Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Racist, by Definition

I really don’t want to address this (again), but frankly I still dislike being called a racist by Democratic demagogues simply for disagreeing with Obama’s idiotic policies. As Mark Steyn noted, he vehemently objected to nationalized healthcare in both Canada and Britain: two places not known for electing many African American candidates.

Apparently the Left cannot comprehend objections based on principled political philosophy and reason. That leaves them with the conclusion that disagreeing with Obama’s policies must be based on hatred and bigotry. It speaks volumes to how liberals think about the big issues that separate us.

Are there racists in the country? Of course. That’s why the allegation of racism is the most politically charged allegation that can be hurled against anyone. And that is why liberals use it in place of logic, and in lieu of facts.

Racist, by definition 

Frank Rich is the latest to recycle the charge: he tells us that Tea Partiers rallying cry to “take our country back” is simply a racial reaction to "the conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House." How does Rich square this charge, as David Paul Kuhn points out, with Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign rallying cry of "It's time to take our country back!"? 

Not a racist. By definition.

He doesn’t have to. Being a Democrat, Dean, by definition, is not a racist. Tea Partiers, being conservatives, are by definition racists. This is the same sort of logic currently being used in “scientific” studies conducted on everything from medical efficacy to global warming. The results of such fallacious “scientific”  research are pumped out and we are expected to accept them at face value. But like the Left’s charges of “racism” they are based on predetermined conclusions, anecdotal evidence, and can be proved to be incorrect: all of which are antithetical to logic.

We live in dangerous times, my friends. Dangerous times.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

CBO Hockey Stick Puts the Puck in Net

The CBO now tells us they never actually cranked the numbers to calculate the stimulus effect. They just used the numbers in the original projection and assumed they worked.

More specifically, CBO first programmed their economic model to automatically assume that stimulus spending creates/saves millions of jobs. And then (surprise!), their model concluded that the stimulus created/saved millions of jobs. This is a classic case of the “begging the question” fallacy, also known as assuming what one is trying to prove.

Yes, this is the same CBO who “cranked” the numbers for the Healthcare bill.

So let’s see if I’ve got this right: The bill was written by staff wonks who spend all their time listening to lobbyists and other wonks. It was passed by legislators who didn’t have time to read the unedited 2700 page bill written by their collective staffs. It was priced by a CBO that doesn’t really crank numbers, they just program their models to assume savings. And it was signed by our President who sincerely believes we should spread the wealth around. (And high-fived by a Vice-President who has deemed it to be a big f---ing deal.)

What could go wrong?

Well, for starters, there’s this from Nick Gillespie at Reason Magazine. It’s the actual v. projection for Medicare. Only off by 917%. Not bad for government work. Expect the same, only worse, for healthcare.

healthcare highlights

Two take away’s:

1) Note that the fallacy referenced in the CBO’s calculation of the impact of the stimulus is the same fallacy used by global warming climate “scientists” to “prove”  global warming. Models do not “prove” anything. Other than the modeler’s bias.

2) The only accountable parties here are members of Congress and the President. Please remember that each November.

UPDATE: President Obama signs Healthcare bill. This is beginning to feel like Groundhog Day, minus the fun.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Still Angry, But Feeling Good About It

Thank you Greg Gutfeld, for your Friday Gregalogue: Anger is a Right. Thank you for putting this so ineloquently. Because it’s hard to be angry and eloquent.

Well, OK, some people can pull it off, but I can’t.


Friday's Gregalogue: Anger is a Right

So as the anger surrounding the health care bill escalates, many in the media are reporting how the anger surrounding the health care bill is escalating!

Now I've been down this road so many times I could navigate it blindfolded and covered in peanut butter.

It goes like this: for the media, anger is only okay if its targets meet their stereotypical, romanticized criteria. Meaning: the corporation, the conservative, the daddy who never loved them.

Here's a list of people doing angry things the media is okay with:

-People calling Bush a Nazi
-Students and non students rioting on college campuses
-Animal rights freaks dousing rich folks with paint
-Actors wishing average folks would get rectal cancer
-Bureaucrats labeling military vets as potential violent right wing extremists
-Radical environmentalists advocating violence against loggers
-Pranksters throwing pies at conservative commentators (you know, somehow they never pie Michael Moore, which makes him sad; he likes pie)

But this health care bill anger is different from all that - not just because it's right, but because it involves Obama. And being angry at Obama is like being mad at Santa Claus. How can you be mad at Santa, when he brings us so many gifts?

And so, this anger is scary! It's a mark of incivility! It's deadly!

But you have a right to be angry. Unlike the entitlements we're saddled with until death, being angry is free and actually works! But we need to define why we're angry - instead of letting our adversaries do it for us.

We are angry not because we lost, but that we lost to losers. I'm not talking about Obama, or the Dems. They're winners, sadly. I'm talking about progressivism. The reason why I'm angry, my friends are angry, and my imaginary unicorn Captain Sparkles is angry - is because the greatest, most winningest country in the history of the world, just embraced the loser's doctrine.

For two hundred plus years we've kicked ass, and we're now choosing the belief system of the idiots whose asses we've kicked.

So that's why I'm angry. And why you're angry too.

And when jackasses try to take away your right to be angry - by calling it racist or extremist - tell them they're the racists. Because it's those tools who assume that anger can only be about race. And if they disagree with you, then clearly they're not just racists - but probably homophobic cannibals, too.

Thank you Greg Gutfeld’s Gregalogue. I’m still angry, but feeling much better about it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How Can We Be So Stupid

From the life-long school of economics, a lesson from Thomas Sowell: There is no rich old uncle.  He used to be rich. Now he’s just old. And broke. And he’s not going to buy you a car. Or pay your mortgage,  or give you college tuition.

In a swindle that would make Bernie Madoff look like an amateur, Barack Obama has gotten a substantial segment of the population to believe that he can add millions of people to the government-insured rolls without increasing the already record-breaking federal deficit.

It’s a con game. Got it?

On a related note: if anyone still thinks government regulation and bureaucracy are a good use of taxpayer money, check out some of the products that the EPA’s Energy Star department affixed their (apparently ubiquitous) seal of energy efficiency to. In case you’re not familiar: “ENERGY STAR is a government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.”

If they can’t weed a “feather-duster flytrap air freshener”

feather duster

out of a program designed to “protect the environment through superior energy efficiency,” I do not want them deciding whether I should get the surgery or “just take the pain pill.” A box of Snickers to the first person who can explain why our tax dollars are being used to provide lifetime employment for morons.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Would you like fries with that lobotomy?

ist2_8194052-friendly-french-fries Cheerful French Fries


Sometime around the mid-eighties, the level of competency in nearly every aspect of customer service began to deteriorate and has continued to decline ever since. As with any social phenomenon, it was driven by many factors, including the initial work-force entry of  Gen-Xers - the only generation more coddled than the Boomers.  But I place the largest blame on Peters and Waterman’s book In Search of Excellence.  Like many other new, half-baked big ideas that people run with, very few practitioners actually understood what the concept of excellence was, let alone knew how to “train” people to embrace it. While the book contained some good ideas on streamlining processes and paying attention to your business (duh) it ultimately turned into a cash register for consultants. Consultants virtually moved into businesses to train employees, and to train trainers. Some focused on ”re-engineering”  but many zeroed in on the easiest target: customer service. Businesses ranging from the Big Three to Wendy’s expended huge sums of money to teach people how to act as though the customer was “job one.” The operative word here is “act” and the result is what I call “cheerful incompetence.”

What employees walked away with was the idea that customer interaction required them to be pleasant. So for a decade or so, we were met with smiley faces everywhere from McDonald’s to the Post Office. It was annoying to have smiley faces screwing up your life at every turn: fast food order takers,  utility customer service reps,  post office clerks, grocery store cashiers, bank tellers and credit card company representatives. Someone forgot to tell them it was important to actually handle the transaction correctly as well as being pleasant, so naturally customers were not happy and started jumping ugly with customer service reps across America. As a result - 25 years hence – we still have all of the incompetence but now most of the pleasantness is gone as well. Businesses would have been better off if they had saved all the money on consultants and stuck to their knitting.

Bringing the government in as mandatory “consultants” to the healthcare industry will have equally non-productive results, with far more disastrous results.

While it may be annoying if you ask the kid at Wendy’s to “hold the mustard” and you get extra mustard instead, you’ll live. Things are slightly more problematic when you ask the post office to forward your mail for 2 months, and instead they put it on hold; or your request for a change of billing address is processed by the electric utility as a shut off order. 

But now, with government intervention, this no-longer-even-cheerful incompetence is about to enter our healthcare. Here’s a preview of what it looks like: a man goes into a British hospital to have a diseased testicle removed, and the surgeon inadvertently removes the wrong one. Whoops.

How could  a top-rate medical system like the one we enjoy in America come to this? Let’s take a look at its planned demise:

Step 1. Government mandates that you buy health insurance (or be fined), and likewise mandates the terms of the insurance that you buy: no preconditions (resulting in what the insurance industry calls “adverse selection:” you opt to pay the cheaper fine until you get sick.) Large companies who are currently “self- insured” will opt out of the “risk” business by paying employees more (taxable) income to buy their own insurance. This also resolves the huge loss of tax deductions. So in one fell swoop we add millions of people to the group required to buy insurance in accordance with the government mandate: and they, too, can opt to pay the much smaller fine until such time as they need it. Surely, even if you flunked Econ 101, you can see how this is not a “sustainable,” business model. And of course when the health insurance companies fail, the government steps in to run them.

Step 2. If government pays for service, government determines terms of service. The government will determine eligibility: what tests you can have, what procedures can be performed, what fees doctors and providers can charge, which patients doctors must take (everyone). To claim this won’t happen is simply a lie. This is what the hated insurance companies already do, but what they cover is determined through the contract written and paid for by either the business or individual buying the insurance. With Government, it’s always one size fits all, and it’s always the lowest common denominator.

Step 3. Doctors anywhere within telescopic range of  being able to retire hang up their license, reducing the supply chain. Assuming there are 30 million additional people to roll into the healthcare “system.” (which is doubtful. Just like uninsured drivers continue to drive, most uninsured people receive care for serious illness at the ER. By law they cannot be denied treatment.) But once the uninsured become “insured” they will no doubt take advantage of their newly “free” services and visit the doctor more often, increasing the demand curve. We have created an immediate doctor shortage.

Step 4. Fewer people will choose to go into medicine, given the restrictions on ability to practice as you see fit, and limitations on income. It’s a grueling 6 years of post-grad training (more for some specialties). If the rewards for this commitment of time and effort is viewed as non-commensurate , fewer will choose that path. At a minimum, the medical field will attract fewer of the best and the brightest. Do you think the doc who snipped the wrong testicle graduated at the head of the class? Alternatively, we will fill the doctor gap like they have in Britain and the rest of Europe: foreign trained doctors where English is not a first (or sometimes even second) language. That always makes for good doctor-patient communication.

Step 5. Serious doctor shortages will result in… that’s right, RATIONING. Yes, I know. Obama said that’s not true. He also said you can keep your doctor. Is he going to prohibit her from retiring? I know he said if you like your coverage, you can keep it, too. But what if the company you work at or retired from decides to dump any or all of it’s provisions due to loss of tax deductions on expenses? Or simply because they can off-load the hassle? Or what if the company becomes insolvent, without adequate funding of its retiree plan? There’s nothing to keep.

Apparently, as the link, above, points out, the only thing Nancy Pelosi didn’t lie about over the past year was the fact that “we have to pass the bill in order to find out what’s in it.”

There will be more surprises. None of them will be pleasant. The only good news is that even Obama knows that government can’t take over the healthcare system overnight.  That leaves us, the loyal opposition, a small window of opportunity. The President has helpfully advised the GOP to “go for it” with their plans to campaign on an agenda of  “repeal, replace.”  I would advise that we all take him up on it. That kind of change I can believe in.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Econ 101 from the land of midnight sun UPDATE

If you have 5 minutes, here’s a very valuable economics lesson from the land of the midnight sun. Sweden was a very prosperous country from 1870 – 1970, with an economy that was the envy of Europe, and the 4th highest per capita income in the world. But as they set upon the socialist path of its current welfare state in the 1970’s and ‘80s, it’s economy quickly headed over the cliff. By the early 1990’s they were already in deep stagnation.

They are currently trying to claw their way back by reversing some of the socialist policies put in place 30 years ago (including their medical system), and return to the free market system. Easier said then done. Much, much easier said than done.

We wish them luck. They must find us foolish for steering our great ship directly into the rocky shoals that lead nowhere other than over the falls.



UPDATE: kmbr, currently working in still-socialist Sweden provides first person insight in her comment to this post and provides an excellent link to The Scandinavian-Welfare Myth Revisited from von Mises Institute. Here’s part of the conclusion:

However, the real point of all this is that the world at large is so unfree that even the massive Scandinavian welfare states can be considered among the "most free" countries in the world. While things have generally moved in the right direction in Scandinavia in terms of increased economic freedom, the very opposite trend seems to be taking place in several other countries, particularly the United States. Seeing as the United States has already descended to the level of Denmark in terms of economic freedom, one can only wonder how long it will be before it finds itself approaching Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

It’s all about welfare and control. We’re on the wrong path from both vantage points.

Great article, thanks kmbr.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Do Not Go Gentle …

John Dingell has been fighting for socialized medicine since 1955. So of course he was ecstatic when discussing the passage of the 2400 page bill with WJR’s Paul W. Smith. And as occasionally happens by mistake when talking to a politician, the truth slipped out. Here’s Dingell speaking truth to power: state power.


Mr. Dingall tells us how hard, even though the bill’s been inked, it will be to work out all the necessary administrative details in order to properly “control the people.” Because people, I know you don’t want to hear this, but that’s what it’s all about. That’s what all governmental action is about. And imagine how much “control” they can exert given 4 years and 2400 pages of legislation with which to write the “administrative rules” needed to “control the people.”


In related news, behold our future, where liberty and justice have become too heavy to haul: Oh, Canada ! Where free speech is dead and diversity not only excludes conservative thought – it labels it as “hate speech.” Sigh.  I still remember Canada when it was a cute country.

So thanks President Obama,  thanks Nancy, thanks Harry.


 when harry met nancy 

Thanks for the kiss of death.







wax[6] Goodnight, America.

Monday, March 22, 2010

This is Why Liberal Logic Fails

Headline from:

U.S. may expand use of its prison in AfghanistanThe White House is considering housing international terrorism suspects at Bagram air base, as is done at Guantanamo Bay.


(Note: the LA Times is not exactly recognized as a mouthpiece of the right wing nuts.) emphasis and annotation added

Without a location outside the United States (like Guantanamo) for sending prisoners, the administration (that would be Obama) must resort to turning the suspects over to foreign governments, bringing them to the U.S. or even killing them (what the heck).

In one case last year, U.S. special operations forces killed an Al Qaeda-linked suspect named Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan in a helicopter attack in southern Somalia rather than trying to capture him, a U.S. official said. Officials had debated trying to take him alive but decided against doing so in part because of uncertainty over where to hold him, the official added. (what the heck)

U.S. officials find such options unappealing (good to know) for handling suspects they want to question but lack the evidence to prosecute. For such suspects, a facility such as Bagram, north of Kabul, remains necessary, (I think that’s what George Bush and Dick Cheney tried to tell them) officials said, even as they acknowledged that having it in Afghanistan could complicate McCrystal's mission.

Hey, here’s an idea: why don’t we keep Gitmo open? It’s already there, so no additional cost, it’s outside the United States  so we won’t have to kill them, and since it’s half way around the world from Afghanistan, it won’t compromise General McCrystal’s operations in Afghanistan - the “good” war, as I recall. I’m not 100% certain, but I’m pretty sure even anti-war Liberals would prefer holding prisoners “illegally” to killing them. But I could be wrong.

Meanwhile, apparently even Navy Admiral. Eric T. Olson, head of U.S. Special Operations Command, doesn’t know what to do with terrorists picked up abroad. He was asked in a Senate hearing last week where the U.S. would send a suspect captured in Yemen.

"That's a question that, on so many levels, we would have to go into closed session" to answer, Olson replied.

And that, my friends, is what’s known as transparency.


 fairy fog over the cliff Fairy in Transparent Ball at the White House Halloween Party, 10-31-09


Anti-abortion Democrats, including Bart Stupak (D-MI), announced their support for health care reform legislation after receiving word from the White House that President Barack Obama would sign an executive order forbidding federal funding for abortion.

In related news, in order to control healthcare costs, President Obama also signed an executive order prohibiting Americans from contracting heart disease, cancer, diabetes and the common cold. And since he was on a roll in the advancement of his Change agenda, the President signed an additional executive order mandating the existence of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, in order to pay for the rest of his executive orders.

This is what Change looks like:

Obama's planet

This is what Change looks like drugs:



$12 Trillion plus, but who’s counting? We’ve got Hope’nChange.

Check it out at the U.S. National Debt Clock. If you’re quick, you can catch it before it flips over to $13 Trillion.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

There Will Be Blood

slaughter house rules

“ We feel like we've been pregnant for 17 months, let's get on with it already,"  Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-New York) on passing the healthcare bill.

Democrats would not dream of aborting their Obamacare  “baby:”  a plan that a majority of the citizens they were elected to represent have patently rejected. But real babies? Yeah, well that’s OK. They might even fund it, if they can figure out how to do that and still get Stupak to roll his vote to yes.

Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five: A story of fate, free-will and the illogical nature of man.

Our own Slaughterhouse Five: Barry, Harry, Nancy, Steny and Rahm are no doubt big fans of the book. They believe Obamacare is your fate, free-will be hanged, and despite the illogical concept that free healthcare for all will somehow reduce the deficit, they will rahm it down your throat. And they think that  Billy Pilgrim and company’s observation of “so it goes,”  was as astute observation  of the little people. Yes indeed, and so it goes. At least until the next election.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The 90 Second Hill Healthcare Plan, Plus the One Page Coulter Plan

Thought this might serve as a useful summary of the Washington Shuffle off to Tyranny. Sorry to spoil your weekend, but it is what it is.


h/t Chicks On the Right

And you should really read Ann Coulter’s One Page Health Plan: I don’t care if you hate her. Read it. Not only is it funny (and we need that this weekend), it also nails a too simple solution to at least 80% of the problem: health “insurance” isn’t insurance at all as it’s currently available – thanks to state by state required terms and conditions. And our inability to shop for options across state lines. Insurance companies pretty much have a lock (thanks to a federal anti-trust exemption).

Here are a few of Ann’s ideas:

It's a one-page bill creating a free market in health insurance. Let's all pause here for a moment so liberals can Google the term "free market."

…We can't have a free market in health insurance until Congress eliminates the antitrust exemption protecting health insurance companies from competition. If Democrats really wanted to punish insurance companies, which they manifestly do not, they'd make insurers compete.

…That's the only way to bypass idiotic state mandates, requiring all insurance plans offered in the state to cover, for example, the Zone Diet, sex-change operations and whatever it is that poor Heidi Montag has done to herself this week.

President Obama says we need national health care because Natoma Canfield of Ohio had to drop her insurance when she couldn't afford the $6,700 premiums, and now she's got cancer.

Much as I admire Obama's use of terminally ill human beings as political props, let me point out here that perhaps Natoma could have afforded insurance had she not been required by Ohio's state insurance mandates to purchase a plan that covers infertility treatments and unlimited ob/gyn visits, among other things.

It sounds like Natoma could have used a plan that covered only the basics – you know, things like cancer.

As Ann points out, her plan has the moral edge over the current plan on the Hill, as hers is more environmentally friendly: weighing in at some 2100 fewer pages of carbon consuming paper. And as an added plus, it still adheres to the Founders original concepts of liberty, democracy and self-determination. Not bad for a one-pager.

Friday, March 19, 2010

ObamaCare: the New Crap and Trade

According to Administration sources today, the House is still 6 votes short of passing Obamacare. But don’t worry they will buy them, no matter the cost.

Who knows how many of votes have been bought  so far, and for what? Clandestine promises to Representatives for their districts or themselves or family members, otherwise known as bribes, have been horse traded now for months. How transformative. How transparent. But even setting all that aside, Dr. Zero at Hot Air has this to say about the healthcare bill:

Even discounting the sewer system of underhanded deals and bribes needed to push ObamaCare through Congress, distorting it beyond any semblance of a carefully-designed plan, it’s foolish to accept it as a “solution” to health care “problems.” No government program is a solution to anything. I’m not referring to their inefficiency or cost. I’m talking about their very nature.

A government program is not a carefully-designed system, or even an enduring commitment. It is a promise. Systems require discipline. For example, the operation of an aircraft carrier is a very complex system, which relies upon many individuals to perform carefully-defined duties. Failure to perform these duties results in punishment or dismissal. All of the crew members understand this, so the system is reliable. When the captain orders a fighter to launch, he knows the deck crew and pilot will quickly obey. The crew and pilot, in turn, know that the captain would not order a launch for no good reason. Everything happens with speed, efficiency, and precision, because the system is illuminated by trust.

Government social programs don’t work that way. They can’t. Today’s Congress cannot bind future sessions with discipline. They can only saddle their successors with obligations. The national debt has grown to staggering proportions because debt is the only thing each new Administration and Congress inherit from those who went before.

One need look no further than Social Security’s original 1935 promise and projections to see how inaccurate government projections are, and how incapable they are of delivering on promises made. And how a relatively modest idea grows far-reaching tentacles over time. No one is responsible for the care and management of the whole system. Everyone just wants to slap on a few additional lights and ornaments and ignore the fact that the tree is dead.

Dr. Zero goes on to point out that it would be madness to place our trust in the hands of the party of  Charlie Rangle, John Conyers, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Harry Reid. And equally foolish to place our trust it in the hands of the Republicans. Politics, always a less than pristine practice, has become mired in chicanery and malfeasance.

It would be a horrible mistake to accept a deal with the creators of history’s most staggering national debt, based on assurances they will place your interests ahead of theirs, for decades to come.

Just an additional reminder why government is never the logical place to look for answers to life’s nagging problems.

And as for the CBO’s scoring of the House bill - it’s time to reprise the old saying GIGO: garbage in, garbage out. If anyone actually believes the price that has been attached to this plan, they need to go back to reality school. The CBO prices the gimmicks that are presented to them. Like collecting additional taxes for 4 years before any of the benefits are provided, then pricing the bill on only 10 years. What happens the second 10 years, ladies and gentleman? Oh that’s right. You don’t care. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The so called “Dr. Fix” is a bold-faced scam, that if pulled in a business transaction would land you in jail.

But never mind all that. We all know that Obama is focused on jobs and the economy. And this is a jobs bill. 16,000 new IRS agents! In order to track you down and verify that you have bought your government mandated health insurance from a government approved provider.

Call or email your Representative TODAY and tell them how you feel about their crap and trade healthcare bill (2300 pages of crap plus an additional 150+ pages of trade). Because healthcare modification requires honest crafting of changes that actually improve the healthcare delivery system, not destroy it.  Because the mid-term is not soon enough.

UPDATE: Michelle Maulkin has the bribe-list to date, and Riehl World has the undecideds with links.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

This Explains Everything

Here’s some of what the President told Bret Baier yesterday:

“I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or Senate,”

No news there. Nobody who’s used to playing by Chicago rules does. Although I should mention that in our democracy, as opposed to, say Chavez’s, procedures are precisely what separate us from dictatorship.

“What I can tell you is that the vote that’s taken in the House will be a vote for health care reform. And if people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform. And I don’t think we should pretend otherwise.

So, if they actually have the balls to vote “yes” in a role call vote, they’re voting yes. And if Madame Chairman simply deems them to have voted yes, they’ve voted yes – even though they don’t have the balls to actually vote “yes.” Got it.

“ And if they don’t, if they vote against it, then they’re going to be voting against health care reform and they’re going to be voting in favor of the status quo.”

So, a yes vote, whether it is actually cast or not, is a vote for Obamacare. But a no vote is a vote - not against Obamacare - but for the status quo. You remember the status quo don’t you? Evil insurance companies, doctors who yank your children’s tonsils out just to make a buck, Emergency rooms that refuse to treat critically ill patients who don’t have insurance (as far as I know, Michelle’s hospital in Chicago was the only ER accused of this type of “patient dumping”anytime in the recent past), pharmaceuticals that gouge everyone and a Medicare system riddled with billions of dollars in waste and fraud (Why doesn’t someone just take care of that right now? We don’t need a healthcare bill to investigate and eliminate fraud and waste, do we?).

“So Washington gets very concerned with these procedures in Congress, whether Republicans are in charge or Democrats are in charge,”

But that’s just Washington: they get all wee-weed up over the least little thing. The rest of you rubes don’t care if these pesky “procedures” are unconstitutional. Right? As long as we pass Obamacare so Obama can take over the health industry and whip them into shape the way he’s whipped GM, Chrysler and AIG?

I,I,I, me, me, me, let me be clear’s. let me finish’s. Typical presidential exchange. Big on Rhetoric, lies and self-references. Short on the truth, clarity and facts. Here’s Bret explaining the above exchange with the President to Shepard Smith.

Fox News has the whole interview here. Watch only if you enjoyed the last Presidential campaign.

Update. Just in: CBO puts a $940 billion price tag over 10 years on whatever is in the current bill. Surprised that it came in under a trillion dollars? No, I didn’t think so. That was the target in order for the White House to pick up the last few votes they need to screw the pooch. Here’s Hot Air’s take on why it took them so long, and how much confidence you can put in it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of the sons and daughters  ‘o the Emerald Isle, as well as any who just admire the lilt of Irish laughter.

st pat's doggie…from a little bull in the grass.

And remember: let’s be careful out there.

Forget About Slaughter, Let’s Go for the Chavez Rule

Why all this haggling? Why all the hubbub about the Slaughter rule?

If the Slaughter rule allows Madame Chairman to  “deem” the House to have passed Obamacare, why even bother? Why not just have President Obama “deem” that  both the Senate and the House have voted on, and passed, Obamacare? Like they do in Venezuela.

We could  call it the “Chavez Rule.” It would make all this messy business of governing much, much easier.

hugo amadinajad hugo fidel  hugo sean

hugo bo2


Chavez demands regulation of Internet

Venezuelan TV stations taken off the air

Venezuela takes over refineries

Venezuela takes over oil companies

Well, I think you get the idea. All aboard!


Photoshop: Leo Alberti

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Let’s Go Dutch

Obamacare has something for everyone. Whatever you want (coverage for illegal aliens, abortions), it’s in there! Whatever you don’t want (coverage for illegal aliens, abortions), it won’t be there. But wait! That’s not all! If you vote for it today,  Nancy Pelosi  will throw in this added bonus (from an interview with Ms.NBC’s Rachael Maddow):

 …everybody has so much to gain from this, small businesses, as I said, seniors, young people, women, our economy.  Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance or that people could start a business and be entrepreneurial and take risk, but not job loss because of a child with asthma or someone in the family is bipolar—you name it, any condition—is job locking.

My initial thought on hearing this barely intelligible ramble was “is she bipolar?” Is she seriously suggesting that artists, photographers and writers should be able to quit their day jobs? To follow their muse? That entrepreneurs should be allowed to take a risk without – taking a risk?  Does she think we need to create yet another group who thinks their needs, wants and desires should be met by the two dozen people left in America who still feel compelled to work, you know, in order to meet their own needs?

I’m guessing Ms. Pelosi would approve of the Netherland’s system of artist subsidies: there the government buys “art”  from artists in exchange for a monthly social security check. Even in a country with a population just under twice the size of New Jersey, the tab runs into the millions every year: footed by that country’s obviously generous taxpayer. And what do they do with the art? Well, up until a couple of years ago museums that “bought” the art loaned it out to “worthy” organizations to display. But sometime around 2007 they became inundated with “art” that nobody felt worthy enough to display so they started auctioning it off on eBay. But to ensure that they don’t run out of art to auction, they also have subsidies available for study abroad: generally geared to talented young artists, but also available to artists over 65 who have fallen on hard times or simply run out of inspiration (I thought that only happened if you were trapped in a boring job). Seriously, this a government that values their artists. More than their taxpayers. I wonder how that’s working out?

What does this have to do with healthcare?  I don’t know for sure. But maybe Madame Chairman feels that, like healthcare, following your muse is a basic human right. If she can ever manage to implement her vision for America, I’ll bet we will have a lot more artists, writers and photographers - all quitting their boring day jobs. And we’ll have a whole lot more art to decorate worthy public spaces with.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Don’t Cry For Me Ameritina

This is a power point slideshow of DOUG ROSS @ JOURNAL’S outstanding, although terrifying, “Must Read” history lesson, “Don’t Cry For Me, America” published in November of 2009. I don’t know who built the slide show.

Many thanks to Doug Ross for the history lesson, the unknown slide show wizard for setting it to music and Pilae & Margo for sending it to us.


To Advance Slides:

Click in Slide or

Use Player Controls <<  >>


As the oft repeated epithet goes: “Brazil is the country of the future. And it always will be.”  Argentina is the country of our future. If we allow it to be.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

There Was a Crooked Man…


President Barack Obama and personal aide Reggie Love walk along the Colonnade of the White House, Feb. 26, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House. President Barack Obama walks (crookedly) along the Colonnade of the White House

There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

British Rhyme

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hold the Salt and Call the Dietitian

Ay, yi, yi! I’m going to steal Hot Air’s title for this video because, honestly, it says it all:

Moron wants to fine chefs for cooking with … salt!


Because if you can’t balance the state’s budget, at least legislate the salt shakers. I’m pretty sure that’s what you were elected to do: protect your constituents from the evils of sodium.

All of you who think that all of us who rail about government intrusion into our lives are just right wing whack jobs, listen up. Sure, salt-guy is just some two-bit New York state assemblyman. But, hello, that’s the point! If the bottom tier pols think they can and should tell you how to live your life (i.e. they know better than you) just imagine how this instinct escalates as these little pols move up the feeding chain. By the time they reach the U.S. Congress they will be telling you what kind of health insurance you must buy. And whether or not you can have the surgery, or would be better off just taking the pain pill. Nothing is above, or below, their pay grade.

You snickered when  smoking was banned and we said, next it will be butter. OK, we were wrong. It wasn’t butter, it was transfat. And as anyone can tell you, McDonald’s fries haven’t been the same since. Butter won’t be banned until after Obamacare passes, at which time you will be required to turn in your Snickers, Doritos, Twinkies and Big Gulps too. Oh, and that Starbucks mocha caramel macchiato? Fuggetaboutit!carmel macchioto


Does not meet new government mandated maximum caloric count




And for those of you who believe that Michelle Obama is doing the Lord’s work by telling Americans how to raise their kids, all I can say is you better brush up on the basic principles of Newspeak. You’re going to need it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Out of the Fog

fog over the cliff

fog winter

Fog creeps in on little cat feet…

You’ve probably seen Nancy Pelosi’s comments regarding why we have to pass the healthcare bill, but they’re worth repeating. At last we finally know what needs to be done to get to the transparency that the Won promised: remove that “fog of controversy.” Because we can’t talk about what’s in the bill until it’s signed into law. Or something.

pelosi3 Here’s some fog we could do without


But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy. Furthermore, we believe that health care reform, again I said at the beginning of my remarks, that we sent the three pillars that the President’s economic stabilization and job creation initiatives were education and innovation—innovation begins in the classroom—clean energy and climate, addressing the climate issues in an innovative way to keep us number one and competitive in the world with the new technology, and the third, first among equals I may say, is health care, health insurance reform. Health insurance reform is about jobs. This legislation alone will create 4 million jobs, about 400,000 jobs very soon.

But remember: its not about taking over 17% of the US economy. It’s not about covering a gazillion people currently not covered. (1/2 a gazillion if you don’t count illegal aliens – yeah, I said it: “aliens”- as in “not US citizens.”) It’s not even about Obama (ha!).  No, it’s about jobs.

And not just a few jobs, either, but a gazillion jobs! 400,000 by Friday! Of course they’ll all be government bureaucrats, but that seems a small price to pay for transparency. Don’t you think?

So come on Congress! Let’s break through this fogbank and emerge in a clearing of  complete befuddlement!


fog juice Special on Fog Juice: Offer expires at the end of this Administration


H/T Jammie Wearing Fool via Larwyn’s Linx

Monday, March 8, 2010

Behold. The Mighty Obama. At Bat.

Spring training is underway. Home Openers are not far off.

comerica This is our year! Go Tigers!

Here’s  clip to get you in the mood for batting. Come on! You’ve got 5 minutes to honor the Great American Pastime.

Consider it spring tonic. Pass it on. We all need it.


h/t American Digest

In a Race to the Bottom, Bet on Barry

Robert Reich: I’ve never liked that little man. Here he is reminding me why. (hint: e-l-i-t-i-s-t   i-d-i-o-t)



Damn the economics, damn the will of the little people, damn the torpedoes: full speed ahead.

Thanks, George, for being there. I’m sure batting away these little gnats is the high point of your week; but even so, I hope they pay you well for fielding an endless stream of leftist lunacy.

Oh, and regarding the “race to the bottom:” Nobody gets there faster than the federal government.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Tour of the Vatican



Click on the link, above, to enter. Once the picture opens,  click on any number and when it’s done loading you will be able to navigate around the room or  view in panorama with the arrow buttons. Alternatively, you can hold the left mouse button down and use the cursor to "fly" around the room (not too fast – you’ll get dizzy). The screen also has a + and -- for Telephoto or Wide Screen. Truly an amazing journey of an amazing place.

via Larwyn’s Links. Thanks!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad

We’ll Meet Again: Vera Lynn (1939)


March 6, 1943

Your first anniversary together, again.

Through the Ether to you,

Happy Anniversary!


Do Social Promotion Help or Hurt?

Oh dear! The School Board President from Detroit can’t write. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

But The Blog Prof has details.

It’s bad enough that Detroit Public Schools (DPS) graduates a pathetic 1 in 4 students, the worst in the nation. That obscene graduation rate is only that high because DPS commits ’social promotion’ – the practice of passing students onto the next grade who are not ready, a practice that DPS emergency financial manager Robert Bobb has just ended (Detroit Public Schools Finally Ends “Social Promotion” – Passing Students That Can’t Read Their Diplomas). That same Robert Bobb has been fighting with the teachers union and with the Detroit school board for academic control of the district. The school board is led by Otis Mathis, who wrote a mass email last August:

Do DPS control the Foundation or outside group? If an outside group control the foundation, then what is DPS Board row with selection of is director? Our we mixing DPS and None DPS row’s, and who is the watch dog?

And here’s the beginning of an email to supporters a few days ago that started with this:

If you saw Sunday’s Free Press that shown Robert Bobb the emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, move Mark Twain to Boynton which have three times the number seats then students and was one of the reason’s he gave for closing school to many empty seats.

Do this explain anything about the Detroit schools?

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Spinning Faster and Faster

On the healthcare bill: while everyone is busy worrying about “reconciliation,”we need to be more concerned about the real nuclear option lying in the weeds.

As I understand the plan, in order to reach the Senate’s reconciliation, the House must first pass the exact Senate bill that was passed on Christmas Eve. The intent is to then send it back to the Senate to “fix it up” with a few fillips and get it passed with a simple majority by submitting it to the reconciliation process.

But technically, once the House passes the Senate’s version of the bill,  the bill goes to the President for signature. What’s to ensure that anything happens after that? As reported by Legal Insurrection, apparently nothing and nothing, again. Not that the “fix” will fix anything anyway, but there’s no guarantee (unless you’re given to trusting the President and the leaders of the Senate, because they’ve never lied to us before) that the Senate will even play with a “fix”. Since the President has made it clear that he doesn’t care whether this gets bipartisan support or not, don’t expect much.

We’re knee deep in the hoopla now, and spinning fast.


UPDATE: Further Confirmed by NRO

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Red Eye’s Right Wing Man

From Greg Gutfeld’s Daily Gut, this Martin Short classic: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. interviews Nathan Thurm about global warming.



Greg’s notes:

Here’s Martin Short playing his legendary corporate lawyer sleazebag character named Nathan Thurm.

He’s being interrogated by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

It’s hilarious.

But it’s even more hilarious, that four years later, folks like Kennedy and Gore have now become the Nathan Thurms.

As an aside, Michigan’s  literate and highly entertaining Congressman Thaddeus McCotter is a semi-regular guest on Red Eye.   A funny Congressman – on purpose! How unique. And while he really has to work on that monotone, he can actually deliver a cogent sentence without a single, umm, ahhh, or teleprompter.

Thad’s synopsis of what he called the “Shamwow Healthcare Summit” (which we’re contending he stole from us, but that’s ok; we “friended” him) is as follows:

History will record that in a time of war and recession, this was how the duly elected leaders of the greatest nation on earth spent their day.

So be sure to watch Greg Gutfeld on Red Eye, in can be quite entertaining, although not informative. And you might just catch Thaddeus. Sure it’s on at 3:00 AM, but it still has more viewers than any of CNN’s prime time shows. The brass at CNN is still trying to figure it out.

Closing on a serious note, and reflecting Congressman McCotter’s serious side, here’s the take away from the address he gave at CPAC :

"We must empower the American people to channel necessary instructive change. We must defend America from her enemies. And pursuing these goals we abide five permanent principles:
...Our liberty is from God not the government.
...Our sovereignty is in our souls not the soil or  the scepter.
...Our security is from strength, not from surrender or appeasement.
...Our prosperity is from the private sector, not the public sector.
...And our truths are self evident, not relative."

Not bad. Not bad at all. How does “Senator” McCotter roll off your tongue? It would be nice if Michigan could put one in the R column again.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

“Teach for America:” Does it Teach Us Something About the MEA?

Citing a story in the Detroit News, the Blogprof explains (again) why teachers unions are bad for the state, bad for education, and bad for children:

About a year ago, I wrote a post about the outrageous, shameless tactic that Detroit Public Schools teachers unions took in killing a program that brought well-educated teachers into the schools to improve student performance. It was about a program back in 2001-03 called TFA (Teach for America), where some gifted education graduates, of their own volition, volunteered to help underprivileged students in the inner city. By all account, it was a huge success and a boon to students afflicted with the DPS (and yes, it is just as bad as a viruses). Unfortunately, the irresistibly force came up against immovable object: the teachers union. From my prior post:

Why would the DPS want to get rid of these volunteers that had such a positive impact on the students, whom the DPS is chartered to provide for? 2003, the school district's union leaders felt increasingly threatened by Teach for America's talented presence in classrooms. Some leaders demanded the district rid of TFA, say sources who were on the district's school board and others who worked with the district then.

Real nice, huh? So much for "we are all about education of the children" coming from the MEA, no? Well, one year later, the Teach for America initiative is in the news again, and the teachers union is still opposing it in a district that graduates only 1 in 4 students. From The Detroit News: Union opposition to Teach for America volunteers blocks progress in Detroit:

No other big city needs great teachers more than Detroit, home to the nation's worst-performing urban schools. Yet the city's teachers union is trying to undermine efforts to bring some of the country's brightest young educators to the Motor City.

As they say read the whole thing. The MEA keeps telling us it’s all about the kids, but every time we hear from one of their spokespersons, it sounds like it’s about them.The TFA program is not the answer to public school woes, but when teachers’ unions oppose them, you’ve got to assume they will oppose anything else that threatens the status quo as well.

On a related note, from City Journal, an excellent article on why liberals and conservatives might agree on education reform: We’re All Right-wing Bastards Now. It discusses the NEA’s opposition to charter schools and vouchers, and shows how it set its sites on Washington D.C.’s tiny voucher program that parents loved, but was dutifully killed by Congress at the NEA’s behest.

Here’s what NEA president Dennis Van Roekel wrote to Democratic congressmen last March:

The National Education Association strongly opposes any extension of the District of Columbia private school voucher . . . program. We expect that Members of Congress who support public education, and whom we have supported, will stand firm against any proposal to extend the pilot program. Actions associated with these issues WILL be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 111th Congress.

Vouchers are not real education reform. . . . Opposition to vouchers is a top priority for NEA

Funny, a lot of parents in underperforming school districts think vouchers are a good start.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It’s 3:00 AM. Where’s My Nine Iron?

The report card is in on President Obama’s annual physical:

Barack Obama should not only try harder to kick his smoking habit, his team of doctors warned, but they also recommended 'moderation of alcohol intake'.


How are you all feeling about that 3:00 AM phone call now?

In related news, President Obama gave himself a B+.