Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Things keep getting better and better for a law set to drop in 2 months

A couple items of note with respect to the unfolding trainwreck that is the rollout of the new federal healthcare law:

During the legislation of the law, proponents of ObamaCare insisted that the law simply must pass and pass sooner than later because 40,000 a year were dying because they did not have health insurance.

Since one good fear-mongering turn deserves another, we ask what are ObamaCare fanboys and fangirls to make of the President making a unilateral decision to delay for one year the employer mandate whereby businesses of over 50 employees must provide federally-approved healthcare plans to their employees?

We won't be holding our breath for any blowback from the increasingly hypocritical progressive camps but the non-partisan CBO (Congressional Budget Office) chimed in with a report detailing just what the monetary and human cost would be for a one-year delay of the employer mandate.

From Reuters:

President Barack Obama's decision to delay implementation of part of his healthcare reform law will cost $12 billion and leave a million fewer Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance in 2014, congressional researchers said Tuesday.

The report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is the first authoritative estimate of the human and fiscal cost from the administration's unexpected one-year delay announced July 2 of the employer mandate - a requirement for larger businesses to provide health coverage for their workers or pay a penalty.

The analysts said the delay will add to the cost of "Obamacare's" insurance-coverage provisions over the next 10 years. Penalties paid by employers would be lower and more individuals who otherwise might have had employer coverage will need federal insurance subsidies.

This is a double-whammy because not only will people not be insured by their employers, the subsidy funding that would help defray the cost of healthcare insurance in the individual markets for these folks goes wanting because companies won't be paying the monetary penalty for not insuring their employers for one more year.

We are still in self-debate as to whether the hopelessly-flawed manner in which this law was constructed is due to monumental ineptness or due rather to brilliant cleverness as the unworkability of ObamaCare in its current state will just move us all towards a single-payer system, the progressive goal all along.

Title for this next subsection could be: Lawmakers freaked out they will have to live with a law they wrote and passed.

Not too long ago, we noted that members of Congress only just recently got around to the realization that… holy crap, they would be losing their current government employee healthcare plan and would be forced to shop for insurance plans in the state exchanges without, possibly, being reimbursed for the price of the plan.

The New York Times helpfully calls this a “wrinkle”:

Under a wrinkle that dates back to enactment of the law, members of Congress and thousands of their aides are required to get their coverage through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.

But the law does not provide any obvious way for the federal government to continue paying its share of the premiums for the comprehensive coverage.

If the government cannot do so, it could mean an additional expense of $5,000 a year for individuals and $11,000 for families under some of the most popular plans.

Not surprisingly, that idea is unpopular on Capitol Hill.

The provision to dump members of Congress and their staffs into the public exchanges was in the original Senate Bill and remained there as the House never took up the question of reimbursement.


Think about this for a moment: How jacked up is this law and how bad is it going to be for the rest of us if the people who legislated the damn thing did not even take time to figure out how to shield themselves and particularly their staffs from the added expense they will now be facing shopping for plans through the exchanges?

Back to the article:

At a Congressional hearing in April, House members pressed the administration to say what would happen to their health insurance if they went into exchanges.

Jonathan Foley, a senior official at the United States Office of Personnel Management, deflected the questions. “That is right now a subject of regulation,” Mr. Foley said. “It would be inappropriate for me to comment.”

Edmund D. Byrnes, a spokesman for the personnel office, echoed that statement on Monday. “Nothing has changed,” Mr. Byrnes said. “We are still working on a regulation.”

In its work plan for the next six months, the personnel agency said it was developing a proposed rule “regarding coverage for members of Congress and Congressional staff.” The agency said it hoped to issue the proposal in October.

That is rather late, since the exchanges are supposed to open on Oct. 1.

Nancy Pelosi was right, sort of. Yeah, the rest of us are, sadly, finding out what’s in this law, however, the Democrats that wrote it, 3-1/2 years later, still don’t know what is happening to their own health insurance plans. Priceless.

Monday, July 29, 2013

BwD's Nanny of the Month

Normally, we leave Nanny of the Month honors to for scouring the country to find the most intrusive, ridiculous and unneeded intrusions into personal and/or business affairs be it at the federal, state or local level.

This month, however, we are taking the reins in recognizing the city of Monterey Park as Beers with Demo’s recipient as Nanny of the Month.

Years ago, we wrote a letter to the L.A. Times which was re-printed in their Op-Ed section later that week in which we derided the Times Opinion page for coming down in favor an area city’s efforts to require banks to provide bi-lingual signage.

Different decade, same issue:

From NBC4 Southern California:

The City Council in Monterey Park has unanimously voted to require businesses to put up bilingual signs, sparking controversy in a community that has a large Chinese-American population.

Under the rule, business owners must put at least one sign up that uses the “modern Latin alphabet,” since forcing stores to put up specifically English signs isn’t allowed, according to the council agenda.

Some residents don’t believe stores should be forced to put up signs.

“I think this should be (an) option,” said John Chen, a longtime resident of Monterey Park, citing freedom of speech.

Though the preliminary vote was unanimous, one council member is already reconsidering his vote.

“After speaking to the community and getting into it a little bit more, I’ve come to the realization that we really don’t any urgency (for this),” said Monterey Park City Councilman Hans Liang.

Monterey Park is 48 percent Chinese, according to the 2010 United States Census. Most of the businesses already have signs in both languages, according to Liang.

Reasons for enacting the rule include promoting economic development, public safety and facilitating public discussion, according to the agenda.

“Clear and simple signs are significant to the response times of both the police and fire departments,” the agenda read. “A distinguishable sign allows officers and firefighters to locate a business from a distance.”

Both the chief of police and the fire chief approved the city’s new regulation in the agenda.
The agenda also cited driver safety is another reason for the new law.

“Signs that are not distinguishable create unsafe road situations,” the agenda read. “Signs that clearly and quickly identify the type of business allow drivers to ignore secondary extraneous information.”

Before we dive into this, check out the faces and names of the council members of Monterey Park, here, who have decreed businesses carry Spanish language signage. Weird, huh?

First off, public safety angle does not make a lick of sense. How is forcing businesses to put up more signage going to be any less confusing to first responders. And can it be reasonably expected that the first responders be more proficient in English than Spanish or any other Asian language represented by the citizenry of Monterey Park? Sorry… the “public safety” angle is fast approaching the “it’s for the children” in terms of setting off our b.s. sensors.

The bottom line here is that we simply do not understand the logic of elected officials knowing what’s better for an individual small businesses’ health better than the owner of that small business. If the business owner implicitly or explicitly chooses to exclude a segment of that area’s populace in the choosing of the language of his signage, then we suspect he will be willing to face up to the economic impact of his choosing. He’ll figure it out… or he won’t – that should be his call for better or for worse. It's called the free market, gang - thou shalt be punished for crappy business decisions.

Down here in San Diego, the neighborhood of Clairemont Mesa is home to a large amount of Asian businesses many of which carry only Asian language signage. Yeah, it’s kind of a pain in the rear but we deal with it… or we don’t. Damned if some language barriers, however, are going to keep us away from some of that Korean Bar-B-Q they have up there.

As to the whole assimilation issue and a stronger community and more engaged citizenry through a common language concept, we’ll leave for another time.

Congratulations, Monterey Park, for winning Beers with Demo’s Nanny of the Month.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Video clip of the day

We will freely admit we did not follow the legal proceedings of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman trial all that much. What we did follow was the vile circus that surrounded the whole affair.

Never in our life have we seen so many powerful institutions in society coalesce around and become so vested in the demise of a private citizen. The race-baiting spite and hatred stirred up by the likes of Al Sharpton towards George Zimmerman that was manifested on social media and cable television was as nauseating as it was frightening.

John Nolte of does a great job in rounding up the sick antics of the government-media cabal lynch mob here, where CNN is duly noted as elevating their game above the rest in providing the most disgraceful coverage of the trial.

Bill Whittle on Afterburner does an excellent job of breaking down what we did not know about this trial and that of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman in this video below.

(video approx. 10 minutes)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What we and others have been Tweeting

You heard the news: Detroit filed for bankruptcy.

Death by 50-60 years of the same bankrupt governing ideology proves only that Detroit was tougher and more resilient than most people thought.

Of course, that assessment doesn't set well with some people.

And do you know what yesterday was?

The show will go on but without military aircraft.

For those of you whining about gridlock in D.C., you'd be pleased to know this effort to weaponize people who want to slaughter us has been a bipartisan affair. Happy?

Having failed to get any of the four major sports leagues to shill for ObamaCare, Team O is turning to Hollywood. Of course, they are.

Of course, we can play the whole class envy/class warfare game too.

On the ripple effect of the media-government hanging party's treatment of George Zimmerman.

Department of Justice behaving pretty much as you would expect under the miserable hack that is Eric Holder.

Best Tweet on the new Royal bambino:

Second best...

Third best...

And then there is this:

Truer words have never been spoken. We (heart).... absolutely (heart) gridlock. You're welcome.

OK, gang, that's it for now.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The sum of all fears

We's apologize for the multitude of ObamaCare posts recently if not for the fact that grave concerns regarding personal liberty, personal privacy, government overreach and government un-accountability all residing in various forms and degrees in the IRS, Treasury Department and NSA scandals are all rolled up in the entity of the new federal healthcare law. So, no, we don't apologize.

The Affordable Care Act allows for states that do not wish to take on the bureaucratic nightmare of standing up and maintaining the exchanges through which people may shop for and purchase federally-approved health care plans to be left to the federal government. Currently, 34 states have possessed the wisdom to leave the running of this ongoing trainwreck to the feds.

California is one such state, however, that has decided to take on this task via the state exchange Covered California and California being the largest state in the union is being watched very carefully with respect to how this is rolled out with an October 1st deadline looming.

One problem being experienced already and which we blogged about last week is that there is no internal mechanism for the vetting of the thousands of employees ("navigators") that will be staffing the exchange in order to assist people in signing up for healthcare insurance. No background checks for people who will have unprecedented access to your tax, DMV and health records. No background checks for people who may have served time for identity theft and whom will have access to which you had assumed was your secure information. What could possibly go wrong?

And at the federal level, things are also working out about how you would expect.

Over the weekend, a USA Today story spelled out the massive information data hub that the feds are currently setting up and will be maintaining for the ostensible purpose of being able to execute ObamaCare. The article calls this data hub the most massive gathering of personal information in the history of the republic, something that would make the NSA blush from inadequacy. Information about you and your family will be brought in from the Treasury Department, IRS, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice as well as your Social Security number and this will all be coordinated by the Department of Health and Human Services.

And just like in California, the federal government has no means nor do they have, currently, any intentions of vetting the employees who will have access to this information.

From the National Review Online:

This spring, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee lawyers were also told by HHS that, despite the fact that navigators will have access to sensitive data such as Social Security numbers and tax returns, there will be no criminal background checks required for them. Indeed, they won't even have to have high-school diplomas. Both U.S. Census Bureau and IRS employees must meet those minimum standards, if only because no one wants someone who has been convicted of identity theft getting near Americans' personal records. But HHS is unconcerned. It points out that navigators will have to take a 20-30 hour online course about how the 1,200-page law works, which, given its demonstrated complexity, is like giving someone a first-aid course and then making him a med-school professor. "I want to assure you and all Americans that, when they fill out their [health-insurance] marketplace applications, they can trust the information they're providing is protected," said Marilyn T avenner, head of HHS's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, at a congressional hearing last week. In the age of Wikileaks and IRS abuses, somehow that isn't very comforting.

As if you needed to be reminded, the trust us folks at HHS are part of the same sprawling federal apparatus that targeted and harassed groups seeking non-profit status and who shared sensitive financial information with liberal advocacy groups. And these were the folks who had background checks performed on them before working for the IRS.

To say that the potential for abuse and criminal misconduct as practiced by the IRS is very possible, would be an understatement of the highest order.

The blueprint has been set for the California state exchange and the state exchanges set up by the federal government to be un-accountable rogue agencies where there is zero recourse of action if you feel your private information has been compromised or if you feel you are being wrongly treated.

This is precisely what happens when legislation of a massive and sprawling federal entitlement program consists not of thoughtful debate and exchange of ideas as to both the broad outline of that legislation but also some of the finer details that would ensure we would not have bad actors with access to the information that they will. Rather, what we wound up with was legislation via backroom vote-buying deals, bribes and kickbacks just so that we could pass something in order to find out later what's in it and boy are we ever.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Radio KBwD is on the air


It's been a while, no? To get back into the swing of things let's delve into the bluegrass genre that has been dominating our Pandora selections for the past 6 months or so.

An amazing band with an amazing backstory, ladies and gentlemen, its Cherryholmes of the Cherryholmes family performing "I Can Only Love You (So Much)".

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A sure-fire winning message

When the President's signature piece of legislation's rollout is quickly turning into a trainwreck, one can always count on this administration to resort to shameless pandering and race-baiting to sell it otherwise.

Head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius (pictured) was at the annual NAACP convention in Orlando and made the following remarks on Tuesday.

From CNSNews:

"The Affordable Care Act is the most powerful law for reducing health disparities since Medicare and Medicaid were created in 1965, the same year the Voting Rights Act was also enacted," Sebelius said. "That significance hits especially close to home. My father was a congressman from Cincinnati who voted for each of those critical civil rights laws, and who represented a district near where the late Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth lived and preached.

"The same arguments against change, the same fear and misinformation that opponents used then are the same ones opponents are spreading now. 'This won't work,' 'Slow down,' 'Let's wait,' they say.

"But history shows that upholding our founding principles demands continuous work toward a more perfect union...And it requires the kind of work that the NAACP has done for more than a century to move us forward.

"You showed it in the fight against lynching and the fight for desegregation. You showed it by ensuring inalienable rights are secured in the courtroom and at the ballot box. And you showed it by supporting a health law 100 years in the making.

"With each step forward, you said to forces of the status quo, 'This will work,' 'We can't slow down' 'We can't wait,' 'We won't turn back.'

Sebelius then hailed the "voices of progress" that "we hear and honor this year," as people start signing up for mandatory health insurance on Oct. 1:

"They echo from church bells rung at midnight 150 years ago to educate our nation of a people's emancipation. They echo from a speech on our nation's mall 50 years ago next month about the promise of our nation's dream. And they still echo and guide us today in a second term of a historic presidency.

"So let us seize this moment. We can't slow down. We can't wait. We won't turn back. We move forward."

Good grief. Where to even start with this nonsense?

Well, how about here: when fighting fear and misinformation, it's always good to compare your political opposites to Jim Crow-loving segregationists. That's the politics of unity and a pitch-perfect example of that new civility we've been hearing so much about.

And We can't wait explains why the administration has decided to delay for a year 3 different key provisions of the law in direct violation of constitutional provisions to uphold the laws that are on the books. For a law that absolutely had to pass because, as claimed by the champions of the law, upwards of 40,000 people/year were dying because they didn't have health insurance, this would seem to be a particularly cruel and heartless way of implementing it.

Let's just call it the ObamaCare tease where tens of thousands of Americans anticipating the saving graces of the law, will meet their ultimate demise because of incompetence at the executive, legislative and bureaucratic levels. Hey, don't look at us that way - they have hoisted themselves atop their own fear-mongering petard.

And as a reminder to you young voters out there, especially those young healthy ones that do not necessarily need health insurance but will be forced to buy it any way: the man you probably voted for in 2012 and possibly as well in 2008, made it clear a couple of days ago that while he was cool with letting big business off the hook for the employer mandate, he would veto any legislation coming out of Congress that would suspend/delay implementation of individual mandate. Don't worry, he still (hearts) you for buying that bumper sticker and, of course, for your vote.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Subservient enough to be a journalist?

We don't normally do this but Glenn Reynolds aka instapundit recently penned a column so spot on for USA Today we decided to reproduce it in its entirety below.

We've touched on it 2 or 3 times in the recent past but Reynolds has been going after this issue with hammer and tongs relentlessly. The issue we are referring to is our betters in Washington D.C. attempting to define journalism as a profession rather than an activity. This is being done in a shamefully cynical manner as protecting journalist whistleblowers when they expose government secrets.

Of course, you see what's going on here: whistleblower shield laws will protect only those journalist or journalist organizations vetted by the federal government. Pesky independent journalists and especially blogs like Reynolds' , Legal Insurrection, HotAir and yours truly that are not behaving properly need not apply.

The statist political class is not very fond of freedom of the press as if the Department of Justice snooping of 20 Associated Press employees and the naming of Fox News Jame Rosen as an unindicted criminal co-conspirator did not alert you to that fact already:

Mr. Reynolds, take it away:

Last week, stung by reactions to phone-snooping on reporters* (and, in at least one case, a reporter's parents), the Justice Department issued new guidelines for dealing with the media when investigating leaks. Many people are cheering these guidelines, but I'm not sure they're good enough.

I have two problems: First, in the incidents mentioned above, according to Associated Press President Gary Pruitt, the Justice Department violated its old guidelines. If the Justice Department didn't follow its own rules before, why is it more likely to follow the new rules? Ultimately, it's hard to trust an administration that seems to see every legal requirement as, like ObamaCare, waivable when inconvenient.

My second problem is more general. Does this policy protect anyone doing journalism, or just members of the establishment? The Justice Department talks about protection for "news media" (the guidelines don't use the word "press") but doesn't provide any guidance on just who that is. Presumably, if you're drawing a paycheck from the New York Times or Gannett (the parent company of USA TODAY), you're covered. (But note that, not too long ago, the Obama administration was claiming that Fox News, home of James Rosen, one of the key targets of recent Justice Department snooping, was not a "legitimate news organization.") If the Justice Department can pick and choose in this fashion, the guidelines don't mean much.

But even if the guidelines extend to everyone who draws a paycheck as a reporter or pundit -- hey, I guess that would include me -- that's still not enough. In this era of blogging, social media and independent journalism, there are an awful lot of people doing serious journalism who aren't drawing a paycheck from a media organization. They deserve protection, too. Journalism is an activity, not a profession.

James O'Keefe -- who has a new book out, Breakthrough: Our Guerrilla War To Expose Fraud And Save Democracy -- has conducted a number of daring undercover exposes of voter fraud and financial abuse, one of which led Congress to defund the corrupt ACORN social-activist group. Independent journalists such as Michael Totten, Michael Yon, J.D. Johannes, and Bill Roggio covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in ways that traditional media seldom did -- for the most part, supported by donations directly from their readers. No media paycheck there.

And the most stunning on-the-scene reporting today -- from Egypt, for example, or the scene of the Asiana air crash last week -- comes via Twitter, blogs and Facebook. Those people aren't drawing a media paycheck either, but they're doing real reporting. Why should they get short shrift?

Government licensing of the press is one of the biggest First Amendment no-nos. But if the government is in the business of deciding who counts as a "legitimate news organization" -- and, more importantly, who doesn't -- then the result looks suspiciously like a licensing scheme of some sort.

It also looks kind of clubby. Washington is already rife with crony capitalism, but if these protections are limited to Big Media journalists it starts to look a lot like crony journalism. The administration gives journalism's old-boy-network a pass, in exchange for not rocking the boat too much, while leaving itself free to go after the very outsiders who are most likely to do hard-hitting investigations.

Not coincidentally, NBC talking head David Gregory -- highly sympathetic to the Obama White House -- recently asked blogger Glenn Greenwald, who broke the Edward Snowden/NSA story, if he was a "real journalist," with the strong implication that he was not. He's certainly broken more stories critical of the White House than Gregory has.

Journalism, especially in the 21st century, isn't the paid profession of a favored few. It's an activity in which all Americans can take part. If the Department of Justice isn't prepared to acknowledge that, then it hasn't really addressed its problems at all.

To riff off our boy KT, we don't think George and the boys picked a fight with the British empire just so that an elite few could choose who it was that could report on them without fear of reprisal.

The government's official seal of approval with respect to journalists and journalism is certainly no hallmark of a free republic regardless of the stated good intentions.

* Reynolds, unfortunately soft-pedals this one. Department of Justice HMFIC Eric Holder was "stung" only after we all found out about the snooping.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Glitches galore

In the past week and a half we have seen the President unilaterally delay by one year the employer mandate whereby businesses of over 50 people would be required to provide federally-approved health care plans to their employees. In this same time span, the President suspended the penalties for smoking that are contained within the law as there are directly contradicting provisions regarding the amount of the penalties and then also decided that verifying income to see who qualified for federal subsidies was, like, too hard so out the door went those income verification checks inviting fraud and abuse of the healthcare system.

The folks at the LA Times helpfully explain that these “glitches” were inevitable and a delay in the roll-out of these provisions was the prudent thing to do… 3-1/2 years after ObamaCare was signed into law. We’d like to remind the L.A. Times that part of the justification for ramming this thing through the Senate and House was that people’s lives were at stake and we simply could not wait any longer to pass and then implement ObamaCare. Given the current rationale for delay, the old rationales for passing it adopt an air of convenience.

We’d also like to point out a contention regarding the law and it is the fact that we are rapidly approaching that point in time when the “number of glitches” line intersects with “this law is totally unworkable line” if we are indeed at that point already.

Now, here in California, the vested and the experts have been keeping a close eye on the state’s aggressive efforts to set up the healthcare exchanges through which California residents can purchase individual healthcare plans. Of course, their aggressive efforts in getting the state exchange set up and running by October 1st experienced a glitch of it’s own in that the health care bubbas do not have any vetting mechanism in place to perform hiring checks on the thousands of employees need to assist the public.

From The Deseret News:

As California prepares to launch its health care exchange, consumer groups are worried the uninsured could fall victim to fraud, identity theft or other crimes at the hands of some of the very people who are supposed to help them enroll.

The exchange, known as Covered California, recently adopted rules for a network of more than 21,000 enrollment counselors who will provide consumers with in-person assistance as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. In some cases, they will have access to personal and financial information, from ID cards to medical histories.

But the state insurance commissioner and anti-fraud groups say the exchange is falling short in ensuring that the people hired as counselors are adequately screened and monitored.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones also said the exchange does not have a plan for investigating any complaints that might arise once the counselors start work. That means consumers who might fall prey to bogus health care products, identity theft and other abuses will have a hard time seeking justice if unscrupulous counselors get ahold of their Social Security number, bank accounts, health records or other private information, he said.

"We can have a real disaster on our hands," Jones, a Democrat, said in an interview.

That Jones is a Democrat is less of an issue in this as it is he is a state employee, a class of people that will vigorously defend their turf and that of the state’s. The California high-speed choo-choo folks are perhaps the masters of happy talk in the face all contradicting evidence. Mr. Jones is apparently having none of it and is warning against a tsunami of fraud and identity theft, a trainwreck, if you will. But for you cynics out there, this is the type of ass-covering we wholeheartedly approve of.

Again, at what point have you seen enough and come to the conclusion that what needs to be done is to pull the plug on this miserable law and start over? We've been there for a while because all that we foretold is coming to pass.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Video clip of the day

Commenter to this YouTube clip advises us that this kid's Arabic matches the accompanying close captioning for whatever it's worth.

Consider yourself forewarned as kid may be smarter than you and certainly displays a grasp of the concept of a liberal, secular constitutional republic better than 98% percent of the people we send to Washington.

Ladies and Gentlemen, behold Ali Ahmed, a 12 yr. old Egyptian:


Pray for this kid's safety as that is not the sort of Tahir Square smack you run without facing some type of consequence.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Photo image of the day

Alternate headline: It’s come to this

Over the years, when we told you one of the dangers of the new federal health care law would be that it would infringe into parts of your life you never thought imaginable, you may have doubted us.

At the time, it was all in the abstract as the new healthcare law and its effects would not come into full effect until Jan. 1, 2014.

For you sports fans, maybe it started sinking in when Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, falsely asserted that she was in active and enthusiastic negotiations with the NFL in running ObamaCare ads to inform the public about the new healthcare law. Fortunately, the NFL did not want to have any part of this political hot potato and denied Sebelius’s happy talk and with it any hopes of being Team O’s patsies and thus keeping the holy day of the week reserved for God, family, friends and football.

From a personal standpoint, our contention hit home last week while reading the latest issue of the WestCoaster SD, a fine monthly periodical documenting the craft beer industry in San Diego. While flipping through the pages, we came across the following:

That’s right, ladies and gentleman… a publication dedicated to a beverage that is said to be proof that God loves us and which we faithfully read as a matter of education, enjoyment and, yes, as escapism cannot even elude the grasp of the ever-expanding tentacles of this horrible, miserable and wretched damn ruinous piece of legislation.

If it can happen to us, it will happen to you.

Don’t ever say we didn’t tell you so.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Video clip of the day

We’ve noted many times over the years, the selective outrage of progressives whereby when civil rights abuses that had their collective heads exploding during the Bush years is met with absolute silence when those same (and more) civil rights abuses are doubled-down upon during this current Presidency.

Our buddy “JD” (follow him on Twitter @PSUDrozz) took the differing reactions as tacit approval of the current President’s actions noting that the “outrage’’ directed at Bush wasn’t genuine and merely represented jealousy.

We have found no better example of this than the President’s contention that he has the right to kill American citizens overseas without any real cause, due process or oversight. The very people who flipped out over the fact we waterboarded 3 people are pretty OK with the fact that this administration has wacked the same number of people including the innocent teenage son of the dead-by-drone Anwar al-Awlaki.

People, perhaps blissfully unaware that they live in a constitutional republic, allayed our fears by telling us these un-constitutional powers wielded by the President were fine because they simply trusted President Obama on the matter.

Never mind what the next person who occupies the Oval Office and who, obviously, will be of less a magnanimous and saintly character than Barack H. Obama and what that person will do with these powers.

Blogger Mark Dice goes to the beach and meets with great success a petition supporting President Obama’s efforts to repeal the Bill of Rights. Statists/Progressives running amok or simply low information voters swayed by Dice’s oratory persuasiveness? Either way, it’s pretty depressing.

We like to think the "sell" was made that much easier by mentioning the name of a person who despite his wretched policies, remains very personally popular.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Unfortunately, this is playing out pretty much as expected

We’re conditional supporters of legalizing marijuana. We say conditional because the optimal condition for marijuana to exists would be in a low tax/low regulation environment. That, however, is probably not going to happen given the statist ways of our politicians and, unfortunately, a too-large segment of the voting public.

Alas, in Colorado which legalized pot last year, the tragically inevitable is unfolding before our very eyes:

The taxes on recreational marijuana might go a lot higher than first thought. Smokers buying at shops in Denver may pay up to 35 percent in taxes.

Colorado voters will be asked to approve two state taxes totaling 25 percent on all retail marijuana sales in the November election. They may be asked to approve an additional city tax for Denver.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock wants to add an additional five to 10 percent city tax on top of that.

Hancock said the money is needed to pay the costs of regulating the drug.

Critics complain severe taxes would destroy a new industry already approved by voters.

The Denver City Council has until August to decide if the tax question will go on the November ballot.

(italics, ours)

We won't pretend to know just how marijuana is regulated in Colorado but if the rates stated above in the article are any indication, then that would represent the rather un-optimal condition we fear for "legalizing" marijuana.

Then again, the regulations may be minimal and all this is just indicative of the usual instinct by politicians to tax anything that moves.

Either way, this represents precisely what we fear: taxing and regulating a product right back into the gray market because that will be the ultimate outcome of all this should these taxes go through.

Hopefully, the good people of Colorado not only see these taxes as a step backwards in the freeing of marijuana but also in the unwinding of the drug war.

Tweet of the Day

We saw this on Twitter yesterday and just up and stole it. Something this awesome just needs to be shared giving due credit or not.



Did we not say it was awesome?



Monday, July 8, 2013

Wait, what?

One in a series where we take a look at the absurd, stupefying and clueless

Alternate headline: Another elected politician having trouble with that whole 1st amendment thing.

Here’s Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) explaining the concept of free speech and freedom of the press:

“Everyone, regardless of the mode of expression, has a constitutionally protected right to free speech. But when it comes to freedom of the press, I believe we must define a journalist and the constitutional and statutory protections those journalists should receive.”

There’s always a “but” with these people. Do you feel comfortable with people like Durbin defining who and who doesn’t qualify as a journalist? We didn’t think so.

Durbin, feeling good about his grasp of the Constitution, continues:

“A journalist gathers information for a media outlet that disseminates the information through a broadly defined ‘medium’ — including newspaper, nonfiction book, wire service, magazine, news Web site, television, radio or motion picture — for public use. This broad definition covers every form of legitimate journalism.”

Glenn Reynolds rightly describes Durbin as a “constitutional ignoramus.” Read his takedown of Durbin here.

As with most things in Washington D.C., idiotic statements like the above come from good intentions. The background for all this is proposed legislation that would give legal protection for media outlets that expose government secrets, whistleblower protection, if you will.

What Durbin won’t admit to, however, is that his high-mindedness is not about whistleblower protection, it’s about power. It’s about the power to have control over what information gets disseminated and who disseminates it.

You see, Durbin and the Beltway establishment don’t like the concept of blogs and other forms of social media informing and opining on Beltway goings-on in a rapid-fire, non-stop, 24/7 and completely uncontrollable manner.

Durbin and the beltway establishment are indeed freaked-out by the new media as they are placed under levels of scrutiny, accountability and deserved ridicule career hacks, such as, Durbin could not have imagined even as recently as 10 years ago.

Too bad, Dick. New media is not going anywhere and there is not a damn thing you can do about it. We look forward to participating vigorously in its democratizing ways for years to come.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A few thoughts on the ObamaCare mandate delay

We touched on the subject delay a few days ago but wanted to address it more fully here.

In the ultimate pre-holiday news dump, the Obama administration announced on Wednesday, July 3rd, they would delay implementing the ObamaCare employer mandate by one year. This was the provision of the law whereby businesses of over 50 full-time employees would be required to offer health care plans of the feds liking or be forced to cough up a $2,000/employee fine tax if they declined to do so.

The stated reason for the delay is that the administration couldn't figure out a way to implement the reporting requirements for the effected businesses. Going on 3-1/2 years after the law was passed and they still need another year to figure out how to work one of the key provisions of the law. In Washington D.C. this is known as the “Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner.” In Placentia, California, this is known as "incompetence".

It is duly noted that the individual mandate is still in effect. The individual mandate that will effect young healthy voters that supported the President by overwhelming numbers in both of the last two presidential elections. So, yes, Millennials, the President caved to Big Business interests but you, however, are still on the hook for this miserable law.

It is also duly noted that this delay "helps" move this issue past the midterms so you would be correct in assuming there was a large political consideration at play in this decision. More on this in a moment.

At this point you may be asking, "Hey, Wait a minute. Wasn't Team O counting on that revenue from big businesses to help subsidize low-income workers and the previously un-insured. They sure were. In fact, the CBO estimates the one-year delay will cost ObamaCare $10 billion that would otherwise go to those subsidies.

It has not yet been explained from where or what is going to make up that revenue shortfall but since the middle class is going to bear the brunt of the cost of this horrible piece of legislation in the first place, why not ask tell these folks, they're going to have to dig a little deeper.

But here's what doesn't make sense about this delay from a political standpoint. We used air quotes with helps in a previous paragraph because we don't think this helps either the administration or Democratic party mid-term aspirations in 2014 as the conventional wisdom is telling us.

In a situation like this, we much prefer the "rip the Band-Aid off" approach to this latest debacle afforded by ObamaCare. The biggest driver in the negative perception of ObamaCare has been its inherent uncertainty. We can all exercise some healthy speculation about how ObamaCare can and will suck, it's just that we don't know how bad it's going to suck until it's fully in effect.

This decision simply keeps alive the uncertainty issue and that will be a huge theme used against the Democrats going into next fall.

With that in mind, why not just get it over with and move on? In fact, polling data through the years has shown we Americans actually love our completely unsustainable entitlement programs. They may be costly and overly-bureaucratized but dammit they're our costly and over-bureaucratized entitlement programs.

It would seem that we, as a country, are more and more resigned and accepting of our government's incompetence, arbitrariness and corruption where it exists, so why should rolling out the employer mandate before it's anywhere near ready be such a bad thing?

Unfortunately, we've become the frog in the kettle and the burner nob ticked up a notch and we're kind of OK with that.

Friday, July 5, 2013

A story about Milton Friedman...

... that may or may not be true but is in keeping with his character.

Sometime, back in the 70s, Friedman was over in China and the Chi-comm officials hosting his visit took him to one of their massive public works projects out in the countryside. Don't recall whether it was a dam or a highway but anyway, Friedman noted that all the workers were using garden variety manual labor tools; shovels, pick axes, wheelbarrows, etc. Friedman, extremely perplexed, asked a party official why there wasn't any big mechanized earth moving equipment being employed. The party honcho rather loftily and proudly responded that they were creating more jobs by doing it in this manner. Friedman, being careful not to offend his hosts but shaking his head none the less, offered up his own advice based upon the logical extension of Communist labor theory: "Well, in that case, why not give them all table spoons."

We have yet to even scratch the surface of understanding and articulating market theory and economic behavior like this American giant and we are poorer for it.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day 2013

To all our readers, please have a safe and fun 4th of July.

"Freedom is not the power of doing what we like but the right of being able to do what we ought.” - Lord Acton


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sarah sez

One in a series that takes a look at some of the zany, wacky and madcap things said by the ex-governor of Alaska.

It's fourth of July weekend and you all know what that means, right? But merely celebrating our nation's independence isn't enough for this year. Governor Palin is thinking big picture and thinking that we should also be celebrating the new federal health care law.

Here she is from this past weekend:

Next week when we celebrate Independence Day we'll also be observing health independence.

This week marks one year since the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, it captures the spriit of our founders, the spirit they wrote in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Affordable Care Act offers just that-a healthier life, liberty to pursue a person's happiness, to be free of constraint, to be job-locked because they're policy-locked-so if you wanted to be a cameraman, a writer, if you want to be self-employed, if you start a business, if you want to change jobs, whatever it is you want to do, you are free, you have the liberty to do so.

So we've had Social Security, Medicare, and now health independence, and that's something our members will take home to celebrate over this Independence Day.

Of course, that wasn't Sarah Palin rather that Sarah sez stalwart and glittering jewel of colossal ignorance, House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi.

We know what you're thinking: Independence Day is precisely the day to celebrate a greater dependence upon the federal government. After all, that is exactly what George and the boys fought for well over 200 hundred years ago, right?

And that claiming mandatory compliance to a law is indicative of greater independence suggests just how warped and Orwellian letting your mind stew in statist/collectivist rot can get.

But so nice of Pelosi to not single out ObamaCare but to also mention Social Security and Medicare, two more completely unsustainable entitlement programs that are breaking this nation, as reasons to fire up the sparklers this coming 4th (if your local ordinances still allow you to do so). Somehow we think her "members" that voted for this coming train wreck will be hearing something different than a celebratory cheer from their constituents during the summer break.

And in other totally related news, Team O has delayed requiring compliance with ObamaCare for businesses over 50 employees by one year. That's right, gang, Team O rolled over for the moneyed interest of #BigBusiness.

The Obama administration will not penalize businesses that do not provide health insurance in 2014, the Treasury Department announced Tuesday.

Instead, it will delay enforcement of a major Affordable Care Act requirement that all employers with more than 50 employees provide coverage to their workers until 2015.

The administration said it would postpone the provision after hearing significant concerns from employers about the challenges of implementing it.

The administration also would like to avoid another mid-term disaster like they experienced back in 2010 owing in large part to voter dissatisfaction with the very same law. ObamaCare: the Democratic Party problem that just doesn't go away.

Now employing the logic we heard back in 2009-2010 as reason to pass ObamaCare now!, this one year delay granted by Team O will cost this country 40,000 lives.

While the Obama administration has granted a one year reprieve to big businesses while they try to figure out this byzantine law, there's one group of people who won't be spared their fate:

That's all, folks. Everybody enjoy a fun and safe Fourth!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Video clip of the day

Reason TV presents their Nanny of the Month:

(video approx. 1-1/2 minutes long)

From Reason TV:

School’s out for summer and Nanny of the Month is taking the opportunity to salute the zealots within the otherwise laudable anti-bullying movement. They take a real problem--few things are more loathsome than picking on the vulnerable--and bungle the response, as has been done with most every “get tough!” effort from D.A.R.E., the failed anti-drug program, to all the idiotic iterations of the “zero tolerance” fad.

Do we really need to ban trash talking at high school sporting events? Do we really need attorney general investigations of foul-mouthed jocks? And for the love of whatever remnants of common sense remain in our schoolhouses and statehouses, do we really need to fight bullying with jail cells?

Not only did this month’s top nanny introduce a bill that would criminalize speech deemed to be bullying--up to a year in the clink!--she introduced a bill that, according to UCLA First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh, is not limited to speech about children (despite it being touted with the typical “for the children!” justifications). Volokh notes that the bill, if passed, could punish harsh speech directed at journalists, academics, celebrities, politicians, and the like, if the speech results in “substantial emotional distress.”

Presenting the Nanny of the Month for June 2013: New Mexico State Rep. Mary Helen

If you wonder why nothing has us heading for the exits quicker than legislation that is "for the children", what you saw and read above is a perfect example.

Good intentions hold no water when poorly-written legislation or back door attempts at power-grabbing are involved.

And on a related note, the following was passed along to us from W.C. Varones via Facebook:

As you are probably aware, we find no end to the deliciousness in irony that the ideological descendants of the free speech movement and New Left of the 60s have been at the forefront of attempts to squelch free speech and tamp down on dissent.

People that whine about the Citizens United decision do not, in our estimation, have an appreciation that it is the speech that is central to the 1st amendment and not differentiating who it is that is exercising that speech.

Forgive us our skepticism of any cautions against "shadowy money in politics" as we've been around too long to not take that as code for preserving the status quo of the political/ruling class in this country. If the intentional targeting and harassing of organizations of a particular political hue by this nation's tax collection agency hasn't warned you to all this, we scarcely know what will.

On the way out the door: Our friend, Leslie, at Temple of Mut has been doing a bang-up job of covering the massive demonstrations and current unrest in Egypt. Hey, maybe we can back the good guys this time around.