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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Breaking Vacation Silence....

Because.. Dayum.

Seriously Libs. If they can't even get a website working properly, do you really want the government in charge of your surgeries? At what point does the incompetence start to seep in through the layers of propaganda and hate you've built up in your mind?

When the fuck are you going to grow the hell up?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sooner or Later, the People Wise Up

Public Opinion is getting lower and lower.
Public support for the U.S. health-care overhaul fell to its lowest level in a Kaiser Family Foundation survey after the Oct. 1 debut of government-run insurance marketplaces greeted consumers with breakdowns on websites, higher prices and potentially broken promises. 
About 33 percent of Americans surveyed in the past week said they had a favorable opinion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from 38 percent a month earlier, the lowest level since the law was signed in March 2010, the Menlo Park, California-based nonprofit research group, said today.
It's one thing to talk about Benghazi, the NSA spying, the IRS scandal, and reams of stories about government workers wasting money (like the GSA taking trips to Vegas.) But the Obamacare rollout is in the public's face. It's not something that is annoying but doesn't affect them, it affects the holy shit out of them. It's draining the wallets and those it hasn't affected yet are beginning to realize that it will very soon.

You can't make a wholesale change like this, one that flies in the face of market capitalism, and expect it to be successful unless you are a brain-dead liberal. It's as simple as that. Obama is trying to solve problems that is clear he himself created. The public is catching on.

People who helped put in Obamacare can't continue to work under it

Shocked, I'm SHOCKED to find gambling in this establishment.
Veteran House Democratic aides are sick over the insurance prices they’ll pay under Obamacare, and they’re scrambling to find a cure. 
“In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office (folks over 59) have now found out their personal health insurance costs (even with the government contribution) have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before,” Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO. “Simply unacceptable.” 
In the email, Ta noted that older congressional staffs may leave their jobs because of the change to their health insurance.
So I really want to be a fly on the wall when they interviewed for their next job.

"So, why did you leave your last position?"

"I helped put in Obamacare but I didn't know what was in it and it put me out of a job because I couldn't afford my health insurance anymore working for a democrat congressman who I got to vote for it."

"What, seriously? So you were successful in implementing something that was destructive, even to you, and you didn't bother to check to see if that would happen?"

"Obama told me it was awesome!"

"Get out."

Some Stories I just LIVE For - Sebelius has Obamacare Website Crash while doing Presser

Sebelius, wearing green, walked through the front doors of North Shore Hospital near Miami Shores where she shook hands with hospital staff and members of the Epilepsy Foundation who are staffing the Obamacare Navigation center housed off the hospital’s lobby. There she met with the team helping South Floridians to sign-up on line or on paper. 
“So she is being helpful,” asked the secretary to a couple sitting at one table of a navigator. “Absolutely,” they responded. 
At a second table, the secretary met Carmen Salero who was trying to sign up online.  As the secretary and Salero made small talk, CBS4′s Brian Andrews noticed the site crash on the lap top in front of them. 
“The screen says I’m sorry but the system is temporarily down,” Andrews pointed out.  “Uh oh,” responded the secretary.  “That happens every day,” said Salerno, “it must mean a lot of people are on there trying to get coverage.”
Yeah. That's what it means. Crap code and poorly thought out design had nothing to do with it. Enjoy the reaction. The press report makes it sound like Sebelius is soldiering on in the face of problems like a real trooper. Never mind that she CREATED THE GODDAMN PROBLEMS.

NBC is just beside itself that we are driving so darn much. Don't worry, they have a solution

We'll tax you by the mile.
Improved fuel efficiency is one of the easiest and practical solutions society can implement to combat climate change, but its unintended consequences are large: potholes and shaky bridges all across the U.S. map. That's because more efficient cars mean yield barren fuel-tax coffers, which traditionally have funded bridge and road infrastructure.
Because climate change is real and unintended consequences of taxes and regulations are just all made up in your mind and stuff. Imagine all these damn drivers having the temerity to actually use the roads and bridges for.. driving! The nerve. The roads and bridges would be in pristine condition if we'd just stop using them.
The federal gas tax of 18.4 cents a gallon hasn't budged in two decades, and that hasn't helped those coffers, either; indexed for inflation, it would be at about 30 cents per gallon today. The effect is that such infrastructure has nearly 40 percent less funding than in 1993.
Because we are spending the money we get in very wisely. We never waste in the government.

What taxes get spent in Vegas, stay in Vegas. Until they go back to Washington
There's just no other choice. We must raise the gas tax. This will stop you knuckle-draggers from driving all the time so we can stuff you on to mass transit that runs on our schedule, not yours. 
"Dealing with climate change is not a top priority of Oregon's transportation planners," said Steve Woolpert, professor of politics at Saint Mary's College of California. 
Some view the VMT as a means of addressing an unfairness in the system as people opt for more fuel-efficient vehicles—for example, that Prius drivers end up paying less for road infrastructure than their gas-guzzling counterparts. Woolpert thinks that's a wrongheaded argument. "(VMT) will weaken incentives for buying fuel-efficient vehicles. … It is unfortunate that Oregon is pursuing a VMT rather than a comprehensive response to climate change."
Maybe because the climate change is laughable. If all these climate change people really were that worried about it, maybe they wouldn't be buying up all this coastal property that will be underwater in a few years because of polar ice melt or whatever.
 "The high cost of coastal homes in New York and Los Angeles is on its own a market signal that the alleged threat of global warming is well overdone. Even worse for those who buy into the theory of global warming that says a planetary crack-up is inevitable absent a substantial human response, is that Malibu, Manhattan and the Hamptons are filled with the very people who, when asked if they believe in the global warming theory, would most likely say yes. Ok, so Ted Danson owns in Martha's Vineyard, noted environmental activist Laurie David does too, and then Al Gore is known to have purchased a coastal palazzo in Montecito, CA. What this tells us is that even global warming's most famous advocates don't believe very deeply in their own activism. To believe the warmists we're sitting idle as Rome supposedly burns, but as evidenced by the popularity of coastal property among warmists and non-warmists alike, the market says the 'science' predicting catastrophe is utter nonsense."
Look, we're going to tax you. We disapprove of your lifestyle of thinking and doing for yourself. We'll do whatever the hell we want but you are racist knuckle draggers who vote GOP and that's got to stop. 

Obamacare delayed until after elections So to Help the American People through this Troubling Transition

Obama, the boy king, has decided to delay the enrollment deadline to January, 2015. I'm sure it's all about helping out the American people and humbly admitting that there's work to be done and not anything to do with the elections in 2014.
The Obama administration plans to delay the start of next year's ObamaCare enrollment period, a move pitched as a way to give consumers and insurance companies more time to study their options -- but which also conveniently pushes the second round of enrollment past the 2014 midterm elections.  
A Department of Health and Human Services official confirmed the change to Fox News. The decision does not affect those trying to enroll this year, despite the myriad problems with the launch of the law and Rather, it affects those who will sign up late next year for 2015 coverage.  
The administration will allow consumers to start signing up on Nov. 15, 2014, as opposed to Oct. 15. Enrollment will last until Jan. 15, 2015, instead of Dec. 7.
Seriously, we're trying to help. And besides, it's our law, we can do what we want with it. If we want to change it midstream without going through buzzkills like congress, we'll do it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

So what the heck does "Affordable" mean to Obama exactly?

From CNN Money:
"All we ever heard about Obamacare is that it would lower our deductibles and premiums," said Jennifer Slafter, 40 of Mabel, Minn. "That's just not what's happened." 
Slafter and her husband, Steve, are scrambling to find affordable care for themselves and their two children. The exchange's Blue Cross Blue Shield plan was $1,087 a month with a $6,000 deductible, while a Medica plan was $877 a month with a $12,700 deductible. Both are steeper than their current plan. 
"Everything got higher," said Slafter, who is still waiting to hear whether they qualify for a premium subsidy. But even if they do, she said she'd still find it very tough to meet the deductibles.
Those of you who are surprised, raise your hands. Those of you who supported Obama, raise your hands.

Huh. Same hands.

Sarbanes Oxley: A decade plus and how is the economy doing? Pt I in a series

As I continue to watch the economy flounder, I decided look at several things that I think are hamstringing us as a country. We could be so much better but for these things.
  1. Obamacare -- I've discussed in detail of all the myriad problems with this monstrosity and I will continue in future posts. 
  2. Minimum Wage Increase -- Passed in 2007 by the newly minted democrat congress. I'll take on that in Part II.
  3. Dodd-Frank -- I will tear into that in Part III. This will actually tie into the community reinvestment act from the Carter administration.
  4. Energy Policy -- Part IV. Why do we not have keystone yet? And how much cheaper could gas be if we weren't so bullheaded about oil?
  5. Sarbanes-Oxley -- Which is Part I, and the inspiration for this article. 
These articles will take me some time and will be long winded. So apologies for the longer delays between posts.

Sarbanes Oxley: A Knee-Jerk Reaction 

When Enron threw things into a tizzy, the press stoked up public reaction to ridiculous levels. Yes, Enron was bad. I do not want to underrate it but in terms of dollars and damage, it is a piker compared to the Federal Government level of waste and corruption, but it was an isolated incident. Unfortunately, World Com decided to go up at the same time for much the same reasons: corruption at the top. Compounded with Arthur Andersen's cooking of books and we have some pretty high profile disasters.

Trouble is, they did break laws that were already on the books. There was the fraud charges not to mention lying to a criminal investigation. What they did eventually came crashing down of its own accord. New laws were not necessary.

Have you ever in your grade school youth gotten in trouble because of what another student was doing? "Since Tommy did X, the whole class will be writing a paper tonight on why X is bad!" Ever have a teacher do that? "Since Billy is laughing and talking, the entire class now has to run laps," that sort of thing. I never agreed with it. Billy screwed up, go punish Billy. Tommy did X, make Tommy write the paper.

The 9/11 reaction with TSA is a prime example of the government taking that kind of logic to an extreme. Since Muslim terrorists killed 3000 people, every Grandma in a wheelchair is now subject to a strip search. Ridiculous. Now I understand the stakes are much higher with 9/11 than with laughing and carrying on in grade school, but the idea is the same. Put new laws and restrictions in on everyone for the actions of a few.

To paraphrase Spock, The rights of the many outweigh the crimes of the one. Especially if the many have committed no crimes. Laws should never be created to try to prevent actions, but rather to put stiff penalties on those whose actions would deprive another citizen of their life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness. Once a law is put in to prevent the breaking of an existing law, then people who never committed a crime will now be deprived of their life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness.

To take it back to my example, 9/11 was a crime of murder and property damage. The TSA rules now deprive people of the liberty to travel without having to be subjected to unwanted searches. Mothers having to taste their breast milk, old ladies getting frisked in their wheelchairs, men having to explain to groping officials to not "touch their junk."

Are these laws necessary for the safety of passengers? Do they work? Should we be doing this to people who simply want to go to grandma's for Thanksgiving, who have no intention of causing harm, nor would they ever be suspected of such?

Perhaps. It's irrelevant insofar as we have accepted this as a people. We have not voted in representation that would overhaul the TSA and get rid of some of the mind numbing political correctness that results in story after story of dumb security workers making dumb decisions in searching people. We have accepted the inconvenience and occasional breaches of liberty in exchange for safety on the airlines. It is our choice and it is perfectly acceptable to make this choice, but make no mistake: We have given up some freedoms in the name of safety. Whether that causes long term repercussions or not still has a while to flesh out.

So back to Enron. While 9/11 resulted in a catastrophic loss of life, Enron resulted in a loss of money. Some people lost a lot but again, all in all, a pittance compared to what the feds lose yearly. Enron's total losses were 11 billion dollars. Consider my example of medicare that loses 65 billion yearly, compared to Enron's one-time failure, seems like the news coverage was overblown.

This was not loss of life, this was a failed company that people could freely choose to be a part of or not be a part of. Yes, of course, people were lied to. The damages should be rendered to the injured parties. And that did happen. The laws were already in place to get compensation as best as possible and punish the guilty.

But people are a panicky, emotional bunch and we wanted blood over this atrocity. After all, the press told us how bad it was and the fact that the food network cooked Enron burgers (flame broiled, of course) meant that this story must be VERY IMPORTANT and therefore congress needed to DO SOMETHING. (Never mind the total lack of press coverage over the aforementioned medicare fraud, or the hundreds of other examples of government waste and fraud, from the GSA scandal to payments to dead people.) This means votes so congress was all too happy to oblige. Enter Sarbanes-Oxley.

Once Worldcom went up, this was like gas on a fire as far as public outrages go. The media and politicians will never let a good outrage die out when you can get ratings and votes. So both houses of Congress acted quickly with newly drafted bills. Rep. Michael Oxley sponsored and passed a bill in the House while Sen. Paul Sarbanes sponsored and passed a separate bill in the Senate. They put it the conference committee crock pot and out came Sarbanes-Oxley. The bill was basically the same from both congressman with the exception that the senate version increased criminal penalties. They might have deliberated longer had Worldcom not blown and so on the tidal wave of public outcry, it whisked through and President Bush signed it.

A quick aside here, no party has their hands clean on this one. GOP at that time had 50 votes in the Senate with Cheney being the tiebreaker but the law passed with 99 votes. In the house it went for 423 votes. Bush signed it as fast as possible. Yea bi-partisanship! Both parties were equally opportunistic and gutless.

So what did it do? First the Act called for those who were convicted of participating in a conspiracy to commit a financial crime and those who actually committed that crime to be punished equally. So if you were a part of it in any way, shape, manner or form, there was no lesser punishment. I'm ok with this, again we're talking harsher punishments if you commit fraud. So far so good.

Second, the Act also provided a directive to the United States Sentencing Commission to sentence convicted offenders of the same crimes uniformly. Feh, ok. You all get 30 years if one of you do. Problem with that is juries may not see the same punishment as justice. Some may not have really participated to the degree that others. What if the jury decides to throw out the whole thing rather than hand out an over-the-top punishment? It happens.

Third: it required the certification of financial statement by both the CEO and CFO. This is ridiculous. CEO's and CFO's have different jobs, sometimes in different locations, sometimes even in different countries. Certifying that can be difficult and definitely time consuming for both positions. If they are in a fraud conspiracy together, then the both certify and move on. Thanks for making it easy! Ken Lay was the CEO and Jeff Skilling was the COO of Enron. Skilling was also the CEO of Enron's financing company. Andrew Fastow was the CFO. All were involved and convicted. Lay only got off by dying before trial.

So would this extra law do any good in Enron's situation? They were all cooking the books. All this does is to put undo stress and work on a company's execs who are supposed to be running the business. Certifying a financial statement is not a quick deal by any means. As far as convicting fraud, now you have to prove they knowingly certified a statement they knew to be false. Good luck with that. Knowing a person's heart is pretty tough. And now that they laid the blueprint, they know how to avoid looking guilty.

Finally look at the added regulations to the act in 2004. Known as SOX 404 (sounds like a web error) it mandated the periodic testing of internal controls. This is a horribly involved and complicated process that wastes thousands of man hours. Usually the controls are arbitrary and many many times there are exceptions. Company's have to hire audit firms or create their own audit positions within the company to comply. And this more than anything is what is bogging down the economy.

Why did we do all this? The ostensible reason is that these two companies had destroyed the public trust in all companies. Did they? Sure there was outrage but how much of it was stoked up by a media who already didn't trust big business? (Never mind they work for big companies.) Did you stop buying Apple Ipods because Enron didn't follow GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles)? Did you stop buying cars because GM and Chrysler went bankrupt a few years ago? I think we have this idea that the public is a bunch of generalizing dunderheads who assume that if one company is bad, they all are bad. Just like we all are just a news story away from being kneejerk racists, homophobes, bigots, etc. The media gins it up and the politicians follow. But if the press or a politician actually talks to the public and the public started showing that they can think for themselves, ala Joe the Plumber, they'll ruin him. The media and politicians have a narrative, they do not react to the public outcry, they use it and manipulate for their own purposes.

So let's see if any of these regulations worked? What has been the actual effect since it's inception 11 years ago?

Well let's first look at the certification regulation. The act specifies that there are no "material misstatements" when certifying a financial report. What what does that mean? Any "mistakes" are considered fraud and off to the hoosegow you go? Clayton Brite, of the University of Chicago writing his undergraduate law review had this to say:
It is a determination made by the company’s auditor using both quantitative and qualitative factors which results in a dollar value threshold. This dollar value, if achieved or surpassed by inaccurate transactions, would result in the company’s financial statements to be “materially misstated.” There is no standard set across all companies that must be met. In an SEC accounting bulletin, auditors were directed to not determine materiality solely on a quantifiable basis. Rather, the determination was to be considered with other factors. The auditor then makes a determination whether there is a “substantial likelihood” that a “reasonable person” would consider the information important.
When you put language in a law like "reasonable" and "likelihood" then the law is subject to all kinds of interpretation. What's worse, much of this is in the hands of the SEC whose auditors may have different definitions of "reasonable." Especially if they are democrat hacks who happen to be auditing a Koch Brothers company, for instance. What is the standard? None is given.

The net effect is that all companies will then error on the side of caution and overdo it. They will spend thousands of man hours trying to make sure they comply with some vague, nebulous idea of "materially." This is money that could be spent on growing the company and expanding profits.

Profits! You said a baaaad word. Yes I said profits. Profits do not go all into the CEO's mattress, as much as your average, jobless, hippie would like to tell you, what with all his experience in matters of accounting and running companies and whatnot. Profits keep a company afloat. It cannot just break even, that will eventually lead to the company's ruin. It has to give out raises, it has to compete with other companies and lower prices. Which means it has to do things better and cheaper while competing for the best labor it can. No profits means no taking care of the workers, no health insurance, and finally, no company.

The economy is flagging and a big part of it is the Sarbanes-Oxley law. Now in full effect, it's no accident that things started flagging around 2007. The real estate market may have knocked the bottom out of the economy but things like Sarbanes-Oxley are the cement blocks companies have to drag behind them as they try to get themselves out of the hole.

Remember there are stiff, stiff penalties to screwing this up. Executives get paralyzed with fear of jail or at the very least, millions of dollars in fines. This hamstrings them from making good decisions for the company, decisions that really are to comply with what what Washington tells them.

The costs are impressive:
Complying with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 is very time consuming. On a quarterly basis, employees are required to meet with their auditors and go over their internal control policies and procedures. Auditors use this opportunity to determine if there are proper controls in place to ensure that only employees who are allowed to perform duties to carry them out. The reasoning behind this test is to ensure fraudulent or incorrect transactions can be reasonably prevented from being processed. In addition, auditors look for evidence of oversight or review by superiors to ensure transactions are not be performed unilaterally without review by one or more parties. They use their findings to submit a report regarding the “effectiveness” of the company’s internal controls. Effectiveness, as defined by the SEC with respect of internal controls, is the ability to prevent even one material accounting error from occurring. 
Although this thorough practice ensures a periodic review, it forces too much time and resources to be allocated to ensure auditor compliance. Quarterly tests of internal controls divert employee time and attention away from business practices and to administrative tasks. It is inevitable that these tasks will eventually be detrimental to the company’s “bottom line.”
Like it or not, the bottom line for any company is to make money. You think the small mom and pop shop down the street is doing it for free? Is the oh-so-social conscious actor doing his craft for free? Or donating all his millions, except for what he needs to live on, to charity? Yeah probably not. People want things and a nice life. There's no crime in that. These paternalistic regulations force people and companies to waste energy to prevent something that they are not doing in the first place: fraud. Well again, we already have fraud laws and they didn't prevent Enron. They did however make sure the guilty were punished when it went down.

And competitive capitalism made sure Enron went down. Companies who build their portfolio on lies are building a house of cards. Of course it will fail. Yes, people get hurt by Enron. But that was localized and temporary. Sarbanes-Oxley is ongoing and affecting EVERYONE who works in or with a public company. Which is just about the entire nation. Sounds to me far more people are getting hurt with these stifling regulations.

What about foreign companies? You think they want to come to the United States and sell products and employ people? You think they want all these headaches that makes it too costly and time consuming to expand to the United States? If you say yes, then you are a hopeless liberal.

There are still only 24 hours in a day. 2080 working hours in a year. Devoting more and more of those hours to trying to comply with audits take away time that could be spent in helping the company. Sure, they could hire more people but that's a cost with absolutely no return on investment. The only solution is to raise prices. But the wages a company pays now don't go up, they go down. They have to hire more people to sell a product. They can only spread out the wages so far based on the profit they make from the product and raising prices means selling less product. And every company is having this problem.

People work for one company but buy products from all sorts of different companies. And those companies have people who buy products from all sorts of different companies. And ALL companies are reducing wages and raise prices.

So now people have to spend more while getting less. See the problem?

Oh right, all of this happens only because companies are greedy. I forgot. Silly me.

Small companies also have to comply, some private companies also have to comply. Neither of these have resources to keep up. It makes it even harder for these mom and pops you liberals love so much.

I'll let Clayton Brite sum up:
When looking back upon the first ten years of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, one can only conclude that it has placed an undue burden our public companies and stifled our economic growth. The Act’s costs have greatly outweighed its benefits and thus needs reformed. Its effects have been perhaps more pronounced by the current financial crisis and the slow economic recovery. It is my opinion that lawmakers felt the pressure to punish corporate Americans when they should have focused their attention on trying to reduce information asymmetry. Sarbanes-Oxley was written and passed within one month in 2002. With the empirical evidence we have now in its first decade of existence, it is time to go back and reform Sarbanes-Oxley and ease some of the burdens it has placed on companies which fall under its punitive purview.
Companies are not the enemy, they provide jobs, goods, and services we all enjoy. Hurting them hurts only ourselves. Punishing companies who have done no wrong in the first place is where I think government constantly is crossing the line. We are supposed to be free to pursue our happiness but big daddy government makes it harder and harder. Just try to create a company out of your garage these days. Most likely you'll need a myriad of permits before you've even sold your first widget. And if you have that much capital to start, why not just retire?

And the left wonders why the economy is dragging. Maybe because the government is too worried about touching a company's junk.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Three 20 year olds make a website that does what does.

Oh wait, doesn't actually work, does it? So I guess the trio actually beat them to it.
While the Obamacare website still remains broken, three 20-year-old programmers have shown the government how it should be done. 
Ning Liang, George Kalogeropoulos and Michael Wasser developed a site in matter of days - and it does things the expensive and faltering can't do. 
From a San Francisco office the men have built, which presents the Affordable Health Care Act data in a much simpler way to the government website.
This is what I've been railing about for the past forever. You don't need to spend $290 million to create a website that does what Obamacare is supposed to do. You don't need 10% of that. Google, Microsoft, Ebay... none of them drop 290 million on code for one iteration of their web site.

This is the dictionary definition of waste. You thought health care was expensive before? Just wait til it's free, as they say.

Another victory for the ACA.. thanks to the GOP

Ironically, the dems may save us on this by being arrogant and stupid, because passing this means admitting that the ACA was flawed, and that they didn't read it. But the GOP continues to show us how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
The House on Friday approved a bill to let insurance companies sell health plans that had previously been canceled due to ObamaCare regulations, a day after President Obama moved unilaterally to fix the problem. 
The bill passed 261-157. Thirty-nine Democrats crossed over to support the GOP-backed legislation. 
The bill would go a step further than the plan Obama announced on Thursday, by allowing insurance companies to sell the old plans to customers who previously had them, as well as new customers, for another year. Obama's plan would only apply to those customers enrolled in the plans before the cancellation notices went out. 
Christ, Obama tries to change the law illegally, a big win to the GOP who can claim how Obama is the dictator we took him for. Instead they make their own legislation to give him a way out but also to fix the most visible disaster of the ACA, thereby pulling it off the radar of most of the American people and ensuring this thing will go on and on and on.....

Can we make the tea party an ACTUAL party now?

It was just 375 unrelated, isolated incidences

Think the last exposure of fraud was isolated? Sucker.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

If You Wanted to see the Military run by Disorganized Hippies, Here ya go

The paper, authored by Col. Denise F. Williams, identified characteristics of toxic leadership to include incompetence, malfunctioning, maladjusted, sense of inadequacy, malcontent, egotism, arrogance, selfish values, avarice and greed. 
The Army Times recently cited “toxic leadership” in reference to cases of misconduct and abuse of authority by military leaders, which have “proliferated across the services in recent years.” 
In one case, which it called bizarre, a Navy commander was fired after subordinates complained that he poked them in “appallingly inappropriate places with his flashlight.” 
One reader retorted: “I would never make it in this kinder, gentler Army. I wonder what happened to mission first. We won our war and a war hasn’t been won since. The only thing toxic in my day was gas.” 
Boykin has told WND that the rate of dismissals has approached 200 in the past five years and that officers were dismissed on suspicion of disloyalty or suspected disagreement with the Obama administration on policy or force-structure issues. 
He added that a number of officers have been relieved of duty for no given reason.
“Morale is at an unprecedented low,” Boykin said. 
“Officers want to train for war but are not allowed to” because of other distractions such as allowing openly homosexual personnel in the military, the integration of women into the infantry and rules of engagement that favor “political correctness over our ability to fight to win.” 
The sentiment was echoed by a Coast Guard Reserve member who told WND he will be retiring soon. 
“I spend most of my ‘drills’ doing online training on things like ‘diversity’ and ‘preventing sexual harassment’ these days,” he said. “It’s becoming a joke. This country is in trouble.”
The military has one job: to kill people and break things, and it has to do it better than the other side. If the fecal matter hits the oscillating air mover, all the political correctness in the world is worth spit.

So tell me, who is leading our troops? If there was actual war, I mean real Saving Private Ryan stuff, would this bunch of yahoos be able to lead effectively? How many of the rank and file will die because of short-sighted leadership that is now being put in place?

I hope we never have to find out.

Wait... aren't Big Corporations Bad? Libs, can't you be consistent on anything?

The Boeing Co. was the beneficiary of a deal to end all deals this past weekend, when the Washington Legislature voted to extend $8.7 billion in tax breaks to the aircraft manufacturer stretching out 27 years until 2040. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the tax breaks into law Monday at the Museum of Flight. 
“This is the biggest tax subsidy in U.S. history,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit which tracks so called “Megadeals” in which states offer sweeteners to major corporations. 
“Nothing is near this deal: The fact it took place in days is breathtaking,” LeRoy added. “This deal happens in the state that already has the most regressive tax code in the nation.”
Bastard GOP governors giving tax breaks to big business again. Wait, the governor's a dem? It's Washington state? Pretty much run by dems? Um...

I'm all for low taxes. Anything that keeps money out of the hands of government is generally good to me. But this is the crony capitalism that gives the real thing a bad name.

Oh Bowe....Sigh.

You're so functional. Amazing.
Dwayne Bowe, star receiver of my beloved Chiefs, was busted for possession of marijuana. Sigh. Listening to the sports talk radio brought out the potheads defending him with the usual alacrity of someone who is high out of their minds. But my favorite excuse was how you can be "functional" when high.

Bowe was a couple of miles from his house, coming home from the airport. He was speeding through a well known speed trap. He and his friend were smoking away. He didn't have his drivers license. He had an expired insurance card. He puts his wallet in the same bag as the weed so the officer can't help but find it. He asks the cop while getting busted if Sonic is open.

You potheads have a very different definition of "functional" than I do.

Sure, his decision making has been stellar so far, so I'm very comfortable with the idea of him lighting up and getting behind the wheel of a high speed death machine. You've convinced me.

And yet you have the nerve to act surprised.

"I love the ACA but it's got a minor glitch or two." Welcome to the party sweetheart. I might be paraphrasing. The point is, an obama cultist who just loves the idea of people paying for other people's health insurance as long as she's left alone, wasn't left alone.

It was Feinstein's quote however that gave me a case of nasal dairy eruption. (Emphasis mine)
"Any time you do a huge policy change like healthcare, there's going to be all sorts of problems and glitches that need to be worked out," Bass told me Tuesday from Washington, where she said there were new calls for allowing people to keep the policies they have, as President Obama had repeatedly promised they'd be able to do. 
President Clinton has urged such a move, and Feinstein's office backed the idea Tuesday. She noted in a statement that her office had received 30,832 contacts from Californians, "many of whom are very distressed by cancellations of their insurance policies and who are facing increased out-of-pocket expenses." 
"The Affordable Care Act is a good law, but it's not perfect," the Feinstein statement said.
No, not by a longshot, beginning with the federal website debacle and highlighted by Obama's now-laughable promises of a smooth transition. But Bass worries that the problems will further embolden critics who were determined from the beginning to do a grave dance on healthcare reform.
Uh-huh. You and I have very different definitions of "good."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Well lefties, it didn't take a but a month for the fraud and deceit to start.

 Are you starting to get our opposition yet? No? Well watch this:

I know, I know. I'm just a racist bible thumper. Now fork over your wallet you knuckle dragging bitter clingers. You just hate. I just hate. All of the fraud and deceit and failure is because we are racists. It's the only explanation. 

If You Like Your Health Insurance, You Can Keep It..... Snicker.... Snort... HA! Just kidding, you can't even keep your Doctor.

Remember what I said about unintended consequences? Well here's a doozy.

Economics is all about scarcity. There just aren't unlimited resources for everything no matter how much you want to make it a "right." There is only so much coastline to build houses on, and no "right to housing" is going to change that. There are only so many health care professionals out there and legislating them out of the profession because you think health care is a "right" isn't going to create more resources to get that "right."

So what's next? Enslave doctors? Well if you are going to make it a law and a "right", how else will you force it to happen?

Term Limits and Long Term Thinking

One of the biggest problems in this country, and in-turn Washington, is the lack of long-term thinking. Thomas Sowell illustrates this brilliantly in his book "Applied Economics." 
When I was an undergraduate studying economics under Professor Arthur Smithies of Harvard, he asked me one day what policy I favored on a particular issue of the time. Since I had strong feelings on the issue, I proceeded to answer with enthusiasm, explaining what beneficial consequences I expected from the policy I advocated.  
"And then what will happen?" he asked. 
The question caught me off guard. However, as I thought about it, it was became clear the situation I described would lead to another economic consequence, which I then began to consider and spell out. 
"And what will happen after that?" Professor Smithies asked.  
As I analyzed how the further economic reactions to the policy would unfold, I began to realize that these reactions would lead to consequences much less desirable than those at the first stage, and I began to waver somewhat. 
“And then what will happen?” Smithies persisted. 
By now I was beginning to see that the economic reverberations of the policy I advocated were likely to be pretty disastrous — and, in fact, much worse than the initial situation that it was designed to improve. 
Simple as this little exercise may sound, it goes further than most economic discussions about policies on a wide range of issues. Most thinking stops at stage one.
Sowell's anecdote is an exercise few go through these days. I thought of this after my last article regarding Ron Johnson's new bill to let people keep their doctor's. Given the state of things as they are "right now," any legislation or choices we make have to be considered for their long term consequences because of what is already in place, not as we'd like to them to be.

Obamacare is in place. It is going to have unintended consequences. It already has with the policy cancellations and triple premiums. When people actually start going to the doctors and try to get the exchanges to pay for their care, it's going to get worse.

So Ron Johnson's legislation, while appearing to be a common sense piece of legislation will actually have long term consequences, namely extending the life of the ACA beyond it's natural lifecycle. Obamacare's very nature makes it unsustainable. The people are already feeling the pain. Letting it continue, without any adjustments, will hasten its demise.

Let's take this out to other things. Look at all the legislation that comes out of Washington. Usually it's by well-meaning politicians responding to their constituency to "do something," as Sowell points out. We as a people are always looking at the immediate and liberals base their entire political philosophy only on stage 1 thinking.

If we get rid of guns, there will be no shootings. If we get government to pay for health care, it will be free. If we pass a law against pollution, it will go away. Unfortunately it's the "and then whats" that get you.

Politicians have 2, 4, and 6 year cycles, depending on what branch of the government they are in. Congressman are by far the worst with 2 year re-election cycles that by their very nature preclude them from ever getting out of stage 1 thinking if they want to stay elected. The Senate's 6 year cycle can allow for some long term strategizing but not every Senator is up at the same time. Typically when a hot-button issue comes up, at least a third of the Senate will be up for election within 2 years and two-thirds within 4. They will do what's expedient.

People will always act in their self-interest but usually with a short sightedness that costs the country. Presidential term limits have created the concept of "legacy building." Presidents want to remembered for in history. No one wants to be Rutherford B. Hayes. I believe congressional term limits will have the same effect. If re-election is not the driving force behind these politicians career, they can afford to have long term ideas. These ideas will work and can be communicated to the masses. They aren't stupid, but they are emotional and short-sighted. That doesn't mean they can't be persuaded.

Constant re-election turns politicians into cowards, unwilling or unable to make the hard, unpopular choices for the long term good of the country. Ron Johnson's legislation may be good political strategy in showing the democrats for their unwillingness to give people choices. Or it may become law and keep the ACA going indefinitely. Is he thinking long term? Personally I doubt it. He's trying to make himself look good and do something he probably believes will help people. I don't blame him for that.

He's trying to get re-elected.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Post 100! Interesting Games being Played

So Ron Johnson has a 4 page piece of legislation entitled the "If you like your health plan, you can keep it" Act. 
Johnson’s bill — and similar legislation introduced in the House by Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton (R., Mich.) — is threatening to reopen the wounds of the government shutdown that had GOP lawmakers openly feuding a few weeks ago. Republicans once again find themselves at loggerheads over exactly how to strike at the president’s health-care law. 
The House and Senate bills differ, with Upton’s legislation taking a broader swipe at the law. It would allow all plans that existed on the individual market on January 1, 2013, to stay in effect through 2014, but also would go a step further, giving everybody — not just those who had the plans previously — the opportunity to purchase them. The Johnson bill, by contrast, would merely allow individuals to keep, in perpetuity, plans they had at any point between the enactment of Obamacare and December 31, 2013.
Seems pretty straightforward. So of course it's a big mess.

Here's a piece of legislation, Obamacare, that is a big giant failure of a bill that is demonstrably hurting people. It's crushing the democrat's approval rating and President Obama's even more. It's only upside is the possible destruction of the democrat party and a complete change in the country's opinion of government as a service. This is not a small thing.

I say "possible," however. Such a significant portion of the country not only doesn't vote, but it is entirely likely if they ran across a voting booth, they would mistakenly relieve themselves in it, so ignorant are they of the process. A bill like Johnson's could at least help the many who are being hurt by Obamacare, many of whom did not want it and voted against Obama in the first place.

This is the fight the GOP is having now and I have to admit to being of two minds on this one. As a supporter of the "let it burn" crowd, slapping this band aid on it will help the in the short term but maybe make it that much harder to get rid of this monstrosity in the long term. On the other hand, it may not go anywhere no matter what, so we better do what we can to help people.

As I said, the GOP isn't together on this one either:
Johnson, however, will in all likelihood face opposition from members of his own party. Though 40 Senate Republicans have lined up to co-sponsor the bill, two are conspicuously absent: shutdown architects Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. (Nevada’s Dean Heller and Alabama’s Richard Shelby are the other holdouts.) A Lee spokesman says the senator “hasn't figured out” whether he will support the Johnson bill yet. 
Supporters of the defund movement argue that the law will collapse under its own weight. The ACA “is falling apart, and it needs to fall apart totally and completely at the feet of the Democrats,” says a senior Republican Senate aide. “The Republicans tried everything in their power to stop Obamacare, including the defund effort, and now we are seeing exactly why the Republicans tried. We shouldn't do anything to go down with the ship with the Democrats.”
Indeed. It will collapse, the question is how many will it take with it? How many people will be without heath insurance and have to deal with mounting health bills or worse, get subjected to the death panels that will inevitably come into play? Is this a sacrifice we are willing to make for the long term goal of getting rid of this? If so, then this bill won't get rid of Obamacare any faster.

In the end, I think letting it burn is the only way to get rid of it. If it's here for decades before it finally dies, damage is going to be incalculable. I believe that not letting people keep their health insurance is really the only immediate and damaging thing that is being felt by the American people. If Johnson's legislation gets passed, then the main weapon we have to get rid of this thing in the next three years will be gone. we'll be stuck with this thing. Yes, people will get hurt, no doubt by Obamacare. We have to make sure the blame goes where it belongs: the people who foisted it on us in the first place. We have only to deal with the next three year then.

So this legislation, while nice in the short term, is terrible in the long term. And even in the short term, can quickly be used against us. Because believe me, if the dems sign on to this legislation to "fix" Obamacare, and the GOP infighting prevents its passage, Obamacare's will be pinned on the GOP and the Tea Party, by willing liars in the media. That cartoon will become truth.

And we will have no chance after that to get anyone elected, let alone fix this thing.

George Will Likens Obama to Nixon. Nixon Rises from Grave in Protest

And George Will nails it. He still says Nixon's first year of his second term is worse but really, this debacle is incredible in the amount of fail there has been. And people are finally starting to get it. Nice but we could've used you last year about this time when we could've really done something about it.
Only 41% of Americans viewed Mr. Obama in a positive light in a late October Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, with 45% holding a negative impression of him. That marked Mr. Obama’s all-time low as president—and the first time more people saw him negatively than positively. 
A more fluid measure of Mr. Obama’s standing—the public’s assessment of his performance as president—is now also sliding. Only 42% in the late-October poll approved of the job he is doing, a low in Journal/NBC surveys, with 51% disapproving. 
A survey released last week by the Pew Research Center found the president’s approval rating at 41%, down 10 points since May. Pew’s pollsters compared Mr. Obama’s fortunes to the slide that former President George W. Bush saw. At a comparable point in Mr. Bush’s second term—after Hurricane Katrina had hit—Mr. Bush’s job approval stood at 36%.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Police Stun Gun StepDad trying to Save his Son from a Fire

The family of a 3-year-old killed in a northern Missouri house fire is outraged after police used a stun gun on the boy's stepfather as he tried to run back in and save the child. 
Riley Jeffrey Rieser Miller died early Oct. 31 in the Mississippi River town of Louisiana. A city police officer fired his stun gun at Ryan Miller, 31, as he tried to re-enter his burning home, according to a city official. The house was destroyed. 
Lori Miller said she witnessed two officers use their stun guns on her son a total of three times, twice after Ryan Miller had been handcuffed. The final time, he was in a police squad car, she said. 
"It was police brutality," said Miller, adding that she was also threatened with arrest. "We're still trying to mourn."
This story gets to me on so many levels. The son was in the process of being adopted and I have two adopted children myself so it hit home. But that was just on a personal level.

The idea of a free society is that we choose for ourselves. This man was not allowed to choose for himself whether or not he could rescue his son. Maybe he would have died. Maybe he would have failed. Maybe he would have succeeded, despite the odds.

The greatest stories in human history are of people defying the odds. Our founding fathers put into place a system of government that let people make mistakes, but also let them achieve great things. The Declaration of Independence is not a familiar sounding phrase you belch out every so often on July 4th. It declares our independence as individuals from the state, from a ruling body and from any who would tell us how to live our lives. It tells us the "why" while the constitution tells us the "how."

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In this case all three were violated by the state in one lone act. The child was deprived of his life. The man was denied the freedom (liberty) to pursue his happiness. Rescuing his child I'm fairly certain would have made him happy.

The police were not thinking of these things I'm certain at the time. But a collectivism mentality that starts at the presidency and has oozed its way down to the lowest levels of government has permeated everyone who is involved in government. The state over the individual. Protect the state. We wouldn't want any lawsuits. Lawsuits that should never go anywhere if judges realized that a person's choices is his own. No, people don't know what's good for them, remember? With that mentality, the firemen and policemen are responsible for this man's life because he's too stupid to make his own choices. The state's judgement over the individual.

A person's choices cannot be taken away from him as long as he is not violating another person's rights. Stealing deprives a person of his property, murder deprives a person of his life, kidnapping deprives a person of his liberty. This man did none of these things, however a damn good case could be made that the police violated all of them. In the name of "we know what's good for you."

Now this man is treated like a criminal for the crime of trying to save his son's life. This is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Whether or not he would have or would not have succeeded is not the state's judgement or choice to make. We have taken the choice away from the individual and given it to the powers that be.

If you think that this isn't going to happen with health care, that's where you are living in a dream world. People will die not because of their own decisions, but because of others forced upon them. By the elite, caring, and intelligent who deem it necessary that we hit you with a stun gun and let your son die in a fire rather than allowing you to try.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What do you see?

Thanks to @AdamBaldwin. So tell me what you see?

I see a girl learning control, discipline, and safety. Liberals see a mass murderer in training. What do you see?

Now watch this and tell me what you see?

Here I do see mass murderers in training. Liberals see freedom fighters against American and Israeli oppression. What do you see?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Obama Lies Mashup

I'm a sucker for a good mashup.

Thomas Sowell Knocks it Out of the Park. Or "He writes another weekly article."

The pull quote:

Politicians love to play Santa Claus by handing out favors to voters, while depicting insurance companies as Scrooge when they raise insurance premiums to cover the costs of government mandates.

Indeed. Government rigs the game and then blames those who try to survive in it. Now it's all gotten worse.

@HuffingtonPost sees Success in Hordes of Government Workers Marching to your House to get You to Sign Your Papers. Brownshirts are Optional.

From the Huff Po. Kentucky's rollout is considered teh awesum cause it didn't crash and stuff. Let's look at the milestones.
The Bluegrass State’s successful Obamacare rollout has become a favorite retort to the embarrassment of a hobbled federal website. “Look at Kentucky. Gov. Steve Beshear, who's a Democrat -- he is like a man possessed with helping more people get coverage,” Obama said in a recent speech. “He thinks it's the right thing to do. Keep in mind I did not win in Kentucky. But there are a lot of uninsured people in Kentucky, and they're signing up.” 
Beshear is using all the powers of his administration to sell Obamacare, marshaling millions of dollars for branding and market research, heartwarming television spots and eye-catching bus ads. A hired army of true believers have held meetings across the state, spreading the word and rebutting misconceptions.
Millions spent on branding on market research, tv spots, and bus ads. Silly me, I thought it was all about paying for healthcare. Well I'm sure the taxpayer is glad the money is well spent. When the coverage panel starts denying care, I hope they say that they had to spend money on heartwarming ads.
 Instead, during Kynect’s fourth week in operation, Stewart keeps up her exhausting tour, traveling to Floyd County and then on to Leslie, Madison and Jackson counties, with a quick stop through Louisville on her way up to Northern Kentucky and the Cincinnati suburbs. She drove roughly 1,000 miles that week and ate too many Zaxby's chicken strips. 
Well after you're on the exchanges, they'll stop that kinda foolish behavior. Leafy greens for you. Also, no more burning so much carbon.
Stewart expects more road work. Her November schedule looks just like her October schedule, which looked just like her September schedule. She says she is still getting the same volume of requests for presentations. At a recent session before a group of 30 students at a community college in Northern Kentucky, only one had enrolled. All the others, Stewart remembers, thought they weren't eligible. 
At every one of her meetings, there are tiny epiphanies -- like the farmer who showed up in his work overalls convinced his rates were going to double, but walked away relieved that he actually qualified for Medicaid. It's enough, Stewart says, to keep her going.
No no. Much better. Instead of his rates on the insurance he paid for skyrocketing, he gets to chuck it and live off of the taxpayer. This is what's qualified as success, this is what makes her life more satisfying: getting people who once took care of themselves to become wards of the state. This is success, people.
"It seems worth it as soon as you have that moment," she explains. "It seems worth it to come home at 11. It seems worth it to have to find random places to stay. It seems worth it when you have that moment where someone's life is going to change."
Oh boy is it ever. Wait til he gets the same kind of service that rivals the DMV, the TSA, and the IRS. We all love those organizations, don't we?
The Beshear administration views the Affordable Care Act as potentially transformative for Kentucky, making the state healthier and more economically viable. A Beshear-commissioned study estimated the reforms would generate jobs and revenue. The governor is counting on progress to be steady. His administration has ballparked a goal of enrolling a third of the state's uninsured population within the first year. 
To meet that goal, however, Stewart has found that the holdouts need face time with outreach workers like her. They need follow-up phone calls and visits. They need time to feel comfortable with the companies and the plans being offered, and they need reassurance from people they trust. They need Kynect to come to them.
Does any of this sound creepy to you? The government sending out legions of people to call you incessantly, visit your house and make you become part of something you didn't want in the first place because you don't know how to take care of yourself in their opinion. So they send out people, hopefully not wearing brown shirts, to "educate" you. So they get you to trust them. Make you feel good. Wait til they actually need it though.

Is any of this success the HuffPo lists have anything to do with people getting the care that they need, or is it all about getting people stuffed into a bureaucracy? The whole thing is creepy and weird.
To help the hundreds of thousands of uninsured Kentuckians enroll in health care, the state has hired 622 “Kynectors,” advocates trained to work with residents directly. Many work part time. While $60 million has been spent on website construction and operations, according to state figures, $8.9 million has been budgeted for these workers. Many advocates, like Stewart, are not being paid by the state, but through nonprofits. 
60 million on a website? This is how we cut costs? Who's paying for this? Taxpayers. How is that going to help the economy? How is that considered cutting costs? We haven't paid one doctor yet and for the state of Kentucky, we've already blown 60 million. If people wanted insurance, they could get it but no longer because you've blown up the plans people wanted.

Now let's start in on the lone sob story:
Carl Fox, 55, didn’t hesitate to open his Crazy Fox Saloon in Newport to Stewart. He’s had HIV for 28 years, is a 10-year cancer survivor, and was cured of hepatitis C by an experimental treatment. A degenerative disc disease sidelined Fox from steady work. Nine years ago, he could no longer afford health insurance and had to sell everything to qualify for Medicaid. 
At the bar, he was given the title of honorary proprietor ("That's what my business card says") after selling the Crazy Fox to his husband. Whatever his title, Fox learned from his fight for health coverage. He made sure any bar employee who worked 20 hours or more a week got health insurance. 
"All the sudden it hit me like a stone to the head, you lived in this fear, and yet your employees have no health insurance, nothing to fall back on," Fox recalls. "I saw the light." 
With the new health care law, the light has brightened. So far, Fox has hosted three Kynect seminars at the Crazy Fox. He posted fliers near the box of free condoms. He listed the events on the bar's Facebook page. Stewart found out about the bar sessions when a mutual friend tagged her in a comment under the listing. She started answering questions in the comments, and then offered to help moderate the events.
So in order to help this ONE guy, we had to destroy 15 million people's health care plans because just simply fixing medicaid to help these outliers isn't enough. We are blowing 60 million on a friggin website in Kentucky. 290 million for a federal website that doesn't work. Just those two pieces of waste alone is 350 million dollars. Couldn't we have gotten some of that to Carl Fox instead? I bet his health bills were a lot less than that. Do we want to revisit the 65-90 billion wasted every year?

And in the end, he's giving out boxes of condoms but there's nothing in the story that shows specifically how this has helped him. When rubber hits the road, I would love to see if he actually gets through the red tape.

Well the story goes on like this. It's crap. It's all based on an idea that we should be wards of the state. That's success in the HuffPo's eyes. Not taking care of ourselves. Everyone will be equally miserable. We need to send out people to "educate" them. And if they don't want it? If they want the plan they had at the price they had?

Well so much for pro-choice. You now have none. Success! Now go take your one-size fits all plan that helps no one. Enjoy the long lines.

Weed Smokers will Have to Pay Through the Bong

Colorado ok'd the 25% tax hike on weed. But just wait until all the weed voters come out to vote today! Wait.. what day is the election? Oh man...

15 million? No biggie. Pencils have Erasers, Right?

From NRO. Hurting 15 million people is just no big deal but getting 20 million on the website is AMAZING! Obama's numbers game is starting to crumble around him.

With this in mind, one almost feels sympathetic toward the administration’s crack team of liars. By now, they must be realizing that they have been given an impossible mission: to argue simultaneously that 20 million people’s visiting a website is worthy of our awe and admiration and that 15 million living, breathing rebuttals to the president’s incessant “if you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan” promise are but an insignificant rounding error.

Indeed. Whenever we talk about how many gun deaths, how many gays may lose their jobs, how many this, that, and another thing may happen that is on the agenda of the left, no number is too big or too small. But when it actually backfires on them, in the case of say... 15 million people losing their insurance.. well that's just a rounding error.

Apparently all the Weed Colorado is Now Allowed to Smoke is Having a Good Effect

Or maybe they realized they need more of their own money in their pockets to afford their new habit. Or maybe no one is high enough to buy the bullcrap teacher's unions were selling. 

Or maybe people are starting to wake up to the big lie that is "successful government spending."

Frank Bruni of the New York Times proclaimed last month that Colorado “is on the precipice of something big” if it passed a $950 million tax hike that was earmarked specifically to increase education spending, a popular item with independent and swing voters. Obama education secretary Arne Duncan said a win in Colorado would make the state “the educational model for every other state to follow.” Teacher unions spent $4 million promoting the measure, outspending opponents by at least ten-to-one. 
But the model crashed on takeoff tonight. Coloradans didn't just defeat Amendment 66, they repudiated it by a vote of 66 percent to 34. With almost all the results in, the tax hike was only winning half the votes in liberal Denver and Boulder Counties.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Remember "Cash for Clunkers?" It was a Clunker. Please Contain Your Shock.

 In a report released last week, they found that the $2.85 billion, 2-month program essentially merely time-shifted the purchase of new vehicles forward a few months (H/T – Kevin Binversie). From the conclusion of the research paper: 
The primary motivation for the CARS program was to provide temporary stimulus to counter the economic contraction that was occurring at that time, while also reducing fuel consumption and thus emissions. The evidence suggests that the program did indeed incentivize the sale of more fuel efficient vehicles by pulling sales forward from the near-term future. This resulted in a small and short-lived increase in production, GDP, and job creation. However, the implied cost per job created was much higher than alternative fiscal stimulus policies. Further, these small stimulus effects do not account for the depletion of the capital stock that resulted from the destruction of used vehicles…. 
The CARS program led to a slight improvement in fuel economy and some reduction in carbon emissions. The cost per ton of carbon dioxide reduced from the program suggests that the program was not a cost-effective way to reduce emissions, although was more cost effective than some other environmental policies, such as the tax subsidy for electric vehicles or the tax credit for ethanol.

One thing I noticed this year was the insane cost of used cars. Five years ago I bought a four year old SUV with 65,000 miles on it for 13,000. Something comparable today in halfway decent condition with similar or less mileage? 20k if I was lucky. Well, if you destroy half the used inventory out there for no good reason other than some mythical carbon reduction, guess what happens to prices? You kids out there getting your first car? Good luck.

If the best you can say about this program is that it didn't stink as bad as the electric vehicles subsidy, well that's a failure.

I leave you with a poor Volvo meeting its end for the sin of being a good car that used slightly too much gas.

If we take into account the life left in that car and the time, energy, and resources to create a new car to replace it, plus the extra energy and carbon a person would burn to earn the extra money to afford it, how can we say we saved anything?

Palate Cleanser

Did you know the Easter Island heads have bodies? Neither did I.  Apparently this has been known since 1919 though. So I'm a little behind. 

I... aint got no body! Oh wait, yes I do.
Led by UCLA archaeologist Jo Anne Van Tilburg, director of the Easter Island Statue Project, they have excavated two seven metre tall, full-size statures, estimated to weigh about 20 tonnes. 
For anyone who has stood next to these huge, imposing heads, or marveled at how a primitive people moved them many kilometres from one side of the island to the other, it's a remarkable discovery.

Since 1990, the Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) has been undertaking an archaeological survey on Easter Island, aiming to create a full and complete, island-wide inventory for each statue. 
"It is vital to have a good record of the statues," said the EISP's director Jo Anne Van Tilburg. 

Recovering Atheist

I read this story on the Blaze today:

Just as the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to tackle prayer at public meetings, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a church-state separatist group, filed a related lawsuit on Nov. 1 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court against the city of Pismo Beach, Calif. This atheist group is using the case to take aim at an unpaid city chaplain and the allegedly sectarian prayers he utters during city council meetings. 
“In virtually every city prayer, Jones pressures citizens and the council to live a Christian lifestyle in accordance with the bible, to vote for ‘righteous’ leaders and to make decisions that honor Jones’ particular god,” the press release proclaimed (read the legal complaint here). 
Dr. Sari Dworkin, a self-described “atheist Jew,” is a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation who brought her concerns to the organization and said that the Christian nature of the prayers made her feel “offended, disenfranchised, and intimidated.” 
While the atheist group is charging that egregious First Amendment violations have unfolded, Pismo Beach city attorney David Fleishman sees the situation a bit differently. He told The San Luis Obispo Tribune that cities are allowed to have chaplains so long as the religious leaders do not promote one religion. 
“To my recollection, Dr. Jones has been very good about that through the years,” said Fleishman.
I used to be pretty atheist in my youth. I still have misgivings about the whole thing. It isn't the philosophy that bothers me, I feel it's the best way to lead your life and create a free society. Judeo Christian ethic is what derived the idea that freedom is bestowed by God. I don't see what going to church and droning out the same chants every week does to enlighten a person. As a kid I was simply bored and never got much out of it. I finally took to atheism so I didn't have to get up on Sundays. A God who could see the beauty of a single proton to the enormity of the universe in the palm of his hand could really give a crap if I sat there in a pew saying "Amen" in my opinion. It's more important that I live my life properly and try to help others wherever I can.

That being said, I never looked down on anyone who choose that life. Indeed, there are times I think many people could use a little "churchin up." The other side of the coin is who was I associating with simply by identifying myself as an atheist? These jerk-offs who can't hear someone praying without curling up into a whiny ball whimpering about oppression? No thank-you.

I don't know the mysteries of the universe, but I do believe in the founding fathers and declaration of Independence. I can walk into my local courthouse and see a sculpture of the Ten Commandments on the wall and not feel like religion is being forced down my throat. If they won't give me a driver's license because I haven't taken Jesus into my heart, then I got a problem. But acknowledging religion is not the same as forcing it down your throat, no matter how anally obsessive you are about making sure you're offended.

Sure, religious people don't help themselves sometimes. But for the most part, I find more decency in the religious than the atheistic. They usually don't want the government to steal from me to give to others at least. Render unto Ceasar and all that.

So atheists, here's a little advice: lighten the fuck up. Starting by being a little more secure in your beliefs instead of acting like the zealots that you supposedly disdain. I'll pray for ya.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Another Day, Another Ream of Obamacare Fail Stories...

Well it wouldn't be a day that ends in "y" if there weren't more problems to be told. The Washington Post pretty much lays it all out on how the administration owns this, no matter how much they want to blame the GOP.

In May 2010, two months after the Affordable Care Act squeaked through Congress, President Obama’s top economic aides were getting worried. Larry Summers, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, and Peter Orszag, head of the Office of Management and Budget, had just received a pointed four-page memo from a trusted outside health adviser. It warned that no one in the administration was “up to the task” of overseeing the construction of an insurance exchange and other intricacies of translating the 2,000-page statute into reality.
Summers, Orszag and their staffs agreed. For weeks that spring, a tug of war played out inside the White House, according to five people familiar with the episode. On one side, members of the economic team and Obama health-care adviser Zeke Emanuel lobbied for the president to appoint an outside health reform “czar” with expertise in business, insurance and technology. On the other, the president’s top health aides — who had shepherded the legislation through its tortuous path on Capitol Hill and knew its every detail — argued that they could handle the job. 
In the end, the economic team never had a chance: The president had already made up his mind, according to a White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to be candid. Obama wanted his health policy team — led by Nancy-Ann De­Parle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform — to be in charge of the law’s arduous implementation. Since the day the bill became law, the official said, the president believed that “if you were to design a person in the lab to implement health care, it would be Nancy-Ann.”
We have political hay to make and people to control. We can't be burdened with your reality things being impossible and stuff. Well over 3.5 million are losing their insurance. Democrats are starting to wake up to that reality.

Marlys Dietrick, a 60-year-old artist from San Antonio, said she had high hopes that the new law would help many of her friends who are chefs, actors or photographers get insured. But she said they have been turned off by high premiums and deductibles and would rather pay the fine.
“I am one of those Democrats who wanted it to be better than this,” she said. 
Her insurer, Humana, informed her that her plan was being canceled and that the rate for herself and her 21-year-old son for a plan compliant with the new law would rise from $300 to $705. On the federal Web site, she found a comparable plan for $623 a month. Because her annual income is about $80,000, she doesn’t qualify for subsidies.

Well if you like your plan, you can keep it, for the new low, low price of triple what you were paying before. Act now! Or else!

Hell we can't even get through a weekend without the numbers tallying up faster than the national debt.

In Kentucky, 280,000 people will lose policies that do not meet Obamacare’s minimum-coverage requirements. According to the Kentucky Department of Insurance, there will be 130,000 people losing individual policies and 150,000 more will lose their group policies. 
In Alaska, the state’s largest insurer, Premera, has sent cancellation notices to 5,360 people, over half its individual policy holders. 
In Alabama, roughly 90,000 people will need to find new policies, a figure which the Associated Press compiled by contacting the state’s major insurers—the state Department of Insurance said it didn’t have figures on the issue. Of that number, 87,000 were policy holders with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.

Even Jay Carney is getting beat down by all this. But Hollywood idiots are still willing to help out.

The California Endowment has awarded a $500,000 grant to the Norman Lear Center, a public-policy organization at the University of Southern California that focuses on entertainment, to make sure that television producers and their staffs fully understand the new health-care-reform law, and can work in pro-Obamacare storylines. The Endowment, a private foundation that has spent millions promoting the president’s law, is hoping its efforts will nudge primetime audiences to enroll in the new health-care law, which they consider misunderstood. “We don’t believe the government alone can break through with those facts,” a California Endowment vice president said.

Well when the government actually starts facing facts, maybe they could break through with them. Course that would result in Obamacare repeal and we can't ever admit we were wrong. We'll hurt as many poor as we must to save them from themselves.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Best Picture I've Seen Today

I think that book is a bit advanced for Kathy.

Josh Barro decides most people don't know what's good for them and Salon predictably agrees.

You big dummies.

Predictably, there was quite the backlash to this tweet, presumably for the arrogance behind it. Salon took up the cause of letting people know how stupid they are, a winning strategy if there ever was one.

The hilariously twisted logic in not letting adults make their own choices (unless it's abortion of course) is so self-defeating and here's the proof.

Salon warns of how many successful wonderful things wouldn't be there if we all had the attitude of "let me make my own choices:" (emphasis mine)

As Barro pointed out in subsequent tweets, this “don’t tell me what to do!”-style libertarianism, if taken seriously, would have some pretty radical implications. No public education, for one. No regulations on food or consumer goods, for another. Workplace safety? Forget it. Through the lens of this vulgar individualism, any kind of collective action — besides those undertaken by the military, of course — becomes an unbearable infringement on these conservatives’ “liberty,” or as Twitchy puts it, “freedom to choose.”

So let's look at the logic. We don't know what's best for us. In order to know things, we need to be educated. So we need public education to help us with that. Which has been in place for a century and has resulted in a bunch of people who apparently don't know what's good for them.

That's right, we need to be thankful for the very things that are failing us. Workplace safety? Everyone know big business would still be killing people left and right because they love that kind of thing. Happy worker is a dead worker or something like that. Regulations (also known as "sacraments" to the left) are all perfect and we wouldn't be able to get up in the morning without checking them to make sure we are doing things correctly. 

Liberty by it's very definition is not something that is defined by someone else to be bestowed on the masses. It's the opposite. But hey, I can play that game. Why do you need that freedom of speech to print that garbage anyway? They obviously don't know what's good for them.

Finally I leave you with this from Fuloydo:

It's said that we learn from our mistakes. 
The progressive take on things is that we don't know what's best for us and so we shouldn't be allowed to make our own decisions. 
Hence, we're not allowed to make mistakes (as defined by them) and, therefore, not allowed to learn. 
Not only do they consider us children, they actively fight against any possibility of us 'growing up' by blocking any chance of learning.

To which I reply, of course they block us from learning. If we learn we don't need them, what will they do?