Friday, November 30, 2012

Fiscal Cliff: Republicans Will Get What They Want

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And when you're in Washington, every "crisis" is looks like a great opportunity to expand government. 

Repubs are no exception to this rule. A dwindling few of them want to rein in government, but in general, Republicans go to Washington and become intoxicated with the head trip that comes from doing Big Important Expensive Things.

So a bit like Brer Rabbit (to mix metaphors), congressional Republicans will throw fits about raising taxes. But in the end, they'll get the big government and big taxes they love so much.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jack Diddly

Medicaid is the seed from which Obamacare is germinating.  In contributing to survival, Medicaid closely resembles " jack diddly" for some of the patients who need good health care the most:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bikini-Clad Women

Good points. But of course a gentleman will keep his --ahem-- "observations" to an absolute minimum.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

ObamaCare: Reports From The Front Lines

A Physician’s New Reality Under ObamaCare: Patients Ask Me to Break the Law...

 “Ironically, but expectedly, the ones who do this now are likely to have supported Obamacare.”

..there is the “annual ” or “preventative” exam, which according to Obamacare is “free” ...

 What they did not tell you, and I am, is that it covers absolutely nothing more than the bare minimum.

I have now posted a notice in my office and each exam room stating exactly what Obamacare will cover for those yearly visits. Remember Obama promised this as a free exam — no co-pay, no deductible, no charge. That’s fine and dandy if you are healthy and have no complaints. However, we are obligated by law to code specifically for the reason of the visit. An annual exam is one specific code; you can not mix this with another code, say, for rectal bleeding. This annual visit covers the exam and “discussion about the status of previously diagnosed stable conditions.” That’s the exact wording under that code — insurance will not cover any new ailment under that code.

If you are here for that annual exam, you will not be covered if you want to discuss any new ailment or unstable condition. I cannot bait and switch to another code — that’s illegal. We, the physicians, are audited all the time and can lose our license for insurance fraud.

You, the patient, will then have to make a decision.

Do you want your “free” yearly exam, or do you want to pay for a visit which is coded for a particular, new problem? You can have my “free” exam if you only discuss what Obamacare wants me to discuss...

Patients can be very tricky. I have had patients make an “annual” exam, only to want to discuss and be treated for another ailment. I can’t do it...

I can hear the complaints from you guys already — I become the bad guy. “Why don’t you just take care of the problem, and not bill out any different code? You’re a rich doctor, and we are entitled to free stuff.”

It doesn’t work that way. First, doctors are not rich and, like most of you, actually work terribly hard for a living. Second, Obamacare is the law — and as I said earlier, we are audited all the time now.
 ...and docs who accept Medicare (the vast majority) are forbidden from selectively providing free care.

Here's a report from the world of cancer care:
I am a Hematologist/Oncologist with 27 years combined training (10 yrs after college) and practice (17 yrs). I am in a large group of oncologists and we do chemotherapy in our offices, have several imaging centers and radiotherapy in two locations. Currently we employ 130 people, and pay 100% of their health care insurance premiums, as well as a matching 401k. Each physician sees approx 15 to 25 patients daily in office and 5-10 hospital patients daily. We are a busy and, at the moment, financially secure business.

Here’s the preliminary numbers when we are paid at Medicaid reimbursement, oops I mean Obamacare rates: Half our offices will close, forcing patients to travel to a restricted number of locations. We will not be able to give chemochemotherapy in our offices, as the drug costs and nursing costs will be higher than what we will get paid, so the patients will have to get their chemo in what hospitals will still be giving chemo in an outpatient suite. In our community, just to cover the number of patients that receive chemo services in our offices, the hospitals will need to set aside 60-80 clinic slots each day. Right now there are approx 15 slots between the 7 hospitals we cover and no plans to add more, so where these patients will receive their cancer treatments, outside of a 2 hr drive to the Texas Medical Center, I don’t know.

Our staff will either be halved or go part time (29.5 hrs). How I will run a medical practice with this kind of staffing, I have no idea.

The physicians will need to see 45 cancer patients daily, yup, 45 patients with a life threatening and devastating disease like cancer, to cover overhead costs, whilst the physicians taking a 50%, likely more, pay cut.

Oh, and then there is the whole caboose of regulations that my practice will have to pay $400/hr lawyers to figure out how to keep us in compliance, since the fines are upwards of $100K per occurrence.

I don’t think the picture is any better for other specialties, but I will tell that for cancer care it is a catastrophe for the patients and the providers. 
As with the "War on Poverty" and public education, we can expect government to waste ungodly amounts of wealth "fixing" the foreseen flaws, strengthening Obamacare's grip on our private lives but making negligible improvements in the quality of health care.

UPDATE: Linked at Gorges' Grouse and Eternity Matters. Thanks!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Creationism Concern Trolls

Why does anyone care what Marco Rubio thinks about creationism?

I think this is a gold-standard perspective on creationism concern trolling:
The broader question, however, is: Why would anybody ask a politician about his views on a scientific question? Nobody ever asks what Sarah Palin thinks about dark matter, or what John Boehner thinks about quantum entanglement. (For that matter, I’ve never heard Keith Ellison pressed for his views on evolution.) There are lots of good reasons not to wonder what Rick Perry thinks about scientific questions, foremost amongst them that there are probably fewer than 10,000 people in the United States whose views on disputed questions regarding evolution are worth consulting, and they are not politicians; they are scientists. In reality, of course, the progressive types who want to know politicians’ views on evolution are not asking a scientific question; they are asking a religious and political question, demanding a profession of faith in a particular materialist-secularist worldview.
Exit quote:

"Progressives like to cloak their policy preferences in the mantle of science, but they do not in fact give a fig about science, which for them is only a vehicle to be ridden to the precise extent that it is convenient."

And when the science doesn't comport with their agenda, progressives reject the science.

Read the rest.

Alex Knapp declares that "this economy, at its root, is built on a web of scientific knowledge from physics to chemistry to biology. It's impossible to just cherry pick out parts we don’t like." If we get it wrong on Earth's creation, these critics say, the United States will fall apart.

Will it really? It seems to me that Rubio is right. Lots of basic scientific questions have no bearing whatsoever on the nation's short-term economic growth. We can even go much further: Lots of scientific questions don't matter all that much when it comes to other scientific questions. It's possible—and quite common—for scientists to plug away at research projects without explicit knowledge of what's happening in other fields. And when a bedrock principle of science does need to be adjusted—a not-so-unusual occurrence, it turns out—the edifice of scholarship doesn't crumble into dust. DVD players still operate. Nuclear plants don't shut down.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

5 Ways To Protect Yourself Against Obamacare

Good advice. Brace yourself.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Teens Targeted For Offensive Anti-Obama Messages

A nationally-known website has targeted teenagers who posted racially-charged, anti-Obama messages on social networking sites after the presidential election.

UPDATE: Linked at Gorges' Grouse. Many thanks!

Free Market Morality

Hat tip: American Power

Update: Linked at Gorges' Grouse. Thank you!

The Gut-Wrenching, Tear-Jerking Truth

This stings:

Hat tip: Adrienne

Update: Linked at Gorges' Grouse. Thanks!

Advice From a Lonely College SquiRM

It troubles me to note that Squishy Republican Moderates (SquiRMs) are so prejudiced against social conservatives that they think the can grow the GOP by ejecting social conservatives from the party. It's a dubious "addition by subtraction" calculus:
Another leg up that the left has is its claim to the moral high ground. The party of pro-choice, pro-gay has such a hold on young people because those are issues they can care about easily. Not many 20-year-olds can hold a coherent conversation about Social Security reform or double taxation, but all of them can argue passionately for gay rights.

As a member of this all-important demographic, I know that neither I nor (almost) anybody else coming of age today supports the Republican social agenda. That's the way the country is moving—so just deal with it. Modernize and prioritize.

Though it may be painful, though it may be costly at the polls in the short run, Republicans don't have a future unless they break up with the religious right and the gay-bashing, Bible-thumping fringe...
That’s some awfully judgemental and divisive language coming from someone who purports to stand for a more tolerant and inclusive GOP.

ProTip: The Democratic party is the party for hateful, hypocritical social progressives who care about their pet social issues much more than they care about getting the country’s fiscal and economic problems under control.

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Brilliant Immigration Plan

Put those who broke the law at the front of the line. (Make those who played by the rules wait years and years, paying thousands of dollars in legal fees.) The newly minted immigrant citizens will reward Republicans for getting on board with this plan by voting for Democrats in percentages much greater than the general population.  And they'll stop doing "the work that Americans won't do" because ... they'll be American citizens! And they'll be entitled to all of our underutilized entitlement programs. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How a little common sense could have swayed the elections

Why can't conservative Republicans learn to speak a little more intelligently?
A few gaffes – most notably by candidates Akin and Mourdock – cost the Republicans two Senate seats and possibly the White House.  But with just a little common sense and some simple pro-life arguments they could have easily turned this to our advantage.  Romney and others could have done the same thing whether the specific rape/abortion questions came up or not. 
The errors resulted when the candidates tried to articulate theological concepts that can’t be distilled into sound bites and that are virtually certain to be misinterpreted by the media and voters.  If you are running for office you should be skilled at knowing what hot topic questions you’ll get and how to steer the answers to your advantage.  
So when the topic of abortions in the case of rape and incest came up, they didn’t need to get theological.  They could have noted any or all of the following.  Consider how simple yet accurate these arguments are and how they would resonate with the average voter – even pro-choice voters, the majority of whom side with pro-lifers on topics like parental notification, late-term abortions and taxpayer funding of abortions...
Read the rest. It's good.

Update: Linked at Gorges' Grouse. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A "Come to Jesus" Moment for the Right?

Andrew Klavan hits the nails on the head.  Number three is perhaps the most important:
Recently, a number of books by secular intellectuals have noted the disaster that is postmodern relativism—the nihilist philosophy that has corrupted and gutted Western liberal education. Education’s End, by Anthony T. Kronman, Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians, by Marcello Pera, and What Ever Happened to Modernism?, by Gabriel Josipovici, come to mind. All lament the abandonment of our commitment to the Great Conversation—the intellectual’s belief that the creative tension of the uniquely brilliant Western literary and philosophical canon can lead us in the direction of moral truth.

But the authors cannot fully grasp the nettle of the solution. Many assume that the Great Conversation depended on the sort of open mind only secularism can provide. As Kronman puts it: “Every religion insists, at the end of the day, that there is only one right answer to the question of life’s meaning,” thus rendering the pluralism of the Great Conversation impossible. I would contend the opposite: only the existence of a God in whose image we are created can support the notion of moral truth at all. It was always Judeo-Christianity, and that alone, that made the Great Conversation possible. Pera understands this intellectually, but cannot really plunk for faith. And therein lies the problem. The triumph of science, the comfort of Western life, and a sophisticated elite virulently hostile to religion have all contributed to an intellectual atmosphere of unbelief—a sense that atheism should be the default mode of reasonable, thinking people. That is a mere prejudice and needs to be answered in the culture, not with Bible-thumping literalism and small-minded judgmentalism—nor with banal happy-talk optimism—but by sound argument made publicly, unabashedly, and without fear. John Adams and the other Founders were right about this: an irreligious people cannot be free. Liberty lives in the palace of moral truth, and you can’t build that palace on the empty air.
Read the rest.

Urban Dictionary: Come to Jesus


I believe the lesson that liberals most need to learn is that moral order is a miracle, it is hard to achieve, and it is precious. And since the Enlightenment, since the eighteenth century, I think liberals have been too quick to knock down institutions, to want change, and to try to tinker and maximize—and when you do that, you often end up with anomie, or normlessness. People should read about the French Revolution. Growing up as a liberal, I always thought the French Revolution was this wonderful thing. It was an absolute nightmare. Of course, the king was a nightmare too. But the French Revolution shows the excesses of liberalism. And it ended with genocide, it ended with mass slaughter in Paris with the guillotine. It was an abomination, because they destroyed all their moral capital and they had chaos. And that excess is actually the founding event of modern conservatism. It’s people like Edmund Burke, who said we need to preserve institutions even if we don’t always understand them. We have to proceed carefully. So that’s the main lesson that I think conservatives can teach liberals. You’re got to be careful here...

It Feels Real Today...

What Obama Lost

Yes, of course Obama won re-election. That's great for him, even though it's probably the worst thing to happen to America in the last four years.

On the other hand, consider this: Looking back over the past four years, Obama has lost quite a bit. Compare...

At the peak of Obama's power:

Popular vote: almost 70 million
Percentage of the vote: almost 53%
Senate: Supermajority control
House: Controlled by Democrats

Now going into 2013:

Popular vote: barely 58 million
Percentage of the vote: barely 50%
Senate: Supermajority lost
House: Lost

Obama lost all of this despite having all of the advantages of incumbency (no primary battle, the power of a trillion dollar "stimulus" purse, White House perks, Air Force One, bomber jacket, etc.)

Conclusion: No mandate.

Doom and Gloom

"Please forgive me for having encouraged anyone to believe that there was still hope to save America. We’re obviously doomed beyond all hope of redemption."

"It’s pointless to think that if America reelects the most unqualified disastrous president in recent memory, we should stand our ground and continue fighting."

"The United States is populated by groups of people who may as well be living in different countries. They have separate histories, cultures and visions for the future. They are two distinct nationalities, divided by mutual distrust and joined by mammoth public debt."

"I am 64 and my husband is 69. We were looking forward to retirement. Now all we have to look forward to is death panels. I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t fight anymore. I can’t fight for losing causes, take the pain and fear and most of all the knowledge that all my effort was for nothing."

Reply to paragraph above: "I feel exactly the same. The only difference is our ages. I am young with young children, and what terrifies me most is what their future will be."

"A lot of the telly chatter is about how Republicans don’t get the shifting demographics: America is becoming more of a “brown country,” as Kirsten Powers put it on Fox. But New Hampshire is overwhelmingly white — and the GOP still blew it."

Barack Obama and the Democrats aren't the problem. America is the problem.

ADDED: Flashback to my post on October 28, 2008:
Are you ready for eight years of Obama?  ... 
A vote for Obama is a vote for:
  1. The war against "negative" liberties
  2. A Heavier Tax Burden (for everyone)
  3. Marxism & Socialism
  4. Obama's Unsavory Friends 
  5. Unchecked Beltway Power
  6. Disdain
  7. A Charismatic Demagogue
  8. 143 Days of pre-campaign Senate Experience
  9. A Bonehead (paraphrased from Obama himself)
I'd like to pat myself on the back for my powers of prediction, but it wasn't really so hard to see and I didn't want to be right anyway.

FINALLY: A small dose of positivity for those of you who can swallow it...
My counsel to you tonight: Please, do not be bitter. Do not fall prey to the Beltway blame game. Do not get mired in small things. Do not become vengeful creatures like our political opponents who voted out of spite instead of love of country. 
We still have boundless blessings to count — and to secure.
I remain a proud, unrepentant believer in the American Dream. And I know you do, too. Freedom will endure because we will keep fighting for it. We can’t afford not to, friends.
I just don't know what we're supposed to be fighting for anymore.  Do the people of this country want freedom and the American dream?  Sure, they want all the goodies, but are they prepared for all of the hard work and sacrifices?  I don't think so.

ONE MORE: Another sadly prophetic post from this humble blogger...

Moderates Are Losers

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Obama will win re-election. Here's my "eulogy" for the USA:

Monday, November 5, 2012

"Unreal Crowd" in Manchester, NH for Romney Rally (UPDATED)

Click image below for enlargification:

Ann Romney for First Lady

Close Election ... or Blowout?

Based on poll results, it looks like this will be a close election. But it doesn't feel that way:
  • Amazing photos: ‘Unreal’ crowd packs Romney rally in Bucks County, Pa.
  • CNN Poll: Romney Beating Obama Among Independents By 22 Points
How is it that Romney is polling so strongly with independents and expanding into Democrat strongholds like Minnesota and Michigan -- and yet he's barely tied with Obama?

My gut tells me that the ‘Chick-fil-A Revolution’ might be viewed again as a harbinger for the results of tomorrow's election.

(And is it time to revisit the Bradley Effect?)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mitt Romney for President

I will be voting for Mitt Romney on Tuesday, November 6. I've been waiting for this day for over 4 years.

Via The Blogfather, this is a quote that could have come from someone who read my mind:

“Romney was not my first, second, or third choice, but I will crawl over ground glass to vote for him.”

Brad Smith provides wary voters a number of thoughtful reasons to vote for Mitt Romney:
Here’s why I like Mitt:

1. ...Romney has pledged to repeal Obamacare. It is one of his most visible pledges, and therefore – even if one doesn’t trust Romney (I do, although I’m not sure he can get repeal done) – it will be one of the hardest for him to break or ignore. And he has vowed to use Obama’s own weapon – executive branch waivers – to effectively stop implementation of the Act immediately.

So let’s be skeptical. Let’s assume there is only a 10 or 20 percent chance Romney carries through on this promise (I think the odds are much higher, but I’m being cautious and skeptical here). What are the odds of repeal if Obama is re-elected? Zero. Zilch. Nada. None. Nothing. If repeal of Obamacare is truly important – and I think it is – I will not pass up the most (or only) realistic chance to get it done.

2.Taxes. Mitt Romney has expressed a desire for sensible tax reform that most libertarians support – lower rates with a broader base. We’d like to see overall taxes decline, but in the face of massive deficits, with a public unwilling to stand for major cuts in entitlements, that’s probably not a realistic option. But Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan have promised to try. Barack Obama, on the other hand, has expressed again and again his desire and determination to raise income tax rates, and, at times, even to do so solely for the purpose of redistributing income. And to add insult to injury, Obama’s Orwellian language about “asking” some “to pay a little bit more” grates every time one hears it...

Romney is clearly the superior candidate.
3. Entitlements and Spending. Republicans have never had a lot of success in reforming, letting alone ending, entitlements. Often – particularly under G.W. Bush – they have played a key role in expanding them. On the other hand, Republicans scored a huge success in the 1990s in ending welfare as an entitlement, and Obama is now attempting to undo this success through the regulatory process.

Beyond the possibility of repealing the massive entitlement of Obamacare if Romney is elected, Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, has been a congressional leader in attempting to reform entitlements. No, he is not the Randian that the Democrats wish to make him out to be, much as many libertarians wish he were. But let’s be clear. No politician is going to be elected President in the near future on a pledge to abolish the entitlement state.

The Romney/Ryan plan for entitlement reform is the closest thing we have to a meaningful first step at reform – indeed, it is meaningful reform. There may never come a time when a majority of Americans are prepared for more radical reform, let alone an end to entitlements. If this is the reform we can get, it is necessary and good, and consistent with libertarian values. If an end to entitlements is one’s goal, successful, incremental reforms are probably a necessary step toward reshaping Americans’ mindset.
Obama currently stands as the single biggest obstacle to any consideration of entitlement reform. Romney and Ryan have taken on the issue in as strong a manner as any presidential ticket since Barry Goldwater in 1964...

6. Other Domestic Issues...

a. Immigration. Obama offers a bit more liberal immigration policy in principle, but Romney is more likely to gain concrete results for easier access for skilled workers. Broadly, I think Romney is much more likely to look for policies fostering assimilation...

b. Gun Control. Advantage Romney.

c. School Choice. Advantage Romney...

e. ...the protections of the First Amendment for religious groups has helped to support a major counterweight to state power. Religious freedom matters, and Romney is an easy choice...

i. Free Speech. Give Romney, with his opposition to campaign finance (i.e. political speech) regulation and “hate speech” codes, a huge edge over Obama. Obama has even used government regulation to attempt to silence corporations opposing elements of the Obama agenda, including the provision of true information about his health care plan.

6. The Courts... In the next four years, one side or the other could lock up a working majority on the Supreme Court for two decades. I have no doubt that Romney’s appointees will be MUCH better than Obama’s. Indeed, how could I not – in 2008, I was a member of Romney’s advisory committee on the Constitution and the Courts, a group that included other libertarians such as Michelle Boardman. I have confidence that Romney will appoint judges who see the constitution as a document that limits government power...

7. Foreign Policy.  ...Obama’s demonstrated incompetence and Romney's better understanding of the nature of radical Islam still gives an advantage to Romney. we have seen Obama’s incompetence in dealing with the world, I’m more comfortable with Romney. Elsewhere, however, I think Romney’s advantage is more substantial.

...We will not see President Romney cuddling up to populist dictators such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, or undermining democracy in Honduras, where Obama sanctioned the government for upholding its constitution against efforts by left-wing former President Manuel Zelaya to unconstitutionally retain power. Obama has also frayed our relationship with Canada, in part through his obstinate opposition to the Keystone Pipeline, which Romney supports...
Read the rest.

I'll close with a compelling message from Bill Whittle. (hat tip: Proof Positive)

Obama and his radical agenda need to go now. There's only way to ensure that Obama will start packing his backs on the 6th. Vote Romney.

*image credit

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A New Reason to Vote

Two reasons to vote, including a new one:

Obama Peddling Revenge

We've grown accustomed to Obama's nasty remarks...

‘We’re gonna punish our enemies."

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

Now Obama advises his followers to get some sweet revenge: