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: November 15, 2008 10:28 am
Edited on: November 16, 2008 9:39 am

Take me! Both of you...Ravage me!

Her red dress was cut low revealing her ample breasts.  They were perfect and she was so sultry in comparison to the other Pelosi-esque women in the room.  Every eye was upon her and she knew it.   Even savored it.  She was fresh from Paris and her gown was from the finest couture on the Champs Elysses.  It had been custom cut to reveal her finest assets and she tingled the first time she put it on.  The silk slid enchantingly into place across her shoulders and torso.  Caressing her delicate skin as it fell to just above her knee.  She was excited and frightened at the prospects that may come that night.  She knew she would be impossible to miss and would attract the attention of every suitor in the ball room.

She was surprised to receive her invitation to the ball.  She did not know her hosts personally, only in name and reputation.  On a whim she decided to go and treat herself to the pleasures of being a desirable woman.  So she treated herself to a new dress, lingerie, and shoes.  A new clutch, a makeover....she was ready.

The eyes of everyone turned to her when she walked in unescorted.  The gentlemen failed to hide their delight and the ladies hissed under their breath.  The room was electric and a pang of regret twisted in her stomach.  Now she wasn't sure she wanted the focus of hundreds of pairs of eyes.

A waiter glided by to the sound of the string quartet with champagne, yielding a flute with a flirting smile. She could see the sharks positioning themselves for their passes, ever closer they circled. 

The first gentleman to introduce himself was Congressman George Miller from California.  He was a charming man though considerably older than her.  She indulged him as a harmless gentleman trying to rekindle his youth by flirting with a younger woman.  He exuded power and he made no attempt to hide it.

A second suitor inserted himself into the conversation.  He introduced himself as Jim McDermott also a Congressman but from Seattle.  The two gentlemen knew each other and exchanged a playful nod.

She was swept away by their charm as they talked and danced away the evening.  They both offered to escort her home in their limosines but then suggested they go for more drinks with a smaller group of friends from the ball.  She was having so much fun she decided to enjoy the evening and agreed.  Both Congressmen joined her in the car and off they went. 

She wasn't sure which one kissed her first but it was passionate and soft. And she felt another pair of hands caress her legs.  The passion increased and the two men began to ravage the beautiful woman.  She awoke the next morning to find her beautiful clothes were torn, her hair and makeup were ruined and the conquerors were gone.  She felt like so many things had happened and that something had been stolen from her.  She was bewildered and began to cry.


No this is not an excerpt from a tawdry romance novel.   Sorry boys, back to half mast.

My last blog entry was about a lady named Teresa Ghilarducci from New York's New School for Social Research who suggested the 401K plan should be scrapped.  More on that subject appeared in the WSJ yesterday that I thought required sharing with you all. 

The Congressmen above are real and the lady in the red dress is your 401K.  Rep. Miller, D-California, chairs the House Education and Labor Committee.  While Rep. McDermott, D-Washington, chairs a House Ways and Means subcommittee on income security and family support.

"Before election day the congressmen began to target the $3 trillion in the 401(k) accounts held by 60% of Americans.  Mr. Miller called the system an inadequate vehicle that has not been terribly successful in encouraging retirement savings.  He wants a whole sale re-examination of the pensions."

"The Chairman has also signalled greater ambitions.  At a hearing last month, Mr. Miller put the 401(k) into play.  Under the current system, employers match employee contributions that aren't taxed until redeemed, an indirect subsidy worth $80 billion today.  'We have to start to think about in Congress...whether or not we want to continue to invest that $80,000,000,000 for a policy that is not generating what we now say it should.'  Mr. Miller said, ' For a taxpayer investment of this size, we must ensure that the structure of 401(k)s adequately potects the nesteggs of particpating workers.' "

 His committee listened to Ms. Ghilarducci's ultra left social policy discussion to scrap the 401(k) and let the government mind our money for us.  Yes folks it happened.

"The main liberal objection to the 401(k) seems to be that they let the average American control their own investment decisions for retirement.  As Shlomo Benartzi, a professor at UCLA's Anderson Business School, told Mr. Miller's committee, "Individuals have a tendency to buy at the peak, and then panic when the markets drop and sell at the bottom."  Better to have the government do it instead."

 For those of you reading this thinking, yeah, the government would give us a safe return, well Social Security earns between 1 and 2 percent since its inception which is losing to inflation bigtime.

People are attached to their 401(k)s because it is their property, which they can carry with them to new jobs, manage as they see fit and bequeath to their heirs.

Before entertaining dreams of state managed retirement accounts, Congresssional Democrats might ask why Europe and Latin America have tried so hard in recent years to move in the opposite direction.  Their pension systems are debt ridden, can't easily adjust for demographic shifts and show a  historically lower return.

If Democrats want a return to improve the prospects for American retirees, their first priority should be removing barriers to economic growth.  Anger over the drop in 401(k) balances is one reason that voters who belong to the investor class swung to Deomcrats in greater than usual numbers this year.  Their mandate is for policies that improve those returns, not strip them of tax benefits.

An intelligent discussion would be  - is Obama listening to these Democrats or not?  He has voted left every time as a Senator.

I think some of you nice fellows should have asked the beautiful lady in the red dress to the ball to keep her away from the sharks.  Anybody willing to do that?  Call your congressman and senator and tell them hands off your ladies  - 401(k).

I need a cold shower.....anyone want to join me.

Posted on: May 21, 2008 3:22 pm

Chatter on the diamond translated to the bedroom

We have all played baseball or softball or at least watched a movie about kids playing ball.  So it is safe to assume we have all heard the coach yell, "Talk it up out there!!!"   Followed by a cacophony of taunts, chants, annoying barbs meant to distract, and pure old noise which causes the parents to wince or groan. I went to a game to watch my nephew play baseball.  He is so cute in his little uniform, but I digress.  I heard, "Hey batter, batter, batter, swing batter!"   "Swings like a rusty gate."  "He's got the bat on her shoulder!"  "You got it, you got it, hum it baby!"  Now that last one got my attention.  I began to notice similarities between this juvenile chants and some of the demands I have heard (given) in the bedroom.  And I wondered if it was my imagination which has been known to frequent the gutter.   A devilish smile found my face and sat down for a while.

I began to think about my sex coach yelling, "Talk it up out there!"  What would I say?  My favorite right now, "You got it, hum it babe!"

I am sure you can all contribute something to this tawdry blog.  The winning responses will get used the next time I get home.  I will let you know how it is received.  Nothing that would require I delete your entry, please!


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com