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Sebelius In As Secretary of Health & Human Services

Kathleen Sebelius approved as Health Secretary 65-31.

Red banner headline at Huffington Post

Sebelius was sworn in tonight at the Oval Office, shortly after the confirmation. “I expect her to hit the ground running,” Obama said after Sebelius took the oath of office. “We had to swear her in right away” because the outbreak of swine flu will need her “immediate attention.”

The Cabinet is full.

Smithfield’s Pigs

Sooo – we got instructions emailed out from Infection Control at work – outbreak guidelines and precautions.  I wondered if they had seen this report prior to sending that out.  Of course our little hospital isn’t on that list.  We’re not a trauma center although we do have a surgical suite.

A public health emergency has been declared in the United States and the Centers for Disease Control have activated the Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the agency’s response to the Swine Flu outbreak. The Idaho Division of Health and Public Health Districts have issued recommendations for surveillance for possible swine influenza cases and for infection control precautions. There are no confirmed cases of swine flu in Idaho at this time.

Now – in the meantime, those wonderful folks at 43rd State Blues found some stuff to pass along.  One is a Google map tracking swine flu cases or H1N1.   They also linked to this story at Rolling Stone magazine regarding Smithfield Farms in Virginia and conditions, etc., at the slaughterhouse factory.  the story is from 2006.

Also got an email from Grist with this story as part of that e-mail with questions regarding Smithfield Foods.

Is Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork packer and hog producer, linked to the outbreak? Smithfield operates massive hog-raising operations Perote, Mexico, in the state of Vera Cruz, where the outbreak originated. The operations, grouped under a Smithfield subsidiary called Granjas Carroll, raise 950,000 hogs per year, according to the company Web site.

I’m going to drag out my copy of ‘Fast Food Nation’ again and remind myself why I quit eating meat for almost a year after first reading a couple of years ago.  Just about the time I read that story in The Rolling Stone about Smithfield if I recall accurately.

It was just last year in December that workers at Smithfield approved unionization after a 16-year battle.

Workers at Smithfield Packing Co. voted in favor of unionizing, a stunning victory for labor organizers who have waited 16 years to gain a presence in the world’s largest hog processing plant.

Switching Spectre of Arlen Specter

I’m not real hip on Arlen Specter and am waiting to see where this leads.  He’s a swindler, I meant someone who bargains – some word that begins with an ‘s’ that means bargaining.   It’ll come to me, I’m sure.

The Hill is reporting Specter was adamant about remaining a ReThug back in March of this year, sooo……

I am more ambivalent about Specter as, say, compared to Joe Lieberman…. that fucker – he’d do well to avoid my area of the world.

[Democrats] are trying very hard for the 60th vote. Got to give them credit for trying. But the answer is no.

I’m not going to discuss private talks I had with other people who may or may not be considered influential. But since those three people are in the public domain, I think it is appropriative to respond to those questions.

I am staying a Republican because I think I have an important role, a more important role, to play there.


The Reality of Fighting Piracy

Earlier this year Michelle Obama spoke to a small legion of women veterans.  Sad to say most Americans assume the military is made up entirely of men and fail to recognize the contribution of women.

Tomorrow morning Captain Phillips from the Maersk-Alabama will be talking to Matt Lauer about his unbelievable experience.  However, that’s not the focus here – this is.   Rear Admiral Michelle Howard.  There’s video of Captain Phillips and the admiral herself appears as well.  She assumed command three days prior.

April 5, 2009, Rear Adm. Howard “assumed command of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 during a ceremony held on board USS Boxer (LHD 4) today” relieving the previous commander, Rear Adm. Terence McKnight, who had been “commander since November 2007.”  Rear Adm. Howard also assumed command of “several U.S. 5th Fleet task forces, including Combined Task Force (CTF) 51 and 59, as well as CTF 151, an international maritime coalition created to disrupt, deter and thwart piracy.”

Adm. Howard is the first African-American women to command a U.S. Navy ship – let alone a fleet.  The primary priority of the ESG 2 is deterring piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

CTF 151 is a multinational task force established to conduct counter-piracy operations under a mission-based mandate throughout the CMF area of responsibility to actively deter, disrupt and suppress piracy in order to protect global maritime security and secure freedom of navigation for the benefit of all nations.

A day or so after Capt. Phillips’ rescue, NPR’s Robert Seigel talked to RADM Howard about fighting piracy.

Interestingly enough there’s a local ‘twist’ or link. A few weeks when Captain Richard Phillips was successfully rescued, KTVB had footage of a local mother whose daughter was assigned to the U.S.S. Boxer.  The Boxer is part of Rear Admiral Howard’s command.

One of the more interesting quotes I remember from this story was:

‘She’s trying to put an end to piracy while her Mom sitting at home still trying to cope with the reality of pirates.’

Note to Rick Perry

writing-a-letterDear Rick ” I want to get the fuck out of the U.S.” Perry:

When you’re mouthing off about seceding from the union after being a parasite on its buttocks, sucking blood from it for the last 140 years or so, it’s good to have a track record where you haven’t asked for federal funding from the very government you supposedly despise.

That’s like sending mixed signals, dude.  Which is it?  Do you want to be a socialist or not?

Seems ole’ Ricky-Dick is asking for 37, 430 doses of Tamiflu from the CDC.  Ya know the CDC.   That federal agency overseeing public health in the United States.  That one.

Why just the week before last he was asking for federal monies to help battle wildfires.  All the while the other side of his mouth was saying:

I believe the federal government has become oppressive……We think its time to draw the line in the sand and tell Washington that no longer are we going to accept their oppressive hand in the state of Texas.”

In the last six months, Rick Perry has asked help from the federal government under at least four circumstances, three being within the past month.  First an extension of the Hurricane Ike cleanup, 1000 federal troops to the border of Mexico, damage from wildfires, and this – the latest – in asking for federal help for a possible public health crisis.

You know what, Rick?

Keep your mouth shut unless you mean business when it comes to seceding or we might just push your ass out for the helluva it.

Oh yeah – when ya repay the funds – it’s CASH only; no credit, no gift cards, no checks.  CASH.

Dora The Explorer & Earth Day

Update:  Well – we made it over to Barnes & Noble, only having to pay $39.oo or so to escape out.

Got some story books, two Dora the Explorer books – one on Earth Day.  Along with two books for Gramma and one for a cousin who’s enthralled with fire engines.  All in all – a good book day.



Passing the Tests of G*d

Oh fer christ sakes!

mm-plainStupidity is afoot and loose, apparently running rampantly unhindered as demonstrated by the following headline.

Miss Calif. Says Gay Marriage Question Tested Her Faith

Are you shitting me?  A simple question such as this!?  Granted, I don’t agree with her answer, but how fucking shallow are you that a question: ‘Do you support same-sex marriage?’  Why or why not? is some indication of a test from the Creator, G*d.

In an exclusive interview with FOXNews.com:

Miss California says her phone has been ringing off the hook with people offering her support after she took on a question about gay marriage on Sunday night’s Miss USA telecast.…

Carrie Prejean: Honestly, happy. This happened for a reason. By having to answer that question in front of a national audience, God was testing my character and faith. I’m glad I stayed true to myself.

Welll – this from the woman who did say:

We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”

In my country”  – is that California or the U.S.?  Regardless, she’s wrong.  And I thought, right there, she should lose just for having an unbelievable stupid moment.mm-mixed

Oh – and, lest we forget – we get to CHOOSE same-sex or opposite marriage, kinda like buying M&Ms:  plain or peanut.

I’ll get back to ya.

Already with Impeachment….What!?

This morning while out on an errand I actually saw this sticker on the back window of a pickup truck.  I thought about flipping him off, but my greater “angels” won out.  Lucky fucker.

How ’bout we just impeach you for an amazing level of stupidity.

Then being curious I hit The Google = impeach Obama, lo ‘n behold ~ Breitbart!  The dude who brought us Potato Day (what used to be St. Patrick’s Day) has an article that, in part, reads:

“There are a lot of Americans out there that do not fully understand the concept of Socialism or Communism which is why they’ve elected Obama as president,” it says.

I’d say there are many more ‘Merikans who do NOT understand the concepts of socialism or communism, which is why they’re confused as hell.

Then there was this:

Yet another Facebook group, “Impeach Barack Hussein Obama,” has 160 members.  It decries that Obama “has voiced support for various unconstitutional programs such as the assault weapons ban, universal health care, and various schemes for wealth distribution.”

Yeah, that goddamned wealth distribution thing again.  Ya know – where someone’s eying that $15.00/hour job you spent so much time working to get.

Torture, The Teabagger King, & Hugo Chavez

Happened to catch one of MSNBC’s military analysts, Colonel Jack Jacobs, yesterday morning.  I’m not a fan at all, really; however it doesn’t mean he’s always wrong or off the mark.  He’s on the mark here:  If you cannot get it out of someone the first or second time, try something else.  And besides, he’s had better luck with food, cigarettes, and medical care in getting information.  He had this to say back in 2005:

“At the end of the day, it’s very easy to distinguish between the right thing and the wrong thing to do. If you do the wrong thing, you’re not going to get any positive payoff from it and it’s going to be of at some great cost,” Jacobs said. “We get much more information if we treat people properly.

He also had this to say about the destruction of the CIA tapes that showed the torture of certain detainees via waterboarding and other techniques.  Ya know, where the president stopped off Langley to assure no repercussions would be forthcoming for “those jus’ followin’ orders.”


Crooks & Liars has dubbed Newt Gingrich ‘The Teabagger King’. Why it is that no one in real leadership positions within the GOP can bring themselves to get before a camera and bring up the president’s shortcomings?  Ya know – shaking hands with haters of America, talking to those who are “enemies of America,” and then there’s the minor bit of genuflecting before the Saudi king.

The importance of the Chavez hand shake is the report you did just now, on the jump in book sales from #54,000 to number 2. Everywhere in Latin America, enemies of America are going to use the picture of Chavez smiling and being with the President as proof that Chavez is now legitimate, that he’s acceptable, He’s a dictatorial figure, he’s an anti American figure, but what I find distressing is this administration is opposed to looking for oil off shore, but the President bows to the Saudi King…

It does matter to the world…

Only in Newt’s warped orbit.  The interest lies in the book handed over to Obama. Written by Eduardo Gaelano, ‘Open Veins of Latin America.’  I don’t which idiocy is worse. The idiocy of some loony ultra-right blogger who says it treasonous to keep the book or the idiocy of some of the responses of the book’s Amazon site, where someone called ‘Real Women Read’ makes the declaration to only buy books about America written by Americans.   It’s pretty obvious most of those responding know little if anything about the U.S.’s involvement in Latin America.

And this, this is part of the reason why -taken from Encarta:

After 1870 liberal dictatorships arose which, in the name of order and progress, promoted the development of coffee as the region’s main export; at the expense of a more diversified agriculture, banana cultivation, mostly controlled by foreign interests, also became important. After 1900, the U.S.-based United Fruit Company was a major force in Central America’s economy. Developing railroads, shipping, and other subsidiary interests, the company was known as the “Octopus” among resentful Central Americans. U.S. investment and government became the dominant force on the isthmus, beginning with the establishment of Panamanian independence in 1903. The United States helped form the Central American Court of Justice, but U.S. military occupation of Nicaragua from 1912 to 1933 undermined its effectiveness.

The United Fruit Company was an integral part of studying the history and politics of Latin America and the influence of the United States in that political history when studying History (Latin American focus).

I suggest more of you do it.

“greatest recruiting tool ever.”

Just like in ‘Poltergeist’ – they’re back…..

A recruitment campaign and an apparent search for ‘world headquarters’ is being mounted for the Aryan Nations up in Coeur d’Alene.  Ya just know everyone’s just too excited.

“[Jerald] O’Brien said he and Michael Lombard have taken over the group following longtime leader Richard Butler, who died in 2004.

O’Brien and Lombard are cited as pastors for the Aryan Nations, Church of Jesus Christ Christian on the fliers distributed.

Some will recall the original Aryan Nation compound went on the auction block and sold to the Jason & Victoria Keenan (the mother & son whose lawsuit bankrupted the Aryan Nations; they’re also entitled  to the intellectual property of the names: ‘Aryan Nations’ and ‘Church of Jesus Christ Christian.”

‘Intellectual property’ of the Aryan Nations – is that like a contradiction? I mean, is that even possible?