Republicans Boycott Google

Originally posted at The Motley Moose

When I heard that Republicans were planning to use New Haven firefighter Frank Ricci as another posterchild (in the vein of Joe the Plumber) to use against Sonia Sotomayor in her Congressional confirmation hearings, I thought to myself "Self... I bet they won't bother to look into his history, which the 'mainstream MSM' media will undoubtedly uncover."

Lo and behold...

Slate has an excellent article up on this issue; it turns out our friend Frank is well-versed on the workings of the American legal system- by way of having filed about several other lawsuits on a variety of discrimination charges against several different municipalities' fire departments.

I'm not sure about you guys, but personally, I am outraged that the media would look into the history of employment discrimination lawsuits filed by a person who has been asked to appear before congress at the confirmation hearings of a Supreme Court justice due to an employment discrimination lawsuit.

So it begins. Another everyman dare oppose Obama and his minions only to be attacked on every level possible as viciously as imaginable.

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The Evil Specter of Government Medicine

Folks, I don't think it's any news that the Obama Administration's push for socialist-communist-fascist health care is a direct threat to our nation, and our way of life.

For those of you unaware of the implications of socialist, let me illustrate it to you:

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We Have A President Who Has Never Received A Paycheck?

Originally posted at centrist blog The Motley Moose

TalkingPointsMemo points out an (unsurprisingly) ridiculous claim from the April 7th "Morning Joe" show on MSNBC. President Obama, despite being a self made millionaire several times over (the sort of thing I thought Republicans admired) has, apparently, never earned a "paycheck" in his life.

SCARBOROUGH: Think about this: We have a president who has never received a paycheck. ... This guy -- think about it -- he's running Detroit, he's running Wall Street, he's gonna run other sectors of our economy. Andrew, he's never received a check from a profit-making business in his entire life. Not one check. ... Think about the radicalism of that!

Watch it below:

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Like debtor's prisons? You'll love this!

Originally posted at centrist-blog The Motley Moose

For all the hell we give Republicans for being the party working actively against the "common" man, I think now is as good a time as any to remind ourselves that taking advantage of poor people is definitely a bi-partisan past time here in the United States.

Payday loans, for those of you unfamiliar with the practice, are small, very short-term loans with extremely high interest rates (sometimes in the range of 400-800%) that are effectively advances on a borrower's next paycheck. They're typically obtained when a borrower goes to a check-cashing outlet or an online equivalent, pays a fee, and then writes a postdated check, or signs over the title to a vehicle, that the company agrees not to cash or take a lien against until the customer's payday.

Thank God we've got Congressmen willing to stand up for working Americans against these sorts of shenanigans, right?

... right?

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Obama's drug czar is screwed.

Originally posted at centrist blog The Motley Moose

As I was perusing the news this morning, I noticed an article from the AP on the confirmation hearings for former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, Obama's presumptive Drug Czar- and something he said chilled my blood to the bone.

(Kerlikowske) said that as national drug czar, he would take a balanced, science-based approach to the job.

A thoughtful, balanced approach to drug policy with an emphasis on treatment over incarceration?

Dear God... this man is screwed.

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Mr. President, what's wrong with our money?

Originally posted at centrist blog The Motley Moose

I proudly voted for President Obama, but I must admit, there are times I question whether or not this was appropriate. A case in point comes this morning, as I was perusing the news wire, and came across this report from New York Magazine:

New presidents are allotted $100,000 to overhaul the White House residence and the Oval Office... But the First Couple isn't spending that money. They "are not using public funds or accepting donations of goods for redecorating their private quarters," says Camille Johnston, director of communications for the First Lady. Nor is the couple, who reported $4.2 million in household income in 2007 tax returns, using money from the White House Historical Association, a privately funded foundation that paid for a $74,000 set of china shortly before Laura Bush left town.

Mr. President, this is exactly where people start thinking you're a hoity-toity, liberal elitist! What's wrong with our money, Mr. President? By God, if Joe Biden says it's patriotic to pay taxes, then you're essentially questioning our patriotism! I mean, what's wrong with Cowboys and Indians wallpaper in the Lincoln bedroom? And why would you discount public funds, sir- are you planning on putting in Kenyan cultural art pieces? Perhaps a large portrait of Che Guevara? Something you wouldn't want the general populace to know?

Mr. President, please come to your senses.

Thank you.

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Attention Mavriks! Sarah Palin needs a bailout!

Originally posted at centrist blog The Motley Moose.

Sometimes, the headlines write themselves.

Gov. Sarah Palin owes more than a half million dollars to an Anchorage law firm that has defended her against ethics complaints, and she may create a legal fund to pay the bill, she said Friday.

Poor Sarah. Being targeted by a "partisan witch hunt" during the Troopergate scandal has set her back a cool half a mil, it seems. Sadly, it seems that capitalism is alive and well at all the most inconvenient times, doesn't it? Gosh, Sarah, shouldn't you just buck up to your "personal responsibility", and knock off this socialism garbage, what with getting other people to pay your legal bills?

Of course, there's a really good reason for all this- right?

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An Idea Too Good To Work on Health Care

Crossposted at centrist blog The Motley Moose

Reading the New York Times this morning, I came across an article on the the crisis facing Massachusetts' universal health care programs. If you remember, in 2006, then-Governor Mitt Romney and the Democratic-legislature of Massachusetts enacted a state-wide mandate requiring almost every state resident to obtain health insurance. To accomplish this, Massachusetts provides subsidized health care for residents earning up to 100% of the Federal Poverty Level, and partially subsidized health care those earning up to 300% of the poverty level.

Of course, when it came to footing the bill, both Governor Romney and the Democratic-controlled legislature basically shrugged their shoulders and said, "Eh. Let the next bath of politicos worry about it." This, of course, is ridiculous behavior, no matter your political affiliation. And, of course, that day of reckoning has arrived already, some three short years later.

Last year, Massachusetts lawmakers, led by Governor Deval Patrick, enacted a series of taxes and fees to help keep the system solvent- which has stabilized things for the time being. But optimistic reports suggest that won't last more than five years or so, depending on the breadth and depth of the current economic crisis. So, in order to finally address this problem, the Legislature has come up with a good idea. I know- these are rare, coming from our politicians. It's such a brilliant idea, in fact, that it's almost certain never to be enacted.

But it sure makes you think.

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The Busiest Emergency Room in America

Originally found at centrist blog The Motley Moose

If I asked you to guess where the busiest ER in the country was, what places would immediately come to mind?

New York City? Nope- but not a bad guess. Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx processes approximately 400 triage cases a day, but it's not even close to the busiest. How about Los Angeles? Close, but no; though USC Medical Center has an average of 500 admissions come through their triage unit a day.

Wow. Tough question, huh? I'll give you a clue. Examination rooms are converted horse stalls, made into "rooms" by creating walls out of ropes, sheets, and clothing pins. There are sometimes thousands of people in the ER waiting area at a time. Here's a picture of the waiting area:

Give up?

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The Myth of a Recession-Proof Job: Nursing

Crossposted at The Motley Moose

Nursing has long been looked at as a career with almost impeccable long-term prospects. People always get sick, right? On top of that, the United States has a rapidly aging population, spends more on health care than most of the rest of the world combined, and is currently facing a nursing shortage that estimates suggest will broach half a million unfilled positions in the next few years.

As the current recession has materialized, we've heard those statistics bandied about time and time again. This, alongside stories about hospitals throwing themselves on top of each other going after new recruits, offering them sign-on bonuses, tuition reimbursement, travel packages- just to land a few newly-minted RNs. There are years-long waiting lists to get into Nursing programs at schools nationwide; thousands of newly-unemployed Americans are now looking to Nursing as a stable career that can put them back on track.

But the economic crisis currently facing our nation quickly calling this "conventional" wisdom into serious question- and it seems that no career is immune to the effects of this recession.

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