Illustrating Absurdity

13 04 2010
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin

The health care law is back in the forefront, and illustrated in shades of gray. It is beyond absurd that a bill that was supposed to solve so-called problems with our nation’s health care seems to be creating a multitude of new ones with each turn of the 2,400 pages!

The first illustration is actually quite funny.  The New York Times posits: Baffled by Health Plan? So are some Lawmakers.  Apparently Congress and staffers could be removed from their “Cadillac” plans and dumped into the gubmint option with the rest of the unwashed masses.  The killer quote:

“The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?”

Apparently not.

David A. Nichols, a leading expert on the Eisenhower presidency, writes in the Los Angeles Times that Obama is channeling his inner “Ike” by pushing through a flawed health care bill, the same way Eisenhower pushed through a Civil Rights bill.  A pull quote:

“Covering the millions without health insurance is the civil rights issue of our time. And Obama walked a path analogous to the one Ike walked on civil rights in 1957.”

Let me just say, that there is nothing that chaps my hide more than blithe comparisons of any major piece of legislation to the Civil Rights era and the laws enacted as a result of it. The Civil Rights era was unique and nothing can be compared to it. We can learn from its tactics and tenets, but this supposed health care crisis is microcosmic when set against the systemic disenfranchisement of a segment of the American population based on the color of their skin.  That era, and all that was rightfully fought and won during the struggle is frozen in amber and crystallized in time.  And using these ridiculous comparisons only serve to diminish its transformative power and weight.

And finally, we have a young Hollywood, Florida mother who was dropped from Medicaid before she could receive a life-saving bone-marrow transplant.  According to her, she was solicited by the Social Security Administration to receive disability benefits for her three-year old  son, and like any good mother would, chose to take it.   Medicare determined that she now made too much money, and dropped her from the rolls.

The story first aired last Friday, on Fort Lauderdale’s local CBS channel, and of course, it went viral.  The update as of today:

“Since the CBS4 News report first aired last Friday, several lawmakers jumped in. Late Monday afternoon Jackson Memorial Hospital confirmed Smith will have her surgery later this week after all.”

Mom with Cancer gets Insurance help for transplant.

In the comments section, one person wrote, “Welcome to Obamacare”.

So, this raises a question:

If there are no “death panels” in this new law, how do you explain this occurrence?  Being sentenced to die because thanks to the government dole, you now earn too much, and therefore are not eligible for coverage.  And this is income from the same government that afforded you the Medicare in the first place.  Not to mention, this isn’t grandma–this is a young woman–how arbitrary is that?

No, no disconnected panel here making decisions on life or death.

Stepping off the soapbox now.





In My Orbit…

7 04 2010

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Chicken Little, the sky is indeed falling.  The House of Cards that is the City of Los Angeles fiscal management is crashing down around us, with the requisite posturing, finger-pointing and blame being laid.  You know, the same behaviors that got us into this mess in the first place.

Along with digits being raised and cries of fie and foul screamed throughout the Basin, the media whore that is May-V will be making the television rounds.  LAist accurately dubs it, Villaraigosa’s ‘We’re Almost Out of Money’ media tour.  The lowlights:

“9:00 AM — LOS ANGELES — Mayor Villaraigosa will be interviewed on Bloomberg News about the budget between 9:00am – 9:30am PST.

“10:00 AM — LOS ANGELES — Mayor Villaraigosa will be interviewed by Ali Velshi on CNN about the budget between 10:00am – 10:30am PST.

“10:45 AM — LOS ANGELES — Mayor Villaraigosa will be interviewed by Larry Mantle on “AirTalk” on KPCC 89.3 about the budget between 10:45am – 11:00am PST.

“3:30 PM — LOS ANGELES — Mayor Villaraigosa will be interviewed by Neil Cavuto on Fox Business News about the budget between 3:30pm – 4:00pm PST.

“7:00 PM — LOS ANGELES — Mayor Villaraigosa will be interviewed by Art Laboe on 92.3 fm about the Census between 7pm – 12am PST.

Granted, the last appearance is to plug the Census, but it still adds up to the same thing: money desperately needed!

After the L.A. City Council slapped down the DWP rate hike which would pay for a carbon surcharge and ensure May-V’s place in history as “The Greenest Mayor on the Planet”, the DWP Commission has chosen to not transfer a remaining 73.5 million to the City’s General Fund coffers.  According to our hand-picked-by-the-Mayor Controller, Lil’ Wendy Gruel, “Without the full Power Revenue Transfer I now project that if the City remains on its current path, the City’s General Fund will be out of money – in fact it will be negative $10 million – on May 5th, 2010.”

That was two days ago, hence Smilin’ Tony’s money dance.   Displeasure is being served up in the local papers.

LA Times Blames Mayor; Daily News calls for Villaraigosa’s Resignation.

A pull quote from a Daily News editorial from radio personality Doug McIntyre:

“Here’s his legacy: the city is broke, we lead the nation in poverty and homelessness, and we’ve hemorrhaged our manufacturing and tax base. The mayor has proven himself incapable of righting these wrongs. We need a real leader. Antonio Villaraigosa is not up to the job.”

The rest is equally brutal.  Wanted: a real leader for L.A. in crisis times.

This would indeed be popcorn-worthy, if, as an Angelean, I were not so personally affected.





Illustrating Absurdity…

26 03 2010
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin

In the imitable words of Ogden Nash, “Golly, how the truth will out!”  City and federal leadership, along with their ilk, are showing their true colors.  Not that this wasn’t apparent to those who choose to see…

Good ‘ole May-V is at it again.  Smilin’ Tony is miffed that the City Council is thwarting his efforts to be known as the greenest Mayor on the planet.  So he has threatened–clutch the pearls–bankruptcy, if the City Council does not approve the Department of Water and Power rate hike.  Villaraigosa warns of bankruptcy if City Council blocks electricity rate hike.

The City Council, in a rare show of restraint, is not convinced, along with LAist.  Council President Eric Garcetti, who purportedly supports green energy, called the memo “a gun to our head. [snip] Don’t tell us that the quickest that we’re going to go bankrupt is to turn this away.”  Will L.A. go Bankrupt if your DWP bills don’t go up?

Al Gore, always keen on noble-sounding schemes that line the pocketbook, wholeheartedly endorses Villaraigosa’s rate hike plan.  However, after Climategate, does he even have any credibility?  Al Gore joins Villaraigosa in Supporting Carbon Surcharge….

On the heels of the historic signing of Obamacare into law, Democratic representatives  see no need to lie to the people any more about its true intentions.  Representative John Dingell (D-MI) went on the Paul W. Smith radio show to explain why we are not going to see some of the “benefits” of Obamacare right way.

Here’s the killer quote:

“It takes a long time to do necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put legislation together to control the people.”

What part of “control” don’t you understand?

And today, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), who also happens to be chairman of the Senate Finance Committee (hold your applause), was waxing eloquent on the Senate floor today, apparently drunk on power… or something.  A pull quote:

“[t]oo often, much of late, the last couple three years the mal-distribution of income in America is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy, and the middle income class is left behind.  Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America.  This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America.”

So… this bill law really wasn’t meant to uphold my Constitutional right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness?  Apparently not.

H/t: Hugh Hewitt, Naked Emperor News, The Foundry Blog.





Illustrating Absurdity

18 03 2010
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin

In the ongoing battle for the fiscal survival of the city of Los Angeles and the State of California, we have both Mayor and Governor trying to salvage their “legacy”, while simultaneously saving the local and regional economy.  “Rock,” meet “Hard Place.”

Schwarzenegger has issued another veto which effectively stalled the process to close the $20-billion state budget deficit.  A pull quote:

“[H]e planned to veto $1.1 billion in projected savings realized largely through cuts to public transit.  Democratic lawmakers had approved the measure as part of a package they said would have addressed $4 billion of California’s estimated $20-billion deficit.

“Combined with Schwarzenegger’s veto last week of a larger component of the plan, the announcement puts Capitol politicians back at square one on the deficit.”

Schwarzenegger to veto Dems public transit cuts.

Meanwhile, Smilin’ Tony is in Washington, D.C. (does the man EVER stay in Los Angeles for any length of time?) groveling for federal money to fund city public transportation projects, while irking his constituents by continuing his quest to be the Greenest Mayor on the planet.   May-V plans to push forward with his DWP Renewable Energy Plan, which will raise residential power rates again.  May-V claims it will only be an increase of $2.50 a month, but LAist, the Los Angeles Times and the Daily News beg to differ. From LAist:  L.A. to be powered by 20% renewable energy by end of the year? and L.A. Times: DWP rates may rise 8% and 28% to pay for Mayor’s green initiative.

A DWP Board, whose membership is composed solely of mayoral stooges, will vote on moving this forward before it hits the City Council.  I bet if we cut the salaries of that board and Smilin’ Tony, we’d fund his legacy projects and solve our fiscal issues in one fell swoop.

And my good laugh for the week, Faith and Reason blog touts Rediscovering the Sabbath on ‘National Day of Unplugging’.  On March 20, a non-profit group called Reboot invites you to join them in turning off your Smart phone, computer or other electronic appendages, and get back to basics.  The group has dedicated an entire website to a Sabbath Manifesto–10 Principles to help you carve your “timeout.”

At the bottom of the 10 Principles list, the site has links to follow them on Twitter and Facebook!  The comments on the Faith and Reason article are the most interesting.  A sample: “Good. Now I know when I’ll have the best service and fastest download times. Thanks.”

Agreed.





Illustrating Absurdity

13 03 2010
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin

I find the timing of J-Wright’s media reappearance interesting.  Obamacare is on the ropes, and his “son”‘s approval rating is dipping at 43%.  And of course, it’s all the media’s fault.  Negro, puhlease.  Rev. Jeremiah Wright discusses Obama controversy, history of the church.

And much to my surprise, the envelope I received in the mail from the U.S. Census Bureau was not the actual Census form, but a letter informing me to expect the form in the mail within the next week.   My tax dollars at work.  Can you say, redundancy and waste?  I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks so: Did the U.S. Census waste millions sending 2-paragraph letters?

And the tragedy of Chelsea King’s murder keeps uncovering further negligence and misses by the California criminal justice and parole systems.  Her killer (I’m not a lawyer or a journalist, so I don’t have to say “alleged”), John Albert Gardner III was discovered to have violated parole back in 2007 because he was living near a college day-care center; but they did not re-arrest him because he moved within two weeks, avoiding a parole hearing that would have landed him back in jail.  Gardner is also a “person of interest” in the murder of Amber DuBois, who went missing a year ago.  Had someone towed a harder line, two lives might have been saved. Sex offender violated parole, but wasn’t sent back to prison.

In an act of locking the chicken coop after the foxes have already visited, Governor Schwarzenegger reversed the recordkeeping policy of the parole board.  Instead of immediately purging records of paroled sex offenders, they will now hold on to them indefinitely.  Too little, too late.  I’m sure the King and DuBois families feel the same.   Schwarzennegger reverses state policy on parole records.





The Butterfly Effect

11 03 2010

Monarch Butterfly on flower by Art Planet

The lynch pin of federal and state energy and climate legislation has been rooted in the whole idea of anthropological global warming.

Then that “settled” science suffered a magnitude 9.9 earthquake with the leaked emails from East Anglia University all but admitting the scientific findings were doctored in order to influence policy.  The Climategate aftershocks continue, with more and more senators and governors calling for putting the brakes on the Environmental Protection Agency’s posturings and any push through of climate-change legislation.

The Guardian and other international media were all over this story from the jump.  Now that the U.S. news media has decided to cover the story, the Boston Globe makes its contribution to the fallout from the increasingly fraudulent findings:  After errors, global warming gets cold shoulder.

Closer to my home, a non-partisan legislative analyst has declared that California’s freshly minted global warming law would cause job losses.  A pull quote from the article:

“The report comes at a politically charged moment, when polls show employment to be Americans’ top concern. Signature gathering began last week on a November ballot initiative that would delay the law, known as AB 32, until unemployment drops to 5.5% for at least a year. California joblessness is over 12% today.”

Uh oh.  From today’s L.A. Times,  California’s unemployment rate now tops 20% in eight counties. So as we get more dire news about state employment projections, along with more scrutiny into those doctored AGW reports, it looks like AB 32 may well be aborted.

Hard on the heels of that story, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) is scrapping plans to build an 85-mile “green power” transmission line across the desert.  DWP drops plans to build 85-mile power transmission line across desert.

This DWP project has been surrounded by controversy and pissing off environmentalists and desert residents alike.  It never made sense to me anyway, and seemed like another way to further burnish L.A.’s reputation of energy robber baron.   A telling statement from the article confirms this:

“The announcement reflected a shift in policy toward developing renewable resources closer to the DWP’s existing power corridors.”

No, duh.

Like Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is trying to locate a legacy out of the sludge of his failed leadership, so he was banking on making his bones as the leader of the “cleanest, greenest big city in America,” with this project.   Smilin’ Tony, of course, was unavailable for comment.

Things that make you go, “Hmm…”.





In My Orbit…

25 02 2010

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, and political jonesing is the order of the day.  Here’s what’s orbiting around my globe:

I’m a Chicago-girl born and raised, and still can’t help keeping up with the politics–especially now that we have a Daley II protegé in the White House.  John Kass of the Chicago Tribune delivers the truth with a machete, lopping off the bs that is the Presidential bi-partisan Health Care Summit.

Obama to deliver health care–The Chicago Way.

From one of the few liberal-leaning blogs I read, Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic is doing exactly what Kass talked about in the above article–smoking the “Hopium” (love that term!) and painting unicorns and roses about the state of the craptacular current bill, while condemning Republican plans as maintaining the status quo, then roundly objecting to any hint of a scaled-down Plan B from the White House.  It’s a good read into the mind of the leftist intelligentsia.

Why This Summit Matters.

And finally, a commentary piece over at Bloomberg pretty much sums up why all of these “plans” are on the wrong track, and will only compound–not resolve–the health care dilemma.

“Don’t Ask” Is No Way to Run Health Care.

All health care, all the time–God, I hope not.





Illustrating Absurdity…

24 02 2010

The Guvenator and former President Bubba are joining forces today to combat the great plague of our time: Obesity.

Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin

From the Los Angeles Times article:

“The governor, a former bodybuilder who has long advocated healthy living and exercise, will join with health professionals, educators and others to discuss ways California can combat obesity and promote physical fitness.”

So an inept tax-and-spend Governor who has run California into the ground is joining forces with an ex-President whose libido and lies almost cost him the Presidency to talk about “action that can be done to promote a healthier California for all.”  This is a matter high on the list of priorities for most Californians–right up there with unemployment and job creation.  This is why food pantries from Los Angeles to Long Beach are daily running out of stock, and homeless dinner programs are ballooning with non-homeless men, women, and children who just need a free meal.

Will the last common-sense elected official to leave please turn the lights out?

LA Obesity summit will feature Schwarzennegger and Clinton.





Illustrating Absurdity

18 02 2010
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin

Los Angeles and the entire state of California is on implode.  Yet, our city government is setting up a task force to combat “hunger” and “obesity,” because government is expert at these things and best at combating such a problem… Food Politics in L.A.-hungry for change.

In the meantime, Moody’s has downgraded the city’s credit to “negative” because of the $212-million budget deficit that Smilin’ Tony, our 11% mayor,  has failed to correct…  City’s credit outlook downgraded to ‘negative’.





The Hollywood Weight Spate

14 07 2006

I was watching the CNN and Insider news feeds on Yahoo! this morning. The first one read: “Chubby Actors Charm Hollywood.” It appears that flabby men are now the IT boys. I noticed in this news flash that there was nothing about chubby actresses charming Hollywood—I guess that age-old double standard still holds true: men can look as jacked-up as they want (fat, balding, fleshy, you name it!), and still be sexy, but women must be thin and beautiful at all times. The reporters put an “average man” spin on it, but I don’t consider Jack Black, Kevin James (“King of Queens”), Vince Vaughn or Tom Hanks, average. They get paid millions of dollars to be thin or fat, according to whatever role they’re playing, and because they make millions, they can get any chick (fat or skinny) that they want! It will be noteworthy when I see a news feed headline that reads: “Monique is New Leading Lady—Big Girls Wow the Big Screen!”

I went on to the next feed, “ThinSpiration,” about how teens are looking to Hollywood starlets to gauge weight acceptance and how thin they should be. Scratching my head, I asked, Why? Grown women who want to look like pre-pubescent boys are not an accurate gauge for pre-pubescent girls—and if I was the mother of one, I’d tell her so! Then the next feed asked the question, “Are Actresses Too Thin?” To which my response was, “Duh?!.” This feed talked about certain starlets like Kiera Knightly and Kate Bosworth who have been accused of being anorexic, but deny it. Are they supposed to say, “Oh yes, I live off of soup, and purge twice a day—but it’s all for my career, dahling!”

So I pondered this weight spate reporting as I drove to my sedentary job. Fat actors are IN, but actresses still have to be skinny, unless the role calls for weight gain. Renee Zellweger and Charlize Theron, notwithstanding, there are very few ladies who want to pack on the pounds for that, hence the number of movies where actors and actresses are now donning fat suits—just kill me now. But, if you’re an actress, and you’re too skinny, then you’re criticized for being a poor role model to young women. It appears that these actresses not only struggle with anorexia, but schizophrenia as well! You truly couldn’t pay me enough to go through that.

Hollywood role models for Zaftig girls are few and far between, and it seems the powers that be want to keep it that way. I’m sure the green lighters think, “Who wants to make it with a fat chick? I don’t.” Boy, are they wrong, and it would be nice if they hopped on the Clue Bus. Being a plus-sized babe myself, I’ve had my share of rejections, but also acceptance and desire for being big and beautiful, and I know more than a few women who are never lacking a man or men, despite their dress size. But let the silver screen, network and cable tell it, this is not the case. Save for Bridgette Jones, true love only happens to size-zero women. The few plus-size role models we do have are either tough-talkers or laugh factories. There was Camryn Manheim, then Star Jones—but she gave up her fat crown (along with her sanity) when she got married. I even think Camryn might have dropped some weight after having Milo, but I haven’t been interested enough to delve into this observation. Years ago, Hollywood was touting Sara Rue (of the now cancelled, “Less Than Perfect”) as the plus-sized role model for being the lead in a hit TV-series and actually clocking in at, gasp! A size 10! Then she decided to take a feather from Star Jones’ cap, and lost weight. Now she looks like the rest of her too skinny peers, and can share in the anorexia/schizophrenia that marks their existence.

So all we have left are Rosie O’Donnell (yawn), Delta Burke (who doesn’t have much of a screen career to speak of), Monique (you go girl!—gettin’ there, but still mainly a laugh factory), and Liz Taylor?! Do kill me now!








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