Monday, August 31, 2009

So, How's That Federal Reserve Bank Doing.....

....or more aptly; What is the Federal Reserve doing to the dollar? Erik Voorhees has some thoughts on that here, and a very powerful graph. A sample:

While we all take inflation as a "given" - as something that "just happens" in the economy - this belief is utterly incorrect. Inflation, which is the loss of value in your saved dollars, is caused by the Federal Reserve through its management of the money supply. Next time you see Ben Bernanke on the television telling you that they "will take the necessary steps" to help the country, consider their track record so far, and their dismal failure at their stated objective: preserving the value of America's money.

And of course a picture is always worth a thousand words, whatever the value of a dollar may be:

Read the whole thing.
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Day Obamacare - Died?

Paul Shanklin does another one of his great satirical take-offs on a well known song:

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

MSNBC & The Great Liberal Narrative: The Truth About The Tyranny of Political Correctness

Bill Whittle hits another one out of the park over at PJTV. This one is about the dishonesty of the MSM and its promotion of "politically correct" narratives.

Watch it here.
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Cash for Clunkers Hits the Trifecta

Great quote posted by Jim Lindgren over at the Volokh Conspiracy:

"Cash for Clunkers" appears to be a bizarre combination of the "broken windows fallacy," the desire to change the climate of the planet, and staggering administrative incompetence. In other words, "Cash for Clunkers" hits the trifecta: bad economics, bad science, and bad government."

While it's in quotes, he doesn't say who said it. Whoever it is, he nailed it. Go check out the post. There's YouTube video of the cruel execution of an innocent Corvette.
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

In Government We Trust? No, Says Daniel Henninger

Daniel Henninger's weekly Wonderland column in the Wall Street Journal is a must-read today.

"Ronald Reagan used to joke that the nine most terrifying words in the English language were 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' Barack Obama is making those words welcome."

No he's not. The public reaction to the health-care proposal, evident both in public-opinion polls and town halls, tells us that the misgivings Ronald Reagan identified 25 years ago remain a potent factor in American politics. There's a reason why the United States motto on the back of its currency reads "In God We Trust," not the other G-word.

The left likes to say that conservatives hate government. The truth, and it holds for many people beyond conservatism, is closer to what Alfred Hitchcock said when he was accused of hating the police. "I'm not against the police," Hitchcock said, "I'm just afraid of them."

Read the whole thing
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Healthcare Debate and the Banality of Evil

Blogger Matt Holzmann talks about the health care reform effort now underway and how it relates to Hannah Arendt's 1962 observations about the "banality of evil". It's worth reading the whole thing, particularly the part about the recent death of a relative in England and how her fate was decided by a bureaucrat and a formula. He also summarized rather well the pass we have come to in this debate:

The fact is that today, our government is highly constricted in its financial options. We have already indebted ourselves to a point where we can no longer finance that debt. Medicare, according to the Congressional Budget Office, which is controlled by the above mentioned leadership, will go bankrupt in 8 years. Social Security is predicted to do the same in the 2030’s. The CBO also has calculated that any of the bills now under consideration would cost as much as $1 trillion. So we have the two largest safety net programs yet undertaken by our government bankrupted by irresponsible government borrowing and poor management, and Congress own accountants predicting runaway costs. The president cited the Post Office as a comparison in speech to his undefined health care proposal in Portsmouth, NH last week. How can he and our leaders fail to see the analogies? How can they fail to see the potential for collapse and the terrible pain it might cause? This should be one of the most serious discussions of our time and there is no discussion.

The warning signs are all around us. We are faced with a health care system that needs reform. So many issues have been identified in the public debate that serious, measurable reform may now be possible. Ideas are coming from all sides. And yet we are faced with a pigheaded, partisan leadership that is basically preparing to tell the rest of us to go to hell and ram through another highly defective piece of legislation without scrutiny and without debate. The financial system bailouts and Stimulus Bill and Cap & Trade bill all point clearly towards where this will end up.

Read the whole thing.
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O's "O" Gets Turned Around On Him

Glenn Reyolds occasionally likes to post the following chart showing the deficits under GW Bush and those projected under Obama:

(I'll point out one more time that as bad as the Bush era deficits were, they were on the way down until 2007. That's when the Democrats took over both houses of Congress and all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives.)

Bill Whittle posted a video at PJTV the other day on Iconography, and how symbols can be turned around. It's definitely worth the 8 minutes you will take to watch it, but here is a great example of what he's talking about, the same chart as above but using Obama's famous "O" icon against him:


Created and published by Gunzip.
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Friday, August 14, 2009

TEA Party Video - A Warning to Congress Not to Underestimate the American People....

...Others have made that mistake.

An Alabama woman asked her teenage son for help in putting together a video advertizement for the April 15 TEA Party she was helping to organize. About an hour at the laptop later this is what he delivered:

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Whole Foods Prescription for Healthcare Reform

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey had an op-ed published in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. The piece is about his prescription for out healthcare system. It's dead on. It's also what a lot of Republican lawmakers have proposed, contrary to assertions by the Democrats that they have no proposals of their own. (Question; If a Republican with a good idea speaks up, can a Democrat hear him?) Mackey's proposal, the short version:
  • Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).
  • Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.
  • Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.
  • Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.
  • Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
  • Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost.
  • Enact Medicare reform.
  • Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren't covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
Click through and read the whole thing.
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Friday, August 07, 2009

Obamacare From the Perspective of a Practicing Physician

I found this article in the American Thinker, written by an Atlanta opthalmologist, talking about the problems with Obamacare from the perspective of a practicing physician. Click through and read the article, it's excellent. There are also some very enlightening comments by other doctors. One in particular jumped out at me though:

Posted by: dermdoc --> Aug 06, 11:10 AM

In the early 1990's, a woman, a mother in her early 50's was dying of cancer. She had advanced cancer, must have not received screening services (LACK OF PREVENTIVE SERVICES). She likely received chemotherapy, toxic nasty stuff, still her best hope. Her oncologists did their best. Why would they not. She suffered. Her son watched as she did. He watched as she died. Yes, she did die (BAD OUTCOME). Sad.

The cost for her care? lots! Costs of medicine (greedy pharmaceuticals) hospital care, physician fees (greedy doctors) surely significant. Outcome no good, she died. He thinks, why should there BE payment for a bad outcome? Makes little sense to him. Her son is grieving as he should. Still, he's facing a big bill. Pre-existing issues involved. Unpleasant experience. The son is incensed. He does not forget this horrible experience. It' s his mother! She raised him. His father abandoned him/them when he (the boy) was very young, went back to Kenya.

Please understand my fellow MD's, this is personal!

This says a lot about what is driving The Won to me.
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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Impossible Promises - John Stossel on Obamacare

John Stossel has an article about Obama's healthcare plan posted at Reason Online. It's right on target. This point on the difference between insurance and welfare is about as succinct an explanation as I've seen about why insurance companies don't cover pre-existing conditions:

The New York Times describes a key part of the House bill: "Lawmakers of both parties agree on the need to rein in private insurance companies by banning underwriting practices that have prevented millions of Americans from obtaining affordable insurance. Insurers would, for example, have to accept all applicants and could not charge higher premiums because of a person's medical history or current illness.

"No more evil "cherry-picking." No more "discrimination against the sick. But that's not insurance. Insurance is the pooling of resources to cover the cost of a possible but by no means certain misfortune befalling a given individual. Government-subsidized coverage for people already sick is welfare. We can debate whether this is good, but let's discuss it honestly. Calling welfare "insurance" muddies thinking.

Read the whole thing.
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Physician Senators Talk About Healthcare "Reform"

There are two US Senators, both Republicans, who are also physicians, Senator John Barrasso MD and Senator Tom Coburn MD. They have been appearing in a series of videos, available on YouTube, talking about the Democrats healthcare reform plans. It's good to listen to senators who, for a change, actually have a clue what they are talking about.

One point they touch on that I'd like to emphasize is that when the government lowers Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors and then claims "cost savings", nothing of the kind is occurring. What is occurring is cost shifting. Costs don't go away just because the magic government unicorns wave them out of existence, they just get shifted to someone else. Either other patients pay them in higher prices for their own healthcare or the doctor's practice absorbs them. Either way, it amounts to a tax on private healthcare. The "negotiating power" of govenrment is a fiction. The government dictates and you take or leave. If the Democrats succeed in their plans for a total government takeover of the healthcare system, there will be nobody to shift the costs to and therefore the availability of healthcare will decrease. See Canada and Great Britain.

Here is the video. It's about 22 minutes, but worth your time to watch.

(via Instapundit)
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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What Mob Rule Actually Looks Like

The latest Democrat talking point is that the large groups of TEA Party and other like-minded people showing up at town hall meetings to confront democratic politicians on the healthcare plan are resorting to "mob rule". Michelle Malkin does us the courtesy of showing us what angry mobs really look like.
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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Barbara Oakley on Why Most Journalists Are Democrats

In an article ind Psychology Today entitled "Why Most Journalists Are Democrats: A View from the Soviet Socialist Trenches", medical and biological engineering professor, Dr. Barbara Oakley talks about the psychology of conformism, self-selection and why most journalists identify as Democrats. It's worth reading the whole article but this is a point that jumped out at me:

"As far as investigating the dark side of the Major Issues, there’s a critically important concept that students of journalism are rarely taught. It’s easy to find any number of targets to write about in capitalist societies with an open press. But totalitarian governments are journalistic black holes. Journalists can tickle their self-righteous neurocircuitry every day (and many do), by exposing easy-to-find faults in democratic societies. But beyond their event horizon is the bigger story that often remains untold as it occurs—the horrific deaths of millions in totalitarian regimes like the former Soviet Union, Communist China, North Korea and, yes, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. That’s why, when Robert Conquest was asked whether he wanted to retitle his updated The Great Terror, about the Soviet purges, his answer was: Yes, how about I Told You So, You Fucking Fools?"

(via Instapundit)
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Monday, August 03, 2009

America's Healthcare System - Better (by a long way) Than the Left Would Have You Believe

The left likes to repeat the phrase "our broken healthcare system" like it's a mantra (remember, repeat the lie often enough and people start to believe it). Well here are ten reasons why our healthcare system is much better than they claim. They don't care about health, or care, just power over the individual.

(via Instapundit)
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Sunday, August 02, 2009

More Tom McClintock - Video of House Floor Speech

Yesterday I posted on a speech by Libertarian / Republican Congressman Tom McClintock. I may have heard of him before but really didn't know anything about him. So what do we do when we want to find something out these days? We google and we find interesting things like a YouTube clip of a speech he made about Cap & TradeTax on the floor of the House posted over at LibertarianRepublican. We've made a mutual discovery as author Eric Dondero happened on and linked to my post as well. So, Eric, right back at you. Here is the video. There's a lot more good stuff over there, so check it out.
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Saturday, August 01, 2009

California's Morality Play in Three Acts

California 4th District Libertarian/Republican Tom McClintock gave a speech to the Competitive Enterprise Institute on July 10. In it, he chronicles how the once great state of California came to be in its present sorry condition and what lessons we should learn from it. Instead of learning though, he is watching as the Democrat controlled US House of Representatives (led by the odious California liberal Nancy Pelosi) making all the same mistakes.

I should also warn you of the strange sense of déjà-vu that I have every day on the House floor as I watch the same folly and blunders that wrecked California now being passed with reckless abandon in this Congress.

We passed a “Cash-for-Clunkers” bill the other day – we did that years ago in California.

Doubling the entire debt every five years? Been there.

Increasing spending at unsustainable rates? Done that.

Save-the-Planet-Carbon-Dioxide restrictions? Got the T-Shirt.

To understand how these policies can utterly destroy an economy and bankrupt a government, you have to remember the Golden State in its Golden Age.

A generation ago, California spent about half what it does today AFTER adjusting for both inflation and population growth.

And yet, we had the finest highway system in the world and the finest public school system in the country. California offered a FREE university education to every Californian who wanted one. We produced water and electricity so cheaply that many communities didn’t bother to measure the stuff. Our unemployment rate consistently ran well below the national rate and its diversified economy was nearly recession-proof.

One thing – and one thing only – has changed in those years: public policy. The political Left gradually gained dominance over California’s government and has imposed a disastrous agenda of radical and retrograde policies that have destroyed the quality of life that Californians once took for granted.

It's a lengthy speech, but well worth your time to read.

(Hat tip to Bob)
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The Betrayal of Sarah Palin

John Hawkins has an excellent piece up at Pajamas Media about why Sarah Palin fans feel betrayed. The only word I can take exception to in the whole article is "slyly".
To be conservative is to be betrayed on a regular basis. You send your kids to a school that tries to slyly indoctrinate them into liberalism, you come home to watch an “unbiased” news show that covers almost every story differently based on whether a Republican or Democrat is involved, and then you try to unwind by watching TV shows that take guarded shots at the values you cherish.

Eventually, election time rolls around and you get two candidates, a Republican and a Democrat, both of whom claim that they want to slash the deficit, oppose gay marriage, and are dead serious about securing the border. Then, when they start governing, you find that the liberals are always lying — but even the Republicans turn out to be fudging on what they believe as often as not. Sun Tzu once said that “all war is deception,” but as far as conservatives are concerned, the same could be said of politics and the media.

This becomes especially frustrating because of the double standard that’s present in politics today. On any given day, a decent conservative can make a single gaffe that ruins his career, while liberals like Ted Kennedy can overcome despicable incidents like Chappaquiddick and emerge unscathed.

Then along came Sarah Palin, whom most conservatives viewed as the lone bright spot of the 2008 campaign. Here’s a woman that many conservatives identify with not only because they believe she really shares their values, but because she is genuinely what so many other politicians pretend to be. She’s a person who got where she is based on merit and she found success without the advantage of being born in the right family, being wealthy, or being given a break because she went to an Ivy League school.
Read it all.
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