Thursday, November 19, 2009

I want to marry Iowahawk, think my wife would notice?

Funny Stuff

Funniest thing I've read in weeks. All this talk about Sarah Palin lately has got me thinking, the two best things about a 2012 Palin presidential victory (aside from ending our long national nightmare) would be the absolute JOY of rubbing the noses of the Obamatologists in the fact that their guy, their savior, their Messiah had been beaten by Sarah freakin' Palin.......and watching Andrew Sullivan's head literally explode, as I'm sure it would. If it ever comes close to happening, I hope someone gets a camera on him 24/7 so we can catch it on film.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Where in the world is Sarah Palin?

Well, over the next few weeks, she will be in:

Mi, In, Oh, Pa, Ny, Va, Nc, Al, Fl, Az, Nm, Mo, Ar, Ok, Tx, Ia, Sd, Mn, Mt, Co, Ut, Nv, and Id.

So what? She's on a book tour, she's bound to be all across the US. Of course. But look at just which states she's visiting, between them, these 23 states have enough Republican Delegates to carry the party nomination for President. Interesting. There's more: how do you suppose those 23 went in 2008? On the surface it's a pretty even split, especially considering Obama won: 13 states went for Obama, and 10 for McCain. Delving a bit deeper, however, one might notice that in 2008 Obama flipped 9 states that had gone for Bush in 2004. All 9 of these states are on the book tour. Now Sarah Palin might not be considering a presidential run in '12, or she might. I think she definitely needs to work on strengthening her policy credentials before she starts campaigning in earnest if she does decide to run. However, if she is contemplating a run, this book tour is a brilliant stroke, putting her in touch with exactly the type of grass roots people needed to do all of the on-the-ground work for a campaign, in a relaxed, "oh hey, howyadoin, goodtomeetcha, hope you like the book" atmosphere where Palin's natural friendliness and charisma are huge assets, a full year before such a campaign would begin in earnest. If she does decide to run, her primary opponents just might find themselves facing an energized, boots-on-the-ground, grass roots constituency eager to turn out for Sarah before they even get going, and they might find these people overrepresented in the red or traditionally red states crucial to winning the Republican nomination. Like I said, I dunno what Sarah Palin intends, but to steal a line from Artie Johnson..."Verrry interesting".

This made me giggle

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Today is my son's fifth birthday, and while that is personally important to me, let us never forget that today is Veteran's Day as well. Here's a very moving piece from Reason TV about the men served by the charity that brings WWII vets to the WWII memorial at no cost to them:

The last line of the video resonates with me. Speaking of the experience, one vet says "I can't say enough about it, and I can't say enough thanks".

No, sir, it is we who can not say enough thanks to you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Book 'em, Dano

I know that collectivists on the left have been on a little hopey changey euphoria kick since Nancy Pelosi rammed her criminal bill through the House in the middle of the night Saturday, but I wonder how many of them have actually read it? Or (since 2000+ pages IS a bit long), even part of it? It is absolutely beyond me how anyone, ANYONE, could read this abortion of a bill and not recoil in terror at what it actually says. I could list dozens of examples, but tonight I'm gonna stick with just one.

Read this letter from the JCT (Joint Committee on Taxation). Now ponder exactly what it says there. If any American citizen or legal resident of the U.S. fails to purchase a qualified health insurance plan, they will be taxed, fined up to a quarter of a million dollars or imprisoned for five years. First of all, that's not just a mandate to get health insurance, oh no. it mandates that every American be covered by a qualified plan. What makes a plan "qualified?" I dunno. Neither does anyone else. That's to be determined by a panel of unelected government bureaucrats*. This is exactly what they did in Massachusetts, and the result has been a disaster. Every medical special interest group immediately poured millions of dollars into lobbying to get their particular specialty mandated, and the state has been nothing if not obliging. Bleeding heart economic illiterates have rushed in to make sure that the "greedy" insurance companies couldn't do things like cap costs or charge deductibles deemed "excessive". The state obliged. "Well, we can't have people being excluded from coverage for any reason" liberals wailed. So ordered, said the state. And so on. Folks, these things cost money. What has been created is an ungodly price spiral. Many insurance carriers left the state. Those that stayed have had to raise prices several times. Massachusetts now has the highest health insurance rates in the country, and all of the private carriers left have notified the state insurance commissioner that rates will be going up 29-50% next year. The average family in the Massachusetts is now paying upwards of $20,000/year for their coverage**.

So what's the significance of this? Aside from meaning that health insurance is going to get a lot more expensive, this puts paid completely to the canard that the President has been incessantly chanting for the last 6-8 months" "If you like the coverage you have, you can keep it.". No, you can't. That's a lie. A flat out, bald faced, so-full-of-shit-that-your-eyes-are-turning-brown, lie, Mr. President. The bill plainly says, and the JCT memo linked above confirms, that citizens and legal aliens (but not illegal aliens, notice that? Other portions of the bill give illegals access to medicare or qualified health plans, but the penalties and fines don't apply to them. To quote Artie Johnson as Wolfgang the German Soldier, "Verrry interesting") will be forced to purchase a health plan that covers exactly what the government wants covered, and if your current plan, the plan that "you like", doesn't qualify, you'll have to switch to one that does or face the consequences.

Which brings me to my second point. Note the consequences: taxes, fines and jail time. That's right people, if for any reason you don't purchase a qualifying plan, than it's off to the gulag for you! Are you a committed Catholic who won't buy a qualified plan because it mandates abortion coverage and that's against your moral code? Jail time! A Scientologist who just can't support psychiatric treatments being mandated? Off you go! Maybe you just can't afford the plan, even with all the subsidies sure to be offered? Throw 'em in the clink! As unthinkable as these scenarios may seem, THAT'S WHAT THE BILL ACTUALLY SAYS. It's....mindboggling, and frankly it's anathema to everything that this country has stood for for the last 233 years. The Federal government says buy this or go to jail. That's as American as borscht.

*That would be one of them tahr "death panels". Think that name's a political conceit, a ploy of Sarah Palin's to grab headlines for herself? I don't. I would bet that Jayden Capewell would disagree with you...except he was allowed to die, in the hospital, because he didn't meet the guidelines for treatment established by the Orwellian named NICE organization. OK, that's in the UK, that would never happen here, you say. Think not? Barbara Wagener thought not too. Then she was told that her state run insurance plan wouldn't cover the drugs needed to treat the cancer she was fighting....but would happily pay for her assisted suicide. I know the term "death panel" is offensive to some. I can understand that. Unfortunately, it does have one thing going for it: It's accurate.

**Massachusetts has even moved to stifle the market response to their draconian mandated coverage. One company (Full disclosure: The insurance company in question is one of the ones that I personally represent, although not in Massachusetts) went to the Insurance Commissioner of Massachusetts and said "Look, these mandated plans are getting very expensive. We'd like to sell a simpler plan, a more basic major medical plan, that doesn't meet your mandates. We'll tell people that, and even get each and every one of them who applies to sign a disclaimer stating that they A) understand that our plans do NOT meet your mandated coverage level and B) that they will thus still be liable for the fine levied on people not carrying qualifying plans ($75/month)." The Insurance Commissioner agreed, approved the plans for the state, and these plans started selling like wildfire, because they cost maybe half of what the mandated plans cost. Even with the $900/year fine, people were able to insure themselves adequately and save a huge amount of money. The Attorney General of Mass. went nuts. What? Choice? This company was offering the citizens actual choices in their health insurance? That just couldn't be allowed, oh, no, no, no, and so the AG's office started a huge 3 cornered legal fight between itself, the insurance company in question and the Insurance Commissioner's office, eventually driving that company out of the state, and depriving consumers the right to purchase a product that THEY preferred to one that the state mandated. Unbelievable.

What does it mean when a parody is almost indistinguishable from the real thing?

Sometimes I think it means that you just have to laugh because the alternative is crying. The always brilliant Mona Charen writes today in NRO:

President Obama elected not to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall, but my sources have smuggled out to me part of the speech he would have delivered had he been there.

Twenty years ago today, thanks to the leadership of General Secretary Gorbachev, the mutual suspicion between East and West Germany came to an end. The Cold War was a bitter time for many, particularly in my country, when paranoia and unfounded animosity toward other systems of government impeded peace and progress. Due to unfounded fear and misplaced priorities, my country sometimes supported regimes that did not deserve support. At the same time, the Eastern bloc nations also made mistakes. They were sometimes too quick to assume the worst about us without giving us the benefit of the doubt. After all, while decision makers in Washington DC may have made many dreadful decisions, I was only in grade school at the time.

Thankfully, that time is past. Now, we can move forward together to create a world in which distinctions between command and free economies are gradually erased, and in which nuclear swords will be beaten into solar plowshares.