Jun 30, 2009

Everybody wants HealthCare Reform EXCEPT Big Pharma, Insurance

Insurance and Drug Companies make their profits by overcharging you! Reformists? They're lyin thru their teeth!

Jason Rosenbaum

Activist living in Washington, DC; works for Health Care for America Now

Just four days after standing next to President Obama and declaring their commitment to control health care costs to the tune of $2 trillion over 10 years, the insurance industry, drug and medical device makers, and hospital groups are backing off their promise:

Hospitals and insurance companies said Thursday that President Obama had substantially overstated their promise earlier this week to reduce the growth of health spending.

Mr. Obama invited health industry leaders to the White House on Monday to trumpet their cost-control commitments. But three days later, confusion swirled in Washington as the companies' trade associations raced to tamp down angst among members around the country.
Health care leaders who attended the meeting have a different interpretation. They say they agreed to slow health spending in a more gradual way and did not pledge specific year-by-year cuts.
"There's been a lot of misunderstanding that has caused a lot of consternation among our members," said Richard J. Umbdenstock, the president of the American Hospital Association. "I've spent the better part of the last three days trying to deal with it."

First, these groups are showing their true, dishonest colors. AHIP, the main insurance industry lobby group, sent out this press release from their fake grassroots campaign after the announcement:
By reducing the rate of growth in health care spending by 1.5% each year, the nation can achieve a savings of $2 trillion over the next decade. This effort will have a direct effect on the budgets of individuals and families and will also go a long way in ensuring that every American have access to affordable, high-quality health care. Stay tuned for more information on this important initiative in the weeks and months ahead.

Sounds like they made a commitment, right? Well, that commitment is now pretty soft (emphasis on the softness added):
He and other health care executives said they had agreed to squeeze health spending so the annual rate of growth would eventually be 1.5 percentage points lower.
One of the lobbyists, Karen M. Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, said the savings would "ramp up" gradually as the growth of health spending slowed.
David H. Nexon, senior executive vice president of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, a trade group for makers of medical devices, said "there was no specific understanding" of when the lower growth rate would be achieved.
"It's a target over a 10-year period," Mr. Nexon said.

So we've gone from commitments to eventualities, targets, and non-specific understandings.
This just proves what the American people have known all along: You can't trust the insurance industry with health care reform.
Why have these commitments gone soft? It's about profits. Every dollar of health care "waste" in the system, every dollar that goes somewhere other than to your health, that's a dollar more in the pockets of a rich hospital administrator or insurance industry CEO. For health care costs to come down, somebody's profits have to come down as well.
Now, in a good reform plan, every player in the system would be squeezed a little bit to help alleviate the crushing cost on the patient. Doctors, hospitals, and other providers would charge a bit less for care and be paid based on quality, not quantity. Drug and medical device makers would be forced to sell their products at a discount in volume. And the insurance industry would trim overhead and profits to keep costs in line. Then, employers and government would pitch in to cover all individuals. It would be a system of shared responsibility.
Clearly, the insurance industry, hospitals, and drug makers aren't interested in shared responsibility. They don't want to be squeezed a bit. The want to protect their profits so much that they show their two-faced nature: Standing next to the President of the United States, promising responsibility, and then backpeddling as fast as they can four days later.
That's why we need to make them do it. Voluntary agreements are not enough. We need regulation and we need real cost control, and that means a public health insurance option that will force these awful companies to earn their keep through stiff competition, something they've avoided for far too long.
They're liars. They're cheats. They're greedy. They're untrustworthy. They cannot be trusted to come up with a health care reform plan that works for you and me. We must make them do it.

Rman reprint because America needs health care fixed. Don't let the providers buy our Congress off again!

Jun 29, 2009

Drudge: Cut the woman some slack!!

Okay, no one would suggest Sonia Sotomayor looks like Mrs. Swartzenegger, but it seems Matt Drudge has gone out of his way to find the ugliest picture of Pres Obama's SUPCO nominee that he could find.

In this picture he plasters on the most read website in the nation, she looks... well. Plain. No. Woman with bad posture and bad hair? Butt ugly? Janet Reno lookalike? Ya know, we all have pix of George Bush that make him look more stupid than others. But most news people either try to mix em up or at least show them in a reasonably positive light.

In just a cursory search of Google images, I found some that make her look at least not like she just got out of bed. Does anybody have a pix of Matt Drudge with bed-head or something... just to show the guy he's being more mean than partisan? Or is no one allowed to criticize Herr Drudge because he's who he is? And a few of his pictures as well.


Jun 28, 2009

Now OxiClean's Billy Mays has died, Cronkite soon?

TV pitchman Billy Mays found dead at Florida home

By MITCH STACY Associated Press Writer

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Billy Mays, the burly, bearded television pitchman known for his boisterous hawking of products such as Orange Glo and OxiClean, has died. He was 50.

Tampa police said Mays was found unresponsive by his wife Sunday morning. A fire rescue crew pronounced him dead at 7:45 a.m.

There were no signs of a break-in, and investigators do not suspect foul play, said Lt. Brian Dugan of the Tampa Police Department, who wouldn't answer any more questions about how Mays' body was found because of the ongoing investigation. The coroner's office expects to have an autopsy done by Monday afternoon.

"Although Billy lived a public life, we don't anticipate making any public statements over the next couple of days," said Mays' wife, Deborah. "Our family asks that you respect our privacy during these difficult times."

Tampa area media outlets reported that Mays was a passenger on a U.S. Airways flight that made a rough landing on Saturday afternoon at Tampa International Airport, apparently blowing its front tires in an incident that left debris on the runway.


Legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, 92, long known as the "Most Trusted Man in America," is gravely ill, according to multiple CBS News sources and published reports.

According to Mediabistro's blog, TVNewser, the network began updating his obituary more than a week ago; a CBS News executive had no comment to TVNewser on the reports of Cronkite's failing health.

One of the most recognized and honored journalists in America, Cronkite anchored the "CBS Evening News" for 19 years, when he was replaced by Dan Rather.

The St. Joseph, Mo., native got his start as a battlefield correspondent during World War II for the United Press. In 1950 he came to CBS radio as a Washington correspondent.

Why do we feel the way we do about Michael Jackson?

How BAD is BAD?

What about the very strong but opposite feelings expressed about Michael Jackson? In both life and death-- he has been praised as the King of Pop or distained as Wacko Jacko for his eccentricities and the charges he loved children way more than's allowed.

How can one person cry over his death or be moved to make a tribute to him. And another feel just as strongly to make cheap jokes and call him a monster?

Here's what some of the radio station people wrote this weekend in the local radio bitch blog :

Posted by Hollyweed Reporter on 6/27/2009, 11:58 am
I have it from reliable sources that when Farrah Fawcett died, she was at Heaven's Gate. Her last request to God as she left Earth was that God make the world a safer place for kids.

Posted by LOL on 6/27/2009, 4:09 pm, in reply to "Inside Word on MJ's Death"
Good one. I also thought that it was a good month for kids with Tiller the Killer and Jacko both taking dirt naps. Thanks for the laugh.
Posted by mj fan on 6/26/2009, 1:25 am
Say what you will, but i'm 32 and mj had a huge infuence on me, my sis and everyone else (admit it or not). When I was in grade school, i used to dream about getting infronn of the class dressing like MJ performing to the class. And we usd to wear one shiny glove, just like the legend! Share your POSITIVE story! RIP MJ! He influenced music! He is the elvis of our time

Posted by chain text message on 6/28/2009, 10:18 am, in reply to "Re: Inside Word on MJ's Death"
I received dozens of text messages about this over the past few days... including a slightly different version of the above lego joke:

Michael Jackson's will has been made public. His first wish is that he be melted down into legos so little boys can play with him forever.

Preliminary reports are that Jacko died of food poisoning. Doctors suspect the it was from a 12 year old wiener.

McDonalds plans to honor Michael Jackson with a special new MJ Burger featuring 50 year old meat between 10 year old buns.

Here's how legend Stevie Wonder handled it at Starlight... posted by KC Confidential:
Wonder didn’t waste any time making his feelings known to the thousands that packed Starlight on Friday. Before a note was played, he stood center-stage with Aisha Morris (his daughter and backup singer) to share his grief and search for meaning.

He solemnly called it an “amazing night” because of the “pain that is felt through the world with the loss of Michael Jackson.”

“I would hope that all of you would not allow yourselves to give in to the stupidity of some of what is being said by the press,” he said, adding that Jackson’s gifts would keep on giving “even in death.”

The most important thing, he said, was to know that Jackson “brought joy” through “his music and his dancing and his videos.”

“All the other stuff that people might do or say – excuse me, kids, hold your ears – is a bunch of bullshit,” Wonder said, to which the audience loudly applauded and shouted its approval.
The only thing everyone agrees on is that Jackson was one of the most talented, well known, and weirdest people on the planet.

The point here, is to ask, what does OUR OWN VIEW of him SAY ABOUT US?

Is it about our willingness to look past, to forgive and be tolerant? Or our need to be judgmental and feel justified to make cruel jokes? Do we lack perspective? Sensitivity? Are we generally too forgiving or too punitive of others? Were we raised by a harsh or permissive parent?

There are some who will even turn their judgment against me for not loading my question with their viewpoint. Yet the objective question needs to be asked-- as it did over Bill & Monica. And so many others fallen from grace. Even GWB, who some say defended America while others are worked up, calling him a war criminal.

The question is even bigger than Jackson and Bush. Should a DWI get treatment or jail-time and resulting loss of job? Does using a belt on your kid constitute abuse or good parenting? Would you cut yourself, or your own kid any slack or do you believe, "do the crime, do the time?" Are you willing to BE judged by others, as you judge them?

Again, whatever side we take about others who commit both rights and wrongs-- does the side we take about them say something about US that we should examine?

I think it does.

Jun 27, 2009

HOAXED! Photos inside doomed Air France Jet

Rman got hoaxed by a normally AWESOME TIPSTER... but this is apparently going around so furiously that SNOPES debunked it just this weekend.

(Copy from a Bolivian TV station, also duped:) The two photos attached were taken by one of the passengers before the (AIR FRANCE JET) aircraft crashed (OVER THE ATLANTIC LAST MONTH). This extraordinary photographer kept his cool, even in his last moments of life, to take these photos. The photos were retrieved from the camera's memory stick. You will never again see photos like this.
In the first photo, there is a gaping hole in the fuselage through which you can see the tailplane and a vertical fin of the aircraft.

In the second photo, one of the passengers is seen being sucked out of the gaping hole.

The photos were found in a digital Casio Z750, amidst the debris. Although the camera was destroyed, the Memory Stick was recovered. Investigating the serial number of the camera, the owner was identified as Paulo G. Muller, an actor of a theatre for children known in the outskirts of Porto Alegre ..


Portions of this television "crash" can be glimpsed in an ABC promotional clip for Lost:

The hoax back story for these pictures was propagated in late October 2006 on the blog of a Brazilian man named Carlos Cardoso. Mr. Cardoso admitted to the hoax on his blog, claiming he was attempting to demonstrate that people only skim the first paragraph or so of articles and don't really absorb or think critically about what they're reading (a point demonstrated by the fact that the original blog entry included a link at the end to another entry explaining the hoax). None of the many readers who forwarded us these pictures saw them on the blog site, however; they all received the photos via e-mail forwards.

Anecdotal reports indicate some television news outlets have mistakenly aired these photographs as genuine pictures of the 2009 Air France crash.

Last updated: 23 June 2009

Stop!!! (Identity Thief!) Stop!

Looks pretty real, doesn't it?


Dear Valued Account Member,

This Email is from Gmail Customer Care and we are sending it to every Gmail User Accounts Owner for safety. We are having congestion due to the anonymous registration of Free & Unused Gmail Accounts. So we are shutting down some Gmail Accounts and your Account was among those to be deleted. We are sending this email to you so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account. If you are still interested please confirm your account by filling the space below.Your User name, password, date of birth and your country information would be needed to verify your account information in our Database system.

Due to the congestion in all Free Gmail Account users and removal of all unused Accounts, Gmail Team would be shutting down all unused Accounts. You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button, or your account will be suspended within 24 hours for security reasons.

* Username&E-mail ID:
* Password:
* Verify Password:
* Date of Birth:
* Occupation:
* Country/Territory:

After following the instructions in the sheet, your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Thanks for your attention to this request. We apologize for any inconveniences. Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to update his/her account after two weeks of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.

Gmail Team Admin
Visit: https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin

Even has Google's link to almost look official. Until you press your REPLY KEY and realize it's a stranger wanting you for a mailing list they can sell:

Jun 26, 2009

Saving the car business: Smart Cars of the Future...

We all know that Change is Coming... the downsizing of our rides. You'vce certainly heard of the new "SMART CAR"

But there are a few other choices.... Here's the Smart Smaudi A3 AWD!

And a truly American Chevy Smorvette!

And here's the daring new Smorche!

For your speed fix, here's the Smerarri!

And for style, we offer the Italian Smamborghini!

And finally... the sensible, sporty Smustang!

Why Men are Happier than Women...


A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.


A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend..
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.


A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.


A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.


Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.


Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.


A married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!

Jun 25, 2009

Michael Jackson

Michael's premature death is very sad. It's also sad someone as talented as he was, had personal struggles so unacceptable he will be remembered by many for those, instead of how incredible his gifts were to music and entertainment.

We humans are easily distracted by the sensational.

He was a terrific influence, a sensitive guy with many facets.
Even as we all wish we could rise to our own mountaintops, we know it's lonely up there where the air is so thin. An easy place to lose our balance. I'm glad he's left us so much music to appreciate. Who among us didn't feel a sense of love when we were young, listening to his song on the radio, "I'll Be There" and "We are the World"?

As we all know, his music was more perfect than he was, and I'm happy to be one to notice that. And appreciate his talents more than his failings.

I've always thought his best piece was his rendition of "Smile" because he truly sang it from the heart. Like "Ben." Despite the glitter, I think that's who he really was... who he probably was, even back when he was just starting out with his brothers-- surrounded by all that attention.

What was so tragic, and illustrative to us all so visually, is how preoccupied he was to look better-- to look like someone other than who he was-- who we LOVED as he looked right THEN!

He had the money to remake his look; he took it to an excess that so many at the top do. Sadly, he was turned from an attractive young man into a hideous series of surgical mistakes that he had to live with until his death. It's helpful for us all to realize that doctors "practice" medicine until they get it right. Clearly, Michael's didn't yet have it right.

Fame and the money it brings, lets them to try to become what they'd rather be. But we are still humans. And as super-humans, we, THEY, can still lose the balance that more ordinary people enjoy to stay grounded.

Surely, Michael wanted to smile, to reveal his real self. Yet, there are FEW photos on the internet that demonstrate who he really was. They all caught him expressing the regret of the facial reality he created for himself. And maybe the demons-- the secrets within him that eventually were revealed to everyone.

Luckily, we have his music to remember him. I will look at him through his music. Not as Michael Jackson's human weaknesses were revealed, but as how I want to appreciate him. A superstar of incredible talent, a musical voice I personally love to listen to, a great dancer I love to personally watch, and yeah I guess, an artist of influence to the artistic world.

Jun 23, 2009

Deport Jerry Agar

Self-righteous Libertarian Jerry Agar makes a guest appearance back on KM-al-BZerra while Shanin's on vacation. I was hoping they'd get rid of Shanin when he burns up his vacation time but if they replace him with Agar, well.

(Sigh) I was hoping they'd cancel his visa and send him back home, but for some reason we get to endure his Canadian ass since he's not working full time. You'll remember all the hoopla when he moved onward and upward to WLS Chicago but- like we did- they soon tired of his dogmatic tirades.

I caught him for about 45 seconds at six subbing for Darla before heading over to XM's CNN. I didn't catch Darla and Scott, got out of the office late.

I think we all know that right wingers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Common sense tells them not to put our stink on the Iranian protesters if we hope to let them have a chance, but the republicans haven't been sensible for quite awhile.

The GOP prime directive is to criticize every single thing that Obama does, whether it makes sense or not to do so.

Similarly, they don't criticize republicans... and for eight years they bit their lips when GWB was spending this country into servitude to the Chinese.

We have their number. The trouble is, the right has such a stranglehold on so much of the media and it's growing, that there won't be enough voices around to remind the public in 3 years what obstructionist trash they've been up to since even before Obama got to the White House.

I can't wait to find out where Big Insurance has been spending its money on campaigns. That will take an aggressive press to dig up... sadly, most of the press is just getting their news from each other off of Drudge, and from political opponents. They are now just 'mediums'... propaganda conduits from all sides with no objective, journalistic analysis whatsoever. It's all just high school debate on TV, no truthwatching. The media have just become camera operators in pancake.

It would seem news consumers are not willing to spend their subsription money on independent journalism. Kinda like the internet, we expect it to be free.

Jun 21, 2009

Recession ends modern schools

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) - California's historic budget crisis threatens to devastate a public education system that was once considered a national model but now ranks near the bottom in school funding and academic achievement.

Deep budget cuts are forcing California school districts to lay off thousands of teachers, expand class sizes, close schools, eliminate bus service, cancel summer school programs, and possibly shorten the academic year.

Without a strong economic recovery, which few experts predict, the reduced school funding could last for years, shortchanging millions of students, driving away residents and businesses, and darkening California's economic future.

"California used to lead the nation in education," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said during a recent visit to San Francisco. "Honestly, I think California has lost its way, and I think the long-term consequences of that are very troubling."

At left... how school buses look in Pakistan, where taxes aren't so high.

Maybe the right wing talk show artists like Darla Jaye and her mentor Jerry Agar in Chicago think this is more appropriate for the rif-raf who have to attend public schools because they aren't wealthy. (Click picture for a better look!)

Brave people!

Jun 20, 2009

Other than Iran, the most important issue in AMERICA !

I repost this from Media Matters because it's just so important. Our system is truly killing us as a country and we need to groundswell this, just as the Iranians are groundswelling over their stolen election. Please look into this as a starting point.


Media Matters for America June 19, 2009

The jagged little pill that is health care coverage

Rush Limbaugh believes that there is no health care crisis in America. And he's not alone. With the right wing's relentless onslaught against any attempt to reform health care in America just getting started, the need for honest reporting on the issue is greater than ever. (David Goodfriend's honest comments on CNBC were refreshing, but unfortunately, they represent the exception, not the rule.)

This week, the Congressional Budget Office released a partial analysis of the Senate health committee's draft health care reform bill. And immediately, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, David Brooks, USA Today, The New York Times, and ABC's Jake Tapper all misinterpreted its findings, claiming that the legislation would cost a trillion dollars while still leaving nearly 40 million Americans uninsured. When House Majority Leader John Boehner advanced similar fallacies on The Situation Room, he wasn't challenged by Wolf Blitzer.

CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf actually explained his agency's findings in a letter to Sen. Ted Kennedy. He wrote that those considering the analysis should know that "[t]he draft legislation released by the HELP [Health, Education, Labor and Pensions] Committee ... indicates that certain features may be added at a later date." Furthermore, the draft legislation evaluated didn't include "a 'public health insurance option' and requirements for 'shared responsibility' by employers. Depending on their details, such provisions could ... have substantial effects on our analysis." In other words, withhold final judgment, because that's what we are doing. But that's not what was done in the press. At least Robert Reich was paying attention.

The other piece of health care news making the rounds this week involved President Obama's speech to the American Medical Association. A bit of background: While the AMA is a powerful lobbying force for the medical industry, it claims only 29 percent of America's doctors as members. Despite this, NBC's Savannah Guthrie and CNN's Kitty Pilgrim both claimed that it represents "the nation's doctors."

It should also be noted that the press often ignores the group's sponsorship by the pharmaceutical industry.

While usually opposing changes to the status quo (the AMA opposed the creation of Medicare in the 1960s, for example), the organization has signaled a willingness to consider a public health insurance option. But in two separate articles this week, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Robert Pear, and Jackie Calmes of The New York Times continued to report that the group is resolutely against such an idea, repeating an omission from the previous week. The aforementioned errors -- overstating the degree to which the AMA speaks for doctors and ignoring its corporate sponsorship -- were also in effect.

Following the pattern, The Washington Post's Ceci Connolly described the AMA as being "the nation's largest physician group" without noting that there are 800,000 doctors in America or that the AMA gets at least 20 percent of its budget from drug companies.

With everything Frank Luntz is doing to undermine health care reform in America, the last thing the public needs is more misinformation on the issue.

Jun 19, 2009

KMBZ: Voice of Big Insurance!

If I was running KMBZ, I would fire Mike Shanin!
No, I wouldn't want to get into a losing industry, but did you hear Shanin Friday morning say he'd support whatever the Republicans come up with for health care?

That's because he knows he can safely go on Medicare, if he hasn't already-- and so it's no skin of that childless man's nose!

Seriously, the Nazi's just loved sheep like him, as do Republicans who bullshit working class people into voting for their candidates. People who would do whatever they said, believe whatever they told 'em. And best yet, just go on the radio as host or caller, and say things as if they believed 'em! That's how ordinary Germans were talked into murdering six million unarmed men, women and children during the 1940s! And how America voted in George W Bush TWICE! We let them bullshit us!

This morning, alBZerra billed their Fri morning discussion as a talk about Health care "REFORM". But in fact, they padded the chairs around the table with Mike "whatever the talking points tell me to say" Shanin, some suit with Blue Cross, a surgeon type focused mostly on getting sued, and one Democrat who wasn't exactly assertive. And Ellen's fake stutter to pretend she's asking off-the-top-of-her-head leading questions to play right into the Blue Cross guy's schtick.

I think they said he was an executive but they treated him like they were KMBZ radio salesmen and he was Blue Cross's media buyer.

It wasn't about Health Care "REFORM" at all.

It was about Health Care "KEEP IT THE SAME."

Which should be no surprise, since that's what conservatives do, badmouth progressive ideas to keep the money coming in, keeping it THE SAME! I bet those two were wearing $500 suits! Other than Shanin's line that should have cost him his job... there were two other gems.

One was a stupid question from Ellen suggesting "oh the poor 70 year olds, what will THEY do?"

And a guests answer was, (the elderly) "don't have to worry, they're on Medicare." ROFLMAO!

And the other great line was repeated... "We have to find a way to, we have to find a way to, we have to find a way so everyone in America can buy health insurance."

I thought to myself... here this suit's been in health insurance for his whole life, probably brings down a half-million a year working for Blue, and he STILL doesn't have any answers to fixing this disaster?

This is an industry so in control that twenty years ago it was TEN percent of the domestic GNP... now it's SIXTEEN percent! No wonder US workers are priced out of world labor markets!

Here's the guy from Big Insurance, of course, sitting across the same table as the talk show shiller who said he just doesn't trust GOVERNMENT to have answers!

And they have the AUDACITY, yes, a great word. AUDACITY to diss the first real leader we've had in quite a while who hasn't been bought and paid for by the big business.

Yes, big INSURANCE IS SCARED SHITLESS they lost this last election and time now for the REFORM... for if we get to choose between THEM and a government program, for the first time we'll have a real CHOICE, and it wont be Blue Shaft & Blue Shield!

Old people are in possession of the biggest secret in America.

Medicare WORKS!

And you don't HAVE IT!

And Shanin should be fired for availing himself as a blind mouthpiece for the right. Were I running his radio station, I wouldn't allow him on for one more minute. He admits to what Faux News won't even admit. They still pretend they're fair and balanced. He is an unabashed, admitted mouthpiece for the Tories!

Who in America but insurance companies think health care DOESN'T have to be overhauled?

Answer. The people who work at KMBZ.