Google Analytics

Friday, October 30, 2009

Make them buy it and complain when I can’t keep it?

“If I lose my job, I lose my insurance”

This is a well understood problem which hearkens back to the days when many people got a job and then retired from that same job some years later. Since your job didn’t change then your insurance didn’t change. The job market doesn’t work that way today. People change jobs all the time – even in a good economy.

Now why, if the problem is tying insurance to a job, does the latest House insurance proposal (as well as most others) *require* businesses to buy their employees health care? If we want to make sure I don’t lose my health insurance when I lose my job, then why do we make my job pay for it?

And do not fall into the nit-picky “well only bigger businesses have to pay for it” argument. No business should be paying for this. If its my insurance, I should be buying it. That’s how you make me actually act responsible about purchasing, which makes the insurance companies act responsibly about selling.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Here’s Your Home-Buyer Tax Credit, and This is Your Audit

According to the WSJ, the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit introduced last April was so easy and to scam that

The Treasury's inspector general for tax administration, J. Russell George, recently told Congress that at least 19,000 filers hadn't purchased a home when they claimed the credit. For another 74,000 filers, claiming a total of $500 million in credits, evidence suggests that they weren't first-time buyers.

And in fact its so bad that

the IRS is reportedly trying to audit almost everyone who claims it this year.

Hmmm, I wonder how many of these might have been suggestions from an ACORN office?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who needs an ad agency when you have fans?

Wow. Most all very creative, engaging, thought provoking, and pretty much 100% wrong. This scares the crap out of me.

Organizing for America has have posted the 20 finalist videos for their Health Reform Video Challenge. The winner of which will receive

One (1) winner will receive the following prize: All or part of the winner's Video (defined below) may be used in a television advertisement associated with Sponsor's health reform campaign (approximate retail value: $0).

This is the reason Obama won the election over everyone else (not just McCain). He knew how to harness the close connection to his supporters the internet provides. Need a well produced ad? Have no money? No problem. Just ask for it and the infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters theory takes care of the rest.

And in watching these videos, the one thing I can’t figure out is why they keep harping on the “If I lose my job, I lose my insurance” point without actually addressing why it is that way. As I’ve written before, I think the tax break on insurance purchases that businesses receive and individuals don’t is maybe the single largest culprit in this whole mess.

(Oh, and $0 value for the winner? really?)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rube Goldberg health insurance

 Big Government has a link to a new “This is how the public option is a single payer trojan horse” audio clip from Paul Krugman.

Two things I like about Krugman’s comments:

#1 He fully acknowledges it would cost the same or more likely more

Now in reality it's the same amount of money or probably
more. But it takes less tax revenue. What would otherwise be called taxes is called premiums.

#2 He gives us the perfect metaphor for the health care bills floating around. They are Rube Goldberg devices. He is trying to say its complicated in order to hide the real single payer goal underneath, but I believe its complicated because in the true sense of Rube Goldberg its just over engineered and wasteful. Both reasons are likely correct, and both are definitely bad ideas.

More ACORN, yum!

You’ve got to wonder how much more ACORN will keep talking when every time they open their mouth and make a defensive statement, it gets smacked down with hard video evidence.

Brietbart has yet another video which directly contradicts ACORN's statements to Media Matters and the police report filed regarding their Philadelphia visit.

Of course this also brings up the possibility of filing a false police report on top of everything else.

Yeah its illegal, but I won’t tell if you don’t

The DOJ’s memo on enforcing drug laws states that

As a general matter, pursuit of these priorities should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.

But also it says

Of course, no State can authorize violations of federal law

This sounds like “Well, your state law is illegal but we will pretend its not.” Cherry picking of law enforcement essentially legalizes individual use of medical marijuana if the state decides it is ok. But remember that the Supreme Court decided otherwise.

Also, what does this mean for the Montana Firearms Freedom Act? Will the administration be so forgiving when its guns and not marijuana we are talking about?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

On Zombie Preparedness

(Just playing catchup and skimming The Corner for the last week.) I do love a good discussion on how to properly deal with a zombie infestation. A series of posts from Jonah Goldberg and his readers…

  1. Zombie Preparedness
  2. Zombie Preparedness Cont'd
  3. Zombie Prep Cont'd
  4. The Zombie Mob
  5. Yes…
  6. All You Zombies
  7. RE: All You Zombies

Of course the real problem is whether they are undead or virus type zombies. That critical point changes everything. Although I was hoping Mark Stein might weigh in here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

But following the Constitution is hard!

When was the last time you saw a bill recognize its own unconstitutionality in the actual text of the bill?

Bobby Rush’s (D-IL) bill HR 45 on firearm restrictions states (in Section 2: Findings and Purposes)

Congress finds that … because the intrastate and interstate trafficking of firearms are so commingled, full regulation of interstate commerce requires the incidental regulation of intrastate commerce

So what this says to me is that because its kind of hard to regulate interstate commerce without regulating intrastate, we are going to just ignore that part of the Constitution and do it anyway.

Actually, if he was paying attention when he wrote the bill, he would have noticed that Montana and several other states actually have laws passed or in the legislatures to help with this.

Friday, October 9, 2009

When you have a 6 month seizure

I’m keeping an eye on the SCOTUS case Alvarez vs Smith. The various states’ drug crime property seizure laws are ridiculous and ripe for abuse.

The Illinois Drug Asset Forfeiture Procedure Act (DAFPA) permits the warrantless seizure of personal property involved in certain drug crimes as long as there is probable cause to believe it was involved in a drug crime and, therefore, subject to forfeiture.  Although forfeiture proceedings are required under DAFPA, as many as 187 days can elapse between the seizure and the filing of judicial forfeiture proceedings.

Basically the question comes down to, after a seizure of your property, how long can they keep you in suspense before they really decide whether it was a valid seizure. The problem is that if they seize your car for 6 months, it may put a serious dent into your ability to earn a living.

Boneheaded security guard statement of the day

To a photographer attempting to take pictures of a Miami Dade Transit site (as part of putting together a construction bid for the site)
The County Ordinances supersede the Constitution.

and this one gets 2nd place

The Constitution does not apply on Miami-Dade Transit grounds

Nobel Shenanigans

President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace prize. Can someone please explain this to me?

The prize is awarded to whoever “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses

Hmm, that's a lot to do in just the 2 weeks he was in office before the nomination deadline passed!

I’m still not sure how Al Gore won the Peace Prize but at least he was busy doing something tangible you could point to.

The committee said

His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.

Except, um, he wasn’t elected by the world.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

lies, damn lies, and CBO math

If Karl Rove is right

The CBO report claims the bill won't add to the budget deficit until 2015—but the bill only manages that feat by delaying benefits and imposing taxes and Medicare and Medicaid cuts up front.

and Ghettoputer’s subsequent back-of-the-napkin calculations are in the ballpark

projected revenues will generate $910 billion over 10 years. Outflows will be $829 billion over 7.5 years. … that's an average yearly inflow of $91 billion and an average yearly outflow of $110.5 billion, or a average annual deficit of $19.5 billion each year the benefits are actually paid.

Then the whole CBO discussion on the Baucus bill is way off the mark. The question then becomes, what happens in year 11?

Health care speechwriter hits reality

Wendy Button who wrote health care speeches for John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Barack Obama, et. al., recently moved from DC to Massachusetts and has an interesting article observing what universal health care means in practice.

Some choice excerpts

here's how I lost my insurance: I moved. That's right, I moved from Washington, D.C., back to Massachusetts, a state with universal health care.

In D.C., I had a policy with a national company, an HMO, and surprisingly I was very happy with it. … my premium was $225 a month, … In Massachusetts, the cost for a similar plan is around $550, give or take a few dollars.

they had reforms, automatic enrollment, and universal coverage in Massachusetts, all the things I'd written about for politicians. Health care would be affordable. It didn't dawn on me that it would just be affordable for other people.

If I had a dollar for every time I typed, "universal coverage will lower premiums," I could pay for my own health care at Massachusetts's rates.

Its definitely worth the whole read though.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Yes, Czar, while it is an appealing concept to just kick the UN off US soil, there is one good reason to keep it here.

A while back I read (I believe it was in Body of Secrets) that one of the reasons we lobbied so hard to have the UN in the US was because of requests from the NSA. You see, if the place is completely inside New York, then all communication lines have to go through New York, and tapping extremely high value communication lines within your own country is much easier than doing it somewhere else.

The question is are we getting our 25% worth out of it anymore?

Friday, October 2, 2009

“Fox lies!” says the White House

The White House silently snubbed Fox News when Obama went on every major news network (and some not-major-news networks) in one weekend and did not go on Fox. This was an implicit insult which did not go unnoticed, but I was reading a White House Blog posting this week in which they seem to have thrown down the gauntlet quite openly.

The post lays out their response to Glen Beck’s comments regarding Obama’s Chicago friends and the failed Olympic bid he made a special trip to support. Then at the end it says

For even more Fox lies, check out …

This is not saying “We disagree with Fox” or “Fox has it wrong” this is saying “Fox news is knowingly wrong. They lie.”

This is the Official White House Blog calling out “You lie!” to the only press organization on the planet actually questioning the administration.

When the powers that be try to logically defend their position and then still have to resort to language like this which attempts to smear and subvert everything that Fox may report, it belies the fear of the truth that their argument doesn't hold.

The shopping list

Here’s your money, Jack. Here’s a list to make sure you don’t go spending it on magic beans!

The earmarks in the Defense Department Appropriations the Senate is currently working on include some ridiculous things but it looks like calling it out may have caused CNN to go ask some pertinent questions of congressmen on the capitol steps. Wow, real probing questions! What’s fun is their answers.

When asked why they earmarked large sums of the overall budget to specific (local district) companies for questionable items the general response was “oh well they need these things”

Of course, if they hadn’t designated that the Pentagon spend the money on their “needed” things, the Pentagon could actually decide what they needed to do with the money.