Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Obviously this needs to be stopped immediately

 Ever wonder why healthcare is so expensive?

Another progressive hypocrite

The man with nine houses and a net worth of $50,000,000 claims he is not part of the 1%

Why are people like Hilary Clinton, and Elizabeth Warren so ashamed of their enormous success?

Why do they lie about about it?

Why do people listen to them given they lie about it?

Its OK. Barry assures us that Russia is not a problem

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Our politicians in action

Dazed reports on crime fighting in Ocala:

In the city of Ocala, Florida, it now really is possible to commit fashion crimes. In what might be one of the most draconian measures taken against an aesthetic trend in recent memory, the Ocala City Council voted unaminously to pass a law that prohibits anyone from wearing their pants two inches below their waistline and exposing their underwear...

Given Ocala has a  crime index of 5 (with 100 being the safest) you might think the police have better things to do with their time...

Neighbourhoodscout reports:

With a crime rate of 61 per one thousand residents, Ocala has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes - from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One's chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 17. Within Florida, more than 91% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Ocala.

What next?  Rock and roll music?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

This reminds me of our politicians. Her name is Jana

For more go here

Talking of entitlements

Entitlement nation

...Fully half of the water customers in Detroit don’t pay their bills. Advocates of free water for all blame the city’s 38 percent poverty rate for the high level of delinquency.
But nearly all of those with incomes below the poverty line receive public assistance. That’s money provided by their fellow citizens to help them pay for their basic needs — food, water, clothing, shelter.
And yet barely 50 percent of Detroiters pay their water bill. 

Meanwhile, up to two-thirds of city residents pay to keep their cable or satellite television service current. And 72 percent do the same to maintain their cellphones.

It’s not a stretch to guess the reason delinquency rates are lower for cable and cellphone service is that the cable and telephone companies cut off customers who don’t pay their bills. The Detroit water department hasn’t done that much, until now.

So instead of using what resources they have to cover their needs, many water customers instead have chosen to service their wants. That’s what happens when people are conditioned to think someone else is responsible for taking care of them...

For more go here

Monday, July 14, 2014



Gobal temperature flat for 17 years

CO2 levels have increased significantly

Correlation zero....

Friday, July 11, 2014

"Economics is a far more political subject than we liked to imagine" - Just how un-self aware is Krugman?

Krugman has become such a cartoon character that he doesn't really register anymore.  Yes he is omnipresent and annoying but, sort of like that crazy uncle mumbling at the annual family get-together,  his constant inane repetitions have become fairly harmless background noise. 

Occasionally a few words penetrate, but even truly stunning phrases that demonstrate a complete and utter lack of self awareness, such as "who are these always-wrong, never-in-doubt critics? With no exceptions I can think of, they come from the right side of the political spectrum", barely register anymore. However, every so often he says something so truly outlandish it does manage to penetrate and cause a "did-he-really-say-that?" double take.

Todays head shaker, courtesy of the New York Times Democrat infomercial channel, otherwise known as the opinion pages, involves his assertion that right wingers/1%'ers are against the Fed's easy money policy because the resulting low interest rates mean they don't earn very much on their cash:

"Quite simply, easy-money policies, while they may help the economy as a whole, are directly detrimental to people who get a lot of their income from bonds and other interest-paying assets — and this mainly means the very wealthy, in particular the top 0.01 percent...The wealthy derive an important part of their income from interest on bonds, and low-rate policies have greatly reduced this income."

Really?  After metaphorically killing multiple rain forests with the pixels he has wasted outlining why inequality has been rising and how the 0.1% have generated obscene ill gotten gains he is now arguing that the wealthy have been the "really big losers" from Fed Policy.  Which one is it?

Seems to me that the biggest beneficiary of the Fed's easy monetary policy, which Krugman argues should be even easier, is the stock market along with most other hard assets such as real estate.  Who owns the most stocks and houses?  The 1%.  Any loss of income they may have incurred as a result of low interest rates has been more than offset by the Fed induced inflation of asset prices.

Barack Obama: "Do not get cynical. Hope is the better choice"

I was pondering how to do justice to Obama's latest "hopey changey" proclamation (edict?) and was starting to compile a list - you know a "if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor", "there is not a smidgen of corruption in the IRS" kind of thing - but my cynicism kicked in and don't really see any point.

I thought about addressing  his "I'm just telling the truth now. I don't have to run for office again, so I can just let her rip" line (what was he doing before?  Lying?  Oh wait - is that too cynical?) but realized that most people don't care anymore.

When he said  "I will keep asking the same question, and that is, how can I help you? " I wanted to cry out please, please for the love of God stop trying to help, but what good would it do?

I was tempted to write something about what he views as cynicism is actually intellectual realism, but have really not been able to muster the energy to document something that should be so self evident.

Instead the following made me laugh so I will just post this instead and call it a day:


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Higher education: In case you still don't get it

Imagine for a moment that you are the owner of a popular restaurant located on a street with many restaurants. You do your best to provide the best experience to your customers while staying ahead of the competition by keeping your prices down. You try to avoid spending too much on labor, and do as much of the work yourself as you can, often putting in long hours. Although there is a good wholesale market nearby, you drive an extra hour to another market just to get your ingredients a little cheaper.

One day a wealthy patron who is a big fan of your cooking announces a new idea. Because he wants as many people as possible to enjoy your food, he is going to pick up the tab for most of your customers. You can just go on doing what you always do, but when the check arrives for many tables, this wealthy patron will pay the tab. 

The next day, your waitress complains that there are too many tables and you should hire more help. What would you do?

Normally, you would try to find a way to avoid hiring another person as it would eat into what little profits you make. But now you realize there is another solution. You can just raise prices. Since most of your patrons are not paying for their meals, your place will still stay popular and you won’t have to worry about losing business to your competition. So why not hire another waitress? While you are at it, why not hire a manger so you don’t have to be there all time, and stop driving to the further market?. Whatever increase in costs you suffer you can make up for by raising prices more and more.
Now imagine all your competitors also have wealthy benefactors picking up the check for many of their customers. You can all raise prices constantly without losing any sleep – or business.

This scenario is effectively what America’s higher education financing system has turned into. There are many reasons why college tuition is rising faster than virtually anything else, from more applicants than ever to state budget cuts for public universities, but all of those factors are allowed to persist because often times the person getting the degree is not the person paying the tab – not for today anyway....

For more go here

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Oh? You mean operating the TV remote is not exercise?
I wonder how long it will take for Harry Reid to blame this on the Koch bothers?

Sedentary lifestyle and not caloric intake may be to blame for increased obesity in the US, according to a new analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). A study published in the American Journal of Medicine reveals that in the past 20 years there has been a sharp decrease in physical exercise and an increase in average body mass index (BMI), while caloric intake has remained steady. Investigators theorized that a nationwide drop in leisure-time physical activity, especially among young women, may be responsible for the upward trend in obesity rates.
By analyzing NHANES data from the last 20 years, researchers from Stanford University discovered that the number of US adult women who reported no physical activity jumped from 19.1% in 1994 to 51.7% in 2010. For men, the number increased from 11.4% in 1994 to 43.5% in 2010. During the period, average BMI has increased across the board, with the most dramatic rise found among young women ages 18-39.

"These changes have occurred in the context of substantial increases in the proportion of adults reporting no leisure-time physical activity, but in the absence of any significant population-level changes in average daily caloric intake," explains lead investigator Uri Ladabaum, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology and Hepatology), Stanford University School of Medicine. "At the population level, we found a significant association between the level of leisure-time physical activity, but not daily caloric intake, and the increases in both BMI and waist circumference."

The study looked at the escalation of obesity in terms of both exercise and caloric intake. While investigators did not examine what types of foods were consumed, they did observe that total daily calorie, fat, carbohydrate, and protein consumption have not changed significantly over the last 20 years, yet the obesity rate among Americans is continuing to rise.

For more go here

I'm from the government and am here to help you

ESPN is reporting that self-serve beer stations are now operational at Target Field in Minneapolis, and will be available for this year’s All-Star Game there on July 15. Here’s how it works:
Fans attending Twins games can go to a cash register, show their ID and preload a $10 or $20 card. For the All-Star Game, a $50 card will be available. Fans then scan the card at the machine and can choose between four beers and regulate how much they want to have poured.
Bud and Bud Light will cost 38 cents per ounce, while Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale will cost 40 cents per ounce.
Update: Based on a StarTribune story today (ht to Morganovich) we can expect more and more Minnesota businesses to implement labor-saving technologies in the future like the self-serve beer stations at Target Field. Here’s why:

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed into law the largest minimum wage increase automation-inducing legislation in state history Monday, giving raises to more than 325,000 Minnesotans and making good on a signature Democratic pledge during an election year.
The move to a $9.50 base hourly wage catapults the state from one of the lowest minimum wages to one of the highest once it is fully phased in by 2016. The state’s base wage will be tied to inflation starting in 2018, ensuring the buying power of the state’s lowest-paid workers keeps better pace with the cost of living ongoing incentives for companies to invest in labor-saving technologies that will replace low-skilled workers.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What a lovely, arrogant metaphor for a liberal's view of government

Althouse is rightly annoyed at the latest arrogance of Hillary: 

...I'm irritated at Hillary and outraged at the new media outlets who put the headline in that form, which is missing the fact that flips the story: Hillary Clinton donates the money to her own foundation.

Here's the ABC News piece under the headline quoted above: 

“All of the fees have been donated to the Clinton Foundation for it to continue its life-changing and life-saving work. So it goes from a foundation at a university to another foundation,” Clinton said when asked about the criticism she and her husband have faced recently for their wealth.
What is her salary from the foundation? How much of her expenses are covered by family foundation money? How many members of her family make salaries from that foundation? To what extent is the foundation an income tax dodge? And didn't Hillary Clinton recently portray herself as not truly rich because she and Bill pay income tax on their money?

Taking from your foundation and putting it in my foundation... what a lovely, arrogant metaphor for a liberal's view of government! I can spend your money better than you can. The universities have money that they might spend to improve education for their students and to advance scholarship, but it could be shifted into the Clinton Foundation which does whatever it does, some charitable things that maintain and advance the Clintons' political fortunes. 

Maybe a cartoon will help explain Hobby Lobby to distraught liberals

Friday, July 4, 2014

Elizabeth Warren demonstrates her ability to manage the federal budget

The latest troubled project is the renovation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, which has already soared $120 million over budget.
As detailed in a new report by the Inspector General for the Board of Governors—which oversees the CFPB—the project is now expected to cost at least $215 million... IG Mark Bialek said the CFPB ignored agency procedures to secure funding approval and concluded that there is “no sound basis” to support the renovation project.
The auditor also said the agency was “unable to locate any documentation” for the project...
...Republicans, who have long opposed the CFPB’s very existence, were quick to jump on the IG’s findings. They pointed out that the new total will work out to about $590 per square foot—well above the $334 per square foot cost of the Trump World Tower, and the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, which cost $330 per square foot.
In a statement, chairman McHenry likened the CFPB’s failure to produce project documentation with the IRS losing potentially incriminating emails....
...Still, the cost of the CFPB’s headquarters is well below the ballooning cost of the Department of Homeland Security’s new building—which is already running $1.5 billion over budget and 11 years behind schedule.
For more go here

Hobby Lobby confusion

Seth Rogen and lots of other people have really got their panties in a bunch regarding  the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby ruling.

Seth et al seem to think someone has been deprived of their rights although it is unclear who.

Let me help him: women still have the same access to birth control as they did before the SCOTUS ruling.  The only thing that changed is that they cannot force someone else (their employers) to pay for it.

Just like they can't force their employers to pay their mortgage, Amex bill, or a trip to Vegas

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ex-IM Bank is the epitomy of crony capitalism and Obama its cheerleader in chief

From Veronique de Rugy:

This week’s charts show that if we were serious about improving the competitiveness of American producers, we should be looking at policies that help all producers rather than to the Export-Import Bank, which benefits mostly a few winners.

Proponents of the Ex-Im Bank often argue that its export credit subsidies to foreign buyers “level the playing field” in international trade. Supporters claim that similar activities from foreign export credit agencies (ECAs) like the Compagnie Française d'Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur in France or the Export-Import Bank of Korea necessitate the defensive actions of the Ex-Im Bank. According to this argument, all American exports would suffer a great deal if the Ex-Im Bank were not able and willing to counteract these foreign subsidies. 
But this justification for the Ex-Im Bank’s activities is based on several assumptions with little factual support. First, it implies that a significant portion of US exports are dependent on Ex-Im Bank financing, but roughly 98 percent of the value of US exports receive no Ex-Im Bank assistance at all. In other words, absent the subsidies most US exports would be unaffected. Second, it incorrectly assumes that all of today’s backed exports would disappear without the subsidies. This is unlikely to be true, considering that a vast majority of Ex-Im Bank activities benefit only a handful of giant corporations. These companies should have little trouble arranging alternative financing for some of the sale of their products, especially in light of how wealthy the buyers are.  
In addition, by focusing so much of their arguments on the need to help US exporters compete with subsidized foreign competitors, Ex-Im Bank advocates may have mislead people into thinking that most Ex-Im Bank activities are dedicated to fighting off foreign subsidies. However, the data shows that less than one-third of the Bank’s FY 2013 portfolio goes towards the stated goal of “meet[ing] competition from a foreign, officially sponsored export credit agency.” At the very least, one may then ask what is the justification for the other Ex-Im-backed transactions?
This week’s chart combines the three points above into one graphic. Using data from the US Census Bureau and the Export-Import Bank, the chart shows the total value of all US exports, along with the total value of exports claimed to have been assisted by the Ex-Im Bank. To the right of the chart, this amount of Ex-Im assistance is broken down into the categories that the Ex-Im Bank lists in its annual reports.  
As the chart demonstrates, the Ex-Im Bank’s primary focus isn’t to protect a significant portion of US exports from foreign subsidies. In fact, only roughly one-half of one percent of the value of US exports last year even fell into this category. More Ex-Im Bank activity was dedicated to no justification at all than to this purportedly critical role the Bank plays fending off foreign ECAs.Many Ex-Im Bank supporters genuinely want to help US exporters and their employees remain competitive on the international stage, and I share their goals.  

There are better ways to improve the competitiveness of US exporters. As part of this process, the federal government must maintain pro-growth policies to help all American businesses, not just a few selected ones, deliver the best products and services at the best prices. One simple reform would be to improve our stifling corporate income tax system. As my previous chart series demonstrates, the US has the highest corporate income tax rate among all OECD nations. Unlike the Ex-Im Bank, which merely redistributes success from unsubsidized firms to subsidized ones, reforming the corporate tax system would benefit all US businesses—exporters and non-exporters alike. 
Of course President Obama is fully behind this crony capitalism 100% unlike candidate  Obama who called it "little more than a fund for corporate welfare" 

Another example of an expensive and invasive medical procedure that has been shown to have no benefit other than a financial one to the physicians performing it

As per the New York Times:

Two major medical groups have taken opposing positions on whether healthy, low-risk women with no symptoms should have an annual pelvic exam. The American College of Physicians, the largest organization of physicians who practice internal medicine, strongly advised against the exams, which many women find distasteful or painful. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the leading group of specialists providing health care for women, immediately reiterated its support for yearly pelvic exams for asymptomatic adult women...

The new dispute involves the “bimanual examination,” in which a doctor inserts two gloved fingers into a woman’s vagina and presses down on her abdomen with the other hand to check from both sides the shape and size of her uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. It also involves procedures that use a speculum to open the vagina for examination.

Oddly enough, both professional groups agree there is no credible scientific evidence that the annual pelvic examinations save lives. They simply disagree over whether that lack of evidence matters much.

The College of Physicians thinks it does. In a review of published scientific studies from 1946 through January 2014, it found no evidence that the pelvic exams provide any benefit in asymptomatic, nonpregnant adult women and significant evidence of harm, such as unnecessary surgeries, fear, anxiety and pain. The exams drive some women to avoid the doctors and can be traumatic for rape victims. The physicians organization estimated the annual cost of the exams at $2.6 billion. Unnecessary follow-up tests drive the cost even higher.

By contrast, the gynecologists group argues that the “clinical experiences” of gynecologists, while not “evidence-based,” demonstrate that annual pelvic exams are useful in detecting problems like incontinence and sexual dysfunction and in establishing a dialogue with patients about a wide range of health issues...

Are women unable to determine if they are incontinent without the help of a doctor?