Thursday, February 28, 2013

Political promises always come with an expiration date but Tweets are forever

Democratic operative and non-elected heavyweight, Donna Brazile tweeted earlier on Thursday and wondered why her health insurance premiums were going up:

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a tweet she will never be able to take back for as long as she lives. It's as if she is unaware that there was this thing called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare that was signed into law back in March of 2010. Backers of the law promised the law would bend downward the cost of healthcare by piling on more insurance mandates and a ban on rejecting those with pre-existing conditions.

Ms. Brazile shouldn't feel so bad though as a) she probably doesn't read this blog where we have been warning against the inherent contradictions contained within the law for literally years and b) ol' Donna has company with respect to supporters of the law who are wondering... whiskey-tango-foxtrot?

From the L.A. Times:

Less than a year before Americans will be required to have insurance under President Obama's healthcare law, many of its backers are growing increasingly anxious that premiums could jump, driven up by the legislation itself.

Higher premiums could undermine a core promise of the Affordable Care Act: to make basic health protections available to all Americans for the first time. Major rate increases also threaten to cause a backlash just as the law is supposed to deliver many key benefits Obama promised when he signed it in 2010.

"The single biggest issue we face now is affordability," said Jill Zorn, senior program officer at the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, a consumer advocacy group that championed the new law.

Administration officials have consistently downplayed the specter of rate increases and other disruptions as millions of Americans move into overhauled insurance markets in 2014. They cite provisions in the law that they say will hold down premiums, including new competitive markets they believe will make insurers offer competitive rates.

Exactly how high the premiums may go won't be known until later this year. But already, officials in states that support the law have sounded warnings that some people — mostly those who are young and do not receive coverage through their work — may see considerably higher prices than expected.

That is because of new requirements in the law aimed at making insurance more comprehensive and more affordable for older, sicker consumers.

The Times, bless their hearts, are speaking in the future tense with respect to rising premiums but as Donna Brazile found out, these premium hikes are very much present tense.

The Obama-loving youth will soon find out that the healthcare they have been forced to sign up for but can't afford isn't borne of any sort of paternalistic benevolence or eat-your-veggies-because-they're-good-for-you tough love, rather they need the young folks' scratch to pay for this thing. Hell, they aren't using the health care, might as well help pay for the oldsters.

And as for ObamaCare backers... what can we say? No one said that the fanatical pursuit of the statist holy grail of (eventual) single-payer, universal healthcare had to submit to actual logic and reason. What fun would that be?

So, don't feel too bad Donna, you've got plenty of friends with which to commiserate as to how things just aren't working out as planned.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Video clip of the day


We haven't run this particular feature in quite a while so it stands to reason that we are (only?) a month behind.

So, speaking of reason, here is's Nanny of the Month for the month of January:

We're sure we're not too far off-base but it seems like Bloomy is always in contention for this award and given our druthers, we'd crown him king this month for even considering this booze establishment scale-back, especially considering the big fat whatever-burger of L.A.'s porn condom mandate. Really?


Monday, February 25, 2013



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

Here's some more of that transparency we've been hearing about:

Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday that he was told not to "acknowledge" or "discuss" the secret drone program when becoming the government's top spokesman.

Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC's "Up," played a video clip of Gibbs and current press secretary Jay Carney dodging questions about drones in the White House briefing room before asking if the Obama administration has been sufficiently forthcoming about the controversial targeted killing program. Gibbs, who recently became an MSNBC contributor, recalled the instructions he was given upon taking the job.

“When I went through the process of becoming press secretary," Gibbs said, "one of the things, one of the first things they told me was, ‘You’re not even to acknowledge the drone program. You’re not even to discuss that it exists.'”

The national media was slow covering the secret drone war in Pakistan and Yemen during Obama's first term, which has been difficult to track given both the government's secrecy and that strikes often take place in remote areas. But the drone media debate has gained steam early in Obama's second term, alongside questions for top counter-terror official John Brennan upon his nomination to become CIA director.

(italics, ours)

If HuffPo's definition of "slow" is equivalent to "effectively gave no coverage to it whatsoever" then we will concede to their definition of slow.

In fact, the first in-depth coverage of the drone program was in the run-up to the November elections; a lengthy piece by the New York Times that served ostensibly to bolster the President's chops as being tough in prosecuting the war on terror. Not exactly a puff piece but not overly critical of the administration either.

For a newspaper that was apoplectic over some tasteless prisoners-gone-wild photos taken at Abu-Ghraib, the contrast in coverage was emblematic of the state of the 4th estate these days.

We haven't yet had time to read the article but this cartoon in the linked piece from the City Journal is perfect in summing up the unholy relationship between California's state Democrats and the state's unsustainable public pension funds.

Our tweet from earlier this week:

Why gun ownership: Best reason: as a way of telling those who don't want you to own to perform physically impossible acts upon themselves.

Maybe we're missing something but didn't we at some point in this country's history, a nation borne of rebellion, have a little more "Eff-you" in our collective DNA?

Shouldn't always our default position, when told by the government to do something, be: "Why?"

And when told to not do something: "Why, not?"

It's not anarchy, merely critical thinking with an edge and when looking at some of the nonsense, in fact, some of the biggest pieces of legislation that have been signed into law over the past two administrations (we're looking at you Medicare Part D, TARP, the American Recovery Act (Porkulus), Cash for Clunkers, Dodd-Frank Fin-Reg and, of course, the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) and now, pending gun laws) we're stunned by the relative passiveness of the electorate regarding laws that were so carelessly thrown together and which have and will serve to be, at best, preserving of the status quo and, at worst, absolute disasters.

Your thoughts?

Confirmed: Our media doesn't possess a liberal bias, it possesses an idiot bias.

Related: CNN talker, Christiane Amanpour, wishes Zimbabwe tyrant, Robert Mugabe a happy birthday.

They have changed the title of the post to "Robert Mugabe, how many more birthdays in power?"

Original post title did indeed read, "Happy Birthday, President Mugabe"

Nice try, CNN...

San Diego Restaurant-related question:

You wouldn't dare go into a restaurant with a large picture of Adolph Hitler, would you? Hell, no!

Then why would you go into one that had a large floral wall mural of Chairman Mao as is the case with San Diego ramen house, Underbelly?

We actually posed this question to a liberal aquaintance of ours and the shorter version of her response was: Intent.

You see, the statist/collectivist mindset is that that while the purposeful genocide of 6 million Jews, Christians, gypsies and other undesireables was bad, the death of 20-30 million Chinese during the Great Leap Forward, for example, was somewhat excuseable because Mao's heart was in the right place... Oops... he didn't mean to do it.

This is the "Sh$t Happens" logic that excuses the inevitable results of some forms of collectivism over that of others.

Our friend bemoaned the fact that Communism was beset by such bad luck through the centuries, so it could only mean that it was never practiced in its pure(er) form.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the largest body counts in recorded human history as wracked up by the likes of Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot has been sheer coincidence and demonstrable in only that their purer vision of collectivism wasn't implemented.

Just think how many more they could've wracked up had they the opportunity to do so.

Another week and another round of bad news for ObamaCare...

Florida is finding out what California has discovered: there will very soon be a severe doctor shortage:

Brace yourself for longer lines at the doctor's office.

Whether you're employed and insured, elderly and on Medicare, or poor and covered by Medicaid, the Florida Medical Association says there's a growing shortage of doctors — especially specialists — available to provide you with medical care.

And if the Florida Legislature goes along with Gov. Rick Scott's recommendation to offer Medicaid coverage to an additional 1 million Floridians — part of the AffordableCare Act that takes effect next January — the FMA says that shortage will only get worse.

"Florida needs more doctors and it needs more nurses, and it needs them working together in teams," said Rebecca O'Hara, a lobbyist for the FMA.

About 15 million Floridians have health insurance today, and Obamacare, which requires most adults to have coverage by January, could add as many as 2.5 million more. One million would come through a potential expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program that Scott announced this week he was backing. The others would be the result of new mandates requiring employers and individuals to have insurance or be fined.

Governor, Rick Scott, becomes yet another Republican governor to cave in by expanding his state's Medicaid program in response to ObamaCare; Ohio governor, John Kasich, did so two weeks ago.

What is the use of dumping millions more onto the Medicaid rolls if there aren't the doctors to service them? A 2,200 page bill failed to squeeze in a few paragraphs to address this immediate problem.

OK, gang. That's it forr today. We will hopefully catch-up again tomorrow.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Acne medication industry at risk?


Merriam-Webster's online dictionary describes economics as such: a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services

Sharp economists may or may not have been able to predict this social phenomena or economic behaviour in response to the employee and working hours threshold at which additional ObamaCare mandates and requirements kick in but this clever adaption by employers is happening as we speak.

From the Wall St. Journal:

Here's a trend you'll be reading more about: part-time "job sharing," not only within firms but across different businesses.

It's already happening across the country at fast-food restaurants, as employers try to avoid being punished by the Affordable Care Act. In some cases we've heard about, a local McDonalds has hired employees to operate the cash register or flip burgers for 20 hours a week and then the workers head to the nearby Burger King BKW +2.39% or Wendy's to log another 20 hours. Other employees take the opposite shifts.

Welcome to the strange new world of small-business hiring under ObamaCare. The law requires firms with 50 or more "full-time equivalent workers" to offer health plans to employees who work more than 30 hours a week. (The law says "equivalent" because two 15 hour a week workers equal one full-time worker.) Employers that pass the 50-employee threshold and don't offer insurance face a $2,000 penalty for each uncovered worker beyond 30 employees. So by hiring the 50th worker, the firm pays a penalty on the previous 20 as well.

These employment cliffs are especially perverse economic incentives. Thousands of employers will face a $40,000 penalty if they dare expand and hire a 50th worker. The law is effectively a $2,000 tax on each additional hire after that, so to move to 60 workers costs $60,000.

The article goes on to cite a 2011 Hudson Institute study that estimates the insurance mandate will cost the franchise industry $6.4 billion and put 3.2 million jobs "at risk". Collaterally, that's an awful lot of acne medication at risk as well but maybe, just maybe, it won't be that bad if business franchises like the ones above which are small enough to respond in a nimble fashion and are allowed to operate freely and in their own rational best interests.

Think about it: employees maintain their hours, maintain their mini-med plans and the employers don't get burdened by additional expenses, right? Wrong. We lost the article, but perhaps a month or two ago, Kathleen Sebelius claimed that she would not allow companies to skirt around ObamaCare requirements by staying below employee and working hour thresholds.

Imagine that: companies obeying existing labor laws and even that of the Affordable Care Act in order to maintain working hours and health insurance for their employees and they will still be subjected to bureaucratic thuggery from the highest levels of this nation's goverment.

Of course, the economic and employment impact of the new healthcare law could not have come at a worst time given our stagnant economy and a 30+ year low labor participation rate.

This monstrosity of a law hasn't even been fully implemented yet and businesses are already reacting in a manner that is strongly suggestive of what a train wreck this will all turn out to be.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

How to effectively lose the gun control debate


The following two stories appeared at Hot Air and got us to thinking about a concept with respect to gun control. As second amendment supporters, it feels like we are always on the defensive with respect to our gun rights when these two examples ably demonstrate why it is we should be turning the tables and going on the offensive to where, we are asking the questions.

For example, we are asked by the gun control crowd why it is we need with an assault rifle. What we should be asking of our gun control friends, instead, is why should we trust a pol to come up with "sensible" (remember, gun control legislation, no matter how drastic or ineffectual is always described by gun controllers as "sensible") gun control legislation when he can't even trust a woman to know whether or not she is about to be raped?

Here's Colorado state representative, Joe Salazar to explain things to the wymyns:

“It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop around at somebody.”

Safe zones.... Charmed, we're sure. How patronizing and patriarchal. Dude just oozes condescension but he'll get a pass from feminists because, well, by and large, your modern day, garden variety feminist is a hypocrite perfectly willing to overlook bad behavior if the pol has the correct letter after his name.

Another question to be asked of controllers is why should we trust a pol's ability to craft "sensible" gun control legislation when "mistakes" like 4th amendment-violating house searches somehow find their way into the weeds of the text?

Two state senators have introduced gun control legislation in Washington:

Responding to the Newtown school massacre, the bill would ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons that use detachable ammunition magazines. Clips that contain more than 10 rounds would be illegal.

But then, with respect to the thousands of weapons like that already owned by Washington residents, the bill says this:

“In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing shall ... safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection.”

In other words, come into homes without a warrant to poke around. Failure to comply could get you up to a year in jail.

For their part, the two co-sponsors say they either don't know how that clause got into the bill or that they didn't get into the specific details of the bill. And they both acknowledge that clause probably represents a violation of the constitution and therefore probably a mistake. The freaking bill is only 8 pages long! They wrote the damn thing!

Oops. How did that get in there? It must have been a mistake.

If you think for a moment that a clause giving the sheriff the power of warrantless and random house searches was a mistake, we've got some excellent beachfront property in Omaha we would love to sell you.

Gun controllers continue to be their own worst enemy making it more and more difficult to pass their legislation because of overreaching stunts like this and simply idiotic statements like the one above. But keep digging, boys.

We've said it many times before and these two examples above bear out the fact that the controllers' agenda isn't about public safety or cracking down on gun violence, only control. Concepts like freedom and liberty blow the statist mind. Though they are perfectly fine with it on a personal basis, they are appalled that you would have the temerity and uncouthness to wield it yourself.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Completely ineffectual gun laws may have some effect after all

Moralizing and do-gooding state legislatures and governors are finding out their gun control laws are having some unintended consequences.


Six gun companies have announced plans to stop selling any of their products to any government agency in states that severely limit the rights of private gun ownership.

Disappointed with New York State lawmakers and other jurisdictions around the country who have passed strict gun control legislation, the companies—composed of firearm manufacturers, gunsmiths, and sporting goods retailers—have announced these policies in the past week.

Their various statements emphasize that such laws create a class of government employees with rights and and a class of citizens without rights. Thus, they refuse to aid the enforcement of such inequality.

A sampling of these companies' statements:

Extreme Firepower Inc, LLC:

The Federal Government and several states have enacted gun control laws that restrict the public from owning and possessing certain types of firearms. Law-enforcement agencies are typically exempt from these restrictions. EFI, LLC does not recognize law-enforcement exemptions to local, state, and federal gun control laws. If a product that we manufacture is not legal for a private citizen to own in a jurisdiction, we will not sell that product to a law-enforcement agency in that jurisdiction.

LaRue Tactical:

Effective today, in an effort to see that no legal mistakes are made by LaRue Tactical and/or its employees, we will apply all current State and Local Laws (as applied to civilians) to state and local law enforcement / government agencies. In other words, LaRue Tactical will limit all sales to what law-abiding citizens residing in their districts can purchase or possess.

(italics, ours)

Nice touch with the legal angle no doubt as protection from getting sued as has happened in the past, however, without incurring damages.

State officials are finding out that gun owners and 2nd amendment supporters never believed the 2nd amendment to be about skeet shooting and hunting rather a healthy skepticism of the government and particularly an armed government to the exclusion of a law-abiding public.

Never before in our lifetime has this skepticism been brought into sharper focus than two weeks ago with the revelation of a Department of Justice memo putting forth the justification that "informed" people within the executive branch have the power to kill Americans overseas given the flimsiest of pretexts and with zero due process and oversight.

And if you are OK with this because of what you will assume to be the righteous application of this extra-legal power because of the ultimate wisdom and benevolence of the current Commander-in-Chief, then what of his successor?

But back to guns and the 2nd amendment and it's position there within the Bill of Rights: it's almost as if the Founders were saying, "We know the rights contained within the 1st amendment may, in the future, not be so terribly popular with the ruling class... what do we think we ought to do next?"

We do not, for a second, believe that 1-2 punch to be a coincidence. Rights granted by God or inherency but protected by the individual should the government decide to renege on its obligations.

Now, time for some puppy pictures and Cheezburger: what the interwebs were actually created for.


Saturday, February 16, 2013



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

This has been far too long in coming but a hearty congratulations to our friend Leslie of Temple of Mut who has earned a regular gig at the popular conservative blog Legal Insurrection. Leslie has been a tireless advocate for free markets and free minds and L.I. picking her up is well-deserved. Oh, and she has been kind enough to link to some of our stuff over at L.I.

Again, congrats, Leslie!

From the All-You-Need-To-Know Department...

...#OccypyLA has seen fit to honor murderer Christopher Dorner:

Occupy Los Angeles has chosen to honor Chris Dorner in the wake of his death, despite the body count he apparently amassed. . . . The statement of support and solidarity was posted on the Occupy Los Angeles’ official Facebook page Wednesday. The statement came in the form of a posted picture captioned with the phrases “Rest In Power Chris Dorner” and “Assassinated By The Police for Trying To Expose LAPD Corruption.”

Of course, it probably will never occur to these dim bullbs that Monica Quan will never be able to fight against the injustices she may have experienced in her life because of Dorner who shot and killed Quan and her fiance'.

Our buddy, JD, (twitter handle: @PSUdrozz) wondered what the Venn diagram would look like of Christopher Dorner fan boys (and girls) and those who own Che' t-shirts. We answered: A single circle.

Lefty grievance industry birds of a feather flock together and there is pretty much zero daylight between the Occupy movement and those that see some sort of martyrdom in Dorner. This speaks of the white, middle/upper-middle class progressive, participation trophy culture we engrain in our youth that gets kicked in the teeth when our youth face harsh real-world truths. We spoke of this phenomena in response to the Newtown massacre (and Columbine, Santee, Aurora, VaTech, etc.) and Jim Geraghty,here, echoes our sentiment (link above):

Perhaps it’s a reflection of the well-intended “you are a special snowflake” message of parenting in the past two decades or so. (I say well-intended because to a parent, their child IS a special snowflake.) Young people go through their childhood and teen years, believing that they are uniquely gifted and talented and wonderful and believing that their adult life will be one fabulous victory and success after another. And then at some point they depart the protected simulation of life that is childhood/high school/college . . . and the real world just kicks them in the crotch again and again. (This is a bit of what Adam Carolla talked about in his rant about Occupy Wall Street.) And so instead of concluding, “Oh, achieving my dream is going to be a lot harder than I thought, I had better redouble my efforts,” they deflect the hard truth of responsibility and conclude that somebody else, somebody out there — society — is to blame. They can take no joy in anyone else’s success, because that just reminds them of their own failure to achieve what they had envisioned all of their lives. And their attitudes quickly become one more obstacle — short-tempered, incapable of taking responsibility, quick to blame others, perhaps paranoid, concluding others are out to sabotage them.

And just a hunch: the amount of sympathy one has for Christopher Dorner is inversely proportional to one's take-home pay.

One a much lighter note, wouldn't it appear that Russia is to meteors/meteorites what trailer parks are to tornadoes? Don't worry, Oklahoma, Spring is right around the corner.

As Pops would say, "It's a solution in search of a problem."... New York Congressman, Charles Rangel up to his old saw again in wanting to bring back the draft. Although, with women now getting the OK for combat roles, it does bring up the question of requiring women to apply for selective service.

Of course, with Rangel, there is a defense policy/social engineering angle behind his backing of the draft:

“If you take a look at that segment of the United States that actually goes to war, they get unfair disadvantage in every darn thing that’s happened. I know, because I was one of them,” Rangel said on NBC’s Morning Joe. “And it’s unfortunate that in the last draft that we had, all you had to do was say that you’re going to college, you get into college and you can avoid it. That’s why my no-nonsense-everybody-goes, it really counts…. You may go in screaming and yelling, but when you come out, you salute the flag.”

Yeah, Vietnam was such a swell time in this nation's history, let's attempt to recreate those conditions from that era. Got it.

It should be noted and as Rangel alluded to above, the congressman served honorably in the Marine Corps during Korea. Thank you for your service, sir.

Sports website Deadspin ranks the Constitutional amendments and, predictably, makes absolute hash of it.

When the 1st amendment is ranked #7, it is either a sign of dumbfounding ignorance or a sad attempt at being too cute by a half. Either way, the rankings present a revealing look behind the curtain of statist/progressive priorities and individual freedom ain't one of them.

White, liberal and over-educated is no way to go through life, son.

And same website ranks luncheon meats and aside from the inexplicable exclusion of bacon and pastrami, manages to not embarass themselves.

Strangely enough, the Department of Justice feels compelled to jump into the homeschooling fray as the miserable hack that runs that outfit claims that banning homeschooling doesn't violate fundamental rights.

3 questions:

1. WTF?
2. What compelling interest does the DOJ have in the homeschooling business?
3. WTF?

A bi-partisan outfit called "No Labels" is an attempt to get Congress to quit the rancorous bickering and get something done.

Stretching back to the previous administration, let's take a look at the biggest legislative accomplishments that have been signed into law by both Republican and Democratic Presidents: Medicare Part D, TARP (including the bailout of GM and Chrysler), the $800 billion American Recovery Act (Porkulus), Dodd-Frank financial regulation and the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).

Explain to us again why gridlock is such a horrible thing.

And with respect to the proposed assault weapon ban, we suppose we see their point. It's not like our assault rifle is going to do us any good in the event of a drone strike.

How can publishing a map showing the locations of your political opposites be considered anything but inciteful and hateful? We're looking at you Southern Poverty Law Center.

And if you missed the President's State of the Union Address, B-Daddy of the Liberator Today has a great breakdown of it, here.

60 Minutes managed to track down and interview the Algerian terror attack survivors. So what about the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack survivors?

Totally related: Substitute "Benghazi" for "Algerian gas facility" and you have pretty much the same story.

OK, gang, that's it for now. We'll catch you all tomorrow.



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Things that probably should have been thought of beforehand


Governor Jerry Brown and the state of California have fully embraced the new federal health care law and are charging ahead with setting up the state-run, federally-regulated exchange by which Californians will be able to shop around for health care coverage.

One problem: we are or will be soon experiencing a severe doctor shortage.

From the L.A. Times:

As the state moves to expand healthcare coverage to millions of Californians under President Obama's healthcare law, it faces a major obstacle: There aren't enough doctors to treat a crush of newly insured patients.

Some lawmakers want to fill the gap by redefining who can provide healthcare.

They are working on proposals that would allow physician assistants to treat more patients and nurse practitioners to set up independent practices. Pharmacists and optometrists could act as primary care providers, diagnosing and managing some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high-blood pressure.

With an aging population which will need more medical care and aging doctors that are eyeing retirement plus a younger demographic, that though, will not require nearly as much health care, are still being dumped onto the rolls anyway, this doctor shortage should not have come as any big surprise but… here we are.

We'll let Capt. Obvious, state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) and, no doubt, a big ObamaCare supporter explain further:

"We're going to be mandating that every single person in this state have insurance," said state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), chairman of the Senate Health Committee and leader of the effort to expand professional boundaries. "What good is it if they are going to have a health insurance card but no access to doctors?"

Hernandez's proposed changes, which would dramatically shake up the medical establishment in California, have set off a turf war with physicians that could contribute to the success or failure of the federal Affordable Care Act in California.

Doctors say giving non-physicians more authority and autonomy could jeopardize patient safety. It could also drive up costs, because those workers, who have less medical education and training, tend to order more tests and prescribe more antibiotics, they said.

One of the intents of ObamaCare was to eliminate unnecessary and unneeded testing. Now you've got C.Y.A. testing for people potentially not qualified or not as qualified as physicians in performing an array of medical tasks, practices, tests and diagnoses they were not asked to do before. Congratulations on cutting down on all that unnecessary testing.

And you'll be pleased to know that this doctor shortage is regressive in nature, hitting the poorer parts of the state the hardest:

Currently, just 16 of California's 58 counties have the federal government's recommended supply of primary care physicians, with the Inland Empire and the San Joaquin Valley facing the worst shortages. In addition, nearly 30% of the state's doctors are nearing retirement age, the highest percentage in the nation, according to the Assn. of American Medical Colleges.

The article goes on to explain, however, that physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and optometrists agree they have more training than they are allowed to use and while this may be true, there is nothing that quantifies this number and of that number how many would be willing to accept liability for false diagnosis or a procedural screw-up? Hello, more testing. Hello, more lawsuits.

To be fair, we don't have much of a problem allowing some folks that work in this industry to be plussed-up so to speak in order to do health work they are not specifically licensed to do, currently. However, as the title of this article suggests, this is something that should have been gamed out, at least, notionally before they passed this monstrosity, ObamaCare.

As it stands, we will have a crush of aging patients overwhelming the state's healthcare system long before any substantive changes to existing laws can be made to add/change duties and responsibilities to health care workers to meet this increased demand.

And what if it all turns out to be a horrible idea? What if the hastily-passed legislation that is ill-conceived and poorly-executed (sound familiar?) puts people in health care providing situations when they have no business being there, not necessarily through any fault of their own while providing for, in effect, guinea pigs? It's Sacramento, after all, and we'd give that a better than even odds shot.

What you have then is a situation where the condition of our state's healthcare system goes from merely bad over the next five years as patients entering hospitals cross paths with exiting doctors that are retiring to that of an abject and completely irreversible and irredeemable disaster looming in the next 10-20 years.

* It is duly noted that the Time magazine documenting a doctor shortage is 10 years old.

Your mid-week, martini-worthy graphic image


It's Ash Wednesday, so it's adieu to the previous 40 days of reveling as we now enter Lent.

But before we do, one last look back and who better to do it than with one of New Orleans' favorite sons.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from the Crescent City, it's the Doctor... Doctor John "Mac" Rebennack, Jr. performing "Such a Night" with The Band from The Last Waltz".



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sarah sez


One in a series that takes a look at some of the wild, zany and madcap things said by the former Governor of Alaska.

Alternate headline: Hey, She Was Just Off by One

Sarah Palin was on Fox News Sunday where she proved her firm grasp of the Bill of Rights and which amendments contained which rights.

"We avow the First Amendment," she added. "We stand with that and say that people have a right to have a gun to protect themselves in their homes and their jobs, where, and that they -- and the workplace and that they, for recreation and hunting and the rest. So we're not questioning their right to do that."

Gotcha... Wasn't Palin at all rather that glittering jewel of colossal ignorance and frequent Sarah sez participant Nancy Pelosi former Speaker of the House (two heartbeats away from the Presidency) and current House minority leader.

Since she didn't bother correcting herself, we're left to assume this wan't some verbal gaffe. So, having said that, would it be too much for our elected officials, particularly the ones at the federal level, to have at least the flimsiest hold on the amendments that guarantee our freedom? Sadly, it probably would.

And for you gun owners and/or defenders of the right to own, Pelosi's contention that she is all for private gun ownership can be believed with full confidence because she herself is down with the 1st, 2nd, or whatever amendment. We can feel the commitment, Nance. Thanks.


Monday, February 11, 2013

How the left stopped worrying and learned to love the drone


During the first term of this current administration, we ran a series alternately titled “O > W” and “Constitutional Republics Are, Like, Hard” to illustrate just how closely President Obama’s domestic and foreign policies had mirrored that of his predecessor and to illustrate how often those policies represented an extension of executive power beyond that of Bush. (If you decided to go to the link, you will see there was no shortage of material)

Since the killing of Anwar-alAwlaki back in September of 2011 via a drone strike in Yemen, the practice of killing Americans overseas has been public knowledge… well at least as public as a compliant 4th estate would make it public.

Just last week, however, against the backdrop of the CIA Director confirmation hearings for John Brennan, a leaked white paper from the Department of Justice gave legal justification for the administration to kill Americans oversees with what we will feel free to describe as virtually zero oversight, due process and transparency. This, at last, put this long-overdue debate on the front burner and certainly, Peter Baker’s conveniently-timed Saturday commentary in the New York Times has finally given Paper-of-Record voice to our O > W contention.

The lede from the article:

Four years into his tenure, the onetime critic of President George W. Bush finds himself cast as a present-day Mr. Bush, justifying the muscular application of force in the defense of the nation while detractors complain that he has sacrificed the country’s core values in the name of security.

Oh, that he were as we have seen the establishment left in this country both in the press, government and celebrity, rush to the president’s defense with the lame defense that the president knows best.

And Baker makes the point of Obama’s use of drones as essentially being lazy; a point we have made for years:

By emphasizing drone strikes, Mr. Obama need not bother with the tricky issues of detention and interrogation because terrorists tracked down on his watch are generally incinerated from the sky, not captured and questioned. By dispensing with concerns about due process, he avoids a more traditional war that he fears could lead to American boots on the ground.

Glenn Greenwald penned an excellent column exposing the hackery of the left and the fact that progressive fans of the Obama drone killing program need to apologize and thank McBushChimpHitler, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the gang… because you can’t get to assassinating Americans from above without first going through warrantless wiretaps and enhanced interrogations. It’s all about process, you see, to achieve lack of due process.

But back to the “I (heart) Barack” defense…

Here’s MSNBC host Krystal Ball best exemplifying this line of reasoning:

Look, I voted for President Obama because I trust his values and his judgment. And I believe that he's a fundamentally responsible actor. Without gratuitously slamming ex-President Bush, I think he displayed extraordinary lapses in judgement in executing his primary responsibility as commander in chief, and put troops in harms way imprudently. President Obama would have exercised better judgment and he has exercised better judgment. The way it stands now, the drone program is exclusively in the domain of the executive. Their protocol, their judgment. So yeah, I feel a whole lot better about the program when the decider, so to speak, is President Obama.

That’s charming… it really is. And it also demonstrates an embarrassing lack of understanding as to what is required of a constitutional republic with its checks and balances, oversights and separation of powers.

What is wrong with the “I trust Obama (more)” line of reasoning is that precedent has now been set for all other future presidents. This logic locks in a very short term perspective based largely on a cult of personality that completely ignores the long-term ramifications of a single person having the go/no-go on terminating U.S. citizens without any oversight, process, review or transparency.

Hell… we just wrote “.. long-term ramifications…” for something that has happened 3 times already.

Saying you trust Barack Obama more than you trust George W. Bush or Mitt Romney is fine for matters such as the economy or tax policy but for matters of life and death and given the flimsy pretexts and controls that Justice Department legal document lay out for justification, you are effectively gutting the 4th amendment. The truism that (ideally) we are nation of laws and not of men seems to be lost on many of these folks.

Besides, Obama has only 4 more years left. We can’t wait to see what happens when someone as obviously less-saintly than he possesses these extraordinary powers and what he will do with them.

And we can’t wait to see what hacks like Kristal Ball will say about it then, as well.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Radio KBwD is on the air


We stumbled across these guys quite by accident while noodling around on Youtube this past week. They've toured with ZZ Top and the Zac Brown Brown so if you like Lynryd Skynyrd, The Black Crowes and/or Toby Keith, you'll probably dig this band*.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from Atlanta, GA, it's Blackberry Smoke performing "Ain't Much Left of Me".


* They have faithful reader and commenter Road Dawg's seal of approval.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Finding silver linings in a crappy economy


We're sure you remember this:

"...if you like your doctor or healthcare plan, you can keep it..."

However, if you are possessing of two brain cells with which to rub together and you pause to consider that the Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare had the intent of effectively dumping 30 million additional Americans onto the Medicaid rolls and then pile on additional health care coverage requirements, that promise might not necessarily pan out.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office would tend to agree:

President Obama's health care law will push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage — nearly twice the previous estimate, according to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday.

CBO said that this year's tax cuts have changed the incentives for businesses and made it less attractive to pay for insurance, meaning fewer will decide to do so. Instead, they'll choose to pay a penalty to the government, totaling $13 billion in higher fees over the next decade.

But the non-partisan agency also expects fewer people to have to pay individual penalties to the IRS than it earlier projects, because of a better method for calculating incomes that found more people will be exempt.

(italics, ours)

That ObamaCare has created perverse incentives is no surprise. Burdening businesses with additional requirements will not come without consequences. That it is a bug or a feature (a back door to the public option/single-payer system that statists in this county have been clamoring for years) we still haven't figured out.

And that last paragraph contains a cruel irony. More and more people will be exempt from paying the penalty/tax for not signing up for ObamaCare because of the persistently dismal economic climate of which hopelessly misguided and ill-executed economic policies like ObamaCare have created.

You and your family no longer have healthcare but, no worries... at least you don't have to pay the tax for not having healthcare.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What we've been tweeting


Alternate headline: How he stopped worrying and learned to love the drone

Against the backdrop of confirmation hearings for John Brennan for head of the CIA, a memo from the Justice Department was released that claimed there was legal justification for drone strikes against U.S. citizens without traditionally-recognized due process and even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.

From NBC News:

The secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue in this week’s hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a key architect of the drone campaign, to be CIA director. Brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge drone strikes in a speech last year, calling them “consistent with the inherent right of self-defense.” In a separate talk at the Northwestern University Law School in March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.”

But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than described by Brennan or Holder in their public speeches. It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.

“The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states.

Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”

We don't know about you but having our lives in the hands of an "informed, high level" official is chilling to say the least even if we did have an operational definition of the same.

Twitter was blowing up yesterday over this and our contributions focused on the potential for abuse of this power (one could make the argument that merely having that power is aubuse of power in itself and we would not object) to the absolute hypocrisy of the left with respect to the current President's predeccessor and the practice of enhanced interrogation/waterboarding.

We’ve ended the heinous Bush-era tactic of waterboarding terrorists by killing Americans instead. #sendinthedrones

Hordes of human rights activists will be descending upon Crawford, TX any minute now. #sendinthedrones

#MartinSheen your little boycott campaign of #ZeroDarkThirty is charming in it’s own special way. #sendinthedrones

What is zero? The amount of information that can be gleaned from waterboarding a corpse #sendinthedrones

Only Nixon could go to China and only a Nobel Peace Prize winner could wack his own citizens. #sendinthedrones

We fully expect a stronger letter to follow from the #ACLU any minute now. #sendinthedrones

The logic of the modern left: enhanced interrogation in order to glean intel: bad. Killing Americans via drone strike: Outfu$kingstanding! #sendinthedrones

Today, the American left confirmed what a bunch of worthless hypocrites we always knew them to be. #sendinthedrones

Administration that has the power to kill its own citizens wonders what we’re doing with an assault rifle. #sendinthedrones

Q for the left: Will u also trust a (R) with this power? We’ll answer that for you: No. So please drop your shameless hypocristy. #sendinthedrones

What fun is waterboarding a terrorist when they’re already dead? #sendinthedrones

Administration that promised to close Gitmo simply kills potential inhabitants. #sendinthedrones

Administration will just kill those that they want to give civilian trials to. #sendinthedrones

Lefties: if you wouldn’t want a (R) president with that power, then it’s a solid bet no president should have that power. #sendinthedrones

We'll say it again: the stunning inconsistencies of how Obama has prosecuted his war on terror points to the man being just lazy. He doesn't want the hassle of actually capturing, detaining and questioning the bad guys lest he look anything like his predeccessor so... he kills them instead. And not just foreigners anymore. If they were still around, you could've asked Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16 yr. old son

Monday, February 4, 2013

Your California high-speed choo-choo update


All you really need to know with respect to just how big of a mess California’s high-speed rail project is the fact that 4 losing bidders to design and build the initial 30 mile set of tracks in the Central Valley each received $2 million for their troubles.

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Only one out of five bidders to design and build the first phase of California’s high-speed rail project will win the $1.8 billion contract — but they will all get paid.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has agreed to issue a $2 million “stipend” to all four of the losing bidders, an obscure practice used for some large-scale construction projects. Bullet-train officials say the incentive was designed to attract bidders and therefore spur better, more competitive proposals.

“It might seem curious to people at first why we would pay losing bidders, but it’s very much a mathematical proposition,” said Dan Richard, authority chairman. “We think that we’ll get better bids and lower bids as a result.”

Richard described the stipends as standard policy on large projects and added that the reimbursements do not come close to the costs incurred by unsuccessful construction firms.

Contractors last month submitted proposals to design and build the first 30-mile stretch of track for the proposed $68 billion high-speed rail system. The statewide network endeavors to eventually stretch more than 800 miles north to south with trains traveling at speeds of up to 220 mph.

Allow us to translate what Dan Richards was attempting to communicate:

“There is no way in hell we would be able to attract any serious bidders and ask them to design and build a high-speed railroad when we don’t yet own any of the land upon which to build this without that $2 million cushion. There is too great a risk for bidding firms for us not to pay them off afterwards."

And you would not be surprised to learn that this bidding practice of “stipends” is, uh, somewhat irregular.

Eric Christen, executive director of the Poway-based Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction and a project opponent, said in his 13 years in the business he has never seen a payout for losing bidders.

“If it was the only thing that these guys were doing like this, well, I might give them the benefit of the doubt,” Christen said. “But it’s one after another, after another, after another.”

As to the amount of the stipends, he said, “The numbers to me as a taxpayer and as a private citizen are shocking.”

Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, an outspoken critic of the project, cited the recent dust-up in arguing for legislative oversight of the rail authority.

“We’ve never had a business plan. We’ve never had a funding source. We’ve never had an accurate ridership study and we are thinking of eminent domaining hundreds of parcels,” said Harkey, R-Dana Point. “And we’re sending out bids and paying out $2 million as if we are a private company for anyone who wants to bid but doesn’t happen to win.

“It’s easy to see how this money could just be sucked out of the state and end up going into the black hole and never producing any transportation element for the people of California.”

More from the article:

Sajeev Malaveetil, an expert in government contract accounting, administration and compliance, said stipends are most frequently seen at the state level on major transportation projects.

“It’s not a common practice, and I can’t necessarily think of situations where you see it outside of a major construction or developmental project, but it’s not unprecedented,” said Malaveetil, a director at the Berkeley Research Group in Washington. “It is used primarily in situations where the procuring party cannot itself identify the specific requirements they are looking for.

“They know what the end result is, but they are looking for different options and design components and technical approaches with the understanding that when they make the final contract award, they may actually adopt some of those facets from one offer into the ultimate contract.”

It’s certainly no coincidence that the largest government-funded boondoggles are major transportation projects at the state level.
And to be clear, that $2 million stipend really does make sense when you are asking engineering firms to bid on a project where there are so many variables and so many unknowns. The risk factors are huge.

But what may necessarily make sense does not make it right. A massively complex public works project riddled with uncertainties and driven by unrealistic time tables will indeed generate unsavory business practices such as these stipends.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sticking it to the Man says... the Man?


Recall there was a socio-political set in this country whose battle cry appeared in their voices, t-shirts and bumper stickers and it was: “Keep your laws off my body”. You do remember that don’t you because we sure as hell do.

Well, those folks have completely disappeared or have completely sold out to the establishment they claimed to be set against. Correction to both of those theories: they have become the establishment. How else do you explain the fact that they championed a poorly-concieved, deeply flawed health care law that will, at a minimum, cost a family of 4 or 5, $20,000/year and you cannot choose to opt out of it.

From CNS News:

In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.

Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.

The IRS's assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.

The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.

“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says.

Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare--after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.

In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare's mandate to buy insurance.

It is duly noted that the feds still insist in calling it a penalty 7 months after the Supreme Court ruled it a tax. But, hey, penalty... tax... $2,085 is still $2,085 no matter what you call it.

The whole fiasco that is ObamaCare illustrates perfectly how America's counter-culture of the 60s and 70s that was fighting to stick it to the Man has indeed become the Man.

The choosing is of their own choosing.


Radio KBwD is on the air: covers edition


Cannot believe we've never matched up this song before as it's a classic tune done by two rock legends from two different eras.

Let's call it a Boomer vs. Gen X throwdown (which, because of the quality of music, should not influence your vote)


Ladies and Gentlemen, from North London, England, it's The Kinks performing "Where Have All the Good Times Gone".

(dig the vocal harmony in the chorus)

And now, from Pasadena, California, it's Van Halen doing their turn on the same song.