Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sickening Amounts of Healthcare Lobbying

This is why Americans don't stand a chance for real healthcare reform. The rich have the resources to suppress the poor (who need health care) and to control our lives. It's not about what's best for America...it's all about what's best for Big Industry and their lapdog lobbyists...

Source: Washington Post, July 6, 2009

The healthcare industry is waging a "record-breaking influence campaign," spending "more than $1.4 million a day on lobbying," reports the Washington Post. "The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) doubled its spending to nearly $7 million in the first quarter of 2009, followed by Pfizer, with more than $6 million" spent in just three months. Among the lobbyists are many former Congressional staffers and even former members of Congress, including Dick Armey and Richard Gephardt. The impact is illustrated by a recent meeting in the office of Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus, which "included two former Baucus chiefs of staff: David Castagnetti, whose clients include PhRMA and America's Health Insurance Plans, and Jeffrey A. Forbes, who represents PhRMA, Amgen, Genentech, Merck and others." The Post "identified more than 350 former government aides, each representing an average of four firms or trade groups." PhRMA leads "the pack in spending and employs 49 former government staff members among its 136 lobbyists." Many of the major lobbyists "remain opposed to the public-insurance option" supported by the Obama administration. PhRMA's head, former Congressman Billy Tauzin, finds the Congress-drug industry revolving door "pretty normal." He asked, "Is it a distortion of baseball to hire coaches who have played baseball?"

If Palin runs for the White House guess who benefits?

A ray of hope – or colonial exploitation?

As you sip your coffee or tea this Tuesday morning, here's a subject that everyone has an opinion on; global warming (or if you prefer, climate warming).

But what about the idea of world corporations getting together and basically colonizing parts of the planet (Africa in this example)? Hmmmm.....

By Adam on July 14, 2009

With the United Nations Climate Change Conference now less than six months away, climate scientists remain, at best, 'cautiously optimistic' about the political efforts to prevent runaway climate change - and at worse, devastatingly sceptical. But whilst the 15,000+ politicians and bureaucrats who will be at Copenhagen prepare themselves for some hard negotiating, work on potential 'technological solutions' continues apace. Leaving aside some of the wackier geo-engineering projects, the focus is very much on renewable energy.

News today that a grouping of 12 corporate giants has sealed a deal to develop an enormous solar plant in North Africa has been broadly welcomed as a positive step by government and NGO experts. Greenpeace UK's chief scientist, for example, has stated that the so-called 'Desertec' project is "just the kind of innovation we need if we're going to beat climate change."

Click here to read the rest of this article from OneClimate

photo by Mike Baird

Monday, July 13, 2009

Being stupid should hurt: Texting teen falls into manhole

By Bernie Mooney

When I was a kid and I did something stupid and got hurt, the response of my parents was usually, “Serves you right.” Had I fallen into an open manhole, I never would have lived it down. There would have been hails of derisive laughter from friends and family for months afterward. To quote Bill Cosby, “C'mere. Let me show you my dumb kid.”

Click here to read the rest and to see a video of the teen explaining what happened to her. Her Mom makes a comment too. 

 Go to Bernie's Home Page

NY Changing Culture Examiner

Cheney accused of running an illegal assassination ring

Cheney's secret CIA plan

From The War Room

By Alex Koppelman

In the latest twist in a story that rocked Washington over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported today that the Central Intelligence Agency program recently shut down by current director Leon Panetta was an attempt to kill or capture al-Qaida leaders. A 2001 presidential finding authorized such an endeavor. The Ford administration banned assassination of foreign leaders in the 1970s.

Panetta informed members of two congressional intelligence committees about the secretive CIA directive on June 24, a day after he terminated the effort. Democratic lawmakers were especially roiled by the revelations, which came in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's controversial claims that the intelligence agency has lied to lawmakers.

What really kicked the story into high gear was the revelation that it had been Vice President Dick Cheney who instructed the CIA to keep the program hidden from Congress. (It also revived interest in a staggering, earlier report by the New Yorker's Sy Hersh, who had previously reported allegations that Cheney ran an assassination ring during his time in office.) Click here to read the rest of the story at Salon.com

 Watch a funny clip from HBO's 'Real Time With Bill Maher,' featuring "Dick Cheney, The Notorious VP" (photo shown here) and the gangsta anthem "Go F**k Yourself."  (Watch video clip)

image of Cheney via about.com : Political Humor

Is this how you feel on Mondays?

 I don't know what it is, but Mondays tend to be tough. Perhaps it's because you partied too hard and are faced with the after effects. Monday also signifies the start of a long work week. When I first wake up I drink lots of coffee so that I can get my sluggish ass moving...now here's a little information on this charming animal called a Blobfish:

The Blobfish inhabits the deep waters off the coasts of Australia and Tasmania.

Due to the inaccessibility of its habitat, it’s rarely seen by humans. Blobfish are found at depths where the pressure is several dozens of times higher than at sea level.

To remain buoyant, the flesh of the Blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water; which allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending energy on swimming.

The relative lack of muscle is not a disadvantage as it primarily swallows edible matter that floats by in front it.

More Information on Wikipedia: (Blobfish)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Study cites danger of zinc poisoning from denture creams

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 07/12/2009 01:31:43 AM PDT

If you use denture cream, you might want to sit down while you read this. Remember the old saying, “What you don't know won't hurt you?” That's not the case with some denture creams.

Glaxo Smith Kline, the maker of PoliGrip and Super PoliGrip, and Proctor & Gamble, the makers of Fixodent, are being sued because their products contain zinc, a potentially harmful element when taken in high doses.

Doctors say too much zinc drives down copper levels in the body, affects the spinal cord and makes it hard for people to walk. In a 2008 study published by the Journal of Neurology, the authors said long-term denture cream overuse caused zinc poisoning in four patients, which resulted in neurological problems for all of them.

Zinc-containing denture creams are the center of a growing controversy that suggests their use does cause copper deficiency, neurological problems, and a nerve disorder called neuropathy. Click here to read the rest.

image via Google Images

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Have you heard the one about the 'Dear John' letter?

 There's nothing like a twist to an old stereotype. I was stumbling along the web when I ran across this clever take on the "Dear John" genre. Frankly I never heard of the Gather web site, but it appears to be something like FaceBook or MySpace. Enjoy...

Paula C. (I'm not sure which of these ladies is Paula, but it's the only pic posted on the site) is from Bryant, Arkansas, and she posted the following humorous story on her Gather page:

  A Marine stationed in Afghanistan recently received a "Dear John" letter from his girlfriend back home. It read as follows:

 The Marine, with hurt feelings, asked his fellow Marines for any snapshots of their girlfriends, sisters, ex-girlfriends, aunts, cousins, etc. In addition to the picture of Becky, Ricky included all the other pictures of the pretty gals he had collected from his buddies. There were 57 photos in that envelope...along with this note:


Childhood dreams are this photographers muse...

My images are not photoshop collages.I use photoshop to finesse details and to adjust color and contrast for printing.I use friends and family members as actors and crew.Everyone works for free. We do it for fun.” says Joshua Hoffine whose eye catching artworks may remind us of our very own childhood fears!

Click here to see some photo art that will creep you out, yet leave you wanting more from Scoothbrush.com

Friday, July 10, 2009

Meet Won Park - The Master of Origami Paper Folding


Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. The goal of this art is to create a representation of an object using geometric folds and crease patterns preferably without the use of gluing or cutting the paper, and using only one piece of paper.

Won Park is the master of Origami. He is also called the “money folder”, a practitioner of origami whose canvas is the United States One Dollar Bill. Bending, twisting, and folding, Won Park creates life-like shapes inspired by objects living and not– both in stunning detail. Click here to see more at The Design Inspiration


GOP's youngest Hatemonger John Avlon speaks out

 By John Avlon

There is a culture war going on inside the Republican Party,” says one of the attendees, Lenny McAllister, a co-founder of HipHopRepubicans.com.

For example, you've got the Christian right—including some from the Jimmy Swaggart crowd that have judged others publicly on family values only to cry 'I have sinned' themselves somewhere down the road—and then you have the folks that understand that you can have strong conservative principles but you can't create a time portal to take us culturally back to the 1950s.... At some point, we will see one of two things from my party: either a decline that comes from our inability to move away from the image of an older, exclusive, white-males-only party or to a party that befits the Party of Lincoln, one of more diversity that reflects America today.”

A spokesman for Shay’s most important supporter, the governor of her home state, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, said his boss was traveling and couldn’t comment on these new details about Shay. But one of her better-known Facebook friends, conservative activist Grover Norquist, was keeping his distance.

Grover's aware of the two candidates, but he doesn't really have a dog in a race,said a spokesman. “He's friends with Audra on Facebook like he's friends with everybody else. He accepts all friendships."

Shay’s most recent post on her Facebook quotes the 23rd Psalm (“Yea, though I walk through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…”)—she’s apparently in full victim/martyr mode, a far cry from the jaunty confidence she just displayed a few days ago in the face of the “coons” controversy (“amazed at all the fuss so here is what you need to know.

The 6th song on the new Billy Currington CD is the most awesome song!”). Tomorrow’s vote will resonate beyond its usual dimensions. At a time when the GOP is increasingly old and regionally isolated, it is up to young Republicans to modernize the party. This requires confronting the mistakes of the past—and turning the page.

John P. Avlon is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics. He writes a weekly column for The Daily Beast and is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Previously, he served as chief speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun.

article and art via The Daily Beast

Discussion: Are Republican Politicians and Activists Above the Law?

Let's start with the most former grifter-in-chief . Trump has got away with being impeached twice (a feat no other American president h...