Saturday, January 31, 2009

Who Cares, As Long As It's Free?

Read and be frightened.
If Democrats learned anything from the HillaryCare defeat, it was the danger of admitting to their wish to federalize the health market. Since returning to power, they've pursued a new strategy: to stealthily and incrementally expand government control. "What no one is paying attention to in the [stimulus]," says Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, "is that Democrats are making a big grab at the health-care sector."

First grab: the children.
Initially designed for children of working-poor families, this new Super-Schip will be double in size, and even kids whose parents make $65,000 a year will be eligible.

Given that the US median average household income is just over $44,000 per year, that means that nearly 65% of American households qualify as "working-poor" and thus get free health insurance.

And the kicker:
The Congressional Budget Office estimates 2.4 million individuals will drop their private coverage for the public program.

Read that again. These are people who already HAVE health coverage; all they're doing is taking advantage of a government "freebie".

And yes, it does get worse.
Under "stimulus," Medicaid is now on offer not to just poor Americans, but Americans who have lost their jobs. And not just Americans who have lost their jobs, but their spouses and their children. And not Americans who recently lost their jobs, but those who lost jobs, say, early last year. And not just Americans who already lost their jobs, but those who will lose their jobs up to 2011. The federal government is graciously footing the whole bill. The legislation also forbids states to apply income tests in most cases.

House Democrat Henry Waxman was so thrilled by this blowout, it was left to Republicans to remind him that the very banking millionaires he dragged to the Hill last year for a grilling would now qualify for government aid. His response? A GOP proposal to limit subsidies to Americans with incomes under $1 million was accepted during markup, but had disappeared by final passage. In this new health-care nirvana, even the rich are welcome. CBO estimates? An additional 1.2 million on the federal Medicaid dime in 2009.

And if that wasn't enough:
The "stimulus" also hijacks Cobra, a program that lets the unemployed retain access to their former company health benefits -- usually for about 18 months. The new stimulus permits any former employee over the age of 55 to keep using Cobra right up until they qualify for Medicare at age 65. And here's the kicker: Whereas employees were previously responsible for paying their health premiums while on Cobra, now the feds will pay 65%. CBO estimates? Seven million Americans will have the feds mostly pay their insurance bills in 2009.

So let's see; the average COBRA cost is $1,069 per month, so times 65%, times seven million people, times ten years.

Oh well, that's only $4.8 billion a month, or $583 billion over ten years if you're counting -- plus the minor detail of tens of billions more on Medicaid. All on the taxpayer's dime, and all coming out of the pockets of working people, of course.

But what do the Obama Party nitwits pushing this care? They don't pay taxes.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Robbery By Any Other Name

Today's example of the Obama Party mentality, brought to you by liberal and self-determined Social Security expert Susan Alexander.
Let's exclude high rollers from receiving Social Security benefits. Affluent individuals can refuse to receive them, but many have chosen to take them instead, creating a glaring example of waste.

A means test that would exclude seniors who live in wealthy households could start us on the road to saving Social Security

Problem is, Social Security already HAS a means test that is used to reduce benefits for the affluent; it's called the bend points.
PIA formula
For an individual who first becomes eligible for old-age insurance benefits or disability insurance benefits in 2009, or who dies in 2009 before becoming eligible for benefits, his/her PIA will be the sum of:
(a) 90 percent of the first $744 of his/her average indexed monthly earnings, plus
(b) 32 percent of his/her average indexed monthly earnings over $744 and through $4,483, plus
(c) 15 percent of his/her average indexed monthly earnings over $4,483

Put into English, what that means is that the more you earn, the less you get credited for it -- even though the more you earn, the more you pay into the system.

And where is the income threshold cutoff for what constitutes "affluent", at which point you have too much money and should start receiving proportionately less in benefits?

$8,928 per year.

In short, the Obama Party believes that the key to "saving" Social Security is to punish success on both ends; not only will those who earn more and pay in more get credited less, but now they'll have even that taken away if they dare to accumulate assets or retirement savings.

One can only hope that Susan Alexander gets the trip to Washington she so obviously deserves to advise Pelosi and Obama. It should be hailed as another example of Obama Party political brilliance to state to the public that they are going to take people who have worked, saved, and paid into the Social Security system at the highest rates for over forty years that they get no benefits -- especially as they put into power officials like Timothy Geithner who don't pay their Social Security taxes.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Who Needs Skills?

In this case, the title says it all.

The Stimulus: How to Create Jobs Without Them All Going to Skilled Professionals and White Male Construction Workers

And yes, it's real. Here's the video of Reich telling Congress the same thing.

I'm telling you, it makes me feel a whole lot better to drive over roads, cross bridges, and use telecommunication networks built by unskilled labor instead of skilled professionals. After all, remember; it's not the integrity of the structure that counts, it's the color of the person who built it.


(h/t AoSHQ)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More "Name That Party!"

Read it. Then read more.

So let's review the situation here.

-- Send suggestive instant messages to former interns and be hounded out of office

-- Have romantic and sexual relationship with then AND former intern, lie about it yourself, tell said intern to lie about it, initiate full-blown coverup with things like hiring a person who just happens to know more than you would like about the relationship to a job as a city planner for which she's wholly unqualified....and nothing will happen.

I suppose the lesson here is either to go for the gusto -- or, if you want to prey on teenagers, change your party affiliation.

And It Can Get Worse

Much, MUCH worse.
The government wouldn’t be able to spend at least one-fourth of a proposed $825 billion economic stimulus plan until after 2010, according to a new report that suggests it may take longer than expected to boost the economy.

A Congressional Budget Office analysis of President Barack Obama’s plan found that most of the approximately $355 billion in proposed discretionary spending on highways, renewable energy and other initiatives wouldn’t be spent before 2011. The government would spend about $26 billion of the money this year and $110 billion more next year, the report said.

But wait, there's more!
The analysis suggests that much of the stimulus may not come until after the economy has begun to recover. The CBO has previously said it expected a “slow” recovery to begin later this year and that the economy will expand by a “modest” 1.5 percent in 2010.

That clinches it. This "stimulus" has nothing to do with the economy; it has EVERYTHING to do with increasing government spending and is using the recession as an excuse.

(h/t DrewM at Ace of Spades HQ)

So Much For Science

Remember how the Bush administration was constantly accused of letting ideology get in the way of research?

Turns out they had nothing on the Obama one.
Top Obama economic adviser Christina Romer has studied 20th-century recessions and concluded that monetary tools, not fiscal spending, produced recoveries. Even in the Great Depression, monetary expansion, not FDR's public works, opened the way toward recovery beginning in the spring of 1933.

But wait -- it gets even better.
Now, though, Romer and other Obama advisers are betting that the $825 billion package under consideration in the House will be big enough to alter the history that they've all studied.

They are also betting on the fact that a package divided between $550 billion in spending and $275 billion in tax cuts will be the right mix, even though Romer's research also shows tax cuts to have a larger multiplier effect on the economy than spending.

Now we've reached the point of ludicrous.

The New Deal has been invoked for six months as proof that rampant government spending works to slow or stop recessions -- only to have it admitted that government spending really didn't do anything to slow or stop the Great Depression.

Tax cuts have been determined to provide more bang for the buck than government spending -- so Obama is doing double the spending and half the tax cuts, deficit and value be damned.

These people have zero concept of reality. They don't want to fix the economy; they want to spend government money.

From where, exactly, do they intend to get that money?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mistakes Do Happen

I must correct this mistake by
Long-running TV comedy show The Simpsons has revealed that the character of Duffman is gay.

The revelation comes in the latest episode of the programme, now in its 20th series.

Actually, in the episode "Homerazzi", Homer accidentally takes a picture that shows Duffman and Boobarella in the background, to which Bart responds, "Hey! He's supposed to be in a committed gay relationship!"

That is all. Carry on.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

There's Nothing Wrong that Wasting Money Can't Fix

There are so many things wrong with this it's hard to know where to begin.
A hydrogen fuel cell car driven by U.S. Rep. Eric Massa to Washington, D.C. on Monday didn’t actually get him all the way there.

Massa had to be in the nation’s capital Tuesday for his swearing in as the 29th Congressional District’s new representative. He drove the General Motors Equinox prototype car to draw attention to the technology, some of which is being developed in the district.

The problem is the car can go about 150 to 200 miles without a refill, and the trip from Corning to Washington, D.C. is 282 miles. And there are no hydrogen refilling stations along the way.

As a result, Massa had to switch to another GM hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that was standing by in Harrisburg.

Here's the kicker.
After the trip, both cars were towed back to their original locations by two Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid SUVs.

So let's see; making the optimistic assumption that these two Tahoe hybrids were getting their EPA-rated 22 mpg on the highway while towing other vehicles, that means one burned 7.4 gallons of gas going the 162 miles from Harrisburg to Corning, NY, and the other burned 5.5 gallons going the 120 miles from Washington to Harrisburg, for a total of 12.9 gallons of gas.

Or he could have simply driven a Chevy Malibu, which, given a highway average of 30 miles per gallon, would have gotten there on 9.4 gallons of gas -- meaning he blew nearly 30% more in cash, gasoline, and carbon in the process.

Which is probably why the article in question is another fine example of "Name That Party!"

(h/t Reason Hit and Run)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Truth In Labeling

As pointed out by Victor Davis Hanson, those of us here in California are surrounded by people who will proudly proclaim the necessity of the Big Three automakers bailout -- as they head for their Lexus, Infiniti, Volvo, BMW, Volkswagen, Mini, Porsche, Audi, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Saab, Subaru, Suzuki, and Isuzu.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I think they should advertise the fact. Hence, I am soliciting suggestions for a new line of bumper stickers. Feel free to insert your own.
"I Believe in (Someone Else) Buying American"

"My Help Drives a Chevy"

"I Support The UAW -- I Just Won't Own Anything They Make"

"Unions Build Better Benefits. Cars, Not So Much"

"I Voted Democrat So I Didn't Have To Buy Their Crap"

"Solidarity Forever, Except When It Comes to My Money"

We're Still Not Getting It

There was an interesting comment left on my previous post about the cluelessness of gay organizations calling for "dialogue" with religious people and organizations while they support and endorse antireligious bigotry that warranted bringing forth here.
When you realize that Brigham Young's edict to his church was to "put to death" anyone who committed a homosexual act or slept with a black person, and made the edict "eternal," I think you might better appreciate the defensive and offensive nature of the LGBT community.

Oh, I do, I do.

Given the following:
-- Brigham Young died in 1877

-- I personally know black Mormons

-- I personally know interracial Mormon couples with children

-- I have never been threatened with death or even had an attempt made on my life by the numerous Mormons I know

it becomes obvious that you are allowed to take a defensive and offensive view towards a group of people based on the words and behavior of someone who died over a century ago that said group is quite obviously not following or caring much about today.

In that case, I hereby give license to all people who would take a defensive and offensive view towards the gay community to do so, given that I can quote Harry Hay saying publicly that gays should support and include NAMBLA and other exploiters of children as part of the gay community.

Tales of the Clueless, Part Dos

It's no news that a gay and lesbian liberal is refusing to use or reference the Bible because it's "offensive" -- but it becomes even more entertaining when that person claims to be a Christian pastor.
As for himself, Robinson said he doesn't yet know what he'll say, but he knows he won't use a Bible.

But after all, it's not what you say or do that matters; it's the fact that you're a minority.
"It's important for any minority to see themselves represented in some way," Robinson told the newspaper for a story in Monday's editions. "Whether it be a racial minority, an ethnic minority, or in our case, a sexual minority. Just seeing someone like you up front matters."

One wonders if Robinson has ever read either Matthew 6:5, Matthew 6:7, or Matthew 10:33.

UPDATE: Robinson is now much more direct, letting the world know that he has been reading past inaugural prayers, was “horrified” at how “specifically and aggressively Christian they were", and assures us that his will "not be a Christian prayer".

Yes, because, as we know, that Jesus fellow and the whole book about him are just too, you know, offensive.

Tales of the Clueless

It does occasionally boggle the mind.

Last week, Sacramento-based Equality Action Now sent a formal dinner invitation to evangelical pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church who was selected to deliver the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration........

"We'll meet with him anytime, anywhere. Whatever he wants," said Tina Reynolds, who added the offer is a genuine attempt to initiate dialogue with the evangelical community.

And, just as an example of the type of dialogue they have already initiated:
More notably, Reynolds's organization has been responsible for five of the media-focused Capitol protests so far, including Margaret Cho's appearance last month where the comedian sang endearing lyrics suggesting Mormons shove their religion up their asses.

Personally, I fail to see why Rick Warren, or any other religious leader, should waste the dollars, carbon, and oxygen to talk with this group when what it believes and professes is readily available on YouTube.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Reap the Whirlwind, Part Deux

The local gay newspaper, the Bay Area Reporter, is usually very good about putting their letters to the editor up on their website, but apparently this week, they seem to have slipped up.

As a public service, I now provide you two of the three letters that appeared in this week's print edition.

Graffiti at church

Someone put graffiti on Most Holy Redeemer this week. I'm not surprised.

Every day that I walk past this mega-million dolar structure, thoughts of defacing it go through my own mind. This church funds fashion victims Archbishop George Niederauer and the pope. Niederauer single-handedly did the most to support Prop 8 by enlisting the Mormons to bankroll it.

Cries of, "but it's a gay-friendly church!" make me laugh. They gladly take money from gays, that much is true. "But look what they've done for the community!" Okay, let me look. Decades ago, MHR was one of the first to provide AIDS hospices. Fantastic. Nowadays their support is tied directly to funding.

What else has MHR done? The archbishop told them to stop gay bingo. What did they do? They succumbed. The archbishop told them to provide e-mail addresses of its members so that it could send out Yes on 8 propaganda. What did they do? They succumbed. They were told not to hold legal same-sex weddings. They succumbed. This church puts on a gay-friendly front in order to oppress gays worldwide.

The pope wants to eradicate homosexuals from the planet. This hateful spewing directly leads to violence against gays. Catholics espouse guilt. They certainly have plenty for which to be guilty, especially the ones who attend MHR.

Gary Young
San Francisco

Conspiracy theory

I believe the graffiti on the church in the Castro was put there by either the Yes on Prop. 8 people or by the secret Catholic organization Opus Dei to defame gay and lesbian people. The cabal of churches were more than willing to use deceit to promote Prop. 8 and I see no reason why they would stop now that their civil rights busting proposition is being challenged by the high court.

Jerry Royer
San Francisco

Gee, I wonder why these weren't published. Is it that it shows the gay community as a bunch of whackjob tinfoil-hat wearing DaVinci Code-spewing antireligious bigots, and makes a mockery of the attempt at PR spin that said bigots' leaders and encouragers are trying?

Reap the Whirlwind

The rioting in Oakland over the shooting of a minority individual has managed to do one thing spectacularly -- hurt minority-owned and operated businesses.
Leemu Tokpa and several family members stayed overnight at Creative African Braids on 14th Street, the hair salon Tokpa started four years ago. Protesters smashed the store windows Wednesday night.

"I understand they were mad because a black man was killed, but I'm a black lady. If they're protesting, why would they come into the store?" Tokpa said Thursday morning.

And of course, what does the dimbulb who organized the riot think?
"The mayor was forced to come out and acknowledge that the citizens of Oakland are angry and that we want Justice," Shamar said. "I'm not condoning violence, but sometimes to get justice, you can't just sit around holding hands singing 'Kumbaya.' "

Of course, he was at home watching TV at the time, so it's probably easy for him to look at things "objectively". Not like his business was being vandalized or anything.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy Whatever

As of yesterday, I have officially been in the business of blogging for four years.

I can't tell whether that's funny -- or really, really scary.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Oddly Enough, This Doesn't Surprise Me At All

Your results:
You are Uhura

Jean-Luc Picard
Mr. Sulu
Beverly Crusher
Will Riker
Deanna Troi
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Mr. Scott
Geordi LaForge
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
You are a good communicator with a
pleasant soft-spoken voice.
Also a talented singer.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

And we both have damn fine legs that look good in miniskirts.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year, New Auto

Long story short, it's looking like I'll be doing more commuting to the South Bay and Peninsula (San Jose and Palo Alto, for those of you who aren't au fait with the messed-up way we do geography here in the City and its environs) -- which means much more dependence on the 101 and its all-day parking lot traffic pattern. However, the thought of navigating my poor little stick-shift Geo Tracker through the morass of stop, go, grind, slam, and swear was just more than either it or I could bear.

So I used the Donald Trump method: get a younger one with more buttons.

Ten inches longer, seven hundred pounds heavier, forty-seven horsepower stronger, a real Ahmurrrican name (no more of that Geo world car multiculturalistic crap) and a (eech) automatic.

In the immortal words of my husbear, "Wow, you finally bought a real car."

And don't worry; my older one found a new home with a loving family literally within fifteen minutes of having it advertised.

Your Daily Brain Hygiene

After 18 straight months of owning Jamie's daily online trivia game (and several of FARB's, too), it's high time that one was established here.

Hence, witness the canned glory that is Mental Floss.

(Contrary to popular belief, it is not seven days of "Bible Trivia".)

So go play already. The link is in the sidebar.