Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's Official...

... The People Magazine (Sorry, People) of current affairs and politics has jumped the shark in their all-out un-humorous snark offensive-as-distraction as they implicitly acknowledge the disastrous nature of this administration thus far.

In case you can't read the asterisk footnote:

*Who isn’t actually any of those things

Did you hear that, you kooks! Any of them! Any. Of. Them!

The desperation is palpable.

Here's our own alternative Newsweek cover.

It ain't the way I wanted it. I can handle things! I'm competent! Not like everybody says... like incompetent. I'm competent and I want respect!

H/T: Instaglen

Against it before he was for it?

Previewing the President's speech on Iraq this evening while we prep for KT's challenge.

At Monday's White House briefing, spokesman Robert Gibbs gave reporters a preview of President Obama's speech on Iraq. Obama will apparently take credit for withdrawing U.S. troops -- "We are completing a drawdown of almost 100,000 troops that…many did not think was possible," Gibbs said -- but is unlikely to acknowledge any special role played by George W. Bush's troop surge. Gibbs said Obama plans to call Bush before the speech, but through repeated questioning would not admit that the surge played any especially important role in the war's progress.

A couple of things here. Yes, the troop drawdown was executed at the behest of the Commander-in-Chief, President Obama, but let's not forget that he is simply honoring the troop drawdown agreement put into place by the Bush administration. Obama's on watch, however, and such is the nature of politics where you get the blame as well as the credit for what transpires or was allowed to transpire while you are in office.

But the "many did not think was possible,"... Again, with the false straw mans. Similar to just a few days ago when in response to the persistent birth certificate question, Obama responded, "I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead,”. He's answering questions no one is asking. Those wing-nuts just want to see it once, that's all. And up close!

Here's more from Gibbs, yesterday:

"The president always believed that you would change part of the security situation by vastly increasing the number of troops," Gibbs said. "But again I think it was important -- and the president was criticized for this throughout the campaign -- and that is saying that we were not going to accomplish all of what needed to be done in Iraq simply militarily, that there had to be a political accommodation.

(italics, ours)

OK. OK. So, maybe he was just against it before he was for it. It happens.

Like when you go from being a junior senator to potentially the most powerful man on the planet.

By January 2008, with the surge working, Obama revised his remarks at a debate in New Hampshire: "Now, I had no doubt -- and I said at the time, when I opposed the surge, that given how wonderfully our troops perform, if we place 30,000 more troops in there, then we would see an improvement in the security situation and we would see a reduction in the violence."

In the Team O inner circle, this was always referred to as the great 30,000 additional troop un-surge.

Linked articles strongly hint that there will not be any public acknowledgement of the Bush surge plan or of Bush himself, in the speech tonight and that's a shame. For an administration that possesses a massive grace deficit, reaching out to the former President would be, we don't know.... possibly post-partisan and maybe even unifying.

Kathleen Sebelius has some ideas about how to spend your tax dollars

Head of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, isn't convinced you've been properly educated with respect to ObamaCare so, of course, some reeducation is in order.

With a number of polls showing a sustained level of opposition to the Democrats’ health care reform efforts more than five months after passage, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the Obama administration has “a lot of reeducation to do” heading into the midterms.

While some surveys – namely the Kaiser Family Foundation monthly tracking poll – have suggested an uptick in support for the reforms, most other surveys continue to show a steady level of opposition to the new law that remains higher than the favorable opinions of it.

“Unfortunately, there still is a great deal of confusion about what is in [the reform law] and what isn’t,” Sebelius told ABC News Radio in an interview Monday.

With an administration as tone-deaf as it is, we're convinced they have no idea how bad they sound.

But to Sebelius' point, there's no confusion around here as we've taken Speaker Pelosi's advise to heart and have been, ahem, educating ourselves and our readers as to just what is in ObamaCare now that it is the ungodly law of the land.

And about those tax-dollar ideas? The trusty reeducation PSA:

The "benefits will be phased in over time as a sign of our prudence and administrative competence" narrative is a real hoot isn't it?

What won't be phased in over time, of course, are the taxes to pay for this thing as even Sebelius can educate you that the taxes that kick in immediately to cover those "phased-in benefits" was done purposely to show the debt neutrality of ObamaCare over the first 10 years.

Actually, we want to thank the administration for chiming in on this as we Americans are somewhat forgetful people and when they aren't flapping their gums over ObamaCare we have a tendency to lose focus on just how critical it is to repeal this thing. So, thanks, guys!

H/T: The Weekly Standard

Monday, August 30, 2010

No Big Media love for mighty Mo?

We noted last week Newsweek's mocking and chiding of the American public for allowing the possibility to think that the President might be Muslim and we are beginning to wonder just what is Big Media's problem with Islam for we have never seen a more vigorous defense of Christianity at the expense of another widely practiced and perfectly legitimate Abrahamic faith.

Check out the WaPo who caught up with the President's former pastor, the quote machine, Jeremiah Wright, who was blasting those who think that Obama is a Muslim:

Wright's only reference to Obama came when he compared Griffen's opponents to those who incorrectly think Obama is Muslim. The president, whose full name is Barack Hussein Obama, is Christian.

And later:

A poll released this month found that nearly one in five people, or 18 percent, said they thought Obama was Muslim, up from the 11 percent in March 2009. The proportion who correctly said he was Christian was 34 percent, down from 48 percent in March of last year. The poll, conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center and its affiliated Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, surveyed 3,003 people.

(italics, ours)

If it's an opinion poll, then why do we need to be told what the Washington Post is insisting is the right answer... that would only be their opinion, no?

And check out the perky one, Katie Couric from last week:

Embed is currently disabled. Please go here

"He is not (a Muslim)"

"For the record: He is a Christian"

Are you all noticing a pattern here?

Newsweek, the Washington Post and CBS Evening News all saw fit to instruct, nay, admonish us for thinking that the President was anything but a follower of Christ and most certainly not, pffft, a Muslim.

It certainly looks from our vantage point that Big Media would have a problem if it indeed turned out that the President is a closet Muslim. Given the context of the comments and the narrative, how could it not?

How wacky are things these days when a small neighborhood right-wing blog like ours is coming to the defense of the religion of peace?

Video clip of the day

So you still think slam dunk contests are played-out? We won't disagree, however, we will submit the following for your consideration:

Exit question: Exhibition sport in the Olympics, anybody?

H/T: Free Darko

Not your typical Saturday on the Mall

With respect to the Restoring Honor rally in Washington D.C. on Saturday, who's up for a little Doc Smack?:

We dishonor ourselves when we tolerate the use of our fighting men and women as pawns in a political game. As long as they stand in harm’s way, we should accept no insult or slander against them. Robust criticism of the policy makers who declare and end hostilities is fair and welcome… but there is a line between politicians and soldiers, and it is easily visible to honorable people. We should have nothing but contempt for the likes of Code Pink. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin’s political career should have ended the day after he compared our service members to Nazis. There is no place for such creatures in the Congress of a nation that answers the dedication and sacrifice of its veterans with love and respect. In a rough economy with an uncertain future, Beck’s rally raised $5.5 million to help the families of special-operations soldiers killed in battle. That is a strong step in the right direction.

And this:

We dishonor ourselves when we deny the possibility of progress to embrace tribal hatreds. Race and feminist hustlers peddle a message that says the vast majority of people cannot be trusted to show common decency to minorities and women. We’ve had enough of this toxic superstition. Precious lives have been wasted, and ended, because there is power and profit to be gained in pretending the Civil Rights Act happened yesterday, and slavery ended the day before that. Where is the honor In shrieking that people who disagree with your politics are “interchangeable with the KKK?” An ideology so weak that it must resort to these underhanded tactics is garbage unfit for the intellectual consumption of a proud people. Those who are foolish enough to ignore the evidence of their eyes and ears, and consume that garbage, will rediscover their honor after they find their self-respect.

Most crucially, we dishonor ourselves when we forget we “have the same steel spine and the moral courage of Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King,” as Sarah Palin said at the Restoring Honor rally. We remain the proud inheritors of a revolutionary philosophy, the children of vision and industry. We have not diminished into timid weaklings, unworthy of the trust of our ruling class. Our land is still abundant, and filled with parents who want to make a better life for their children. Why should we listen to assurances that our future will be one of decline, where children hear their parents mourn better times from distant memory? Why should we accept that ten percent and more of our population must remain unemployed forever? Why should we excuse the failure of an incompetent Administration by believing we became helpless and destitute in just a few short years, and are now obliged to provide limitless resources to our caretakers?

Here's Reason.tv's take on what went down on Saturday:

So just what was it?

How about a multi-faith/no faith country class tent revival meeting?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

And where an angry mob of potential customers set upon the dancers

... they didn't but perhaps they should have.

How is that we go from Bob Seeger's "Like a Rock" and John Mellencamp's "This is our country" to help sell Chevy/GM products to horror that is below? Via The Scratching Post:

And with respect to this electric = green thing, someone is going to have to sit down and explain this to us as nearly half of the electricity we generate comes from coal-fired plants.

But when all is said and done we'll never look at the inverted one-armed hand plant quite the same again.

Radio KBwD is on the air (Special Edition)

Continuing our tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan on the 20th anniversary of his death.

In honor of his wife, Lenora, Stevie lays down one of the prettiest blues numbers you will ever hear in "Lenny".

For a nice extended live version, go here.

Same as it ever was

From the pages of America's paper of record and via W.C. Varones:

Republican insurgents from the far right did well in Tuesday’s primaries. What their campaigns lack in logic, compassion and sensible policy seems to be counterbalanced by a fiercely committed voter base that is nowhere to be seen on the Democratic side.

The "insurgents" of 2010 are simply the "temper tantrum"-throwing two-year olds of 1994 according to the state-run media.

In November of 1994, right after Republicans took control of Congress for the first time since the 1950s, Peter Jennings went on ABC radio and delivered a commentary that tells you everything you need to know about elite, liberal journalism.

“Some thoughts on those angry voters,” Jennings began. “Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It’s clear that the anger controls the child and not the other way around. It’s the job of the parent to teach the child to control the anger and channel it in a positive way. Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week. …Parenting and governing don’t have to be dirty words: the nation can’t be run by an angry two-year-old.”

"The others" of the ruling class don't appreciate disobedience.

As always...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Radio KBwD is on the air (Special Edition)

We're rolling with a little mini-tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan as this weekend marks the 20th anniversary of his death.

A little background to what you are about to watch and listen: This is from the 1985 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland where Stevie and the boys returned as conquering heroes after being given the cold shoulder by the attending jazz purists during their initial appearance in 1982 (being championed by the likes of David Bowie and Mick Jagger in the intervening 3 years does wonders for one's street cred).

Anyway, from 1985 and down by the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland, it's Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble performing, "Scuttle Buttin'" and "Say What?"

And they wonder why no one reads their magazine (UPDATED)

(please scroll down for update)

Because nothing brings in the readership like informing your readers just how stupid they are.

From the current Newsweek:

America the Ignorant: Dumb things Americans believe.

Chances are that by now you've heard about the August 19, 2010 Pew poll that found that nearly one fifth of Americans (mistakenly) believe that President Obama is a Muslim. Perhaps you think that a terrifying outlier; or perhaps you're a believer, and then you are in good company. Either way, you're wrong: in fact, a remarkably high numbers of Americans believe the most unusual things

An earlier version of the paragraph above contained "wrongly" instead of "mistakenly". Man, does that parenthetical ever speak volumes? You can almost feel the finger-wagging admonishment, can't you?

If the feature is "America the Ignorant" then it automatically implies that the just-under 20% of Americans that believe Obama to be a Muslim are wrong... so then why, in effect, repeat one's self? Could it be that there is something else at play here?

Is it a condescending admonishment not necessarily because Obama being a Muslim is obviously factually incorrect or is it an upbraiding for suggesting something impolite, as in, it is poor form to suggest that Obama is a Muslim? But why would that suggestion or belief be impolite? Why would Newsweek, of all publications have a problem with people believing Obama is a Muslim? Would they have a problem if, indeed, Obama was a Muslim? Do they, in fact, have a problem with the Islamic faith? This is highly curious rhetoric of Newsweek for which we need some clarification.

If Newsweek believe themselves (mistakenly) to be a venue of serious journalism for current events, politics and culture, then we believe some answers need to be forthcoming.

(UPDATE #1): KT, who was kind enough to link to this post poses the question: Why is it that these polling outfits are asking people whether they think Obama is a Muslim?

We believe the answer is two-fold: First, it's August. Congress is in recess and nothing is happening. Well, nothing is happening except for a daily barrage this week of bad economic news. Other than that, it's somewhat of a to-be-expected silly season question.

Secondly, and more importantly it was a bit of circling of the wagons by the media. The President's approval numbers are down and the economy appears headed for a double-dip recession. What better way to distract the electorate from this unpleasantness than to mock and ridicule them by setting up this type of question (In that same Newsweek feature, they reveal that 20% of Americans believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth which may prove only that depending on how you word the question, you can find 20% of Americans to believe about anything)?

Of course, weaved into this narrative of ignorance is bigotry especially as it relates to the Ground Zero Mosque. Here's former Labor Secretary, Robert Reich (H/T: KT):

Many Americans (and politicians who [sic] the polls) don't want a mosque at Manhattan's Ground Zero. . . .
Where is all this coming from?

It's called fear. When people are deeply anxious about holding on to their homes, their jobs, and their savings, they look for someone to blame. And all too often they find it in "the other"--in people who look or act differently, who come from foreign lands, who have what seem to be strange religions, who cross our borders illegally. . . .

Economic fear is the handmaiden of intolerance. It's used by demagogues who redirect the fear and anger toward people and groups who aren't really to blame but are easy scapegoats.

They cling to their guns and religion condescension cannot be contained.

Do you want to know who "the other" are in this country? It's people like Reich and his ilk in the ruling class. Those are the people we fear. The tyrants and those with tyrannical aspirations are the ones that get the rest of us running for our god, guns and whiskey.

That Reich and the rest of the ruling class cannot at least understand why the vast majority of Americans have reservations about the placement of that Mosque speaks volumes to the disconnect suffered by these people. Instead of seeking to understand, they immediately start rambling about "the other", when the rest of us know exactly who "the other" is. Ironic, no?


A round up of articles, columns, news items and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

Michelle Malkin has a nice round-up of tea party-inspired and executed mayhem, here.

A weeks-long traffic jam in China? Dispatch Thomas Friedman, pronto, to report out on the glories of sitting in traffic.


When you lose Letterman.

Confirming what we knew all along: Baucus didn't read the bill. Hell, he didn't even write it - that's what the "experts" are for.

Twenty-five years ago, would it have been possible that we would say this of AM radio?
The National Association of Broadcasters is lobbying Congress to stipulate that FM radio technology be included in future cell phones.

It's like the opposite of a restraining order. When you are no longer desired, just regulate your way back into your former lover's heart.

With all the hype and hoopla surrounding the team combined with the bluster and swagger of their head coach, Rex Ryan, has there ever been a team set up for a more spectacular fall than the New York Jets?

KT wonders just what possesses polling outfits to ask questions like: Do you think Obama is a Muslim?

“The Taliban has the power to kill and people still don’t like them.”
P.J. O'Rourke, writing for The Weekly Standard swoops into Afghanistan for 72 hours and claims expert status on all things Afghanistan.

So, former RNC chairman and George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign manager, Ken Mehlman is gay? Yawn

Rotten eggs: Michael Ramirez's take on the "Summer of Recovery".

Friday, August 27, 2010

Radio KBwD is on the air

20th anniversary of the worst weekend of our life.

We were winding down our first week of work out of Seminary when on that Thursday evening we came down with food poisoning. A really, really bad case of food poisoning. So while dealing with that we get t-boned in our car while trying to cross multiple lanes of traffic on Saturday morning. There was an infant in the other car and thankfully he was buckled in securely so neither he nor his Mom who was driving were hurt. And the sickening feeling we would've had for realizing how much worse the accident could've been was covered ably by the food poisoning.

It was later on that evening, curled up in bed in a sweating, shivering ball that we got the news that Stevie Ray Vaughan was killed in a helicopter accident in Wisconsin.

Our very first album purchase was Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble's Couldn't Stand the Weather and to this day he remains our favorite guitar player.

We survived that weekend and relatively speaking, it's been all uphill ever since.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in honor of the life and career of the man, from Austin, Texas, it's Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble performing, "Rude Mood/Hideaway".

Cash for Clunkers: revisited

Say you're out of work, your spouse is out of work or you're under-employed but in dire need of some vehicular transportation. Obviously, in this economy and being in the financial circumstance that you are, you are leaning heavily towards the used car market.

But before we get to cruising down to the used car lot, let's go back to a previous post where we whined that Cash for Clunkers was $3 billion poured down the drain "for absolutely nothing".

Ah, how wrong we were.

Car buyers on average paid $1,800 more for a used vehicle in July than they paid a year ago at this time, according to Edmunds.com data. That's a 10.3 percent increase, bringing the average cost of a 3-year-old vehicle to $19,248. The price of a Cadillac Escalade spiked nearly 36 percent. "A lack of confidence in the economy is driving more people to used cars, putting upward pricing pressure on a limited supply of vehicles," said Joe Spina, a senior analyst for Edmunds.

There's a tricky aspect to this analysis, because last summer was marked by a used-car buying frenzy spawned by the Cash for Clunkers program. Spina said the effects of that program are hard to isolate precisely. "So many economic factors affect automobile sales and prices. It's believed that the program delayed purchases prior to the program and also pulled sales forward while in place," he said. "The program also eliminated inventory of older vehicles that were traded and then scrapped."

Of course, you shouldn't be buying an Escalade anyway so the social engineering benefits of CfC are obvious.

So we were off on our assessment of Cash for Clunkers. Way off. That $3 billion of tax-payer scratch accomplished quite a bit, most importantly, by distorting the market by artificially reducing the supply of used cars and as a result, hosing over working families that would be in the market for used cars.

H/T: Instaglen

Recessions rock!

L.A. Times columnist not quite grasping the reality of the current economic landscape:

Corporate America, it's time to spread the wealth

Businesses are sitting on a record hoard of cash, but they're not using it to hire workers or pay existing ones better wages. Broadly distributing the fruits of economic growth is the only way to sustain that growth.

Michael Hiltzik hits on the fact that non-financial institutions in this country are setting on record amounts of cash and wonders why they are not lavishing it upon their workers or on new hires.

Because frolicking in their respective vaults and having pillow fights with the cases filled with green backs is what big business fat cats like to do. Seriously... this is what they live for. Instead of participating in the economy, producing, innovating and generating the profits that got them to where they are, they welcome recessions where they can just sit on the sidelines and not produce and not innovate, rather doing backstrokes through the sea of cash they've built up around them.

It never dawns upon Hiltzik that the reason this may be is because of the economic uncertainty that is 2011. 2011 that will see the end of the Bush tax cuts and the further encroachment of the administration's regulatory regime via ObamaCare and the potentiality of energy bills and more Keynesian hocus-pocus that will only lengthen or worsen the current recession.

Yep, those fat cats got to where they are precisely because they didn't hire employees and weren't vigorous participants in the economy. Just ask health insurance providers.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another day, another health insurance nightmare

A couple of days ago we blogged on Assurant Health having to lay off 130 people from its offices in Milwaukee and Plymouth, MN and just yesterday we found colleges scrambling to get themselves exempted from onerous ObamaCare rules that may outlaw certain health insurance plans they offer their students. And now today we learn of yet another health insurance provider that is facing layoffs, partially as a result of ObamaCare.

HealthMarkets, the North Richland Hills-based seller of health insurance, laid off 70 employees this month and expects to trim 180 more positions by the end of the first quarter of 2011, according to a recent federal filing.

In the Securities and Exchange Commission filing, HealthMarkets blamed the layoffs on "dropping enrollment levels experienced by the company's insurance subsidiaries," along with national healthcare reform and "related legislative developments."

HealthMarkets provides insurance plans to the self-employed, individuals and small businesses.

The filing did not disclose where the Aug. 10 layoffs occurred, and the company declined to comment further.

There is a common theme to these 3 situations and that is the endangerment of smaller health insurance providers and the low cost/low benefit plans in which they specialize for students, individuals and the self-employed that prefer these types of plans.

And we are again going to emphasize how badly top-down, command and control policies distort the market place. Younger college students are naturally healthier than older people, as such, they don't need the extent of coverage and quantity of benefits that they surely cannot afford. The same thing applies for individuals and the self-employed who choose these low cost/low benefit plans as it best suits their needs and circumstances.

You've heard us bitch about this before but we cannot understand why we are covered for alcohol and drug dependency treatment. It drives up the price of our premiums and to an extent presents a moral hazard with respect to potentially abusing drugs and alcohol. If we had a say in the matter we would eliminate that particular benefit.

The ability to customize or choose a plan that best fits one's needs and circumstances looks to be going the way of the Dodo bird because of ObamaCare where we will essentially be forced to carry around bulky, clunky and expensive plans full of crap that we don't want or need. And health insurance providers, seeing the handwriting on the wall of being forced to provide only these expensive plans that they know will kill them financially, are getting out in front of the bow wave by cutting costs via employee layoffs.

Again, how horrible is a piece of legislation that adds 20-30 million customers to an industry but where that same industry is still forced to layoff its employees?

It is what it is

Via Carpe Diem: Consider this a missive from the reality-based community.

"The free market is not an ideology or a creed or something we're supposed to take on faith, it's a measurement. It's a bathroom scale. I may hate what I see when I step on the bathroom scale, but I can't pass a law saying I weigh 160 pounds."

And against all logic and common sense, that's precisely what regulatory regimes and diversity brigades attempt to do. They are false prophets altering natural order and constraining the potential of mankind.

Link of the day

Plot: Lone figure works to uncover a nefarious government-sponsored conspiracy that involves the environmental and economical fate of millions of Californians.

For those of you waiting for the Hollywood blockbuster on order of Erin Brockovich/Silkwood/China Syndrome, we would suggest not holding your breath.

Temple of Mut has the details, here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just one more reason to move into the folks' basement, kids.

One of the advantages of a free market economy over a command and control one is the increased competition compels the provider of a good or service to provide the consumer options and choices to better fit the needs and circumstances of the consumer.

Say you are a college student wishing to purchase health insurance. Generally speaking, are you going to opt for a expensive gold-plated insurance policy that covers all your doctor visits, hip replacement surgeries and regular check-ups or are you going to choose a bare bones low cost/low benefit plan? Because of your youth and therefore, relative health and because you really need the money for tuition, books, lodging, food, etc., you are most definitely going with the latter option because it much better suits your circumstances.

Unfortunately, for college students across America that may all change.

Colleges and universities say that some rules in the new health law could keep them from offering low-cost, limited-benefit student insurance policies, and they're seeking federal authority to continue offering them.

Their request drew immediate fire from critics, however, who say that student health plans should be held to the same standards that other insurance is.

(italics, ours)

Once again, a reminder that ObamaCare really isn't about optimizing the benefits of your individual health care but rather making sure everyone is receiving the equal amount of health care benefits as miserable as the outcome may be.

Among other things, the colleges want clarification that they won't have to offer the policies to non-students.

Without a number of changes, it may be impossible to continue to offer student health plans, says a letter that the American Council on Education sent Aug. 12 to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, signed by 12 other trade associations that represent colleges.

Additionally, the colleges say that some provisions of the law don't apply to their policies, including those that require insurers to spend at least 80 percent of their revenue on medical care and that bar them from setting annual coverage caps.

Many of the provisions at issue don't go into effect until 2014, but the colleges say they need clarity soon because they're negotiating long-term contracts with insurers now.

(italics, ours)

And once again, we see price signaling taking effect as colleges are making rational decisions in bracing for the inevitable disaster that will come with ObamaCare.

As it stands, colleges may be forced to provide only ObamaCare-mandated insurance policies that won't fit the needs of their students as they provide benefits their relatively healthy students don't need and certainly can't afford.

This is a perfect illustration of what happens when a command and control regulatory regime forces consumers into a one-size-fits-all plan.

Exit question: Does this qualify for Nancy's Nuances: a journey of discovery? We're thinking yes as the colleges only discovered what was in the bill after it was passed.

H/T: Hot Air

The truth hurts...

... and doesn't poll very well either.

Democratic strategists commissioned focus groups, polls and researches to carve out strategies for the upcoming mid-term elections. Here's what they found:

The researchers found what they call a "challenging environment," which is a nicer way of saying "disaster in the making." Voters simply aren't buying the Democratic case that health care reform will insure more than 30 million currently uninsured people and save money at the same time. And when they think about their own health care, people worry that reform will mean less, not more, availability of care, and at a higher cost.

Faced with that bad news, the pollsters came up with several recommendations for Democratic candidates. When talking about Obamacare, Democrats should "keep claims small and credible." They should promise to "improve" the law. They should avoid talking about policy and stick to "personal stories" of people who will benefit from Obamacare. And above all, the pollsters advise, "don't say the law will reduce costs and deficit."

(italics, ours)

For the love of god, don't dare utter the very two points we sold the public on in order to slam this thing through!

Republicans should be in no need of focus groups or researchers - thanks to horrendous governance, this isn't rocket science:

1) The economy
2) ObamaCare
3) Process

Shameless (redux)

The text content of this post below the video was lifted from a previous post of nearly 3 months ago when we were commenting on the situation whereby Sarah Palin's "biographer" Joe McGinniss decided to move in to the house right next door to the Palins in Wasilla, Alaska. As you will see from the video, the same sentiments still apply.

Let us try to explain. Todd Palin seems like the kind of guy who can take care of himself and his family, if you follow what we mean. Now, don't get your shorts in a bind over what you think we are suggesting. We are in no way advocating any confrontation that may have any unseemly consequences - we're fully aware this creep McGinniss can live anywhere he wants... but right next door?

It just seems there was a time in this country, maybe 30, 40 or 50 years ago, where this sort of thing would not have happened because the mere threat of an ass-kicking would have been incentive enough for McGinniss to think twice about pulling a stunt like this.

And let us pause for a moment to recognize that perhaps 30, 40, or 50 years ago confrontations did occur because people of the "wrong" skin color or religion moved into certain neighborhoods. So, are we possibly guilty of inconsistencies in what specific respects we are taking umbrage with the form/fit/function of our neighbor? Sue us.

Are we wrong to think, then, this situation is symptomatic of an American society that has lost a sense of shame and the notions of Burkean conservatism of shared values and community bonds? Perhaps think of it this way: WWJWD?... What Would John Wayne Do? Do you think John Wayne lets McGinniss move in next door? (Great, now you all are rationalizing through archetypes... Look, American culture and thus its values and traditions are chock full of archetypes be they real or fictional. Be it the strength and heroism of Paul Bunyan, Davy Crockett and General George Patton to the all-around bad-assery of Stagger Lee or Robert Johnson down at the Crossroads selling his soul to ol' Scratch, these larger-than-life figures help define who it is we are as Americans).

We leave you with a homily that hung on the wall of our old boss's office and that we saw nearly every day for 13 years and which we could nearly recite word for word because of it:

Bene Dictum, Benedicte!

If any pilgrim monk come from distant parts, if with wish as a guest to dwell in the monastery, and will be content with the customs which he finds in the place, & do not perchance by his lavishness disturb the monastery, but is simply content with what he finds, he shall be received, for as long a time as he desires. If indeed, he find fault with anything, or expose it, reasonably, and with the humility of charity, the Abbot shall discuss it prudently, lest perchance God has sent him for this very thing. But, if he have been found gossipy and contumacious in the time of his sojurn as guest, not only ought he not to be joined to the body of the monastery, but also it shall be said to him, honestly, that he must depart. If he does not go, let two stout monks, in the name of God, explain the matter to him.

The internet and 24 hr. news cycle giveth and the internet and 24 hr. news cycle most certainly taketh away.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Great moments in the history of the ruling class

Let's say you entered this country legally on a tourist visa back in 2000. And let's say that when that visa expired a couple of years later, you decided to stay here anyway. And let's say that in both 2002 and 2004, you applied for asylum but were denied and also in each case, the courts ordered you deported but that you remained here in the states in a now obviously illegal status.

And then a few years later, let's say that somehow you got your asylum case re-opened and that somehow even with the presiding judge acknowledging your testimony regarding why it is you required asylum was a pack of lies, the judge granted you asylum just the same.

Who would that make you? Why, the President's aunt, that's who.

BwD has been proud to have brought you this Great moment in the history of the ruling class.

Price signaling...

... ObamaCare style.

Assurant Health is eliminating 130 jobs at its offices in Milwaukee and Plymouth, Minn., by Oct. 1 as the health insurer prepares for changes under federal health care reform.

The company, which sells health insurance for individuals and small employers as well as short-term policies, faces an onslaught of new federal health care reform regulations, including the requirement that it spend 80% of premiums on medical care.

"While it always is a tough decision to eliminate jobs, the health insurance industry is undergoing unprecedented change that requires our company to adapt and transform," Don Hamm, president and chief executive officer of Assurant Health, said in a news release.

(italics, ours)

Is it a Midwest thing? That whole understated way of conveying impending disaster: ObamaCare may very well ruin us so we're doing what we can to get out in front of the bow wave.

State insurance commissioners are still working on the proposed rules for the percentage of premiums that must be spent on medical care. The requirement is expected to lower profit margins and to force some companies out of the market.

There it is again. We were almost lulled to sleep by this stoic upper-Midwest delivery but snapped-to in time to catch: ObamaCare as written will lose money for health insurance providers and will most certainly force small companies like Assurant Health that offer flexible plans absent over-burdensome regulation, out of business.

By one estimate, health insurers stand to gain 20 million new customers as a result of the requirement that everyone have health insurance under health care reform. Most of those new customers are expected to buy insurance on their own.

First of all, we were all led to believe that of the estimated 47 million uninsured people in this country, ObamaCare would cover 30 million of those. Now, it appears that number has been downgraded to just 20 million. Terrific.

But even still, how bad does a piece of legislation have to be whereby an industry will gain 20-30 million more dues-paying customers and that same industry will still have companies that go under because of that very circumstance?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Video clip of the day

Unbelievable. Just a few weeks ago we featured an amazing catch made by Masato Akamatsu and now, once more, we have the same two teams (Hiroshima Toyo Carp and Yokohama Bay Stars) and the same pitcher (Saitou Yuki) in this installment of What's in the water over there?

No. That's not Akamatsu but his apparently anonymous replacement that evening.

We love the expression on the pitcher, Yuki's, face. Darn, wish that was Akamatsu out there in center..... oh, well never mind then.

H/T: Deadspin

Headline and sub-headline of the day (UPDATED)

New York mosque controversy worries Muslims overseas

Some can't understand the fuss over a house of worship and how a democracy promoting religious freedom could even be having such a debate. Others are offended at the conflation of the 9/11 attacks with all Muslims.

We realize that it's the height of the political silly season currently in these dog days of August but is it really too much to ask this nation's political left and the Arab "street" to wrap their brains around the notion that one can accept that there is nothing legally-speaking that can or should be done to prevent a Muslim community center from being built two blocks from Ground Zero while simultaneously believing that this same community center would better serve its alleged intent of tolerance and understanding by being built elsewhere?

It isn't but for the American left it's brutally obvious that this is simply about misrepresenting the views of those opposed to building this community center, mosque, whatever, at that particular location.

So, it's come to this: a completely natural, understandable and visceral response by 67% of New York City residents is proof-positive of this country's Islamophobia.

Unfortunately for the left, however, and similar to the Arizona illegal immigration issue, it's tough for your false narrative to gain much traction when you are on the losing side of a 70/30 hot button issue... particularly when prominent members of the left's own team like Harry Reid and Howard Dean as well as the hottest Muslim in the nation desire the mosque to be built elsewhere.

It slays us that the L.A. Times can run that article with a straight face. Maybe when the broader Muslim world gets serious about purging the extremist elements from their ranks, we'll actually start paying attention to rebukes with respect to religious tolerance and understanding.

And given the deliberate misrepresentation of mosque opposition by the left, who is it that really needs a lecture on tolerance and understanding?

And since when did critiquing a religion or aspects of a religion become synonymous with "hatred". When same-sex marriage supporters demonstrated in front of the large Mormon temple in University Town Center last year, that was simply American-as-apple pie flexing of 1st amendment rights, was it not?

As this whole mosque debate neatly illustrates, though, the American left is highly subjective when it comes to the practical application of the 1st amendment.

So, just in case there is any doubt as to where we and we believe most Americans stand on this:

By all means, build your mosque; but please, strongly consider a different location

(UPDATE #1): B-Daddy chimes in:

My position? I oppose the idea of a mosque at that site, but I also oppose action by government to stop it. I will applaud every protest at that site if the center is built. However, it falls into the category of lots of other things that I oppose, but refuse to support state suppression of, because granting the state the power to correct the problem I want solved inevitably leads to a long string of abuses of that very power. I don't like pornography, swearing, fools on motorcycles who don't wear helmets, cigarettes, fools in cars who don't wear seat belts, marijuana, and generally anything inspired by hippies. But in a free society, we put limits on the power of government to correct these ills, because the cure is truly worse than the disease.

Part of what is central to the concept of American exceptionalism is that the 1st amendment simultaneously allows for both the building of the mosque at Ground Zero and the ability to protest against building that mosque there. The concepts of freedom of religion and freedom of dissent in this country make this position fully consistent.

Link of the day

Rasmussen makes the point that Obama and the Democrats misread the 2008 election results. Most people were expecting more tax cuts, as Obama kept promising, instead they got grudging tax cuts and huge new government spending. My take is that the public has become increasingly sophisticated and understands that spending will have to be paid for. Obamacare was sold on the CBO scoring that it would not increase budget deficits. The public knows better and further believes it will harm the economy. That the Democrats could think that using subterfuge to get a positive CBO score wouldn't be detected by the public is proof of how out of touch they are.

More of B-Daddy's take on the ascendancy of Scott Rassmussen, the yawning gap between the ruling class and the country class and what the Republicans need to focus on should they win back either the House or Senate (hell... what they should be focusing on continually), here.

Graphic of the day

"It was under Mr Bush that the deficit spiralled out of control as we fought an unnecessary and endless $3,000bn war in Iraq..."
- James Carville, the Financial Times.

Once upon a time, it was cool and even factually correct to say that the Iraq war was a significant contributor to the federal budget deficits... but my oh my how times, congresses and administrations change.

Exit question: Would it now be cool and even factually correct to say that the Iraq war is/was budgetarily insignificant?

Puts current domestic spending in a whole new light, now doesn't it?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

This is what they're attempting to regulate?

We guess we never really gave any thought to the ridiculous notion of having to license barbers before now. It's not like licensing barbers has done a single thing to curtail the number of truly horrible haircuts we have seen over the years.

The government licensing and regulation of barbers, like other hair stylists, is driven by the self-interest of the profession. Licenses restrict entry and reduce competition, enabling those with licenses to capture more rents. This is actually the case with most licensing regimes, even those that appear to serve a greater public interest than barber licenses. Though I doubt Yglesias would go this far, I would argue that it’s rare that a licensing regime of this sort is put in place without the support of those who stand to benefit economically, and that many public spirited rationales, including health and safety, are a smokescreen.

This is really no different than what major beer and wine makers and distributors are attempting to do by further regulating how it is that beer and wine can be purchased and distributed. Nor is it any different than casket makers in Louisiana putting the squeeze on a small group of monks who make simple, understated caskets (We covered both situations here and here).

Beer, wine, caskets and bad haircuts, regulated all and for what benefit to the consumer and to society as a whole?


We suppose it's human nature to often times whine about the good ol' days and how much better things were back in the day.

So, in order to better appreciate how good things are right now and to acknowledge that at least in one respect things were not better as of a couple of weeks ago, let's all stand and recognize.... (drum roll, please)......

.... the opening of the Alpine Beer Co. tap room!

Yeah. It was kind of like Christmas morning yesterday afternoon.

Not incidentally, they also have a small kitchen that produced the best pulled pork BBQ sandwich we've ever had.

The mini-roadie out to Alpine reminded us of making similar treks to the geographically dislocated Tommy's Burgers of Southern California while growing up.

Quote of the day

OK, we've got Elton. Who's up for another conservo-libertarian British musician mascot?

Johnny Rotten, anyone?

I really resent the presumption that I'm going there to play to right-wing Nazi jews [sic]. If Elvis-f-ing-Costello wants to pull out of a gig in Israel because he's suddenly got this compassion for Palestinians, then good on him. But I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won't understand how anyone can have a problem with how they're treated.

Johnny Lydon, formerly of the seminal British punk band, The Sex Pistols, got off that epic bit of smack with regard to his gig in Tel Aviv later this month with his current band, Public Image Ltd., and the boycotts of Israel by other musicians.

With that in mind, let's hit up YouTube for some 80s nostalgia and some anti- Elvis-f-ing-Costello (sorry, Elvis) sentiment.

Folks, Johnny Lydon and Public Image Ltd. performing "Rise".

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The long national nightmare is almost over

The Associated Press came out with their pre-season Top 25 college football poll yesterday. Here's how it shakes down:

1. Alabama (defending BCS champs)

2. Ohio State (QB Tyrell Pryor's break-out season?)

3. Boise St. (Much love for the little guys)

4. Florida (Let's see how the Florida program fares post-Tebow)

5. Texas

6. TCU

7. Oklahoma

8. Nebraska

9. Iowa (after a mild slump 2-3 years ago, Coach Ferentz has got the Hawkeyes rolling again)

10. Virginia Tech (always seem a little overrated in our mind)

11. Oregon (before former QB Jeremiah Masoli transferred to Ole Miss, the Ducks were considered a top 5 team)

12. Wisconsin

13. Miami

14. USC (lowest pre-season ranking in years. Last time they were ranked outside of the top 10 was 2002, now-departed Pete Carroll's second season)

15. Pittsburgh

16. Georgia Tech

17. Arkansas

18. North Carolina

19. Penn State

20. Florida State

21. LSU

22. Auburn

23. Georgia (college football guru Phil Steele has the 'Dawgs as his sleeper for the BCS title)

24. Oregon State

25. West Virginia

By conference:

SEC: 6
ACC: 5
Big 10: 4
Pac 10: 3
Big 12: 3
Big East: 2
WAC: 1
Mountain West: 1 Mild surprise here, in that both BYU and Utan have built top-25 caliber programs in the last 4-5 years.

Good to see some things never change

“Your son deserved to die in Iraq if he was stupid enough to go over there.”

It's with great relief we are able to report that the anti-war left that seemed to go into hibernation or at least appeared to have lost a little off their fastball coinciding with President Obama taking office is back.

Debbie Lee the mother of Marc Alan Lee (pictured)* is calling on Jerry Brown to return any money raised for his campaign by Jodie Evans and Code Pink.

The exchange between Lee and Evans occurred back in '08 when Code Pink infamously barricaded the Marine Corps recruiting office up in Berkeley. Our thoughts on the matter at the time, here.

*Marc was killed in action in Iraq back in 2006 and is buried down here at Fort Rosencrans in San Diego.


A round up of articles, news items and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

With the President's approval numbers in the tank, we see a surge in Obama is a Muslim and Obama's not a citizen polling data. Outlets like the WaPo and New York Times circle the wagons and connect the dots: Of course the President is not going to be popular in a nation full of wingnuts.

2005: The President betrayed the country.
2010: For the sake of national unity, we should treat the President with more respect.

Dan Riehl on Mark Halperin's appalling double standard.

Paint it Blue: Top ten highest taxed states.

Antonio Cromartie of the New York Jets breaks down the duties and responsibilities of fatherhood. Well, he was before he decided to give us a taste of his rather prodigious fathering talents instead.

Just glad this degenerate is no longer with the Chargers.

Secular Apostate explains how to make a billion dollars of profit.... gummint style.

Color us among those that are baffled by BYU (Mountain West conference) going independent in football and leaving all their other Olympic sports to the WAC (not an unsimilar arrangement to that of Notre Dame who is an indy in football while Big East in all other sports). Alas, even Notre Dame considered joining the Big 10 in football this past spring and BYU is no Notre Dame. Maybe there is a vast Mormon Nation out there of which we were previously unaware that will tune in every Saturday on BYU.tv to watch the Cougars.

Conference realignment a' go-go will take more uneven twists and turns in the near future and all which leads us to believe that a PAC-10/Mountain West merger is in the 3-5 year future. Lock it up.

Hard hat strike?: it's going to be awfully difficult to build that mosque if every one refuses to build it.

Joel Kotkin on California's war on itself:

What went so wrong? The answer lies in a change in the nature of progressive politics in California. During the second half of the twentieth century, the state shifted from an older progressivism, which emphasized infrastructure investment and business growth, to a newer version, which views the private sector much the way the Huns viewed a city—as something to be sacked and plundered. The result is two separate California realities: a lucrative one for the wealthy and for government workers, who are largely insulated from economic decline; and a grim one for the private-sector middle and working classes, who are fleeing the state.

Though he does more essay style writing that is a tad different than the staccato bursts coming from both Capt. Ed and Allah Pundit on a daily basis, we believe Doc Zero to be one of the most talented writers on the web. His thoughts on pessimism, the state of the union, an inevitable American decline and what it is we can learn from the resourcefulness and resiliency of our armed forces now that we can reflect upon the end of combat operations and troop withdrawal in Iraq:

Inevitable? Like hell. The heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom heard that word a lot over the last few years, but they never paid much attention. They’re coming home to the early days of an amazing story about the resilience of liberty. I’m sure their Iraqi pen pals can’t wait to hear about it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Radio KBwD is on the air

You know the band but you may not know the song.

While in Seminary during our first year, one of our roommates had a mix tape of this band's songs from some of their lesser celebrated albums and this one happened to be one of those songs we recalled.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from Los Angeles, California, it's The Doors from The Soft Parade performing "Easy Ride"

Winning friends and influencing people

In the process of having to overcome our alleged homophobia with respect to the gay marriage debate we will also be required to confront an even more daunting task: overcoming our jerkophobia.

On the day hundreds of gay and lesbian couples statewide planned to obtain their long-awaited marriage licenses, a crowd of about 50 people gathered at the county clerk's office Thursday to protest a federal judge's stay of a federal ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

Three people were taken away in plastic handcuffs by sheriff's deputies early in the demonstration and an additional six people were removed later. A deputy said they were detained for blocking access to a county office.

Being the true good government liberals we are, we're compelled to ask why every damn one of these people were not arrested for interfering with the county's obligation to do the business of the people?

Our jerkophobia is highly unwarranted given what else transpired yesterday at the San Diego County offices.

Three heterosexual couples approached for their scheduled appointments this morning. The group refused to move and allow the couples access to the office.

One wonders if high chairs, broken bowls of porridge, banging on plates and hysterical sobbing were not also involved.

Stop the H8, Prop 8 donor Google maps, county office sit-ins, physically blocking people from getting married... don't know who it is that is advising these people but we cannot ever recall a more loathsome overall P.R. strategy that has done more to turn off people that might possibly be talked into siding with them.

Link of the day

We're building a world on empty sanctimony.

KT explains how, here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blessings: take them where you can find them

There are writers out there like Victor Davis Hanson or George Will whom we greatly admire and then there are writers that we also admire and where we think... damn, wish we had thought of that. David Harsanyi of the Denver Post is becoming one of those writers.

Given that there remains overwhelming opposition to the ground zero mosque, this viewpoint would mean that 70 percent of Americans are impulsively hostile to freedom of religion and irrationally narrow-minded.

Could be. Or, maybe a few of these folks believe the First Amendment features more than one clause. Even a newfound reverence for religious liberty on the left does not negate our right to protest and criticize the philosophical disposition of others. And applying public pressure in an effort to shut down a project is as American as protesting the arrival of a new Wal-Mart. Religious institutions, as far as I can tell, are not exempted from these disputes.

In 2008, thousands of gay-rights activists protested the Mormon temple in Westwood, Calif., for its role in passing Proposition 8 — the ban on same-sex marriage. This grew into a national protest to undermine the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — even though not every Mormon was involved.

I don't recall anti-Mormon protesters being referred to as bigots for targeting religion; it appeared to be just the opposite, in fact. And if I am offended by aspects of Mormon theology, why not voice those concerns? Put it this way: If Mormons proposed the erection of a 13-story community center in West Hollywood or the West Village, I would be happy to join the outcry of protest.

The left wanted a scrap with this whole Ground Zero mosque debate and they have so screwed the pooch with respect to the narrative, they have been reduced to calling for investigations of those opposed to the mosque and, wait for it... pining for the wisdom and understanding that George W. Bush would have for this situation.

No, seriously... it's that bad: The brush-clearing, war-mongering, neo-con would handle this cultural dirty bomb better than our cool, calm and collected, closet Muslim.

That old Chinese blessing of wishing someone to live in un-interesting times is definitely not being observed of late.

A.J. Duffy advises against reading the L.A. Times

Back on Monday, we praised the L.A. Times for the work they did in exposing the outrageous salary and compensation packages garnered by the elected officials of the city of Bell, CA and then pleaded this vanguard of old media that if they were going to go down at the hands of new media, then do so in a fiery ball of 4th estate integrity and competence.

That glow you see, friends, is the L.A. Times taking on the teachers' union.

The Los Angeles teachers union president said Sunday he was organizing a "massive boycott" of The Times after the newspaper began publishing a series of articles that uses student test scores to estimate the effectiveness of district teachers.

"You're leading people in a dangerous direction, making it seem like you can judge the quality of a teacher by … a test," said A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, which has more than 40,000 members.

You might remember Duffy who was quite prominent in a reason.tv video we featured a while back regarding the struggles of Locke High School in Los Angeles and the reform efforts of the principal there that Duffy was doing everything in his power to thwart.

Because it provides such a stark contrast between the parents and children on one side and the teachers' union on the other, we're providing another look at the aforementioned reason.tv video below.

If embed no worky, then please, click here.

Programming Alert

The California State Republican Party is convening here in San Diego and the leading lady of the event, Meg Whitman, has given indication that she is going soft on Prop. 23 which, if passed, would roll back the job-killing, eco-dubious AB 32.

Temple of Mut has the details of a rally that will be held downtown, late Friday afternoon at the site of the convention. Get ye over to ToM for some details and directions.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quote of the day

"It was a beautiful thing," said Brentwood resident Myles Berkowitz, commiserating with his neighbors on Montana Avenue. "Young, old, black, white — everyone was pissed off."

At long last, the President fulfills his campaign promise to be a uniter - just ask the citizens of Los Angeles who, in solidarity, sat idle on freeways and roads while the President was fundraising there Monday evening.

Sarah sez

An occasional look at some of the zany and madcap things said by Sarah Palin.

"There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque is being funded,"

Of course, Sarah Palin didn't say that but rather the free speech-affirming quote above was uttered by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

Speaker Pelosi, allow us to give an assist in pursuit of this matter. The extent by which we have criticized the construction of the mosque has been "funded", if you will, by Google who runs the Blogger site at which Beers with Demo resides. Perhaps, you are familiar with their work as the Silicon Valley company from up in your neck of the woods are big-time Democratic Party donors.

Their address and contact info is as follows:

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Phone: (650) 253-0000
Fax: (650) 253-0001

And, if not necessarily "funded" in the sense of the word you're meaning but perhaps "supported" or "protected by" or even perhaps, "inspired by", please see also, the 1st amendment, the principles of which you are certainly not familiar as your quote indicates.

If there is any other assistance we can lend, please let us know - you now know where to find us.

Beers with Demo

Free campaign advice

When it comes to political strategery with respect to the mid-terms and the Ground Zero mosque, memo to Republicans: don't campaign on the mosque at Ground Zero. Keep your eye on the ball... it's not about the mosque, per se, but it is about Gutfeld's gay bar next door.

We kid, but only slightly. Now that the President came out foursquare in support of the construction of the mosque before he walked it back a tad again over the weekend, the Democratic Party now owns this issue. Let the Democratic candidates explain their own party leader's apparent equivocations on the matter. Let the Democratic power structure in office in all the key positions in New York (save Mayor Bloomberg whose abject RINO-ness, puts him deep inside the New York ruling class) deal with the deep and broad-based resentment.

When your opponent is busy setting himself on fire, leave well enough alone.

Hammer away on three things:

1) The economy (and linked to that is jobs and out-of-control spending)

2) ObamaCare (we've provided Republican candidates with all the ammo they need in Nancy's Nuances...)

3) Process. Process matters.
Remind independents and stray Republicans of why they voted for Obama and the Democrats in '08 (HopenChange, most ethical administration/Congress ever, transparency, etc.) and contrast that to how he and his Congress have actually governed: A broadly unpopular set of legislative "accomplishments" achieved by such means as the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, Gator Ade and all manner of completely opaque back room wheeling and dealing, bribes, kickbacks and whoring-out to Big Pharma and health insurance lobbyists that was all the very anti-thesis of what HopenChange was to represent.

The Process portion of the campaign talking points does not, at this point, seem to be getting the love it should. Get back on it... Process matters.

Your welcome.

Video clip of the day

Via Hot Air:

Emily's List, a pro-choice outfit has come out with a video which is in response to Sarah Palin's call to America's "Mama Grizzlies". As you will see, the video makes a radical departure from some progressive-sponsored videos of recent vintage.

Can it be? 85 seconds and nary a curse word in sight? Now just what in the sam hill is going on around here?

We'll give them credit, though? Unlike their recent predecessors, we welcome the break from puerile juvenile-ness.

But to the video itself: We're not quite sure what is meant by Sarah Palin and the MGs (hey.... Sarah and the MGs?... it's ours. Don't even think about it, 'yatch) "wouldn't have health care". What does that even mean? Does Palin want to do away with hospitals and doctors visits or something? If they mean that Sarah and the MGs want to do away with ObamaCare then just come out and say it. Of course, that would be drifting into the popular sentiment of the nation, currently, so obfuscation is the safe and correct way to proceed forward.

And how about "do away with... unemployment benefits?" As we recall, Republican "obstructionism" with this latest round of benny extensions was specific to having Congress abide by the "pay-go" rule (pay as you go... don't pass a law that can't be paid for... don't borrow even more money than we already have to pay for anything... you get the point) before passing the extensions. The Democrats in order to pass the bill, instead, chose to cut... food stamps. Does it get any better than that?

And by golly, we couldn't get through a minute and a half without a culture war broadside: "... protect our right to hibernate with whoever we choose."

We'd like to take a moment to remind Emily's MGs who it is that is leading the pack among Republicans who like to blaze. In case they hadn't noticed, this particular Alaskan has got a pretty well-defined libertarian stripe running down her back and murky allegorical charges won't stand up to scrutiny. What Sarah and the MGs know and what the rest of the nation is coming around to is that being family values-oriented and not being a social-conservative fire-brand does not an oxymoronic state of being make.

Now the rest of society may think that's fine and that's their prerogative, but if I ever catch you doin' that, son, I'm going to kick yer ass.

Like, who hasn't heard that or sentiment to that effect, before?

So, all in all, not a bad effort by Em's List if for nothing else than not having to slap the NSFWoH content label on this post.

Addendum #1: Capt. Ed, from the link at the top of the page, wonders how Emily and her MGs will feel about Medicare possibly not reimbursing for the cancer drug, Avastin, because of an FDA decision to scotch approval based possibly upon "cost effectiveness"? Obama... wouldn't have health care?


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Don't look now, it's already here.

File this one under, "We told you so", or perhaps more aptly, "He told you so" because if you didn't want to believe us or perhaps thought we were engaging in hyperbolic fear-mongering, we would've directed you to the musings of one Dr. Donald Berwick who has quite a bit to say on the subject of rationing.

And even then, if perhaps you thought the man's apparent affection towards rationing was taken out of context or otherwise distorted to make a point, well then...

A decision to rescind endorsement of the drug would reignite the highly charged debate over US health care reform and how much the state should spend on new and expensive treatments.

Avastin, the world’s best selling cancer drug, is primarily used to treat colon cancer and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2008 for use on women with breast cancer that has spread.

It costs $8,000 (£5,000) a month and is given to about 17,500 women in the US a year. The drug was initially approved after a study found that, by preventing blood flow to tumours, it extended the amount of time until the disease worsened by more than five months. However, two new studies have shown that the drug may not even extend life by an extra month.

The FDA advisory panel has now voted 12-1 to drop the endorsement for breast cancer treatment. The panel unusually cited "effectiveness" grounds for the decision. But it has been claimed that "cost effectiveness" was the real reason ahead of reforms in which the government will extend health insurance to the poorest.

The FDA is charged with determining the "effectiveness" of a drug not its "cost effectiveness". A wild assumption, we realize, that "cost effectiveness" is best determined by an open and transparent market place.

For those of you out there that would say the article gave scant evidence that "cost effectiveness" was the actual reason the FDA shot down Avastin, that would not be an unfair critique. However, given the cravenly cynical and hyper-political manner in which ObamaCare was Bush-Pushed across the finish line and what proponents like Berwick, who will be in charge of running Obamacare, have flatly stated about rationing and comparative effectiveness boards, why on earth would we give these unaccountable and politically-manipulated bureaucrats the benefit of the doubt?

We see no reason to so, yes, we will be embracing our inner cynic towards any and all matters related to healthcare in a constant effort to remain ungovernable.