Saturday, June 26, 2010

Healthcare Horrors

Here comes the propaganda to try and slow the "Repeal Obamacare" locomotive by comparing the US healthcare system to single-payer and other government-run systems. The survey is by The Commonwealth Fund. Check them out...they are all about Obamacare. Instant red flag.

The survey indicates the US ranks last in getting "good value", "despite spending $7,290 per capita on health care in 2007 compared with the $3,837 spent per capita in the Netherlands, which ranked first overall". There is no indication what "good value" means, nor is their any indication whether or not government subsidy or controls are taken into account.

The U.S.'s rank in terms of access to health care could be improved if the healthcare reform bill, known as the Affordable Care Act, does indeed extend health insurance coverage to 32 million currently uninsured Americans, as has been estimated, the authors say.

Covering 32 million more people with existing resources will only make this problem worse. Further, everyone has access to healthcare, in spite of what they claim. Even so, what part of the Constitution guarantees access to healthcare?

Many of the issues cited here are exactly BECAUSE of the government. Underpayment for care under Medicare and Medicaid, incessant regulation and red tape, failure of government to reign in tort. In the interest of fairness, many of the problems are self-induced. In the United States, people fail to take care of themselves. People fail to correctly take their medications (antibiotics are the biggest problem). People engage in high-risk activities more than in many other countries to which the US is compared.

There is nothing in this report which will be solved by Obamacare. Bigger administrative costs, fewer resources (you can have all the people covered, but with no more providers, it won't matter), costs will necessarily be higher, mistakes will necessarily be greater due to the greater workload on providers.

I call BS.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Then....

Next is FMLA for unmarried hetero couples living together?

This is nothing more than a bone to attempt to buy the Gay vote. No doubt it will work for some, but I fully expect the economic screwing the Gay community will take (along with everyone else) under this administration will counter this one.

But where does this stop? Next should be hetero couples as stated above. They are in no less loving and committed relationships than a Gay couple. And paid...I mean...it's only fair that FMLA should be paid, right? It's not their fault they need the time off.

Your employer owes you a fair wage for a fair days work. You own them the converse. If you can negotiate a bunch of other crap, great. the government needs to stay the hell out of it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Government as Protector and Arbiter

The Left seems to think government can cure all ills, make injustice (whether real or percieved) just, right all wrongs and protect us from all consequences (Jill - Correct me if I'm missing something here). It amazes me that the Left is willing to give so much power to a central government in light of history both ancient and recent.

There are few cases of what the Left sees as "social justice" that are not injustices to others. "Affirmative Action" is clearly attempting to right wrongs, but what has been the price? We have wronged others. Contrary to what you may think, in order to give someone special consideration based on something other than their own merit harms not only those left out, but the recipient as well. Placing someone in a position for which they are not prepared only sets them up to fail.

As protector, smaller, less powerful governments have done a better job. We can't be protected from everything, not matter how hard government tries. There always seem to be those pesky, "unintended consequences" as well. Large powerful governments also trample their citizen's rights. Tell me one that hasn't. From the kingdoms and empires of the Old World, to the more modern social nanny state or People's Republic, all have trampled on their citizens. Stalin - on the order of 50 million killed. Mao - between 44.5 million and 72 million. Hitler - 6 million Jews and others, not to mention the millions killed in his war of conquest. Some estimate the total at 42 million. Kim - unknown, but thought to be many thousands. Mugabe, Amin, Castro, Chavez. All murder their political enemies and destroy the rights of their citizens. What do they have in common? They are all large, powerful central governments. Yes, dictators, but it has always been a short trip from republican or democratic rule to totalitarianism. Ask the Romans.

So, if any of you on the Left actually show up and read/comment, tell me how this road the United Stats is on will be different? How? Why? The "our guys are smarter" argument is no good. Tell me how power will not corrupt.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

C’Est Vrai

C’Est Vrai

(It’s True)

(To the tune of “Say, Hey”-with apologies to Michael Franti)

C’est vrai, down in Loo-si-yay

I’m sendin’ down Steven Chu today

He gots a no-bel don’t cha know

He gonna watch da oil spill grow.

And I know

One thing

I’m Chosen

I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen

I’ve been a lotta places ‘round Chicago Town

I’ve organized and avocated for a lotta clowns

But I wanted to be President, the First Black One

Ridin’ on the jet plain looked like fun.

Michelle and my are flyin’ out

We’re goin’ on a date

Or maybe I’ll go play some golf

The Oil Spill can wait

When I send Napolitano down to do the dirty work

Gibbs will blame the GOP and BP (what a jerk)

C’est vrai down in Loo-si-yay

I’ll go down there myself today

I’ve been on this since Day One

It must be true that I’m The Won

And I know

One thing

I’m Chosen

I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen

Now I can’t go down

And plug the hole myself

And to suck it with a straw

is bad for my health

Bobby Jindahl’s leadership is showin’me up

So I’ll talk about some “green jobs”

While he is cleaning it up

Rockin’ in the White House with Steven Chu

Rahm and Joe –the Crisis ensues

Rahm he says, “don’t let it go to waste”

Joe he says “I like to eat paste”

C’est vrai down in Loo-si-yay

I’ll go down there myself today

I’ve been on this since Day One

It must be true that I’m The Won

And I know

One thing

I’m Chosen

I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen

Rockin’ in the dance hall with Steven Chu

Hey, Steven, Hey Steven what we gonna do

Rockin’ in the dance hall with Steven Chu

I don’t know Barak, let Lisa Jackson Choose

Rockin’ in the dance hall with Steven Chu

Green Jobs, Green Jobs, that’s something new

Rockin’ in the dance hall with Steven Chu

I said pay BP, pay BP, pay BP, pay BP pay BP, pay BP, pay BP, pay BP pay!

What cha gonna do?

Lisa Jackson told me we gotta go green

The big oil spill is just the thing

And I know…One thing…I’m Chosen.

(awww)

C’est vrai, down in Loo-si-yay

I’m sendin’ down Steven Chu today

He gots a no-bel don’t cha know

He gonna watch da oil spill grow.

C’est vrai, down in Loo-si-yay

I’m sendin’ down Steven Chu today

He gots a no-bel don’t cha know

He gonna watch da oil spill grow.

And I know

One thing

I’m Chosen

I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen

I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen

I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen

I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen, I’m Chosen

Rockin’ in da white House wit Steven chu…….

More Sock-Puppet Press

Really? It's the GOP's fault? At what point did Republicans become the majority. Sorry, Barry Soetoro. You can have any bill you like because your party has an overwhelming majority. At least for another 6 months or so.

Of course, the "teachers and firefighters will lose their jobs" is a standard play. What about the harm to children, polar bears and little kittens?

Student enrollment is only up by 20% over 1971. Interestingly, the number of public school teachers over that time seems to be a moving target. The numbers appear to be up by 8% since 2000, but there seems to be a difference of opinion.

There is anecdotal evidence that the longer people are provided with unemployment, the longer they will stay unemployed. In my view, an empty stomach is a great motivator.

More evidence Barry Soetoro will say anything to demonize the opposition and the press will report is faithfully.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Milwaukee Public Schools

H/T: Belling (I don't care if you like it or not)

Really? Your schools are failing...by ANY standard. You are destroying any chance many of your wards have for a future. You have failed your public trust. you are killing the taxpayers of Milwaukee. You just laid off nearly 500 teachers. So why is a boycott of Arizona even on your agenda? Have you lost you minds?

Morons.

Speechifying by The Chosen One

Fuzzy knocks it out of the park.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

RealClearPolitics - Video - CNN: When Does The Statute Of Limitations Run Out On Blaming Bush?

RealClearPolitics - Video - CNN: When Does The Statute Of Limitations Run Out On Blaming Bush?

This is the same guy who lied about "the N word" being used by TEA Party Patriots.

This Blame Bush mantra works with the far Left base, but no one else. And the economy was chugging along quite nicely, in spite of 9/11 until the Democrats took the House and Senate in the '06 elections. Now, the increased government spending and the spectre of increased taxes is hold up a good recovery and even Bernanke is talking "double-dip recession".

Here We Go

It was just a matter of time before the inside-the-beltway pundits showed what they don't know. One of them is Ezra Klein in WaPo via RCP.

He argues gasoline is too cheap. It's not. It's about (adjusted for taxes) where it should be.

Some of the best work on this subject has been done by Ian Parry, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future. His calculations -- plus some data from other sources and studies -- suggest that adding all the quantifiable costs into the price of oil would increase the cost of each gallon by about $1.65. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average price of a gallon of gas was $2.72 last week. It should really be as high as $4.37.

RFF is a Big-Government-loving-environmental-chicken-little think tank. They believe, for example you should need a permit to drive on days when ozone is high. No sense in providing a solution that allows people to drive. Just control their lives because they are stupid. Just suck more money out of their wallet. And into their coffers, no doubt.

I'm wondering what "all the quantifiable costs" are. And all Klein's hysteria is based in the assumption that all oil comes from offshore drilling. How about opening up land-based resources? Alaska? The Bakken? How about we employ more nuclear and coal? I'm sure Klein is loaded with excuses to not do that, too.

The question, in other words, isn't just what a gallon of gas costs. It's what a gallon of anything that can replace gas costs.

The above resources are cheaper than deep-water drilling, imports and the religious icons of the Left, solar and Wind. More reliable, too.

Ezra Klein drives, I bet. I suspect he heats his big-ass Metro DC house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Hey Joe....Kiss my ass.

Is Failure An Option?

Amid reports that the White House tampered with the Expert Report by the National Academy of Engineering, I have to ask if this administration considers failure to be an option. Placing a moratorium on offshore drilling because of the Deepwater Horizon incident was not recommended by the Panel. There is little reason to do so, based on a single incident, regardless of how bad. An investigation is warranted, a review of processes and procedures is necessary and safeguards should be put in place to prevent another such disaster. But I also have to ask this: If failure is a reason to stop doing something, shouldn't we be shutting down government social programs?

Let's look at some examples:

  • Department of Education - This disaster, if I read correctly, is costing taxpayers over $47 billion. What are we getting for it? Failing schools, bloated bureaucracy, and "Johnny Can't Read". It's a failure....dump it.
  • Department of Energy - Over $26 Billion to have no energy policy. You can claim policy is "green energy" and that may be true, but it is an abject failure. Modern economies run on cheap, abundant energy. "Green Energy" is neither cheap nor abundant. Failure...dump it.
  • Social Security - Social Security was never meant as a "pension". Old Age Supplemental Income, as I recall. Prepare for your own retirement or don't retire (I probably won't). It now costs more than ever intended and we are very nearly "upside down", that is, there is just over one person paying into the system for each person taking from the system. Add to it that Social Security has been raided for years by both parties to make the budget deficits look smaller and it is a disaster and a failure. The Social Security bureaucracy budget is about $10 billion, but the transfer payments are about $700 billion. Dump it.
I can go on to include Medicare, Medicaid and HHS, just about everything other than Defense (and that is a financial mess, but at least defense is an effective program). I continue to hear whining about "funding libraries and having a bake sale to buy a bomber", but defense is less than 20% of the budget, and considered discretionary spending while transfer payments (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment and Welfare) are nearly 50% of the budget. Defense is a constitutional obligation of the federal government. None of the others are. Dump them. The Federal Government is, by any reasonable standard, an nearly complete failure. If there is any intellectual honesty in the White House, they will stop social programs, too.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Black Swan?

The Beer: 8 Different styles. Irish Red, two IPA's, my own Liberty Ale, a Saison, A clone of an amber ale, a "kit beer" and a west coast ale. But I'm running low. Time to brew again.

The Bicycle: 65 miles on my trusty steed today. Preparing for Bike to Work Day on June 11...I work 40 miles away.

The VRWC: Dad29 indicates some think the Gulf Oil Spill is a "Black Swan Event". I disagree. At least based on what I have read here.

I spent many years in the Nuclear Power business, including the US Navy Nuclear Program. I now work in Environmental, Health and Safety. I've found there are no "Black Swans". Everything can be traced to some root cause that is related to a human error. I believe the BP/Transocean incident is no different. Keep in mind that I'm going on the assumption that NYT has the facts straight.

This dialogue between a Coast Guard investigator and the Captain (I use the term loosely, based on his statement) of the rig is telling:

“It’s pretty well understood amongst the crew who’s in charge,” he said.

“How do they know that?” a Coast Guard investigator asked.

“I guess, I don’t know,” Captain Kuchta said. “But it’s pretty well — everyone knows.”


This speaks to the first problem: Who is in charge? If no one is in charge, something gets missed.


Under a process called “alternative compliance,” much of the technology used on deepwater rigs has been approved piecemeal, with regulators cooperating with industry groups to make small adjustments to guidelines that were drawn up decades ago for shallow-water drilling.

"Alternative Compliance" should not be an option. You are either compliant with a standard or you are not. More to the point:

As BP engineers planned to set certain pipes and casings for lining the well in place in the ocean floor, they had to get permission from company managers to use riskier equipment because that equipment deviated from the company’s own design and safety policies, according to internal BP documents obtained by The New York Times.

When one speaks of the large scale risk associated with deep water drilling, deviating from company "design and safety policy" should also not be an option. When building a 25 hp gasoline engine for a lawn tractor, deviating on a breather hose is no big deal. On a deep water drilling rig, deviating from established design and safety policy points to the cutting of corners.

I'm not going to bore you with the rest of the article; I'm pretty sure you can read and understand. Just these items I have pointed out indicate this disaster could have (and should have) been forseen. There is enough human error here to fill a pretty good sized book. And not just on the part of BP and Transocean. But also on the part of the Feds, who should have been minding the store.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Turkey, Palestine and Israel

H/T Legal Insurrection

Will this result in war between Israel and Turkey? If so, is NATO obligated to Turkey? The President has an historic opportunity here and he remains silent. He can act as "honest broker" by arranging a US Naval ship to take the cargo aboard and transport it following inspection. Will either side go for it? I don't know. But the appearance is that The Chosen One has no problem throwing Israel under the bus.

Here is how the American Left views Israel:


At What Point.....

Do I quit hearing these two phrases:

"But Bush........" and

"He's only been President for......."

??????

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Obamergy

This energy policy will be worse than the healthcare debacle.

Here is the first volley in the crap attack:

Obama, a Democrat, accused Republicans of sitting on the sidelines while his administration worked to rescue the economy and, with November congressional elections looming, used his speech to lambaste the opposition party for opposing initiatives from health insurance reform to tax cuts.

Offers of substantial economic policies have been made by guys like Paul Ryan and rejected out-of-hand by this President. He has been dismissive of Republican ideas by using words like, "I won." He only wants GOP help when they will follow his policy to the letter.

Obama said the oil spill should prompt Americans to acknowledge that the United States could not depend solely on fossil fuels in the future.

That meant tapping into U.S. reserves of natural gas, increasing the number of nuclear power plants, and rolling back "billions of dollars of tax breaks to oil companies so we can prioritize investments in clean energy research and development."


Ideas so bad only government can come up with them. Without an investment in huge nuclear base-load capability, you can expect high energy prices with low reliability. Plan on dark nights and days that are either too hot or too cold. There will be inadequate energy for both heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. But this is by design.


Obama also pushed his case for a system that would limit greenhouse gas emissions from industry, a key ingredient for the United States in a still elusive global agreement to fight climate change.

"The only way the transition to clean energy will ultimately succeed is if the private sector is fully invested in this future -- if capital comes off the sidelines and the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs is unleashed," he said.

"And the only way to do that is by finally putting a price on carbon pollution."


This is absurd on it's face. First, there is mounting evidence that (alleged) AGW is a scam. Second, carbon is not a pollutant, regardless of what the EPA says. This is the biggest scam since Piltdown Man. Placing an arbitrary value on a phantom will make bundling toxic mortgages look benign by comparison.


An Environmental Protection Agency economic analysis of the bill written by (extreme Leftist Senator John) Kerry and independent (extreme Leftist) Senator Joseph Lieberman is expected sometime in June.

Look for this to be rosy. Too bad the CBO isn't doing the analysis. This needs to die now.