If the groove sounds familiar, you won't be faulted for thinking this sounds like something from back in the day by Deep Purple.
Ladies and Gentlemen, from across the pond and doing their Manchester thing, its the Charlatans U.K. peforming, "The Only One I Know".
Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
We're almost there. The unveiling of our rolling post Nancy's Nuances: A Journey of Discovery is nigh and probably would've occurred today were it not for finding yet another gem in ObamaCare now that the bill has been passed.
Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute points out that businesses that currently issue 1099s in a limited set of situations will now be required to issue 1099s whenever they do more than $600 of business with another entity in a year.
For the $14 trillion U.S. economy, that’s a hell of a lot of 1099s. When a business buys a $1,000 used car, it will have to gather information on the seller and mail 1099s to the seller and the IRS. When a small shop owner pays her rent, she will have to send a 1099 to the landlord and IRS. Recipients of the vast flood of these forms will have to match them with existing accounting records. There will be huge numbers of errors and mismatches, which will probably generate many costly battles with the IRS.
And this from the Air Conditioner Contractors of America:
The House bill would extend the Form 1099 filing requirement to ALL vendors (including corporate) to which they pay more than $600 annually for services or property. Consider all the payments a small business makes in the course of business, paying for things such as computers, software, office supplies, and fuel to services, including janitorial services, coffee services, and package delivery services.
In order to file all these 1099s, you’ll need to collect the necessary information from all your service providers. In order to comply with the law, you would have to get a Taxpayer Information Number or TIN from the business. If the vendor does not supply you with a TIN, you are obligated to withhold on your payments.
With unemployment still hovering around 10%, does all this additional paperwork and increased overhead/administrative costs sound like a great idea to spur economic growth?
This is, of course, bad for any business but particularly small and medium-sized businesses that do not have the resources to keep up with this paper mill that has been generated by ObamaCare.
All that... in a healthcare bill!
When the IRS claimed the 16,000 additional employees they would need was not to enforce mandatory enrollment in a healthcare plan, perhaps they were telling the truth.
H/T: Hot Air
The indespensible Heritage Foundation does their usual fine work in making the dense and complex understandable because in the case of the Wall St. reform bill and like members of Congress who will be voting on it, we have no intention of reading it.
But in the interest of public service and being all-around good Joes, here it is in .pdf.
Reasons to hate:
1. Creates a protected class of “too big to fail” firms. Section 113 of the bill establishes a “Financial Stability Oversight Council,” charged with identifying firms that would “pose a threat to the financial security of the United States if they encounter “material financial distress.” These firms would be subject to enhanced regulation. However, such a designation would also signal to the marketplace that these firms are too important to be allowed to fail and, perversely, allow them to take on undue risk. As American Enterprise Institute scholar Peter Wallison wrote, “Designating large non-bank financial companies as too big to fail will be like creating Fannies and Freddies in every area of the economy.”
2. Provides for seizure of private property without meaningful judicial review. The bill, in Section 203(b), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to order the seizure of any financial firm that he finds is “in danger of default” and whose failure would have “serious adverse effects on financial stability.” This determination is subject to review in the courts only on a “substantial evidence” standard of review, meaning that the seizure must be upheld if the government produces any evidence in favor of its action. This makes reversal extremely difficult.
3.Creates permanent bailout authority. Section 204 of the bill authorizes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to “make available … funds for the orderly liquidation of [a] covered financial institution.” Although no funds could be provided to compensate a firm’s shareholders, the firm’s other creditors would be eligible for a cash bailout. The situation is much like the scheme implemented for AIG in 2008, in which the largest beneficiaries were not stockholders but rather other creditors, such as Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs—hardly a model to be emulated.
4. Establishes a $50 billion fund to pay for bailouts. Funding for bailouts is to come from a $50 billion “Orderly Resolution Fund” created within the U.S. Treasury in Section 210(n)(1), funded by taxes on financial firms. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the ultimate cost of bank taxes will fall on the customers, employees, and investors of each firm.
You can read the rest of the 14, here.
We blogged about #4 months ago. This is the idea floated originally by Barney Frank that would punish good behavior and reward bad behavior. We don't know about you, but we don't think we'd cotton to having a portion of our salary set aside to cover the poor performance of a co-worker.
We suppose we shouldn't be surprised that this good/bad response mechanism has been central to the entirety of Bailout Nation, whether it's bailing out poor performing auto manufacturers or financial institutions, or enticing people to stay in bad home loans.
Perhaps, we were already there, but Bailout Nation has cemented the notion of rewarding the bad at the expense of the good as the prevailing paradigm of this country aided, abetted and enforced by the federal government.
This is the sort of nonsense that goes down when you cede control of your healthcare decisions to the government as is the case with New York state's government-managed healthcare system.
Organ donation has become a vital way to save lives around the world, but a vast shortage of donors continues to mean people are losing their lives while on waiting lists.
But there is a unique proposal that could change all that.
New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky nearly lost his daughter, Willie, at 4 years old when she needed a kidney transplant, and again 10 years later when her second kidney failed.
"We have 10,000 New Yorkers on the list today waiting for organs. We import half the organs we transplant. It is an unacceptable failed system," Brodsky said.
To fix that, Brodsky introduced a new bill in Albany that would enroll all New Yorkers as an organ donor, unless they actually opt out of organ donation. It would be the first law of its kind in the United States.
"Overseas, 24 nations have it. Israel has it. Others have it. And it works without a lot of controversy," Brodsky said.
Currently one of the biggest obstacles to being a donor is while 9 out of 10 are favorable to it only 1 out of 10 is signed up to be a donor.
Isn't it benevolent that New York's overseers have seen fit to allow its citizens to opt out?
The tone of the article seemed puzzled that 90% of New Yorkers were for (voluntary) organ donation but only 10% participated the program. Seems to be perfectly in keeping with the volunteerism nature of America, to us... If it works for you, brother, go for it.
We understand that compulsory organ donation might work great elsewhere but that's not really the point. The point is, where do you draw the line? What other aspect of your literal body is the government going to invite itself to?
Very quickly and without much notice, that slippery slope of resigned personal choices becomes a Vancouver Olympics bobsled run. Enjoy the ride.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing. Rationing.
OMB Director Peter Orszag continues the "quality vs. quantity" meme.
But get used to the reality of this IPAB, "Independent Payment Advisory Board" which will not be very independent nor will it be advisory as it will take 67 votes in the Senate to override their "recommendations".
Instead of letting medical procedures or drugs stand or fall on their own merits of cost effectiveness, this politically appointed board of bureaucrats will be playing judge, jury and executioner serving the statist god of "controlling costs" in the healthcare industry.
Exit question: With this IPAB in place and calling the shots with respect to what medical procedures, instruments and drugs are allowed to be brought to market, do you now think lobbying by medical and pharmaceutical firms on the Hill will be any less?
So, what do Ben Nelson (D-NE), James Oberstar (D-OR), the current version of the financial reform bill and the California Coastal Commission all have in common?
They're all in B-Daddy's cross-hairs as targets of crony capitalism and untoward lobbyist influence.
Check it out, here.
(please scroll to bottom for update)
We're not huge fans of obligating local law enforcement officials to enforce what is ostensibly federal law but doggone it... who is going to enforce our borders? Why is this such a difficult concept for the pols to grasp, especially since and unlike ObamaCare and cap and trade, the public actually wants vigorous federal government action with respect to securing our southern border.
Amazing. The general public appears to have a keener understanding of the constitution and the powers granted to the federal government by the constitution than those who have taken an oath to uphold it.
Arizona has an estimated 460,000 illegal aliens out of a population of 6.6 million. With San Diego and El Paso stepping up border enforcement, Arizona has become the point (of entry) of least resistance to where the rise in narco-violence has resulted in Phoenix becoming the kidnapping capitol of America.
This isn't rocket science. It's a national security threat.
President Obama has shown unexpected resolve in prosecuting the war on terror abroad so it eludes us as to why that same resolve cannot be applied here. Actually, we do know. The illegal immigration debate has become the ultimate PC carnival where up is down and backwards is forward. Any degree of common sense that you try to apply to the illegal immigration debate is twisted inside out and directed right back at you. Want to enforce the border? You're a racist. Want to crack down on businesses knowingly hiring illegals? You're a bigot. You simply want to enforce the law of the land? You are a dangerous xenophobe and most likely a white supremacist.
Related: Our blog buddy, Harrison, has a very nice post on what constitutes "protest" and "dissent" with our friends on the Left, here.
And for a wrap, we couldn't resist this side by each comparison of the ummm... "mostly peaceful" demonstrations against the illegal immigration bill in Arizona vs. the "angry" Tea Party demonstrations in Washington D.C. last month.
Main Stream Media: when even being there can't tell the true story.
(UPDATE #1): George Will probably leads the league in "Gee, we didn't think of it that way" reasonings. From today's column:
Some critics say Arizona's law is unconstitutional because the 14th Amendment's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws" prevents the government from basing action on the basis of race. Liberals, however, cannot comfortably make this argument because they support racial set-asides in government contracting, racial preferences in college admissions, racial gerrymandering of legislative districts and other aspects of a racial spoils system. Although liberals are appalled by racial profiling, some seem to think vocational profiling (police officers are insensitive incompetents) is merely intellectual efficiency, as is state profiling (Arizonans are xenophobic).
Probably 30 percent of Arizona's residents are Hispanics. Arizona police officers, like officers everywhere, have enough to do without being required to seek arrests by violating settled law with random stops of people who speak Spanish. In the practice of the complex and demanding craft of policing, good officers -- the vast majority -- routinely make nuanced judgments about when there is probable cause for acting on reasonable suspicions of illegality.
Arizona's law might give the nation information about whether judicious enforcement discourages illegality. If so, it is a worthwhile experiment in federalism.
Non-Hispanic Arizonans of all sorts live congenially with all sorts of persons of Hispanic descent. These include some whose ancestors got to Arizona before statehood -- some even before it was a territory. They were in America before most Americans' ancestors arrived. Arizonans should not be judged disdainfully and from a distance by people whose closest contacts with Hispanics are with fine men and women who trim their lawns and put plates in front of them at restaurants, not with illegal immigrants passing through their back yards at 3 a.m.
America is supposed to be the great experiment in democracy. We can look at the laws different states enact to gage the effectiveness of that law to our own state... or even the country at large. For example, we know that government-managed healthcare in New York is fast becoming a complete train wreck. If you are given to authoritarian statist impulses, you look at that example and say, "Hell, yeah. That's what we need for the entire country".
So, why not give this law a whirl and see if it can work effectively without becoming an instrument for harassment and abuse.
And we wanted to liberate a couple of comments from the comments section as they held particular relevance.
First, Temple of Mut said:
BwD: Will May 15th work for a summit, and what is the name of the tavern?
Ooops. Wrong comment but in the grand scheme of things no less relevant. More on that later.
Here it is. Sarah B. said:
I'm sitting down to read the Arizona bill today. But in general I have yet to see anything in this bill that isn't already federal law. So the hysteria is clearly nothing more than desperation to make the right the boogie man. And I can say from first hand sources that law enforcement will handle this with kid gloves.
Great points. Is busting illegals really going to be a priority for a sheriff on the local beat? And do you think he, knowing the extreme scrutiny he is now under, will exercise anything but the most by-the-book caution in carrying out the letter of this law?
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The New York Times continues its fearless coverage of the consequences of ObamaCare in a series of articles that could be called, "That would've been nice to know back then" with the "then" being prior to the March 20th vote on ObamaCare in the Senate.
New York’s insurance system has been a working laboratory for the core provision of the new federal health care law — insurance even for those who are already sick and facing huge medical bills — and an expensive lesson in unplanned consequences. Premiums for individual and small group policies have risen so high that state officials and patients’ advocates say that New York’s extensive insurance safety net for people like Ms. Welles is falling apart.
The problem stems in part from the state’s high medical costs and in part from its stringent requirements for insurance companies in the individual and small group market. In 1993, motivated by stories of suffering AIDS patients, the state became one of the first to require insurers to extend individual or small group coverage to anyone with pre-existing illnesses.
New York also became one of the few states that require insurers within each region of the state to charge the same rates for the same benefits, regardless of whether people are old or young, male or female, smokers or nonsmokers, high risk or low risk.
The Ms. Welles in question here was paying over $17,000/year for individual coverage which includes that for her cancer and MS.
The Times article goes on to explain "risk pools" and the concept of needing healthy people to subsidize the health care expenses of those who need more health care. They also explain how in this model for ObamaCare in New York, the healthy customers decided that paying the high premiums weren't worth it and got out of the plan which, of course, resulted in sky-rocketing premiums for those who stayed in the plan.
Skyrocketing premiums to the point known in the healthcare industry as "adverse selection death spiral". We are not sure what bemuses us more: that the NYT would dare use the word "death" in describing a potential phenomena of ObamaCare (so, if you are not going to admit to "death panels" will you at least cop to "death spirals"?) or that the "adverse selection death spiral" is most commonly used when talking about universal/government-managed healthcare? Call it a toss-up.
“You have a mandate that’s accessible in theory, but not in practice, because it’s too expensive,” said Mark P. Scherzer, a consumer lawyer and counsel to New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage, an advocacy group. “What you get left clinging to the life raft is the population that tends to have pretty high health needs.”
Now we're clinging to life rafts?
Article goes on to explain that unless the government employs vigorous enforcement methods (hello, IRS) to ensure mandatory participation, it will be tough to avoid that whole death spiral thing. And don't we know it - we've been saying the same damn thing for months so it's good to hear the Times finally get into the act.
“In this new marketplace that we envision, this requirement that everybody be covered, that should draw better, healthier people into the insurance pool, which should bring down rates,” said Mark Hall, a professor of law and public health at Wake Forest University. But he added, “You have to sort of take a leap of faith that that’s going to happen.”
If you are scoring at home, we now have "death spirals", "clinging to the life raft", and "take a leap of faith", all used to describe what we can expect in the future from the HEALTHcare industry.
Go ahead and read the article. It's chockful of facts on just how royally screwed the healthcare industry in New York state really is. Again, this would've been really, really handy information for the "paper of record" to be so forthcoming with before the healthcare vote.
Not that it would've made a difference in the end, however, it'd be comforting to know that there was still some shred of decency and honesty remaining in the 4th estate of this country.
In: Complaining about this country's two party system
Awwww.... Shepard Fairey, he of the iconic "Hope" Obama picture is less than pleased with Obama's performance thus far.
“Obama is to me a quality human being and someone that, given the limitations of the two-party system, that’s trying to do a good job,” Fairey told Niteside at a book signing at the Brooklyn Museum on Sunday.
“But I have to grade the whole thing on a curve because the two-party system to me is not yielding the results I want to see.”
“I’m very proud of the Obama poster … because it’s an image that showed that someone outside of mainstream politics, outside of corporate lobbyists could do something that affected what’s going on in politics,” Fairey said. “I think what really is the problem with the two-party system is that it’s very difficult for people without power to make a difference unless they try very hard. But the more people that do try, the easier it gets.”
Uh, sure thing, pal.
More and more: whining about the two-party system. Of course, whining about the two-party system is code-speak for displeasure as to having a statist agenda blocked in some aspects by a pesky opposition party.
After all and applying some transparency to their motives, it's pretty easy to determine that though they would want to see something other than a two-party system, having three or more isn't what they have in mind.
Monday, April 26, 2010
If there is one positive aspect to emerge from this whole "South Park"/censorship kerkuffle, it is that there is still some modicum of respect and decency reserved for traditional old-school values. In a society where mocking and ridiculing traditional religious values is so commonplace as to be merely drive-by in nature, where any sort of blow-back or defensive reaction by the aggrieved barely has time to gain traction before the next sacred cow is being scandalized.
Thank god Matt Stone and Trey Parker have led the way in restoring some sense of civility to the pop-culture airwaves. That they have shown the proper amount of deference and respect is admirable as you don't get much more old-school and traditional than Muslim extremism.
It's a rare occurrence these days where this culture's cutting edge satirists, comedians and polemics display restraint, nay, refuse to make mention nor depiction of a hallowed leader of a strain of a religion that stones homosexuals, murders "infidels", mutilates genitals and beats and/or ostracizes female victims of rape. Surely, stonings, murders, beatings and honor rapes are all family values we can get behind.
A big shout-out to Matt Stone and Trey Parker of "South Park". They were there when we needed them most!
Every one's favorite nutty professor, Bill Ayers, was up in Fresno a few days ago for a speaking engagement. The speech was originally scheduled to take place in a state office building but someone figured that perhaps for a man linked to bombing the Pentagon and other federal and state buildings, even a church would be a more appropriate venue than government property.
What struck us about this clip is that while there were some protesters outside the event, Ayers was able to conduct his talk completely un-interrupted, as it should've been. This is in marked contrast to conservative speakers like Ann Coulter and David Horowitz who require body guards at their speaking engagements and who have continually had their speeches interrupted and have even been assaulted while doing so.
The specter of a VAT (Value Added Tax) is once again being floated as a trial baloon around Washington D.C. Participate in B-Daddy's poll, here, and sound off as to yes/no and if there are any conditions under which a VAT would be acceptable.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Meanwhile, Comedy Central — you know, the “hip,” “edgy” network with Jon Stewart, from whom “young” Americans under 53 supposedly get most of their news — just caved in to death threats. From a hateful 83-year-old widow who doesn’t like Obamacare? Why, no! It was a chap called Abu Talhah al Amrikee, who put up a video on the Internet explaining why a South Park episode with a rather tame Mohammed joke was likely to lead to the deaths of the show’s creators. Just to underline the point, he showed some pictures of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch film director brutally murdered by (oh, my, talk about unfortunate coincidences) a fellow called Mohammed. Mr. al Amrikee helpfully explained that his video incitement of the murder of Matt Stone and Trey Parker wasn’t really “a threat but just the likely outcome.” All he was doing, he added, was “raising awareness” — you know, like folks do on Earth Day. On Earth Day, lame politicians dig a hole and stick a tree in it. But aggrieved Muslims dig a hole and stick a couple of comedy writers in it. Celebrate diversity!
Faced with this explicit threat of violence, what did Comedy Central do? Why, they folded like a Bedouin tent. They censored South Park, not only cutting all the references to Mohammed but, in an exquisitely postmodern touch, also removing the final speech about the need to stand up to intimidation.
Stone and Parker get what was at stake in the Danish-cartoons crisis and many other ostensibly footling concessions: Imperceptibly, incrementally, remorselessly, the free world is sending the message that it is happy to trade core liberties for the transitory security of a quiet life. That is a dangerous signal to give freedom’s enemies. So the South Park episode is an important cultural pushback.
Yet in the end, in a craven culture, even big Hollywood A-listers can’t get their message over. So the brave, transgressive comedy network was intimidated into caving in and censoring a speech about not being intimidated into caving in. That’s what I call “hip,” “edgy,” “cutting-edge” comedy: They’re so edgy they’re curled up in the fetal position, whimpering at the guy with the cutting edge, “Please. Behead me last. And don’t use the rusty scimitar where you have to saw away for 20 minutes to find the spinal column . . . ”
Terrific. You can see why young, urban, postmodern Americans under 57 get most of their news from Comedy Central. What a shame 1930s Fascist Europe was so lacking in cable.
If there is a better poli-writer out there than Mark Steyn, please get back to us.
Ann Althouse objects to "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" on the grounds that it might offend Muslims that had nothing to do with the death threats made against the creators of "South Park".
She likens this instance to the Piss Christ controversy back in the 80s. Funny, I don't remember any death threats made by Christian groups or individual Christians.
And perhaps if more in the Muslim community spoke out against the seemingly never-ending number of death threats and actual deaths made by the extremists of the Muslim faith, we'd be more inclined to be concerned with the sensibilities of others.
We liked reader New "Hussein" Ham's comment at Althouse's post:
I would imagine if the neo-Nazi's would start making good on some death threats, like the Muslims have done with folks like Theo Van Gogh, then discussions of the Holocaust would be "out of bounds" and "over the top" because it would offend the neo-Nazi's and needlessly hurt their feelings.
Representative Kay Hagan (R-NC) on local radio last week touting ObamaCare while continually ducking the question of how is it constitutional to force people to buy health insurance.
At :35 dig the "quality care versus quantity care" which is just code for rationing.
She never answers the question. She scoots on the interview before answering as duly noted by the talk show hosts. She has every reason to bail out on the interview and the question because there is no rational justification for the compulsory nature of ObamaCare and no amount of droning on about the (Enron-like nature of) accounting that is contained in the bill which will allegedly reduce the deficit is going to change this fact.
Will Republicans possess the testicular fortitude to repeal ObamaCare? We'll find out next year.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
This is so awesomely awesome, we can't type straight for the gid which we now possess for the opportunity to post this.
In what can only be described as angry, pro-government rhetoric, the purple people-beaters of the SEIU staged a rally for the cause of... raising taxes!
Except that you will get the distinct impression after viewing this clip that the "our" in "Raise our taxes" is subject to highly selective interpretation.
If the Coffee Party had the nerve to sport their true colors, this is what one of their klatsches would look like.
Friday, April 23, 2010
If we had a retro-active bucket list, one of the items contained therein would be to see these guys live back in the mid-70s.
Ladies and Gentlemen, from Asbury Park, New Jersey and performing at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, it's Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing "Rosalita"
"I know pretty little place in Southern California down San Diego way. There's a little cafe where they play guitars all night and all day. You can here'm in the backroom strummin'"
Obama and the Democrats are running insane deficits for no business reason at all and he's going to puff himself up and preen before the cameras to yell at investors. Meanwhile, his cronies in Congress are planning to simply skip budgeting this year. Unreal.
That from KT
Precisely. But does the irony ever occur to them or are they so insulated and/or so arrogantly prideful that the notion is completely foreign to them. Even if they did, we doubt they would care.
But the tea partiers are just a bunch of racists, right?
I am no fan of the cozy relationships that allow the banks and other financial firms to get away with gambling with taxpayer backed dollars and then receiving bailouts when things head south. But the "Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010" does not such thing. Instead it grants the administration, of either party in power, the authority to take over any darn business it feels like.
That from B-Daddy.
We're not big fans of dumbing-down so let's just call this an exercise in the art of simplification. We realize some of this legislation, particularly with respect to Wall Street finances can get pretty dense, so consider this: in the absence of knowing anything else about the Wall Street financial reform bill, know that it was written by Chris Dodd. That's it. That's all you really need to know in order to quantify the crap-tastic nature of this bill.
Now, give yourself the rest of the week off and enjoy your weekend.
The pictures of peaceful and patriotic tea parties is betrayed by the movement's dark past. Recently, President Clinton used the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing to demonstrate what angry, anti-government rhetoric can ultimately lead to. It didn't take a decoder ring to figure out the President was singling out the tea partiers. Did the President know something the rest of us did not? Perhaps.
Back in 1999, the nascent tea party movement made one of their first moves by taking on the guise of anarchists at the WTO meetings in Seattle. Because of the rioting caused by these black-clad partiers, the governor had to declare a state of emergency and call out the National Guard.
Then, last fall as the tea party movement was really gaining steam, a select group of tea party storm troopers, broke off to pose as anti-capitalist leftists in order to break shop windows and clash with the police at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh.
And the acts of terrorism perpetrated by the Earth Liberation Front? Ha! More like a tea party front.
This one here is so obvious, it's laughable. The mask slips as the blatant racism of this tea partier in Code Pink disguise is spelled out in plain english on her sign.
And just a few days ago, the tea party infiltrated a Muslim website and made death threats against Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of "South Park", because of an episode that depicted the prophet Muhammad. This was a brilliant move because "South Park" often mocks and satirizes wholesome and traditional American values favored by the tea party movement which, of course, is code speak for hate.
When you think of all the angry rhetoric that is out there and which has resulted in actual acts of violence and terrorism, don't think wacky anarchists, deranged leftists, hairy arm-pitted feminists or even Islamo-fascists.
Think: Tea Party
Thursday, April 22, 2010
If you recognize the person pictured on the right and his magnificent hair, you will also recognize him for turning the NFL Draft into the phenomena/feeding frenzy that it has become.
The NFL is sexing up things a bit this year by moving the draft to primetime (though, we're not sure if the 4:30 P.M. start qualifies as primetime for us West Coasters) by broadcasting the first round this evening and subsequent rounds Friday evening and Saturday.
In just a little while we will see the Rams shamed into picking Sam Bradford (QB - Oklahoma) first overall. We say "shamed" because the conventional wisdom is that you don't give first overall money to, say, a interior defensive lineman even if that person is the best player in the draft as is the case this year with Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska. We hate the CW. And because of the CW, the Rams will continue to stink and will reportedly pay Bradford a $50 million signing bonus for the pleasure of discovering how overrated he and his fellow Big 12 quarterbacks are as their stats were grossly inflated because no one in the Big 12 has yet to figure out a way of slowing down the preferred offense in that conference, the spread-option offense.
But anyway, back to Mel Kiper...
For all Mel Kiper Jr.'s visibility, few people are aware of The Kiper Foundation: a unique charitable organization that matches notable first round busts—such as Lawrence Phillips, Tony Mandarich and Akili Smith—with loving homes, where they enjoy regular baths, three square meals a day, and a slightly irregular cream-colored jacket, donated by the Hall of Fame gift shop.
Read the rest of Deadspin's ode to Mel, here.
And just because we can, a brief look back at some classic New York Jets draft moments.
You gotta love how Pete Rozelle does the pregnant pause with a slight smirk just before announcing a name that will illicit a tortured response from the Jet faithful. It's like he's in on the joke.
Fearing that health insurance premiums may shoot up in the next few years, Senate Democrats laid a foundation on Tuesday for federal regulation of rates, four weeks after President Obama signed a law intended to rein in soaring health costs.
After a hearing on the issue, the chairman of the Senate health committee, Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, said he intended to move this year on legislation that would “provide an important check on unjustified premiums.”
Mr. Harkin praised a bill introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, that would give the secretary of health and human services the power to review premiums and block “any rate increase found to be unreasonable.” Under the bill, the federal government could regulate rates in states where state officials did not have “sufficient authority and capability” to do so.
That's right. The original ObamaCare bill that was sold on the premise that it would hold down premiums neglected to include the very mechanism(s) to hold down those premiums.
Fear not, though... help is on the way. The Secretary of health and human services will play judge, jury and executioner with respect to accepting/rejecting premium increases. Again... picking winners and losers! Corporatism and crony capitalism at its finest.
And dig this:
Reviving the proposal on Tuesday, Mr. Harkin said: “Rate review authority is needed to protect consumers from insurance companies’ jacking up premiums simply because they can. Protections must be in place to ensure that companies do not take advantage of current market conditions before health reform fundamentally changes the way they do business in 2014.”
“Currently,” Mr. Harkin said, “about 22 states in the individual market and 27 states in the small group market do not require a review of premiums before they go into effect — and perhaps even more. This is a gaping hole in our regulatory system, and it is unacceptable.”
Where to begin? First, let's just start with the understanding that Harkin is an economic ignoramous and shameless opportunist of the highest order. Good - got that out of the way.
"...jacking up premiums simply because they can.." We fail to see what is inherently wrong with that. In a free market, that "jacking up" comes with consequences... unless it doesn't. In a free market, the consumer (otherwise known as "the individual") will make the decision on whether or not that "jacking up" is acceptable or not based upon the service he is being provided.
Unfortunately, the healthcare industry is currently operating in a free market gray area where mandates and regulations drive up premiums and stifle competition, thus restricting the ability of the consumer to best respond in his own self-interest.
Under ObamaCare, the mandates and regulations only get worse thus creating the situation where premiums are expected to rise in the next few years as stated at the very top of this article. This is known as "price signaling" where healthcare insurers knowing they will be getting slammed by increased regulatory burdens (such as covering pre-existing conditions) will get out ahead of the curve and start, you know, jacking up premiums to cover those additional future expenditures.
The ObamaCare acolytes know this and are scrambling to prevent the inevitable from happening. What will result though is a tightening of the grip on the health insurance industry to where health insurance providers no longer feel it's profitable (yes, we referenced "profit") to stay in the business any longer thus reducing the competitive market and choices even further.
Sounds like a game plan for driving this bus towards the single payer/public option model, now doesn't it?
Perhaps Harkin and his Capitol Hill kin aren't as clueless as we suspected.
We don't think it's a stretch to imagine these people back in the 60s and 70s, stinky armpits, matted hair and all, agitating and fomenting on the campus greens across our nation on behalf of free speech and the more libertine and perhaps taboo aspects of society.
Who are these people and if they are the same what the hell happened to them?
President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency is encouraging the public to create video advertisements that explain why federal regulations are "important to everyone."
The contest, which ends May 17, will award $2,500 to the makers of the video that best explains why federal regulations are good and how ordinary citizens can become more involved in making regulations. The videos must be posted on YouTube and can be no more than 60-90 seconds in length.
In the current contest, each video must include the slogan “Let your voice be heard,” and it must direct viewers to the government’s regulatory website www.Regulations.gov. The winning video will then be used by the entire federal government to promote the regulatory process and enhance the public’s participation in it.
The EPA is managing the contest, part of the government’s eRulemaking program, on behalf of the entire government.
As explained in the EPA press release announcing the contest, the purpose of the videos will be to remind the public that federal regulation touches “almost every aspect” of their lives and to promote how important those regulations are.
“The contest will highlight the significance of federal regulations and help the public understand the rulemaking process. Federal agencies develop and issue hundreds of rules and regulations every year to implement statutes written by Congress. Almost every aspect of an individual’s life is touched by federal regulations, but many do not understand how rules are made or how they can get involved in the process.”
The videos should be designed to “capture the public imagination” and to “explain” why government regulations are “important to everyone.”
So, that's what happened to them? Now sitting at the levers of power, all that "sticking it to the man" is just a wistful memory, if they happened to believe any of it at all.
But that is the psychology of the liberal-Left. Diversity of thought and action is cool as long as it's conforming to the "correct" standards as defined by...them.
And not even bothering to disguise the Mao/Dear Leader tone of the language bears this out. Because regulations touch "almost every aspect" of everybody's lives there is a oneness and a collective justice to a regulatory regime, thus there is an inherent goodness to regulations. The more the better.
Fortunately, the good people at Americans for Prosperity have made their entry
H/T: Hot Air
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The Food and Drug Administration should regulate the amount of salt added to foods to help Americans cut their high sodium intake, which can lead to high blood pressure, kidney failure and strokes, an influential federal panel said on Tuesday.
The Institute of Medicine said this was needed because Americans get most of their salt from processed and restaurant food, and merely telling them to eat less salt has not worked.
Meghan Scott, a spokeswoman for the FDA, which sponsored the IOM report, said the agency has not yet decided whether to regulate salt in U.S. foods. "We are not right now working on regulations," she said, but the agency is considering the panel's recommendations.
So when the incessant nagging and caterwauling doesn't work, you break out the big regulatory guns of compulsion.
And dig this Meghan Scott character: she wants us all to believe that they are merely considering regulation after a study they sponsored recommend that they do so. Don't you think that if you commission a study that concludes the FDA should regulate salt, the FDA will most likely regulate salt? Folks, the FDA is going to regulate salt.
"For 40 years we have known about the relationship between sodium and the development of hypertension and other life threatening diseases, but we have had virtually no success in cutting back the salt in our diets," Jane Henney of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio, who chaired the Institute of Medicine panel, said in a statement.
"The best way to accomplish this is to provide companies the level playing field they need so they are able to work across the board to reduce salt in the food supply."
For those of you scoring at home, "Level playing field" is statist lingo for mandatory rules and regulations
"There is now overwhelming evidence that we must treat sodium reduction as a critical public health priority," said Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard School of Public Health and a member of the Institute of Medicine.
The panel said companies should be allowed to reduce sodium on a step-by-step basis so that they do not lose customers due to sudden changes in flavor, the panel of experts said.
That companies would be graced by this leniency is proof of the ultimate benevolence of this panel. All hail the Institute of Medicine!
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Senator Tom Harkin said on a conference call they would pressure the FDA to regulate salt intake in the U.S. food supply.
"My view of self regulation is that it has not worked in the past," DeLauro said. "We need to move this along."
This quote was given after the article noted that food giants like Pepsico, General Mills, Kraft Foods, and Campbell Soups Inc., all had stated goals to reduce the sodium content in their products across the board.
(UPDATE #1): A funny thing happened on the way to the Institute of Medicine...
High-salt diets may not increase the risk of death, contrary to long-held medical beliefs, according to investigators from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.
They reached their conclusion after examining dietary intake among a nationally representative sample of adults in the U.S. The Einstein researchers actually observed a significantly increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with lower sodium diets.
The researchers analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), which was conducted by the federal government among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. These data were then compared against death records that had been collected by the government through the year 2000. The sample of approximately 8,700 represented American adults who were over 30 years of age at the time of the baseline survey (1988-1994) and were not on a special low-salt diet.
After adjusting for known CVD risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes and blood pressure, the one-fourth of the sample who reported consuming the lowest amount of sodium were found to be 80% more likely to die from CVD compared to the one-fourth of the sample consuming the highest level of sodium. The risk for death from any cause appeared 24% greater for those consuming lower salt, but this latter difference was not quite large enough to dismiss the role of chance.
“Our findings suggest that for the general adult population, higher sodium is very unlikely to be independently associated with higher risk of death from CVD or all other causes of death,” says Dr. Hillel W. Cohen, associate professor of epidemiology and population health at Einstein.
(italics, totally ours)
Color us unsurprised. ObamaCare is not about better healthcare and neither is this pending regulation of salt. It's about control. It's about a fundamental distrust of individual freedoms and liberty.
They may try to dress it up in the fineries of doing what's best for the greater good of individuals in society but at the end of the day the compelling logic is that you cannot be trusted to make healthcare decisions or dietary decisions on your own.
Looking at the way Obamacare was fashioned and looking at what is actually in the bill as we have been doing in our Nancy's Nuances: a journey of discovery and now looking at the statements, motives and facts regarding salt regulation, how can it be anything but?
It's one of our faves, Bertha Lewis of ACORN, giving us all the unvarnished truth.
For a moment there, we weren't sure whether she was talking in the present or future tense.
And "internments"? Exercised at the behest of the great progressive of the 20th century, last we checked.
We sleep better at night knowing that millions upon millions of our tax dollars have been spent to fund the professional existence of Bertha Lewis and her cause.
Like getting slapped upside the head with a ribeye steak, we'd apologize for the blatant red meat nature of this post but for the fact that we think it's important to, from time to time, point out what is considered "mainstream" and totally-not-fringe in some very large socio-political circles.
P.S. "Socialist" has been nearly branded as hate speech when used by conservatives, especially while describing the president's policies. Given that, could Lewis then possibly be a self-hating black?
Boston.com has got some great pictures of the volcano, here.
(please... please click image to enlarge)
And Temple of Mut has some good science stuff on the very un-Earth Day-like behavior of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull, here.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
but I have a question: How come we're supposed to draw (on the basis of no evidence), a connection between conservatism and terrorism, conservative ideology and terrorism? Where is that connection? Yet we are told we must reject, despite tons of evidence, the connection between Islamist ideology and terrorism. So we can't call Islamist fundamentalists "terrorists." We can't even use the word. But we can have ex-presidents and current presidents running around trying to associate conservatives with nonexistent terrorism at peaceful tea parties. Somebody needs to explain this to me.
On a somewhat related note with respect to stereotypes and media templates...
"I'm scared of the President because he is white. What does Keith Olberman have to say about that?"
H/T: NRO and Reason.tv
A WOMAN has been denied an operation on the NHS after paying for a private consultation to deal with her severe back pain.
Jenny Whitehead, a breast cancer survivor, paid £250 for an appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon after being told she would have to wait five months to see him on the NHS. He told her he would add her to his NHS waiting list for surgery.
She was barred from the list, however, and sent back to her GP. She must now find at least £10,000 for private surgery, or wait until the autumn for the NHS operation to remove a cyst on her spine.
“When I paid £250 to see the specialist privately I had no idea I would be sacrificing my right to surgery on the NHS. I feel victimised,” she said.
The case will reopen the debate over NHS policy towards patients who pay for some of their care privately. Following a Sunday Times campaign in 2008, the government ordered the NHS to stop withdrawing care from patients who received additional private treatment or drugs. Cancer sufferers were being barred from further NHS treatment after buying potentially life-saving medicines not offered by the health service.
Whitehead’s case, which has shocked her local Labour MP, reveals that patients who go private in despair at long waiting lists still risk jeopardising their NHS treatment. Department of Health officials admit it remains official policy.
Remember, socialized medicine/universal healthcare is not about providing or even obtaining superior medical attention - it's about maintaining the status quo and ensuring everyone is subjected to the same crappy service and care.
What is more chilling than the actual story, though, is the reader comments. Few seemed to be bothered by the insanity of this situation and the consensus was that a tweak here and a tweak there would ultimately solve the problem rather than entertaining the notion of scrapping the system entirely.
In fact, there was incredulity expressed that this woman would have the temerity to "get out of the queue" in order to see after her own health.
It's a crazy notion, we realize, but perhaps we could toss-about the idea that... everyone pays for their own healthcare.
The Brits have their NHS and now that they do have it, they are loathe to reverse course and do anything as radical as privatizing healthcare whereby individuals and individual decisions take precedence over "the system".
The reader comments reflect the deleterious effects of submitting these sort of decisions to an outside authority. Self-interest, the desire to seek the best possible care for one's own health, becomes secondary to a perverse ideal of equality and fairness whereby acting in one's best interest is seen as "selfish" and "gaming the system".
The more we think about it, the more we are convinced of the justice and true fairness of blowing up and completely destroying ObamaCare by any legal means.
Monday, April 19, 2010
So, this is how it's going to be? This is the extent of the intellectual framework of the pushback against those who would have the gall to exercise their 1st amendment rights to express displeasure with the president's statist agenda.
Joe Klein of Newsweek scribbling down some "research" on a cocktail napkin.
"I did a little bit of research just before this show - it's on this little napkin here. I looked up the definition of sedition which is conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state. And a lot of these statements, especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck and to a certain extent Sarah Palin, rub right up close to being seditious."
This would be humorous but for the fact that the cocktail napkin strategy is so offensive and what they are accusing others of is so serious in nature.
It's also pathetic and represents the depth to which mainstream journalism in America has descended. A free press which should have an inherent skeptical and adversarial role to the government has switched sides and is now openly hostile towards the country's citizens.
Perhaps these sages of the media can enlighten us to what exactly it is about a $1.4 trillion budget deficit in 2009 and a $1 trillion deficit in 2010 we are supposed to be happy about.
Precisely what is it about the very real possibility of a VAT (value added tax - the pols know damn well they cannot fund the massive explosion of federal government programs without finding new revenue streams) that we should lay ourselves supine in overwhelming gratitude?
It's obvious that Klein and the others cannot quite get it through their skulls that we may be just a tad dissatisfied over a $787 billion dollar economic stimulus package that did nothing of the sort and did not keep unemployment below 8% as promised and was cynically constructed so that the majority of the spending would take place during the year of mid-term elections.
Perhaps Klein and his buds think we should be overjoyed and throw rose pedals at the feet of our congressional overseers who have inserted themselves into our healthcare decisions.
That the intelligentsia of this country disagrees with our pleas for fiscal responsibility and desires for our government to return to some core constitutional competencies is understandable. They're statists. That's just who they are.
That they cannot, however, at least understand the underlying reasons for this anxiety is demonstrable of either a) just how out of touch with the American public they have become or b) they do understand and they are so in-the-tank for the statist agenda they willfully lie in order to provide cover for disastrous domestic policies.
Either way, they have abrogated their duties and responsibilities as journalists.
Remember when dissent was patriotic?
We've given this some thought and have come to the conclusion that we screwed up at the Tax Day rally at the Midway post office this past Thursday.
As you will recall, there was justifiable angst that lefty agitators would crash the rallies that were going on around the country in an attempt to embarass, discredit or otherwise marginalize the tea party movement, as a whole.
So, what happened at the San Diego rally? This guy...
And why did we screw up? Because we didn't thank the guy. In all seriousness, we should've extended our hand in friendship to this man and thank him for not being flame-thrower by attempting to portray us as truthers, birthers or racists.
As it was, this form of counter-protesting was pretty benign and given the circumstances, pretty amusing.
We regret that his identity was exposed and hope that no one has used this knowledge for ill.
As Leslie has admonished us, to be effective in getting our message out and across, it takes love. Brotherly love dictates that we can disagree without being disagreeable.
Props to every 'partier out there who is making this happen.
So, that was it?
That was the liberal-Left's Big Idea?
We have essentially created public utilities out of the health insurance corporations. The federal government and the health insurance industry in a hand-in-glove partnership... picking winners and losers!.
The very corporatism they claim to have despised, they, in the end, clawed, scratched, bribed, swindled, decieved, misled, lied and whored in order to achieve.
As I have said before, if we want an anti-corporate agenda, then let's end the subsidies, bail outs and tax breaks that go to corporations. But that would mean vast simplification of the tax code not seen since Reagan and Rostenkowski worked out a deal. In general, it means we have to renounce government interference in the economy to achieve a true anti-corporate agenda. But politicians of both parties can't resist the temptation. This is where the Tea party comes in, we educate the public on the negative impact and demand a smaller more accountable government. I'm not talking laissez-faire but just minimally intrusive policies.
Will we get any help from our left-leaning Coffee Party friends? One would think that an anti-corporate agenda would be in their wheel house. However, because of the progressive's reflexive instincts towards more government regulation (read: more government intervention into the free market), the result turns out being the government and private industry having that much greater of a vested interest in each other.
The very corporatism they seek to end, is only strengthened by the progressive's statist policies and legislation.
Catch the rest of B-Daddy's take down here.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
"We've seen since Meb's win (in the New York City Marathon) that American athletes are standing taller. It was one thing to be tapping on the ceiling. Once one person crashes through, it makes all the difference."
That from Mary Wittenberg director of the New York race on the effect of Meb Keflezighi's (San Diego High alum) victory with respect to U.S. chances in the Boston Marathon which will be run tomorrow on Patriot's Day.
No U.S. male has won the Boston Marathon since 1983.
Out: Tea Partiers are a bunch of un-washed and un-read fly-over country rubes being led around by the nose so it's obvious they are not grassroots.
In: Tea Partiers are a bunch of educated and uppper-middle class malcontents, so it's obvious they are not grass roots
Saturday, April 17, 2010
When we blogged a few days ago about Fannie and Freddie regulator, Armando Falcon's, testimony before Congress with respect to the attacks unleashed upon him by those GSEs when he had the temerity to suggest that those two GSEs might be on some questionable financial footing because of loose lending practices and Enron-like accounting practices, we left out a minor detail, though, it's one that should not surprise you if you've been a regular reader: Fannie and Freddie are still going to require a wee more bit o' cash.
A pair of former regulators who oversaw Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac told a panel Friday that the two government sponsored enterprises - which taxpayers have already bailed out to the tune of $125 billion - will likely need even more aid.
Their testimony came on the third and final day of this week's Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearings on securitization and subprime lending. The panel tasked with determining the factors that contributed to the financial crisis.
Armando Falcon and James Lockhart, former directors of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, said the price tag for taxpayers would almost certainly climb, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to draw on their credit lines.
And how much more tax-payer cash are Fannie and Freddie going to require? Does it matter? Let's hit the way-back button to this past Christmas Eve, yes, Christmas Eve when Treasury boss and two-time tax cheat, Timothy Geithner, effectively removed the cap on how much more money could be poured into Fannie and Freddie.
The Obama administration pledged on Thursday to back beleaguered mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac no matter how big their losses may be in the next three years.
It also jettisoned a demand that the two companies cut the size of their mortgage-related investment portfolios next year, allowing them to provide even more support in the near term for a housing market recovering from its worst slump in decades.
Fannie and Freddie are still holding these toxic assets and not only is there not any incentive for them to shed them so we can begin a true recovery in the housing market there is not any incentive for them to continue bad lending practices.
Why we are even bothering holding these hearings is a mystery to us.
A substantial number of U.S. heart doctors — about one in four — say they order medical tests that might not be needed out of fear of getting sued, according to a new study.
Nearly 600 doctors were surveyed for the study to determine how aggressively they treat their patients and whether non-medical issues have influenced their decisions to order invasive heart tests.
Most said they weren't swayed by such things as financial gain or a patient's expectations. But about 24% of the doctors said they had recommended the test in the previous year because they were worried about malpractice lawsuits. About 27% said they did it because they thought their colleagues would do the test.
Doctors who treated their patients aggressively were more likely to be influenced by malpractice worries or peer pressure than those who weren't as aggressive, the study determined.
Medical malpractice was part of the health care reform debate, but didn't make it into the recently approved legislation. The new law does include pilot programs for states to explore alternatives to lawsuits.
That's odd because we don't recall any actual debate with respect to tort reform. Hell, we don't recall any actual debate whatsoever with respect ObamaCare.
And this notion of leaving it to the states? Don't recall where there has been any prohibition against states seeking to reign-in trial lawyers even before ObamaCare.
Friday, April 16, 2010
"The second way government assistance programs contribute to long-term unemployment is by providing an incentive, and the means, not to work. Each unemployed person has a 'reservation wage'—the minimum wage he or she insists on getting before accepting a job. Unemployment insurance and other social assistance programs increase [the] reservation wage, causing an unemployed person to remain unemployed longer."
What follows is not going to be one of our beloved Milton Friedman videos because the quote above did not come from him or any of the other usual supply-side suspects but rather one of President Obama's chief economic advisers, Larry Summers.
As Congress is considering pushing the duration of unemployment benefits out to 99 weeks, studies, facts on the grounds and simple human psychology don't support the fact that unemployment benefits actually put people back to work.
Alan Reynolds of the Cato Institute has found that the average unemployment episode rose from 10 weeks before the recession to 19 weeks after Congress twice previously extended jobless benefits—to 79 from 26 weeks.
Even the Brookings Institute, which will never be confused with Heritage Foundation, concluded that the jobless insurance extensions "correspond to between 0.7 and 1.8 percentage points of the 5.5 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate witnessed in the current recession."
And another Obama economic advisor, Alan Krueger concludes from a 2008 study that "job search increases sharply in the weeks prior to benefit exhaustion" which is a concept that we need neither an economic advisor nor a study to realize as we've been there-done that.
Again, if one is being paid not to work, what is then the incentive to work?
This administration's policies have been all about putting off, delaying or simply denying the pain that comes with bouncing back out of a recession.
Compassion is a wonderful thing but all too often when practiced by the government it morphs into a cheap political tool that almost without exception stunts individual initiative that is at the heart of a robust economy.
Casting wider the welfare net does not make for an economic recovery.
Some pictures and images of the Tax Day rally at the Midway post office here in San Diego, yesterday.
And as for the Tea Party crashers and other assorted infiltrators, we'll give them credit for the extent they went to go undercover... deep undercover. Fortunately, alert Tea Partiers were on the job pointing out these obvious frauds.
And our favorite sign of the day
We hear ya, kid.
W.C. Varones has the goods on the one actual crasher we saw at the rally. In reality, pretty benign.
And B-Daddy's take on yesterday's events, here.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."
- Mahatma Gandhi
Think we got a pretty good feel for where we're at right now.
P.S. We'll try to throw up some pictures of the rally down at the post office later tonight or tomorrow morning.
We need to start keeping a running tally of all the little surprises, or if you prefer, unintended consequences, misrepresentations or outright lies that are revealed from within ObamaCare on a near-daily basis.
Maybe we'll put together a post and we'll update it periodically to reflect just what all is in this wondrous piece of legislation and we'll name it in honor of Madam Speaker who shares our sentiments in this journey of discovery - we'll call it Nancy's Nuances.
Currently, people with massive medical expenses -- more than 7.5 percent of their income -- can deduct them on their taxes. Under Obamacare, the threshold goes up to 10 percent in 2013 for younger taxpayers and in 2017 for older ones.
According to the Hill, this unnoticed tax hike will squeeze $15.2 billion out of 15 million very sick people, 99 percent of whom make less than $200,000 per year.
Call it what you will but don't call it a tax hike because that would be claiming a broken campaign promise and that would just be intemperate speech.
A special feature here on Tax Day America. We normally roll out The Beatles' "Tax Man" but wanted to go with something different this year.
We tried to find the Beat Farmers' version of the song because it completely rocks but we didn't get any YouTube love on that front so we just went with the original.
Taking a swipe at the nanny-state of their native England and a dim view of the assumed "progress" of technology while dismissing the notion of modern = better , who knew these guys were such Burkean conservatives?
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's The Kinks, performing "20th Century Man"
P.S. Blogging may be light for the next day or two as we will be down at the post office on Midway for the Tax Day Rally. All this exercising of 1st amendment rights is quite exhausting, don't you know? We'll try to report out on the day's events or link to other sites as time permits.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
... because that's how we roll.
It's come to our attention that some lefty Einsteins want to infiltrate the tea party movement and act in a manner that will discredit the movement particularly at rallies like the tax day rally that will be going down tomorrow at the Midway post office here in San Diego.
We say, "come to our attention" because these Einsteins have a website stating their infiltration objectives and goals. If the idea of having a website that openly advertises subterfuge seems oxymoronic, you will know why we have bestowed such a lofty intellectual sobriquet upon these people.
Aside from this towering intellect, though, it's telling that they have resorted to these tactics as evidence of getting their asses kicked in the marketplace of ideas. They have none and they know it, so they fall back on the trusty race card and general smear tactics.
It's sad because these people are so indeed bereft of any ideas, they cannot muster the inspiration to even organize an honest-to-goodness counter-protest.
And that's where we step in, doing the Lord's work of promoting a healthy (and civil!) democracy where ideas are brought to the table and where we let the people decide.
With that in mind and with the infiltrators emphasis on misspelled signs, we have some slogans that we offer up, free of charge, that are in keeping with the political ideology of the infiltrators in order to get their counter-protest off and running.
I (heart) the Baleouts
Keep heeping those laws on my Body
Freedom and Liberty: Highly Overrated
Because I'm just to dam stupid to be left to my own devices
I'm so dun with the Constitution
Too much disposable income!
Yes, I believe I will help myself to mor of your money
Healthcare for all! Everybody In, Nobody Out....
Actually, we did see that on a t-shirt at a pro-Obamacare rally. Liberalism has twisted itself into such a knot that the irony contained in that statement has choked the life out of the good-government liberal, an all-but extinct breed.
You can probably think of some more that are far more clever in an effort to help our statist friends while at the same time assisting them in competing in the marketplace of ideas.
From the 2010 World Beer Cup held in Chicago in which 642 breweries from 44 countries and 47 U.S. States entered 3,330 separate beers for 97 categories.
11 and 21... the number of County breweries winning medals and the number of medals those breweries won.
10%... the percentage of County breweries out of American breweries winning medals (204)
8 and 10... the number of medals won by County breweries over those of respected craft brew states, Oregon and Colorado, respectively.
5 and 14... the number of medals won by County breweries over the countries of Germany and Belgium, respectively.
Ballast Point Brewing Company which won 3 gold medals was named small brewing company of the year succeeding 2008 winner Port Brewing Company of Solano Beach.
It's settled. San Diego County is the craft/microbrew capital of the planet and it's not really even close.
Honorable Mentions: Our ancestral hometown of Placentia, California, picked up two gold medals. In the Experimental Beer category, the 100% Brett Autumn Maple and in the Belgian-Style Flanders/Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale, the Oude Tart courtesy The Bruery.
Shocker: No medals for Stone Brewery of Escondido.
A full rundown of Cup winners, here.
* That's Jack White President and founder of Ballast Point Brewing Co. holding aloft a pint of his Big Eye India Pale Ale.
"we encountered more difficulty and delay. Fannie's lobbyists were on the Hill spreading misinformation about my motives and asserting that the special exam was unnecessary."
That from Armando Falcon, a former regulator at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), the GSE watchdog who was testifying before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission regarding Fannie Mae. Falcon further testified that whenever faced with a report with negative connotations about the company, Fannie's supporters would launch an assault on OFHEO -- from a full investigation of the group to demanding Falcon's resignation.
Now, they wouldn't have done such a thing now would they? And why does that name, Armando Falcon, ring a bell? Why, yes. Why, yes, indeed. Falcon was made an absolute whipping boy back in 2004 during congressional testimony when he testified to Fannie Mae's illegal accounting practices.
From the interweb archives, one of our favorite videos of all-time: for your viewing and keeping-the-record-straight pleasure, it's Lacy Clay (D-MO) throwing out racially-charged grenades and Maxine Waters extolling the virtues of zero down loans and the total awesomeness of Franklin Raines.
Exit question: How is it that Franklin Raines is walking around a free man, right now?
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
So, those of you who thought ObamaCare was a swell idea because it would bring down premiums may be in for a bit of a rude surprise.
Public outrage over double-digit rate hikes for health insurance may have helped push President Obama's healthcare overhaul across the finish line, but the new law does not give regulators the power to block similar increases in the future.
And now, with some major companies already moving to boost premiums and others poised to follow suit, millions of Americans may feel an unexpected jolt in the pocketbook.
Although Democrats promised greater consumer protection, the overhaul does not give the federal government broad regulatory power to prevent increases.
Many state governments -- which traditionally had responsibility for regulating insurance companies -- also do not have such authority. And several that do are now being sued by insurance companies.
"It is a very big loophole in health reform," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said. Feinstein and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) are pushing legislation to expand federal and state authority to prevent insurance companies from boosting rates excessively.
A loophole? That's what you call one leg of the three-legged ObamaCare stool (universal coverage, coverage for pre-existing conditions, and bending down the cost curve) getting sawed in two? A loophole?
First, Congress forgot to cover children with pre-existing conditions (the health insurance companies were later shamed into providing coverage).
Then, they forgot to cover young adults under their parent's health insurance plans (later, fixed with the Reconciliation bill).
And just yesterday, news broke that they somehow forgot to exempt themselves from ObamaCare.
And now, they kind of forgot to shore up that whole rising premium thing. It's the big sombrero of legislative incompetence.
How much further proof does one need that no one, repeat, no one bothered reading this bill?
But as for actually giving the feds some regulatory teeth in which to clamp down on those greedy insurance companies, fear not, congressional help is on the way.
On Capitol Hill, Feinstein said she was looking at ways to move her premium regulation bill forward, perhaps by attaching it to other legislation with bipartisan support.
Linking it to something like troop spending is always a favorite of ours.
If you are scoring at home, then: We had the original ObamaCare bill signed into law back on March 20th. Then you had the Reconciliation bill that was supposed to fix everything that was screwed up and disagreeable about the original O-Care bill. Now, because they couldn't get the cost control thing right, there will be yet another healthcare-related bill.
ObamaCare: As Nancy Pelosi promised, it will be the gift we keep finding more and more about now that it has passed.