Month: December 2011

Professor Elizabeth Warren candidate for U.S. Senate lays it down!

You have to watch this. She knows of what she speaks, she’s done the research and she is one of our best hopes to restore the Senate to the Democrats.

What interests me most is that not one politician has embraced the statement that over the last 30 years, but going back even further into the late 1940’s we’ve seen a systematic movement to separate the middle class from their hard earned dollars.

In fact over the last 30 years we’ve seen an outright looting of the middle class. Our wages have stagnated at the same time as credit terms have become overly burdensome.

But it’s clear, we need to take our government BACK from the corporate plutocracy.

***Addendum***

And here is something else to chew on. Medicare/Medicaid and even the Veterans Administration strive to reduce the cost of health care while improving health outcomes.

There was a story a few years back about the VA in Missouri. At the time they were spending $45,000 per patient to care for para and quadriplegic soldiers with health outcomes that weren’t so good. Then an administrator thought of an idea, send the doctors and nurses out into the community to visit those soldiers.

A few notes from that:

1) Health outcomes for those soldiers improved! Some doctors said it most succinctly that because they could visit the patients, they could head off hospitalizations for pneumonia, etc.

2) The cost per patient DECREASED to $17,000 a year, a full 63% reduction in cost to provide care to their patients and to have positive health outcomes as a result.

I remember Ronald Reagan stating that government was the problem. He was wrong then and those who think government can’t do anything, well let me explain a bit further.

Government prior to the banks getting control could respond to natural disasters. Government provided more police to keep our cities safe, more teacher to educate the children, and they also provide health care for the elderly and the poor.

It’s that last that is REALLY interesting. I’ve already demonstrated that the VA could achieve SIGNIFICANT reductions in cost while improving the health of their patients.

But here’s the kicker. Medicaid/Medicare have an overhead cost of 3% of budgeted total. Private insurance companies on the other hand run in the 15% to 28% overhead strata.

So tell me, who really does a better job?

Some soothsaying on national politics

I’ve been following the news stories regarding Newt Gingrich (Hence soothsaying), Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry with some interest.

Because I think all of them have flaws that if the DNC and the President run with them doom any chances of their ever being President.

Gingrich for example has proposed putting kids to work as janitors in schools. That’s pretty egregious for a country that loves it’s kids.

Then of course we have Rick Perry and his anti-gay screed. That just doesn’t play like it used to back in 2004 Ricky Boy. And not for anything, Rick Perry is, to put it succinctly, an idiot. Those ‘jobs’ in Texas? Mostly low paying temporary positions. And Perry’s associates are highly disturbing, from whack job Pastors to big oil.

Now Romney – we were discussing him at work the other day. First of all there’s that suspicion that he’s more loyal to the Mormon church than he would be to we the people. And then there’s that magic underwear bit.

Plus Romney has the baggage of acting rather liberal in the overhaul of health care in Massachusetts while he was governor. It appears he can’t decide if he is liberal or conservative, he flip-flops with a regularity accurate enough to act as something to which to synchronize a clock.

In essence Romney is always after being something, be it Governor, President, all for the greater glory of himself and his church. Need we forget Romney’s claim to fame was doing leveraged buyouts of companies and flushing out the workers.

With this in mind I suspect that President Obama has a pretty good chance of getting a second term.

I also see the bloom coming off the rose with regard to the Tea Baggers. Yes, I will never stop calling them that. It is a summary of the bat shit insanity of the group.

You have Elizabeth Warren opening up a very strong lead against Scott Brown in Massachusetts, and we’re seeing some good challenges to the Tea Baggers elsewhere too.

I think we’ve all had quite enough of the obstructionism of the Republican/Tea Bagger alliance.

So check back in a year and see if I was right.

Rick Perry and his Catholic Bishops

So I won’t even post the video here because I find it so odious.

You have Rick Perry trying to say the wall of separation is only for freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. If we played by his interpretation the U.S. wouldn’t have the religious freedoms it enjoys today. I should know, I live in RI where Roger Williams proposed the Lively Experiment, where the first Synagogue and first Baptist churches stand.

But we have our own asshat of a Bishop, Thomas Tobin. Tobin cannot resist putting his fingers where they don’t belong, namely on the rights of we the people, be we gay, lesbian, bisexual or even transgender.

I see the Catholic church as irrelevant at this juncture in time. They had their chance to run things and all we got for it was a lot of dead people and a bunch of people who don’t know what is in the Bible these days.

All you have to do is look at how many different versions there are of the Bible to know something is seriously wrong.

And just so there’s no doubt, I am no longer Catholic. I have defiled the host Bishop, please excommunicate me.

Politics: Gingrich to file charges against Pelosi if she slings the mud

Seems that Rep. Nancy Pelosi was on the Ethics committee while Newt Gingrich was in congress. She investigated him along with three others over the space of a year, and over 1,000 pages of information. I’m hoping Wikileaks gets it soon.

She knows where the bodies are buried. And now Newt Gingrich says he’ll file charges under the house rules if she releases that information.

It’s a dangerous game that Gingrich is playing. The mere hint of impropriety puts him into defensive mode which means he’s scared of what she MIGHT say.

And Gingrich tacitly acknowledges that there is ‘dirt’ to be slung. No matter how this plays out he’s toast.

We’re all aware of the levels of corruption in the political sphere. But we don’t like to be reminded about it during a political campaign. We get downright cranky in fact.

So one more in the Republican Clown Car falls. Meanwhile all is quiet about Romney, or mostly quiet. I suspect he’ll be the nominee but his Achilles heel is his flip-flopping. The DNC and Obama camp has a lot of material to work with there.

Astronomy: Night Sights

So around 5:00PM if you look to the east you catch the Moon being trailed by Jupiter just below and to the left of it.

Then if you turn about 180 degrees you catch Venus shining in the western sky. And Venus twinkles like crazy. Probably from the heat of it.

In city with horrid light pollution you can only really see the brightest things in the sky and the planets definitely count.

Sunday Dinner

So I decided I’d cook this Sunday. My two specialties are baking and roasting.

Did a nice tri-tip beef roast. First I brined it with salt, brown sugar and garlic powder mixed in warm water. Interesting that I had to add the word ‘brined’ to my dictionary.

Then a pat dry and season liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder and then into a searing hot pan with a little bit of canola oil and brown and caramelize on both sides for about five or six minutes. Then straight into a 375F oven for about an hour.

Did the famous Macaroni and Cheese. I’ve at last found a cheese mixture that yields REALLY good Mac and Cheese. Once you use these cheeses you’ll never, ever go even for the Delux Mac and Cheese in a box.

I used 1,000 day old Gouda with some nice sharp cheddar. Shredded them both down until I had about 5 cups of cheese. Then used Thomas Jefferson’s famous recipe. I tend to over-cheese it because the 1,000 day old Gouda is incredible.

Had that with a little Cauliflower and Romanesco. The latter is a form of Broccoli that is more closely related to Cauliflower.

Even got those semi-baked dinner rolls and baked those, brushed with a little unsalted butter on top.

Yes there are leftovers! Because it’ll taste even better once it chills out and the flavors get to distribute around the meat, the mac and cheese, etc.

What the fuck happened to YouTube

So I logged on and I can’t stand the new YouTube. They’re trying to go all social media and ape Facebook but they fail miserably.

I liked it when my subscriptions were organized by user, not by date. And you can’t do that anymore.

I like the recommendations, but those are nowhere to be found.

So it looks like I’m in the market for another video hosting site that has two features. One is that it isn’t YouTube, the other is that I can easily post video here on WordPress from it. Any suggestions?