Archive for February 26th, 2009

26
Feb
09

Oh, ‘Bama, I Wuv You and Your Budget Too


Obviously, I’m a horrifying, bedwetting, Bay-Area-bred hippie. So nothing warms my heart like seeing Obama’s proposed budget, which would tax the wealthiest of Americans (a whopping $700 or more!) extra to pay for health care and other hippie favorites. Reading this this morning in the New York Times had the same effect on me that a nice martini, a warm bath, and a Johnny Hartman tune have…I’m currently lulled into a warm state of contentment.

So, as my good deed for the day, I will share it:

The officials said the resulting increase in revenues, estimated at $318 billion over 10 years, would account for about half of a $634 billion “reserve fund” that Mr. Obama will set aside in his budget to address changes in the health care system. The other half would come from proposed cost savings in Medicare, Medicaid and other health programs.

In a document summarizing its proposals, the White House said it would finance coverage for the uninsured in part by “rebalancing the tax code so that the wealthiest pay more.”

Mr. Obama’s blueprint, which will project spending and revenues for the next decade, will flesh out the president’s thinking on his energy plans both to cap the emissions of gases, particularly carbon dioxide, that are blamed for climate change and to spur development of nonpolluting energy alternatives.

The budget will show the government beginning by 2012 to collect billions of dollars in revenues from selling permits to businesses that emit the polluting gases, assuming the president’s energy initiative becomes law as soon as this year, officials said.

Because utilities and other businesses would presumably pass on their costs to customers, Mr. Obama will propose to use most of the government’s revenues from the permits to finance an extension of the new “Making Work Pay” tax credit beyond the two years covered in the $787 billion economic recovery plan that was just enacted.

That tax relief, the administration will argue, will offset households’ higher costs for utilities and other products and services from businesses’ passing on their permit expenses.

That tax credit annually will provide $400 to low-wage and middle-income workers or $800 to couples; Mr. Obama would like to increase those figures to $500 and $1,000. The credit phases out for those with incomes above $75,000 a year and for couples with incomes of more than $150,000; no benefit would go to individuals with more than $100,000 income and couples with $200,000.

The tax credit will begin showing up in the form of lower withholding for eligible workers beginning April 1.

The remainder of the projected revenues from the permits will finance Mr. Obama’s campaign promise for $15 billion a year over 10 years to subsidize research and development of alternative energy sources, officials said. The stimulus package included a multibillion-dollar down payment to develop a national electricity grid to harness and distribute energy from such sources, including wind farms.

*sigh*

There’s no way it will pass.

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26
Feb
09

Alert The Media! Pr0n Industry Does Something Degrading To A Woman!


I know I shouldn’t be shocked. Well, truth be told, I’m not…at the first part.

Octuplets’ Mom Offered $1 Million To Do One Porn Movie.

This part of the offer is not really offensive to me, mostly because I expected it sooner, and also because I don’t mind mocking this woman a bit. In and of itself, it’s a bit offensive, but the offense is of the de rigeur sort. Nope, it’s the next part of the offer that got me into a feminist froth:

Vivid Entertainment spokeswoman Jackie Martin says the offer [to make her a contract girl] also promises a year of health insurance for Nadya Suleman and her 14 children.

That’s predatory and evil and just not fair. Want to take the piss out of a crazy lady? Fine. Want to blackmail a destitute and desperate woman (who has what appears to be trauma-induced views on sexuality already) by using her children’s well-being as bait? Not fine.

I suppose I may be overreacting, in large part because I’m currently in a job I hate solely to ensure that my daughter gets to stay in Europe for long enough to become a citizen (so she can have all the free health care and cheap education she wants). While my work environment is degrading and depressing, there is no work atmosphere that could be more so than a porn set for someone who thinks sex is disgusting.

So, damn you, Vivid Entertainment! You’re making me feel for this crazy bitch!

But, rather than blame the proverbial dog for licking itself, I’m going to blame the Republicans for this. That’s right, the good ol’ GOP has created this situation by blocking mandatory health care for all citizens of the United States.

Fuckin’ Bobby Jindal just evinced the very reason we moved from the States. Just like when his parents arrived from India, I arrived in Spain pregnant. Just like his parents, I wasn’t eligible for health insurance in the States. Unlike his parents, I booked it to where I could deliver my baby, stay in the hospital for a couple days, and be sure she can get her vaccinations, antibiotics, and checkups without us going into the poorhouse. Jindal’s parents, however, had to pay off his delivery and subsequent medical care for years. And he bragged about it. As though it’s a fucking badge of honor to have to pay for something the rest of the world (rightfully) considers basic sanitation. And he’s telling this to a country in a goddamned depression, as though our government refusing to help its citizens is building our collective character.

I went for one series of basic blood tests in the United States, and it is still building my character into an towering and rabid proponent of universal health care. A doctor, knowing we were seriously desperate, lured us to his lair for a quick checkup at the “bargain” price of $500. He spent the visit trying to convince us to have some more imaging done, even though the baby and I both looked fine, then charged me $750 for the pleasure. Subsequent lab costs brought the total to $2500. The fact we have that debt isn’t honorable or some kind of sign of our independence; it’s outrageous and obscene. Just like these pornographers.

I hope they all burn. Like, actually burn themselves. And go to the hospital, wait for 7 hours to be seen, then get $400 million worth of skin grafts they can happily pay off for the rest of their beastly lives. With honor.

26
Feb
09

O.C. Mayor Apparently Thinks Obama Really Likes Watermelon


Oh, you libruls and brown people and what not just LOVE to overreact. First you think calling the president a chimp (not to mention a crazed chimp who should be shot) is offensive, and now this. Explain to the GOP mayor who sent it to his constituents how this be viewed as racist.

And why on earth would anyone think there’s any implicit meaning to the email’s title (“No Easter Egg Hunt This Year”)? Mayor Dean Grose just thinks the Muslim terrorist Antichrist President would rather not celebrate the rising of Jeebus from the grave with a fine old Amurkan tradition. How is that so wrong?

Really, explain it to him. Here’s his email address, the fucking douche.

deanlosal@yahoo.com

And his website address:

http://www.grose-for-losalamitos.com/

Now it’s up to the internet to spam this guy into such a crazed state that he will be FORCED to lose his shit, get drunk, and start a fight. And then he can sit in the drunk tank for a while. With black men. Who will get to know his non-racist ass. Hopefully in the Biblical sense.

26
Feb
09

A Fancy Scientific Study Links Eating Less To Losing Weight!


Yes, they pay people for this.

A new study has found that overall calorie consumption matters far more than cutting any particular food group (fats, carbs) in maintaining a healthy weight. Will this turn the weight loss industry on its ear? Nope. Why? It ain’t news.

As I’ve mentioned before, I used to teach a lot of fitness classes at various venues in Baton Rouge. While the clientele varied enormously from the YMCA to the high-end fancy gym, one thing remained the same: People want short cuts. And, hey, I can’t blame them. It’s human nature to, when confronted with a seemingly enormous task, try to figure out a way to get around starting a long journey.

I’ve found that, when people are looking for advice on losing weight, they want to hear two things: they can get immediate gratification, and there’s some new secret they didn’t know about before. I really can’t blame them; I myself am HUGELY impatient (for example, I would rather snack all day than prepare a meal, if given my druthers), and I wouldn’t want to be paying for advice I’d already heard. Regardless, I tended to tell my clients the truth when they asked how best they could lose weight: Eat less and exercise more. They always looked disappointed, but it always worked. Of course, the other trainers–advocating specific weight exercises, fish-only diets, or even liposuction–were more popular, but at least I knew I wasn’t bullshitting people who were earnestly looking for help.

I know I’ve harped on this before, citing personal experience and observation, but it’s nice to be able to cite a specific study.

If the money I applied for in my grant went to this no-brainer, though, I’m going to plotz.