Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Big Deal!

Well bust my buttons, there's big doings on the Journalism front today;

POLITICO named to Pulitzer Board

Columbia University announced Monday that POLITICO Executive Editor Jim VandeHei has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board.

VandeHei , who co-founded POLITICO in early 2007, becomes the first member of the Pulitzer Board from a primarily online news outlet. The print edition of POLITICO is distributed daily in Washington when Congress is in session.

They get the nod, primarily, for being at the forefront of "new media."

New Media?

Let's see ... A bunch of former newspaper guys go out and launch a website, then, essentially, milk their former contacts for gossip and, Presto-Chango, it's "New Media"

From Greg Sargent;
As I’ve noted before, there are two Politicos. There’s the good Politico, which offers big-picture, reported pieces that genuinely change the conversation, and boasts bloggers who break news, offer regular insights, and use Web-based journalistic techniques better than other “non-ideological” outlets do. The not-so-good Politico feshitizes Drudge and lunges for the catty gossip that will reverberate inside the Beltway bubble, and unabashedly sees these things as virtues.

The question is whether Politico’s Web-journalism techniques, in and of themselves, are really that innovative. Their main innovation seems like it consists in marrying widely-used Web-based techniques with self-styled “non-ideological” journalism. In an ironic twist, the very fact that Politico strives so hard for a non-ideological posture is probably why they’ve been selected as the first online news org to grace the Pulitzer board.

One thing, for sure, Politico's Mike Allen is in for a big payday, and may need a U-Haul next awards date, for he surely will dominate the Pulitzer categories of "Sucking-Up To The PartyofNoicans" and "Sucking-Off Matt Sludge" ...

Hands down.

Bonus Links

Julie Weiner: Person Responsible For The POLITICO Will Decide The Best Writing And Reporting, Now

Mike Allen Forgets To Add Himself To The List

The Politico's DNA ... The Other Iraq ... And He's a Bible-Thumper Now ... Around The Garlic Patch

This Date ... On The Garlic

8 December 2008... On The Garlic

Stop The Bailouts! ... Nicole Wallace Has Something Much Better!

All The Bricks Fit To Leverage

Greed Has A Name ...

8 December 2006... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard At The National Christmas Tree Lighting

8 December 2005... On The Garlic

Bush Team Miffed 'Podcast" Wins Word-Of-Year; Cites Media Lockout of Good News

Top Ten Cloves: Things Worse Than Ann Coulter Being Unable To Finish Her Speech At College

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Our Newest Ignorant Dolt - Aetna CEO Ron Williams

Boy, they must think that, just because we've been distracted, away from the desk, that they can sneak through, with some terribly profound, incredibly awesome Ignorant Doltness, and we wouldn't notice.

With the entire country lit up in a conflagration over Healthcare Reform, the reams and truckloads of examples on how the Enormo Healthcare companies are ripping us off, throwing out our policies, denying coverage, up pops Aetna CEO Ron Williams.

Aetna Forcing 600,000-Plus To Lose Coverage In Effort To Raise Profits

In a third-quarter earnings conference call in late October, officials at Aetna announced that in an effort to improve on a less-than-anticipated profit margin in 2009, they would be raising prices on their consumers in 2010. The insurance giant predicted that the company would subsequently lose between 300,000 and 350,000 members next year from its national account as well as another 300,000 from smaller group accounts.

"The pricing we put in place for 2009 turned out to not really be what we needed to achieve the results and margins that we had historically been delivering," said chairman and CEO Ron Williams. "We view 2010 as a repositioning year, a year that does not fully reflect the earnings potential of our business. Our pricing actions should have a noticeable effect beginning in the first quarter of 2010, with additional financial impact realized during the remaining three quarters of the year."
Say What?

Did Williams really think that would go unnoticed?

Oh man ... We gotta get some signs printed ... Just hand them pre-printed directions ...

Ignorant Dolt Hall, right down here, Mr. Williams! ... Just pick any empty seat ...

Jim Moss, over on Firedoglake took note of Williams' shoe-store-in-mouth act;
Very impressive, Aetna! Not once in that quote did your CEO make reference to sick people, or people who might die from lack of coverage, or people who will go bankrupt trying to afford higher premiums. In fact, Mr. Williams didn’t let the concept of people and their pesky needs interfere at all with his important considerations of "business," "pricing," "results," "margins," "earnings potential," or "financial impact." No danger here of health insurance becoming something more than profit-seeking.

That there is still a debate, still an argument is beyond astounding.

The CEO of one of the largest Healthcare Insurers publically states that sick people are not on the agenda, just "results and margins."

If we called for Mister Wizard to help us, he probably wouldn't hear it, being busy vomiting, sick to his stomach

John Avarosis, on AmericaBlog has the right idea;
At the very least, the health care reform legislation should be amended so that it goes into effect immediately, rather than in four years - that way this kind of abuse can be stopped now.

We can only hope, Aetna CEO Ron Williams, that in 2010, you don't lose your mojo, and continue showing off your gigantic Ignorant Doltness, that you have "historically been delivering."

"Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into."

Well, Well, Well ... Isn't this special ...

A couple of PartyonNoicans (Tom Coburn and Diaper David Vitter) thought they would be slick, sneak a bill in there that would shame the Democrats and save the day for the PartyofNoicans.

You could almost here the Mighty Mouse music playing in their heads.

Ah, but as the old adage goes, "Oh! what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!"

Sen. Sherrod Brown joins Republicans in demanding that Congress go on 'public option,' too

Whenever Democrats talk about their proposed federally backed insurance plan, or public option, in the ongoing health-care debate, critics pipe up. If you think this public option is so great, they say, why don't you demand that all members of Congress go on it, too?

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown says that's a fine idea. And this morning, he forced his way onto a Republican amendment saying as much, becoming a co-sponsor of a Republican protest measure that would require Congress to go on the public option if it passes.

Fact is, Republicans pushing the amendment are using it as a form of rotten eggs to hurl at their opponents. But Brown, a key sponsor of the public option legislation, likes those eggs.


Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma didn't seem to be in a hurry to bring on Brown as a co-sponsor. Coburn had Republican co-sponsors, but Brown's office says the Ohio Democrat never could get a commitment to be added, despite nine calls from his staff to Coburn's staff over the last week.

So this morning, Brown stood on the Senate floor and forced the matter. He asked for unanimous consent to be added as a co-sponsor to the amendment. This procedure is usually reserved for issues of little controversy because it bypasses a roll-call vote.
But wait, there's more!

Sen. Sen. Franken Becomes A Cosponsor Of Vitter/Coburn Amendment

Hmmm Coburn and Vitter ...

What's that other old adage ... Something to do with doing something to a free lunch?

Keep obstructing there, boys ...

We need all the help we can get ...

Bonus Links

John Nichols: Sherrod Brown Shames Republicans Who Wanted to Shame Democrats

Digby: Beautiful


Good Evening Garlic Fans

Yes, we're popping up for air, this evening, with a few words about our extended absence.

It has been an extremely cumbersome time, here on the homefront, the past week (and more), as the Aunt (soon to be 97-years-old) we have been caretaker to has taken another downturn.

When we last appeared, she had been admitted to the hospital, but only held overnight, as she had been experiencing an increase in her dementia, as well as experiencing a small TIA episode.

She was released from the hospital last Sunday, and, in truth, should not have been.

Overnight, either from the dementia, or, the drugs given to her in the hospital, she lost her ability to stand up, and walk, which, as you can quite imagine, it was a heavy-duty task attending to her, without her walking, and still, heavily, in her dementia cloud.

The situation turned again, very early Monday morning, though in a better mental mood, less dementia, she experienced two additional TIA's in a short span of time, so it was off to the hospital again, and she was admitted, for the second time in two days.

A long talk with her primary doctor (who has been tremendous throughout our journey) that she may be entering her final phase of life and, certainly, more and more incidents are happening, the dementia has been increasing throughout the year, and due to her age, and overall condition, she is not a candidate for surgeries, or major, invasive treatments.

The decision was made to move her into a Rehab/Nursing Home facility (one that we had her in just a little over six-weeks ago).

As you can appreciate, I had more than a full-plate to deal with, and jumping on the computer to post was well down the list.

It is, likely, to be erratic this week, as more tasks regarding the above are already lined up, however, we will endeavor to attempt to put our glove on, and get in the game.

Many thanks to those who passed along good wishes, and vibes, as well as those who visit and read The Garlic regularly, or in passing.

This Date ... On The Garlic

6 December 2008... On The Garlic

Compared To What

Is Keith Olbermann Reading The Garlic?

6 December 2007... On The Garlic

Minced Garlic - New Keith Olbermann Special Comment - Bush: Pathological liar or idiot-in-chief? ...Or, "I Could Be Lying About The NIE Report On My Spare Time"

Editor's Note: There's Light At The End of The Tunnel

6 December 2006... On The Garlic

Breaking News! ISG Offers New Option For Bush Legacy; Baker Group Recommends New Reality Show For Iraq Solution; Hybrid of “Lost Meets Extreme Makeover”; Winner Gets To Replace Maliki And Run Country

6 December 2005... On The Garlic

Cheney Backs DeLay At Fundraiser, Despite Upheld Charges

Top Ten Cloves: Things That Were Different With The White House Christmas Party Yesterday