Adulthood’s End

March 22, 2010

I do love the Obamacare provision that everyone up to age 26 is now deemed to still be a child for insurance and education purposes.

H.L. Mencken said that democracy is the theory that the people know what they want and they deserve to get it good and hard.

I can’t wait to see what happens next. My predictions:

Bart Stupak and Ben Nelson start getting hotel rooms together and ordering room service, since neither can go out in public anymore.

Republicans offer an amendment to raise the drinking age to 26.

Barack and Michelle dust off their Jesus and Mary Magdalene costumes and rock the Lincoln bedroom.

Joe Biden calls the House to order to cut off Republican amendments to the Senate bill. Nancy Pelosi calls Joe’s nurses to tell them he’s wandered off again.

Glenn Beck has lip quivers, but doesn’t actually cry tomorrow.

Barack Obama declares by executive order that Cheerios multi-grain is the National Cereal. Michelle gives it up fibre-channel for the first time.

The Pro-Life movement, regretfully, calls out the winged monkeys.

Republicans sternly feign  principles.

Jesus says, Fuck this, I’m not going back there.

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You’re gonna pay me when I’m gone

March 20, 2010

Why are so many Democrats willing to fall on their swords this year for their zombie masters? Because they’ve been promised goodies untold after they leave office. This is how the game is now played. Ethics rules apply only while you’re still an official. Wink wink nudge nudge, speaker fees, job opportunities, locked-in clients….the family will take care of you.

But we can folllow what happens with each of these fuckers once they leave office. We can see how they are rewarded. I love the Internet.

You have to be a fat clueless old-school dumbshit like Charlie Rangel to take your graft while in office. I think it is nice though that the congressional leadership rallies to protect drooling assholeslike Charlie. They’re probably just hoping his fat ass will die before he’s indicted, but it’s still nice to see velociraptor Pelosi try to protect one of her own. It’s Jurassic Park 3 cute.

Consider that little shit Bill Cllinton who’s been doing nothing but collecting fat Arab paychecks for the last decade.  George Bush may have held sheikh whatever-the-fuck’s hand, and Barack may have bowed like the big-eared little bitch he is, but Clinton’s tongue is so far up the sheik’s ass for a few million dollars that it’s no wonder Hilary won’t kiss him. Bill Clinton’s income from the Saudis in the last decade is 10 times what the average American makes in a lifetime.

The PelosiReid zombies have imported this corruption. Instead of foreign lobbyists filling the pension coffers of cheap day-trading traitors like Clinton, the Democratic Party is now paying off congresscritters to fall on their golden parachutes.


The Earmark of the Beast

March 20, 2010

One of the ways that the Powers that Pee on You and Me keep us distracted is by inciting indignance about the cost of  “pork” and “earmarks.”

The truth is that earmarks don’t cost much of anything. If they were actually all eliminated, it would make no noticeable deficit difference.

It’s been said that a little bit of private money can buy a whole lot of public money. And that’s true, and that’s where the game is really played.

A similar aphorism about earmarks would be that a little bit of public money can buy a congresscritter’s vote. Every earmark is a bribe.

That’s what should really piss you off about earmarks. You should presume, without exception or mercy, that each earmark is proof positive of having been bribed. Some congresscritters have recently pledged to refuse such bribes. Good for them. If they violate that pledge, I suggest another Bastille Day is in order.

The earmark game has become so blatant lately that it’s obvious I’m right. The “Louisiana Purchase.” The “Cornhusker Kickback.” I want to drive the point home: Never forget that every earmark is a bribe. There is always a quid pro quo. Anti-earmark whores like John McCain are trying to quit The Life. So they say. They’re not role models. They’re whores trying to quit.

And let’s not forget the flip side: earmarks are the carrot; threatening currently funded pork is the stick. We’ll close that base. You won’t get those DARE funds next year. Too bad about those potholes on the federal highway running through your state.

Not even strict term limits will make a dent in this problem. Earmarks are just the most obvious and first bribe offered.


The Brute Facts about Health Care

March 19, 2010

This sat in my drafts a while because, I realized, I was trying to turn it into an essay. That wasn’t working because the whole point of this post is to make a simple list of obvious things–living room gorilla things–that liberals and idiots who bleat “health care is a right” refuse to acknowledge. So, only slightly ordered, the list:

  • Health care is an economic good. Even if you think that health care should be a right, you must deal with the fact that its availability and quality are subject to the same dynamics that determine the prices and quality of high-def TV’s. If you don’t admit this, you’re as fucking dumb as someone who thinks that making a recreational drug illegal stops people from using it. If you don’t take economic dynamics into account when proposing policy, you are a stupid menace.
  • No law that hasn’t been read and understood by most legislators voting for it can be a good law, unless you think that ignorance is bliss. How did that sausage get made?
  • No law that is more than 100 pages can be a good law. I’d actually prefer to say 5 here, but I’m accounting for triple spacing and large fonts and such.
  • Innovation is the most important thing in health care–the woman that Obama is shilling who’s being treated for leukemia without insurance, at high cost: what would here fate have been 50 years ago, regardless of universal health care? 200 years ago, they’d have put leeches on her. Nobody would accept 100% coverage at the level of care available 50 years ago. Or even 10 years ago.
  • The state-of-the-art for economic goods (of which health care is one) is always horrendously expensive. Only rich people or those who have taken a lot of money from rich people can afford them. I have a 61″ TV that cost $1200 (I got a deal) because 10 years ago several rich men got a 40″ TV that cost $50,000 and they got it a decade before I got a good TV. If you don’t accept that the rich get better TVs and health care, you will kill innovation in both TVs and health care. And your child will die of a disease that she could have been saved from while watching a hospital TV smaller than it needed to be.
  • Health care will be rationed one way or another because it is an economic good. There isn’t an unlimited supply. What’s the best way to ration? Price? Government mandates about your behavior, your age, your social utility? Insurance company rulings about what’s in and out of “the standard of care”?
  • Pure price rationing drives innovation best. It makes the rich pay huge amounts to make things work that the rest of us can afford. Like TVs. Actual effectiveness of health care depends almost entirely on innovation, not universality. Anything that reduces innovation condemns us all to old treatments that really do suck compared to the innovations that happen every day in America.
  • Let me put it another way: the possibility of wild rewards for wild risks drives innovation. (NOTE: the drug companies have taken this lottery ticket factor and turned it into a predictable business. Nearly all drugs they try don’t work out. Is it a bad thing that they’ve professionalized this?)
  • We wouldn’t have a health care cost crisis if health care weren’t improving. So it’s important to understand why health care keeps improving. Should health care keep improving? Most of the innovations in health care keep people alive longer who are not contributing much economically. Old people (statistically) are rich. They’re scared shitless of dying and willing to pay a lot not to, unless we take away their choices and incentives.
  • Health insurance is very different from other insurance. Other insurance guards against unusual events that affect a small minority of people. The point of insurance is that everyone who is at small risk from an unusual event pools their money to even out the risk for the unlucky few. What do $10 co-pays for well baby visits have to do with that? Insurance is a shitty model for dealing with events that are likely and common for most people. (NOTE: Except for term, life insurance doesn’t fit this model, since everyone dies. Except for term, note how much life insurance costs. If you want to advocate a health care model like whole life insurance, let’s go. I’ll just say that whole life isn’t really insurance but an investment plan. And not a great one.)
  • You cannot cover more people without it costing more. The notion that ER care really costs more is bullshit. I have learned a little bit about how emergency room economics works, how they radically over-bill for those who aren’t insured. First, they swing for the fences. I took an adult to an ER recently and he was there less than 2 hours and they did nothing except calm him down and draw blood. I signed for him because I was so worried. $7000 bill to me. I paid not a penny of it, eventually, because I’m not (shock!) easily intimidated. My point is that the costs that are reported for ER treatment are wildly list price inflated. Think: why should ER treatment be all that more expensive than any other kind? The US system is riddled with bullshit accountancy.  But there’s extreme arbitrage too. It’s really costing about what it’s costing, no matter the sign on the door. Covering people with insurance won’t much change it except make it slightly worse, since people who before would only go to ERs will take advantage of that $10 copay.
  • Fixing health care by cutting out waste and fraud is a fantasy.  First of all, by the most generous estimates, fraud and waste are 20% of the problem.  Handling all fraud is a discount, not a solution.  Nobody talks much about waste and fraud for lettuce prices or plasma TVs, do they?
  • There’s a thick gray line called malingering. Any government or even flat rate medical system encourages people to act as sick and disabled as possible. No campaign against waste and fraud short of Arbeite Macht Frei is going to make a difference from the top down. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m in favor of bottom-up price rationing.

Robert Heinlein wrote about a society where extreme longevity became a possibility, but it couldn’t be distributed evenly. The result was horrible.

I think his point was that when it comes to my life and death, I’m going to claw and grasp and do whatever it takes to get to the front of the line and not drown. And I will hate everyone in front of me. And I will destroy everything if I have to.

Maybe we all will be happier if we die together, and our grandchildren die of the same things we do, as long as nobody makes it out alive if we don’t. Maybe this is an existential debate and politics and economics mean nothing if they don’t satisfy everyone’s justified fears of going alone into the great dark.

In extemis, everything in us wants more to draw one more breath more than to save millions not born yet.

That’s what Pelosi and Reid and Obama are counting on to make you go along with them. No more and no less than the most primitive religious leaders, they play on your fear of death to make you submit to their rule.

Bring on the leeches. For everyone.

UPDATE: Via the Washington Post, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study finds that the uninsured go to the ER no more than those with insurance. People go to the ER mainly because they want care right now, not because they’re uninsured. In Massachusetts, ER visits went up after socialized medicine was implemented, presumably because of longer wait times for regular care. Guess who does use ER’s more than the privately insured and the uninsured? Medicare and SCHIP patients–I presume also because they have to wait longer to see a doctor than most people. The point here is that if wait times for other kinds of care are the main driver of ER visits, then socialized medicine, which is notorious for ridiculous wait times, is going to increase ER usage. I wonder if this has proven to be the case in Canada and England, or if ER triage has become more draconian (or, hey, get the wait times in the ER up high enough, and you can discourage people from going).


They can’t move forward until I mail it back

March 19, 2010

In the past, I’ve filled out the census as snarkily as possible, hoping against hope for a visit or call from a flunkie functionary. Never happened, sadly.

This year, I encourage everyone to resist the temptation to list their race as “Heinz 57” or “European-American” and sex as “Prick” and “Cunt.” In crayon. Just refuse outright to reply to the Census. Snark is no longer enough.

The TV campaign encourages you to fill out the census so you can get your “fair share” of government largesse. No mention or hint about its Constitutional intent. Although that has been perverted into nothing but gerrymander-fodder anyway.

The Census is technologically outmoded, as much as slavery is morally outmoded. There are innumerable ways to achieve the statistical purposes of the Census. It’s a complete waste of money, except for the duopoly chess players who use it to draw jaggedy shapes that guarantee themselves life tenure and to figure out where to open ACORN offices.

No rational human being who isn’t part of the problem has any reason to fill out the census. Except fear of the Feds.

So what about the $5,000 fine? “So what?” is exactly right.

The truth is there’s not a goddamn thing the government can or will do to you if you refuse to fill out the census. Trust me, the last thing they want to do is try to fine a loudmouth like me or you. And they don’t have current statutory authority to do it–they’re not set up to do jack shit if you refuse to play. They’ve NEVER made good on this threat yet. And the last thing they want to see is me or you on Breitbart and/or Hannity. Especially they don’t want to see me because I’m pretty articulate and housebroken in polite company, though you couldn’t tell it from this blog.

If you’re afraid to tell the Feds to go fuck themselves over something this minor, you’re not going to be much good if the shooting back starts, are you?  Think of refusing to fill out the Census as a nice, safe way to begin a fine career in civil disobedience.

And, if they really can’t move forward if you don’t mail it back, isn’t that the best reason of all?  Not sending back the census is a wish your heart makes.

UPDATE: Via Nicholas Strakon at The Last Ditch:

The (taxpayer) money the regime is spending to wheedle people to participate illustrates one thing, assuming you were in any doubt. With respect to this particular kind of government snooping, the old slogan of the Borg is reversed: RESISTANCE … IS … EASY.