Friday, June 12, 2009

The TR: Hate, Healthcare and Hot Air

Tragic geriatric killing chez Holocaust, swine flu (aka heiny virus) once again on the rampage, and the Queenie agrees with Palin... quelle horreur! It really MUST be the end of the world as we know it...


It's all healthcare, all the time as the pressure builds to create some legislation. Although we'll see movement on food safety and climate change, healthcare will own the airwaves and Obama will keep on keepin' on in the heartland. Elsewhere on the agenda: wartime supplemental and "cash for clunkers."

Although he's got quite a bit on his plate, Obama is staying focused: he will publicly pledge to do something about immigration reform! ...Even if, you know, no real action can come to pass until at least 2011. Let's see if Repubs grab the chance to win the Hispanic vote back.

Speaking of backlash, the debate over Sotomayor has not let up -- even if it's notsomuch in the news. The Senate has been boiling over with juvenile name-calling and in-yo-face debating. Geez... she's not even THAT liberal! Maybe, as our good friend PunditMom asks, she's just got cooties? Well, at least Bushie is sticking up for her.

We'll continue to see stories over the weekend about the connections between abortion clinic terrorists and white supremacists (thank you, Southern Poverty Law Center). And, of course, the more tenuous connection between the poisonous right-wing media environment and violence (thank you, Media Matters). Both good and important points. But, apparently, the right wing media is up in arms because the anti-Semitic shooter was actually an extreme lib: exhibit A -- he was off to shoot up the Weekly Standard, and B -- he hated Bush. Crazy people are just damned crazy, and many paranoids just hate everyone. (And - interesting Web 2.0 note - most of his rants were quietly removed from websites across the country in the last few days.)

Regulating tobacco? It's headed for Obama's desk. But there's plenty a slip 'twixt cup and lip. So let's hope they give the poor FDA some big mooolah, too, since the agency is already too underfunded to do its existing work and will soon have gigantic new (needed) food safety obligations. We're not seeing enough attention to the unfunded mandate detail. AND we keep thinking of Grover Norquist's 1990's call to make government so small it can be drowned in the bathtub. How about giving it too much to do, not giving it enough money, then industry can say they'd do a better job policing themselves? Aaaah, and THEN the bathroom scenario. Scary.

Queenie is getting really tired of comedians in the news. Oh, no, newly almost-minted Senator Franken of Minnesota, we don't mean you. But, please. Davie-boy, it isn't cute to joke about 14-year-old's sex lives. But, you certainly nailed the media monsoon the Palins would help you generate with that line. As great as that may be with your O'Brien/Stewart face off... BAD BOY. Down. Heel. (Sadly, it ain't over -- it will be the gift that keeps on giving as Palin [correctly, Queenie thinks] continues to demand an apology to women. Oops! There it is!)

The Week That Was

In News-That-Seems-Obvious, swine flu is now a pandemic. Click here if you have no idea what that means.

Ahmadinejad or Mousavi? Iranians have been voting today in mass numbers, and the Guardian had spiffy live updates to keep us informed. Check 'em out. What do you think -- is Obama right when he says Iran is ripe for change?

Sanctions on North Korea have been expanded as a result of their nuclear tests, and *yawn* we're back in the cycle. As a result, South Korea and, indeed, the US are gearing up for more tests -- and this on the heels of hearing that Kim Jong Il's successor will be his youngest son. We told you to pay attention to this stuff, remember?

It's D-Day! Time to make sure your TV is ready for digital signals -- and if you haven't heard about this by now, you're probably not on e-mail either. So we guess we can say whatever we want about you senile, uncultured troglodytes. Zing!

The Army is allowing soldiers to use social networking sites, reversing a longstanding policy on U.S. bases, and we're applauding them for the move. Not only is it giving the Army a chance to create its own PR (hear the "Army story" straight from the source) but it gives soldiers even more of a chance to connect with their friends and family while on base. Although, still no MySpace or YouTube. As long as they can tweet!

Carrie Prejean was fired! Go ahead, breath that sigh of relief -- the great Miss America institution is saved. Ok, ok, this isn't really that interesting... but the emails dug up between her and Miss California director Keith Lewis are hilarious.

OMG OMG OMG! It's only a few hours until you can have your Facebook vanity url. Our Culture Minister has been practicing for the quickdraw all week. (Don't know why this is important? Might want to hire us for some online tech training...)


School's out for summer! This may not be a staple of cablefest rants next week, but it IS top of mind for most of the rest of the country: "WHAT THE H*** DO WE DO WITH THE KIDS NOW????" So... another tragic announcement... in the decision between "my royal princes" OR "regular weekly TR?" It's OFF WITH THE TURNER REPORT'S HEAD.

We will be publishing the TR semi-regularly this summer and focusing on Turner's real work -- creating kick-a** traditional and online media campaigns that change the world for the better. OH YES, with a dab of parenting thrown in. (Want to send the kids over to play Xbox at the Queen's castle on K Street? They can wave to Sascha and Malia in the White House kiddie play room.)

Oh, don't cry. Here, our Culture Minister will cheer you up with this awesome rap video about Arlington -- you know, the only place you snobby Washingtonians will visit in sweet Virginia.

We'll be seeing you!


Taxman said...

Though I am an Obama supporter, he seems to be caving in on the payment process, thus completely going against his campaign promises. This is quite expensive to us all.

As I understand it, the Congressional plan will tax health benefits. The result will be a much higher tax for most Americans. For example, if you make $100k/year and have three dependents, eliminating the $14,539tax deduction for you and your family health care premiums would increase your tax bill by $4,337 Federal and $1,110 state. Bascially $5,447 out of your pocket in real dollars. Which is bascially a $28.67 percent increase in the taxes you paid on income. Ouch.

Suzanne said...

Ouch, indeed, Taxman! But how would it affect me as a small business owner who pays $5k+ PER MONTH for hc??? Ooooops, I forgot, I'm a progressive so don't really care about that part. No, serious beans, working man takes priority - I can choose to NOT be a biz owner, after all.

Steven Grossman said...

Thank you for highlighting the mismatch between FDA resources and FDA responsibilities. Tobacco is funded through user fees, but food safety legislation, follow-on biologics and reimportation will gobble up resources. I have blogged on this issue at The Alliance for a Stronger FDA has also spoken out about the need for more resources. Love or hate the legislation, but don't doom the agency to fail by underfunding new responsibilities.

Steve said...

N the beginning of the healthcare debate I heard the new administration say that currently insured, carry the costs of uninsured visits to hospitals. The argument was that to offer insurance to them would reduce the overall burden.

Now I am hearing that in order to insure these people...
1. Currently insured will pay a new tax.
2. Our costs of insurance will not go down since there will be no regulation of the industry and pricing. In fact it will probably go up since they will potentially lose customers.

How far off am I?

Check out my other questions here at

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