Who IS this guy?!

'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, (original, huh?) airs on Tuesdays at 10:PM and Saturdays at 8:PM, Eastern time on RainbowRadio.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)

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Monday, March 29, 2010

What the hell happend? LOL

Watching Rachael Maddow right now and loving it.

Between the Bondage Strip Club that RNC donors' money paid forfor Michael Steele and company and the Michigan Militia Loons the FBI just arrested, I'm just shaking with anticipation at the impending implosion and self destruction of the Republican party.  Ill put my piece on the table right now: I predeict that the high point of the Republican party came when Brown beat Coakley.  From then to November to 2012, it will only get worse for them.  At this point I see very little good down the road for them.

See... The crazies are achieving enough of a critical mass to form a third party.  THAT would kill the Republicans.  Bye-bye.  GONE.  And if the Republicans make more of a push to embrace these loons?  That will alienate more moderate.  And THAT will also kill the Republilcan party.  To their left?  Rock.  To their right? Hard Place.

How did this happen?  Well... that's what happens when you ride a tiger.  You go really fast, and eveyone get sout of your way, but it you fall off, it MAULS and EATS you.

Keith Olberman nailed it the other night in his special comment.

And then there was THIS PIECE from the NYT that really sums it all up.

Amazing that I saw the Reagan Revolution and I'll see the demise of that same party, by the very people that elected him.

And the worse things get NOW, the better the futrue looks.  IMHO.

Remedial Economics - For those who either don't believe or don't understand

Hoo-boy. Glenn Beck’s got a plan to “save” America. You can read a little about it HERE. It’s the typical Right Wing garbage and for all his praying and crying about it, it won’t in fact save the country. All it will do is DESTROY the economy, while being deficit neutral at best. Perhaps the biggest irony in all of this is that it’s really just another cynical attempt by the Right to let the Rich grab (and keep) a whole lot more money. The IRONY is that, were this implemented, it would be as DISASTROUS for the Rich as it would for the poor. It would, in fact, BRING ABOUT the very economic calamity that Beck is trying to avoid. Although… given that Beck has repeatedly revealed himself as an anarchistic, nihilist LOON, maybe he’s TRYING to being this calamity about! I mean, if the world DOES end, suddenly that guy on the corner wearing the sign doesn’t seem so crazy! But I digress. The reason that all these conservatives keep saying “CUT Taxes, CUT Spending” as a recipe for both fiscal and economic success is that they (1) don’t understand Keynesian Economics and (2) they’re blinded by their ideals (and their greed) and can’t stand the idea that someone (other than them) gets any money that these guys don’t think the recipient “earned.”

Now… last year I promised a primer on Keynesian economics that I never quite got around to. Well... with Glenn Beck in full-on crazy mode, maybe a little education for everyone is in order. And I think I’ve got an example that will make this clear. It’s oversimplified, so it’s NOT intended to convince those who don’t believe it. but rather to explain it to those who don’t understand. So if you think stuff is really complex: THIS BLOG POST IS FOR YOU! I’ll show you how it’s not as hard as you think.
We’ll start off by putting out a couple of “givens.” These are FACTS, not talking points, and there’s no legitimate economist anywhere who will disagree with them. There are FOUR THINGS a government can do, relative to its ECONOMY and its DEFICT:
  1. Raise Taxes
  2. Cut Spending
  3. Cut Taxes
  4. Raise Spending
And while economist may quibble of the DEGREE, directionally raising taxes and cutting spending do the same thing and cutting taxes and raising spending do the same things:
  • If you (1) Raise Taxes or (2) Cut Spending, you will harm (shrink) the economy and you will help (shrink) the deficit.
  • If you (3) Cut Taxes or (4) Raise Spending, you will help (grow) the economy and you will harm (grow) the deficit.
None of these are up for debate! If you don’t believe either of the two preceding statements, you are either too conservative or too liberal for your own good. These are FACTS. Take an economics course if you don’t believe me. And besides, taken together, they are neither liberal nor conservative. They are BALANCED. Where the libs and cons disagree is over which one does MORE, which one helps or harms MORE – taxes or spending. I’m not going to settle THAT debate here, (hint: it's SPENDING) but I will explain what the Keynes model states, and show you how it works.

The important part of the Keynesian model is what happens when you do both in unison. Now, obviously if you did (1) and (2) you could erase the deficit, but you’d destroy the economy doing so. I’m sure lib’s and con’s alike would agree with that. Likewise, if you did (3) and (4) together, you’d have a BOOMING economy… but before long you’d have some pretty crippling debt. I’m sure we can all see why that won’t work either, but I’ll include in my example anyway. Where Keynes get’s controversial (though he’s absolutely right, and I’m going to show you why) is the following:
  • If you (1) RAISE taxes by, for example, $1 Billion and you (4) RAISE spending by $1 Billion, you will, in fact, RAISE the collective income of everyone in the economy by $1 Billion, while not changing (or creating) a deficit AT ALL.
  • If you (3) CUT taxes by $1 Billion and (2) CUT spending by $1 Billion, you will LOWER the collective income of everyone in the economy by $1 Billion, while not changing (or creating) a deficit AT ALL.
This is known as the “balanced budget multiplier” and it EQUALS 1. This means that if taxes and spending move in the SAME DIRECTION by some amount, INCOME will also move in the same direction by “one times” that amount. Also – as this is the very definition of a ‘balanced budget’ it should be obvious that the deficit is not affected.  (It's the actual defintion of deficit-neutral.)
How does this work? I’ll demonstrate:

Let’s say we have a country with just two people living in it: Connie and Libby. Connie is a retailer and real estate developer. She owns all the stores and all the land. Libby is broke and unemployed. She doesn’t have a pot to squat in or a window to dump it out of.

Now, in Fiscal Year One (FY1) Connie makes an income of $100 and Libby made $0. Our starting deficit is $0 and the collective income earned was $100. (100 + 0)

Seeing as how Libby is on the verge of starving to death, naked, sleeping under the stars, the government of this fine country is going to implement a relief program if Fiscal Year Two (FY2.) We are going to RAISE TAXES on anyone making over $50 (Connie) by $10 and give Libby a check for $10 to live on. Now… you may be tempted to say, “Connie now has $90, Libby now has $10, and all you did was rob from the rich and give to the poor and society is no better off.” But you’re wrong. Libby was living in poverty. Now that she has some money to spend, she’s going to buy some food clothing and shelter. IOW – she’s going to SPEND he $10. And since Connie owns the only store and the only apartment complex, she’s going to spend that $10 at Connie’s businesses. So Connie’s income will actually be: $110 (pre-tax), $100 (after-tax.) Despite the tax, her after-tax income didn’t change. Meanwhile Libby enjoyed an income of $10. So our society income is now $110: Connie income ($110 minus $10 in taxes) plus Libby’s income ($10). I managed to raise one person out of poverty without incurring any deficit or debt and without really lowering anyone else’s income! Pretty cool, huh?

Now… if I did that WITHOUT raising taxes? Sure, things would have even better: Connie would have had $110 and Libby $10 and or society would now have an income of $120… but would also now have $10 worth of debt as well. I’ll now demonstrate why that doesn’t work, in the long run.

Let’s say that in FY3, word of our great society begins to spread and another unemployed dead beat, Demi, moves in. Now… I COULD raise Connie’s taxes by $10 again, pay Libby and Demi $10 each and we’d be (collectively) up to $120 in the same manner:
  • Connie would make $120 and pay $20 in taxes, for $100.
  • Libby would have $10 in income (that she’d spend with Connie)
  • Demi would have $10 in income (that she’d also spend with Connie)
But Connie’s a Republican and feels she’s being taxed enough. And since Libby and Demi didn’t make it to the polls, let’s assume we can’t raise taxes. So in FY3:

Demi and Libby will get their $10 checks, and spend them with Connie. Connie will thus get $120 in income, and pay only $10 in taxes. So $10 + $10 + $110 = $130 in collective income, and $10 in debt. ($10 in taxes, $20 in spending = $10 of debt.)

So now we're in FY4. Connie still makes $120 and pays $10 in takes. Libby and Demi still get their $10 checks. (Collective income of $130) BUT I have to pay interest on that $10 I owe. Let’s assume the interest is 10%, and that the bonds aren’t held by Connie, Libby or Demi. So I take in $10 in taxes, but I have to pay $1 in INTEREST. That leaves me $9, to pay out $20 in benefits with. So my deficit (now $11) gets added to my debt ($10) and I now OWE $21.

FY5: Connie makes $120 and pays $10 in Taxes. Libby and Demi get their $10 checks. Out of the $10 in taxes I collect, I now need to pay $2.10 in interest (10% times the $21 I now owe.) That leaves me just $7.90 to pay $20 in benefits with! So my defict is now $12.10, which gets added to my debt of $21. I now owe $33.12.

I’m sure by now, you can see the trouble we’re in. Despite maintaining my country’s income at $130 (instead of the $120 there would be if I had just raised Connie’s taxes) our debt is quickly spiraling out of control. Without cutting spending, or raising taxes, in just a few years, all of my tax revenue will be going to pay the interest on my debt!  So either I have to raise taxes or cut spending, and both will harm my economy.
  
So let’s do the CONSERVTAIVE thing, and get rid of those benefits. We still owe $33.12, but in FY6 we won’t pay out any benefits. So Libby and Demi will go back to making $0, and since they won’t be spending anything, Connie’s income will also drop to $100. Now… she’ll still have to pay her $10 in taxes, so her income is now $90. And my country’s income went from $130 down to just $90. A FORTY dollar drop, due to a $20 reduction in gov’t spending. Even if we cushioned it with a $6.69 tax break for Connie (so I can still pay the $3.31 in interest I owe) her income only goes up to $96.69. So my contry loses $33.31 in income, when I cut taxes by $6.69 and cut spending by $20.

So let’s go back to FY4 and pretend we raised Connie’s taxes to $20, and maintained our balanced budget. Connie will have [$120-$20] $100 in income, and Libby and Demi each get $10. So my country has an income of $120, and NO DEBT. And we get a new president who want to CUT taxes and CUT spending by $10 Each. So, in FY5 Libby and Demi only get $5 each, and Connie goes back to paying $10 in taxes. Because of thier reduced incomes, Libby and Demi can only spend $5 each. So Connie pre-tax income dropped to $110. She pay $10 in taxes, so she’s back $100. Combine that with Libby’s $5 and Demi’s $5 and my country’s income is now $110.

Did you see that?

It went DOWN by $10 after I cut taxes by $10 and cut spending by $10!

And, if you recall from way back in FY2 (and what I first proposed for FY3,) it went UP by $10 when I RASIED taxes and RAISED spending by $10!

And that’s how (and why) the Keynesian model works! It recognizes that an economy is more than just production. Production is necessary, of course, but without CONSUMPTION all the production in the world won’t make you a penny. You need to MAKE STUFF and you need to SELL IT. If people can’t buy it, it doesn’t matter how much you produce. It also recognizes that people don’t KEEP all, or even most, of their income. They SPEND it, and it then becomes someone else’s income! (And so on, and so on…)
Now… there are two legitimate criticisms of the Keynesian model - one from Professor Arthur Pigou and one from Nobel Laureate Milton Freedman, both of whom are conservatives, economically and fiscally speaking. As I said, they’re legitimate… but IMHO they’re also misguided and thus not applicable outside of academic discussions. If anyone is interested, I can explain them, and explain with they’re wrong. Otherwise, I’d like to hear what y’all think of this, and answer any questions (or criticisms) you have first.

In any case, given the TRUTH and FACT of the Keynesian model, it should be pretty clear that Beck's "plan" would destroy the economy and not really help the deficit.  Nice plan, huh?  I'm serious when I say that he's not really even TRYING to save anything.  He a nihlist.  And his every word demonstrates this.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Some Grey Bloke's latest

I've mentioned "Some Grey Bloke's" YouTube channel before - it's in my 'Hall of Fame' - but his latest video is really worth seeing  The satirical irony is brilliant.  This guy's a genius.  LOL funny, every time.

So check it out... and leave HIM a comment!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Just when I think I'm out... they DRAG ME BACK IN!!!

This is NOT another post on the health care bill.  I've said my piece, and  my opinion hasn't changed.

I want to USE a provison of the health care bill, and another moronic email I got from a certain conservative I know to do a little good old fashioned ranting, and demonstrate once more that while the truth depends on your point of view, some of us have a far more defensible point of view!

Background: I have two autistic sons.  If you weren't aware of how insurance companies largely treat autsim, here's a clue, from another Michigan parent of 2 autie's, that I've linked to before, that I think that sums it up pretty nicely. That was pretty much MY experience, almost word for word, anyway.

Now... in this new health care bill there is some stuff concerning this very issue.  You can read the details here but basically: plans offered by state-based exchanges will have to cover speech/behavioral therapy for autism, and plans offered in the individual and small group markets outside the exchange will also have to cover autism. 

I will say this right up front: This bill does NOT help ME.  My family is insured by a LARGE group plan, through my employer and, like most people in Michigan and about 34 other states, will continue to see their childeren discrinimated against, and refused coverage for necessary, scientifically proven and medically necessary speech and behavioral therapy.  (And for the record, I am NOT an anti-vaxxer, and I do NOT practice ANY FORM of 'alternative medicine.'  IMHO, if 'alternative medicine' was worth a damn, it would be called "MEDICINE."  And I have little patience for arguing with those who believe otherwise so, please, DON'T BOTHER.)  In any case, my children will continue to face this discrimination.  And yeah: I'm disappointed.  (Like everyone else, for one reason or another.)

However... my opinion of the provisions IN the bill, largely reflect my opinion OF the bill: They don't go far enough but, compared to the status quo, we (the autistic communtiy) are better off now than we were a week ago.

And Autism Votes felt that, despite being disappointed that the bill didn't end autism discrimination one and for all, they should recognize the hard work that was done on our behalf by three member of congress in particular:

Representative Mike Doyle, DEMOCRAT, PA
Senator Robert Menendez DEMOCRAT, NJ and
Senator Chris Dodd, DEMOCRAT,  CT

And what to my wondering eyes did appear in my inbox, from the most conservative, Republican man I know?

"Looks like our Democratic congress dropped the ball on Autsim again!"

W. T. F.?!  WHO DROPPED THE BALL?!

Even if, as ClassicLiberal pointed out, the biggest insurance company recipient in terms of dollars is Max Baucus, the fact is the Republicans didn't offer a damn thing! NOT. A. SINGLE. BLOODY. THING!

They locked themsleves out of the debate completely and sat on their hands with their thumbs up their asses doing nothing but saying no to everything and lying about the whole thing from day one!

Riiiight.  The failure was on the part of the Democrats.  Well... it was, I guess: They kept trying to please the REPUBLICANS and get any one of those bastards to vote for these needed reforms!

That being the case, I'll be dancing naked in the 9th circle of hell before I'll accept a conservative blaming any of this bill's shortcoming on the Democrats.

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In the interest of full disclosure, I will have to point out that the majority of States that mandate insurance coverage, about 2/3 of them, are traditionally RED STATES.  (Not surprisingly, CT, PA and NJ are among the few Blue States that do.)  So I'm plenty pissed at some of these STATE legislatures, like Michigan's, who are run at least in part by Democrats and/or have a Democratic Governor, and haven't passed this no-brainer yet. 

But I still know who our friends in CONGRESS are!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One more post on health care, then I'm done.

Unlike most Conservatives these days, there is no one on earth that I let do my thinking for me. Granted there are some people that I AGREE WITH about 99% of the time: Professor Bob Carroll, Keith Olbermann, Rachael Maddow, Lewis Black, Eric Alterman, Jameson Foser, Eric Bohlert and Karl Frisch all come to mind. But even in those cases, if I listen or read long enough, I’m bound to come across something that causes me to raise an eyebrow or shake my head. Since I have no desire to be a cult leader myself, I certainly hope that while my “followers” enjoy reading most of what I have to say, they don’t end up agreeing with everything I post. Aside from that just being really creepy, it’s no fun for me if I never get to debate anything with anyone, and I don’t get any wisdom out it myself. We can only be made better by engaging in civilized discourse with the educated few who can really challenge our point of view.  In short: I really appreciate and cheerish the disagreements that inevitably come along.

That being said, I’d like to put up what I plan to be the last post in my ongoing back-and-forth with ClassicLiberal (and Left Hook) regarding the health care bill. [Classy, if you want the last word, I’ll gladly let you have it. ;) ] And I’m going to borrow from one of those people above to do so – namely, Rachael Maddow. She gave what I felt was a phenomenal run-down on her show Tuesday night that I think hammers home that which drives my judgment on this issue and on the bill that was just signed into law. The following is from the transcript of her 3/22 show:

The minute President Obama signs health reform into law tomorrow:

• Small businesses will begin to get relief from what has been an unpredictable and yet ever-increasing financial burden of providing coverage to their employees. Small businesses can start applying for tax credits to buy health insurance for their employees.

• Are you a senior citizen? Well, the minute President Obama signs that bill tomorrow, you will start getting help paying for your prescription drugs. That dreaded donut hole that forces way too many seniors to pay way too high out-of-pocket costs for their prescriptions — that dreaded donut hole will finally begin to close. For seniors who already hit the donut hole in their drug coverage in 2010, $250 rebate checks will be on the way to you.

As of June 21st, 90 days after the bill is signed, those high-risk pools will be up and running.

• Americans who have been deemed uninsurable because of preexisting conditions, they will finally start getting a path toward health coverage. High-risk pools will be set up for them to purchase the insurance they could never get before.

The next date to mark down on your calendar -- 90 days after that— is September 23rd.

• As of September 23rd, it will no longer be legal in this country for insurance companies to deny kids coverage because of a preexisting condition.

• As of September 23rd, insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping you when you get sick. No more rescissions.

• As of September 23rd, insurance companies can no longer impose life-time limits on your benefits.

• And if you have children, they can stay on your insurance until the age of 26.

All of that will happen in just six months. But wait, there‘s more. As of the next calendar year, as of this forthcoming January 1st:

• Insurance companies will be required to spend 80 percent to 85 percent of what they take in from you on premiums on actual medical care. If they don‘t, they will owe you the difference in the form of a rebate.

• That same day, Medicare patients will start receiving free preventive care services, no co-payments, free preventive care.

Then, after all that, in 2014,

• It will no longer be legal for insurance companies in this country to deny anyone coverage based on preexisting conditions. Those who don‘t have coverage can buy some in the health insurance exchanges that will be fully operational.

• With lifetime limits on benefits already a thing of the past, in 2014, insurance companies will not be able to impose annual limits on your benefits, either.


And that’s far from everything – it IS a 2700 page bill after all – but given the points above, there is no doubt in my mind that this IS real, meaningful reform. To say that doing away with the most egregious abuses of the system is not reform is to clearly put ideology ahead of pragmatism, to let the perfect get in the way of the good. As liberals, I’m sure we’d all like a different system. Most of us would like single payer. I still believe it will happen eventually, but it was never on the table this time around, and is just not feasible or practical in the near future for many reasons, some of which, granted, have to do with the money and corruption that drives our current political system. That’s sad, but that's the world we live in and THIS BILL, in any of its forms, was never going to change that. All the same, the REFORMS listed above are HUGE. They will save lives. They will make this system work BETTER, and if they are in fact just a starting point, can go a long way towards making the system WORK.

Saying that it won’t, just because you want a different system, to me sounds no different than the conservatives’ refusal to acknowledge the good that’s happened, and the economic progress that been made under Obama, simply because they want to do things their way, and can’t bring themselves to acknowledge that our way works too. (Works BETTER, in fact!) To say this bill is bad because it makes a system you don’t like WORK BETTER, is routing against the system every bit as much as the Right has been rooting against America since 20 January, 2009. In my opinion the liberal opposition to this bill amounts to no more than: If you make the for profit system work, we’ll never get a ‘single payer’ system. But from my own POV: If the for-profit system can be made to work, WHO CARES? The biggest problems with the for profit system – namely that those profits came from DENYING care, rather than providing it – have been swept away. (OK, fine, will be swept away by 2014.) In the mean time, there will inevitably be other issues that come up. We’ll simply deal with them.

I am not so liberal as to believe that a company making a profit, and even more of a profit, and even coming from government spending, is in and of itself a bad thing. Not when that profit is derived from providing an essential service and doing so in a way that delivers what everyone needs. I’ve heard it called “corporate welfare.” But it’s NOT; at least no more than almost ALL Government spending is. Anytime the government contracts out a service, they are doing what they’re doing here: Paying a private, for-profit corporation to provide a service for the American Public. Sometimes this is done well, sometimes this is done poorly (Blackwater, Haliburton, etc…) And we, as liberals, all know that if left to their own devices, these for-profit companies will do whatever they can to maximize their revenue and minimize there costs. To this end, insurance companies started shirking their duties in a BIG WAY by refusing to give medical coverage to those who need medical coverage! (Which was their raison d'ĂȘtre.) So that’s absurd! In fact, it’s indefensible. It’s EXACTLY what was wrong with our system. And, as liberals, we know that it is up to the government to create industry regulations to force these companies to behave, and compete, in a responsible fashion and in a functional environment for their customers and for society. We’ve seen how well this worked (relative to what existed before) in the Airlines, the automotive industry, regulated power and water utilities and many other industries. And the extent that companies pollute, exploit, and otherwise “externalize costs” is directly proportional to the ability of Libertarians (Conservatives) to prevent the Government from serving in this regulatory role. The regulations passed in this bill have been a long time in coming, and address the worst aspects of that previously irresponsible behavior in the pursuit of profit.

It saves lives, provides increased and protected coverage, and makes things better. It is not ‘bad’ just because it makes the less preferred system work, and you cannot claim it is not ‘real reform’ simply because the only reform you accept as real would be a complete scrapping of the system in order to bring about one that better fits your ideology. I DO believe that liberal ideology is better than conservative ideology, but I DO NOT believe in its inherent goodness or perfection. I will not judge this bill, or the system that results from it, only against liberal ideology. I will judge against what we had, what we have now, and what we still have to do. This bill goes a long way towards getting from where we are to where we need to be. That someone in the private sector will make some money off it, or because it will keep a private system in place instead of going towards a public system, in and of themselves do not make it “bad.”

I am simply not THAT liberal (or that kind of Liberal.) This can work. And if it doesn’t? Well… polls show that the American Public will support MORE reforms. So we’ll just keep going until it does, or until we have single payer. In any case, I am glad this has passed. I am glad President Obama signed it. And I hope Harry Reid grows a set, forces the reconciliation vote as soon as possible, and ass-whips any Democrat who proposes any amendments, or slows down the passage of this package in any way. The books must be closed on this.

There is so much more work to be done.

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Baby Killer" is what now passes for civil discourse.

I was going to finally get around to doing that elementray course on Keyensian economics when I ran accross THIS BULLSHIT.  So Keyenes will have to wait.  First I HAVE to deal with these funny-mentalist, anti-aboprtion, pro-"life" (pro-DEATH really, and I'll explain why) anti-abortion fucks.  I am sick and tired of the lying, right-wing, hypocritcial, uber-christian BASTADRDS.  And they have now elevated themselves, officially, to the status of "MURDERERS."  Here why...

No one, and I do me NO ONE - not Glenn Beck (because he's an idiot) and not ClassicLiberal (to give the opposite example - liberal and well-infomred) can deny that this health care bill will SAVE LIVES.  And I've said many times now that Classic is absolutely right on his FACTS, (unlike the Glenn  Beck crowd.)  And I hope that everyone read what he had to say, because it IS important. But for every flaw he's found, I'm sure even he would have to admit that, relative to the STATUS QUO, this bill will SAVE LIVES.  And it does so by elimintating the PREEXSISTING CONDITIONS.  I know, I know... not soon enough, 'kids only' for the next four years, $100 a day fine, yeah, yeah... Like I said, 'If you want the flaws, READ HIS BLOG.'  Good points all. And I don't claim it's perfect. But I'm not comparing it to what MIGHT HAVE BEEN.  Compared to WHAT WE HAVE NOW, this bill will SAVE LIVES.  How many?  Well, Harvard says 40,000 die every year from lack of coverage, but this bill doesn't cover everyone, so I don't like that number.   But potentially, it's every Cancer, Aids, Diabetes, Lupus, Transplant, etc... patient that ever changes jobs, loses their job, has their policy cancelled or wants to find a new policy.  Because, in each case, if you are denied medicine, you start DYING.  And if you're denied insurance you're denied medicine. (These thigns are EXPENSIVE.  I know Ruch Limbugh thinks that every pulls down AM Radio Talk Show Host money, but that just ain't the case!)  And if that medicine comes too late, you either DIE SOONER, or you live with whatever complications arose while you waited for that medicine.  So, bottom line... if you claim to value LIFE, you MUST. MUST. MUST. Support this bill on those grounds.  Whatever flaws it may have, long term, it gets rid of preexisting condition.  And THAT will SAVE LIVES.

So I find it ironic that some of the loudest opponents of this bill are actually people who call themselves "PRO-LIFE." Now... Let's take a look at their logic: Right now there are X number of Cancer, Aids, Diabetes, Lupus, Transplant, etc... patients - actual, grown, living Amercian Citizens - who are DYING, RIGHT NOW for lack of medical care and medicine simply because they are being denied coverage by their insurance companies (or being cancelled outright) for no other reason than... THEY'RE SICK.    BUT... according to these psychopathic Right-Wingers, we CAN'T extend coverage to them, or guarentee the coverage they're PAYING FOR, because doing so MIGHT mean that SOMEONE ELSE might ONE DAY have an abortion.  That's right: The PRO-LIFE position is to let thousands of ACTUAL, LIVING PEOPLE DIE because they're might be a slight uptick in the number of abortions that happen.  (Note: Passage or non-passage of this bill will have NO impact, whatsoever, on the millions of abortions that happen every year anyway.)

Well... seeing as how abortion is LEGAL, I think there a word or two that would describe someone who would sacrifice thousands of people over an essentially unrelated political point.  Personally, I think  MURDERER says it best.

So we have DEATH PANELS, folks.  But they're not in this bill.  They're in the boardrooms of the insurance companies and the in the form of every politician who opposes this bill on any grounds not covered over on Left Hook.  And since I support the death penalty - rare, for a liberal, but I DO - I can say right now, that I honestly believe that any politican who opposes this bill on ANTI-ABORTION grounds deserves to HUNG BY HIS NECK UNTIL HE BE DEAD, unless he is arguing for a better system. (Kuchinich, under this clause, gets a pass.)

And don't be overly concered for them: Most of these same 'pro-lifers' fully support the Death Penalty.  So fine: Let's give it to them.  The blood of every person who would die from lack of coverage, due to prexsisting condition is on their hands, should they chose to deny them on "pro-life" grounds.  Saying "No" to a cancer patient because helping them MIGHT lead to someone else possibly having an abortion at some point in the future is MADNESS. Or, more clearly: It's MURDER. 

There are reasons to oppose this bill.  I don't oppose it, personally, but I DO acknowledge the legitimate concerns that are out there.  ABORTION is not one of them.  GROW UP, you stupid fucks: It's a LEGAL PROCEDURE.  That you've been unable to change the law is not a legitimate reason to KILL EVERYONE WHO THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY DEEMS TOO EXPENSIVE TO SAVE.  The PRO-LIFE lobby has now MADE THEMSELVES into the de facto DEATH PANEL. 

They must be so proud.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And besdies... we all know that the Republcians don't REALLY want to outlaw abortion.  If they did? What reason would all that white trash then have to keep voting for them? (Well Gay Marriage, maybe, but I digress.)  Without the abortion wedge, people might start voting in their economic interests again, and that's the LAST THING the Republicans want!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another "terrific" email...

Another gem my Dad sent me, under the subject "new golf bolls."


The REALLY funny thing is that I AGREE WITH IT 100%!  I've been saying for YEARS that the biggest problem with our political system is that the Republicans have no brains and the Democrats have no balls!  So... file this under "unintentinally hilarious" at least, from his POV.

Actully... I think a more complete satirical picture of our political spectrum might look like this:


Remember what each one needed: Brains, a Heart and Balls. Plus the Tin Man was REALLY, REALLY GAY. REALLY GAY.  And nobody who actualy KNOWS they're gay is EVER THAT Gay!  So he's basically GOT to be a Republican. LOL



Couldn't resist.
























So what to do? Maybe next time...?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Terrific" Article on Obama from "the WSJ"

I want to take a break from the more controversial stuff for a little while, and go back to preaching the choir for a bit.  I need a break. LOL

So I'd like to share with you some of the e-mail that I occasionally receive from my conservative friends, family and co-workers.  Mind you, these are all people I love and/or respect, but I just cannot reconcile my generally positive view of them with some of the absolute trash they forward on from their inbox.  It's like these otherwise sane, mostly educated, usually intelligent people, just turn their brains off and let their eyes glave over when they get a few words of conservatism thrown their way.  It's insane. 

Anyway, I recently got the following email from my Dad. 

The subject field read: FW: A MUST READ!!! Wall Street Journal Article on Obama

It was described as a

"Terrific Article on Obama ! ! !" and an "Article from the Wall Street Journal Form by Eddie Sessions:"

Now... first off, I'll bet the house that my father honestly believes that "Eddie Sessions" is a WSJ contributor, and they Journal actually PRINTED this piece of crap.  I'm sure he has no idea that anyone can write whatever they want to on the WSJ FORUM, including himself and me.  As "terrific" as this write-up is, and as much as Uncle Ruppert has corrupted the once proud Journal, I think it's telling that even HE [Murdoch] knows this is crap, and that it's lack of veracity, utility and over-all quality is self evident for all to see. (So while he's perfectly willing to LIE, he recognizes THIS LIE as being so absurd that it's not even USEFUL.)  Here's the "terrific article on Obama" from the "WSJ" (forum.)

"I have this theory about Barack Obama. I think he's led a kind of make-believe life in which money was provided and doors were opened because at some point early on somebody or some group took a look at this tall, good looking, half-white, half-black, young man with an exotic African/Muslim name and concluded he could be guided toward a life in politics where his facile speaking skills could even put him in the White House."
Opening paragraph: One sentence.  Not a good sign, right at the onset.  It's a nice "theory" though... let's see if this simpleton can produce any EVIDENCE to support it...
In a very real way, he has been a young man in a very big hurry. Who else do you know has written two memoirs before the age of 45? "Dreams of My Father" was published in 1995 when he was only 34 years old. The "Audacity of Hope" followed in 2006. If, indeed, he did write them himself. There are some who think that his mentor and friend, Bill Ayers, a man who calls himself a "communist with a small 'c'" was the real author.
Who else do I know who's written their memoir by age 45?  I don't know.  But who else has been elected President by age 47?  Must have a pretyt interesting life.  I'm not sure why it's significant in any negative way that his previous book was published by age 34.  Seems rather a positive accomplishment, until... ***BULLSHIT ALERT***  it was written by his "communist" "friend" Bill Ayers.  You know... that close friend he barely knows.  Does Ayers get royalties from the book he wrote?  Seems he should if that were the case.  I guess it all part of the conspiracy to get a Muslim, Communist, puppet of Bill Ayers in the White House.  (Cuckoo - Cuckoo - Cuckoo.  Either it's 3:00 or this guy's crazy!)
His political skills consisted of rarely voting on anything that might be deemed controversial.. He went from a legislator in the Illinois legislature to the Senator from that state because he had the good fortune of having Mayor Daley's formidable political machine at his disposal.
OK, so... you can't find any votes you actually disagree with, so you go with the old "rarely voted on anything controversial" shar.  The next sentence pretty much means he was a Democrat from Chicago.  I'm not sure why that machinery benefited him as opposed to any other Democrat.  But, I guess those Daly's have a really good record when it comes to racial issues.  NOT!
He was in the U.S.. Senate so briefly that his bid for the presidency was either an act of astonishing self-confidence or part of some greater game plan that had been determined before he first stepped foot in the Capital. How, many must wonder, was he selected to be a 2004 keynote speaker at the Democrat convention that nominated John Kerry when virtually no one had ever even heard of him before?
So we're back to the false dilemma of either arrogance or a conspiracy that's to explain for the fact the HE WON THE ELECTION.  (Perish the though that he was the best man for the job.)  As for the second part, it might just be possible that the Howard Dean gets his knowledge and information from more that just Right Wing sources.  Just sayin'.  Also, it's becoming obvious this was written by a conservative, because all he's doing to support his "theory" is essentially giving more "theories" - Asking [scary sounding] questions, and making [ealisy debunked] implications rather than pointing to any actual FACTS to support his "theory." 

He outmaneuvered Hillary Clinton in primaries. He took Iowa by storm. A charming young man, an anomaly in the state with a very small black population, he oozed "cool" in a place where agriculture was the antithesis of cool. He dazzled the locals. And he had an army of volunteers drawn to a charisma that hid any real substance.
WTF does this even mean?  Being "cool" is somehow bad becasue famers aren't cool?  Maybe that's not it, but I just don't get it.  Remember: OBAMA was the one who knew thee guys grew Arugula, while it was the RW'ers who made fun of that and acted like ignorant morons.  But he certainly seemed to hit it of with them well enough.  Also, I don't think he meant that last bit: His "charisma" "hid" "any real substance."  I'm pretty sure he meant "hid any LACK of real substance." But that's also a matter of opinion.  So far, I'd say it's the "terrific article" that lacks any real substance.

And then he had the great good fortune of having the Republicans select one of the most inept candidates for the presidency since Bob Dole. And then John McCain did something crazy. He picked Sarah Palin, an unknown female governor from the very distant state of Alaska . It was a ticket that was reminiscent of 1984's Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro and they went down to defeat.
 The most inept candidate since BOB DOLE?!  OMG!  The ONLY republican candidate between Bob Dole and John McCain was GEORGE WALKER BUSH!!!  I'd say, clearly, that HE was the most inept candidate they've fielded is YEARS! DECADES! Shit, GENERATIONS! You'd have to go back to HERBERT HOOVER to find a worse President and ALF LANDON to find a worse candidate! You've got to stand gobsmacked at the lack of... what? SHAME? SELF-AWARENESS? Of someone who can construct conspiracy theories about OBAMA's road to the White House and suggest that Dole and McCain were inept, but BUSH was somehow both QUALIFIED and LEGITIMATE.  Remember... this was a "terrific article."


The mainstream political media fell in love with him. It was a schoolgirl crush with febrile commentators like Chris Mathews swooning then and now over the man.. The venom directed against McCain and, in particular, Palin, was extraordinary.

Wha...? First of all... Mathews in particular has a long history of kissing Republican ass, especially McCain and Giulliani, but others as well.  (MMFA named in "misinformer of the year" in 2005! Behold the liberal media!) And this "schoolgirl crush" nonsense is just the sour grapes of someone who's party lacks any charismatic eloquent speakers.  Just because YOU disagree with his policies doesn't mean he does a bad job PRESENTING them.  Also... just one paragraph ago you said McCain was CRAZY for picking Palin, who somehow transformed him into Walter Modale c.1984?  Dude? Seriously: The press did all it could to carry Palin.  They were genuinely interested in learning more about this "unknown." It's not the press' fault that she's dumb as a stone, and can't remember the name of a single newspaper.  (Or a supreme court decision, other than Roe v Wade, to give as an example of the 'Judicial Activism' she was campaigning against at the time!)  If this article had been about PALIN, the "theory" and "evidence" and conspiracy theories, while still weak, would be a lot closer to the truth.  Amazing how much these people project.


Now, nearly a full year into his first term, all of those gilded years leading up to the White House have left him unprepared to be President. Left to his own instincts, he has a talent for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. It swiftly became a joke that he could not deliver even the briefest of statements without the ever-present Tele-Prompters.

The "joke" is one that only circulates among right-wingers who would also call this "article" "terrific," can't think of anything to criticize him on substantively and are too lazy to even make something else up.  And it's a tired one.  EVERYONE use teleprompters, and Obama's repeatedly been shown to be better on his feet that McCain or Palin.  Again: PROJECTION.  Put YOUR OWN FLAWS onto someone else, so no one will notice them in YOU.  Also, I'll say it again: Just because YOU disagree with someone, that doesn't mean he said "the wrong thing."  50% of these "wrong thing's" have been outright misquotes and the rest have been things that actually MAKE A LOT OF SENSE, assuming your not blinded by right-wing group-think, or outright racism, and actually THINK about them.


Far worse, however, is his capacity to want to "wish away" some terrible realities, not the least of which is the Islamist intention to destroy America and enslave the West. Any student of history knows how swiftly Islam initially spread. It knocked on the doors of Europe , having gained a foothold in Spain ..


Refresh my memory... WHO was it that ignored the threat of Militant Islam during his first year in office?  George... something or other? (Weren't there two REALLY BIG buildings that used to be here?)  Remember folks: PROJECTION.  Whatever you biggest flaw is, make sure you say it about the OTHER GUY.  You'll look that much better by comparison.  Doesn't have to be true either. The press never bothers with mundane thigns like FACT-CHECKING anymore.  Whoever says it first WINS.  (And that will ALWAYS be the Right, since the Left don't actually possess these flaws.  So... nothing to project!)


The great crowds that greeted him at home or on his campaign "world tour" were no substitute for having even the slightest grasp of history and the reality of a world filled with really bad people with really bad intentions.

Again... I'm almost as stunned by the writer's 'grasp of history' as I am by the evidence, or lack thereof, that he presents to support this "theory."  Remember: "TERRIFIC ARTICLE." Not 'ignorant rant by some loser on an internet forum,' but a "terrific article" by the "Wall Street Journal" no less!


Oddly and perhaps even inevitably, his political experience, a cakewalk, has positioned him to destroy the Democrat Party's hold on power in Congress because in the end it was never about the Party. It was always about his communist ideology, learned at an early age from family, mentors, college professors, and extreme leftist friends and colleagues.

Again: EVIDENCE? What "communist ideology"?!  Can this moron point to ONE THING that Obama has done that has even a HINT of "communist ideology" in it? No. But why do you need evidence when you're preaching to the choir?  Remember: "Terrific Article."


Obama is a man who could deliver a snap judgment about a Boston police officer who arrested an "obstreperous" Harvard professor-friend, but would warn Americans against "jumping to conclusions" about a mass murderer at Fort Hood who shouted "Allahu Akbar." The absurdity of that was lost on no one. He has since compounded this by calling the Christmas bomber "an isolated extremist" only to have to admit a day or two later that he was part of an al Qaeda plot.

Gates was being questioned by police for breaking into his own house.  No matter what else happened, that's the bottom line.  Apparently, the writer here sees the same wisdom in that that he sees in LYNCH MOBS.  Now... so do I!  But where I see NONE, he sees 'the way things ought to be.'


He is a man who could strive to close down our detention facility at Guantanamo even though those released were known to have returned to the battlefield against America .. He could even instruct his Attorney General to afford the perpetrator of 9/11 a civil trial when no one else would ever even consider such an obscenity. And he is a man who could wait three days before having anything to say about the perpetrator of yet another terrorist attack on Americans and then have to elaborate on his remarks the following day because his first statement was so lame.

Gitmo has written Al-Quaeda's propaganda for them since the day it opened.  And the last time I checked, "fair trials" was one of the "American Values" we were fighting to DEFEND!  I thought the militant Muslims wanted to destroy our freedoma? WHY, therefore, would we want to HELP THEM succeed?!  Oh yeah... and Bush waited FIVE DAYS to make a statement following Richard Reid's failed shoe-bomb attack, so let's get over the fact that Obama waited three.  Again: Whether or not comments are "lame" is a matter of opinion.  Personally, given the propensity of the RW press to constantly mischaracterize his words, I can't see how there's anything wrong with a little "clarification."

The pattern repeats itself. He either blames any problem on the Bush administration or he naively seeks to wish away the truth.

WHO'S trying to "wish away the truth" here?  Are you beginning to see what I mean by a 'lack of self awareness?'  Remember: "Terrific Wall Street Journal Article."


Knock, knock.. Anyone home? Anyone there? Barack Obama exists only as the sock puppet of his handlers, of the people who have maneuvered and manufactured this pathetic individual's life.

It the author who's "pathetic" here.  He's yet to name WHO this 'sock puppet's' "handlers" ARE, or offer any EVIDENCE of their existance.  But a crazy conspiracy theory must be more comforting than admitting (1) that you're wrong. (2) That you're misinfoimred. (3) That you've been lied to for going on 20 years now by the RW media. (4) That your entire political philosophy and world view are informed by these lies, and you really are no more than a mindless automaton still clinging to the false words of it's master.  I can see why the author wouldn't want to consider that possibility.

When anyone else would quickly and easily produce a birth certificate, this man has spent over a million dollars to deny access to his. Most other documents, the paper trail we all leave in our wake, have been sequestered from review. He has lived a make-believe life whose true facts remain hidden.

Just curious, because I don't really watch them but does even Fox News still take the Birther's seriously?  I've got a newsflash for this intrepid reporter: He DID produce it.  He also put it on his website and had it authenticated by several official sources.  He did not spend so much as a single penny to "keep it hidden."  As for the "facts" about his "life?"  Well... as you pointed out in your second paragraph, he's written two books covering two generations of his family and then some.  WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT TO KNOW?!

The REAL question is: What "facts" will you be willing to accept?
We laugh at the ventriloquist's dummy, but what do you do when the dummy is President of the United States of America ?"

Well, speaking for myself, I counted the days until January 20th, 2009.  I also cursed the Supreme Court decision in Bsh v Gore as often as I could. (Now THAT was 'judicial actvism'!) What I DIDN'T do, and IMHO have never done, is to write a piece of crap like this and email to all my friends claiming it's a "terrific article" from the "Wall Street Journal."

If the Wll Street Journal even PRINTED this piece of crap, this blog deserves the PULLITZER Prize.

So if I ever seem overly sensitive or angry, just remember: THIS is what I have to put up with! LOL

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I urge everyone to go and read ClassicLiberal's reply to my earlier post (here) on the health care bill, over on Left Hook.  He really does a great job summing up the Left's critiques and his own frustration with the current bill.  And while I still disagree with his end judgement on the matter, as always he makes a strong, pationate, well-informed case.  And honestly, I really can't dispute most of his points. 

So check it out. 

And Left Hook's really worth your while to read, in general.  If I ever need to solicit the position of someone who is decidely to the Left of ME, he's the first place I'll go!

Happy St. Patricks Day evryone!

What did I have, said the fine old woman,
What did I have, this proud old woman did say.
I had four green fields, each one was a jewel!
But strangers came and tried to take them from me.
I had fine strong sons, who fought to save my jewels,
They fought and they died, and that was my grief said she.

Long time ago, said the fine old woman,
Long time ago, this proud old woman did say,
There was war and death, plundering and pillage.
My children starved, by mountain, valley and sea.
And their wailing cries, they shook the very heavens!
My four green fields ran red with their blood, said she.

What have I now, said the fine old woman,
What have I now, this proud old woman did say.
I have four green fields, one of them's in bondage,
In stranger's hands, that tried to take it from me.
But my sons had sons, as brave as were their fathers,
My four green fields will bloom once again said she.


Now, if you'll excuse, I'm going to go celebrate in the traditional Irish manner and get ploughed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Health Care Bill

Things have been busy at work the past couple weeks (the car makers must be making up for last year!) and I've hardly had any time to put my two-cents in over of MMFA lately. (Which is a good thing: in this economy, and in Michigan of all places, I'd rather have too little time on my hands than too much! LOL) So I was really rushed in this thread, so I wanted to come back and put my piece on the table regarding the pending health care legislation...

...and I don't suppose too many people, on either side of the issue, will like what I have to say about it. So let put a few "givens" out there, right up front.

1) I HATE insurance companies.  We all know the multitude of ways that they screw people over, and I'm no different. My story?  My two sons have autism.  The insurance company paid for the diagnosis, but the minute they "autism" label was stuck on them, they wouldn't pay for shit in terms of therapy. (I came across THIS once, and it really hit home.) You know... Cause they don't get any better.  (1) First of all: tell that to Temple Grandin.  (2) Second of all, neither do AIDS patients or Diabetics or Schizophrenics or Transplant Patients or a million other patients who are on medication or medical therapy for life.  But we all know that they'll throw any bullshit they can at you just to get out of paying.  It doesn't have to be logical, scientifically correct or even make sense.  They hold all the cards, so you're at their mercy.

So if anyone things I'm in the pocket of the insurance industry, I dare you to say it my face.  (And I'd then advise you to them DUCK.) I HATE. HATE. HATE. those scum-sucking bastards.  They turned their backs on my kids.  So fuck 'em.

2) The Right, the Conservatives, The Republicans, the Insurance Lobby and Fox have all told so many lies about this whole issue, that I really don't even care what they have to say anymore. (I never really did, but it's less than background noise now.)  They're so far out in Right Field it's not even funny anymore. It's pathetic and sad.  Death Panels? Lie of the year.  Deficits? Lie of the day, just depends on the issue you're discussing.  Government Takeover? I only WISH.  And I swear I'm going to punch the next person I hear crying about "socialism."  So this in not, in any way, intended to argue with the idiots on the Right.  90% of them have no fucking idea what they're talking about, and the other 10% are lying for their paychecks.  And even if every concession was given to them (and it basically has) they'd oppose it even if their own mother's life depended on it, just to see Obama and the Democrats "lose."  They're despicable bastards without heart, soul or brains.  So I'm done with them.

I want to take issue with the LIBERALS, who at this point are ready to jump ship on it.


Now... don't get me wrong.  IMHO, the only PRINCIPLED, EDUCATED opposition to this bill, and anything in it has come from the Left.  And I've laid out my own plan, which is about as close as you can get to single-payer, and yet not have the gov't run it, and still use market forces to keep costs DOWN, rather than UP as they do now.  So you know I'm no libertarian when it comes to this issue.  All that being said, in my humble opinion...

THIS IS IMPORTANT LEGISLATION.  THIS IS GOOD LEGISLATION. AND THIS COUNTRY NEEDS IT TO PASS. NOW.

I can't remember where I read it (and it may have been in this blog, so please forgive me if it was you and I forgot) but I recently read where someone call Health Care Reform the "New Deal" of our generation, and went on to call Gay Rights the "Civil Rights Movement" of our generation.  I absolutely agree, 100% with that analogy, and that is exactly what drives my thinking here:  The New Deal was not a single piece of legislation.  Neither was 'Civil Rights.'  Both represented sweeping changes in HOW WE THINK.  They represented paradigm shifts in out whole legal, economic, political and social philosophy.  They both occurred over MANY bills, MANY laws, and even MANY court cases, both in support of and in opposition to. And there was no point at which ANY single piece of legislation SOLVED THE PROBLEM. (We still have both economic instability and racial issues today, after all, and we probably will 100 years from now.)  So you could take ANY piece of legislation, in either of those two cases - the first, the last or any in between - and find some fault with it.  It doesn't go far enough.  It makes too many concessions.  It makes things worse.  But just as well, in each case, each step had to be taken, as it was, because at each stage they had to take what they could get and keep moving forward.

And that's where I part with the idealists on the Left: I'm a pragmatist.  Do I agree with Michael Moore, and Keith Olbermann and Dennis Kuccinich?  In principal? Yes.  But in practice, I do not accept the conclusion that this bill makes things worse.

Will the insurance companies profit from this? Yes, I'm sure they'll find a way to. They always do.
(I don't mind that they make a profit. What bothers me is that the currently profit more by denying care. That's the dysfunctional incentive.)

Will some people remain uncovered? Yep.  A good 20 Million as I understand it.
(That's still half what it is now, however.)

Do I like the individual mandate? Not without a public option I don't.
(But whether or not it's constitutional, is a matter for the courts to decide, not a reason to oppose it.)

BUT...  I also see this bill as a NECESSARY first step.  We'd all like single-payer.  Wasn't going to happen. Personally, I prefer MY PLAN.  Not going to happen. (Wasn't even on the table. LOL)  Public Option? Might have happened, if Harry Reid had any balls, Nancy Pelosi was worth a damn and President Obama wasn't the pragmatist that I figured him for when I voted for him, despite the Right's attempts to brand his as the most moon-bat liberal homo-sapient of all time.  And while I'd certainly have have liked it, maybe even participated in it, I can live without it, even with the individual mandate.

Why?

Pre-existing conditions.  If you want to force them to cover pre-exsisting conditions, (and we need to, with everyone switching jobs, getting laid off, etc...) and not let them totally jack up the premiums to cover them, and you DON'T want your costs to skyrocket, the only way to achieve that is to have EVERYONE pay-in.  You need healthy people who right now, whether by choice or by circumstance, aren't putting in to ante up and get covered.  And to all you wanna-be micro-economics majors out there, this is yet another instance where market forces work in strange ways.  You see... It doesn't cost more to COVER more people.  COVERING PEOPLE is a source of REVENUE.  The increased demand for coverage does not necessarily lead to higher costs.  What increases costs is more (and more expensive) CLAIMS being filed.  Does universal coverage lead to more, and more expensive, claims?  On average, per person, not really.

Remember - this gets a lot of currently HEALTHY people on board.  That will only LOWER the [insurance company's] cost, on a per person basis.  And all those uninsured SICK people?  As I laid out in my earlier health care posts, right now they wait until their on death's door and then show up in the ER.  And they then run up HUGE bills, that then don't get paid.  Well, first of all: Guess who pays them? WE DO, though higher premiums, as hospitals try to recoup unpaid bills by soaking insurance companies!  They don't just write it off, and even if they do officially, they still try to recoup it from US - the insured.  Second of all, if these same people were covered, they'd go to the doctor EARLY ON, when [whatever it is that they have] can be fixed CHEAPLY and EASILY, with FEWER COMPLICATIONS and better PATIENT OUTCOMES.  Which is exactly what we WANT THEM TO DO because it COST LESS THAT WAY!  It's ALWAYS costs more, not to mention has more negative outcomes, to treat a disease in the later stages.  It's ALWAYS better, and cheaper, to catch it and treat it EARLY. So the idea that we'll be paying for something that we're not already is misguided, no matter what model you're looking at.

Is this bill perfect? No.  No way.  Is it even good? Debatable, certainly.  But is it NECESSARY?

Yes.  I firmly believe it is.

And to some extent the details don't matter. (And I realize there are some doozies.)  This will not solve all of our problems, but neither would a public option and neither would even single payer.  But about the only idea I've heard that would make it WORSE was John McCain's '08 campaign idea to let people buy across state lines.  THAT, and some of the more "free market" solutions I've heard, would make it WORSE. Much worse. And I just don't believe this bill does.  Not in  any BIG PICTURE kind of way.  It has it's warts, but at this point, and really at any point, we need to take what we can get, celebrate the victory, and move on to the NEXT STEP.  Because whoever succeeds Obama, and whenever that happens, will STILL be dealing with health care.  No matter WHAT happens, or even might have happened with this bill.

I actually, honestly believe that we'll get to single payer eventually (though still I prefer my own model.)  But we're not going to get there in one bill. (Shit, we might not get there in my lifetime!) This will be, and has to be a gradual process.  And the necessary FIRST STEP, really the first two steps, has/have to be:

1) Everyone needs to put it / Nobody is allowed to opt out.  (And help the ones who truly can't afford it.)


2) The insurance companies can't be allowed to refuse anyone, and can't be allowed to gouge anyone.

Now... we're not there yet. But this bill brings us closer.  And we can't get on with the REAL reforms until we've achieved those first two steps.  And come November?  It's likely the Republicans will make some gains, and the already uphill climb will only get steeper.  We need to take what we can.  We need to start moving in the right direction.  We need to get the ball rolling.  And we need to do this as soon as we can.

We NEED this legislation, warts and all.  I don't LIKE it... but I do believe it's necessary.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How evil is Glenn Beck?

Maybe I need Meds, but I'm seriously starting to believe that Glenn Beck is the Anti-Christ.  And that's coming from a staunch agnostic!  Here's why...

You may recall a few posts back, I posted my latest attack on organized religion essentially asking why we should believe lies when they lead to the deaths of children.  OK... to put it more reasonably, I attributed evil to the church, and denied them credit for the [little] good they did.

Now... What amazes me is that is you listen to this clip from Glenn Beck, I'm struck by the fact that this is trying to do away with the ONLY GOOD the church has EVER DONE!  Seriously.  I'll concede that Religion has done some good (still not convinced it couldn't have happened without all the bullshit that comes with religion, but whatever) but pretty much any good that religion does, including all of it's charitable works, would fall under "social justice."  Feed and clothe the homeless, help the poor, etc...

This guy, OTOH, think church should instead EMBRACE only the racism, exclusion, judgement, prejudice, inequality, etc... That even many religious people will admit is problematic!

So here's another "open question" to those who might defend religion: If you do as Beck suggests, and eliminate all that "social justice," is there ANY redeeming quality left?  Should we really allow an institution to exist that makes people superstitious AND evil?  Seriously?  I'd love to hear HIS answer on that!

BTW - I think it should be obvious but... I'm not calling for the elimination of the CHURCH.  Just for people to WAKE THE FUCK UP about Glenn Beck.  He's dangerous.  And he's the one who should really be on meds.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Some stuff that I want to spout off about... LOL

Reader Jonny Macartney gave me a great quote yeatserday, attributed to Thomas Jefferson.

"It's better to be ignorant than misinformed."

Well now, in Texas, it's possible to be both.  And these people call OBAMA a fascist?!  (Well, I guess when you re-write history, anything's possible!) It's unbelievable.  If you have to go THAT FAR to INDOCTRINATE CHILDREN into you ideology, at what point does it become easier to just admit YOU'RE WRONG?!  RELIGION doesn't even take indoctrination this far! 

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Speaking of which...Here's one for Steve: The Devil is in the Vatican, according to chief Exorcist.

Dude, it's MADNESS.  MADNESS, I say! And this ins't some wierd sect or cult, it's the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.  The single largest Christian denomonation IN THE WORLD.  Are people responsible for their own shortcomings? Nah.  It's the DEVIL.  And of course it's GOD that's responsible for all GOOD.  B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T.  PEOPLE should be held accountable for their fuck-ups and PEOPLE deserve CREDIT when they do good things!

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Paul Krugman should be the Fed Chairman.  Or head of the SEC.  Or treasury Secretary.  Or just run our WHOLE DAMNED ECONOMY.  But what does HE KNOW, right?  While Libertarians were busy bringing about the biggest economic meltdown since Herbert Hoover all THIS pinko liberal did was win the NOBEL PRIZE in economics.

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 Here's a sexty one from SLATE.  And I think it typifies their Conservtaive bias, or at least their tendency to fall into the trap of framing issues from a conseravtive POV.  Here's what I mean...

from SLATE:
A teenager in Wisconsin named Anthony Stancl set up a fake Facebook profile, pretending to be a girl. Seventeen or 18 at the time, Stancl used the profile to lure 30 of the boys he went to high school with to send him nude pictures or videos of themselves. Then Stancl threatened to post the material on the Internet unless they performed sex acts with him. Seven of them say they did—and that Stancl took pictures of them with his cell-phone camera.
OK, the CRIME here... has NOTHING whatsoever to do with SEXTING!  Since when are rape and blackmail not illegal?  The sexting is completely IMMATERIAL to the crime being committed!  They go on to give the following insane false-equivalency:

How can states draft laws that protect against Anthony Stancl without sweeping in more innocent behavior, like that of the students in Valparaiso?

Umm, sorry... WHY would we need NEW LAWS to protect people from BLACKMAIL and RAPE?!  Especially when the rape was coerced by the blackmail, and largely perpetrated on MINORS?!  Last time I checked that kind of behavior carried some of the strictest penalties allowed for non-lethal crimes!  What the hell are they TALKING ABOUT?!  In the words of my good friend, Jules Winfield: It's aint in the same ballpark.  It ain't in the same league.  It ain't even the same fucking SPORT!

Should sexting be a felony? NO, morons.

Should blackmailing minors into letting you rape them be illegal? Um... YES, but it already, most profoundly, IS, morons.

Is sending someone a naked picture of your 16 year old ex-girlfriend a crime?  Arguably, but it falls under "general harrassment." Is it a SEX CRIME? NO. FUCKING. WAY.  Is is CHILD PORNOGRAPHY? In the words of Gorobei Katayama: Are you kidding me? 

The difference between sexting and kiddie-porn is the same as the difference between 16 and 6.  I'm not saying that a victim doesn't have some right to redress, but, OTOH: You GAVE the other person the picture. It's THEIRS NOW.  They can do anything they want with it, unless they're making money, and then you're just entitled to your cut.

EDUCTAION, not CRIMINALIZATION is what's needed here.  There is a very easy way to not have your naked ass posted all over the internet: DON'T SEND SOMEONE YOUR NAKED PICTURE.  It's pretty easy actually.  I'm 37 years old and the olny picture of me naked, ANYWHERE was taken in 1976, when I was three and sitting in the tub.  Oh... and maybe another one from about a year later of me taking a leak behind a tree in our back yard.

The other real answer here is that we need to stop being so hung up on nudity and teenaged sexuality.  Someone see you naked? Guess what? Despite what you might have been told, it's NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.  Embarassing? Sure.  But you DID distribute naked pictures of yourself, so...

I'm sorry.  While I'm not a nudist/naturist myself, I've read a lot of their literature and I'm convinced that they've got it right when it comes to the human body.  Our hangups are largely societally conditioned.  I'm strongly convinced of that.

But EDUCATION.  Give people the infomration they need, and let them make their own choices.  Good or bad, there's no reason AT ALL to be talking about jail-time and sex offender lists!  Civil suits, for invasion of privacy or harrassment maybe.  And you'd have a pretty steep burden of proof even then.

Friday Fun: Let's play THE PROFILING GAME!

Do you know I heard a lot of in the wake of the Christmas Day, Fruit-of-Kaboom, Crotch-Bomber case?  "Just profile all the Arabs! That'll take care of it!"  So I thought'd we'd play a little game with that.  Let's see how good a "profiler" you are!

The rules of the game are simple:
A plane is scheduled to leave with 40 passengers checking in.  They are pictured in their randomized seat assignments, below.  The CIA knows that there are nine people who either have committed acts of terrorism or are or have been active members of terrorists organizations, such as Al-Quaeda or the Taliban (henceforce called merely "terrorists") that are trying to board.

To win the game, you have to successfully flag ALL NINE terrorists for *ahem* enhanced screening - at which point they'l be captured.  If you let EVEN ONE terrorist on the plane, YOU LOSE.


  • You'll get SIX POINTS for each terrorist you "profile," for a max score of 54 points.

  • You won't gain or lose any points if you profile an Arab Muslim, who is not a terrorist.  (So Con's? FEEL FREE TO USE YOUR PROFILE.)

    • By "Arab" we'll take anyone from Northern Africa, the Mid-East proper, Iran and any country that ends in "-stan."

  • You LOSE ONE POINT if you profile a non-Arab Muslim or a non-Muslim Arab.

  • You LOSE THREE POINTS if you profile a non-Arab, non-Muslim.

  • The way it works out, if you profile EVERYONE, you'll win, but with ZERO POINTS.

  • Try to get all nine keeping the best score you can.
 So Take a sheet of paper, and write down the seat number of everyone you want profiled.  (Make sure you can clearly see ALL FOUR passengers in each row. Click to enlarge, if you can't.)  Then scroll down to find the key, see if you WIN, and TALLY YOUR SCORE.

GOOD LUCK! Let me know how you did, and if you lost, who you missed!




















No peeking until you're done!!!!







Did you finish?











OK, here are your points, by seat:
:
Seat 1A - Lose 1 Point for profiling Yussf Islam, formerly known as the Singer/Sognwriter Cat Stevens.  He's muslim, but he's British and of Greek and Sweedish decent.

Seat 1B - Zero Points for profiling Khalid Abdalla, a Scottish born actor of Egyptian decent.  He's muslim, and although definitely not a terrorist he did play one in the movie United 93.

Seat 1C - Zero Points for profiling Doctor Abdullah Abdullah, the leading candidate to unseat Afgan President Hamid Kharzi in 2009, and long time opponent of Taliban rule.

Seat 1D - Zero Points for profiling the late, former Pakastani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Seat 2A - Lose 1 Point for profiling Samir Geagea, the leader of the Lebanese Forces, the primary Christian force in Lebanon and a Maronite Christain himself.

Seat 2B - Lose 3 points if you profiled Microsoft Chairman and founder Bill Gates.

Seat 2C - Gain 6 Points if you spotted well-known Terrorist Bill Ayers!  Hopefully you didn't let this guy on the plane!  Did he skip past you? If so: YOU LOSE. Final Score: ZERO.  (Note: For any conservtaives calling bullshit on this one: Either quit your rabid defense of profiling or else stop putting Ayers in the same class as Bin Laden, Okay?)

Seat 2D - Lose 3 points if you profiled Apple CEO and Founder Steve Jobs.

Seat 3A: Lose 3 points if you profiled Detroit Tiger Right Fielder Magglio Ordonez. The Venezuelan born slugger only terrorizes pitchers, and hasn’t even don’t that for a few years.

Seat 3B: Lose 3 Points if you profiled Cleveland Cavalier All-Star Center LeBron James.

Seat 3C: Gain 6 Points! That’s the fruit-of-Kaboom, Crotch-Bomber, Nigerian born Terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. But if you let him on: Game Over, You Lose.

Seat 3D: Lose 1 point (and face a lawsuit) if you profiled American Muslim Leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan.

Seat 4A: No points. There IS a female terrorist of the plane, but it’s not Asieh Amini, Iranian Journalist and advocate for Woman’s Right’s in Muslim countries.

Seat 4B: Lose 3 points if you profiled American Right Wing Radio commentator Laura Ingraham.  (Even if it was satisfying to do so!)

Seat 4C: Gain 6 Points if you nabbed Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols! OTOH, if you though that was actor Rick Moranis and let him on? GAME OVER: YOU LOSE.

Seat 4D: Lose 3 points if you profiled British-Born Salman Rushdie, author of the Satanic Verses, a book critical of Islam. He is so NOT a Muslim or a Terrorist that the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, calling for his death for publishing ‘Verses.

Seat 5A: Lose 3 points for profiling Indian entrepreneur, CEO and co-found of Mango Technologies, Sunil Maheswari.

Seat 5B: Zero Points for profiling Pierre Gemayel, the late Lebanese Politician who, during his time in office, opposed the Syrian influence in country.

Seat 5C: Lose 3 points, and some self-esteem, if you profiled Marie Osmond.
  
Seat 5D: Zero Points if you profiled King Hussein of Jordan, but you should feel pretty bad about doing so: He was one of our key allies in the first Gulf War.

Seat 6A: Gain 6 Points if you nabbed Adam Gadahn, the American who became one of Al-Quaeda’s chief spokesman. If you let him on: GAME OVER.

Seat 6B: No points for Omar Berdouni, the Moroccan-born, British actor. (Also not a terrorist, but played one in United 93.)

Seat 6C: No points for profiling the late Kind Faud of Saudi Arabia, another one of our key allies in the first Gulf War. The king is not happy about it however, if you did.

Seat 6D: Gain 6 Points if you nabbed Olympic Bomber Eric Rudolph. But Game Over / You lose, if you let this one-time member of the FBI’s most wanted list on board.

Seat 7A: Lose 3 points for profiling Indian Tamil film actor Jayam Ravi.

Seat 7B: Lose 3 points for profiling Indian film actor Amrish Puri. He might have stuck terror as Mola Ram in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but he’s no terrorist.

Seat 7C: No points for profiling Iraqi President Nouri Al-Maliki, but you are undermining our efforts building trust in that region!

Seat 7D: Gain 6 Points if you nabbed the late U.S. Army Veteran and Oklahoma City Bomber Tim McVeigh. Game Over for sure if you let this guy on.

Seat 8A: Lose 3 points for harassing the recently crowned RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD, Mexican Communications Magnate Carlos Slim Helu.

Seat 8B: Gain 6 Points if you nabbed American Taliban Fighter John Walker Lindh. Game Over if the traitor got by you.

Seat 8C: Lose 3 points for harassing Spanish Tenor Placido Domingo.

Seat 8D: Gain 6 Points. Hopefully no one let Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi on the plane! Game Over is you missed this guy.

Seat 9A: Lose 3 points for profiling Indian-American Actor Ajay Naidu. (Did you see Office Space?)

Seat 9B: Lose 3 points for profiling Mexican-American Comedian Carlos Mencia, shown here supporting the troops with a concert in the Persian Gulf.

Seat 9C: Lose 1 point. No, that's not Khalid Shake Muhammad after his water-boarding, that’s Lebanese-American Actor, Tony Shaloub.

Seat 9D: Lose 3 points. This scary-looking guy is American Actor Joaquin Phoenix. I know, it’s the beard. Sheesh!

Seat 10A: Gain 6 Points if you called out Colleen LaRose, one of Al-Qaeda’s top Stateside recruiters. Game over if “Jihad Jane” gets on the plane!

Seat 10B: Lose 1 point for profiling Member of Congress Keith Ellison (D-MN).

Seat 10C: Zero points if you profile Pakistani Entrepreneur Farhan Liaquat.

Seat 10D: Lose 3 points (and most of your self-respect) if you profile Rolling Stones Guitarist Keith Richards.



SO HOW'D YOU DO?  DID YOU MISS ANYONE? WHAT WAS YOUR FINAL SCORE?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Prom Cancelled Over Lesbian Date

This is just disgusting.

And the sad thing is that there are probably a whole slew of back-woods, red-necked inbreeds that blame THE GIRL.

But perhaps the biggest load of ignorance, the crowning turd in the toliet bowl that passes for this town's cultural heritage is the following, by Anna Watson, a 17-year-old junior at the high school:

"I am a little bummed out about it. I guess it's a decision that had to be made. Either way someone was going to get disappointed — either Constance was or we were,"

Um, no sweety, you see that's what we calls a false dilemma. There's is actually a third option here:

EVERYONE GETS TO GO TO PROM, SO EVERYONE GETS WHAT THEY WANT.

See, that's how INCLUSION works. Just because a stupid policy exists does NOT mean that either Constance needs to be kicked out or the whole thing needs to be cancelled. Only the very most ass-headed Conservatives think like that. Try thinking for yourself, or you'll make me think that public education was wasted on you. Check it out: You get to go. (Happy.) She gets to go. (Happy.) Everyone is happy except for the inbred, bible-humping, rednecks that need to GROW THE FUCK UP and MIND THEIR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS.

This is the stupidest bunch of bullshit I've seen in a long time. Maybe she should graduate in a separate ceremony too. You know, the way things USED to be in Mississ-fucking-ssippi. What'd they call it? Separate but equal? I don't know why we ever had to get rid of that! I mean... separate water fountains means shorter lines for everyone, right?

I wonder how many white might take blacks to the prom and vice-versa. Well... it's Mississippi, so probably NONE. But I'm sure it's happened. And I'm sure there was a brouhaha the first time it did. You gotta wonder how THAT couple views something like this. Amazing how many people refuse to evolve, refuse to progress, refuse to GROW UP.

This is not Constance's fault and this is not the ACLU's fault.  This is the SCHOOL'S fault, 100%.  They ought to be ashamed of themselves, but I know they arent.  And ALL of the parents should be pissed at the school, but I'd be surprised if ANY are.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

SILVER STAR AWARDS, March, 2010

Time once again to give my "hats off" to some sites that I really like. (Or fart in the general direction of  a few that I hate. LOL)  Eventually I'll have a blog roll of sorts, and some of the blogs I've come accross since starting my own will get named, but NOT THIS MONTH.  This month's inductees correspond to 1946: No BWAA's (Gold's) only Veteran's Committee picks (Silver's.)  And the only blogs that will get less than Gold Stars are Conservative crappy ones.  (Remember: Gold is for POLITICAL Gold, Silver is fun or humor and *ahem* lesser material is for... well... lesser material.) So, with that in mind, here we go...

The Jessie Burkett Silver Star #12: Ugliest Tattoos, A Gallery of Regret.

I couldn't possibly begin to describe the horror and hilarity on display here.  As I once read on a (de)motivational poster: The Internet doesn't MAKE you stupid, it just makes you stupidity more accessible to others.  Frickin' hilarious.  WTF were these people thinking?!

The Frank Chance Silver Star #13: Netflix

I know what you're thinking.  A commercial/corporate site? Really?  Lemme splain... I HATE. HATE. HATE. Blockbuster.  I hate Big Blue with a Passion that I can taste in my BALLS.  There selection SUCKS.  NOTHING was ever in stock.  "FREE" never applied to anything I wanted to see, and don't even get me started on their "NO FEES" bullshit.  And they were EVERYWHERE!  They were the reason poor Classicliberal couldn't make any money at his vid store! So I am far more than a happy customer when it comes to Netflix.  I believe that there toppling of teh ubiquitous (and arrogant) Blockbuster, and Blockbuster's inevitable bankruptcy, is a truly inspiring story.  A real David vs. Goliath.  The triumph of the vision that Al Gore had over the status quo.  I LOVE Netflix and I stump for them every chance I get.  They rock. And the faster Blockbuster disappears from the map the better.  If I ever set foot in a Blockbuster store again, it will be a Billion years too soon.

The Jack Chesbro Carbon Star: The Global Warming Petition Project

If I have to explain to you the mountain of pseudo- and junk- science bullshit that this site represents, then you're in the wrong place.  I could do a whole book on this Conservative pile of shit, but why bother?  A million sites already have.  It comes down to this: If you're liberal, you listen to scientists and if you're conservative you listen to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.  You also probably think that "peer review" means science is settled by democratic vote or online petitions.  Of course do you know what's missing from this petition?  The input and support or ANYONE doing any actual climate research.  Oh well.  Why let the scientific method get in the way of good propaganda?

The Johnny Evers Silver Star #14: Very Demotivational

I'm sorry, but the surest way to spot a real ass-kisser is the motivational poster hanging on the wall.  Usually has something like an eagle or a mountain climber on it, along with some insipid saying that has no relevance whatsoever to any problem you'll ever actually face in life.  DEmotivational posters, OTOH, might just be the greatest application of satire in the history of mankind.  I LOVE these.

The Tommy McCarthy Pyrite Star: The Drudge Report

That's "Pyrite," as in, "Fool's Gold."  Which pretty much sums up this miserable pile of horseshit.  It amazes me that it was conservative who first stumbled across the innovation to use the internet for political propaganda and made a name for himself.  What doesn't surprise is (1) that he's a serial liar.  (2) That he's a complete sleezeball.  (3) That he was also the LAST Conservative blogger to make a name for himself.  (HuffPo pwns this loser!)  And to this day, liberal bloggers kick all ass in terms of research, accuracy, original ideas, free-thinking, open minds and challenging arguments; while conservative bloggers kick all ass when it comes to repeating and clinging to long debunked and worn-out right-wing talking points.  Nevertheless, it's important to honor the point at which it all began, if for no other reason than to show how it should never have been done.

The Joe McGinnity Silver Star #15: Runescape

Runescape is an online multi-player online role playing game.  It's basically a [very] poor man's Wolrd of Warcraft.  I won't argue that it's somehow better than WoW.  It's not. It IS however a whole lot CHEAPER, and has a kick-ass, totally free version that's worth checking out.  (And if you like it, let me assure you that the subscription version is totally worth the five bucks a month!)  I play this a lot.  If I ever go three or four days without a post here? THAT'S what I've been doing.  And unlike WoW, it's a GAME not a LIFESTYLE.  And that's why I don't bother with WoW: I have a LIFE. LOL  (Just kidding... really, it's because I'm cheap! LOL)

The Joe Tinker Silver Star #16: Baseball Almanac

This is a alternative site to Baseball-Reference.  B-R is far more in-depth, but there ARE a few things that they're missing that B-A has.  If you're not as insane a Baseball fan as I am, you probably won't be interested, but if you are a serious fan, it's a "must-bookmark."

The Eddie Plank Lead Star: FoxNation

It's not necessarily bad that there are conservative news outlets, or conservative blogs.  There really no problem with Conservative BIAS, it's blatant dishonesty and demonstrable lies and false hoods that I have a problem with.  These guys hit MMFA's radar a couple of times a day. (Only Limbugh and the Fox News Channel hit more.)  Why people would prefer to get thier news from a source that's not only blatantly and unapologetically biased, but inaccurate, dishonest and some times even woefully out of date, is beyond me.  It's just like then Senator Obama said in that 2008 campaign stop: "It's like they take pride in being ignorant!"

The Rube Waddell Silver Star #17: Sporcle

OMFG... What an addictive little collection of time-wasters THIS is!  It's basically a series of triva games, where you have to list a certain number of items in a topic, in under a certain amount of time.  They have a wide variety of cotegories, and add several new games every day.  So check it out. I GUARENTEE you'll be hooked and lose the net half-hour (or more) of your life to it!

The Ed Walsh Silver Star #18: Cracked

From the makers of "Cracked" magazine - who completely pwns MAD, BTW - comes Cracked.com.  Mostly a bunch of articles that are in the form of "Top #" lists.  (7 Extinct Giant Versions of Modern Animals, for example.)  Often informative, and always hilarious, this site is loaded with brain-crack.  It's like Maxim magazine on steroids.  So check it out.  You'll both laugh and come away feeling smarter.

Let me know what you think! 

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I'm in the process of adding my HOF to the main page of the blog, but,
for reference, previous inductees include:

Ty Cobb's GOLD STAR #1: Media Matters for America
Babe Ruth's GOLD STAR #2: The Skeptic's Dictionary
Honus Wagner's GOLD STAR #3: Snopes
Walter Johnson GOLD STAR #4: Armchair Subversive
Christy Mathewson GOLD STAR #5: Humanism by Joe
Cy Young's GOLD STAR #6: The American Prospect
Nap Lajoie's GOLD STAR #7: The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity
Tris Speaker's GOLD STAR #8: Rational Wiki
Pete Alexander's GOLD STAR #9: Republican Offenders
George Sisler's GOLD STAR #10: Newshounds
Willie Keeler's GOLD STAR #11: Newscorpse
Eddie Collins' GOLD STAR #12: Wikipedia
Lou Gehrig's GOLD STAR #13: FactCheck.org
Rogers Hornsly's GOLD STAR #14: Election-Projection
- and -
Hoss Radbourne's SILVER STAR #1: FAILBlog
Cap Anson's SILVER STAR #2: Some Grey Bloke
Buck Ewing's SILVER STAR #3: Sore Thumbs
Roger Bresnahan's SILVER STAR  #4: The Dictatorship.com
Dan Brouthers' SILVER STAR  #5: Seanbaby's Super Friends Page
Fred Clarke's SILVER STAR  #6: Item Not as Described
Jimmy Collins' SILVER STAR  #7: I-am-bored.com
Ed Delahanty's SILVER STAR  #8: Baseball-Reference.com
Hugh Duffy's SILVER STAR  #9: Menage a 3
Hughie Jennings' SILVER STAR  #10: YU&ME: Dream
King Kelly's SILVER STAR  #11: Anime News Network
-and-
Jim O'Rourke's TIN STAR : Conservapedia