Friday, January 20, 2012

Last Call

Newt has locked up the all-important Walker, Texas Ranger endorsement.

We agree with our friend and governor of the great state of Texas, Rick Perry, when he suspended his campaign and endorsed Gingrich, that Newt “has the heart of a conservative reformer.” We believe Newt’s experience, leadership, knowledge, wisdom, faith and even humility to learn from his failures (personal and public) can return America to her glory days. And he is the best man left on the battlefield who is able to outwit, outplay and outlast Obama and his campaign machine.

There is no snark that I can add here that will make this any more absurdly awesome than this already is.  Except for the fact that behind Chuck Norris's beard is a Newt Gingrich fan.

Another Win For The PPACA

The Obama administration released final rules on insurance coverage and birth control, mandating that employer plans have to provide birth control for women at no cost...including if that employer is a religious university or hospital whose primary function is not being a house of worship.  The US Council of Catholic Bishops is furious with the decision and vows to take it to the Supreme Court on First Amendment issues.

Col. Mustard thinks he's discovered the Kenyan's Master Plan.

The religious freedom objection masks the real problem.  No co-pay and no deductble isn’t free, it just means someone else is paying for it.

Destroying the private insurance market and pushing people towards single payer — it’s almost like it’s part of the plan.

And in that respect, he's right. (Stopped clock, I know.)   Yes, Bill, that's the plan down the road.  And it's about damn time.  Welcome to June 2010.

There Is Geekery Afoot

So, once in a while when writing, you have a good idea.  Once in a rare while, you will have a great idea.  Once in a lifetime, if you are lucky, you have a holy-crap-on-a-cracker idea.  I have had one of those.  Right now I am rapidly writing an outline for one of the coolest things I'll ever write.  I'm a fountain of useless knowledge, and in a weird moment four or five facts came together and my brain turned like an engine.

I am taking 2012 to research.  Along the way, I will be learning some cool things about history and exploring different caves around the country.  I will be talking with people who are familiar with the wilderness before the United States was born.  I am a proud Cherokee, and I know some legends from our history are going to merge with my fiction story.  At this point I need to see the land at these locations and let reality shape a few things.  There is also the wow factor of going so far below ground and letting that influence scenes.  It was always my plan to write a book in 2013, but I didn't expect the idea to come so suddenly and so completely.

In March, I am going to two different locations in Oklahoma.  One is the Heavener Runestone, the other is a cave in the Poteau Mountains.  I'm going to be working local caves between now and then to get comfortable with them.  You can expect the occasional cool picture or factoid that I pick up that is too good not to share.  Now you won't be wondering what in the hell I am occasionally blogging from the bottom of Marvel Cave getting soil samples.  Someday, when this novel is on the New York Times best seller list (hey, dream big, right?) you guys will laugh and point to pictures of rock formations taken back when.

I will create a tag so you can skip 'em if you like, there may be one or two a month about where I go and what I learn about our how the Midwest was about 500 years ago.  Any spelunkers who want to share tips, feel free to contact me so I can listen to your war stories.  If you know of a cave with a neat story or Native American tie, I would love to hear about it.  While I'm still working out details, the more possibilities the merrier.

While it is too cold to take any trips, I am going to start with a local cave and hitting the gym.  I need to build some stamina and upper body strength.  Heavener is a challenging hike but I was a smoker back when I survived.  The friend who went with me took one look and said screw it, he took a nap while I went all the way down to the bottom.  Funny story, not knowing what I would see would blossom into a story I forgot the damn camera. But the one I plan to see in May has a sixty foot shaft that has to be crouchwalked or crawled.  I'm claustrophobic and scared to death of spiders, so crawling is not an option.  One's gotta do some time on the elliptical to face that beast.

There is geekery afoot.  You have been warned.

StupidiNews! Science Roundup

Though there is no dates given as to when it might go into production, there is a suitcase on wheels that charges a portable battery.  So when you're stuck at the airport you can charge your devices instead of competing for a plug-in like the common folks.  It's pretty spiffy, you can see it here.  As we grow more and more dependent on technology, the power wars should start heating up.  Or someone smart will keep making gadgets like this that let us produce our own.

On the other side of that coin, you have Bryan Fischer.  He is so far removed from science that he believes AIDS victims can cure themselves if they stop having sex and doing drugs.  He also is "not convinced" that the HIV virus causes AIDS, citing Magic Johnson as an example.  So uh, I guess all those people who got it from blood transfusions or were infected by a straight but cheating partner just had it coming, right?  What a dick.

Zoe Saldana To The Rescue

An older (unidentified) woman was in a car accident.  She was injured (guessing by the photo it looked painful), and Zoe Saldana was in the crowd.  She and another bystander helped the woman to the curb and tended to her while they waited for the ambulance to arrive.  Witnesses said Zoe was very caring and quick to call for help.

The other cool thing?  Her rep didn't comment.  That means as far as celebrities go, this was a genuine act of awesomeness.  Saldana isn't trying to claim any reward or good publicity.  She did a  good thing for the sake of doing a good thing, and that's it.  A refreshing change.

The woman seems to be fine, there is no mention of any dangerous injuries.  I always liked Zoe, now I like her a little bit more.  I'd still snap her arms for a chance at Bradley Cooper, but it's nothing personal.

Nuked Gingrich, Part 15

Steve M. is pretty convinced that this week's ABC News story on Newt Gingrich's "open marriage" is only going to help him Saturday in the GOP primary in SC.  Considering how Gingrich drew massive applause for ripping into CNN's John King for even asking about the story with a "HOW DARE YOU SIR!" tirade, Steve is not only right, I have to think ABC News wants Gingrich to win in SC in order to extend the primary season.

Crazy stuff.  Oh, and PPP's latest SC poll shows Gingrich up by six points.  If he pulls this off, the primary season just got super crazy.

And that's music to my ears. Let them fight it out into June.

Fire Walker Chronicles, Part 9

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker sure is endearing himself to voters this week as the recall effort has obtained nearly twice the signatures it needed to trigger an election.  His latest antics?  Becoming the latest GOP governor to turn down a federal grant to create a state health insurance exchange, all but assuring that the feds will have to step in and do it in 2014...if Walker's still in office, that is.

Wisconsin will turn down $37 million from the federal government that had been awarded to help implement health care exchanges under President Barack Obama's health care reform law, Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday.

Walker announced in December that Wisconsin would not pursue implementing the exchange until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law.

But he did not say whether the state would take the money. On Wednesday Walker said he was notifying the federal government that Wisconsin was turning down the Early Innovator Grant, saying it didn't make sense to commit to reforms that could have a devastating economic impact.

"Stopping the encroachment of ObamaCare in our state, which has the potential to have a devastating impact on Wisconsin's economy, is a top priority. Wisconsin has been a leader and innovator in health care reform for two decades, and we have achieved a high level of health insuranEce coverage without federal mandates," Walker said in a statement.

The American Cancer Society called the Republican governor's action a move backward.

"A robust, consumer-friendly health exchange designed specifically for Wisconsin would greatly expand access to care to those who need it most, while preserving what already works. It's unfortunate the (Walker) administration is deciding to ignore this reality," said Allison Miller, Wisconsin government relations director for the American Cancer Society.

Walker and his Koch Brothers masters don't want to expand access to care to Wisconsin's poor.  There's no massive profit in keeping poor people alive through health care, you know.  The funny part is while Walker is screaming about a GUBMINT TAKEOVER, that's effectively what will happen if the exchange isn't created:  federal law means that Washington will step in and create and run the state exchanges if the states refuse to do it.  I guess Walker is counting on Republicans taking complete control in 2012 and repealing everything back to 1867, or at the very least defunding the PPACA along with most of the rest of the federal government.

Wisconsin would join Kansas and Oklahoma in that respect if Walker goes through with it.  Somehow I'm thinking he won't be around too much longer to make decisions like these.


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