Jun 18 2014

Our Stumbling, Bumbling, Incompetent Government

Published by under All General Discussions

Scanning the headlines it is clear our federal government is pretty much dysfunctional in many, many  areas. For example, look at this list of our government at work:

But not to worry, DC was able to do get one thing done this week:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, calling the football team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.”

The landmark case, which appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, was filed on behalf of five Native Americans.

Out of all those millions of people being hurt or killed by the incompetence by our federal government, it is nice to see these 5 people where able to over turn the desires of thousands of Redskin fans.’

Just amazing

4 responses so far

Jun 16 2014

Global Warming Alert: Data Lousy & Models Unrealistic

This one just had my jaw dropping.

But a little background first. The scientific method – before being broken and manipulated by the Global Warming Alarmists – was all about proving a theory against reality. If reality and the theoretica predictions did not match, the theory was proven to be wrong and tossed. Or, in other words:

The chief characteristic which distinguishes the scientific method from other methods of acquiring knowledge is that scientists seek to let reality speak for itself, supporting a theory when a theory’s predictions are confirmed and challenging a theory when its predictions prove false. Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methods of obtaining knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses via predictions which can be derived from them. These steps must be repeatable to guard against mistake or confusion in any particular experimenter.

But basically, if the predictions of the theory fail – so does the theory.

We have been experiencing a nearly two decade pause in average global temperature anomalies at the same time atmospheric CO2 levels have continued to climb unabated. The theory of Global Warming is all about CO2 concentrations increasing temperature. But for the last 20 years reality has been proving this concept to be wrong.

So what can an alarmist do?  Well first on my list might be to admit the data used to pull the global warming alarm bell is “lousy” because it broke the theory:

Global average sea surface temperatures rose rapidly from the 1970s but have been relatively flat for the past 15 years. This has prompted speculation from some quarters that global warming has stalled.

Now, Stephen Briggs from the European Space Agency’s Directorate of Earth Observation says that sea surface temperature data is the worst indicator of global climate that can be used, describing it as “lousy”.

“It is like looking at the last hair on the tail of a dog and trying to decide what breed it is,” he said on Friday at the Royal Society in London.

Er…, WHAT? But it gets even better!

Scientists are now trying to simulate the behaviour using computer models. This is difficult because the behaviour of the deep ocean is too poorly known to be reliably included.

The models don’t have the skill we thought they had. That’s the problem,” said Peter Jan van Leeuwen, director of the National Centre of Earth Observation at the University of Reading.

OK, now we have lousy data and misbehaving models of the climate.  I.e., Models that have no “skill” in reflecting nature but instead reflect something other than reality.

One has to wonder where this is all going to lead? Will the scientific method be salvaged and the clear and sane conclusion reached? Will we finally admit AGW has been DISPROVED in terms of the current data and models? Let’s see:

Christopher Merchant at the University of Reading has been working to understand why the increase in the stored energy has not translated into an increase in sea surface temperature.

“There are a number of contributions and a picture is emerging,” he says. Those contributions include the cooling effect of aerosols from Asian industrialisation, natural variability in the climate system and solar variability.

Seems like we may have! two of the three reasons for temperature not to be following the theory of AGW is NATURAL VARIABILITY!

Also known as – Mother Nature

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Jun 15 2014

The Lame Duck Implodes

Published by under All General Discussions

President Obama’s tenure has been a roller coaster ride of Big Government, Big Promises and Big Failures. And the Big Failures are always followed by Big Lies on why the promise was never made in the first place, or the result is not that bad, or straw men should not deter us from our messianic role in history.

Actually, they are transparently dumb Big Lies. Lies only the sycophants would buy – and the rest of us just eye roll. The President always marches out his fantasy “straw man” army to cover his administration’s mistakes:

To be successful, a straw man argument requires that the audience be ignorant or uninformed of the original argument.

For the Big Government professional inside America’s Political Industrial Complex, their ignorance is more of the form of a unwavering devotion to government solutions at any and all levels of life. But we have been beaten senseless with straw man arguments by this President ever since he ran his first campaign. To the point our Lame Duck President has lost all credibility today – but why should he care?

Remember “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”? How did that Big Promise go under Big Government

Or how about those “Shovel ready jobs” that took 3-4 years to show up and lasted on average a couple of months?

Recently we were fed by the administration this howler:

… if you had to choose any moment to be born in human history, not knowing what your position was going to be, who you were going to be, you’d choose this time. The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been. It is more tolerant than it has ever been. It is better fed then it’s ever been. It is more educated than it’s ever been.

Brings back memories of this demigod-like delusional comment:

I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; …

Any other American uttering such nonsense would be sent off for medical help.

And let us not forget the Benghazi deaths, where four people – one a US Ambassador – were killed by a terrorist attack on an unsecured compound on the anniversary of 9-11. Big Government tried to claim it was all about a movie no one had ever heard about! And the sycophants swooned!

Now we know better:

In an interview with Clinton that aired last night on ABC News, anchor Diane Sawyer threw the ARB right back in the face of the former secretary of state. The two tangled over the preparedness of the U.S. diplomatic installation in Benghazi for a terrorist attack. In defending her work on this front, Clinton stressed that she had delegated the particulars of security to the experts in the field.

As far as any can tell, the sycophants are still swooning. Nothing seems to distract them from their fanciful dreams!

Why stop there? We have the meltdown in Iraq, we have the meltdown in Ukraine, we have the meltdown in Libya.  What a wonderful new peace President Obama’s Big Government has brought!

Here in the US, the EPA is promising to address global warming if we just fork over 240,000 jobs a year and $51 billion dollars in taxpayer money a year. They are committed (Big Promise Alert) to slowing the warming of the planet by …

- wait for it -

0.018°C in just 85 Years!

This is really interesting because the Big Lie here was a lie of omission by not exposing how little we will get from all this investment.

Another Big Lie came out this week which indicates the Obama administration is daring anyone and everyone to call him on his failures and his coverups. In what has to the Big Lie of the century, we get Obama’s version of the dog ate my homework:

More than a year after receiving a subpoena, the IRS says there’s a 28-month period where Lerner’s emails to and from people outside the IRS no longer exist

The agency blames a computer crash for the loss

OK, we now see what Obama meant by transparency. Lies so transparent only a Class A dupe will fall for them. For those not familiar with government computer systems, a crash of a single computer cannot wipe out the emails  – especially outgoing. By running to this Big Lie Obama just opened up the entire email cache of the IRS and White House to investigation.

Update: This why I know this is a Big Lie

Please explain why redundancies required for federal systems were either not used or were not effective in restoring the lost materials, and provide documentation showing how this shortfall has been remediated

2nd Update: Yep, this Big Lie will be exposed by Monday AM:

He notes “All email servers in a professional organization use TAPE backup. Meaning if all the above fails, you can restore the server using the TAPE backups.”

And from here:

When it is time to collect emails–something I do all the time in my law practice–you go to the email server and pull out the user’s entire account. A crash of the user’s computer is irrelevant and will not cause emails to be “lost.”

By Monday AM, the news media should be on this like Woodward and Bernstein – end update

All government computers are backed up. That means the people Learner sent emails to as well as her own computer. In addition, there are records of emails transmissions on intermediary servers. This is WHY federal employees have to use outside email addresses and services to keep things off the books. A single computer crash means nothing in the electronic record keeping (which brings us to another Big Lie from Obama’s Big Government)

If I was Congress, I would seize all computer backups at the IRS and White House ASAP and then search the emails. That way we can avoid any more straw man excuses!

Finally, the Big Government Lie about our borders and immigration:

Sent to members of Congress and staff by Rose Hacking, of the office of the assistant secretary of legislation at HHS, the invitation comes with the following commands:

  • No recording devices will be allowed (We may ask you to leave your cellphone in our vehicle)
  • No questions will be allowed during the tour, but questions will be addressed later
  • No interacting with staff and children at the shelter
  • We will provide photos of the facility after the tour

This is how you create the public ignorance that feeds the straw man army. You filter and censor reality. You dare not let the straw men lose their ignorance!

Obama has lost all self control. He no longer cares about checks and balances, rules and process, or even honesty and integrity. He is a Lame Duck and he is imploding in a fit of frustration and indifference. The pattern is clear now. There is always going to be a Big Lie to cover up the Big Government’s Big Failures until the man leaves office. And this will reflect frustration back on his party and his enablers (see Eric Cantor for an example).

Barack Obama just made Richard Nixon look like a saint! Now just watch the fall out.

4 responses so far

Jun 12 2014

(100,000′s of Jobs + Billions of Taxpayer $’s) x 85 years = 0.018° C

This post is about jaw dropping arrogance from the Obama Administration, and what I fear is rampant ignorance and/or apathy now infecting American society. The arrogance is captured in the equation above, and comes from two recent posts on the EPA edicts on fighting global warming (i.e., controlling CO2 production).

First, this fact about these EPA edicts:

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce study calculates that the new regulations will cost our economy another $51 billion annually, result in 224,000 more lost jobs every year, and cost every American household $3,400 per year in higher prices for energy, food and other necessities. Poor, middle class and minority families – and those already dependent on unemployment and welfare – will be impacted worst. Those in a dozen states that depend on coal to generate 30-95% of their electricity will be hit especially hard.

So what do we get for all this pain and suffering?

This is what we will get as our return after 85 years of this madness:

But no worries.  What the EPA left out, we’ll fill in.

Using a simple, publically-available, climate model emulator called MAGICC that was in part developed through support of the EPA, we ran the numbers as to how much future temperature rise would be averted by a complete adoption and adherence to the EPA’s new carbon dioxide restrictions*.

The answer? Less than two one-hundredths of a degree Celsius by the year 2100.

0.018°C to be exact.

Wow!

Trillions of dollars ($4.335 Trillion) and millions of lost jobs (19 million) later we get what?

Does the Political Industrial Complex think we are that stupid we would buy this Snake Oil?

Worse – are we as a people so stupid we will buy this Snake Oil?

Does this compute or not?

(100,000′s of Jobs + Billions of Taxpayer $’s) x 85 years = 0.018° C

Think of what we could do with all that effort applied to something important and real.

5 responses so far

Jun 11 2014

Obama Goes Wild & Creates Tea Party Backlash

It is really interesting watching the political dynamics this season. The Political Industrial Complex (Politicians and their staff, Political Consultants, Political News Media, Lobbyists, etc) has just been completely shocked today as the GOP House Majority Leader – Eric Cantor – lost his primary to an unknown Libertarian backed by Tea Party groups.

It wasn’t enough that Eric Cantor spent $1 million in the weeks leading up to the election, when his primary opponent hardly had $100,000 in his campaign coffers.

It didn’t matter that the House majority leader, 51, branded Dave Brat a liberal hack, and himself as the guardian of the Republican creed. On Tuesday night, Cantor, who was swept into the majority leader’s suite in a tea party wave, was swept out by the same movement.

It’s one of the most stunning losses in modern House politics, and completely upends the GOP hierarchy in both Virginia and Washington. Cantor enjoyed a meteoric rise that took him from chief deputy whip, to minority whip to majority leader in the span of 13 years.

Cantor was seen by many as the next speaker of the House, biding his time until Ohio Rep. John Boehner wanted to retire.

But now, Cantor has just six months left in Congress. He is the second incumbent to lose this primary season: 91-year-old Texas Rep. Ralph Hall was the first.

Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are no doubt smiling this morning. And Thad Cochran – the likely next old-guard GOP Pol to lose – should be seeing the writing on the wall for his primary.

The conventional wisdom says Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel has the advantage in the upcoming June 24 Senate runoff — and a new robopoll of likely GOP runoff voters from the group Strategic National feeds that CW by finding the GOP challenger with a 6-point lead. McDaniel takes 52 percent in the poll, with GOP incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran at 46 percent.

So why is this happening? Why all of sudden a sea change in attitude?

I don’t think the attitude has changed that much – voters are fed up with DC and its incompetence and reckless spending. I think the intensity has ramped up. The GOP has never really paid serious attention to the “small government” libertarians who are simply normal (and flawed) Americans demanding government get reigned in and stop playing to the power and money in this country. Big Business and Big Government are in the cross hairs of Main Street. And in case the elites missed the math – the 5% running this country into the ground are seriously outnumbered by the rest of us who keep it working. Despite nonsensical and silly government interventions and edicts.

What is firing up the Tea Party voters to create an even bigger anti-incumbent wave than that seen in 2010? It is our lame duck President!

Obama has apparently lost his patience with the rules and processes of government. His last major push – Obamacare – was run through on an insane partisan vote. And when fixes were proposed he claimed it was the law of the land, only to run amok making changes when his signature legislation’s implementation showed up the faults and errors found in government run political agendas. Obamacare has been changed in 100′s of risky and panic-driven ways to protect it from bad press. Which means it is being chewed alive with emergency bandaid fixes instead. It is a terminal mess, costing everyone on many fronts.

Update: Right on cue I read this assessment of Obamacare today:

Yet since premium growth has averaged at least 5% over the past five years, it is unlikely the law’s federal subsidies will increase enough to make up the difference in out-of-pocket premium costs. As this happens, lower- and even middle-income consumers will be forced out of the private insurance market. As my colleague at the Medical Industry Leadership Institute, Michael Ramlet, and I show in a paper published last month, the law’s structural problems will take years to fully manifest.

The average premium for an individual exchange health plan (Silver) will increase by $1,375 by 2019 while the average family premium for the same plan will increase by $4,198—outpacing the average increases from 2008 to 2013. Consumers who saw spikes in their health premiums last year will experience the same trauma this year. But the steepest price increases will not occur.

And this is the p0litical climate the Democrats and Establishment GOP will be facing the rest of THIS DECADE! - end update

But that is just the start. Now we have completely crazy EPAs edicts built on propaganda trying to claim to be ‘science’:

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce study calculates that the new regulations will cost our economy another $51 billion annually, result in 224,000 more lost jobs every year, and cost every American household $3,400 per year in higher prices for energy, food and other necessities. Poor, middle class and minority families – and those already dependent on unemployment and welfare – will be impacted worst. Those in a dozen states that depend on coal to generate 30-95% of their electricity will be hit especially hard.

How many people will die in order to reduce world temperatures by possibly, maybe, something a lot less than 0.05 F?

This is good government? All that pain and suffering for a temperature change NO HUMAN on the planet could even detect?

Obama’s administration is pushing this through against numerous rules and regulations on how to vet the ‘science’ behind such stupendous stupidity. He is tired of waiting.

Recently ‘His Petulantcy” decided now was the time to change the face of America forever. Realizing he was going to lose Congress and become null and void this election cycle, President Obama has opened our borders and invited in a mass of humanity that basically just want free stuff:

Children are walking hundreds of miles across a hostile environment with little more than the clothes on their backs, accompanied by neither a parent nor other responsible adult. The numbers of these children making the treacherous journey are much higher than the Obama administration has acknowledged, according to reporting by our Stephen Dinan. The deputy Border Patrol chief, Ronald Vitiello, said in an internal memo on May 30 that border agents caught 40,000 unaccompanied children last year. They expect to apprehend 90,000 children this year, and 142,000 in 2015.

Americans are a kind and generous people, and photographs of a sea of small, frightened and hungry faces in U.S. shelters along the southern border are enough to break a million hearts. President Obama, whatever he intended, is largely responsible. Lured by lax immigration enforcement and the promise of citizenship as “dreamers,” the Obama children’s hour is changing the mission at the border from ensuring security to providing emergency assistance. Last week, the president declared the border an “urgent humanitarian situation.” He assigned the handling of the influx of children to Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which customarily provides relief following natural disasters. This is a disaster, sure enough, but it’s a man-made disaster.

Obama has basically lost his patience with the checks and balances of government, and seems to also to have lost his mind. He is going to push the envelope has much as he can by executive edict. In many directions. He will force the liberal fantasy on America come hell or high water.

But this will in turn force the liberal fantasies to deal with reality. Something they just are not going to be able to survive. Just like Obama showed with Obamacare, government cures are almost always worse than the problem they were intended to fix. Most problems are best fixed at the individual or community level. But in the minds of the Political Industrial Complex, only Big Government and Big Business are able to do good, the rest of us are just too damn ignorant to do for ourselves. We need to be fixed (and controlled and billed for the service).

And it is this arrogance from DC that felled Cantor:

Brat, who admits that he has supported several Cantor candidacies over the years, says he mounted his improbable primary campaign because the House GOP’s No. 2 leader has lost touch with his constituents, “veering from the Republican creed.”

“Years ago he had a good conservative track record, but now he’s veered off,” Brat told ABC News during an interview on Capitol Hill in May. “If you go to Heritage and look at their score, I think he’s at about a 53 right now. I mean, that’s an F-minus.”

..

Brat complained that Cantor, 50, has a “crony-capitalist mentality” to take care of the corporate sector ahead of the interests of small businesses.

“On the conservative scorecard, on the free market votes, he’s doing everything wrong,” Brat said. “He’s not following what folks in his district want him to do and it’s hurting the country.”

Brat calls himself as a “free market guy,” and says he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He also pledged never to increase taxes and to stick to a five-year promise not to vote to increase the debt limit.

This kind of political agenda scares the devil out of DC’s Political Industrial Complex. They know it means leaner times for them, less power and prestige. And that is why they try to undermine Tea Party backed candidates. It is why the GOP talks a lot, but in the end caves on shrinking government. And that is why there will be massive losses to the Democrats (the party of big government) and surprise losses to the GOP (because they cave too much).

To me this is just a sign of how big the 2014 voter insurgency wave is going to be. Does anyone really think Democrats are going to be safe this year when this is what Red States and Red Districts do to the GOP? The polls going into this race had Cantor way up, but as Ed Morrissey notes – only one poll really counts:

The axiom is so often used to explain away accurate but embarrassing poll results that it sounds too cliché to use it in most cases, but it’s true — the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day. Eric Cantor proved that last night, much to his chagrin, after his campaign bragged last week about an internal poll showing him up 34 points against his primary challenger, Dave Brat. Despite being outspent 25:1 in the primary — that’s not a typo, but twenty-five to one — Brat prevailed by beating Cantor by eleven points in an unusually high turnout.

Also, it should be noted that turnout in this primary was actually higher than those earlier primaries that nominated Cantor (almost 20,000 more than in 2012) and were supposedly more representative — and that Cantor got fewer votes this time than in his last primary. In fact, Cantor’s pollster relied on those dynamics to explain how he got the race wrong by about 45 points in the gap:

Obama has decided it is time for Government to run amok and act outside the rules. And it is his actions that will create the backlash that takes out the entrenched power in DC. Because now we see how bad it can get when the wrong people get hold of power they should never have had (or need to have) in the first place. Democrats should be shaking in their boots, because they are going to take the brunt of this come November.

Update: This event needs some context  to explain why I think this is a harbinger:

The establishment has a difficult time analyzing and adapting to such ground shifting events. And make no mistake: Eric Cantor’s defeat was earth shattering.  He becomes the first Majority leader ever to lose a primary race.  EVER.  And he is the highest ranking party member to lose a primary race since 1899.

Yeah, it is that big of a deal

Update: I think the message is finally starting to sink in:

Americans see a grim future for themselves, their children and their country.  They believe their political leaders are selfish, greedy and short-sighted – unable and/or unwilling to shield most people from wrenching economic and social change. For many, the Republican Party is becoming too extreme, while the Democratic Party – specifically President Obama – raised and dashed their hopes for true reform.

An American Party – what does that mean? For months, I’ve heard that phrase or similar anti-establishment sentiment from voters in Michigan, Arkansas, South Carolina and elsewhere – whites and non-whites; voters who are poor and rich and from the shrinking middle-class; Democrats, Republicans and independents. “We need American leaders, not Republican and Democratic leaders,” a construction workers in Little Rock, Ark., told me last month. Down the street from Penn’s Table, barber Stefanos Bouikidis held scissors in his right hand while throwing both hands in the air. “How are things going to change with corporate America running everything?”

But what may be in the air is a peaceful populist revolt – a bottom-up, tech-fueled assault on 20th century political institutions. In a memo to his fellow Democrats, former Clinton White House political director Doug Sosnik writes persuasively about “an increasing populist push” across the political spectrum

Which side of the barricade are you on? Populists from the right and the left – from the tea party and libertarian-leaning Rand Paul to economic populist Elizabeth Warren – are positioning themselves among the insurgents.

Let this be the lesson taken from Cantor’s loss. He is not the only political leader to lose touch with voters. In fact, according to every indication, the entire political class has lost touch. There is ample polling to suggest that a majority of Americans voters don’t feel rooted in – or represented by – either the Republican or Democratic parties. Change or lose power, folks.

Ya think? Keep screwing up, wasting money and hurting our chance for a decent life – and expect reelection???

3 responses so far

May 29 2014

Obamacare Death Panels Rising

People who thought it was ridiculous that health care rationing would be a core part of Obamacare (and thus the instantiation of the “Death Panel” monicker) probably were the same dupes to think Obamacare would let you keep your doctor, keep your insurance, lower your cost and expand coverage.

And of course these same gullible people also probably thought that doing the website for the Democrats’ crazy scheme would be a cake-walk for the Feds.

Thankfully, Obamacare (and the VA scandals which expose the future of government run healthcare for all Americans) is finally waking people up to the reality behind the years of Obamacare hype and propaganda. The epic failures in both these areas is beginning to sift the dupes from those able to think without a media-driven safety net. Reality is hitting liberal fantasy.

The stories of real Americans with real needs who were covered prior to Obamacare are stacking up like chord wood.

Major Update: Death Panels have been around the VA for years it seems:

Most doctors have their personal VA stories. In my experience at VA hospitals in San Antonio and San Diego, patients were seen in clinics that were understaffed and overscheduled. Appointments for X-rays and other tests had to be scheduled months in advance, and longer for surgery. Hospital administrators limited operating time, making sure that work stopped by 3 p.m. Consequently, the physician in charge kept a list of patients who needed surgery and rationed the available slots to those with the most urgent problems.

Scott Barbour, an orthopedic surgeon and a friend, trained at the Miami VA hospital. In an attempt to get more patients onto the operating-room schedule, he enlisted fellow residents to clean the operating rooms between cases and transport patients from their rooms into the surgical suites. Instead of offering praise for their industriousness, the chief of surgery reprimanded the doctors and put a stop to their actions. From his perspective, they were not solving a problem but were making federal workers look bad, and creating more work for others, like nurses, who had to take care of more post-op patients.

End Update

For example:

A Sonoma County man battling more than a dozen tumors in his body is fighting a new battle with his insurance carrier, who has denied coverage for his treatments.

Jeffrey Rusch of Camp Meeker knew the news was bad when an MRI found 20 tumors in his brain. Two days later, a C-T scan at Sutter medical center in Santa Rosa brought another devastating blow, discovering a large tumor in his lungs, and more in his liver and bones.

The family received a letter from the insurance provider, saying his hospital stay didn’t meet the criteria for medical necessity.

“It’s like an attack on my family. It feels that way,” Rusch said.

Jeffrey and Zoe have been Anthem members since 2008, and estimate they’ve paid $100-thousand in premiums.

“I would call saving my husband’s life medically necessary,” Zoe said.

That is why the monicker “death panel” was spot on  for what is coming thanks to government run healthcare.

Example 2:

Guam – There is an ongoing crisis within the dialysis community. At least one local medical transport company has been forced to cease services for dialysis patients because the claims contractor for Medicare, Noridian Healthcare Solutions, is refusing to reimburse Medicare claims unless patients are on a ventilator.

The changes have caused mass layoffs and now the Guam Fire Department may be affected too.

On May 12, after four years of medical transport coverage, dialysis patient Rodney Calimlim was informed by Guam Medical Transport that he would no longer be able to utilize transport services to and from dialysis. GMT General Manager Jared Ada says it was an awfully tough decision to make.

Example 3:

Some consumers who bought insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law are experiencing buyer’s remorse after realizing that their longtime doctors aren’t accepting the new plans.

Before the law took effect, experts warned that narrow networks could impact patients’ access to care, especially in cheaper plans. But with insurance cards now in hand, consumers are finding their access limited across all price ranges — sometimes even after they were told their plan would include their current doctor.

Michelle Pool is one of those customers. Before enrolling in a new health plan on California’s exchange, she checked whether her longtime primary care doctor was covered. Pool, a 60-year-old diabetic who has had back surgery and a hip replacement, purchased the plan only to find that the insurer was mistaken.

Example 4:

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights how two related entities authorized by the Obama health care law – the Independent Payment Advisory Board and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation — both have the power to ration care. This April 23 op-ed by Lanhee J. Chen and James C. Capretta adds to the documentation provided by NRLC demonstrating that rationing of health care is built into the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

What happens to doctors who violate a “quality” standard by prescribing more lifesaving medical treatment than it permits? They will be prevented from contracting with any of the health insurance plans “qualified” under the Obama Health Care Law. Few doctors would be able to remain in practice if subjected to that penalty.

This means that a treatment a doctor and patient deem advisable to save that patient’s life or preserve or improve the patient’s health–but which exceeds the standard imposed by the government–will be denied even if the patient is willing and able to pay for it.

Example 5:

Because no one should go broke in America because they get sick. Insurance companies will be required to cover with no extra charge, routine check ups and preventive care like mammogram’s and colonoscopies,  because there’s no reason we shouldn’t be catching things like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse.” Says the President.

It was promises like those and a move to Durant to take care of her aging mother, that led Janet Grigg to the healthcare marketplace. Although, what she says she has found, is something the cancer survivor says, is hard to believe. Grigg, who is  a colon cancer survivor says she went online to the marketplace, put in her personal information and picked a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan. Then, went to the doctor for her annual cancer screenings.

“And when I got there, they had said to me, that the card would not be accepted. That they had, in fact received a memo. And I was like ,really, I just saw the doctor two weeks ago.” Grigg explains, after her second visit to University Medical Group in Durant.

That visit is also where Grigg says billing employee’s told her the previous visit would have to be paid for out of pocket, as well as, any future visits to the facility. But she says that’s not the most surprising thing she found.

“That I would not find a doctor within a 400 mile radius from Dallas up to Oklahoma City that would in fact take the plan that I had chosen.

Example 6:

The private insurance companies that sell policies on the insurance exchanges set up under the ACA are embracing this shift to the leaner and meaner networks, and telling customers that they need to shed their dependence on “lavish” health plans and wake up to the new reality.

“We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has,” Marcus Merz, CEO of PreferredOne, an insurer in Golden Valley, Minnesota, told the New York Times. “We’re all trying to break away from this fixation on open access and broad networks.” Mr. Merz and PreferredOne stand to profit handsomely from the cost-savings from shrinking networks, as the insurer has grabbed about 60 percent of the market on the Minnesota Obamacare exchange.

Insurance companies have long sought to restrict patient choices in provider networks, and Obamacare is proving to be the vehicle to make it happen.

The size of the Obamacare networks vary from state to state, but many of them exclude at least some large hospitals or doctors’ groups. In New Hampshire, for example, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only insurer offered on the exchange, and Anthem has excluded 10 hospitals in the state from its network.

An Associated Press survey found that only four of the nation’s 19 top comprehensive cancer centers are included in the Obamacare networks in the states where they are located. In Washington, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is not covered by the networks of five of the eight insurance companies participating in the state’s exchange. MD Anderson Cancer Center reported that it was included in less than half of the Houston-area exchange plans.

In New York, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is only fully covered by two of nine New York City insurers. While in Buffalo, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute is only covered by five of the 16 statewide insurance plans.

Example 7:

In Nevada, the recently filed lawsuit alleges that numerous state residents have been going uncovered despite enrolling and paying for insurance.

The lawsuit says that one plaintiff, Larry Basich, had a heart attack at the end of last year and required costly surgery on Jan. 3 – in theory the third day of his new insurance. But the legal complaint says his payment wasn’t processed properly, leaving Mr. Basich stuck with more than $400,000 in bills.

The plight of Margaret Figueroa in New York State garnered news headlines this month as the Staten Island resident told of losing access to specialized doctors and treatments for her chronic condition. For now, her former doctor has offered pro bono care while she seeks a longer-term answer. The physician said “there are a lot of patients falling through the cracks,” according to a news article on the Staten Island Advance website.

Each of these, and the 1000′s more out there, are a powerful political add that will resonate with a public experiencing the reality that is Obamacare. And no amount of fanciful political spin can remove those experiences and these stories from the American psyche. Which will explode in November.

HotAir notes the coming fun for employer based healthcare:

More employees are getting hit with higher health insurance premiums and co-payments, and many don’t have the money to cover unexpected medical expenses, a new report finds.

More than half of companies (56%) increased employees’ share of health care premiums or co-payments for doctors’ visits in 2013, and 59% of employers say they intend to do the same in 2014, according to the annual Aflac WorkForces Report. It’s based on a survey of 1,856 employers and 5,209 employees at small, medium and large-size companies.

DC sticking it do the little guy while their political allies rake in the profits.  Always the same old story.

7 responses so far

May 14 2014

Russia Highjacks America’s Space Station

Published by under All General Discussions

 

 

In my last post over a month ago (sorry, just have not been feeling the blogger fever recently) I predicted the foolish act The Obama administration made in cancelling all American human launch vehicles (Shuttles and the follow-on Constellation Program) would lead to us being blackmailed by Russia – the only country capable of sending and retrieving astronaut from our Low Earth Orbiting Space Station (ISS):

This is as dumb a move as I have ever seen. If this escalates Russia will maroon our people in space. Or it can just bring everyone back and leave our investment orbiting above our heads out of reach. Stopping emails from Russia to NASA counterparts? Really – that’s their plan?

There are times I hate being right – and this is one of those times:

Russia is to deny the US future use of the International Space Station beyond 2020 and will also bar its rocket engines from launching US military satellites as it hits back at American sanctions imposed over Ukraine crisis.

Russia’s deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced a series of punitive measures on Tuesday against the US in response to sanctions imposed after Russia annexed Crimea.

The two countries have long cooperated closely on space exploration despite their clashes in foreign policy.

The Space Station is manned by both American and Russian crew, but the only way to reach it is by using Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.

As I noted when news first came out of the Constellation Program cancellation, the Obama administration violated one of the basic tenants of ALL US Space Programs:

After 3 decades of flights, everyone knew a next generation of manned space vehicles were needed to continue the 50 year dream initiated by President Kennedy. And so, under President Bush, the Constellation Program was initiated and it returned to our Apollo roots for it’s inspiration.

And now, for the first time since 1961, we do not have any vehicles to shuttle our astronauts into space. We cannot fly our own people to the International Space Station, the 2nd great endeavor we embarked upon in the 1970?s and 1980?s. We spent billions developing and building the Space Station and we just recently marked 10 years continuous operations there – yet we now need to pay Russia to get us to and from it. We can’t do it on our own anymore. (Technically this is a violation of law, which mandates we must be able to perform all our space missions with our own assets so no nation can hold us hostage – a minor detail this administration has clearly ignored).

Want to know how bad Obama has let this country slide into irrelevancy? Look up at the Space Station at night and realize on the hard work and tax payer money we spent putting it into orbit was squandered by someone who could blow billions on poor healthcare schemes, but could not find the money needed to RETAIN our access to space.

 

5 responses so far

Apr 03 2014

Obama Uses NASA As Political Club

Published by under All General Discussions

America has this amazing International Space Station (ISS), which it spent tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to build and deploy in orbit over two decades. A historic human achievement.

A few years after the ISS was finally completed, the short-sighted incompetents inside the Obama administration cancelled the only program we had for getting to our space station. Leaving us to rely on Russia to ferry our astronauts up to and back from our space station. This of course has made the US completely reliant on Russia to use and exploit the ISS.

But with the cancellation of the program, this leaves NASA with no replacement for the Shuttle fleet when they are retired at the end of 2010. This means that the U.S. will now need to rely on the Russian Space Agency to get our astronauts into space. (Currently only the Russians and Chinese have the capability to send men into space.)

Fast forward to the current day and a belligerent Russia. Having annexed the Crimea from the Ukraine, the geniuses inside the Obama administration are once again displaying they ‘not-ready-for-prime-time’ on the big stage. If you have an Achilles’ Heal, you don’t lead with it when trying to employ diplomatic pressure on Russia:

In an internal NASA memorandum obtained by The Verge, NASA said that the suspension includes travel to Russia, teleconferences, and visits by Russian government officials to NASA facilities. NASA is even suspending the exchange of emails with Russian officials….

“Given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, NASA is suspending the majority of its ongoing engagements with the Russian Federation,” a spokesman said. Operations aboard the International Space Station, which is a wholly collaborative effort between the two nations, are exempt from this suspension.

Just last week, a trio of astronauts, including two Russians and one American, launched into space on a Russian rocket, headed for the International Space Station. Without a shuttle program of its own, NASA depends on Russians to ferry its astronauts to and from the station, and pays them $70.7 million per seat. The U.S. space agency is working with private American companies to develop rockets and break out of Russia’s transportation monopoly.

This is as dumb a move as I have ever seen. If this escalates Russia will maroon our people in space. Or it can just bring everyone back and leave our investment orbiting above our heads out of reach. Stopping emails from Russia to NASA counterparts? Really – that’s their plan?

Pathetic.

3 responses so far

Mar 31 2014

Apocalypse Now!

H/T Drudge for the image

Must be the year of the Chicken Littles. First we have a tortured version of the biblical story of Noah and the great flood:

Lost within the film’s extreme environmentalist message is that the actual sins of the pre-Flood people were a rebellion against God and also man’s inhumanity to man.

Noah’s misanthropy is revealed many times in the film. For example, when the girlfriend of Noah’s son Ham is caught in a trap and is about to be overtaken by some marauders, Noah leaves the girl to die at their hands. The film’s Noah wants to totally destroy the human race and doesn’t want his sons to have children. In perhaps the most shocking part of the film, Noah plans to kill his unborn grandchild, the child of Shem’s wife, if it is a girl.

We all know Hollywood and Christianity rarely cross paths. And the ignorance of Hollywood to scripture equals its ignorance of science and math. Got to say, Hollywood as the edge on weird and non functional clothing. But beyond that the place really is only fair at mimicking real life. True, they make lots of money. But does Hollywood (and their ilk) really make a positive impact on humanity?

Not with this kind of misrepresentation. Who do they think they are fooling? Themselves at most.

So am I surprised at the PURE COINCIDENCE of the debut of a green-stained movie about Noah’s Flood and the release of hysterical alarm bells in a new the IPCC Chicken Little report?

Professor Berry is one of three leading academics who have contributed to the health chapter of a Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report due on Monday. She and co-authors Tony McMichael, of the Australian National University, and Colin Butler, of the University of Canberra, have outlined the health risks of rapid global warming in a companion piece for The Conversation, also published on Monday. The three warn that the adverse effects on population health and social stability have been ”missing from the discussion” on climate change.

”Human-driven climate change poses a great threat, unprecedented in type and scale, to wellbeing [sic], health and perhaps even to human survival,” they write.

The so called unprecedented warming does have precedence.  Early last century there was another similar rise in temps – followed by a dip. And over the millennia Earth, Man and Nature have experienced and adapted to much of the same.

The fact is, the alarmist know the gravy train is not coming their way and are panicking. They now fear their plans to take over the energy sector of the world (scary, given what they just did to the healthcare sector of the US) is all but gone. Trillions in green boondoggle funds slipping away.

But it is even worse than that. And they are just now seeing the other shoe dropping. If Global Warming (not seen in almost 2 decades now) fizzles out as huge over reaction – guess what else slips away? The billions of dollars now being flushed down the green-toilet of wasted research. Another 10 years of no warming (or even cooling) and the gravy train will leave the green station for good.

So it is no wonder Hollywood (and their complete lack of basic science knowledge) have probably timed the release of Noah with the release of the IPCC report? Because as everyone knows – American’s are just a bunch of ignorant dupes, easily played. We would never be able to connect those dots!

Update: Hot Air goes for the Ghost Buster analogy for IPCC!

Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger,” the report declared.

Too funny. That all looks to be the likely result of government intervention, not CO2, IHMO – end update

BTW: the worst Hollywood technical goof I have to endure is in the movie Battleship – a movie I really enjoy. In that movie the satellite LANDSAT 7 is supposed to be a Deep Space communications satellite communicating with the alien invaders and their home world.

I guess Hollywood doesn’t get why the bird is called “LANDSAT”. LANDSAT 7 is a low earth orbiter. Deep Space is defined as from the Moon’s orbit out.  It is also not a communications satellite (which are at a much higher orbit and actually look stationary from Earth’s surface). LANDSAT 7 faces Earthward – making measurements of the “land“. Therefore it whips around the world ever 90-110 minutes (depending on its orbit design, I just did not look up the specific orbital period). Which means it is only overhead 5-15 minutes and then only maybe once a day.

I have to just get through that crap in the movie, which shows a serious intellectual laziness that someone in Hollywood could not take the time to just Google the mission page and comprehend what it means. And if you can’t comprehend, then ask someone who can. I get through it, but every time I am amazed at the ignorance on display.

I mean – duh!

One response so far

Mar 25 2014

Statistical Confusion: Do Video Games Make Youths Agressive?

Published by under All General Discussions

This story had me rolling because it is based on a very shaky conclusion. And yet, the media ignorantly (and yes, I chose that word carefully) report it without any comprehension of the concept of statistical linkages.

Youths who play video games are more likely to think and act in aggressive ways, suggested a study out Monday of more than 3,000 schoolchildren in Singapore.

The research, published in JAMA Pediatrics, a journal of the American Medical Association, was based on more than 3,034 children who were studied over the course of three years.

Frequent use of video games was linked to higher rates of aggressive behaviors and thoughts, according to self-reported answers to survey questions by the children.

The other possible (and probable) conclusion is aggressive kids enjoy aggressive video games, non-aggressive kids enjoy non-aggressive games.. You can naively run the same kind of  study and conclude wearing dresses makes one more likely to become female. Or playing football makes one more likely to become male (or aggressive, or large and muscular, etc).

Of course there is a correlation between aggressive games and aggressive personalities!

But I am confident if you compare those who prefer a good game of Life to those who prefer to play football, you will find and even STRONGER correlation. But it does not mean the game created the human psyche.

Duh!

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