Friday, March 26, 2010

Irresponsibility pays!

If you are the type of person who is careful about debt and saves for a rainy day, then the Obama administration has two words for you: tough luck. You are going to pay for those who spend freely, buy houses they cannot afford, and do not save for rainy days. The Washington Post reports:
The Obama administration plans to overhaul how it is tackling the foreclosure crisis, in part by requiring lenders to temporarily slash or eliminate monthly mortgage payments for many borrowers who are unemployed, senior officials said Thursday.
Welcome to the new world order. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit)


The above sign was from San Francisco's April 15, 2009, tea party as was this one:


PREVIOUSLY on the subject of Obamanomics:
Obamanomics prolonging the recession
Moody's: US Aaa bond rating threatened by Obama's budget
Obamanomics illustrated II
How Dems are prolonging the recession
How Obamanomics destroys jobs
Obamanomics illustrated
Deficits: Obama goes where no man has gone before (illustration)
How to raise the standard of living
Obama's anti-intellectual economic theory
Obamanomics and the test of science
Obamacare may raise insurance costs by 54%
Harvard economist explains why Obamacare will raise premiums
HHS says Obamacare will cause costs to go up and cause employers to drop coverage

Obamacare threatens high tech jobs

The Boston Herald reports on the threat that Obamacare poses to jobs at US medical device manufacturers:

"This bill is a jobs killer,” said Ernie Whiton, chief financial officer of Chelmsford’s Zoll Medical Corp., which employs about 650 people in Massachusetts. Many of those employees work in Zoll’s local manufacturing facility making heart defibrillators.

“We could be forced to (move) manufacturing overseas if we can’t pass along these costs to our customers,” said Whiton.

The threat - echoed by others in the critical Massachusetts industry - had the governor vowing to intervene to block the sales tax impact.

“I am obviously concerned about the medical device burden here on the commonwealth, which has a very robust industry around medical devices,” Patrick said yesterday.

Hat tip: Jules Crittenden

RECENTLY on Obamacare:
Obamacare and trillions of dollars of unfunded mandates
The fraud of Obamacare, as seen from the left
Pelosi: Pass Obamacare so artists can quit their day jobs
How many House Democrats would be vulnerable this fall because of Obamacare?
Britain's Obamacare: Hospital patient dies of thirst as nurses ignore his pleas for water
Nobel Laureate economist explains why socialized medicine always fails
Rep. Ryan explains the dishonesty of Obamacare economics
Obamacare 2.1 and its discontents (illustrated)
Pushing a losing agenda

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

DeVore wows crowd on San Francisco peninsula

Chuck DeVore was in fine form when he spoke this evening to a crowd in San Mateo on the San Francisco peninsula:

DeVore, a California Assemblyman is running for the Republican nomination for Senate this year to challenge Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). How is he different from the ordinary politician? To give one example, he spoke tonight of the dangers to our republic posed by Hegelian philosophy and he did so in a way that was not only clear but also compelling and entertaining. Impressive.

This event was organized by MyLiberty of San Mateo County.

PREVIOUSLY on the 2010 California Senate race:
Polls show DeVore strengthening against Sen. Ma'am Boxer
Will Boxer go the way of Coakley?: CA Senate race tightens (Jan. 2010)

PREVIOUSLY on Sen. Boxer:
Even global warmists like Senator Boxer are backing away from IPCC
Ma'am Sen. Boxer for and against climate whistleblowers.
Boxer and Kerry campaign for cap-and-tax
Cap and tax in the US Senate: a who's who of the villains and their committees
Boxer: Never trust anyone who is well dressed

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Obamacare fraud

It is not just conservatives who see yesterday's Obamacare vote as the root of future disaster. Jane Hamsher, of the left-wing Firedoglake, says this is not a "universal" health care bill and it will cause insurance rates to rise. Here is her (left-wing) summary of the frauds ("myths") that Obama and Pelosi have perpetrating with this bill:

Myth

Truth

1. This is a universal health care bill.


The bill is neither universal health care nor universal health insurance.

Per the CBO:

  • Total uninsured in 2019 with no bill: 54 million
  • Total uninsured in 2019 with Senate bill: 24 million (44%)
2. Insurance companies hate this bill


This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009.

The original Senate Finance Committee bill was authored by a former Wellpoint VP. Since Congress released the first of its health care bills on October 30, 2009, health care stocks have risen 28.35%.

3. The bill will significantly bring down insurance premiums for most Americans.


The bill will not bring down premiums significantly, and certainly not the $2,500/year that the President promised.

Annual premiums in 2016, status quo / with bill:

Small group market, single: $7,800 / $7,800

Small group market, family: $19,300 / $19,200

Large Group market, single: $7,400 / $7,300

Large group market, family: $21,100 / $21,300

Individual market, single: $5,500 / $5,800*

Individual market, family: $13,100 / $15,200*

4. The bill will make health care affordable for middle class Americans.
The bill will impose a financial hardship on middle class Americans who will be forced to buy a product that they can’t afford to use.

A family of four making $66,370 will be forced to pay $5,243 per year for insurance. After basic necessities, this leaves them with $8,307 in discretionary income — out of which they would have to cover clothing, credit card and other debt, child care and education costs, in addition to $5,882 in annual out-of-pocket medical expenses for which families will be responsible.

5. This plan is similar to the Massachusetts plan, which makes health care affordable. Many Massachusetts residents forgo health care because they can’t afford it.

A 2009 study by the state of Massachusetts found that:

  • 21% of residents forgo medical treatment because they can’t afford it, including 12% of children
  • 18% have health insurance but can’t afford to use it
6. This bill provide health care to 31 million people who are currently uninsured.


This bill will mandate that millions of people who are currently uninsured must purchase insurance from private companies, or the IRS will collect up to 2% of their annual income in penalties. Some will be assisted with government subsidies.
7. You can keep the insurance you have if you like it.
The excise tax will result in employers switching to plans with higher co-pays and fewer covered services.

Older, less healthy employees with employer-based health care will be forced to pay much more in out-of-pocket expenses than they do now.

8. The “excise tax” will encourage employers to reduce the scope of health care benefits, and they will pass the savings on to employees in the form of higher wages.

There is insufficient evidence that employers pass savings from reduced benefits on to employees.


9. This bill employs nearly every cost control idea available to bring down costs.


This bill does not bring down costs and leaves out nearly every key cost control measure, including:
  • Public Option ($25-$110 billion)
  • Medicare buy-in
  • Drug reimportation ($19 billion)
  • Medicare drug price negotiation ($300 billion)
  • Shorter pathway to generic biologics ($71 billion)
10. The bill will require big companies like WalMart to provide insurance for their employees

The bill was written so that most WalMart employees will qualify for subsidies, and taxpayers will pick up a large portion of the cost of their coverage.
11. The bill “bends the cost curve” on health care.


The bill ignored proven ways to cut health care costs and still leaves 24 million people uninsured, all while slightly raising total annual costs by $234 million in 2019.

“Bends the cost curve” is a misleading and trivial claim, as the US would still spend far more for care than other advanced countries.

In 2009, health care costs were 17.3% of GDP.

Annual cost of health care in 2019, status quo: $4,670.6 billion (20.8% of GDP)

Annual cost of health care in 2019, Senate bill: $4,693.5 billion (20.9% of GDP)

12. The bill will provide immediate access to insurance for Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition. Access to the “high risk pool” is limited and the pool is underfunded. It will cover few people, and will run out of money in 2011 or 2012

Only those who have been uninsured for more than six months will qualify for the high risk pool. Only 0.7% of those without insurance now will get coverage, and the CMS report estimates it will run out of funding by 2011 or 2012.

13. The bill prohibits dropping people in individual plans from coverage when they get sick. The bill does not empower a regulatory body to keep people from being dropped when they’re sick.

There are already many states that have laws on the books prohibiting people from being dropped when they’re sick, but without an enforcement mechanism, there is little to hold the insurance companies in check.

14. The bill ensures consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to challenge new insurance plan decisions. The “internal appeals process” is in the hands of the insurance companies themselves, and the “external” one is up to each state.
Ensuring that consumers have access to “internal appeals” simply means the insurance companies have to review their own decisions. And it is the responsibility of each state to provide an “external appeals process,” as there is neither funding nor a regulatory mechanism for enforcement at the federal level.
15. This bill will stop insurance companies from hiking rates 30%-40% per year.


This bill does not limit insurance company rate hikes. Private insurers continue to be exempt from anti-trust laws, and are free to raise rates without fear of competition in many areas of the country.
16. When the bill passes, people will begin receiving benefits under this bill immediately


Most provisions in this bill, such as an end to the ban on pre-existing conditions for adults, do not take effect until 2014.

Six months from the date of passage, children could not be excluded from coverage due to pre-existing conditions, though insurance companies could charge more to cover them. Children would also be allowed to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26. There will be an elimination of lifetime coverage limits, a high risk pool for those who have been uninsured for more than 6 months, and community health centers will start receiving money.

17. The bill creates a pathway for single payer.


Bernie Sanders’ provision in the Senate bill does not start until 2017, and does not cover the Department of Labor, so no, it doesn’t create a pathway for single payer.


Obama told Dennis Kucinich that the Ohio Representative’s amendment is similar to Bernie Sanders’ provision in the Senate bill, and creates a pathway to single payer. Since the waiver does not start until 2017, and does not cover the Department of Labor, it is nearly impossible to see how it gets around the ERISA laws that stand in the way of any practical state single payer system.

18 The bill will end medical bankruptcy and provide all Americans with peace of mind.


Most people with medical bankruptcies already have insurance, and out-of-pocket expenses will continue to be a burden on the middle class.
  • In 2009, 1.5 million Americans declared bankruptcy
  • Of those, 62% were medically related
  • Three-quarters of those had health insurance
  • The Obama bill leaves 24 million without insurance
  • The maximum yearly out-of-pocket limit for a family will be $11,900 (PDF) on top of premiums
  • A family with serious medical problems that last for a few years could easily be financially crushed by medical costs

*Cost of premiums goes up somewhat due to subsidies and mandates of better coverage. CBO assumes that cost of individual policies goes down 7-10%, and that people will buy more generous policies.

Documentation:

  1. March 11, Letter from Doug Elmendorf to Harry Reid (PDF)
  2. The AHIP Plan in Context, Igor Volsky;Max Baucus WellPoint/Liz Fowler Plan" rel="bookmark" href="http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/09/08/liz-fowlers-plan/"> The Max Baucus WellPoint/Liz Fowler Plan, Marcy Wheeler
  3. CBO Score, 11-30-2009
  4. “Affordable” Health Care, Marcy Wheeler
  5. Gruber Doesn’t Reveal That 21% of Massachusetts Residents Can’t Afford Health Care, Marcy Wheeler; Massachusetts Survey (PDF)
  6. Health Care on the Road to Neo-Feudalism, Marcy Wheeler
  7. CMS: Excise Tax on Insurance Will Make Your Insurane Coverage Worse and Cause Almost No Reduction in NHE, Jon Walker
  8. Employer Health Costs Do Not Drive Wage Trends, Lawrence Mishel
  9. CBO Estimates Show Public Plan With Higher Savings Rate, Congress Daily; Drug Importation Amendment Likely This Week, Politico; Medicare Part D IAF; A Monopoloy on Biologics Will Drain Health Care Resources, Lancet Student
  10. MaxTax Is a Plan to Use Our Taxes to Reward Wal-Mart for Keeping Its Workers in Poverty, Marcy Wheeler
  11. Estimated Financial Effects of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009,” as Proposed by the Senate Majority Leader on November 18, 2009, CMS (PDF)
  12. ibid
  13. ibid
  14. ibid
  15. Health insurance companies hang onto their antitrust exemption, Protect Consumer Justice.org
  16. What passage of health care reform would mean for the average American, DC Examiner
  17. How to get a State Single Payer Opt-Out as Part of Reconciliation, Jon Walker
  18. Medical bills prompt more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies, CNN.com; The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Section‐by‐Section Analysis (PDF)
I disagree, for one, with Ms. Hamsher's claim that this bill is not a pathway to single-payer: the bill seems to me to be designed to make such a mess of private health care that Democrats will later be able to argue that only the government can fix it. (To say that such was Pres. Obama's goal would be to accuse him of being a disciple of Saul Alinsky.)

Hat tip: Instapundit.

PREVIOUSLY on Obamacare:
Pelosi: Pass Obamacare so artists can quit their day jobs
How many House Democrats would be vulnerable this fall because of Obamacare?
Britain's Obamacare: Hospital patient dies of thirst as nurses ignore his pleas for water
Nobel Laureate economist explains why socialized medicine always fails
Rep. Ryan explains the dishonesty of Obamacare economics
Obamacare 2.1 and its discontents (illustrated)
Pushing a losing agenda
The Obama enigma
An encounter with the Ideologue-in-Chief
Democrats' stealth plan to resuscitate Obamacare
Those who want to go done with the ship: Obamacare Dead-enders
Obamacare may raise insurance costs by 54%
Harvard's Dean of Medicine opposes Obamacare
How good is Canadan health care?
Rahm Emanuel explains that they are not even trying have Obamacare make sense
Harvard economist explains why Obamacare will raise premiums
HHS says Obamacare will cause costs to go up and cause employers to drop coverage
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in
Polls say majority of voters oppose Obamacare
Obama wants to kill your mother!
VP Biden offers medical advice
"The Post Office, with scalpels"
Dems oppose affordable medicine
Socialized medicine in Japan: Baby dies after 8 hospitals refuse to admit mother
The Canadian health care collapse
Canadian official: "the system is imploding"
Canadian MP flies to US for treatment

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Conservatives in Marin County?

550 conservatives and libertarians attended the (San Francisco) Bay Area Patriots Groupa-palooza on March 7 in very liberal Marin County. Here is what some of them had to say:

PREVIOUSLY on the March 7 groupa-palooza in the city of Mill Valley:
The San Francisco Chronicle's outrageous smear
Obama supporters try but fail to outnumber tea partiers at the Marin groupa-palooza
Former AP reporter fears for the children if they are exposed to tea partiers

Obamacare, illustrated

Gary Varvel explains the health care debate:
PREVIOUSLY on Obamacare:
Pelosi: Pass Obamacare so artists can quit their day jobs
How many House Democrats would be vulnerable this fall because of Obamacare?
Britain's Obamacare: Hospital patient dies of thirst as nurses ignore his pleas for water
Nobel Laureate economist explains why socialized medicine always fails
Rep. Ryan explains the dishonesty of Obamacare economics
Obamacare 2.1 and its discontents (illustrated)
Pushing a losing agenda
The Obama enigma
An encounter with the Ideologue-in-Chief
Democrats' stealth plan to resuscitate Obamacare
Those who want to go done with the ship: Obamacare Dead-enders
Obamacare may raise insurance costs by 54%
Harvard's Dean of Medicine opposes Obamacare
How good is Canadan health care?
Rahm Emanuel explains that they are not even trying have Obamacare make sense
Harvard economist explains why Obamacare will raise premiums
HHS says Obamacare will cause costs to go up and cause employers to drop coverage
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in
Polls say majority of voters oppose Obamacare
Obama wants to kill your mother!
VP Biden offers medical advice
"The Post Office, with scalpels"
Dems oppose affordable medicine
Socialized medicine in Japan: Baby dies after 8 hospitals refuse to admit mother
The Canadian health care collapse
Canadian official: "the system is imploding"
Canadian MP flies to US for treatment

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Democrats move to their comfort zone

It is a stressful time for Democrats in Congress as they attempt to force through their extremely unpopular takeover of health care this weekend. It such times of crisis, it is natural for a person to retreat to the safety of a known comfort zone. For Democrats, their comfort zone, the place that they can go and be assured of support from loyal news reporters, consists of accusing their opponents of being racists and bigots. The Huffington Post reports on accusations that are echoed elsewhere:

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a hero of the civil rights movement, was called a 'ni--er.' And Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was called a "faggot," as protestors shouted at him with deliberately lisp-y screams.

If such had really happened in a public place, repeatedly as they claim, one would think that their would be audio and likely video of one, if not more, of the name-calling incidents. They have produced none.

UPDATE: GatewayPundit collects evidence that the Dem claim is false.

PREVIOUSLY on the related subject of Democrats practicing racism:
Black students, harassed for "acting white," get $150,000
“You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.”
"The city wasn't ready to hire a white police chief."
A prominent black politician says the white incumbent cannot properly represent black voters.
San Franciscans discriminate against blacks.
"He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line."
NAACP defends racism.
Stanford finds Democrats are racist.
Obama nominates a racist.
Leaders acknowledge Democrat base is racist.
"That's just how white folks will do you." ---Barack Obama.
Dem says Dem primary voters are racist.
Dems accuse Bill and Hillary of racism.

Narcissist-in-Chief

That seems to be how Michael Ramirez sees it:
Mr. Ramirez's drawing is, of course, a bit inaccurate. In real life, for example, Pres. Obama would use a fancier mirror such as in this official White House photo:

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of narcissism:
Obama: "I want you to understand: this is not about me!"
Obama: it's all about me!
Confusing Compassion with Narcissism
Obama's narcissism and the Chicago Olympics bid
Environmentalism and Narcissism, II
From OpenLeft: Is liberalism narcissism?
Environmentalism and Narcissism,
The side-effects of good intentions

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Boxer Rebellion

Californians are rebelling against Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). In earlier polls, less than 50% of likely voters would vote for her reelection, a danger sign for an incumbent. In a Field poll (PDF) of likely voters released Thursday, she not only polls less than 50%, she also now trails two of her likely Republican opponents, ex-HP executive Carli Fiorina or ex-Rep. Tom Campbell:

This happens even though her opponents are relative unknowns as you can see from the large numbers in the "no opinion" line in the table below:


The third column above is interesting: it shows that Democrats give Boxer a higher "unfavorable" percentage (25%) than they do to either Campbell (24%) or DeVore (14%).

Hat tip: HotlineOnCall and Instapundit

RELATED: Gallup shows Obama at his lowest poll ratings yet.

PREVIOUSLY on Sen. Boxer:
Even global warmists like Senator Boxer are backing away from IPCC
Ma'am Sen. Boxer for and against climate whistleblowers.
Will Boxer go the way of Coakley?: CA Senate race tightens (Jan. 2010)
Boxer and Kerry campaign for cap-and-tax
Cap and tax in the US Senate: a who's who of the villains and their committees
Boxer: Never trust anyone who is well dressed

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sexism in the House

In a curious display of sexism, Speaker Pelosi is calling for a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) morning of Democrat-Congresswomen. Congressmen are excluded. The agenda for the meeting has not been released to men but the timing suggests that the topic is the Obamacare cram-down.

Hat tip: Instapundit

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of Democrats practicing sexism:
Majority Leader Reid declares: men are abusive.
It was all about the racism and sexism
MSNBC's sexist attacks on Sec. Rice and Obama's sexist attacks on Hillary
DailyKos opposed to treating Hillary "fairly"
Two examples of sexist stereotyping
Sexists in the Senate
A Democrat opposes sexism
Media sexism backfires
Salon has a sexual fantasy about Palin as a dominatrix
Sexist attack on Palin or merely an example of Obama's "silver tongue"?
Dem Gov says Dem primary voters are sexist and racist
What is the victim status of your identity group?
Dems urged to vote their gender

Study: Environmentalists more likely to "cheat" and "steal"


Students who bought at a "green" store were more likely to cheat and steal than students who bought at a "conventional" store according to a careful study (PDF) performed by University of Toronto psychologists Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong and published this month in the journal Psychological Science. In their study, student volunteers were assigned to make a purchase at one of two stores. Those who purchased at the store selling primarily "green" products were more likely to cheat on a subsequent game and more likely to steal money from an envelope containing cash than those who purchased at the store selling "conventional" products.

Curiously, the opposite was found for students who were merely exposed to "green" vs. "conventional" products but were not asked to make purchases.

Mazar and Zhong conclude:
Although mere exposure to green products can have a positive societal effect by inducing prosocial and ethical acts, purchasing green products may license indulgence in self-interested and unethical behaviors.
In other words, people seem to think that buying "green" products seems to make up for other transgressions they commit. In the Catholic Church, the analogous concept is "plenary indulgence."

More discussion of this study can be found at DailyCaller and the (IK) Guardian. Hat tip: Instapundit.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of narcissism:
Obama: it's all about me!
Confusing Compassion with Narcissism
Obama's narcissism and the Chicago Olympics bid
Environmentalism and Narcissism, II
From OpenLeft: Is liberalism narcissism?
Environmentalism and Narcissism,
The side-effects of good intentions

PREVIOUSLY on liberal hypocrisy:
The UN's global warming advocates vs. their own carbon footprint
Eco-hypocrite of the day: supermodel Giselle
The hypocrisy of ACORN and others on minimum wage
It is outrageous to make Hitler analogies, or not
Dems, taxes, and hypocrisy
Poll: Dems think it OK to cheat on taxes
The rules apply only to other people
Broadcast networks discover a new responsibility to air presidential speeches.
Saddam's connections to terror change depending on who is president.
Dems advocate 10-year effort in Iraq until they don't
The ever-increasing energy use of Al Gore's mansion
With five private jets, Travolta still lectures on global warming.
Dems supported enhanced interrogation.
UN humanitarian hypocrisy
Poster child hypocrisy
Edwards' hypocrisy toward the poor
Liberals bash gays

Monday, March 15, 2010

A pleasant sight

This anonymously-paid-for billboard was spotted on I-94 in the outer suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul:


For more, see Ed Morrissey and SCSU Scholars. Hat tip: Power Line.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pelosi: Pass Obamacare so artists can quit their day jobs!

On MSNBC, Speaker Pelosi explained to Rachel Maddow why Obamacare is necessary:
"Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance...." —Speaker Pelosi
PREVIOUSLY on Speaker Pelosi:
Pelosi: let them eat cake!
Eco-hypocrite of the day

PREVIOUSLY on Obamacare:
How many House Democrats would be vulnerable this fall because of Obamacare?
Britain's Obamacare: Hospital patient dies of thirst as nurses ignore his pleas for water
Nobel Laureate economist explains why socialized medicine always fails
Rep. Ryan explains the dishonesty of Obamacare economics
Obamacare 2.1 and its discontents (illustrated)
Pushing a losing agenda
The Obama enigma
An encounter with the Ideologue-in-Chief
Democrats' stealth plan to resuscitate Obamacare
Those who want to go done with the ship: Obamacare Dead-enders
Obamacare may raise insurance costs by 54%
Harvard's Dean of Medicine opposes Obamacare
How good is Canadan health care?
Rahm Emanuel explains that they are not even trying have Obamacare make sense
Harvard economist explains why Obamacare will raise premiums
HHS says Obamacare will cause costs to go up and cause employers to drop coverage
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in
Polls say majority of voters oppose Obamacare
Obama wants to kill your mother!
VP Biden offers medical advice
"The Post Office, with scalpels"
Dems oppose affordable medicine
Socialized medicine in Japan: Baby dies after 8 hospitals refuse to admit mother
The Canadian health care collapse
Canadian official: "the system is imploding"
Canadian MP flies to US for treatment

Thursday, March 11, 2010

SF Chronicle's outrageous smear

In the San Francisco Chronicle, reporter Bob Egelko tries hard to smear someone as a racist while covering the Bay Area Patriots' Groupa-Palooza meeting in Marin County:

Bay Area Patriots describes itself as nonpartisan. But most of the visible campaign activity on Sunday was on behalf of Republicans. There were also a few Libertarian and American Independent candidates - one of whom, Jerry Leidecker, an American Independent running for Congress, wore a shirt showing President Obama with what appeared to be watermelon juice on his lips. [Emph. added]
Watermelon juice? Have a look at that shirt for yourself:

This is clearly a depiction of Obama as Batman's arch-enemy, the Joker. The original Obama-as-Joker graphic was created by a left-wing Kucinich supporter but the graphic has also been adopted by others who, noting the stark contrast between Obama's policy positions as a candidate and as president, suggest that Obama was playing a joke on the American people.

Regardless of whether one prefers Heath Ledger (shown at right), Jack Nicholson, or Cesar Romero playing the Joker, everyone knows that the Joker wears clown make-up. Did anyone watching a Batman movie ever look at the Joker and think he had "watermelon juice" on his face?

Even if one mistakes the clown make-up for a juice, then, of all the possible red juices, is there any reason to think it was watermelon juice?

Reporter Egelko continues:

Asked about the apparent racial reference, Leidecker turned around to show a caricature of former President George W. Bush on the back of the shirt, labeled, "Fascist."

The back of the shirt shows Bush-as-Joker:

When he saw this, reporter Egelko should have given up on his racial watermelon interpretation but he didn't. The Chronicle's layers of editors and fact-checkers did not stop him either.

Mr. Leidecker's American Independent Party supported Alan Keyes for President.

PREVIOUSLY on last Sunday's groupa-palooza in Marin county:
Obama supporters try but fail to outnumber tea partiers at the Marin groupa-palooza
Former AP reporter fears for the children if they are exposed to tea partiers

For more pictures of the groupa-palooza, see Larry's slideshow.

PREVIOUSLY on tea parties in the San Francisco bay area:
3 in 10 Californians identify with tea party protests
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in (Nov. 15)
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco (Oct. 15)
Videos of the October 15 San Francisco Tea Party
San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi (Aug. 14)
The San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party Protest in Pictures (Apr. 15)
Farmers protest in San Jose (Nov. 21).
Tea Party breaks out in Palo Alto (Nov. 21)
Rep. Eshoo's health care town hall (Sep. 2)
Rep. Speier's town hall meeting (Aug. 23)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Culture of Corruption, White House edition

According to Title 18, Part I, Chapter 29, Section 595 of the US code, a US employee cannot use "his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the office of ...  Member of the Senate...." Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) says that that is exactly what the Obama administration did when, allegedly, it offered a "high-ranking" government job to Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) to persuade him not to run for Senate against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) in the Democratic primary.

PREVIOUSLY on Arlen Specter:
Specter: Another Bush mistake

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of corruption:
Which state has the most corrupt Democrats: NY or Illinois?
Democrats and ill-gotten gains
Corruption loses a key advocate
Dems, taxes, and hypocrisy
How to buy a congressman
Poll: Dems think it OK to cheat on taxes
Obama and Tony Rezko
Democrats and taxes
How to buy a judge
How Al Sharpton buys his political contributions
Corruption at the World Bank
Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Feinstein: how their husbands benefit from government contracts
The rules apply only to other people
Rep. Kagen investigated by FDA
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) under an ethics cloud

Will the House pass Obamacare this time?


Obamacare passed the House the first time with a narrow 220-215 margin. Since then, three of the 'yes' votes have left the House, one 'no' vote has left, and another 'yes' vote, the sole Republican to support the bill, has announced that he will vote 'no' next time. That leaves the score at 216-215 in favor of the House's version of Obamacare. However, a critical complication is that, to support the reconciliation approach, the House will need to approve this time the unpopular Senate version of the bill complete with the "Cornhusker kickback," the "Louisiana purchase," and the abortion language that Rep. Stupak and his ten or so associates have said they will oppose. Further, there are a lot of House Democrats in districts in which Obama is not popular. Michael Barone explains:
[M]ore than 40 House Democrats represent districts which John McCain carried. Most voted no in November and would presumably be hurt by switching to yes now. Moreover, Mr. Obama's job approval now hovers around 48%, five points lower than his winning percentage in 2008. His approval on health care is even lower.

Another 32 House Democrats represent districts where Mr. Obama won between 50% and 54% of the vote, and where his approval is likely to be running under 50% now. That leaves just 176 House Democrats from districts where Mr. Obama's approval rating is not, to borrow a real-estate term, under water. That's 40 votes less than the 216 needed.

To pass it, the Democrats will need to get creative, possibly like this.

PREVIOUSLY on Obamacare:
Britain's Obamacare: Hospital patient dies of thirst as nurses ignore his pleas for water
Nobel Laureate economist explains why socialized medicine always fails
Rep. Ryan explains the dishonesty of Obamacare economics
Obamacare 2.1 and its discontents (illustrated)
Pushing a losing agenda
The Obama enigma
An encounter with the Ideologue-in-Chief
Democrats' stealth plan to resuscitate Obamacare
Those who want to go done with the ship: Obamacare Dead-enders
Obamacare may raise insurance costs by 54%
Harvard's Dean of Medicine opposes Obamacare
How good is Canadan health care?
Rahm Emanuel explains that they are not even trying have Obamacare make sense
Harvard economist explains why Obamacare will raise premiums
HHS says Obamacare will cause costs to go up and cause employers to drop coverage
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in
Polls say majority of voters oppose Obamacare
Obama wants to kill your mother!
VP Biden offers medical advice
"The Post Office, with scalpels"
Dems oppose affordable medicine
Socialized medicine in Japan: Baby dies after 8 hospitals refuse to admit mother
The Canadian health care collapse
Canadian official: "the system is imploding"
Canadian MP flies to US for treatment

Regulators with the best of intentions

Ben Popken reports:
Starting next month, airlines delayed over 3 hours where passengers can't disembark will be fined a hefty $27,500 per passenger. Continental CEO Jeff Smisek said that to get around the fines, they'll just cancel the whole flight entirely. See, you can't fine a flight for not taking off on-time if the flight doesn't exist anymore. [AP]
PREVIOUSLY on the subject of regulations:
Businessmen report government regulations and red tape slowing the economy
Federal regulations responsible for raising health insurance premiums
Obama Administration appears to want to use campaign finance regulations to silence opposition
Regulators pressed banks to issue more and riskier loans
Regulators and the mortgage loan crisis
Obama Administration proposes polticizing financial regulations
Democrats blocked financial regulation reform
Who wants to be the last to die for a regulation
Obamacare regulations may raise insurance costs by 54%

Monday, March 08, 2010

Is internet access "a fundamental right"?

Freedom of speech is regarded as an inalienable natural right. Is there also a right to hear the speeches of others? The world seems to think so, as the BBC reports:
Almost four in five people around the world believe that access to the internet is a fundamental right, a poll for the BBC World Service suggests.

The survey - of more than 27,000 adults across 26 countries - found strong support for net access on both sides of the digital divide.

Countries such as Finland and Estonia have already ruled that access is a human right for their citizens.

International bodies such as the UN are also pushing for universal net access. [Emph. original]

Hat tip: The Clue Meter

When I read the poll, I wondered how many thought "a fundamental right" meant that every person should be given, free of charge, computer equipment for their personal use. As that requires others to provide work and services for free, that would be a strange kind of "fundamental right." However, the same poll (PDF) reported that 53% believe that "the internet should never be regulated by any level of government anywhere." That would be inconsistent with interpreting it as a right to free-government-paid-for internet-access and more consistent with a "right to hear others speak."

MEANWHILE, Ryan Singel (hat tip: Instapundit) writes about the various forces lobbying for the US and other governments to regulate and monitor internet use.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sign of the times: Obama supporters outnumbered 20-to-1 in liberal Marin County

Obama's Organizing-for-America sent out an alert Saturday asking that Obama supporters to gather for an Obamacare rally to counter a planned gathering Sunday of conservatives and libertarians being organized by the San Francisco Bay Area Patriots. Attempts to lobby the city of Mill Valley to forbid the Patriots from meeting there had failed. So, Organizing-for-America decided on a strategy of "outnumbering" the pro-liberty groups. Here is the plea they sent out:
Subject: Fwd: Rally Mill Valley Tomorrow

Hi, everyone. You may have read about this in the Marin IJ [Independent Journal]. The Tea Baggers organizer said she is expecting 300 participants for their event, coming from all over the Bay Area, and it will definitely be covered by the press. Please make our rally if you can. We certainly don't want to be outnumbered by the opposition on our home turf of Marin County. [Emph. added]

Marlene Puaoi
Team Leader
OFA Novato

Tea Baggers coming to Mill Valley tomorrow. See rally info with link
Can you send this link to your teams.
thank you,
patti
http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/healthreformphoneboothevents/gp82y9

Here is a photo of all the people at the pro-Obamacare rally:
As you can see, about a dozen pro-Obama protesters showed up. If you look carefully, you will see one man wearing a blue phone booth. That is intended to inspire you call your Congressman and ask for socialized medicine.

Contrast the diminutive rally shown above with the capacity crowd just a half mile down the street at the Patriot's meeting at the Mill Valley Community Center:



40 groups and 500 individuals pre-registered for the networking event. More people showed up at the door but had to be turn away because of fire regulations.

Mill Valley is in California's Marin County which is and remains liberal. The contrast between the paltry attendance at the Obamacare rally with the overflow crowd at the conservative meeting shows however where the energy lies.

PREVIOUSLY on the tea party movement:
Former AP reporter fears for the children if they are exposed to tea partiers
Andrew Sullivan says the tea party movement is fraudulent
Massive storm threatens Washington DC
3 in 10 Californians identify with tea party protests
MSNBC's Garafola gets her hate on
MSNBC responds to tea party protests with obscene jokes
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in (Nov. 15)
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco (Oct. 15)
Videos of the October 15 San Francisco Tea Party
San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi (Aug. 14)
The San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party Protest in Pictures (Apr. 15)
Farmers protest in San Jose (Nov. 21).
Tea Party breaks out in Palo Alto (Nov. 21)
Rep. Eshoo's health care town hall (Sep. 2)
Rep. Speier's town hall meeting (Aug. 23)
Million man Tea party

What Obamacare would mean

While Mr. Kane Gorny was being treated for cancer in St George's Hospital in Tooting, South London, the nurses could not find time to feed him water. In desperation, he called the police to ask for water but the hospital staff convinced the police that he should be ignored. After three days, he died of thirst.

On the bright side, because Britain has socialized medicine, Mr. Gorny's health care was "free."

Friday, March 05, 2010

Obamanomics prolonging the recession

Conn Carroll of the Heritage Foundation wrote a post this morning summarizing how the Obama agenda (Porkulus, Obamacare, and Cap-and-Tax) is discouraging job creation and prolonging the recession. To get the other side to that argument, I checked with the progressive/leftist Campaign for America's Future where Isaiah J. Poole has written a detailed response to the Heritage post:

There does not appear to be a single credible shred of evidence—such as a poll from a nonpartisan, nonideological organization—that the average Main Street employer — who, conservatives continually remind us, is more often than not a small business owner — is not adding employees primarily because he or she is quaking in fear of what Democrats are doing in Washington.

In fact, that's not even supported by the latest survey this week from the National Federation of Independent Business, a foe of much of the progressive job-creating agenda and an echo for many of the right-wing talking points. The summary of its "Small Business Economic Trends" report says, in part:

Owners complained that “poor sales” was their top problem, and there is no need to hire with no new customers. It is hard for workers to “earn their pay” in this environment, a necessity if a firm is to stay in business. Ten (10) percent (seasonally adjusted) reported unfilled job openings, unchanged from December but historically low. Over the next three months, a seasonally adjusted net negative one percent of owners planning to create new jobs, a one point improvement, but still more firms planning to cut jobs than planning to add.

Businesses were also asked what was their "single most important problem." Thirty-one percent said "poor sales," 22 percent said "taxes" and 13 percent said "government regulations and red tape." [Emph. added]

Obamacare and Cap-and-Tax would both include massive tax increases and, while Porkulus is deficit financed, it will clearly require tax increases in coming years to pay back the debt. Thus, the Obama agenda is aimed at raising taxes at a time when 22% of business owners said "taxes" was their "single most important problem." At the same time, Obamacare and Cap-and-Tax both add major new government regulations and red tape at a time when 13% of business owners say that such regulations and red tape are their "single most important problem." Put those two together and you have 35% of business owners who say the Obama agenda is their "single most important problem." That is even larger than the 31% who cited "poor sales." If Mr. Poole does not see a "single shred of evidence" that the problem is the Democrat agenda, it is because he is not looking.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of Obamanomics:
Moody's: US Aaa bond rating threatened by Obama's budget
Obamanomics illustrated II
How Dems are prolonging the recession
How Obamanomics destroys jobs
Obamanomics illustrated
Deficits: Obama goes where no man has gone before (illustration)
How to raise the standard of living
Obama's anti-intellectual economic theory
Obamanomics and the test of science
Obamacare may raise insurance costs by 54%
Harvard economist explains why Obamacare will raise premiums
HHS says Obamacare will cause costs to go up and cause employers to drop coverage

Who is Cicero?

Various circulating e-mails contain a quote that purports to be from Cicero:
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." — Cicero, 55 BC
It is said, however, that this quote is actually from a novel (a work of fiction) called A Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldwell (1965, page 483) and has no basis in history. According to research by TruthOrFiction, the only similar quote actually from the historical Cicero is:
"The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign hands should be curtailed, lest Rome fall."
It was partly due to Cicero's misjudgments (he, for example, saw Anthony as the threat when he should have been more wary of Augustus) that the Roman Republic fell and Cicero himself lost his head.

PREVIOUSLY on the ancient world and how it relates to ours:
Poison: the choice of emperors
How Pericles and Columbus used Eclipses: lessons for managers

Yet another left-wing terrorist

J. Patrick Bedell, the gunman who wounded two police officers when he opened fire at a Pentagon entrance, appears to have been a 9-11 truther. Fox News reports:
In an Internet posting, a user by the name JPatrickBedell wrote that he was "determined to see that justice is served" in the death of Marine Col. James Sabow, who was found dead in the back yard of his California home in 1991. The death was ruled a suicide but the case has long been the source of theories of a coverup.

The user named JPatrickBedell wrote the Sabow case was "a step toward establishing the truth of events such as the September 11 demolitions."

This follows Joe Stack's suicide-divebomber attack on an IRS building. Joe Stack's suicide note indicated that he was a Bush-hater and communist.

UPDATE: J. Patrick Bedell was a registered Democrat. He was anti-Bush. He was, reportedly, a longtime marijuana addict who a run in with police over charges of "cultivating marijuana and resisting arrest." Peter Grier at the Christian Science Monitor adds it all up and, bizarrely, concludes that Bedell was a "right-wing extremist." Really. Grier writes:
John Patrick Bedell, whom authorities identified as the gunman in the Pentagon shooting on Thursday, appears to have been a right-wing extremist with virulent antigovernment feelings. [Emph. added]

Hat tip: Instapundit

PREVIOUSLY on terrorism:
Obama's humane plan for terrorists: kill rather than interrogate
The root cause of terrorism
Gitmo torture: Metallica is proud of its music's message to terrorists
Speaker Pelosi's deep thoughts on giving Miranda rights to terrorists.
AG Eric Holder was for enhanced interrogation before he was against it.
The NY Times finally admits we were fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq
Gitmo torture tactic revealed: "she touched my thigh!"
Terror color codes updated for Obama (illustrated)
NY Times skeptical of Bush but trusts terrorists
Global warming predicted to cause more terrorism
Before Al Qaeda: the socialist-terrorist alliance of the 1980s
Clicky Web Analytics