Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Affordable Care Act Explained

Imagine that you go out to dinner at a very large chain restaurant. You order a small steak and enjoy your meal. The bill comes and you're shocked at the $200 charge. You complain to the manager and he comforts you and says "wait a minute". He goes out and charges the other patrons a portion of your bill. Then he hands you a bill for $20. The small steak is still grossly over-priced, and folks who ordered a salad were forced to help pay for your steak. But you're happy.

And that is ObamaCare in a nutshell. It doesn't address cost, it simply spreads the bill over a larger population. Sort of an extension of the "tax & spend" legislative approach.

Now I wonder how many folks got this concept from the media when the Affordable Care Act was being kicked around in the halls of Congress? No, we got information on Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan and other important stuff.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Zimmerman debacle

First, I think it is clear by now that Florida State's Attorney Angela Corey should be removed from office. Her handling of the Zimmerman trial and the Marissa Alexander case (the woman who got 20 years for firing at, but missing her husband) shows that she lacks good judgement.

She should've backed off on the Marissa Alexander case as it was clear that the charges and penalty were unwarranted. I'm not sure what "message" Corey thought she was sending.

She over-charged Zimmerman even though she had insufficient evidence going into the trial. Then at the last moment she added Manslaughter in a blatant ploy to dupe jurors into convicting Zimmerman of something, anything. She was rebuked in her attempt to add child endangerment charges by the presiding Judge. All of this very uncommon. None of it warranted by the evidence. I believe Corey's behavior is the main reason people believe there was pressure from the Obama administration.

But enough about the DA, the trial is over and Zimmerman was acquitted and in now in debt.

The master race baiter Al Sharpton has used the jury verdict as grounds for inciting riots nationwide. I wonder why this master baiter isn't behind bars - inciting to riot is illegal in most states.

I hope the Zimmerman team is successful in suing NBC for the doctored 911 call and various other media outlets for running the photo of the 12yr old Trayvon Martin instead of the real Martin at the time of his death. I believe this has contributed to a large number of really ignorant people thinking Zimmerman shot a child.

What we see nationwide are two camps of people: those who accept the jury's verdict and go on with life and those who can't seem to understand it. I think the latter need counseling.

The aftermath of the trial has shown once again the pitiful results of America's failed education system. There are a lot of really ignorant people out there. The Low Information Voter will be a significant part of American politics for a long time.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Selling the Sizzle

President Obama is a very good front man. He has the voice. He has the charm. He has the looks. And he is black in a predominately white America. He was a rock star in the 2008 campaign. He sold "hope & change" to so many, some even quit their lucrative acting jobs (Kal Penn of House MD) to work with Obama to "change the world".

But 4 years later it has become apparent that Obama can't deliver a meal. When Fred Armisen's SNL Obama character announced that he hasn't done jack, he wasn't kidding. Obama lacked leadership on the Affordable Care Act and allowed Congress to wheel and deal to the various special interests. In the end the ACA increased coverage and increased cost. The bill being so repugnant that it required the SCOTUS to sort it out.

America needs real leadership to fix real structural problems. We have a runaway Federal deficit. We haven't had an approved budget for 4 years. Our economy is stagnant. Inflation is picking up. Obama "surged" troops into Afghanistan without a clue as to the end goal and we watch as they come home in coffins. We are NOT better now than in 2008.

 We aren't at war with anyone. The cold war is over, so we don't need to fight proxy wars. China isn't trying to become a super power. North Korea is a silly little land-locked enclave of stupidity that is destined to collapse upon itself. It is pretty clear that Federal spending must be reigned in. The horrific deficits were not due to Medicare or Social Security spending, they were due to Congress throwing money everywhere and continuing to pay for a much larger Federal government than we need.

Truly, anybody but Obama.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Still Blaming Bush?

The summer doldrums are upon us and there's really nothing about the upcoming election for the news media to report. So it is relatively quiet for now.

There's been just a tiny bit of stirring with the media-made panic concerning Obama's campaign. The polls show Romney slightly ahead. The news reports that Obama barely beat's prison inmates in state primaries. Move-On.org is not happy with Obama. The media is calling for Obama to fire Axlerod. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney seems to be getting a free pass while he hammers away at the incumbent.

Obama’s weakness is that he doesn’t actually have a punch. He’s a front man, an entertainer, not a boxer. Romney is proving to be a boxer. Romney’s strategy is get out and stay out in front of the President with the issues. Romney is adhering to the idea that “action beats reaction”. Call it pre-buttal or whatever you want, Romney has Obama off balance, on the defensive. Obama can’t deliver the charm when he’s back-peddling and playing rope-a-dope.

I don’t believe this is so much a character defect with Obama as it is a burden all incumbents face when times are lousy. You just can’t blame it all on Bush.

The Democrat faithful will still pull the lever for Obama, but that’s not enough to win. Obama has to court the independent vote and that will be a challenge. Obama will get a break if the economy improves. Obama will get a huge break if Ron Paul decides to take his voting block and run as an independent. But if Mitt can woo Ron and the economy stays lousy, Obama may be a one-termer. At least Jimmy Carter will be happy – he’s no longer the worst president.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Cool Power

President Obama was on the Jimmy Fallon show. Normally low ratings because it is on so late and Jimmy isn’t really very funny. But when Jimmy slow jammed the news with President Obama – that segment was an internet hit. 5 million views on YouTube alone. Cool still has power.

Romney has been successful at stripping Obama of substance with the pre-buttal attack (see sidebar video). But substance has always been Obama’s weakness and Obama has overcome that weakness with cool.

In 2008, before the severity of the housing crash had sunk in, the average person was blasted daily with news that Iraq was bad. Now it is 2011, Iraq is forgotten, the nation is mired in massive deficits, a stagnant economy, and our President is in full campaign mode. Voters are not better off than they were 4 years ago. "It's the economy - stupid" and our President is focusing on "cool".

Cool has tremendous power. Cool has the power to entertain and make us feel good in the midst of our problems. Cool is a shot of morphine to a country in pain.

If you have a bad tooth, numbing the pain doesn't fix the tooth. As the video in the sidebar asks, Obama in 2012? Seriously?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Reminder About Media, Politics, and Concealed Carrry

The title is a bit far-reaching, maybe a bit convoluted, but I think a few points can be made without writing a book.

The issue I'm talking about is the Zimmerman/Trayvon shooting in Florida.

Regarding the media: NBC was guilty of editing the 911 call to make it sound like Zimmerman was a KKK member at a rally. All the media outlets used the AP photo of a sweet looking 10yr old Trayvon instead of the 17yr old thug-wannabe at the time of his death. Most of the media misrepresented the "stand your ground" law in Florida not bothering to look it up before blathering away. And the media is orgasmic at the thought of another OJ-like trial to boost their ratings.

Regarding politics: The POTUS weighed in on the issue making a statement of how Trayvon looked like his son, if he were to have a son. Of course the traditional race baiters, (masters at their art), of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson made use of this tragedy. These master baiters managed to get their faces in the news once again beside the grieved family creating a weird notion of law where Zimmerman had to be arrested for "justice" to be served. Amazingly, the DA charged Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder after a 40day silence - and created the specter of political string-pulling by the Obama Administration.

Regarding concealed carry, I'm going to lay down some salient points or takeaways from this incident as they apply to me:
  1. I am not in the Cop business. Ever. Period. I do not arrest people. The gun I'm carrying is only to save my life, (or loved ones), in a situation that I can't otherwise get out of.
  2. Pulling a gun is evidence of the intent to use lethal force. Waving a gun around is grounds for someone else to shoot me. Using the gun is evidence of intent to kill will either result in (a) a justified shoot or (b) charged with some form of murder (serious jail time). So other than putting it back in the safe, there is really only one other reason to pull my gun.
  3. Using a gun will kill somebody (that's why it is called lethal force). If I am not willing to kill somebody, then I should be carrying pepper spray and/or a tazer. Unlawful use of pepper spray is misdemeanor assault in most states.
  4. If I am involved in a shooting, (a) keep my mouth shut, (b) get a lawyer, (c) don't trust anybody, don't talk to anybody who isn't covered under non-testify immunity (wife, attorney, priest).
  5. The Cops and DA are not my friends. And they may or may not do a thorough job investigating. And they can make an example of me. Even if I am found innocent, I'm am out a lot of money because of the DA's decision.
Carrying handgun is a highly desirable option for self-defense. And carrying a gun is serious business. Everyone who does so should think this through. Skip the myths and lies you see from Hollywood in movies and TV as they will get you killed and/or in a lot of trouble.

And now we all get to watch how it plays out with  Zimmerman's 2nd degree murder trial.



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Framing the Debate on Healthcare Reform

I honestly think that getting an accurate picture of important events from the MSM is as futile as trying to tell time with a clock having only a second hand. But despite the low-brow nature of America's media, I think I've got a handle on the fundamental issues driving the Health Care debate.

I'm one of those people who think "top down" and very "left-brain" by training. It's what I do to get my job done. 2+2 = 4 every time. Not 3.5 or blue, but 4. It is a liability sometimes as I cannot engage in a "The View"-like discussion. I just shut up when confronted by noisy people who drift off on tangents either because they're flat stupid, or they lack the foundation for the discussion. So you won't catch me watching "The View" unless I'm in the mood for poking fun at really dumb discussions.

But most of the discussion on Health care reform has been conducted "The View" style. Very little analysis and/or critical thinking has been done by the MSM reporting on Congressional progress. Does the average American feel they have a grasp of the issues driving the President's health care reform? I think not. At least not the handful of people I've spoken with. Why? Because (a) The President has done a horrible job of communicating beyond vague generaltities - at some point he really needs to get past this "hopey changey" thing. (b) Congress is all over the map with thoughts on a plan. And (c) the MSM is still trying to deliver sound-bites and partisan cheer leading instead of in-depth reporting.

Ok, so here's my thoughts. They're really quite simple - so simple that if I'm wrong, well then I'm really wrong.

The debate is framed by two extreme ideological positions. I will use left and right deliberately, as I think they're accurate labels. Although I talk about them as though they are polar opposites, they aren't that far apart.

On the Left are those who believe that it is morally wrong that every Man, Woman and Child in the United States lacks access to free (or at least very affordable) health care. This group believes in "cover everyone first, costs be dammed". Some in this camp believe health care is a right.

On the right are those who believe that the cost of health care is out of control. They believe that if costs were in line with other expenses, (dozen eggs, gallon of gas, etc.), access to quality medical care would be within reach of every productive member of society. So this crowd believes "get the costs under control and access to medical care won't be an issue".

President Obama is on the Left. And the Congressional majority is charged with advancing the President's plan. If I'm correct, then you can see how there is great tension between the Left and the Right. President Obama is pushing maximum coverage with no plan for cost control, short of denying coverage (Sara Palin's "death panels" - the logical extreme). The Right has no clear champion and appears to be simply deconstructing the President's plan without offering a coherent alternative.

So there you have it, my view of the debate from the 100,000 foot level.