Monday, August 31, 2009

The Government they Deserve

I've been watching the recent stories about Charlie Rangel's latest round of financial mis-management and wanted to write about it but life has conspired against me; time hasn't been very abundant. Until I noticed these today I was content to watch.

At this point however I can't keep biting my tongue. Harlem has been getting the Government it deserves for way too long (Rangel has sat in Congress for nearly all of my 43 years). If ever a member of our Federal Government has begun to think he's entitled, it's Charlie.

The Congressman isn't entitled and the fact that he's ridden 38 years of Congressional service to his own little kingdom belies everything he's ever said about the virtues of public service. Us little folks could never get away with his recent history of non-disclosure in matters financial.

He shouldn't either. The crook needs to go...

Two Dummies don't make an Argument

Two of the not-so-smartest guys in the lefty blogosphere tell us all about why Obamacare is such a good deal. Or not really.

TM has the details and does a far better job of ripping our esteemed know-it-alls then I could ever hope. First, from Kevin Drum:

Let's recap: the United States spends about twice as much on healthcare as any other developed nation in the world and in return receives just about the worst care. Can someone remind me again why there's even a debate about whether we should put up with this?


Once you've recovered from the magnificence of that non-argument, we go to the guy who replaced Kevin over at Washington Monthly, one Steve Benen:

They've pulled it off, so far, by telling almost comically-ridiculous lies, and managing to get scared, gullible people to believe them. It's no small feat. Indeed, it's almost impressive. Conservatives have managed to create a debate out of nothing but partisanship, paranoia, and greed.

And here's where I give you over to TM and his sharp-knives:

Really? If memory, that unfaithful servant, can be relied upon the Dem leadership has yet to put forth a plan costing less than a trillion dollars over the next ten years. Medicare is projected to be racing towards bankruptcy (whatever that would mean for a government-funded program) and no one has suggested any credible means of controlling, let alone cutting, its costs.

And the Dem health care reform favored by the left is to spend even more money and envelop the rest of us in some sort of universal Medicare. I'm not sure it takes a conniving liar to wonder how that is going to save us money. "We're spending too much on health care and the answer is to spend even more!" - do Dems really think that will be a winning message?

The First Rule of Holes... obvious: stop digging. Dems aren't getting it and in case you're wondering what that means, the "experts" are beginning to paint a picture, however tentative at this point.

We can only hope.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The New Addition

One-eyed Jack

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hoist by their own Petard?

Social Security payments are set to shrink over the next two years, for the first time since 1975 when automatic (COLA) increases were first instituted. Remember when the last Administration attempted to reform the system, understanding that within about 10 years the system was going to hit a brick wall?

I do too. I wonder what the now-Congressional majority thinks about it 4 years later?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Big Bust?

Politico wonders today where the Obama Administration agenda will ultimately end up.

Earlier in the day I was simply dumbstruck by just this one day's worth of 'bad news' or, if you rather, commentary related to the Health care debate and the President's performance. These all come from one day at one blog:

ANDREW KLAVAN: A Subtle Theological Point.

Related: Obama’s Twisted Faith.

ANN ALTHOUSE: “Obama also has a big problem with moderates. Basically, Obama has a big problem. He got lots of people to trust him, chiefly by doing exactly what Krugman now complains about: speaking in vague generalities. It only works from a distance.”

UPDATE: Ron Brownstein: Obama’s Erosion.

POST-PARTISAN, POST RACIAL? Voight: Is Obama creating a civil war in America?


PEGGY NOONAN: Pull the plug on ObamaCare.

WASHINGTON POST: Faith in Obama Drops As Reform Fears Rise: Health-Care Effort Is Major Factor, Poll Finds.

DAVID HARSANYI: What would Jesus Obama do? “For with thee is the fountain of life: and in thy light we shall see the public option.”
UPDATE: A reader emails: “Most commenters are focusing on Obama’s words about being his brothers’s keeper and his sister’s keeper, but the most egregious statement he made was that , ‘we are partners with God…’. Really? As a long time student of the Bible, I can’t recall God ever saying he needed a partner or wanted one.”...

ANOTHER UPDATE: “As Jesus often said, ‘Let’s get the government to do something about it!’”

STEVE CROWDER: White House FAIL! The People Win…Now it’s Time to Keep Fighting.

JAMES TARANTO: Q: What’s the difference between the Associated Press and the Obama campaign? A: The AP admits the public is against it.


UPDATE: A reader emails: “When the present administration put the private sector, rather than trained, non-profit oriented bankruptcy judges, in charge of mortgage modification, what did they expect?”

L.A. TIMES: Americans’ faith in Obama fading: Poll.

DEBACLE, DISCONTINUED: Obama admin. to end cash for clunkers on Monday. Smart move — people were starting to wonder why they could handle healthcare when they can’t even deal with used cars.

How to sum it all up?

He's losing the Left, he never had the Right and the folks in the Middle are asking themselves, "Is this what I voted for?!"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It was just a Matter of Time

I almost asked this question the other day upon hearing of Robert Novak's death. Namely, how long before the vilification began. I'd just seen too many malicious comments from too many people about the man not to expect this kind of reaction.

But it was nice of NBC to make it official.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

LOL of the Day

Lefty Angst is always entertaining.

My favorite part is hearing about how the 'regressives'--without a single lever of power anywhere on the national scene--are 'seeking to anihilate him [President Obama]' by 'murdering' the bill. The Good Professor seems to have forgotten that the Democrats own everything...they don't need a single Republican vote to pass anything.

If they could keep their own members in line, this bill would pass.

At their Peril

The CNN headline reads "New White House tactic to bring GOP back to health debate?" It's a bluff:

In the chess game over health care reform, the White House's last move was to say Democrats might use a procedural move to get a bill through without working with Republicans.

Slice it any way you like--polling, townhalls--but the public does not want what the Dems are selling and if it ends up being pushed down their throats, 2010 and 2012 look to be massacres.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Variation on a Theme

A number of Democratic Congressmen (and women) have chosen not to meet with their constituents, thus depriving them of the opportunity to vent, discuss or otherwise inquire about the Congressional Health Care proposals. This was a nice twist on such profiles in courage:

Rep. Giffords canceled her town hall in Sahuarita/Green Valley, AZ and Jesse Kelly, her Republican challenger, scheduled an appearance in the same venue at the same time and place. From the looks of the video below it was very successful. Both sides were allowed to speak for two hours and with no problems.

Sounds like this guy deserves a shot, if for no other reason than he's got serious cajones...

Palin 1, Obama 0

Where be the Death Panels now?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Through the Blinds

An ounce of Sense

These guys have no Business sense:

The Obama administration made it a national priority to spread high-speed Internet access to every American home and it offered stimulus money to help companies pay for it, but the biggest network operators are staying away from the program.

With today the deadline to apply for $4.7 billion in broadband grants, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast won't be going for the stimulus money, sources close to the companies said.Their reasons are varied. All three say they have enough cash to upgrade and expand their broadband networks on their own. Some say the grant money could draw unwanted scrutiny of their business practices and compensation programs, as seen with automakers and banks that got government bailouts.

And privately, some complain about the conditions attached to the money, including a net-neutrality rule they say would prevent them from managing traffic on their networks in the way they want."We are concerned that some new mandates seem to go well beyond current laws and FCC rules, and may lead to the kind of continuing uncertainty and delay that is antithetical to the president's primary goals of economic stimulus and job creation," said Walter McCormick, president of USTelecom, a trade group that represents companies including AT&T and Verizon.

The stimulus bill could have been something helpful for the economy had it been structured more appropriately; meaning, had it actually been money spent in places and ways that would actually stimulate something in a timely fashion. But as Keith Hennessy pointed out a couple weeks back, that hasn't been the case.

FUBAR from Day One.

If a Bill dies in the Senate but Everyone was Paying Attention to Healthcare, did it really Die?

Appears we're about to find out:

The U.S. Senate should abandon efforts to pass legislation curbing greenhouse-gas emissions this year and concentrate on a narrower bill to require use of renewable energy, four Democratic lawmakers say.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

You Got the Wrong Guy!

Last year it was the oil companies that made too much money. Recently it's Insurance companies that are evil profiteers, refusing to provide coverage for the unfortunate among us.

If you have issues with cognitive dissonance, don't click on this.

Based on profit margins (which is everything in business), "Health Care Plans" (a.k.a. Insurance companies) rank #86, raking in a whopping 3.3 cents on the dollar.

H/T Real Clear Politics with thanks to Professor Perry.

Searching for the Bottom

From Rasmussen:

Overall, 47% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance. That’s the lowest level of total approval yet recorded. The President’s ratings first fell below 50% just a few weeks ago on July 25. Fifty-two percent (52%) now disapprove.

Political polling; take it FWIW.

Why there will be Rationing

Critics of the current health-care reform proposals are crying out far-and-wide that any reforms put in place with a stated goal of cost-control must, repeat must entail rationing of care. This post details quite nicely why that will have to be the case:

The elderly consume 70% of all health care spending. That means that when it comes to cost control, they will bear the brunt of the burden. If we don’t cut spending on the elderly we can’t reduce cost without simply denying care for everyone else. When it comes down to choice between spending on old people and children, the elderly know full well who we are going to pick.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Living Vicariously

Former workmate and current pal JM sent this over along with a few other shots from his weekend bike-ride in Malibu. Some guys have all the luck...

While I was busy watching patrons of the Town Center not-shop with us and chow down ample amounts of Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream on Sunday, he was swapping bike stories and chatting it up with Leno at the Rock Store in Malibu.

Monday, August 10, 2009

No she Won't

MKH insists (with tongue firmly in cheek I must think) that Madame Speaker will decry the nature of SEIU's attempt to 'Drown Out Voices' at an upcoming town-hall in Stamford, Connecticut.

I'm going with "Oh, hell no!"

Friday, August 07, 2009

Sounds Fishy to me...

So does this qualify as 'fishy'...? Should we email Dean Kamen's article to the WH?

Those answers not withstanding, it's definitely worth sending to proponents of Obamacare if for no other reason than to see their heads explode from the cognitive dissonance:

PM: So you're saying that rather than trying so much to control costs, we should be encouraging new cures?

Kamen: Every drug that's made is a gift from one generation to the next because, while it may be expensive now, it goes off patent and your kids will have it essentially for free.

Whatever the marketplace, if talented people are given resources they're going to keep driving us to having better, simpler, cheaper solutions to problems. And, by the way, if they come up with a better solution but it can't be cheaper—which, in the beginning, most things aren't—nobody says you have to buy it. If you think this new drug is too expensive, it's not a good deal, we have a crisis, buy the old one. It's a generic now. It's cheap.

You can't look at the problem and say, "I want them to do more, better, faster miracles—and not invest in research, not invest in development, and have those miracles delivered to me free." It's unrealistic. And people know that about most things. They do. Nobody expects that just because they've made computers better they're going to give them to you free.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Double-Standards Defined

Jake Tapper's tweet from yesterday nails it on the head:

Bemoaning lack of "civil dialogue,"Democracy for America's Jim Dean says "Teabaggers..don't want to pay taxes for schools, police, or roads"

Yes, out of one side of his mouth decrying the lack of civil dialogue while trashing the opponents out of the other side.


Does He own it yet?

Poll results from Quinnipiac University. Take from it what you will...

-President's Job Approval Falls to 50%

52% Disapprove on Health Care

-Right Track 35% Wrong Direction 64%

From CNN and equally interesting:

"Do you consider the first six months of the Obama administration to be a success or a failure?"

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

To be Young and Naive

Oh, and stupid too:

An unruly Little Rock crowd heckled and shouted at two Arkansas Democratic congressmen Wednesday, accusing them of supporting a government-backed health plan that would take away Americans' personal choice and freedom.

At one point, U.S. Rep. Mike Ross sat with his head in his hands while the crowd shouted. He and fellow Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder told audience members at a forum at Arkansas Children's Hospital that they wouldn't support a completely government-run, single-payer health insurance plan.

No, not Ross or Snyder. I'll take their claims at face value, least for now when it comes to their stance on the proposed health-care plan trumpeted by the WH and being discussed in the House and Senate.

No, the stupidity I'm referring to is that of the young and inexperienced. From the end of the article:

Though much of the crowd opposed Obama's plan, there were a few supporters.

"I'm a huge Obama fan," college student Jacob Kauffman told the crowd, which responded with a smattering of applause and a few chants of "Get a job."

Kauffman continued, "I was at mad at (Ross and Snyder) for not standing up for stronger health care reform. But after seeing this crowd tonight, I'm pleased with seeing what you have done. I've rather have you two overlook my health care plan than any private insurance bureaucrat any day."

Ah, to be young and naive...and stupid. I've got somewhere around 20 years on you Jacob. Learn from your elders, the last thing you want is the Gubmint in charge of anything complex. For details, give me a buzz and I'll fill you in on my ongoing feud with California's EDD (Hint: If we ran our business as poorly as the state manages this high-profile agency we'd have been out of business even before we began).

The story doesn't mention where Jacob attends school. My guess is the State system somewhere. Regardless, if this is really what he thinks dude needs his money back; he's getting screwed.

Goes without Saying

This study finds that Dogs are smarter than Cats...well, duh!:

They may have nine lives, but cats apparently just don't have the extra smarts when compared to dogs, according to a new study.

Dr. Britta Osthaus, of England's Canterbury Christ Church University, carried out series of experiments testing the intelligence of domestic cats in order to determine their processes of thinking in terms of cause and effect relationships.

Dr. Osthaus tested the ability of the animals to get unreachable food from under a plastic screen. In one scenario, one string was used with a treat attached. In another, two parallel strings were used with just one baited. And in the third setting, two strings were crossed, with food attached to only one.

The psychologist determined there was nothing to indicate that the animals understood the purpose of the strings. All cats were successful with the single string test, however, none of them consistently selected the needed string in the second setting -- unlike dogs.

In the test involving crossed strings, one cat was constantly selecting the wrong string while the rest performed at chance level.

Dr. Osthaus was surprised by the findings and concluded that cats "performed even worse than dogs."

They are the smarter sock-eater especially so!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

How far into their Heads did He go?

Mark Steyn at The Corner notes this absurd bit of mental gymnastics from Jacob Weisberg.

It's all Bush's fault. Everything. Ever.

Yeah, that's the ticket...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Still fighting the Last War


T-Boone Pickens visited with Senate Democrats yesterday to discuss energy. Apparently the visit was, for the most part, collegial and focused on the stated agenda--energy.

But then Pickens made the mistake of introducing himself to the nation's newest Senator:

According to a source, the wealthy oil and gas magnate and author of “The First Billion Is the Hardest” stepped up to introduce himself to Franken in a room just off the Senate Floor after the lunch ended.

Franken, who was seated talking to someone else, did not stand when Pickens said hello. Instead, Franken began to berate him about the billionaire’s financing of the Swift Boat ads in 2004.

According to a source, the confrontation grew heated.

Leave it to a guy like Franken to get fired up 5 years after-the-fact and lash out with all the usual charm & aplomb.

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