Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
also includes a brief presentation by a member of pnhp.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Over the last two weeks, the Legislature was called into a Special Session to settle critical issues regarding mass transit throughout our state. The legislature bans fundraising during Session, but a loophole exists for “prescheduled” fundraisers. Because I felt it was only right to put my entire focus on my job as a legislator, I decided not to avail myself of the loophole and canceled all my fundraisers during the Special Session. I was the only candidate in this race to do so, and now I really need to make up for lost ground.
Fundraising is not a virtue, but in a state as large as Florida it is a necessity. Sorry for the hard sell but I’m proud of the way my campaign is conducting itself, and hope you are to. We need leadership that is not business as usual – and I hope you’ll support me because you believe that I will be different.
If you have already contributed please consider helping out again and passing this on to your friends and family.
Thanks again and have a terrific holiday season.
Monday, December 07, 2009
I haven't won the lottery yet, so no heated seats for me yet, and besides, for less than $500 I got new brakes, a new battery, and the transmission fixed. Cheapskate that I am, no way can I bring myself to get rid of a car that both starts and stops on command, even if it closing in on a quarter million miles.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
I bought a bag of the beef liver PureBites dog treats and offered some to everybody. Instant hit, far more than the tripe.
Now I've got cats nibbling my fingers and licking the keyboard as I type, and the littlest cat grabbed the bag of treats and ran off with it. Cute, especially as she carried it over to the cat feeding station, dropped it into the food bowl, and only then started ripping into the bag.
If the camera had been handy, I would have tried to get you a picture, but I figured I'd better rescue the treats instead. Once I track down the camera though, I don't expect to have any trouble recreating the scene.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Here's one showing the foreign-born population by county. The years go back to 1880, and you can set the filter to look at just one country of origin.
Just in case you were wondering, Miami-Dade and Queens are each approximately 50% foreign-born and in each the predominant group is from Latin America.
h/t Global Sociology Blog, where you can also find maps of corruption and government spending around the world.
Friday, November 20, 2009
It’s no wonder that Floridians are losing faith in their government. More public officials in Florida are charged with corruption than in any other state.
We have a state government that operates largely in the shadows; a campaign finance system that gives special interests way too much power; and too many of our public institutions seem totally beholden to everyone but everyday citizens. I spent the better part of a decade fighting corruption in Florida as a federal prosecutor, so I have seen this malignancy up close. There will always be those that find a way to skirt the law or engage in sleezy behavior, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t adopt measures intended to bring greater accountability and oversight to the operations of government.
Earlier this month, I introduced a series of measures that if adopted by the legislature, would go a long way toward that goal.
But - I can't do it without you. Help me lobby my colleagues by demanding reform!
As you can see below, many opinion makers in the state agree with me, but getting my colleagues in the legislature to make life tougher on themselves won't be so easy. We need to keep the pressure on:"Corruption in Florida has become too prevalent in recent weeks for political leaders to ignore"To help demonstrate to my colleagues that Floridians simply will not accept the way our government mistreats taxpayer dollars, I have launched an official petition.
- St. Pete Times, 11/5/2009
"If there isn't enough outrage right now to justify strengthening anti-corruption laws, then when?"
- The Miami New Times, 11/6/2009
“A former federal prosecutor [Gelber] running for attorney general as a reformer...
- Tallahassee Democrat, 11/9/2009
“Mr. Gelber's reasoning makes sense...Floridians have a right to more transparency and better oversight at the SBA. It's their money, after all.”
- Orlando Sentinel, 11/17/2009
Join me in demanding reform. Please sign my petition right now and help spread the word!
You can read more about the specifics of my reforms here. I'll keep you updated as this fight develops.
Thanks for all you do,
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
While I was out buying computer mouses, I stopped to pick up other cat-related necessities in bulk too. Except that I remembered the cat litter and catnip, but forgot the cat food, a fact of which I was forcefully reminded as soon as I walked in the door.
I never make a second trip for anything, being a real cheapskate and not wishing to give any more of my hard-earned $$ to the oil companies than I have to, but somehow I don't think I was going to get away with making the kittehz skip their supper and breakfast the next morning.
The cats always help themselves to the dog's food, no matter how much of their own they've got, but let one square centimeter of the bottom of the cat food bowl show, and unending world famine is about to strike.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
but the predator/prey ratio is closer to this:
So I stopped at the store on the way home and bought the cheapest [$9.99] mouse in the store... the lighted [way cool blue] scroll wheel will be a help finding the mouse in a dark room [should I ever need that feature] but the eerie blue glow it's casting on the monitor screen is annoying.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I originally posted this lolcat almost one year ago and I'm still in love with the whole idea [except for all the gewgaws sitting around on all the horizontal surfaces]. Even more so now that I've learned about the whole-house tour.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Wednesday, Oct 15, is Lobby Your Representative Day
If you are in Washington DC and can join Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care in their lobbying efforts in support of Weiner's substitute single payer amendment and Kucinich's state single payer amendment, do so.
* Lobby for Weiner HR676 substitute single-payer amendment votes
* Lobby for protection of Kucinich state single-payer option amendment
We’ll have two sessions of lobbying effort – one early and one later in the day as we may catch more Members as they finish their floor work. Meet your fellow LCGHC members and friends in the Rayburn House Office Building cafeteria at 10 a.m. on Wednesday if you’d like to help lobby Congressional members from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and if you’d like to come in the afternoon, meeting in the Rayburn HOB cafeteria at 2 p.m. to hear reports from the morning crew and get marching orders for the afternoon lobby efforts
If you can't get to DC, drop by your Rep's office in your town, always assuming your representative cares enough about you to have an office near you [need talking points? or handouts?] and as always, call call call!
x-post at corrente, fdl, dkos
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Two years? We can make it easier than that [maybe; if they close my library it could take me a couple of years]. Of the top 100 books of all time, only 42 have been banned or challenged [I was a tad confused in my earlier post], which means we can cross Rand and Wolfe [and a host of others] off the list without even batting an eye.
The Revised List
bold = banned
red = I've read
1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
9. 1984 by George Orwell
11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
23. Their Eyes are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
33. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
38. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
45. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
48. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
53. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
55. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
64. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
66. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
73. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
75. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
80. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
84. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
88. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
97. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
on mn public radio:
Dr. Denis Cortese, president and CEO of the Mayo Clinic, speaks live at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. about health care reform. His speech is titled, "Great Expectations: What Lawmakers Must Do to Reform U.S. Health Care."
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Private Mandate Sausage Machine
While the political process in Washington suffers through its grotesque pantomime on health care, let us prepare our neighborhoods, our communities, our states for the eventual triumph of single payer health care.
Please sign the petition for a single payer system.
Download, print and circulate the petition among friends and neighbors.
It is said one should not ask how sausage or laws are made. Are you concerned about a public option? Let me share with you some insight about health care legislation which may not be good for your health.
A lesson in politics. The Kucinich Prediction: Here's what's going to happen ...
This legislative sausage will be celebrated as a new breakthrough and will be packaged as health insurance reform. However, the bill may require a Surgeon General's warning label: Your Money or Your Life!
- House will make a big deal about keeping/putting a public option in HR3200 because it competes with insurance companies and will keep insurance rates low.
- The White House will refer to the President's speech last week where he spoke favorably of the public option.
- The Senate will kill the competitive public option in favor of non-competitive "co-ops". Senate leaders like Kent Conrad have said the votes to pass a public option were never there in the Senate.
- The bill will come to a House-Senate Conference Committee without the public option.
- House Democrats will be told to support the conference report on the legislation to support the President.
- The bill will pass, not with a "public option" but with a private mandate requiring 30 million uninsured to buy private health insurance (if one doesn't already have it). If you are broke, you may get a subsidy. If you are not broke, you will get a fine if you do not purchase insurance.
The bill that Congress passes may pale in comparison to the bill that millions of Americans will get every month/year for having or not having private health insurance.
It will take four years for the new legislation to go into effect. During that time we are going to build a constituency of millions in support of real health care, a constituency which will be recognized and a cause which is right and just: Health Care as a Civil Right.
Join our efforts. Sign the petition. Contribute. Insure a democratic future.
Here's hoping that last part proves to be true -- During that time we are going to build a constituency of millions in support of real health care, a constituency which will be recognized and a cause which is right and just: Health Care as a Civil Right. Do what you can to help that along.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Eric Massa, at a protest of AHIP: "We are not radicals. We are not a fringe element. We are men and women who want to provide for our families."
Eric Massa has read HR3200 four times, and will not vote for it as it's written now.
updated to add this video:
Found this one [via] at Hillbilly Report, Anthony Weiner on Bill Maher's show:
And then there's the time he made Joe Scarborough speechless:
Weiner dares, double dares, Republicans to repeal Medicare, on its 44th anniversary no less:
Weiner: Why do we need insurance companies at all? [posted by JesusSavesAtCitibank; is that a cool name or what?]
more Anthony Weiner -- on TV, on YouTube
[and the same for eric massa here]
Friday, September 11, 2009
Still, there were enough cars at enough stoplights to collect a few new bumper stickers for my [mental] collection.
Seen on the back of huge brand new SUV, turning into a rawther ritzy-schnortzy neighborhood --
So that others may simply Live
And these 2 stickers side-by-side on another SUV --
Today, I had the honor of being sworn! in as Florida's thirty-fourth United States Senator. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and former U.S. Senator Connie Mack accompanied me to the Senate Chamber where I swore to support and defend our Constitution, and bear faith and allegiance to the same.
It is a privilege to serve the people of our great state and I am grateful for the opportunity to represent Floridians in our nation's capital.
I thank Senator Mel Martinez for his service and his assistance during this transition; he is a great example of the fulfillment of the American Dream. I look forward to continuing the Florida tradition of working together with my colleague, Senator Bill Nelson to ensure that Florida's interests are well protected in the United States Senate.
There are tremendous issues facing this nation, and although my time in Washington will be brief, I intend to work hard every day to address these critical challenges and serve the people of this unique, diverse and wonderful state.
As the father of three small children, I will do my part to make sure that America continues to be a place of hope and opportunity, for all Americans. I know that parents, both in Florida and around this country, want the same for their children and share my concerns regarding the national debt and out of control spending that threatens our children's future.
As the son of parents who worked hard all their lives to provide for their family, I will work to safeguard seniors and the programs that protect their quality of life.
George S. LeMieux
The best way to save Medicare for our seniors is to raise taxes and let all of the rest of us into the pool, as well as making it the source of health care for all our legislators. Somehow, I don't see Senator Stand-in agreeing with this simple prescription.
The oath of office for US Senators
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Health Care or Insurance Care? It's Time to Respond!Dear Friends,
The health care decision-making process in Washington is horribly tainted by the campaign contributions of insurance and pharmaceutical interests. Under the pay-to-play system health care becomes insurance care, the public option shrinks to irrelevance, the choice we are left: What kind of private, for-profit insurance do you want? This is not acceptable. We must respond now, and not settle for a plan which subsidizes insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies and sets the stage for the privatization of Medicare. We want Health Care for all the people, Medicare for All, which is exactly what the bill John Conyers and I wrote, HR 676, accomplishes. And the only way we will achieve it is to organize and take action in our communities to effect real change at a state and national level. Let us initiate immediately an action plan to intervene and provide health care for all:
- On-line petition. Please contact your lists, your family and friends. Please sign the petition for a single payer system. I will deliver the petitions directly to your Congressperson.
- Petition to download, print and circulate among friends and neighbors - including an instruction sheet.
- A National Health Care for All Conference Call from Washington, DC, at 10 pm EDT, Thursday, September 10th at 1-800-230-1096. Join us, so that we can discuss our new beginning and ways in which we can all help. Pre-registration is necessary in order to reserve sufficient phone lines. Please RSVP. [NB: I don't seem to be able to make the link work directly from the post but it looks like you should send an email to email@example.com with Health Care For All Teleconference in the subject line.] When you call in and the operator asks, "what conference call?" tell the operator, "Health Care for All."
- Health Care Meet-Ups. Coming Thursday September 10 2009.
- Tell A Friend. Every email forwarded will make a difference. [NB: I can't make this link work from the post either, so you can just forward this post for lack of a better solution.]
I need your help to initiate this action. If you believe, as I do, that we can and must begin a new long-term state-by-state grassroots effort to create a single-payer, not-for-profit health care system, please contribute now at Kucinich.us
Monday, September 07, 2009
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
This property guarded by pit bulls three days a week -- You guess which three
I'll leave you to wonder which of teh 12 kittehz fall into which cat-e-gory.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Trotting along in front of them was the shiniest, blackest, best-turned-out little Scottie I've ever seen.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Wonderful time-wasters, these domino videos,
but now it's time to move on.
And because I wandered off into domino land solely because of FlippyCat and because I think this is the most adorable cat video evar, here it is again.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Tuesday, 8-11-09, 7pm
Adam Schiff, Alhambra, CA
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Anthony Weiner is God. And so is Henry Waxman. And so is Nancy Pelosi.
Seeking to dampen liberal anger about deals cut with centrists, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said House leaders have agreed to allow a floor vote on a government-run, single-payer system.
"A lot of members on our committee want a vote on that," said Waxman said in an interview. "I believe their wishes will be accommodated."
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) offered a single-payer amendment in the Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday, but withdrew it after Waxman said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had promised a floor vote.
So, on Medicare's 44th birthday, not even the Republicans could bring themselves to vote to do away with that evul guvmint-run health care. And, they're actually going to vote on single payer.
If you haven't been following the Weiner amendment saga, you can play catch up here.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
medicare admin -- depends how you want to calculate it.
from the latest medicare trustees report [these are somewhat interim numbers, i'm informed, but they're not usually too far off from what cms calculates later in the year], pg 11: in 2008 medicare took in $480.8 billion, paid $461.6 billion in benefits [doctors, hospitals, drugs, etc], and paid $6.5 billion in admin costs. that's 96% going to care, 1.4% going to admin costs, and 2.6% staying in the trust fund[s].
distortions: how much is crap like this costing us, all told? you could get a phd studying just that one question. and the 'practicing medicine without a license' aspect of it... grrrrrr. i worked for a few years as a middle-person: buying and selling, negotiating contracts between me and vendors, me and subcontractors, me and customers/clients [from sole proprietors on up to multinationals], in wide-open, not-very-regulated fields -- if it's an atmosphere you've never worked in, it's almost impossible to imagine all the permutations. i could go on at length, but will refrain from inflicting that on you. :)
fee-for-service: canada, japan, france, all have lots of ffs in their systems, and lots of solo docs or small group practices, probably more than we do. the difference is that they charge so much less for each service that you can have lots and lots of services for an overall reasonable cost. i don't know as much about other countries [i think germany has more managed care / large group practices like the us does, but don't know for sure].
more on payment methods from steffie woolhandler and david himmelstein.
i get what you're saying about the provider side, but if insurance companies are either jacking around the providers, or colluding with them, on prices and payments, then you no way can you estimate the impact of trying to take a chunk out of the providers' hides to pay for reforms. put a choke collar and short leash on the insurers first [and none of the proposed bills do this, so far, in this regard], and then maybe you can talk about 'incentivizing' physicians to do 'better' [although the vast majority of doctors go into medicine because they want to help people, so they're not really the ones who need 'incentives'].
some stuff about france's system [i would dearly love to have their system, but i'll happily settle for canada's].
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Back when I worked 2 or 3 crappy jobs to try to piece together the income of one mediocre job, one of those jobs was delivering newspapers. And I had the route from hell, too. The three golden retrievers who roamed the neighborhood early, early in the morning, grabbing up other people's papers to take home with them, were the least of it.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Sicko is not a movie about the 50 million Americans walking around without health insurance. Sicko is a movie about the other 250 million of us who have insurance, but are just as well and truly screwed. It’s also about freedom, real freedom, not the empty kind that gets thrown around as a buzzword; the freedom to live your life with the certainty that forces beyond your control won’t take away everything you have and everything you are. We don’t have that kind of freedom here in America, and Moore’s film makes that point by simply talking to real people. They’re your neighbors, your friends, your parents, some of them are even 9/11 heroes. Moore uses his camera to let them tell their stories of insurance company mistreatment and in the process paints a complete picture of a corrupt and fatally flawed system which isn’t just killing people but taking away their dignity and their liberty.