The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed. I, Pencil, seemingly simple though I am, offer the miracle of my creation as testimony that this is a practical faith, as practical as the sun, the rain, a cedar tree, the good earth.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
My idea for a TV show would have been 'CSI: Washington DC'. Although every episode will show one of the investigators receiving a bribe from someone in Congress and some homeless patsy will take the fall. This version of CSI has more room for character development.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
And now Patrick Stewart is to be Knighted.
*Had to check to be sure but yes, he is a Shakespearean trained actor. With their English accents, they all sound like they can be classically trained actors.
**Not trying to disparage Sci-Fi either. It's a very underrated genre that most people don't give it the credit it deserves.
Rush was admitted to a Honolulu hospital yesterday and is resting comfortably after suffering chest pains. Rush appreciates your prayers and well wishes. He will keep you updated via RushLimbaugh.com and on Thursday's radio program.
Rush Limbaugh has been taken to a hospital in Hawaii because of some chest pains.
Thoughts and prayers are with him.
More here at TMZ.
LA Times has more info as well.
Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was taken to a hospital with chest pains on Wednesday, a Honolulu television station reported.
Paramedics responded to a call at 2:41 p.m. from the Kahala Hotel and Resort where Limbaugh is vacationing, KITV reported. The station, citing unnamed sources, said Limbaugh was taken to The Queens Medical Center in serious condition.
Queens spokeswoman N. Makana Shook says the hospital is unable to comment on the report.
Breitbart has video of the report. It hasn't worked for me so far but that might be because of the demand on it.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
China's State Administration of Taxation plans to raise the minimum income-tax threshold, it will also lower taxes on small and medium-sized enterprises, the reports said, citing an anonymously sourced account in the Chinese 21st Century Business Herald newspaper.
The tax authority also plans to lower taxes on the service industry and high-tech companies, the reports said.
Out of all the lessons Obama can take from the Chi-Coms, that should be it.
In Other Business News: (It's old but new to me) Potential investment advice should Cap and Trade ever become law.
UPDATE: Linked by The Daily Gator.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
This week we go to the Fox News.
The drill is the same. Of the two news anchors, which of the two would you feel more comfortable in approaching to say hello. As always, please leave your votes in the comments. Thank you.
Choice two is Courtney Friel. Fill in host for Fox and Friends in the morning.
I was going to use Patti Ann Brown but I think she's in a class all her own.
Friday, December 25, 2009
From the Gospel of Luke.
1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,[a] who was with child.
6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Glory in the Highest
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And behold,[b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Part of the reason why the Star Wars prequels are so hated by the fans is that George Lucas took what they loved and pretty much crapped all over it. Also, Lucas could not write or direct a story line that made any sense whatsoever. The Star Wars franchise was for the fans and Lucas did whatever he could to disrespect them. Case in point: Jar Jar Binks.
Music shouldn’t be shackled by a buck a song or even to a fifty dollar concert ticket. And once the music is made, why should the original artist receive an monetary compensation if someone else should decide to perform their work? Isn’t that a form of extortion? The music should be free to perform and to enjoy for everyone. And weezer needs to come to Richmond, Virginia and do another concert. I missed them on their latest tour through here.
Painting and sculptures shouldn’t be kept behind doors of a museum. And I pity those suckers to pay for admission to get inside too. They say it’s for upkeep and to employ the janitors who keep the place clean. I know they are stealing my right to enjoy a good painting. Some high class work of art like ‘Nude Looking Out Window’ and ‘The Thinker’. And if it’s still on tour, that pop art stuff that was done several years ago by several athletes. Where a hockey player skated across some paint then some canvas then slapped some paint covered hockey puck against it and a basketball player bounce a basketball covered in red then yellow paint over some other canvas. Why is that being kept away from my viewing pleasure?
Avatar was just released in the theaters. By all accounts, it is beautifully made movie. The story line may suck but the alien world would make George Lucas envious. Why should I have to pay $14 to see it in IMAX when it’s my right to see a movie? And not just on the normal screen but the IMAX version with the really cool 3-D glasses. Who is James Cameron to say that only a limited number of people can see his everyone’s movie (because it’s not his anymore. Art is for everyone, right?) in 3D.
When art and entertainment should be free for the masses, it’s not right to charge for them. And it’s downright criminal that Will Ferrell makes $20 million per movie. That is a case for water-boarding if I ever heard of one.
Go out and sneak into a movie for free. Download music. It’s your right, after all. Take it.
UPDATE: Linked by Monique at HotMES.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
PolitiFact named 'Death Panels' as the "Lie of the Year".
Except that it wasn't a lie at all.
Buried on page 1001 is this: INDEPENDENT MEDICARE ADVISORY BOARD.
2 ‘‘SEC. 1899A. (a) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is estab
3 lished an independent board to be known as the ‘Inde
4 pendent Medicare Advisory Board’.
5 ‘‘(b) PURPOSE.—It is the purpose of this section to,
6 in accordance with the following provisions of this section,
7 reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spend
9 ‘‘(1) by requiring the Chief Actuary of the Cen
10 ters for Medicare & Medicaid Services to determine
11 in each year to which this section applies (in this
12 section referred to as ‘a determination year’) the
13 projected per capita growth rate under Medicare for
14 the second year following the determination year (in
15 this section referred to as ‘an implementation year’);
16 ‘‘(2) if the projection for the implementation
17 year exceeds the target growth rate for that year, by
18 requiring the Board to develop and submit during
19 the first year following the determination year (in
20 this section referred to as ‘a proposal year’) a pro
21 posal containing recommendations to reduce the
22 Medicare per capita growth rate to the extent re
23 quired by this section; and
1 ‘‘(3) by requiring the Secretary to implement
2 such proposals unless Congress enacts legislation
3 pursuant to this section
Certainly sounds like rationing if costs get out of control. But Government programs never get out of control and are famous for staying under budget.
To the two readers of this blog, expect an update. (Thanks, Mom and Dad).
UPDATE: Just for fun, in the word search window near the top of the PDF file of the Reid Bill, type in "Social Security Act" then keep hitting next. Take a drink every time you see it being amended.
Anyway, the bill is big and awkward to read at best. And it does touch upon some areas outside of health care and reaches into the home. Starting at page 568 for the 'Maternal and Child Health Services'. Still working through that. It reads worse than stereo instructions.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
(1) directly or indirectly, corruptly gives, offers or promises anything of value to any public official or person who has been selected to be a public official, or offers or promises any public official or any person who has been selected to be a public official to give anything of value to any other person or entity, with intent—
(A) to influence any official act; or
(B) to influence such public official or person who has been selected to be a public official to commit or aid in committing, or collude in, or allow, any fraud, or make opportunity for the commission of any fraud, on the United States;
I would say that the debt forgiveness in Louisiana and the Medicaid buy off in Nebraska is something of value.
The question is now who would pursue such a charge? The extent of my knowledge of the legal system is sometimes you can get out of a ticket by going to traffic survival school on the weekends.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Rationale: There are many reasons in agreement between the right and the left and the American public about why this bill must be killed:
1. It will increase health care costs;
2. The individual mandate is massive government intrusion on individual freedom, and is a gift to the private insurers, and disproportionately impacts lower-income families;
3. The fantasies of CBO’s assumptions notwithstanding, this bill will accelerate our march to financial insolvency; and,
4. Passage of the bill merely reinforces the practice of buying votes with debt issued by the U.S. Treasury;
5. Among many other reasons, in the words of Howard Dean, the bill does more harm than good.
Be sure to read the rest. The fight-- and it will be a fight-- has just begun. Be sure to read the whole thing.
Time for week three. This time it's the actresses from the 'Twilight' movies.
Same drill as last week. Of the two, which girl is more approachable than the other. Leave your answer in the comments.
Previously, Week One and Week Two.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Tell Jim Webb – Don’t Be Reid’s 60th Vote
The old post follows below:
Do not let Sen. Webb pull a John "I voted for the bill before I voted against it" Kerry.
The Senate needs 60 votes for cloture. After cloture happens, all the Senate will need is 51 votes to pass the health care bill.
Count Webb as a Democratic "yes" vote on cloture for ObamaCare, although his vote on final passage of the bill is purely a function of whether Harry Reid needs him to get to 51 (which is unlikely). Either way, if challenged about his votes in 2012, his votes on various amendments provide him with a chance to play it both ways.
Let Sen. Webb know that you know how the game is played. A vote for cloture is a vote for the bill. Whether he voted for the final passage of the bill or no.
507 East Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Northern Virginia office:
7309 Arlington Blvd., Suite 316
Falls Church, VA 22042
Virginia Beach office:
222 Central Park Ave.
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
308 Craghead Street
Danville, VA 24541
3140 Chaparral Drive
Building C, Suite 101
Roanoke, VA 24018
756 Park Avenue, N.W.
Norton, VA 24273
Mail to: 756 Park Avenue, N.W.
P.O. Box 1300
Norton, VA 24273
Cross posted here.
If you have some time to spare, watch it at least up to part III. If you haven't seen the movie, watch all seven parts and save yourself the trouble of watching the actual movie.
*Truth be told, I thought that Episodes One, Two and Three where all equally abhorrent
Via Ace and Hot Air.
Friday, December 18, 2009
So now you know my secret. You can't stay with me anymore, Bella.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Patt: So, Jeff, what will it be for tomorrow?
Jeff: I know, drop some obscure slur for a Jew.. like Shylock or money changer..
Jeff: Perfect. Then we'll each put up post after post and get tons of hits between each of us from everyone trying to keep up.
Patt: And do the occasional duking it out over at Little Miss Attila's as well?
Jeff: You bet.
Patt: What started this off again?
Jeff: I've forgotten.
LINKED: By Miss Attila herself. You know who can benefit from this? Stacy McCain if he wants.
Sen. Jim Webb's Chief of Staff, Paul Reagan is doing the part of the job which he hates. Meeting with the citizens of Virginia.
I have not had a chance to view all of these except the last one. Posted them as soon as I had the link.
There's a couple of times there where Reagan and someone (not sure who) tries to blow some smoke before getting shot down en mass by every one in the room. Which is a good thing. People are paying more attention to what is going on and learning the facts and not being dependent on the elected officials for their info. Make those public servants accountable.
Thanks to Daren and Jim.
Cross posted at the Richmond Liberty Alliance.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
This week's subjects is a tale of two Jennifers. Again, if you were living it up as a man out and about town and saw both Jennifers at a bar, which one would you consider more approachable first. The friendlier looking of the two. The one who you think won't shoot you down right away. And for the sake of the experiment, Ben Afflect's sloppy seconds don't exist.
Please, leave your answers in the comments.
From Week I.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
If you haven’t been keeping up with the series, there are twelve other books to read in order to get to this point. The bad news is that Robert Jordan passed away before a chance to finish. The good news is he left piles upon piles of notes so Brandon Sanderson – handpicked by Jordan’s widow – will be able to finish the series with the ending that Jordan wanted.
Putting aside that the final book was supposed to have been one volume instead of being broken up into three, “The Gathering Storm” is enough to keep fans happy. If Sanderson’s task was to write a Wheel of Time book, it was coupled with the chance to tie up several loose threads that have been hanging from the weave (see what I did there?). With the outline Jordan had left, Sanderson had the basic plot points so all he needed to do is fill in the gaps between. It would be interesting to see what parts were Jordan’s and what part’s were Sanderson’s.
Now about the book.
If you were one of the fans who grew a little tired of repetitive nature of the last couple of novels*, this should pull you back in. With the notable exceptions of Mat, Perrin and a couple of other characters, it follows Rand and Egwene. Rand as he deals with the Seachan and his downward spiral into madness and Egwene as she is held prisoner in The White Tower.
Rand has changed much since being imprisoned in the box. With the weight of the Last Battle on his shoulders, trying to preserve the Nations in Rand-Land and seek out peace with the Seachan, Sanderson and Jordan frame Rand’s decent into madness more than any other book. I started to wonder how much of his sanity will remain intact at the ending of the final book.
Egwene’s storyline was interesting. The question is asked, briefly, about the realities of swearing fealty to a man and not law. Elaida muses about adding a Fourth Oath to the Oath Rod about having to obey the wishes of the Amyrlin Seat, the head of the Aes Sedai. As a novice, an extremely misbehaving bad novice—by the Tower standards, not the Rebels -- Egwene is still able to be taught her lessons but is constantly guarded and drugged to keep her from being able to channel. That actually put her in a prime spot where she has access to key Aes Sedai in the tower but yet still be able to contact the Rebel Aes Sedai through the World of Dreams via Suian.
It was worth the late night or two to finish those last couple of chapters. Sanderson has captured Jordan’s spirit in the book nicely. For the followers who wanted to see some of the loose plot threads start to be tied up, this book will not disappoint. I read that Jordan had notes set aside for two other prequels after the series was over. If Sanderson can keep the other two books on par with this one, he would be a good choice for those as well.
*The cast has grown such that Jordan needed two novels to show how several of the main characters dealt with the aftermath of Rand cleansing Saidin.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
That's right, I said fisting kits.
In a normal world, Kevin Jennings would be on a sexual predator list and maybe even a staring role in 'To Catch A Predator'. In Obama's world, he's can hand out kits to instruct kids on how to safely insert your fist into someone else's ass. And I'm not surprised that it has happened. It must be Wednesday.
The shocker of it was that it was only Part II of a series. Part I is up and so is Part III.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Unless something is done to address the issue, Rushkoff said, professional journalism could collapse leaving society to rely on an army of online amateurs.
"There is a tremendous value to a literate, self-expressive amateur society that can't be overemphasised. At the same time, when corporations and governments are employing highly-professional communications managers, it requires that people have professional journalists who can deconstruct all this public relations.
"People will not understand that until they are living in something akin to fascism."
Monday, December 7, 2009
I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who tell me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis.
Headline shamelessly stole from the Telegraph.
Damn, my throw away quote from Instapundit was linked by The Daily Gator.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I tried to pick two women who have roughly the same background (modeling) and similar enough in looks (caucasion, brunette and brown eyes) but one where I think has a more home town girl quality about her and the other slightly more exotic appearance. Of the two women, which would be the first one you would actually walk up to and buy her a drink? If you vote, please do so in the comments.
I'll do this for a couple more weeks. It's the preliminary findings I need to turn in for a government grant. Then my study really begins.
Linked by The Other McCain via the rule 5 linkfest.
No Sheeples Here is questioning as to why Al Gore won't be going to Copenhagen.
Wait. I take that back. The Daily Gator has on good authority that Al Gore is in fact reconsidering his trip to Copenhagen. Tipper, not so much.
To file under 'Elections Matter': Gateway Pundit has the approved book list that Kevin Jennings, Obama's "Safe School Czar". Damn. If that's Jenning's version of a safe school, I wonder what a hazardous school is?
The TrogloPundit from Wisconsin is milking his (see what I did there?) cheese/dairy fetish like a good Wisconsinite should.
And Pundit and Pundette has the latest on Obama's latest dip in the poll numbers. No dead cat bounce for him.
That's about all I have time for now. There may be additions as the day goes.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Jobs loss wasn't as bad as economists thought.
The milk wasn't spoiled that bad [after reading that three times today, I think I finally have it right].
The movie did suck but it had a funny part to it.
Linked by No Sheeples Here from her round up.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
The story began in October 2009 when a 17-year-old Garadag district-dweller lured an unsuspecting eight-year-old boy into his KamAZ truck, beat him up and raped him. A passerby then got into the truck and threatened to make the boy’s misery public, and then raped the boy himself.
Learning about the crime, the victim’s father, along with a group of relatives, tracked down the first rapist and revenge-raped him – all the while filming the event on a camera phone.
Those crazy Ruskies.
One More Thought: Tiger Woods is lucky his wife is only Swedish.
Going back to TARP and the bail outs of last year, the Congress and the President failed to listen to their bosses (We The People). Compounding upon that fact is the mismanaged 'Stimulus' with made up jobs and make believe numbers. An unemployment number of over 10% when it was promised it wouldn't shot over 8% if the 'Stimulus' was passed. So it's no surprise when the number of people who are angry at the federal government are on the rise.
Seventy-one percent (71%) of voters nationwide say they’re at least somewhat angry about the current policies of the federal government. That figure includes 46% who are Very Angry.
[. . .]
The data suggests that the level of anger is growing. The 71% who are angry at federal government policies today is up five percentage points since September.
Even more stunning, the 46% who are Very Angry is up 10 percentage points from September.
[. . .]
Seventy-one percent (71%) believe the federal government has become a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. Sixty-eight percent (68%) believe that government and big business work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors.
Opposition to the health care plan proposed by the president and congressional Democrats remains high.
Thanks to Jim.
Monday, November 30, 2009
He was threatened with his job if he kept asking specifically about Trig. But that doesn't keep him from asking about Trig from a round about angle. Like 'asking questions' about hospital records.
I've emailed [Adam Bellow at Harper Collins] asking him about the fact-checking process for "Going Rogue." Getting an on-the-record confirmation that, for example, Harper Collins reviewed the medical records proving Palin's multiple medical stories (including corrected hospital records by her own account) would be a useful piece of information. [emphasis mine]
Shorter Sully: Is Trig really the birth son of Sarah Palin?
Even shorter answer: Yes.
Follow up: Are you sure?
Retort: Even without looking at the records. Yes.
*The one line summery of the review: I still have hopes for Sarah Palin, provided she starts listening to what I have to say. Credit for the line goes to Joshua Livestro.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I think it's safe to say that Huckabee's chances in 2012 went from 'Less Than Likely' to 'Snowball's Chance In Hell'.
Seeing how Huck was a former minister, I can kind of see his point in the pardon. Almost.
As minister, he should reach out to those in prison and offer then the hope of redemption found in the Bible.
As governor, he needed to recognize that they were dangerous men that needed to behind bars.
As minister, he should be willing to offer second chances to people who previously thought they didn't need God's Word.
As governor, second chances often leads to recidivism.
Huck blurred his job responsibilities and now four police officers are dead.
MORE: Stacy McCain has more here and in The Greenroom.
- Medicare Part D.
- No Child Left Behind.
- Kept intact many of the appointees made by Clinton.
And thats for starters.
Pledge via Cassy and be sure to enjoy her rightfully calling a stupid moderate dumb.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Congressional Democrats are using several budget gimmicks to disguise the cost of their health care overhaul, claiming the House and Senate bills would cost only (!) about $1 trillion over 10 years. Now that critics have begun to correct for those budget gimmicks, supporters of ObamaCare are firing back.
One gimmick makes the new entitlement spending appear smaller by not opening the spigot until late in the official 10-year budget window (2010–2019). Correcting for that gimmick in the Senate version, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) estimates, “When all this new spending occurs” — i.e., from 2014 through 2023 — “this bill will cost $2.5 trillion over that ten-year period.”
[. . .]
When we correct for both gimmicks, counting both on- and off-budget costs over the first 10 years of implementation, the total cost of ObamaCare reaches — I’m so sorry about this — $6.25 trillion. That’s not a precise estimate. It’s just far closer to the truth than President Obama and congressional Democrats want the debate to be. [Emphasis mine]
Be sure to read the entire posting.
And when Congress and The President seem hell bent on dragging America into a United Kingdom style of health insurance take over, the United Kingdom is flirting with the idea of privatizing their system:
[. . .]Who needs a Dignitas clinic when you can check into a hospital in Basildon and be relatively certain to be taken out in a box?
It is a further achievement of our monitoring, regulating culture that even the monitors and the regulators don't seem to have a clue how bad things are – or they certainly didn't in Basildon. This exposes one of the great pretences of the NHS: that it is there first and foremost for the benefit of patients. It isn't. It exists these days mostly for the benefit of various trade unionists who are fully paid-up members of the Brown clientele, and who earn good money as petty bureaucrats trying to "manage" things that, if they need to be managed at all, could be far better done by fewer people in much more efficient systems.
[. . .]
There is a solution, but it would really put out of joint the noses of the clientele. When a hospital fails in the way that the Basildon and Thurrock Trust has, it should be turned over immediately to a private-sector hit squad to sort it out.
Both links via Instapundit.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
"Let’s say that I were to suddenly decide to follow the feminist line of thinking. I believe in the Second Amendment. And unlike so-called “women’s rights”, the right to bear arms actually is in the Constitution. Therefore, I think that all guns should be taxpayer funded, because it’s my right".
Completely unrelated except that it's from Cassy's blog. The man who has earned so much for doing so little receives a Black Belt for. . . maybe having seen a Bruce Lee movie in the past or something? For the vomit inducing goodness.
Monday, November 23, 2009
It's another record-high for the U.S. National Debt which today topped the $12-trillion mark. Divided evenly among the U.S. population, it amounts to $38,974.34 for every man, woman and child.
Technically, the debt hit the new high yesterday, but it was posted on the Treasury Department website just after 3:00 p.m. ET today. The exact calculation of the debt is a 16-digit tongue-twister and red-ink tsunami: $12,031,299,186,290.07
This latest milestone in the ever-rising journey of the National Debt comes less than eight months after it hit $11 trillion for the first time. The latest high-point is not unexpected, considering the federal deficit for the just-ended 2009 fiscal year hit an all-time high at $1.42-trillion – more than triple the previous year's record high.
Not to worry, Turbo Tax Tim Geithner has a plan.
The new debt number adds urgency to Treasury Department calls on Congress to quickly raise the statutory limit on the National Debt which now stands at $12.104 trillion. The debt ceiling was last raised in February as part of the $787 billion Recovery Act stimulus bill.
I can't figure out this last line. It's as if Obama is lying his ass off and expects to have a complacent media go along with it like a bunch of schmucks or if he is flat plain dumb.
Mr. Obama has said he hopes the health care plan pending in Congress will serve to curb the growth in the debt by reducing the amount government spends on health care
There is one way that will happen. Rationing of health care. Both the House and Senate versions of the bill are expanding entitlements, which will lead to greater costs, not less. It's almost as if Barack Obama is trying to make sex with the American people.
[All emphasis mine in the quotes]
Cross posted at The Richmond Liberty Alliance Blog.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
And to be fair, President George W. Bush helped with the debt. In fact, I think it's safe to say that without W., the Tea Parties would not have happened. Thank you, W. For being that catalyst.
Linked by The Daily Gator.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Now is the time to call your Senators and Representatives and let them know they need to kill the bill. Not just kill the bill, nuke it from orbit. If for the only reason the way that Harry Reid is flat out buying votes to get it to pass.
Then it's time to get involved at your local level, form a coalition and vote the bastards out of office.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
As for the where and when:
Healthcare Protest Tomorrow - Noon-2pm. We hope to have a continuous chain of people between Webb's office at 507 E. Franklin and Warner's new office at 919 E. Main St.
If this helps, SEIU has a list of words that they use in trying to control the dialog. Words to use and words to avoid. Seeing how SEIU wants health-care that runs with all the efficiency as the DMV, look at the list and use the words avoid.
Reposted in full from the email:
- Budget Gimmicks: Whereas the taxes associated with the Reid (Senate) health care reform bill would start in 2010, the provision of health care benefits would not begin until 2014. In a ruse to make it appear that the tax revenues and costs associated with the bill balance, the government plans to collect taxes for each of the first ten years, but only provide services for the last six of those years.
- Spending: The cost of the bill is $2.5 trillion over 10 years of full implementation (2014-2023).
- Taxes Increases: Taxes will go up $493.6 billion—nearly half a trillion dollars.
- Medicare Cuts: Medicare will be cut $464.6 billion—another half a trillion dollars.
- Total Number of Pages: 2074
- Abortion: The bill permits the use of accounting gimmicks that will, for the first time, allow federal dollars to go to plans covering abortion. The bill does not include the Stupak language, and as a result, National Right to Life describes the Reid bill language as “completely unacceptable” and said it would “result in coverage of abortion on demand in two big new federal government programs.”
- Government Plan: The bill includes a government run plan and provides states with the possibility of opting out of participating in that plan. According to CBO, the government run plan “would typically have premiums that were somewhat higher than the average premiums for the private plans in the exchanges.”
- Employer Mandate: The bill will impose $28 billion in new taxes on employers that do not provide government approved health plans. These new taxes will ultimately be paid by American workers in the form of reduced wages and lost jobs.
Additional CBO Background:
- The bill would bend the federal cost-curve up. CBO says, “Under the legislation, federal outlays for health care would increase during the 2010–2019 period, as would the federal budgetary commitment to health care.” The coverage expansion would drive a net increase in government spending on health by $160 billion over 10 years.
- CBO scored the bill as reducing the deficit by $130 billion over FYs 2010-2019.
o However, CBO notes that the bill includes two budget gimmicks that hide the true cost of the bill. Doctors are assumed to get a 23 percent cut in 2011 which would carry into subsequent years. Fixing the SGR would cost $247 billion. Additionally, the CLASS Act generates $72 billion over the budget window, but later turns to deficits. Eliminating these two gimmicks means the bill would be $189 billion in the red. It would also put the real cost of the bill over a trillion dollars.
- The start dates for the individual mandate, exchanges, and employer penalties were all moved from July 1, 2013, to January 1, 2014.
o This is another budget gimmick to hide the true cost of the bill.
- 24 million people would be left without insurance.
- Unfunded mandates on the states: The bill mandates that states spend an additional $25 billion in Medicaid expenditures.
- Taxes on uninsured individuals would total $8 billion.
- Taxes on employers from the “free-rider” penalty would total $28 billion.
- 5 million Americans would lose their employer coverage.
- Cuts to Medicare include: Permanent reductions in the annual updates to Medicare’s payment rates for most services in the fee-for-service sector of $192 billion; $118 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage; $43 billion in DSH cuts; $23 billion in unspecified cuts by the Medicare Advisory Board.
- Only 19 million people will get a subsidy to help them buy health insurance.
o None of the 162 million people with employer-based care will even be eligible for a subsidy.
- The government plan would have higher premiums than private plans. CBO said the government plan would “typically have premiums that were somewhat higher than the average premiums for the private plans in the exchanges.”
o With the opt-out provision, two-thirds of Americans are expected to have a government plan available in their state.
o Co-ops are included but would have “very little effect.”
- The CLASS Act would reduce deficits by $72 billion in the 10 year budget window, but “would begin to increase budget deficits” in the decade following 2029.
- The IRS would need $5-$10 billion to expand and implement the provisions in the bill.
- The costs of the subsidies in the exchange would grow at 8 percent a year.
- The tax on high value plans will quickly be applied to almost all plans. CBO expects the revenues from the Cadillac plan tax to grow at 10-15 percent per year outside the budget window.
- Includes a $15 billion “Prevention and Public Health Fund” slush fund.
- CBO says it would be “difficult” to maintain the predicted savings over a long period of time—meaning that the plan will likely run deficits when savings do not materialize.
Summary of Tax Provisions
Cadillac plan tax
Employer W-2 reporting of health benefits
Conform definition of medical expenses
Increase penalty for nonqualified HSA deductions
Limit FSAs to $2,500
Corporate information reporting
Requirements for non-profit hospitals
Pharma fee, effective 2010
Device manufacturer fee, effective 2010
Health insurer fee, effective 2010
Eliminate subsidy related to Part D
Raise 7.5 percent AGI floor to 10 percent
$500k deduction cap on pay for health insurers
0.5% HI payroll tax over $200single/$250married
Section 833 treatment of certain insurers (the Blues)
Cosmetic surgery tax
Individual and employer mandate penalties
Effects of coverage provisions on revenues
*This number is not directly comparable in both scores
Other changes in revenue