Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good Examples of Stealing Thunder

Bill Whittle, on PJTV, has some interesting things to say about Obama, his megalomaniacal symbolism and how those symbols may be used to haunt him and taunt him. His eight-minute segment is at : http://www.pjtv.com/v/2317

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Obama Blinked/Winced/Dodged . . . Two words: TORT REFORM

Now that Obama has pulled his "public option," at least publicly and at least for the moment. The photo shows not a wink, not a blink . . . but a wince. That's Obama wincing. Yeah!

He'll try to do it another way, but . . .

NOW is the moment for the Conservatives to yodel: TORT REFORM.

Make tort reform a condition for anything done to health care.

Tort Reform would put a cap on claims for malpractice. It would be fair to suffering patients but remove the risk of run-away jury awards. It would also remove most of the incentive for lawyers to create causes and cases, like the source of John Edwards' wealth.

Say it loudly and say it now, when the public's attention is available.

Make it a test of Obama being able to do something simple, logical and right to reduce medical costs. The Trial Lawyers Association is one of the largest contributors to Obama and the Democratic Party. This won't be easy for Obama. Make it impossible for Obama to say "no." Embarrass and blackmail him into Tort Reform by making it the first step, a trial step, a first proof, a demonstration.

It would be nice if doctors put a notice in their waiting rooms:
"Malpractice insurance costs each patient $ x,xxx; please support reform of the legal system called Tort Reform. Tort Reform will reduce the cost of an office visit by $xxx."

Dr. Krauthammer explained it much better than I could: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/06/AR2009080602933.html .


Tort Reform.

Sarah BLINKED . . .not winked.

I think that Sarah Palin is great but she wasted a great opportunity on Aug 14.

When whathisname agreed to remove the Death Panel Provision, Sarah said thanks.

She should have said, "Now drop the rest of it! There's no crisis! The whole idea of government health control is flawed. And, what's the rush?"

When she had the whole country focused, she could have used the opportunity to question the entire premise behind ObamaCare.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Banana-Peel Humor from Amused Cynic - Why is it Funny?

If It's Sunday, Maureen Dowd Must Be Writing About Sarah Palin, Again . . .

The columnist who no longer matters writes yet again about the ex-Alaskan governor who allegedly no longer matters, and she can’t even figure out why. For good measure, she opens with a riff about the Harvard African-American Studies professor who no longer matters. And people wonder why the NYT no longer matters.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As a columnist, analyst or politician, there are basically two roads to travel:
  • analyze facts and draw conclusions
  • draw the conclusions that you are paid or have chosen to draw and then work backward.
When one appraises news, politics and opinion in the U.S., it is shocking to what extent they fall into that second category. The New York Times is the extreme case of reporting news to support the opinions of its designated readers.

Banana-peel humor is funny (to the extent that it is funny, but banana-peel humor has been a staple of theater since at least Roman times) because someone thinks he know what's happening and then is surprised by something the audience can see but he can't or doesn't. The audience is in on the joke.

Amused Cynic's paragraph is funny because the audience (the reader) is in on the joke. Maureen Dowd thinks she's being clever about Sarah Palin (but Sarah Palin isn't going away, no matter how catty Maureen Dowd is). Professor Gates thinks that the world still buys his racial posturing (but no one does after his behavior with the police). The New York Times thinks it can survive with the same old attitude (while it losses readers, advertising and money).

In politics, I suspect that the general pattern is the politicians laughing (up their sleeves and in private) while the mob slips on the banana peels. The Republic's Congressmen and Senators are spending this August recess encountering a revolution. The mob has begun to see the banana peels - in bank rescue, in general economic policy, in transparency, in strong-arm Chicago politics, in energy policy (cap & trade), in medical reform, in Congressional and Presidential perquisites.

What happens next, I wonder.

As an example of the first road - analyzing facts and drawing conclusions - I recommend Charles Krauthammer's Washington Post column of August 7 on Medical Care Reform.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"Politicians lie to reporters and then believe what they read in the newspapers."

The quotation in the headline is variously ascribed to Winston Churchill and Benjamin Disraeli, hypothesizing how governments are constantly surprised by world events.

In the present economic upheaval, I believe that President Obama sincerely believes the untruths that he tells.

President Obama, his senior advisers and senior bureaucrats do not live with the uncertainties of normal Americans. Their salaries and pensions are guaranteed. The perquisites of their job - cars, airplanes, security, entertainment - are virtually unquestioned. They get and keep their jobs by a process of risk-aversion and risk-management that would guarantee failure anywhere but in a government bureaucracy.

Normal people are an abstract curiosity to them. Moreover, Barack Obama has an unusual personal history that removes him even further from the experience of 99.999% of Americans.

So, Obama and his staff do what educated people are trained to do: they do studies and analyze data. Then, Obama and his staff do what politicians have always done, they manipulate the data.

The economic policies put in place by Barack Obama have not been focused on improving the living conditions of his constituents.

They have been narrowly focused on improving the economic indicators.

Why? Because improving the economic indicators is easier, more measurable and less messy.
And because it is easy, in the government environment, to forget that the indices are not reality.

Is Barry lying when he says things are better? I don't think so. I think that he honestly believes that the map is the territory, that people live by the economic indicators - that things are better.

What he "knows" and how he "knows" it are the issue/opportunity/problem here. The only reality check is an election. And elections do not give reality checks to the 98% of the bureaucratic iceberg that is unelected.

How knowledge is recognized, used and transmitted - meet the many-headed hydra of

UPDATE: A few days after this posting, the Washington Post picked up on it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/11/AR2009081100988.html?hpid=topnews

The Pocketbook Nerve - the most sensitive nerve in the human body

People learn from pain.

The most sensitive nerve in the human body is the pocketbook nerve. Jab a person there and that person will learn and remember.

The Bush Administration's parting messages were that the economy wasn't that bad. The Obama Administration's theme song is that everything is getting better. At least, Obama believes it - see another post here as to why.

The general population is experiencing very little to confirm that the economy is getting better. yet the federal government repeats that conditions are improving.

People's own economic conditions bear no resemblance to statements by President Obama. State and local governments are confirming what people are experiencing in their own lives: that everything is awful and there's no improvement to be seen. Obama is out there all alone describing a reality that only he can see.

What people are learning is that their federal government and Obama's Promised Change are either lying to them or have no idea what they are talking about. That lesson is being reinforced by terrible pain; it will not be forgotten.

This is a turning point in American politics analogous to the public repudiation of the Viet Nam War. It will cross political lines and generational lines and racial lines. It's coming.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Icky Old Stuff - How Younger Voters Tune Out ObamaCare

What do voters under 40 make of the fracas over ObamaCare?

Does anyone over-40 remember what they thought of Social Security when they were younger? No, they don't. They never thought about it. Never. Social Security and Old Age were things that would never happen to them. Young folks still think that Old Age will never happen to them.

It's easy to see how Obama wants to spare younger people any details on what ObamaCare will look like in 20 years. It is almost impossible to understand why the Republicans have not put forth more effort to show (not say, show) what a train-wreck is coming. Of all the organizations and marketers that target the Youth Market, why is there such silence concerning the welfare of their constituency?

Younger voters have more to lose. Younger voters can be swayed by this issue, if they understand it. In a 50.1% electoral world, one would be wise to remain mindful of younger voters:
  • Old age will happen to them.
  • The younger they are, the more broken will be the system that they inherit.
  • Young voters have more to lose, not less - financially and politically.
  • Freedom and liberty issues will fall more heavily upon the young - required this and forbidden that. They will not be spared the life-style mandates that are embodied in the 1,300 pages of law.
But . . .nobody is driving the run-away bus that is the Republican Party. And, Chicago-style politics have muffled everyone else who could possible have an interest in getting involved.