A Giant White Rabbit in Britain Reminds Us How “Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead”…

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I did not watch Obama’s gig last night before Congress, but the TV was on in the other room for a few moments and I heard lots of applause coming in waves.  As I walked through the room I caught a glimpse of Biden and Pelosi sitting like self-satisfied fat cats and saw Mr. Hopey Dopey up there orating, sans the stern, serious scowl.  Pundits seem to be saying that Bill Clinton must have convinced The One to stop the gloom and doom and it seemed like Obama was bouncing around and pumping out a sales pitch that one panel member on Hannity’s Great American Panel called “Reaganesque.”

It bugs the hell out of me to see Clinton all over the tube lately coaching the guy who supposedly had all the answers and the “best” campaign evah!

I have to say that the ultimate for me was seeing Jared Osmond, a lesser Osmond singer, opining on Hannity’s Great American Panel.  Where did they dig him up? And Caroline Heldman of Obama’s Occidental College, who seems to be around a lot today on FOX these days, says that all this spending is not a “socialist move” (nobody had even brought that suggestion up, why was she so defensive?).  Later she said that the speech would improve consumer confidence and that she hopes that “people who have good jobs will go out and eat twice a week instead of once a week”—doesn’t that sound like SPEND SPEND SPEND a la George W. Bush??

I’d also like to know why FOX chose to repeat the speech after Hannity and crew got off the air.  Seems so UN-Foxlike, doesn’t it?

And I was pretty peeved when I heard that the pilot who got that plane down safely in the Hudson River,  Chesley B. Sullenburger III, was trotted out.  OK, I know that he’s on the cover of People Magazine and was chatting with a committee on Capitol Hill yesterday.and has been in the spotlight…but, this guy trained for years and was a fighter pilot  and to see Sullenburger  used (and apparently liking it) by Obama the fraud, who has no real accomplishments and a hidden past, really ticked me off (this contrast was discussed in piece at  The Confluence at the time of the incident compared the pilot’s experience to Obama’s “flash to fame” based on zip and not in a nice way).

Frankly, so many people are so blinded by this con artist, courtesy of the media and the Obama PR machine (which Bill Clinton is now part of) that it is mind boggling.  It amazes me, but it shouldn’t since the setup has been so complete and the media has been so complicit.

I happened to find this story from Britain just after listening to this drivel and it got the “association” center of my brain rolling immediately.

Two police officers given run-around by giant white rabbit

Two police officers were given the run-around for 20 minutes in a low-speed pursuit of a giant white rabbit on the loose in a town centre.

By Richard Edwards, Crime Correspondent
WHITE RABBIT

Two police officers were given the run-around for 20 minutes in a low-speed pursuit of a giant white rabbit on the loose in a town centre.

Pcs Matt Jackson and Yasmin Mossadegh, of Kent Police, came across the two-foot long, 20lbs animal – the size of a small dog – hopping along a road in Canterbury at 2.20am on Sunday.

They admitted that at first it seemed like “something out of Alice in Wonderland”. But detaining the albino rabbit before it caused an accident proved to be more of a handful than they first thought.

MORE

The sight of that huge white rabbit and the reference to “Alice in Wonderland” lead me to the inevitable:

White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Recall Alice
When she was just small

When men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving slow
Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s “off with her head!”
Remember what the dormouse said;
“FEED YOUR HEAD”

Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead”

Can’t say it any better…

Anything More Nauseating that Bill Clinton Shilling For Obama on Greta Thursday Night?? (2/19/09)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Well, sure there is…listening to The One himself…

But I listened carefully to Clinton last night, making it all sound nice re: the need for the “stimulus” bill etc. etc. and the housing proposals that will reward those who never should have had a mortgage in the first place.  And, it’s a really nice touch when he repeats that he only knows from what he reads in the papers, that he doesn’t know the details….yeah, right!!

Greta talked tough, going after the “image” of Obama flying around the country in tough times. And she made noises about legislators not reading the package and the whole game of URGENCY, then sitting on signing the bill and jetting off instead of a signing in the Rose Garden. She attempted to link the places Obama visited to where the Democrats won on Election Day, where they made in roads into normally Republican strongholds.

Clinton was at his finest delivering reasonable explanations and concluding that the stimulus bill was A-OK. I give Greta some credit for trying to push, but then again, she pushed on some peripheral stuff…no really push on items in the package on things like the ramifications of the health care provisions.

Then she closed with the soft stuff…Clinton teaming up now with companies like Pepsico to fight obesity (sounds like the smoking campaigns delivered by tobacco companies) and Hillary’s trip to Asia.

Greta has a brain, she tries…but I guess she can only go so far. Which is SO frustrating…On the other hand, she may very well be 1) blocked by the bosses from doing anything more challenging or 2) just doesn’t want to go there because of her own politics (Democratic, but her husband supported McCain…so who really knows at this point?)

You take what you can from this sort of interview…so, if you forget about how Greta is framing things and just listen to Clinton, you can see how the wheels are turning in his mind and how he smooths a lot of concerns over by acknowledging them, then putting them away.

He’s the guy who is keeping the average American who sees this chat “calm.” He’s Obama’s best spokesperson…He’s the official “smooth things over” go-to guy.

Here’s the link to some of the video…(There’s a third part on the obesity chat at the On the Record site)

Opening Part with Obama Travel, etc.

What Would Clinton Do? (Economy)

The Past Week: February 8-14, 2009 (Saturday Night Hard HR1 News; Chicago News [“Racial” Comments; Obama Ally Alexi Giannoulis]; “Roots Camp”; Bill Clinton Shills for the DCCC; New Sprouts in the Late Winter Garden)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for all of us. I couldn’t do last week’s roundup, but have caught up with the posts from the missing week in the list at the end.

***

Saturday Night, Date Night…Last night FOX News decided to do some in-depth reporting on the “stimulus package” covering the health care issue among others.  Where were they last week?  I bet the ratings were HUGE on Saturday night as they rolled this information out…information that was all over the sane blogs the past few days…

***

Chicago Correspondent Leslie has come up with a couple of nuggets about what’s going on in Chi Town with regard to the local buzz about their pride and joy, Obama. She writes about Friday’s local news:

Of course,  now that The One has begun his descent into ratings hell, we are now hearing news “reports” about “negative and possibly threatening racial comments” being made by northwest side (of Chicago) police on the phone to an FBI agent.  But of course, there is only circumstantial evidence to substantiate these reports.

So I ask, Why. are. they. reporting. this. on. Prime.Time.News. on the local stations?

I promise this was just now reported. JUST NOW.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/police-obama-threat.html

*shaking my head*

Also from Leslie  and on a more sinister note is this story from the Chicago Reader by Ling Ma about the state treasurer of Illinois, who has ties to Obama.  As Leslie says, it captures the “heart and soul” of Chicago politics, where “They scratch each other’s back. Oh, but they care about the little guy…(snark)!”

Broadway Bank is owned by the family of Alexi Giannoulis, Illinois state treasurer and a political ally of Barack Obama. Giannoulis was the bank officer who approved the loan to Loren Billings.

The full story is fascinating  just on the basis of the story about holography and what is described as the last holography museum in the U.S.  But what really is disturbing is how this elderly woman was cajoled into taking out a loan by “friends” at Giannoulis’  Broadway Bank and how her life may be ruined. Obama’s friends in Chicago really know how to do this sort of thing well…

***

Have you noticed the unfolding of the Obama machine in your neighborhood?  Over the last couple of weeks I’ve seen it in a few different forms.

First, I got this email for some reason:

Last week we witnessed something incredible as President Obama was sworn in. In his Inaugural Address, he talked about hope, change, and shared responsibility in his moving Inaugural Address. Now it’s time for each of us to take responsibility for turning hope into change through action.

RootsCamp is a great place to get started! RootsCamp is a progressive gathering where you’ll meet great people, debrief the 2008 election cycle, and get energized for the legislative session and what’s next for Colorado.  Best of all its FREE, thanks to the wonderful sponsors.

Join us in Denver this Saturday, January 31st for a great opportunity to learn, share, and get active.

You’ll have the opportunity to meet with other community organizers, progressive organizations and find ways to plug in and volunteer.

For more information and to RSVP, click on the following link:
http://www.progressnowaction.org/RootsCamp09

We’re excited to build on President Obama’s dream for America and the only way to make it happen is by getting involved.  Sign up for RootsCamp today.
Can’t wait to see you on the 31st!

Cheers,
Brittney Wilburn
Outreach Director
ProgressNow Colorado Education

“ROOTS CAMP”…has a certain ring to it…like “Boot Camp”???  Can’t you see all the “youth” marching around?  “EDUCATION”? As in “re-education”?

Just before the same weekend, I started getting calls from newly-elected CD-1 Rep. Harry Teague (Richardson’s chosen one) urging me to attend a “town gathering” on the Saturday, January 31st.  I didn’t get one call–I got 3 calls within the span of about a day and a half.

Then, in the Albuquerque Journal last week, I saw a big ad seeking “input” at a meeting on the subject of  “neighborhood/community stabilization.”

The vise is beginning to close in on us…

***

To top off this barrage of Barack, there was this mailer I got this week from the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee)!!  Did you get yours?  I only dropped my affiliation with the Democratic Party 7 months ago, but they won’t leave any stone unturned, I guess!

Most annoying thing about this:  It’s from BILL CLINTON.  “Your 2009 membership card and a special message from Bill Clinton” is emblazoned on the envelope and to the left of this is a see-through “window” showing my membership card with a picture of a smiling Barack Obama staring at me!

Inside, the letter has a big “Bill Clinton” on the masthead with this inspiring text below:

Dear Fellow Democrat,

2009 is going to be an amazing year in the life of our nation – and you helped set the stage for it.

I’m so proud of the way Hillary our herself  heart and soul into helping Barack Obama and so many Democratic candidates this year.

(SNIP)

You and I both know that Barack Obama is an exceptional leader. And, by acting now to join the DCCC, you can make sure he has the support he needs in Congress and America.

(Drivel continues)

I want you to know that I sure didn’t “help set the stage” for the crap that’s going on in D.C. !! The odd thing is that the letter is dated January and was done before the Inauguration.  Someone’s timing was off…of maybe this little gem got stuck in the local post office, which is notorious for late delivery of a lot of mail.  Or maybe the Pony Express was down a rider…

Anyway, I will send them a little love note on their stamp in lieu of a donation. In light of what has gone down with HR 1, the “stimulus package,” the DCCC deserves a kick in the ass, not more money! (They “urgently” need gifts of at least $35…in their dreams!)  I’m supposed to remember that “TOGETHER WE MADE HISTORY!”…I’m sure we’ll be getting that reminder constantly for the next 4 long years.

***

This week in the high-desert garden:  The arugula and mustard is going to seed and I harvested the last of the broccoli side shoots. I planted some lettuce and mescalin which is coming up now.  I have to start pruning the grape vines which are now showing white fuzzy buds.  The peach tree in the warm corner of of the yard is already to bursting into pink flowers.  I’m planning to take out this tree as it just is not the right spot for a peach tree!  We still have lots of cold weather ahead and refuse to cover the thing like I have in the past.  The tree on the side of the house is just starting to show swelling buds which is more on the right schedule. Even the fig has tinges of green at the buds.  The chives and parsley are growing nicely and the dill is coming back with new growth.  I have to set up the trellises so I can start training the two newer grape vines. So, I’m really getting psyched to get out there and start the new spring/summer gardening year!  A few weeks ago the change in the sun started so that my indoor basil, parsley and oregano at the window really started taking off, too!

THE PAST WEEK (Actually 2 Weeks, Since We Couldn’t Do a Roundup Last Sunday)

*By American Lassie

**By Grail Guardian

***By Kenosha Marge

See What’s In the Stimulus Bill That Will Be Signed Into Law; Listen to W.A.M. Radio This Weekend to Find Out MORE…(UPDATED 1X: Corrected link to Show)

UPDATE: HOUSE PASSES HR1; SENATE VOTES LATER TODAY ON HR 1 STIMULUS PACKAGE!! SIGN THE PETITION! (More SHOCKING Info on What’s in Bill & More on the Way [Hidden Agenda]; Listen to W.A.M. Radio This Weekend for More Info)

*Lawrence Summers Needs to Study Up on Some Women’s History–Here’s a Short Course He Should Take

Health Links: Alternatives to Mainstream Medicine re: Cancer and Other Diseases; Stem Cell Research Clinic

Hidden Health Care Provisions in the “Stimulus Package”: the Ghost of Daschle Lives On and Will Haunt Us All, Especially Seniors…This is BAD NEWS!! (Link to Bill Language Here)

AP Analyzes Obama:He’s FED UP With Protests About the Stimulus Plan…Too F*cking Bad!!

The Scanner-Politics 2/9/2009 (Future Palin “Problem”; Tracking What They’re Doing in D.C.; Useful Healthcare Info for Escaping the Grip of Mainstream Medicine [Re: Cancer and Degenerative Diseases])

**We’ve Lost a Noble Warrior, But Will Not Give UP the Fight! In Memoriam: Marlene C. Utz

More Good News for Women: Synthetic, Prescription HRT Shrinks the Brain

Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-NY: “Fighting Dem”? Or Just Blowing Smoke for the Folks Back Home? (Guess…)

***Empowered or Powerless? Hillary in the Box…

Celebrate the Exit of Tom Daschle with a Smattering of Smiles….

Happy Prairie Dog Day!! (Updated 1X–Peekie Boo Prairie Dog Sees Shadow [Pic]

The Past Week: January 25-31, 2009 (Two Ex-Presidents Acting Like Misogynistic Jerks; Coins; Grammy Awards Sound Truck Stops by for a Visit [Pics!])

Hidden Health Care Provisions in the “Stimulus Package”: the Ghost of Daschle Lives On and Will Haunt Us All, Especially Seniors…This is BAD NEWS!! (Link to Bill Language Here)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

There are some health care issues buried in the now-passed “stimulus package” that could have very detrimental ramifications for health care in the U.S, particularly for seniors. FOX News has reported on this subject  (but I don’t know if it was on any other “news” outlet) and Betsy McCaughey Ross, former Lt. Governor of NY during George Pataki’s first term (1994-1998), has issued a scathing assessment of the health provisions buried in the bill.

Who is Betsy McCaughey Ross?  Well, she was dumped by Pataki after publicly clashing with him on issues like education and day care and unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination for governor and then on the Liberal line in 1998.

McCaughey Ross spoke at the 1998 Women’s Rights Convention and Vision Summit. Her her bio for the event:

Betsy McCaughey Ross

Currently lieutenant governor of New York, Betsy McCaughey Ross is running for the state governorship in the November elections. During her tenure as second-in-command of the state government, McCaughey Ross has advocated for improvements in the early education system in New York and led the fight for patient rights and increased awareness of HMO abuses. Among her successes were the campaign for full state funding for prekindergarten for all children, effective early reading programs to ensure that all children can read by third grade and the Patient Fair Appeals Act which gives patients a right to appeal outside their insurance company. McCaughey Ross unequivocally supports women’s reproductive freedom, leads the fight against “drive-through” mastectomies and deliveries and champions lesbian and gay rights. She entered public service after successful careers as a university professor at Columbia and as a public policy researcher at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and the Manhattan Institute. McCaughey Ross has many publications, academic awards and prizes, but is most proud of her Mother of the Year Award.

McCaughey Ross left the Manhattan Institute and joined the Hudson Institute in 1999 where she planned to focus on Medicare issues. One thing she gained notoriety for was her criticism of the Clinton health plan. McCaughey Ross is currently an adjunct senior fellow at  the Hudson Institute, according to the squib below her current commentary.

Here an excerpt of McCaughey Ross’ essay that appeared on February 9 at Bloomberg.com: Opinion.:

Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan: Betsy McCaughey

Commentary by Betsy McCaughey

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) — Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.

Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion. These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department.

Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far.

MORE

I urge you to read the whole piece to learn about what Daschle has left behind even though he ws dropped as the nominee for HHS. McCaughey Ross includes the specific pages in Daschle’s book that will send chills down your spine.  Bill Clinton began the discussion of  keeping medical records by “electronic” means as a cost-saving measure; and it’s back on steroids as a hidden monster in this bill. Read how all this follows the model of what has happened in the U.K. and the ramifications, including this example:

In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.

Some key points in McCaughey Ross’ essay:

  • “Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties”
  • “The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make. The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs.”
  • “Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt. Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).”
  • “Hidden Provisions: If the Obama administration’s economic stimulus bill passes the Senate in its current form, seniors in the U.S. will face similar rationing. Defenders of the system say that individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later. The stimulus bill will affect every part of health care, from medical and nursing education, to how patients are treated and how much hospitals get paid. The bill allocates more funding for this bureaucracy than for the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined (90-92, 174-177, 181). Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional.

Well, the Senate passed the bill and now it goes to reconciliation with the House version.  Get ready for rationing…

***

New York Times archive of articles — Betsy McCaughey Ross

***

Related Posts:

1/23/09  Obama’s Entitlement “Reform”– the Social Security-Medicare Nexus and Health Freedom

12/8/08  “Healthcare Reform” PR Blitz, Screw Job on the Way–And YOU Can Join In!

Make Your Plans for Inauguration Day NOW!! Important Info on Alternate Events to Help Get Through the Day!!

~~By Chicago Correspondent Leslie & InsightAnalytical-GRL)                                                     

(Alternate activities planned here at IA and Partizane.com follow Chicago Ball Information!)

GRL writes:

OK, gang! With the inspiring images of Democrats and Republicans joining together yesterday in the spirit of “bipartisanship” and the media’s glow about how this was SO MUCH better than Bill Clinton’s pre-election activities (what happened to “W”?), don’t you think it’s high time YOU started planning how you’ll be celebrating Inauguration Day on January 20th? If you check out the official Countdown Clock, you’ll note EXACTLY how long you’ve got to finish your preperations and get ready for the joyous celebrations possible riots in the streets of D.C. on this historic day!

Now, in case you couldn’t come up with the change for a ticket to the D.C. celebrations, here’s the latest on the big blow-out in Chicago! YES, YOU CAN ATTEND THE CHICAGO INAUGURAL BALL!!  

Here’s your OFFICIAL INVITATION courtesy…Chicago Correspondent Leslie! Leslie is in a real party mood (well, not really), BUT she’s offering her place to those who decide it’s an event they can’t miss!

CC Leslie writes:

Let’s all meet in Chicago – you can stay at my place and do the Inaugural Ball !!!

I do wish I could get excited about this inauguration. I know this is a historic
event – despite the person who is being “crowned”.
Alas, I cannot. I may not even tape it.
And I’m sure as shootin’ not paying $175 for a ticket to this party. — Leslie

—– Original Message —–

From: Chicago Inaugural Ball

To: undisclosed-recipients
Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 3:27 PM
Subject: Invitation to Inaugural Ball

In honor of
The President of the United States,
Barack Obama, and Mrs. Obama
The Vice President of the United States,
Joe Biden, and Mrs. Biden
the Chicago Inaugural Committee
requests the honor of your company
at
the Inaugural Ball
Tuesday evening the twentieth of January
two thousand and nine
in the President’s home city of Chicago

Formal attire          seven o’clock

Not everyone can be in Washington, DC to witness the historic
Inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.  If you can’t be in the
nation’s capital, why not celebrate this event with other supporters and
friends right here in the President’s hometown?  We will be toasting
Barack Obama’s swearing-in on the evening of January 20th, 2009 at the
Skyline Ballroom in McCormick Place — and you are invited!

For more information and tickets: http://chicagoinauguralball.com/index.html

***

Special Announcement from InsightAnalytical-GRL

Well, I have to say, that’s impressive.  But is Chicago REALLY his hometown??

Now, if you really can’t make it to THIS event, then here are some alternatives.

First of all, Partizane.com is planning to hold it’s own “PUMA BAWL.”  Here’s your special invitation !!!!!

Everyone is invited to the World Famous Partizane PUMA BAWL Open Chat

Tuesday January 20, 2009 10:30 ish AM until Whenever.

The only time management can gaurantee a presence is at night but the chat room will be open in the morning.  I will open the chat room in the morning so folks can chat throughout the barf barf Inauguration.

Dress Code:  Black tie for the boys, red for the girls.  No other clothing required but if you really want to wear a gown, please do.

Please join us.  BYOB BYOK (kleenex)

~~New Hampster

***

We here at IA, of course, have our own party planned…which ties in nicely with the PUMA Bawl!  If  you want to take a break from the festivities there, maybe to go to the ladies’ or gents’ room or to vomit in private, please stop by IA, where we will be an entirely OBAMA-FREE SAFE ZONE!!

We’ll be offering up a lovely selection of soothing pictures of sunny NM skies, mountains, and loving animals– as well as perhaps some other goodies–to help offer a place to work off all that partying !

And, if any other PUMAs who stop by care to announce their OWN plans, please DO provide a link and a brief description if possible in the comment section and we will gladly post them here at IA on Inauguration Day!!

SO, MARK YOUR CALENDARS and plan to drop by on the big day!!!

The Past Week(s): December 14-27, Recaps and Random Thoughts (“Heart” Series; Betty Currie Returns; “Money as Debt”; FDA Caves to Pressure, Antibiotics Back IN Food Animals as of 11/30)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

We’ve been busy over the last week with our “Heart” series (and there will be two pieces in the same vein over the New Year holiday) but here are a couple of items that have caught our eye recently.

***

In case you missed this: From the “you must be kidding department”:

Remember Betty Currie? Personal secretary to Bill Clinton who testified 5 times before a grand jury during the Lewinsky scandal?  With a lot of the Obama team former Clinton Administration officials, I guess this should be no surprise at this point.

Obama Team Has Forged Another Link With Clintons

Answering the phones these days for the co-chairman of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition, John D. Podesta, is none other than Betty Currie.

Emerging from retirement in southern Maryland to volunteer at Obama headquarters, Ms. Currie was the personal secretary to President Bill Clinton, who became caught up in an independent counsel investigation into his trysts with the White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Since leaving the White House, Ms. Currie, 69, has shied from publicity and kept a low profile in Hollywood, Md., where she lives with her husband, Bob, and Socks, the presidential cat, which she took with her after Mr. Clinton left office.

Ms. Currie, who works with local nonprofit organizations and serves on the Alcohol Beverage Board of St. Mary’s County, declined to discuss her work for Mr. Obama or her recent life, citing a transition office policy against volunteers giving interviews.

Compelled to testify to a grand jury five times about Mr. Clinton’s relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, Ms. Currie is widely admired in Clinton circles for her loyalty and effectiveness.

Mr. Podesta, who was Mr. Clinton’s last White House chief of staff, said it was natural for him to call Ms. Currie back to service.

“Of course I asked her because in the 30 years we have worked together, I have never known anyone with more grace, dedication and public spirit than Betty,” he said. “And she has one mean Rolodex.”

Yup, that Rolodex must be something to see…along with all that grace, dedication and public spirit!  Wonder if Socks has any insights to offer about what’s going on in that transition team?

***

So, with the huge spending being planned by Team Obama, my mother is talking about the Depression a lot more.  Then there’s the concern over to whether to buy gold and silver or to get a Swiss bank account (Swiss francs reputedly offer a  stable hedge against the loss of the dollar’s value).

A Canadian visitor named Manuela suggested this animated video which explains what money is and how it is created in response to our discussion of  The History Channel’s recent program on “The Crash” (which was not the greatest).  (See “The Past Week: December 7-13” below.) It’s the sort of thing that anyone who doesn’t have a clue about the current financial crisis should see…

The film is by Paul Grignon and is called “Money as Debt” and you can see it here.

***

If you eat animal products, you might want to know this. Two days before Thanksgiving, the FDA REVERSED the ban on the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, including chickens, cattle, and pigs, effective November 30th.  As reported by the the non-profit American Association for Health Freedom:

FDA Reverses Its Order on Antibiotics in Animals

…In December 2007, a coalition of consumer, environmental, science, and humane groups known as Keep Antibiotics Working wrote to the FDA commissioner, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, urging further FDA action. Their letter presented evidence that the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock contributed to the MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) epidemic in Europe, and showed that the effectiveness of antibiotics against deadly bacteria was questionable at best. They cited data that a new strain of MRSA bacteria in pigs was linked to 20% of all human MRSA infections in the Netherlands and Canada, though there are insufficient studies to make that link in the U.S., where MRSA cases have recently surged. The coalition also estimated that 70% of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are used as feed additives in chicken, pigs, and cattle.

This past summer the FDA instituted an order banning the off-label use of drugs in food-producing animals, while noting that the same family of drugs was important to treat disease in humans. This fall, the FDA echoed again the same sentiment, taking note of the increasing evidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in cattle. But the FDA’s action met with harsh industry criticism. Pfizer argued that the drugs were essential for preventing disease in animals. Other groups, including the Animal Population Health Institute, the KS Health Department, the National Turkey Federation, and the American Veterinary Medical Association, also criticized the FDA’s ban, which was to go into effect on November 30.

So despite the mounting concern over antibiotic resistance—which is known to endanger human life—on November 25 the FDA revoked their earlier order, to the profound dismay of the Keep Antibiotics Working coalition and researchers like Dr. Stuart Levy at Tufts University, who leads the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics. Dr. Levy has collected a considerable body of evidence to educate his colleagues and consumers about the dangers of the overuse and abuse of antibiotics both in humans and in animal use.

The AAHF is working with other groups to see reform of the FDA and has a petition up at ReformFDA.org.

Now, with Tom Daschle heading Health and Human Services, which encompasses the FDA, should we expect a reversal of this decision? From Daschle (and wife) who have had some ties through their lobbying activities that might point to other interests? See here for details.

***

THE PAST WEEK

*By Grail Guardian

**Contribution by Chicago Correspondent Leslie

***By American Lassie

After “Aunt Benazir’s” Assassination, Fatima Bhutto Still Fighting to Reveal the Truth

6. The Heart of the Season: Celebrating the Season with Light…New Mexico Luminarias

*5. The Heart of the Season: Hats for Grail Mama and Friends Beyond Family

4. The Heart of the Season: A Dog’s Purpose and Justice for Karley and All Who Deserve It

3. The Heart of the Season: Weeping for the “Unnatural History” of Chimpanzees (Updated 2X)

2. The Heart of the Season: Birds of the Solstice and Signs (A Double Post by kenosha Marge and InsightAnalytical-GRL)

Katie in the Christmas Tree by kenosha Marge

Winter Solstice, 1992: The Final Flight of a Soul by InsightAnalytical-GRL

1. The Heart of the Season: Wise Words from a Young Old Soul

Taking Our Power, Taking Our Lives: Women Under Threat (Updated 1X)

**Chicago Style Update…

Of Robots and Women and Our Current Life in the Village of Stepford (Antidote on the Way?)(A Double Post by kenosha Marge and InsightAnalytical-GRL)

Women, You’re About To Be Replaced By…a ROBOT! by InsightAnalytical-GRL

Women Will Never Be Equal by kenosha Marge

***On Reflection: These Are The Times That Try Men’s (and Women’s) Souls

W.A.M. Asks — Who Needs Christmas When You Can Worship “THE ONE”?

The Past Week: December 7-13, Recaps and Random Thoughts (Blago in the Can and ON the Can; Obama License Plates in IL?; Reality-Based Black Commentary; Canada & the Auto Bailout; Live Blog of The History Channel on “Crash: The Next Great Depression?”– No Surprise, A Waste of Time; Ignored Science) (Updated 1X)

The Past Week: December 7-13, Recaps and Random Thoughts (Blago in the Can and ON the Can; Obama License Plates in IL?; Reality-Based Black Commentary; Canada & the Auto Bailout; Live Blog of The History Channel on “Crash: The Next Great Depression?”– No Surprise, A Waste of Time; Ignored Science) (Updated 1X)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

We haven’t really discussed the Blago case on this blog over the past week, but we have to chime in with a couple of bits about this case and other Obama-related insanity.  Both these nuggets come from our Chicago Correspondent Leslie.

First, CC Leslie gives us this bit from WBBM 780 in Chicago:

blago-on-toilet

Obama Senate Seat Listed On eBay

Posted: Wednesday, 10 December 2008 8:28AM

(WBBM/STNG) – Governor Blagojevich was unsuccessful at trying to sell the vacant Illinois Senate seat, federal prosecutors say.

But that hasn’t stopped other people from trying to seal the deal.

There are at least a dozen tongue-in-cheek offerings of President-elect Barack Obama’s senate seat on eBay.

The items up for bidding range from a replica of the state seal to photoshopped pictures of Governor Rod Blagojevich.

One of the created images shows him sitting on a toilet with graffiti on the wall around him. It’s a direct quote from the criminal complaint by federal prosecutors, reading “This seat will go to the highest (bleeping) bidder.”

(MORE)

A couple of days earlier, CC Leslie posted this comment at IA:

Leslie, on December 8th, 2008 at 2:47 PM Said: Edit Comment

This is sooo OT I hope you don’t all throw your hands up and bar me from commenting any more ………..

Today, on Radio News Chicago, the most recent crass report is that the State of Illinois (”Land of Lincoln”) is considering creating a license plate with “Land of Obama” or some such oddity because “there is such a HUGE demand” for those plates. And they will raise MILLIONS of $$ for the state !!

I guess with all the “Change” anticipated, we will have to change the way we identify ourselves here in the Obama-nation !

If I don’t buy one of those plates, will that make me racist? or a terrorist?

There are no more words.

Here’s the link to the Chicago SunTimes report:
I can’t stand much more of this…I feel a migraine coming on.
My suggestion to Leslie is to get out of Chicago if she values her health!!
***
Meanwhile, in the reality-based black community, Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford unloads a MASSIVE barrage of whoop-ass I-told-you-so” that shouldn’t be missed:

Obama’s ‘Center-Right’ Presidency: The Die is Cast

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“Black folks desperately needed the Obama of their imaginings.”

We already know enough. There is no more mystery as to what makes Barack Obama tick. He is your garden variety “center-right” American politician, as rated by no less an authority than the New York Times – the folks who practically invented the standards by which one is located in the corporate political spectrum.

There are lots of political appointments to go before Obama’s roster is complete, but the heavy lifting is done. The ideological pillars of America’s first Black presidency have been planted wholly within the parameters of governance allowed by big capital and the imperial military. Obama’s “transition” is more accurately seen as a “continuity” of rule by the lords of finance capital and their protective screen of warriors and spies. The Obama regime, still incomplete, already wreaks of filthy rich thieves and gore-covered war criminals.

Obama’s “national security” and economic lineup is an infinity of ugliness, more repulsive than I could have imagined back in the summer of 2003, when Obama’s rise to glory was about to begin. The supremely talented actor/state senator’s capacity for obfuscation; his refusal to take a firm position on any subject of real controversy; his transparently false denials of fealty to the corporate Democratic Leadership Council, which had publicly claimed him – all this should have marked Obama as bad news for Black America. But his was a fatally attractive package, like the shiny little cluster bomblets that kids pick up in places like Afghanistan.

“The ideological pillars of America’s first Black presidency have been planted wholly within the parameters of governance by finance capital and the imperial military.”

My colleagues and I were most fearful of the effect Obama’s corporate-rigged explosion onto the national scene would have on the Black polity – both the masses and leadership circles. Obama’s phony progressivism didn’t fool us for a second – although we yearned as much as other African Americans for the appearance of a Great Black Hope. Obama wasn’t “The One,” no matter what Oprah said. Rather, he became a menace to Black folks’ collective mental health.

We knew that a mass hallucinatory phenomenon was about to occur, that would loosen many Black folks’ grips on reality no matter how often and loudly we warned that Barack Obama was a cynical corporate striver who encouraged whites to believe that his election would mark the end of Black politics as we have known it. (Take breath, here.) He was the anti-Jesse, the anti-Sharpton, a fraudulent peace candidate, an eager servant of the rich. We diligently provided evidence of Obama’s true political nature, and at every juncture before and during the primaries we were proven correct in our analysis. But no matter. African Americans’ pent up hunger to see a (pretty) Black face in the highest place, would not be denied. They desperately needed the Obama of their imaginings, and would draw and quarter anyone that questioned the senator’s sainthood.

Were Black folks “losing their damn minds,” as comedian David Alan Grier puts it on Comedy Central’s Chocolate News?

Yes, they were.

(MORE)

OUCH!
***
Even though the auto bailout package appears dead for now, the Canadian government apparently thinks something is going to be done “soon” and is also involved, trying to pre-emptively protect its own auto jobs. Stay tuned…

Federal government, Ontario agree on $3.3B auto bailout package

Deficit now ‘likely,’ finance minister acknowledges

Last Updated: Friday, December 12, 2008 | 9:31 PM ET

The federal government and Ontario have reached a deal to offer proportional funds to Canada’s auto industry if a proposed $14-billion US aid package is approved in Washington, Industry Minister Tony Clement said Friday.

Speaking to reporters in Toronto, Clement said the proposed aid to Canada’s ailing auto sector would amount to approximately 20 per cent of the U.S. proposal, or about $3.3 billion Cdn.

The U.S. bailout appeared to have died late Thursday night after hours of heated negotiations between lawmakers, representatives from automakers and unions. But lawmakers said they still hope an agreement on the Democratic- and White House-backed plan could be reached.

The Canadian subsidiaries of the Detroit Big Three automakers had asked Ottawa and Ontario for financial aid that could total as much as $6 billion.

Clement said the deal was contingent on GM, Ford and Chrysler working together with parts suppliers and unions for a long-term solution for their industry, as well as the American proposal going forward.

“Governments can decide to help, but these decisions will only be made in the best interests of the taxpayer,” Clement told reporters.

The minister also said the Canadian government expects U.S. President George W. Bush to announce something “very soon.”

“What we’re signalling here tonight, both the governments of Ontario and the government of Canada, is that we want to be part of the solution as well, and it will be commensurate with the production that takes place here in Canada,” Clement said.

The pre-emptive move by Ottawa and Ontario will make it harder for U.S. lawmakers to strike a deal that protects American jobs at the expense of Canadian ones, said veteran auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers.

(MORE)

***

After sitting through Greta’s hour on Blago-gate (which was a limited rundown, with very little dot-connecting), I decided to see how the History Channel covered the current financial crisis.

Live-blogging the History Channel …Saturday night 12/13

As  I put together this roundup, I’ve got one eye on the History Channel’s special, “Crash: The Next Great Depression?” which is contrasting the present financial crisis with the 1929 stock-market crash and the Great Depression which followed. The program has traced the ripple of the bad credit/loans and the boom and the bust.  Sort of.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have come and gone with nothing about Raines and the skulduggery there.  So far, I’ve heard Ronald Reagan on getting rid of regulation; how starting in 2000 Phil Gramm pushed for deregulation;  how Bill Clinton how kept Alan Greenspan on and urged the loosening of regulations; and how George Bush espoused the importance of home ownership. Then, onto about how people wanted a “change” after the 1929 crash just like now and how FDR along with the new Democratic majority in 1933 took action by announcing  the “New Deal”  and creating a “flurry” of new programs.  It’s now showing Barack Obama’s December 7 press conference unveiling a lot of “flashy” names and pushing for lots of stimulus.  In juxtaposition, Jerry Stiller is talking about how the  “whole country was lifted, happy days were here again” because of  the New Deal.  YES, Jerry Stiller.  The experts are talking about the first 100 days and the restructuring of the banks which included inspection of the banks and the creation of the FDIC.  And, yes, Henry Paulson is doing the same thing (??).  Now we see the Depression work programs and how Obama is proposing similar projects.  An expert talks about how government will be the driving force from now on. But we then hear how the New Deal didn’t solve the problem, that it was the war that brought the economy back to life and pre-crash levels.  There’s the hope that we won’t have a world war to solve the current predicament. Guess what the next ad is?–the Capital One credit card, after all the talk about the irresponsible credit spending of consumer at the start of the program.

Andy Serwer, Editor of Fortune Magazine* and one of the often-quoted experts, opines that we learned a lot from the 1930’s and how important it is to pump money into the system. Banks, auto industry bailouts in the face of accelerating  job loses, no lending, pressure on non-bank auto loans, credit cards…But, we can’t go back to the highly-regulated system created in the 30’s by FDR — we have to make the current system “better.”   Last word, it’s bad but won’t turn into the next Great Depression, even though all the scary music sure makes it seem that way.  I guess FAITH will overcome…

So, that’s it.  Great job..NOT!  NOT ONE WORD about the politics behind the bad loans, the lack oversight and the Democrats’ culpability. What there seemed to be was a not-s0-subtle link created between FDR and Obama.  There’s also the message from one of the “experts” that government is going to take over the driving force of job creation and the economy.  We even get the “change” message. We see a smiling Obama…the image of all that “happy days are here again” stuff…

There you have it. The incomplete and subtly biased by omission, “in-depth reporting” from the History Channel.  Just enough to make an unsuspecting viewer think he or she is getting the full story, while all it is is a rehash of the spin being shipped out on a daily basis by the media. Served up nice and clean.  All neat and tidy for the arrival of Barack Obama.  It’s all gonna be OK, even though one guy who actually runs a plumbing supply place seems to think there will be a greater challenge in 2009 as current orders drop and promised government contracts are on hold or just drying up..  But the expert says not to worry, government will take over.

Frankly, I’m sticking with the plumbing supply guy.  (What is it about plumbers this year??)

(*Fortune Magazine: Part of Time, Inc, which in turn is part of Time Warner, which also controls AOL, HBO, Time Warner Cable, Turner Broadcasting System, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Time Warner Investments, and Time Warner Global Media Group.  Feeling better now???)

***

Earlier this week we discussed the “healthcare reform” push started by the Obama Transition Team (see post listed below). We’re wondering how the concerns raised by the folks at The American Association for Health Freedom will be addressed under an Obama healthcare team headed by a lobbyist (Tom Daschle) and in light of  the “positive response” by Ted Kennedy to the insurance industry writing up their own proposals, just the way Big Pharma wrote the Medicare Part D legislation.

What Happened to the Promise to Save This Nation Billions in Healthcare Costs?

One of the biggest clinical trials ever organized by our federal government indicated that generic medication for high blood pressure in use since the 1950s worked better than the newer drugs costing more than twenty times more. Yet Dr. Curt Fuberg, the chair of the $130 million ALLHAT trial, resigned in frustration in August 2004, citing the lack of effort put into diseeminating “the ALLHAT message.”

A similar situation has existed since the 1997 publication of the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) research study at Harvard. DASH emphasized a diet rich in potassium-containing foods such as fruits and vegetables, and more physical activity; these approaches, they found, could lower blood pressure in up to 90% of hypertensive patients without medication. Yet this too has fallen on deaf ears.

(SNIP)

The money spent on the direct-to-consumer drug ads that dominate the American media is dwarfed by the $21 billion dollars spent annually to sway doctors prescribing habits. Dr. Jerome Kassirer, professor of medicine at both Yale and Tufts and former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, describes conventional physicians as paid prostitutes for drug manufacturers.

It has progressed to the point that the standard treatment offered by international physicians after a patient suffers a heart attack—high doses of fish oil—is ignored or even rejected in the U.S. Here, prescriptions and procedures dominate cardiac care, and heart blockage is viewed as a plumbing or structural abnormality. Yet science has proven that patients do not live longer or better when heart disease is addressed by surgically opening or bypassing closed arteries.

As Arizona psychiatrist Ed Gogek wrote in the Buffalo News, the new Surgeon General should back alternative medicine. Dr. Gogek indicates that the public is far ahead of medical experts and politicians on alternative medicine. Isn’t it time they caught up?

A related article at the site is also worth a look; see The Science of Prevention.

***

UPDATE:

CNN is owned by AOLTimeWarner… For more info on media incest, visit the Columbia Journalism Review. According to an archived article there, The History Channel is owned by The Walt Disney Company, GE, and Hearst.  Figures!!!! So that’s where the fairy tales come from…

***

Finally, a busy week in the garden harvesting loads of mustard and collards. Today, I did the final cleanup of all the pots I used to grow peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes on the patio. This involved taking off the bark mulch and bagging it, putting the dead plants into the composter, bagging up the potting soil to use in the spring, washing out all the pots and lugging them all into the garage. I use only clay pots from Italy to grown vegetables in and they do last a lot longer if they’re protected from the winter extremes. I also cleaned out the glazed pots I use for flowers.  It was a big job that I kept putting off, but with milder temperatures today, it was now or never.

***