Category Archives: Politics

Red Eye’s Greg Gutfeld on Reason TV

Approximately 30 minutes. Warning for viewers prone to high-blood pressure, heart palpitations, and sour-puss syndrome: Gutfeld mixes humor, outrage and language salty enough to cure a side of bacon. Proceed at your own caution.

http://reason.com/blog/show/133554.html

I have a raging man crush on Greg Gutfeld.

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More Health Insurance is Not the Answer!

Health care “reformers” keep talking about getting us more health insurance. Then they talk about cutting costs. This is contradictory nonsense.

Insurance, whether private or a government Ponzi scheme like Medicare, means third parties pay the bills. When someone else pays, costs always go up.

Imagine if you had grocery insurance. You wouldn’t care how much food cost. Why shop around? If someone else were paying 80 percent, you’d buy the most expensive cuts of meat. Prices would skyrocket.

That’s what health insurance does to medical care. Patients rarely even ask what anything costs. Doctors often don’t know. Often nobody even gives a damn. Patients rarely ask, “Is that MRI really necessary? Is there a cheaper place?” We consume without thinking.

By contrast, in areas of medicine where most patients pay their own way, service gets better, while prices fall.

Take plastic surgery and Lasik eye surgery: Because patients shop around and compare prices, doctors work hard to win their business. They often give customers their cell-phone numbers. Service keeps increasing, but prices don’t. “In every other field of medicine, the price is going up faster than consumer prices in general,” says John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis. “But the price of Lasik surgery, on average, has gone down by 30 percent.”

This shouldn’t be a surprise. What holds costs down is patients acting like consumers, looking out for themselves in a competitive market. Providers fight to win business by keeping costs down and quality up.

Yet politicians keep telling us the solution is more insurance. And they mean insurance not just for catastrophic diseases that could bankrupt us but also for routine treatments.

The politicians are so oblivious to reality that they are on course to make things worse. Obama would force every business to either give workers health insurance or pay a fine into the public system. Why is that something we should want employers to do? Premiums come out of our salaries, but insurers are accountable to our bosses, not to us.

Why not just have a free market where people can buy whatever kind of health insurance they want? Competition would then bring prices down.

Obama and his Senate allies would limit competition by requiring insurers to cover everyone for the same “fair” price. No “cherry picking,” the president says. No charging healthy people less.

They call this “community rating,” and it sounds fair. No more cruel “discrimination” against people who have a preexisting condition, obese people or smokers. But such simple-minded one-size-fits-all rules take from insurance companies their best price-dampening tool: Risk-based pricing encourages people to take better care of themselves, just as car-insurance companies reward good drivers. With one-size pricing your car-insurance company must give the town drunk the same deal it gives you.

Insane, but the health-insurance industry is playing along. Insurers say that if government forces everyone to have insurance, they will accept all customers regardless of preexisting illnesses.

They also offered to stop charging higher premiums to sick people. They’re even giving up on gender differences.

Sen. John Kerry huffed, “The disparity between women and men in the individual insurance market is just plain wrong, and it has to change.” The president of the industry trade group, Karen M. Ignagni, agreed that disparities “should be eliminated.”

Give me a break.

Women pay more than men for health insurance for good reason. Despite being healthier than men, they incur higher costs because they go to doctors more often, and they take more medicine. Kerry is pandering. I don’t recall him demanding that men be protected from higher life-insurance and auto-insurance premiums.

“Community rating” hides the cost of health care. It’s as destructive as ordering fire insurance companies to charge identical premiums for wood frame and stone houses. Universal health insurance with “no discrimination” pricing will make health care costs rise even faster.

When politicians interfere with free markets, unintended consequences harm everyone, except the companies that lobby hard enough to protect themselves.

Is it too much to expect our rulers to understand this?

John Stossel @ Reason Online

The Mayo Clinic Leery of Public Health Plan

Dr. Douglas Wood: “If it’s a government-run plan with government price controls, that could be highly detrimental to states like Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and all across the northern tier of the United States.”

I do not know how much weight to give a medical practice, medical school and medical research organization that employs 30,000 people. But many people swear by it.

The Rochester (Minn.) Post-Bulletin in Mayo’s headquarters city reported: “Mayo Clinic leery of public health plan.”

Dr. Wood is the chairman of the clinic’s division of Health Care Policy & Research.

Mayo Clinic supports providing subsidies based on a sliding scale to help make sure that all patients are covered regardless of income level. The clinic contends that health care should be portable instead of tied to a job, and that everyone should be required to have it, Wood said. It also backs prohibiting people from being excluded from coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

The clinic has also put forward the idea of “value indexing” to determine how providers get paid. Wood said that the system would take into account patient outcomes and cost over a period of time. He added that the current bills in Congress contain “very little that reflects payment for value.”

It’s expertise in the medical field is both in practice and commercial. Its managers are as competent — and as worthy in my book (someone has to make sure bills get paid) — as its medical professionals.

I am more leery of this dufus-talk from Democratic Sen Amy Klobuchar: “If we just simply change who is paying for something and do nothing to make the system more efficient, we are really not going to get where we want to go.”

This is exactly what is wrong with government-run health programs: Their goal is to save money, not lives. More than abything, this is what my opposition is: Having Sen. Klobuchar decide how “to make the system more efficient.”

– Thanks to Don Surber

Weather Channel Founder Blasts Gore over Global Warming

The founder of The Weather Channel is calling out my favorite Gasbag, Former Vice President, Al Gore!

In his blog he makes this statement on the issue  known as Global Warming,

“I am totally convinced there is no scientific basis for any of it.Global Warming. It is the hoax. It is bad science. It is a high jacking of public policy. It is no joke. It is the greatest scam in history.

Here is John  Coleman (founder of Weather Channel) on Red Eye talking about global warming and the civil suit he is bringing against Gore for fraud and junk science.

Al Gore says the science is settled. Now let’s see if the lawsuit is settled.

John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, has put together a coalition of more than 30,000 scientists who don’t buying Gore’s global warming baloney.

Gore won’t debate the issue because he says “the science is settled.” So Coleman thinks his courtroom ploy may give him a chance to expose Gore’s folly.

“We have tried and tried and tried to get a debate on global warming with…Al Gore and any of the scientists behind him over at the UN IPCC,” Coleman said. “We’d love to have a debate with them, but they go ‘Oh, no, the debate is over.’ Well, now there are 30,000 of us. We have 30,000 scientists – 9000 Phds – who have signed up to debunk global warming. And they still won’t listen to us…So we figure maybe a court of law.”

Gasbag

– Thanks to Wake up Conservatives and I Hate the Media

Businesses Are Not Leaving Cali? – More Liberal Spin

 One of the most frustrating things for me as a citizen journalist is the confrontation, (daily), of eggheads and so-called experts that defy common sense. Nothing in the intelligentsia is off-bounds, no motive, no premise, no absurdity. Do you know what I mean?

Today I wandered over to Yahoo Finance to check on the market and investments, wow I thought, stocks are showing a little resilience here, hmm…..scanning news, headlines, companies, I see a headline –

Budget Crisis “Embarrassing,” But Businesses Aren’t Fleeing California, Economist Says

Really. He really thinks this, this Mr Stephen Levy of the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy. I scan the website, finding ambiguous reports and studies, etc. I do find that some liberal groups have given financial support to the group CCSCE. Follow the money. Any and every massive fallacious absurdity and misconception has a long money trail associated.

Knowing the opposite to be true, that businesses and individuals are fleeing the once-Golden State, I pull up mountains of empirical data. I am not an egghead, I don’t have an axe to grind, a Public Policy propaganda arm to push. Exhibit a. -residents are leaving in droves here.

American Thinker here. Several states are pushing programs to entice CA emigrants. Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. California or Bust, Californian and Busted. Pointy-headed useful-idiot egghead busted.

California state government largess creating a meltdown of unforeseen proportions. State issuing IOUs to workers, people on programs, contractors, state workers, folks doing business with the state, etc in lieu of cash here, here, here. Sounds great for business! Empirical data again, egghead busted again.

Hmm, it seems that some of the big banks are leery of accepting California IOU’s here. Common sense comes into play again, bankers have no faith in the state. Why then would businesses and individuals? I don’t need a pointy-headed academic to tell me otherwise. Common sense, living within one’s means, Main Street to State Street, cause and effect cannot be escaped. Egghead nay.

State serf-rulers, pols and media blame our woes on low taxes here. Yes, you read that right, low taxes. A simple defiance of reality even in our age of stupidity. They deserve this place. Read this here from a State Assemblywoman. She deserves this state. She deserves Cuba, Castro, Chavez, Venezuela.

california_iou_license_plate_lg

State coffers are still bleeding after rearranging the chairs on the decks of the Titanic here, tax revenue down some 40% from a year or so ago. A California Condor has been spotted, shrieking, it’s vulturous squawk heard miles away…..we need to cut waste, squawk! squawk!…..Too little, too late Governor California Condor. There is but a corpse of the state for you and Sacramento vultures to nibble on. Where does the state get revenue? Yet another egghead is heard saying ‘everything is just fine and dandy’! Where can I find this mystical, mythical business that we can squeeze tax dollars from?

…….*crickets chirping in abandoned warehouses*…….

Businesses, production and producers provide tax revenue. Yet they aren’t leaving the state? Eggheads pecking at the corpse of a once prosperous state.

 How does a state that is so desperately in the hole find new ways to raise taxes, find revenue as the pols say in Taxamento? We should tap into the bounty of nature, tax a certain oddly shaped, uniquely-smelling plant, (when smoked). Yes, the hair of the dog, ganja, pot, weed, dope. And what a case of dope indeed, pols, bureaucrats, media-types are calling for the legalization of marijuana in the state to cure our fiscal woes, here and here.

America I am your clarion call of emergency and warning. I am calling on the danger that you are amidst. I am pleading for you to listen. I am asking you to rise up against this Obamanation and the equivalents on all Federal levels.

They are pushing the disaster that is California, on you America, on the road to serfdom.

Serfdom

Left Coast Rebel (http://www.leftcoastrebel.com/2009/07/businesses-arent-fleeing-ca.html) saying what I have been ranting about for weeks now. California is headed down the path of no return and yet still people are saying everything is ok. Research what happened to California and you will see that is the exact path the United States as a whole is being pushed down by the obamanation in office.

UPDATE: Here is a great comment left on the orignial article on Left Coast Rebel…

Nick said…

The sad part about California, for me (as a current resident), is that I’m virtually certain that I will leave California in the next few years in search of a place less destructive to my way of life. By that, I mean a place which doesn’t actively discourage business and productions, doesn’t tax its workers obscenely, and doesn’t have a budgetary disaster caused by ridiculous of-of-control spending and Obamanation-style liberal politics. The sad part is not that I’m leaving (statistically I will be replaced by 2+ other people, likely here illegally, so the state won’t miss me), but rather that I have no hope in affecting any change whatsoever in the state’s situation, and thus that has no consideration.

You Want Excess? – More on Congressional Waste

Thanks to “I’m Always Right, Far Right” for exposing more congressional waste. Here it is for your reading pleasure.

House Department of Agriculture; Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its preliminary analysis of the House version of the Fiscal 2010 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act

$4,545,000 for wood utilization sound excessive? Does it suprise you that this research has cost taxpayers $99.9 million since 1985?

“Isn’t that quaint? If every member pledged to not vote for it if they hadn’t read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes, of course – I’m not alone in this opinion. Hoyer told CNSNews.com at his regular weekly news conference, with a laugh of course, the same thing.

This is but not the last insult to the American voter. Hopefully though, we can understand what makes our highest government positions so corrupt – so that we can never let this happen again, that we will never in our generation let a party spend the treasury to such an excessive degree that we are literally staring at bankruptcy.”

$3,654,000 for the Center for Grape Genetics in Geneva by House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.)? Sound excessive? It does too me!

$2,908,000 for shrimp aquaculture? $1,438,000 for tropical aquaculture feeds? How about traveling expenses? Anyway you cut it, your money is being used to help a certain elite that has nothing to do with corporations, private money or anything of the sort.

GAO Warns Electric Cars will not Reduce Carbon Emissions

Well go figure. The Democrats plan to push more electric cars on Americans will do nothing to lower carbon emissions and may even raise them. We will be tradin OPEC for the lithium cartel run by Evo Morales of Bolivia, who is a HUgo Chaves stooge. We are trading OPEC for South American dictators. “Plug-in electrics just trade one carbon source for another, one dictator for another, and deliver a lower-standard vehicle.  It’s about as lose-lose as it gets.”

“The push for conversion to plug-in electric cars will do nothing to stop carbon emissions, a report by the GAO warns, throwing cold water on a push by Democrats to get more plug-ins on the road.  In fact, the problem could be made worse as demand goes up at coal-fired electrical plants.  Plus, the need for batteries may just have the US changing the dictators to which we’re chained, as IBD reports:

It’s a beautiful theory — highways full of electric cars emitting no greenhouse gases or pollutants after being plugged into an outlet in our garages overnight. The problem, according to a new Government Accountability Office report, is that the effort may only shift the problem somewhere else.

“If you are using coal-fired power plants, and half the country’s electricity comes from coal-powered plants, are you just trading one greenhouse gas emitter for another?” asks Mark Gaffigan, co-author of the GAO report. The report itself notes: “Reductions in CO2 emissions depend on generating electricity used to charge the vehicles from lower-emission sources of energy.”

The GAO report says a plug-in compact car, if recharged at an outlet drawing its power from coal, provides a carbon dioxide savings of only 4% to 5%. If the feeling of saving the environment from driving an electric car causes people to drive more, that small amount of savings vanishes entirely.

This misses another point as well, one I mentioned during the campaign.  Obama wants the US to decrease its electrical demand over the next several years as a means of conservation as we switch away from coal and other fossil fuels as a source for power.  Transferring cars from gasoline to electricity would vastly increase demand for power at the outlet, which would conflict with the decrease Obama wants to mandate.  The result would be prices skyrocketing even higher, and people unable to use their vehicles from a lack of ability to pay for recharging them.

Of course, we have a source for electricity in abundance: nuclear power.  IBD suggests that a program to rapidly expand our nuclear-power generation could fill the gap while generating zero carbon emissions.  The Obama administration and the Democrats don’t want that, though.  They shut down the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility, which would have recycled used fuel rods into material for more nuclear power, giving us an almost-completely renewing resource for decades into the future.

The GAO also points out that electric cars would have the US trading one set of dictators for another in order to power our cars.  The batteries for electric vehicles are lithium-ion, and for the experimental production levels in the US at this moment, we have enough lithium resources to keep pace.  However, once we start building electric cars in mass numbers, we will quickly run through our proven stores of lithium.  We would most likely have to do business with Hugo Chavez lackey Evo Morales of Bolivia, where half of the world’s proven stores of lithium reside.  Even if we didn’t buy directly from the leftist leader, Morales has the ability to set the global price — just as Saudi Arabia and OPEC do with oil.

Plug-in electrics just trade one carbon source for another, one dictator for another, and deliver a lower-standard vehicle.  It’s about as lose-lose as it gets, at least without nuclear power to fuel it.”

Ed Morrisey – Hot Air