Monday, October 20, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Checking that box

Ron Fournier in National Journal: "Naked Politics: The Ebola Czar Has No Clothes."
1. We shouldn't need an Ebola czar.
2. We already put somebody in charge of corralling federal bureaucracies and coordinating local responses to national emergencies. His name is Barack Obama.
Look, man, he's very busy today.

Extra - Minuteman: "My advice to Team Obama - encourage the Big Guy to take a look around. If he sees a playing field and thousands of screaming fans then he is probably in a luxury skybox somewhere and yes, he is free to cheer and boo like any other spectator. But if he sees a famous desk and slightly curved walls, then he is probably in the Oval Office and might want to remember that he is Chief Executive of the United States and is notionally responsible for the many bureaucracies he purportedly leads."

More - Powerline: "NY Times says: Obama is angry at Administration's incompetence!"  Yes it's the "I'm so mad!" stage of crisis management.

The headline says it all

Obamacare in the New York Times (!!!): "Unable to meet the deductible or the doctor."  Otherwise, what a great program.  That's why nearly twice as many Americans say they've been harmed by Obamacare than helped.

It's OK: we can just print more money

Reason Online: "How much will Obamacare cost?  Bet on 'more than expected'."  With graphic graphics included.

Two Jeremys from Gotham City

Why does everybody want to talk about the Batman?  Geez.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Eleven days later

Ace: "Obamacare Website Won't Reveal New, Higher Premiums -- Until After the Election, Of Course."

I think Republicans should take a page from the playbook of alleged pederast Harry Reid: just say loudly and repeatedly that Obamacare premiums are going to go up 30%.  It's not true?  Who cares: it's truthy enough and there's an election to win.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thanks for the weekend, Henry Ford

Interesting post at The Truth About Cars: "Henry Ford Paid His Workers $5 a Day So They Wouldn’t Quit, Not So They Could Afford Model Ts."
While Henry Ford may be unfairly credited with inventing the assembly line, he usually doesn't get any credit for an innovation of his that has made the lives of working men and women much more pleasant, the weekend. Having the weekend off from work is conventionally attributed to organized labor. The labor movement has given workers a lot of things, but not the weekend. That, too, was Henry Ford’s innovation.
So he could run his assembly line 24/7/365.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Present and future value

Marginal Revolution: "How to discount pensions" reviews how the Dutch calculate their pension obligations.  "But all economists now agree. The expected-return approach is a huge economic offense, hurting younger generations.”

Simply put, when future pension payouts are projected to fall short, the pension operator (such as CALPers) is supposed to increase the required contribution percentage.  But they hate to do this because it always causes a huge political backlash.  So instead they just say: "Hey, we project the fund will grow by 20% a year forever" and problem solved...until the future generations come looking for their "guaranteed" pension.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I'm pretty sure lifting another player for a slam dunk is illegal

Did I say illegal?  I meant awesome:

Via Hot Air.

Guess the country

Via Maggie's Farm, a tale of desperate times:
There is “an anti-work mentality, absurd fiscal pressure, a lack of promotion prospects, and the burden of debt hanging over future generations,” [said the government commission chair].
“Young people feel stuck, and they want interesting jobs. Businessmen say the labour code is complex and they’re taxed even before they start working. Pensioners can also pay less tax abroad,” she says.
Anyway, the country is France.  On that last point, though, I've noticed that Belize - we speak English! - has been advertising on television, urging retirees to have their Social Security checks forwarded to their white sand beach houses,

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Murder, south of the border

At my last job, I used to write technical paper for conferences, which was a great way to travel.  One conference was in Mexico and I steadfastly refused to go - with good reason.  Good Lord.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Where's the love?

Gallup: "More Still Say Health Law Has Hurt Instead of Helped Them - Nearly half in U.S. say ACA will make healthcare worse in long run."

Film review: "Divergent" - Stereotypes on steroids

I saw this movie last night and at first I'm like "meh" but the more I thought about it, the worse it became.

In a dystopian future Chicago, everybody is separated into five factions.  The "Amity" faction are a bunch of hippy-dippy farmers, possibly sampling too much of their crop.  The "Candor" faction "always tells the truth" which amounts to be that rude douchebag who says: "Yes, that dress does make you look fat."

But the main story is the conflict between "Erudite," "Dauntless" and "Abnegation."  Make no mistake: the "Abnegation" faction which chooses a simple lifestyle and helps the poor (i.e. "Factionless") is the hero of the story.  This faction runs the government but here comes "Erudite" - the brains of society - to take over.  Because that's what the smart overclass does.  Thanks Citizens United!

But wait: how can these pencil-pushing poindexters take over the government?  Well, they take control of the "Dauntless" faction by literally turning them into mindless drones.  Maybe I'm overreacting but this struck me as a calumny against the military as a whole.

The movie is full of insults to the intelligence, large and small.  There is one annoying character who exists only to bad-mouth the protagonist (Tris); we get it, dude, you're here to introduce conflict.  The Abnegation father, who has clearly never touched a gun in his life, turns into shotgun-pumping Rambo.  The movie closes with our heroes "riding the train to the end" which means something, I don't know what.