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
Friday, July 28. 2017
Friday morning links
French Philosopher Anne Dufourmantelle Dies Attempting to Save Drowning Children
Philosopher and Psychoanalyst. An advocate of taking risks in life. Good for her. She died well, valiantly, in action and not in deep thought.
Keeping Cocktails Cold Without Dilution
Sheesh, Coyote. Is this all that important? I like the physics, tho.
A Guide to Global Book-Reading Habits
The Incas and the Collectivist State
Only the royalty led full free lives. Still that way lots of places where people are oppressed by a parental State
Picture Alan Alda in a leotard. That is a campus liberal’s concept of healthy masculinity.
Speaking of which, See the Violent Italian Sport that Inspired Modern Football
I would not last long out there, I am sorry to say
Researchers Have Been Underestimating the Cost of Wind and Solar
Empowering the Administrative State
European nations treat their people like sheep; the USA treats its people more like goats, although the would-be shepherds keep pushing
New Orleans bilks federal taxpayers of $2 billion in Hurricane Katrina repairs
Hey, it's the New Orleans Way
The military isn’t about social engineering, it’s about lethality and protecting the US
Seven Republicans betray their party and their constituents
They had the chance to do something good. Could have gotten rid of mandate, allowed a wide variety of plans, and allowed cross-state plan sales. For starters.
Related: 15 million Americans would opt out of Obamacare if they could
John McCain Kills Obamacare Repeal With Single Decisive Vote
'Let Obamacare fail,' says Trump. It already has.
Charlie Guard: The inevitable ending for those under a government run single-payer system
Top FBI Lawyer Under Investigation For Leaking
Imran Awan Needs a Special Prosecutor 1000x More Than Trump
Related from Steyn: RussiaRussiaRussiaRussiaRealbitofnewsRussiaRussiaRussiaRussia...Wait a minute, what was that?
Still waiting for PMSNBC to get smart and hire Steyn. World-class wit.
Imran Awan Scandal Shows Just How Much Dirt Dems Wanted to Hide By Focusing on Trump-Russia
Russia probe: Democrats block key witness against shadowy firm Fusion GPS
Shady Research Firm Fusion GPS Behind Fake Trump Dossier WAS BEING PAID BY DNC AND RUSSIANS!
Malanga: Same Old “New” Democrats - Trying to reclaim lost voters, the party rolls out a derivative slogan to promote old, failed ideas.
The Post-Hillary Democrats - How in God’s name, the Democrats wonder, did we ever lose the 2016 election to HIM?
Are The Unions Finally Getting Tired Of The Democrats?
Z-man on Trump:
House Judiciary Committee Calls for Second Special Counsel to Investigate Hillary, Lynch, and Comey
Drain the swamp! It's about time.
Senators caught on hot mic: 'Donald Trump is crazy. I'm worried'
The President Better Pick His Battles To Win The DC Game of Thrones
Re this Mooch guy, it's a new low for this White House
Is he that guy from Goodfellas? Or is he Scarafucile? I know people have always talked that way in the West Wing, but not in public.
CNN’s Jake Tapper: Scaramucci 100% Right, People Trying to Bring Down Trump From Within…
British Police Force to ‘Consider’ Charging People Who Mocked Promise to Track Down Trolls
How shall I mock thee? Let me count the ways...
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 04:29 | Comments (43) | Trackback (1)
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Re: 15 million Americans would opt out of Obamacare if they could
I saw somebody on CNN coming dangerously close to clarifying the nut of Obamacare, that the mandate is necessary to force younger and healthier people who don't really need expensive health insurance to nevertheless pay into the system in order to subsidize health insurance for older and sicker people. Of course, this was given as an aside to focus on the larger point he was trying to make, that eliminating the mandate and allowing people who have calculated that they don't need expensive insurance to not buy expensive insurance will perforce cause insurance premiums to rise. Without noting that he's engaging in a little rhetorical sleight-of-hand, an example of the survivor bias that leads to logically-flawed arguments, that it will cause insurance premiums to rise for the older, sicker, or more risk-averse who continue to buy insurance but will cause a drastic decrease in premiums for people who no longer buy what they consider to be unnecessarily expensive insurance.
(And yes, I'm aware that your neighbor's sister's cousin knows this one guy who had a heart attack at age 28 and didn't have insurance because he thought he didn't need it - that doesn't invalidate my point. Insurance companies have reams and reams and reams of data and statistics that demonstrate that otherwise healthy 28-year olds by and large don't have heart attacks, strokes, cancer, or otherwise expensive medical conditions that make expensive insurance policies a good investment. That's the whole freaking premise of Obamacare, that insurance premiums for young healthy people will far outweigh insurance payouts for them, that's how the subsidy works. It's just not often clarified by the media that this is exactly what the mandate is - a wealth transfer from the young and the healthy to the old and the sick.)
And before anybody makes the claim, no, this is no OK because the young 'pay into the system' and then use the money when they become old. Health insurance, especially under the Obamacare rules, is pay-as-you-go. The money collected as this year's premiums pays this year's claims. There is little to no reserving done. Anybody making claims otherwise is selling you the same Ponzi scheme the Left thinks will keep Social Security and Medicare afloat.
The only caution I would introduce here is that anyone who wants to avoid contracting an expensive illness that makes him uninsurable from then on had better give serious thought to buying into the system while he's still young and healthy, even if it doesn't seem like a good cost-benefit ratio in his 28th year of glowing health.
Christopher B: Anybody making claims otherwise is selling you the same Ponzi scheme the Left thinks will keep Social Security and Medicare afloat.
Social Security and Medicare are pay-as-you-go, but private insurers are required to have substantial reserves.
Pay as you go? Hahahahha. Nice one. Pay as you go implies that I have a choice in the matter. No social security, is confiscate as you go, with the treat of even more confiscation for failure to pay.
If people had to pay their own tax bills every quarter, actually write the check to the Treasury Department, there would be huge changes, really fast.
B. Hammer: Pay as you go implies that I have a choice in the matter. No social security, is confiscate as you go, with the treat of even more confiscation for failure to pay.
It's called taxation, a rather obscure provision in the U.S. Constitution. Social Security and Medicare are pay-as-you-go. The younger generation pays the benefit for the previous generation.
B. Hammer: If people had to pay their own tax bills every quarter, actually write the check to the Treasury Department, there would be huge changes, really fast.
Perhaps, but most people prefer regular withholding rather than a large tax bill at the end of the quarter.
#22.214.171.124.1 Zachriel on 2017-07-28 11:08 (Reply)
Health insurance reserves are based on the possibility that claims might exceed the expected ratio to premiums in a given year, or over a series of years. They do not represent an accumulation of funds to pay claims incurred by current policyholders in future years.
Jerryskids: I saw somebody on CNN coming dangerously close to clarifying the nut of Obamacare, that the mandate is necessary to force younger and healthier people who don't really need expensive health insurance to nevertheless pay into the system in order to subsidize health insurance for older and sicker people.
Of course that's how it works.
Jerryskids: Without noting that he's engaging in a little rhetorical sleight-of-hand, an example of the survivor bias that leads to logically-flawed arguments, that it will cause insurance premiums to rise for the older, sicker, or more risk-averse who continue to buy insurance but will cause a drastic decrease in premiums for people who no longer buy what they consider to be unnecessarily expensive insurance.
That's right. If health insurance were strictly risk-based, then the old and sick could rarely afford healthcare. That's the primary reason for Medicare for people 65 and over.
Zzzzz: Of course that's how it works.
Except Obamacare is "not" working.
drowningpuppies: Except Obamacare is "not" working.
ObamaCare is having troubles in some rural areas, but is largely stable, and providing access to healthcare to millions of previously uninsured Americans. Even in most rural areas, ObamaCare is providing better access. That is not to say that ObamaCare doesn't need some adjustments, both to guarantee better access, and to shore up the exchanges.
Zzzz: ...to shore up the exchanges.
The ones that are left. Down to six now, I believe.
#126.96.36.199.1 drowningpuppies on 2017-07-28 11:26 (Reply)
drowningpuppies: The ones that are left. Down to six now, I believe.
It depends on the state. California has a vibrant insurance marketplace with eleven insurers, New York has fourteen, while Alabama only has one.
#188.8.131.52.1.1 Zachriel on 2017-07-28 11:54 (Reply)
#184.108.40.206.1.1.1 drowningpuppies on 2017-07-28 12:57 (Reply)
Co-ops have not done well, however, as pointed out above, many private insurers are competing in most states to provide coverage on the exchanges. Keep in mind that Republicans worked to undermine risk corridors, which were meant to help stabilize the marketplace in the first few years; as well as have threatened to withhold subsidy payments, spooking insurers.
#220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Zachriel on 2017-07-28 13:47 (Reply)
Our exchange died in 2015 and was closed by the State. One hundred thirty million dollars of State taxpayer dollars pissed down the drain setting it up and it never worked, they couldn't even get the enrollment software to work. People made the comment that if it weren't authorized by Obamacare, the insurance commissioner would have been forced to commence an enforcement action to shut it down for insurance fraud because it was never viable. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/06/hawaii-health-insurance_n_7524426.html
drowningpuppies' article listing 17 does not include ours, so the death toll is actually at least 18.
#22.214.171.124.1.1.2 Jim on 2017-07-28 14:30 (Reply)
Jim: Our exchange died in 2015 and was closed by the State.
The state now uses the national market exchange at Healthcare.gov.
#126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Zachriel on 2017-07-28 16:23 (Reply)
Yes, the state exchange collapsed at the cost to me and other taxpayers of $130 million. All pissed away. I supposed it's a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of billions of dollars that disappeared because of Obama's "stimulus" programs.
#184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 Jim on 2017-07-29 01:39 (Reply)
Jim: tate exchange collapsed at the cost to me and other taxpayers of $130 million.
Sure. A waste of money. However, the claim was that ObamaCare was collapsing. As the state exchange was replaced with the federal exchange, it does not represent evidence that the system is collapsing. It shows the opposite, that the system was resilient in that regard.
#18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1.1 Zachriel on 2017-07-29 08:25 (Reply)
TOTAL TAXPAYER DOLLARS: $1,820,114,940.
And the losses keep mounting.
#126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 drowningpuppies on 2017-07-28 20:56 (Reply)
"Of course that's how it works"
"From each according to his ability to each according to his needs".
The Democrats have been going further and further to the left since the 60's and Obama's administration lurched sharply left. What the fight now is all about is who gets to decide how the wealth is divided.
GoneWithTheWind: The Democrats have been going further and further to the left since the 60's and Obama's administration lurched sharply left.
The world has been moving towards the political left since the Renaissance. Nearly all developed countries have some sort of provision for universal healthcare, so the U.S. is lagging in this regard.
I.e. China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. All successful countries running to the left.
#184.108.40.206.1 GoneWithTheWind on 2017-07-29 13:15 (Reply)
Sure. The French and Russian Revolutions would be the archetypal examples of leftism run amok.
#220.127.116.11.1.1 Zachriel on 2017-07-29 15:06 (Reply)
Another rhetorical slight of hand was the "elimination" of high-risk pools. By removing lifetime coverage limits and prohibiting exclusions for pre-existing conditions, the law dramatically shifted the risk potential for insurance companies. It was no longer a case of "Is someone in our pool going to contract a severe illness", but one of "Is someone with a severe illness going to join our pool?"
while this may seem a subtle difference, it changes the optimal profitability model from one where you compete to add members to your pool to defer costs to one where you attempt to keep your pool size small and extract the maximum revenue per member. Thus availability goes down and costs for individuals go up.
Effectively, rather than eliminating high-risk pools, it made all of the individual market high-risk.
The advice doesn't apply to good whiskey (or other good spirits), which should be sipped at room temperature and diluted to about 30 to 35% alcohol. Good wines, too, should be sipped only slightly cooled, cellar temperature.
Beer, of course, should be icy and copious and guzzled.
Agree about whiskey - or whisky.
All wines should be chilled, a little or a lot. Unless they came up from your 50-degree wine cellar.
Historically, wine was always diluted with water too.
Depends very much on the beer. A good dark beer - just cool is great. On the other hand, there's nothing like an icy Pilsner Urquell on a Stiegl Grapefruit Radler on a really hot day.
[i]"French Philosopher Anne Dufourmantelle Dies Attempting to Save Drowning Children
Philosopher and Psychoanalyst. An advocate of taking risks in life. Good for her. She died well, valiantly, in action and not in deep thought." [i]
Hmmm. I'd prefer expiring in deep thought to drowning, even if it might get me the odd posthumous sling or arrow from the commentariat.
Considering that our heroine was only 53 years old and the "drowning" kids survived despite her fatal failed effort, perhaps she did not assess the situation --and her role in it-- very well, or accurately.
From what I can see, your assessment was made after that fact as well. Based on the article you linked to, there's no telling whether she reached the kids, how her motives were ascertained, and why, if there other people there, nobody tried to save her. The facts are that she's dead, and the kids are alive.
I can't help but suspect that had Ms. Dufourmantelle been a sanitation worker from Kearny, NJ, her actions might have garnered her a Darwin award.
But she's a "French philosopher of action". so...
You're missing the point. Her philosophy was one that took the form "If you believe that children should be saved, but then do not attempt to save the children yourself, then you are living a false life". It follows on from ideas like "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". Evil then lies not in the inability to save the children, but in the unwillingness to make the attempt.
Z-man on Trump: He’s a once in a century political force who will be judged more on what he destroys than on what he creates. He is the destroyer of worlds, because the world of Washington needs destroying.
Which is why the center of gravity of the U.S. political right is not conservative, but reactionary.
Trump is breaking the 60's rule breakers as described in the fourth turning. It's why neither Clinton or Bernie were going to win the race. It's also why the uniparty is in disarray and why Trump enjoys and employs chaos as a change factor. Progressives, whether Rino or Dino, do not get his tactics and are always left huffing and puffing. New loyalties are forming and neither party gets it which is why both parties are finished. The progressives need trillions in new debt every year and I suspect Trump would enjoy Congress failing to raise the debt limit.
Although mainly ignored by the MSM, finally, the revelations are slowly unfolding about Fusion GPS and the Awan clan and their shady dealings with the Dems.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders had an amusing moment yesterday. Closing the news conference, she noted that the media usually has dozens and dozens of questions about Russia.
But on a day when someone testified that the media's favorite Oppo Shop, Fusion GPS, was behind the Pee Pee Party Dossier, the media strangely had no Russia questions whatsoever.
Top FBI Lawyer Under Investigation For Leaking
Director James B. Comey has selected James A. Baker as the FBI's general counsel. Most recently, Mr. Baker was an associate general counsel for Bridgewater Associates, LP.
Bridgewater Associates is also where Comey worked before the FBI.
In case anyone was wondering, Bridgewater Associates was connected with the Clinton Foundation.
"European nations treat their people like sheep; the USA treats its people more like goats, although the would-be shepherds keep pushing"
Wasn't there a recent story about a bear chasing a bunch of sheep off a cliff?
On the other hand, here's some goat attitude in comparison.
Picture Alan Alda in a leotard. Oh, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Brain bleach, STAT.
Researchers Have Been Underestimating the Cost of Wind and Solar: In plain English, LYING.
Not really. While that's a nice philosophy to have had, she's dead. And so might somebody else be who felt the compulsion to go in to save her. Her actions were --according to the evidence provided-- superfluous. We can wax poetic about her good intentions until the cows come home. Action is quantitative, it can be done for good or ill. The result here was ill.
It's great when heroic action is rewarded with dramatic results. But when the philosophy overrides any sense of reason (which in this case, it seems to have) you can have had the best intentions, yet end up making a lunk-headed decision.
The kids lived (in spite of her.) She made the wrong decision.
RE SCARAMUCCI'S LANGUAGE
Joe Biden says it's NOT a big f---ing deal.
Re this Mooch guy, it's a new low for this White House
Just like "Goodfellas!"
My father, raised in a multi-ethnic NE industrial town, hated profanity in movies. So when I heard he went to see "Goodfellas," I was shocked and asked him about the rough language (seemed every other word was an "F" bomb).
His response was, " No big deal. I grew up with Italians and that's exactly how they talked!"
It may be a new low for THIS White House, but not for THE White House.
In my opinion, the turning point as far as presidents publicly getting away with "unpresidential" behavior occurred when the Democrats in the Senate gave Slick Willie a get out of jail card when he was charged with perjury.
Tracked: Jul 30, 09:06