Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Vince Freeland Charity Blog

Medical examiner: Ore. girl appeared malnourished
but she seems to have the necessary Iron.

Actress Farrah Fawcett remembered at LA funeral
Isn't she the one who died around the same time as MJ?

Man allegedly drenches wife with hose for smoking
Drenching with hose is like paying with wallet.

Protection sought again for giant, spitting worms
Condoms seem to work.

Diner’s Journal: When Seal Is on the Menu
is when I order the Club sandwich.

Movie Review | 'Public Enemies': Seduction by Machine Gun
The New York Times: Not just wrong about politics anymore!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Eee-hee! Ooh! Jamon!

Ben Bernake is forecasting a very healthy rebound in the Michael Jackson Impersonator industry for Q3 & 4 2009.

HA!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

THIS JUST IN:

White House Dog Photographed, Remains Cute
More Hard Hitting New from the Washington Post!





Friday, June 19, 2009

Very Scary

Dissecting the Kennedy Health Bill
No, you won't be able to keep your insurance if you like it.

By BETSY MCCAUGHEY

Last September Sen. Barack Obama promised that under his health-care proposal "you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves." On Monday, President Obama repeated that promise in a speech to the American Medical Association. It's not true.
The president is barnstorming the nation, urging swift approval of legislation that is taking shape in Congress. This legislation -- the Affordable Health Choices Act that's being drafted by Sen. Edward Kennedy's staff and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee -- will push Americans into stingy insurance plans with tight, HMO-style controls. It specifically exempts members of Congress (along with federal employees; the exemptions are in section 3116).
Members of Congress "enjoy the widest selection of health plans in the country," according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. They "can choose from among consumer-driven and high deductible plans that offer catastrophic risk protection with higher deductibles, health saving/reimbursable accounts and lower premiums, or fee-for-service (FFS) plans, and their preferred provider organizations (PPO), or health maintenance organizations (HMO)." These choices would be nice for all of us, but they're not in the offing. Instead, if you don't enroll in a "qualified" health plan and submit proof of enrollment to the federal government, you'll be tracked down and fined (sections 3101 and 6055).
For a health plan to count as "qualified," it has to meet all the restrictions listed in the legislation and whatever criteria the Secretary of Health and Human Services imposes after the bill becomes law. You may think you're in a "qualified" plan, but the language suggests that only plans with managed-care controls such as the "medical home" will meet the definition (sections 3101 and 2707).
"Medical home" is this decade's version of HMO-style insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office, with a primary-care provider to manage your access to costly services such as visits to specialists and diagnostic tests. Medical home providers in "qualified" plans, states the Kennedy bill, will have a "payment structure" based on "incentives" rather than payments for each doctor visit or procedure (section 3101).
These requirements are reminiscent of the unpopular controls HMOs imposed two decades ago that caused public outrage and led to state laws reining in abuses. In December 2008, a Congressional Budget Office report evaluating early drafts of major federal health insurance proposals noted that "medical homes" were likely to resemble the HMO gatekeepers of 20 years ago if cost control is a priority.
That report specifically referred to a payment incentive called the "withhold." When HMOs became dominant in the early 1990s, they would withhold 10% or more of physicians' fees until the end of the year and give it back only to the physicians who met targets for limiting how many referrals to specialists or diagnostic tests their patients used.
The targets were so stringent that, if they were exceeded, what a doctor prescribed for you came out of your doctor's own pocket at the end of the year. This set up a conflict of interest between you and your doctor.
Mr. Obama tried to put a positive spin on such cost controls in his June 13 weekly radio address. He said "if doctors have incentives to provide the best care, instead of more care, we can help Americans avoid unnecessary hospital stays, treatments and tests that drive up costs." Fair enough -- if you want your doctor paid to police your care and to be financially penalized for that extra test or referral you get.
It is reasonable to require that people who accept a government subsidy for health insurance tolerate cost controls to protect taxpayers. But according to the terms of the Kennedy bill, you must enroll in a "qualified" plan or face a fine, even if you and your employer are paying the entire cost of the plan you already have (section 161).
The president has promised that if you like your plan you can keep it. Mr. Kennedy's bill says that too. It's doubletalk, as the consequences of nonenrollment make clear. How big a fine will you face? The bill doesn't specify or set a limit. It says the fine will be enough to "accomplish the goal of enhancing participation in qualifying coverage" (section 161).
If legislation similar to the Kennedy bill lands on Mr. Obama's desk, he has an obligation to keep his promises to the American people and veto it. And whatever health-insurance law is passed should apply to members of Congress. If it isn't good enough for them, it shouldn't be imposed on the rest of us.


Ms. McCaughey is chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a former lieutenant governor of New York state.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brilliant

The Death and Life of Health 'Reform'

A glimpse of a future without nationalized health care.
By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR.

The following is a draft of a speech titled "The Obama Years: A Reappraisal" that mysteriously was never delivered at the 2070 national meeting of the Institute of Advanced Obamalogy:

So it came to pass in the waning days of the health-care wars that Democrats learned the American people really didn't want a nationalized health-care industry.

The Obama administration's "public option," which all knew to be a vote for a government takeover, proved a drink too stiff for four or five Democratic senators whose re-election was not in the bag.

President Obama applauded himself for achieving "85% of what we set out to accomplish." But pundits and wonks were in despair. They retreated to their watering holes and cried into their Stoli martinis. The cause of their lives was over. A once-in-a-generation opportunity had been muffed. Without a massive bill in Congress, with many titles and subtitles and subchapters, they moaned, there was no hope for fixing all that ailed the American health-care system.

But politics went on, and while the armies of wonkdom mourned, three little-known congressmen (Eric Paul, Ryan Cantor and Kemp Newtley) discovered an unexpected public enthusiasm for a flat tax.

Through incessant Twittering over the heads of the media, they persuaded millions of voters they'd be better off with lower rates even if it meant giving up tax-free employer provided health insurance. It didn't hurt, either, that the wailing of insurance and medical lobbyists was over-the-top -- convincing voters that the tax benefit really was just a form of corporate welfare disguised as a mostly illusory benefit for individuals.

Though the realization was slow in dawning, policy experts would eventually rediscover what they had known all along (but had conveniently forgotten in order to lend their voices to "solutions" that required ever more government spending) -- that tax reform, in the American context, is health-care reform.

And, lo, it proved true, as 100 million intelligent, well-educated employees of Corporate America were allowed to see for the first time what "tax free" health insurance was really costing them. They saw how it distorted their behavior and caused them to allocate far more of their incomes to the medical-industrial complex than they would have chosen for themselves.

Eyes newly opened, they demanded cheaper insurance options, covering fewer services (cancer wigs, family counseling, in-vitro fertilization), and opted for plans with higher deductibles and co-pays in return for much lower monthly rates.

Because consumers were now spending their "own" money on health care, doctors and hospitals found it necessary to publish and even advertise their prices. A hospital that specialized in heart surgery, performing thousands of procedures a year, found it had both the highest quality and lowest cost -- and now marketed itself as such. Ditto specialists in cancer, diabetes and other conditions.

For the first time, Americans spent less and got more. Spending fell overnight by 13%, which happened to be exactly what economists had predicted if the price tags were restored to health care and consumers were allowed to see clearly what they were getting (or not getting) for their money. As predicted, too, spending thereafter rose only in line with incomes.

What's more, many fewer people remained voluntarily uninsured now that health insurance was no longer a gold-plated extravagance affordable only by those in the top brackets who could slough off 40% of the cost on other taxpayers. Existing programs for the needy, in turn, could be downsized and revamped into voucher programs. The federal budget benefited twice over -- from fewer claimants and from medical care that was less costly. Fiscal wreck was avoided.

In truth, President Obama had been little involved to this point. Following his early domestic "successes," he was spending more and more time abroad sharing his matchless eloquence with previously unblessed audiences from Ulan Bator to Ouagadougou.

A highly symbolic moment, however, came when Mr. Obama, who had put on weight in office and now tipped the scales at nearly 300 pounds, returned from a speaking tour on the virtues of nonproliferation to audiences in the Islamic Republic of Palau. Having overindulged in local delicacies, he was surprised when the White House medical office handed him a Wal-Mart debit card and sent him to a nearby Wal-Mart supercenter boasting "Everyday Low Prices on Gastric Bypass Surgery."

Emerging afterward to the usual crowd of ululating network reporters and bloggers, Mr. Obama pronounced himself entirely pleased and satisfied with the "success of my health-care reforms."

And so it came to pass that historians and Obamalogists would count health-care reform among the incomparable triumphs of the Obama administration, and lost to history would be the names of Eric Paul, Ryan Cantor and Kemp Newtley.

Monday, June 15, 2009

quirky

How Stimulating

The Associated Press reports on what it gently calls a "quirk" in the so-called stimulus law:

When President Barack Obama increased unemployment benefits as part of his economic stimulus, he also made some Americans ineligible for hundreds of dollars a month in food stamps.
Under the economic recovery plan, laid-off workers have seen a $25 weekly bump in their unemployment checks as part of a broad expansion of benefits for the poor. But the law did not raise the income cap for food stamp eligibility, so the extra money has pushed some people over the limit.
Laid-off workers and state officials are only now realizing the quirk, a consequence of pushing a $787 billion, 400-page bill through Congress and into law in three weeks.
And for people hurt by the change, there's no way around it.

This is why it's so important to give these genuises control over our health care right this second!



reprinted from The Wall Street Journal

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rock Hard Blog

Jailed journalists complicate Obama's approach to N. Korea
Why doesn't he just waive his hands and make it go away?

Scientists: Global warming has already changed oceans
Yep, like 12,000 years ago.

Cosmic Cloud Poised to Birth Massive Star
I'm thinkin' gift card from Baby Gap.

Tax supporters launch campaign
"Reduce your income to increase mine!"

Tests show many supplements have quality problems
I heard that Enzyte® doesn't really work.

What to know before buying supplements
A friend told me that Enzyte® doesn't refund shipping costs.

Rising U.S. mortgage rates sap loan applications
I blame George Bu...er, the new guy.

As debt grows, desperate car owners turn to fraud
I blame George Bu...er, the new guy.

Man, 93, and woman, 89, tie the knot in Florida
It's only news because they are actually a man and a woman.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Deep cleansing breaths...

video

Calling Hudson-449.

PLETTY PREASE!

Finally, a book for people who get lost a lot
Oh, let's call it a Road Atlas!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thank you WSJ!

When George W. Bush was president, there were journalists who devoted themselves to cataloging his verbal pratfalls. Slate, the online magazine, even had a whole feature called "Bushism of the Day," which led to a series of books.

The Opinion section of the Wall Street Journal has picked up the baton to offer an
occasional continuation of these gaffes as it seems that Slate has stopped paying attention. Enjoy!

Bushism of the Day

"And, finally, I looked around our world and I thought, you know, we are in just so many deep holes that everybody had better grab a shovel and start digging out."--Hillary Clinton, explaining why she accepted appointment as secretary of state, "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," June 7

Bushism of the Day
"If you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world."--Barack Obama, June 3

Bushism of the Day
"America identifies with the underdog, and you've been an underdog many times in your life, but always the top dog."--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to Judge Sonia Sotomayor, June 2

Bushism of the Day
"I think most Americans want someone at the bench when they're making decisions that haven't just spent their life in a cloistered ivy tower but understand what it's like to break barriers."--Barack Obama on the Supreme Court, May 27

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thunderdome

Memories of Ike weigh on Texas beach city's summer
and who can forget Tina?!

Oil prices spike above $70
Obama and the Art of Begging.

Gender and heritage a frequent topic for Sotomayor
I hope she isn't profiling anyone!

Report: US to put its own sanctions on NKorea
HEAR THAT KIM? SANCTIONS!

Scientists uncover culprit in Huntington's disease
Dick Cheney.

Armstrong announces birth of son on Twitter
If he were married to Gynneth Paltrow, the baby would be named Twitter.

Conservatives Are More Easily Disgusted
I guess that's the price we pay for having standards.

Nagasaki A-bomb plane co-pilot dies at age 88
...and the mysterious A-Bomb Curse continues.

7,000 US Marines patrolling southern Afghan desert
shhh, don't tell anybody about military movements, OK?

Why North Korea's jailing of U.S. journalists isn't shocking
because this stuff was only "shocking" when Bush was president.

N. Korea sentences US reporters to 12 years labor
International Negotiations: OBAMA STYLE!

Judge: Immigrants' rights violated in Conn. raids
Did we somehow break Mexican Constitutional law?

China quarantines New Orleans Mayor Nagin over flu
I think he should immediately, publicly and loudly chastise the Chinese government and it's leadership for poor management of this very difficult issue. To do otherwise would make him a hypocrite and wussie.

China quarantines New Orleans Mayor Nagin over flu
I mean, Come On, he is the mayor of Chocolate City!

Court says judges must avoid appearance of bias
but just appearance, mind you.

Court: Iraq can't be held responsible for Saddam
Heavens no! He was an Iraqui, from Iraq who ran Iraq & the Iraqui people for 30 years. Saddam who?

Scientists find more dinosaur bones at Utah quarry
So you're saying that dinosaurs are Native Americans!?!

Qwest to keep long-distance business
but the have to pay a $45 reconnection fee and they lose their rollover minutes.

Japan explores using cell phones to stop pandemics
how can a cell phone stop me from wanting pan sex?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The sound of silence.

Last month the Government Accountability Office issued a shocking report on "selected cases of death and abuse"--not at Guantanamo Bay or other detention facilities for terrorists, but at schools for American children:

GAO also examined the details of 10 restraint and seclusion cases in which there was a criminal conviction, a finding of civil or administrative liability, or a large financial settlement. The cases share the following common themes: they involved children with disabilities who were restrained and secluded, often in cases where they were not physically aggressive and their parents did not give consent; restraints that block air to the lungs can be deadly; teachers and staff in the cases were often not trained on the use of seclusions and restraints; and teachers and staff from at least 5 of the 10 cases continue to be employed as educators.

The 10 cases involved children ranging in age from 4 to 14, and eight of the cases occurred at government schools. Here is just a sample:

At a public school in West Virginia, a 4-year-old girl with cerebral palsy and autism "was 'uncooperative,' so teachers restrained her in a chair with multiple leather straps that resembled a 'miniature electric chair.' " The girl was later diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder. "At least one of the three teachers responsible" is still at the school.

At a Texas public school, a 230-pound "special education teacher" placed a 129-pound boy of 14 "into a prone restraint and lay on top of him because he would not stay seated." The student died. The case was ruled a homicide but no charges were filed. The teacher "currently teaches in Virginia and is licensed to instruct children with disabilities."

In a California public school, the teacher of a 7-year-old autistic girl "secluded child in a walled off area because she refused to do work, sat on top of her because she was wiggling a loose tooth, and repeatedly restrained and abused her." The teacher "left the school but began teaching again in a different school district."

"GAO could not determine whether allegations were widespread," the report disclaims, but it makes clear they are more widespread than just the 10 cited cases:

GAO did find hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death related to the use of these methods on school children during the past two decades. Examples of these cases include a 7 year old purportedly dying after being held face down for hours by school staff, 5 year olds allegedly being tied to chairs with bungee cords and duct tape by their teacher and suffering broken arms and bloody noses, and a 13 year old reportedly hanging himself in a seclusion room after prolonged confinement.

When the report came out on May 19, we figured it would be a good opportunity to find common ground with politicians and commentators who've been complaining for years about the "torture" of terrorists. We figured President Obama would issue an executive order banning torture in schools, the New York Times would publish an indignant editorial, Dick Durbin would take to the Senate floor to declare that the teachers unions remind him of the Gestapo, and that nut who writes for The Atlantic would proclaim himself "shocked to the core."

We were going to respond by saying that although we think there are circumstances under which it is justifiable to treat terrorists roughly, all good people can agree that torturing schoolchildren is categorically wrong. But we didn't have anything to respond to. As far as we are aware, the GAO's findings have been greeted with silence by the leading self-proclaimed "torture" opponents--though Education Secretary Arne Duncan did tepidly promise "he will ask state school chiefs around the country about the use of restraints and confinement of pupils in the classroom," according to the Associated Press.

Where's the outrage? Could it be that all the complaining about "torture" was but a pretext for some less noble agenda?



Article provided by the Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124412724085285291.html

Teleblogger

WTF?!

Murderer sentenced in 1981 killing
The Sixth Ammendment in action!

Obama calls for new beginning between US, Muslims
I call a 'Do-Over' on Operation Desert Storm.

In NH and Iowa, gay marriage has political angle
It probably involves harnesses as well.

Air France says no hope of survivors in Atlantic
Nobody surrenders quite like the French.

Homeless assaulted most often by teens
What did the homeless do to be hated so much by teens?

OSU suspends lagging lung-transplant program
well who in the hell wants a lagging lung?

Report: Climate change already devastating poorest regions
It makes sense. That's who Karl Rove hates the most.

Text of Obama's speech to Muslims

It reads way better on a teleprompter.

Israel hopes Obama speech will lead to peace

I hope I can wear a size 32 waist again, but...

Obama's Islamic homage wins praise
I'm speechless.

Environmentalists plan suit to protect ice seals
They could make it with blubber, but that would be redundant.

Tourette's most common in white kids, boys
Nice profiling, motherfucker bitch!




New Debt Explained

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5yxFtTwDcc

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

After The Blog

Folic acid offers more protection than thought
OK, but how do I get in into my brain?

Magic mull possible return of Nelson for finals
as if "After The Rain' wasn't magic enough!


Several factors likely caused air crash: analysts
Gravity and Ground are primary culprits.

Queen to Queen: McTeer, Walter talk Tonys and more
Sounds like steam escaping...

Schwarzenegger to appeal for quick budget deal
Quick, like "No time to read the Stimulus Package" quick? or just 'normal' quick.

N. Korea's Kim taps 26-year-old son as successor
Do N. Korean's even have a word for nepotism?

Wash. man sentenced for having sex with dogs
Wash him and dip him in flea powder too!

Oil slides to around $68
What we need is a Stimulus Package!...oh wait.

GM strikes tentative deal to sell Hummer brand
Selling them? They should be giving Hummers!

Today's Highlight in History:

In 1897, Mark Twain, 61, was quoted by the New York Journal as saying from London that "the report of my death was an exaggeration." Actually, he is quite and very dead.

Electronic Countermaterial

Dogs respond to friendly visitors in a fashion similar to the way teenagers welcomed The Beatles upon their arrival to JFK circa 1964.

Cats would respond too if only they had extended digits like the human hand. That way they could give you the finger.






Hat tip to: The Great Whinger