Monday, November 25, 2013

Your Move, Global Warming Alarmists. Science Has Exposed Your Unwarranted Hysteria - Forbes


The authors of the report do not deny that there is some effect of warming the planet from mankind's emissions of CO2, primarily from use of traditional carbon fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas.  The argument is over how big of an effect that is, how that compares to natural causes of climate change, and whether the human caused effect threatens a catastrophe, or even severe distress, to human civilization and the environment.  The conclusion of the report is that the U.N.'s IPCC has exaggerated the amount of global warming likely to occur due to mankind's emissions of CO2, and the warming that human civilization will cause as a result "is likely to be modest and cause no net harm to the global environment or to human well-being."  The primary, dominant cause of global climate change is natural causes, not human effects, the report concludes.  "The hypothesis of human-caused global warming comes up short not merely of 'full scientific certainty' but of reasonable certainty or even plausibility," the report states.
The fundamentals of the argument is that CO2 is not some toxic industrial gas, but a natural, trace gas constituting just 0.038% of the atmosphere.  For readers disadvantaged by excessive exposure to the party propaganda organ called the New York Times, that is less than 4/100ths of one percent.  The report states, "At the current level of 400 parts per million, we still live in a CO2-starved world.  Atmospheric levels (of CO2) 15 times greater existed during the pre-Cambrian period (about 550 million years ago) without known adverse effects," such as catastrophic global warming.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2013/09/22/your-move-global-warming-alarmists-science-has-exposed-your-unwarranted-hysteria/

In addition, the temperature impact of increased concentrations of CO2 declines logarithmically.  Or as the report says, “Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2)…exerts a diminishing warming effect as its concentration increases.”  That means there is a natural limit to how much increased CO2 can effectively warm the planet, as the effect of more and more CO2 ultimately becomes negligible as CO2 concentration grows.  Maybe that is why even with many times more CO2 in the atmosphere in the deep past, there was no catastrophic global warming.
What has been devastating to the theory of catastrophic, man caused, global warming is that there has been no significant increase in global temperatures for 16 years, even a slight cooling in more recent years.  Yet, during that time mankind’s emissions of CO2 that were supposed to be causing global warming continued to explode, with one third of all CO2 added to the atmosphere since the industrial revolution occurring during this period.  

Wishful Thinking Can't Hold Obamacare Together - Bloomberg


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-19/wishful-thinking-can-t-hold-obamacare-together.html
 This is part of McArdle's game theory analysis of obamacare with regard to the dance between politicians and the insurance industry.

"But it's such a small minority" is the administration's rejoinder; the entire individual market covers just 5 percent of the population, and some of those people will be net beneficiaries of Obamacare, thanks to the subsidies. This logic was always a bit shaky -- all the people who are ultimately expected to get additional coverage from the new law, including the Medicaid expansion, amount to only 7.5 percent of the population, so if 5 percent is too small to worry about, then probably so is the number of uninsured. But it's not even true. I mean, it's true that only 5 percent of the population gets its coverage from the individual market. But Obamacare is also making significant changes in the employer market. Twelve percent of workers are expected to be affected by the "Cadillac tax" on especially generous health-care benefits when it kicks in in 2018. When those people find out that they too will be in the group of people who can't keep their plan, even though they like it, they will be livid. The unions, who will be disproportionately affected by this, are already getting restive.

George Will: John F. Kennedy the conservative - The Washington Post


Folks will use the dead president's legacy to whatever purpose they would like to make it serve.  This is an interesting presentation of JFK as conservative, with LBJ being a much more transformative figure.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/geoege-f-will-john-f-kennedy-the-conservative/2013/11/20/92be8164-513d-11e3-a7f0-b790929232e1_story.html

He did not have history-shaping effects comparable to those of his immediate predecessor or successor. Dwight Eisenhower was one of three Americans (with George Washington and Ulysses Grant) who were world-historic figures before becoming president, and Lyndon Johnson was second only to Franklin Roosevelt as a maker of the modern welfare state and second to none in using law to ameliorate America's racial dilemma.
The New York Times' executive editor calls Kennedy "the elusive president"; The Post calls him "the most enigmatic" president. Most libidinous, certainly; most charming, perhaps. But enigmatic and elusive? Many who call him difficult to understand seem eager to not understand him. They present as puzzling or uncharacteristic aspects of his politics about which he was consistent and unambiguous. For them, his conservative dimension is an inconvenient truth. Ira Stoll, in "JFK, Conservative," tries to prove too much but assembles sufficient evidence that his book's title is not merely provocative.

JFK’s Berlin blunder - The Washington Post

No wonder he was so frustrated he sought solace with the interns.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jfks-berlin-blunder/2011/08/12/gIQAGOcxBJ_story.html

Khrushchev treated Kennedy with brutal disdain. In excruciating pain from his ailing back and pumped full of perhaps disorienting drugs by his disreputable doctor (who would lose his medical license in 1975), Kennedy said that it was the "worst thing in my life. He savaged me." British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan said, "For the first time in his life, Kennedy met a man who was impervious to his charm." Kempe writes, "From that point forward Khrushchev would act more aggressively in the conviction that there would be little price to pay." Kempe says that when Robert Kennedy met with his brother back in Washington, "Tears were running down the president's cheeks."
As Khrushchev turned up the temperature on Berlin, Kennedy studied the modalities of conducting a nuclear war. On July 25, he gave a nationally televised address, referring 17 times to the U.S. commitment to West Berlin, although the entire city was under four-power (U.S., Soviet, British, French) rule.
On July 30, in a Sunday morning television interview, Sen. William Fulbright said: "I don't understand why the East Germans don't close their border because I think they have a right to close it." He was wrong regarding the four powers' rights, and five days later he apologized for giving "an unfortunate and erroneous impression." But Kennedy, who did not dispute Fulbright's mistake, evidently welcomed it.
After Aug. 13, an unsympathetic Kennedy, who never asserted the indisputable legal right of free movement of people throughout Berlin, told New York Times columnist James Reston that East Germans had had 15 years to flee to the West. Reston wrote that Kennedy "has talked like Churchill but acted like Chamberlain." 

RealClearPolicy - New Evidence Raises Doubts on Preschool for All


By way of background, I'm a developmental psychologist by training and spent the majority of my career designing and evaluating programs intended to enhance the cognitive development of young children. For instance, I directed a national Head Start Quality Research Center; created a program, Dialogic Reading (which is a widely used and effective intervention for enhancing the language development and book knowledge of young children from low-income families); and authored an assessment tool, the Get Ready to Read Screen, that has become a staple of early intervention program evaluation. My point is that I care about early childhood education and believe it is important -- as witnessed by how I spent my professional life for 30 years.
My career since 2001 has largely been about advancing evidence-based education, which is the endeavor of collecting and using the best possible evidence to support policy and practice in education. Since the president's state of the union address, I've been writing that the evidence is decidedly mixed on the impact of the type of preschool investments the president has called for and that we now see in the legislation introduced in Congress. It may seem in the pieces I've written that I'm wearing only my evidence-based education hat. But in fact if you're an advocate of strengthening early childhood programs, as I am, you also need to pay careful attention to the evidence -- all of it. Poor children deserve effective programs, not just programs that are well-intentioned.
http://www.realclearpolicy.com/blog/2013/11/20/new_evidence_raises_doubts_on_obamas_preschool_for_all_742.html
Should you be able to take people's money at gunpoint and give it to an industry without proof that the desired effect will take place?

Pseudo-Economics


http://cafehayek.com/2013/11/pseudo-economics.html

The world is full of people who do not understand economics.  That's not a sin or a crime.  The world is full also of lots of people who do not understand ancient Greek texts, matrix algebra, the consequences of the Peace of Westphalia, and how to make authentic cajun gumbo.  But as one of my brilliant colleagues, Bryan Caplan, points out with special clarity, most people who do not understand these latter things do not fancy that they understand these latter things.  The typical person ignorant of any mathematics beyond basic arithmetic doesn't go about in public pretending to be expert in matrix algebra.
Economics is different.  People who have no exposure to the economic way of thinking typically think that they understand sufficiently the logic of markets to comment critically upon real-world market processes.  As frustrating as this reality is – with its incessant outpouring of wrongheaded diagnoses and demands for this or that government intervention – it's a reality that ain't gonna go away.


A Little Knowledge is A Dangerous Thing at Steven Landsburg | The Big Questions: Tackling the Problems of Philosophy with Ideas from Mathematics, Economics, and Physics



I like this analysis, but the author doesn't mention that an assumption of the "complainant" is that carbon is pollution - it's anything but that!

Sent by a reader:


(Click to enlarge.)
Some questions for the economics students:
  • Which vertical line segment illustrates the carbon tax revenue?
  • Which vertical line segment illustrates the compensation paid by the government?
  • Where does the difference come from?
  • What difference would it make if you changed the axis labels from "Polluting Products" and "Non-Polluting Products" to "Watermelon" and "All Things That Are Not Watermelon"?
Answers below.
Answer key: On the vertical line segment descending from B*, the distance from the black line to the red line represents tax revenue (measured in units of "clean products"). The longer vertical line segment descending from B* all the way to the red line represents compensation paid by the government. The difference comes from — hrm. We don't seem to have that information.
So what this sign proves is that if you pay $100 in carbon taxes and get back a $150 gift from the government, you might be better off. As a bonus, it also proves that if you pay $100 in watermelon taxes and get back a $150 gift from the government, you might be better off.
The moral of the placard, then, is not that carbon taxes can be good. It's that all taxes can be good, provided we all get back more than we pay in. All it takes to make that happen is a magic genie (not pictured).

The hatchetmen win: Harry Reid’s muscle move | New York Post


The extremely peculiar rules governing the United States Senate just got a little less peculiar. After a historic vote yesterday, it will now take 51 votes — a simple majority — for most presidential nominations to be approved by the 100-member Senate.
One senator responded with outrage to the idea. The American people, he roared, "don't expect . . . for one party — be it Republican or Democrat — to change the rules in the middle of the game."
His name is Barack Obama.
Sen. Obama spoke those words in 2005 about a Republican proposal to do something very much like what happened yesterday — a proposal thwarted by a bipartisan deal struck by a so-called "gang of 14" that left the old order in place.
http://nypost.com/2013/11/22/the-hatchetmen-win-harry-reids-muscle-move/

Politicians - saying and doing what it takes to keep or get power, whatever it takes.

Excellent Summary


There's more in the article - about as much as can be packed into a page.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/11/22/for_obamacare_architects_problems_are_features_not_bugs_120751.html
Insurance policies have to include coverage for services that many consumers will not need, including maternity coverage and mental health treatments.  Even Obamacare enthusiasts, such as Harold Pollack of the University of Chicago, suggest that the administration should "revisit just how minimal the most minimal insurance policies should be." But that would work against the Obamacare goal of moving everyone toward paying less out of pocket for health care.
Even more egregious is Obamacare's requirement that policies for one age group cost no more than three times the cost for another. In practice, this means that young consumers, who incur few heath care costs, are asked to subsidize people in old age groups, who incur many more.
This is the opposite of the progressive economic redistribution, which American liberals usually favor.
People in their 20s tend to have negative net worths. They owe more -- in consumer debt, on college loans -- than they have in bank accounts, home equity and financial assets.
In contrast, people in the 55-64 age group, the oldest covered by Obamacare, tend to have relatively high net worths. Federal Reserve wealth statistics consistently show that Americans reach their peak net worth in these years. After age 65, they start spending that net worth down.


Oliver Stone: JFK conspiracy deniers are in denial

I don't care how many shots were fired, or who killed JFK.  It was fifty years ago.  The kind of things JFK supposedly did (I didn't see him do those things, I wasn't born yet, but there's not too many folks denying what he did either), some girl's dad would have killed him for in a different time and place and probably would have been applauded for it.

It doesn't defy logic that the head moved back.  I read an analysis 20+ years ago that explains what happened and replicated the physics with a water bucket.  I've also read of 12 year olds who replicated the shot Oswald made, and those 12 years olds didn't have Marine training.  Being in denial isn't always bad, although it is in vogue right now to say "Anyone who does not believe what I believe is in denial and therefore very, very naughty."

I assume Stone is a progressive but don't know or care - the irony would be that if he is, he makes the libertarian case quite well; you shouldnt trust government and you should want it to be as limited and powerless as can be.  It would take a strange cognitive dissonance to want more government, and government control of health care, when you know govt is prone to corruption.

Knockouts High and Low | National Review Online

Speaking of appetite, have you played the "Knockout" game yet? Groups of black youths roam the streets looking for a solitary pedestrian, preferably white (hence the alternate name "polar-bearing") but Asian or Hispanic will do. The trick is to knock him to the ground with a single punch. There's a virtually limitless supply of targets: In New York, a 78-year-old woman was selected, and went down nice and easy, as near-octogenarian biddies tend to when sucker-punched. But, when you're really rockin', you can not only floor the unsuspecting sucker but kill him: That's what happened to 46-year-old Ralph Santiago of Hoboken, N.J., whose head was slammed into an iron fence, whereupon he slumped to the sidewalk with his neck broken. And anyway the one-punch rule is flexible: In upstate New York, a 13-year-old boy socked 51-year-old Michael Daniels but with insufficient juice to down him. So his buddy threw a bonus punch, and the guy died from cerebral bleeding. Widely available video exists of almost all Knockout incidents, since the really cool thing is to have your buddies film it and upload it to YouTube. And it's so simple to do in an age when every moronic savage has his own "smart phone."
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/364659/knockouts-high-and-low-mark-steyn

A good example of what government should be doing well - defending the rights of individuals against violent assault.

Knockouts High and Low | National Review Online

Which brings us to that other death of November 22: Aldous Huxley. "Don't you want to be free and men?" rages a dissenting voice. "Don't you even understand what manhood and freedom are?" Gee, he sounds like a talk-radio guy demanding to know where the outrage is. Written in 1931, Brave New Worldisn't as famous a dystopia as Orwell's 1984 — because it posits tyranny not as "a boot stamping on a human face" but as a soft, beguiling caress of a human face, a land in which enslavement takes the form of round-the-clock sensory gratification: drugs, sex without love, consumer trinkets, sensory distractions . . . Crazy, huh? Like that'd ever happen.

Iran nukes: This is exactly the deal that Obama hoped to achieve in Geneva.

Do What It Takes, Whatever It Takes


The second aspect of this that Republicans find hard to swallow—as they should—is the Democrats' hypocrisy. Perhaps hypocrisy is too mild a word. When George W. Bush was president and Democrats were in the Senate minority, they did everything they could to sabotage his judicial appointments.
They used stalling tactics, the filibuster, and outright character assassination. Obama took great pride in appointing a Hispanic to the Supreme Court, but Bush wanted to do it first. He couldn't even get the brilliant Miguel Estrada appointed to the D.C. Court of Appeals—the same panel that Democrats have now gone nuclear over.
Comparing the quotes of Democrats then to Democrats now—and we're talking about the same people—is a case study in situational ethics. In 2005, when Republicans invoked the very same idea he has now rammed through the Senate, Harry Reid said the filibuster "serves as a check on power and preserves our limited government."
He wasn't the only one. Here's then-Sen. Obama back then: "[A] change in the Senate rules would change the character of the Senate forever. … You would have, simply, majoritarian absolute power on either side, and that's just not what the Founders intended."
And here is Sen. Chuck Schumer: "We are on the precipice of a crisis, a Constitutional crisis. The checks and balances, which have been at the core of this republic are about to be evaporated, by the nuclear option. … It is amazing, almost a temper tantrum."
The two most prophetic Democratic senators were Dianne Feinstein of California and a certain small-state senator with national ambitions named Joe Biden.
"The nuclear option, if successful, will turn the Senate into a body that could have its rules broken at any time by a majority of senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority," said Feinstein. "It begins with judicial nominations. Next will be executive appointments. And then legislation."
"I say to my friends on the Republican side," added Biden: "You may own the field right now, but you won't own it forever. And I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don't make the kind of naked power grab you are doing." 


Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/11/24/the_nuclear_option_and_the_fallout_to_come_120755.html#ixzz2laLB3H9C 


Biden it would seem never has to worry about saying something that he does not believe, since he believes whatever is necessary in that moment.


The Coming Revelation Of The 'Global Warming' Fraud Resembles The Obamacare Lie - Forbes


For example, the authors report, "The IPCC concedes for the first time that a 15 year long period of no significant warming occurred since 1998 despite a 7% rise in carbon dioxide (CO2)."  The authors explain, "The statement represents a significant revision in the IPCC thinking, because their concern about dangerous warming rests upon the assumption that temperature increases will proceed in parallel fashion with CO2 increases."  Climate Change Reconsidered II documents that the same official temperature records used by the IPCC going back over 100 years, and proxy temperature records going back deep into the geologic time scale, show that temperatures have not changed in parallel with CO2 levels.
Central to the IPCC's argument for anthropogenic, catastrophic global warming is its dozens of global climate models and their projections of growing global temperatures over time.  But the SPM now concedes that these models have failed to project the now admitted lack of warming over the last 15 years.  The draft of the SPM circulated in June stated quite accurately that the "Models do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10 to 15 years."  The final draft released in September covers the same by saying, "There are…differences between simulated and observed trends over periods as short as 10 to 15 years (e.g., 1998 to 2012)."
The SPM also concedes that the Antarctic ice cap “increased…(by) 1.2%–1.8% per decade between 1979 and 2012.”  So even the UN’s IPCC now concedes that the South Pole’s ice cap has been increasing all along, rather than melting.  The increase in Antarctic sea ice now totals about 1 million square kilometers.  In fact, the extent of Antarctic sea ice is now the greatest evermeasured.
Arctic sea ice has historically fluctuated in regular cycles.  While it did decline during the 1978 to 1998 period, that decline has now reversed, falsifying alarmist predictions that the North Pole would be free of ice by 2013.  Globally, some glaciers have been melting and receding.  Others have been growing and expanding.  Overall, the total extent of global sea ice has not been declining at any enhanced rate since the end of the Little Ice Age around 150 years ago.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2013/11/12/the-coming-revelation-of-the-global-warming-fraud-resembles-the-obamacare-lie/


It would be crazy not to worry about human impact on the climate, but it would be equally crazy to let politicians run wild on the immature science on this topic that is available to date.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Golden Age Of Philanthropy - Forbes

JFK, a presidency on a pedestal - latimes.com

Still, it's remarkable that Kennedy's iconic stature in the eyes of most Americans has weathered half a century of assaults, some of them from his own archives, as the less savory side of Camelot has slowly come to light.
We've learned the details of his relentless womanizing, which extended to plying a 19-year-old White House intern with daiquiris and then having sex with her.
We've learned more about the perilous health of a man who in 1960 declared himself "the healthiest candidate for president," including that he had Addison's disease, a serious disorder of the adrenal gland, and that he relied on cocktails of painkillers injected by his physicians.
And we've learned that historians don't think Kennedy was such a great president. As early as 1973, Harvard's Richard Neustadt, who was not only a Kennedy fan but an occasional advisor, concluded sadly that JFK's tenure had been undistinguished.
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mcmanus-column-kennedy-legacy-20131117,0,7425100.column#axzz2kobu2eda

Chicago Tribune - Stop digging. Start over. Fatal conceit

This article is on target but the authors miss the point - the problem isn't poor implementation or any other engineering issue.  The problem is men are not made to do the work of gods, they are not capable of using coercive force to help their peers have better lives, it is the work of gods not of men to arrange the transactions of men.  Obamacare is just plain hubris.  It is the fatal conceit.
But we won't learn that lesson, the elites will keep arguing about how it was a great idea, and how he should have just implemented it better.
http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-78189619/

Dan Walters: Activist government spawns corruption opportunities - Dan Walters - The Sacramento Bee

The situation was encapsulated in a memo that a coastal land lobbyist wrote to a group of Southern California landowners, describing the increase in value that their holdings would enjoy from a coastal zone exemption and itemizing how much money it would take in lobbying fees and campaign checks to get such a bill through the Legislature.
What happened on coastal land regulation was a perfect illustration of what one might call the dark side of governmental activism. A new regulatory mechanism, a new tax break, or a new subsidy – all with supposedly benign motives – also create new incentives for those affected to employ lobbyists, campaign contributions and other forms of political persuasion.
We have seen it not only with coastal regulation, but with "enterprise zones," with "redevelopment," and with countless tax breaks of various kinds.

Mitch Albom: Restraint needed, please, in divisive Renisha McBride case | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

The President Is Losing His Plan | National Review Online

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/364038/president-losing-his-plan-yuval-levin

To address his very near-term political problem, the president has thrown the nation's health insurers under the bus, even though he desperately needs their cooperation and support to mitigate the immense problems that the implementation of Obamacare now confronts. The response of the insurers, in the form of a statement put out by their industry group Thursday afternoon, was harsher than anything they have had to say about Obamacare since its inception, and it seems pretty clear that their basic disposition toward the administration and the law will now be changing for the worse.

Government in bed with industry - a witch's brew.

Noonan on JFK: Well Said

Why, after all the historians’ revelations and the stories of the past 30 years—the women, the drug use, the Kennedy White House’s own farfetched efforts to do away with Fidel Castro, the fantastical nature of the Bay of Pigs, the failure of JFK to anticipate and answer the crude communist clich├ęs of Kruschev at Vienna, etc., etc.—why do we continue to hold this special place for JFK? Because in the months and years after his death we fell in love with him as he was presented to us by those who knew and cared about him. Youth, beauty, charm, high intentions, wit, a certain fatalism and, deep down, a certain modesty. “Camelot.” But Camelot isn’t JFK. Camelot is the way we remember America before JFK died. Camelot is the America that existed, for one brief shining moment, before Lee Harvey Oswald began to shoot. a placid-seeming, even predictable place that we have not seen since.
http://blogs.wsj.com/peggynoonan/2013/11/16/why-we-still-talk-about-jfk/

Friday, November 15, 2013

Min Wage - Easier Sell for the Less Informed

Various state legislators and interest groups around the United States are pushing for increases in the minimum wage. In California, for example, even Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger now advocates raising the state minimum wage from its current $6.75 an hour to $7.75 by July 2007. But when the minimum wage law confronts the law of demand, the law of demand wins every time. And the real losers are the most marginal workers - the ones who will be out of a job.
http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba550

The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, but some states and cities have minimum wages that are significantly higher. Furthermore, eight states raised their minimum wage, effective January 1, 2012.
Indeed: 
  • Vermont raised its minimum wage from $8.15 an hour to $8.46 an hour.
  • Oregon bumped its minimum wage from $8.50 an hour to $8.80.
  • Washington state raised its minimum wage from $8.67 to $9.04 — the highest of any state.
Finally, San Francisco, which imposed a city-level minimum wage a few years ago, increased its minimum from $9.92 to $10.24.
Proponents of a minimum wage argue that a wage floor is necessary to lift people out of poverty, especially those earners who support families. However, the federal law sets a lower minimum for some classes of workers:  tipped employees must be paid a minimum of $2.13 an hour, and some farm workers are exempt.
Some people argue the minimum wage is not enough, and have proposed more generous “living” wages. A living wage aims to provide a minimum standard of living, accounting for the cost of housing and basic needs for an individual, or even a family of three or four. Some New York City officials are considering a bill requiring local businesses that receive government contracts to pay a “living” wage of at least $10.00 an hour, or $11.50 an hour if they don’t offer their employees health insurance. Los Angeles already requires companies that contract with the city or operate on city property to pay a living wage of $9.64 per hour with health benefits or $11.84 per hour without.

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ib105

Pontificator in Chief

Without intending it, Kingsdale has, I think, identified a central source of Obamacare’s problems: The people who created the program had no idea how it would be put into effect. They just took it for granted that the law would be implemented and perform, more or less, as intended. This attitude blended carelessness, ignorance and arrogance, reflecting a broader problem in business and government.
There’s a class structure to huge public and private organizations. One class — usually the leaders of enterprises or departments — might be called the Pontificators. They enunciate broad, often-worthy goals and values. President Obama (indeed, almost any president) ranks as the Pontificator in Chief. In politics, elected officials and pundits (people like me) are lower down on the Pontificator scale. In business, these people cluster in the executive suites.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-j-samuelson-obamacares-next-hurdles/2013/11/12/58ff8d94-4bbe-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html

McArdle on the Obamacare Misery

The insurers are predictably furious. And it’s hard to blame them. One thing I haven’t seen anyone point out is that if insurers do go along with this, we’re talking about a massive cash transfer from the insurers to the customers in those grandfathered plans. Some of the left-wing commentators I’ve seen seem to be under the impression that health insurers make fabulous profits, and canceling plans was a venal move to further line their overflowing pockets with your hard-earned dollars. In fact, health insurance profits are quite modest(though relatively steady). Their business and rates are very heavily regulated, and never more so than post-Obamacare, when insurers with excess profits in the individual market have to contribute half their overage to a reinsurance fund. Those people suggested that insurers would decline to renew the policies so that they could keep all that extra cash.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-14/obamacare-is-whatever-obama-says-it-is.html

This part makes me sick - you knew the insurance companies were going to crony right up to government to make sure that they can still get theirs, and the crony/govt fiasco's are the worst:  "It’s a pretty bold move for Obama to hang the insurers out to dry like this, considering that he reportedly needs their technical help to get the exchanges working and some cooperation to keep rates low prior to next year’s midterm elections."
Can they afford to take the risk of rebellion?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Obama's AGW Crazy Train Running Wild

But as its name implies, the government’s accounting of the social cost of carbon focuses almost entirely on conjured “costs” while ignoring proven “benefits” of carbon dioxide emissions.
The administration has determined that each ton of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere today from human activities leads to a future cost to global society of about $40 (in today’s dollars).
This assigned $40 premium on carbon dioxide emissions proves to be a powerful sword that the administration has been wielding to slash the apparent costs of a flurry of proposed new rules and regulations aimed at reducing emissions.
Here’s how it works: any new proposed regulation viewed as reducing future carbon dioxide emissions gets a cost credit for each ton of reduced emissions equivalent to the value of the social cost of carbon. That credit is then used to offset the true costs.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/10/29/obamas_social_cost_of_carbon_is_at_odds_with_science_120499.html

This is why people hate anything to do with the idea of climate change.
1.  Start with a conjecture:  What if CO2 is a greenhouse gas that will un-naturally force changes in the climate?
2.  Conduct appropriate research to get the facts - everything from bristle cone trees to ice cores to sediment from unique bodies of water to CO2 concentrations, and do your best to model it.  So far, so good, this stuff not only can be done it should be done.
3.  Pretend that consensus has anything to do with the scientific method, announce that there is one within the "scientific community" that humans are causing "climate change".  (all aboard the scientific crazy train! Conductor Gore, would you kindly blow your horn)
4.  Make a bunch of federal regulations that make all of us poorer, and energy harder to make (so much for a supposed concern for the poor - but not even the poor can stop the Anthropogenic Climate Change Crazy Train!).

I used to laugh and refer to Algore and the Chicken Littles, but the power the Fed is wielding for this AGW vendetta is no longer funny.
Usually, it is hard to get the genie back into the bottle once out - and it'll be three more years before anyone will even try.  The way not to despair about this state of affairs is to ignore it.



Monday, November 4, 2013

What Could Go Wrong? We have four years to figure it out ….

"They were running the biggest start-up in the world, and they didn't have anyone who had run a start-up, or even run a business," Cutler told the Post. "It's very hard to think of a situation where the people best at getting legislation passed are best at implementing it. They are a different set of skills."
http://www.nationaljournal.com/white-house/will-insularity-incompetence-and-lies-doom-obamacare-20131104


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Steyn: "Obama Didn't Know It Was an Entire Phalanx"

This one's so serious, even Steyn can't make it funny.
"In order to meet its target of 7 million enrollees by March 1, Obamacare needs to enroll approximately 46,358 Americans per day. So on its opening day it fell 46,352 short. Were it to maintain that enrollment rate, Obamacare would reach its target of 7 million enrollees in the year 5209. That’s longer than waiting for a hip replacement on the Scottish NHS."
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/362922/phalanx-lies-mark-steyn/page/0/1

What Is A Right?


"Collective bargaining rights" - didn't see that one in the constitution.  "Workers" have many issues, but the legal power to use force against an employer is the least of them.  

Kudlow - This Is Not Liberty

May I ask this question? Why is it that Americans don't have the freedom to choose their own health insurance? I just don't get it. Why must the liberal nanny state make decisions for us? We can make them ourselves, thank you very much. It's like choosing a car, buying a home, or investing in a stock. We can handle it.
So why must the government tell me and everyone else what we can and cannot buy?
Charles Krauthammer and the Wall Street Journal's Dan Henninger noted in excellent recent columns that this whole Obamacare business represents the greatest-ever expansion of the liberal entitlement-state dream. But I don't want that dream. And you shouldn't either.
Here's what else I don't want: As a 60-something, relatively healthy person, I don't want lactation and maternity services, abortion services, speech therapy, mammograms, fertility treatments or Viagra. I don't want it. So why should I have to tear up my existing health care plan and then buy a plan, with far more expensive premiums and deductibles and with services I don't need or want?
Why? Because Team Obama says I have to. And that's not much of a reason. It's not freedom.

Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/11/02/the_liberal_entitlement-state_dream_is_crumbling_120541.html#ixzz2jaWWyWx9 


Man I don't even want to think about the entities that got their products included in the list of stuff that has to be covered.

Limits? What Limits?

It's a monster


This term the Supreme Court will rule on important subjects from racial preferences to restrictions on political speech, but its most momentous case, to be argued Tuesday, concerns the prosecution of a Pennsylvania woman who caused a chemical burn on a romantic rival's thumb. The issue is: Can Congress's powers, which supposedly are limited because they are enumerated, be indefinitely enlarged into a sweeping police power by the process of implementing a treaty?

Limited government was the idea - is it even possible now?

Negative Unintended Consequences

The case against Obamacare is straightforward. For many employers, the cost of providing health insurance to mainly low-income workers would be huge. Logically, many firms would try to evade the expense. There are two ways of doing this. First, businesses with fewer than 50 full-time workers are exempt from the insurance requirement (the “employer mandate”). So, don’t hire that 50th worker. The second way is to make workers part time by cutting their weekly hours to less than 30. That’s Obamacare’s threshold for full-time workers.
Consider an example. A firm has 49 full-time workers. None receives employer-paid health insurance. Each has an annual wage of $30,000. The company adds another worker. Its wage bill totals $1.5 million (50 workers times $30,000). But it must now offer health coverage; in 2011, the average cost of a policy for a single person was about $5,000. For 50 workers, that’s an additional $250,000 (50 workers times $5,000). If the firm had a pretax profit of $250,000, its profits would be wiped out. There’s a powerful incentive to avoid Obamacare, either by not hiring or by pushing full-time workers under the 30-hour cap.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-j-samuelson-is-obamacare-a-job-killer-yes-and-no/2013/10/30/71b4f3d0-416c-11e3-8b74-d89d714ca4dd_story.html

This issue of "what is full time" seems like a no solution problem.  It hurts everyone when businesses can't grow, and it hurts workers to have to work multiple part time jobs.  More meddling, more negative unintended consequences.  This is one of the things humans cannot engineer.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

BBC News - Thorium backed as a 'future fuel'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24638816

Much to like about this idea - the US Govt will probably become interested in another 100 years. 

Health Consumers Finding Out They Were Sold a Lemon - Bloomberg

U.S. cost-sharing is actually low, by international standards; just 23 percent of our private health spending comes from out-of-pocket expenditures by the consumers of health care. We like being insulated from costs, and we're rich enough to demand it. Assuming that the Cadillac tax goes into effect (though I'm still sort of skeptical), a whole lot of those in the 80 percent category are going to lose a plan they liked because the government made it too expensive for companies to keep delivering it. Yes, of course, companies already cancel plans quite frequently. But these cancellations are going to happen all at once, because the law demanded it.