Friday, October 17, 2014

Michelle Nunn Won't Admit She's a Democrat

Eli,

Michelle Nunn, like more than a few Democrats running for office is trying her best to avoid being labeled with that toxic term, "Democrat." It's amusing to me since she is Sam Nunn's daughter. And for decades Sam Nunn was the Democratic senator from Georgia. It's also amusing since it is the conventional wisdom that the Republicans have the tarnished brand. I'm not so sure of that.

From the Wall Street Journal
ATLANTA— Sam Nunn, one of the last Georgia Democrats to serve a full term in the Senate, had just finished watching his granddaughter win a soccer game when he turned his attention to a more pressing family contest: his daughter Michelle’s run for U.S. senator.

“Keep reminding voters that President Obama’s term is up in two years, but you’ll be an independent and long-term investment,” he counseled his daughter, who is running as a Democrat for an open Senate seat now held by the Republicans....

As Ms. Nunn strives to break Republicans’ stranglehold on statewide races in the South in recent years, her party affiliation is missing in action. Her campaign website doesn’t divulge that she is running as a Democrat, and bumper stickers, buttons and most materials don’t list her party. During two recent campaign swings, she didn’t mention her party affiliation and used the word “Democrat” only once. She is positioning herself as a bipartisan whose experience running a service organization associated with a Republican president shows she knows how to bridge divides.  

Bill


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Let's Not Forget Obamacare

Eli,

With the world coming apart at the seams it has been mostly quiet on the Obamacare front. One of the smarter, and non-partisan, observers of Obamacare, Bob Laszewski had this op-ed in USA Today.

Obamacare is in hiding until after the election: How our government is obscuring facts about your health insurance until after the election.

In addition to a reminder to insurance executives that they:
"will not use, disclose, post to a public forum, or in any way share Test Data with any person or entity, included but not limited to media..." This includes any "results of this testing exercise and any information describing or otherwise relating to the performance or functionality" of the Obamacare enrollment and eligibility system
Laszewski continues:

Last month the administration announced that 7.3 million people were insured under Obamacare as of mid-August. That was the first announcement of enrollment made by the administration since April. They provided just one number and no backup and admitted that they had been collecting enrollment data from insurers all along. They conveniently reported this figure just before enrollment is expected to take a big fall when thousands of people hit the deadline to clear up discrepancies in their income and legal resident status or risk losing subsidies or coverage altogether. We still don't know how many lost coverage or are still in limbo.

The administration has trumpeted the low average health insurer rate increases for 2015. But these low average increases have more often been low because the majority of insurers who did not get much enrollment have cut their rates while the insurers that got most of the enrollment have raised their rates. But current participants in the 36 federally run state insurance exchanges and most state-run exchanges won't see their own renewal rates until the open enrollment is about to begin. In short, the administration is comparing different plans with different benefits between 2014 and 2015. Those who want to keep the same plan might have big price increases.
Some on the right are also making much of risk corridors which compensate insurance companies if they mis-price policies, (too dumb to fail?), which is an incentive to lower premiums in order to capture market share and let the government pick up the tab.

It's hard to see this law surviving in anywhere near its current form no matter who wins the election.

Bill

Monday, October 13, 2014

Denver Post Endorses Cory Gardner for Senate

Eli,

An interesting endorsement for Cory Gardner for Senate. The Post endorsed Obama in both 2008 and 2012.

My favorite lines in the endorsement:

Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision. His obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince.

Meanwhile in Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes channels Matthew 26:34.

Just how badly is Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes worried about being associated with President Obama?
Badly enough that the Senate candidate won’t even answer whether or not she voted for Obama back in 2008.
Bill



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Saudi America

Eli,

The graph below and the title of this post comes from Mark Perry at AEI
Another energy milestone: ‘Saudi America’ was the world’s largest petroleum producer in June for the 20th straight month

Not only is the United States producing more oil than Saudi Arabia, it is producing more by a very wide, and increasing, margin. Thank you hydraulic fracturing.

A few key areas have been responsible for this increase including the Eagle Ford shale in Texas, the Bakken in North Dakota and a handful of plays in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico. This graph is from an EIA presentation, "U.S. Energy Outlook," by Adam Sieminski, EIA Administrator.


What is amazing about the Eagle Ford, and the other plays I suspect, is productivity is increasing; that is, the technology is improving and the initial production from wells drilled this year is greater than the wells drilled a year ago which is greater than the wells drilled the prior year, and so on.

The EIA graph below shows the productivity of newly drilled Eagle Ford wells for the past five years:

It is a remarkable accomplishment. Wells drilled this year are twice as productive as wells drilled a mere three years ago.

In other news: New York state bans hydrualic fracturing despite sitting on a treasure of shale. Meanwhile Governor Cuomo is giving millions of dollars to Elon Musk to install solar panels.

Bill

Monday, September 29, 2014

Apple will become the phone of choice for the pedophile

Eli,

From the Washington Post:
FBI Director James B. Comey sharply criticized Apple and Google on Thursday for developing forms of smartphone encryption so secure that law enforcement officials cannot easily gain access to information stored on the devices — even when they have valid search warrants.
Notice where the information is: "on the device."

Comey continued:

he could not understand why companies would “market something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.” 
Now, if I store something on my phone, and don't want anyone to see it, I am putting myself "beyond the law." Calling George Orwell.

My favorite quote in the story comes from John J. Escalante, chief of detectives for Chicago’s police department.

“Apple will become the phone of choice for the pedophile,”..."The average pedophile at this point is probably thinking, I’ve got to get an Apple phone.” 
 
Bill

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Obama's new muse: George W. Bush"

Eli,
I was amused by the headline of this Politico.com story: "Obama's new muse: George W. Bush"

President Barack Obama drafted most of Wednesday’s United Nations speech by himself, but it often sounded like he had a ghost writer: the predecessor he mocked.
What amused me most is it is the same thing I wrote two years ago:

Obama = Bush 

and

The Second Coming of Bill Clinton 

Bill




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I read the first three words and stopped.

Eli,

I read the first three words "America's royal baby" of this story, and stopped reading. Anything that supports the notion of royalty in the US I find repugnant. It's while I'll never utter "First Lady," either.

Bill