become a dim memory as the government becomes the "Big Brother" telling us what to do. the government will soon dictate energy policies from what we used to produce energy, to the last detail of how we use it in our homes.

The Obamaists believe that the individual citizen cannot make intelligent choices without the aid of the government. This type of thinking dehumanizes Americans and renders them little more than socially programmed robots. In the New America sex education will be mandatory in the schools. The rights of the parents will be ignored as these few who think they know what is best for us will crush us with their paternalistic approach. We will lose once and for all the opportunity to teach alternatives to the so-called theory of evolution. Evolution, as anyone with any common sense knows, is a poorly thought out theory that barely explains the history of this planet. The knowledge of the Bible will be prohibited, and lost, in our public schools.

Salaries are already being set for people in the private sector who work in banks and on Wall Street. Soon, the government will be deciding what everyone should earn, how they should spend what they earn, and what they should spend it on. They'll be telling us what foods to eat, how much to eat, and what time of day to eat. This is a mind-boggling attempt to intrude on every aspect of our daily lives that will crush the last vestiges of freedom in America. Again, shame on us for letting this happen.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Gingrich, Pelosi, Cheney, and Limbaugh to Star in Remake of Three Musketeers

Havoc Studios announced that its $150 million remake of the classic Alexandra Dumas novel, the three musketeers, will have an all-star cast. Newt Gingrich will play Athos, Dick Cheney will play Aramis, and Rush Limbaugh will play Porthos. The studio was excited that Karl Rove would be the dynamic and exciting young d'Artagnan. Nancy Pelosi will take time off from her duties as speaker of the house to play the important role of Milady de Winter, wife of Athos, reuniting her with her longtime close friend, Newt Gingrich. A major coup for the studio was the casting of Bill Clinton as Cardinal Richelieu. All other members of the cast greeted Clinton's towering presence as the Cardinal with unanimous acclaim.

The Olympic fencing teams from Russia, Poland, and hungry will act as the soldiers for the King and the Cardinal instead of the usual bunch of klutzes who get cut to pieces by the musketeers. This will ensure dynamic and exciting fencing scenes throughout the movie. Gingrich, Cheney, Limbaugh and Rove said they were excited about having the opportunity to clash sabers with Olympic caliber fencers.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Impeachable Republican Party Impeaching Republicans

The Republican Party appears to the developing a case of impeachmentitis. While Newt Gingrich fired off a salvo calling for Nancy Pelosi to resign, other efforts by Republicans were underway to impeach elective officials. In this instance, the targets of the impeachment progress were other Republicans. According to the Huffington Post, "One of the members in the spotlight is Assemblyman Anthony Adams, whose alleged indiscretion was simple: the budget he supported called for a statewide vote on raising income and sales taxes and car registration fees. In other words, in the eyes of his fellow party members, he had voted for a tax increase."

Even Governor Schwarzenegger has been the target of a recall effort launched to replace him. However, because of the number of signatures needed to oust the governor there is a likelihood of this happening. This process has left Republican operatives and insiders shaking their head in wonderment. The Huffington Post quoted Karen Henretty, a prominent Republican strategist, as saying, "What's happening with Republicans in California is the very definition of a circular firing scored."

With Republicans losing seats in the Senate, the House of Representatives, and governorships throughout the nation, it would seem the GOP can ill afford to kill off its own. However, it would be foolish to make any assumptions about what the Republicans will do next. Fortunately for the Republican Party, Senator Specter left on his own in a drumroll court-martial wasn't necessary.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Newt Gingrich Shames Nancy Pelosi

In an open letter, Newt Gingrich shamed Nancy Pelosi for her recent statements about the CIA and what she knew about enhanced interrogation techniques. In fact, he stated that she should step down as speaker of the house. A careful reading of newts letter provides insights to his thinking, which indicates that they were politically motivated rather than based on a rational of valuation of facts.

The article is a long piece of torturous and ill thought out logic. Some of the best parts are quoted below and speak for themselves. I have made comments about his statements.

"The person who is number two in line to be commander in chief can't have contempt for the men and women who protect our nation. America can't afford it."

Speaker Pelosi's contempt is for the CIA, not for the men and women in the armed forces. The number of people in this country who have contempt for the CIA numbers in the tens of millions. Newt, if you ever get to be president, and heaven help this nation if you do, it would be a mistake to rely on the CIA to make critical decisions.

"It Isn't about Politics. It's about National Security."

Newt, are you serious? If a politician says anything, by definition it's about politics.

"But Speaker Pelosi did not confine the question to the reliability of memory. Instead, she made the allegation last week that the CIA intentionally misled her - misled Congress - and not just once, but routinely."

Again, Newt are you serious? The CIA has a long tradition of misleading Congress and the American people. Start with the Bay of Pigs and the list would cover several pages. Spying is about deceitfulness and the deceivers frequently forget that there comes a time to tell the truth.
"If Nancy Pelosi believe that water boarding was justified in 2002 - just like Porter Gross, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and CIA Director Tenet - the a policy of selectively using enhanced interrogation techniques in carefully circumscribed ways in order to prevent future attacks - in other word the Bush Administration Policy - is vindicated."

Let's assume that nancy pelosi believe that water boarding was justified in 2002. How Does That Vindicate the Bush Administration Policy? Wrong is wrong, and evil is evil, no matter who supports it. If Nancy Pelosi stated she supported the Inquisition, would that make it right?

"She's made America less secure by sending a signal to the men and women defending our country that they can count on their leaders to defend them."

The Bush administration made America less secure by starting an ill-conceived, and ultimately fruitless, war with Iraq and failing to finish the war in Afghanistan. It's hard to imagine it's all Nancy Pelosi's fault. But a man with Newt Gingrich's insight and intelligence couldn't be wrong.

With the Nations Banks still at risk, the automakers still on the brink of insolvency, and a host of other problems facing this nation, it's good to know that Newt Gingrich stands tall watching out for the good of the American people.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Salt Lake City Liberals and Gay Marriage

It is a truism to say that we live in changing times. but there are times when the changes are greater than others, and now is clearly one of them. A black man sits in the White House, Wall Street companies that had survived the great depression no longer exist, and Utah is moving toward support for gay marriage. An article in the Washington Post stated that a recent survey showed that 49% of Americans favored gay marriage, an all-time high. Clearly, the winds of time or changing on this issue.

"What's the matter with Utah? The most Republican state in the nation is drifting to the left. In the last few months, Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican and a practicing Mormon, has come out in favor of civil unions for gays and repeated his support for
government action on global warming. Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled
state legislature has liberalized Utah's notoriously arcane alcohol laws. The
punishment for this apostasy has been record-high approval ratings—for both governor and legislature."

In 1963 Bob Dylan wrote the following words.

"Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to youIs worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'."

For those of us old enough to remember those days, the words are as appropriate now as they were then. For those of you not familiar with them, think about what is happening in the world. Much of the rancor and verbal confrontation that takes place in the country stems from the fact that enormous social and economic changes are taking place. Ideally, we would have a spirited debate about them, but the nature of these changes are such that core values of life are at stake and the strongest of emotions rise easily to the top.
There are also those that make a living stirring up emotions and anger. I refer you to my last post. The potential changes to the health care system are enormous as are changes in how we produce energy. But I don't think the fundamental nature of the society will change. Obama was very clear when he stated that he didn't want to run automobile companies and he didn't want to run the banks. The problem with resisting, or postponing, change is that when it finally occurs it is greater than what you fought against 10 years ago. The UAW is finding this out the hard way. Many evangelical churches are rethinking what the church's mission should be. Heavy church involvement in politics is often counterproductive.

Lastly, I think many people are simply overwhelmed by the nature of the economic crisis and all the changes that they are currently experiencing and future changes they are told to worry about. While the political pendulum will eventually swing back towards the middle, society always evolves in new directions, even if in a glacial manner. Unlike Michael Fox in the movies, we can't go back to the past.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hate and Anger among Right-Wing Conservative Media

Each day right wing conservative media people such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, and Laura Ingraham, et al. spew forth a steady dose of anger, hatred, vindictiveness, and misinformation. O'Reilly and Beck would object to being labeled as right wing conservatives, but if they talk like a ducks, squawk like ducks, then their ducks. Feelings, as opposed to facts, are often the basis of what these people say. Americans who share the same viewpoint as these media personages get there endorphins pumped by listening to them. For the rest of us, they represent a black bile that promotes divisiveness, discourages cooperation, and contributes to the negative mood of the country.

The Constitution guarantees the right wing conservative media people the right to spew forth their venom each day. The nature of the society in which we live allows them to distort, misinterpret, and sometimes lie about what is happening and why it is happening. These people are much better at tearing down and criticizing then they are at providing positive solutions. In fact, providing positive solutions would be counterproductive to their ability to draw an audience of angry, frustrated people. President Obama is routinely referred to as a socialist, or at least it is implied that he is. None of them could possibly hear the president when he stated that he had no wish to run auto companies or run banks, and that he had enough other issues to deal with. No, no, no, they mustn't let the truth interfere what they are saying.

Fox News, the kennel in which many of these people dwell, held a tea party protesting taxes and other things, which was about as successful as the previous administrations policies on most everything. Rush Limbaugh, who rants and raves and huffs and puffs like an overweight big bad Wolf, has reached the point where no one in the Republican Party dares challenge him. Glenn Beck hysterically preaches that it is 1938 again and that we are appeasing people who are about to destroy us. He even cries over the situation, but then later admits that it's all part of the show. Sean Hannity said, "That's what Mr. Obama said today, doing his best Dixie Chicks impression while his new world order tour traveled across Europe." Devilishly incisive Mr. Hannity is. Rush Limbaugh has said that he wants President Obama to fail. Of course, there's a little problem in that sentiment because if Obama fails, the country suffers. Small detail for Rush.

Last, but not least, is Ann Coulter whose model for political commentary is the spitting cobra. Her contribution to a more harmonious and peaceful world was her statement, "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building." How charming. That's all folks.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Miley Cyrus in Trouble Again

Miley Cyrus can't seem to stay out of trouble. The headline on the Christian Post on April 28 is, "Miley Versus Jesus on Marriage." Poor Miley. All she did was make an assertion that Jesus loves gay people. She's just an ordinary 16-year-old teenager trying to make a few million dollars each year. I'm sure it never entered her mind that anyone would assert that she was "taking on Jesus" on the issue of marriage. The Christian Post said, "Today, the majority of America's daughters - even those in the Church - are being heavily influenced by Hollywood singers such as Miley Cyrus and Heidi Montag, both who say they are Christians, yet hold non-Christian views on marriage. Right now, their pro-homosexual ' marriage' values are reaching millions of young people through MTV and other media outlets."

What did Miley say? The following statements, which are accurate as far as I can determine, are taken from Miley's twitter conversation with Perez Hilton.

“Jesus loves you AND your partner and wants you to know how much he cares! thats like a daddy not loving his lil boy cuz hes gay and that is WRONG and very sad! like i said everyone deserves to be happy (sic).”

“i am a christian and i love you - gay or not. BECAUSE you are no different that
anyone else! we are all gods children!”

"ya thats lame! God’s greatest commandment is to love. And judging is not loving. That’s why Christians have such a bad rep. "

The Christian Post went on to cite numerous passages from the New Testament quoting Jesus in to show that Jesus does not support Miley's beliefs and assertions. Very interesting because Miley never made a statement explicitly in support of gay marriage. She focused on God loving everyone. How naive of her.

But what's the real issue here? It's hard to believe that the issue is about what a 16-year-old said on twitter. It seems to me that the Christian Post was using Miley as a convenient target to attack gay marriage. An article in the Christian Post after Iowa legalized gay marriages was much more subdued. Is the Christian Post really more concerned about what Miley Cyrus and young people through MTV are saying as opposed to the Supreme Court of the state of Iowa? Some might consider Miley's last statement ill considered. But it wasn't that long ago that Anita Bryant went to California to deny gay rights. That was ugly, not just a bad reputation.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Corporate Greed Is Alive and Well in America.

Some people, particularly CEOs, but not necessarily limited to them, seem to have paid no attention to what happened to the American economy during the past few years. Recently, the shareholders of the Chesapeake Energy Corp. protested the $100 million plus compensation package that Chairman and Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon received during the past year. This occurred at a time when the shareholders lost significant value as the price of the stock decline during the year.

There was a national uproar when AIG attempted to pay out $160 million in bonuses. This total is only slightly more than 50% higher than what one man, the chief executive of Chesapeake energy, was going to receive. An article in the Huffington post recently stated that, "First, the Congress and administration needs to establish some definition of "excessive." Let us say that it is total compensation in excess of 30-fold (or 25-fold, or 65-fold, or some other number) the average worker in that firm, or some higher multiple of the lowest quintile, or some other number. Something. This would be the major argument, but something can be agreed."

I disagree. Each company should establish corporate pay. Congress has no business regulating salaries of people in the private sector. However, due diligence is required of the boards of directors so that the CEO salary is appropriate to his/her performance during the past year as well as the increase or decrease in the value of the shareholders equity. However, when a CEO receives 2000% more than the average worker for the corporation it is obscene. While it is often argued that private companies have the right to pay whatever they want; this should not apply when the so-called private company is actually a public company with shareholders.

It is a bad time for corporations to be validating Gordon Gecko's infamous statement, "Greed is good."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dick Cheney to Star in a New Zombie Movie

Newton Dimworthy, chief publicist for Wildly Weird Movies, recently confirmed that Dick Cheney would be starring in a new zombie movie to be released by November 2009. The tentative title for the new movie is The Beast That Would Never Die and Couldn't Be Killed. Mr. Dimworthy said that Dick Cheney was a natural for the role given his experience during the Bush presidency and his continued defense of its blunders. Wildly Weird Movies was responsible for the box office smash hits Winning the Iraq War in 100 Days and Human Rights Advocacy at Guantánamo.

Mr. Cheney was unavailable for comment about the new movie at this time. However, his press secretary, Insidious Disinformation, stated that the former vice president would be holding a press conference in the near future at which time he would talk about the new movie and eat all Democrats in sight. The former vice president has been making the rounds of the talk shows, mainly on Fox news, The Republican Broadcasting Network, citing the successes of the Bush administration and pointing out how President Obama is leading the nation to into greater peril each day. The former vice president was particularly incensed about President Obama's willingness to talk to the leaders of European nations, who Mr. Cheney had characterized as a bunch of pansies in the past.

With his newfound popularity, the former vice president may be able to stop traveling around in an armored Brinks car, and use a regular automobile. Who knows, he may even be able to purchase one from Detroit if any of the automakers are still functioning

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dr. Drew and Dr. Phil: Celebrity Mental Health Demeans the Profession

Stigma regarding mental health, and receiving appropriate treatment for mental illness, is still so strong that anything that promotes or encourages people to seek help is laudable. However, what Dr. Drew and Dr. Phil are up to is more about their celebrity status and self-aggrandizement than anything else. When Dr. Phil visits Britney Spears and holds a press conference afterwards it is not about Britney's mental health status but rather Dr. Phil's celebrity status. For Dr. Phil to say anything about his interaction with Britney at all was a violation of her right to privacy.

Dr. Drew Pinsky is a board certified by the American Academy of Internal Medicine and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Pinsky does not have credentialing as a psychiatrist or psychologist. But since the publication of his test for narcissism, and subsequent book, he has been speaking on public media on everything from narcissism among celebrities and the public at large, to substance abuse, sexual issues, and anything anyone else cares to ask about general mental health issues.

Dr. Pinsky is also a busy man as shown by the fact that he is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Keck School of Medicine at the University Of Southern California Medical Director for the Department of Chemical Dependency Services at in Pasadena California, staff member at Huntington Memorial Hospital and a private practitioner. In addition, Dr. Pinsky, or "Dr. Drew" as he is called, has a show business career in which he is the co-host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show, love line which he has hosted since 1984. On television, he produces and hosts the VH1Show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and the MTV show Sex ….With Mom and Dad In 2009 a spin-off of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew premiered named Sober House. It's hard to say all these things, let alone contemplating doing all of them.

Doctors doing celebrity reality shows is a far different from Dr. Mehmet Oz coming on the Oprah Winfrey show and presenting medical information and advice in a professional manner. Dr. Oz's professional credentials are of the highest caliber. Dr. Oz is vice-chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University. He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Pinsky on the other hand, goes in front of the media and, according to CBS news, stated about Britney Spears, "This young lady — she is dying in front of our eyes. She needs physician care regularly for a sustained period of time. If I were to treat her, I'd put her in 4-6 weeks of an intensive program in a psychiatric hospital and a year of a residential program very much like what Lindsay Lohan did." While Dr. Pinsky may have been concerned about Britney Spears, he was creating valuable airtime for his celebrity status.

Dr. Pinsky gained notoriety when he said in an interview in Playboy, "Take a guy like Tom Cruise. Why would somebody be drawn into a cultish kind of environment like Scientology? To me, that's a function of a very deep emptiness and suggests serious neglect in childhood — maybe some abuse, but mostly neglect." For Dr. Pinsky to speculate on Tom Cruise's mental status and psychological functioning without interviewing him was unprofessional. Further, to do so in Playboy magazine, amid all the pictures of naked ladies, is evidence of less than optimal judgment and a need for celebrity status. In the end, Dr. Pinsky apologized to Tom Cruise's lawyer, but not to Tom Cruise.

Dr. Pinsky writes extensively about how we are in the age of narcissism. Isn't it possible that his behavior and that of Dr. Phil's is a symptom of that narcissism?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Universal Health Care Is Not about Economics

Universal health care coverage will eventually come to this country. The question is not if, but when. Discussions about free-market systems and costs of health care notwithstanding, societies evolve, and universal healthcare coverage is part of that evolution. In a recent op-ed column in the New York Times, titled, " The Misguided Quest for Universal Coverage," Ramesh Ponnuru stated, "AMERICA’S dysfunctional health care financing system needs to be reformed. But the goal should not be universal coverage. Reform should simply aim to make health insurance more affordable and portable."

Ponnuru goes on to crunch some numbers and provide other rationale to support his contention that the goal of reform of the health-care system should not be universal health care coverage. But the issue goes beyond bean counting and free-market system belief systems. Ultimately, society has to answer the question of whether it is more important for some people to have access to plastic surgery to boost their egos, while other people are denied access to health care that would keep significantly enrich the quality of their lives, or, more importantly, keep them alive.

Universal healthcare coverage will become one more entitlement that will make conservatives to grind their teeth. And well they should. Basically, in our current society, entitlements are apportioned based primarily on wealth or power, or both. And, as the last eight years shows, the Republican Party is predisposed to assuring that the wealthy get wealthier while middle-class incomes can remain stagnant.

Ponnuru makes one important concession when he says, "This is another way of saying that universal coverage cannot be achieved using free-market methods — a point that many liberals correctly make." The free-market system, or capitalism, is the best way to produce most services and goods. However, it is not an all-encompassing way to manage a society where different people have different needs and some will always be unable to meet the challenges of life. The word is unable, not unwilling. The woman who cuts my hairhas chronic lung problems that go untreated because she does not have medical coverage.At the same time,I watched too many faces, including Nancy Pelosi,,where the skin has pulled tight after numerous plastic surgeries and the effect is to give them a frozen smile. We've got to get our priorities right.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Obama Speaking in Code to Taliban (and Republicans)

During view on MSNBC's hardball, Frank Gaffney, the director of the conservative think tank the Center for Security Policy, accused President Barack Obama of speaking in code, and telling the Middle East that America will submit to them. When challenged to explain this Gaffney said, "when he (Obama) uses the term of respect in the context of a waste bow to the king of Saudi Arabia, for example, and talks about respectful language which is code for those who adhere to Shari'a that we will submit to Shari'a."

In further conversation Gaffney went on to point how important it is for us to be able to understand this code. The question is whether anybody but Gaffney understands this code. Perhaps when you're the president of a right wing Center for Security Policy organization you get secret code books. If so, Gaffney has a moral and legal obligation to share this with the president and the national Security Council. Oh, excuse me. I guess Gaffney assumes that President Obama doesn't need a code book because he knows the gestures of submission.

The Republican right (doesn't that include all Republicans?) was obviously going to jump all over, if you'll pardon the metaphor, everything resident Obama did and said during his recent trip to Europe, and now to the Middle East. The Republicans, as former Vice President Cheney would assure you, are experts on Middle Eastern policy. After all, look what they accomplished in eight years with Iran and Iraq. I ran is still moving towards building nuclear weapons and Iraq after nearly being leveled by internal strife, has a fragile our government that may or may not make it to democracy. Let's not forget about Afghanistan, where Republican policies made it possible for the Taliban to be in a position to threaten

Sunday, April 5, 2009

War on Drugs: War on Blacks

In a recent article addressing the issue of whether we should legalize drugs, Leonard Pitts Jr., a Pulitzer prize-winning columnist, said, "The War on Drugs came into being under President Nixon, whose chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, once quoted the president as saying, 'You have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this all while not appearing to.' Small wonder blacks account for 13 percent of the nation's regular drug users, but more than 70 percent of all those jailed for drug use." (Emphasis mine)

For those among us with a metal predisposition to believe that there is a link between black usage of drugs and incarceration for selling them, Leonard Pitts went on to say
"In 1914, when the first federal drug law was enacted, the government estimated 1.3 percent of us were addicted to illegal drugs. In 1970, when the War on Drugs began, the government estimated 1.3 percent of us were addicted to illegal drugs. Thirty-nine million arrests later, he says, the government says 1.3 percent of us are addicted to illegal drugs." (Italics mine)

The failure to address the demand side of drugs from the United States has nearly led to the destabilization of the Mexican government and society. We are all too familiar with headlines about kidnappings in Mexico, but now those kidnappings have spread to the border states of Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Texas. The war on drugs is not only been a failure, it has become counterproductive. It is time for a national rethinking of the way we address the issue of drug abuse.

The prisons of America have become a dumping ground for American citizens with drug abuse problems. That many of these people sell drugs, and therefore are given longer prison sentences is just a simple statement about how poor people pay for their drug habits. America, and it particularly the black population, is paying heavily for the failed strategies of the so-called War on Drugs. The very notion of legalizing marijuana raises the blood pressure of millions of Americans. Parents cringe at the thought of their children being able to legally purchased marijuana. So their children purchase of illegally anyway.

Racism takes many insidious forms. There are the convenient racist notions that blacks are: lazy; more inclined to crime; have lower intelligence; more corrupt than Caucasians; and a host of other demeaning generalizations used to ignore the fact that a significant proportion of the blacks living in America are living in a separate Third World country state of perpetual poverty. The fact that we have an African-American president does not make any of this different.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

O'Reilly Ambushes Journalist and Gets Ambushed Back

Everything below was taken from the Nation. I have included a link back to their blog site but I wanted to have this material on my web site. By golly there is some justice after all. "After's managing editor Amanda Terkel wrote a blog entry critical of Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly, the bloviator-in-chief sent a producer, Jesse Watters, to stalk Terkel.

It was a standard O'Reilly stunt, referred to as "ambush journalism." The TV tough guy's gone after dozens of targets using this technique.

But Terkel pushed back. She wrote about the incident in an article headlined "I Was Followed, Harassed, And Ambushed By Bill O'Reilly's Producer."

Then the Center for American Progress (CAP) used their Action Fund to launched a "Stop Supporting The O'Reilly Harassment Machine" campaign that urged Americans to: "Tell O'Reilly's advertisers that you want them to issue a clear statement explaining their opposition to O'Reilly's 'ambush journalism.'" The response has been overwhelming, from viewers and others who were sick of ambush "journalism."

And the campaign seems to be working. On Friday afternoon, the CAP Action Fund announced that UPS would stop advertising on O'Reilly's show. Here's the CAP statement:

In response to our Stop Supporting The O'Reilly Harassment Machine campaign, UPS told us yesterday that it was investigating whether to continue supporting O'Reilly's show. "We are sensitive to the type of television programming where our messages and presence are associated and continually review choices to affect future decisions," spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg told us.

Today UPS announced it will stop advertising on O'Reilly's show. Here is the statement UPS emailed out just moments ago:

Thank you for sending an e-mail expressing concern about UPS advertising during the Bill O'Reilly show on FOX News. We do consider such comments as we review ad placement decisions which involve a variety of news, entertainment and sports programming. At this time, we have no plans to continue advertising during this show."

Rush Limbaugh Rumored to Pay AIG Bonuses

Rush Limbaugh, leader of the Republican Party, and one of the few people supporting the payment of the AIG bonuses, is rumored to be willing to pay those bonuses out of his own huge salary. My inside source at Rush Limbaugh's radio station, Mary Rockefeller Swyne, alleges that Rush has been pacing the halls muttering, "Those Poor Bastards at AIG."

During the March 17 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh -defended American International Group (AIG) from criticism of the company's controversial employee retention bonuses. Limbaugh declared, "A lynch mob is expanding: the peasants with their pitchforks surrounding the corporate headquarters of AIG, demanding heads. Death threats are pouring in. All of this being ginned up by the Obama administration." It's hard to imagine where the people of New York City would get pitchforks but it's been said that anything is for sale in Manhattan. Perhaps Rush himself brought them into incite a potential riot.

Limbaugh later said, "This $500,000 limit on executive pay -- let me tell you why it won't work. New York City will die. New York City needs a whole bunch of people being paid a whole lot of money, so they can tax their butts off, so that the city can maintain its stupid streets, potholes, and welfare state. Without the super wealthy in New York, it's over." It's uncertain whether New York City needs to super rich, but certainly Manhattan does. With its high cost of living, and posh eateries and galleries only the super rich can truly enjoy living in Manhattan. But it's darn decent of Rush to worry about the super rich. Especially now that he's one of them.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Republican Goal: 30 Senators in 2012

Thus far the Republicans continue to distinguish themselves during the economic crisis by constantly criticizing anything produced by the Obama administration and offering up tax cuts as a solution to complex financial problems. The leader of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, has openly stated that his goal is for Obama to fail. That is a logical goal for the Republicans because if Obama succeeds in any measure this society will undergo changes in the near future that will be totally unacceptable to Republicans and conservatives of all breeds and strains.

The problem with a policy of "Lets hope the other guy fails" is that it doesn't put you in a position of offering constructive realistic solutions as alternatives. The Republicans have offered alternatives, and they are on the Internet, but they fail to address such issues as what to do with AIG and Citigroup, as well as the Detroit automakers, if any or all threatened to implode. So, if the recession abates before the 2010 election, then the Republicans can expect to lose more seats in the House and the Senate. If by 2012, the recession is either completely or largely over, then the Republicans face another massacre in the election and will be lucky to have 30 senators. Then they will be able to hold caucuses in the minority leader's office

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Arriana Huffington in Need of Further Sedation

Once the Obama campaign against Senator McCain began to get underway, President Obama shifted his campaign to a more centrist focus. Arriana Huffington, the Liberal Democrat doyenne, wrote an all-knowing column advising then Senator Obama to get back to his liberal left roots. This column detailed everything Obama needed to do in order to win the presidency. Fortunately for President Obama, he continued with his centrist ways and ended up winning an historic election.

Now Ms. Huffington is taking on Secretary of Treasury Geithner, and, if she hasn't been paying attention, President Obama once again. In her words, "Take the Steering Wheel out of Geithner's Hands." Ms. Huffington got specific in her concerns about Geithner

"But the issue isn't Geithner's delivery, it's what he's delivering: an approach to the crisis that is as toxic as the assets that have hamstrung the economy. Geithner, brilliant and hardworking though he is, is trapped within a Wall Street-centric view of the world and seems incapable of escaping.

That's why every proposal he comes up with is déjà vu all over again -- a remixed variation on the same tried-and-failed let-the-bankers-work-it-out approach championed by his predecessor, Hank Paulson."

It should be noted that she is not alone in these concerns. However, Ms. Huffington's range of advice for President Obama continues to be extensive, and at times relentless. Well, if anything happens to Rahm Emanuel or David Axelrod, the president knows where to turn for his next chief adviser.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mike Huckabee off the Rails on Abortion

In a torturous piece of logic former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee likened abortion to slavery in a Monday speech during a fundraiser for an anti-abortion group. Huckabee said that when it abolished slavery, the U.S. debated and decided it was immoral for one person to have complete, life-or-death power over another. He said that should not change whether the control involves racial bigotry or a pregnant woman making a decision for her unborn child. "What are we saying to the generation coming after us when we tell them that it is perfectly OK for one person to own another human being?" Huckabee said.

"I thought we dealt with that 150 years ago when the issue of slavery was finally settled in this country, and we decided that it no longer was a political issue, it wasn't an issue of geography, it was an issue of morality. That it was either right or it was immoral that one person could own another human being and have full control even to the point of life and death over that other human being."

Missouri NAACP President Mary Ratliff, said the comparison of abortion to slavery was "apples to oranges" and called it offensive to use the issue of slavery for an unrelated political point.

There is more insidious piece of logic here then most people are unaware of. The agenda is not the elimination of Roe V. Wade, but rather the elimination of all abortion entirely. If anti-abortion proponents can't get the Supreme Court to strike down Roe V. Wade, or get a ruling that life begins at conception, then fall back to a civil rights position regarding the issue of abortion.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Portia de Rossi Apologizes for Her Gay Marriage

In an effort to heal the tremendous harm that she has done to anti-gay rights people, Portia De Rossi issued a formal apology for her marriage to Ellen DeGeneres. The deeply heartfelt apology went out to all the anti-gay rights activists whose lives have been ruined by gay marriages such as Portia's. She specifically mentioned several anti-gay activists and singled them out for the harm she has done them. All of America applauds Portia for hire supreme act of Christian kindness. It's a shame that the anti-gay Christians couldn't have shown gay people a small fraction of such decency. Portia's act of contrition is shown below.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bailed-out Banks Contributing to Campaign Funds

The federal bank bailouts may be giving new meaning to the term "kickback."Many of the banks rescued last year with taxpayer money have contributed to the campaign coffers of some politicians who approved the bailouts, according to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission.While some bailed-out banks, such as Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase, have reduced their campaign donations, others have discreetly made donations this year, Newsweek reported. Bank of America's political action committee (PAC) gave $24,500 in January and February, "including $1,500 to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and another $15,000 to members of the House and Senate banking panels," the weekly news magazine said."This certainly appears to be a case of TARP funds being recycled into campaign contributions," Newsweek quoted Brett Kappell, a D.C. lawyer who tracks donations, as saying. "TARP" refers to the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion legislation passed in October.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Laundering Money Is Legal If Done by Check in Texas

An Editorial in the Austin American Statesman cites a recent Texas Court of Appeals decision that if you live in Travis County Texas laundering money is legal if done by check. Of course, it took three Republican judges, cited below, to come up with such a ruling. And it might come as a surprise to no one, that one of the defendants was formerly United States Representative Tom DeLay. Once again, justice is being mugged, this time apparently along party lines. The three Republican justices were careful to limit their finding to the law as it stood in 2002. That's a relief. One wouldn't want to think that was permanently legal to illegally launder money in Texas.

"The 3rd Court of Appeals, split 3-2 along partisan lines, has refused to reconsider its ruling last year that, at least until 2005, it was OK to take otherwise illegal corporate campaign contributions as long as the money came in the form of a check, not cash. The court thus reaffirmed a decision tainted by politics.

The case involves defendants with Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee, which worked to raise money and support to elect a Republican majority to the Texas House in 2002. They were successful.

Last year, the 3rd Court's Justice Alan Waldrop, joined by then-Chief Justice Ken Law and Justice Robert Pemberton, upheld the law. But, they added, under the law as it stood in 2002, it was not illegal to launder campaign money if it were in the form of a check. And the $190,000 in campaign donations in question was handled by check."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dick Cheney: No One Was Tortured at Guantánamo

In a surprise news conference, former Vice President Cheney asserted that not one single person was tortured or harmed in any way at Guantánamo. To support his contentions the former vice president presented a slideshow of the accommodations and activities that existed at Guantánamo for the detainees. First, the former vice president showed pictures of luxurious condominiums, all with hot tubs and air-conditioning. Inside the condominiums were dark skinned, black haired Arabic looking persons watching television and smiling broadly. When a member of the press question whether these were actual detainees, the former vice president had him arrested and removed from the room.

Next, Mr. Cheney showed pictures of a large swimming pool surrounded by Arabic looking men and women in scanty bikinis. Again, a member of the press questioned the veracity of this picture, pointing out that devout Muslims would never be seen in public with women who were practically undressed. Mr. Cheney asserted that once these men were removed from their native inhibiting cultures they loosened up and adopted Western ways. When a reporter from Al Jazeera protested this assertion the former vice president had him arrested and removed from the room.

The last set of photos showed Arabic looking men shooting pool and playing cards in a large recreation room. Many of them had several empty bottles of beer by them. All of these men seem to be having a very good time. When several reporters rose to their feet saying this was a terrible sham, the former vice president pulled out a shotgun and ordered him to leave the room.

At the end of the press conference the former vice president asked if there were any further questions. In as much as no member of the press was left in the room, there were no questions.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cheney: Bush not to blame for economy

When Dick Cheney was vice president of the United States what came out of his mouth was frequently scary. He appeared to have little or no regard for the Constitution, and saw it as a hindrance the implementation of policies to "Make America safe." The question asked by many people was who was going to protect us from Dick Cheney. Now, when he speaks there is a far greater comedic aspect to what he is says. Is he really saying that the Bush administration wasn't to blame for the economy? President Bush ran up the biggest deficit in history and left President Obama with an economic crisis unparalleled since the Great Depression. And President Bush wasn't responsible?

Cheney actually said the following on CNN. "The U.S. economy faltered along with the deterioration of the global marketplace. This isn't something that happened just in the Bush administration or just in the United States, Cheney said. We are in the midst of a worldwide economic period of considerable difficulty here." The United States was at the epicenter of the worldwide economic crisis. Please note that the former vice president used the words period of considerable difficulty. Much of the world to use on the brink of depression and the form up Vice President uses words to describe a six-month tip in the economy.

As the former vice president say what he means war means what he says? It appears that the former vice president knows as much about economics as he did about running the war. Can't we send him back home to Wyoming? Surely this city of Casper needs a new town councilman.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

President Chuck Norris to the Rescue

Chuck Norris: President of Texas. It gives me Goosebumps just to write these words. Think of the Alamo. Think of John Wayne. Better yet, think of Chuck as president of the United States. I hope the Liberals aren't laughing because this is not a man to be taken lightly. When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris isn't going to let Obommunism take over the country. Chuck will fight for the free market system no matter how corrupt it gets.

Chuck's résumé for running for president of the United States is impressive. His years of training as a kick boxer will help him kick butt in Washington. And if anybody's been to Washington, they know that there's more butt to be kicked there then any place else. No one can question his foreign policy experience as evidenced by his many movies rescuing American POWs from the Vietnamese 35 years after the war was over. Ya don't quit the job until it's done. President Bush may have looked Vladimir Putin in the eye and come away thinking he was a friend, but Chuck Norris would never make that mistake. In fact, if Chuck looked old Vladimir in the eye that commie would be lucky if he still had an eye. As for China, remember this. The Great Wall of China was originally created to keep Chuck Norris out. It failed miserably.

What's that you say? The next presidential election is 44 months away. Chuck won't have to wait that long. The word is spreading rapidly. It won't be long before millions of Americans are demanding a new election before the end of the year. Constitution be damned. The country needs rescuing and Chuck is coming to the rescue.

In honor of the savior of Texas and the United States the "Yllow Rose of Texas" is presented below.

Justice for Wall Street and other Crooks and Bandits

Clint Eastwood is saddling up for the last time and that he has warrants for every crook, slime ball and miscreant on Wall Street and throughout the nation who contributed to the current financial disaster. He is also under instructions to bring back the worst offenders dead or alive. Along with him are Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, and Samuel Jackson. None of them have shaved recently, and they look like they have ridden from Silver City Nevada without a bath. They are the modern day four Horsemen of the apocalypse for financial felons. Don't be afraid, be very afraid.

They ride across the Brooklyn Bridge, through lower Manhattan to the Goldman Sachs Building. Clint, Morgan, and Samuel dismount while Gene proceeds up Broadway with a mule following behind him. Clint reaches into a leather pouch and pulls out a large handful of warrants. He distributes them to Morgan and Samuel, and the three of them walk up to the front door. They are immediately confronted by security guards, but when Clint squints at them the guards all melt away. The three men draw their weapons, enter the building, and then ride up the elevator and make their arrests. A half an hour later, 50 men are marched out of the building onto a waiting bus. This is no ordinary bus, it's a black bus with the words "Bound for Hell" written on the side of it.

After leaving the Goldman Sachs Building, the four horsemen proceed to Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, and on to Citigroup. By the time they are finished at Citigroup six busloads of prisoners have been collected. While Clint, Morgan and Samuel have been rounding up their felons, Gene Hackman rode to Bernie Madoff's apartment. Gene rides up the elevator and knocks on Bernie's apartment door. When Bernie opens the door Gene sticks the warrant in front of his face and grabs him by the collar. Gene proceeds to drag Bernie down each and every step and out the front door. He puts Bernie on the mule facing backwards, ties his feet together, and his hands behind him to the pommel.

Clint is chewing on a cigar when Gene rides up towing Bernie behind him. The four men slowly ride to the Holland Tunnel. The six buses follow behind them. A half hour later the four horsemen emerge towing Bernie behind them. But the buses are nowhere to be seen. Even as Clint, Morgan, Samuel, and Gene ride south towards Washington, and eventually Charlotte, with an even larger bundle of warrants, the buses still don't emerge from the tunnel. In fact, the buses are never seen again. Perhaps the "Bound for Hell" on the side of the buses wasn't a metaphor. On to Washington.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Little Jail Time for Maddoff ?: No Justice Here

The statue of justice has often been portrayed as blind. Now the statue it should be portrayed as deaf, dumb, and blind. Martha Stewart served months in jail for lying to federal authorities. Charles Barkley went to jail for drunken driving. But now it appears that Bernie Madoff, the architect of the $50 billion Ponzi scheme, will be serving very little jail time. This is a man that should be the last prisoner at Guantánamo. I would let all the people that he cheated determined his punishment.

Madoff didn't just steal from people; he took their lives away from them. He also bankrupted charities and foundations. People who thought they were his friends found themselves selling their houses because all of their money was gone. He looked everyone in the eye, smiled, and shook their hand. Then he took their money and made it vanish. Broken lives, broken dreams, broken hearts and a long detritus of the psyches and souls other people are Madoff's final investment return. What else can we expect from the judicial system that let Wall Street portray high-risk products as AAA investments with a minimal number of convictions? Shame. Shame. Shame.

Maybe it's time for Clint Eastwood to saddle up one last time and take a slow ride down Wall Street before he arrives at Madoff's apartment.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rush Limbaugh Head of the GOP

It's now official. Rush Limbaugh is the head of the Republican Party. When Republican Party chairman Michael Steele genuflected to Rush Limbaugh the coronation was official. Abraham Lincoln just turned face down in his grave. Teddy Roosevelt gave up San Juan Hill. The party that once ushered in the end of slavery now ushers in slavery to narrow-mindedness, perpetual anger, shortsightedness, hate, and everything you shouldn't take with you to church on Sunday or synagogue on Saturday.

Rush Limbaugh's conservatism has no room for tolerance of the other person's opinion. For that matter, Rush Limbaugh's conservatism has no tolerance for the other person period. He is a narcissistic man full of anger, hatred, and self-doubt who has risen to a position of power which should make all Americans shudder, not just Republicans. Why would anyone be surprised that this man would wish Obama's policies to fail? It is easy for him to stand and say what ever he wants because he has never been in a position of accepting responsibility for other people. No doubt, if he were elected to Congress this spiel coming out of his mouth would still be the same. But at least then, he would have to face the voters.

Limbaughism is a new brand of McCarthyism. Censorship, meanness, condemning people without trials, and spreading fear wherever he can will be the hallmarks of this man's reign of terror. It was far easier to make a joke of him before the Republicans handed him the reins to power in their party. The Republicans have made many mistakes in their history, as have the Democrats, but this one will haunt them for many decades to come. Rush Limbaugh's flawed nature was clearly evident in the whole OxyContin incident. He committed several crimes and got away with them. Now he is about to commit murder on the body politic. Hopefully someone will hold him accountable.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Super Rush Limbaugh Saving America

While President Obama does everything he thinks will prevent the American financial system, as well as the automobile industry, from falling apart, Rush Limbaugh tries to save us by telling America that Obama and the Democrats are going to ruin the country. According to Rush, his ear shattering and mind bending voice is all that stands between us and doom. Like the Minutemen of yore, who shouted the British are coming, Rush Limbaugh keeps shouting socialism is coming. If he keeps shouting long enough there's no doubt he'll be right.

Rush keeps reminding us that the American way of life and everything it stands for is going over the cliff in a sea of Democratic Socialism. The word liberalism has long since been abandoned and Rush has cut to the heart of the matter. Rush's vast experience in implementing legislation in economic crises marks him as a single person to lead us out of the economic wilderness. Like Moses before him, Rush only has tap his staff are on the rock and credit will be gushing forth. If he raises his hands to the heavens, AAA bonds and preferred stocks will rain upon the people until they are buried with the paper.

After decades of advising men such as Paul Volker and Alan Greenspan, Rush is in the best possible position to know what monetary policies to implement. After inking a $400 million contract for himself, it should be no problem for Roche to come up with several trillion dollars for the rest of America. Wait a minute. That's not the American way. Americans don't accept handouts and give-outs, Americans do it on their own, without any help from anyone else. Haven't you ever seen a John Wayne movie before? But Rush is there for us. No job? No problem. Rush will help you out. No money? No problem. The Rush will help you out. No hope? No problem. Rush will help you out. No OxyContin? Oops! Wrong subject.

Look! Up in the sky! It's a Bird! It's Superman! No! It's Super Rush Limbaugh flying high forever.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama Smiles, Pelosi Smiles, and Boehner Is Frozen

Most politicians have politically crafted smiles appropriate for every situation. But President Obama infectious smile seems to be genuine. Nancy Pelosi's smile on the other hand seems quite plastic, most likely a result of Botox injections and other surgical handiwork done to her face. Representative Boehner rarely smiles, but given the circumstances of the Republican Party there's not much to smile about these days.

I think the President Obama enjoys life, and he enjoys being president of the United States even under these trying circumstances. Nancy Pelosi enjoys power, lots of power, especially when she's wielding it. She's quite capable of smiling when she means the exact opposite. Therefore, I see her smile as something akin to a black widow spider smiling. Just because she smiling doesn't mean she's happy or that you're safe. John Boehner's smiles are few and far between. Actually, I don't think this is a result of the current situation of the Republican Party. Nor do I think it is a result of his unhappiness with the liberal left agenda of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi. I just think he innately lacks the ability to smile. I don't know if this has anything to do with him being a conservative Republican but I will do further research on this matter.

Both Senator Reed's and Senator McConnell's smiles are rather weak and given their ages not likely to change. I admit I haven't done prodigious amounts of research of these gentlemen during their careers and determine whether they were actually caught smiling at odd moments. I do know there is substantial research that indicates that if a person is genuinely smiling he or she will feel better. Maybe if the Republicans and Democrats smiled at each other, genuinely, things would get better in Washington. Oh well, one can dream.

Monday, February 23, 2009

India Outsourcing to America

It's 30 years into the future and America is still in the midst of the recession. President Obama failed to move the economy enough, and 2012 Governor Sarah Palin was elected president. Her platform of, "I Saved Alaska I Can Save America" was a dismal failure and she lost the following election to some unknown Democrat. The Republicans and Democrats have been arguing for 30 years and haven't compromised on anything. In the meantime the American economy has continued to go downhill and a permanent unemployment rate of 25% and a continuing lower standard of living has become the norm.

India on the other hand, came out of its recession in 2010 and, with the American economy in decline and the Chinese economy suffering as a result of it, India became the number one industrial power in the world. Poverty in India ceased to exist, and wages skyrocketed. In late 2038, Indian companies began to outsource their call centers to the United States. American universities, sponsored by giant Indian corporations with limitless budgets, began to train millions of Americans to speak Hindi. The early efforts are successful and financial and accounting services are outsourced to poverty-stricken New York and New Jersey. Indian consumers become disgruntled over having to talk to Americans with terrible accents.
The Indian National Motor Corporation (INMC) begins building automobile plants throughout the United States which has no automotive manufacturing capabilities.

By 2045, the American economy has begun to revive, and Samuel Raj, the third-generation grandson of Indian immigrants is elected president of the United States on a "JOBS FOR EVERYONE" platform. The Democrats and Republicans are reduced to a fraction of their former selves as the American Indian Libertarian (AIL) takes control of Congress. AIL is able to pass President Raj's complete agenda. By 2050, the American economy has once again become a force to be reckoned with as the unemployment rate falls below 10% for the first time since 2009. President Raj is hailed as one of the great American presidents even before he finishes out his second term

Republican Governors Play Deal or No Deal

Some of the Republican governors are threatening not to take money from the national bailout plan, also known as the Stimulus Package. While there are certainly objectionable parts of this complicated financial effort to stimulate the economy, it hardly makes sense for governors to refuse monies the citizens of their states so badly need. War maybe hell, to paraphrase William Tecumseh Sherman, but politics is often a descent into madness. For a change, Democrats were able to see further than the end of their shoes when they inserted language into the legislation that enables state legislators to request the money even if the governor doesn't.

It's possible that some of the governors may be "posturing" but knowing that for sure would require mind reading, or the abilities of the lead actor on To Tell a Lie. Boy wouldn't that be useful. So far the Republicans have chosen to do nothing. Offering alternatives that they know have no chance of being enacted is not really offering an alternative. I guess that is political posturing.

One of the complaints about the legislation is that it "forces" states to continue to spend money after the federal money runs out. That has been problematical for many decades and is not a peculiar problem of the stimulus package. I'm sure there are other objectionable parts to the stimulus package. However, as the states undergo massive layoffs and roads and bridges continued to deteriorate along with the schools, we must do something were faced becoming a Third World country. If people object to outsourcing to India, think of how much worse it will be when China and India to outsource to us.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Karl Rove: America's Favorite Person

For sometime I have been aware that a number of Americans hate Karl Rove. I have been mystified by these hostile feelings because it is well known that he cares about each and every American, regardless of their race, nationality, religion, or political affiliation. This has earned him the nickname of "America's favorite person," among many, many people. I have even been told that each night before he goes to bed, he says a special prayer for the well-being of liberal Democrats throughout this country. Isn't that sweet.

He was blamed for spreading disinformation about the cause and purpose of the war in Iraq. To the best of my knowledge he consistently stated that we were invited in by the Iraqis to help them overthrow Saddam Hussein. He certainly wasn't responsible for the fact that the CIA and other intelligence sources gave the president and his advisers faulty information regarding the status of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. My inside source within inner conservative Republican circles, Stanislaw Lemsky, a former Soviet school teacher and member of the KGB, told me that Karl cautioned the president about making sure the intelligence information was absolutely correct.

A number of people also accused him of preventing significant numbers of Americans from being able to vote. To substantiate such absurd claims recently inappropriately intercepted e-mail messages with voter names have been used as purported evidence to support this assertion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Karl and his staff worked late into the night to make sure these people who had been targeted by unknown sources are actually assured of their ability to vote in the 2004 presidential election.

Lastly, allegations were made about Karl's involvement in the prosecution of former Governor Don Siegelman of Alabama. I'm sure Jill Simpson meant well, but she probably misunderstood Karl Rove when he allegedly asked her to photograph then Governor Siegelman in compromising sexual activities. Karl probably told her that he wanted some personal pictures of the governor and his wife so that he could hang them. To have said what Ms. Simpson accuses him of saying what have constituted dishonorable and illegal activities, both totally abhorrent to Karl's altruistic, and loving nature.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bernie Maddoff and Millionaire Madness

Sometime ago I heard the expression that "You only have to get rich once." In as much as I'm not rich, nor will I ever be close to it, this comment stuck in my mind. The appendage to that statement was that rich people can stay rich by putting the majority of their money into very safe investments such as double exempting municipal bonds, or U.S. Treasury notes. While I can feel some level of sympathy, but not too much, for the many millionaires who lost their money with Bernie Maddoff, I can only wonder why they were taking such high risks with their fortunes and so many ended up losing it all.

The only rich person I know has had all his money in double exempt municipal bonds for probably 20 years. Let's assume that he has $10 million, which he probably does. If you do the math, 5% (municipal) of $10 million is $500,000 a year. He seems to be squeezing out a marginal lifestyle with an apartment in Paris and a home outside of Denver. My goodness, it's possible to live on $500,000 a year. It boggles my mind to have that much money to spend a year. So what were all the millionaires who entrusted their money with Bernie Maddoff thinking? Oh yes, he had a wonderful reputation etc. but that's not the issue. If these millionaires had followed the basic rule of very conservative investing giving them a more than adequate income, then old Bernie wouldn't have been able to rob them blind.

We have been a nation of greed and are now paying for it. Our houses were never enough, our cars were never enough, and we never had enough goodies. These are tough times for so many of us. We have watched our investments for retirement dwindle. Many Americans have had to make tough decisions, some of them wrong, some of them right. But the vast majority of us weren't rich to begin with, and never had the opportunity to stay rich. What were all the millionaires thinking who invested their money with Bernie Maddoff? The answer is they weren't thinking

Monday, February 16, 2009

War with Klingons Can Save World Economy

Just as World War II brought the American economy out of the Great Depression, a war with the Klingon Empire could do the same for the entire planet. An enormous number of jobs would be created worldwide to build the spaceships and munitions necessary for such a war. Millions of jobs would be necessary just to build the spaceships. Boeing of course, would be one of the world leaders in building the spaceships and smaller fighters. Metal workers, electricians, engineers, and more professions and skills would be needed then there is space here to name. The steel mills of the world would be running at full production. Coal, natural gas, and oil would be needed to run the steel mills. This would generate untold numbers of jobs. The computer companies of the world would be hiring vast numbers of people to build the necessary components for the ships. It's all mind-boggling.

Why would we go to war with the Klingon race? It's the economy stupid. Besides, they're a pugnacious race ready to pick a battle with anyone. The cause for the war? Do wars really ever need causes? If we need a cause, we could send Karl Rove and Joe Biden as ambassadors to the Klingon Empire. Certainly one of them would offend the prickly Klingons into declaring war on us. That's even better! We would be defending ourselves and could appeal to the galactic community for military and economic assistance which would help pay for the war.

The worldwide cooperation necessary to conduct the war would create an era of peace on the planet never seen before. There would be enough factories for the United States, Europe,

Russia, China, India, and etc. there would also be a worldwide wave of kickbacks and bribes enriching lobbyists. The best part is saved for last. If we do this quickly enough, William Shatner could be appointed Admiral and lead the fleet to victory. Angelina Jolie would be the natural choice to lead the ground troops necessary to secure the Klingon world. And who but Dick Cheney could fill the post of worldwide Secretary of War. Glorious days to come.