Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Obamacare endangers health coverage for 1.4 million workers

The Wall Street Journal reports (hat tip: HAP):
McDonald's Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.
McDonald's currently offers "mini-med" plans for its low-wage workers. Owing in part to frequent worker turnover, these plans have higher administrative costs so that they cannot meet the payout ratio of 80 to 85% that Obamacare requires. 1.4 million US workers have mini-med plans and, unless the rules change, could lose coverage.

What made Congress think it was smart enough to determine the right payout ratio? In other industries, payout ratios (or the ratio of product direct cost to price) depend on many factors and vary widely. As long as consumers are free to choose the product that best suits them, this is a not a problem. Now that Congress has set payout ratio requirements for medical care, there will likely be a long series of "unintended consequences." Taking just one as an example, health insurance companies spend a lot of money fighting insurance fraud. Obamacare's requirements for a high payout ratio limit this and could result in insurance fraud becoming more common: the criminals will get rich and the rest of us will pay for it with higher premiums.

UPDATE: The government grants waivers.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of ObamaCare:
ObamaCare threatens child-only insurance
Medical insurance prices rising due to ObamaCare
Obamacare endangers student health
Obama's health care and economic policies explained
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

Auto fatalities and the law of unintended consequences

Since texting while driving is clearly a stupid thing to do, has the banning of texting made the roads safer? No, says a new study. The Christian Science Monitor reports:
State laws prohibiting texting while driving have not reduced car crashes, and in some places may have actually increased the number of accidents, says new safety research released Tuesday. . . .

“There is a lot of media attention on the topic in general, but it’s difficult to find specific policy solutions,” says Fernando Wilson, an assistant professor at the University of North Texas in Denton. Last week, his study showing that texting while driving had increased auto fatalities by more than 16,000 between 2001 and 2007 was published in the American Journal of Public Health.

How could a ban on texting make driving less safe? One possible explanation is that the drivers who are stupid enough to text while driving probably also react to the law in a stupid manner. They may see the problem as one of avoiding getting caught which they could do by holding the phone lower in the car so others can't see it. Of course, by holding it lower, their eyes are further off the road than before, making their driving more dangerous.

Are their many people who actually text while driving? Wired reports that half of 18 to 24 year old drivers admit to texting while driving. Young and immortal.

PREVIOUSLY on unintended consequences:
Liberals versus unintended consequences
Campaign finance reform and unintended consequences
Obama, liberal idealism, and unintended consequences
San Francisco liberals drive blacks from city



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Al Gore's favorite scientist arrested again

If you watch An Inconvenient Truth, you will hear Al Gore mentions only one scientist by name: James Hansen. If you were thinking that Hansen was a calm, rational, reasonable man of learning, then you should think again. From Nature:
NASA climate scientist James Hansen has gotten himself arrested while protesting mountaintop coal mining. Again.

The Huffington Post reports that he was among about 100 people arrested outside the White House yesterday while protesting this particularly troublesome form of coal mining. The same thing happened last June, a few months after Hansen proclaimed his willingness to be arrested during another protest.



WattsUpWithThat has more.

PREVIOUSLY on James Hansen:
Former boss calls James Hansen call an embarrassment to NASA
NASA's global warming scientists caught hyping false data
James Hansen "muzzled" by Bush White House?

Monday, September 27, 2010

A superpower run by amateurs

The AP reports (hat tip: Instpundit) on yet another diplomatic gaffe by the Obama administration:

The U.S. government said Sunday it made an "honest mistake" when it displayed an inverted Philippine flag — which wrongfully signified that the Southeast Asian nation was in a state of war — in a meeting hosted by President Barack Obama.

The Philippine flag was displayed upside down behind President Benigno Aquino III when leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations met Obama in New York on Friday.  [Emph. added]
PREVIOUSLY on the subject of the amateurish nature of the Obama administration:
War on Fox Noews shows White House's frustrations and amateurishness. (update)
Amateur Hour at the State Dept.: the "reset" gaffe
Amateur Hour: Obama discovers role of business
Amateur hour at the White House: Obama snubs Brazil's President

Pot growers oppose pot legalization

This November, California will vote on Proposition 19 which legalizes and taxes marijuana. The Rand corporation forecasts that, if passed, this would lower pot prices by as much as 90%. With pot being a major cash crop in parts of Northern California, NBC/Los Angeles reports that pot farmers and the government officials that they support both "fear" this possible loss of revenue:
The potential price drop has brought unexpected opposition, or at least suspicion, from rural pot farmers who fear the loss of their traditional, though legally risky, way of life.

Marijuana has become so crucial to rural economies along the state's North Coast that even some local government officials are working on plans for coping with a pot downturn.

PREVIOUSLY on this year's pot legalization campaign in California:
Prop. 19 supporters at the San Francisco rally for John Dennis (who is the Republican challenger to Nancy Pelosi)
California's upcoming ballot proposition: a quick look
Conservatives go to pot
"Legalize today; get high tonight"

Friday, September 24, 2010

November is coming

Fiorina losing ground against Boxer

According to RealClearPolitics compilation of polls, Carly Fiorina had nearly pulled even with incumbent Sen. Boxer (D-CA, shown at right) two weeks ago but her poll numbers have dropped precipitously since then:

UPI reports that Fiorina's supporters lack enthusiasm:
Two-thirds of respondents in the survey taken statewide Sept. 14-21 said their preference for Fiorina was largely based on disapproval of Boxer rather than support of Fiorina, the Chronicle said.
An advantage that California Sen. Boxer has over challenger Fiorina is that Boxer has supported Pres. Obama and, unlike much of the country, Pres. Obama is actually popular in California. Rasmussen reports:
Fifty-seven percent (57%) in California approve of the job President Obama is doing, while 42% disapprove. Those ratings are better than those found nationally for the president in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

PREVIOUSLY on the always outrageous 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

Gov. Christie's greatest hits

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is a politician who knows how to speak plainly and clearly:


PREVIOUSLY on Gov. Christie:
Gov. Christie on New Jersey and the astounding greed of its teacher's unions
U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie prosecutes terrorists

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Saddam provided terrorists with money, training camps, and weapons says ex-Minister Aziz

This week, the AP has obtained records of the FBI's interrogation of former Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz (pictured). According to the notes, Aziz acknowledges that Saddam's Iraq supported terrorists: Saddam provided Islamist terrorists with land with which to raise money (via farming) while also housing a training camp. In addition, Saddam provided them with AK-47 machine guns. While Aziz denied a direct connection with bin Laden, the AP writes:

Aziz acknowledged, however, that the Saddam regime supported other terrorists, including notorious Palestinian militant Abul Abbas, mastermind of the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship. American passenger Leon Klinghoffer was killed by the terrorists and his body dumped into the Mediterranean. Abbas was captured in Iraq by U.S. forces in April 2003 and died in custody 11 months later.

Aziz said Baghdad gave Abbas a farm to allow him to generate money for the Palestinian cause. "The farm evolved into a camp where Abul Abbas would train fighters with AK-47s" provided by the Iraqi government, Aziz said, according to a summary of his May 6, 2004 interrogation.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of terrorism:
9-11 in review

First human-powered ornithopter

The (Toronto) Star reports:
A University of Toronto engineering graduate student has made aviation history, successfully flying the first ever human-powered flapping-wing aircraft continuously.

Todd Reichert, a PhD candidate at the university’s Institute of Aerospace Studies, piloted the wing-flapping aircraft, sustaining both altitude and airspeed for 19.3 seconds and covering a distance of 145 metres at an average speed of 25.6 kilometres per hour.
Ornithopters (flapping-wing aircraft) have been around for a while but this is the first one efficient enough to carry a human while not requiring more than the limited power that a human can produce.

While it is unlikely that ornithopters will ever be as fast as jet planes, there are other uses for airplanes for which the ornithopter's potential for being quieter and more efficient could be important. In any event, this flight is another human accomplishment. Here is the video:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ObamaCare threatens child-only insurance

The Washington Post reports (via Instapundit):
Some of the country's most prominent health insurance companies have decided to stop offering new child-only plans, rather than comply with rules in the new health-care law that will require such plans to start accepting children with preexisting medical conditions after Sept. 23.
The reasons for this are, of course, the perverse incentives created by Obamacare:
Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for AHIP, noted that insurers will be accepting children with preexisting conditions in other types of plans.

But, he said, extending such coverage in child-only policies "provides a very powerful incentive for a parent to wait until their child becomes very sick before purchasing coverage." [Emph. added]

RELATED:  Under Massachusetts' version of Obamacare, emergency room visits have increased.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of ObamaCare:
Medical insurance prices rising due to ObamaCare
Obamacare endangers student health
Obama's health care and economic policies explained
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

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's a paradox: Congress unpopular "despite record"

A Bloomberg News story highlights a conundrum: how could it be that Democrats are unpopular "despite" their "record of legislative achievement that rivals President Lyndon Johnson's `Great Society'":Hat tip: BotW.

A rational reporter would have written that Democrats were unpopular because of their record, not despite it.

PREVIOUSLY on the paradoxes that vex liberal minds:
"Ironically," conservatives and their children are happier
It's a paradox!: Crime down when criminals are in jail.
Paradox: crime is down (again)
Paradox: few fraudulent voters if voters are required to have IDs

The Obama economy

It is now official: the latest recession was, as the Wall Street Journal reports, "the longest and deepest slump since the Great Depression":
The Democrats has spent two years pushing anti-business/anti-jobs policies. What did they think would happen? Listen this Obama-supporter who spoke at a town hall today in Washington and it is clear that Obama's supporters had no idea there would be downside to their agenda:

PREVIOUSLY on Obamanomics:
Obama 0, Germany 1:
Medical insurance prices rising due to ObamaCare
Laws of Economics 1; Obama 0
Why Liberal economics fails: redistribution does not create wealth (Illustrated)
Obamacare endangers student health
Why business isn't hiring
Dodd-Frank finance "reform" bill stops bond market cold
Why unemployment insurance must be extended (illustrated)
Obamanomics still failing, Washington Post discovers
Russia goes supply-side
Study: Liberals are economically illiterate

Friday, September 17, 2010

Too little, too late: Dems turn on Pelosi


The Wall Street Journal reports:
Swing-district Democrats, fighting for their political lives, are beginning to turn on Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), one of the most powerful House speakers in decades but also one of the most polarizing figures in U.S. politics. . . .

A half-dozen Democratic candidates have aired advertisements seeking to draw distance from the speaker, including one released Friday by long-time Rep. Chet Edwards of Texas. . . .

Thirty-one House Democrats rebelled this week against her position on former President George W. Bush's tax cuts, signing a letter calling for all of the cuts to be extended, not only those for households earning less than $250,000.
It is too bad those those Democrats did not found their voices before Porkulus and Obamacare. If they had, we wouldn't be in the fix we are in now.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of Speaker Pelosi:
San Franciscans rally against Pelosi
Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Feinstein: how their husbands benefit from government contracts
Speaker Pelosi's deep thoughts on giving Miranda rights to terrorists.
San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi (Aug. 14)

Why is Islam popular in prison?

(There are moderate Muslims.  This particular post, however, is not about them.)

Bookworm writes that conversion to a religion "looks good" in prison (I presume that means that parole boards like it).  But, there is more:
Further, as my cousin, the prison pastor, says:

It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.

This video (hat tip: GayPatriot) explains three key facts about Islam that every Westerner should know:

PREVIOUSLY on subjects related to Islam:
Obama and the stifling of dissent
The philosophy that shall not be named
Turkey wants to try Pope for insulting Islam

Fire From the Heartland

I haven't seen the full movie but the trailer is impressive. I particularly liked watching Sec. Geithner squirm:


Hat tip: Uncoverage.

The DVD is to be released October 18th. You can purchase it here.

PREVIOUSLY on the Tea Party movement as seen in the San Francisco area:
Long Strange Trip: Hippies defend establishment; Tea Party protests (Jul 18)
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco and the left is not happy about it
Collected photos of this year's San Francisco Tea Party events
Minutemen vs. May Day protesters in San Francisco
A tax day Tea Party breaks out in San Francisco's Union Square
A tax day Tea Party breaks out on the San Francisco Peninsula
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)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Culture of Corruption Shocker

Breitbart has uncovered a shocking audio recording of a phone message left by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) in which she cites her work as a sub-committee chair on projects of concern to the callee and then asks for contributions. If this isn't overt extortion, what is? Here is a partial transcript of her phone message:

I am a, um, Senior Member, a twenty year veteran and am Chair of the Sub-committee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. I’m handling the largest economic development project in the United States now, the Homeland Security Compound of three buildings being built on the uh, old St. Elizabeth’s hospital site in the District of Columbia along with uh, fifteen other, uh, sites here for, that are part of the stimulus .

I was, frankly, uh, uh, surprised to see that we don’t have a record, so far as I can tell, of your having given to me despite my uh, long and deep uh, work. In fact, it’s been my major work, uh, on the committee and sub-committee it’s been essentially in your sector.

Breitbart has the full audio and many more interesting details.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of corruption:
Culture of Corruption, White House edition
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

Justice Breyer looking to overturn the First Amendment

George Stephanopoulos reports on his conversation with Justice Breyer (pictured):

Last week we saw a Florida Pastor – with 30 members in his church – threaten to burn Korans which lead to riots and killings in Afghanistan. We also saw Democrats and Republicans alike assume that Pastor Jones had a Constitutional right to burn those Korans. But Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer told me on "GMA" that he's not prepared to conclude that -- in the internet age -- the First Amendment condones Koran burning.

“Holmes said it doesn’t mean you can shout 'fire' in a crowded theater,” Breyer told me. “Well, what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is the being trampled to death?”

In other words, under Breyer's proposal, Americans would lose the right of free speech if the government says that there are extremists somewhere who might respond violently. both governments and extremists would find that very convenient.

Hat tip: Dr. Sanity.

PREVIOUSLY on the issues of dissent and free speech:
Obama administration: free speech does not include the right to criticize Obamacare
Obama sells out free speech
Physicians' group to sue Obama administration over suppression of dissent
Canada's liberals oppose free speech
Free speech and its enemies
University upset at free speech
The Right of Free Speech, Selectively Applied
Tolerating free speech, IV
Tolerating free speech, III
More on tolerating free speech
Those who cannot tolerate free speech

Remember the couple that snuck into the White House with no credentials?

They're still there!

Hat tip: Jason.

PREVIOUSLY on the humorous side of our present predicament:
How does a Democrat blow out candles?
Bob Hope's greatest movie line
If Pres. Obama was "amused" by the tea parties....
Comedy in the tragedy
Obamacare, illustrated
Seeing the humor in a disaster
Obamacare and trillions of dollars of unfunded mandates
Where has the laughter gone?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

O'Donnell "wins"

In 279 BC, King Pyrrhus of Epirus (right) defeated the Roman army. Upon being congratulated for his victory, the king, himself wounded, his baggage plundered, and his armies decimated, reportedly replied:
"One more such victory and I am undone"
The war was so costly that he could not celebrate winning it. Similarly tonight, with 100% of the precincts reporting, tea-party favorite Christine O'Donnell has defeated RINO Michael Castle by 53.1% to 46.9%. The primary battle was bruising. Some will say that the attacks on O'Donnell were unfair. However, when the Democrats start attacking her this Fall, it is unlikely that they will restrict themselves to "fair" attacks.

How important is your e-mail password?

ZDNet reports that an Australian man returned from travel to find that he had lost a half million dollars after one of his houses had been sold by thieves.  Another house had a sale pending.  How could thieves possibly steal a house?   Easy.  They hacked into the e-mail account he had previously used for transferring documents back and forth with his real estate agent.  Authorities are not releasing details but those documents could easily have included scanned signatures and all the personal information that an identity thief would need.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

PREVIOUSLY on e-mail and hackers:
Trial starts of Obama supporter who allegedly hacked Palin e-mail

PREVIOUSLY on privacy and modern electronics:
Your right to privacy does not include your hard disk

Illegal immigration, Asian style

At Fox News, Phylis Chester writes:
They are crossing the border illegally and violently displacing the indigenous population whose homes and possessions they either destroy or occupy. They are attacking the young, the elderly, and especially the girls and women, whom they kidnap, forcibly convert, or traffic into brothels. The locals are terrified of them. The police rarely come to their aid, nor do the politically correct media or government. Both are terrified by the criminals and terrorists who are riding these immigrant waves.

I am not talking about illegal immigrants to Europe or North America. I am describing Muslims who are penetrating India’s West Bengal region. These Bangladeshi immigrants are becoming conduits for criminal activities (arms, drugs, and sexual slavery) which also fund global jihad.

There are good reasons why all nations regulate immigration.

Hat tip: Israpundit.

PREVIOUSLY on immigration:
Feds cede border to smugglers. Warn citizens to stay away
Arizona law working even before it was scheduled to be in effect
Obama administration overturns rule of law on immigration
Pro-illegal immigration protesters confront Minutemen in San Francisco
Amazing: NY Times editors thought illegal immigration was legal
California pays for schooling of Mexicans who live in Mexico and only cross the border to go to school
Political bias on Spanish-language TV network Univision
British pop star denied visa to US. Should she have tried to get in illegally instead?
Sex slave ring arrested. Pro-illegal advocates object.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Obama, anti-colonialism, and left-wing racism

In an article that is driving the left nuts, Dinesh D'Souza proposes a theory that Pres. Obama's policies are guided more by the philosophy of anti-colonialism than that of socialism. He writes, for example:
Consider this headline from the Aug. 18, 2009 issue of the Wall Street Journal: "Obama Underwrites Offshore Drilling." Did you read that correctly? You did. The Administration supports offshore drilling--but drilling off the shores of Brazil. With Obama's backing, the U.S. Export-Import Bank offered $2 billion in loans and guarantees to Brazil's state-owned oil company Petrobras to finance exploration in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro--not so the oil ends up in the U.S. He is funding Brazilian exploration so that the oil can stay in Brazil.
D'Souza cites other policies, such as supporting the Ground Zero victory mosque or changing NASA's mission to Muslim-outreach, that otherwise seem inexplicable but are consistent with his having adopted his father's anti-colonialism as a guiding philosophy. Obama's reverence for his father is well supported by passages from Obama's autobiography. D'Souza writes:

In his own writings Obama stresses the centrality of his father not only to his beliefs and values but to his very identity. He calls his memoir "the record of a personal, interior journey--a boy's search for his father and through that search a workable meaning for his life as a black American." And again, "It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself." Even though his father was absent for virtually all his life, Obama writes, "My father's voice had nevertheless remained untainted, inspiring, rebuking, granting or withholding approval. You do not work hard enough, Barry. You must help in your people's struggle. Wake up, black man!"

The climax of Obama's narrative is when he goes to Kenya and weeps at his father's grave. It is riveting: "When my tears were finally spent," he writes, "I felt a calmness wash over me. I felt the circle finally close. I realized that who I was, what I cared about, was no longer just a matter of intellect or obligation, no longer a construct of words. I saw that my life in America--the black life, the white life, the sense of abandonment I'd felt as a boy, the frustration and hope I'd witnessed in Chicago--all of it was connected with this small piece of earth an ocean away, connected by more than the accident of a name or the color of my skin. The pain that I felt was my father's pain."

Over the weekend, Newt Gingrich picked up on this theory. Now the left is going nuts. MediaMatters, the Soros-funded propaganda site, says that this makes Gingrich (and Fox News) racist. How exactly is never explained. Is the idea that Obama might revere his father racist? Is the idea that his father was influenced by his time in Kenya racist? Is it racist to suggest that someone is an anti-colonialist? No, the charge doesn't make any sense.

The blog, PoliticsPlus, takes this one step further by writing:
In this latest, Newt Gingrich has once again flirted with birtherism to emphasize Barack Obama’s Kenyan roots.
So, suggesting that Obama is influenced by his father is now "flirting with birtherism"? Is it PoliticsPlus' claim that Obama could only have been influenced by his father if Obama was born in Kenya? No, of course not.

Since rational thought can be hard work, it is understandable that the left prefers name-calling.

RECENTLY on related subjects:
Is witch doctor image racist?
Obama ally: "I hate white people...."
What is inside Obama's mind?
Is Obama a committed leftist?
Laws of Economics 1; Obama 0
Study: Liberals are economically illiterate
“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."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

2010 Ground Zero Freedom Rally

You won't see this picture in the MSM: 40,000 attend the Ground Zero Freedom Rally:
For more, see Atlas Shrugs.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of terrorism:
9-11 in review

9-11

P/Oed Patriot collected some very interesting 9-11 videos. The first is an interview with the father of a 9-11 firefighter:

On Pres. Obama's speech:
I think Obama was lecturing to us yesterday, talking down to us like everybody is a radical, a racist and a bigot.
On the ground zero victory mosque:
They have every right to build there and we can't stop them but we just hope that they'll be sensitive to us because .... it is a cemetery down there to us.
He recognizes the "right to build" but asks that they be sensitive about it. Why can't our president understand that nuance?

Here is 7 minutes to remind you of the horror:

Once you've refreshed your memory of the horror, watch the Palestinians celebrate the attack:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Obama administration to punish honesty

Criticize Obama and lose your business?

Although there are several reasons why ObamaCare will raise insurance rates, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, of the Health and Human Services Dept., is threatening "zero tolerance" for insurance companies who state the obvious. She writes:
It has come to my attention that several health insurer carriers are sending letters to their enrollees falsely blaming premium increases for 2011 on the patient protections in the Affordable Care Act. I urge you to inform your members that there will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases. . . . .

[W]e will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections. [Emph. added]
For insurance companies that displease her, she plans to hold an inquisition:
Later this fall, we will issue a regulation that will require state or federal review of all potentially unreasonable rate increases filed by health insurers, with the justification for increases posted publicly for consumers and employers.
For more on this, see Eugene Volokh, and Ed Morrissey.

Hat tip: Instapundit and Instapundit.

RELATED: Pres. Obama jokes about having the IRS audit his critics.

PREVIOUSLY on the issues of dissent and free speech:
Obama sells out free speech
Physicians' group to sue Obama administration over suppression of dissent
Canada's liberals oppose free speech
Free speech and its enemies
University upset at free speech
The Right of Free Speech, Selectively Applied
Tolerating free speech, IV
Tolerating free speech, III
More on tolerating free speech
Those who cannot tolerate free speech

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

JFK explains the supply-side

Democrats want to forget but JFK was a strong advocate of supply-side economics, even arguing that tax cuts can, over the long run, reduce the deficit:

Hat tip: International Liberty via Instapundit.

For more details, a full audio recording of JFK's December 1962 speech to the Economic Club of NY is available free from the JFK Library. Full text and audio is also available here.

RELATED:
Russia goes supply-side
Laws of Economics 1; Obama 0
Why Liberal economics fails: redistribution does not create wealth (Illustrated)
Obamacare endangers student health
Why business isn't hiring

Obama 0, Germany 1

In the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Lawrence White, professor of economics at George Mason University, writes:
Earlier this summer George Soros and some leading Keynesian economists criticized what they regarded as Germany's overly strict fiscal discipline. Yet Germany's real output expanded at a robust 9% annual rate in the second quarter, while the U.S. economy grew at an anemic 1.6% rate.
In contrast with Germany and its successful recovery, Pres. Obama took the advice of Soros and the Keynesians and created record-breaking deficits:


RECENTLY on similar subjects:
Medical insurance prices rising due to ObamaCare
Laws of Economics 1; Obama 0
Why Liberal economics fails: redistribution does not create wealth (Illustrated)
Obamacare endangers student health
Why business isn't hiring
Dodd-Frank finance "reform" bill stops bond market cold
Why unemployment insurance must be extended (illustrated)
Obamanomics still failing, Washington Post discovers
Russia goes supply-side
Study: Liberals are economically illiterate

Medical insurance prices rising due to ObamaCare

Insurance companies are telling regulators that Obamacare is forcing price increases. The Wall Street Journal explains which provisions in ObamaCare are causing this to happen now:

Democrats front-loaded the legislation [ObamaCare] with early provisions they hoped would boost public support. Those include letting children stay on their parents' insurance policies until age 26, eliminating co-payments for preventive care and barring insurers from denying policies to children with pre-existing conditions, plus the elimination of the coverage caps.

Weeks before the election, insurance companies began telling state regulators it is those very provisions that are forcing them to increase their rates.

Democrats I know get furious when someone suggests that Democrats think money grows on trees. If they don't think money grows on trees, who did they think was going to pay for the costs of these new policies?

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of Obamanomics and how it differs from economics:
Laws of Economics 1; Obama 0
Why Liberal economics fails: redistribution does not create wealth (Illustrated)
Obamacare endangers student health
Why business isn't hiring
Dodd-Frank finance "reform" bill stops bond market cold
Why unemployment insurance must be extended (illustrated)
Obamanomics still failing, Washington Post discovers
Russia goes supply-side
Study: Liberals are economically illiterate
Obama's health care and economic policies explained
Obama modeling US economy after Europe's
Irresponsibility pays!
Obamanomics prolonging the recession
US Aaa bond rating threatened by Obama's budget says Moody's
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

Glenn Beck's Crash Course

Conservative views on Pres. Obama tend to fall into two groups: (1) he is a shallow thinker whose "knowledge" consists mostly of a collection of clich├ęs that he picked up while listening to left-wing radicals; or (2) he is a fiercely competent and committed leftist. I tend to lean toward the former view while Glenn Beck choses the latter. Here is a quick summary of Mr. Beck's view:

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

What is inside Obama's mind?

On the outside, Pres. Obama exudes arrogance. What is going on on the inside? Consider two quotes (collected by James Taranto):
  • "Obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me,"--President-elect Barack Obama, Nov. 7, 2008
  • "Over the last two years, that's meant taking on some powerful interests, some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for a very long time. And they're not always happy with me. They talk about me like a dog. That's not in my prepared remarks. It's just--but it's true."--President Obama, Sept. 6, 2010
Since I am unaware of any Obama critic talking about him "like a dog" or in any way vaguely similar to that, it would seem that that description came from his mind, consistent with his description of himself as a "mutt." It seems that his arrogance is covering for an inner sense of inferiority or worthlessness.

ABC News in review


David Westin just left ABC after 14 years as president of ABC News. Brent Bozell reviews his record:
Under his leadership, Westin continually promoted some of the most liberally biased reporters in news, including George Stephanopoulos, Diane Sawyer, Christine Amanpour and Bill Weir. He hired an Obama donor as ABC’s new Senior Medical Editor in the midst of the healthcare debate and ignored the 83,000 Americans who petitioned him to ensure that ABC reported the truth about Obama’s government takeover of healthcare. Westin neglected to address the obvious conflict of interest in George Stephanopoulos’ daily strategy phone call with Rahm Emanuel, and failed to keep his promise that ABC News would offer ‘objective’ reporting on the War on Terror in 2003. He even had the gall to suggest that the Pentagon was a legitimate terrorism target in the wake of September 11th. Two years later, he banned any ABC News personnel from wearing a patriotic flag lapel pin.
The legacy media deserve to go bankrupt.


I Want Your Money: The Movie

I don't know whether this will be a good movie but the trailer is excellent:

Hat tip: Greg.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Obamanomics vs. small businesses

Small businesses are complaining that Pres. Obama's [pictured, right] economic "incentives" contradict each other. The Washington Post reports:

Some business owners and advocates complain that some of the programs contradict one another. Stephanie Cathcart, spokeswoman for the National Federation of Independent Business, said benefits from the payroll tax exemption business owners use when they hire unemployed people are mitigated by provisions in the health-care overhaul law that reduce a tax credit when businesses hire.

"It's counterintuitive," she said. "Frankly, a lot of these initiatives fall short."

Saturday, September 04, 2010

California's collapsing government

Two news items on ridiculously expensive spending projects in a state that is so strapped for cash that it occasionally has to pay its workers with IOUs:
  1. America's most expensive school has just been built in Los Angeles. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Allysia Finley describes it:
    At $578 million—or about $140,000 per student—the 24-acre Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools complex in mid-Wilshire is the most expensive school ever constructed in U.S. history. ....

    Set to open Sept. 13, the school boasts an auditorium whose starry ceiling and garish entrance are modeled after the old Cocoanut Grove nightclub and a library whose round, vaulted ceilings and cavernous center resemble the ballroom where Kennedy made his last speech. It also includes the original Cocoanut Grove canopy around which the rest of the school was built. "It wasn't cheap, but it was saved," says Thomas Rubin, a consultant for the district's bond oversight committee, which oversees the $20 billion of bonds that taxpayers approved for school construction in recent years.

    I asked Mr. Rubin whether some of the school's grandiose features—like florid murals of Robert F. Kennedy—were worth the cost. "Did we have to do that? Hell no. But there's no accounting for taste," he responded.

    Talking benches—$54,000—play a three-hour audio of the site's history. Murals and other public art cost $1.3 million. A minipark facing a bustling Wilshire Boulevard? $4.9 million.


  2. The state has approved a new high speed rail project with an officially projected cost of a whopping $42 billion. The San Jose Mercury News reports:
    A Bay Area News Group analysis of high-speed systems around the globe suggests that the project could cost less than the current estimate, as little as $38 billion. But it is most likely to cost more -- up to $73 billion, even if built on time. ....

    Trying to contain the cost of a project so large is hard enough. The rail authority has a double challenge: It doesn't have close to enough money to pay for the system even as priced today.

    The authority has $9 billion in state bond money and a $2.25 billion federal stimulus grant committed.

PREVIOUSLY on California politics:
In Oakland, CA, civilization is collapsing
California's upcoming ballot proposition: a quick look
California steps closer to bankruptcy
What a long strange trip its been!: Tea Party protests establishment hippies
California tilts Republican
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco and the left is not happy about it
3 in 10 Californians identify with tea party protests

Obama discovers the supply-side?

Pres. Obama's first year and a half in office were marked by a consistent anti-business agenda. With the economy still in shambles, the LA Times reports that Obama is considering some new approaches:
The president is expected to use a speech in Cleveland on Wednesday to outline a series of measures to kick-start the economy, which could include extending research and development tax credits for business, increasing spending on highways and other public works projects, and retaining the middle-class portion of the Bush administration tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year. [Emph. added]
Do these business and consumer friendly items represent a new understanding of economics on Obama's part or is this merely an election year ploy to deceive the electorate before he returns to the old ideas?

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of Obamanomics and how it differs from economics:
Laws of Economics 1; Obama 0
Why Liberal economics fails: redistribution does not create wealth (Illustrated)
Obamacare endangers student health
Why business isn't hiring
Dodd-Frank finance "reform" bill stops bond market cold
Why unemployment insurance must be extended (illustrated)
Obamanomics still failing, Washington Post discovers
Russia goes supply-side
Study: Liberals are economically illiterate
Obama's health care and economic policies explained
Obama modeling US economy after Europe's
Irresponsibility pays!
Obamanomics prolonging the recession
US Aaa bond rating threatened by Obama's budget says Moody's
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
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