Saturday, September 20, 2008

McCain Wants to Deregulate Health Insurance

John McCain wants to make our health insurance system more like our banking system. You heard right....he actually made that statement in Contingencies, a magazine for actuaries.
Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.
So Mr. "I've always been in favor of regulation" now wants to deregulate the health insurance industry so it is more like our banking system. Geez, is the Obama campaign aware of this statement? Does anyone really believe this guy would make a good President?

UPDATE: Actually this guy, Anonymous Liberal, makes a good point.
Then again, if we bring the same approach to health care that we brought to the banking industry, maybe in eight years or so, our health care system will completely collapse and the government will have to step in and take over. Voila! A national health care system. Brilliant.

Science and Reason - It's Time

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sarah Palin - USA Energy Expert

Here is a comment from Sarah Palin, the preson that knows more about energy than anyone else in the USA.
"Of course, it's a fungible commodity and they don't flag, you know, the molecules, where it's going and where it's not. But in the sense of the Congress today, they know that there are very, very hungry domestic markets that need that oil first. So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it's Americans who get stuck holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here. It's got to flow into our domestic markets first."

Say what???


My daughter works for Sports4Kids in Boston. What does Sports4Kids do? The answer can be found in this article published in todays Washington Post. With an $18 million dollar grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it looks like Sports4Kids will be around for awhile.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Charlie's Restaurant- Lake Placid

I have to put in a good word for Charlie's Restaurant, part of the Golden Arrow Hotel Resort. This fine dining establishment has a three course meal for $20 every Wednesday evening. Choose from 4 appetizers, 4 main courses and 4 desserts while seated in a large dining room overlooking Mirror Lake and the new "green roof". You can also choose to eat outside on a heated deck. Drinks are also on sale for $7 (usually from 8-11 dollars) and 2 wines were on sale at $20 a bottle or $5 a glass. I had a shrimp cocktail (excellent), a tender grilled New York strip steak with blue cheese sauce and red mashed potatoes. For dessert, flour less chocolate cake with a tart raspberry sauce. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Free Markets - Regulation Not Needed

Where are all the free-market capitalists these days? Why aren't they out there defending their "too much government regulation" philosophy? It seems to me they should be explaining why the current economic crisis is due to too much government involvement and regulation. That free markets must be left alone to operate most efficiently.

Trouble soon as their free markets begin to collapse, these greedy hypocrites start begging the government (that is the taxpayers)to bail them out. More proof that Republicans cannot govern and that Democrats have been acting as cowards for the last 8 years.

Democrats Better for Economy

Go to Slate and look at this article by Michael Kinsley - Politicians Lie, Numbers Don't. Look at the table, specifically the gross domestic product from 1959 - 2007 presented in the table. Under Republican Presidents the percent change in GDP per capita was 2.94......under Democratic Presidents the percent change in GDP per capita was 4.09. Inflation and unemployment were also lower under Democratic Presidents.

Obama on the Economy

Or we could just form a commission to study the matter.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

McCain and Bush

Photo from Paul Begala's book, "Third Term: Why George W. Bush (Hearts) John McCain".

Who's Responsible for Wall St. Problems?

How about John McCain's economic advisor, Phil Gramm?
Who's to blame for the biggest financial catastrophe of our time? There are plenty of culprits, but one candidate for lead perp is former Sen. Phil Gramm. Eight years ago, as part of a decades-long anti-regulatory crusade, Gramm pulled a sly legislative maneuver that greased the way to the multibillion-dollar subprime meltdown. Yet has Gramm been banished from the corridors of power? Reviled as the villain who bankrupted Middle America? Hardly. Now a well-paid executive at a Swiss bank, Gramm cochairs Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign and advises the Republican candidate on economic matters. He's been mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary should McCain win. That's right: A guy who helped screw up the global financial system could end up in charge of US economic policy. Talk about a market failure.

Yep, John McCain, whose economic advisor fathered the banking deregulation bill, wants to be in charge of "fixin" the "corrupt system".

What Kind of Person?

Good question.
What kind of person tells a self-aggrandizing lie, gets called on it, admits publicly that the truth is not at all what she originally claimed -- and then goes out and starts telling the original lie again without changing a word?

Someone who thinks you are stupid and has no respect for you might be described as the above type of person. Actually, it's Sarah Palin (and John McCain).

Why does this tactic work? Kevin Drum points out this article that has some insight into the power of political misinformation. It's a funny phenomenon in a scary sort of way. It's called the "backfire effect". A scientific study has shown that if you point out a lie to a conservative, prove it's a lie..... conservatives are actually even more likely to believe the lie. Isn't that astonishing?
Upon hearing a refutation, conservatives might "argue back" against the refutation in their minds, thereby strengthening their belief in the misinformation. Nyhan and Reifler did not see the same "backfire effect" when liberals were given misinformation and a refutation about the Bush administration's stance on stem cell research.
Another possible reason for this "backfire effect" is the conservative distrust of elite "academics". Conservatives have been brainwashed, especially by talk radio, into believing that anything an expert claims is wrong or a lie....look at global warming.

You can find a discussion of this topic at this link.

Richard Cohan Turns Against McCain

Yes, Cohan (of the NYT) was always, seemingly, in the tank for McCain. Not anymore.
McCain has turned ugly. His dishonesty would be unacceptable in any politician, but McCain has always set his own bar higher than most. He has contempt for most of his colleagues for that very reason: They lie. He tells the truth. He internalizes the code of the McCains -- his grandfather, his father: both admirals of the shining sea. He serves his country differently, that's all -- but just as honorably. No more, though.

I am one of the journalists accused over the years of being in the tank for McCain. Guilty. Those doing the accusing usually attributed my feelings to McCain being accessible. This is the journalist-as-puppy school of thought: Give us a treat, and we will leap into a politician's lap.

Not so. What impressed me most about McCain was the effect he had on his audiences, particularly young people. When he talked about service to a cause greater than oneself, he struck a chord. He expressed his message in words, but he packaged it in the McCain story -- that man, beaten to a pulp, who chose honor over freedom. This had nothing to do with access. It had to do with integrity.

McCain has soiled all that.

Monday, September 15, 2008

McCain the Maverick

Why doesn't John McCain talk in more specifics about when he used to be a maverick? Maybe because all those issues in which he played the maverick were liberal issues that pissed off conservatives.

Joining Russ Feingold in writing Campaign Finance Reform legislation - conservatives hated it.

Joining Al Gore in fighting Global Warming - conservatives hated it.

Joining with Ted Kennedy in writing decent immigration legislation - conservatives hated it.

Siding with Democrats and voting against Bush tax cuts - conservatives hated it

While we can still mention the words McCain and maverick in Republican circles, we surely don't want to remind them exactly what made him a maverick at one time.

How to Blame Democrats?

Bear Stearns, IndyMac, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Lehman Brothers have now all gone under. Now the Republicans need to figure out how to blame this on Sen. Obama or the Democratic Party.

On another note, Donald Luskin, economic advisor to John McCain, writes in yesterdays Washington Post that the economy is just fine thank you. And for any misconception you may have that the economy is not great.....guess who is a fault???? Barack Obama of course!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dishonorable John McCain

I like this from Jay Bookman at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
In a new TV ad, McCain claims that Obama has been making attacks on Sarah Palin that have been labeled “completely false” and “misleading” by

Except FactCheck says that’s a lie. “We said no such thing. We have yet to dispute any claim from the Obama campaign about Palin,” the group states.

That’s really something, lying straight out about a FactCheck group, knowing that you’re going to get caught but not giving a damn about it.

With stuff like this, the McCain camp has cut any remaining tethers to reality and integrity and is now floating wherever the winds of illusion and whimsy may take them. It’s quite remarkable, and quite insulting to the intelligence of the American people.
John McCain knowingly spews lies that he knows are going to be found out and he just doesn't give a damn.

Another point, we can assume that John McCain has completely forgotten the honor system at Annapolis. It is a bit sad to see this man give up any bit of honor he ever had.

Reach the Beach 200 Mile Relay

Congratulations to the "New SLU" (my daughters team) for placing 7/166 teams in the mixed open category and placing
20/355 overall. Good job for the first time.