No Mo' Mittens

Well, Mittens and his magic underoos might as well figure out something else to do beside try to be President. Since Mittens wants the job so damn bad, he's obviously not the right guy to have the job. However, most people think political ambition is a good thing, despite all the countervailing evidence, so that won't kill his chances.

On the other hand, the ongoing "fiscal train wreck" he bequeathed the state of Massachusetts is something most voters will care about, especially in two more years.

Labels: , , ,


Unintended Consequences Lead To... Thuggishness?

So, the accountants over at AT&T read the new heath care bill and figured they were in for a screwing. So, in accordance with well-established law, the accountants have to disclose the event and what the cost will be or else the SEC will go after AT&T. All okay so far, right? If AT&T did their math wrong and our fabulous attempt at health care deform doesn't cost them as much as they think, well, they can always restate the financials right?

Alternatively, some jackass in Congress can request AT&T corporate officers appear before that august body because he doesn't think their assessment is correct. I mean, hell, Henry Waxman (D-emagogue) knows more about how the new law is going to affect AT&T than AT&T does, because he's a congresscritter, right?

I'm not AT&T's corporate counsel, but in the absence of a valid subpeona, I'd tell Rep. Waxman to go piss up a rope.

Labels: , ,


The Apocalypse Arrived Early

So, I first read last week sometime Social Security was going to pay out more money than was taken in this year. The carrier pigeon from the hinterlands finally arrived in New York, and the Times took notice.

Now we've been blogging about the upcoming death of SS for years. One of my standard talking points has always been a simple bit of math.

1946 + 65 = 2011

In other words, once the boomers retire the system would begin to collapse. I freely admit it's a simplistic way to drive the point home. And it was apparently too optimistic. The end is nigh a year ahead of schedule.

Let me see how this sounds:


It helps if you imagine James Earl Jones doing the reading.

Labels: , ,


ObamaCare Supporters Are The 3/5ths Who Shouldn't Vote

Well, I think I’ve calmed down enough to have this post not be just an endless tirade of profanity. What the hell, even the morons at io9 have chimed in on health care and how it will prevent possible future dystopias. If they can chime in with their completely asinine nonsense, I figure I’m entitled. However, if you, for whatever misguided reason, supported this monstrosity, you need to shut the fuck up. This is my little lesson to you and why, exactly, you bought a bill of goods with money that wasn’t yours and that you had no right to spend. More importantly, you won’t get what you want and it’ll cost even more than you were told.

So, what shall we tackle first? Let’s try an easy one. All you morons who thought this bill was “revenue neutral” or would reduce the deficit, raise your hands. Got them high up in the air? Good. Now bring it back down, as hard as you can, on top of your pointy little skull. Stings a bit, doesn’t it? It’s only what you deserve for being gullible. The bill will cost more than projected, which means it will be neither revenue neutral nor deficit reducing. I predict this with absolute certainty based on the knowledge that every other national health care entitlement in this country has done so. So, if we’re only off on the cost by as much as we were with Medicare, this goatscrew will cost us all a mere $8.6 TRILLION over the first ten years. Oops. Of course, if we did better on the math this time around, it might only cost us $1.8 trillion. I feel so much better about fiscal responsibility already, don’t you? The cost could be anywhere from double all the way up to 17 times the estimates, based on historical data. I don’t see any deficit reduction with those kinds of errors.

So, let me ask another dumb question. We’re going to give everybody insurance and then we’re going to make preventative care visits free for everybody. So, one might reasonably conclude the demand for health care will go up. That’s usually what happens to the demand for goods when the price drops, in case you were wondering how I deduced this. Is all this extra health care going to magically appear from nowhere? I don’t see any incentives in the bill to provide health care, and I certainly can see more than a few disincentives. So, if your head isn’t still sore from your self-administered beating in the last paragraph, can somebody who supported this crap explain where the actual health care to meet all the new demand is going to come from? I don’t mean the magical insurance talisman you managed to get everybody to pay for, I mean the actual doctors and nurses and facilities and equipment. Any provisions in the bill to address this minor, almost petty, issue? Any at all? Hmm. This might could be a problem.

Now, let’s be real about what this bill does. It’s a huge, brazen attempt to shift the cost of providing health care to anyone but the people actually receiving the care. Why anybody thinks this is a good idea is beyond me, since this usually means otherwise productive resources get wasted. One of the issues here, since a bunch of people apparently spent years taking the short bus to school, is transaction costs. Passing the money around from you to the insurance company to the doctor incurs costs every time the money changes hands. Add the government into the mix, and there’s at least another set (or twelve) of hands the money has to pass through before it gets from you, the recipient of health care, to the doctor, the provider. So, if we initially had a hundred dollars of purchasing power to spend on health care, by the time the money passes through all the hands in a complicated dance of regulatory legerdemain, how much is left? Here’s a hint: less than a hundred dollars.

How much less is the question, isn’t it? Who here thinks throwing government into the mix is going to raise the amount money that actually gets spent on health care? No, instead the money will go to pay salaries of GS-7s to shuffle around your doctor’s request for reimbursement and some other random pieces of paper until they’re all neatly paper clipped together and sent to finance where some other overpaid fed drone will enter the data into the system to send a check for the wrong amount to a different address. All of this activity, by the way, will be lumped under “health care’ in the budget, so “health care” spending will have gone up, despite you actually getting less health care for the same budget.

As an aside, I may start a tattoo shop that tattoos TANSTAAFL and Somebody always pays on peoples’ foreheads. I figure if you dolts see it enough, sooner or later it might just sink in. I figure if you supported the health care reform, you’re almost certainly not imbued with enough understanding to figure out why paying to get self-evident truths tattooed on your forehead is a bad idea. Really, you’re the perfect audience if I could just get a government subsidy for you to give me.

Now, let’s cover a few facts about insurance. This bill includes a version of shall-issue coverage. This means no matter what is currently wrong with you, an insurance company has to issue you a policy if you can pay the premiums. (If you can’t pay, you’ll get a subsidy, so don’t sweat it.) The insurance companies are not allowed to deny you coverage because of your medical history, gosh darn it! Because insurance is vital! And a right! Or some such bullshit. I admit, I don’t understand the deranged fantasy economics that make this a good idea. There’s also no lifetime limit on coverage. So, in our brave new Obamanation you can obligate some company to unlimited expense by buying a policy from them. Now, in a world where ignuts didn’t try to repeal the law of supply and demand, this would mean your insurance would be pretty damned expensive. Right? If I could obligate you to unlimited expense by writing you a check, that check would be pretty substantial, wouldn't it?

Now enter the notion of community rating, which is also in the bill. The insurance company doesn’t get to charge premiums based on the risk of something going wrong with your health. They are forced to charge the same premium to everybody. So if somebody has a really expensive policy while most people have much less expensive policies, guess what happens? The premiums level out until the same amount of money comes in to the insurance company. So for most people, the premium will go up. How special! But that’s okay, because you’ll get money from the gummint to pay for the premiums if you can’t afford them! How much money will this cost the government? Nobody knows! However, I’m going to boldly make a prediction it’ll cost more money than anybody projected, and will break the federal budget. At least, it's working that way in Massachusetts so far, so I've got a pretty good data point for my prediction.

Of course, maybe if we weren’t spending all our money on insurance, maybe some of the money could go towards the actual provision of health care. But I’m guessing none of you supporters understand the concept of opportunity costs. I recommend a primer that can be found here. I think the pull quote is right up front in the third paragraph:
the bad economist pursues a small present good that will be followed by a great evil to come, while the good economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil
Substitute “politician” for “economist” and the result is much the same. Seems like we got a bunch of bad politicians and shitty economists around here setting policy, doesn’t it?

Of course, that’s what got us into this mess in the first place. Short-sighted legislators made a bunch of bad policy decision, and kept piling on more in various misguided attempts to fix the unintended consequences. This kept up until all y’all fools felt Obamacare was somehow a good idea and not a clusterfuck. Let’s review the first law of holes, shall we? If you’re in a hole, stop digging. Likewise, if your well-intentioned, well-meaning government regulations are causing a problem, don’t add on more regulations. You just get more problems. Did this simple concept ever occur to any of you as the administration and his enablers in Congress led you by the nose towards disaster?

Finally, I’d just like to add one more thought: FUCK YOU. You’re so damned terrified something bad might happen and you might have to pay for your own medical care that you feel you have carte blanche to make the rest of us pay for your insurance. You think your desire for something is enough justification to get the government to take it from the rest of us. If the idea that you, and not me, and not the government, are responsible for your life, your health, and your destiny terrifies you that much, go get a lobotomy and have yourself institutionalized. You don’t deserve to walk the earth pretending to be a citizen of a free country. You think like a slave and you act like a slave and you want your master, the government, to protect you from the imagined horrors of the world. Well, guess what? Some of don’t think we’re incapable of facing the world without the government telling us how to manage our lives. Some of us don’t want the shackles you would so willingly place on yourself and everybody else. More to the point, we’re not going to wear them. Don’t think this over. You haven’t won a damned thing.

Labels: , , , , ,


Enemies List, Texas Edition

So, I'll mention briefly who you should be working on unelecting this fall. Basically, every donk in the Congress. Conveniently enough for Texas, we already had our primaries, so these chumps will be on the ballot barring death, withdrawal, or felony convictions. The following individuals voted to screw all of us over:

Henry Cuellar
Lloyd Doggett
Charles A. Gonzalez
Al Green
Gene Green
Ruben Hinojosa
Sheila Jackson-Lee
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Solomon P. Ortiz
Silvestre Reyes
Ciro Rodriguez

One of our donk congressional delegation either had some good sense or was afraid for his reelection. But, what the hell, he's complicit by party membership. Unelect Chet Edwards, too.

I trust everyone knows how to make their displeasure known in the appropriate fashion.

Labels: , ,

Think Happy Thoughts

So, I'm trying to keep my mind off of the disaster the donks foisted off on an unsuspecting public last night. It gets me a bit peevish and irritable, which is never good on a Monday morning. Here's what I'm reading that has absolutely nothing to do with monstrously bad policies and blatantly unconstitutional power grabs by a pack of syphilitic dog-felching statist bastards.

Ahem. Anyhow, I have been amused lately by Nairn and his attempts to learn the art of cookery through random items chosen from BBC cookbooks. It strikes me as akin to learning by using a Time-Life series. If you're like me, and have more cookbooks than you can work through in your lifetime with his methods, you might find it especially amusing. Good fun, albeit very British at times.

I've also been browsing Morbid Fashion and The Courtesan Macabre. Lots of shiny pretty pictures of pretty things, useful for not thinking too hard. Not always as pretty, but still cool is the collection of things showcased at Street Anatomy.

When I can post with it being a transcription of someone with Tourette's, we'll get back to health care reform.

Labels: , , , ,


Point Taken...


Buying Votes

Thank you Senator Tom Coburn (R-Smarter than me) for today's little epiphany. I've been trying to figure out what's up with these Congresscritters who are voting for this Obamanation of socialism they're calling "health care" knowing they're going to get beat in November for doing so.

I've been observing this entire deal from the wrong angle. For months I've sworn that Speaker Pelosi has nekkid goat pictures of these guys, but FINALLY I get it. Yeah, sometimes I'm a little slow. Senator Coburn commented today about publicizing favors granted, programs funded, and appointments made in exchange for votes in favor of this thing. He threw down the gauntlet, he's coming for you.

And that's when it hit me: any Donk who votes to pass this bill, who then loses his or her seat in November has been promised a Federal appointment in exchange for his or her vote. Thus, said Critter won't lose his or her job...quite the opposite indeed...Critter gets a lifer gig, in essence a promotion, with tenure. The fix is in and it is a doozy.

My Lord, this HAS GOT to be illegal. Our nation is doomed.

Update: Here's Senator Coburn in action.



The Census

Coming across this little ditty from my friend, Texasbelle, I was reminded that we did indeed receive our Census documents this week. We completed the constitutionally required portion of the document and returned it. This basically means, we wrote the number 2 in the box, folded it up, and mailed it right back to the bureau in our postage paid envelope.

It appears according to 13 USC Chapter 7 we could be in for a little fine for sticking to the letter of the law. We might also have "the Manor" visited by some individual who probably doesn't work the same hours we're in residence. I still don't foresee us providing any information beyond that which the Constitution

Labels: , ,

Cool Whip Count

Ace of Spades has a different perspective on the whip count on this looming destruction of our health care system from what we've all been hearing more publicly. This seems to make a little more sense.

Go ahead...call your Congresscritter...go on...


Meditations on Mayhem

So, yesterday I had to show at the courthouse in bustling, scenic downtown Conroe for an abortive attempt at jury duty. Apparently, everybody knew there was not going to be court yesterday except for the dullard who sent all us prospective jurors an email on Saturday. A a result, I basically got a free day off work. Both woo and hoo.

Anyhow, the court is picky about which items you can bring into the building with you. I figured the .45, the pocket knife, and the big multitool were no-gos. I forgot about the smaller implements on my keychain.

The tiny Leatherman that lives on my keychain was unacceptable. I had to walk back to the truck and drop it in the glove box.

On the other hand, (clockwise from left), an Atwood Prybaby, a County Comm Peanut, a Craftsman 4 way screwdriver, and a P-38 were all admitted with no comments or complaints.

Now, I'm not doing anything but making idle speculation here. If I were inclined to commit some form of property damage or injury to personnel during my time in the building, I don't see what the point was. I can inflict as much, if not more, damage on someone with the Prybaby as I can with the Squirt, and I don't need to open it up. Between the three tools and the lighter, I figure there's all the fun you deserve to have in a secured area. I can disassemble just about anything that doesn't require a wrench, and then set the joint on fire.

I am constantly baffled and amazed at the feeble minded nonsense that passes for security in this country. I'm also a tad disgruntled that the county asked me to show up, and then made me empty my pockets of almost everything that might be useful in an emergency. If I'm to be trusted with deciding the fate of my fellow citizens, why won't you trust me with a pocket knife?

Labels: , , ,


An Open Letter To American Express

Dear American Express,

You don't know me, and I don't know you. Yet for the past 20 years at irregular intervals you have besieged me with correspondence about how we should get better acquainted. In all that time, you have probably sent me hundreds of pages explaining how wonderful you are. Frankly, it bothers me a little bit that you are so needy that you harass random strangers trying to get them to have a relationship with you.

In any event, out of all the correspondence you have sent me over the years, sooner or later it would have dawned on you that I have never, not once, responded to any of your letters. At some point, it must have occurred to you that I'm not interested. Yet you still keep sending me extravagant promises of how my life will be better if I pay you money so I can spend my own money. Or is there something I'm missing in there about what, exactly, you'll do for me?

No matter. Whatever you think it is you have to offer, I don't want. Please quit sending me letters. Thanks.


Labels: ,


Mystery Revealed

So, I now know why the shotguns. The Office of the Inspector General needs to replace their existing shotguns. Futher explanation and commentary can be found over here.

I have but two final thoughts. First off, the OIG uses their shotguns enough to wear them out? I think back to the clapped out Winchesters they gave us when I was a young lad in the military. The rattletrap boomsticks the Army had were wore the fuck out, and still considered usable. Education OIG must have some seriously thrashed shotties. This implies the guns are either older than dirt, like the Army ones. Or else they do a metric assload of training with them. In general, folks, guns are a durable good. You have to do some serious shooting to wear out a receiver. Yeah, you may need to swap out piece parts, but they last a long time.

Secondly, the Inspector General function of federal agencies is concerned with policing themselves. I'd much rather the feds spend their time pointing guns at each other than at the rest of us.

Labels: ,


Morning Moments of WTF

First off, I have one question in regards to a story about a man who got stabbed in the neck during an altercation at a movie theatre. Who brings a meat thermometer to the movies? What, are you going to check and make sure the internal temperature of your hot dog is up to code?

Next, I know all the children these days are unruly little bastards who have no respect for authority and all that good jazz. That's not news or anything. But still, I think sawed off 12 gauges for dealing with the urchins is a bit extreme.


Labels: , ,


Disintermediation Strikes Again

So, Terry Lowry has come up on our radar again. This time, he's trying to claim being a precinct chair means you have to pass Terry's litmus test before you can be considered to be a real Republican or some shit. Doesn't this get shot down every time it comes up at the state convention? Shouldn't that be a clue? I have to admit, having watched and participated in way too many "No True Scotsman" debates with my fellow libertarians, watching the Republican party engage in the same pointless wrangling is pretty funny.

What's even funnier is watching Mr. Lowry desperately try to cling to his power and influence. He's very obviously still working off of the old media model. He had a platform, both through his radio show and his newsletter, that was not available to most people. Through the use of his platform, he could influence things. So candidates, attracted by his platform, would come to him and try to get their message out. It's the only reason he has any use at all to politicians. At some point, he apparently began using his platform as a bargaining chip to get money to continue his newsletters. Right there, his credibility went out the window.

What he's failed to realize is that his role as a gatekeeper is dwindling every election cycle. Why does J. Random Candidate need to deal with Terry Lowry? Mr. Candidate has the internet. Anybody with any snap who is involved in local politics has web access. So J. Random can bypass Terry completely and put his message to the electorate directly. What value is Terry Lowry adding to the process? If you answered "none", you'd be correct. There are ways he could add value, as he does appear to have some level of access most people don't have, but he doesn't grasp how to use the access positively.

Like most old media types, he hasn't figured out in the brave new networked world your credibility is the only thing you have to offer your readers. If you've already sold your credibility, you've got nothing. Yeah, the information presented may be true and useful, but if your readers don't trust you, they won't come back. You've got to be a lot more upfront about your conflicts of interest and your support for candidates than Mr. Lowry has ever been.

There's been just absolute bucketfuls of information on this around the web and in print, and Terry Lowry has ignored all of it. So, he deserves to go the way of the dodo. I hope he's enjoyed his run at being influential, because it's coming to close.

Labels: , ,



Let us suppose, gentle reader, that you are beset by various maladies and afflictions which pain your every waking moments and even made the surcease of gentle slumber unavailable to you. You are, in short, ill and looking for a cure.

Let us further suppose that I have a cure available for sale. You, being ill, ask me about my cure. I respond with enthusiasm and assurances that my cure will fix what ails you. My cure is most wondrous and will restore the sparkle in your eye and the vigor in your step. My elixir will cure whatever ailment you may have, for my cure is the stuff of legends.

You are somewhat skeptical. My cure sounds entirely too good to be true. You would like to see my cure, and perhaps get some independent assurances that my cure is effective. Alas, I am unable to even permit you a glimpse of my famed elixir... until you buy it. Upon the exchange of monies, you will have all you require and more! I will provide you with instructions, data, testimonials, and double-blind trial results. I will provide everything necessary to convince you of the efficacy of my most amazing potion once you cross my palm with silver.

You, not being a complete ignoramus who is innocent of the world, might suspect that my motives are less than pure and that my medicine is not all I claim. Truthfully, I respect all my readers, all both of you, far too much to try to bamboozle you with such an obviously flawed pitch.

The Right Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives, one each Nancy Pelosi (D-Botox), on the the other hand must think we're all morons who fell off the turnip truck yesterday:
But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.
So buy this product, and once you've bought it, we'll explain just what it is you've bought.

I think there's a word for this when it's a commercial transaction. Somehow, when politics gets involved, the word no longer applies. I wonder why that is?

Labels: ,


Everything Old Is New Again

Jerry Brown is running for Governor of California.

Somebody get Jello Biafra on the phone and ask him what he thinks, would you?

Labels: ,


More Beneficience

So, we discussed a few of the .gov's more egregious crimes against the citizenry a while ago. Here's one more to add to the list.
"The government knows it is not stopping drinking by putting poison in alcohol," New York City medical examiner Charles Norris said at a hastily organized press conference. "[Y]et it continues its poisoning processes, heedless of the fact that people determined to drink are daily absorbing that poison. Knowing this to be true, the United States government must be charged with the moral responsibility for the deaths that poisoned liquor causes, although it cannot be held legally responsible."
Want a drink, even though we've made it illegal? Well, go die then. Total body count for the government's poisoning program is estimated to be around 10,000.

People still expect me to believe the government has my best interests at heart.

Labels: , ,