Friday, March 30, 2012

Magic Bullets Part IX

Ruth Bader Ginsburg unwittingly said a most ironic thing during the oral arguments this week regarding ObamaCare: 

"It's a choice between a wrecking operation … or a salvage job," groused liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. "And the more conservative approach would be salvage rather than throwing out everything."

Apparently Justice Ginsburg has never tried to renovate a run-down building.  Anyone who has, knows that demolition and starting from scratch are always the most conservative ways to end up with a building that meets the need at the lowest cost.  The only reason to salvage a run-down building is for nostalgia or coercion.   

The healthcare bill known as ObamaCare was itself an attempt to salvage federal control over a mess of tangled laws and regulations dating back at least to the 1940s:
  • WWII wage controls sparked the practice of employer provided health insurance, which killed the individual market.  Businesses could deduct health insurance for tax purposes, and to this day individuals cannot.
  • The McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 effectively allowed states to prevent the purchase of out-of-state health policies, giving insurers state monopolies and further trapping individuals. 
  • Then came Medicare, which placed half the medical industry under a socialized system and forced all the profits to come from the other half, driving up costs and largely creating the current “crisis”. 
In other words, “a salvage operation” is what got us into this mess in the first place!   At some point we must stop adding new construction on top of an old run-down building and commence with a “wrecking operation” and then construction of a new modern structure. 

The Supreme Court may give us that opportunity.  If they do, here are some Magic Bullet solutions to fix the healthcare market and solve each of the major problems we have today: 

Question:  Why don’t Americans buy their own health insurance, and why does everyone think health insurance is someone else’s responsibility?
  • Re-establish an individual market by allowing individuals to deduct their health insurance expenses in the form of refundable tax credits.   (With refundable tax credits, lower income individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid, AND don’t make enough to pay taxes, would get a check.  This is only one of many ways to undo the damage from the uneven tax treatment which has gutted the individual market:  See The Healthcare Gecko )

Question:  Why is it that you can buy almost anything you want from another state except health insurance?
  • Repeal The McCarran-Ferguson Act and allow health insurance to compete across state lines.  (Follow the “commerce clause” as it was intended!)

Question:  If Medicare was an outgrowth of everyone getting their health insurance at work (After all, how could we ask retirees to enter the healthcare market for the first time at age 65?) and it shortchanges providers, is rife with fraud, and is bankrupt, do we need it anymore?
  • Repeal Medicare and phase it out for younger Americans who will be accustomed to insuring themselves in the new individual interstate market. 

Question:  Why is it that if you walk into a grocer and steal food, it is an obvious crime.  Yet, if you drive to a hospital in a Ferrari, demand to be treated by a team of doctors, and then refuse to pay, it is not?
  • Make theft of Medical Services a crime. 

Question:  How can we prevent insurance companies from dropping coverage for high risk individuals? 
  • How do we prevent car companies from selling dangerous or inferior cars?  Of course we can’t, but the market, the courts, and some level of regulation do the job quite well. 

Question:  What can be done about pre-existing conditions? 
  • Medicaid must be a viable option for those who become ill while uninsured, or refuse to obtain insurance until after they become ill.  Part of Medicaid’s role should be insurer-of-last-resort, but it should not be free to those who can pay.  

Question:  What about the poor? 
  • Once an individual interstate market is established, Medicaid will be less burdened and easier to rebuild into a better safety net. 

Question:  What about quality, cost, and availability of healthcare?
  • A vibrant individual interstate market is the only way to insure high quality, low cost, and abundant healthcare services in the future.     

Of course, there is a limit to the building analogy when it comes to laws.  Unlike buildings, laws don’t exist as distinct stand-alone entities.  They are more like electricity grids with tentacles going into every aspect of our lives and interactions, and each branch has a vocal constituency demanding it be preserved as is.  Laws almost never get repealed. 

The wrecking operation is going to take a political revolution.  As for the new construction, the market will do that overnight.    

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Tragedy No Matter What

Here are the pertinent facts that we know about the tragedy in Florida:
  • A seventeen year old boy is dead
  • The shooter claims self-defense
  • Six witnesses saw or heard part of the struggle
  • It is unclear if anyone saw the entire event
  • More than one witness corroborated part of the shooters account 
  • It is unclear if any witness contradicted the shooter's account, though at least one had their positions reversed during part of the struggle  
  • The police on the scene recommended charging the shooter
  • The state did not initially charge the shooter
  • A Special Prosecutor has been assigned to the case
  • The State is collecting the facts and preparing the case for either a Grand Jury or the Special Prosecutor to make a recommendation
Here's what we know about the tragedy in Washington:
  • The dead boy was black and the shooter was "white hispanic" (according to the NYT) and may have said "fucking coon" or "fucking goon" while in pursuit.  This has given the incident racial overtones, and before all the facts were known, the President made comments reinforcing that perception    
  • The New Black Panthers have put a bounty on the head of the shooter and the President has said...nothing
  • Spike Lee, a supporter and financier of the President's tweeted the address of an innocent couple claiming it was the shooters, endangering the couple and forcing them to flee their home while the President said...nothing
  • Congressional Black Caucus members have used racially charged rhetoric and made irresponsibly accusatory statements from the floor of Congress and to the media, while the President has said...nothing
  • Black leaders like Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson have incited anger and used violent rhetoric in promoting this as a racial incident and the President has said...nothing
  • Death threats have been issued to the shooter, friends of the shooter, the family of the shooter, and witnesses who've come forward corroborating the shooters account, and the President has said...nothing  
  • Angry protesters ransacked a store, and the President said...nothing
  • Social media accounts have sprung up calling for the murder of the shooter, and the President has said...nothing
It may take a Special Prosecutor, a Grand Jury, and a trial to sort through the Florida tragedy, but justice will eventually be served.  

Meanwhile, the Washington tragedy proceeds apace until possibly the November election.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Photo Journalism

Trayvon in a Hoodie...According to the Pop Media

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The War on Women

In case you missed this (and hoping you will share it): 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cluster Fluke

Sandra Fluke (rhymes with duck) and Slutgate have done Republican's a huge favor.  Huge.  There are at least four levels on which this episode has exploded in the faces of the Democrats:
  • On one level is the blatant hypocrisy of the whole thing as demonstrated first by liberal analyst Kirsten Powers in this piece, and then in this video by SHE-PAC,  and also in my own take in this cartoon.  
  • On a second level is the very substance of Fluke's testimony which has been debunked and exposed by numerous pieces such as this:  Birth control pills cost $9.00 per month, NOT $90.00 as Fluke testified.  (Abstinence and condoms are available for free!)  And this piece on the weight of her testimony.  
  • On a third level, it turns out Sandra Fluke (rhymes with duck) is no fluke (rhymes with duke), and was likely brought in to testify by former White House communications czar Anita Dunn, famous for her effusive praise of Communist icon Chairman Mao.  Fluke, Dunn, White House, and CBC
  • On a fourth level is yet more hypocrisy regarding the supposed "Republican War on Women".  Unfortunately, wars usually have casualties and on that score, Democrats have no peer:  
    • Juanita Broaddrick was sexually assaulted (raped) by Democrat icon Bill Clinton when he was the top law enforcement official (Attorney General) of Arkansas.
    • Kathleen Willy, Paula Jones, and allegedly others were also sexually groped/assaulted by serial offender Democrat Bill Clinton, some while he was President. 
    • Mary Jo Kopechne was killed in a car driven by a drunk Democrat Senator Edward Kennedy who left the scene while she drowned.  
    • Mimi Alford was sexually used and objectified by Democrat President John F Kennedy, as well as other Democrats including Democrat Edward Kennedy.  
    • Democrat Al Gore's masseuse, among others, was crudely propositioned by him, resulting in the global cooling of his marriage to Tipper.
    • Elizabeth Edwards, ex-wife of Democrat Senator John Edwards, and now deceased, was publicly humiliated by him as he fathered a child with his mistress while she was battling cancer.
Political analysts were agog at the skill with which the Democrats had turned a huge negative into a big win by twisting the narrative into something called "Women's Rights" and "The Republican War on Women".   Now those same analysts are agog at how Sandra Fluke and Slutgate has blown-up in their faces.  

Like everything in politics, the lessons learned won't be revealed for some time.  But as of today, this sure looks like a Democrat Cluster Fluke (rhymes with...well, you know). 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sandra Fluke is no Slut

Rush Limbaugh has apologized for calling Sandra Fluke a Slut and a Prostitute.   That’s good, because she is neither. 

Sluts hurt no one.  A slut will take on all comers and ask nothing in return.  You gotta admire sluts; they are the most charitable people you’ll ever encounter.  I assure you, if you ever encounter a capable slut, you will leave with a smile on your face.
Prostitutes are also admirable.  They offer a service at a market price, and no one is mandated or coerced to purchase it.  Prostitution is the purest exchange of values and the oldest.  Like all properly functioning markets, prostitution only survives if both sides see it as a win-win.  I assure you, if you ever encounter a capable prostitute, you will leave with a smile on your face.

Sandra Fluke is no slut or prostitute.  She wants to have unlimited sex at your expense.  You are not a party in the fun as with a slut or prostitute.  You only get to pay for it via a government mandate.  You get all the expense and none of the fun.
Sluts and prostitutes have more integrity in their pinkies than Sandra Fluke has in her entire body.  Sandra Fluke is the lowest of the low: she is a Marxist.  I assure you, if you ever encounter a capable Marxist, you will be poorer, less free, and you will not leave with a smile on your face.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot

Warning: Some Rough Language

Romney The Weak?

I keep hearing about how weak Mitt Romney is as a Republican front-runner.  Despite steady victories, strong second-place showings, winning the popular vote, winning the delegate count, and having the deepest organization, the perception is he is weak and has not inspired the Republican base.  This is a valid observation when it comes to a primary, but is utterly meaningless when it comes to a general election against incumbent Barack Obama.

There are three kinds of voters in a general election:

  • one third will vote Democrat no matter who's on the ticket
  • one third will vote Republican no matter who's on the ticket
  • and one third will vote for the person they like the most
In a highly polarized general election, the third group is the only one that matters.

However, in a primary, the third group does not vote.  Thus, primaries tell us nothing about the relative general election strengths of a nominee.  

Regardless of who gets the Republican nod, the first two groups will be highly motivated and will show-up to vote in November.   How will the the third group treat Romney and will they like him?

All you need to do is watch the left, and they are really scared of Mitt Romney.  Here's why:

  • Last time around, Barack Obama won the votes of white women. 
  • White women never warmed-up to John McCain.  (or Sarah Palin)
  • This time around, Obama needs those white women again.  
  • Apparently, white women like Mitt Romney. 
Democrats are currently engaged in building a myth around a "Republican War on Women".  The first group has bought into it hook, line, and sinker.  The second group isn't buying it at all.  And the third group will not buy the notion of Mitt Romney as a misogynist.

We always hear about "swing states" but really this will come down to "swing voters", and in 2012, they will be white women.

Mitt Romney cannot be painted as a misogynist, and white women are already warm to him.  Mitt Romney will be the Republican's strongest candidate with these swing voters.