Wednesday, March 31, 2010
This sentence, stolen from cnn today, is just amazaing. No other word for it. Try reading it outloud and looking tough at the same time. Can't be done
"Right now, most of our eyes are on the Pawtuxet River in Cranston," said Tom Econopouly, a senior hydrologist at the Northeast River Forecast Center in nearby Taunton, Massachusetts."
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
So a Chinese company has agreed to purchase Volvo (15% discount given for the reader that leaves the best Vulva pun comment) , from Ford, for $1.8 Billion. The main plant in Sweden is to remain open, as it did under Ford's rule, but additional plants are likely to pop up in China.
So, my question is: Does Volvo get to keep its cool guy Scandinavia-Yuppy cred, or is it now smeared by Chinese ownership? Can they possibly do WORSE than Ford did with the introduction of the Jaguar X-Type
and the disastorous effects that had on Jaguar's brand image?
I wondered the same thing when Belgian company InBev bought Anheuser Busch back in July '08..... The media decided to harp on it for 72hrs, then InBev made a nice size American media buy....Used all the heavy Red State Patriotic Buzz words and convinced the Budweiser swilling public nothing had changed... All just a figment of your imaginations...... *Ripple Fade to Black*
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
"In 2008, the California Supreme Court backed up employers, ruling a private company could fire an Air Force veteran whose doctor prescribed him marijuana for his chronic and disabling back pain. The veteran was hired by a telecommunications company but fired several weeks after he tested positive for marijuana. The landmark case has many medical marijuana users fretting about their employment prospects, legal experts say."
What bullshit! Can politicians please nut-up and tackle this issue once and for all?! This half-way shit is getting ridiculous. I mean, if your medical history is legally confidential, then employers have no more right to test you for Marijuana than they do to test you for Zoloft, Paxil, Lunesta, or anything else PRESCRIBED BY YOUR DOCTOR! It seems so obviously cut and dry. If politicians weren't such pussies, you'd think someone would bring this up!
Now, don't get me wrong: I'm a Libertarian at heart. If the government says businesses can fire anybody they want, for any reason, at any time, I'm ok with that......Let the market sort them out. But if you're gonna put some protections into place, then honor them.
If not, I say employers start testing the old white men for Cialis and Oxycontin.....
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Been wearing these on and off for the last few months. Love 'em to death. My favorite boots at the moment. Trying to get them some love before it gets too hot around here to wear them consistently
Here's what they looked like new: (pic from MisterFreedom's website... but it IS of my actual pair)
Editor's note: Fareed Zakaria is an author and foreign affairs analyst who hosts "Fareed Zakaria GPS" on CNN U.S. on Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET and CNN International at 2 and 10 p.m. Central European Time / 5 p.m. Abu Dhabi / 9 p.m. Hong Kong
New York (CNN) -- The health care law signed Tuesday by President Obama is designed to provide health insurance coverage for tens of millions of uninsured Americans but it carries a big risk, according to analyst Fareed Zakaria.
"Most Americans like the idea of expanding access and giving people universal coverage," Zakaria said in an interview with CNN.com.
"It seems like the right thing to do in a rich country. But everyone feels the health care system is broken, and expanding this health care system seems fraught with danger -- the danger being that you will have an even more out-of-control system with costs that will just multiply."
Zakaria, author and host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," spoke to CNN on Wednesday. Here is an edited transcript:
CNN: What do you think the impact of the bill's passage will be on Barack Obama's presidency?
Fareed Zakaria: It strengthens it for sure. I think that people who thought that it would be better for him not to pass something miscalculated. ... He had already committed to it. If it didn't pass it would be his failure and in this case at least he has the political success. And then we get into the debate about the policy. Is it popular and will it help him? ... My own sense is that everything hinges on whether the reform part of this bill has teeth. ...
The reason people are skeptical is that they understand the access part, they understand how the expansion works, which is obviously going to be expensive. They don't understand how the cost containment works, and frankly the cost containment is the less certain part of this health care bill. And so everything, to my mind, rests on whether that cost containment can be made real.
CNN: In what way does this need to be made real?
Zakaria: Eighty-five percent of Americans have health care and 15 percent don't. For that 85 percent, the great health care crisis is spiraling premiums and out-of-control costs, and so the question is what is the mechanism by which you can bring costs down? There are basically two ways -- either you use a market mechanism, which is that the consumer of health care has to pay more of the costs and therefore that direct link between the consumer and the costs will force costs down. The consumer will exercise his buying power the way he or she does with every other good.
The second method is through some kind of government control or rationing of the process. And that's inevitable in a system where 50 percent of all health care is paid for by the government.
CNN: And the other mechanism, the market mechanism, how would that work?
Zakaria: To really make that work, you would probably need to get rid of the tax subsidy to employers. .... Companies that provide health care to employees get a huge tax deduction that costs the government $250 billion a year. We as consumers really have no idea of what the services, the X-rays, the doctor visits cost. As a result, there's an incentive for costs to really spiral up, because the consumer really doesn't know what they cost and doesn't ultimately really pay for them.
I hate to use the word comparison shop when talking about health care because it's not quite like buying a flat screen TV, but still there is a reality that the information in the system is so shrouded in mystery. Most people don't know what a CAT scan costs but would think nothing of going in to get one and demanding to get one if they have a severe headache.
Anything that makes you more aware of the price, and makes you exercise some choice in terms of where you get the services would likely rationalize the system and take unnecessary costs out of it. ...
CNN: Is there anything in this bill that accomplishes these two objectives?
Zakaria: It's sort of a glass half full, glass half empty situation. There's more in here about cost controls than in any previous expansion of health care since the creation of Medicare. But objectively you'd have to say there isn't a lot.
What there is takes one of two forms. Either the cost containment mechanism or the taxes to pay for the expansion of health care have been pushed out into the future on the theory that Congress then would have the political courage to do what it now doesn't have political courage to do, which is an interesting theory.
The second is that there are mechanisms that would allow real cost containment but they are surrounded by qualifications and exceptions. So you take the Medicare commission, an independent board that would try to look at Medicare costs and really be the kind of rationing board that I was describing -- nobody will call it such because it will be politically unpopular -- but in fact that's what it will do. It will look at procedures and determine whether they're unnecessary or counterproductive.
But if you then read some of the language instituting the commission, it says oh, it won't deny services to anyone, basically language to the effect it won't in any way curtail any kind of services or ration care. But of course, if you're not rationing care, how would you bring costs down?
What's worrying about all of the cost containment is you have this feeling, given the history certainly of the United States Congress, that this is fairly unpopular stuff, and there will be caveats and exceptions and delays to all this. But the expansion of coverage to 30 million people and government paying for those who can't afford it will go on full speed ahead.
CNN: Where do you think this is headed?
Zakaria: For me this has been a battle between the heart and the head. It would be a great thing for America to extend health care insurance to all its citizens. I do think it brings us into line with the rest of the industrialized world. It has economic value.
I think part of the anxiety people in America feel about globalization and the economy is that there's a sense of a lot of churn. People are going to switch jobs, switch careers, move around. And in that situation, especially if you have a family, if you feel as though the loss of a job means your children will lose access to their doctors, it creates a lot of anxiety. And that makes people less risk-seeking in a capitalist sense. They become very conservative, less willing to try new jobs, careers, cities.
So my heart tells me this is absolutely the right thing to do, but my head looks at all these costs, and says where is the real reform, where is the real cost containment system? I guess I hope my heart wins and that these mechanisms all work.
CNN: The question has been raised about what's next on the agenda for Obama and the Democrats. What else can they realistically hope to accomplish this year?
Zakaria: I think that they've got many opportunities to do lots of things. I don't accept the idea that this sort of exhausts them. I think actually this empowers Obama.
I think he should again make the case to the Republicans that he wants real bipartisanship, that he wants their input and that he should try to meet them halfway.
We can have debates about whether he went far enough, but I think it's fair to say that the Republican Party, broadly speaking, has made a decision that they want to be highly uncooperative.
I think they are driving themselves into a corner because they come across as the party of obstructionism rather than the party that can plausibly make the case to be entrusted with the reins of government.
Whether or not Obama can do big controversial things like cap and trade would be a different issue. But I can't see why he wouldn't be able to achieve something significant on education...
But I hope the Democrats really do view this health care bill as a test of their mettle and their stewardship as the majority party of the country and follow through on all the reforms that they have talked about and, in part, enacted. Because there's a real danger that in the next year or two, we will start repealing and have exceptions made to all the tough parts of the bill, all the reform and cost containment measures.
That's where the Democrats really have to keep in mind that if this has the effect of exploding the federal budget, and if it can be plausibly claimed that this bill was the tipping point, there's a real danger that people will not trust the Democratic Party in a basic task of government, which is stewardship of the people's money.
CNN: If the Republicans have basically declared that they're going to obstruct, why do you think that Obama should meet them halfway?
Zakaria: It's better for the country to have legislation that is more broadly embraced. Often you have better legislation -- the task of getting the last 10 Democrats on the left, it does skew the bill. Whereas if you're getting 10 Republicans from the center, it has the effect of actually centering the bill more, which is where the country is to a larger extent ... and politically, he's the president of the whole country and he should be trying to bring the country together in some way. ...
It's in the spirit of the American system to attempt cooperation and bipartisanship even though it's not always going to be successful.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I went to college with a bird who had this Vargas girl tattooed real big across her back; Shoulder to shoulder. I only embarrassed myself, trying to make out with her, a half dozen times or so.... I think she ended up being a lesbian, or thats how my fragile Machismo remembers it anyhow.
Ok first and foremost let me say that this Michelle Mcgee is nooooot fly.. I personally do not ride for her, and who the hell tattoos their forehead any motherfuckin ways?? Fuck you Michelle Mcgee, you're gross and probably smell of pee.. I do however ride for Jesse James.. Yes that's right.. True, you're an idiot cause you get to (excuse me for this) bang out "the wildcat" from speed and you fucked up by inviting this creature from the blue lagoon into your lives, but i understand that's its a maturity thing. In no way do i condone infidelity but as a member of the sex, i get it man.. I mean did we all forget that this is the dude that was formally married to an adult film star before he married Bullock?? I have been following this on a few popular sites because it is my civic duty to roll with the underdog and this is no different.. that's why.. And to those of you (women) wondering why men cheat it's because of maturity, nothing beyond that, point, blank, period.. Look all i really wanna say for this is if Sandra Bullock rides for Jesse cause she knew what she was gettin herself into in the first fuckin place then i would support her for the Presidency.. Yeeeep you heard it here first, Sandra Bullock for President.. -JJS
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
It really grinds my gears that only AFTER the health care bill has passed have the major media outlets shifted their coverage TO THE ACTUAL FUCKING BILL, and what it actually says! No more partisan horse-race to cover? No more idiot Congressmen shouting "Baby Killer" on the floor of the House? So now the coverage shifts (breifly) to what the bill might actually mean to average Miquel Americano? Thank god this campaign of "Actual Useful Content"... aka "News", will be short lived. As soon as any miniscule part of the legislation actually goes into effect, the GOP can try to hang it around Obama's neck like a flaming tire of socialist oppression, and we can all go back to being disillusioned (and/or stoned).
(For the record: I support the bill. As an insulin-dependent diabetic, there's a good chance it'll probably save my life and/or my life savings at least once.)
Friday, March 19, 2010
Shoe shop, take two: Former owner of Maine Shoes buys it back, starts new company | Business | Sun Journal
Shoe shop, take two: Former owner of Maine Shoes buys it back, starts new company | Business | Sun Journal
(click the headline for the full article)
(click the headline for the full article)