News Roundup for 1/6/09

Gupta on CNN
Hired by Obama to do something

-Headline of the day-
"Obama Wants Journalist Gupta for Surgeon General."

I'm not sure what I think of this because, other than tell people not to smoke, I'm not really sure what the Surgeon General does. When it comes to telling people not to smoke, CNN's health reporter Sanjay Gupta can probably do it as well as anyone else.

"Gupta has told administration officials that he wants the job, and the final vetting process is under way," the report tells us. "He has asked for a few days to figure out the financial and logistical details of moving his family from Atlanta to Washington but is expected to accept the offer."

Will he grow that crazy Captain Ahab beard that C. Everett Koop had? I sure hope not. But he probably does have to wear the weird uniform. Seriously though, what does the Surgeon General do? Anyone out there know? Hell, I don't even know who the Surgeon General is now. The way the Bush administration works, it's probably some nut from the tobacco industry.

Remember kids, don't smoke. (Washington Post)

-Buy American-
The US elections are like a game show; you get a new house, a big 747, a few helicopters, and a brand new car. Barack Obama's new car is the the 2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine. It's kind of goofy looking, if you ask me. Kind of like a station wagon. It's built on GM’s medium-duty truck platform, runs on diesel, will have at least five inches of armor plating, flat-run tires, bulletproof glass, and a completely sealed interior to guard against chemical attacks. Bonus, it has a 10-disk CD player. You've got to believe it's also got the wet bar and TV.

No word on how expensive this thing is, but it's got to be a bundle. All told, the government is said to be buying "fewer than 25" of the things. Which, also, has to cost a bundle.

Pretty smart of GM to swing this deal. Now Obama has to bail them out. If he doesn't and the company fails, he won't be able to get parts. Ask a Yugo owner how much fun that is. (News 4 2day.com, with video, via reddit)

-Now we're talking real money-
Man, was Bush ever loose with the bucks. Barack Obama warned today that we're facing a $1 trillion deficit that could "last for years to come." That's right, it's trillion with a TR.

"[Office of Management and Budget nominee] Peter Orszag now forecasts that, at the current course and speed, a trillion-dollar deficit will be here before we even start the next budget," Obama said.

I've got an idea. How about we treat presidents like clerks? If your cashbox is short when you punch out, you've got to make up the difference yourself.

So George, you owe us $1 trillion. And, no, we won't take a check. (Politico)

1 comment:

  1. The Surgeon General operationally heads the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and is America's chief health educator. The position was created back in the 1870s, when both public health and surgery had yet to prove their worth.

    In reality, though, the purpose of the Surgeon General is to make it appear as though someone, somewhere, is actually in charge, if not in control, of the health part of the health care system in the U.S. — the way Ministers of Health are in all the other first-world countries that have actual systems that pay for or provide tax-financed health care services to all their citizens.

    The truth, of course, is that no one, but no one, is in charge of the U.S. health care non-system. DHHS doesn't even have access to important health data amassed by private insurance companies. The DHHS Secretary just oversees government health expenditures on Medicare and Medicaid and referees bureaucratic boundary skirmishes and photocopying.

    Whenever the actual triviality of the Surgeon General position becomes apparent, the SG gets axed, which of course only underscores the triviality of the post. This happened when, in 1994, Jocelyn Elders said that teaching masturbation to kids to reduce sexually transmitted infections might be OK. Her statement was considered controversial by evangelical ministers like Jerry Falwell who personally preferred controlling infections by availing themselves of prostitutes.

    Elders lasted a little over a year. There are rumors, however, that she may actually have been forced out for suggesting that all presidential consorts learn about stain removal.