As I stated on the Facebook page, today marks the beginning of shota week on The Grasshole Show. Don’t like it? That’s too bad. It’s already mid-July-ish and we’re kinda already shooting too far for Congress. Obama wants Reps to help out and see if they’re willing to keep tax cuts for non-rich people; Like that’ll happen. Republicans embody what people see Americans as and that’s something I’ve never been for. Fat, pig-like Americans that support the rich and only the rich. It’s kinda disgusting if you know what I mean. But enough about philosophy, let’s move onto the news we need to talk about.

Obama challenges Republicans to keep tax cuts for middle class

By Jeff Mason and Alister Bull

 

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama called on Monday for a one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year, seeking to steer the election-year debate away from high unemployment and portray himself as a champion of ordinary Americans.

The tax proposal is unlikely to sway Obama’s Republican opponents in Congress, who argue that the cuts should be maintained for everyone, including higher earners.

Obama said both sides agree on the need to keep tax rates down for middle income groups at least.

“Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy,” Obama said at the White House, standing in front of a riser filled with people who he said would be hurt if their tax cuts were not extended.

“We can have that debate, but let’s not hold up working on the thing that we already agree on.”

Whether it gains traction or not, the Democratic incumbent’s appeal achieves several goals as the campaign heats up ahead of the November 6 general election.

It shifts the conversation – at least for a day – from last week’s meager jobs report and his handling of the economy to “tax fairness” and inequality.

It burnishes Obama’s message of being the candidate who backs the middle class while Republicans and their presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, are out of touch with ordinary people and favor the wealthy.

Democrats have hit that message hard in recent days as they call on Romney to release more tax returns and give details of holdings in foreign tax havens like Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.

Obama’s tax announcement also sets a baseline for what is likely to be a months-long debate about deficit reduction in the campaign. Polls show the economy is the issue that worries voters most, and that Obama and Romney are running a close race.

ROMNEY REACTION, FISCAL CLIFF

Republicans charge that allowing taxes to rise for wealthier Americans would hurt small business owners who are helping to create jobs in a tough economy, but Obama tried to neutralize that argument by saying 97 percent of all U.S. small business owners would fall under the $250,000-a-year income threshold.

“This isn’t about taxing job creators, this is about helping job creators,” Obama said.

The tax cuts enacted by Republican President George W. Bush, Obama’s predecessor, will expire on January 1 without congressional action, increasing fears that the United States will go over a so-called fiscal cliff as deep public spending cuts also kick in.

Romney’s campaign said on Monday that Obama’s tax proposal would amount to a “massive tax increase” on families, job creators and small businesses.

“It just proves again that the president doesn’t have a clue how to get America working again and help the middle class,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.

Obama’s move holds political pitfalls as his fellow Democrats are divided about how to address the issue.

House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has suggested that the income threshold for extending tax cuts be set at $1 million a year. Some Democrats oppose any extension, while others are wary of allowing taxes to rise for higher earners because of its economic impact.

Democratic strategist Doug Hattaway, an adviser to Hillary Clinton when she ran for president in 2008, said Obama’s plan was a good strategy.

“Middle-class families drive the economy and middle-class voters will decide the election,” he said. “This helps the president continue to tell the story that he’s doing everything he can for them, while Romney ships their jobs overseas.”

Obama agreed to a two-year extension of all of the Bush tax cuts that went into effect last year. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday the economy was worse now than it was when the parties agreed to the last extension. He argued for extending all of the cuts for a year.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama would not sign a bill that extended tax cuts for all income groups.

The expiring tax cuts set up what could be another deeply partisan fight in Congress, where Republicans hold the House and Obama’s fellow Democrats narrowly hold the Senate.

Obama will campaign in the battleground state of Iowa on Tuesday, where he will promote his tax proposal and seek to draw a sharp contrast over the issue with Romney.

 

Another week, another tax proposal, another bill and another dime lost. I may not be a congressman and thus not understand all the jargon that they use, but I know one thing is for sure. The government should fear the people not the other way around. Have you ever wondered what America would be like if no one voted? If every American citizen decided one day that they just wouldn’t vote for either president and then what? This country was founded on representative democracy not Rome’s true democracy. In which case if government officials fucked up they’d be tortured or executed. I kinda wish that was how we ran governments these days. You may think that’s cruel and usual punishment or that we’re not barbarians anymore. Ancient Rome had no barbarians, it was a civilization of a group of people with common interests. To quote Wikipedia…

 

The Romans are still remembered today, including such names as Julius Caesar, Cicero, and Horace. Ancient Roman society contributed greatly to government, politics, warfare, art, literature, architecture, technology, religion, and language in the Western world. A civilization highly developed for its time, Rome professionalized and greatly expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for some modern republics such as the United States and France. It achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as large monuments, palaces, and public facilities.

 

Rome was a thriving New York for it’s time. Rome gave the western civilization a great deal of technology and culture. Remember those 10 commandments, the bill of rights, and a ton of other government things we were taught in grade school? They came from Rome. I suppose after 200 years a country like the US can’t survive the way it is, if it continues this way. Well history lesson over, time to move on.

 

 

Worst TB outbreak in 20 years kept secret

State rushes closure of its only TB hospital in Lantana

By Stacey Singer

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

JACKSONVILLE —

The CDC officer had a serious warning for Florida health officials in April: A tuberculosis outbreak in Jacksonville was one of the worst his group had investigated in 20 years. Linked to 13 deaths and 99 illnesses, including six children, it would require concerted action to stop.

That report had been penned on April 5, exactly nine days after Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill that shrank the Department of Health and required the closure of the A.G. Holley State Hospital in Lantana, where tough tuberculosis cases have been treated for more than 60 years.

As health officials in Tallahassee turned their focus to restructuring, Dr. Robert Luo’s 25-page report describing Jacksonville’s outbreak — and the measures needed to contain it – went unseen by key decision makers around the state. At the health agency, an order went out that the TB hospital must be closed six months ahead of schedule.

Had they seen the letter, decision makers would have learned that 3,000 people in the past two years may have had close contact with contagious people at Jacksonville’s homeless shelters, an outpatient mental health clinic and area jails. Yet only 253 people had been found and evaluated for TB infection, meaning Florida’s outbreak was, and is, far from contained.

The public was not to learn anything until early June, even though the same strain was appearing in other parts of the state, including Miami.

Tuberculosis is a lung disease more associated with the 18th century than the 21st, referred to as “consumption” in Dickensian times because its victims would grow gaunt and wan as their lungs disintigrated and they slowly died. The CDC investigator described a similar fate for 10 of the 13 people who died in Jacksonville.

They wasted away before ever getting treatment, or were too far gone by the time it began. Most of the sick were poor black men.

“The high number of deaths in this outbreak emphasizes the need for vigilant active case finding, improved education about TB, and ongoing screening at all sites with outbreak cases,” Luo’s report states.

Today, three months after it was sent to Tallahassee, the CDC report still has not been widely circulated.

Backer of closing hospital didn’t know

Meanwhile the champion of the health agency consolidation, Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, said he had not been informed of the Jacksonville outbreak and the CDC’s role as of Friday.

Told the details, the chairman of the House Health Care Appropriations Committee vowed that there would be money for TB treatment.

“There is every bit of understanding that we cannot not take care of people who have a difficult case of TB,” Hudson said.

The governor’s office asked a reporter to foward a copy of the CDC letter on Saturday, but did not comment by press time.

Treatment for TB can be an ordeal. A person with an uncomplicated, active case of TB must take a cocktail of three to four antibiotics — dozens of pills a day — for six months or more. The drugs can cause serious side effects — stomach and liver problems chief among them. But failure to stay on the drugs for the entire treatment period can and often does cause drug resistance.

At that point, a disease that can cost $500 to overcome grows exponentially more costly. The average cost to treat a drug-resistant strain is more than $275,000, requiring up to two years on medications. For this reason, the state pays for public health nurses to go to the home of a person with TB every day to observe them taking their medications.

However, the itinerant homeless, drug-addicted, mentally ill people at the core of the Jacksonville TB cluster are almost impossible to keep on their medications. Last year, Duval County sent 11 patients to A.G. Holley under court order. Last week, with A.G. Holley now closed, one was sent to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. The ones who will stay put in Jacksonville are being put up in motels, to make it easier for public health nurses to find them, Duval County health officials said.

They spoke about CDC’s report Friday, only after weeks of records requests from The Palm Beach Post. The report was released late last week only after a reporter traveled to Tallahassee to demand records in person. The records should be open to inspection to anyone upon request under Florida Statute 119, known as the Government in the Sunshine law.

TB strain spreads beyond homeless

In his report, the CDC’s Luo makes it clear that other health officials throughout the state and nation have reason to be concerned: Of the fraction of the sick people’s contacts reached, one-third tested positive for TB exposure in areas like the homeless shelter.

Furthermore, only two-thirds of the active cases could be traced to people and places in Jacksonville where the homeless and mentally ill had congregated. That suggested the TB strain had spread beyond the city’s underclass and into the general population. The Palm Beach Post requested a database showing where every related case has appeared. That database has not been released.

It was early February when Duval County Health Department officials felt so overwhelmed by the sudden spike in tuberculosis that they asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to become involved. Believing the outbreak affected only their underclass, the health officials made a conscious decision not to not tell the public, repeating a decision they had made in 2008, when the same strain had appeared in an assisted living home for people with schizophrenia.

“What you don’t want is for anyone to have another reason why people should turn their backs on the homeless,” said Charles Griggs, the public information officer for the Duval County Health Department.

Even the CDC was not forthcoming about the outbreak. An agency spokesperson declined requests from The Post when asked to make an expert available to discuss a CDC-authored scholarly paper on the possible origins of the Jacksonville outbreak, offering only general fact sheets on TB.

“After checking in with the Division of TB Elimination about your specific questions, they have suggested that you reach out to your health department,” wrote Salina Cranor of the CDC’s TB prevention office. . “They are really the best source for your questions.”

“With TB it’s a judgment call,” said Duval County Health Director Dr. Bob Harmon in a telephone interview Friday, after the state’s new surgeon general referred questions back to him.

“There have been TB outbreaks where we do alert the public, such as a school or a college,” Harmon added.

For weeks, there had been a dissonant message coming from the Department of Health press office in Tallahassee. It released overall numbers of Florida tuberculosis cases showing a marked decline statewide, supporting the argument that A.G. Holley had become irrelevant. Asked whether she had been aware of the severity of Jacksonville’s outbreak while delivering that message, she did not answer.

“Florida experienced a 10 percent decrease in cases for 2011 compared to 2010. For the period 2007—2011, there was a 24 percent decrease in cases,” wrote agency spokeswoman Jessica Hammonds in an emailed response to written questions on May 18. She declined, at the time, to make agency experts available for interview.

In an article published in June’s American Journal of Psychiatry, CDC experts Dr. Joseph Cavanaugh, Dr. Kiren Mitruka and colleagues described the apparent origins of the current outbreak, when a TB strain called FL 046 came to claim two lives and sicken at least 15 mentally ill residents of one assisted living facility in 2008.

A single schizophrenic patient had circulated from hospital to jail to homeless shelter to assisted living facility, living in dorm housing in many locations. Over and over, the patient’s cough was documented in his chart, but not treated. It continued for eight months, until he finally was sent under court order to A.G. Holley. That year, 2008-2009, a total of 18 people in that community developed active tuberculosis from the strain called FL 046 and two died. The CDC sent a $275,000 grant to help pay for the staff needed to contain it.

After the money ran out, Harmon said, staff were redeployed to other needs. But in 2011, suddenly, the number of active cases of FL 046 spiked, rising 16 percent to 30 cases of a specific genotype, the one seen in 2008.

“We thought after 2008 that we had it contained,” Harmon said. “It was not contained. In retrospect, it would have been better to inform the general population then.”

Harmon said the Duval County Health Department will need more resources if it is to contain the current TB outbreak. In 2008, when the TB outbreak hit, his department employed 946 staff with revenues of $61 million. “Now we’re down to 700 staff and revenue is down to $46 million,” Harmon said. “It has affected most areas of the organization.”

If he can raise at least $300,000, he will use the money to hire teams of experts — epidemiologists, nurses, outreach workers, to look under bridges, in fields — in all the places where Jacksonville’s estimated 4,000 homeless congregate, to track down the people who may still be infected unknowingly. Fortunately, only a few of the cases have developed drug resistance so far. The vast majority respond to the first-line antibiotics.

In downtown Jacksonville, in the homeless shelters and soup kitchens, the TB strain called FL 046 continues to spread.

On a recent June morning, 60-year-old Lilla Charline Burkhalter joined about 100 other poor and homeless guests being served a free hot meal of scrambled eggs, grapes, potatoes and butterless bread by a local church youth group.

The youth group was volunteering at the Clara White Mission, where a man with active tuberculosis had been identified just three weeks earlier.

Looking weary but friendly, Burkhalter described her life of late, sleeping in grassy fields and in shelter dormitories. She lived on a small Social Security disability check, she said. It had enabled her to pay for a room in an apartment, for a while. But her roommate had kicked her out for making his girlfriend jealous, she said, and she hadn’t been able to find any other accommodations. It had been a rough few months, she acknowledged. But she had been through tough times before.

As she spoke, she coughed often. It was her emphysema acting up, she explained.

Asked if she was fearful about the TB in the community, she shrugged.

“The health department tests me for TB once a year, so I know I don’t have it,” she said. “I’m not worried.”

The Clara White Mission is now playing a key role in helping Jacksonville fight TB. Its housing case manager, Ken Covington, had spent most of his career helping bank branches assimilate after mergers. Two months ago, he joined Clara White, charged with placing homeless veterans and recently released jail inmates into homes. But the job has became much larger.

Today, Covington is the new chairman of the Duval County TB Coalition. In his hands he holds a massive binder with the intimidating title, “Core Curriculum in Tuberculosis: What the Clinician Should Know.” It was given to him by Vernard Green, the CDC’s visiting TB liaison.

Covington said he was a banker, not a clinician. But he had learned what to watch for with TB – coughing up blood, night sweats, sudden weight loss. The coalition members were looking at buying air filtration equipment, drafting intake protocols, getting to know the TB experts in the community, and educating shelter staff on what to watch for and what to do if a client appeared ill.

“We’re trying to do what we can to rein it in, and stay in front of it, and not let it get any worse,” Covington said. “I take it as a very important role for the community.”

 

Oh irony, but enough about that, I found an article about some random Pedo-bear.

 

Sex offender busted for ‘fondling’ young girls in Queens library

By DOUG AUER

A registered sex offender has been arrested for allegedly fondling two young girls last month inside a Queens library.

Joel Grubert, 49, was spotted on surveillance camera groping the victims, ages 6 and 9, at about 6:20 p.m. June 23 inside the Queens Library branch at 41-17 Main St. in Flushing, police said.

Grubert, of Brooklyn, was busted yesterday after a tipster identified him as the suspect, police added.

He was charged with sex abuse and endangering the welfare of children.

In 2004, Grubert was convicted of possessing child pornography, records show. He has also served time behind bars for attempted kidnapping.

Look at that mug shot, damn that guy is fugly. Fuck if I had a mug like that I’d probably go smoke weed. And fondling girls in libraries? HMM, sounds like Japan! And now for our last story of the day.
Author: Leon
The 2nd season of Dog Days, Dog Days’, has arrived and delivers just what fans have come to expect: cuteness with a little dose of ecchi.
And that’s our show for today, for more news, subscribe, like and comment this post.; This is Grass signing out.