Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Go Red Sox!

Condescending? Not this White House!

Hit and Run: "The Obama Administration's response to insurance plan cancellations is misleading and condescending."  "What President Obama told the public over and over again wasn’t true. But now that people are finding out that it isn’t true, the administration’s response is to shift the blame to third parties, and to imply that the millions of people who are losing plans they like are too stupid to know what’s actually good for them. In short: If you like your plan, and lose it, it's not our fault. And besides, you didn't really like it anyway."  So pretty much same-ole, same-ole.

Nobody is more upset than me about my pickup truck crashing into that liquor store

Iowahawk has a series of Obamacare-inspired spin lines for every occasion.  It means never having to say you're sorry!
Perhaps I could have been more precise when I promised that my pickup would never again crash into the liquor store. But let's move forward.
Instead of yelling, the liquor-store owner could be working in a bipartisan manner to get my crushed pickup out of his walk-in cooler.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Equal distribution of poverty

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries." - Winston Churchill

Wall Street Journal: "The Obamacare Awakening."  "None of this is an accident. It is the deliberate result of the liberal demand that everyone have essentially the same coverage and that government must dictate what that coverage is and how much it costs. Such political control is the central nervous system of the Affordable Care Act, and it is why so many people can't keep the insurance they like."

Twas the insurance company in the bedroom with a candlestick

Well, Harry Reid, Jay Carney and Rasputin are all on message: it wasn't Obamacare that forced all those Americans to lose their health insurance: it was the insurance companies...who had to comply with the dictates of Obamacare.

Now the ass-kissing Left would like us to forget that Obama lied repeatedly about "keeping your plan" and that all the warnings should be forgotten now because settled law and shut up, racist.

Question: if I throw Ezra Klein out of a window, it's the asphalt that really killed him, right?

Extra - From Doug Ross.

More - Legal Insurrection: "A lie is just the truth that wasn't precise enough."

Monday, October 28, 2013

Not much and when he saw it on TV

Dana Milbank: "What did Obama know and when did he know it?"  "For a smart man, President Obama professes to know very little about a great number of things going on in his administration."

For Obama, "Being There" is enough.  Roger Simon: "Obama should be impeached...for cluelessness."

Extra - From Twitchy: "Didn't know he didn't know what was going on."

More - Jen Rubin: "What didn't Obama know and for how long?" "You would think the president at some point would be embarrassed to be the least-informed man in Washington, D.C."

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The deadliest movie review

Legal Insurrection: "60 Minutes confirms Benghazi is a real scandal and you've been lied to."  Well, it was important to get past the election first.

Extra - From Power Line who has tweets from 60 Minutes.  And here's the transcript from tonight's show.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

That was a nice National Anthem

Waiting for the Red Sox-Cardinal game and Colbie Caillat did an absolutely fabulous rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner, accompanied by acoustic guitar.

Go Red Sox!  Beards over birds.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Don't date robots!

Japan is exploding its own demographic bomb as the birth rate approaches a record low.  It seems that the youngsters there have little interest in relationships and less in starting a family.  As for sex, well, there are options available.

Green Monstah

Let's go Red Sox!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hands off

This is unsurprising.  CNN: "HHS chief: President didn't know of Obamacare website woes beforehand."  "President Barack Obama didn't know of problems with the Affordable Care Act's website -- despite insurance companies' complaints and the site's crashing during a test run -- until after its now well-documented abysmal launch, the nation's health chief told CNN on Tuesday."

In other words, he gave it the full attention he gave to Benghazi.  Now let's campaign!

Flashback - President Passerby learns about stuff on TV.

Monday, October 21, 2013

It's up to you New York, New York

Reason's Hit and Run links to a Heritage Foundation study: "Health insurance premiums projected to soar in 45 states under Obamacare."  The big winner among the Favored Five is the Empire State which shows rates will drop about 29% for individuals and 6% or so for families.

Wow, what a great deal!  Except for this.
In New York, one of only 16 states that has its own exchange, not one person had succeeded in using the site to enroll in a plan as of Friday.
Start spreadin' the news.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Out of time and out of money

Megan McArdle: "Fight over default is fight over new normal."  "We can’t just gently restrain the growth of a few programs and wait for rising GDP to bail us out. Many of the factors that are making us grow more slowly, like an aging population, are making government outlays grow more quickly than usual. Someone is going to have to pay -- or lose what they've been counting on getting."

Greatest speech evah

I re-subscribed to The Atlantic and they've started an informal poll on the back page called "The Big Question."  This month it's: "What was the greatest speech, historical or fictional, ever given?"  Among Churchill, Lincoln, Jesus, and various Shakespeare soliloquies, General Stanley McChrystal chose the rousing words of Brother Bluto of the Delta House: "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?  Hell no!"

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Generational theft - the college tour

Oh man how much do I love this guy?  The Wall Street Journal has a weekend interview with former hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller: "How Washington Really Redistributes Income - The renowned money manager goes back to school to explain how entitlements are helping the Baby Boomers rip off future generations."
While many seniors believe they are simply drawing out the "savings" they were forced to deposit into Social Security and Medicare, they are actually drawing out much more, especially relative to later generations. That's because politicians have voted to award the seniors ever more generous benefits. As a result, while today's 65-year-olds will receive on average net lifetime benefits of $327,400, children born now will suffer net lifetime losses of $420,600 as they struggle to pay the bills of aging Americans.
One of the great ironies of the Obama presidency is that it has been a disaster for the young people who form the core of his political coalition. High unemployment is paired with exploding debt that they will have to finance whenever they eventually find jobs.
Druckenmiller is touring college campuses to make kids aware of the debt trap they're marching into.  If entitlements are not reformed, they'll be reformed for us as the trust funds run dry and higher interest rates drive up debt service.

You can pay now or you can pay later, but you're gonna pay.

Friday, October 18, 2013

I like this movie

"Moneyball" is on FX tonight.  Jonah Hill is good in an understated way.

That's all I got on my mind tonight.  Meh.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Facts overcome confirmation bias

Politico: "Eureka! Tea Partiers know science."  Shorter version: Yale professor is shocked to find that conservatives score higher on science literacy test than liberals.  You might say that this insulated, ivory tower egghead's stream of thought on this matter was laminar and then suddenly - bam! - his Reynolds number hit 2000 and everything was turbulent.

Whoops, I kinda veered into Tea Party-speak there.  For my liberal friends, it was like he thought one thing but then he was like, whoa, that's not what I thought.

Yeah, this is depressingly spot-on

Vodka Pundit: "Shutdown autopsy."  The Republicans stumbled into this crisis and had no "plan B" once they were in too deep.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My deceptions have been quite clear

Associated Press: "Delaware health exchange gets first enrollee."  As Delaware's native son Joe Biden would say: "It's a big deal!"  The First State's first enrollee, by the way, doesn't exactly fit the profile of a "young invincible" that's needed to keep this scheme afloat.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Longtime Kossite achieves instant troll status

You know a story from Daily Kos is going to full of sweet, sweet schadenfreude when it's linked over at Ace of Spades.  It seems that this fellow applied for Obamacare and his monthly premium is going to double.  He petulantly claims he's cancelling his insurance and won't pay a penalty.  Then all the commenters attacked him for his apostasy.  Noice!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Accelerating generational war

I've long argued that the inexorable rise of the entitlement state will leave today's young Americans kneecapped for the future.  Social Security, Medicare, and interest on the national debt comprise a growing share of mandatory government spending that is being paid by borrowing from future generations.  The trust funds will run dry in a little more than a decade.  Now throw Obamacare into the mix and "community rating" which basically mandates that young, healthy Americans subsidize older Americans at a much higher rate than in the past.

How much longer will this go on?  The L.A. Times says "Don't trust anyone over 60 - Mandatory health coverage could be the catalyst for a new generational war."
America's healthcare system for the elderly (Medicare, plus Medicaid for nursing-home care) is already edging the country toward generational war because Washington will sooner or later be forced to choose between drastic limitations on coverage in those programs or drastic increases in taxes on the decreasing portion of working Americans. Now we're adding a parallel obligation on younger workers to subsidize healthcare for fiftysomethings.
I really wish I could convince the kids that they're being led into a fiscal Punji stick trap but they all voted for Obama because "fairness" and "hope" and junk.  And if you're an American politicians looking to get elected, to whom will you make your appeal?  The grey army that votes in huge numbers or the youngsters holding down their 29-hour work week?  Keep the machine running until it all breaks down.

Extra - Laurence Kotlikoff: "Oh, and by the way, our government is totally broke."

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Default by another name

Interesting bit of history in the WashPost as James Grant explains that "America's default on its debt is inevitable."  Why?  Because it's been done before in technical ways that devalue the dollar and leave creditors taking a haircut.  Excerpt: "In other words, the value of money has become an instrument of public policy, not an honest weight or measure. In such a setting, an old-time “default” is impossible. How can a creditor cry foul when the government to which he is lending has repeatedly said that the value of the money he lent will shrink?"

Obamacare event draws just enough so that "you" is a plural pronoun

Weekly Standard: "Only 2 people attend 'Obamacare and You' event in South Carolina."

Friday, October 11, 2013

An underrated Tarantino film

I got nothing to say, news-wise.  It's gonna go to the wire then there will be a kick-the-can moment.  In the meantime, "Jackie Brown" is on IFC right now.  What a great film, what a great soundtrack.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

It's hard out there for an Iranian scientist

You know they're already in short supply and threatened on all sides.  Fox News: "Internal plot, not Israel, eyed in latest hit on Iranian scientist."  "When a key Iranian scientist was gunned down last week, many observers figured Israeli spy agency Mossad had struck again. But new signs point to deadly intrigue within the rogue nation’s fractious leadership."

Monday, October 07, 2013

Jack Lew pays the bills

If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by around Oct. 17, Lew, who has been in the job less than a year, will have to sit at his desk and figure out how to make due on roughly one-third less in the way of government funds for the bills he has to pay. Because he can no longer borrow, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, government spending will fall by about 32 percent, or $108 billion in the first month.
Am I the only one around here shocked to discover that the federal government is borrowing one-third of every dollar it spends?  In this partial government shutdown, we're holding back on 17% of spending when we would have to nearly double that amount of cuts just to break even.

Alice in Blunderland

The Corner has the chat session transcript of poor Alice who ventured into a discussion with PGSTX0534, who assured her that there are a lot of visitors on the Obamacare web site.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Sticker shock hilarity ensued

The San Jose Mercury News had an article titled "Obamacare's winners and losers" and you can see where this story's gonna go when it opens like this:
Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.
What's that phrase about a conservative is a "liberal mugged by reality?"  A price increase of $10,000/year (not a decrease of $2500) will do that to a guy.
"I was laughing at Boehner -- until the mail came today," Waschura said.
Stop it, Tom, you're killing me!  But just like freelance artist Marilynn Gray-Raine, you'll be paying for my treatment.

Super cool

Fox News: "US military forces conduct 2 major terror raids, seize Al Qaeda leader behind 1998 embassy bombings."  "Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that a pair of raids conducted in Africa by U.S. special forces signaled the ongoing determination of the United States to bring terrorists to justice and sent the message that "members of Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can't hide."

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Reminder for Bay State Amazon customers

Starting on November 1st, Amazon will start collecting Massachusetts sales tax.  So do your Christmas shopping early.

In the meantime, we have a non-shutdown

Here's Mark Steyn:
This week’s “shutdown” of government, for example, suffers (at least for those of us curious to see it reduced to Somali levels) from the awkward fact that the overwhelming majority of the government is not shut down at all. Indeed, much of it cannot be shut down. Which is the real problem facing America. “Mandatory spending” (Social Security, Medicare, et al) is authorized in perpetuity – or, at any rate, until total societal collapse. If you throw in the interest payments on the debt, that means two-thirds of the federal budget is beyond the control of Congress’s so-called federal budget process. That’s why you’re reading government “shutdown” stories about the Panda Cam at the Washington Zoo and the first lady’s ghost-Tweeters being furloughed.
Hat tip: Axis of Right.

There will be no government

In terms of debt and our feckless national media, you could do worse than this paragraph from Niall Ferguson in the WSJ: "The shutdown is a sideshow."
Yet, entertaining as all this political drama may seem, the theater itself is indeed burning. For the fiscal position of the federal government is in fact much worse today than is commonly realized. As anyone can see who reads the most recent long-term budget outlook—published last month by the Congressional Budget Office, and almost entirely ignored by the media—the question is not if the United States will default but when and on which of its rapidly spiraling liabilities.
"Long-term economics is boring!" whines the media.  "Call us when we hit the iceberg."
True, the federal deficit has fallen to about 4% of GDP this year from its 10% peak in 2009. The bad news is that, even as discretionary expenditure has been slashed, spending on entitlements has continued to rise—and will rise inexorably in the coming years, driving the deficit back up above 6% by 2038.
President Says Stuff like to point out that discretionary spending is hitting new lows - which is true - but this is only because mandatory spending is crowding out the federal budget and we're still running huge deficits.  Should we reform entitlements to preserve some spending on schools and aircraft carriers?  Heavens, no.
A very striking feature of the latest CBO report is how much worse it is than last year's. A year ago, the CBO's extended baseline series for the federal debt in public hands projected a figure of 52% of GDP by 2038. That figure has very nearly doubled to 100%. A year ago the debt was supposed to glide down to zero by the 2070s. This year's long-run projection for 2076 is above 200%. In this devastating reassessment, a crucial role is played here by the more realistic growth assumptions used this year.
Don't worry: thanks to the partial government shutdown, President Says Stuff has recharged his blame-shifting game.  Down, down, down we go.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Only person in America who signed up for Obamacare...didn't

Reason Online has the story: "But in an exclusive phone interview this morning with Reason, Chad's father Bill contradicted virtually every major detail of the story the media can't get enough of. What's more, some of the details that Chad has released are also at odds with published rate schedules and how Obamacare officials say the enrollment system works."  Truthiness: good enough for the MSM.

Extra - Mediaite: "Chad Henderson exposes the media."

More - Twitchy: "MSM enablers promote lying liar's Obamacare fable, fail to issue corrections."

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

100% mandatory spending

Boo-hoo, there's no government.  Get ready for the real thing, sooner than you think.  Kevin Williamson: "The real debt ceiling - What will happen in a decade or so, when default becomes inevitable?"
Interest payments are the only truly mandatory spending our federal government does, even though it treats a rather large category of outlays — from such minor expenditures as the presidential salary to big-ticket items such as Social Security and Medicare — as “mandatory.” Assuming that the CBO’s less-optimistic debt-service projections are somewhat accurate, then by 2023 those outlays will be quite close to projected revenues — and that’s absent any sort of economic crisis or interest-rate spike. Put another way, if we assume that Social Security checks and other entitlement liabilities are just as sacrosanct as interest on Treasury bonds, then we are already locked in on a course in which the cost of past promises will likely match or exceed present revenues, not at some far-off point in the future, but around the time today’s elementary-school students head off to college.
But remember that the Tea Party is the real enemy here.

Shutdown theater

You've got to be kidding me: allegedly because of the "government shutdown" they're closing off the cemeteries at Normandy and other WWII sites overseas.  Because, just like the Lincoln Memorial, you can't look at granite without government assistance.

Also, the Air Force-Navy football game this weekend is in jeopardy for the optics.  And Colonial Williamsburg, which operates entirely on private funds, is closed because screw you:
The National Park Service has ordered the closure of a Virginia park that sits on federal land, even though the government provides no resources for its maintenance or operation.
And then there's the WWII heroes for contrast.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Stuff happened today

Sometimes I get home and wonder what's there to add to the mountain of commentary that's already been spread all around the Internet.  I think the shutdown is a peevish maneuver.  Count me as somebody who believes that Congress's primary responsibility is to fund the government.  Congress works for like 20 weeks a year and they can't pass a budget, which is why we keep pinballing from one continuing resolution crisis to another.  Unbelievably, even this CR that Congress is currently fighting over only funds the government for 11 weeks and then the fight starts all over again.

Meanwhile, after three-and-a-half years to prepare, the signature legislation of this Administration rolled out on a wave of glitches.  You know it's bad when an MSNBC reporter can't sign up for the Obamacare exchange online and then is put on hold for a half-hour.  Meanwhile, Judicial Watch has sued over Obama's arbitrary enforcement of his own law.

And here's a headline from my old wheelhouse Social Security: "Obama picks Romney aide who knocked his Social Security plan for Social Security board."  This is the advisory board that Obama ignores anyway, so it's pretty meaningless.

How about those Pittsburgh Pirates?  Good on them.