Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Home

New Home Here.

This commenting system is just too much of a pain in the @ss. Don't want. So, I'm going to wordpress. Almost everything is over there (all the old posts) - still have to get my blogroll going. The comments didn't transfer, but alas I'll get over it.

Even easier to find!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Way to go Joe!

I missed the Big Fucking Deal signing.

How'd it go?

Monday, March 22, 2010

This is our country ...

VDH sums up what happened last night:

President Obama has crossed the Rubicon with the health care vote. The bill was not really about medicine; after all, a moderately priced, relatively small federal program could offer the poorer not now insured, presently not on Medicare or state programs like Medicaid or Medical, a basic medical plan.

We have no interest in stopping trial lawyers from milking the system for billions. And we don’t want to address in any meaningful way the individual’s responsibility in some cases (drink, drugs, violence, dangerous sex, bad diet, sloth, etc.) for costly and chronic health procedures.

No, instead, the bill was about assuming a massive portion of the private sector, hiring tens of thousands of loyal, compliant new employees, staffing new departments with new technocrats, and feeling wonderful that we “are leveling the playing field” and have achieved another Civil Rights landmark law. (NB: do the math: add higher state income taxes in most states; the new Clinton-era federal income tax rates to come; the proposed lifting of limits on income exposed to FICA taxes; and now new health care charges — and I think you can reach in some cases a bite of 65%to 70% of one’s income.)

So we are in revolutionary times in which the government will grow to assume everything from energy use to student loans, while abroad we are a revolutionary sort of power, eager to mend fences with Syria and Iran, more eager still to distance ourselves from old Western allies like Israel and Britain.

So, what can we expect in the future?

Pelosism: In our brave new world, expect more of the lurid stories about the secretary of the Treasury not paying his FICA taxes. The multimillionaire Madame Speaker will spend more of the state’s millions on private jet travel as she lectures on carbon footprints and a culture of corruption. We will hear more about the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee hiding his income, or a member of the House Rules Committee bragging that, given the historic importance of health care, they are just making up the rules as they go along — and proud of it. Our guardian class has become the new French aristocracy at Versailles. They will rail about Citation jets for the CEO, and then fly federally-owned Gulfstreams; they will put us in Smart cars but limo in Yukons and Tahoes on “official business.” Our lifestyles will be as monitored as much as those who do the monitoring will not be at all.

I get email

From Obama. Edited for accuracy.

Carin --

For the first time in our nation's history, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform. America Socialists in America have waited a hundred years and fought for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, thanks to you, we are finally here.

Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:

Because of you, every American (, except that 30 million who still won't ) will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.

Every American will be covered under the toughest patient insurance protections in history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever. Of course, the services you do receive will be approved by the government. And not every service may be available. Or, you may be advised - by your government - to instead simply take a pill. Except for folks like me, because my plan is different than yours.

And we'll finally start reducing the cost of care ( HA - I mean, it's even hard to say that with a straight face, but Rahm says I have to put that in here ) -- creating millions of government jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy except those companies that go out of business, or people who lose their jobs over this , and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children HA, ok, that's a pipe dream, right? We all know that's not gonna happen .

But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past the numbers.

It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or illness away from catastrophe. Except, of course, it's not like people aren't going to still get sick and die. I mean, there might even be more that die, because we're going to have to ration shit. I mean, you do know that, right?

It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling bill. I mean, like Nancy said, why should a writer actually have to earn a paycheck and contribute to society in order to get shit from the rest of us? Am I right?

And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally receive the vital care they need. Except, of course, that healthier thing is just bullshit.

This is what change Socialism looks like.

My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations past communist, socialists, and progressives whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you useful idiots and the ass kissing media who didn't really look very hard at the back room deals and my hypocrisy regarding bipartisanship and transparency.

This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. As I said on the campaign trail, complete government control of health care would take time. This is just the first step to a single-payer system. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.

Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change a transformation to a social democracy is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.

We progressives have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we've faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time, but we elites simply know more and better than you workers. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right figure out what we were actually up to -- and actually create the change we believe in. Socialism right here in America.

Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Update: Sean M has a the proper response to Bob's linking of Frum. David Frum is super scary-smart.

Udpate 2:

Let us not forget, that Nancy is one of the biggest hypocrites out there. H/t Alex the Chick.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Everyone needs to see this

Cut and Pasted from JHoward at PW:

Highlights of report, which is entitled “The Wrong Prescription: Democrats’ Health Overhaul Dangerously Expands IRS Authority,” include:

-IRS agents verify if you have “acceptable” health care coverage;
-IRS has the authority to fine you up to $2,250 or 2 percent of your income (whichever is greater) for failure to prove that you have purchased “minimum essential coverage;”
-IRS can confiscate your tax refund;
-IRS audits are likely to increase;
-IRS will need up to $10 billion to administer the new health care program this decade;
-IRS may need to hire as many as 16,500 additional auditors, agents and other employees to investigate and collect billions in new taxes from Americans; and
-Nearly half of all these new individual mandate taxes will be paid by Americans earning less than 300 percent of poverty ($66,150 for a family of four.)
The Republicans noted that despite all these new mandates on Americans, the Democrats prohibit the IRS from imposing these same taxes and penalties on illegal immigrants.

How you like them apples? I have to say I don't like 'em at all.

So it begins ....


The White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle has been feverishly sending out unsolicited email messages to federal employees in an effort to build support for President Barack Obama’s health reform package over the last several weeks.


The unsolicited emails also request that the federal employees take action in order to ensure that Obama’s health reform package is passed and the federal budget isn’t at risk for bankruptcy. One federal employee was so concerned about DeParle’s language in one email that he questioned whether his department’s budget would be cut or eliminated without passage of Obama’s bill. DeParle uses scare tactics that some assume are meant as threats:

“No ifs, ands or buts about it -- if we do nothing to reform our broken health care system, costs will continue to skyrocket and break the budgets of American families, small businesses and the Federal Government,” read the March 12th email from DeParle.

But should federal employees be subjected to partisan propaganda? What precedent does it send for the White House to use the federal work force for their partisan agenda? And shouldn’t we let State Department federal workers concentrate on pressing issues like the Israeli-Palestinian issue or the Iranian nuclear weapons issue? Why would Department of Transportation employees have to worry about forwarding The White House’s partisan emails to their address books?

If you're not outraged, you not paying attention.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Astroturfing for Healthcare Reform

Great job, guys!.

Oh, and about that WONDERFUL $940 billion (thanks Leon - forgot that zero) price tag the CBO came out with yesterday? Well [ed] ...

To see the bill’s true first-decade costs, we need to start the clock when the costs would actually start in any meaningful way: in 2014. The CBO says that Obamacare would cost $2.0 trillion in the bill’s real first decade (from 2014 to 2023) — and much more in the decades to come.

But $2.0 trillion wouldn’t be the total ten-year costs. Instead, that would merely be the “gross cost of coverage provisions.” Based on earlier incarnations of the proposed overhaul, the total costs would be about a third higher (the exact number can’t be gleaned from the CBO’s analysis, which is only preliminary and is not a full scoring) — making the total price-tag between $2.5 and $3 trillion over the bill’s real first decade.

How would we pay for all of this? According to the CBO, by diverting $1.1 trillion away from already barely-solvent Medicare and spending it on Obamacare, and by increasing taxes on the American people by over $1 trillion. Among the Medicare cuts would be cuts of $25,000 in Medicare Advantage benefits per enrollee — up from $21,000 in the previous scoring. To be clear, those living in South Florida wouldn’t have to worry about this, as the newly politicized nature of health care would cause them to be exempted. These cuts would affect only less-fortunate seniors, namely those living in just about any other part of the country.

Oh, but there's more

We’d also pay for this through increased deficits. Under strict instructions from the Democrats, the CBO gave Obamacare credit for over $400 billion (from 2014 to 2023) in phony “savings” that would allegedly result from cutting doctor’s payments under Medicare by over 20 percent and never raising them back up. As the CBO notes, one of two things could happen: Congress could either follow through on these severe pay cuts — in which case doctors would view all Medicare patients as if they have the plague — or, Congress could eliminate these pay cuts — as everyone in Washington expects to have happen under the so-called “doc fix” — in which case the CBO projects that this bill would raise deficits by over $100 billion from 2017 to 2019 alone.

And what do we get?

According to the CBO, health insurance premiums would STILL rise 10 to 13 percent. The percentage of GDP STILL rises to 21% by 2019. And, according to the CBO, 23 million people will STILL be without health insurance.


Not to mention, crammed into this piece of shit, is the federal take-over (except in North Dakota) of the Federal Family Education Loan. Why? So they can use the profits from those loans to pay for other federal spending.

But, please, say it again, because it's amusing. No socialism here. Nope. Not a bit.

FIAF tunage:

Now, to bring me off the ledge:

Thom, you may be a lefty loon, but you're awesome when you're just doing your thang.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

We're all gonna save 3000%!

The Other McCain offers up this depressing graphic:

Faaack. The Obama lay-away plan.

The Democrats are telling us ObamaCare will only cost $940 billion over ten years and cut the deficit.
Keep in mind that no government entitlement, especially one this big, has ever come in under budget. Look no farther than Massachusetts for proof. Or look at Social Security and Medicare.
But here’s what the Democrats probably don’t want you to know. Of the $940 billion, most of that will be spent in the last six of the ten years, so it’s like a lay away plan for health care.

From Ed Morrissey:

Here’s the key table from CBO’s letter to Pelosi. Via Philip Klein, want to see what a shabby fraud these cost estimates are? Check out the line for “Gross Cost of Coverage Provisions”.
This is why they’re delaying the start of the program, of course. If it kicked in right away, the decade-long estimate would obviously be well into the trillions. So they simply stalled it for four years, incurring just $17 billion in costs — or 1.8 percent of the total 10-year estimate — through 2013 so that wavering Democrats could go back to their districts and tell baldfaced lies to their constituents about the pricetag. A perfect ending to this travesty.


Savory Sweet Life looks like an AWESOME food blog.

There's even a recipe to make potato chips in the microwave.

My son will be doing this today.

h/t Ace's.

It's time for us to come together - BLOG-A-THON

I know there is a lot of back and forth, name calling, and outright nastiness here at ITBO. But today, I ask that we come together for one special cause. The recent earthquake in Hawaii.

I don't know why or how this one flew under the radar, but I'm sure people are suffering over there, and Obama wants to get HCR passed so they can get some of that filthy-lucre-aid money. But they need help NOW.

OBAMA: That also — I’m giving you an example of one that I consider important. It also affects Hawaii, which went through an earthquake. So that’s not just a Louisiana provision. That is a provision that affects every state that is going through a natural catastrophe.

That "Louisiana purchase" crap? Nonsense. It applies to every state that has a devastating natural catastrophe. Well, let me be clear. It applies to every "state" that qualifies. And to qualify it would have to, among other things, have been a state that "during the preceding 7 fiscal years" been declared a "major disaster area."

And, the state name has to start with the letter "L."

Anyway, so I'm concerned that Hawaii may not get that aid it so desperately needs. Can't we come together? For Hawaii?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why Obamacare will fail to do what it claims

Another excellent article by Doc Zero.

If you have studied the history of socialism and communism around the world, you know what the inevitable results of a nationalized bread industry would be: hungry people staring at dusty shelves containing a few expensive loaves of low-quality bread. Humanity has invented few weapons that kill people more efficiently than collectivist agriculture.
Why is this always the tragic outcome of collectivism? After all, government control of goods and services is presented as a way to control costs. The bribes and shady backroom deals perpetrated in the service of ObamaCare are supposed to produce a system that increases “access to health insurance” and make it more “affordable.” The inevitable result will be a system that reduces the quality of care, makes it harder to come by, and increases its overall cost to American citizens.
The same thing has happened across decades and around the world, every single time the State has taken control of a private industry. There’s some grim amusement in watching a supposedly educated man like Paul Krugman make an utter fool of himself trying to pretend otherwise. (“In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false.“)

Follow-up essay by J.E. Dyer here on how the government cannot bend the cost curve downward.

How's this going to work out?

No surprise here. A couple of the findings:

Health Reform and Primary Care Physicians
• 46.3% of primary care physicians (family medicine and internal medicine) feel that the passing of health reform will either force them out of medicine or make them want to leave medicine.

Health Reform, Public Option, and Physician Supply
• 72% of physicians feel that a public option would have a negative impact on physician supply, with 45% feeling it will “decline or worsen dramatically” and 27% predicting it will “decline or worsen somewhat.
• 24% of physicians think they will try to retire early if a public option is implemented.
• 21% of physicians would try to leave medicine if a public option is implemented, even if not near retirement age at the time.

Oh, I'm sure they don't mean it.

Government is useless

Meatless Saturday? Really?

I plan to celebrate with a nice, juicy Steak.