Search This Blog

Friday, June 26, 2015

It Ain't Over

Wasn’t it Yogi who said, “It ain’t over until it’s over.”  The Pyrrhic victory of Obama getting to keep his federal health care exchanges preserves the status quo.  Or maybe now states who have their own exchanges and have been losing money running them will simply turn it over to the feds—a backwards step for Obamacare.  But politically, a nonsense ruling on a law that clearly said X and was interpreted as Y is a gold mine for Republicans.   And the fight over Obamacare is just beginning.  Premiums and deductibles keep going up, Doctor networks keep narrowing.  The cost keeps increasing, and keeping you doc is getting iffy.  Meanwhile, this has handed the R’s a huge rallying cry for the election.

            Oblamer has no one to blame.  The ACA is Dem written, Dem passed, Dem executed.  And if anything goes wrong with it, if it has a pitfall, the Dems don’t have control of Congress to fix it.  Now if it were a pleasing bill, they would get credit and could smile.  But consider this.  Oblamer has been touting the 8.7 million who get subsidies as people who have been helped.  Everyone else, including MSNBC says 6.4 million.  Do you know what the discrepancy is? H&R Block says that 2/3 of those expecting a tax credit had to give part of it back because their estimate of income was lower than the actual return showed.  That means 2/3 of recipients now have an attitude somewhere between “I’ve been betrayed!” to “Darn, almost got away with it.”  And 2.3 million had to give All their tax credit back.  Hence the 6.4 M rather than the 8.7M.  But then there are another 15 million privately insured who have had typically 40% premium increased due to federal standardized coverage and increased regulation, like it or not, whether they need it or not, whether it violates their religious faith or not.  Bottom line, there aren’t a lot of happy campers.

            And it will get worse.  When the employer mandates kick in next year, it is anybody’s guess how many employers will keep paying increased premiums on their plans or will just chuck it and pay the $2000 per employee penalty.  CBO estimates 60-90 million out of 155 million total workers will lose their plans.  That means, even if you have insurance through your employer, you are likely as not to lose your health care when you lose or quit your job. 

            Oh, it gets even crazier.  Medicaid expansion was 90% fed funded and this will end.  The states who chose to expand are going to be swamped fiscally.  Medicare was supposed to just stop paying so much to docs and the savings were to make Obamacare work.  Docs are now refusing to take more Medicare patients.  Docs are opting out of both Medicare and Obamacare and some are just retiring.  It is estimated that 40% of our doctors will leave the field in the next 5 years.  (Maybe the Dems will import them from Yemen and Sri Lanka.) Where 1 in 20 docs took Medicaid in 2009, 1 in 50 takes it today.  Bottom line to the poor: You have health care insurance, but where can you find a place to use it?

            I guess I forgot to mention the increased fraud and red tape.  Nor did I talk about the expiring exemptions for Cadillac plans and other privileged liberal organizations.  Nor the religious institutions which feel that their First Amendment rights are coming apart.  Or the intense scrutiny of what the Presidential candidates have to say concerning appointment of Supreme Court justices.  All of this just in time for an election.  The Dems and their old timer, Hillary, are going to have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.

            Ah! Reminds me of Charleston.  When 3 Republicans—Gov. Haley, Sen. Scott, and Sen. Graham—called for the Confederate flag to be taken down, and Gov. Haley got choked up with grief, it caused a panic among the Democrats.  They are now throwing a tantrum, lambasting Republicans for the flag and every other racial evil.  That’s because many minority folks around the country have been watching Ferguson and Baltimore with dismay.  How many have been nodding in agreement with Charleston and saying, “I want more of that instead of riots.”  To which the Dems are yelling, “Mine! Mine! The black and Hispanic vote is Mine!”  And so they have tried to get out in front of the issue by cussing the R’s that much harder.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Really Big Issue

There are sure a lot of newsy things this week. Donald Trumpet announcing, Cardinals investigated for hacking (should have never hired that darn Chinese contractor!), and Charleston’s tragedy (Did someone not pay the professional rioters?).  Treasury Sec. Jack Loo is trying to boot Alexander Hamilton off the $10 bill in favor of some prominent woman.  I have a suggestion.  Just rename Hamilton “Caitlyn” and call it a done deal.  What do you bet they won’t put Carry Nation or Dolly Madison or Susan Anthony or Aimee Semple McPherson or any other strong Christian woman on the bill.  It will probably be Margaret Sanger who wanted abortion.  Nor would they consider replacing Andrew Jackson, the founder of the Democrats.  Jackson, of course, was the Prez who force marched all the Southeastern Indians to Oklahoma in the Trail of Tears and related tragedies.  I have a Cherokee friend who always tries to exchange his twenties for tens because he hates Jackson.  Say, if you take down the Confederate flags because someone is offended, why wouldn’t you take Jackson off the currency?

            There was also the news of Obamacare’s big triumph.  Big yawn--simply upheld the present arrangement so nothing changes. The Democrats continue to bear the credit/blame entirely for Obamacare and should something go wrong, have no way to change it without any majority in Congress.  Politically, the Dems are snookered.  The next shoe to drop will be the employer mandates which the CBO estimates will cost 60-90 million employed people their health care.  Since Obamacare costs an employer, at minimum, the $2000 per person penalty, this will become a huge drag on getting the employment picture to improve.  Hillary, first author of national healthcare, has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do on the campaign trail.  Were it not for Obamacare, the R’s wouldn’t be where they are today, owning Congress and most state majorities.  Meanwhile, think of this.  By Obama’s own brag, ACA subsidizes only 8.7 million people out of our population of 322 million.  And a whole lot of other people have seen their premiums rise, an average of $2100 annually. 

            But the truly big issue that will negatively impact America is the one coming on gay marriage.  A pro gay marriage ruling is all but certain.   Forever, marriage was a religious issue performed in religious settings and sanctuaries and honored by people of faith all over the planet.  Now suddenly the federal government gets to say how it wants the institution of Holy Matrimony.  Non-religious folks got married too, but that is, by law, a social contract with no claim on religious faith. But, you say, the first amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Guess again with this ruling.  Government may thereupon dictate who churches shall marry and what rules apply.   So when Leviticus 18 warns against practicing gay behavior and ends by, “(for all these abominations the men of the land did, who were before you, so that the land became defiled); lest the land vomit you out when you defile it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you,” well then the feds instruct all followers of Judeo-Chistian values to ignore God’s voice. Or when Jesus, exasperated with disbelief, says in Matthew 19:5, “Have you not read that He who made them from the beginning, made them male and female?…What therefore, God has joined together, let not man put asunder,”  the government now sits in judgment over.  [This passage is quoted at most Christian weddings.] 

            This really is a Big Deal, despite the fact that many folks don’t know what the Dickens they believe and aw heck, let’s not be accused of bigotry. For if the government can tell you how to practice your faith, then there is no Liberty—that freedom of conscience to follow whatever mission or diety you hold in your life.  Without Liberty (freedom of conscience) John Locke concluded, there are no other freedoms.  I put it in more practical terms.  Without the ability to follow an inner voice and pursue your unique mission in life, there is no American Dream.  For that Dream is defined by being able to aspire to be the person you want to be.

            So, should the court demand churches affirm gay marriage, it will either start a Revolution or it will mark the day the American Dream died.  We still have to play our hand.   

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Yet another reason there are no jobs

            The Patriots, whom I dislike, and the Cardinals, who I am a fan of, have both been hit with recent scandals.  The fans of other teams love to loath the rivals and all the talk on sports radio about how people want to see the team with the trouble “get nailed” is almost astonishingly obtuse by my perspective.  In each case, the investigating authorities have announced that chief suspects are underlings and that management had little idea it was happening. 

            May I point out that this is every business-owner’s nightmare.  That wino you hired as a dishwasher might pinch some woman’s butt in the elevator and she sues you for $50 million.  Your entire business can go bankrupt, simply due to a crazy minimum wage person you hired.  Thus, I predict that fast food will increasingly be automated as fewer and fewer workers start making $15 an hour.  A machine doesn’t have the liability of a rogue employee. Our society is increasingly ordained and ordered by lawyers who defend the lower class workers most susceptible to bad behavior while suing businesses because they aren’t perfect.  And you  wonder why all those people you saw on TV in Baltimore are out of work? 

            Yet to date, I have never heard a pundit on the tellie tell this story.  Business is ultra cautious about who they hire and what they instruct.  Nonetheless, some flunkie is going to try to hack the Astros and then you will lose a dozen draft picks and get fined a couple million.  The entire sport, not just your team will lose repute.

            And it’s not that these are just a few odd happenings.  The general public goes around like a loaded gun looking for litigious events.  The first thing you need to learn to survive in business is to take an interest in customers so that they go away happy or at least proud of themselves that they raised a stink.  Remember, that $29 million hot-coffee spill McDonalds had to pay started because the local manager thought that $488 in doctor bills was excessive and wouldn’t pay for it.  Pay the 488 and send flowers and check on her well-being for two weeks thereafter, dummy!  The public is ready to shake you down. 

            Meanwhile workers are separating into two groups, the haves who get education, skills,  morals and jobs.  The have-nots who are not held to standards for responsibility.  There’s a government program trying to serve everyone who can blame their misbehavior and lack of skills on some sort of victimhood.   

            We ate dinner the other night at a Chinese buffet.  I looked up midway through my won ton and saw a guy come to the cashier and he began hollering about how his food wasn’t done and he was not going to pay for it.  Cashier was the boss who couldn’t come up with words and let this guy stalk off in a huff.  I resisted the urge to follow the lard ass customer and ask whether it was his second or third plate where he noticed the food was unfit.  And didn’t he voluntarily take it off a buffet line?  You took it.  Can’t you just quietly push it aside?  Instead I handed the boss a twenty for our meal and told him to keep the small excess.  “You’ll need it to defray the cost of that Hottentot who refused to pay.  We used to run a restaurant and know what you are going through.”  Suddenly he brightened, going from whipped puppy to businessman again and thanked me for coming to his place. 

            But here’s my point.  This is one more nail in the coffin of entrepreneurship.  Regulate everything to death, demand Obamacare mandates, then play lawsuit roulette, and pretty soon you get an economy that cannot recover from a recession, growing at one and a half percent a year, like Portugal.  Are we proud of ourselves, Americans, for 93 million people who aren’t working?  For negative wage growth since the recession ended? More business closings in 2011-14 than openings—first time that has ever happened in our 408-yr. history?  I dunno.  You still wanna play the game?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Encyclical doubts

            Now let me think.  Abraham was rich.  God used his riches to found a clan that became a nation.  Joseph was kinda wealthy being prime minister of Egypt.  Ester, David, Obadiah, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimethea—all rich and God didn’t demand they give up everything they had to become better and more faithful. 

            Protestant theology holds that God comes after you, saves you and develops a relationship with you in order to use you to advance His   Kingdom.  There is not necessarily any requirement to give up everything and become a monk.  In fact, there are no Protestant monks.  Not that meditation and dedication to a life of mendicacy won’t help some folks.  It is just not a requirement of faith, that unique individual gift of God that takes you to a better spiritual life. 

            And this is no insult to my Catholic brothers in Christ, but I profoundly disagree with Pope Francis.  Pope Francis said “the 'theology of poverty' is based on the fact that Jesus -- in his divine richness -- became poor; he lowered himself and sacrificed himself to save humanity." Well, he also took the financial support of several rich women in the gospel of Luke.  Would the Pope have told him to decline that support?  Look, I don't want to quibble with Jesus’ humility.  But I do want to quibble with the dogma that one’s faith is not genuine if one doesn’t give away all worldly possessions.  Nor do I accept that one earns eternity by giving to the poor.  I do agree with Luther who cast a jaundiced eye on the riches of the church.  Luther said satirically in one of his 95 theses about the indulgences, “Since the Pope is rich as Crassus, why doesn’t he just buy his own indulgences and unlock all the people in hell?”

            Indeed I suspect that the theology of poverty is a construct to justify asking the peasants to cough up huge sums to fund the gilded sanctuaries.  And indeed the Catholic papacy over the years sided with autocratic monarchs (fellow lords) and tried to quell the nationalist movements of Europe.  Socialism?  That is just another attempt to keep the peasants tied to the manor.  Now our Argentinian Pope doesn’t mind talking up the Peronism.  Yuck! I long for John Paul II and his support for the freedom of mankind.  “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” 

            But now we get an Papal encyclical on Global Warming.  We are asked to sacrifice deeply to fend off the warmth.  I guess that means we use less fuel and shiver.  And make a huge contribution by sorting our aluminum cans into separate trash barrels.   Well, yes the world does seem to get warmer after each ice age.  Ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show that every 100,000 years for the last 2.6 million years an ice age has occurred like clockwork.  That’s the period of the earth’s nutation where the axis tilts by varying from 22 to 24 degrees. (think of the spasms of a rotating top) And after each extensive glaciation, our best guess is that the earth warmed to about the temperature it has today   Each time the Warm lasts only a few thousand years and then Earth plunges back into the continental ice caps.  Now the last two ice ages suddenly disrupted this periodicity.  The last ice age began about 70,000 years ago and lasted until about 10,000 years ago.  Some speculate that the mechanism of nutation plus landlocked/sealocked poles is changing. Maybe we don’t get another glaciation for 20,000 years—or not.  So my suggestion to the pope is that he not base his theology on some nerdy computer models of atmospheric chemistry but be a bit more humble in giving God credit for the changes.  Earth seems to be getting colder the last two decades.  Maybe God is still in control.

            Sticking to the gospel would be the best policy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Grant goes Trans-liberal

Did you see that that Dolezal woman who worked for NAACP who was Caucasian felt she was Negroid?  That reminds me, I have been feeling liberal lately.  I think I will declare myself a trans-liberal-progressive.  Then I’d be immune from all media criticism.  And here are a few observations from the new trans-Liberal Grant M. Freedom. 

            First of all how can Marco Rubio possibly think himself qualified to be President?  He couldn’t even get his traffic tickets fixed like Obama did.  Nor can he skim money off the top like Hillary. No talent!  Hill approved $314 million of weapons that went to nations which supported her foundation while she was Secretary of State.  Does she have some tie to Halliburton?  And now we learn that ISIS has captured 2300 heavy armed vehicles.  That’s awful!  Those trucks have a huge carbon footprint, our Prez pointed out.

            A federal report showed that Medicaid paid $10 million to a bunch of dead recipients.  Wow! They just voted in Chicago.  Proves that government medicine can raise people even from the dead.  Obama said he is “the closest thing to a Jew that has ever sat in the Oval Office”.  Golly, I knew Jenner could pull some transitions but this is huge!  Nancy Grace keeps asking about Jenner’s penis.  Please, don’t anybody tell her about Obama’s Jewish transition! Now about that “sitting” aspect, I have a question.  When Bill and Ms. Lewinsky were in the Oval Office, who sat?

            Michele Kwan, olympic skater was hired by the Hillary campaign.  I also understand the Clinton Foundation has hired Tonya Harding as enforcer.  She is scheduled to go to a Bernie Sanders event this week. Apparently Kwan showed Hillary how to join Instagram and Hill has already deleted thousands of photos.

            Hey, I was listening the Cubs game and they said that someone sent a goat’s head to the owner.  Then some guy in the crowd yelled, “Yeah, but Chicago sent a horse’s ass to the White House!”  Apparently the Cardinals are being investigated for hacking the Astros General Manager who left St. Louis in a huff and maybe with secret information about the Cards.  This is so redundant.  Some guys in the Chinese army keep telling the teams to bunt to the left of the Cardinal closer!  Obama traded 5 top Taliban for a worthless deserter.  Everybody knows he is just trying to get attention and apply for the General Manager’s job at the Cubs. All the Republicans seem to want Obamatrade and the Dems don’t.  So what do you think we could get for Obama? The Chicago Cubs Goat?

            Evidently what they thought was a big clue in the story of the two escaped murderers from New York turned out to be nothing.  They found some fresh skin on the manhole cover that the escapees used.  But upon doing forensics it turned out to be extremely thin skin, thus proving that the person who left it was a progressive and likely union worker for the city.

            There.  Hope you have enjoyed the new Transliberal Grant.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Honk... Duggars

Honk if you don’t give a rat’s rump about the Duggar incident

            Rush says he didn’t know about the Duggars until they started getting headlines and I am right there with him.  Reality TV ain’t my thing.  I remember seeing the trailers for the first reality show, Survivor.  And I thought, “Wow! So they just put people on a desert island and some don’t survive? That’s gruesome!” But with curiosity piqued, I watched.  And it turned out that it had nothing to do with actual survival.  It was more like one of those company camps you go to if you work for a Fortune 500 company where they try to teach teamwork through a roughing-it experience.  And instead of starvation or death by thirst, the people were voted off the island by their peers, rather like corporate politics during a big re-organization run by a consulting firm.  Ugh!  We need to watch this?  So I don’t watch reality TV.  It has so little to do with reality.  And then there is The Bachelor surrounded with 20 conniving women.  Does that guy really want to marry the premier conniver?  And some poor restaurant owner who gets taken over by a bossy expert who makes it successful once again.  But I want to know is it still successful 5 years later?  All you have to do around here to have a big crowd at a restaurant is make some much-advertised changes and all the bozos hankering for a new place to eat (and brag to their friends about having already tried it out) will descend on your chow palace for a few months.  Which once led me to propose that we could shut down our restaurant every January for remodeling and re-open as an entirely different place around Valentines.  Three or four months of being swamped with business followed by a slow summer, then a lot of Christmas parties. First year you could be a Hungarian restaurant, then next year you’d be Polynesian, and so forth.

            Now if reality TV wanted to be true to reality, why not show what every businessman goes through.  There would be the lectures by some banker who thinks he knows more about your business than you do.  Then there would be the sleepless nights and desperate prayers about what looks like certain bankruptcy.  Followed by 3 re-organizations in a month, employee theft, and a lawsuit or two by some sly person who claimed they slipped getting into the elevator. How about those state audits to make sure you are paying your fair share of taxes?  Oh, and getting in the car to drive over to an apartment to wake a cook who didn’t show up because they got drunk the night before.  Or getting in your van with a 500 pound greasy air conditioner compressor to drive 100 miles to get it repaired in a wild melee.  This would be true reality TV. 

            What the Duggars do teach us is how little the godless entertainment liberals understand Christianity.  For Jesus Christ brought true grace, undeserved kindness in the form of salvation from sins, into the world.  I spent many hours telling this story of Hope when no hope seems around in the jail with guys who thought they had no prospects, no plans, and The Mark.  The Left gleefully pounced on the Duggars for hypocrisy, not practicing what they preached.  But if that is the meaning of hypocrisy, then what human being isn’t hypocritical?  (Well, unless you pursue the interesting strategy of being completely devoid of morality and ethics, thus there’s nothing any can claim you are hypocritical about.) Everybody flunks perfection. Everybody needs grace.  Grace is free but comes through repentance.   If you aren’t sorry for your condition but seek to promote yourself as better than others, you are to God like a cockroach who claims to be a bit better than his peers 'so don’t squirt me with that insecticide.'  And that is what the Left is doing to the Duggars--dragging the Christians down because they sin. Big whoop.   Jesus, the author of the term hypocrite, used that Greek word for “actor” to refer to those who proclaim and say they adhere to something they don’t believe whatsoever. And again, the entertainment leftists love to glorify everything but a moral life by which they are judging the Duggars.  Looks to me like the true hypocrites are the critics.