DAILY BRIEFING  8:40 am November 18, 2009

Gitmo-As-We-Know-It Will Officially Span Two Decades

by Juli Weiner

  • A lot of gynecologists and other lady and/or oncological doctors disagree completely with yesterday’s new things about mammography announcement. [New York Times]
  • Obama admitted that Gitmo is not going to close by January. This makes keeping his promise to close Gitmo by January a considerably tenuous one. [Washington Post]
  • Between fraud and anything having to do with Recovery.gov and cleverer types of fraud, the federal government managed to accidentally overpay $98 billion dollars last fiscal year. [CNN]
  • The Somali pirates are like obsessed with this one US-flagged cargo ship, which they just attacked for the second time in seven months. Creepy. [AP]
  • Obama’s admiration of the Great Wall of China can be seen from space. [WSJ]
  • Meet Vaira Vike-Freiberga. Alias: VVF. Pedigree: Twice former president of Latvia. She is this lady running for president of Europe and she is so dope—read all of this: [Times Online]
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Hola wonkerados.

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4tehlulz November 18, 2009 at 8:47 am

The ship needs to get a restraining order against her stalker pirate boyfriend.

ALIVE! November 18, 2009 at 8:51 am

I was going to make a joke that Maersk probably should not hire Bridget Fonda as the Alabama’s captain, but the update now says the actual captain died from injuries in the pirate attack. Fuckin’ pirate assholes.

Terry November 18, 2009 at 8:56 am

Alas, none of that massive overpayment went to me.

WarAndG November 18, 2009 at 8:56 am

It’s as good as it gits mo. (Did I really type that shit and hit submit?)

Johnny Zhivago November 18, 2009 at 8:59 am

Vaira Vike-Freiberga has challenged male european leaders to a “pull the tractor out of the ditch with your hair contest”.

x111e7thst November 18, 2009 at 9:04 am

[re=461294]Johnny Zhivago[/re]: Yulia V Tymoshenko is perhaps more to your taste?

the problem child November 18, 2009 at 9:04 am

VVF is not just dope, she is very disappointed in you, European Union, for picking on Sarah Palin! http://images.forbes.com/media/lists/11/2006/DQF8.jpg

Nigerian Business Executive November 18, 2009 at 9:06 am

VVF’s narowly focused, ultra-nationalistic agenda may have been “so dope” for the libido iof ethnic Latvians the immediate post-USSR period, but I’d like to hear more about her vision for Europe (not just for Latvians) before they make her my EU mommy. Sorry about the lack of attempt at humour, but I haven’t had any coffee. At least I managed to spell all the words right. I think.

chascates November 18, 2009 at 9:09 am

Nothing about Sarah Palin yet?

proudgrampa November 18, 2009 at 9:09 am

That VVF gal is impressive and smart. Can we haz her for President in 2012?

rabblerouser42 November 18, 2009 at 9:10 am

Glenn Beck: Reagan Would’ve Demanded That Hu Tear Down ‘The Great Wall’

Monsieur Grumpe November 18, 2009 at 9:18 am

Vaira Vike-Freiberga has the best evil eye I have ever seen.

Larry McAwful November 18, 2009 at 9:21 am

So now that the Recovery.gov site had some screw-ups in reporting, can we declare the Obama administration a failure and dissolve the government in favor of a hoplocracy* already?

*hoplocracy (n.) A form of government controlled by whoever has the most guns, or the most people with guns. (Origin: a neologism coined by Larry McAwful on Wonkette.com on November 18, 2009.)

Johnny Zhivago November 18, 2009 at 9:36 am

Ya! Yulia V Tymoshenko gives all of us here at Medium Machine Building Ministry a starburts in our man loins!

Mr Blifil November 18, 2009 at 9:45 am

Mrs Vike-Freiberga, 71, studied in Canada and became Professor of Linguistics at the University of Montreal. She is the author of 11 books and the recipient of 16 honorary doctorates. Married with two children, one of whom works in London, she is fluent in English, French, German, Latvian and Spanish and also understands Italian and Portuguese.

And she considers herself qualified to run a country? Pfft, I’d have to see her decked out in runner’s gear to determine if she’s a VVFILF.

DoctorCulturae November 18, 2009 at 9:46 am

New EU mommy: Cross between Margaret Thatcher, Grace Slick, Angela Lansbury, & a cinder block.

Terry November 18, 2009 at 9:52 am

Wow, VVF is the anti-Palin. How about a day dedicated to posts about her rather than the snowbilly?

P Drizzle November 18, 2009 at 9:54 am

Wait, Latvia has gingers too? I don’t think Europe’s ready for a prez with recessive genes.

magic titty November 18, 2009 at 9:55 am

[re=461309]DoctorCulturae[/re]: Yes. And I detected a little Charlotte Rae from The Facts of Life, as well.

hoosiermama November 18, 2009 at 10:04 am

…she is fluent in English, French, German, Latvian and Spanish and also understands Italian and Portuguese.

VVF is just like Uhura from Star Trek (the new one), but she has yet to master Klingon and Romulan. She should have no troubles with the latter, as it is quite similar in etimology to Vulcan.

the problem child November 18, 2009 at 10:10 am

[re=461321]P Drizzle[/re]: Those Vikings got up everyone’s skirts, back in the day.

Yaybuls November 18, 2009 at 10:12 am

Here’s to twenty years of not being able to handle the truth!

Jim89048 November 18, 2009 at 10:15 am

“…woman who actually seems to have her own opinions and is ready to voice them without being twittery…”
Vote for VVF. NOT twittery.

Oh hell to the no November 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

1. Rabblerouser can haz ban hammer, plz?

2. Did somebody say klingon: blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2009/11/dinkytown_dad_s.php

loquaciousmusic November 18, 2009 at 10:46 am

[re=461301]rabblerouser42[/re]: Okay, Jim, could you ban?

donner_froh November 18, 2009 at 10:55 am

She is dismayed by the secretive appointment procedure for the presidency and has called upon the EU to “stop working like the former Soviet Union”

Given the its current state of bureaucratic inertia, the EU would have to improve significantly before it became as effecient ast the USSR during its death spiral.

Paul Tardy November 18, 2009 at 11:03 am

VVF woman sounds vaguely Ayn Rand.

Ha Ha close Gitmo, if you did that the Navy would have to live in a slum specifically Florida. Oh you mean just move the prisoners when you say close Gitmo. Sorry, when I say close Gitmo I mean sell the lease to the Chinese. Now that’s closing Gitmo.

SayItWithWookies November 18, 2009 at 11:04 am

[re=461290]ALIVE![/re]: That wasn’t the captain of the Maersk Alabama, that was another hijacking. The MA fellow was the same captain who was rescued by the three sniper shots at the very beginning of Obama’s administration. He’s fine.

proudgrampa November 18, 2009 at 11:04 am

[re=461316]Terry[/re]: I LOVES smart wimmin.

geminisunmars November 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm

This woman (me) now finds herself in the enviable position of being torn between a) lifelong suspicion of those promoting annual mammograms for being money-grubbers (painfully squashing flesh between two very cold plates and then shooting radiation into said flesh not making logical sense to this woman) and b) current suspicion of insurance companies pushing through current recommendations so they don’t have to cough up $5billion it costs them to cover annual mammograms. Oh, who to hate more?

S.Luggo November 18, 2009 at 12:46 pm

[re=461321]P Drizzle[/re]: You so like in trouble, dude. http://www.vvf.lv/vvf/templates/beez/images/top.jpg

proudgrampa November 18, 2009 at 12:50 pm

[re=461507]S.Luggo[/re]: She so HAWT!!!

CaiteeCruelle November 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm

[re=461474]geminisunmars[/re]: I feel you sister. (Also, since I am now retaining water, I feel myself. Ouchie.) I’ve had two mammograms so far, and frankly, if trustworthy guidelines were revised so that I didn’t need to have another till I was 50, I’d be cool with that, while still hissing at my insurance company.

AxmxZ November 18, 2009 at 1:02 pm

“I believe very strongly that Europe was born in the Age of Enlightenment with the great thinkers who introduced this idea of pragmatism, such as Locke and Hulme,” she said.”

Is VVF gonna have to choke some bitches for making her sound tardy?

geminisunmars November 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm

[re=461523]CaiteeCruelle[/re]: Everyone, don’t yell at me for being OT, but Vitamin B complex with extra B6, and Hawthorne berries helped me, when I still had to deal with that shit.

proudgrampa November 18, 2009 at 1:51 pm

[re=461474]geminisunmars[/re]: Speaking as hubby of a breast cancer survivor, I assure you that the indignities of mammograms are a minor nuisance compared to treatment. By all means, the insurance companies deserve our suspicions and opposition every time they try to take away something beneficial.

Paco November 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Can we talk about how monumentally stupid and obliviously self-absorbed Maureen Dowd’s column was today?


Berkeley Bear November 18, 2009 at 2:00 pm

VVF be my peeps, dawg. Yes, she is a Latvian nationalist – you pretty much had to be to want to move back to the place after the Soviets finally collapsed – but she’s no Ayn Rand type (Rand would never have cited Locke or Hume as positive influences, with that mutual dependence and social contract stuff). She saw crap at a young age (like my father did and the other million or so Baltic refugees) that you just don’t get over easily, and it tends to make you a little touchy about back room deals. She comes by her suspicion of all shadowy government deals naturally, since it was a secret deal between first Stalin and Hitler, and later Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill that made her lose her home country for 50 years.

Lucky us, we’ve now created several generations of Iraqis and Afghanis with similar experience – so look forward to those territories getting an indigenous ultra-nationalist leader or two in the next 10-15 years (ie about when we’d like to be totally gone from the scene).

S.Luggo November 18, 2009 at 2:14 pm

[re=461620]Paco[/re]: I nearly swooned as I started to read the sentence that begins, “Sarah and I both banged …”.

MzNicky November 18, 2009 at 3:21 pm

[re=461608]proudgrampa[/re]: Preach it grampa.
Ladies: Get over it and get the fucking mammograms. Keep doing your breast self-exams. I don’t know what these jerkoffs are up to with this revision horseshit — health care reform cost-cutting, I suppose.

I wish I still had breasts to get squished. Not to complain, though! I’m still here, which I wouldn’t be if I hadn’t had mammograms in my 40s. It’s been 10 years and I think I dodged the bullet. Yah, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition! And yet it comes.

Accordion-o-rama November 18, 2009 at 3:28 pm

[re=461636]Berkeley Bear[/re]: I see no evidence she can pilot a skiff, however.

geminisunmars November 18, 2009 at 4:43 pm

[re=461768]MzNicky[/re]: [re=461608]proudgrampa[/re]: Thanks for the advice. I didn’t write “don’t have mammograms” – just the PR and methodology leaves me suspicious. As the daughter of a woman who had double radical mastectomy – unnecessarily – I am concerned with the huge flaws in the system. Not that I have the answers. And as an uninsurable woman who had a hysterectomy last year (to the tune of $20,000) (and yes I was having PAPs) I find the entire health care system to be overwhelming and beyond flawed. And Proudgrampa, I hope your wife had a successful outcome.

MzNicky November 18, 2009 at 5:31 pm

[re=461903]geminisunmars[/re]:It’s hard to know what to do. Mammography is a flawed detection tool, it hurts, and it’s expensive and stressful. It just pisses me off when number-crunchers shove several thousand women’s lives into the category of “not a high enough percentage to give a shit about” to chisel a few bucks off the insurance company’s tab. In retrospect I wish I’d had mammograms more regularly than I did. The health-care system is fucked, so you just have to take a chance, no matter what you do, or don’t do, it seems. Eh, don’t get me started.

geminisunmars November 18, 2009 at 8:45 pm

[re=461999]MzNicky[/re]: Yeah, the health-care system is fucked, and clearly so are we. And it doesn’t look like any kind of real reform on the horizon.

LowerdPeninsula November 18, 2009 at 11:39 pm

“She is this lady running for president of Europe and she is so dope”

I’m loving you even more. To use “so dope” in a sentence is, indeed, so very dope.

Vaira Vike-Freiberga sounds like a veritable firecracker…I’d pick her over Tony “Poodle” Blair any old day of the week. Ole Tony hopped on Bush’s dick and has yet to get off of it.

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