Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why Keynesian Economics Fails



The Obama Administration seems to be fan of Keynesian economics. It is like the religious belief in global warming. It means bigger government and more power to the folks who run the government.

We can't spend our way out of the recession. We need increases in real (inflation-adjusted) income.

Monday, November 29, 2010

US Government Wants Inflation; China Fights US Policy

I have been baffled about why we have not experienced more inflation resulting from the federal Reserve's monetizing debt. More money supply chasing the same goods and services always results in inflation. Why not now? John Lott explains in his piece on the Fox News site:
So where did all that new money go? Many blame businesses for hoarding cash. Obama recently said: “corporate profits are doing just fine. [But] they're holding onto a whole bunch of cash -- they're kind of sitting on it.”

But that isn’t happening. Companies don't just keep huge piles of cash lying around. Even if they aren't spending the money, they are putting it in the bank or they buy bonds. In either case the money is recirculated to others, not hoarded. Companies are indeed wary of starting projects and with all the uncertainty they face. And who can blame them? Yet, they are not the ones making the money disappear.

It turns out that the culprit is not so close to home. China is trying to keep the U.S. dollar more valuable than the Chinese currency, the Yuan. That sounds counter-intuitive, but a more valuable dollar means that it is relatively cheap for Americans to buy Chinese products – and that helps Chinese manufacturers’ sales.
This time around, inflation is a deliberate government strategy to increase employment In a time of high unemployment, should naturally go down in a free market increasing employment. That is, the workers as suppliers of labor services must reduce their prices (wages), because the supply of labor exceeds demand at current prices. As the price of labor falls, more supply gets absorbed, increasing employment, albeit at lower wages.

But, we do not have a free market. Unions in particular (because they have the power) resist the lowering of wages. So the government seeks to increase inflation to lower real wages and thus increase employment. That is a doomed strategy. Unions and government workers will then demand higher "cost of living" increases to compensate for the inflation. Wages outside government and the unions will fall. Maybe that is part of the strategy, too. If the only stable wages are union wages, workers will be encouraged to join unions, making unions that much more powerful, while blaming the employers, a typical depression era strategy.

Thus, the unions benefit while the inflation strategy fails to solve the unemployment problems.

Bad government policy, thy name is Obama ... and Bernacke.

Wikileaks

All of today's handwringing about the Wikileaks disclosures reminds me that I must refresh myself on the history of the Pentagon Papers leaks 40 years ago. I wonder what we failed to learn from history on this one.

That said, all of today's attention seems to be focused on the embarrassing and in some cases, life threatening disclosures. Personally, I am more concerned about how all those emails got into the Wikileaks hands in the first place. I suspect that as a general proposition, our State Department and and other services that gather intelligence have gotten too large and unwieldy. The larger the organization, the more likely moles will get jobs there. They need to become more lean and mean. That does not wholly solve the problem, but it is a start.

Of course, less government is always a good thing (although there are certainly other agencies that I would prefer to start with -- Education, Agriculture, Transportation, EPA, CPSC, NLRB, FDA and on and on in the alphabet soup).

The actions of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange endangering lives are reprehensible. The actions of the Obama Administration in response are anemic.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Wish I had Said That

TSA Warrantless Searches

If the TSA scanning and pat downs were being done by the airlines, there would be no constitutional concerns about warrantless searches (Fourth Amendment) or invasions of privacy (Ninth Amendment). It would simply be a matter for contract. Private parties may enter into a contract that gives up those rights.

Is it different when government is doing the invasive procedures.

Most constitutional rights can be waived. Usually the waive should be clear and unequivocal, that is, "knowing and voluntary.". Here the argument seems to be that the waiver is implicit in buying the ticket. It seem to me that at the point of purchase there should be express waivers of Fourth Amendment and privacy rights with check boxes or initial entry to confirm that the waiver has been made. Given the common knowledge among travelers that there will be inspections, it is possible that simply buying the ticket and showing up constitutes the "knowing and voluntary" waiver.

I would feel much better about the searches if it were not the government performing them.

Government or not, I don't like the idea of a naked body scan or the x-ray exposure. I do not trust the government to tell me the truth about the level of x-ray exposure. I don't want to volunteer for a pat down.

My solution: I will avoid flying, unless the distance to too great (over a 12 hour drive, up from my previous cut-ff of seven hours). It is that simple.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Economics Simplified ... Democrats Are You Listening?

Economics can be complex, at least in the details. In matters of broad priniciple, it can be pretty simple. Let's break it down:

More business, more jobs.
Less business, less jobs.

Tax systems that punish business, discourage business.
Tax systems that favor business, encourage business.

Increasing the expense of doing business by regulation discourages business.
Less business, less jobs.

Business uncertainty discourages business.
Government demonizing business creates business uncertainty.
Business uncertainly means less jobs.

Rewarding non-work (as by unemployment benefits and welfare entitlements) and punishing work (e.g., by taxing it) causes less work (i.e., jobs).

Is that really so tough for Obama-ites and other Democrats to understand?

Repeal Amendment

When the founding fathers formed our republic, it began as a compact among sovereign states, described in Articles of Confederation.  The original Articles did not work well, because any one state essentially veto any action.  The Constitution bound the states together more tightly, but it was still considered a compact among sovereign states that relinquished some, but only some, of their sovereignty.

The passage of the much hated Obamacare legislation vividly demonstrates how far state sovereignty has fallen from grace.  It has become the Federal Goverment uber alles.  It is time to restore some balance.

The so-called repeal amendment is a good start:
Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.
My only problem with it is that it does not go far enough. I see no reason why it should take 2/3 of the states voting to repeal legislation. I think 50% + 1 should be plenty. After all, if more than half of the states dislike some Congressional enactment enough to pass a resolution, why should it be imposed on us at all?

www.repealamendment.org is little more than a banner website with no real information as yet. I hope that changes soon.

We need to fundamentally transform America by restoring Constitutional principles and values.

More TSA Stupidity

Which is more dangerous, nail clippers or a military-issue assault rifle?  If you said assult rifle, you would be wrong according to the first-hand account of TSA behavior at redstate.com.  That account is a MUST READ, so I have quoted none of it here.

By the way, this is an illustration of the unintended consequence of one-size-fits-all regulations, wherever they are found.   This is why our nanny-state are so good at stifling innovation.  They are mindless and when not mindless, they are minded by government bureaucrats.  

Dim Bulbs In Congress Ban Incandescent Lights

Friday, November 19, 2010

Leftist Terrorist

Has anyone in the lamestream media noticed the left-wing terrorists for outnumber right-wing terrorists?  This guy was sentenced today for burning down a Denver factory:  Animals are more important than people to him, I guess.  Veganism, not Islam this time.


By their tatoos ye shall know them.

Losing Money Equals Success ... As Defined by Gov't

From economist John Lott's latest column at Foxnews:
Only the government would consider it a success to buy stock at $43.84 a share and sell it at $33. But President Obama and those who supported his bailout of General Motors and Chrysler are claiming just that today.
Read it all here.

Mr. Lott is referring to the difference between the new IPO price and the price the US Government paid last year for GM's stock on a per share basis.

Junk Touching Protests Escalate



I was wondering what the weird left (forgive the redundancy) was saying about the overly invasive TSA procedures, so I wandered over to the Huffington Post, always a risky journey.

Some columnist clown named Bob Cesca blames the Republicans. Forget the fact that Big Sis Janet Napolitano is bringing in the full monty body scanners (that Cesca does not like either). It is all about the Republican fear-mongering while George Bush was President. More hopey-changey, Bushy-Blamey logic, I guess.

Columnist Dean Obeidallah claims that Arab-Americans have already been subject to that scrutiny since 9/11. Wow. Mr. Obeidallah and I definitely frequent through different airports. Mr. Obeidallah's airports apparently have had time warped body scanners before they existed anywhere else. I haven't seen any differential treatment of Muslims or Arab-appearing passengers, even though that would be rational as a practical (put politically incorrect) matter. Has anyone told Mr. Obeidallah the source of virtually all terrorist threats in the last nine years?

On the other hand, I wholly agree with columnist Jane Hamsher:
So the "groping" technique was developed as a way to punish people into using the scanners -- because there are $148 million more on the way. And just so nobody gets the idea to follow Tyner's lead, the TSA is using threats and intimidation to guarantee the market for the porno scanners. Whether Tyner is prosecuted or not, people will hear about what happened to him and think twice before refusing to become fodder for their new machines.
Thank you Jane for not doing the Bushy-blamey thing that is so tiring. Yes, the Bush administration went overboard. It is the Obama administration that is raising the overboard-ness standard.

There is too much government. Leave it up to the airlines. Let them evaluate the risks of their planes and compete to see which provides the best, passenger-friendly security. Once again, government is the problem. Getting government out of the airline security business is the solution.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beware of "Progress"

Hearing anyone in the media demanding "progress" sends me into chills like fingernails on a blackboard.

Progress? Progress implies a goal or an end point. What is their goal? What goal do they assume when they say the word "progress." I am pretty sure I don't agree with their goal, since their goal seems be be state control of every aspect of our lives.

I'll give you a goal. How about a free society, prosperous based upon free market principles. Now, that is a goal.

The next time you hear a demand for progress, ask whether they refer to progress toward a goal you agree with. If it is a progression toward statism, that is a regression from freedom, isn't it?

When a liberal uses the word "progress," I wish they would get called out on exactly what goal they want to progress toward. The answer would be illuminating and probably scary.

Busted. The Crime? Playing Chess in the Park

No kidding.
Drop that bishop and come out with your hands up!

A squad of cops in bulletproof vests swooped into an upper Manhattan park and charged seven men with the "crime" of playing chess in an area off-limits to adults unaccompanied by kids -- even though no youngsters were there.

"Is chess really something that should be considered a threat to the neighborhood?" Inwood resident and mom Joanne Johnson wrote Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly after the raid.
Read it all here. Big government bullies at it again.

Protect Your Junk: Flying Pasties

The Daily Caller says it all:
America has its downsides: Massive debt, poor math scores, Michael Moore. There’s also the TSA ogling and fondling passengers with its revealing backscatter technology and invasive pat-downs.

But the home of the brave is also home to enterprising capitalists who can turn a gag gift into an act of civil disobedience, not to mention a product experiencing brisk sales.

Say hello to the concealed weapon TSA must now deal with: Flying Pasties.
Go here for a picture and the full story.

Government As Bully



Will these outraged folks understand that more and bigger government makes the government a bigger and bigger bully? Will these people understand that this type of raid is what national socialism is all about? What is the shortened form of the words "National Socialism?"

Vote small government.

The Federal Reserve Actions Explained ... All Too Accurately

Touching the Junk

About the TSA controversy, I have previously said that I will avoid flying, favoring driving a longer distance and time. I probably will not be able to avoid the airports altogether.

I don't want to get the x-ray exposure of a full body canner, so I guess I will be subjected to a full body pat down. They tell us that all pat downs are done by same-sex TSA agents.

Hmmm. Here is where I have a problem. I don't want anyone touching my junk. Period. But if anyone has to touch it, I would prefer an opposite sex TSA agent touching for me.

Not for my daughter, maybe. She is an adult and that is her choice. But I don't want a man, other than my urologist, touching my junk.

If someone's going to touch my junk, I want to choose who is going to do it. I prefer my wife.

The frustrating thing is that this is all about the illusion of security, not actual security.

The hilarious thing is the request of CAIR that women in hijabs be excluded. Are you kidding me? Shouldn't they be the first targeted based upon what identifiable group has actually been the danger to the flying public?

From the Internet

Sometimes, great stuff comes unexpectedly from Internet friends:
Some people have the vocabulary to sum up things in a way you can understand them. This quote came from the Czech Republic . Someone over there has it figured out. We have a lot of work to do.

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president
Hat-tip Alan T.
."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dems Reward Failure; Hand Pelosi Minority Leadership

The headline says it all.

Sale of Scanner to TSA is Sweetheart Deal

Here is the text of a speech by The text of Rep.Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) speech today:
Mr. Speaker:

A nationwide revolt is developing over the body scanners at the airports, and it should.

Hundreds of thousands of frequent fliers who fly each week are upset about getting these frequent doses of radiation.

Parents are upset about being forced to have their children radiated or being touched inappropriately by an unrelated adult.

There is already plenty of security at the airport, but now we are going to spend up to $300 million to install 1,000 scanners.

This is much more about money than it is about security.

The former Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, represents Rapiscan, the company which is selling these scanners to his former department.

Far too many federal contracts are sweetheart, insider deals.
Companies hire former high ranking federal officials, and then magically, those companies get hugely profitable federal contracts.

The American people should not have to choose between having full-body radiation or a very embarrassing, intrusive pat-down every time they fly, as if they were criminals.

We need a little more balance and common sense on this.
This issue is really heating up.

Don't Touch the Junk Controversy Explained



Update: Clip added.

Ailes: Obama Has a Different Belief System Than Most Americans

Roger Ailes has been quoted as saying that President Obama has a different belief system than most Americans. I would go further and say that President Obama also fails to understand that most Americans do not believe as he does.

Mr. Ailes did not say what that belief system is. Here is my shot at it. Mr. Obama thinks that more government is the answer to all things he considers to be "social injustice."

That is wrong, of course. All perceived "social injustices" cannot be cured and many of them are not unjust at all.

The greatest single cure for social injustice is free markets, something we have not seen for over a hundred years.

Note to progressive, though, it is not a social injustice for the wealth gap between rich and poor to increase. It is a social injustice, arguably, if the plight of the poor gets worse rather than better over time. Looking at the3re the rich are, is simply envy. If the poor get better off while the rich get even better off, how is that bad for the poor and why is the rich's wealth any of your business?

If you want the poor to be better off, focus in what makes the poor better off. Focus on what makes them stay better off. It isn't handouts. It is the rising tide that lifts all boats.

It irritates me when progressives talk about the gap between rich and poor. That is envy pure and simple, and simply the wrong way to analyze the problem or reach a solution.

That may have been a digression to be sure, but one, I submit, that was worth digressing to.

Back to the regularly scheduled rant. Most Americans realize that government is more the problem than the solution. Most American have to deal with the BMV, the TSA or their equivalents. Mr. Obama does not. Most Americans do not want some government agency telling them they cannot get the health care they need (i.e., the inevitable death panels), which Mr. Obama thinks is his gift to America that he just has not explained well enough.

No wonder President Obama does not understand us. He never will.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This Week on Newsbusted



Newsbusters.org.

Moron of the Day: Michael J. Aguilar, San Diego TSA

I have never had a category for Government Bully of the Day. Maybe I should start. Today's winner of Moron of the Day (and who would win Bully of the Day) is Michael J. Aguilar, San Diego TSA Director.

Mr. Aguilar epitomizes government intimidation by opening an investigation into John "Don't Touch My Junk" Tyner who refused an unconstitutional pat-down search (after refusing a naked body x-ray scan) when entering an airport boarding area. Mr. Tyner's video of the event has gone viral and may be watched below (warning, 15 minutes long, "Don't touch my junk" at 3:24).



Congratulations to Moron of the Day Michael J. Aguilar, San Diego TSA Director.

If I were representing My Tyner, I would be looking into the possibility of filing a "Bivens action" lawsuit which is like a 1983 action, but against federal employees, based upon Mr. Aguilar's apparent violation of My Tyner's rights. Not the pat-down. That did not occur. But based upon the deliberate attempt to chill Mr. Tyner's right of free speech by the deliberate intimidation of the publicly announced opening of an investigation. That is a truly scummy, slime-ball thing for Mr. Aquilar to do. That is the government for ya!

And it gets worse:

Mass. Town Makes Case Against Government Schools

This is unbelieveable. In Provincetown, Massachusetts, school officials are giving away condoms to elementary schools students, no parental permission required. No only is no parental permission required, parents cannot prevent the school from giving out condoms to their children.
PROVINCETOWN, Mass. -- Elementary school students in Provincetown would be given condoms – whether their parents approve or not – under a policy approved by the town’s school committee last week.

First grade students can ask for the condoms, though the policy requires that students speak to a school nurse or other trained counselor before receiving one.

...

The board voted unanimously to approve the policy, which states that the school district will not honor requests from parents that their children not be given condoms.
Read it all.

Pull your children out of government schools NOW.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Flying Anyone? Naked Body Scanners and Genital Pat Downs

The TSA intrusiveness in exchange for the illusion of safety has obviously gotten worse. I have not flown since the institution of body x-rays, but I am not going to subject myself to more radiation that absolutely necessary.

My own standard lately has been simple. If I can drive it in 8 hours, I would rather drive. Besides the benefit of a bigger carbon footprint, I have the convenience of my own transplantation. With the current controversy, I am thinking of increasing the driving radius, say 12 hours driving to avoid TSA.

I can't imagine the airlines are thrilled with all this. I propose to solve the problem in two ways:
1. Eliminate the TSA and put airlines back in charge of safety. Let private industry decide; and/or

2. Permit gun owners to carry their firearms on the planes. If they did, no hijacker would dare try to hijack. It would be suicide without any actual building-crashing. As R.A. Heinlein said: An armed society is a polite society.

Government Destroys Businesses

Here is a truly small business being destroyed by government, a teadching kids a very poor lesson:
A New York lawmaker is under fire for calling the police on a pair of 13-year-olds selling homemade baked goods in a local park.
Read it all here.

Among other things, a license would have required a million dollar liability policy.

That lawmaker is a true friend of "crony capitalism." In other words, anti-free market.

Free Brian Aiken

Here is a horror story fresh from the anti-gun culture of New Jersey.
Sue Aitken called the police because she was worried about her son, Brian. She now lives with the guilt of knowing that her phone call is the reason Brian spent his 27th birthday in a New Jersey prison last month. If the state gets its way, he will be there for the next seven years.

Aitken was sentenced in August after he was convicted of felony possession of a handgun. Before his arrest, Aitken, an entrepreneur and owner of a media consulting business, had no criminal record, and it appears he made a good-faith effort to comply with New Jersey's stringent gun laws. Even the jurors who convicted him seem to have been looking for a reason to acquit him. But the judge gave them little choice. Aitken's best hope now is executive clemency. He is petitioning New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for a reprieve this week.
Read it all here.

Tea Parties on Immigration

To the extent that the tea partiers have any uniformity of views on immigration, I suspect that the video below captures 99.99% of Tea Party attitudes and accurately describes the major media untruths about the tea parties.:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why Bother Pointing Out MSNBC Left Wing Bias?

Yesterday, I posted Rachel Maddow's hilarious rant claiming that MSNBC is a news organization while Fox News is not. Daily, MSNBC proves that the opposite is true. Fox News has a decidedly right-leaning editorial bias, but has consistently presented both sides of controversial questions through invited left wing guests. MSNBC? Not so much.

One can only wonder at the thinking at MSNBC. MSNBC is consistently far behind Fox News in ratings. On election night, MSNBC had fewer than 1/3 of the viewers that Fox had (1.9 million vs. 7 million). IF MSNBC wanted to make a profit, wouldn't they be better off going conservative and competing for Fox's viewers? If they took 40% of Fox's viewers, MSNBC would be better off, wouldn't they?

Bill Gates is a rabid left--hinger (the MS in MSNBC is Microsoft), so maybe doing the rational economic thing would go against his grain. (The ability to make money makes no one rational politically. Look at George Soros.)

The funny thing is the MSNBC has so marginalized itself, I wonder why folks like Newsbusters continue to report on its left-wing silliness. MSNBC's bias is a given, so each new report of MSNBC bias is only ho-hum.

I think Newbusters (who does a great job at what they do) would be better served by ignoring MSNBC altogether (well, except when MSNBC claims to be a news organization rather than an opinion broadcaster) and focus on the big broadcast media who (unsuccessfully) try (but not too hard) their left wing bias.

Eat a Bagel, Government Takes Your Baby

Via Reason:
The ACLU of Pennsylvania recently filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a couple whose newborn baby was kidnapped by Lawrence County Children and Youth Services (LCCYS) because her mother recklessly consumed an "everything" bagel from Dunkin' Donuts the day before the birth. Jameson Hospital, where Isabella Rodriguez was born on April 27, has a policy of testing expectant mothers' urine for illegal drugs and reporting positive results to LCCYS, even without any additional evidence that the baby is in danger of neglect or abuse. LCCYS, in turn, has a policy of seizing such babies from their homes based on nothing more than the test result. Unfortunately for Isabella's parents, Elizabeth Mort and Alex Rodriguez, Jameson sets the cutoff level for its opiate test so low that it can be triggered by poppy seeds, which is why two caseworkers and two Neshannock Township police officers visited their home the day after baby and mother returned from the hospital. LCCYS seized the three-day-old girl and put her in foster care for five days before conceding it had made a mistake.
Read it all here.

A pdf of the ACLU complaint is here.

Exit question: Whatever happened to physician-patient privilege and HPAA? Doesn't the hospital have some liability for disclosure of medical records?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Licensing Always Means Higher Prices

Moron of the Day: Rachel Maddow

I don't usually comment on Rachel Maddow, because she is so far out there. I'm not talking left field, I am talking beyond the left field fence and over the freeway.

She deserves the Moron of the day Award because of this performance, and the hypocrisy, even the lies, exposed by this:



Put together by Johnny Dollar.

Economist Rap



If you don't know the difference between Keynes and Hayek, check out Paul Krugman to understand Keynes (which I see as widely discredited). To understand Hayek, see the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Global Warming: I'm A Denier

Funny But Too True

Debunking Lying Obamoron Austan Goolsbee



Listen to Goolsbee's "everyone agrees." BIG LIE. (Hint: In don't agree and neither do other free market economists. I suppose that everyone in Austan Goolsbee's bathroom when he is taking his shower agrees.)

Where does President Obama find these clowns, anyway?

The Priority of Values

When repudiated at the polls, liberals/progressives alway contend (and truly believe) that they simply did not explain things well enough (or alternatively, everyone else is stupid). We can put that down to arrogance, which is probably at least partly right. But there is another explanation as well.

I think we can understand each other better if we understand the priority of their values.

Liberals have different value priorities from other people. Security is their number one. Freedom is up there somewhere, but down the list from security. They cannot understand anyone seeing things differently.

Classical liberals, now called libertarians, value freedom and personal liberty at the top of the list and security farther down.

I am not sure what is at the top of the list for standard conservatives. Other than God (Who should top everyone's list), I think conservatives value order and then liberty. Conservatives want everyone to follow the rules, just as they do. Conservatives will compromise liberty for order, but security still comes below freedom, except when it comes to national security.

Except for those Americans in power whose values have to do mostly with staying in power, I think progressives, libertarians and conservatives share many values, but the values have significantly different priorities. I am sure that progressives give lip service to liberty as a priority. But they don't mane the same thing as libertarians. To a progressive, the entitlement to take money from someone better off means liberty. (I guess the someone better off deserves no liberty in the progressive's eyes.) Liberty is reserved for the poor, because the "rich" have enough advantages. Class envy is OK for progressives, because there should be a classless society (where everyone is poor except the government bureaucrats, I guess - shade of the former Soviet Union.)

Thus, progressivism is an astounding and shocking notion to anyone who believes in universal liberty.

It is really weird to me that most progressives I have seen truly cannot understand anyone reasonably holding a different point of view. Therefore, anyone who holds a different point of view is evil, many of them think. To me, that sort of short-sighted thinking smacks of mental illness.

No amount of jawing by President Obama or any other progressive is going to persuade libertarians or conservatives that they should accept security over individual liberty as a personal priority. Similarly, the rest of us need to recognize that no amount of explanation will persuade committed progressives that security should be subservient to individual liberty.

Tea Parties and the 2nd Amendment

More of Col. Allen West, Representative-Elect

Medicare Death Panel Presages Obamacare Death Panels

Medicare Death Panel has been investigating to decide whether to let prostate cancer patients die rather than pay for an expensive new prostate cancer drug. The Washington Post reports:
Federal officials are conducting an unusual review to determine whether the government should pay for an expensive new vaccine for treating prostate cancer, rekindling debate over whether some therapies are too costly.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which dictate what treatments the massive federal health-insurance program for the elderly will cover, is running a "national coverage analysis" of Provenge, the first vaccine approved for treating any cancer. The treatment costs $93,000 a patient and has been shown to extend patients' lives by about four months.

Although Medicare is not supposed to take cost into consideration when making such rulings, the decision to launch a formal examination has raised concerns among cancer experts, drug companies, lawmakers, prostate cancer patients and advocacy groups.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Texas Hold'em Up

Random Thoughts

Random thoughts on this week's election and other things, updated throughout the day.

  • The Republican tidal wave was not an end, but the beginning of vigilance.  The Republicans under George Bush began the spend to oblivion approach embraced by President Obama and his far-left Democrat friends.  We need to keep close eyes on the Republicans, constantly reminding them that his election is not about them getting their noses into the trough.
  • I remember in the 60's when the left kept talking out the perceived terrible government oppression.   Now the left in power in the administration are lovin' that oppression.  They love being the oppressors.  Funny they don't call it that anymore. 
  • The left does not get the failure of California's Proposition 19 that would have legalized marijuana.  Progressives caused the problem  Progressives were behind Prohibition early last century.  Progressives were behind the illegalization of drugs in general, forcing prescription requirements.  (I love the term, "undocumented pharmacist." for drug dealer.)  Here is why the left is at fault for the defeat of Prop. 19.  The left has successfully persuaded the public over the last century that it was government's job to prevent the people from doing anything the government deemed harmful to themselves.  If something is potentially harmful to the user, the government should ban (or regulate) it, the left's thinking goes.  That thought pattern has been far too successful.  Prop. 19 failed because of it.
  • I was happier to see Christine O'Donnell lose in Delaware (which she did) to the "bearded Marxist" Coons than I would have been to see the squishy RINO Castle win against Coons.  Castle proved his mettle (or lack of it) by his failure to support Christine O'Donnell.  Good riddance to him.  I hope he does not reappear on the political scene any time soon.
  • I always happier when the MSNBC and mainstream media are unhappy, as they were Tuesday night.  I was pleased to see that Fox News had a major ratings coup that night and received general kudos for their honest and balanced coverage.  As usual, Fox News made sure that it had liberal commentators presented along with conservative ones.  Why don't the declining media understand that they should present balance as well?
  • Why is President Obama taking 3000 of his closest government friends so India at a cost to the US taxpayers of $200 million per day.  We are paying for 3000 people to to go India.  3000! $200 million per day. Per day!  Didn't anyone tell President Obama about our economic troubles at home? Remember this in 2012. [Update:  Obama spokesman denies that the costs are that high, but does not say how high.  Gibbs gets nasty, acts the jackass role.]  The Obama entourage has rented out the entire Taj Mahal for the India visit.
  • Favorite recent protest sign:  CAP the budget & TRADE the politicians.
  • At his new conference, President Obama refused to acknowledge that the voters rejected his policies, particularly in the form of health care reform and bailouts.  I am not certain whether that refusal was more about his narcissistic personality disorder (an inability to admit being wrong about anything) or a strategic retrenchment.  To me, the vote was a clear policy rejection. From The Economist:
    NOW it is official: Barack Obama does not do contrition well. The usual form after your party has had an electoral thrashing is to appear on television looking ashen and justly chastised, promising to heed the message of the voters and reform your ways. That is what Bill Clinton did with superb theatricality after suffering his own mid-term setback in 1994. Mr Obama’s manner in this week’s day-after White House press conference was one of sombre defiance, in which he appeared graciously to forgive voters for their natural impatience at the pace of economic recovery.
  • Any state that elects Senator Ma'am and Moonbeam had better not come running to a Republican House of Representatives for a bailout. 

Impeach the President?

The loony-left media (which is most of it) seems to have an irrational fear that the Republicans will try to impeach President Obama. No leading Republican has suggested impeachment.

Earth to Media: President Obama has to commit a high crime or misdemeanor before he can be impeached. If you ever read the Constitution, you would know that. Being a far left, statist, collectivist type guy is not a high crime or misdemeanor.

However, for another point of view on that, go here. There will be no impeachment for anything the President has done to date, that we know about. There is still time for him to do something actionable, but it is not likely to happen, and I hope it does not.

It is too bad, though, we can't have a recall election.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

New York Times Complains The Republicans Wanted Dems to Explain Positions

From an election piece in the New York Times:
They also tried to push Democrats into retirement, using what was described in the presentation as “guerilla tactics” like chasing Democratic members down with video cameras and pressing them to explain votes or positions.
Wow. Can you imagine? Asking Congress-critters to explain their votes.

How subversive can you get?!

Moron of the Day Update

Reason.tv has awarded its nanny of the Month for the government oppression in San Francisco for which I awarded yesterday's Moron of the Day. Of Course, Reason.TV is much more professional about it:

Ray Stevens Christmas song

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Moron of the Day: San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Today's Moron of the Day is the San Fransisco Board of Supervisors for banning happy meals from McDonald's in the city.  They have taken the happy out of the happy meal.

I have to admit that today's award was a close decision.    Runner up for the today is the entire California electorate for re-electing Senator Ma'am and electing Governor Moonbeam, both running on the socialist party ticket, I mean Democrat party, while at the same time turning down Proposition 19.  Their message is clear:  "We don't need no stinkin' freedom in California."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Black Tea Party Candidate Refudiates NAACP's Despicable Bias

Take that, NAACP. South Carolina's tea party candidate Tim Scott wins.

Story here.

More on Tim Scott here.http://www.clubforgrowth.org/endorsedcandidates/?id=722

Ann Coulter was Right

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Ann Coulter said she would not vote for John McCain that the the election of Barack Obama would be good for the country, because of the backlash from his expected policies.

She was right.

Win or lose in today's elections, Barack Obama's horrible policies spawned the Tea Part Movement. His policies have energized many people who want change, but not a change that eans more government. People who want less government.

But for President Obama's agenda, the anger, the shear energy would not have surfaced. Ann Coulter was right.

Now we have to undo Obamacare and the unspent portions of the Porkulus.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Starting a Business in America

The Voice of Reason Endorses Democrat Richard Cordray Over Mike Dewine

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray is not perfect, but Mike Dewine should be find himself a political black hole and jump into it.  As a general philosophical matter, there is not much difference between the RINO Dewine and Democrat Richard Cordray.  I am unhappy about Cordray's refusal to join other attorneys general in one of the suits challenging Obamcare.

The Attorney General of Ohio serves an important function in the scheme of concealed carry.  Thus, the NRO's grades are particularly important in this race.  Cordray--A; Dewine--F.

If there weren't enough, Dewine's the kind of opportunistic politician that just makes me want to punch him (not that I would ever actually do such a thing).  He just generates that emotional reaction.

The Voice of Reason Endorses John Kasich for Ohio Governor

If I were a single issue gun-rights voter, I would vote for Ted Strickland. Unusual for a Democrat, Ted Strickland has been great on firearms freedom.

Unfortuntately, he has been not so great on other issues. I echo the following analysis found on the Buckeye Firearms Forum:
Hello fellow Pro 2nd amendment, pro constitution Ohioans. I just wanted to bring up some points that I'm sure you are aware of, but still might need pointed out. When going to the polls on Tuesday I will not be voting for all the NRA endorsed candidates and this is why. Although I am a proud supporter of the NRA I feel a little sold out in this election with their endorsements. First let's look at the Governors race. Ted Strickland 's A rating with the NRA vs John Kasich's B rating with the NRA. Yes Ted has had a great voting record for the 2nd amendment and Kasich did vote for the assault weapons ban which he has sense said he regrets. I also look at who each has picked as their LT Governors choices. Strickland who is very pro Obama was looked at for the possible vice-president candidate early and was though to be a shoe in for a cabinet spot. Though Strickland turned all offers down and said he wanted to fix Ohio the offers were still there. The Presidents approval is at a all time low and America is mad. Why do I bring this up? Well if Ted Strickland would take a job in Washington we would get a new Governor. Ms Brown who has a F on the NRA report card where as Kasich's choice for LT Governor is Ms Taylor has an A rating with the NRA. When organizations like the NRA, and Buckeye firearms pass out endorsements for some reason they overlook the big picture in my mind. I know it is very unlikely to happen that either LT Governor will have to step into the Governors spot but, hey I'd rather be safe then sorry! B-A rating verses a A-F rating pretty easy choice for me! Lastly and most important remember to vote on Tuesday November 2 or your voice will not be heard. Thanks.
I need to add something else that I think is even more important. The 2010 election in Ohio will determine the redistricting boundaries for the General Assembly that will affect our elections over the next ten years.

The Ohio apportionment board is established by Section 1 of Article XI, Ohio Constitution, as being responsible for that apportionment. The3 board consists of:

  • -- the Governor of Ohio,
  • -- the Ohio Secretary of State,
  • -- the Ohio State Auditor,
  • -- a member selected by the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and the senate leader of the same party
  • -- a member selected by the house and senate leaders of other party.

Whoever has a majority of the board has the power to draw the boundaries to favor future elections for that party.  In fact that happens is that the members of the majority party draw the boundaries and impose those boundaries on the other party. Neither parity is great on issues of limited government, but long term for gun rights, the Republicans are consistently better than Democrats.

Ted Strickland has been dismissive and insulting about the tea parties, which in my mind is the most important political movement so far this century and the last century for that matter.  Ted Strickland is endorsed by Barack Obama, which is a serious negative.  Strickland (not to mention his endorser) has been a fiscal disaster, as even the left-leaning Columbus Dispatch has opined

Accordingly, I will vote for Kasich, who has worked his way up form an NRA F rating to an NRA B rating over the last 15 years.  John Kasich is a fiscal expert.  When he was in the United States House of Representatives, he was the only one who seemed to understand the budget.