Monday, January 31, 2011


This article -- Repeal This -- caught my eye a couple weeks ago but due to travel, I wasn't able to post it here. It's an article dealing with a study that says half of Americans have pre-existing conditions. I looked at one of the insurance questionnaires the article linked to and found that my relatively mild case of [redacted] warrants a 50% rate increase. A coworker was telling me he's worried about getting laid off because of his wife's pregnancy -- a pre-existing condition. If you get a chance, go through the questionnaire; it's eye-opening. I daresay most people will have at least one of the conditions listed for rate increase or automatic denial.

You can look at HealthNet's guidelines here. United Healthcare and Humana's guidelines are linked within the article.

What's worrisome about the Republicans' desire to repeal the health care law is that they have NO plan to replace it or address the very real issues people are facing. We're in a new world where companies have no loyalties to their employees and will lay people off the minute it'll help the bottomline, and as a result jobs are scarce or gone forever, and yet the best way to get coverage is through your employer. Something isn't computing. If the Republicans have a plan, let's hear it already. But then again, they have the "gold plated" federal health plan, so I suppose there's no rush to make sure the rest of us have the same care.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Thomas Friedman just said on Meet the Press: "Egypt and the Middle East has been on vacation from history for the last 50 years because of oil. Egypt didn't have oil but it had the agreement with Israel, which was to Egypt what oil is to the rest of the Middle East."

The quote just struck me because I'm reading a biography of Catherine of Aragon and the first few chapters have reference to the Moorish influences on Spain and the technological and artistic contributions made to that country prior to their ousting. I'm not quite sure what the peace treaty with Israel did economically for Egypt (perhaps aid from the US?) but oil and its ensuring revenues/subsidies gave some of these countries a reason not to develop other capabilities/competencies, leading to the high unemployment rates and stagnation that we see in the Middle East today. It's not just a democratic revolution that's needed, but an industrial one as well.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ask and you shall receive

A few weeks ago, I voiced my desire for a Palin-free month (I think more than a month would be asking too much; a Palin-free week is practically a luxury). Dana Millbank of the WaPo has declared February a Palin-free month. Unfortunately, I don't think the rest of the media will follow the ever amusing Millbank's lead.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Some years ago, the AP tried a bold experiment: they ignored Paris Hilton for a week. Not a single story about the socialite ran for a week and amazingl, the earth didn't fall off its axis and the sun still rose in the east and set in the west. I wish they would try the same experiment with Sarah Palin; she's now becoming completely tiresome and annoying and taking attention away from credible and intelligent presidential candidates in 2012.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happ birthday!

This blog is a decade old today! Wow. I had no idea why I wanted a blog 10 years ago (and I still don't know why) but somehow this blog has stuck around all of this time. It's been fun and I've met some great people through it. Here's to another 10 years!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


The show will be called "Baggage Wars" and 100 to 150 contestants will compete to get bags of various sides into the overhead bins on an airplane. Bonuses will be given to contestants who succeed stuffing not only an oversized bag, an huge personal item, and a jacket into the bins. Extra extra points will be given to contestant who holds up the line by rearranging all the bags in an overhead bin in order to get their bag in. Points will be subtracted if anyone uses the space beneath the seat in front of them.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


It's been a looonnng time, but I'm adding a new tag: tea party. I eventually plan to add an 'election 2012' tag as well. If I'm feeling really motivated (which I'm not), I might go back and re-tag the entries written prior to Blogger's introduction of the tags. Then there might be a lot of new tags on the block.

How the Tea Party's fetish for the Constitution as written may get it in trouble.

The problem with the Tea Party's new Constitution fetish is that it's hopelessly selective. As Robert Parry notes, the folks who will be reading the Constitution aloud this week can't read the parts permitting slavery or prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment using only their inside voices, while shouting their support for the 10th Amendment. They don't get to support Madison and renounce Jefferson, then claim to be restoring the vision of "the Framers." Either the Founders got it right the first time they calibrated the balance of power between the federal government and the states, or they got it so wrong that we need to pass a "Repeal Amendment" to fix it. And unless Tea Party Republicans are willing to stand proud and announce that they adore and revere the whole Constitution as written, except for the First, 14, 16th, and 17th amendments, which totally blow, they should admit right now that they are in the same conundrum as everyone else: This document no more commands the specific policies they espouse than it commands the specific policies their opponents support.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Anisha's wedding

Photo of the Day

I like to take pictures of food and in 2010, this was one of my favorite pictures.

Sunday, January 02, 2011


Why are Republicans Changing Their Tune on Fannie and Freddie?

When your party is in the opposition with a weak minority, it's very easy to talk big. You can tell Americans exactly what they want to hear without any consequences, because you can't actually pass any legislation. But now that Republicans are in a position to actually pass bills, they need to pay a little more attention to the consequences of their talking points.

Saturday, January 01, 2011