…a tropical heatwave. Temperature’s rising, it isn’t surprising, I certainly ….CAN’T!
Ugh! While most of the country is enjoying record cool temperatures, we have been suffering the past few days with record highs. Today, in the Seattle area, it got up to 106° — 106 freakin degrees!!! (Our previous record was 103 in 1941). As I write this, in the middle of the night, my little desktop weather widget says it’s still 79 degrees outside. Blech.
I’m a weenie. I don’t like it this hot unless there is sand underfoot and a large body of water for me to plunge into. May have to go to Lake Washington tomorrow. I escaped the heat this evening by hitting the movie theater. Otherwise, I have all my fans turned on, and I’m spending a lot of time in the basement drinking huckleberry Italian soda’s and virgin mojito’s. Mmmm mmmm mmmmm.
I just read that the temperature in Hell, Michigan was a lovely 76° today, so Seattle is exactly 30 degrees hotter than Hell.
Today the United States Government revoked the diplomatic visas of four members of Honduras’ government. President Obama thinks it is more important to defer to Communist thugs Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. We need to understand the constitutional action that led to President Zelaya’s removal.
In reality, Zelaya broke 17 Honduran laws classified as “high crimes.” They included holding an unconstitutional referendum, defying the high court, whipping up mobs, taking Chavista cash, robbing the Central Bank and preloading computers with referendum “results” before the illegal referendum was even held.
Venezuela’s Chavez has successfully taken over the Venezuelan presidency permanently, and was busily helping President Zelaya to do the same. President Obama has decided that this was a “coup” and he is going to tell the Hondurans to ignore their laws and their Constitution and reinstate Zelaya. How did the Honduran Supreme Court dare to act according to their constitution and remove Zelaya? They should have waited for the One’s approval.
This foreign policy of bullying everyone, Chicago style, is embarrassing, and apparently comes now at the behest of former president Zelaya. According to the Central American News Agency, the former president has retreated to the mountains, and sent a letter to Obama asking him to ramp up the pressure on the interim government, and suggesting the “revocation of visas” to those involved in his ouster, and the freezing of bank accounts, especially that of Judge Jose Tomas Arturo Valle, the chairman of the 16-member supreme court who signed the ruling ordering the detention of Zelaya.
The Honduran Congress and Supreme Court removed Zelaya from office weeks on June 28, so increasing the pressure now is a little odd. But the U.S. is increasingly throwing its weight around internationally. Obama is telling the Israelis where in Israel they may live and Obama is “reaching out” to Syria’s Assad, another of the Middle East’s dictators. And now they are trying to have talks with the Taliban. The State Department is on the wrong side here. President Obama is on the wrong side.
It would be interesting to understand why Obama wants to pander to tinpot dictators all over the world, and bully our democratic allies who are trying to preserve their democracies and their freedom. So far, his “reaching out”, and “dialogue” has gotten him nothing but insults and contempt, but I guess hope springs eternal.
Filed under: Health Care, Progressivism, Statism | Tags: Economics, History, Preserving Life
Economist Greg Mankiw — whose blog I recommend unreservedly — posted this comment by the Nobel laureate Ken Arrow:
Oh, why health costs increase? The basic reason why health costs increased is that health care is a good thing! Because today there is a lot more you can do! Consider all these expenses that are diagnostic. Cat scans, X-rays, MRIs and now the proton-powered whatever-it-is. Something that is the size of a football field, cost $50 million, and has all sorts of diagnostic powers. A lot of these technologies clearly reveal things that would not be revealed otherwise. There’s no question about it. Diagnostics have improved. Technology has improved. You know, sending things through your blood stream to help in operations, instead of cutting you open. It’s incredible. But these things are costly. But for older people longevity is increasing by a month each year. Now, whether that creates other problems with retirement and social security is another question. But, nevertheless, preserving life is a good thing.
The Obama administration seems to have forgotten what health care is all about. They think it is about power, and getting control of something that voters cannot do without. It certainly is not about preserving life. Free abortions are on the list, rationing care for the old folks is on the list, and (Page 354, Section 1177) Government will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs people. I’d sure like to hear them explain that one.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Health Care | Tags: Democrat Demagogues, Economics, Nancy Pelosi, Obama
President Obama is trying to find someone to blame if his party is unable to pass a health-care reform bill before August 1. His target is the Congressional Budget Office and director Douglas Elmendorf. Remember that the office is intended to be completely non-partisan, and oriented towards giving congress good and responsible estimates of what a bill will cost.
The administration was so upset over the estimate that the CBO produced over the health-care bill that they summoned Elmendorf to the White House, a very improper step. The CBO is expected to be free of interference from the administration and from congress.
Peter Orszag, President Obama’s Budget Director, was previously Director of the CBO. He should know what the rules are.
Stephen Spruiell notes at National Review:
Last weekend’s outburst from Obama’s budget director, Peter Orszag, was the equivalent of a player upending the chess board and calling his opponent a cheater.
The irony is that, just a few months ago, Orszag was on the other side of the board. Before Obama appointed him to run the Office of Management and Budget, Orszag was in charge of the CBO. And just before he left the legislative for the executive branch, he took measures to make sure the CBO would be well equipped to play its role in the health-care debate, expanding the number of health-care economists on staff and ordering a new computer capable of modeling the effects of complicated legislation.
In a Saturday post on his White House blog, Orszag implied that the CBO’s latest analysis was guilty of “exaggerating costs and underestimating savings,” and he said that the agency had “overstepped its bounds.”
The Washington Times chimed in last week to point out that the CBO had vastly underestimated the number of small businesses and the number of people from that source who would switch to the government plan. They said:
CBO — incredibly — assumes that only 3 million people will switch from employer-provided coverage to government insurance. But the Lewin Group, a health care policy research and management consulting firm, estimates that 119 million Americans will switch from their current private insurance to government insurance. If these figures are accurate, the program’s cost could easily be $4.5 trillion over 10 years, not the $1.04 trillion CBO is claiming. That new financial burden would be a disaster for the deficit.
The House bill, however contains: (Pg. 50, Section 152) Health Care will be provided to ALL non U.S. citizens, illegal or otherwise. I wonder if the CBO is including in its estimates the entire non-citizen population? Intelligent guesstimates suggest around 1.3 million illegal immigrants. I don’t know if the CBO includes adding them the the health insurance rolls.
Government bills or policies that come in costing less than estimated are as rare as an occasion when Obama did not blame the Republicans. This is his mess, and at some point he will have to own up to misleading the public.
The headline reads:” ‘Green Anarchist’ Trumpets ‘Roadkill’ Diet to Save Mother Earth.” Scavenging for dead animals killed by the ‘car culture’ described as the more ‘ecological’ choice.
If this is right up your alley, you can find the complete article here. Perhaps you want a more adventurous diet, or maybe you want to save money. It’s usually free. You can ‘challenge society’s taboos’, the article says.
“Conventional meat products carry with them the suffering of the factory farm, exuding stress and misery in every tissue and cell. This misery transfers itself to the plate of the consumer, infecting billions worldwide with the same neurotic trauma of domestication. At least an animal killed on the highway lived wild and free until the point of impact.”
Well, to each his own.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Taxes | Tags: Democrat Demagogues, Economy, Healthcare
If you speak of millions and billions and trillions often enough, the reality of those numbers fades away. Here is a reminder, for taxpayers, of just what a trillion dollars represents. It’s worth reviewing. Maybe you can comprehend it. I have trouble.