Posts Tagged ‘Health

06
Mar
09

Oh, Sanjay, Is It Because Michael Steele Didn’t Send You Slum Love* Too?


So Sanjay Gupta is packing his toys and going home back on the teevee, where the big bucks is. Because he’s a whore.

That’s right: HuffPo is reporting that this decision is financially motivated.

According to Farrell, Gupta had misgivings about both the pay cut he would have to take and the fact that he could be reporting to two high-level bosses: both the health secretary and health reform office director.

‘Kay, I’m tempted to believe this, since, like I said, I think this guy would sell his mother’s underwear for a cheeseburger, but it smacks of bullshit to me. He’s worried about bureaucracy? Huh? I know doctors, and the thing in which I know they are more experienced than anything else is how to navigate paperwork. It’s not only part of the job; it’s most of it.

His official statement only adds to my skepticism:

He has removed himself from consideration to focus more on his medical career and his family.

Ah, the standard bullshit excuse used almost always by pols and pol-wannabes who have a serious skeleton problem in their closets. The Chicago Tribune‘s above-linked article cites as a possible motivation for his withdrawal the impending scandal brewing amongst liberals who (like myself) disapprove of his close association with drug companies.

Some groups cited his critical reporting on government-run health-care systems. And some liberal physicians raised the possibility of conflict of interest because Gupta had participated in TV programming on a health channel for doctors’ offices. The programming was partly underwritten by drug companies.

After Gupta was named as a surgeon general candidate, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), a universal health care advocate, campaigned to mobilize opposition in Congress.

Conyers, who supports a government-centered health-care system, argued that Gupta’s past criticism of such an approach meant he would not be vigorous enough in advocating for the poor and disadvantaged.

(Quick aside: I’m quickly and devastatingly falling in love with John Conyers.)

Take that opposition, on top of the quick online redistribution of his smacktalk with Michael Moore about Sicko, and methinks the Obama administration wanted to distance themselves from a possible obstacle in their own midst.

Does this mean we’ll actually get the promised universal health care? I’m kind of doubting it, since it’s a perennial campaign promise by the Dems that never ever ever sees light of day. Still, it’s looking rosier in yon skies than I’ve seen it in the past…

And, in case you missed Gupta Vs. Moore, here it is. Don’t get me wrong, I know Moore is manipulative in his editing and a bit full of bullshit (Great health care and clean, modern hospitals in Cuba? Really??? Boy, did Castro ever see that guy coming…). Still, it’s worth noting that, reportedly, the commercial break immediately following the debate was for a drug company.

*In case you missed Michael Steele’s SPECTACULARLY offensive “slum love” comment to Bobby Jindal, here it is.

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17
Feb
09

Stimulate Yourself To The Oldies


I’m taking this opportunity, and probably abusing this forum, to propose my own stimulus package. Of course, we all know it won’t happen for a number of reasons (too focused on the long-term, could be seen as encroaching as people’s individual liberties, I’m an not now–nor will i ever be–a public figure). Still, knowing full well this is going to fly in the face of an awesome–but terrifying–article I just read in Slate, here ’tis:

Step 1: Revamp public transportation.

I know this is part and parcel of virtually any (sane) person’s stimulus plan, but my proposal is further reaching than revamping what we have. Make it accessible to everyone everywhere, suburbs and rural places alike.

Step 2: Tax The Holy Hell Out Of Cars.

I was going to propose just taking them, but this way people can still have their cars, so long as they pay for them. Specifically, I’m thinking of the Dutch model, in which people are taxed on the cars according to their weight. Want a Hummer? Fine. Just pay the government what it will cost them to maintain the roads you’re going to savage. (This tax could be built in to the corporate tax companies reliant on the trucking industry already pay.)

Step 3: Watch What Happens.

As I said, this plan just occurred to me the other day, when, while riding the train to work, I noticed that I have somehow or other gotten really defined arms. While not amazing in and of itself, it is worth noting a few things as background:
a) While living in the States, I taught fitness classes. Like, a lot of fitness classes. About 15 per week. Meaning, I was at the gym at least twice daily, doing step, kickboxing, pilates, spinning, and weight training for the masses.
b) As such, I was in pretty goddamned good shape.
c) I have not been back into a gym since moving from the States almost two years ago.
d) In that time, I’ve had a baby.

Given all this, it was a shock to realize that my arms were suddenly much more toned than they had ever been. And the reason why became clear the next day, as I was taking the train home from a brief jaunt to an Indian market, heavy bag and big baby in tow. Walking, carrying my own groceries, clinging to my child like a mama chimp, etc., has made me the incredible shrinking woman, while building up some seriously good musculature.

Why would national weight loss be stimulus?

1. It would stimulate the poor farming industry, since junk food is not so appealing to the chronically active. (I say this as someone who routinely consumes at least 90% of her calories as junk food, if I’m allowed.)

2. It would save literally an assload of money in health costs, thereby helping people pay lower premiums. Extra change in pockets = extra spending.

3. The jobs created by the infrastructure part alone would employ a ton of people (doing manual labor, which would also aid the eventual goal of de-fatting our nation’s populous).

4. Public maintenance would go hand-in-hand with this.  It’s not so bad to drive by a urine-and-shit-stained sidewalk, but walking in it is unacceptable to all but the brave few who live in Times Square.

5. Why’s it got to be about dollars and cents with you people?  The quality and quantity of life would be improved.  What do you have against old people anyhow?  They’re not all Strom Thurmond, fer cryin’ out loud.

And now I’m going to finish my cookie before I take my 20-minute walk to pick up my daughter at daycare 😛