Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (February 28, 2009) (The Garden Waking Up!) (Pic Heavy)

~~By InsightAnalytical–GRL

The movies I watched over the last couple of days just seemed to hit too close to home.  On Thursday night, Retroplex aired “1984, ” which was filmed around the actual locations and time of year that was described in George Orwell’s novel.  Richard Burton, who died in 1984, was chilling in the finals sequences as he tortured the man who “thought” and was caught.  It was terrifying in light of what’s been going on lately.  Then last night, TCM showed “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” followed by “All the King’s Men.”  Later, it was “The Manchurian Candidate.”   What a way to spend a Friday night!

Host Robert Osborne had a tidbit following “Mr. Smith” that I hadn’t heard before.  Apparently, it was this movie that inspired Ronald Reagan to began thinking about his interest in politics.  And we know how THAT turned out…As I recall, he had one of the most corrupt administrations in recent memory, with something like 100 officials, including Attorney General Edwin Meese, either hauled into court or somehow involved in legal proceedings/investigations.  Apparently, the inspiration of Jefferson Smith didn’t stick…

Anyway, I got out to the garden for a brief time today. The garden is my place of sanity and it’s waking up!  Here are some pics from yesterday (2/27) with some details of what’s going on.  I may do some more “Saturday Sanity” posts as the gardening year unfolds!

The plants are beginning to arrive and Thursday at Lowe’s I chatted with a guy who was looking over the tomatoes and he and I agree  that we are champing at the bit to start digging!  I bought some metal poles that I will use to support the two new grape vines that I will begin to train this year.  You have to plant a bit early here because by May it’s hot, so plants have to get a good start. That means protecting them from the winds and the sharp temperature drops from warm days to cold nights that sometimes occur. It’s that sort of thing that made my apricot tree lose all it’s blossoms last year (it’s second spring) which meant I had no apricots at all.  I have a peach tree in a warm corner which is already blooming and being pollinated, but it’s way too early, as usual.  By contrast, another peach on the sheltered side of the house is just beginning to have its buds swelling.  Talk about “micro climates’…

Here is the peach in bloom with the grapes I need to prune this weekend in the foreground:

Peach Tree & "Flame" Grape

Peach Tree & "Flame" Grape

The fig, which I finally got into the ground after several years in a large planter,  is starting to show a bit of green:

Fig Greening Up!

Fig Greening Up!

My pomegranate is budding out and so is the apricot.  I hope the birdhouse attracts a resident!

Apricot and Bird House

Apricot and Bird House

I have a mysterious visitor to the garden lately.  I think it’s some sort of thrasher, but the beak is VERY long and curved and sometimes crosses over. The “regular” thrashers have long, strong beaks, but nothing like this. My desert book doesn’t show this guy, so I’ll have to do more research.  This is a very bold bird and I can get fairly close to it!

Mystery Bird

Mystery Bird

Here’s the last of the mustard and what’s left of the winter lettuce that I’ll pick soon:

First Raised Bed

First Raised Bed

This is my second raised bed with the arugula going to seed. That’s a few clumps of swiss chard that overwintered just beyond my shadow:

The Other Raised Bed

The Other Raised Bed

I bought a couple of tomato plants and artichokes at Lowes.  I was so surprised to see the artichokes that I grabbed them. I didn’t have much luck with them in New Jersey, so we’ll have to see how they do here. It’s all about keeping them shaded, from what I’ve read.  As for the tomatoes–I plant them in the beds as well as in containers on the patio. I do the same with eggplant and things like basil and peppers. It’s my “insurance garden” just in case something happens and the veggies fry in the main beds.

Tomatoes & Artichokes

Tomatoes & Artichokes

Out in the border the purple stock is flowering, the sedum “Autumn Joy” in pots is on its way, and the Texas Ranger sage is looking good. I grew the sedum in the ground in Jersey and it got HUGE, but here in my yard I moved it to pots and it’s doing better than in the ground. That’s my composter to the left of the white fence:

Purple Stock & Sedum

Purple Stock & Sedum

There are some amazing things going outside the garden.  Near the street by my neighbor’s driveway, there’s a tire tread where he’s backed out onto the ground…and guess what has popped up there?  A little parade of flowers, with one already blooming:

Wildflowers in the Tire Tread

Wildflowers in the Tire Tread

There are buds on my little cacti, too.  March is also the month when you can take a pad from a cactus, let it dry a bit so a callous forms on the exposed end, and then stick it into the ground for a new cactus plant!

Hope you enjoyed the little tour! I have lots of work to do, so I better get to bed and get some rest!  Tomorrow I need to prune the grapes and fertilize the grass (all two feet of it!), the fruit trees and the border plants.

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…

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

Editor’s Note: We here at IA received the sad news of the death of Marlene Utz, Grail Guardian’s mother, on Friday.  We send our heartfelt condolences to Grail and her family and our love and respect to Mrs. Utz. Godspeed, noble warrior…From all of us here at IA.  (SEE UPDATE AT THE END OF THIS POST)

~~By Grail Guardian

We’ve lost a noble warrior, but will not give up the fight!

clip_image002

In Loving Memory

Marlene C. Utz

April 10, 1938 – February 5, 2009

As many of you know, the past few months have been especially rough for me since my Mom was diagnosed with cancer for the second time in her life. She battled courageously as we tried everything in our arsenal to beat back the beast. But just as our nation was overtaken from the evil within, she lost her valiant struggle this week to that which grew inside her. I have learned so much while researching her disease, possible cures, and the corruption that has swallowed our “health care” system and smothered any hope of recovery for cancer patients in this country. I cannot begin to share with you all of the details I have found, but this will be the first in a series of articles about the death of the medical profession in America, and as you will see it is totally related to the current political crisis in this nation.

Let me begin with the personal part of the tale, because my mother’s story needs to be told. We first discovered she had cancer when she went in for what was to be a routine cholecystectomy, the removal of her gall bladder. Normally, the surgery is laparoscopic and involves four small incisions, miniature surgical tools, and an overnight stay in the hospital. I myself had the procedure several years ago, and was home the next day. The surgeon called down to the waiting room following the procedure and informed my Dad that there had been a mass in the gall bladder and they had to perform an open surgery and would be biopsying the mass. She was left with a major incision and a five day hospital stay( which she was furious about). But after the surgery, despite her gaping abdominal wound, I began to notice that she appeared healthier than she had seemed in months (if not years). When she went for her standard follow-up visit with the surgeon after a couple of weeks (there was a visit in between with a nurse or PA to check the incision) he brusquely informed my parents that the mass had been malignant, that he probably had not been able to remove it all, and, as an almost casual aside,  mentioned that he had removed part of her liver during the surgery. He referred her to a local cancer clinic, where we were immediately told that a program of chemotherapy, followed by a month of radiation therapy plus chemo, and finished off by another 3 months of chemo alone was pretty much the only way to go. It would not cure her, but if all went perfectly we could expect to get maybe a year and a half more of her life.

Now having gone through some of the earliest chemotherapy ever given, nitrogen-mustard gas (yes, the same stuff they used during WWI and subsequently banned from warfare, but not medicine), Mom was more than a bit reluctant to have chemo again. But once faced with the option that she was going to die (and die very quickly) if she didn’t have the treatment, she surprised us by changing her mind and agreeing to the chemo. Based on the recommendation of the oncologist, she started a 3 week course of Gemcitibene in October. After a week off, she took another 3 week course in November. The following week (on her recovery week) they sent her for a CT scan, where she was asked to drink radioactive material so they could trace its course through her body. It was immediately following this test that she began her slow downward slide. She felt very tired and drained for a few days, and the following week when we took her in for her next round of chemo, we got the news; it wasn’t working and she had developed “nodules” across her peritoneum (the protective tissue that surrounds your abdominal organs. There was no need to continue the chemo or try radiation we were told, and they basically sent her home to die.

That’s when the anger kicked in. We became defiant and refused to believe that it could be over and done with so quickly. After all, nearly 40 years before Dad had been told to go home from her hospital room and begin the funeral arrangements (she was proud to tell everyone she knew that she outlived 5 of her doctors after her bout with Hodgkins) and my sister had been told her son, who had fallen into a swimming pool at age 4 and suffered severe brain damage, would not survive–but he lived for another 21 years. So I went into research mode. I began to read everything and anything I could get my hands on about cancer. I scanned websites and articles that told of successful alternative treatments performed in other countries such as the South American herb Graviola, Japanese mushroom therapy (Shiitake and Maitake mushroom extracts), mistletoe, and even the heat treatments performed in Germany on the rich and powerful that simply raise the body temperature to 107.5 ° and make you feel like you’re taking a pleasant nap as cancer cells are killed off and healthy cells survive. According to author Andrew Schollberg:

When President Ronald Reagan got cancer during his presidency, the great German doctor Hans Nieper, M.D, treated him. It would have been front page news if it hadn’t been hushed up at the time.

Just imagine if the American public knew a sitting president preferred German cancer treatments!

I learned about it from my confidential source in Germany. In addition, Reagan’s German doctor acknowledged it in an interview.

I learned that the salary for an oncologist in the US can range from over $100,000 per year for new docs, and as high as $787,000 per year for radiation oncologists. Andrew Schollberg also claims that American pharmaceutical companies have offered a German doctor 3.7 million euros (approx. $5 million US) under the table merely to recommend that his cancer patients use their brand of chemotherapy. That’s one single doctor, and that should give you an idea of how lucrative the chemotherapy business is in the United States. He adds:

It costs $350,000 to die of cancer in America.

So I read on; books like How to Fight Cancer and Win by William L. Fischer that stressed the importance of diet in preventing and beating cancer, including details of the poisons labeled as food on your grocery store shelves in the guise of commercially processed fats (a true eye opener, even if you don’t have or fear cancer). I read pamphlets like  Deadly Cancer Myths – And the Truth that Will Save Your Life by Dr. William Campbell Douglass, I that talked about the dangers of chlorine, flouride, and prescription drugs. We radically changed her diet, including freshly juiced vegetables and fruits (especially antioxidant rich purple ones), stopped red meat and sugar intake, and (thanks to my sister’s natural foods website) added supplements like Silymarin, IP6, and Nattokinase to her daily regimen.

While we frantically reviewed the myriad of alternative treatments, my cousin Christina (who has a medical background) e-mailed that she knew a doctor that had successfully treated a friend of hers for lymphoma and strongly urged us to see her. Her name is Dr. Dana Flavin, and she heads the Foundation for Collaborative Medicine & Research (http://www.collmed.org/). What Dr. Flavin does (and did next) is truly amazing.

Dr. Flavin is a former toxicologist for the Food and Drug Administration. She spent 20 years doing research on cancer and cancer prevention in Germany before returning to the US and heading the Foundation. Put simply, this woman reads between 100 – 150 medical research papers each week. She is an intellectual sponge that understands the nuances of biochemistry, pharmacology, and nutrient biochemistry and translates an incredible amount of highly detailed scientific data into an understandable treatment plan that doesn’t unnecessarily poison (chemotherapy), burn (radiation therapy), or cut (surgery) the human body in an effort to heal it. She will consult with your current physician or oncologist and recommend a course of action based on all the latest data that your doc doesn’t have the time to read because they’re busy treating 30-40 patients per day.

We were lucky enough to be able to take Mom to the Foundation in Greenwich, CT last month for a consultation with Dr. Flavin. We were armed with a 38 page report from the cancer clinic and the desire to learn. And boy, did we learn! We spent nearly 3 hours with Dr. Flavin as she not only rattled off a variety of natural supplements to build the immune system, detoxify from heavy metals, and remove parasites (not the big kind, the microscopic stuff like bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast) but also made us aware of a new treatment discovered by the University of Alberta (Drs. Stephen Archer and Evangelos Michelakis) involving Dichloroacetic Acid (DCA), which appears to induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Apoptosis is a natural process that cells use to commit cellular suicide when their time is up. Cancer cells do not die off like healthy cells, and DCA appears to restore that function to the cancer cells.

Needless to say, we were quite excited when we learned about the possibilities, plus Dr. Flavin also provided Dad with some help for his case of borderline glaucoma (which she noticed immediately upon sitting down opposite him at the table) and psoriasis. I had pages of note with the names of natural substances that would help Mom, plus we all had a comfortable understanding of what each item was expected to do and why. When the time came to leave, we were bracing ourselves as Dad asked her “How do we pay you?” and you can’t imagine our relief when she responded that we could make a donation to the Foundation according to our financial ability. She understands that many cancer patients have been so financially raped and physically abused by the approved “main stream” medical system that they cannot always afford hundreds or thousands of dollars in additional medical advice, even though they desperately need it.

I would like to take a moment out here for a shameless plug. If you have ever lost someone to cancer (or any other disease) and felt like they should have, or maybe even could have been saved if only there were just one more thing you could try, I would like to ask you to consider donating anything you can muster to the FCMR (there is a handy PayPal link at the site: www.collmed.org ). If you have ever laughed, cried, or been moved by anything I have written here at Insight Analytical, consider taking the money you might have donated to a political candidate this year and instead direct it to the Foundation. Their work will actually save lives, rather than ruin them. (unabashed begging)

We now return you to my story. We left feeling encouraged, hopeful, and much lighter of spirit. I called my sister that night and read her off the list of supplements we would need and told her about our wonderful experience. As we spent the night at Mom’s cousin’s house, we gushed with enthusiasm and tried to explain the sheer phenomenon that is Dr. Dana Flavin. I even snuck on to their PC to check out the magnificent website she had recommended for research:

http:www.thedcasite.com

This site contains a wealth of information about the research that has been done, plus a forum for families and patients to share their experiences using DCA. I was overjoyed at the possibilities, and could hardly wait till we returned home to start my research into DCA. And just as you might expect, once again the walls came tumbling down. As I read and researched DCA, I made a horrible discovery. Not about side effects or lack of efficacy, but about its regulation. You see, as it turns out the University of Alberta took out what are called “methods of use patents” on DCA and decided to forge ahead with studies of DCA as a possible cure for cancer. And I’ll bet you can already guess what the rub was; yep, you guessed it! Money. The almighty buck, the great North American greenbacks. You see, DCA is actually * gasp * inexpensive. That’s right, no drug company can patent it and make trillions of dollars a year off of it like they do chemotherapy drugs. So likewise, no pharmaceutical manufacturer was willing to spend the estimated $1.5 million needed to conduct the required blind studies on DCA. (Don’t despair totally, the U of Alberta is proceeding on their own by privately raising the funds to conduct the required studies on their own!) So my next lesson in the world of DCA was horrifying; the FDA had actually shut down DCA manufacturers for selling DCA in the US. In fact in July, 2008 the website http://www.buydca.com/ was raided and shut down. It is operated by the same people who run the informational site http:www.thedcasite.com, but was not the first or only such raid on a website that sells supplements. Click here to read about the terror induced by the FDAs Gestapo-like tactics against the Life Extension Foundation.

The long and short of it was this: the FDA (self-proclaimed arbiter of good and evil items to ingest, and the folks that brought you such perennial favorites as Aspartame, Vioxx, and Fen Fen) had declared it illegal to sell DCA in America. We were crest-fallen. I began to research whether we could enroll Mom at a Toronto clinic so she could receive legal DCA cancer treatment or whether I could purchase DCA in Canada and bring it back to the US legally. I was frantic to get on to the chat room at the site, but the night I tried to register I was unable to do so. I sent an e-mail to the administrator and he responded the next day. I was able to log on, and since I had his attention, I asked if there were any legal way to obtain DCA in New York. The wonderful folks at the site: Jim Tassano, Heather, and Jackie all contacted me to ensure that I was able to obtain some pure, pharmaceutical grade DCA without violating any laws. (If anyone reading this ever wishes to try DCA in the US, e-mail me at GrailGuardian@nonpartisan.com and I will gladly help you.)

We waited anxiously, but Mom started to show signs that she was weakening even further. She wasn’t eating much solid food, needed to sleep often, and started to have intermittent pain in the vicinity of her liver. On the day I walked into the house with the DCA, she had been on a diet of over 30 natural supplements to strengthen her system but before she was able to take her first dose she began to have swelling in her feet. Worried, I called Dr. Flavin to ask her advice. She was concerned about kidney or liver failure and recommended we get her in for tests right away. We trundled her off to the cancer center to have blood drawn and a urine test, but the strain on her body was evident. By the next day, she had begun to experience new pain that did not go away no matter what she did (by now she was sleeping in her wheelchair with her head on the kitchen table as it hurt too much to lie back in bed). The oncologist had called to say her kidneys were fine, but didn’t really go into much detail with Dad and he was distracted by her worsening condition. She stopped eating anything solid, but still took her DCA treatments every day. By the weekend, she was unable to help Dad transfer her in and out of the wheelchair so the round-the-clock care began. My sister and I started to take shifts to spend the night so Dad wasn’t on call for her 24 hours a day (he was totally exhausted because she rarely slept through the night). During the days, I made calls to Dr. Flavin and the cancer center. They hadn’t sent the test results to the Foundation, so there was little Dr. Flavin could do but guess as to what was happening. I struggled for a full week before I was finally able to get the tests faxed to her, and by then Dr. Flavin was very worried about her liver and the huge increase in her tumor markers. She recommended another treatment called Hepa-Metz, which removes ammonia from the liver, but were unable to get to see the practitioner as he was half a state away (unlike Dr. Flavin, he seemed more worried about being sued and how he would get paid). We did all we could do to make her comfortable (which, of course, never seemed like enough), and eventually brought in hospice care through Lifetime Assistance, who were absolutely wonderful at the end. The nurses and social workers listened and took notes about the treatments we were trying, excited about the possibilities. Even the nurse that showed up after she finally surrendered peacefully asked questions and wrote down Dr. Flavin’s name and the Foundation’s website.

When I e-mailed Dr. Flavin that Mom had passed, she took the time to reply to me:

”Only God can do miracles, and perhaps you did even more than any mortal could have done. Tell your Dad, he did all he could and more. When it is too late, we have no decision anymore on this. God bless”

And with those words begins my next quest; to find out why it should be that we, as ordinary Americans, can learn more and do more to cure cancer and ease pain than the entire combined medical establishment of this nation, powered by the Ted Kennedys and Tom Daschles of the world. To find out why those who shun the poison/burn/cut philosophy cannot find funding, and why a family’s efforts to try everything before giving up hope are met with ridicule, derision, and impatience by the very people paid to give aid and comfort and first, do no harm. I will continue with Mom’s fight, and urge each and every one of you to join me. The current Congress and Administration will only make matters worse, and “Universal Health Care” in this country died a violent and rapid death 16 years ago when Hillary Clinton’s efforts were trashed by Big Pharma and the MSM used the opportunity to wage their personal war against the only politician in modern times that ever actually attempted to improve the health care system in America.

I will continue her fight, and I know she will be beside me all along the way.



This is a photo of Mom in her InsightAnalytical hat (made with love by our own Kenosha Marge). She loved this hat, and felt she was somehow connected to us by it. One of the last times she left the house she wore another of Marge’s hats on the trip to CT to see Dr. Flavin, but this one will be present at her viewing this weekend.

***

Related post:

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

***UPDATE***

These and MORE LINKS to USEFUL INFORMATION in this FOLLOW-UP POST. ALSO, SEE THE LIFE/HEALTH TAB at the top of the home page for additional resources.

2/12/2009 Health Links: Alternatives to Mainstream Medicine re: Cancer and Other Diseases; Stem Cell Research Clinic


Environmental Three-Card Monte? Obama *May* Grant Emissions Waivers to States Today? (“Immediately Work on It” vs. “Reconsider”) (But Other Policies Already Having a Negative Effect on Bears–Warning, Pic!) (Updated 1X) (Update 2X–After Announcements, NY Times Still Pushing Obama Kool-Aid) (Update 3X–Gore Surfaces)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Well, as we enter the second week of the Obama Monarchy, we find that we’re perhaps in a developing approach to governing that is reminiscent of “3-card monty(e).” In case you’re not familiar with the term, here’s an explanation from NY.com. The scenario:

Three Card Monte

Whenever a police car passes by, you can observe how quickly these games disperse. Sidewalk card games are both illegal and fraudulent for some very good reasons. The scenario:

Two or more people are standing around a cardboard box on a busy street trying to win money by choosing the correct card out of the three cards shuffled.

You notice that someone seems to be winning; this person is usually working with the dealer to lure people in. People who work these scams know that it will be less suspicious to plant a women or someone in a business suit in the game.

The shuffler will purposely lose the first few rounds to get you to bet more money.

At this point, if you take your wallet out, someone may grab it and run -OR- it will be pick pocketed as you watch the game.

If by some fluke you win, you may be followed and mugged.
How to avoid this : The hand is quicker than the eye and these are pros. Don’t play – YOU CANNOT WIN!

During the campaign, we learned that Obama was in the pocket of Exelon and re-wrote a bill regarding nuclear waste for the company’s benefit at the behest of Republicans.  Seemed to be easily swayed at the expense of his constitutents in Illinois. (See “In Nuclear Bill, An Early Obama Test.”) Now, we’re getting word that today (Monday, January 26) the Obama Administration will announce that they will grant waivers to states like California so that they can raise emissions standards, a move that was stopped by Bushco.  From GristEnvironmental News & Commentary:

Breaking: Obama to grant emissions waiver

Move would allow California and 13 other states to set tougher tailpipe standards

Posted by Kate Sheppard at 4:43 PM on 25 Jan 2009

President Obama on Monday will direct federal regulators to grant a waiver to California and 13 other states that have petitioned to set higher vehicle emissions standards, according to a New York Times report citing two administration sources.

SNIP

The Washington Post also has the story, reporting that White House officials “privately trumpeted [the emissions move] to supporters as ‘the first environment and energy actions taken by the President, helping our country move toward greater energy independence.'” While the Times says Obama’s decision will result in quick approval for California emissions waiver, the Post‘s story has a more conditional tone, saying only that the president has ordered the EPA “to reexamine two policies that could force automakers to produce more fuel-efficient cars which yield fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

So, the New York Times seems to be sure it will happen, while the WaPo is reporting in a more “conditional tone.”  I guess we’ll have to wait to see what “reexamine” means in Obama parlance. (SEE BELOW FOR ACTUAL WORDING IN THE STORIES)

Let’s also see what really happens with a promise Obama made during the lead-up to the Pennsylvania primary. Back then Obama promised he’d “hire” Al Gore. (See Obama Says Climate Change Is Real, Will Hire Gore) I haven’t heard a peep from Gore lately, but I haven’t been looking for him either. Maybe I missed something?  Let me know if I have missed any news about Gore. Perhaps he really is working on various issues for Obama and perhaps he’s under wraps so he doesn’t get into the “baggage game.” But, as it stands now, we will have to wait to see if Obama actually does use Gore in the way he promised.  Some of the proposals for carbon emissions capping, etc. may cost some money and consumer may not be too happy about it. Let’s see what happens.

Treehuggers.com (a site owned by the Discovery Company)  has a list of environmental concerns that the Center for Progressive Reform believes Obama should act on.  You can see the list here:

7 Executive Orders President Obama Should Sign to Protect the Environment: Center for Progressive Reform

Back at Grist there’s a story about how the departing Bush Adminstration slipped in a rule that weakens a Reagan era rule, if you can believe that!

Blazing addle

Bush administration moves to allow guns in national parks and wildlife refuges

Posted by Kate Sheppard at 6:15 PM on 05 Dec 2008

The Department of the Interior on Friday announced a final rule that will allow visitors to carry loaded and concealed firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. The previous rules, put in place in the early ’80s under President Reagan, allowed firearms in parks as long as they were unloaded and stored somewhere that wasn’t easily accessible.

SNIP

It could take many months (or possibly years) for the next administration to overturn the rule, should it choose to do so, since it would require a whole new rule-making process. Nick Shapiro, a spokesman for Obama’s transition team, told the Associated Press that the president-elect hasn’t made any decisions about the rule: “President-elect Obama will review all eleventh-hour regulations and will address them once he is president.”

Note that Obama hadn’t made any decisions about the rule as president-elect…so, we’ll have to see if he addresses the issue.  It’s sort of like the “Conscience Rule” which could also take years to overturn.  Let’s see if Obama sticks his neck out on either of these two issues. Meanwhile, the poor bears are already showing changes in their behavior to adapt to the new mindset in Washington!  Here’s the story, passed along by  a correspondent from W.A.M.:

Montana wildlife impacted by spreading malaise: The photo below captures a disturbing trend that  is beginning  to affect wildlife in the US.

Bear Waiting for Handout

Bear Waiting for Handout

With a sweeping Democratic Party victory in the November elections, animals  that were formerly self-sufficient are already  modifying their behavior to take advantage of what they expect to be a new set of societal norms in the next four to eight years. This  black bear from Montana has ceased hunting for a living and is sitting outside the US Fish &  Wildlife Service office in Kalispell, apparently  waiting to be fed and to have his winter den dug  by government employees. The residents of Kalispell are calling him “Bearack Obama”.

So, we’ll have to see how Obama handles this development. Does he let the Bush rules on loaded, concealed weapons stand which would then allow park visitors to shoot bears expecting a handout?  That might be the easiest way out of the problem.

And it just goes to show you…when it comes to Obama, choosing the correct card from what’s being shuffled as Obama zigzags along with “conditional statements”  and watered down promises, a la Exelon, is probably a game we won’t be winning.

“3-Card Monte” may turn out to be even more Obama’s game than basketball…

***

UPDATE 1

How the Times and WaPo word the story lower down the page:

The two stories (web editions)–Both start the same then there’s  the NYT’s “begin work immediately” vs the WaPo’s instruction to “reconsider”…

The New York Times, January 26, 2009

“But the centerpiece of Monday’s anticipated announcement is Mr. Obama’s directive to the Environmental Protection Agency to begin work immediately on granting California a waiver, under the Clean Air Act, which allows the state, a longtime leader in air quality matters, to set standards for automobile emissions stricter than the national rules.”

Washington Post, January 26, 2009

“Obama will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider whether to grant California a waiver to regulate automobile tailpipe emissions linked to global warming,…”

UPDATE 2 (1 pm MT)

Just back from errands, I searched for the reporting on the big event…and found that the NY Times headlines says one thing  but the story is now in line with the original WaPo story (above)!

From the New York Times web edition:

Obama Directs Regulators to Tighten Auto Standards

Published: January 26, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Obama directed federal regulators on Monday to move swiftly on an application by California and 13 other states to set strict limits on greenhouse gases from cars and trucks. He also ordered the Transportation Department to begin drawing up rules imposing higher fuel-economy standards on cars and light trucks.

SNIP

Mr. Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider the Bush administration’s past rejection of the California application. While he stopped short of flatly ordering the reversal of the Bush decision, the agency’s regulators are now widely expected to do so after completing a formal review process.

From the Washington Post web edition:

Obama Announces New Energy, Environmental Policies

Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, January 26, 2009; 2:05 PM

President Obama today promised new U.S. leadership in the fight against global warming as he announced a series of steps aimed at making American cars more fuel efficient and reducing greenhouse gases, including a directive to the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider granting California and other states waivers to set their own strict regulations on auto emissions.

SNIP

In the presidential directives he signed today, Obama instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider whether to grant California and other states waivers to regulate automobile tailpipe emissions linked to global warming…

Quite a difference in the reporting. The Times story injects the word “swiftly” in the first sentence, there by setting it’s “editorial” tone.

Blatantly and deliberately.  Guess which line the evening news and cable will pick up…I’m betting the Times version….

UPDATE 3 (12:14 AM MT, 1/27)

Al Gore to testify Wednesday before Senate Foreign Relations Committee on climate change…if ice doesn’t postpone proceedings…

The Obama/Media Combine Whoring Abraham Lincoln, Non-Stop

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

President-elect Lincoln, February 23, 1961

President-elect Lincoln, February 23, 1861

If there’s one thing that really bugs me about the present sorry state of affairs we find ourselves in, it’s the utter lack of “history.”  Everything goes down the rabbit hole, unless it is re-written and spun into a revised version of what actually happened before. Rarely is any news item put into context, unless it pertains to the career/personal life of a Britney Spears or some other “celebs  in the news.”

Obama, of course, in his Reno, Nevada interview during the primaries in which he waxed poetic about Ronald Reagan, completely dissed continued references to lessons “learned” from the Vietnam War. (And, I see how lately, Wes Clark has joined the bandwagon).  History? WHO NEEDS IT WHEN WE ARE CREATING OUR OWN FOR MASS CONSUMPTION!!

The only history that matters these days is “Obama History.”   Almost nothing is ticking me off more about  this cheesy media creation hitting D.C. than the misuse of the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. To see “Honest Abe” being used like a brand logo a la Mr. Clean or Ronald McDonald, especially by a liar like Obama, is more than just cheesy–it’s downright nauseating.

Of course, the general public doesn’t give a hoot, since they don’t know squat about Lincoln. How could they? They don’t know squat about ANYTHING other than football scores and the weather.  Knowledge about George Washington isn’t faring too well either, from what I can see.

Of course, when they took away the holiday for each of these Presidents and glommed them into one day–President’s Day–that was the start of the disrespect.  Hey, why have two holidays, one for the guy who was there at the founding of the nation  and one for the guy who held the country together during a civil war and got assassinated for his trouble, if you can have one day and can get all this history out of the way in one fell swoop? And even better…banks only have to close for one day instead of two! As an extra bonus,  it’s easier to have one big sales event rather than changing the ads for another one only a week or so later!

I’ll make a prediction: You’re going to see a “Obama Day” as soon as is possible. I bet it will celebrated on August 4th, Obama’s birthday, nicely slotted in between July 4th and Labor Day.  The sales planned that day will be especially big in the sporting goods stores (lots of opportunity to sell bathing suits) and the grocery stores will feature bologna, of course.  There’s no way you’ll see “white sales” because they would be deemed racist, of course!

Now, back to Abraham Lincoln, who has been used by the Obama camp to the extreme. I get the “Lincoln freed the slaves” angle and the narrative that ties into the first “black” President, coming from Illinois, no less.  The Lincoln references kicked off  in February 2007, when Obama picked the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois to announce his candidacy.  But since then, Lincoln has been cheapened by Axelrod and Obama and their marketing slaves who are in overdrive.

Over the weekend,  the Obama family visited the Lincoln Memorial:

Obama family visits Lincoln Memorial

By CHRISTINE SIMMONS, Associated Press Writer Christine Simmons, Associated Press Writer Sun Jan 11, 12:52 am ET

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama made an unannounced visit Saturday night with his family to see the Lincoln Memorial, paying tribute to a former president he frequently invokes as an inspiration.

It was a day in which Obama played the role of tourist, seeing the most famous monuments in the nation’s capital while experiencing the flavor of the city.

(SNIP)

AP – President-elect Barack Obama walks with his wife Michelle, and daughters Sasha and Malia, after touring …

snip

Obama will be back at the Lincoln Memorial soon. He plans to trace the train route that Lincoln took and hold a welcome event at the Lincoln Memorial ahead of his Jan. 20 inauguration.

Though he’s worked in Washington for about four years as a senator, Obama appeared to relish the sights of Washington on Saturday. Before arriving at the Lincoln Memorial, his motorcade drove on Constitution Avenue and then swerved around on a road right beside the Washington Monument. His family had the opportunity to get a full, close-up view of the monument for several minutes.

(MORE)

The whole tone of the article makes it seems that the Obama family are first-time tourists.  “Experienced the flavor of the city”??  “Appeared to relish the sight”??? Which makes me wonder…if  Obama and his family are so devoted to Abraham Lincoln, didn’t they hot foot it to the Lincoln Memorial when he first came to the Senate?? Maybe he was just too busy signing those book deals for later use in a the “unplanned” Presidential campaign…Of course, Obama didn’t really “work” in D.C. for four years, since half the time was spent running for President in spite of announcing that he didn’t have enough experience to do so…

Taking the train route that Lincoln traveled and the event planned at the Lincoln Memorial are  the culmination of this Lincoln blitz.  Some previous uses of Lincoln as a stage prop include:

1. The news that one of Obama’s kids will be doing her homework on Lincoln’s desk…and it was HER idea!!  Oh, please, who can buy this?? Well, Barbara Walter could and the whole video is still available with the ABC story:

Malia Obama Calls Dibs on Lincoln’s Desk

Obama Talks to Barbara Walters About Homework, History and Happy Family

Malia Obama, the 10-year-old daughter of President-elect Obama, plans to make herself right at home in the White House and has already called dibs on using Abraham Lincoln’s desk for her homework.

(SNIP)

“She says, ‘You know, Daddy, I’ve got an idea,'” Obama told ABC News’ Barbara Walters during an exclusive interview.

(SNIP)

“She says, ‘Well you know how sometimes I have these, you know, big papers that I have to write? If I’ve got an important paper, a history paper, I think I’m going to go in that room where Abraham Lincoln, where there’s that thing where he signed it?”

“You mean the Gettysburg Address?” Obama asked.

Yeah. I’m going to sit at that desk because I’m thinking that will inspire big thoughts,” she told her father.

“Hey, go ahead kid,” Michelle Obama said with a laugh.

OH, YEAH, the kid thought that one up ALL BY HERSELF!!  Any actual PROOF she said it??  I doubt it…sounds like a canned speech to me at the very least, or another FAKE part of Obama’s life history.

And, by the way, isn’t that desk a national treasure?? The kid’s got “dibs“????  What if this little scholar spills a soda all over it? I guess we’ll never hear about it, so not to worry…I bet Lincoln’s own kids never did there homework on this desk…Lincoln was too busy trying to deal with the Civil War, I would guess.  And, oh, yes, the White House was plenty “kid-friendly” then, too…

I really am curious, though, about who will be the first guest in the Lincoln Bedroom…

Of course, there’s MORE!

2. Obama will be EATING LIKE LINCOLN!!  From ABC’s Jake Tapper:

Obama Will Eat Like Lincoln on Inauguration Day

January 10, 2009 11:41 AM

On Inauguration Day, not only will President-elect Obama be sworn in using the Bible that was used to swear in President Abraham Lincoln, he will dine like Lincoln as well.

The luncheon that will be served in Congress’s Statuary Hall to the president-elect and vice president-elect and their families — as well as congressional leaders, justices of the Supreme Court and pending members of the Obama Cabinet — will be modeled after foods that Lincoln ate and enjoyed.

The first course will even be served on replicas of the china picked out by then-first lady Mary Todd Lincoln at the beginning of her husband’s term in office.

(MORE)

What, only replicas of the Lincoln china????

3. Then there’s THE BIBLE mentioned above:

Via the Columbus Dispatch (original story in the Chicago Tribune)

Obama’s Bible choice another nod to Lincoln

Wednesday,  December 24, 2008 2:58 AM

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

KAILUA, Hawaii — When he places his hand on a Bible to be sworn into office on Jan. 20, Barack Obama plans to use the holy book used by Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration in 1861.

The selection maintains the Obama practice of encouraging historical comparisons with the 16th president, who was the first from Illinois and one of the next president’s favorites.

In announcing his presidential bid in February 2007, Obama picked the Old State Capitol in Springfield, where Lincoln had served. He also plans to follow Lincoln’s example by taking a train to Washington for his inauguration.

Obama will be the first president since Lincoln to use this particular Bible, which is typically housed at the Library of Congress. The book was not the Lincoln family Bible, which was packed away among family belongings that were being shipped from Springfield.

(MORE)

Well, no replica this time….it will be the REAL bible that Lincoln used.  I sure hope it isn’t raining or snowing on Inauguration Day, for the sake of the Lincoln Bible, if nothing else…

***

Yup,  Barack Obama really “hearts” Abe Lincoln!!  They have so much in common especially since they both represented Illinois. Of course, Obamas got to Illinois in a rather roundabout way.  At least Lincoln came from the nearby frontier…

And there’s so much more they share…not. While Lincoln was struggling in the wilds and living in a lean-to and log cabin, Obama was, well, er, a different set of character-building experiences:

Obama: From unknown to nominee, a meteoric rise

CHICAGO (AP) — When Barack Obama arrived at the Democratic National Convention eight years ago, he was a politician in need of clout.

He had just been trounced in his bid for Congress. His credit card was rejected at the car rental counter. He couldn’t snare a floor pass, so he ended up watching most of the speeches on TV monitors in the arena. And he went home early.

His political future was uncertain.

Four years later, Obama attended the 2004 Democratic convention. This time, though, there was a sea change: He had been tapped to be the keynote speaker, a coveted spot for up-and-comers — and as a U.S. Senate nominee generating political buzz, he fit the bill.

Gosh, what difficulties Obama had to face!  Heck, at least  he was spared the the horrors of Lincoln-Douglas-type debates!

Poor Lincoln, being used by this crowd.  But, how can anybody be surprised, since the Obama machine has shown so little capacity for class and respect all along?  Yup, Abraham Lincoln, right up there with Ludacris…

***

Abraham Lincoln — Timeline, Photos, Words (The History Place)

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.

***

“Project Foreign Policy—Style!” Introducing This Season’s Newest Look–Obama’s Magic Foreign Policy Shoes!

Welcome to the new show on Bravo, “Project Foreign Policy-Style“!  Stay tuned as our resident style guru, Fahreed Zakaria, guides us through the trials of putting together a brand new foreign policy!!  Or is it really new, or just an expert tweaking to create a fresh new look for the season?

First, we’ll rewind to the day before the election to the preview show. Scat’s Blog picked up American Lassie’s pre-election post on the Trilateral Commission ties to the Obama crowd (see below) and provided a link to a CNN transcript of CNN’s Global Public Square with host Fareed Zakaria. Guest judges included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; former chief of staff under Ronald Reagan, Ken Duberstein; and former national security adviser under Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Maddy went into her closet stuffed with classic foreign policy attire and came up with this ’80’s vintage look from her PERSONAL collection!  Dated? Well, the panel thinks they can “MAKE IT WORK!” by personalizing and updating the look for Barack Obama!!

Obamas Magic Foreign Policy Shoes!
Obama’s Magic Foreign Policy Shoes!

The gist of this entire “Cliff Notes” review of foreign policy, held entirely to enhance Obama’s appearance,  was the assumption that Obama had already won and John McCain was irrelevant; that “style” was a huge issue; that while Bush was WAY too arrogant in dealing with other nations, even Bill Clinton’s foreign policy approach was a bit too “arrogant” ; and that Colin Powell got the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”

Of course, there was no mention of how the Bush Administration, as arrogant as they’ve been, did finally begin paying attention to foreign policy fashion and began talking with North Korea (finally following Clinton’s lead) and enlisting the aid of China in the process; how there have been contacts with Iran, and how the plans to deploy defense shield missiles in Poland (with Polish approval) has kept Russia off-guard (until now).

So, what did the foreign policy style gurus opine the day before the election?

First, note the glaring, implied assumption that Obama and his style leadership would win as Zakaria questions Brzezinski who echoes the Biden “gaffe” about the “testing” awaiting Obama:

ZAKARIA: All right. Let me ask you on the issue of policy, though. Does the president-elect start thinking about sending signals to foreign governments? Does he start actually sending those signals?

BRZEZINSKI: I think it depends on two things — one, on the nature of the president himself, and, two, on the circumstances.

I think what is going on right now — which is nothing less than a global crisis of American leadership, nothing less than that — I think the president-elect, whoever he is — and I have my own preference — will have to start sending signals right away, and will have to get ready to deal with some imminent problems.

Then, catch the comment by Brzezinski on who could become the new, fashion trend-setter as Secretary of State…and it isn’t Kerry or Richardson:

But then there is a second task he has to address, and that is to choose his Cabinet, to choose his foreign policy leadership, with which he will then make decisions.

And here, I think, a very important possibility that’s open to him — for the first time in a long time — is to create genuine bipartisanship in the decision-making process. And he can do that either by appointing a very distinguished leading Republican to the post of secretary of state. And there are some. And he has mentioned some of them by name. He’s traveled with some of them.

ZAKARIA: Who would you suggest they be?

BRZEZINSKI: Well, I would think, of course, such names come to mind, Senators Hagel and Lugar. But there may be others, but particularly those two.

I think that would be extremely reassuring and encouraging, both domestically and internationally, and would send the right signal.

Oops, where’s Olbermann on this? What does HIS fashion sense make of all this?

We then take a short detour for a rather smug exchange about McCain’s chance of winning the elite fashion world’s approval:

ZAKARIA: I should point out, there is, of course, a chance that Senator McCain will be elected president.

ALBRIGHT: Yes, we know …

(LAUGHTER)

The conversation continues with Albright discussing how the Obama crowd will change how things are done with a Republican Secretary of State, because, apparently with William Cohen, a Republican as Secretary of State under Clinton, things weren’t “bipartisan” enough. Frankly, it seems like just a bit too much “sensitivity” and only a chance to make a subtle dig at Clinton:

ZAKARIA: But let me ask you, Madeleine. You worked alongside a Republican secretary of defense, Bill Cohen. Does it work?

ALBRIGHT: I think it does. Though it was very funny, because when Bill first joined us, he used to say, “Well, you all have to do this.”

And we’d say, “What do you mean, ‘you all’? You are part of us.”

And I don’t know whether he thought of himself more as a senator dealing with the executive branch, or a Republican dealing with Democrats.

(LAUGHTER)

Ken and I have talked about this a lot.

DUBERSTEIN: Right.

ALBRIGHT: And we, in our own way, are going to do something about that, because I think, generally, there has to be a bipartisan approach. And people find it hard to believe that I was able to work with Jesse Helms. And because I was, I think we managed to get much further on NATO expansion, for instance, or a variety of issues.

You have to be able to work with the opposing party. That’s our system.

So, you’ve got a Republican in as Secretary of State, following the policies of Bill Clinton, but because his “style,” at first, isn’t quite up to par, the whole deal isn’t “bipartisan”?  But, oh, working with Jesse Helms..HEAVENLY!! HUH??

Zakaria then turns to the subject of Iran. Again, note how McCain’s fashion acumen is totally ignored in the set-up:

Madam Secretary, you spent some time trying to deal with Iran in your term in office, and you actually made some overtures — I thought very innovative ones. You apologized, in some sense, for America’s role in a coup that had brought the shah of Iran into power. You expressed regret about it. Some of those moves were reciprocated, many were not.

Obama faces, in a way, a similar challenge with regard to Iran.

Should he do something? Should he try and do something ambitious? Should he try and somehow restart a process you began?

Albright begins:

ALBRIGHT: The question is what’s going on in Iran, and whether — what the changes — Ahmadinejad is apparently not feeling well. He is facing elections.

I think we think of Iran as very monolithic, and it may not be. And that’s even more reason to actually begin talks with them. And talking is not necessarily making nice. It is delivering tough messages and listening.

(SNIP)

ZAKARIA: Ken, Reagan faced the same challenge in a way, because the issue was negotiating with the Soviets. He had seemed to suggest in his campaign that where they begin to — as he famously put it — they began to die on him, one after the other.

DUBERSTEIN: And then he finally got one he could work with, which was Mikhail Gorbachev.

But Reagan always thought that the power of ideas could triumph. And so, the answer was, of course you’re going to talk to your adversaries. And you’re going to listen to your adversaries, as well.

Duberstein then says that the U.S. hasn’t been talking enough (and certainly Clinton NEVER talked about the “power of ideas”), but then Brzezinski appears to say the opposite before giving away the store and Duberstein seems to agree:

ZAKARIA: Zbig, what about this point that both Madeleine and Ken are making about talking?

So, you start negotiations, perhaps with the Iranians. It seems to me Iran is not yet ready to rejoin the modern world. The regime rests on a certain oppositional element of defiance and opposition to the United States.

So, maybe we start talking and the talks don’t go very well. What do you then do?

BRZEZINSKI: Well, don’t forget that we have been negotiating with North Korea for quite a while, and we finally have made some progress. It hasn’t been consummated yet, but the progress has taken place. And China has played a very constructive role here.

It seems to me that, if we engage Iran in conversations, in negotiations — without preconditions, without demanding that, in advance of the negotiations, the Iranians concede on the critical issue of the negotiations — then we might be able to make some progress, and other countries are more likely to join us.

DUBERSTEIN: Precisely.

BRZEZINSKI: They’re also more likely to join us, if we don’t conduct these negotiations in an atmosphere of mutual abuse or of military threats, because that doesn’t help the atmosphere in the negotiations, and it also helps the Iranian extremists to mobilize public opinion behind them.

So, the style involved in the process is almost as important as the substance.

Then it’s back to how Clinton wore his foreign policy outfits. Not very well, it seems, so we get another dig at Clinton who apparently, displayed “arrogance” toward Europe…according to Zakaria.  (Are you buying this? It’s a new line on my radar…)

ZAKARIA: Madeleine, people in Europe tell me that they found that even dealing with the Clinton administration was tough in this regard, that there was — both on the economic side and the foreign policy side — there was a degree of American arrogance.

Oh, dear.

Then we come to the topic of Colin Powell, which reveals how Republican insider Duberstein has decided that the Colin Powell endorsement is the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” for Republicans. Yes, Colin Powell takes home raves for his stylish appearance and performance at the U.N.!  And his accessories–those fake photos–to DIE FOR! (literally)

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about your friend, Colin Powell.

DUBERSTEIN: Right.

ZAKARIA: Powell endorsed Obama — very public and very successful, I think, a moving endorsement.

You’re a Republican. You were Reagan’s chief of staff. Will you tell us who you’re going to vote for on Tuesday?

DUBERSTEIN: Well, let’s put it this way. I think Colin Powell’s decision is, in fact, the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on Barack Obama.

ZAKARIA: And you’re going to take it?

DUBERSTEIN: I think so.

ZAKARIA: And we have to close. Thank you all.

So, the poster boy for the entire Bush Iraq-U.N.-Congress fake-out gets a free pass these days, I guess. If you’re an Obama supporter, history be damned! But, at least Powell LOOKS good, in either a uniform or a snazzy suit!

Remember, this little fashion preview/Obama infomercial happened the day before the election.  The judges simply swooned politely and in full agreement, over Obama’s haberdashery without one iota of concern about the man’ substance.  A waste of airtime if you wanted to find out anything about policy. But, SIGH, what a package they described!!! Perfect in every way, from his tasteful ties down to his classy footwear!

Now, let’s go back to that mention of Gorbachev.  Post-election, like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the PLO, Gorby is on the list of Obama admirers, perhaps hoping to get some sartorial tips from the man himself. (But what’s this I hear? Iran firing some sort of  new surface-to-surface missile?)  But Gorby is even MORE smitten.  From RIA Novosti, the Russian News Agency:

Gorbachev calls on Obama to carry out ‘perestroika’ in the U.S.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has said that the Obama administration in the United States needs far-reaching ‘perestroika’ reforms to overcome the financial crisis and restore balance in the world.

The term perestroika, meaning restructuring, was used by Gorbachev in the late 1980s to describe a series of reforms that abolished state planning in the Soviet Union.

(SNIP)

Gorbachev said that after transforming his country in the late 1980s, he had told the Americans that it was their turn to act, but that Washington, celebrating its Cold War victory, was not interested in “a new model of a society, where politics, economics and morals went hand in hand.”

(SNIP)

He told the paper that the world is waiting for Obama to act, and that the White House needs to restore trust in cooperation with the United States among the Russians.

“This is a man of our times, he is capable of restarting dialogue, all the more since the circumstances will allow him to get out of a dead-end situation. Barack Obama has not had a very long career, but it is hard to find faults, and he has led an election campaign winning over the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton herself. We can judge from this that this person is capable of engaging in dialogue and understanding current realities.”(MORE)

Oh, I get chills every time I hear someone talk about “politics, economics and MORALS” in the same breath, don’t you?  Makes me want to go out and buy a new outfit!

I guess Gorby is blinded by the glitz, perhaps…after all, he cites the Obama campaign as an indicator of being able to “engage in dialogue.”  “Hard to find faults?” What? Well, Gorby hasn’t been in power for about 20 years and is hopelessly stuck with those big shoulder pads from the era, which is unfortunate for Obama, judging from what the current Russian leadership thinks of the new fashionistas in D.C..

Seems Vladamir Putin’s hand-picked successor Dmitry Medvedev has just moved a few new missiles to Poland’s borders.  Now, it looks like Vlad himself maybe ready to strut his stuff on the runway again.

Constitutional Changes Go to Duma

…National media reports have suggested that Medvedev might step down as early as next year, perhaps on the pretext of the need for a new election under a new Constitution, clearing the way for Putin to return.

The Cabinet official said he also doubted that Medvedev would use the constitutional amendments as a pretext to leave before the end of his term. But he added that he had heard rumors since Putin’s first day as prime minister that he was already tired of being the prime minister.

Back during July’s European vacation,  Obama came out of a meeting with Gordon Brown “shaken” (British Commentators: The Chosen One Looked “Shattered” After Meeting Brown….and Did Cameron/Obama Discuss “Conservative Means” to Achieve “Progressive Goals”? and it looked like a repeat performance after his security briefing just after the election.

Can you image how the new Obama style will fare if he has to meet up with Putin? Obama will probably suggest a friendly round of shooting hoops and won’t those Magic Foreign Policy Shoes make it special! Putin himself showed great “anti-style style” when he took off his shirt and displayed some great beefcake photos out there before he left the top office, so I don’t know how Obama’s lightweight style will compare.

Maybe Obama will have to be carried out on a stretcher, with his Magic Shoe-bedecked feet dangling limply a la the Elton John’s big shoes as the he’s carried off in “Tommy,” after “The Champ” is defeated in spite of his rhinestone glasses and shimmering outfit!

The Big Boots

Oh, but you can bet that the little lights on Obama’s Magic Foreign Policy Shoes will still be flashing for the folks back home.  After all, even if you get creamed, you’ve gotta keep up your STYLE no matter what…and “MAKE IT WORK”!

*****

NOTES:

See Minute 4:25 of Elton’s Pinball Wizard video to recall how those big shoes were carried out with “The Champ” and disappeared in disgrace …

The Story Unfolds 2: Obama, Biden, Brzezinski, Carter…and the Trilateral Commission?

You can buy vintage LA Gear Lights here for about $400…