03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Oct. 18, 2009, News Update

OCT. 18, 2009, NEWS UPDATE

Senate Finance Committee approves sweeping health care reform bill by vote of 14-9 -- including, gasp, a Republican. That makes it bi-partisan. Bi-partisan, just like President Obama said. It's like being a little bit pregnant.

Republican voting in favor was Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. That make her a Blue Dog Republican? As Montana goes, so goes Maine? And no Snowe job jokes please.

In a shocking development, Rush Limbaugh immediately attacked not only Snowe, but the entire state of Maine, saying that it should be sawed off from the United States and floated out to sea. That Rush ... always good for a laugh.

Blue Dog Democrat Jim Marshall of Georgia compares current U.S. health care, including Medicare and Medicaid, to system in Soviet Union. So, Congressman, why don't you introduce a health care reform bill that gives all Americans the benefits that you and your colleagues in Congress enjoy?

Insurance industry releases report claiming that health care reform bill now under consideration would drive up average American's premiums by 111% by 2019. It's known as the Chicken Little Report. Written by the same guy who wrote tobacco industry report saying cigarettes don't cause cancer and energy industry report pooh-poohing climate change.

White House says Obama supports Democratic candidate for Mayor in New York City. Good ol' Whatshizname? It's Bill Thompson, Mr. President. Meanwhile, that well-known independent, Rudy Giuliani, is campaigning for Mayor Bloomberg, another well-known "independent."

New Jersey's largest newspaper, the Newark Star-Ledger, endorses independent candidate for Governor. If you've seen the TV commercials of the Democratic incumbent and his Republican challenger, you know why. The Star-Ledger endorsement is good for the NJ economy -- Gov. Jon Corzine will now have to spend another $20 million of his own money on his re-election campaign.

Surprise -- Boy balloon story turns out to be hoax. Republicans blame Obama. Faux News, which has declined to carry some Obama speeches and news conferences live in the past, carried the Balloon Boy Sheriff's news conference live. That's not a surprise.

White House continues feud with Fox Noise. Memo to White house: Heed the old saying, Never argue with somebody holding a knife at your throat or somebody who buys ink by the barrel. Or, in this case, somebody who's on the air 24/7.

White House still reviewing strategy for Afghanistan. Nice to know we have a strategy.

Anxious members of Congress call for training more Afghan soldiers and policemen. What the hell we been doing for the past eight years?

New BBC series quotes top Palestinian officials as saying when they met with President Bush in 2003, he told them God told him to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. And he was apparently sober at the time. Any way to find out what God's thinking these days?

CNN breaks into serious on-air discussion about Afghanistan with "breaking news" that Rush Limbaugh denied participation in ownership of St. Louis Rams. Glad to see they have their priorities straight.

Nobody won the $5 million Mo Ibrahim Prize to reward good leadership in Africa this year. Hey, what about Obama's father, posthumously?

Levi Johnston, unwed father of unwed Bristol Palin's baby, makes commercial for pistachios. Kid must have helluva an agent who really knows how to stretch those 15 minutes. Even further stretch (no pun intended): Levi to pose for Playgirl Magazine (online version). Will he display more than his red neck?

Saturday Night Live portrays Obama as The Hulk. And he's not even green ... SNL now as unfunny as The Daily Show.

Ratings for Dancing With the Stars decline sharply. Whaddya expect after having Tom DeLay as contestant?