Posted on: September 21, 2009 2:23 pm

The gilded cage...Obamacare

As we continue to trend left toward the socialist agenda of our leadership I am reminded of this parable:

The hamster lives a wonderful life.  His food and drink is provided, his home is provided, and even his exercise is provided through great distances of twisty tubes and things that spin.  He even has a maid come and clean his house every so often. When he is sick, health care is provided free of charge.  He really has it made.


So why is it he is always trying to chew his way to freedom?


We all have our own definition of freedom and none of them include a gilded cage.

Minus 5 in the turnover margin is a recipe for defeat anywhere including in the SEC. WVU is minus 8 in its last two games and is 1-1.  Get it straightened out and the Eers could be tough.
Posted on: July 24, 2009 12:30 pm

One way to free up Packer's seats....

Borrowing from another Blogger I thought some of you might like to read this....

Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)

Monday, July 20th at 2:31PM EDT

H.R. 3200 is the Democrat healthcare bill.

Let’s back up for a minute. I noted some time ago Jay Rockefeller went on record to say that at some point the government has to decide whether or not you are allowed to receive any more medical benefits if the cost outweighs the potential benefits.

As Mickey Kaus has noted, both Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias are on record agreeing. Kaus writes:

Democratic blogger Ezra Klein appears to be positioning Dem health care reforms as a way to cut costs, on the grounds that a reformed system will be able to make “hard choices” and “rational” coverage decisions, by which Klein seems to mean “not providing” treatments that are unproven or too expensive–when “a person’s life, or health, is not worth the price.” Matthew Yglesias’ recent post seems to be saying the same thing, though clarity isn’t its strong suit.

Weirdo intellectual Peter Singer, a man who favors post-birth abortions of disabled children, took to the New York Times to write

You have advanced kidney cancer. It will kill you, probably in the next year or two. A drug called Sutent slows the spread of the cancer and may give you an extra six months, but at a cost of $54,000. Is a few more months worth that much?

If you can afford it, you probably would pay that much, or more, to live longer, even if your quality of life wasn’t going to be good. But suppose it’s not you with the cancer but a stranger covered by your health-insurance fund. If the insurer provides this man - and everyone else like him - with Sutent, your premiums will increase. Do you still think the drug is a good value? Suppose the treatment cost a million dollars. Would it be worth it then? Ten million? Is there any limit to how much you would want your insurer to pay for a drug that adds six months to someone’s life? If there is any point at which you say, “No, an extra six months isn’t worth that much,” then you think that health care should be rationed.

In his article, he argues that, in effect, we should euthanize the elderly.

I think, given that the member of Congress who drafted H.R. 3200 read and take seriously people like Klien, Yglesias, and Singer, we should be very troubled by Section 1233 of H.R. 3200. The section, titled “Advanced Care Planning Consultation” requires senior citizens to meet at least every 5 years with a doctor or nurse practitioner to discuss dying with dignity.

The section requires that they talk to their doctor, not a lawyer, about living wills, durable healthcare powers of attorney, hospice, etc. Given the progressive intelligentsia already being on the record in favor of euthanizing the elderly, it is no small leap to see where the Democrats are headed with this.

Legally forcing senior citizens to have “death with dignity schedules every few years is just another way to say the government wants to make sure seniors know it is time to commit suicide to save the system money.

And saving any medical system through encouraged deaths of the elderly or unborn is not a medical system worth having. The Hippocratic Oath requires doctors to “do no harm.” That’s meant toward the patient, not the costs to the government.

Posted on: July 7, 2009 8:25 am

Dig Deep and Patriotic

Open it up. Click on the flow chart.  Try to follow the government cheese around the maze that is the proposed health care reform from Mr. Kennedy.  How does it make you feel?  Perhaps like you need to see a doctor.  Well I hope not.

Now that Franken-stein has made his appearance at the castle, the evil plotters think they have enough votes to avoid by-partisanship on healthcare reform.  Schumer plans to ram it through the senate as fast as possible.  Who cares what is in it, right?  Recent polls suggest the Democrats should resist this temptation to become heavy handed.  Obamacare is not popular among unions and seniors, two groups that are more than blue leaning.  And the Democrat senators and representatives that will have to vote for this turd face re-election.  Many live in states that McCain carried last fall. 

The house and senate Democrat majority is about to get smashed in 2010. (Just like in 1993 - Hillarycare anyone).  In that election 56 house seats went to the Republicans as a result.

Read in yesterday's WSJ that some folks in the Obama administration think we should have MORE stimulus even though only 10% of the original Porkulus Plan ($787B) has been spent so far!  Seriously, they want to print even more money!!!

Biden, speaking on behalf of Obama (That is just plain scary), stated that Obama "had misjudged" the depth of the economic problems referring to increasing unemployment (and underemployment) as it approaches double digits.  Say it ain't so, Joe!

Of course, the last part of the Federally mandated minimum wage standard increase is about to happen at the worst possible time - NOW!  How is that going to impact hiring?

So let's see, Germany is about to lower taxes and curtail spending while the USSA (United Socialist States of America) is about to plunge even deeper into the red ink.  When you are in debt do you borrow more money and go on a shopping spree to get out of debt? Ahhh - no.

Forgive me my monthly rant.

An interesting side personal note....

I received a marriage proposal from one of my long time roommates this weekend.  The question is....which one?  The female or the male.  And the obvious next question is - how did I answer?

I will answer another day....

Peace to you all, except you Kim Jong Il and Hugo Chavez.
Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2009 5:44 pm

While Obama picked his brackets the media slept

I have been quiet for too long....

Folks, I hate to be the one to say I told you so, but I told you so. Many people tried to tell you so, but you would not listen. Obama is going to raise your taxes. All of you are about to feel a tax increase that will hit us all hard. More to the point the folks in the less than $75K range will be crushed by the tax increase. Heck under $30 K will see a $2000 tax increase! All this to pay for ObamaCare, the national healthcare plan. These are the bread and butter folks that support Obama. Will they stand for being lied too?

People are going to flip out, folks. The Unions are going to flip out and turn on him. Average Americans are going to flip out and turn on him. 62% of Americans do not support this tax increase to pay for ObamaCare. This is the same proposal made by McCain during the campaign that was shredded by Obama as unAmerican, taxing your employer healthcare benefits, how dare you! Yet that is just what he and his Democrats in power are proposing.

And it appears the quality of our coverage, read that to mean the quality of your healthcare will reduce to a minimum standard as put forth by the GOVERNMENT, not your doctors. Read the attached article below and please tell me how you feel. If you voted for Obama, I want to hear you explain this. Please, I am all ears.

First he said he was going to undo Bush policies on torture, apply civil due process for detainees (can't call them terrorists) and war prosecution in the MidEast and Afganistan, yet Obama has continued or intensified the Bush policies in all cases! Anyone tired of being lied to?

The Article from MSNBC June 8

As part of a health insurance reform package now before Congress, some of the 164 million Americans who are covered by employer-provided health plans could be asked to give up at least part of the longstanding tax exemption granted to such compensation.

It’s an idea likely to be met with howls of opposition if it makes it into the final version of health insurance legislation that President Barack Obama is pushing.

The idea of limiting the tax break for employer-provided insurance gained momentum last week, when Obama told senators that he’d consider it as one ingredient of the  health insurance reform bill he wants Congress to pass by early August, when the Senate starts a one-month recess.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who conveyed Obama’s willingness to consider the idea after a White House meeting Tuesday, has said the tax treatment of employer-provided health insurance ought to be made "fairer and more equitable for everyone."

Will you end up with more taxable income?

While details of such an approach are still sketchy, it would likely involve employees paying tax on a percentage of their employer-provided health benefits. So if Congress decided that all such premiums in excess of $11,000 for family plans would be taxable income, and your company paid premiums worth $16,000 for your coverage, you’d have to pay taxes on $5,000. 

Obama’s new openness to the idea stands in contrast to what he said six months ago as a presidential candidate, when he harshly criticized his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, for proposing that employer-provided benefits should be taxed.

Scolding McCain in their debate on Oct. 15, Obama said, "This is your plan, John. For the first time in history, you will be taxing people's health-care benefits." Obama also pledged last year not to raise taxes for families making less than $250,000, and a health benefits tax, depending on how it was structured, could run afoul of that promise.

The tax exemption on employer-provided health insurance, which dates to 1943, has already survived one attempt to limit it.

An echo of Ronald Reagan

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan floated the idea of requiring workers to pay taxes on employer contributions to their health insurance exceeding $2,100 a year. A Washington Post editorial the following year called the proposal "surprisingly lucrative yet eminently fair," and speculated that "(it) might have helped hold down health care costs in the bargain." But opposition, especially from labor unions, scuttled the proposal.


Folks with an adjusted gross income of less than $10 grand would pay an average of $635 more in taxes a year, generating $3.6B.

Folks with an adjusted gross income of $10-30k would pay an average of $1952 more in taxes a year, generating $34.4B.

$30-50K would pay $2,457 morea year and generate $42.7 Billion.

$50-75K would pay $3,095 more a year and generate $46B.

$75-100K would pay $3,900 more a year and generate $37B.

$100-199K would pay $4,481 more a year and generate $48B.

$200-500K would pay $4,728 more a year and generate $11.6B.

Folks making over $500K would pay $4,467 more a year and generate $2.7B for the Federal Healthcare program.

<font face="Arial" size="2" color="#0000ff"><font face="Arial" size="2" color="#0000ff"><font face="Arial" size="2" color="#0000ff">


<font face="Arial" size="2" color="#0000ff"><font face="Arial" size="2" color="#0000ff">


<font face="Arial" size="2" color="#0000ff">




Obama’s new receptivity to the tax springs from the massive sums of money needed to pay for expanding health coverage to the uninsured.

Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors last week cited a figure of about $125 billion a year to insure the uninsured. But the president aims to do more than that. He also wants to subsidize the cost of coverage for lower-income people, subsidize COBRA coverage for those who lost their jobs and make other changes. MIT economist Jonathan Gruber told the Finance Committee last month that curbing the health insurance tax break was "both the most natural source of financing for health care reform" and "one of the few that is clearly large enough to finance the subsidies needed for reform."

According to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the Treasury misses out on $226 billion a year because employer spending on health insurance isn’t counted as taxable income.

That figure dwarfs any other potential health-related revenue sources that have been identified as possibilities to help fund the health care expansion. Among them are a 3-cent-per-can tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would raise about $50 billion over 10 years, or increasing taxes on beer, wine and distilled liquor which, under one CBO scenario, would raise $60 billion over 10 years.

According to an analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation, curbing the tax break for employer-provided health insurance would primarily affect the wealthy, who "receive the greatest tax benefit from the exclusion from income." According to Gruber, "about three-quarters of these dollars go to the top half of the income distribution."

But opposition to the proposal may be as big a problem for Obama as it was for Reagan.

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey in April that asked whether workers "with the most generous health care benefits" should be required to pay taxes on their coverage found 52 percent of respondents opposed to the idea. Of those who currently have employer-sponsored health insurance, 62 percent opposed it. (The poll of 1,203 adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.)

Will Americans bridle at loss of tax break?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned Baucus in a letter last month that workers view employer-provided insurance "as duly-earned income" that should be "protected from the tax collector. This perception perhaps explains why the president was so successful in campaigning against Senator McCain’s health reform proposal — Americans generally do not support tax increases."

The American Benefits Council, which represents principally Fortune 500 companies, is also opposed to the idea of limiting the tax break for employer-provided insurance.

"It is likely to lead to higher deductibles or co-pays, so there’s higher cost sharing" by workers, said the group’s health care spokesman, Paul Dennett. If Congress were to set the threshold for taxation of benefits at $13,000 for a family coverage plan, then employers "in order to help workers not face taxation, may offer coverage below that threshold. This is a course employers say they would likely take."

Reduction in health benefits?

Economist Elise Gould at the liberal think-tank the Economic Policy Institute gave a similar assessment. Employers would see the threshold for taxation as what the government deemed the target level for health benefits, she said. "Employers will respond by reducing the comprehensiveness of benefits. They’ll likely target premiums to fall below the (threshold) value or just at that value, so employees don’t have to pay those additional taxes." Corporate America also fears that a limit on the tax break for health insurance would create an administrative nightmare, especially for large firms with employees in different states who face widely varying health care costs. And opposition also remains strong among labor unions, which were big Obama backers in last year’s election.

Barbara Coufal, the assistant director of legislation at American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, said, "We don’t think we need to look inside the health care system to seek all the revenues we need for health care reform. Over the last 10 years, there have been a lot of tax breaks that have been given to the wealthy and to businesses. We maybe ought to look there and restore some equity." With momentum growing to enact some limit on the tax break for health benefits, increasing energy is being devoted to develop a workable taxation scheme.

Target upper-income Americans?

Gruber suggested the possibility of having a baseline so that only families with incomes above $125,000 per year would pay tax on their benefits. Gruber said this would still raise a lot of revenue: more than $40 billion a year if the cap were indexed to increases in the Consumer Price Index. But in its letter to Baucus, the Chamber of Commerce said that such a proposal might "foster class warfare by (repealing the exclusion) … for certain income earners and not affecting others." Baucus, a 30-year Senate veteran, knows the politics of this issue are delicate. Limiting the tax break for employer-provided health benefits has "got to be done in a very sensitive way, to make sure the limits are high enough," he was quoted as saying last Thursday by the Capitol Hill publication CQ Today. Yet if Congress changes the law so that the tax bite ends up hitting only the wealthy, it might not raise enough revenue to help pay for health insurance overhaul. "That’s the real dilemma," said Dennett, of the American Benefits Council. "The lower the threshold is set, then the lower the revenue gain — and the scramble would be on to find other revenue sources."

I feel better now.  Thanks.
Category: MLB
Tags: Yankees
Posted on: May 28, 2009 8:02 am

Absence lmakes the blog grow fonder....

Pinocchio, Snow White, and Superman are out for a stroll in town one day.
As they walked, they come across a sign: "Beauty contest for the most beautiful woman in the world."  "I am entering!" said Snow White. After half an hour she comes out and
they ask her, "Well, how'd ya do?"   "First Place!" said Snow White.
They continue walking and they see a sign: "Contest for the strongest man in the world."
"I'm entering," says Superman. After half an hour, he returns and they ask him, "How did you make out?"  "First Place," answers Superman. "Did you ever doubt?"
They continue walking when they see a sign: "Contest! Who is the greatest liar in the world?" Pinocchio enters.After half an hour he returns with tears in his eyes.  "What happened?" they asked.  "Who the hell is this Nancy Pelosi?" asked Pinocchio.

What more can I add?  Pelosi has outdone herself.  The Democrats cannot stand their own prosperity.  Obama makes a rookie mistake by elevating Cheney to his level and then getting schooled by the senior (ie experienced) Mr. Cheney.  Reid is going to lose his seat in Nevada.  The once promised powerhouse is fracturing as it turns to bickering and political infighting.  Ahhh....American politics has been restored.

Great article in WSJ a couple of days ago comparing Obama's policies to the South Park episode "Underpants Gnomes."  The gnomes steal underpants and then sell them for a profit in the episode and the execute their famous strategy.

Phase 1 - steal underpants
Phase 2 - ?
Phase 3 - Make profit!

What does this have to do with Obama?  Simple...

Problem:  Iran

Phase 1 - talk to them
Phase 2 - ?
Phase 3 - World peace!

Problem: Global warming

Phase 1 - Introduce the green initiative
Phase 2 - Repeal the first and second laws of thermodynamics
Phase 3 - Carbon neutrality

Problem:  Gitmo and torture

Phase 1 - Announce closure of Gitmo
Phase 2 - (Ignore everything else)
Phase 3 - Close Gitmo

Hilarious.  Absolutely hilarious.  And true.  You see folks, this is what we stick in the mud conservatives were getting at when we called Obama out for being a junior, inexperienced Senator and statesman.  Great idea, no substance, no plan results in irrelevance.

Enjoy your day, weekand month. 

Category: MLB
Tags: Reds
Posted on: May 6, 2009 10:52 am

Another day in the jar

Arlen Specter pronounced that his former party's priorities killed Jack Kemp this past weekend. Arlen was quoted on CBS Sunday that (with regards to medical research), "...if we had pursued Nixon's call to war on cancer in the 1970's, Jack Kemp would be alive today." The presumption was he was talking about the funding for the National Institutes for Health. What is interesting is under the Republicans (Congress, White House or both) from 1994 to 2006 is the NIH budget more than doubled to around 25 billion annually. Wow! I suppose he is suggesting it should have been higher?

What is really interesting is the advances in medical techology , treatment and research are the result of even more private money through venture capitalists. In fact, in the same period of time, the US venture capitalist machine invested four times more heavily than the whole of the European Union. The reason given is the EU is more centralized and intolerant of risk whereas the Americans can offset the risk of the investment by making huge profits on the back end. To a large extent patients in the EU, Canada and Japan - where strict caps on spending for medical research exist - are free loading off the more open US Heathcare system.

Now that Democrats are looking to bring the same models of healthcare to the US shores the result will likely be more bureaucracies that try to contain costs by restricting access to new therapies by limiting or denying payment or even restricting what doctors are allowed to prescribe. The tragedy of the Universal Healthcare system is the lifesaving medicines that are never developed.

See Wall Street Journal for more.

Another interesting article in yesterday's WSJ was in regards to ethanol production in the US and the subsidies that are given to bait farmers into production. The pollution abatement from ethanol is real when you compare just the fuel to gasoline in a side by side test. However, when you include the environmental impact of farming to meet the needs (think volume) the pollution is double that of gasoline. Ooops!

And yet we proceed with more ethanol production. The chosen one has been deceived by his envirobuddies and he is pandering to the farmers. At least he is as transparent as he said he would be.

Obama's approval rating is still up around 70% or so we are told by the big media outlets. Typically these polls are 1000 people and have an error of +/- 4%. Last week MSNBC had a poll that asked respondents to grade Obama's first 100 days A-F. Incomplete was not an option even though it is the only correct answer. When last I checked the results, 350,000 folks had weighed in and the results were not 70% approval. Only 32% of voters graded him as an A with another 6% giving him a B. 39% gave him an F with 10% giving him a D. What is interesting is the bathtub shape to the distribution. If Obama seeks to make good on his promise to unite America he has sorely failed in his first 100 days. Clearly he needs to do more to reach across the aisle instead of proclaiming, "We won. Get over it!" or using reconciliation to avoid debate on tough issues like spending trillions on healthcare.

Another day in the jar.

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 29, 2009 8:33 am

A new record!!

Some quotes from the last week I found interesting -

"Remember: it took the President fewer than 100 days to spend more money than the federal government will collect all year.  "Debt Day" was this past Sunday - only 97 days in to his term and three-and-a-half months earlier than last year." - John Boehner 

This week, Congress will plow ahead with a final vote on the President's $3.6 trillion budget that spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.  This is roughly the same budget that House Republicans unanimously rejected almost four weeks ago, but with one change:  Senate Democrats invoked an arcane rule known as "reconciliation" that will grease the wheels for their costly, mediocre, government-run health care system. - John Boehner

Michigan Democrat Mitch Dingell called Henry Waxman's (D-California) Cap and Trade plan "a tax, a huge one at that." Experts suggest Americans will see an average monthly increase in utility Bills of $258 a month as a result. That is about $3100 a year for every household. Dingell went on to say ""Every economist says that a carbon tax is a better, more efficient, fairer way of doing it. ... The Europeans have had two, maybe three fine failures in their application of cap and trade. How do we avoid the mistakes that they have made? ... Nobody in this country realizes that cap and trade is a tax, and it’s a great big one. I want to get a bill that works — how do we choose the best way?" - Politco

For those who haven't figured it out...the free health care the Demos are promising will be paid with the CAP and TAX program. Their plan is to pass the health care issue and then figure out how to pay for it. By doing so they hope to railroad the cap and tax right down our throats.

Iowans passed a measure to allow gay marriage.  Seems to go against the normal conservative farmer mentality.  I think it is great.  With every action there is another reaction.  The lawyers will love specializing in gay divorce next.

In sports news, the Bengals had a great draft so I expect, given their track record, that everyone will end up either injured, in jail or they will be trouble makers. Excuse my pessimism but you try living in Cincy.

On the swine flu front, be safe folks. Wash those hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water - if you need a timer sing Happy Birthday a couple of times (to yourself may be best). Avoid crowded areas and sick people. At times like these ask yourself if you have enough supplies on hand should a pandemic be declared. A gallon or fresh water per person per day for weeks is the recommendation. Non perishable foodstores are also required. Don't forget your disinfectants or your prescriptions. The best way to deal with this is to isolate ourselves for a little while and use precautions.

Posted on: April 27, 2009 11:35 am

Not so Mr. Irrelevant

Senate Democrats have agreed to use a shortcut method to avoid debate on the sweeping healthcare reform that President Obama has proposed.  By doing so the Democrats will quickly pass their measure and avoid a potential fillibuster by Republicans.  The whole purpose of having a House and Senate and the belief that a two party system is important is centered around the need to debate issues. 

Debating an issue is not about arguing it to death, though that has become the norm in Washington.  The problem with both sides of the aisle is that you have to be for or against something.  Or more importantly you have to follow the party line on various plank issues like abortion, social issues, business,taxes, common defence, etc.  As a result we have created a system of diametral opposites with no common ground to hammer out agreements and compromise.

For me, the decision by Democrats to bypass debate on this monumental issue is a violation of our Constitution.  A simple majority vote should not be allowed to pass such a sweeping change to our political and societal foundation.  But that is what is about to happen by the party who takes its name from "democracy."  Purportedly they are for democracy and therefore, they are for debate.  The word democracy means "people rule" from the greek.  It does not mean "party rule" by the way.  Semantics, I don't believe so.  One party has become so powerful as to become dangerous.  They are manipulating everything and carrying out political vendettas and now they are going to do something so revolutionary - to pass government controlled healthcare - without taking into account the opinion and thoughts of slightly less than half of the people.

Where is the outrage from the folks who have fought so hard to protect the Constitutional rights of our enemy combatants (since I cannot call them terrorists anymore).  Are they not afraid of the power of one party rule?  They should be.  Failing to express outrage to our senators for their wreckless behavior makes us all culpable to what may come to be.  Let your voice be heard.

Category: NFL
Tags: democrats, draft
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or