Thursday, January 23, 2014

“Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”

We could never get a text message like that here, could we? After all, what would our government need to accomplish such a thing? Location data from our phones? Meta data on our subscriber numbers? Maybe a database to conveniently store all of that information?

No. Impossible. Could never happen here.

I'm so happy President Obama assured me there are no abuses in the NSA program. That it's completely legal. That there is ample oversight. Otherwise I would be worried.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Getting Rid of More Junk Policies

When Obamacare forced cancellations of health insurance policies in the individual market the supporters first denied it, then said the policies were junk policies. Praise the Lord! Obamacare is now going to rid the small business market of junk policies. From the Washington Post:

When millions of health-insurance plans were canceled last fall, the Obama administration tried to be reassuring, saying the terminations affected only the small minority of Americans who bought individual policies. 
But according to industry analysts, insurers and state regulators, the disruption will be far greater, potentially affecting millions of people who receive insurance through small employers by the end of 2014.
Who knows, maybe the Administration will delay this portion of the law as it has delayed and waived much of the law. Whatever happened to "this is the law of the land" antiphone the supporters of the law made whenever asked about the votes to delay, diminish or destroy the law by the crazy, evil, insane, stupid, racist, Neanderthal, Republicans whose sole focus is to keep people from having access to health care?

I particularly enjoyed this quote:

Jonathan Gruber, a key architect of the health law and a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the number of people covered by small-group policies that will be discontinued is “not trivial.” 
“We’re ending discrimination [against people who are sick, and as a result] the people who were previously benefiting may now suffer,” Gruber said. “That’s sad for them, but it does not mean we should continue discrimination.”
The number will be "not trivial." Well, you know the saying, extremism in the service of health care is no vice.

This word discrimination is thrown around a lot. It is clearly being used in a pejorative sense to connote some wrong-doing. But riddle me this: If I build a house in a flood plain is my higher flood insurance premium "discrimination?" If a driver with a record of drunk driving is charged higher auto premiums, is that "discrimination?" Are life insurance premiums "discriminatory" because an 80 year old is likely to pay more than a 20 year old?

There were four foundational promises of Obamacare:
1) If you like your plan you can keep your plan.
2) If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.
3) Premiums will decline
4) More Americans will be covered

The first three promises are obviously absurd, and now recognized as such by most of the cheerleaders of law, after vigorously making the opposite claim for years. The fourth can be accomplished fairly easily, but the Democrats decided to go around their elbow to get to their rear and came up with Obamacare instead.  They bungled the law so badly it's not clear to me even the fourth foundational promise of this law will be kept.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Obamacare Drives "Talent" Away


>Exodus: The vast majority of Capitol Hill staffers are worried about changes, costs and access to their healthcare plans under ObamaCare, and the worry could provoke an exodus of talent, a new survey found.

>The Congressional Management Foundation interviewed 163 Capitol Hill staffers in November and December, and found 91 percent said they were worried about possible changes to their healthcare benefits under the Affordable Care Act. In addition, 87 percent said they were worried about the cost of their new health insurance, and 82 percent said they had concerns about access to local healthcare providers. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

If it's the same "talent" that wrote the law I say, good riddance. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Touchdown Tom Brady

Madden Football simulation of Tom Brady vs. Everyone Else

All Sports Cliches Are True, That's Why They Are Cliches


In this case the cliche in question is "The Men In The Trenches Will Determine the Outcome." The AFC Championship is being framed by the national media as another in the long line of fabled contests between the 2 principals. In case you live on another planet, or only continue to read this blog with the unfounded expectation that we might say something novel or interesting about, say, Bill Deblasio's  improbable ascent as liberal icon, or why West Virginians should be grateful the poison polluting their reservoirs is water soluble, you know those principals as Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr. and Peyton Williams Manning. The contest, say the unwashed, uninformed, lazy, and always breathless commenteriat, will be determined by the virtue, heroism, determination, girlfriend pulchritude, and hairstyles of our Tom and your Peyton.

But these 2 immortals know better; that is why they are exemplar of excellence in their world, now and across the generations. They know that circumstances largely beyond their control will determine what happens at Sports Authority Field on Sunday. As they patiently remind us they do not play against each other. It is the mostly anonymous behemoths on either side of the ball that will shape, in ways subtle but brutal, what is possible, and what is not, what is given, what is (sometime literally)  taken away.  Along the line of scrimmage a series of battles will unfold, in direct, savage and relentless fashion, battles unseen and unremembered except perhaps by those who endure them, Men named Mankins, Clady, Ramirez, on one side of the ball, Ninkovich, Jones, and Williams on the other. Their intent is to control the one element that above all controls the outcome; time. Time to rest. time to think, time to plan, and above all time to throw the football when it absolutely must be thrown.

Manning and Brady will do what they do. But they will witness as much as they act.