The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from K Street, mourning the loss of lobbyists under Obama, on assignment for Or-Bust.com and The Source Weekly.
Congratulations to Nancy Pelosi, the embattled Speaker of the House, and many thanks to President Obama for putting his cred on the line to give us all health care - well, 96% of us (are you one of the lucky many?). The alternative: fines and possible imprisonment if we don't buy one of the industry profit-generating schemes - err, generous plans. 1,990 pages and costing $1.2 trillion, the House passed the legislation 220-215, with all but one Republican showing an utter lack of "compassionate conservatism" (oh Dubya, we weep tears of laughter and pain for you, and us) for over-taxed, under-served, ill and angry American voters.
Fellow Socialist Comrades, remember this when you step into the polling booth next year! Interesting is no coverage for abortions (a give-away to get more Blue Dogs and GOPers on-board - which sure did work). The upside: mandatory coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and a stripping of the antitrust exemptions for an industry that has acted like a drunk railroad tycoon at a Chinese auction. The Senate is making no promises on passing the bill as written, with Lindsey Graham (R-SC) saying it is "dead on arrival." Apt language, Mr. Senator, much like all of us at the ER should an exotic virus breakout.
The Rage Virus Spreads
Good thing Obama's too busy passing health care and pondering two wars to take away our 2nd Amendment Rights. H1N1 vaccines have had the expected result: Lunatics with guns have gone on violent sprees en masse in the past week. First at Fort Hood, TX, with Malik Nadal Hasan, a Muslim Army Major shrink, somehow getting two pistols and reloading at least once, killing 13, wounding 29, despite Intelligence officials knowing of his contact with Al Qaeda scum months ago. Next came Jason Rodriguez, no doubt of Latino heritage, who went in his former employer's offices in Orlando, FL. And, as of press-tiime, a gunman in swanky suburban Dutchess County, NY, was holding a school principal hostage. Closer to home a sadistic episode of The Odd Couple played out in a Prineville trailer park when 69-year-old Richard Lynn Breneman shot and killed his 54-year old roommate in an incident that neighbors say was years in the making. Breneman eventually surrendered to police after a three-hour standoff. More tragically, a 14-year old boy is shot to death on a family hunting trip near Culver while sleeping in a camp trailer. The culprit: stray bullet fired by his 21-year-old cousin who let loose from his deer rifle in the dead of night and then left the scene. Finally, in a scene out of the Burning Bed a Redmond mother shoots and kills her estranged and rampaging husband in their home as he attacks her with an antler after breaking into the home. The tragedy: the two sons who were locked in the bathroom during the fatal altercation.
A Death That We Can Celebrate
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Convicted "Beltway Sniper" John Allen Mohammad will be dead by the time you read this. Following two lengthy trials and several years of appeals, Mohammad will receive a fine lethal mix of goofballs at Virginia's Greenville Correctional Center at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Even if you don't believe in the death penalty this guy at least deserves a lifetime sentence of strangers farting in his face, for killing 10 and wounding three on a sniper-shooting spree that scared the Dixie out of Maryland and Virginia in late 2002. Mohammad then blamed a young boy, Lee Boyd Malvo (who did get life), and claimed a "racial bias" during his trials while also trying to explain why he demanded $10 million to stop the shootings.
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When the nation's unemployment hit 10.2% last week the stock market responded with an orgy and 52-week high. We haven't had unemployment this ugly since another charismatic president was ending his first year in office. Ronald Reagan had major issues to confront, which he immediately addressed by removing the solar panels Jimmy Carter had installed on the White House while being sworn in (a fact, people, however sublime); meanwhile, experts are saying that unemployment under Obama may peak at 10.5% next summer. Talking unemployment in Oregon is as popular as a stripper at a NAMBLA convention. However, one area of unemployment optimism is the large number of lobbyists quitting. Yep, that's right, K Street in DC is rather dour under Obama, as a reported 8 percent of the industry (leaving around 11,000 soul-sucking parasites still hard at work) have quit the butt-smooching business this year. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, many have quit due to Obama's strict anti-lobbying rules and bans on lobbyists working in his administration. Or, there may be another reason, as explained by the report: Many lobbyists are quitting now in hopes of working for the Obama Administration later.
Most Morbid Upfront Ever
"Day of the Dead" in Brazil certainly lived up to its name, when Ademir Jorge Goncalves walked into his own funeral, shocking his family and friends. They had ID'd him as the dead man in a car crash but Goncalves was really drunk at a bar when a teen actually died in the accident. His family was ecstatic to see Ademir alive, and the teen's family surely the opposite. "In my 10 years in this business, I have never witnessed a scene like this," said the manager of the funeral home. America's fascination with death and morbid still reigns, as a new tourist attraction in Cleveland, Ohio, has been drawing hundreds of onlookers from afar. "The House of Horrors" is really the home of Anthony Sowell, suspected of being a serial killer, with 11 bodies already dug from his backyard. Examples of bad parenting abound, with Cliff Westwood bringing his two young children to the Sowell home, justifying his own sick curiosity by saying, "We wanted our children to understand what has occurred, to understand how people go missing." Bring the backhoe over to this guy's house next, surely there's a clown costume somewhere.