The Past Week: February 15-21, 2009 (“Efficiency” Experts Michelle and “3-Card Monte” Barack Obama…Michelle’s Legacy at U of Chicago Hospital Under Fire by ER Physicians; Hubby Plans to Halve the Deficit via “Efficiency” (Among Other Things…); Spring Garden Prep!

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

This is going to be an abbreviated roundup as things still are rather hectic here.

We did get this nugget from our Chicago Correspondent Leslie, who heard a radio report on the local NPR station in Chicago on Friday morning (February 20).

Here is what she passed along:

This morning on NPR (usually the voice of BHO), I heard there is a medical group (I didn’t hear the name) accusing
UofC(hicago) Hospital ER of “dumping patients” with limited ability to pay in order to avoid having to treat them.
This report (by NPR) specifically named Michelle Obama for developing the program used by UofC Hosp. These doctors were quite clear that the purpose of the program was not for “more efficient use of the emergency room” but was expressly developed to move poor patients from UofC Hosp.
I found it pretty interesting that this report on NPR in Chicago did not screen the report more closely. I’ll have to listen the rest of the morning for the replay of this report. Let’s see if they even re-air this one item.

Our intrepid correspondent followed up with the link at the NPR site, surprised that it was even there.

Under the City Room “News Briefs” we find the story about how, in what the Vice-President of the American College of Emergency Physicians calls a “highly unusual” move, the group is accusing the U of C of dumping patients. In fact, Dr. Sandra Schneider says she can’t remember any other time the group has “called out” a hospital like this.

Doctors Slam U of C Hospital

The organization singles out the hospital’s Urban Health Initiative, which diverts some patients away from the ER. It’s supposed to make the system more efficient by freeing up ER staff to treat the most urgent cases. But the doctors group likens it to dumping unprofitable patients.

SCHNEIDER: We would ask the university to find ways where it would become good business to take care of all patients, not just those that pay.

The Urban Health Initiative was developed in part by First Lady Michelle Obama when she was an executive at the hospital. A U. of C. spokesman called the doctors’ criticism, quote:”way off-base,” and said the hospital hasn’t cut back on emergency care.

Back on January 12 we posted the news from CC Leslie about how Michelle’s former job was being cut and how one of Barack’s friends was taking over the duties.  So, the legacy of Michelle Obama lives on at University of Chicago’s hospital…
Speaking of  making the system “more efficient.”..as I write this post, a story has just come up on the Comcast news feed…talk about an eerie “coincidence”…

And, he has vowed to scale back spending and improve government efficiency by eliminating programs that don’t work.

MORE

It’s that “EFFICIENCY THING”!!  I wonder if the Obamas stay up nights talking about “efficiency”?
Monday we start the next campaign and start seeing what Obama thinks should be cut.  Meanwhile, the money will be flowing with very little supervision to the states and to his favored recipients.
And I’m wondering…how many seniors on Medicare get thrown under the bus?  How many people on disability???  That would seem to fit in in with the policies left behing by Michelle Obama at U of  C very nicely…
UNREAL!  Audacity, hubris, whatever you want to call it…I call it “3-Card Monte”…(another example of  Obama’s prowess with 3-Card Monte” here.)
***
This week in the high-desert garden.  Trees are budding out and the daytime temperatures are getting into the 70’s.  This week I pulled up most of the mustard, which has started going to seed. Same with the arugula.  I also harvested a few more sideshoots of broccoli and those plants have been pulled, too.  I still have to prune the grapes and fertilize. The rock squirrels are beginning to spend more time outside; when I look over the wall, I see one with his head poked out of his hole now all the time.  Today, I saw one of the crew on the wall,  near the feeder where I put cracked corn for the doves, so I know the squirrel was out for a sample.  Every year one of the squirrels tries to dig into my raised bed garden and usually they’ve dug out tunnels up to a couple of feet long before I find out about them!  I fill them in and the squirrels come back!  Then, they seem to get discouraged and stop trying. I’m really afraid that someday they will extend their burrows under the walls into the yard!

THE PAST WEEK

*By American Lassie

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

El Paso Media Conference Pushes “Newspapers as Change Agents”; Interesting Background of Organizer

Obama World in Pictures: Privates and Flights of Fancy

*Eustace Mullins’ “Secrets of the Federal Reserve”: Read About what Ezra Pound Called “The Great Betrayal”

Family Matters (Politics, Home Style): David & Susan Axelrod and Epilepsy; Bristol & Sarah Palin Interview on Greta (UPDATE 1X: GM Retiree Health Benefits Dropped–the Next “Attached String” Falls into Place?

Wells Fargo Bank Goes Insane! (Antidote: Nice Pictures)

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)

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!])

I’ve Been Tagged…So Here Are Six Things About Me….

A few days ago (or was it MANY days ago…I forget, I’m losing track of time these days), I was TAGGED by our ex-pat in Italy (my ancestral homeland), American Indy in Italy….

Which means I have to write 6 things about myself and write to 6 other people. I’m going to include the crew at IA in this, too, just to cover all the bases here at IA.  I’ve probably broken the chain, but here goes:

1) I graduated #1 in my class in Automotive Technology back in the mid-80’s and then was given jobs like fixing water leaks on convertibles instead of the money jobs like brakes.  See how long my being pissed goes back??? (and it goes back even further, believe me!) (At least to my undergrad and graduate student days at Cornell and Rutgers School of Library and Information Studies, which is now called something else…)

2) I really love COOKING!  My latest kick is watching Gillian McKeith on BBC America. The show is “You Are What You Eat” and it is brilliant!  The one recipe that I have adopted with gusto is here Sweet Potato Pie Pizza….that crust is AMAZING!!  I top it with greens like fresh-from-the garden steamed mustard, kale or collards, or stir-fry up some broccoli and top the crust with that and lots of olive oil and garlic.   I’m making it tonight!!

3) I’ve gardened for at least 25 years and really got into it while recovering from foot surgery. I read lots of books since I couldn’t walk for awhile.  I had a huge garden in Jersey complete with a Troy-built rototiller. I canned tomatoes for the whole winter.  I’ve had to re-learn everything for the Southwest (high desert) and have two raised beds (about 3 feet high) to spare my back (had surgery 9 years ago).  You can see pictures of my winter garden on this site in various places.  I planted more lettuce yesterday, by the way.

4) My doggies and betta fish are my babies. Toro, the oldest and the one we bought via the vet, a chi but with lots of rat terrier in him (a “deer chi”).  Tico, who is probably a mix of chi and Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Slick, the min pin rescued from the street.  The fish is still unnamed and I could use a  few suggestions.  I’m trying to learn chess, and still listen to shortwave radio.  But I’ve just found a new site that I will be writing about that is really great…foreign TV!  My favorite TV channel is Turner Classic Movies, especially anything they air that’s pre-1970.  Preferably black and white.

5) I lived in London during the mid-80’s and made a lot of trips there before and after that experience (and the rest of Europe, too, including behind the Iron Curtain, including a foray alone into East Berlin). I had a work permit and had a blast working around London. I also attended Vidal Sassoon to perfect my haircutting (I had graduated from a local “academy” and got a work permit for the UK since I had been a student at 35!)  The only time I ever got sick traveling was when I went to Paris for a quick few days. On the train to the Hovercraft, it started.  So, I actually got sick in London, not from the traveling!!  I had also planned to go to Moscow and Leningrad and had my tickets all set from the official tourist bureau…but Chernobyl blew up.  The Russians decided to refund my money….I guess I was caught in the radioactive cloud as I walked around Kew Gardens that day…

6) I started inviting folks to contribute to the blog and wound up with the crew you see on the sidebar! Kenosha Marge is a really talented seamstress!  Grail Guardian is a history buff and works with computers!  American Lassie has worked in the tax field!  And Leslie works in a Chicago hospital setting and is a long sufferer as she deals with the media there!

So now I have to write to 6 bloggers…I don’t know who’s been tagged, but I’ll find some folks and tag them as soon as I eat lunch!!!

The Past Week: November 30-December 6, Recaps and Random Thoughts (Freepers “Heart” GG; Obama & Chester Arthur; Healthcare “Reform”; Montana-Yes, MONTANA-Legalizes Assisted-Suicide; Greens Pic)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I’m going to start the roundup today with an announcement of MAJOR IMPORTANCE!  Actually, two…

1) Thanks to WordPress, we now have SNOW falling at IA through the holiday season! I got brave and took them up on their suggestion to check out “Extras” and went for the snow!  It doesn’t really accumulate on the mountain masthead, but that’s OK.  At least we’ve got snow down here in southern NM for the holidays! Sometimes we get a dusting here at about 4500 ft.  with a spectacular blanket on the peaks, which are over 8000 ft. high…but, alas,  it doesn’t last very long when we see it on the driveway here. The sun melts it very quickly. So, I’ll be happy with the “computer-generated” snow for now. THANKS, WORDPRESS!!

2) A member of our illustrious team has finally gotten the recognition she deserves. Hats off  to Grail Guardian on her much-deserved recognition over at…Free Republic!  Yup, her dictionary of English-Obamese (see link below) was picked up by someone there in full and got a huge bunch of hits in Freeperland.  I don’t know if she’s thrilled by the honor, but, hey…there aren’t many “progressive” sites these days that would want her!! LOL!!  By the way, we’d like to thank all the visitors who suggested “additions” to the dictionary. I don’t know if Grail plans to publish a second edition, but maybe we can persuade her on that score?

Now, on to the roundup…

***

On the subject of the lawsuit filed re: Obama’s eligibility to be President…

CaffineQueen had a very interesting slant on the subject this week in a post entitled This is NOT the first time this country has faced this issue.

CQ writes:

Like many people I thought this case of the “certificate gate” or whatever was unique and the first time we as a country had faced this particular challenge. Wrong!

Over the course of our history this issue has come up before. (Yet no one has done anything about creating a method for preventing it.)

I’m not talking about Roger Calero, the candidate from the Socialist Workers Party, who has been on the ballot in the previous two elections in spite of the fact that it is well known that he was born in Nicaragua and is not even a citizen but a permanent resident alien and therefore ineligible. (He has a green card) That is a different story. Though one can’t help but wonder why would he run knowing he is ineligible and why would his party put him on the ballot knowing this? (Shouldn’t there be some recourse against this as it is fraud of the highest degree?)

I’m referring to President #21, Chester Arthur, who apparently became President when one of his ardent supporters shot and killed President Garfield making Arthur, then Vice President, the President.

Apparently there was some question as to whether or not he met the “natural born” qualification and it was a very similar argument to the one the Supreme Court Justices are hearing in a conference today. Eerily similar in many ways.

(MORE)

Head on over to read the whole piece.  It’s really fascinating!

***

Health issues are back on the frontburner these days, and it looks like we’re heading down the wrong road already.  Over at Not Your Sweetie there’ a must read post which details how the insurance companies are going to be directing “reform.”  The same thing happened with Medicare Part D; Big Pharma was in charge then.  As I recall, Ted Kennedy was going to “fix” all this when the Democrats took the Senate back.   Well, that didn’t go anywhere, of course…and now it seems Ted is embracing what he railed against before:

“There’s a spirit of optimism about our work to ensure quality, affordable health care for all Americans — and today’s announcement adds to that optimism,” said Kennedy spokesman Anthony Coley. “The insurance industry has advanced serious proposals that deserve serious analysis and consideration.”

Having  just forked over $700 for inhalers thanks to the donut hole, I had a few choice words on the subject which I’m posting here:

Teddy Kennedy bloviated about saving Medicare Part D when the Dems took over Congress, then …crickets! Because it would be “too hard,” all those companies already being set up with their crummy marketing and all…
I’ve ranted about Medicare Part D before at IA, but I will rant again now…It is just an exercise in pushing papers around so that the companies remain “whole” and we foot the bill for the honor of supporting THEM! Meanwhile, it’s donut hole bigtime if you need an inhaler…

Recently I found out that about a month or so ago, you couldn’t try to avoid the donut hole anymore by purchasing cheap prescriptions at places like Kmart or Walmart! Nope, we are now FORCED to have all prescriptions processed through Part D so more of us can get into the donut hole! Who snuck that in?? Must have been the Democrats!!!!!!!

PS–monthly premiums are almost DOUBLING this year on my “cheap” plan…for the honor of getting a “discount” that is equivalent to the card I had BEFORE Medicare Part D.

It’s a TOTAL RIP OFF!

PS–If they stick Caroline Kennedy into Clinton’s vacated seat to muster public “empathy” for any shitty bill coming out of Teddy et al’s plotting, I will throw up!! Gosh, I hope the lack of a super-majority can convince enough Republicans to block this crap! But I wouldn’t bet on it, considering how they all gave us Part D!!!! (a pox on Olympia Snowe, who had the swing vote on that…remember how the GOP held the vote open and was coercing members to vote for it??)

Sorry for the salty language, but Medicare Part D is one of my pet peeves…the original way the bill was put together by Bushco, the lack of action by the Democrats after they took over in 2006, and now, the apparent willingness to do business just like the Republicans, by handing over legislating to big companies.

Meanwhile, there’s a new twist about the public relations onslaught that’s gearing up.  I’ll be writing more on the subject next week…stay tuned.

By the way, Ted…any plans for No Child Left Behind? Isn’t that another one of the issues you’ve “crusaded” about??

***

Just in case all this healthcare reform doesn’t work out for all of us, we can at least rest assured that we have another out.

Montana, of all places, has become the 3rd state to declare “assisted suicide” legal…

Montana third state to legalize assisted suicide

Ruling states that terminally ill can self-administer drugs to end own life

HELENA, Mont. – A Montana judge has issued a ruling saying residents of the state have the right to doctor-assisted suicide.

The ruling issued late Friday by state District Court Judge Dorothy McCarter makes Montana the third state in which doctor-assisted suicide is legal.

The judge said Saturday she ruled in a lawsuit filed by a terminally ill Billings man, four physicians and a nonprofit patients rights group, Compassion & Choices.

MORE

Montana?

***

This week in the garden: Harvesting collards this week.  I cut it into small pieces, steam it, and add it to pasta with lots of  olive oil. Yummy! The broccoli heads are about the size of 50 cent pieces now and I’m going to start picking arugula tomorrow! I still have way too much mustard for two people, but we’ll soldier on! I may have to freeze some.  Some of the peppers in pots are still growing little peppers and I’ve almost got at least one fig about to be harvested. Here’s a pic from a few days ago of the mustard (foreground) and the collards (background).

2008_1130backyardafternoon0008

***

THIS WEEK’S POSTS

*With a contribution from kenosha Marge

**By Grail Guardian

Will Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State Be Undermined by the Appointment of a Middle East Envoy? See What MESH Thinks…

The Scanner–Politics 12/5/08 (Obama…Vagus Nerve “Elevation” Superstar?; Obama-Clinton Contemplate a Jump (see awesome video!); Hands Like Butter; “Conscience”; Politically-Motivated Abortion “Science” Blasted by Johns Hopkins Researchers

*Martinis with Michelle, 2nd Round: Ladies,There IS a Different Way to Join the Post-Modern Feminist Party!~~

Martinis with Michelle–A Times (UK) Writer Jumps the Shark as Palin Helps Block a Senate Super-Majority

The Other Side of the Mountain

**How To Communicate with an Obot: The **OFFICIAL** English to Obamese Dictionary

The Past Week: November 23-29, Recaps and Random Thoughts (Dogs; Obamabilia and “Mt. Crapmore”; Jobs; Black Politics; CNN Delivers In-Depth Report on Our Best Hope to Save Us from “First Lady Fashion Fumbles”)