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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

 

If I wanted America to fail



H/T Vander Leun

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

 

Removing the privileges of privileged member of society



Like the racist whites who wanted to keep their racial privileges conferred by Jim Crow laws, Justice Sonya Sotomayor attempted to stand in the schoolhouse door to prevent all the people of the country from equal treatment under the law. As Antonin Scalia said, it was “shameful.”

Just as the movement for racial equality took time in the old South, it will take a generation before the vestiges of the racial spoils system instituted by the Left are eradicated. But that time will come. 

Isn't this what is properly known as a frank and honest discussion on race?  Or is it too early for frankness and honesty?

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

 

Medicare is as useful as Linus's security blanket.


SCIENCE!

It turns out that the latest study of the effectiveness of Medicare on patient health is non-existent.  Here's the summary from the New England Journal of Medicine:

CONCLUSIONS
This randomized, controlled study showed that Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes in the first 2 years, but it did increase use of health care services, raise rates of diabetes detection and management, lower rates of depression, and reduce financial strain.

Like a child's security blanket, it made people who had it feel better for having it.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

 

Obama's Greatest Achievement - Re-Establishing the Soviet Union

People who see the world through the lens of domestic politics label ObamaCare as Barack Obama’s signature achievement. They are wrong. Obama has had a much greater, and more ominous achievement in the geopolitical arena.  What did Obama really have in mind when he told Medvedev that after his re-election he would have greater flexibility?  

As he assumed office, the world was uni-polar and the US was the sole superpower. Five years into his Presidency, Iraq is reverting to sectarian warfare and becoming an Iranian client state. Afghanistan is slipping away as fast as American troops are leaving. Egypt was taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood and is now a military dictatorship making eyes at Moscow. Libya is a movie set in which it’s dictator is overthrown, Americans are murdered, armed al Qaida bands rule the streets and there is no a functioning government. Iran is developing nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Al Qaida has a mass meeting in Yemen and has to release a video to let the CIA know. Israel, having decided that American guarantees under Obama are worse than worthless, has decided to go its own way, exhibiting a healthy example of clear-sightedness.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is as busy as a boy with Legos, reassembling the Soviet Union to the cheers of his fellow countrymen who felt humiliated by the dissolution of the Evil Empire under Reagan and Bush.

From the Financial Times:

But Moscow’s annexation of Crimea has set off rapid and drastic changes that threaten to submerge such outposts of dissent. In a speech marking the consummation of Russia’s union with the Black Sea peninsula on March 18, Mr Putin lashed out against a “fifth column” of “national traitors” enlisted by the west to subvert Russia. He vowed to respond forcefully.

His warning – especially his choice of phrases widely used by nationalist dictatorships as well as Russia’s own former Communist regime – has resonated strongly with Russians. They have been taken as a rallying cry among those aggrieved by Russia’s diminished power to build a prouder, stronger and more authoritarian state. For Mr Putin’s liberal critics, it is a worrying sign that the rest of the country’s imperfect democratic institutions are under severe threat.

In a column that set the tone for both commentaries and blogposts, the conservative journalist Ulyana Skoibeda raved two weeks ago that after the return of Crimea “I no longer live in a conquered country”. In a long lament that reflects the feelings frequently expressed by ordinary Russians, she described the past 23 years as humiliating. Ms Skoibeda said her life had been dominated by western norms, and she had had to suffer through the chaos and deprivation unleashed by the democratic and economic experiments of the 1990s.
Standing proudly against the entire world had revived the essence of the Soviet Union, she wrote. “It is not Crimea that has returned. We have returned. Home. To the USSR.”

Since the Crimea annexation, there have been frequent moves that symbolise a Soviet revival.


The American health care system can be fixed and improved as soon as the ideologues who demand that the government run everything are removed from office. The real problem, one that may have mass death and war as one of its possible outcomes, is the deliberate destruction of the Pax Americana that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Whether that is by accident or design is uncertain, but the fact is indisputable.

That is Obama’s real legacy.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

 

Jimmy Carter 2 is now a best case scenario


Now we are in the almost unimaginable position of looking back at Jimmy Carter as an example of comparatively sure, savvy leadership. The Russians invaded Afghanistan and Carter armed the rebels. The Russians invaded Crimea and Barack Obama went on Ellen to hear the hostess gush about how much America loves Obamacare.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

 

Th community organizer vs. the KGB agent. It's not a fair match.

Rarely on the world stage have we suffered through two such extremes as an erstwhile community organizer theorizing against a former KGB agent. If only Putin were a run-of-the-mill college president, then Obama might order a takeover of the faculty lounge. Or if Putin were a local bank president, Obama, the SEIU, and Acorn might yell on his lawn about lending more money to the inner city. Alas, even Chicago is not Russia.

Things were going so good until reality intruded.   Somehow Alinski tactics are not working on Putin, and they are the only tactics that Obama knows.

It's time to change the subject and the American media are only too glad to help.  They don't have to lie, they just have to look the other way.  LOOK FOR THE MISSING PLANE!  No time for Ukraine.

Why should Putin stop when he is already the most popular Russian strongman since Stalin, with a good decade to cement his reputation among his flock as the restorer of Greater Russia, with the clout of the Soviet Union, but now energized by oil-fed capitalism? And why should Obama do anything about those dreams when the Final Four is far more important than are either far away Crimeans or Georgians. Ellen is cooler than worrying about Kiev, and joshing with Ryan Seacrest about tight jeans beats talking to some heavily accented Ukrainian. Surely Putin’s next melodramatic theft can at least wait until the Sweet Sixteen.

The final irony? A united Western world very easily could embargo, squeeze, and make things very difficult for Putin with only a modicum of sacrifice. But then, we might not be so postmodern, so hip, so cool. In other words, for Obama, stopping the bully Putin would be a sort of a drag, boring, or a downer in a way Ellen, Ryan, and LeBron are not.

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Revealed Preference


John Derbyshire @ Taki's magazine

There is a term of art in economics that I like: “revealed preference.” The root idea is: Never mind what people say they prefer, or what some pure-reason formula proves they should prefer, but what their behavior shows they actually prefer.

The revealed preference of hatewatchers is to live among white people. The aforementioned Tim Wise allegedly lives in census tract 134 west of Nashville, Tennessee: 97% white, 0% black. I can’t discover the census tract of Morris Dees, proprietor of the $PLC, but to judge from the interior of his home somewhere around Montgomery, Alabama, I’m betting it’s not tract 12 (0% white, 98% black).

... If you put it to them that population A has homicide rate x while population B has homicide rate ten times x and ask them which group they’d choose to live among, they ask: “What about Trayvon Martin?”

Concerning which group they actually do choose to live among, see previous item.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

 

Sunny on Obama

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Judging Obama's Economy By His Own Promises

Investors Business Daily:
President Obama gave a speech recently in which he, as he almost always does, patted himself on the back for what he described as a solid record on the economy.

"We've now seen over four years of economic growth," he said. "We've seen 8.5 million new jobs created. We've seen the housing market bounce back. We've seen an auto industry that has come roaring back. We've seen manufacturing return for the first time since the 1990s."

Obamaphiles in the press typically repeat these claims, arguing that, given the mess he inherited, no one could have done any better.

But is that true? And how do you fairly measure Obama's record?

Perhaps the best metric is Obama's own promises about what his economic plan would produce. Those are contained in his first budget, which was issued in early 2009.

Above are charts comparing that budget's forecasts for key economic indicators with what actually happened.

The results are startling. The economy did far worse than Obama thought it would on every important measure.

But, his backers say, the recession was deeper than Obama expected at that point. Except that nominal gross domestic product in 2010 turned out to be exactly where Obama said it would be. It was only after then that growth fell short.

Others will say that Obama just did in his first budget what every president does: Paint a rosy picture of future economic growth. This doesn't hold water either, since Obama's projections were in line with the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and other economic forecasters, all of whom expected a normal recovery.

Then again, the economy might have suffered from what Obama likes to call "self-inflicted wounds" imposed by Republicans — the threat of default, the sequestration, the turn to "austerity" policies, etc.

The problem here is that federal spending from 2010 to 2013 was almost exactly where Obama pegged it in his first budget, and it's much higher as a share of GDP. Deficits were also far higher than Obama expected.

From a standard Keynesian perspective, these should have provided additional stimulus to the economy — above what Obama initially forecast.

So the GOP's efforts to rein in spending can't be blamed for Obama's failure to meet his economic targets.

What can? Perhaps it's the combined effect of the massive Dodd-Frank financial regulations, ObamaCare, the hugely expensive new EPA regulations and two enormous tax hikes on investment income.

None of these policies are pro-growth.

They do help explain the abject failure of Obama's economy to perform anywhere near as well as he promised.



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