Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
This song has been rattling around my head for days now.
You, Carl, are to be publicly praised and honored...
...for tracking down and identifying Ue O Muite Arukō (Sukiyaki) as the song stuck in my head upon listening to my humming the tune on your voicemail.
God bless you, Carl David VanDemark, Esq.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Yes... I realize it's March... but I'm looking forward to my annual October Key West vacation!
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding, his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting.
To his equals he was condescending, to his inferiors kind, and to the dear object of his affections exemplary tender. Correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence, and virtue always felt his fostering hand. The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues.
His last scene comported with the whole tenor of his life. Although in extreme pain, not a sigh, not a groan escaped him; and with undisturbed serenity he closed his well-spent life. Such was the man America has lost! Such was the man for whom our nation mourns.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
I wonder how many Americans under... oh... let's say 30... know this song.
I mean, it's not like this was a Top 40 Hit back in 1962 when I was first brought onto the world stage... (*CHUCKLE*)... so to speak, but to my contemporaries reading this, just think about all the old... very old... and very, very, very old songs you were exposed to via school, old records, our parents' radio stations, old movies, cartoons (particularly Looney Tunes)... and so on and so forth.
Kids have so much "data" at their fingertips today... but I fear their worlds are much smaller... the context of their lives far narrower.
I'd be interested to hear whether others agree with me or not.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Folks... all I can tell you is... there's a video.
Could it be the U.S. government thinks peaceful, civilian protest against government is fine on the streets of Cairo, Egypt but not on U.S. soil?
As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech at George Washington University yesterday condemning governments that arrest protesters and do not allow free expression and lauding freedom of speech on the Internet, 71-year-old military veteran Ray McGovern was grabbed from the audience in plain view of [Secretary Clinton] by police and an unidentified official in plain clothes, hustled out of the building, and - according to McGovern and his supporters - “brutalized and left bleeding in jail.”
What McGovern did was simply remain standing silently in the audience and turned his back on her as Secretary Clinton began her speech.
That was it.
McGovern, a veteran Army officer who also worked as a C.I.A. analyst for 27 years, was wearing Veterans for Peace t-shirt.
Blind-sided by security officers who pounced upon him, McGovern remarked, as he was hauled out the door, "So this is America?"
According to Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, attorney with the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, “For this peaceful expression of dissent, [Mr. McGovern] ended up bruised, bloodied, arrested, and jailed."
"Secretary Clinton never paused, continuing her speech lecturing other countries about the need to allow freedom of expression and dissent, while Mr. McGovern was hauled out in front of her.”
McGovern was later found to have his arm covered with bruises. The metal handcuffs were fastened so tightly that his wrists were cut and some blood flowed from the cuts.
After being held by local police, McGovern was told he was being charged with disorderly conduct.
Folks... the audio in sync with the video clearly seems to demonstrate that the man was not creating a disturbance - let alone acting in a threatening manner.
Folks... is this really what it's come to?
As I wrote up above, a video exists which during the time recorded seems to show events as reported. (At least the initial taking into custody of Mr. McGovern.)
Does this news article seem a bit over the top? Yes. Frankly it does. However... it appears over the top - from my perspective at least - only because I recoil from what would clearly be implied assuming this report is 100% accurate with no "exculpatory" information released within the very near future proving the reporting to be untrue or exaggerated.
Folks... let's hope that some sort of reasonable explanation for what appears to be a clear abuse of governmental police power is soon furnished.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
You make the call, folks.
Judson Berger - Fox News:
The Obama administration's statement that "the government will not be adding to the debt by the middle of the decade" clashes hard against the facts, Republicans say, leaving officials straining to justify the budget claim they've pushed repeatedly over the past few days.
O.K. Tell me more.
As it turns out, the administration is not counting interest payments.
Why you piece of...
(*SHUTTING MY MOUTH*) (*GRITTING MY TEETH*)
"We're still going further into debt, massively," Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., told White House Budget Director Jack Lew at a budget hearing Tuesday, accusing the administration of "double-talk."
Double-talk...?!?! Bull! Call it what it is - yet another hard piece of evidence pointing to Barak Hussein Obama's apparent level of confidence serving as the nation's Liar-In-Chief.
Anyone who gives the budget chart a cursory glance can see the debt will continue to skyrocket under the White House proposal. In fact, the long-term outlook shows the public debt - which isn't even the entire debt - soaring from about $11 trillion this year to nearly $19 trillion in 2021.
Driving that increase is the fact that annual deficits will never fall below $600 billion.
Folks... we've got a real problem on our hands. We can't trust a word this man says.
To put the [Obama] scenario in everyday terms, it's like a family claiming that they've balanced the family finances, but neglecting to mention that they're taking out a new loan every month to pay off credit-card interest. As a result, the family keeps going deeper into debt.
I'm sorry, folks; this man is a liar and a fraud. Incompetence is one thing - America survived Jimmy Carter - but this isn't simple stupidity... this is purposeful destruction of the American economy.
If the government does what the Obama administration is recommending, net interest payments will go from about $200 billion this year to $844 billion in a decade.
I've actually heard and read interest payments on the federal could easily reach the $1 trillion mark - or beyond - by the end of the decade depending upon future interest rates.
Folks... if I know this, Obama and his top economic advisors know this. It isn't a secret.
Lew, in an interview Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," said: "Our budget will get us, over the next several years, to the point where we can look the American people in the eye and say we're not adding to the debt anymore. We're spending money that we have each year, and then we can work on bringing down our national debt."
Obama, discussing his budget in Baltimore Monday, said the proposal "puts us on a path to pay for what we spend by the middle of the decade."
In his press conference the next day, Obama went further: "What my budget does is to put forward some tough choices, some significant spending cuts, so that by the middle of this decade our annual spending will match our annual revenues. We will not be adding more to the national debt," he said.
Folks... this man is a disgrace. He lacks basic integrity.
Under questioning from Senate Republicans Tuesday, Lew acknowledged the government would be adding to the debt by borrowing to pay interest, but still stood by his statements.
Folks... you can't make this shit up!
We've got a real problem here...
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
George W. Bush must have been the despair of the history department of every school his daddy managed to get him into.
(*SMILE*) (*SOFT CHUCKLE*)
Consider his latest excursion into the history of the republic, at Southern Methodist, where the Great Man's papers are to be housed.
"What's interesting about our country, if you study history, is that there are some 'isms' that occasionally pop up. One is isolationism and its evil twin protectionism and its evil triplet nativism. So if you study the '20s, for example, there was an American-first policy that said, 'Who cares what happens in Europe?' ... And there was an immigration policy that I think during this period argued we had too many Jews and too many Italians, therefore we should have no immigrants. And my point is that we've been through this kind of period of isolationism, protectionism and nativism. I'm a little concerned that we may be going through the same period. I hope that these 'isms' pass."
(*ROLLING MY EYES*) WHAT A BUFFOON.
Where to begin?
First, "America First" was the antiwar movement begun in 1940 and backed by the young John F. Kennedy and his brother Joe, Gerald Ford and ex-president Herbert Hoover. It had nothing to do with the 1920s.
Wrote British historian A.J.P. Taylor: "American policy was never more active and never more effective in regard to Europe than in the 1920s. Reparations were settled; stable finances were restored; Europe was pacified, all mainly due to the United States."
* A TIMELINE...
In the Harding-Coolidge decade, America was deeply interested in "what happens in Europe." It began with Hoover rushing U.S. food aid to the defeated nations of World War I and even to the USSR, for which Lenin personally thanked the Americans.
In 1921, President Harding called a Washington Naval Conference that produced the greatest disarmament treaty of modern times, in which America, Britain, France, Italy and Japan agreed to deep cuts and severe limits on the strategic weapons of the day, battleships.
In 1924, Charles G. Dawes advanced the Dawes Plan to ease the reparations burden on Germany, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1927, Coolidge convened a second naval disarmament conference to bring cruisers under the same limits as battleships - but the British balked.
In 1928 came the Kellogg-Briand Pact, by which scores of nations renounced war as an instrument of national policy. Undeniably utopian, it was hardly a mark of an isolationist America. (Secretary of State Frank Kellogg won our country's fourth Nobel Peace Prize.)
In 1929 came the Young Plan to further ease a reparations burden on Germany then being exploited by the rising Nazi Party.
What is Bush talking about, and why is he trashing this Republican record like some court historian of FDR?
(*SNORT*) (*SHAKING MY HEAD SADLY AS I PONDER THE IGNORANCE OF GEORGE W. BUSH*)
As for "protectionism," Harding did approve the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act of 1922, doubling rates to 38%. But he also slashed Woodrow Wilson's income tax rates by two-thirds, back to 25%. Result: Unemployment, 12% when Harding [,succeeding his Democrat predecessor Woodrow Wilson,] took office, was 3% when [Republican] Calvin Coolidge left.
Between 1923 and 1927, U.S. growth was 7% a year. Manufacturing output rose 64% in the Roaring Twenties. At decade's end, America produced 42% of the world's goods.
Compare this economic triumph with the fruits of W's free-trade policy that wiped out 6 million U.S. manufacturing jobs, one of every three we had, and put America in hock to China.
* WELL... (*PAUSE*)... TO BE FAIR ONE MUST GO BACK TO CLINTON... TO PAPPY BUSH... EVEN TO REAGAN... IN ORDER TO PROPERLY APPRECIATE HOW WE GOT INTO THE CURRENT MESS WE'RE IN WITH REGARDS TO CHINA AND WITH REGARD TO THE DECLINE OF AMERICAN INDUSTRY. (HECK... YOU COULD GO BACK FURTHER... TO LBJ...)
The protectionism Bush calls "evil" was the policy of 12 Republican presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Coolidge, who made the GOP America's Party and converted this country into the industrial marvel of mankind.
* SING IT WITH ME, FOLKS... "WE COULD USE A MAN, LIKE CALVIN COOLIDGE TODAY...!"
* FYI: HERBERT HOOVER WAS A "PROGRESSIVE"... HIS SCREW-UPS LED TO AN EVER-WORSENING ECONOMY AND ULTIMATELY THE ELECTION OF FDR.
Is Bush oblivious to this? Did someone at Phillips Academy, Yale or Harvard Business School tell him Lincoln, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt were free-traders?
* I'M SURE IT NEVER CAME UP. BUSH WAS EDUCATED AS MOST OF US ARE... IN OTHER WORDS... OFTEN MISEDUCATED. (*SHRUG*) YOU REALLY CAN'T SINGLE OUT BUSH. HECK, NEWT GINGRICH SEEMLY BUYS THE "FREE TRADE" ARGUMENT HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER.
As for "nativism," the term dates to the mid-19th century and had to do with hostility to Catholics and Irish, not Italians and Jews.
* SEE: FIORELLO LAGUARDIA, MAYOR OF NYC, 1934-1945.
* SERIOUSLY... BUSH IS A NUMBSKULL.
The 1924 Immigration Act, to end the Great Wave of the previous 30 years from Southern and Eastern Europe, did seek to preserve the ethnic character of the country. Yet, after 40 years of that moratorium, the Melting Pot having done its work, America was more united and socially at peace in the Eisenhower-JFK era than she has been before or since.
Is every immigration restriction law "evil," Mr. Bush? Are Japan and South Korea evil because they have never accepted immigration? Has mass immigration benefited Europe, where David Cameron and Angela Merkel are bewailing the disaster of "multiculturalism"? Is your successor, Gov. Rick Perry, evil for calling for troops on the border to stop the invasion you failed to halt?
For eight years, Bush pursued interventionism, free trade and open borders. Result: two wars that have bled his country and reaped a harvest of hate, the deindustrialization of America and a republic on its way to becoming the new world order's Tower of Babel.
Political result: A wipe-out of the GOP in 2006 and 2008, and Bush going home to Texas with the lowest job approval in presidential history.
Bush ought to sue Phillips Academy for educational malpractice.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Beautiful... simply beautiful...
Friday, February 11, 2011
I've Asked My Congresswoman, Nan Hayworth (R-NY-19), To Look Into Why Speaker John Boehner Didn't Vote
Why would Speaker of the House John Boehner sit out a vote on H.R. 519, the United Nations Tax Equalization Refund Act of 2011, authored and submitted by House Committee for Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)?
O.K., folks... here's the story in newsbite form:
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is the author of legislation being considered on the House floor tomorrow calling for the United Nations to refund to the U.S. Treasury $179 million overpaid by the U.S. into the United Nations Tax Equalization Fund (TEF).
BACKGROUND: The U.S. reimburses the UN for any income taxes imposed on U.S. nationals who are employees of the UN via payments into the UN Tax Equalization Fund. Currently, the U.S. has overpaid into that fund by the approximate amount of $179 million dollars. Although in prior years any overpayment would be applied towards the amount owed by the U.S. for its assessed UN contributions, in recent years the excess has simply accumulated. The administration is now considering allowing the UN to use the excess money to fund security enhancements at the UN complex in New York.
“The $179 million extra that the U.S. paid into the UN Tax Equalization fund should be refunded to the American people immediately."
“The UN and the Administration are treating this overpayment like found money, but it’s not. The UN itself admits that the $179 million surplus is ‘payable to the United States of America pending instructions as to its disposition."
"[I]nstead of instructing the UN to give us our money back, [Obama's] State Department [under the leadership of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton] wants Americans to foot the entire $100 million bill for security upgrades at UN headquarters."
OUTRAGEOUS. OUTRAGEOUS AND DISGUSTING.
“This bill to refund the $179 million to the U.S. Treasury is about taking a small step toward restoring sanity to our UN policy and government spending. The American people have demanded just that from their elected representatives. This legislation is a step in the right direction.”
“Today, the [Obama administration's] excuse for opposing a bill that would have refunded to the American people $179 million overpaid into a controversial UN fund was ‘sorry, we already let the UN spend most of that.’ In other words, instead of receiving a refund, the American people are now being forced to give the United Nations a $100 million dollar gift card."
I SAY REMOVE AT LEAST $100 MILLION FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT'S BUDGET.
“Congress and the American people were kept in the dark about what was happening with the extra money paid into this account. Now that people are rightly outraged that the surplus has been diverted, the Administration is arguing that the money was needed for immediate security upgrades for the UN. Where does it end? The UN owes U.S. taxpayers millions in over-payments for UN peacekeeping. Will that also be used up to bailout the UN?"
IF OBAMA AND CLINTON HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT IT... YES!
“If the Administration is willing to let the UN keep money that we accidentally overpaid, how can we expect them to ever get behind the serious spending cuts that the American people are demanding?”
GOOD FRIGG'N QUESTION, NO?
“This is not about the UN finally doing the right thing and paying for security upgrades at its headquarters in New York. The UN is not paying for anything. After years of avoiding its responsibilities, the UN, with the support of the Obama Administration, is asking the American taxpayer to bail them out once again and pay 100% of the proposed construction costs. To make matters worse, allowing the UN to take $100 million of the refund owed to U.S. taxpayers would be an increase for the UN budget."
NOTE: Ros-Lehtinen is the author of H.R. 519, the United Nations Tax Equalization Refund Act of 2011. This bill would have refunded to the U.S. Treasury $179 million in funds overpaid into the UN Tax Equalization Fund. In last week’s YouCut vote, the American people overwhelmingly voted for the proposal calling for the funds to be returned. Earlier today, the House voted 259-169 in favor of H.R. 519, but the bill failed to receive the two-thirds majority vote required for passage under suspension of the rules.
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN DEMOCRATS VOTED TO ALLOW THE UN TO KEEP THE OVERPAYMENT. ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN DEMOCRATS VOTED TO ESSENTIALLY BORROW MONEY FROM CHINA AND ELSEWHERE - AT INTEREST - TO MAKE UP FOR THE $179 MILLION BARAK OBAMA AND HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON BASICALLY GAVE TO THE UN WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY. (ALL SPENDING BILL MUST BE INITIATED IN THE HOUSE... ETC.)
TWO RINOs - PETER KING (NY-3) AND MIKE GRIMM (NY-13) - VOTED WITH THE DEMOCRATS TO ALLOW THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO SPEND $179 MILLION THAT WAS NOT AUTHORIZED TO BE SPENT BY CONGRESS.
FOR WHATEVER REASONS (I'M GUESSING THEY WERE OUT OF TOWN) THE FOLLOWING REPUBLICANS DID NOT VOTE: SPENCER BACHUS (AL-6), BRIAN BILBRAY (CA-50), LOUIE GOHMERT (TX-1), AND... (AND THIS IS INTERESTING!) JOHN BOEHNER (OH-8).
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Funny thing... I keep on hearing this Bubba Clinton wannabe Christopher Lee referred to in news reporting as a "conservative" Republican from New York.
So... I did a bit of digging.
Exhibit #1: "That's My Congress," a self-styled "independent voice on campaigns and legislation" ranked the (now former) congressman 44%/100% on their conservative rating scale.
Exhibit #2: You folks are all familiar with "The Hill," right? Well, rather than come out with their own composite ideological rating, what they do is report various interest group ratings. Allow me to note a few of Lee's ranks:
From the American Conservative Union... Lee received an 88%/100%. However... from Citizens Against Government Waste... 13%/100%.
From the National Taxpayers Union... 69%/100%.
Citizens for Tax Reform... they didn't even rate him.
The Club for Growth... 62%/100%.
Listen, folks... I don't wanna belabor the point... but you just can't take one damn thing produced by the denizens of the MSM at face value.
Are any of you familiar with Numbers USA? They gave this clown Lee a "C-Minus" rating.
Folks... what can I tell ya? We're dealing with an American media rife with ideological bias, partisanship, incompetence, and just plain laziness.
One of my "family shows" which I watch with the Poops.
If the show's version of this Dylan classic gets pulled (for copyright violation) just tune in to the show's opening credits one Tuesday night at 10:00 p.m.
And now... follow me... it's newsbite time!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Today's newsbites are dedicated to Iz.
You don't know Iz...? Sure you do!
Beautiful, no? Com'on, you've heard this "twofer" version!
Doesn't it just... move you?
It moves me.
To anyone of my generation or older, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is caught somewhere deep in your soul - as should be "What A Wonderful World."
When I was a kid, watching the yearly airing of "The Wizard of Oz" on network television was a family event.
Com'on... think back to your own childhoods...
(By the way, Ol' Blue Eyes Himself did one hell of a version of "Over the Rainbow.")
As to "Wonderful World," who doesn't love Satchmo Louis Armstrong?!
Anyway... back to Iz... here are his stand apart versions of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Wonderful World." (Nice videos even apart from the audio, huh?)
Hey...! Anyone feeling generous and appreciative of all the newsbites and newsbite theme songs....
You know the mailing address...!!!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Even though my congresswoman - Dr. Nan Hayworth - tries to keep abreast of my newsbites and other postings, she's a busy woman. Therefore... I'm emailing her a version of this latest "open letter" just to ensure the matter is brought to her attention.
So, Nan... what's the deal with this Taxpayers For Common Sense news release (dated Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011) I just stumbled upon?
EXCERPTING... and commenting --
Even as they take a cleaver to many domestic agencies, Republicans now running the House are barely touching Congress' generous own budget.
Nan... as you know, I'm a big "cleaver fan." As you're also well aware, during the campaign you pledged to cut your personal House office budget by a full 10%. (How're you coming with that pledge by the way?)
Recent hefty increases to the congressional budget - engineered by Democrats when they held power in the House from 2007-2010 - would remain largely in place under a plan announced Thursday by the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY).
The plan, developed in close consultation with Republican Speaker John Boehner's office, would cut Congress' budget less than any other domestic spending bill, except for the one covering the Department of Homeland Security.
Now that doesn't sound good, Nan...
Congress...would get nicked by only 2%...
Whoa...! What's this 2% nonsense...?!?!
When Democrats took over Congress in 2007, they inherited a $3.8 billion budget for Congress. That includes money for members' and leadership offices, House and Senate committees, and support agencies such as the Capitol Police and the Congressional Budget Office, which crunches numbers for lawmakers as they consider legislation. Since then, that budget has risen to $4.7 billion, a 23% increase over four years. (The biggest jump, 11%, occurred when President Barack Obama signed a Democratic-written spending bill just after he took office in 2009.)
Frankly, Nan, I'd like to see the Republican House Leadership impose their announced 5% cut not on Pelosi's last inflated budget, but upon former Republican House Speaker Hastert's last budget. (Still... I'm not holding my breath for that one...)
When Democrats gained a majority in 2007, the budget for the office of the speaker's office - considered the most powerful of any in Congress - exploded.
(*SMIRK*) (*ROLLING MY EYES*)
As speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) engineered a $2 million, 71% increase immediately after that transfer of party control.
Appalling! Disgusting! Obscene...!!!
(A Pelosi spokesman attributed some of the increase to her decision to consolidate a variety of leadership jobs within her office as opposed to the power-sharing approach of her predecessor, Republican Dennis Hastert of Illinois.)
Attributed "some," huh?
Among the first items of business when the GOP regained the House was to pass a bipartisan measure to cut office and committee budgets by 5%.
One more time, Nan... I want Boehner to abide by that 5% announcement and I expect you to abide by your 10% pledge.
As always... thank you for taking my views into consideration.
To reiterate and extend my commentary on last night's Superbowl half-time show...
Not only did the Black Eyed Peas suck, but so did that chick from that dreadful frigg'n show Glee - Lea Michele.
As for Christina Aguilera...
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD WHILE GRITTING MY TEETH*)
You want music...? Here's music!
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Ronald Wilson Reagan
February 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004
February 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004
Lifeguard... Football Player... College Graduate... Radio Announcer... Actor... Army Officer... Actor Again... President of the Screen Actors Guild... Husband... Father... Ex-Husband... Husband Again... Father Again... Two-Term Governor of California... Two-Term President of the United States... Alzheimer's Victim...
I loved President Reagan.
I love President Reagan.
My first vote (having turned 18 in May of 1980) was for the election of Ronald Wilson Reagan to the presidency of the United States.
Was Ronald Reagan a perfect president or a perfect human being? No. None of us are. But you know what...
He was close enough.
Today, on the centennial of President Reagan's birth, I just want to express my admiration, my love, and my thanks.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Let's start off with this "classic" oldie...
Com'n... you guys remember that one!
One ugly son of a bitch (a cross between Dustin Hoffman and Neil Diamond), but the bastard can sure sing!
1974 lives again...!
And now on to another oldie... a real goodie...!
Friday, February 4, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Well, folks, I just checked the Dow a moment ago; it was up 150 points.
The Euro is up...
(Pay no attention to that Leprechaun sneaking a wee dram...)
To those of you who are familiar with what's actually happening in the U.S. and throughout the world... does this make any sense to you?
Oh, sure, hindsight employed - even present sight - anything can be "explained."
After all, Republicans recaptured the House in November.
Judge Vinson ruled ObamaCare unconstitutional the other day.
I can construct a "good news" package of economic data if pressed that might "explain" some of recent stock market gains, however...
We're still left with reality in its totality.
Whether oil remain futures remain at $100/bbl. for awhile, or rise, or perhaps falls... no one I know expects oil to fall below $80/bbl.
Overall inflation - apart from oil... what do you folks "in the know" think?
(I still see no chance in hell of avoiding stagflation...)
Unemployment? What's the consensus? Anyone think things are "returning to normal," that we'll be seeing "normal" American "historic" rates of employment/unemployment coming back anytime soon?
(Or anytime at all...?)
Robo-Trading... Fed and foreign government "interventions"... media cheerleading... irrational exuberance... political collusion... crony capitalism...
You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to note the cognitive dissonance on display with regards to world "investment" markets.
Just throwing it out there...
Just attempted to send a private email to my congresswoman, Dr. Nan Hayworth.
For whatever reason, the message was just "returned" to me - undelivered.
Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.
Subject: A "newsbite" Dr. Hayworth shouldn't miss
Sent: 2/1/2011 1:18 PM
The following recipient(s) could not be reached:
(firstname.lastname@example.org) on 2/1/2011 1:18 PM
451 4.3.5 Server configuration problem
It happens. Frontier Communications is my ISP; not sure whose Nan's is.
Here's the Newbite:
A shortage of injectable generic drugs for cancer and other serious diseases is putting pressure on hospitals, which are sometimes having to scramble to locate the medicines or search for alternative treatments.
* PERHAPS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COULD SIMPLY... er... "MANDATE"... NO MORE SHORTAGES...???
The supply of these drugs has tightened in recent years as the generic-drug industry has consolidated, with many of the drugs now made by just one or two companies. In many cases patents have long expired and the original brand-name drug is no longer being produced.
* ON A SERIOUS NOTE, THE FACT THAT THESE PATENTS EXPIRE IS THE PROBLEM...!!!!
Federal regulators have also stepped up enforcement of quality standards, limiting the ability of large manufacturers to ramp up production.
* SAVE THE VILLAGE BY DESTROYING IT... WHERE HAVE I HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE...?!
The Food and Drug Administration reported a record 178 drug shortages in 2010, up from 157 the year earlier and 55 five years ago.
* AIN'T THE AGE OF OBAMA JUST A DREAM COME TRUE? (*SNORT*)
"We think this is near a crisis situation," said Bona Benjamin, a director at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, a pharmacist trade group.
* DON'T EXPECT TO READ THIS IN YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPERS, FOLKS... (*SIGH*)
The FDA has taken some emergency steps to cope with shortages. Last year, it permitted imports from Europe of a sedative drug that hadn't gone through the complete U.S. approval process to cope with shortages of propofol, the drug implicated in singer Michael Jackson's 2009 death. The FDA is also allowing imports from Britain of foscarnet, an antibiotic sometimes used after organ transplants.
(*SARCASTIC CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*) WELL AIN'T THAT JUST DANDY! OBAMACARE... STIMULATING JOB GROWTH IN... er... EUROPE AND GREAT BRITAIN.
"The drugs that have been in shortage for 2010 are ones that there are no good substitutes," said Valerie Jensen, the associate director of FDA's drug shortage program.
* HEY... YA THINK IF YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS, U.S. SENATOR, OR HIGH RANKING EXECUTIVE OR JUDICIAL BRANCH OFFICIAL OR FAMILY MEMBER REQUIRES A "SCARCE" DRUG THEY'LL END UP AT THE BACK OF THE LINE WITH YOUR AVERAGE MEDICARE OR MEDICAID PATIENT...??? DO YOU...???
The FDA's full approval process takes much longer, which is why it is hard for new producers to quickly jump in when demand exceeds supply. Leucovorin, often used to treat colon cancer, has been in short supply for several years, but it was only recently that the FDA allowed another company to start making it.
(*SARCASTIC CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*) OH, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, OH, MAGNANIMOUS FDA! (*SMIRK*)
Companies cite FDA manufacturing rules and bottlenecks in the supply of ingredients for the shortages. "Certainly there's been more drugs shortages in the industry than normal," said Josh Gordon, Hospira's vice president and general manager for specialty pharmaceuticals.
"It just feels like it's constant," said Dwight Kloth, the pharmacy director at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. "Every day you worry: Which medication today?"
* GREAT! JUST FRIGG'N GREAT! OUTSTANDING...! HOPE AND CHANGE, BABY... HOPE AND CHANGE...!
A September survey by the nonprofit Institute for Safe Medication Practices documented more than 1,000 errors, near-misses and adverse patient outcomes attributed to drug shortages. At least two patients died after receiving the painkiller hydromorphone when it was incorrectly prescribed at the same dose for morphine that was unavailable.
* SHORTAGES OF FRIGG'N MORPHINE...?!?! ARE YOU FRIGG'N KIDDING ME...?!?!
Michael Link, the president-elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, said the drug cisplatin is in short supply and is a mainstay treatment of testicular cancer. "There really isn't an effective substitute," he said.
* FOLKS... SERIOUSLY... THE FDA MUST BE REINED IN.