Posted by: nhfalcon | July 25, 2011

J.A.R.D. v.7.25.11

* – my birthday was this past Thursday. 42 years schlepping around on this little blue pebble and I’m still kicking. My silhouette isn’t as svelte as it once was, nor are my locks as flowing, but I can’t complain too much.

* – went whale watching yesterday with Cookiemaker and Little Man. Good times. Saw some harbor seals, harbor porpoises, ocean sunfish, and a few minke whales. It was very heartwarming to see Little Man react to the whales. We had a good late lunch on the way back home, and then basically passed out for a couple of hours from being in the sun and gorging ourselves.

Good day. 🙂

* – I’m certainly glad this didn’t happen to me yesterday, though!

* – there might be a monster in Alaska?

And, no, Mrs. Chili, I don’t mean Sarah Palin, so don’t even go there! 🙂

* – remember Elayne Boosler?:

* –

I really don’t need to say anything, do I? 🙂

* – maybe I won’t get Cookiemaker that home pole-dancing kit, after all…

* – September 25th, baby!:

* – RIP, Borders. I will miss you greatly. It was a tremendous luxury to have one of your stores right in my town, no more than 10 minutes away. Now I’ll either have to travel on a toll highway for 45 minutes to go to a Barnes & Noble or hope B&N will move into my town to fill the void.

* – RIP, Myra Kraft.

* – like nobody saw this coming? This, much like Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Keith Moon, John Bonham, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jerry Garcia, was a foregone conclusion wasn’t it? It wasn’t a question of if, but when.

* – you know, I used to like Robert Redford.

* – these were real Americans trying to do what was right for their country.

* – nice piece here by Andrew Klavan.

* – ah, the return of Bill Whittle’s “Afterburner”:

* – a couple of good pieces from Godfather Politics here, one on the First Amendment, and the other on the Fourteenth Amendment.

* – wow, talk about taking nanny-statism over the top!

* – go, Steve Wynn, go!

* – let’s go over this again, shall we? The rich are paying their fair share. In fact, they’re probably paying more than their fair share!

* – how the F is this “fair”?!

* – so, help me out here: is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky just stupid, or is she a bald-faced liar?

* – ooooh, burn! That was not a good day for Contessa Brewer.

* – seven myths about not raising the debt ceiling.

* – the economy is “vastly improved“?! That’s “uncontestably true”?! Exactly where the fuck is Jay Carney getting his numbers from?!

* –

Let’s talk about the notion being addressed in the graphic above, shall we? I want to talk about it because I just came to a realization about it, and, quite frankly, I’m ashamed it took me this long to come to said realization.

The popular narrative is that the situation this country is in is George W. Bush’s fault. That the brilliance that is Barack H. Obama would be shining brightly if only “The One” had had a clean slate to work with, instead of having to “break out the mop” or “pull the car out of the ditch.” “Hope and change” would be in full swing by now if only that evil GW and his sidekick Dick Cheney and their cronies at Haliburton hadn’t screwed things up so badly.

All right, let’s say I agree with that. Exactly what has Obama done differently? All of those things that GW did that have screwed things up – how has Obama “changed” any of them?

You want to talk about TARP and bailing out Wall Street fat cats? OK, fine. How is Obama’s bailing out of the auto industry any different?

You want to talk about the reckless spending under Bush, because, after all, he was the first president to pass a $3+ trillion budget? OK, fine. Then why aren’t you screaming about the $3.6, $3.8, and $3.7 trillion budgets proposed by Obama for FY’s 2010, 2011, and 2012?

You want to talk about expansion of government under Bush because, after all, he added MediCare Part D, created the Department of Homeland Security and passed the Patriot Act? OK, fine. Why hasn’t Obama disabled mediCare Part D, dissolved the DoHS, or repealed the Patriot Act (indeed, why has he continued to renew the Patriot Act)? What is the appointing of all these czars if not the (unconstitutional) expansion of government? What is the Affordable Care Act if not an expansion of government?

You want to talk about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? OK, fine. Tell me why we’re still there. Tell me why we’re involved in Libya, Yemen, and Pakistan. Tell me why we don’t have congressional approval to be involved in any of those three countries. Tell me why Gitmo is still open.

The bottom line is that the blaming of Bush (almost three years after he left office) for this country’s woes by Obama and his sycophants is patently hypocritical. Obama hasn’t changed a damn thing. In fact, if anything, he’s doubled down on them. If Bush was jogging, Obama is sprinting. If Bush was sprinting, then Obama is trying to make Usain Bolt look like the Slowskys. Just because Bush was a Republican and Obama is a Democrat doesn’t mean the two men are polar opposites in terms of political philosophy. There are such things as conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans, and Bush was a classic example of a liberal Republican.

This comparison between the two is not a case of Obama leaning more to the right (or at least the middle) than he’s given credit for, it is a case of Bush having leaned further to the left than any of us apparently realized at the time.

* – 31 questions you might want to ask yourself about Barack Obama (well, ok, maybe not all 31. I was rolling my eyes at the “birther” stuff. Are there still people asking this question? Really?).

* – from Newsmax:

A new study of the healthcare reform enacted by Massachusetts and its then Gov. Mitt Romney five years ago offers an ominous warning about the likely effects of Obamacare on the nation as a whole.

Researchers at the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI) at Suffolk University in Boston found that the Bay State healthcare reform plan has led to increased healthcare expenditures and private health insurance costs, as well as additional payments for Medicare and Medicaid, for a total of $8.5 billion in new outlays.

In 2006, Massachusetts enacted healthcare reform legislation that promised to extend healthcare coverage to all citizens while significantly lowering costs. The law imposes mandates on residents to obtain health insurance and on employers to provide it if they have 11 or more employees.

It also expands Medicaid coverage, establishes a health insurance subsidy program, and creates an insurance exchange that helps those who are ineligible for Medicaid buy competitively priced health plans.

The BHI report states: “Now that the law has been in effect for more than five years, we can begin to assess its impact on the state of Massachusetts.”

Among the findings:

• State healthcare expenditures have risen by $414 million over the five-year
period.

• Private health insurance costs have risen by $4.31 billion.

• The federal government has spent an additional $2.41 billion on Medicaid in
Massachusetts.

• Medicare expenditures increased by $1.42 billion.

The total cumulative cost over the period is just over $8.5 billion.

But the state has been able to shift the majority of the costs to the federal government, which continues to absorb a significant part of the cost of healthcare reform through enhanced Medicaid payments and the Medicare program — meaning Americans outside Massachusetts are helping to pay the bills for the healthcare plan.

In analyzing the study’s results, the researchers observe: “Cost‐containment is often a major goal of health reform plans. However, this particular healthcare reform legislation did not provide an effective means for containing costs.

“The promise of cost‐containment rested on a vague hope that the newly insured would seek preventive care, access their primary care physicians earlier in their illness and avoid costly emergency room visits. Yet the number of emergency room visits rose from 2.351 million in 2006 to 2.521 million in 2009, or by 7.2 percent over the period. The total cost of emergency visits has soared by 36 percent over the period, or by $943 million.”

The large number of newly insured residents in the state has increased demands on the primary care system, forcing patients to visit emergency rooms at a rate significantly higher than expected.

The BHI report also states that “by increasing demand for healthcare services without an equal increase in their supply, the universal healthcare law guaranteed that the price of healthcare services and health insurance would increase.”

The researchers point out that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama in March 2010 is “essentially identical” to the Massachusetts law.

Obama claimed the law will lower healthcare costs. But the researchers conclude: “If the federal law is modeled after the Massachusetts law, it stands to reason that Massachusetts’ experience with healthcare reform provides an idea of what is in store for the country under the federal law.””

Ooooh! I just can’t wait for the Affordable Care Act to really kick in, can you?

* – newsflash!: Conservatism does not equal racism!

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Responses

  1. Yeah. What you said!

    Schakowsky is a stupid liar. But then, she does represent Illinois, and that speaks volumes.


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