Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Little Bit of Lye

This could be one of the greatest lyrics ever written.  Seriously.
“Sellin’ hope’s like sellin’ soap, son I’ll tell you why — you can’t make either one without a little bit of lye.”
My only comment...a little bit...???

They Think They Own You. Seriously.

If you are so inclined, please immerse yourself in the details of the bone marrow donation controversy, it's somewhat interesting.

But if you are not so inclined, here is a brief takeaway that you should take note of.  The DOJ is fighting a court ruling on this basis: “bone marrow is a public resource”.

Yup.  Stuff that is inside your body is a public resource, which means, as we all know, it belongs to the government.

Take them seriously folks.  They think they own you, down to the cells that make up your body.

Obama's Double Diabolical Move: Appease the Mullahs, Demonize Israel

Check out Bret Stephens fundamental analysis of Obama's disastrous deal with Iran here, it's well worth your time for its spot-on historical and geo-political calculus.

But what caught my eye was a tidbit from Caroline Glick that had been worrying me, but that has not been getting much attention.
Clearly, Obama did not spend the last year trying to build domestic American support for a deal that enables the regime that calls daily for the annihilation of America to become a nuclear power. With Iran building military bases all over Central and South America, Obama never bothered trying to make the case to the American people that they would be more secure with this regime in possession of the capacity to kill millions of Americans with one bomb.

Obama never stood before the Congress to explain how a deal that gives America’s Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program advances US national security. He never explained how allowing Iran to continue to enrich uranium decreases the likelihood of war.
Obama did this all on his own.  There is no fundamental demand for this deal emanating from the American people.  And he didn't even attempt to tell us what he was doing, not directly nor through our elected representatives.  Not wonder that there is bipartisan opposition building in Congress.  We have a foreign policy conducted within the mind of one man.

Of course, it wouldn't be Obama without casting those that disagree as demons, which Glick spells out.
So what did Obama need the last year for? If he wasn’t concerned with getting a less dangerous deal, and he didn’t care what the American people though about his facilitation of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, what prevented him from okaying the agreement last year? To ascertain the answer, it is worth considering Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s comments Sunday morning. Beyond noting the nuclear deal’s danger to Israel’s security, Lapid said, “I am worried not only over the deal but that we have lost the world’s attention.”

And indeed, Israel has lost the world’s attention. Its appropriately deep concerns over Iran’s nuclear behavior were belittled, ignored and derided, first and foremost by the Obama administration. Worse than belittling Israel’s concerns, which are completely shared by the Sunni Arab world, Obama and Kerry have castigated as warmongers those Americans who agree with Israel’s concerns and have attacked them as traitors who seek to push America into an unnecessary war.
This is an age-old leftist trope - if you are not satisfied with a phony peace, you are out for war.  They had to prepare the ground with this sort of rhetoric to be in a position to jam this agreement on the world, which doesn't appear to be swallowing it too well.

Uh Oh.

Wow.  It's official, the Pope is a socialist. Depressing.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Are We Strong Enough To Admit It America? Barack Obama Is Awful, But He Is OUR Fault

This is an especially apt time to repeat what I said long ago...
I have said it before and I will say it again, the story is not that Obama is not up to the job, the real story is that we (not me, but the electorate) ever thought for a moment that he was. Let me be as shockingly blunt and raw as I can - Obama's election was the mother of all affirmative action hires, and it is working out about as well as most affirmative actions hires work out. There I said it. It's probably what most Americans think but would never dare say, justifiably so perhaps. But we should be beyond the point of bowing to political correctness for perception's sake. This is our country we are talking about and we gave it over to a wholly unqualified - dangerously unqualified - man. As Mark Steyn has said, "The election of Barack Obama was a fundamentally unserious act by the US electorate..." The first step in recovery is to admit we have a problem. I sure hope all the rubes are admitting they have a problem.


I said that countries would backtrack on global warmist policy nonsense in an effort to increase their economic competitiveness.  I've cited ongoing evidence of this, here is just the latest.
Much of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic revival strategy is still on the drawing board, but earlier this month he helped his cause by abandoning Tokyo's 2009 pledge to reduce the country's carbon emissions by 25% from 1990 levels by 2020.
The only formalized international effort to combat global warming climate change was the Kyoto Protocol, as in Kyoto, Japan.  The fact that Japan is going back on emissions commitments is, symbolically at least, devastating.

And, once upon a time, I said this  (btw, definitely worth a click-through if you're into strolling down the memory lane of Obama's unbridled arrogance.):
As long-time readers of this blog know, I have advanced the theory - from almost the very moment that Barack Obama was elected - that he would be a disastrous President and that he would destroy the Democratic Party.
Well, I just found this.
The Hill reports on a raucous meeting of House chiefs of staff yesterday. The room, it says, was “seething with anger over the immense damage being done to the Democratic party” by Obamacare. One chief of staff declared, “this either gets fixed or it could be the demise of the Democratic Party.”

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fat and Ugly, Albeit Rich, Lecher Says America Is Embarassing

Common Core Is So Awesome We Have to Call Its Critics Racists

Maybe because "white suburban moms" are the leading segment of society in a very special category:  giving a shit about education.

My own experience - as someone who uses alot of math in my day to day activities, and who took alot of pretty high level math instruction - is that, at the very least, Common Core's math instruction is pretty damn awful.  And I sit down with the Baseball Tykes every night going over math.

But, you know, I'm a white suburban guy, so fuck what I have to say.

It Would Wreck Their Worldview to Think Otherwise

I've been jabbing Walter Russell Mead for some time here, wondering how such a perspicacious critic of Obama's domestic and foreign policy and chronic doomsayer in re the "Blue Model" could have voted for this fraud to begin with.

Alas, others are publicly scratching their heads at this too.
And much as I love Walter Russell Mead, I note that he voted for this guy, and blandly assumed that an Ivy League pedigree was some sort of assurance of competence. Not so much. And it’s not as if the signs weren’t there, for those able to see them.
I've had some thoughts in this regard, ya' know.

Climate Extortion Rolls On

As readers of NBfPB know, the global warming, sorry climate change, sorry, climate chaos movement is to a large degree about poor countries extorting lots of money from rich countries.  It was hoped this extortion could be codified into a global treaty that would give the global wealth redistribution a legal guise.

That movement is dead in the water and yet poor nations are not giving up their desire for rent-seeking filthy lucre out of a soft touch rich West.  And the typhoon in the Philippines, tragic as it was, is being used as an excuse to rev up the extortion engine again.

The typhoon that killed thousands of people in the Philippines has energized debate about whether rich nations should compensate poor ones for climate-related losses, a proposal the U.S. and European Union are resisting. 
Yeah, we're resisting.  We send billions in aid, much of which is lost to corruption and waste.  Rich countries are OK with this an understand that this money is largely wasted, but they aren't going to formalize the transfer unless they get what they want too, which is international legitimacy to gain more control of their economies back at home.  As it is, developing countries believe that western global warmist policies would force them to curtail their development, which they ain't gonna do.  As such, why would the developed powers like the US hand over billions if these pesky developing countries aren't gonna be lock, stock and barrel committed to global warmism?  If you are the US under Obama, you want developing countries to sign up to be the climate equivalents of welfare queens.  You can't be skeptics and have the money too.  And so we go back and forth.

Expect more of this every time there is really bad weather.

Are ObamaBots Really This Stupid? Apparently Yes.

I read the stupidest thing I've ever read over the weekend.  I felt, because I likely was, stupider after having read it.  I had to do something to get smarter again, but I didn't have time to read something edifying, so I had a brief chat with my 12 year old daughter, which sufficed.

I don't have the time to convey to you just how stupid this defense of the Policy Canceler in Chief was, but Rick Moran does, check it out.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Charles Barkley Always Spurs Interesting Discussions on Race

“Listen, what I do with my black friends is not up to white America to dictate to me what’s appropriate and inappropriate.”
Fair enough.  Now, let me ask a question.

Is what I do with my white friends up to black America to dictate to me what's appropriate and inappropriate?

I suspect Charles would agree, but alas, most of elitist society doesn't.  They absolutely want to determine to what extent your private conduct is appropriate.  That is what the whole Paula Dean thing was about.  Imagine if Paula had said, "what I do white my white friends is not up to black America to dictate to me what’s appropriate and inappropriate."  An epic public skewering would have been inevitable.

As it turns out, she did the opposite, she self-flagellated herself quite publicly, and got the skewering anyway.

See the dilemma here for white America?  It's a double standard with increasingly brutal consequences.  Frankly we're pretty sick of it.  This annoyance is expressed in multiple ways.  Buying Paula's book in solidarity for instance.  Another is retreating from this ridiculous phony "conversation on race" that the elite racialists keep insisting we have.  The only way to not lose the game is not to play, which is why in multiple subtle ways much of white America has checked out of the discussion.  Concern about race relations and mutual well-being is just not that high on the priority list because the elite opinion-makers have rigged the game.  So don't bitch to me about the lack of progress on race relations in America.  Progress requires willing parties, and the racialists have created a massive unwilling party by setting up lose-lose rules of public discourse.

Sorry, but I'm afraid unless you unrig the rules of engagement, it's going to stay this way.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Romney's Psychic Powers

Remember when Obama thought that Romney was unfit for the oval office?

Tyrant to Peons: 12 Months, I Will Allow It, for 12 Months

You can have your silly insurance plans for twelve more months.

Lincoln, Lightworking Lies, and Brainwashing the Kiddies

Every parent with young kids that is even modestly attuned to the left-wing indoctrination going on within the public school system knows about TFK.  That's Time for Kids. TFK is a major tool of indoctrination that is subtly and not-so-subtly attempting to fill our kids' heads with leftist gibberish.  It's a running joke with me and the ever-ravishing Mrs. Baseball when a new issue of TFK comes home.  'Just how are they going to work in Barack Obama this time?' we ask each other.  The story could be about the endangered Polynesian inch worm (there's alot of PC environmental garbage in TFK) and they'll figure out how to work in multiple references to the Lightworker.

Anyway, so the latest issue comes home and it's about the Gettysburg Address, which, of course, is apropos as the 150th anniversary is coming up.  And what comes to mind for the editors of TFK when contemplating this speech for the ages and Lincoln's greatness?  Well, Barack Obama, of course.  So naturally, there are no less than three references to Dear Leader in the article, as well as a giant sidebar featuring commentary from Jon Favreau, speechwriter to Barack Obama.

And Yet.

Yet, Barack Obama is studiously avoiding the commemorative events, which the White House appears to be giving the same level of official dignity as the swearing in of a new President of Uruguay.  Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Dan Henninger captures the give-a-shit ethos emanating from the administration that so studiously associated itself with Lincoln in the early days.
The White House recently whispered out the back door that President Obama would not appear in Pennsylvania next Tuesday at the ceremonies for the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The political betting had been that this was a big-speech venue whose glow Mr. Obama would not want to miss. The higher-road expectation was that this particular Civil War anniversary required the presence of this particular American president. It's not happening. The administration's official attendee will be Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. 
Henninger hints that this must be hard for a guy who feels the need to speechify at every turn in American life to pass on this chance to yammer at us again.  I disagree.  The nods to Lincoln during the 2008 campaign and throughout his first term were of a piece with all the lies and sundry phoninesses that we were made to swallow.  The moderation, the unity inducing centrism, the world-healing coolness, the economic perspicacity...the constitutional lawyer ala Lincoln. 

Unadulterated bullshit, all of it. 

Now that he's been elected and re-elected, he is free to get off the train, drop the mask, end the charade.  He no more admires Lincoln or reflects his values than a man on the moon.  Henninger again...
Lincoln's phrase, "a new birth of freedom," suggests a radical freedom. The Civil War had shaken the nation out of its unfree state, and Lincoln was asserting that America would now pursue an even higher state of freedom. But what would be the shape and content of this radical American freedom?
The clue may be found in the one word favored in all presidents' speeches—"we." There is general agreement that "we" is shorthand for "We the People" of the U.S. Constitution's Preamble. There is less consensus on what that phrase was intended to mean.
We know what President Obama thinks it means. In every speech given during his presidency, and in virtually every policy direction he has proposed in those speeches, it is clear that when Mr. Obama says "we," he means the federal government acting at its seat of power in Washington, D.C.
For Mr. Obama, and many others, "We the People" means not the Union of sovereign states, the Union for which a civil war was fought, but the single political agency of the national government. Had he decided to show up Tuesday in Gettsyburg, Mr. Obama would have repeated his belief that American freedom flows forward from acts taken by one national government, itself defining and administering the collective will of some inchoate force called "we."
Frankly, it is probably best.  Obama's presence would sully the whole thing for many Americans, myself certainly included.  It's best that the injustice of associating this loathsome man with one of America's greatest presidents cease altogether...at least for us adults who don't have TFK jammed on us.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Markets and ObamaCare

Two big breakout moves for the stock market today, the first at about 12:20pm and another at about 3:15pm and gathering steam here just before the close.

As many of you know, I have been and continue to predict an inverse relationship between the Lightworker's political fortunes and the stock market, notably here.  The release of the disastrous ObamaCare enrollment numbers today are, IMO, the cause of the second breakout (look at the volume spike).  These numbers are hard data that puts Obama's political troubles in stark relief, and the markets are cheered.  The law will be changed, only a matter of how much.

Guns Vs. Healthcare

So, this comparison made the big time getting billing over at the Drudge Report.

You heard it here first folks.

Was This The Big Clinton Knife?

Well, well, well.  It's time to revive an old theme here at NBfPB.  I make alot of predictions and am often right, but also often directionally right yet off on the details.

Leading up to the 2012 election, I was convinced, through careful observation and analysis, that the Clinton clan was intent on obliterating Barack Obama from the scene.  This is for two reasons, 1) the enormous Clinton ego, and 2) the health of the Democratic Party, which Obama was/is in the process of destroying.  Naturally, I saw the most logical path for a Clinton take-down was to undermine the Lightworker's re-election and I predicted that Obama would lose re-election as the Clinton's withdrew support and Obama was left with nothing but his lousy record.

Obviously I got that call wrong.  However, now I am seeing that I might have been directionally right all along.  The Clintons are still intent on destroying Obama.  Removing him from office was not the game, obliterating him from history is apparently the game.

Bubba might have just stuck a fork in the Era of Obama.  Obama has nothing left save ObamaCare.  It is the only thing he's got to his name, everything else he's touched has turned to dust.  Yet ObamaCare hangs only by the threads of its theoretical appeal.  People like the idea of healthcare reform and like the idea of a slightly better healthcare safety net.  But the actual provisions of ObamaCare are destructive; they are causing and will cause revulsion among the American people.  Should the reality of ObamaCare sour its nominal appeal, the age of Obama is over - it sure has been neat that we have our first black President, now can we get this disastrous man off the stage?  That is effectively what Bubba has just said, let's go back, let's reset, ignore what has just happened.

I see now where the Clinton end zone is.  Obviously, it is somewhat about Hillary, but it is much more than that.  It is to ensure that Obama is an historical footnote, a nullity in the pantheon of the nation, twice elected but conquering of nothing. The Clinton game is that the history is written thus: among multi-term Democratic presidents there is FDR's iconic New Deal and WW2 leadership, Clintonian prosperity, and that embarrassing Obama episode.

Richard Cohen and the Tea Party's Real Gag Reflex

In the course of whining he'd been slandered, Richard Cohen commits a slander.
“What I was doing was expressing not my own views but those of extreme right-wing Republican tea party people. I don’t have a problem with interracial marriage or same-sex marriage. In fact, I exult in them. It’s a slander”
As an aged WaPo columnist and a resident of New York City, Cohen would know a Tea Partier if it bit him on ass.  Once again now for the slow learners, the Tea Party is a movement centered on a political philosophy of smaller, constitutionally guided government and the reduced tax and debt burden that ought to go along with it.  It is in no way, shape or form a social policy movement in the direct sense, it seeks only to reduce the power of the government in order to preserve the liberty of the citizenry.

If you are so mentally convoluted that you equate more freedom with racism and you believe silliness like not paying for Sandra Fluke's birth control pills is anti-woman, then the problem is yours.  Don't take you mental stultification out on the Tea Party.

Tea Partiers are the nicest bunch of folks you'll ever meet.  Much nicer than the hate-filled progressive left or the arrogant urban elite left to which Cohen belongs.  If the Tea Party is inclined to revulsion and gag reflexes at all, it is at the elitist dickheads like Cohen who don't know what the f**k they're talking about and yet feel no compunction in hurling the worst kind of slanders at people who disagree with them politically.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Europe Starts Backing Away from Idiotic Climate Policies

France.  Nukes.  Keeping them.
The French government won’t shut any more of Electricite de France SA’s nuclear reactors after the country’s oldest plant closes in three years, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said.
The pledge undercuts President Francois Hollande’s promise, made in last year’s election campaign, to trim France’s atomic output to half of total energy production by about 2025 from 75 percent now. Montebourg’s comments will also be a boon to state-controlled EDF, which with 58 French reactors and another under construction is the biggest nuclear operator in the world.
“Nuclear offers a competitive advantage for the performance of France’s industrial base,” the minister said. “Our nuclear investment allows us to have competitive energy costs, less than elsewhere.” ...
The Socialist campaign pledge to reduce France’s dependence on atomic power emerged from a political accord with the anti-nuclear Greens and has provoked objections from trade unions.
Translation, this green stupidity is killing our competitiveness (such as it is), so screw it.

Where have I heard this before, oh yeah...
Furthermore, those in thrall to the religion of climate change will wake up; expect Europe to drastically improve its competitiveness by jettisoning decades of wrong-headed warmist policy.

WRM: Global Warming Is Over and the Blue Model (i.e. Democrats) Are Killing the Future

Walter Russell Mead on the next global climate confab: let's not and say we did.
As the staggering global climate movement continues to fall apart, yet another pointless UN meeting looks to get bogged down in procedural wrangling. Each one of these meetings is less ambitious, and comes with less hoopla and hope than before. 
I've been on this and have, in fact, proclaimed the whole laughable spectacle dead.

Also, it is worth noting that life-long Democrat WRM also says America has to stop eating its young, which, after a long read, can be summed up as America needs to stop voting for Democrats (blue state Democrats to be precise, but these days I am not sure there are any other kind).

Millenials: The Government Doesn't Think Very Much of You

So, what I can determine is that, in the eyes of our paternalistic progressive government, young males are beer-swilling, neanderthal frat boys, and young females just wanna have them some sex.

Transparent attempt to sucker those young healthies into the raw deal that is Obamacare.  Honestly, on the available evidence, they may be on to something, the millenials just might be dumb enough to fall for it.

Love To Say "I Told Ya So"

Barry Ritholtz is a well-known purveyor of bloggish financial commentary, and, now, a new columnist over at Al Hunt's Journolistic Hive Mind.  Ritholtz is not, in general, my cup of tea but in this column he makes a point I have made many times (maybe because it is obvious to those who are somewhat analytically minded who are not part of the MSM hive mind) - under Obamanomics life is good for owners but crappy for workers.

You've heard it all here many times before.

Anyway, read Ritholtz's column and determine whether this analysis is any more wonderful/valuable under the Bloomberg News banner than it was the, oh, ten or twelve times I offered it up here at NBfPB.

Is Venezuela Finally Going Over the Falls?

I've been charting the disintegration of Venezuela almost since the beginning of this blog eight years ago.  If you've read Hayek's Road to Serfdom or been even marginally familiar with the history of Soviet Russia, you could have predicted Venezuela's demise with stunning accuracy. 

Has any country ever followed the classic playbook of self-destruction as faithfully and fallen apart as predictably as Venezuela?

In the latest, the military has taken over an electronics chain in order ensure "fair" prices on things like wide screen TVs.  I don't have to go into how stupid this policy is, but suffice it to say that the bond market, which has been surprisingly unconcerned about Venezuelan socialism for some time, is taking notice.
Venezuelan bonds tumbled, sending yields to a 22-month high, after President Nicolas Maduro dispatched the military to take over a retail chain as part of his effort to quell inflation that’s soared above 50 percent.
The country’s benchmark bonds due 2027 fell 3.75 cents to 72.25 cents on the dollar as Maduro’s seizure of electronics retailer Daka and his warnings to other businesses to cut prices to “fair” levels deepened investor concern that growth is being choked off by government controls. Yields on the bonds soared 0.76 percentage point to 13.79 percent, the highest since January 2012, at 12:38 p.m. in New York.
Maduro, who took over as president this year after his socialist mentor Hugo Chavez died of cancer, is stiffening government-imposed price controls that have contributed to food and goods shortages across the South American country. Maduro blamed the “parasitic bourgeoisie” and said he’d impose limits on profit margins throughout the economy after inflation surged to 54 percent in October, the fastest pace in 16 years.
Chavez ruined the country but was at least able to paper over the destruction with his charisma.  Maduro won't be able to do the same.  This could the beginning of the end for Chavismo.

All Part of the Plan

Anybody on Earth is eligible for Medicaid?  Don't know, but read and decide for yourself.

Why would the government do this?  Even if you are a raging bleeding-heart lib, this level of fraud and waste would take resources away from the priorities that you do care about, right?  Right.  But that is not the plan of the Obamacrats.

With Apologies to Prof Reynolds: We Are In the Very best of Hands

In talking to you, dear readers, about the Debt Theory of Inflation, I mentioned that one of the appeals of the theory, at least to my mind, is that almost zero of the ruling elites believe in it. 

Believing in the right vs. the wrong theory is just one issue.  A second issue is one of competence and execution.  The Fed is wholeheartedly committed, ideologically, to activist monetary stimulus.  But are they capable of the practical execution of this theory?  This confessional tell-all in the WSJ does not inspire confidence.  Money tidbit:
In its almost 100-year history, the Fed had never bought one mortgage bond. Now my program was buying so many each day through active, unscripted trading that we constantly risked driving bond prices too high and crashing global confidence in key financial markets. We were working feverishly to preserve the impression that the Fed knew what it was doing.

Euro Asshats Becoming Self-Aware?

I brook no whining from Euroweenies bitching about what a disaster Barack Obama is to the world order because their preening weeniedom was a major factor in foisting this shithead upon the world, and I pointed this out several times.

In another bout of whining, it appears that, at least in some quarters, the Europeans are finally being honest with themselves and happily reaching a point of self-awareness.
In Germany, Die Welt, a consistently pro-American newspaper, regretted things were now at a point where it appeared the U.S. was trying to confirm every prejudice against it. This was happening, the paper’s publisher wrote in a front-page editorial last month, “under an American president who was once longed for in Europe like the Messiah, and whom Old Europeans finally saw as one—a president who didn’t arrive wearing Texas cowboy boots, and instead tucked his copy of Kant under his pillow. But that was fiction.”
Maybe in the future they won't be so smugly dismissive of the cowboy boots, but probably not.

The Scrubs Are Playing the Game Against Iran

Risk analyst turned geo-political commentary writer David Goldman, aka Spengler, psychoanalyzed Barack Obama rather handily as a "sociopath dominated by strong women." 

I chalked up the whole Iranian negotiations debacle to the fact that Obama was being dominated by John Kerry, which would be consistent with Goldman's theory.  Alas, there is an actual woman behind the rolling capitulation to the mullahs.  Her name is Wendy Sherman, and whether she is "strong" is an open question.  However, whether she is having her ass handed to her by savvy and powerful Middle Eastern men, who probably loathe and despise her with every ounce of their being, is not an open question.

Read more about this sad bureaucrat here and here.  It'd be funny if it weren't so frightening.

Did someone say something about the C Team?  Yup.

Why Johnny Has Poor Communiation Skills and Is Not Employable

Despite all efforts to shield their ineptitude via the supportive media and a tsunami of edu-jargon, our public schools are doing a terrible job.  We know about the armies of illiterates that our big city educational systems are churning out.  Now, meet the armies of putatively educated who employers won't hire because they can't communicate.
Can you tell a pronoun from a participle; use commas correctly in long sentences; describe the difference between its and it's?
If not, you have plenty of company in the world of job seekers. Despite stubbornly high unemployment, many employers complain that they can't find qualified candidates for the jobs they do have.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Semi-Delicious Twist In Gonzaga Students' Ordeal

College students are consistent marks for criminals - they are more often not quite naive, generally affluent, and not likely to pose a risk of violence in their self defense.  Thus this story out of Gonzaga University.  Two students disincentivized a would-be robber/assailant from victimizing them with armed self-defense.  Gonzaga made a big deal of potentially punishing these students, but in the end, only gave them probation.  I suppose this is because the students broke no laws.

In a delicious final twist on the story, it appears the two students have substantial belief in their position and actions, as well as gumption.  Their firearms remain in the hands of campus security, which confiscated them at 2 a.m. after the incident.
That came at 2 a.m. the following day, when the two men awoke to pounding on their bedroom doors.
It was campus security. They entered the home, went upstairs to the bedrooms and hammered on the doors, telling them to give up the weapons, the students said.
The officers confiscated McIntosh’s Glock and Fagan’s shotgun, which he uses for hunting and sport shooting. The guns still haven’t been returned to the men...
and now for the delicious part...
and the two reported them stolen to Spokane police.
I'm not sure what claim the University has for property seizure in this instance. I'm not a lawyer but I am pretty sure that a code of conduct violation does not allow for asset forfeiture.

Full deliciousness comes when Spokane Police are reluctantly forced to force campus security to return the firearms to their owners.

Gun Shots In Bryant Park About As Ominous As It Gets

We couldn't ask for a more symbolically fraught news event as we stand on the precipice of the DeBlasio administration than an open-air murder attempt mayhem at Bryant Park.

I don't think any locale in the city symbolizes the transformation from the drug-addled, dystopian nightmare of New York City in the bad old days to the rejuvenated, safest big city in America New York of the Guiliani/Bloomberg era.  "Needle Park" as it was known was a hive of the drug trade and a wasteland of homeless junkies that threatened innocent passers-by.  It was a "no go zone."  Right there, in the heart of midtown Manhattan, adjacent to one of the city's best recognized landmarks and top cultural institutions, was a park that all sensible people studiously steered clear of.  It was the essence of tragic municipal dysfunction.

And then came the transformation.  Bryant Park today is a treasure for New Yorkers, a valued respite during the workday and a culturally and socially rich venue on nights and weekends.  You really cannot understate the vastness of the improvement from Needle Park to today's reclaimed Bryant Park. 

A 15 year old witness, who wasn't alive to know what Needle Park was all about, nonetheless, captures the city's understanding of Bryant Park and the NYC of the last two decades.
Shocked skater Brenda Sabater, 15, of Manhattan, called the park “the safest place you could be.” 
“This is the last place I thought something like this could happen,” she said. “I’ve seen stuff like this happen, but never in a place I felt safe.”
The big question - is this a sign of things to come?  Will DeBlasio's give a shit attitude toward quality of life policing turn back the clock?  Will we revert to Needle Park, or some 21st century facsimile thereof, again?

Pictures Speak Truth

Via Powerline H/T, we learn of this fantastically telling graphic
It is, of course, much like this comparison.


ObamaCare's Repeal

So, last week I predicted that ObamaCare will be repealed or so altered as to represent effective repeal.

Today, Steven Hayward puts a little more meat on that bone in Forbes. Hayward attributes the coming repeal more to scared-shitless Democrats rather than to civic revulsion/disobedience.  Both are factors.

Further to My "5 Pillars of the New Financial Reality"

#3 of my 5 pillars of the new financial reality contained the tidbit noted in bold below...
3) Global Warming Is Dead - From a policy perspective that is.  The climate will do what it does but there ain't gonna be a re-ordering of the global economy cooked up by the warmists.  If you've been scared out of energy investments by the incessant bleating of global warmists, you've got to get back in.  The world needs energy and it can't afford phony energy, so get invested in energy that works.  So don't invest in solar or wind or any of that garbage (if any of it does turn out to actually work, the Exxons of the world will wind up owning it ultimately anyway).  Furthermore, those in thrall to the religion of climate change will wake up; expect Europe to drastically improve its competitiveness by jettisoning decades of wrong-headed warmist policy.
Along those lines, I present this.
Europe’s green energy dream has become a green energy nightmare to some, as renewable energy subsidies have driven up power prices for households and businesses.
This led one German newspaper to claim that electricity has become a “luxury good” in the country and Europe’s top energy CEOs are warning that renewable subsidies could lead to continent-wide blackouts.
“Most of the European countries are scaling back their subsidies because it’s crushing them,” said Thomas Pyle, president of the free-market Institute for Energy Research.

Obama and Stocks...Again

Bloomberg has a story, which Drudge gives the coveted headline spot, on how stocks have zoomed under the Lightworker.  This is just one of many stories that imply that stock investors somehow love Barack Obama, his stewardship and his policies. 

Long time readers will know that I have offered an alternative view - that, despite re-election, Barack Obama's popularity has gone consistently down and his power has consistently ebbed since the day he took office.  Even at the supposed height of his influence, he had to scrape, scrounge and have Harry Reid pull a few sneaky tricks to get his signature legislation through.  Beyond that his accomplishments have been nearly nil, and, in my view, the stock market loves it.  I have presented the data tracking Dear Leader's approval rating and the stock market here and here.

Moreover, I described how Obama came into the oval office on a wave of popularity and with Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress.  The market expected three major pieces of legislation: ObamaCare, Card Check, Cap and Trade.  After November 2010, it was clear that we'd get only one. 
Remember what we were staring down the barrel of during the first two years of the Obama administration: 1) ObamaCare, 2) Card Check 3) Cap & Trade. This represented a triple-barrel threat to the economy. We got ObamaCare (and businesses are nearly universally saying that it is a job-killer) but we avoided Card Check and Cap & Trade legislation by virtue of electing a bunch of Republicans to the Congress.
Against this backdrop, I have repeatedly highlighted how the Obamacrats are conducting an economic policy agenda that is geared towards owners and holders of capital and that is terrible for workers.

Upon re-election, the market had a brief pull back thinking that Obama's agenda had new momentum.  Almost immediately however, Hopeandchange 2.0 was bogged down in scandal and disillusionment (uninspiring cabinet appointments - Kerry, Lew, Hagel - having alot to do with it), and the market renewed its upward climb.

Finally, I have declared that stocks are set to continue to zoom ahead, as the Obama era is effectively over.   The crashing and burning of ObamaCare upon its public debut only confirms and deepens this conclusion.  The market can see that ObamaCare will not survive in its current form and is taking heart that this economically destructive law's burdens will be lessened, perhaps substantially.

Friday, November 08, 2013

The F**ked Up Exchanges Are Already Screwing With the Small Group Healthcare Market

My small business uses a broker to shop around for health insurance.  Our policy was cancelled due to ObamaCare as I mentioned (Aetna, so helpfully, has offered us an ObamaCare compliant policy for only 6% more*.)  I asked our broker to shop around to see if we could do better than that Aetna option.  Sure, they said.  Well, I just got this.
We usually have access to the January rates by November 1st and have been able to present you with your options by now.  Delays with Exchange websites have caused the non-exchange system to suffer as well and some of the carriers have not provided their rates.  
The carriers are putting most of their energy into getting the exchange sites working and we believe this is the reason for the delay. We are checking the carrier sites frequently so that when the rates are available we will access them immediately. As soon as we have more information we will let you know. 
So, no shopping around for the time being.  This is no huge biggie, just another medicine dropper drop of turd on this Everest-sized steaming pile.

*  6% is only the latest increase.  I've been getting increases for two years now, since Obamacare was passed.  My costs are up over 100% from pre-ObamaCare levels.

Dangerous Times

Here is what I said in aftermath of the Lightworker's re-election.

We deserve everything we get - depression, chaos, war, inflation, loss of liberty, social strife. It's coming and we deserve every last ounce. We have voted and we will get what we deserve...good and hard, I might add.
We don't have exactly that list, but we have economic malaise, impending war (even if only a phony war), rising interest rates, a frighteningly expansive and expanding surveillance state, IRS political targeting scandal, Benghazi stone-walling, and racial tensions aplenty after the fomenting of the Trayvonesty and the Chris Lane thrill killing in Oklahoma (which, I might add, is already down the MSM memory hole).  Add to that executive branch lawlessness, and I'd say I was dead on.

Was as easy a call I have ever made.  Enjoy it America!
Even in an attenuated form, ObamaCare is spreading its tender mercies across the land and we are on the cusp of an historic sellout of Israel in favor of fundamentalist Islamic Iran.  Malaise.  War.

I am looking more right by the day, sadly.

Prediction: ObamaCare Will Be Repealed

Or altered so much as to effectively repeal it.

Even when people can sign up, whenever that is, they won't.  They will refuse to sign up for expensive ObamaCare compliant policies, they will go without.  They will refuse to pay the penalty and they will throw a groundswell of political support behind 2014's roster of "repeal ObamaCare" candidates for Congress.  The Policy Canceller in Chief will be forced into negotiating reform legislation.

How much opponents of ObamaCare get in those negotiations is hard to predict.  It depends on how much leverage they have at that time and how good at negotiating they are.  And other factors as well.

But I am not predicting an end result, I am predicting a process - massive resistance, even mild civil disobedience, toward ObamaCare, plus feeble results makes the law as is untenable.

From the "No Shit Sherlock" File

Of course, they could have figured this out by observing that a third of the "uninsured" pre-ObamaCare made over $50,000 a year but just didn't want it and a third were between jobs and would have insurance if it was portable.
A new Gallup poll brings more terrible news for President Obama and his signature health plan. Only 22% of uninsured Americans intend to buy insurance through the ObamaCare exchanges. One of the major selling points for using ObamaCare to disrupt our health care system (that polls showed up to 80% of Americans were satisfied with), was to insure the uninsured. But according to this poll, only a very small minority of that small minority is even interested in being insured.
That assumes that insuring the uninsured was the goal, which it was not.  It was never about that, but that's what they had to tell all the rubes in order to get it passed - that, and you can keep your plan.  And bending the cost curve.  And it would create jobs.  Oh, and that it would create medical innovation.  And...

The goals were "controlling the people" and wealth redistribution

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Cool: I Might Be Able to Skip the ObamaCare Mandate

Sorry 99%ers.  I know that you are still smarting over the fact that you are going to help me, an off and on 1%er (some years are better than others!), buy a nice house, but I have some more unwelcome news.

I might be immune from the ObamaCare mandate penalty/tax/whatever thingy.  Yup.

Under normal circumstances, the IRS has broad powers to collect taxes from those who don't pay what they owe. It can charge civil and criminal penalties, impose liens, and seize assets and bank accounts.
But ObamaCare specifically blocks the IRS from using these enforcement tools when it comes to collecting any unpaid ObamaCare tax penalties.
These restrictions "make it unlikely the IRS can effectively enforce the individual mandate," according to a detailed analysis of the tax penalty by Jordan Barry and Bryan Camp, law professors at the University of San Diego and Texas Tech University, respectively.
"The individual mandate," they conclude, "may not actually be mandatory after all."
Naturally, I'm going to get some tax advice on this, but it looks like all the IRS can do to enforce the ObamaCare mandate is withhold refunds.  For those whose tax circumstances are such that they are never in a position to claim a refund (owners of LLCs are usually never getting a refund), it might be possible to skirt the mandate penalty/tax thingy.

Chances are I am going to buy health insurance anyway.  I've already been notified that my policy is going to be cancelled due to ObamaCare, but not to worry, because they have a nice, compliant policy for me that is only 6% more expensive.  (That is only the case because I live in New York.  Us New Yorkers were getting screwed well before ObamaCare came along, so the sticker shock post-Obamacare is less than in other states.)  It's not a good deal for me, but it is not egregious enough yet for me to self-insure.  That could change however. I might decide to put aside a nice tidy sum as a reserve against healthcare spending, take my chances, and keep the dough should we all stay healthy.  Knowing that I could skirt the penalty might be the deciding factor in such a decision.

Now, before you get all critical on me (look at the greedy 1%er sabotaging ObamaCare!) this is the same situation with the expansion of Medicare at the state level.  ObamaCare was either sloppily written and/or written the way it was so that it could pass constitutional muster. States choosing not to expand Medicare are within their rights to do so as the law  is written (the LAW OF THE LAND, I might add).  States have no obligation to account for sloppily written law and/or cede a constitutional prerogative if they don't have to.  The individual mandate is written as it is and its constitutional survival is dependent on a precise SCOTUS interpretation.  I have no obligation to account for a sloppily-written law and/or to cede a constitutional right by handing over a check that I don't have to.

Sorry if this makes you mad.  Maybe there should have been more thought put into this thing...

Dumb Rubes Get What They Ask For, Then Totally Miss Point

Read this.  It's amazing.
San Francisco architect Lee Hammack says he and his wife, JoEllen Brothers, are “cradle Democrats.” They have donated to the liberal group Organizing for America and worked the phone banks a year ago for President Obama’s re-election.
The couple — Lee, 60, and JoEllen, 59 — have been paying $550 a month for their health coverage — a plan that offers solid coverage, not one of the skimpy plans Obama has criticized. But recently, Kaiser informed them the plan would be canceled at the end of the year because it did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The couple would need to find another one. The cost would be around double what they pay now, but the benefits would be worse.
Dumb rubes.  No sympathy from me.  Collectivists like collectivism until they are collectivised.  The putatively compassionate want compassion until they are sent the bill.  Loss of freedom is no biggie until your freedom is taken away.  More government is great until dictates come in the mail and you are lost in the bureaucratic maze.

These people are getting exactly what they have believed in all their lives.  They are getting exactly what they voted for.  And sadly, they don't see it, their first reaction is to plead to the authorities for relief.  In other words, all they desire is to be on the inside, not to have freedom to choose, but to be a crony.
That’s little comfort to Hammack. He’s written to California’s senators and his representative, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., asking for help.
To have sympathy for these people is a judgement call - they seem like nice, reasonably intelligent people, but the bottom line is that these people believe things that aren't so.  (Obligatory Reagan quote here.)
“We believe that the Act is good for health care, the economy, & the future of our nation. However, ACA options for middle income individuals ages 59 & 60 are unaffordable.
Just because they believed these things, doesn't make them so.  There are consequences to being wrong, to making a faulty analysis, and these people made a faulty analysis regarding the intersection of healthcare policy and progressive political goals.  They are not alone, many did.  And the consequences are here.  I have no problem with consequences, people make choices, thus I have little sympathy for people who lament the predictable consequences of their actions and beliefs.

ObamaCare was always and everywhere about wealth redistribution with a little coercion thrown in.  Nobody should be shocked when a little of their wealth gets redistributed, coercively.  And nobody should have thought they were immune because they were on the "good side" as no doubt these people feel about themselves.  Leftism eats its own.  So Hammack and Brothers were really wrong/naive on two counts.

Again: There Is No Compassion In a Collapsed System

Venezuela's health system is collapsing.  I noted a while back that Greece's health system was collapsing.

All this has an important point - all these systems were brought under government control in the name, at least nominally, of compassion.  (That was the ostensible reason, the reason more consistent with human nature is that advocates sought control and power for its own sake.)  But even if you buy the compassion line, how compassionate is it to build a system that is destined to fail catastrophically?  It's not compassionate in the least, it is in fact highly irresponsible, immoral even.

ObamaCare is showing all the signs of being an unstable and unworkable edifice.  The more unstable it truly is, the more uncompassionate it truly is.  With each passing day, the putative "compassion" supposedly inherent in ObamaCare is leaking away.

UPDATE:  And it is not just the healthcare system that has collapsed in Greece.  The entire social fabric looks like its in deep yogurt.  Hey, did somebody say that "statism always carries with it a fatal case of civic rot"?  Um, yes, someone did.

Slowly Learning the Obvious

James Taranto:
That’s what America gets for electing a president with charisma but no known skills apart (arguably) from delivering speeches.
Where have I heard that before?
That anybody expected even the most basic level of governance from Obama, let alone monumental and transformative things, is the story of greatest import here. And it is not that the hope, dreams and expectations placed into the Obama vessel were so grand, it is that the vessel that is Obama is so small. I have said it before - in November of '08 I said we bought ourselves a pig in a poke...
disappointment and pain is what we deserve given that we elected a man of no consequence and no achievement to the highest office in the land. Why we expected a man with no discernable track record or proven record of leadership to lead and to achieve in the name of this massive and complex society is a story of historical proportions. Did we think that plucking just any man off the street - essentially what we did - to wield enormous power was wise? And a young man to boot. And a man who never held a job at a profit-making organization. Why did we think that the wisdom acquired over a long life and the first hand knowledge of commerce gained by private sector work somehow weren't relevant anymore? Why did we think that - after over 200 years of electing (with a few exceptions) staid, boring, but presumably wise, adults, who could draw to them the counsel and assistance of many more wise, older adults - we needed a rock star of relative adolescence? Why did we think that a man with no knowledge of the private sector would lead a mostly private sector nation out of a severe economic slump? Why did we think that a man who consorted with raving America-haters would inspire a mostly proud and patriotic nation to excellence? Why did we think that a man who views our role in the world as flawed would draw our allies nearer to us? Why did we think these things?

'Nough Said

Best post-election analysis/comment:
Christie is obviously an anomaly in New Jersey and before we get too deep in the weeds about what motivated the electorate there remember this: New Jersey’s senators are a guy who likes underage foreign hookers and a dude with an imaginary friend.
And, in a sense, Bill DeBlasio is the price we New Yorkers will have to pay for having banished Weiner and Spitzer.  It'll be a heavy price, but killing off the scumbags in politics has, at least, some value.  It'd be nice if we could thump the scumbags AND avoid deluded, unreformed socialists, but, well...life is full of trade-offs, I guess.

MSM Is Wrong, The Tea Party Is Not Dead

Well, the MSM is in full cry declaring the Tea Party dead in the water because Ken Cuccinelli lost and Chris Christie won.  I happen to think this isn't even close to true, but let's assume for a minute that it is.  What are the implications?

Mainly, that we are that much closer to going broke.  The Tea Party represents the only political force that is even remotely concerned about federal solvency and the slow demise of our economy under our crushing debt.  If you are a small government conservative, who or what, exactly, is going to get us where we are going?  John Boehner?  Mitch McConnell?  Sorry, but nope and nope.

If the Tea Party is dead, the odds of a national fiscal crisis go way up.  Beyond that the slow ongoing erosion of liberty will continue.  Cancelled health insurance, followed by a new, more expensive policy is just the beginning.  The end of the road are things like nationalized healthcare, Argentina-style theft of private assets, etc.  All this is bad enough, but this degree of statism always carries with it a fatal case of civic rot.  The Tea Party is nominally concerned about our financial trajectory, but in essence is about our overall civic health.

The Tea Party Versus The Rot

In his tiny, focused classic Communism Richard Pipes illuminates the moral rot that infected the Soviet Union after years of Communism: "Lying became a means of survival, and from lying to cheating was one small step. Social ethics, which make possible a civil society, were shattered. No moral onus was attached to stealing. This manner of thinking led to the corruption of the whole nation."

In his great article delving into the Greek sovereign debt crisis, Michael Lewis describes a similar rot that has infected quasi-socialist Greece: "The Greek state was not just corrupt but also corrupting. Once you saw how it worked you could understand a phenomenon which otherwise made no sense at all: the difficulty Greek people have saying a kind word about one another. Individual Greeks are delightful: funny, warm, smart, and good company. I left two dozen interviews saying to myself, “What great people!” They do not share the sentiment about one another: the hardest thing to do in Greece is to get one Greek to compliment another behind his back. No success of any kind is regarded without suspicion. Everyone is pretty sure everyone is cheating on his taxes, or bribing politicians, or taking bribes, or lying about the value of his real estate. And this total absence of faith in one another is self-reinforcing. The epidemic of lying and cheating and stealing makes any sort of civic life impossible; the collapse of civic life only encourages more lying, cheating, and stealing."

The Soviet Union and modern Greece do not share this degraded civic state by coincidence. Complete civic rot is a feature of socialism, an unavoidable result of that governing system's destructive force. Thus Ludwig Von Mises rightly notes that socialism is not an alternative to capitalism, it is an abyss: "A man who chooses between drinking a glass of milk and a glass of a solution of potassium cyanide does not choose between two beverages; he chooses between life and death. A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings." (HT: Carpe Diem)

Don't think it can happen here? Just take a look at the size and broken state of our entitlements, our public pension crisis, the bitter struggle emerging between those who finance the system and those who feed off of it and how that struggle has polluted our politics. Politics in America today is not about solving our problems, it is solely about taking away and handing out money. It is simply about who finances what for whom and the rot is setting in; you can't have a civil discussion about fiscal priorities - i.e. Chris Christie has to wage all out war to keep from spending billions more than the state has, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino gets sued by the County Board to stop from cutting $160 million out of a $1.8 billion budget. You can't say "wait a second" regarding the gargantuan and growing expenditure of resources that we don't have without incurring the vicious ire of whole swaths of our society. Question teacher pensions in New York and you can be sure that transit cops in California and sanitation workers in Seattle will hate your guts. It's early but the rot is showing early signs of arriving on these shores. The Tea Partiers see it, that is why they are so passionate, that is why they emblazon themselves with Founding Era garb and slogans, and why they are so keen to find ways to succeed - they are out to cleanse the system before the rot gets worse. It is a restoration project and the stakes are so high. When people say we could "end up like Greece" they are talking about unsustainable debt levels but the real danger is not the debt but the civic rot that lies underneath that allows the debt to pile up so high that it buries the nation. Well before we get to Greek-like debt levels, the rot will be so bad that there will be no turning back. The Tea Party is going to ensure we don't get remotely close to that point.
The Tea Party is a new political movement and as such it will display some political immaturity from time to time and it will have teething pains, but beyond the core positions of smaller, constitutionally-faithful government ask yourself - is what we need as a nation really more of the high art of political sophistication?  Isn't that what got us to this pass?  The Tea Party may be lacking in  political strategy expertise, but that, to me, is one of its great appeals - it's just people, wanting government to answer to them, not the other way around.

I don't see that notion as dead in the water, not by a long shot.  And, trust me, this isn't the first time the MSM will have gotten it wrong.

UPDATE:  Christie bucking up the Tea Party?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


We haven't had a good "UNEXPECTEDLY!" lately, so let's travel across the pond for the unexpectedly good economic news out of the UK.
U.K. services growth unexpectedly accelerated to the fastest pace in 16 years in October as the economy showed signs of pulling away from the rest of Europe.
A gauge of activity rose to 62.5 from 60.3 in September, the highest since May 1997, Markit Economics said today in London. The report came as the European Commission forecast the U.K. economy will grow 2.2 percent next year, twice the pace of the euro area and more than Germany and France.
Unexpected because the journalistic and policy elite believe deeply in all manner of Keynesian nonsense.  Elites have spouted rubbish for years now (from the Cameron government's first day to be precise) about how ever-so-slightly reining in Britain's atrocious budget deficits and debt would bring a hellfire of economic woe.  (Of course, I predicted the silliness.)  Cameron's Britain has been one of the few European governments to even attempt to get a handle on fiscal policy in a responsible and logical way by cutting profligacy and wastefulness.  The results are encouraging and the elites scratch their heads, 'Gee, that's unexpected.'

Precisely the opposite of what is going on here - fiscally disastrous Keynesian spending nuttiness and it's "unexpected" when the economy sputters.

Maybe it's time to reevaluate how they set their own expectations?  Nah.

"Bullying" Has Jumped the Shark

"Bullying" is the latest obsession of educational establishment because, of course, they need something to focus on other than actually educating students.  Naturally, the educrats talk about "bullying" like it some new phenomenon that they have perspicaciously uncovered and are now intent on solving for the benefit of all.  Thus the wave of 'awareness' programs - posters, skits, taking time away from, say, math to talk about it.

Of course though, bullying isn't a new problem.  It is an age old problem, with age old solutions.  Contrary to the wooly-headed modern bureaucratic mindset, the hard truth is that in many cases, the solution to bullying is an aggressive stance of self-defense and a personal insistence on being treated, if not with dignity, with benign indifference; and, this stance just might have to be backed up with the prospect of physical confrontation.

The reason this is such a tricky situation is that among children there are large divergences in physical development and strength.  Often the bullied are not in a position to use physical strength to insist on proper treatment, or, more likely, lack the confidence to make a stance for better treatment despite physical differences.  But, if you were a 312 lbs. man standing 6'5'' (and athletically conditioned to boot), you would think that this would not be an issue.  One would think that such an imposing man (making an assumption as to manhood here though) could make demands upon a tormentor based on both reason and the prospect of a physical confrontation. 

But you would be wrong.  Alas the educrats are going to laud Martin as a good example for going to the proper authorities to adjudicate the situation.  This is poppycock.  In life, there isn't always a review board or blue-ribbon commission to judge and enforce interpersonal conduct.  If you go through life always looking for perceived justice at the hands of some third parties, a) you will get it fleetingly and inconsistently and b) you won't develop the ability to solve your own problems.  You'll be a person constantly lost in a swirl of bureaucratic processes as life moves past you at normal speed.

I'm sure Jonathan Martin thinks that Richie Incognito got what he deserved, and he probably did, at the hands of the proper authorities, the NFL and the Dolphins organization.  However, who is ever going to treat Jonathan Martin with the purest form of personal dignity, that which is demanded and/or earned through human interaction rather than through fear of third party, quasi-judicial remedies?  Not many.  For Jonathan Martin, that is a serious personal loss, and so it will be for our children as well if they take Jonathan Martin's example to heart.

UPDATE:  Antrell Rolle is on the same page
“… You know, at this level, you’re a man. You’re not a little boy. You’re not a freshman in college. You’re a man. So I think everything has its limits. So there’s no way that another man is gonna make me pay for something that I choose not to pay for.”
Rolle hopes that Martin is able to get back on the field, but again, he reiterated he believes the second-year player deserves some blame.
“Hopefully he’s able to bounce back and recover from all that has happened and understand it, and take awareness of, you know, that, you’re a grown-a– man,” Rolle said. “You need to stand up for yourself.”
How f**ked up are we that this isn't obvious to all?

Monday, November 04, 2013

Man Cannot Live On Bread Alone...Nor Woman

In ten years she'll be bitching that 'all the good ones are taken.'  Or she'll have a crappy marriage.  Or both.

Sadly, she's too young and stupid to realize she won't remember a single detail of any of these five star meals.  But have so much as a Pop Tart with someone who bestills your beating heart, and you remember every last crumb...

Obama's Bullshit Has Gotten to 12 Year Old Girl Territory

Does anybody believe this bullshit anymore?

I never believed ANY of the bullshit, but this is now beyond what should even be a standard libtard's bullshit threshold.

I mean if your 12 year old - and that is about the level we're at - came home with this kind of BS, you'd laugh your ass off and send them to their rooms to do some homework, no?

Another Election to Watch - Westchester County, NY

When Chris Christie won in NJ back in 2009 and started garnering all sorts of press as a Republican intent on reforming alot of the blueishness that makes a blue state blue, I drew attention to Rob Astorino who ran and won for Westchester County Executive.  Rob is sort of a Christie Mini-Me, not because he is any less capable, but only because Westchester County is smaller than the state of New Jersey.  Rob had a simple "Stop the Madness" message and defeated an opponent with the most recognizable name in politics in Westchester.  Rob has governed sensibly, but inauspiciously because his energies have been hijacked and sapped keeping the Feds at bay in Westchester.  Read about that here.

Now Rob is running for re-election and it is playing out as you would expect.  His opponent is a union-backed scumbag career politician whose supporters are pulling out all of the cheap plays in the Democrats juvenile playbook, like stealing yard signs.

But this year, they have a new trick - smearing any Republican as a "Tea Party Republican."  As you may know, I certainly don't see the "Tea Party" label as a smear, but in these here parts (we are in the heart of New York TimesLand) it is a smear to all the NPRbots who make this state blue.  So, Bramson supporters have printed up and have been placing yard signs that falsely appear to be from the Astorino campaign advertising him as a self-professed "Tea Party Republican." (Frankly, I have no beef whatsoever if Astorino was as Tea Partyish as Ted Cruz, but he isn't.  Still, the way the game is played matters.  Bramson's dirty tricks are typical of the thuggish left and if you expect anything less than thuggish government from these characters, well, you deserve what you get - like, for instance, cancelled health insurance...)

Why is this important?  Well, it is important in an of itself if you live in Westchester - it's the difference between a fiscally sensible governing program versus Democratic business as usual, all-about-the-unions program, nominally administered by a hack politician.  But it is also about the future.  As a presumably successful two-term  Westchester County Executive, Astorino will have the chops to perhaps get the New York governor's mansion back in Republican hands.  More than the chops, perhaps even the electoral numbers.  Downstate voters are NY Republican's Achilles Heel.  If Rob could take enough downstate votes via name recognition and successful governance and combine those with largely Republican leaning upstaters into a political base, that would be a formula to defeat all but the most formidable Democrat.  And behind Andy Cuomo, there aren't alot of formidable potential opponents on the Democratic bench.

It all comes down to THE MAP.   Republicans need someone who can naturally win in the green areas of that map and blunt the advantage of Democrats in the white areas.  Rob could be that someone. That is why the unions and the Dems are out to destroy Rob now, to deny him that second term.  And why this is one election to watch along with the governors race in Virginia.

Finally Someone Other Than Me: Stop Coddling the Elderly

"Stop coddling the elderly" says Bob Samuelson, the very not-right-wing economic columnist.
It has long been obvious that the 65-and-over population doesn't fit the Depression-era stereotype of being uniformly poor, sickly and helpless. Like under-65 Americans, those 65 and over are diverse. Some are poor, sickly and dependent. Many more are financially comfortable (or rich), in reasonably good health and more self-reliant than not. With life expectancy of 19 years at age 65, most face many years of government-subsidized retirement. The stereotype survives because it's politically useful. It protects those subsidies. It discourages us from asking: Are they all desirable or deserved? For whom? At what age?
Kinda like when I said that we are going bankrupt buying hip replacements for the richest cohort of people to ever walk the Earth.
We will self destruct if we run trillion dollar deficits by giving the wealthiest cohort of individuals to ever walk the Earth free artificial joints and unneeded retirement income, which is what Medicare and Social Security amount to.

I'm talking first principles.  Why do we do things?  At the basic level.  Why? 
Short answer:  AARP.  Once upon a time, they were a smallish lobbying group mostly representing an actual and somewhat deserving constituency.  Now, they are a near impervious back-room power player run by a bunch of professional lefty redistributionists with only a tangential motivation in serving their nominal constituency's best interests.

We Have a Culture that Promotes Stasis

Thoughts on why we can't do great things any more.

I've touched on this before.

And it's not just building things, it's creating art too.  This weekend I listened to Etta James's great song I'd Rather Go Blind.  Does anyone think that an artist could or would write such a song today?  Nobody would for fear of what the American Council for the Blind would do or say and how the culture would react.

Upstate New York Losing Children

Is upstate New York dying?  Maybe not, but it is pretty darned sick.  That's because it is ruled by elitist down-staters and handful of union drones in a handful of dead or dying upstate cities.  There are 8 million New Yorkers would live in one of the reddest states in America if they were freed from the 11 million other New Yorkers who make it one of the bluest states in America.  I've blogged this numerous times, most notably here where THE MAP says it all.

The Laughable Notion of the "iPod Presidency"

I have not read Megan McArdle's latest article, but I certainly will*.  Although I must take extreme exception to the crazy notion of the, putative, "iPod Presidency."   This is one of those ridiculous memes fostered by the mythmakers in the MSM, similar to "Camelot" in respect to all things Kennedy.

Let's quickly deconstruct.  The iPod is both a technological wonder and the very pinnacle of a marketing success.  Thus it is one of those rare business cases where innovation intersects with brilliant business execution.  This is rare even in the business world that is inhabited by legions of die-hard businesspeople.  Obama is a man who has never held a real job.  He has never had to think about technological innovation other than to use it.  He has never had any experience marketing anything other than running for political office, in which he sold himself, or more truthfully, a myth of himself.

Obama and the iPod are polar opposites.  The iPod is new.  Obama is largely old, discredited ideas repackaged as new.  The iPod is real and it works.  Obama is a myth and, as we are discovering, does not quite work - from Middle East policy, to ObamaCare, to economic policy, to corruption of the federal bureaucracy.

Thus, the iPod Presidency is a joke.

* McArdle has become required reading.  She is the financial journalism equivalent of doing squats at the gym.  If you're not doing squats, you are wasting you time.  If you are not reading MM, same basically.

Democrats Propose Enslaving Doctors

I foresaw that doctors would refuse Medicare patients en masse in the wake of ObamaCare, and I forsaw that this would be a major policy problem for the statist left in terms of healthcare policy.  I said they'd likely resort to their least attractive political instinct, coercion.
What is the government's response when a large chunk of the very best doctors tell patients who carry a government insurance card to beat it? Can the government demand that these doctors treat patients? Is this practical, let alone constitutional? I doubt it.
Well, it looks like Dems are revving up the coercion machine as ObamaCare hits the skids.
As a sign of what may be to come as ObamaCare crumbles before our eyes, a Democratic candidate for the House of Delegates in Virginia has suggested legislation to force doctors to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients. 
And, of course, we know what this policy really is...slavery.

UPDATE:  More here, and it won't surprise that Reagan was way ahead on this notion.

Friday, November 01, 2013

13 Republican Governors Looking Smart, John Kasich Not Among Them

BTW, the Governors - all Republicans - who opted to refuse the Medicaid expansion provisions of ObamaCare are looking like effing geniuses right now.  Geniuses.

Washington Free Beacon writer Ellison Barber told Megyn Kelly on Friday that surging Medicaid enrollments, rather than sign-ups for private insurance, threaten to derail ObamaCare. 
“Clearly, if they’re not enrolling in the exchanges … that undercuts the entire picture that (the administration) presented: that enrollment was being successful at the state program, because (people) were enrolling in an entirely different program,” she said on "The Kelly File." 
That’s a major problem, Barber explained, because the system is unsustainable if only sick people are collecting insurance subsidies and Medicaid.  “If you don’t have healthy people paying into the exchanges, then the entire system will collapse,” she said. 
And unlike the federal government, which can run a budget deficit, nearly all states have balanced budget provisions – which severely curtails their spending flexibility when it comes to accommodating all the new Medicaid recipients. 
“(The states) cannot expand spending, even if they want to,” she said. “To have to care for all these people on Medicaid now, when they haven’t planned for it in their budget, they’re either going to have to raise taxes, raise income payroll taxes, or cut things from other spending, like roads, schools and things like that.”
John Kasich, not so much.

Prediction:  Look for Kasich to find a way to purposefully lose the lawsuits now arraying against his decision..."Whoops, sorry, we can't do this Medicaid thing...the court said!"

Lightworker: Prepare for the Global Warming that Isn't Happening, Or Else

The science, which lefties are now happy to ignore, says that the Earth's surface temperatures haven't risen in 17 years despite significant increases in greenhouse gas emissions.  Furthermore, Obama is now at his low ebb of popularity and power.

So what does he do?  Issue executive orders relating to "climate change" that represent a massive usurpation of power that properly belongs to Congress.

Read Dan Henninger's column of this past Thursday.  This is government by cramdown.  Don't like it? Tough shit.  I won.  Tripartite government?  Tough shit.  I'm the President.

It no longer suffices to point out that if a Republican acted this way, the media would rain down oceans of very public, loud and noisy angst over the impending right wing tyranny.

It suffices to resist.

The functional equivalent to MOLON LABE in reference to over-reaching environmental regulation is in order.

The Latest From the Free and Independent Press

This was CNBC's lead story a moment ago. 

Frankly, I don't see how this is anything other than a commercial for ObamaCare/Healthcare.gov.

And how dumb is this...?
Is your health insurance getting the boot with the Obamacare launch?
Don't freak out.
Check to see if you are 'grandfathered'
If your current policy is "grandfathered," you can keep it.
Grandfathered policies are ones in effect when the president signed the Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010, and that have not changed premium or out-of-pocket costs since.
If your health insurance got cancelled, BY DEFINITION you are not grandfathered.

Holy Crap, who writes this stuff?!

Why Are We Still Acting Surprised?

Why are we (OK, it's just the media mostly) still feigning shock and surprise that ObamaCare is a clusterfuck?

It was only ever going to be thus.  It was foreordained.  It was a certainty.  These utopian schemes never work.

I guess the answer to that question is the same as why we ever expected the economy to get better under the administration of a crazy lefty who has never had a real job.

I remember reading somewhere about long-time journalist Jerry Nachman, in reference to the media, saying that 80% of the stories they report are in some way about government ineptitude and yet somehow everyone in the media is pro-government.

One of life's great mysteries.

Michael Barone Schools Befuddled Lefty

Michael Barone is a gentlman, which is, of course, why he would never say that liberal journalist Timothy Noah might just be the stupidest guy writing putative political commentary today. 

But he could.

Because Noah scratches his head at the single most prominent and obvious demographic trend playing out in these United States over the last several decades - people are leaving the Northeast.  Or, as George Will has pointed out, with ostensible precision, the country is moving south and west at a rate of 1/2 mile per day.

Rather Barone restates the well understood fact that businesses and people have been leaving the Northeast for decades to escape the special amalgam of high taxes, heavy regulation, failing schools, high cost of living, corruption, unionism and crime that Northeastern liberals have cooked up for their fellow man for decades (with a brief and modest 20 year interlude courtesy of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg).
It’s not puzzling at all. The movement from high-tax, high-housing-cost states to low-tax, low-housing-cost states has been going on for more than 40 years, as I note in my new book “Shaping Our Nation: How Surges of Migration Transformed America and Its Politics.”
From 1970 to 2010, the population of New York state rose from 18 million to 19 million. In that same period, the population of Texas grew from 11 million to 25 million.
The picture is even starker if you look at major metro areas. The New York metropolitan area, including counties in New Jersey and Connecticut, rose from 17.8 million in 1970 to 19.2 million in 2010 — up 8 percent. In that time, the nation grew 52 percent.
In the same period, the four big metro areas in Texas — Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin — grew from 6 million to 15.6 million, up 160 percent.
Contrary to Noah’s inference, people don’t move away from opportunity. They move partly in response to economic incentives, but also to pursue dreams and escape nightmares.
I've seen it first hand.  I've seen numerous friends, co-workers and neighbors move away over the years and emphatically call it "escaping."  I work in finance, so I've seen the rest of country pick the NYC finance industry apart and take tens of thousands of our jobs (especially Dallas).  I see our infrastructure crumbling all around us as there is no money left after the unions gobble all the tax dollars up.  In most cases, you'd be crazy to start or run a business in New York.  Same with most of the Northeast's moribund urban centers.  Largest city in Connecticut?  Shithole.  Providence?  Bankrupt.  Philly?  Scarily dangerous.  Baltimore?  Doubly scary.  Boston?  Bureaucratic hellhole.  Jersey?  Newark at one end, Camden/Trenton at the other.  (That's coming from a proud Jersey native.) 

That's not to say that life can't be pretty good here.  It can if you make good money and are hanging on to a job in the reduced core of our two main industries - finance and media.  For the aspirant middle class though it's mostly a losing proposition.