“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Caveat Emptor

It's easy to be cynical these days despite the fact that many mutual funds have added about 40% recently. No one has a crystal ball, but I think most people haven't a clue about the extent of what has happened with the financial collapse. These days the economists remind me of astrologers. They say a lot and it sounds as if they really, really know what they're talking about but...

Laurence Meyer, a former Governor of the Federal Reserve told Bloomberg News he expects unemployment to remain at around 10% through 2010 and come down to 8.5% in 2011. More bad news in that the country will not return to full employment (5% unemployed) until 2015. Credit spreads will be higher for a "long time" which is not good news for the market. He says that a serious question is about whether the savings rate will stabilize at 4% or go dramatically higher causing a delayed recovery. Nuriel Roubini may be sounding more optimistic these days but obviously other economists have their doubts. Gary Shilling, author of Deflation, says that we are in deflation and that it will be chronic. The destruction of the economies: derivatives declined by $90 trillion, money supply declined by $25 trillion. $20 per barrel oil has been predicted by the end of the year. Shilling takes a middle ground in regard to economic growth. He sees a volatile pattern as the recession lasts into next year. He makes a distinction between good and bad deflation. Good deflation results when technology brings falling prices. Bad deflation results with a lack of demand in the economy. Shilling predicts chronic declines of overall price indices; 2 or 3 points per year.

Consumers have cut back in spending and we don't know how long that will last. Post war babies need to save and people have run out of borrowing ability. For twenty five years their spending exceeded their income growth and fueled a world wide bull market. That demand is history. Shillings says consumers are saving like no time since the Great Depression. An April spike in savings rate to 104% was due to a big tax cut, May's savings rate fell back to 90%. These rates have not been seen since the Great Depression. This lack of demand in the economy means a ten year workout similar to the Japanese situation due to what Keynes called "the paradox of thrift" Shilling predicts that a graph of the economy for the next ten years will look like a declining saw-tooth pattern.

So what do we do? I guess the prudent course of action is to take your losses and sell out now. Get liquid. Be careful and watch what you buy. Caveat Emptor. Wait for really good bargains. Gasoline could be in the $1.5 per gallon by autumn. But I could be wrong. On the other hand, if you sell your funds on upswing market, you could lose out on....Oh, what the hell, DO NOT listen to me.

Life feels a little surreal these days. It's as if every day, a man comes round yelling, "Bring out your dead, bring out your dead." Which reminds me, just what we need right now is another 1918 style flu pandemic.


  1. Obama's Broken Promises

    There's plenty of waste in Medicare, but the Congressional Budget Office estimates only 1 percent of the savings under the legislation will be from curbing waste, fraud and abuse. That means the rest will likely come from reducing what patients get.

    One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430).

    The sessions cover highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and "the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration."

    This mandate invites abuse, and seniors could easily be pushed to refuse care. Do we really want government involved in such deeply personal issues?

    Shockingly, only a portion of the money accumulated from slashing senior benefits and raising taxes goes to pay for covering the uninsured.

    The Senate bill allocates huge sums to "community transformation grants," home visits for expectant families, services for migrant workers -- and the creation of dozens of new government councils, programs and advisory boards slipped into the last 500 pages

    The most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll (June 21) finds that 83 percent of Americans are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the quality of their health care, and 81 percent are similarly satisfied with their health insurance.

    They have good reason to be. If you're diagnosed with cancer, you have a better chance of surviving it in the United States than anywhere else, according to the Concord Five Continent Study. And the World Health Organization ranked the United States No. 1 out of 191 countries for being responsive to patients' needs, including providing timely treatments and a choice of doctors.

  2. And all this time the stone throwers were protrayed as being Paalistinian radicals, but lo and behold, it is Israelis attacking and wounding members of the Israeli military!

    An IDF soldier was lightly wounded when masked settlers stoned troops near Kedumim, while four settlers were arrested on suspicion of throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles near the Yitzhar junction.

    Settlers burned olive trees, stoned Palestinian vehicles, blocked West Bank roads and allegedly assaulted Palestinians on Monday in direct response to the Civil Administration's destruction of scattered structures in three outposts earlier in the day.

    Although all three outposts, Adei Ad, Nofei Yarden and Mitzpe Danny, were in the area of the Binyamin Regional Council, settlers and right-wing activists reacted throughout the West Bank

    Tovah Lazaroff and Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

    The masks indicate the cowardice of the attackers. Unwilling to take responsibility for their behaviour.
    They have reduced themselves to being mere Vandals.

    And those Vandals, they never win.

  3. So, doug, if the Senate version of ObamaCare differs from the House version of ObamaCare, which is the "real" ObamaCare for America program?

    Or is it fair to say that the proposal is in flux?

    In which case the GOP alternative proposal is ...?

  4. Stimulatin and Legislatin

    Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional.

    Daschle supported the Clinton administration's health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay.

    A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. "If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it," he said.

    "The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol."

    The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the
    Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192).
    The goal, Daschle's book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs.

    He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept "hopeless diagnoses" and "forgo experimental treatments," and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

    Elderly Hardest Hit
    Daschle says health-care reform "will not be pain free." Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

    Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective.
    The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

  5. So there should be no cost benefit analysis done in regards to medical treatments, doug?

    Should we try to save everyone regardless of the chances of, say, five year survivability?

    No expediture is to great
    No life so valueless
    That we will bankrupt the Nation in a hedonistic attempt to 'save' them all?

    How much would another day of MJ's life been worth to all of US?

    Beyond priceless?

  6. Saw this Doctor on the flat screen, he was talking about doing heart valve replacements on 85 year olds.

    Now, if a fella or a gal wanted to pay for that, out of pocket, I'm all for it.
    But the collective insurance pool should not be, regardless of who is adminstrating that pool.

    Unless of course it was totally private insurance, designed for that purpose.
    Viva Mexico!, as viktor related.

  7. dr quotes: Settlers burned olive trees, stoned Palestinian vehicles, blocked West Bank roads and allegedly assaulted Palestinians on Monday in direct response to the Civil Administration's destruction of scattered structures in three outposts earlier in the day.

    Yep it took awhile, but the Jews of the West Bank have learned by watching 200 years of Arab technics...


    I hope those "vandals" stone the arabs, burn their trees and terrorize them into running away...

    after all the arabs "occupy" 33 million square miles, why not simply force the arabs to leave the disputed 100 square miles of the west bank?

    what's good for the goose is good for the gander...

    What's interesting is you fail to tell the whole story in this week's context...

    -arabs stone and injure 12 unifil troops in lebanon after major illegal hezbollah base explodes...

    -arabs shoot rockets at jews from gaza

    -fatah el islam members arrested in lebanon planning attacks against UN troops...

    Yeah a few jews throwing some rocks, now that's news...

  8. Go back and look at Figure 3

    We're all dead at 101
    In 1901, 1951, or 2001.

    The Space Odyssey eventually ends, for everyone.

  9. Worthy of the JPost, wi"o".

    They know news worthy, in Isreal, better than any American.


    June 12, 2009 – July 12, 2009
    34,281 crimes

    Crimes Assault
    Crimes 1-30 (Page 1)
    Wider map
    9700 block S. Emerald Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Residential yard (front / back). Reported at 12:15 a.m. on July 12, 2009.
    200 block N. Kolmar Ave
    Aggravated assault: Knife/cutting instrument
    Place: Residence. Reported at 3:20 a.m. on July 12, 2009.
    4300 block W. Mc Lean Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Residence. Reported at 7:30 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    7600 block S. St Lawrence Ave
    Aggravated assault: Handgun
    Place: Sidewalk. Reported at 9:45 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    5400 block W. Drummond Pl
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Residence. Reported at 5 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    2800 block S. Karlov Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Church / synagogue / place of worship. Reported at 7:20 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    800 block W. Belmont Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Sidewalk. Reported at 2:34 a.m. on July 12, 2009.
    8100 block S. Manistee Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Apartment. Reported at 11:20 a.m. on July 12, 2009.
    5200 block W. Van Buren St
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Residential yard (front / back). Reported at 4:40 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    6900 block N. Clark St
    Aggravated assault: Other dangerous weapon
    Place: Alley. Reported at 1:43 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    5400 block W. Thomas St
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Residence. Reported at 9:30 a.m. on July 12, 2009.
    4300 block W. Thomas St
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Street. Reported at 7:10 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    3000 block E. 79th Pl
    Aggravated assault: Other dangerous weapon
    Place: Sidewalk. Reported at 8:20 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    5300 block S. Cottage Grove Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Residence. Reported at 9:45 a.m. on July 12, 2009.
    1300 block S. Washtenaw Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Apartment. Reported at 12:30 a.m. on July 12, 2009.
    3700 block N. Kilpatrick Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Residence. Reported at 9:30 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    400 block S. Homan Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Apartment. Reported at 10 a.m. on July 12, 2009.
    7800 block S. Christiana Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Sidewalk. Reported at 4:55 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    8100 block S. Cornell Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Sidewalk. Reported at 4:24 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    3000 block W. 21st Pl
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Street. Reported at 8:03 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    4700 block S. Archer Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Parking lot / garage (non-residential). Reported at 4:15 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    1300 block N. Kildare Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Sidewalk. Reported at 1:30 a.m. on July 12, 2009.
    6100 block S. Kilpatrick Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Sidewalk. Reported at 11:30 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    7200 block S. Vincennes Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Apartment. Reported at 11:40 a.m. on July 12, 2009.
    2700 block W. 59th St
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Street. Reported at 2:30 a.m. on July 12, 2009.
    13100 block S. Rhodes Ave
    Aggravated assault: Handgun
    Place: Residence (porch/hallway). Reported at 5:10 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    4800 block W. Washington Blvd
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Residential yard (front / back). Reported at 6 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    2500 block E. 75th St
    Aggravated assault: Other dangerous weapon
    Place: Sidewalk. Reported at 2:40 a.m. on July 12, 2009.
    11600 block S. Vincennes Ave
    Aggravated assault: Handgun
    Place: Street. Reported at 7:45 p.m. on July 12, 2009.
    1300 block W. Rosedale Ave
    Simple assault: Simple assault
    Place: Apartment. Reported at 8:30 p.m. on July 12, 2009.

    and that's one day in our president's own city

  11. desert rat said...
    Worthy of the JPost, wi"o".

    They know news worthy, in Isreal, better than any American.

    It's Israel

    Learn to spell

  12. Or is it that the staff of the JPost, that they're anti-Semitic?

  13. No, I;d rather not, edit.

    You fully understand the content, regardless.

  14. This has been my main concern about the Health Care reform going on in the US:

    "The bills do almost nothing to control health care inflation. They are modeled on the Massachusetts health reform law that is currently coming apart at the seams precisely because it doesn’t control costs. They do little to reward efficient providers and reform inefficient ones."

    Brooks lambastes the Dems in his op/ed today:

    I can't see how a single payer system can be avoided though looking at what Australia has done my be worth the effort.

  15. another day, still getting tougher and tougher for President Obama

    Where are those jobs?
    O, and that smart diplomacy.

  16. dr: desert rat said...
    Or is it that the staff of the JPost, that they're anti-Semitic?

    No it's shocking when a Jew throws a rock...

    It's not news that you ignore the real violence of the middle east to showcase the jews throwing the rocks..

    Maybe if you actually had a clue?

    But alas you dont...

  17. From Patriot Humour:


    A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

    The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

    "She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican."

    "I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

    "Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

    The man smiled and responded, "You must be an Obama Democrat."

    "I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

    "Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my fault."

  18. As everyone here is aware, President Obama campaigned in part on promises to engage the leaders of two of the nation's most notorious adversaries: Iran and Venezuela. And as most here are also aware, such soothing promises in reality cannot in either case achieve the explicit or implied payoff, which is a change in the nature of the leadership in question. On the contrary, direct state-level engagement is a reward for egregious actions - whether that is the intent or not.

    I do not know what will eventually occur with regard to that policy promise - I have only my hunch - but I do know that over time I have become far more appreciative of strategies of isolation. Especially in a pinch.

    In the same vein here at the Bar I have come to deplore and, to the extent possible, discourage engagement of those who, though arguably not a grave threat to our regional interests, nevertheless give their own singular meaning to the word "asshole." Those who, once upon a time perhaps engaging voices of dissent, have degenerated into merely self-amusing and cretinous antagonists of any ready object. To the detriment of a small community of individuals searching perhaps not for elusive concord but merely for the raging- fuckwad-free zone that makes a neighborhood hole-in-the-wall a genuinely inviting place.

    So, though your intent may not be to reward the raging fuckwad by your engagement (to include debate) of him, it does extend to him a certain sanction which he has forfeited by his chronic outrages upon common decency - while conspicuously failing to alter his deeply regrettable nature.

    Alternatively, absent engagement here he will eventually have to repair to some Axis of Assholes that have succeeded in ostracizing themselves from even the lively back-and-forth of so undistinguished (and I mean that endearingly) establishment as this.

    But you must be steadfast and unmoved by any short-lived pretense to benign behavior and actions/arguments in good faith.

    That is all.

  19. Actually, other than the fact that they made it too easy to "scam the system," the Mass plan seems to be working pretty good. They've covered 500,000 people that were, previously, uninsured, and they don't seem to have "busted" the system.

    Of course, 83% of Americans are happy with their Health Insurance. They Have Health Insurance. It's the 40 Million suffering Without Health Insurance that need some help.

  20. Sorry, Trish, but when you walk into a bar you have to be prepared to defend Yourself.

    I, personally, have no interest in defending the one who, first thing in the morning, walks in and tells an "alpha" dog, "Fuck you," and then spends the rest of the day getting beat up.

    The old saying is, "If you don't want no shit, don't start no shit." Your buddy started his share of shit.

  21. I am so used to being called "asshole" I assumed Trish was speaking of me...


  22. desert rat said...
    No, I;d rather not, edit.

    You fully understand the content, regardless.

    Yep the Content....

    Jews throw rocks and chop down 15 trees... That is a war crime in your eyes... Ignore the arab/islamic murder, suicide bombers et al...

    A few Jews threw some rocks...

    That's all the news fit to print..


    11 iraqis died in suicide bombing today...

    I guess that's meaningless

  23. "Sorry, Trish"

    So am I, rufus.

  24. Sometimes it is best to negotiate with your rivals, other times not. A virtual bar is not equivalent to sharing the same planet with conflicting interests sometimes resulting in death.

  25. trish,

    Here! Here!

    "alpha dog"...what a laugh...Shitzu, maybe (spelling not editted by personal preference)

  26. I think everybody's taking "a deep breath," Deuce. We came damned close from "crashing on the rocks below," and most people realize it.

    Gasoline went to $4.00, and GM went Bankrupt. A lot of people have lost jobs. An "unease" has settled over the land. A lot of folks are "hunkering down." Kind of a "wait and see" attitude pervades.

    Disaster, "narrowly averted" tends to focus the faculties.

  27. $4.00 gasoline "Hammered" the bottom two quintiles (120 Million People.)

    Small, to Medium Businesses see CIT in trouble, and say, "Oh Shit." "Gotta be careful, here."

    Bottom line, most people aren't for sure the "shoes" are through dropping.

  28. ...Of course, 83% of Americans are happy with their Health Insurance. They Have Health Insurance. It's the 40 Million suffering Without Health Insurance that need some help.

    Fine. Help them without wrecking the whole damned system.

    Destroying your vehicle by tearing it apart and leaving the parts scattered under the shade tree because you need to replace the gas filter doesn't make sense.

    Neither does ObamaCare.

  29. "People over 80 are multiplying faster than any other age group"
    It's that damn Viagara, I tell you!

  30. LT, no one is going to "wreck the system." As to "Exactly" how it will work? You don't have a clue; and, neither do I.

    It will have parts that are totally fouled-up, of course. It's a Guvmint program. Basically, you and I are going to pay a little more in taxes, and a lot of people are going to be healthier.

  31. "Exactly" how it will work? You don't have a clue; and, neither do I.

    I'm not as clueless as you'd suspect, Rufus. And not as sanguine about the outcomes as you.

    Carry on.

  32. 2 state pension funds lose almost $100 billion

    CalPERS and the State Teachers' Retirement System report losses amounting to one-quarter of their portfolios.

    The tremendous drop in value is expected to have a direct effect on the amount of money that the state and about 2,000 local governments and school districts must contribute in coming years to pay for pensions and healthcare for 1.6 million government workers, retirees and their families.

    As income from the pension investments fall, the governments would have to make up the difference to meet the state's pension obligations.

  33. Barkeep, a bottle of Malbec for Trish.


    This grape has thin skin and needs lots of sun.

    This grape produces dry wines with a delicately perfumed bouquet. The wines are either light fruity red wines or refreshing fragrant roses. It is at its best when drunk cool and young. Wines made from Grignolino have high acid levels and light tannins. These are good wines to have with salamis and cheeses of medium seasoning, and also match well with beef

    On second thought, barkeep, make it a bottle of Grin-yo-leeno.

  34. Absurd, Linear:
    You know damn well socialism works everywhere and everytime it's tried.

    Don't try to deny history!

  35. Absurd, Linear:
    You know damn well blah-blah-blah

    Them's fightin' words, Duggo!

  36. Practice makes perfect, den mother.

    He could have stopped at any time, but chose to 'raz the rat', got his jolly joy that way, he once said.

    You want to disagree with some policy point, devil may care but I certainly do not.

    You want to present some inner knowledge of the Leviathan, the cocktails with Generals, Ambassadors and Pashas, I'm all eyes.

    You want to libel my avatar, call it a liar, a jew hater and worse.
    Then I'll certainly play the game of tit for tat.

    Using the same names in response, but with a more governed approach.

    One designed to cause an increase in his insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. He was told what was coming, offered the reference works to study. By myself and Ms T.
    Alinsky and Tsu.

    He failed to heed your and the others, as well as my own, advise to cease and desist those anti-social behaviours.

    So he has sailed on, to greener pastures, where he can always bicycle downhill, sipping on sweet dand-o-line wine, spiked with a gigger of Barcardi.

    Two bottles of which go for less than $30.

  37. A TwoBuckChuck bottle of Grin-yo-leeno.

    Always a good year.

  38. What is "Occupation" said...
    I am so used to being called "asshole" I assumed Trish was speaking of me...


    funny WIO. Overdue for a laugh. San francisco fogged down and missed my connection.

  39. ...San francisco fogged down and missed my connection.

    The perils of connecting through SFO...winter and summer. My last flight through there? Same story. Finished that trip by rent-a-car. Stayed with cars ever since.

  40. Commercial brokers are swimming in empty space
    In a distressed market, the stakes are higher and deals are more elusive.

    Commercial real estate slumps hard in the Southland
    Offices and warehouses empty out, even as rents decrease, in L.A., Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino counties. A turnaround might be years away.

    From the Calpers-Teachers Link:

    The fund suffered severe losses across its portfolio, which was hard hit by a 43% decline in its real estate values, a 28.2% drop in stocks and a 27.6% loss in private equity holdings.

  41. Three years ago, not an empty inch.

    Today the empty buildings, retail and office space are everywhere.

    Almost all the Chinese go-kart dealers are gone. Still not many Vespa type scooters available on the used market. I'd have thought there'd be a bigger market for them than there seems to be.

  42. "Basically, you and I are going to pay a little more in taxes, and a lot of people are going to be healthier."
    I predict that will occupy a place next to your award for your prediction that New Century's downfall signified nothing more than a "ripple in the pond!"

  43. Ain't No theory "Dead Solid Perfect," Doug.


  44. Of course, in my defense, Doug: How in the world could anyone, not in the bidness, know that the ratings agencies had rated all that junk as "AAA?"

    And, AIG, and Citi had "bought it?"

    Oh, well.

  45. I'm looking forward to my mandatory acceptance of death conseling session, Rufus, how about you?

    "One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430).

    The sessions cover highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and "the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.

  46. In point of fact, we're All going to pay quite a bit more in taxes whether this mess passes, or not.

  47. I conducted my own. I informed the VA that NO "heroic" measures were to be performed to keep me alive.

    I have no desire to "live forever."

    I'm ready "any time."

  48. doug wrote:

    Have you got a source for that doug? Preferable not simply a blog making the statement.

  49. Morning Bell Obama Admits He’s “Not Familiar” With House Bill » The Foundry

    With the public’s trust in his handling of health care tanking (50%-44% of Americans disapprove), the White House has launched a new phase of its strategy designed to pass Obamacare: all Obama, all the time. As part of that effort, Obama hosted a conference call with leftist bloggers urging them to pressure Congress to pass his health plan as soon as possible.

    During the call, a blogger from Maine said he kept running into an Investors Business Daily article that claimed Section 102 of the House health legislation would outlaw private insurance. He asked: “Is this true? Will people be able to keep their insurance and will insurers be able to write new policies even though H.R. 3200 is passed?”
    President Obama replied:
    “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.” (quote begins at 17:10)

    This is a truly disturbing admission by the President, especially considering that later in the call, Obama promises yet again:
    “If you have health insurance, and you like it, and you have a doctor that you like, then you can keep it. Period.”

    How can Obama keep making this promise if he is not familiar with the health legislation that is being written in Congress? Details matter.

  50. Ash,
    Have no idea what that comment means.

  51. "One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430)."

    That is the citation you made doug that I'm puzzled about. It would be interesting to see if really is in there. I'd be surprised if they really intend on compelling old folk to seek counseling. If it is indeed in there I'd hope it be changed 'cause it sounds ludicrous.

  52. She read it and reported on it, but you and Barry don't know about it, yet you still claim it's the thing to do!

  53. You can check her credentials at the site of the link, Ash.

    She's the same person that previously debunked Clinton Care.
    Has a rather impressive resume.

  54. The link is the first comment, Ash:

    "Obama's Broken Promises"

  55. That appears to be a blog Doug. Is "compels" a proper interpretation of what is in the bill on pp 425-430? Just because she says it doesn't make it true. It would be interesting to see what those pages say, literally.

  56. "That appears to be a blog Doug."
    Yeah, just "a blog"
    She probly just made up the page numbers she cites, right?

    Her 1994 analysis of the Clinton health plan in the New Republic won a National Magazine Award for the best article in the nation on public policy. Her article on the dangers of “Dumbing Down Medical Care” won the National Media Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists. She has been profiled in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, and other publications.

    From 1994 to 1998, she served as Lt. Governor of New York State. She focused on health issues, and her bills became models for legislation in many states and in Congress.


    Post-doctoral Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities
    John M. Olin Fellowship
    H. L. Mencken Award
    National Magazine Award for “No Exit,” a critique of the Clinton Health Plan
    Annual Prize from the American Society of Anesthesiologists

  57. Budget chief: Docs fees not paid for in Obama bill--

    Jul 21 04:14 PM US/Eastern
    WASHINGTON (AP) - A senior administration official says billions of dollars to raise fees for doctors treating Medicare patients are not covered by President Barack Obama's pledge to pay for health care legislation.

    Budget Director Peter Orszag said Tuesday that's because the administration always assumed the money would be spent to prevent a cut of more than 20 percent in doctor fees.

    The Congressional Budget Office said last Friday the higher payments cost $245 billion over 10 years. It said including the money in the overall bill would result in deficits totaling $239 billion.

    On Friday, a few hours earlier, the president declared: "I've said that health-insurance reform cannot add to ouur deficit over the next decade. And I mean it.

    via Drudge

  58. You and Barry don't want to take the time to read the bill, you are simply certain that it should be imposed on us.
    (for our own best interests, of course)

  59. Yeah, he gave his sacred promise that we could keep our existing plans, too, Linear.

    ...took investors business daily reading page 16 of the bill to put the lie to that one.

    Mr. Credibility

  60. ...Budget Director Peter Orszag said Tuesday that's because the administration always assumed the money would be spent to prevent a cut of more than 20 percent in doctor fees...

    What the hell does that mean? Rufus?

    No wonder Obama and his crisis mongers want it voted on fast.

  61. Meanwhile, under the shade tree, the neighborhood mechanic stands back in dismay after his overhaul of the engine, the whole damned car now shakin' like a dog shitting peach pits.

    "What's that a'layin' there?" he ponders, "Looks like a manifold gasket. Damn! I forgot to buy a new one! I'll jest tork these bolts a little tighter..."

  62. LT, I have NO freakin' idea.

    Whatever comes out will have some of the silliest shit you've ever failed to imagine in it. That's obvious. It's "Congress" at work.

    Most of it won't matter a hill of beans. Our taxes will go up some. We'll wait a week, or so, longer to see a specialist, some doctors will bitch about something, or other, and a lot of people will get Health Care.

    It'll be worth it.

    Oh, and quite possibly, some small businesses might actually see their health care premiums go down.

    It's not really all that big a deal. Oil is the Big Deal.

  63. "and a lot of people will get Health Care."
    30 Million Illegals for one.

    ...Democrats voted down GOP provision barring that.

    That's REALLY going to improve OUR healthcare, Linear!

  64. Oil is the Big Deal.

    We agree, Rufus.

    US drill rig count, 7-17-09, YOY -1008, up +4 during last week.

    Stimulus that means something.

    Drill here! Drill now!

  65. ...the figure was 12 Million when W came to office.

    Still "12 Million Illegals" now.

    W did one Hell of a good job of keeping out illegals, I guess!

  66. Doctors, Drug Companies, Insurance Companies Bad, Trial Lawyers Good.

    ...the Messiah

  67. Doug's first post Obama's Broken Promises provides a link to the HB (all 1014 pages in one big pdf.)

    Sure enough, there is on page 16, the death sentence for private insurers.
    IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1.

    Mind you, this is under the heading of Protecting the Choice to Keep Current Coverage.

    Yeah, you'll be able to keep your current coverage until the Federal Program muscles out your insurer.

  68. So a revamping of 17% of the economy will be just another ripple in the pond, Rufus?

    ...they are saying that all the existing institutions that will be eliminated are of little or no value.

    That would include you,
    As tho all those years you informed and and advised your clients were of little value.

    Easily replaced by the Central Planning Genius Tax Cheats in DC.

    ...and we'll have more Docs when we pay them less and make them treat Illegals for the greater good.
    (of the Democrat Party)

  69. Hey, Whit:
    You also lose your existing coverage when there is any change to it!
    ASSIGNED an "APPROVED" plan!

  70. Ash was having more fun asserting that it probly was not in there, Whit.
    Why'd you have to go an spoil his fun?

  71. Speaking of Oil:
    Verleger Sees $20 Oil This Year on Supply, Limited Storage,
    July 20 (Bloomberg) -- Philip Verleger, economist and founder of PKVerleger LLC, a professor at the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business and a former U.S. government adviser, talks with Bloomberg's Tom Keene about oil and gasoline.

    As we heard a while back, Verleger says there is no extra storage capacity and we already have enough heating oil for the coming winter.

    A NYTimes podcast guest,Louis Uchitelle said that we've lost 17% of our manufacturing in the last 18 months and have deindustrialized to "unstainable" levels.

  72. Whatever happened to good old fashioned, County Health Clinics? They're still around and they still provide services. That's not the point. The point is to cram down Universal Coverage which the left has long salivated for.

  73. I think the per gallon is comparable to 1976.

  74. Well, okay, Whit, what was provided in the paragraph?

  75. ...Verleger Sees $20 Oil This Year on Supply, Limited Storage,

    Explaining a good part of the drop off in the rig count over the last year.

    Of course I overlook the peakers' analysis that there is just no more "easy" oil, as Rufus will soon point out.

  76. So Obama is actually telling the truth when he says you'll be able to keep your current policy.

    ...until you won't.

  77. Lots of folks on both sides of the aisle spin that eliminating manufacturing ain't no big thing.

    (Or spread lies about how little we've lost.)

    They are WRONG!

    MITTED.—Subparagraph (A) shall not affect 19 the subsequent enrollment of a dependent of an
    20 individual who is covered as of such first day.
    22 CONDITIONS.—Subject to paragraph (3) and except
    23 as required by law, the issuer does not change any 24 of its terms or conditions, including benefits and 25 cost-sharing, from those in effect as of the day be26
    fore the first day of Y1.
    VerDate Nov 24 2008 23:22 Jul 14, 2009 Jkt 079200 PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201

  79. Yeah, it would not be easy to turn the valves back to "ON" in the Santa Barbara Channel, Linear!

  80. Hey, Ash:
    You out there?
    Whit did your reading work for you.
    You want one of us to read it aloud over Skype or somethin?
    Always ready to help!

  81. Not much of a "Death Knell," I don't believe, Whit.

  82. I'm gettin up a pool.

    How long before Rufus starts to cuss?

    Pick your numbers quick. The low one's are goin fast.

  83. You guys run your business forever without changing one word of the terms and conditions. we pass another 5,000 pages of new laws every month.

  84. Doug, if you can show me some proof that manufacturing is declining in the U.S. (the number 1 manufacturing country in the world) I'll never question you again.

  85. The private insurers can enroll no new enrollees (other than subsequent dependents) after Day 1 and you say that's "not much of a deathknell"?

  86. I'm just going to guess that would have something to do with covering "existing" conditions in dependents. Absolutely no way to tell without reading the whole bill.

    If it's really juicy someone will track it down. My guess is, it isn't.

  87. ...well, not until the existing customers die off, Whit!

    Or until they change one word or company policy.

  88. That's not what it says, Whit. I'm sure that's going to end up being something to the effect of: "Certain Conditions (standards) have to be met."

  89. Ash and Rufus still have complete confidence in the Messiah.

    I've never know a Marxist to utter an untruth myself.

    Course I've never known a Marxist up close and personal, either.

  90. No, it says subsequent dependents, (read children, babies, etc.) The Feds will allow them to be enrolled in their parents grandfathered private plans.

  91. Doesn't it feel a bit odd to be defending that proven pack of liars, Rufus?

  92. You guys better pray there isn't any $20.00 oil this year.

    We would be in the beginning of the worst depression in the history of the world.

  93. That is what it says.

  94. ...unless those plans have been changed.
    (as tho the deductible payment of today will still make sense 20 years later.)

  95. I'm not defending the Obamacrats, Doug. But, I AM in favor of "Universal" Healthcare. FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS.

    The Health Insurance Trade Group are "On Board." They've even got "Harry, and Louise" doing Commercials in favor of it.

    That makes me really think you're getting excited about something that's Not there.

  96. Manufacturing In The United States

    A new study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) compiles 1990 and 2005 manufacturing jobs data for every country. On a global scale, productivity is allowing output to grow by about 4 percent a year with no increase in jobs. Interestingly, most countries -- the rich ones through policy, the poorer ones through big additions to capacity -- have maintained or grown their factory job sector.

    A relative handful of countries --
    led by the United States, Britain, Germany and Japan --

    have borne almost all of the losses.

    Between 1990 and 2005, Britain lost 43.5 percent of its manufacturing jobs (2.6 million);

    Germany lost 31 percent of its manufacturing jobs (3.6 million);

    the United States lost 24 percent (5.09 million);

    and Japan lost 22 percent of its manufacturing jobs (3.36 million).

  97. The Dems voted down the Pub plan to not treat illegals equally, Rufus.
    Believe it or don't.

  98. Obama claimed to have Catapiller and the Mayo Clinic on Board.

    But Cat wasn't, and now Mayo says it's a bad bill.

  99. NY Times Lou Uchitelle: The World Bank says that US manufacturing accounts for about 14% of all we make and do. Industrial Production (manufacturing) is down 17.8% in the last 18 months. The highest number since the Great Depression. Some of that will come back but not nearly enough.

  100. Nope, that ain't what you said, Doug. You said Manufacturing is falling. It's NOT (except, of course, for the Recession - But everyone's manufacturing is falling This year.)

    We are using less people to build more stuff. Every Year.

  101. This "illegals" may sneak in there, Doug. But, that doesn't change my opinion that American Citizens should have health care.

    If the Pubs had addressed this when THEY had control they could have gotten better terms. Losing elections (being stupid) has consequences.

    Kind of like worrying about what kind of underwear Mitt Romney wears to church, and nominating the craziest son of a bitch in the Party.

  102. And, thus, guaranteeing the election of a foreign-born, closet-muslim, Marxist to POTUS.

  103. You had better look at where we were at in July, of 08', when our economy was just heading into recession (but, we didn't know it,) Oil was $1.47/bbl, and we were pumping flat-out;

    then compare it to where we're at NOW, and Prognosis for the future.

    It's pretty scary, folks.

  104. And, to make matters worse, "Exports," which the U.S., Europe, China, India, and most of the rest of the world depend on, will fall quicker than "Production."

    This is a result of many oil "Exporting" countries subsidizing domestic consumption which causes their exports to fall faster than their production.

  105. "We are using less people to build more stuff. Every Year."
    I showed you mine:
    Let's see how long yours is!

  106. The Truth Comes Out About Offshoring

    All of this may be about to change. Susan N. Houseman, a good but previously obscure economist with the Upjohn Institute, has discovered a problem in the statistical data that produces phantom US GDP. Phantom GDP results when cost reductions achieved by US firms shifting production offshore are miscounted as US GDP growth. Phantom productivity increases occur when gains from moving design, research and development offshore are counted as increases in US productivity. Obviously, production and productivity that take place abroad are not part of our domestic economy.

    Business Week’s June 18 cover story by MIchael Mandel explains the problem identified by Houseman. Economist Matthew J. Slaughter, a proponent of offshoring, says: “There are potentially big implications. I worry about how pervasive this is.” Business Week says the implications are big. The cover story estimates that 40% of the gain in US manufacturing output since 2003 is phantom GDP.

    Most likely that estimate is low. Consider, for example, that furniture imports have doubled in the past few years (offshored production counts as imports) while US jobs in furniture manufacture have declined 21%. US statistics, however, show that US output and productivity rose even as US manufacturers closed their plants and no new investment went into the industry.

    My hat is off to Business Week. It requires courage for a publication dependent on advertising from global corporations to tell the truth about offshoring.

    Dr. Roberts is an economist who has held numerous university appointments and served as Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury.

  107. Aw, I've shown that chart several times, Doug. It's pretty easy to google. Just google U.S. Manufacturing, growth, etc.

  108. But even if you were 100% correct Rufus, how could one brag about maintaining productivity while losing all the manufacturing jobs?

    Are all the Chrysler and GM workers going to be finding good paying jobs anytime soon?

  109. I googled etc and got:
    "et cetera, a Latin expression meaning "and other things" or "and so on"; /etc , a computer directory found in unix(-like) operating systems .."

    What's up with that?

  110. Now I feel like a powerless Unix.

  111. Teresita replies that Lesbo Unixes are all-powerful.

  112. "How, voters will ask, can we cover 50 million more people without any new doctors or nurses? The answer is to ration health care, with the government deciding who’ll get hip and knee replacements, heart-bypass surgery and other medical treatments. And what does rationing mean? It means that the elderly will be denied care that they can now get whenever they want.

    The Obama plan effectively repeals Medicare, putting a Federal Health Board between the elderly and their doctors. This board will instruct public and private insurance carriers on what procedures are to be approved, at what cost and for what patients.

    The bulk of this rationing will fall on the elderly. We’ll have to revisit the idea that the elderly have, in the words of former Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm, “a duty to die.”

    The more word gets out about what the bill contemplates, the firmer opposition will grow. That’s why Obama wants to push it through now, while he retains some popularity.

    And if the bill passes? The howls of protest from the elderly the first time they’re denied care will be something to behold. It will become evident that the health-care resources being denied to the elderly are going instead to immigrants — legal and not. The anger will be enormous and instant.

    Most Americans aren’t sick and don’t use medical facilities often. But the elderly constantly stay in touch with their doctors and medical providers. The curtailment of that access will become immediately apparent — and in more than enough time for the 2010 elections.
    - Dick Morris

    ht - some guy named "Bob" @ BC

  113. Fair's fair, them La Raza Boys go to the head of the line.

    Grandma gets kicked under the bus.

    Just following our dear leader.

  114. Doug, I read your entry from 2007. It seemed a bit long on "Opinion," and really, really short on "Numbers."

  115. President Obama may have ratcheted up his rhetoric on health care reform, but late today it appeared Democratic support was wavering for the president's goal of passing health care bills in the House and Senate before the August recess.


    This afternoon, Obama met with lawmakers from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including some fiscally conservative Democrats opposed to some measures in the proposed bills, to discuss health care reform.


    Republicans have stepped up their counteroffensive, taking aim at the president and congressional Democrats in speeches around Washington and in a 30-second advertisement opposing his plan for government-run health care.

    Health Care Deadline

  116. 20:19 When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by wielding an axe against them; for thou mayest eat of them, but thou shalt not cut them down; for is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged of thee?

    20:20 Only the trees of which thou knowest that they are not trees for food, them thou mayest destroy and cut down, that thou mayest build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it fall.
    ___JPS, Tanakh (1917)

  117. Doug, remember that 57' Chevy. Okay. Now, forget about the "tail" in the backseat. Just think, for a moment, about what a doggie piece of shit it was.

    How long was the transmission good for? 30,000 miles? The engine? 40,000 miles. gas mileage? what was that? Air Conditioning? Huh? AM Radio, eh? How much oil did it use? A quart every other fillup? How about them electric windows, huh?

    The average Joe had to work more hours to buy that car than his grandson, today, has to work to buy a new Malibu. By quite a bit.

    Come on, Bubba. We ain't never had it so good. We spend 9.6% of Disposable income (income after taxes) on Food. It was almost twice that much back then.

    Remember when your Dad (or a friend's dad) bought the first "Color TV" on the block? It cost about two months income. What does one cost, today? Less than Two Days income?

    How many kids go to college, today, compared to then? When did you'all get Central Air Conditioning? Have I made my point, yet?

  118. $20.00 oil would start a booming economy..

    $12.00 a barrel would be amazing....

    OPEC, Iran, Russia bankrupt.. (except the the Saudis)

    USA, India, China, Japan, Europe's economies taking off like a rocket.

  119. The 1957 Chevrolet was available in three official trim levels: the "one-fifty" series, the mid-range "two-ten" series, and the upscale Bel Air series. An upscale trim option called the "Delray" was available for two-ten 2-door sedans.


    The design of the 1957 Chevrolet is the second and final revision of the 1955 model, the model year Chevrolet introduced its now-famous small-block V-8 — the first V-8 available in a Chevrolet since 1918. It has a displacement of 265 ci (cubic inches).


    Body choices for 1957 included 2 and 4-door sedans (identified by the "posts" between door windows), the two-door hardtop (also known as a sports coupé; the car has no post between the front and back window when the windows are lowered), the four-door hardtop (also known as a sports sedan), the utility coupé, a two-door sedan with a package shelf instead of a rear seat, two styles of two-door station wagon, the top-of-the-line Bel Air Nomad with a sloped pillar behind the hardtop door and sliding windows at the rear seat, and the basic Handyman with an upright sedan B-pillar and a C-pillar where the four-door wagons have one, available only in 150 and 210 trims. The four-door, six-passenger station wagon, the four-door, nine-passenger station wagon (both called Townsman in the 150 series and Beauville for the Bel Air version), and the convertible.

    '57 Chevy

  120. Better figure on $80.00.

    Then, a lot higher.

  121. Well, fellas, the flat screen producers and the DC talk machine will ratchet up interest in the debate.

    The GOP Senators will stand together, for a while.

    Then the "Blue Dogs" will craft a compromise, as the August deadline approaches. The Democrats will unite around that revised and reformed plan, and it'll pass.

    The Leviathan's nose will be in the tent, and with each passing year, the Federal footprint will expand.

    We can quibble over a detail, and perhaps force a change or two in those details of the proposed plan that are most offensive, but the final outcome is as assured Al Franken's win in MN.

  122. No Rufus, you won't even give me a link.
    Thanks, but no thanks.

  123. Socialism beats capitalism,
    cronyism beats co-operation,
    blah, blah, blah.

  124. Are you trying to tell us, allen, that those vandals were building a bulwark with those olive trees?

    Rather than just destroying the property of others with reckless abandon.

  125. "How many kids go to college, today, compared to then?"
    They got educated then.
    Indoctrinated now.
    Most don't know shit from shinola.

  126. A PROPOSED plan to solve California's budget crisis would reduce the State's prison population by 27,000, as opposition to the new fiscal deal mounted.


    The precise details of the budget - designed to plug a $US26.3 billion ($32.3 billion) shortfall in California's finances - have not been released. The budget plan is to be put before lawmakers in Sacramento for approval on Thursday.


    The leader of the 340,000-strong California Teachers Association called on legislators to pass the budget while acknowledging that the cuts would see students return to school to find "fewer teachers, fewer course offerings and fewer resources".

    Freeing 27k Inmates

  127. Ops, sorry Rufus, I linked to Allen's Pic!

  128. Those trees kind of the moral opposite of the Gaza greenhouses.

    The Israeli transfered title of those buildings to the Palis, who razed them. Not wanting to associate themselves with their enemy's property, despite its' economic value.

    The destruction of those buildings have been used to exemplify the barbarity of the Palis.
    While it is true and agreed that those greenhouses were theirs to destroy.

    The Israeli, on the other hand, when it becomes obvious that they will not be able to appropriate the properties of the Palis, destroyed some productive agricultural assets out of spite.

    Same as the Palis did to the greenhouses, but the Israeli did not have title to those trees.

    So they stole their current and future economic value from the Palistinians.

    They were not construting a bulwark, they were merely vandalizing the property of others.

  129. Here, Doug, quit yer whining.


  130. Re: olive trees

    I am not trying to tell you anything; read the clear meaning of the text. To help you comprehend(if that could ever be possible other than at your wake), an olive tree is a "fruit" bearing tree (HINT! HINT! HINT!).

  131. IDF Forces entered Gaza on Tuesday and destroyed a building near the border fence. IDF tanks protected the armored mechanical equipment which knocked down the three story building.

    During the course of the day, terrorists fired on Israelis three times near the border in the area of Ein Hashlosha. No one was injured in any of the incidents.

    Building in Gaza

  132. You've gotta scroll down a bit to:

    1. Industrial production, capacity, and utilization

  133. Once the power precedent is set, there is no goin' back.

    The Associated Press - Anne Flaherty - ‎3 hours ago‎
    WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has irked close allies in Congress by declaring he has the right to ignore legislation on constitutional grounds after having criticized George W. Bush for doing the same

    Presidents stay the course, always have, alway will.

    All the way back to Jefferson and the LA Purchase. Expanding the extraornidary powers of the President while in office, those powers that he had deried the use of, when not.

    It's the nature of the office and the power.

  134. My clear understanding of the verse, allen, the masked men were vandals.

    Pure and simple.

    Masked Zorro Masters.

    Who's to know, fer sur, since they were so ashamed of their actions, they wore masks.

    Surely not the behaviour of rightous men. Even self-rightous men, for that matter.

  135. More in tune with the behaviours of the Knights of the Klu Klux Klan than the Knights of Columbus.

  136. An equivalency in clothing and attitude.

  137. Great post - keep up the excellent work!

  138. This is the 2nd Amendment photo of the decade.

    The cut line ...

    This ain't Iran.
    We ain't runnin'!

  139. The revenge of Lester Crown?

    Senate votes to stop making more F-22 Raptor fighter jets.

    The vote follows Defense Secretary Gates' and President Obama's push to shift more spending to intelligence, personnel and the production of more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters

    Why was General Dynamics not part of the F 22 project, after the designs were approved and the contracts released?

    Wonder how Lester felt about it, not being on the gravey train?

  140. It is enlightening, evidence that the real Americans are forth right in their beliefs.

    No masks, on either side.
    Real men, real Americans.
    A bit kooky, but unashamed.

    The scoundrels of the Middle East, they hide behind masks.

  141. The biggest drop has been on his handling of the economy, down 12 points since February; his disapproval is up 19 points. The most erosion has come not from Republicans or independents but among his own Democrats. Support from conservative and moderate Democrats is down by 18 points. Another group in the party's political base — those earning $20,000 to $50,000 a year — had a drop of 15 percentage points, to 47%.

    That could reflect one reason why moderate Democratic senators and the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats in the House are demanding more cost controls in the health care plan before they'll sign on.

  142. As the intellects at the BC used to say, doug

    It's a Kabuki dance!

    There will be a Health Care Bill passed and signed. Its' content is still in flux. How much impact will the supposed free trade principles of the GOP
    have, if they sit on their hands and say "NO!"?

    Less than if they participated, surely.

  143. DR,

    The sole thing about which you are correct is the lack of righteousness. Other than that, you are, as usual, lost in your own warped/prejudiced perceptions of reality.

    I will make this simple. For a Jew, the violation of any commandment is an afront to G-d, masks notwithstanding. This may stike you as unusal, but the Creator, blessed be HE, has no need for your extrajudicial digressions into fantasy. The violation of a mitzvah is a sin. DR, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  144. DR,

    Sorry to burst your bubble about real men and real Americans, but the perpetrators of the Boston Tea Party were disguised as Indians. Facts can be so darned inconvenient to an ill considered rant.

  145. That chart.

    Truman/Nixon/Bush II all equal lows.

  146. As to the Auzzi Health Care ...

    While my mother was at Barrow's having her brain tumor removed my dad made aquaintence with two Auzzis. The daughter and wife, respectedly, of these men was there for specialty work.

    Work that was beyond the scope of the doctors in Austrailia.
    The Auzzi asked "How about US medicine, costs, coverage etc."
    "Great!", replies gramps, this is all covered by Government and supplemental insurance, nothing out of pocket. How about you guys?"

    "Oh, it was $250,000, prepaid. No insurance coverage, nothing from the Government"

    "Wow, that's a lot of money!"

    "Our mates put it up, for her." says the father.

  147. Those Free Masons, allen, were scoundrels.

    Hung out at a tavern.

    Just because they were our scoundrels does not change that reality.

  148. When was this?

    They've had Medicare and private insurance ever since I've been here.

  149. The Tea Party being an aberration in US history, not the norm.

  150. Year and half, now.

    Maybe those folks did not have the insurance that was available.

    But that his mates raised the money, of that I have no doubt.

    Could happen here, too.
    To any of the tens of millions without $250,000 worth of supplemental coverage, I'd suppose.

  151. But the Government of Oz was not footing the bill, nor would they.

  152. If the doctors in Oz could have done the work, they'd have been okay. But no one there would even try, while the docs at Barrows, they're the whirleds best.
    At least that's what was reported.

    Maybe it was classed as experimental surgery, due to the difficulty.

  153. But gives evidence to the aptness of viktor's link to "Viva Mexico!". The concept of international travel for medical treatment not at all farfetched.

    One of the challeges being that the names of the destinations just do not roll off the Anerican tongue.

  154. Could be. Hard to say without talking to them a little more about it.

  155. And besides, allen, they were Englishmen, in America, in 1773.

    Not natural born Americans, for the most part.

  156. True enough, the story may not well exemplify the system down there.

    But that it required work beyond the level available to patients.

    And that their friends and co-workers raised a sizable chunk of change. Which says alot about the quality of Auzzis, seems to me.

  157. This is how they deal with folk that rant, in Ohio, wi"o".
    With your blog entries, be extra careful with those firearms.

    Just sayin'

    An Ohio man, fed up with deceptive junk mail, made the mistake of losing his temper while on the phone with a St. Louis company pitching an extended auto-service contract. Now he finds himself behind bars, where he is charged with making a terrorist threat.

    According to court documents, Charles W. Papenfus, 43, allegedly told a sales representative during a May 18 telephone call that he would burn down the building and kill the employees and their families.

    He was indicted for making a terrorist threat, a Class D felony; and he could be sentenced to up to four years in prison if convicted.

    Papenfus' wife, Tracie, said she hasn't seen her husband since his arrest on June 27, when he was lured to a Fostoria, Ohio, police station with a false story about being suspected in a tavern fight there. Charles Papenfus, a self-employed mechanic who sometimes works on the department's police cruisers, dropped by the station to clear his name, she said.

    Tracie Papenfus said she still can't understand why her husband is held 450 miles from home at the St. Louis workhouse on a $45,000 bond she can't afford to pay. (That amount could be lowered at bond-reduction hearing scheduled for Monday.)

    "He shouldn't have mouthed off on the phone, but this is overkill," Tracie Papenfus said. "He just can't handle it in there. He's not a criminal. ... They make it sound like he's a terrorist, and he's far from it.

  158. Authorities would not discuss facts of the case, but one official said that business practices of a telemarketing firm shouldn't be a factor.

    "I think all sorts of people get frustrated with all sorts of businesses," said Ed Postawko, chief warrant officer in the Circuit Attorney's Office. "The solution is to don't patronize that business, it's not to break the law. ... Two wrongs don't make a right."

    "... Two wrongs don't make a right.".

  159. Perhaps the most controversial, came from Robert Broadus of Clinton, Maryland, an audience member who had lost his job and replaced it with one that paid him far less money.

    "I decided not to get the health insurance. That's working out for me because I'm able to save that extra money and give it to my family members and use it on myself. Senator Cardin, I want to know are you going to tell me an individual...that I have to buy health care or else you're going to fine me $2,500 every year I don't get it? Our founding fathers assured us we have a Bill of Rights and I want to see you uphold that," Broadus said in an increasingly emotional voice and to scattered applause.

    Cardin responded by asking Broadus what would happen if he became sick, broke a bone, had a car accident and ended up in an emergency room.

    "You don't pay. You are part of the population that shifts its costs over to a person who does pay, and they're paying for you," Cardin said.

    Explaining how hospitals have often to absorb those costs, Cardin said many hospitals would chose simply to leave the community.

    "I just think the overriding public interest is to require you and everyone in this country to have health insurance," Cardin said

  160. "I just think the overriding public interest is to require you and everyone in this country to have health insurance," Cardin said.

  161. The Valley's priciest home sales
    Jul. 22, 2009 12:00 AM
    The Arizona Republic

    The principals of a construction company, a principal of an ecological design firm and founder of a rare-fruit growers group, a criminal defense attorney and two doctors are among the buyers and sellers in this weeks done deals.

    Guy Grierson and his wife, Raylene, of Calgary, Alberta, purchased an 8,414-square-foot home originally built in 2008 at the Goldie Brown Pinnacle Peak Ranch Sub Division in Scottsdale.

    Kathie A. Marouthis of the Delp Company, a professional wealth and risk management and employee-benefits consulting firm in Maumee, Ohio, paid cash for a 6,459-square-foot home with pool originally built in 2008 in the Arcadia district south of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix.

    Brian F. Russo and his wife, Lisa, bought a new home at Goldie Brown Pinnacle Peak Ranch Sub Division in Scottsdale. Brian Russo is a criminal defense attorney practicing in Arizona.

    Robert S. Dudek and his wife, Gina M. Dado, purchased a 7,123-square-foot home originally built in 2008 southeast of the Ancala Country Club in Scottsdale. Robert Dudek, M.D., is an anesthesiologist practicing in Phoenix. Gina Dado, M.D., is an obstetrician and gynecologist practicing in Scottsdale.

    John Walker and his wife, Debbie, of North Barrington, Illinois, paid cash for a 4,223- square-foot home with 750- square-foot pool originally built in 1994 on the greens of the Troon Country Club in Scottsdale.

  162. DR,

    I have no intention of arguing "scoundrel" or "natural born American" with you. On the other hand, I suggest you try reading some autobiographical and biograhical history. You are entitled to your opinion. The participants are entitled to theirs.

    Life is too short to play games. Those who do wrong, do wrong. You may try to twist that any way you choose; it is of no concern to me. The Torah is a lamp unto my feet. Darkness is the inheritence of the blind.

    Today, I spoke with Rabbi Daniel Lapin by telephone. When you get such a call, let me know.

  163. Good for you, allen, a talk radio host that fled South Aftica after the government there started forced resettlements, in the 1970's gave you a call.

    A rabbi to the stars, like Barbra Streisand and Richard Dreyfuss. Cool beans.

    You're right, he wouldn't call me. I have to settle for Congressmen, past aad present.

  164. that I have to buy health care or else you're going to fine me $2,500 every year I don't get it?


    Yes, we do have this.

    If you are single and earn over 100k/year you must have private health insurance or you get fined 1k/year.

    If you're married the threshold is 150k.

  165. The more I read about this fellow, allen, the more familar he seems, doubt the den mother will be impressed

    As he wrote in the National Review: "I know bullies because in grade school I was one myself. In the momma's boy who would not put up a fight against me I found something contemptible, inviting me to humiliate him."

    He was tight with Jack Abramoffm who helped to found Lapin's non-profit Toward Tradition in 1991, and serving as board chair and board member until he was quietly expunged in 2005 after his indictment.

    Birds of a feather, flocking together.

  166. DR:

    I have helped elect members of Congress and state legislatures. You are blind, choosing to see what you wish of the world. I pity you. Be thankful, there is a G-d who does also.

  167. There is a wise rabbi from Mercer Island, Daniel Lapin, who tells his audiences, “The more things change, the more we need to remember things that never change.”


    When my 11-year old wanted to join the Boy Scouts, I was surprised to see plenty of thriving scout troops throughout the Eastside. He joined Troop 600 in Bellevue, which earned some headlines in early June when 12 members received the rank of Eagle Scout at their Court of Honor, which may well be the most at one time in state history.

    It is heartening to see so many boys and young men recognize that the skills and experiences of scouting are relevant no matter how pervasive and prominent technology becomes in our lives.

    Stung by Our Technology

  168. This comment has been removed by the author.

  169. Keep your pity for the deserving, allen.

    I certainly do not deserve or need it.

    My mastery of the fox will see me through, I'm sure.

  170. They Scrapped the F-22!

    The remarkable vote to kill the plane and what it means for America's military future
    By Fred Kaplan.

    This is a big deal: The Senate today voted to halt production of the F-22 stealth fighter plane, and it did so 58-40, a margin much wider than expected.

    Not only is this a major victory for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who lobbied strenuously (something he rarely does) to kill this program, and for President Barack Obama, who pledged to veto the defense bill if it contained a nickel for more F-22s. The vote might also mark the beginning of a new phase in defense politics, a scaling-back of the influence that defense contractors have over budgets and policies

  171. In a July 16 speech at the Chicago Economic Club, Gates noted that the budget is "a zero-sum game." Every defense dollar spent "to fund excess or unneeded capacity" is a dollar unspent on what we need. And nobody can really make a good case on why the F-22 is needed.

    It is no longer possible, Gates went on,

    "to design and buy—as we have the last 60 years—only the most technologically advanced versions of weapons to keep up with or stay ahead of another superpower adversary, especially one that imploded nearly a generation ago.

    … We must break the old habit of adding layer upon layer of cost, complexity, and delay to systems that are so expensive and so elaborate that only a small number can be built, and that are then usable only in a narrow range of low-probability scenarios".

    That's the F-22 in a nutshell.

  172. "Secretary Gates appreciates the careful consideration senators have given to this matter of national security and he applauds their bipartisan support," said spokesman Geoff Morrell.


    In 2009, the Pentagon spent $US2.9 billion on the planes, which cost some $US200 million each. Critics say the fighter, first made during the Cold War, has not been adapted to current conflicts.

    Supporters say that there is a need to ensure US air superiority as China and Russia invest in fighter jets.

    Fighter Program

  173. We don't need'em, anyway. The Congress "outlawed" war, right?

    Oh, wait. That was 1918, wasn't it? How'd that work out?

  174. At least, after killing the F22, even Obama won't dare kill the F35.

    They can out-fight anything the Russians, or the Chinese will be able to put up for a long time.

  175. The UN did, also.

    Well, that's enough for me.

  176. I'm startin to think your're ALWAYS wrong, Rufus!
    Critics Slam Overweight Surgeon General Pick...
    The Worms are left turning themselves inside out.

  177. "and that are then usable only in a narrow range of low-probability scenarios"."
    I always thought survival trumped probablility.

  178. Now the cities are rebelling against Sacramento, threatening to take the rip off Dems to court!

  179. Wrong about what, Doug? That the F35 can outfight anything the Russians, or Chinese can put up?

  180. That, and the rest of the list!
    Denial of Doctor Deficit under Obamacare being a prime example.

  181. The F-22 could outfight anything.
    The 35, a multi-use dog.
    Only time will tell if it's as big a waste as the Harrier.

  182. Harrier



    Marines outta outsource sourcing!

  183. F-22 outdated, unnecessary

    "I reject the notion that we to waste billions of dollars on outdated and unnecessary defense projects to keep this nation secure." missile defense.

    Good that the Messiah Knows All.

  184. Ah, you're being obstreperous. I hate it that they've killed the F22, also; but you're not giving the F35 it's due. It'll still kill MIgs until it runs out of missiles. Then it will "stealthily" make it's way home to reload.

    It's, also, way more versatile. Larger payload, and better for bombing. UAVs are the future, anyway.

  185. And, No Thanks for the "Manufacturing" Graph?

    Can you remember it this time?

  186. Damn, I hoped to keep Rufus up past his bedtime.

  187. I haven't had time to look at it yet, Rufus!
    Remind me tommorrow in case I forgot!

  188. 43. Batman:

    According to the AAMC, the organization that accredits medical schools that meet US standards, 7974 females and 8193 males graduated from accredited medical schools in 2008 for a total of 16,167 new doctors. This number has scarcely changed in recent years. In fact, to the best of my knowledge there have been only a handful of new medical schools that have opened in the past 40+ years. While the population has been increasing greatly the number of new doctors has been increasing very slowly.

    Add to that two other factors. The total number of days (or hours) in the practice of medicine by female graduates cumulatively over their lifetime is lower than the total number of days (or hours) in the practice of medicine by male graduates cumulatively over their lifetime. This has a good side: women bring many wonderful dimensions to medicine and to patient care, and it is a general good to provide opportunities for dedicated competent women to practice medicine. On the other hand the nearly 50/50 gender distribution of medical school graduates means that the same total will work fewer hours over the course of their practice lifetime than their male-heavy graduating classes did decades ago.

    The second factor is the reduction of specialists. Originally this was engineered as a cost saving measure. For example, here in California former Speaker of the Assembly and most powerful politician in the State, Willie Brown, saw that specialists charge more than generalists. So he sought to reduce the number of specialty training programs in the University of California system. When I was doing my residency at UCLA we had 18 residents per class in my specialty at the main campus and an additional 10 at the nearby VA Hospital. Now the combined program has 14 per year, two of whom are on the research track. So whereas we graduated 28 new specialists per class each year in the mid-70’s we now graduate only 14 per year of which only 12 will likely go into practice.

    This has actually created a shortage of specialists. As everyone who took Economics 1A knows, reducing supply while increasing demand inevitably raises prices. In a free market, that is. So we can all see what is coming next.

    If you really wanted to reduce that portion of the health system generated by doctors’ fees, you would embark on a program to triple the number of medical students who graduate each year and at least double the number of specialists. The costs would be front-loaded but within ten years the supply of doctors would start to bite and within twenty years those costs would decline. At the same time health care would increase.

    What we have been doing thus far, and what the impending Obamacare would accelerate, is to increase costs and decrease quality. And this only takes into account doctor fees.

    When one of my patients complained about drug costs I pointed out that she could pay 1960’s prices if she utilized only 1960’s medicines and technology. When she protested the comparison of doctor charges in 1964 with those of 1986 I told her that I would gladly accept the fees she paid in 1964 if she could pay me in 1964 dollars. That was 23 years ago. I’d welcome those 1964 dollars even more today.