No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Day by Day cartoon

Archive for August, 2009

August 31, 2009

Progressive or Deceptive?

by @ 5:02. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Beck has been running show after show shining light on the roaches that President Obama has brought to the White house with him.  As a result of this activity and a statement that Beck made on another Fox show saying that President Obama “was a racist,” an ultra left group has attempted to organize a boycott of advertisers of Beck’s show. 

As a counter, there have been numerous sites that have published information about advertisers who have left Beck’s show.  The idea was to counter boycott the advertisers that had removed their advertising from Beck.

I wrote to several of the advertisers telling them of my disappointment with their bowing to an obvious minority that did not believe in free speech.  I suggested that they may want to reconsider their ad buys as there were clearly more folks watching the show than those involved in any boycott.

I got responses from all of the companies.  Nearly all of them were the generic “thank you for your letter.”  From there, most of the letters said that they hadn’t pulled any advertising from Beck’s show.  I know there’s been some confusion about who has or hasn’t actually pulled anything from Beck’s show so it’s hard to say who’s telling the truth and who’s not. 

I got one response however, that I thought was pretty novel.  Here is the response I got from Progressive Insurance:

Dear Mr. Shoebox:

Recent media reports have created the incorrect impression that Progressive pulled advertising in response to specific comments made on The Glenn Beck Show, but that is not the case. The fact is that we did not intentionally place any of our advertising on the show, so when we learned that our ad had aired, we corrected the error.

Our goal is to reach a broad range of drivers to make them aware of our products and services. We value feedback on our advertising strategy, but because auto insurance is a very competitive business, we don’t discuss everything that goes into our ad placement decisions. We’d like to thank you for taking the time to express your opinion.

(emphasis mine)

So Progressive, let me see if I got this right.  You didn’t specifically ask to have your ad run on Beck.  But, when you made your purchase of a “run of network” which gives Fox the ability to decide when to run your ads and which gives you a cheaper price per ad while still getting the higher priced shows i.e. Beck’s, you were perfectly happy allowing Fox to put your ad on Beck’s show.  However, once you found out about the controversy you immediately said “don’t run our ad on Beck!” 

Interesting.  Progressive claims they didn’t “cancel” advertising with Beck, they merely “corrected a mistake.”

I always thought it was just the political “progressives” who were unable to deal with truth and facts.  Apparently, truth is hard to come by even if your name is Progressive!

August 30, 2009

Did he say 2 million jobs created/saved or 2 million jobs lost?

by @ 22:10. Filed under Economy, Politics - National.

King Banian, my favorite economics professor from St. Cloud State University, ran with the latest Office of Management and Budget projections for 2010 employment, which includes a 2010 fourth-quarter unemployment rate of 9.7%, and put together a quick-and-dirty spreadsheet (Excel 2007; those of you with Excel 2003 will either need a conversion tool from Microsoft to open or will want my Excel 2003 copy) to gauge what the projections actually mean. For those of you who can’t open Excel files, here’s a screencap of the spreadsheet:

Not only do the employment rolls drop by 1.96 million between the 4th quarter of 2008 and the 4th quarter of 2010, but the unemployment rolls increase by 4.59 million over the same 2 years. This is If you want percentage terms, employment rolls would drop 1.36%, while unemployment rolls would go up 42.96%.

That does assume that the Labor Force Participation Rate would bounce back to 66.0% from the current 65.8% and the 2009 first quarter 65.6%, which means those retiring, those without work for so long that they no longer count as “unemployed”, and others who are not part of the labor force would not increase as rapidly as the rest of the population. If the LFPR were not to bounce back as much, the employment roll drop would be even larger.

The Natives are VERY Restless!

by @ 8:17. Filed under Politics - National.

57% Would Like to Replace Entire Congress

From Rasmussen Reports

If they could vote to keep or replace the entire Congress, just 25% of voters nationwide would keep the current batch of legislators.

It appears that the American voter has tired of those in government who would be their masters.

If you’re concerned about the paragraph that says the number hasn’t changed since last year, read a little further and find:

Today, 70% of those not affiliated with either major party would vote to replace all of the elected politicians in the House and Senate. That’s up from 62% last year.

That’s not  a good sign for the party in power.

While I’m encouraged by this poll I take it with a bit of suspicion.  Typically, what you find when you pull back the covers a bit, is that while a majority want to replace the whole Congress, they usually expect it to be the Congress except for their particular elected one.  In other words, “Mine’s fine.  It’s all you guys that have this screwed up!”  While I have that sentiment about mine, I’d be willing to toss him into the pile of chaff if everyone would agree to do the same.

August 28, 2009

Al You Ignorant Slut

During one of his closed, invitation only, small group “town hall” meetings this week, Senator Al Franken made the following argument for why he insists a government option must be a part of any health care reform bill:

In case you missed it, Angry Al’s rationale is:

  1. Minnesota only allows non profits to be health insurance companies
  2. Minnesota has 90% of premiums paid go to health care
  3. All other states have only 70% to 80% of premiums go to health care
  4. Minnesota insurance is cheaper
  5. Therefore, non profit is cheaper.

While Al’s logic may follow from one point to the next, it exists in some fantasy land and not the real world.

Based on Al’s logic, if we looked at average insurance rates by state, we should expect to see Minnesota as one of, if not the cheapest state.  We would also expect to see most other states in the range of 10% to 20% higher than Minnesota.  We would expect to see state’s like Massachusetts where there is government run insurance, as the cheapest of them all.  Finally, we should expect to find that “profit” for insurance should amount to somewhere between 10% and 20% of premiums paid.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a research and advocacy group, has this study that looks at average insurance rates.  Flip down to page 9 where they compare family insurance rates by state.

In the study, rather than being one of the cheapest of states, we find Minnesota 17th most expensive, just barely out of the top third.  We also note that at $5,508, Minnesota is only5% cheaper than the national average.  Hmmm, that’s weird, shouldn’t they have been at least 10% and maybe higher?

As you look across the remainder of the study, where Al’s claims would have us expecting nearly all other plans to be 10% to 20% more expensive, we find only 11 states are at least 10% more expensive than Minnesota.  In contrast, we see that 15 states are at least 10% cheaper than Minnesota.

Al’s implied assertion that government run things are best because they run cheapest, also bites the dust.  Note that the highest cost state in Massachusetts.  Not only are they the highest cost, they are highest by a margin that would make the most dishonest loan shark blush.  Now, to be fair, this analysis was taken in the first year of Massachusetts state run plan, perhaps the rates have dramatically lessened…NOT!

Finally, another analysis done by AHIP shows where your (and my) premium dollar goes:

health dollar

Contrary to Al’s implied assertion, average profits amount to only 3% of the entire insurance premium. In fact, on average, the entire SG&A cost is 13%. Clearly, even a non profit or government plan would have administrative overhead to operate the plan so the argument that non profits are cheaper by 10% to 20% because they don’t have to make a profit is completely specious.

Earlier this week Al stated that a government option must be a part of any health reform bill:

“I’m favorable to the public option, a strong public option which will provide competition for private insurance companies.

Al’s attempting to look Senatorial by inserting “facts” to support a decision he has already made.  The problem with Al’s facts is that they are completely wrong.  Given Al’s history with SNL, the next time Al asserts that government plans are cheaper because they don’t have to make a profit, the appropriate response would be “Al, you ignorant slut!”

If You’re Not a Leftist You’re “Brain Dead”

On a conference call yesterday, Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif, a key House liberal referred to Blue Dog Democrats who are bucking the government takeover of health care in this fashion:

“They’re for the most part, I hate to say, brain dead, but they’re just looking to raise money from insurance companies and promote a right-wing agenda that is not really very useful in this whole process.”

Isn’t that ironic?  I usually regard the Blue Dogs as the only part of the Democrat consortium that had any chance of having part of a functioning brain!  I would have guessed, based on all the polling and what not, that these folks might in fact, be doing the jobs they were elected to do.  You know, represent their constituents!

I guess by extension, if the Blue Dogs are “Brain Dead,” the constituents who agree with them would also be “Brain Dead” or worse.  The further extension is that according to Representative Stark, all of us who would rather keep the government out of our health care are also “Brain Dead.”

We’re “Brain Dead” and “Un American.”  Maybe it’s time to officially form the Zombie Reagan Nation!

Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!

Do your remember all of those great arguments for support of the Waxman-Markey “let’s rush back to the 1500’s bill?”  We were going to save mother earth, we were going to increase jobs, we were going to be less dependent on foreign oil.

Not so much!

A new study done by Ensys Energy finds that rather than import less oil, if Waxman-Markey is passed, we will actually import MORE oil.  In fact, the study shows that by 2030 we would likely need to DOUBLE the amount of imported oil!

How can that be?  Simple.

If we start taxing production and processing of fossil fuels, less investment will be made into production and processing of fossil fuels.  If less investment is made, less outcome will result.  All of this is pretty much in line with the designs of the Waxman-Markey bill.  The problems comes in that there is no magical product available that can replace fossil fuels in the vast majority of it’s uses.  Thus, we dramatically reduce supply but have little reduction in demand.  Unless we actually do chose to go back to the 1500’s, we’ll need to replace the production that is no longer happening in the US.  According to the study, the shift in production looks like this:

U.S. refining throughput, a measure of productivity, could plummet by as much as 25% (4.4 million barrels per day) and investment in U.S. refining could fall by as much as $90 billion, a decline of 88 percent, by 2030, the EnSys study forecast.

Well, I guess that shoots one of the reasons for the Waxman-Markey bill.  Would you like a quick second?

According to the same study, because no magical new power source will be available, the effect of the Waxman-Markey bill will not reduce carbon emissions.  All Waxman-Markey will do is shift the carbon emissions from the US to other countries around the world.  In other words, only the NIMBY people will get anything out of Waxman-Markey.  Yeah, they’ll get something right up to the point that the US economy is hammered because we have a dramatically increasing negative trade balance because we have to import twice as much energy as we used to!  Oh, and we’ll lose a bunch of jobs too!

 

It’s Not About Me?

If you didn’t pick up on it during his candidacy, there are two things we now know about President Obama.  First, he is a committed leftist; no government involvement or control is too much in his view.  Second, his ego is second in size only to the deficit that his leftist policies are creating.

Within hours of his death, Democrat leadership began attempting to breath new life to the health care bill by attaching Ted Kennedy’s name to it.

“In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American,”

was the lament from Senator Robert Byrd.  And:

“Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration,”

From Speaker Pelosi.

Even with the new, paid for supportive astroturf that the Democrats have been able to get into their townhalls, the public remains fully against the implementation of a government run health care program.  Rasmussen reports that while “support for the health plan has quit falling,” it is still opposed by a majority of voters.  Additionally, by greater than a 2:1 margin, “voters believe the proposed reforms would make the quality of care worse rather than better.”  It seems like a long uphill slog for passage of the bill, at least in its current form.

Ted Kennedy’s public funeral will be held Saturday morning.  We’ve learned that President Obama will deliver the eulogy.  I have one question.

With Cap and Trade likely dead for the year and his other major push health care, on the ropes, will President Obama be able to control his personal ego long enough to deliver an eulogy that actually has Ted Kennedy as the focus or will he succumb and use the event of the funeral to fan his own ego and push the health care reform bill?

Remember, never let a crisis or a highly personal and emotional event, go to waste!

August 27, 2009

Shameless promotion for a friend – Leslie Carbone’s “Slaying Slaying Leviathan”

by @ 16:22. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Leslie Carbone, who served as director of Family Tax Policy at the Family Research Council and as a speechwriter for Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, has just published “Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform”. If you’ve read her blog, you already know she is a very knowledgeable and talented writer.

Now, go and buy the book. My copy should be arriving in a few days, so if there’s light-to-nonexistent blogging and Tweeting, you’ll know what I’m reading.

Slight change in the Paul Ryan Monday listening sessions

If I had checked my e-mail this morning, I would have found this press release relating to the moves of all the Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI, and my Congressman) Monday listening sessions earlier (and would have caught the error in the original press release for the Greendale one earlier as well – it is correct in the current schedule on Ryan’s House site):

Larger Venues Set For Paul Ryan’s Upcoming Listening Sessions

New locations for Racine, Big Bend, New Berlin and Greendale stops

All three of Congressman Paul Ryan’s Listening Sessions on Monday, August 31 have been moved to larger venues to accommodate First District residents seeking to participate in the health care debate. At the eleven listening sessions held in the previous three days, most venues have been at or above capacity, with record attendance at each stop.

The dates and times for all upcoming stops remain as previously scheduled. See below for an updated schedule – with new locations – of Congressman Paul Ryan’s Listening Sessions today and Monday:

Thursday, August 27

Rochester – 9:45-10:30 am
Municipal Hall, 203 West Main Street

Sturtevant – 11:15 am-12:15 pm
Village Hall, 2801 89th Street

Racine – 1:30-2:30 pm
Roma Lodge, 7130 Spring Street
NOTE: venue change to accommodate anticipated larger crowds (note; this was previously noted on my original post.)

Monday, August 31

Big Bend – 12:45-1:45 pm
Big Bend Elementary School, Gymnasium
W230S8695 Big Bend Drive
NOTE: venue change to accommodate anticipated larger crowds

New Berlin (Greenfield) – 2:00-3:00 pm
Whitnall High School, Auditorium
5000 S 116th Street
NOTE: The New Berlin stop has been moved to the Greenfield community to accommodate anticipated larger crowds

Greendale – 3:30-4:30 pm
Greendale High School, Auditorium
6801 Southway
NOTE: venue change to accommodate anticipated larger crowds

The rules are for thee, not for me – TurboTaxTimmy edition

by @ 11:13. Filed under Politics - National, Taxes.

(H/T – DRJ)

The TaxProfBlog found that, a few short months after Treasury Secretary “TurboTax” Timothy Geithner successfully dodged criticism and possible legal consequences over his failure to timely pay taxes by claiming TurboTax didn’t properly process his income tax returns for several years, the Tax Court rejected that defense in another case:

Petitioners have not met their burden of persuasion with respect to reasonable cause and good faith. Mr. Hopson admitted that he received both Forms 1099-R for the distributions and that he knew they constituted income. After using tax return preparation software for nearly 20 years, he simply filed the return that was generated by the software without reviewing it. The omission of the distributions resulted in the failure to report over 40 percent of petitioners’ total income for the year. Granted this was a one-time event, but petitioners nevertheless had a duty to review their return to ensure that all income items were included. Petitioners were not permitted to bury their heads in the sand and ignore their obligation to ensure that their tax return accurately reflected their income for 2006. In the end, reliance on tax return preparation software does not excuse petitioners’ failure to review their 2006 tax return.

Do note that the decision of the Star Chamb…er, Tax Court is final; according to the Internal Revenue Code, not even the Supreme Court can review it. Also note that it is not precedent-setting.

The Morning Scramble – Special Swimming Away Edition

by @ 10:55. Filed under The Morning Scramble.

Yes, it’s back for one morning only. Before I get to the meat of the matter, I must point you to some heartfelt words from Emperor Misha I to the remainder of the Kennedy family. For them, the late Senator was not Senator, but family.

Now that the 24-hour period of “mandatory niceness” is officially over (hell, it barely begun before Nancy Pelosi declared a unilateral end by demanding that ObamaCare the Chappaquiddick Memorial Death Panels Bill be passed in his name), we need music. Maestro…

YouTube Preview Image
Since I’m going to be lumped in by the “arbiters of ‘absolute moral authority'” with those who I quite franky agree even if I remain silent, I have got to salute those who remember Kennedy for the hyper-partisan, (wo)manslaughtering drunk, Communist sypathizer he was:

  • We start with today’s Day by Day cartoon –
  • Eric unloads the woodshed, the brickbats, and everything but the kitchen sink on Kennedy after somehow managing to observe the full 24 hours. Remember Robert Bork!
  • The Angry Webmaster includes the kitchen sink.
  • Tom McMahon multi-blocked the ten hours that cemented Kennedy’s reputatoin.
  • Rick Moran notes that a sitting Senator leaving a young woman to die in the back of one’s submerged vehicle isn’t as big a news as it used to be. Of course, back then, it wasn’t exactly pursued either; otherwise, he wouldn’t have been in the Senate the last 30-some years.
  • The Winning McCain Part 1 – Robert Stacy McCain broke out the “Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment” line one more time. Point of order – she is now able to unleash 40 years’ worth of comments on the guy who left her to die in the back of his sunken Olds.
  • The Winning McCain Part 2 – he declared yesterday to be Mary Jo Kopechne Day, and, as the Godfather of Rule 5 blogging, included heaps of links to others who celebrated it as such.
  • Paula provided the inspiration.
  • Kate, who was inexplicably missed in McCain’s roundup, mourns the fact that Mary Jo’s dad didn’t outlast her daughter’s killer.
  • Trail-Mix, who was also inexplicably missed, breaks out the Wikipedia entry. I would have recommended YTedK.com, but it seems the website went into the graveyard in the ether and only the Internet Archive has it.
  • Emperor Misha I predicts Hell will run out of liquor inside a week.
  • Confederate Yankee remembers Comrade Swimmer’s collusion with the Soviets to try to oust President Reagan.
  • The DPUD Chad lists more of The Swimmer’s “accomplishments”, including repeated abandonments of countries to Communists, and influence-pushing to help one of his nephews in a rape case.
  • Dr. Dave lists all of the “compassion” Kennedy had while living.
  • James Wigderson remembers Kennedy’s life as “one of unlimited potential, much of it wasted.”
  • Peter notes Dean Wormer was wrong – fat, drunk and stupid is a way to go through life.
  • Fidothedog breaks out some classic Kennedy posters.
  • Obi’s Sister just couldn’t work up any sympathy for Kennedy.
  • Phineas notes that Kennedy’s treasonous relations with the Soviet Union was the blueprint for the Left’s actions during the Iraq War.
  • Van Helsing breathes a sigh of relief.
  • Basil opens up The Swimmer Joke line.
  • Frank J. has a few random thoughts, including wishing Mary Jo Kopechne would have been alive to see that she was a trending topic on Twitter. She and the place she died were also top Google searches.
  • Doctor Zero found a bill that is worthy of the Kennedy name – a term-limit bill.

The outro music comes courtesy Headless Blogger, who should enter his Dead Kennedy joke in Basil’s post.

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Once again, there is a reason why I don’t do Scrambles anymore – this took longer than it took Pelosi to bust up the 24-hour rule.

August 26, 2009

Time to return fire – prepare for the Kennedy Memorial ObamaCare bill

by @ 11:41. Filed under Health Care Reform.

(H/T – Jim Hoft)

It didn’t take long for the Dems to jump all over the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s corpse and call for passage of ObamaCare in his name. As Joe Walsh once sang, “Out to pasture, think it’s safe to say, ‘Time to open fire.'”

First, Agence France Presse reports Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) invoked Kennedy’s words on what screwing up health care for the second time. That’s right, folks. Those of you who hate HMOs have Kennedy to blame – he wrote the 1973 bill that introduced HMOs.

Meanwhile, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) wins the Limbaugh Is Always Right award for being the first to call for renaming ObamaCare for Kennedy.

I prefer Pasadena Phil’s name for it (in the comments on Michelle Malkin’s post) – the “Chappaquiddick Memorial Death Panels Bill.”

Rest in peace, Sen. Kennedy (1932-2009)

by @ 10:34. Filed under Politics - National.

Those of you in a cave may not know the news – Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) passed away last night after battling a brain tumor. It is a sad day for his party, the Senate, and our country.

I’ll leave it to others to eulogize Sen. Kennedy. I recommend Baseball Crank’s take. For those of you who are thinking about taking cheap shots, listen to Michelle Malkin:

There is a time and place for political analysis and criticism. Not now.

Yes, there will be a nauseating excess of MSM hagiographies and lionizations — and crass calls to pass the health care takeover to memorialize his death.

That’s no excuse to demonstrate the same lack of restraint in the other direction. Not now.

I do, however, disagree with Michelle about not talking about the generalities of the implications. First, nothing of significance changes in the Senate for the moment, even though the Senate is now short a member. Because of his illness, he was rarely in the Senate to provide the 60th anti-filibuster vote. Of course, the need for that has been an illusion; there were almost always enough “Republicans” to break up any filibuster.

The reason why it is merely for the moment is the Massachusetts ganders of the Democratic Party are meeting the goose’s sauce. They failed to reverse a screw job they planned for then-governor Mitt Romney (R) by taking away the power of the governor to appoint a temporary replacement until the next general election. Now, there will be a special election held between 145 days and 160 days from now.

Shortly after that point, the Democrats will, assuming Masachusetts does what it has done since 1976 and send a Democrat to the Senate, have 60 permanent members of their caucus. I have a bad feeling about the second session of the 111th Congress.

Revisions/extensions (10:15 am 8/27/2009) - Somehow had the wrong birth year for Kennedy. Mea culpa.

The Killer Instinct

Large amounts of talent combined with training and technology have made it reasonably easy to field “good” teams in hockey, football, basketball or baseball. However, it is the rare team that moves beyond good and becomes dominating. The difference between the “good” teams and those that dominate their sport is one thing; killer instinct.

You may not be able to precisely define “killer instinct” but all sports fans know it when they see it.  Nobody left a Joe Montana and the Fortyniners game no matter what the score.  You knew that Joe was going to play until the last down of the game scoring at every opportunity he had.  Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, some years of the Yankees and the Edmonton Oilers with Wayne Gretzy are all examples of athletes and teams that played with “killer instinct”

But, you say, this is a political blog.  What’s going on with the sports analysis?

As with sports, politicians are separated by the ability to have a “killer instinct.”  Look at Norm Coleman against Al Franken.  Ahead in the polls until he decided to side step ANWAR, vote for the stimulus and decide that he no longer wanted to run a “negative campaign” even though he had done that from day one until they day he changed with 6 weeks left.  Norm is the perfect example of a politician who not only didn’t have a killer instinct, he showed he had little political instinct of any kind.

The race between John McCain and Barack Obama also came down to killer instinct.  One had it and one didn’t.  You can probably figure out which was which.

Anyone paying attention can see that the health care plan is on the ropes and cap and trade may well be on life support.  The public, across all demographics except the extreme loons, are responding to polls with the equivalent of “I didn’t vote for Obama!”  We see early contests in Virginia and New Jersey showing polls that seem to support a significant and sudden swing towards Republicans.  Everything is pointing towards a significant resurgence for Republicans.  The question is, do they have the killer instinct?

Unlike the left who has never had any concern about “rubbing their nose in it” when winning, Republicans seem to have an inbred need to be liked by the other side.  The result is that when they get a chance to gain ground, Republicans often feel the need to “compromise” to allow the other side the ability to save face.

The Republicans (I use this term generically and certainly don’t mean all people who run under that banner) have gained ground, not through their own actions.  Rather, the Republicans are gaining in popularity mostly because in a two party system, they are the only other option.  While the Republicans benefit from being “the only other choice” today, I wouldn’t be betting my house on it sticking.  Based on the fact that a large portion of the general population are revolting against their political masters I think there is a fair chance that a “throw all the bums out” mentality takes hold if the Republicans look to cave on health care or once again become Democrat lite.

You don’t think the Republicans could be that dumb again right?  Wrong!

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, a Michigan Republican Representative, has introduced a bill that would provide a $3,500 deduction for “qualified pet care expenses.”  The Representative is concerned of family hardships as a result of pet care costs during this time tough economic time.

How can any clear headed Republican think that providing a tax deduction for pet care makes sense when A: we have a hellacious deficit already,  B: human health care costs are subject to a 7% threshold of adjusted gross income and C: most of the Republicans and the general public are fighting to abolish further government intrusion into health care for people.  Does Thaddeus really think there is an urgency of any kind for the government (me and you) subsidizing health care for animals when we don’t want to do it for humans?

A stupid bill like this proves that Thaddeus McCotter does not have the killer instinct!  I hope to hell the rest of the Republicans have better political instincts.  If they don’t I’ll lead the parade for a third party.

August 25, 2009

Sorry about the blogging funk

by @ 16:13. Filed under The Blog.

I’ve got a couple of things on the burner, but no real energy to push them from the back simmer burners to the front ones.

Tomorrow will be light as well, at least until late. I plan on making the Janesville Paul Ryan listening session, then take a trip to Madison for the AFP town hall.

August 24, 2009

We’ve Only Just Begun

After stalling for nearly a month, late Friday afternoon, the Obama administration leaked that their periodic budget/deficit update was going to show…..well, let’s just call it a deviation from expectations.  Rather than “cut the deficit in half as he promised, President Obama will reportedly tell us that he will increase the deficit by $2 trillion dollars to $9 trillion dollars over the next ten years.

While this new forecast is in line with what the CBO estimated back when Obama proposed his budget, it still seriously underestimates what the deficit will be if Obama gets his policies enacted. Obama’s two largest endeavors, cap and trade and health care reform were not considered in the CBO’s June estimate.

While it’s hard to tell what effect cap and trade will have on the deficit, we do have numbers from the CBO on the effect of health care reform. The CBO estimates that the $9 trillion deficit will increase at least another $1 trillion if the House bill is passed. I say “at least” because we now know that the Obama administration doesn’t have an accountant or an economist who either is honest or any good at their job. Doubt me? Just go back and look at the assumptions they made for the stimulus, the budget, cap and trade or health care reform and then look at what the CBO said. Who has appeared to be accurate?

I also say “at least” because there is historical evidence that the first year of all major government health programs have been significantly underestimated. Take a look at this graph from John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog:

health care graph

It turns out that regardless of the administration, government run health care plans always cost more than they are expected to. Why, you might ask? Well, if you’re selling something, are you more likely to tell the “buyers” what the best or worst case scenario might be?

Taking a simple average of the plans on the graph, it suggests that the government health programs cost 538% of what the original estimate was.  OK, let’s not be the Russian judge.  Let’s throw out the high and the low misses.  Doing that still has costs coming in at 414% of the original estimate. 

If history is any indicator, the $1 health care reform plan will cost significantly more.  How do you like the sound of $4 trillion for health care and a 10 year deficit of “at least $12 trillion?

Whether $2 trillion or $5 trillion more, I think this video pretty well sums up the public response:

August 23, 2009

The polls are all wee-wee’d up

by @ 11:23. Filed under Politics - National.

I wonder if this is what President Obama had in mind when he lapsed into baby talk on Friday – The Rasmussen Presidential Approval Index hits a new low of -14. The dirty details on the first full day’s worth of polling after the wee-wee leakage (which also includes Thursday and Friday):

– Only 27% of all respondents strongly approve of Obama’s job performance, which is a new low.
– He’s starting to lose the Dems; less than half (49%) strongly approve.
– 41% of all respondents strongly disapprove, which ties the high.
– The slippage of independents continues; 49% strongly disapprove.

Unfortunately for himself, his party, and his country, Obama has called for the dynamite to blast through rock bottom. I just hope he remembers to chant, “Fire in the hole!” three times before detonation.

Revisions/extensions (11:40 am 8/23/2009) - (H/T – Michelle Malkin) Speaking of craters, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports on a Mason-Dixon poll that shows Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid losing to either Danny Tarkanian or Sue Lowden in a potential 2010 matchup. If Reid gets knocked out, he will be the second sitting Senate Democratic leader to lose in 6 years. Time to Daschle his dreams.

August 22, 2009

This Little POTUS Poem

Obama Market

Obama Oval
obama iceObama none girlObama lied

August 21, 2009

Local blogger singled out by the national presstitutes as example of blind blogospherical hostility along ideological lines

by @ 23:28. Filed under Presstitute Follies.

No, it’s not your friendly neighborhood bomb-thrower, who has gone soft since Shoebox came on board. Lance Burri earned that honor from the Pew Research Center for plastering a WaPo columnist.

Guess I’m going to have to start trying harder (or not go on vacation and miss opportunites that Lance seized).

Friday Hot Read part drei – MadisonConservative’s “A game of Monopoly – Health Care edition”

by @ 16:24. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

Back in the day, I played a real cut-throat Monopoly. However, I wasn’t nearly as cut-throat as the federal government. I’ll let MadisonConservative explain:

Now, let’s say I’m playing with four other people. The four other people are normal monopoly players, playing by the normal rules. They represent private insurance companies. Now, I’m going to join the game. However, I get a different set of rules because I say so. I represent the public option.

First, in normal Monopoly rules, everyone collects $200 from the bank when they pass GO. Let’s refer to this as the capital that insurance companies get in order to run their business. They get it from revenues earned by competing in the health insurance market. However, for me, the rule is different. When I pass go, instead of getting $200 from the bank(customers), I instead collect $50 from each of the other players. Why? Well, the government gets its revenues by collecting taxes, not by providing competitive services. So, while the other players are collecting their money from passing GO from customers, I’m collecting my money from them. Their wealth is going down, directly leading to mine going up. Already, I have an advantage, because I’m the government. Guess what, though? Not only do I collect $50 from each of the other players every time I pass go, but I get $100 from the bank! See, the government doesn’t only collect taxes from businesses, but they also collect it from their customers! Once again, I have an advantage, because I’m the government.

Of course, there is more over at the HotAir Greenroom, so enjoy it. Do also read the comments.

How Did This Guy Get Through Harvard?

by @ 11:06. Filed under Obama worship, Politics - National.

Mortgage modification program – Fail!

Stimulus Program – Fail!

Cash for Clunkers – Fail!

Cap and Trade – Fail!

Fiscal Year Budget – Fail!

Foreign Policy – FailFail!

Is there anything that Obama has done that has worked or inspired the Country?  Apparently not!

Pic of the day – caskets for clunkers

by @ 9:50. Filed under Health Care Reform.

Via The Rumbler Report


Click for the full-sized pic

Of course, that doesn’t count the massive overhead built into the program.

This is Not a Question That We Think About

On a conference call on Wednesday, President Obama took on the “myth” that the House bill contained death panels saying:

Let me give you just one example, this notion that somehow we are setting up death panels that would decide whether elderly people would live or die. That is just an extraordinary lie.

(emphasis mine)

There is no such thing as a death panel, at least that’s what those who refuse to read the plain language and implication of HR 3200 will tell you.  No, the provisions that mandate end of life counseling are just one of the ways of “I’m from the government and I’m here to help!”

Folks, let’s be clear, call it what you want, but anytime you marry a limited ability to pay with an unlimited demand there will be rationing.  Some of it will be subtle i.e. long wait times, some not so subtle i.e. procedures denied.  The question is, would you rather deal with an employee of a health insurance company where you have legal and other options or would you rather deal with an employee of the DMV who tells you to shut up and sit down until it’s your turn?

Still not convinced?  Watch this video.  Pay particular attention to the question that they don’t think about:

H/T Dan McLaughlin

Do you suppose that proponents of Oregon’s government plan were telling opponents that a “death panel” was just an “extraordinary lie” as that bill was being debated?

“Is it cheaper to pay for someone to die than to help them live?”

This was the question that received the answer:

“That is not a question that we think about.”

Well of course it’s not!  At least not anymore than:

Is it cheaper and less inconvenient to murder this unborn child than to allow it life?”

Friday Hot Read part 2 – Maggie Thurber’s “Obama doesn’t get it – this isn’t a campaign anymore”

Maggie Thurber explains why the PermaCampaign that Obama is trying on health care is doomed to failure:

But that point aside, trying to convince people with the same ideology that you’re the best one of several to represent that ideology is much different from convincing an entire nation, the majority of whom claim no party or are Republicans, to join your cause.

Obama isn’t going to the opposing side and presenting his viewpoint on the issue, he’s handpicking audiences and ‘preaching to the choir’ and trying to re-energize his base. But that will only go so far as the vast majority of Americans are not in that group to begin with.

He’s still in campaign mode, trying to sell an idea, when the public would rather have the facts and the details – all the things they were too busy to bother with during the actual campaign. Now that Obama is in the White House, the public expects him to manage the operations, though he’s had absolutely no experience whatsoever in doing something even remotely similar. And now it shows, especially in how he blames everyone else for his failure in this regard.

As always, I highly recommend reading the entire thing.

Health Care townhalls a-plenty

by @ 8:41. Filed under Health Care Reform.

Since I am a consitutent of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville), I’ll list his listening sessions first (with the note that some, like the already-moved Kenosha one, may yet be moved):

– Monday, August 24
EAGLE: 11:30am-12:15pm, Village Hall, 820 East Main Street
NORTH PRAIRIE: 1:30-2:15pm, Village Hall, 130 North Harrison

– Tuesday, August 25
SHARON: 9:00-10:00am, Community Center, 125 Plain Street
GENOA CITY: 10:30-11:30am, Village Hall, 715 Walworth Street
PADDOCK LAKE: 12:00-1:00pm, Village Hall, 6969 236th Avenue
KENOSHA: 2:15-3:45pm, Gateway Technical College, Madrigrano Auditorium, 3520 30th Avenue

– Wednesday, August 26
WILLIAMS BAY: 9:15-10:15am, Village Hall, 250 Williams Street
FONTANA: 10:30-11:30am, Village Hall, 175 Valley View Drive
WALWORTH: 11:45-12:45pm, Village Hall, 227 North Main Street
DARIEN: 1:45-2:45pm, Village Hall, 24 North Wisconsin Street
JANESVILLE: 3:30-5:00pm, City Hall, Council Chambers, 18 North Jackson Street Craig High School, Large Auditorium, 401 S Randall Ave

– Thursday, August 27
ROCHESTER: 9:45-10:30am, Municipal Hall, 203 West Main Street
STURTEVANT: 11:15am-12:15pm, Village Hall, 2801 89th Street
RACINE: 1:30-2:30pm, Gateway Technical College, Racine Building, Great Lakes Room #114, 901 Pershing Drive, use parking lot D Roma Lodge, Roma Lodge, 7130 Spring Street

– Monday, August 31
BIG BEND: 12:45-1:30pm, Village Hall, W230 S9185 Nevins Street Big Bend Elementary School, Gymnasium, W230S8695 Big Bend Drive
NEW BERLIN: 2:00-3:00pm, Citizens Bank of Mukwonago – New Berlin Branch, 5450 South Moorland Road GREENFIELD: 2:00-3:00 pm, Whitnall High School, Auditorium, 5000 S 116th Street
GREENDALE: 3:30-4:30pm, Safety Building, 5911 West Grange Avenue Greendale High School, Auditorium, 6801 Southway

Meanwhile, my friends at Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin are taking care of the folks in the 2nd, 3rd and 7th Congressional districts:

– Wednesday, August 26
MADISON: 6:30 pm-8:00 pm, Mariott Madison West, 1313 John Q. Hammons Drive

– Thursday, August 27
LA CROSSE: 11:30 am-1:00 pm, La Crosse Center, 300 Harborview Plaza
ROTHSCHILD: 6:30 pm-8:00 pm, Rothschild Pavilion, 1104 Park Street

They will be featuring ABC News’ John Stossell at all three townhalls, and they invited both the Representatives and their challengers to the respective townhalls. While the AFP-sponsored townhalls are free, they do ask that you register as they will be ticketed events.

Just as a reminder, Rep. Ryan also has a simple request for attendees, one that should be observed by all at every townhall:

A spirited debate on the future of health care and on the proper role of government in our society has come alive in recent weeks. I welcome the debate, and look forward to the 19 listening sessions and community forums I will be holding across Southern Wisconsin in the days ahead. I invite the residents of Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District to actively participate at these listening sessions – and to respect the fact that your neighbors may disagree.

The widespread disrespect, and even violence, from the extremes on both sides of this debate is regrettable. I am disappointed by the attacks leveled by the White House and leaders in Congress against those raising the legitimate concerns and questions raised by citizens. To hold a differing view does not make one a “tool of special interests”, and to voice those disagreements is not “un-American” or a sinister “scare tactic”. There is room for common ground on common sense reforms – but this will require responsible leadership to trump partisan gamesmanship.

My staff and I will make every effort possible to accommodate your participation and to ensure that your voice is heard. Anticipating larger turnout, I’m working to move some of the listening sessions to larger venues. The Kenosha Listening Session, for example, has been moved to the Madrigrano Auditorium at Gateway Technical College (3520 30th Avenue). Please click here for an updated schedule.

I’d ask that all attendees respect your fellow citizen’s desire to communicate with me. Shouting down your opponents at a listening session is not only ineffective, but quite simply rude. Arguments are not won by the volume of one’s voice, but rather the merits of the idea. I will work tirelessly in the days ahead to conduct these listening sessions with civility and respect for all views, and trust that the residents of Wisconsin’s 1st District will do the same.

Thank you,

Paul Ryan

Revisions/extensions (9:30 am 8/21/2009) - Corrected a typo introduced by me. Some days, I need a proofreader.

R&E part 2 (10:35 am 8/25/2009) - The location of the Ryan Janesville listening session has been changed due to larger-than-expected crowds.

R&E part 3 (10:47 pm 8/25/2009) - The Ryan Racine listening session has been moved.

R&E part 4 (12:04 pm 8/27/2009) - The entire Monday schedule has been moved about.

R&E part 5 (12:24 pm 8/27/2009) - I should have noticed that either the Greendale High School or the address listed was off. I do have a request in to Ryan’s office for clarification, and will update when I get it.

R&E part 6 (12:31 pm 8/27/2009) - It is Greendale High School. Meanwhile, maps to the Monday locations have been included in the updated post.

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