Friday, March 28, 2008

This Is Okay With the AMA?

Veramyst (commonly misspelled Veramist) is a prescription nasal spray (fluticasone furoate) used to treat “seasonal and perennial allergies”. Veramyst is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. Veramyst is being hawked on television. The ad I’ve been seeing is on ABC (Channel 6 in Philadelphia.) A 30-day Free Trial is offered. On-line ads make it clear that it is “the first 30-day prescription” that is free. As an afterthought in the TV ad, it is suggested you tell your doctor you are using Veramyst. For God’s sake, Veramyst is a steroid. The possible side-effects mentioned in the TV ad are: nasal sores, nosebleeds, cataracts and glaucoma. Additional side-effects noted in the on-line blurbs are: slow growth in children, steroid toxicity, weakening of immune system. It’s not news that the medical profession is in bed with the pharmaceutical profession because of GREED. It’s no news that the pharmaceutical profession is at least as corrupt as the mobsters depicted in “The Sopranos”. (At least da mob on TV had a sense of humor.) But it is news and it’s also shocking that the medical profession condones free trial offers of dangerous drugs. How these free 30-day prescriptions are monitored, I have no idea. The fact that they are offered at all is scandalous. It’s one thing for your doctor to hand out samples of drugs in his office. It’s quite another for hucksters and snake-oil salesman to hawk free trials of drugs on TV. But the disturbing thing is that it’s okay with the AMA. At long last, sirs, have you no shame?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Five Years Later

On March 19, 2003 president George W. Bush announced that he and his imperialist cronies had decided to invade Iraq on March 20th. Yesterday, on the anniversary of that announcement, the Prez said: “Five years into this battle, there is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting, whether the fight is worth winning, and whether we can win it. The answers are clear to me. Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision, and this is a fight that America can and must win.” Yesterday when Vice President Dick Cheney was told that two-thirds of Americans said the war was not worth fighting, he replied, “So?" When questioned further he said, "I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls." Yesterday, Barack Obama said: “Where are we for all of this sacrifice?...We are less safe and less able to shape events abroad. We are divided at home, and our alliances around the world have been strained.” Yesterday, Hillary Clinton said she would begin withdrawing troops within 60 days of her taking office. She added: “Every one of you who has served knows with drawing troops can be as dangerous as inserting them.” Yesterday, George Bush’s clone John McCain said he had visited Iraq this week and the US and its allies are “on the precipice of winning a major victory against radical Islamic extremism.” Yesterday, the number of American soldiers killed in the Bush/McCain/imperialist Republicans' war had risen to 3992. Yesterday, the cost of the war in Iraq to US taxpayers was $600 billion and escalating. Today, Iraq is in a civil war with no end in sight, except in the addled minds of two mentally unstable men—George W. Bush and John McCain--and in the minds of men who look to make money on war, and/or can’t admit they were wrong. Today, the rest of the world says, ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Maureen Dowd Nails It

This morning, Maureen Dowd talks about Barack Obama’s speech yesterday (New York Times Op/Ed column--"Black, White and Grey"). She says Obama has finally entered the realm where politicians actually live—the realm of ambivalence, ambiguity and complexity. Dowd says Obama’s speech on race was “momentous and edifying”. She also said “facing up to his dubious behavior toward his explosive friends, he had his first rude introduction in his political career to ambivalence, ambiguity and complexity.” That’s for sure. Obama has constantly slammed Hillary for her vote on the Iraq war. His refrain has been that from the beginning he was against the war. And yet, at the time the vote was taken he did not have to vote. He could not have voted. He didn’t have to confront the ambivalence, ambiguity and complexity that our Congresspersons were faced with at that time. But now, as Dowd says, “he was finally confronted by a problem that neither his charm nor his grandiosity would solve.” He has finally entered that grey area where politicians spend 95% of their time. Dowd signs off with this: “Leaders don’t need to be messiahs. Gray is a welcome relief from black and white.” I could not agree more.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Now We See What Became Prez in 2000

As Gail Collins said in her New York Times OpEd column yesterday, “The country that elected George Bush — sort of — because he seemed like he’d be more fun to have a beer with than Al Gore or John Kerry is really getting its comeuppance.” There are those who would counter that George W. Bush has changed while he’s been president; that the pressures of the presidency have derailed his mind; that in 2000 he wasn’t the lame and silly buffoon he showed himself to be as he danced a jig waiting for the appearance of John McCain the other day. Gail Collins says the man who joked and babbled at a meeting of New York’s financial mavens this past Friday has not changed one bit since his first term in office. Collins said, “The president squinched his face and bit his lip and seemed too antsy to stand still. As he searched for the name of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (“the king, uh, the king of Saudi”) and made guy-fun of one of the questioners (“Who picked Gigot?”), you had to wonder what the international financial community makes of a country whose president could show up to talk economics in the middle of a liquidity crisis and kind of flop around the stage as if he was emcee at the Iowa Republican Pig Roast...This is not the first time Bush’s attempts to calm our fears redoubled our nightmares.” There was his speech after 9/11, and of course, who can forget when no one could make him leave Crawford, TX after Katrina. Collins said the president’s performance at The Economic Club of New York on Friday made her recall “a day long ago when my husband worked for a struggling paper full of worried employees and the publisher walked into the newsroom wearing a gorilla suit”. And now Senator Hothead (an epithet given to John McCain by writer Harry Jaffe) wants to replace President Buffoon. A wonderful "Shouts & Murmurs" article in the March 17th issue of The New Yorker by Paul Slansky shows exactly how much of a hothead (not to say, also buffoon and liar) Senator John McCain really is. When Chelsea Clinton was eighteen, McCain told this joke: “Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father.” What did McCain say to Edward Kennedy? (a) “Shut up.” (b) “Fucking jerk.” (c) “Fuck you.” (Shut up.) What did McCain say to John Cornyn? (a) “Shut up.” (b) “Fucking jerk.” (c) “Fuck you.” (Fuck you.) What did McCain say to Charles Grassley? (a) “Shut up.” (b) “Fucking jerk.” (c) “Fuck you.” (Fucking jerk.) Last year, McCain said, “When I voted to support this war, I knew it was probably going to be long and hard and tough, and those that voted for it and thought that somehow it was going to be some kind of an easy task, then I’m sorry they were mistaken.” What did McCain say before the war started? He told Larry King that “success will be fairly easy.” He told Wolf Blitzer, “I believe that we can win an overwhelming victory in a very short period of time.” And he also said, “It’s a safe assumption that Iraqis will be grateful to whoever is responsible for securing their freedom.” The main point for Americans is not whether Hillary or Obama becomes the candidate in the general election next November. The main point is that John McCain must not become our next president. Yes, I would prefer Hillary. I don’t like Obama’s style. But should Barack Obama become the chosen candidate, I will have no problem whatsoever in voting for him in the general election. McCain is a liar, a nasty hothead and a buffoon. We’ve had eight years of that kind of president. Enough is enough.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Will Another Shoe Drop?

Spicy as New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s travails are, and lovely as it is to witness a pontificating, preachy reformer dangle from his own petard, still, one wonders, is this all there is? Will a second shoe drop with even more resounding echoes? Is this scandal, after all, about money laundering? The New York Times reported this morning (“Revelations Began in Routine Tax Inquiry”): “The criminal investigation that discovered the tryst began last year in a nondescript office building opposite a Dunkin’ Donuts on Long Island, according to law enforcement officials...there, in the Hauppauge offices of the Internal Revenue Service, investigators conducting a routine examination of suspicious financial transactions reported to them by banks found several unusual movements of cash involving the governor of New York, several officials said.” Yes, of course, I love it that affidavits reveal “Mr. Clean” Spitzer, the moral scourge of Wall Street, the crusader for all that’s good and decent and pure in this fine land, the Democrat’s holier-than-thou icon of moral rectitude was paying a hooker named Kristin four thousand bucks and change for unspecified delights. I think it’s wonderful bordering on delicious that he was called Client 9 by the tryst providers and the investigators. And yes, I’m delighted to find out that not only had the Gov paid for the services of hookers from the “Emperor’s Club VIP” previously, but those other hookers advised Madam Temeka Rachelle Agent Lewis that Client 9 asked them to do things that might not be considered “safe”. Oh yum!!!! And even though I suppose I have to feel sorry for Mrs. Spitzer, as I felt sorry for Governor James McGreevey’s clueless wife, yet, I do wonder, along with CNN’s Jack Cafferty: Just exactly how do these guys get their wives to stand up with them when they make their horrendous announcements? Cafferty said that he agreed with the guy who claimed, “My wife would be standing over my bleeding body with a shotgun saying, 'How do you reload this thing?'" My sentiments, exactly. What’s with these politician’s wives? Is it for the children, as Mrs. McGreevey said on Larry King last night? Please! Spitzer’s daughters are 17, 15, and 13. From what are they going to be protected if Mrs. Spitzer stands by her asshole husband? Is it for the good of The Party? Crap! Is it because these women love their philandering lying hypocrite husbands? Fah! Is it because a bunch of guys said they should? There you go. Anyway, all that titillating stuff aside, are Spitzer and the other nine guys who paid The Emperor’s Club for services (there were 10 in all) up to their necks in money laundering? And I don't mean penny-ante money laundering to hide fees to hookers, but money laundering on a huge scale. Eventually, will bigger fish get caught and will Dubai and the other Arab Emirates be involved? Will Saudi Arabia’s name come up? I cannot wait to find out.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Aha! That’s It!

I haven’t been able to put my finger on it. I don’t like Barack Obama. Up until now, I haven’t been able to pinpoint why. And then on March 3rd, Jon Stewart said the words on The Daily Show. Stewart said that Obama’s latest message to Hillary Clinton amounted to, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were still here." "Obama seems to be a bit of a dick," Stewart said. "He might be a good candidate, but seems like he’d be kind of a dicky boyfriend.” Yup. That’s it. Jon Stewart hit the nail on the head. Barack Obama is a bit of a dick. Which by me knocks him out of the good candidate box. I could never have voted for George W. Bush in any election. He’s a liar and a cheat, his eyes are too close together, and he’s a dick. I wouldn’t have trusted H. Ross Perot near the poor box in a church, his ears stuck out and he was a dick. John McCain is an old fool who loves war more than life itself, he needs heavy makeup to make him look reasonably normal and he’s a dick. Condoleezza Rice is a stiff overachiever who will step on anyone anywhere to sit at the top of any heap, no matter how stinky and corrupt, her death’s-head smile gives me anxiety willies and she’s a dick. And Barack Obama is a bit of dick. A bit is way more than too much.