We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, July 19. 2017
Why Andrew Wyeth’s Art – Once Derided – Has Outlived His Critics
Another Reason Men Don't Work: Imaginary World More Enjoyable Than The Real World
Disney Vows to Give Epcot a Magical, Long-Overdue Makeover
2 Monkeys Were Paid Unequally; See What Happens Next (video)
California: Golden No More
LINDA SARSOUR'S SAUDI ARABIA ARRESTS WOMAN IN SKIRT FOR "DISRESPECTING TEACHINGS OF ISLAM"
For Climate-Change Hypocrites, U.S. Is Too Frackin' Much
LGBT Mega-Donor Reveals Next Goal: 'Punish the Wicked' Gay Marriage Opponents
Leaked Email Shows Hillary Camp Internally Bragging About “Killing” a Story Linking Bill Clinton $500K Moscow Speech to Magnitsky Bill
What killed Senate health care bill? Liberal Medicaid alarmism
Democrats Will Soon Regret That Republicans Failed To Repeal ObamaCare
CBO Analysis of Trump Budget Shows Need for Entitlement Reform, Pro-Growth Tax Policies
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The problem with the healthcare bill is that is being handled much like the Obama bill. Huge changes in a massive document that people haven't absorbed.
This should have been a 2 year project, with lots of public input and discussion--not something shoved through Congress from the top
At the very least, the public needs to feel comfortable with the direction.
I'm still waiting for the $2500 a year savings.
Check's in the mail, right? RIGHT?
JLawson: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal
While Obama conflated health insurance premiums with healthcare spending, overall national healthcare spending is about $2 trillion less than it would have been without ObamaCare. See Urban Institute, The Widespread Slowdown in Health Spending Growth Implications for Future Spending Projections and the Cost of the Affordable Care Act, 2016.
Zzzzz:overall national healthcare spending is about $2 trillion less than it would have been without ObamaCare.
The study y'all cited doesn't make that claim.
Not surprising. That's Z for ya.
I actually judge legislation by results. The so-called 'Luxury Tax' of the '90s that had a 10% surcharge on private aircraft and watercraft of a certain size turned out to cost more to administer than it ever brought in, and damn near killed off both manufacturing sectors to boot.
I have friends (DINKs) who are paying $1300 a month for insurance that has a $10k deductible. He's retired, she's an independent contractor. Before Obamacare, they were paying that PER YEAR for catastrophic coverage, with the same deductible. But she's covered for birth control and pregnancy now - though in her late '50s it's pretty unlikely.
So when you sell something on the "You'll save big bucks!" advertising, you'd BETTER save me big bucks. Obamacare's been hideously expensive for dubious benefits outside of a small group.
drowningpuppies: The study y'all cited doesn't make that claim.
There are two claims; that spending growth has slowed, and that the ACA contributed. On the first claim, "projections now 25 percent lower than CBO’s initial ACA estimate for the period 2014-19". On the second claim, "Thus, while the exact impact of the ACA cannot be determined, it is clear that the nation has successfully expanded coverage and is now expected to spend considerably less than anticipated even before the law was enacted. "
National Health Expenditure Projections
We quoted directly from the report.
Y'all changed the argument.
Everyone can read your initial comment.
It should have been a one-sentence repeal:
"The Affordable Care Act is hereby repealed in its entirety."
They could have put a delayed effective date to supposedly handle a transition back to the old system (although I would have made it effective immediately). But the federal government has no legal or constitutional right to be involved in healthcare, and the results thus far have been disastrous, with a likely total implosion right around the corner.
And Zachriel's comments are bogus. Obamacare just shifted the costs of healthcare on to fewer and fewer people. My premiums rocketed from $19K per year for family coverage to close to $30K in two years. Finally, my company had to cut coverage and increase deductibles, but I am still paying $6K more per year for less coverage and higher deductibles. Oh, and my doctor shut down his medical practice because he could no longer handle the costs of increased red tape and regulations. So I have no regular doctor despite paying all I do for insurance, and haven't had a checkup for at least three years now. When I got sick in January, I had to go to a "concierge" emergency medical clinic and pay cash out of hand to get diagnosed and treated--the alternative would have been waiting for weeks or months to see a regular doctor. There is now a huge doctor deficit in the country, especially in primary care physicians who cannot make a living under Obamacare. And most doctors here are not taking on new patients because they cannot handle the cost. And forget it if you are on Medicare, most doctors will no longer take Medicare patients because they lose money.
In short, Obama and the Democrats screwed the pooch all around. Obamacare is a cancer that is destroying this country and the productive class. I don't know why people are screaming their heads off, but somehow they have been brainwashed to believe this dysfunctional Soviet style system is somehow better than what we had.
Not just the direct results but the unintended consequences. At the beginning of last year our State business department put out a warning that up to fifty percent of our small businesses in the state could face going out of business in the next one to two years because of new Obamacare exactions that were being extended to small business. (Trump may have delayed implementation of that, though.) So this shows how potentially dire letting this law continue is.
Jim: It should have been a one-sentence repeal
That would require overriding a filibuster with 60 votes, when they can't even get 50 votes.
Jim: There is now a huge doctor deficit in the country, especially in primary care physicians
The shortage of primary care physicians predated ObamaCare, which has provisions to increase their number. In any case, contrary to your personal experience, more Americans than ever now have access to regular medical care.
Are you saying his personal experience of increased cost exchanged for decreased access - occasioned by his preferred provider leaving the market as a result of the regulatory burdens imposed - is without merit because others ostensibly have greater access? I just want to make sure because I think you've just thanked him for being the egg in your omelet - or in the alternative told him you don't care that he was the egg in your omelet.
BornSouthern: Are you saying his personal experience of increased cost exchanged for decreased access
Not at all, but a disconnected anecdote without critical details may not be representative of the overall trend, or may have other or more complex causes not considered by the person.
No! The problem with the health care bill is it is like two wolves and a sheep voting on what is for dinner. This cannot be decided by a democracy and still be consistent with the constitution. The health care bill and the intent behind it is fated to end with a $4-$10 trillion a year national health care insurance system that will not only be to expensive to sustain but will by design destroy the world's best health care system.
Why the Devil Loves Democracy. "Lewis, like Ayn Rand, believes unselfishness is a vice, not a virtue..." This is entirely incorrect. Lewis thought unselfishness a mild virtue in contrast to positive virtues. (The Weight of Glory.) As for Democracy, Lewis had a wide range of opinions, plus and minus, on the subject. Singling out one is misleading.
Andrew Wyeth - notice in "Christina's World" that the artist is paining from an unusual angle: elevated as if on some platform rather than atop a natural feature. This adds to the impression of distance and separateness. Wyeth chooses odd angles a lot, for this very reason, but this one is among the most dramatic. When looking at one of his works, imagine where he must be standing. It is often a clue to what he wanted you to see.
From the mid-19th C to mid 20th, painting was often about technique, and exploring what one could do with a brush (or without one). Subjects became less important. This has always struck me as a rather closed circle, and a bit pointless. It seems to be a rather intentional attempt to keep others out.
After the advent of photography, painting largely became an exploration of what aspects of image besides realism could create the same emotional impact. Through the impressionists and cubists you have the distillation of image to find the minimum of subject necessary to create impact, to the abstract where the subject was dismissed and the artists focused solely on the emotion.
Wyeth paintings to me always seemed like still frames out of a motion picture. Christina's World, with the odd angle you mention, seems to me to be a frame out of a sweeping crane dolly or even helicopter shot. There is a story there, drama, a narrative; the image has a past and future that simply isn't present in Pollack or DeKooning. He creates the emotional impact not out of the image itself, but out of the act of creation of that narrative, exploring the role of the human as the story-telling animal.
Norman Rockwell was also a master of this still image as narrative, and was equally derided by critics as a mere illustrator.
California: Golden No More
California real GDP growth in 2016 was 2.92%, which is consistent with the last five years growth of about 3% per year.
As the article concerns economics ("Empowered by the 19th-century Gold Rush, 20th-century California became a top-ten global economy and national leader ..."), then real GDP growth would be a relevant statistic.
The article addressed much more than economics:
California spends far more than any other state on public education, but consistently ranks near the bottom in math, reading, achievement scores, and graduation rates. There are too many administrators, and too few champions of minority parents who desire school choice and competition.
The U.S. Supreme Court in recent years determined its prisons were so horribly organized that the Corrections Department released thousands of prisoners, and the crime rate has risen. Unions prevent sending felons out of state to cheaper private prisons.
California is home to 12% of the nation's population, but fully one third of the nation's welfare cases, yet politicians and bureaucrats purposefully prevent fingerprinting to prevent fraud in the system.
Public employee unions dominate state politics, resulting in levels of compensation often far above that of private-sector workers, and budget-crushing retirement pensions that feature absurd levels of free money for decades. Psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, professors and bureaucrats often double- and triple-dip, working other jobs while they collect income for life, starting in their 50s.
That's most of the first half of the article. I could list more quotations that are not primarily economic.
Probably the largest engine of California's economy is tech but it's so expensive to live near work that many tech workers, who would be considered highly paid in most states live like paupers.
But the state has a decent GDP.
1. A lot of the issues have to do with integrating so many immigrant. In the short run, immigration tends to result in some dislocation. In the long run, immigration tends to result in economic vitality.
2. Crime in California has gone up somewhat, but is still substantially lower than 30 years ago.
3. Welfare rates are high in California, yet it still maintains healthy economic growth.
4. Unionization rates are high in California, yet it still maintains healthy economic grwoth.
drowningpuppies: That's most of the first half of the article. I could list more quotations that are not primarily economic.
Only #2 is not economic.
All the people I know in California are trying to get out of California.
I guess their place will be taken by more illegal aliens.
Jim: All the people I know in California are trying to get out of California.
California's population grew about 2/3% last year.
Jim: I guess their place will be taken by more illegal aliens.
Immigration to the U.S. has declined sharply the last several years.
Re: Leaked Email Shows Hillary Camp Internally Bragging About “Killing” a Story Linking Bill Clinton $500K Moscow Speech to Magnitsky Bill
Bragging about that is like bragging that you had sex with a whore.
If you read the email, the story was killed due to help from the research team. That typically implies that the reporter's concerns were was addressed with relevant facts. Not sure why that would be considered a story. Is "research team" code for "pedophilia pizza ring"?
In the first place, anybody can be called a "research team." The email does not give a clue to what pertinent information that team shared with the story's author - if that's what they did as you so generously assume.
In the second place, it is not even a dog bites man story for a Democrat campaign to wield influence over the lap dog media, especially when the story is incriminating to the Democrat. Having a story where Bill Clinton made twice his usual fee, $500,000, for speaking to Russian bankers while his wife, who as Sec. of State, was opposing sanctions on Russia. Those sanctions were in a bi-partisan bill that was in response to Russia's treatment of Sergei Magnitsky. Magnitsky was in prison because he was investigating fraud in Putin's tax officials. He had developed health problems and was denied medical care for months and was eventually beaten to death while in prison. And then to top it off, Putin, The Devil Himself, thanked BC for making that $500,00. You don't have to squint hard for that to look like Putin was thanking Bill and Hill for opposing those sanctions or conversely, Bill and Hill selling their opposition for $500,000.
mudbug: In the first place, anybody can be called a "research team."
That's right, though as an internal email of political activity it probably is referring to a political research team. Or do you think "research team" is code for a pedophilia pizza ring?
mudbug: The email does not give a clue to what pertinent information that team shared with the story's author - if that's what they did as you so generously assume.
Presumably political research of some sort, but maybe it's in code.
mudbug: Having a story where Bill Clinton made twice his usual fee, $500,000, for speaking to Russian bankers while his wife, who as Sec. of State, was opposing sanctions on Russia.
Actually, Bill Clinton commanded that fee and higher. Speeches and fees were approved by government ethics officials. The Clintons' tax returns are public record, as are the tax returns of the Clinton Foundation. Given that, there is an appearance of conflict that should have been avoided.
None of that is worthy of a reply especially since you have seem to have some obsession with a pedophelia pizza ring.
mudbug: None of that is worthy of a reply especially since you have seem to have some obsession with a pedophelia pizza ring.
Actually, that would be the conspiratorial right. You might want to explain what YOU think they meant by "research team".
Democrats Will Soon Regret That Republicans Failed To Repeal ObamaCare
Republicans have been working to undermine ObamaCare; by attacking funding on risk corridors, and threatening to withhold individual insurance subsidies for low-income Americans; which is leading to uncertainty in the insurance industry. Now, the President Trump is saying he would rather let the insurance system collapse than cooperate on plans to strengthen the existing system.
John Roberts could have prevented this.....
No truer comment ever written about this debacle.
". . .than cooperate on plans to strengthen the existing system."
What do you think has been going on the past few months, Z? The Democrats announced from the beginning they would not agree to a single proposal so long as Republicans were in control. Essentially giving the middle finger and a big "F U" to the president, the majority in Congress and the American people.
Now, they should face the consequences of their obstruction and fraudulent initial actions in first ramming this phony legislation through without any input or discussion. Unfortunately, we are looking at widespread pain and hardship on the American people as a result, and blame should be placed exactly where it is due, on Obamacare and the Democrats.
Jim: What do you think has been going on the past few months, Z?
An attempt to undermine and then dismantle ObamaCare, not "strengthen the existing system".
Jim: The Democrats announced from the beginning they would not agree to a single proposal so long as Republicans were in control.
That is incorrect. Democrats have said they would be happy to work with Republicans to strengthen the existing system, or even replace the system with one that provides more people with coverage. However, Republicans have proposed changes that would result in fewer people with coverage.
Jim: Now, they should face the consequences of their obstruction and fraudulent initial actions in first ramming this phony legislation through without any input or discussion.
Despite what you've been led to believe, ObamaCare had many open hearings in both the House and the Senate, and was subject to bipartisan debate, including the introduction of Republican amendments, many of which were adopted into the final legislation. The process took over a year. How do we know this? It was on the TV! Oh, and the text of the bill was available weeks before passage.
Not a single Republican voted to pass Ocare.
Nothing about it was bipartisan.
The Dems own it all.
drowningpuppies: Not a single Republican voted to pass Ocare.
That wasn't the question, but whether Democrats pushed ObamaCare through "without any input or discussion." That is simply incorrect.
Why the Devil Loves Democracy
It's all Jefferson's fault.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal ...
When did healthcare get so complicated? My great grandparents and grandparents lived well into their late 80s, some to over 100, without this being a PROJECT for government intervention.
Pols, go away!
The two monkeys:
The TED speaker at the end said this is basically the Wall Street protest (or process, couldn't be sure). But it is not. It is welfare and the American middle class. The problem is that in the real life case the monkeys are not in cages and the government doesn't dare stop giving them free stuff and in fact increasing the free stuff every year. The government is depending on the fact that the monkeys who pay for all this (the middle class) will continue to work hard and pay their taxes. This can only end badly. When the free stuff stops, and simple logic says it must, the welfare monkeys will be really really pissed and act out. On the other hand if the free stuff does not stop soon the working/tax paying monkeys will be forced into poverty and will be really pissed as well.
I can only conclude that the politicians have never thought this through to understand that sooner or later the monkeys will come looking for them with blood in their eyes OR that the politicians assumed they could put off that inevitable day until they could retire and take their ill gotten wealth with them to some place safe.