December 12, 2009 archive

How About Those Zeta-Reticulans

In searching for any semblance of hope and change on the tubes nothing looks more promising than the keyword exopolitics.  Exopolitics is not even an offical dictionary word yet but it is a very real global movement.  Same as 911 truth.  Most of it starts back in 1947, stemming from the crash of a UFO in Roswell New Mexico.  The powers that be decided we could not handle the truth but today things are changing.

What does it mean?  Everything.

Ending the supression of technologies.  Think about that one.  Ending the supression of technologies, plural there.  What technologies?

Docudharma Times Saturday December 12

Saturday’s Headlines:

New Cases Test Optimism on Extremism by U.S. Muslims

Copenhagen comes down to a numbers game

House votes to reform financial regulations

Arizona sheriff ups the ante against his foes

Resilient Iranians still dream of a new revolution

Rush for Iraq’s oil in defiance of bombers

Turkey bans main Kurdish party over alleged terror links

Body of Tassos Papadopoulos, former Cypriot President, stolen by grave robbers

US and Japan agree on open skies deal

After the Taliban: Afghanistan’s kids ready for education, but schools not

Mugabe says his fractured party is ‘eating itself up’

Honduras backs out of safe passage offer for Zelaya

Read some Stirling Newberry; Call me in the morning

Obama’s Nobel speech was horrendous to progessives, unless you embrace what Stirling Newberry called “the facts,” (my emphasis)  some time ago.  It’s not easy reading.  Try to digest it.  I’m still trying.


There is nothing facile about our work ahead.  

And forget about Obamabots.  They don’t matter.  Only Your Understanding and Your Conscience still count.  Understanding first, conscience second.  That’s logical, no?

It’s probably too late to even try, due to the excesses of Wall Street (see Ilargi and Stoneleigh, whom you’ll find at

As so-called progessives, can we please vet Monsieur Stirling?  He sounds like the staightest arrow in the quiver.  Well?  Any takers?

Thomas Freidman was exultant about an unmanned drone getting in Europe’s face to accept the peace prize on Obama’s behalf.

You tell me, what’s that about.

hugs and kisses, meant truly, mon ami.


Mark Twain on War and Peace

Mark Twain Pictures, Images and Photos

The Anti-Imperialist League was founded in 1889 as an opposition group, intended to counter what was then seen as an imperialistic approach toward Cuba and the Phillipines.  

After the Spanish-American War (April-August, 1898), the Treaty of Paris, finalized in December, 1898, granted the United States control over Cuba, Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico.  

The Bad Thing

(crossposted from The Free Speech Zone)

This is the story of the Bad Thing. It’s scary. Don’t read this without your mommy.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Sold Out

I hope all of you have been following  the developments on Firedog Lake, especially on the FDL Action Page and FDL News Desk (dday).

I’ve been trying to find a way to summarize the posts, a quote or two that conveys the enormity of the sellout we’re experiencing, but I’m at a loss and perhaps you can help.

Drug Reimportation

Harry Reid, Crook for PhRMA, Tries To Kill Drug Reimportation

By: Jane Hamsher Thursday December 10, 2009 7:21 pm

Reid, White House Trying To Bury Reimportation Amendment

By: David Dayen Friday December 11, 2009 6:00 am

Basically, the deal between the White House and the pharmaceutical industry didn’t allow for any circumstance that would save consumers $106 billion over ten years by being able to purchase cheaper drugs. Some liberals have objected on the grounds that Republicans are making bad-faith arguments about the value of a single negotiator, but as a means to block drug customers from tens of billions in savings annually, it’s a weak argument. And it’s especially weak when the only reason it’s being held up, despite massive support, is that the White House doesn’t want to take a big bite out of Big PhRMa.

My emphasis.

Loophole Adds Annual Limits on Insurance Coverage For High-Cost Illnesses In Senate Bill

By: David Dayen Friday December 11, 2009 8:18 am

Why would this cap on treatments of cancer and other illnesses be instituted? The answer could lie in biologics. Under the current health care bills, drugmakers would be allowed to keep their exclusivity on expensive biologic drugs for at least twelve years and perhaps permanently, thanks to the evergreening clause. These are drugs that cost as much as $80,000 a year annually, and without the prospect of low-cost generic versions, that number will only increase. These drugs offer the hope of treatment for crippling diseases, but the cost is prohibitive to individuals. By preserving the drugmaker’s ability to charge that price, the insurance companies may not want to be stuck with the bill. So a cap on annual spending for the kinds of diseases these drugs treat would pass the costs on to the patient.

Obama and Reid’s War Against Bringing Down Americans’ Health Care Costs

By: Jon Walker Friday December 11, 2009 8:51 am

What is sickening is that Obama campaigned on this rather small, common sense cost controlling idea. Yet Obama traded away drug re-importation to PhRMA in a sweetheart deal. He also traded away direct drug price negotiation in the same deal. Obama and Reid have clearly taken the side of protecting corporate profits instead of bringing down health care costs for regular Americans. I shutter to think of all the other good cost control ideas Obama and Reid were able to more quietly kill as part of some secret industry deal that we still don’t know about. Next time they send Peter Orzsag to pimp all the awesome “bending the cost curve” ideas in the bill, the appropriate response from reporters is to laugh in his face. For the past few days, Obama and Reid have rather publicly fought against bringing down America’s health care costs.

Dorgan Does Right Thing, Holds Up Senate Health Care Debate Until He Gets Reimportation Vote

By: David Dayen Friday December 11, 2009 1:16 pm

The big story here is not that the White House wants to crush Byron Dorgan’s reimportation amendment and hold up their deal with Big PhRMa – that’s been clear for a while. The big news is that Dorgan’s fighting back:

It’s NOT Medicare

I Can Believe It’s Not Medicare: Get Ready For Fake Medicare Buy-In

By: Jon Walker Friday December 11, 2009 7:01 am

This change would result in this fake Medicare program having much higher premiums and a smaller provider network. It would also result in greater administrative overhead. This fake Medicare would lack almost all the benefits of Medicare. A Medicare buy-in program that does not actually allow people to fully buy into real Medicare is a farce. Beware: it looks like we are about to get fake Medicare for Christmas.

Benefit Caps

Harry Reid Slips Lifetime Limit Into Senate Bill

By: Jane Hamsher Friday December 11, 2009 8:34 am

Reid, who is solely responsible for crafting the bill that he introduced in the Senate, decided that there should be a limit on lifetime benefits. So when people get sick and have huge bills for things like biologic drugs that cost $50,000 or $100,000 a year, whose bills could become “unreasonable” because Congress is granting drug manufacturers “indefinite monopolies” (per Henry Waxman) that prevent generics from coming to market to compete with them, Harry Reid thinks they should eventually be cut off:

So Much For Health Care Consumer Protection: Reid Guts Ban On Annual Limits

By: Jon Walker Friday December 11, 2009 9:30 am

For all those apologists who say we should absolutely pass a health care bill, even without a public option, because it still “has so many great consumer protections,” I have a rude awakening for you. The AP is reporting that Harry Reid quietly gutted one of the most important consumer protections in the bill, the ban on annual limits:

HHS Knew About Reid’s "Annual Limit"

By: Jane Hamsher Friday December 11, 2009 12:23 pm

Funny that nobody thought to tell the public.  How many more of these things do we not know about?

You’re Right, Harry Reid, Fake Insurance Is Much "Cheaper" Than Real Insurance

By: Jon Walker Friday December 11, 2009 1:13 pm

The reason Reid dropped the annual limit from the Senate bill was to make his bill appear cheaper in the CBO score, and make insurance premiums appear lower.

No ‘Cost Savings’ in “Compromise”

CMS: Excise Tax On Insurance Will Make Your Insurance Coverage Worse And Cause Almost No Reduction In NHE

By: Jon Walker Friday December 11, 2009 12:31 pm

The new excise tax on employer-provided health insurance will result in most people getting worse health insurance from their employer, insurance that covers less. That is just not my conclusion, it is the conclusion of the CMS.

Highlights Of CMS Analysis Of Senate’s Bill

By: Jon Walker Friday December 11, 2009 3:47 pm

So my summary is this-

Harry Reid, with Barack Obama’s at least tacit complicity, has decided to turn “Health Care Reform” into “Insurance Industry/PhARMA Welfare”.

You will be mandated by the Government to pay at least 20% of your annual income for Health Care because of expensive, crappy insurance that doesn’t cover anything and artificially inflated medical costs.

And it won’t save the taxpayers a dime.

Not to mention taking away a Woman’s Right to Choose.

This is worse than nothing.  Thanks Democrats.

No Public Option, No Mandate.

Random Japan


The presiding judge of a murder trial in Tokushima decided not to show citizen jurors a photo of the victim’s “headless, limbless torso” lest it alarm them.

The National Diet Library announced that it will buy some 50,000 digital recordings made from vintage 78rpm records, leading one historian to comment that the purchase “will shed new light on the history of records.”

The manager of a nail salon in Kanazawa has begun a program called Angel Smile that offers discounts at area shops to “people working in the medical, nursing and other welfare fields.”

A New York-based designer has teamed up with traditional lacquerware artisans in Ishikawa Prefecture to produce what is believed to be the world’s first urushi chess sets. The designer, Alexander Gelman, said he wanted the craftsmen “to work with an object that is a little more familiar to me and completely unfamiliar to them.”

Your Head Will Explode

To corporate media hacks, there are no objective facts. Because they are incapable of either researching or comprehending what can be demonstrably proved, they dumb down all issues to mere partisan controversies. There is no scientific method. There are no historical contexts. There are two sides to every story, even when there really aren’t. Everything can be a legitimate source of bickering.

It’s not just juvenile, and it’s not just unprofessional; it is, in fact, dangerous. If a prominent Republican went flat-earther, Wolf Blitzer, David Broder and their ilk would reliably report on the new controversy over the shape of the earth. Andrea Mitchell just proved her credentials as an upstanding member of this upsidedown cult of unreality. On the eve of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, she interviewed Al Gore. Did she ask him about the science of climate change? Did she ask him about the politics? Did she ask him if the politics was dangerous, given the science? Of course not. As reported by Steve Benen:

This morning, Gore appeared on MSNBC, where Andrea Mitchell read from Sarah Palin’s Facebook page to ask the former vice president questions about climate change.

Let’s think about that, for a moment. Al Gore may be an imperfect messenger, but his understanding of climate change is steeped in science. He’s written books about it. Books that he not only read, but actually wrote. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work explaining climate change and trying to get the world to deal with it. In contrast, Sarah Palin has no understanding of climate change, whatsoever. Not only does she not understand the science of climate change, she doesn’t appear to understand science. Nothing in her resume credibly qualifies her to discuss climate change. To be kind, one could say that her best and most consistent professional qualification is that of a quitter. She’s not very good at it, but she does have plenty of experience.

But even more surreal is the context of Mitchell’s question. A supposedly serious supposed journalist asks a Nobel Prize winning expert what he thinks of the nitwit ramblings of an ignorant anti-intellectual that were posted to a Facebook page? Has the corporate media really dumbed itself that far down?

Apparently without laughing in her face or being stupefied into horrified silence, Gore gave Mitchell a succinct response:

“Well, you know, the global warming deniers persist in this air of unreality,” Gore explained. “After all, the entire north polar icecap, which has been there for most of the last 3 million years, is disappearing before our eyes. Forty percent is already gone. The rest is expected to go completely within the next decade. What do they think is causing this?”


As usual, on Fridays I post a set of images from my photo shoots to distract you from your week to week travails.

This time though, I`m posting them to distract myself.

My wife was in a bad car crash on the highway Weds. & though she is just now back home, she`s still a lot of worry.

The man pictured with me in the first set is a friend of 30 years.

I should mention, he just turned 90.

He is a world recognized expert on Orchids & has 100`s to his name as a breeder of hybrids.

Here are a few pix of the dozens & dozens I shot at the orchid ranch a few days ago.

They are on an “original size” file at flickr. (click on the image)

There are single images below the crease.



Obama Sends 30,000 Educators to California

[Cross-Posted at Jay's Right of Assembly

Take a moment to understand California's troubles. It is much worse, and more interesting, than merely a budget shortfall. Below are three interrelated, true stories.  

Happy Friday Open Thread

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