August 13, 2009

A FACTOR OF THIRTY

Pres Obama said this during a health care speech:

If a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they're taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that's $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 -- immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. Well, why not make sure that we're also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation, right? That will save us money.

Apparently Medicare only reimburses around $1000 for an amputation, not $30,000.

I want to take something Krauthammer said tonight on Special Report and run with it a little.  He said:

Well, when the president is off, in talking about the fee for an amputation, by a factor of at least thirty, he's got trouble and it makes people worry about all his other so-called facts.  Remember, he's been selling here a free lunch; he says the way I'm going to solve the problem is prevention.  We're gonna put a lot of money in prevention and it's gonna save a lot of money overall.

Krauthammer then goes on to discuss a CBO letter quoting studies that said that preventative medicine actually costs more in the long run, since you're screening far more people who won't end up with whatever disease you're looking for.  The CBO says that all those pittances added up for everyone to get screened for diabetes end up costing more than the couple of feet you have to amputate.

But I want to run in a different direction.  Krauthammer got me going.  The president keeps saying that we're going to save money through preventative medicine.  But he thinks he's comparing "a pittance" to $30,000.  So yeah, that makes it sound like we'll save a ton of money if we can get doctors to prevent having to amputate feet.  Think of how many people we could get in for a simple preventative appointment with their doctor for $30,000!  But if it really costs between $500 and $1000 for an amputation, then that's far fewer preventative appointments for the cost of one amputation.

My question is, Does Pres Obama even know that?  I mean, where did he get this $30,000 figure, which he presents so authoritatively?  And does he know how much smaller the figure really is?

Is he being deceptive or just ignorant?

If he's deceptive, that's despicable.  But I think he's just ignorant.  I think he really believes that, at a reimbursement cost of "a pittance," he can help many more Americans by preventing amputations or tonsilectomies or whatever else he thinks greedy doctors are doing just to make extra money.

But that means he actually thinks that doctors see someone with diabetes and think, "Man, if I just bide my time and fatty here loses his foot, then I can buy a new jet ski!"

I just find it worrisome that Pres Obama thinks we're going to save all this money with his new health care plan because he's overestimating how much we currently spend by a factor of thirty!

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August 07, 2009

THERE IS NO MATH THAT CAN MAKE THIS WORK

Obama vs Mathematics:

But President Obama promised that he would raise taxes only on those in “rich” households.

That’s where the arithmetic gets especially interesting. Funding the new health-care plan on the backs of households making $200,000 or more per year would require permanently increasing their annual total tax payments by about 50 percent. So, for example, a household that currently pays $50,000 in federal income taxes would need to pay another $25,000. Remember, however, that Social Security and Medicare already face enormous shortfalls. Shoring up these programs — another Obama campaign promise — would require collecting 328 percent more tax revenue from the rich. No, we didn’t forget a decimal point: That is three hundred and twenty-eight percent.

Most households making between $200,000 and $500,000 per year would not have enough money to pay their federal, state, and local tax bills, much less eat. Rich households in California or New York would not be able to pay their tax bills regardless of their incomes. And a family of four living in a low-tax state (South Dakota) would need to gross almost $900,000 per year to have enough income left over to reach the poverty line. In fact, there is no mathematical configuration of taxes on the current rich alone — including additional levies on the “super-rich” making more than $1 million per year — that is compatible with putting the nation’s entitlement programs and the new health-care plan on a sustainable course.

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July 21, 2009

PERFECT ALIGNMENT

The Communist Party just lurves Obama (via Amritas).

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July 14, 2009

OBAMA WTF, TAKE TWO

Once again, does Pres Obama really think this is true?

The American and Soviet armies were still massed in Europe, trained and ready to fight. The ideological trenches of the last century were roughly in place. Competition in everything from astrophysics to athletics was treated as a zero-sum game. If one person won, then the other person had to lose. And then within a few short years, the world as it was ceased to be. Make no mistake: This change did not come from any one nation. The Cold War reached a conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years, and because the people of Russia and Eastern Europe stood up and decided that its end would be peaceful.

Liz Cheney lets him have it.

This guy does not live on the same plane of existence as I do...

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THE PRESIDENT PROPOSES A PRONOUN

Does Pres Obama really think this is true?

Over the last several weeks, key committees in the House and the Senate have made important and unprecedented progress on a plan that will lower costs, provide better care for patients, and curb the worst practices of the insurance companies.  It's a plan that will not add to our deficit over the next decade.  Let me repeat that:  It is a plan that will not add to our deficit over the next decade — and eventually will help lower our deficit by slowing the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid.

Yuval Levin remarks at The Corner:

To which any observer of the passing scene must say: What in the world is the president talking about? Where is the committee in the House or Senate that has offered up a bill that will not add to the deficit? What bill would that be? Even in their own terms, with all the gimmicks they’ve been able to come up with, the plans the Democrats have proposed so far are all enormously expensive, and no one has yet proposed a way to pay for them. So what is the “it” the president has in mind exactly?

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June 29, 2009

HONDURAS: OBAMA FAIL

I am just completely flabbergasted by the events in Honduras.

A president decides he wants to be president longer than the law allows.  His country does everything possible to get him to follow the law, but the president keeps abusing his power and acting like a lunatic.  The country respects its constitution and decides to legally and justifiably oust him.

And Obama is siding with him?

I must be missing something, because this is insane.

Remember when all the loony lefties swore that George Bush was going to stage a coup and stay in office a third term?  They went berserk predicting this.  If it had actually happened, you can bet your sweet bippy that they would've used every channel possible to toss him out.  And rightly so: the leader has to respect the law of the land or the citizens get rid of him.

But now a president in another country has actually just done what the nuts swore Bush was going to do, and Pres Obama is backing the would-be dictator.

Oh, and also Castro, Chavez, and Ortega side with Obama too.

Have I gone completely mad?  This is sick.

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June 23, 2009

GOLF MEANS YOU'RE SMART...UNLESS YOU'RE BUSH

Media Cheer Obama's Golf Outings; Criticized Republicans' Trips to Course contrasts the press' fawning over Obama's golf hobby to Bush's.

Gag.

The original article quoted, "Just the sport for a leader most driven," is sickeningly praiseworthy.  Bush is a golfer too, but I don't remember him ever being praised with these compliments:

  • Yet nothing is without deeper meaning where the presidency is concerned. The golfer in chief's approach to the game is subject to analysis in psychological and political contexts.
  • To some, Obama's frequent outings reflect a cool self-confidence. "Given all the things that are going on in the world and with the economy," says sports psychologist Bob Rotella, "you'd think he wouldn't be caught anywhere near the golf course. ... To some degree it says: 'I'm not going to worry about what people say about me. I'm going to do my job, and I'm going to play, too.' "

  • Patience, persistence and the ability to self-critique -- qualities that also serve presidents well -- are crucial in golf.

  • Presidential recreation plays a role in overall image management. As a basketball guy and golfer, Obama is able to demonstrate versatility and broaden his constituency. It shows he's attracted to both fast-paced team play and a painstakingly slow individual endeavor. It also reflects his crossover appeal in terms of race and class.

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June 19, 2009

NOT THE CHANGE WE COULD BELIEVE IN

Here's another toldyaso for Bush's breakfast table, this time from Andrew Sullivan:

We need to start confronting the president at his events. We need civil disobedience. We need to tell him we do not want another fricking speech where he tells us he is a fierce advocate for our rights, when that is quite plainly at this point not true. [...] I worked my ass off to get this man to power.

Now don't get me wrong, I am happy that Democrats are pointing out Obama's flaws.  I did the same with Bush.  (Oh, and that link is hilarious: Andrew Sullivan was a different man five years ago.)  I encourage Democrats to speak out when their guy is not representing them.  I want them to see Pres Obama for who he really is, not some blank slate they project onto.

But I find the "this isn't the change we could believe in" remorse to be amusing.

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June 17, 2009

TOLDYASO

You know what I really hope is happening? I really hope over breakfast, George Bush points out stories in the paper to Laura and smugly snickers, "Dude, I told you this would happen. I told you once he got in office, he'd start to grok the enormity of the job."

Via CaliValleyGirl:

The Obama administration is declining to release documents that would identify visitors to the White House, embracing a legal position taken by the Bush administration, according to a watchdog group that filed a federal lawsuit over access to the records.

The group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed its lawsuit after being denied access to Secret Service records, including White House entry and exit logs, that would identify coal and energy industry visitors.

The government's refusal to release the records contrasts with President Barack Obama's pledge of transparency.

I also got a chuckle out of Roseanne Barr's rant that everyone has gotten snowed by Obama because he's not really doing anything different.  And the Bill Maher rant was excellent.  Choice bit:

I mean, selling the personal part to stay popular, I'm all for it, but you got us already. We like you, we really like you! You're skinny and in a hurry and in love with a nice lady. But so's Lindsay Lohan. And like Lohan, we see your name in the paper a lot, but we're kind of wondering when you're actually going to do something.

And this:

Obama needs to start putting it on the line in fights against the banks, the energy companies and the healthcare industry. I never thought I'd say this, but he needs to be more like George W. Bush. Bush was all about, "You're with us or against us."

Obama's more like, "You're either with us, or you obviously need to see another picture of this adorable puppy!"

I hope George Bush is enjoying his toldyaso.  And listening to the song "Won't Get Fooled Again" often.

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June 12, 2009

I MUST BE HIGH BECAUSE I DO NOT GET THIS

My brother just told me about some legalization of marijuana stuff that he was commending Pres Obama for. I decided to look it up, and I am more confused than ever.

I used to get so annoyed when people would blame anything bad that happened on Pres Bush. Didn't find the WMDs after giving Saddam months of advance notice that we were invading? Bush's fault. Economic troubles that started under the Clinton administration? Bush's fault. Hurricane hits New Orleans? Bush's fault.

Similarly, I will be quite annoyed if a trend starts where everything good that happens is attributed to Pres Obama, even if he opposes it and has nothing to do with it.

After four decades of mindless prohibition and draconian prison sentences for addicts and casual users, the first four months of the Obama era have seen a rapid turn toward rationality.

So far so good in paragraph one. Let's see what Obama has been doing in the realm of weed, because I simply haven't been following it. So then I get to paragraph three:

But while states like California and New York are challenging the fundamentals of prohibition and punishment that have governed America's drug policy since the Nixon era, the Obama administration is largely staying the course. The president, who has blasted the drug war as an "utter failure," has nonetheless delegated oversight of drug policy to one of the chief architects of that failure: Vice President Joe Biden, who coined the term "drug czar" and steered the passage of the nation's harsh drug sentences as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Far from scaling back funding for drug interdiction and law enforcement, the administration's 2010 budget increases the levels established under George W. Bush. And despite the growing bipartisan discussion among state leaders about decriminalizing marijuana, Kerlikowske tells Rolling Stone that legalization is not up for debate "under any circumstances." [emphasis mine]

So, pray tell, why does "the Obama era" get the credit for any of this? Obama doesn't seem to have done squat; the rest of the article gives most of the credit to Schwarzenegger and Webb.

Political pressure to end the War on Drugs is building in surprising quarters. In recent months, three distinct rationales have converged to convince a growing number of politicians — including many on the center-right — to seriously consider the benefits of legalizing marijuana.

Huh? Center-right Republicans are becoming more open to the idea of legalization, and somehow Obama gets all the credit in the opening paragraph?

And then there's this: 366-day sentence for pot dispensary owner

I have followed that story, and that man should not be in jail, period. Get your federal laws off him; this should be a states issue. But let's see what credit Obama gets here:

A federal judge sentenced the owner of a Central California medical marijuana dispensary to a year and a day in prison Thursday, spurning the Obama administration's push to give the defendant five years imprisonment in a test case of new federal policies toward state pot laws. [emphasis again mine]

Oh wait, the Obama administration pushed for a longer sentence. All hail the Obama era!

Obama hasn't done anything to help legalize marijuana or let people off who were clearly in the right under state laws. Rolling Stone needs to stop attributing anything to "the Obama era." And to think that McCain was called McSame during the campaign...

Wouldn't it be awesome if the intrastate commerce clause folks who are working on gun rights in Montana teamed up with the intrastate medicinal marijuana folks in California and turned the 10th Amendment inside out? Guns and weed, teaming up together for Change We Can Believe In!

****

For the record, I don't smoke pot, have never smoked pot, and am about the biggest anti-pot person you can meet, for the reasons South Park lays out:

Well, Stan, the truth is marijuana probably isn't gonna make you kill people, and it most likely isn't gonna fund terrorism, but...well son, pot makes you feel fine with being bored and it's when you're bored that you should be learning some new skill or discovering some new science or being creative. If you smoke pot you may grow up to find out that you aren't good at anything.

But just because I think it's lame doesn't mean I think it should be illegal.

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June 02, 2009

ZERO CHANCE

I have a friend who voted for McCain and loved Palin...but who now is thrilled with Obama and would vote for him in 2012.  And this friend wants me to be open-minded about considering voting for him too.

I'd love to dismiss this as the passing fancy of a politically unserious person, but I just can't seem to stop thinking about it.  Every time I am confronted with the badness of Pres Obama, I have this urge to point it out to my friend as one more reason why things are far worse than I can stomach.  Such as this graph from Cass' post:



I can't seem to let it go that this friend doesn't see the badness of Obama.  CaliValleyGirl pointed out to me that now she understands how people felt about Pres Bush.  How it feels to think your president is a buffoon who has no idea what he's gotten himself into.

In contrast to the Bush haters though, I don't think Pres Obama is evil.  I just think he wants to live in a USA that looks nothing like the USA I want to live in.  But he has the power now to get his way and I don't.  I feel impotent as so many enormous changes are altering my country forever.  I am aghast, and I am even more aghast that there are people who are not aghast.

And as much as I feel like bombarding my friend with email after email of all the horrifying things Pres Obama is doing, I don't.  As Lawrence Auster said, "the badness of what Obama is doing, and the amount of it, and the complexity of it, is overwhelming and I frankly find it hard to take it in and form a view of it."

All I can do is politely tell my friend that, no, there is zero chance of me voting for Obama in 2012.

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May 23, 2009

HAHA



I wish I had made that caption up, but it actually came with the article Sobbing Kindergarteners Snubbed for Steelers?.  I got a screenshot because I thought it was too funny to be true.

Keep it up, Obama.  Keep making the people who voted for you mad.

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May 19, 2009

WHY DOES HE GET TO MEET NETANYAHU?

Yesterday, presented Rachel Lucas style:


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May 16, 2009

INTERESTING

An interesting tidbit on Pres Obama from an old Christopher Hitchens article:

[David Freddoso's book] has the fairly easy task of showing that Obama comes from a far more “left” milieu than any Democratic nominee before him. I believe I could prove this by my own unaided efforts: when Newsweek’s Jon Meacham asked both presidential candidates for a sample of their reading matter, he got back a fairly strong list from each. Obama gave John Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle where someone else might have been content to put The Grapes of Wrath. Whereas the latter is about suffering and stoicism, the former is about how the field hands finally rebel, and how the “organizer” helps them to do so.

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April 16, 2009

NO, I WAS NOT A DEADHEAD

For the readers who went to my high school: How many Deadheads did we have at our school? I swear, most days it looked like students were cutting class to follow Phish. I can think of at least three cars that had Grateful Dead-themed license plates, and many more that had dancing bears on them.

And when I wrote my graduation speech and made the joke about Deadheads, our principal read it and said, "Whaaat? The Grateful Dead is popular?" I remember immediately thinking that she was far too out of touch to be a good principal. One walk through our hallways or parking lot would've knocked her over with tie-dye and patchouli, but she was oblivious to a huge trend among her students.

I was reminded of this today when I heard ABC's statement that "The White House says the president is unaware of the tea parties and will hold his own event today."

Wow, seriously? He didn't even know that thousands of citizens were protesting yesterday? Not he didn't care or he didn't think it was significant (guh, neither OK in my book), but he didn't know?

Out of touch, dude. Out of touch.

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March 23, 2009

YOU THINK OBAMA IS HIDING IN A CLOSET AND CRYING À LA ELLIOT FROM SCRUBS YET?

And the hits just keep coming.

President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela called President Obama “ignorant” on Sunday, saying he has a lot to learn about Latin America.
[...]
Mr. Chávez said: “If Obama respects us, we’ll respect him. If Obama tries to keep disrespecting Venezuela, we will confront the North American empire.”

Bwahaha. But I thought the whole world would love us and sing kumbaya once Obama was elected? I thought Obama was a "citizen of the world" who chided us all for not speaking French (even though he can't) and never met a dictator he couldn't sit down and negotiate with?

You mean to tell me that actually Obama doesn't even know that there are different formats for movies throughout the world (something I learned in French class in high school; maybe if he'd taken French, he would've learned it too) and that he can't magically make dictators love us just by kissing their butts?

And his mere fact of existence doesn't change the world into a Garden of Eden?

Say it isn't so.

(Link via David B.)

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March 21, 2009

IT'S HARD TO BOWL WITH YOUR FOOT IN YOUR MOUTH

When I was in grad school, I volunteered as a scorekeeper for the school's wheelchair basketball team. One of the players was my classmate and friend, and he took me to a practice one day, got me a chair, and taught me the basics.

Wheelchair basketball is really hard.

You try dribbling a ball while pushing a wheelchair with both hands. And while other wheelchairs are crashing into you trying to steal the ball. And then shoot a basket from a seated position, with just your arm strength.

I thought about that when I heard Obama belittled the Special Olympics. Sporting events for people with disabilities is no joke. They are not "sports for people who are bad at sports." Guard Wife is right that disabled bowlers would score way higher than Obama did.

The best quote on this issue came from The Anchoress: "And now, I guess I understand what all the folks on the left used to feel when they claimed the president 'embarrassed' them."

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March 17, 2009

SMOOTH MOVE, OBAMA

I am alive, in case you were wondering. I just don't have anything good to say. Rachel Lucas, on the other hand, lays into Obama for suggesting that our wounded warriors be covered by private insurance instead of the VA. The "blow" line was a nice touch.

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March 12, 2009

COVERING FOR OBAMA

Here's another example of someone covering for Obama. She worked with him when he was president of the Harvard Law Review, but didn't say anything while he was running for president because she "thought maybe it wasn't fair." But now that he's elected and a disaster, she's on record saying that he's always been this way:

[W]hen he was at the HLR you did get a very distinct sense that he was the kind of guy who much more interested in being the president of the Review, than he was in doing anything as president of the Review.

A lot of the time he quote/unquote "worked from home", which was sort of a shorthand - and people would say it sort of wryly - shorthand for not really doing much. He just wasn't around. Most of the day to day work was carried out by the managing editor of the Review, my predecessor, a great guy called Tom Pirelli whose actually going to be one of the assistant attorney generals now.

He's the one who did most of the day to day work. Barack Obama was nowhere to be seen. Occasionally he would drop in he would talk to people, and then he'd leave again as though his very arrival had been a benediction in and of itself, but not very much got done.

We're boned. We are so boned.

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March 11, 2009

UNILATERALIST

A quote from the State Department:

The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: "There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment."

That arrogant, cowboy, unilateralist administration! Don't they care about our allies? Don't they care about diplomacy?

Oh wait, it wasn't Bush?

Bah, forget it then.

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