Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday Mashup (2/24/11)

  • It’s time for another “Foto Funny” from Fix Noise, as noted here.

    Now before you get too steamed over the Milwaukee school district supposedly spending over $786 grand on Viagra for teachers, read the linked story at ABC News (which, unlike Fix Noise, is an actual news organization) to learn the following...

    Two years ago, the Milwaukee school district decided that it was more interested in enhancing teacher performance in the classroom than the bedroom.

    The district cut Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs like Cialis and Levitra from its health insurance plan, hoping to save $786,000 a year.

    Officials said too many teachers were using the expensive drugs for recreation, swelling their insurance rates. An estimated 1,000 of the 10,000 school's staff, which includes employees, dependents and retirees, were using the drugs.
    Notice how “Milwaukee School District Spent $786,000 on Viagra for teachers,” or whatever (and I wonder how much companies like, say, Halliburton, pay for the same prescription coverage for their employees?) has now become, well, “the Milwaukee School District is hoping to save $786,000 a year on Viagra for teachers.”

    So basically, the Milwaukee School District doesn’t know for certain how much they paid to cover their teachers for Viagra (and for the record, I would say the same thing about similar prescriptions for women employees, which, if anything, is more important).

    And besides, before we laugh too hard over the requisite snarky remarks about Viagra prescriptions for the teachers and their plan dependents, I would ask that you read this, particularly the following…

    Many doctors recommend PDE-5 drugs as “rehabilitative” treatments for men following radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer. Human relationships are an essential part of good health, and sex is an essential ingredient to marriage. Erectile dysfunction is a devastating health problem and can cause relationships to end, which typically leads to a subsequent deterioration in overall health. And dont’ forget, erectile dysfunction is an early sign of heart disease. By making ED treatments accessible, we bring men into the health care setting and give them earlier treatment for heart disease.
    Not that you’d learn any of that from Fix Noise, of course.

  • Next, it’s time once more for the tired old saw that the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is really just a front group for George Soros, a charge alleged here, when in fact, as TPM tells us here…

    Soros is a member of the Democracy Alliance, which has provided money to CREW, and his Open Society Institute has given money to the watchdog group as well, according to Media Matters.
    So again, in the wingnutosphere, “has provided money to” equals “ownership” (concerning Dems, of course).

    The really funny part of the post at The Weakly Standard, though, is here…

    (Conservative uber-lobbyist Rick) Berman's Center for Union Facts is up front about its opposition to union leadership.
    In response, Media Matters tells us the following here…

    Berman runs at least 15 industry-funded front groups and projects, such as the Center for Union Facts and holds 16 "positions" in those organizations.

    Each year, Berman, using his front groups to spread misinformation, spends millions of dollars distracting the public with misleading ads.
    In a universe where Rick Berman is “up front” in anything he says or does, Flush Limbore should also be named chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.

  • In addition, I give you the following (here)…

    While 92 Republican “budget cutters” voted alongside every Democrat against the (U.S. House amendment from Repugs Jim Jordan and Marsha Blackburn to cut $20 billion more from the budget), what was significant is that a single Appropriations Committee cardinal voted in favor, defying his majority leader, majority whip and his Appropriations Committee chairman, as well as every other Appropriations subcommittee chairman.

    Which member took this courageous stand to not only defy his powerful colleagues but to stand on the principle that the federal government needs to cut its budget baseline to fiscal 2008 levels as a starting point to restoring fiscal sanity?

    Denny Rehberg from Montana.

    Rehberg distinguished himself this past week as a man who put his country before his own comfort, and made the tough vote that had others running for cover.
    In response, I give you the following here (naughty word alert)…

    Montana's Congressman is pushing fiscal snake oil. No surprise there. As Tyler Gernant put it a few weeks ago:

    While Rehberg claims that fiscal responsibility is at the core of his being, Gernant said he voted for "a massive tax cut for the wealthy that completely eliminates our budget surplus and returns us to deficits."

    Gernant said Rehberg voted to put two wars on the country's credit cards and voted for a pharmaceutical drug plan that lets the big drug companies charge the U.S. government whatever they want.

    Rehberg doesn't give a shit about the deficit. He's either an idiot or a liar on this stuff. What he really wants is to destroy government, except when he can have a press conference to take credit for it.
    Oh, and did I point out that Rehberg is the guy who said that some “activist Federal judges” should be “on the endangered species list” here (yet another Repug who learned absolutely nothing from the Tucson tragedy)?

    Apparently, Rehberg is going to challenge Dem Jon Tester for the latter’s U.S. Senate seat. Tester, despite spitting on the progressives who supported him by opposing the DREAM Act, may actually win re-election, given the fact that he may end up drawing a total wingnut like Rehberg as an opponent.

  • Continuing, Chris Wallace over at The Daily Tucker tells President Obama to stop saying that inaction in Libya is “unacceptable unless he’s prepared to do something about it” (here).

    Anytime you want to give up your cushy gig as a Fox-PAC propagandist and go over there to fight yourself, feel free to do so, Chris (and the same goes for this nitwit).

    At least Obama is talking at all about Libya, which is better than Wallace did, blowing off Egypt here on Super Bowl Sunday, saying in essence that the story will “still be there” after football is over (Wallace also brought us the hilarious claim here that discussing human rights and democracy "sound(s) more like President Bush," which is almost in bad taste when you consider the following from here).

    What a shame that Wallace has devolved further from the individual who once brought us this moment.

  • Finally (and speaking of the Middle East), today is the fifth anniversary of the Dubai Ports World controversy, in which Bushco sought to turn over management of 22 U.S. ports (not just the 6 Dubya and his pals originally told us about) to a company based in the United Arab Emirates (a related post is here…a big part of the flap was based in the fact that we were still being ruled by a cabal that derived its power from yelling Terra! Terra! Terra! every chance it got, and on this occasion, it almost glibly decided to approve the sale despite the fact that the UAE was home to some of the 9/11 killers).

    As Wikipedia tells us, the controversy subsided a bit when port operation was turned over to “a U.S. entity” instead.

    And guess who the “U.S. Entity” turned out to be?


    Yep, the bunch that came up with the dreaded “credit default swap” con that had a lot to do with very nearly wrecking our economy.

    So, why exactly were we so mad about DPW again?
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