Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cruising the Web

Jeff Dunetz nails it: "Patton Was WRONG-State Dept. Says Wars Are Won By Giving Out Jobs." State Department Bimbette went on Chris Matthews show to explain the administration's approach to winning the war against ISIS.
But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether…
Even Chris Matthews can't buy this sappiness. See it's not about Islamism that is motivating these people, just job insecurity. Because you know how the Great Depression led to so many mass beheadings and setting people on fire.

The Democrats worry about their bench in the fight for the Senate in 2016.

John Hawkins at Right Wing News has an eye-opening report on how "17 conservative PACs are spending their money." Be sure to check it out before you donate to any group claiming to be fighting for conservative ideals.

Kevin Williamson ponders the strange set of affairs of how adults in their young 20s can, on one hand, be considered full adults, and on the other hand, are considered tender young children who must be protected from anything that might upset them.
That situation — personal autonomy without personal responsibility — is of course a guarantee of disaster. We tell our special snowflakes that everything is permitted, and then send them into an environment in which every other special snowflake has been given precisely the same message, and then we’re surprised when this works out to the happiness of no one. Thus we have such developments as the highly questionable account of Columbia’s mattress-bearing protester, Rolling Stone’s phony University of Virginia rape story, an epidemic of false rape accusations and similar hoaxes, often undertaken with nakedly political ends in mind — none of which, contra Professor Posner, is the act of a child.

The universities’ response to this has been to develop a perverse brand of neo-Victorianism. All is to be “sex positive,” there is to be no “slut-shaming,” campus groups will celebrate pornographers and prostitutes under the banner of empowerment — and, at the same time, sexual conduct is to be policed at a level of intrusive detail not dreamed of by the likes of Roger Chillingworth. It’s as though a Roman orgy were being orchestrated by the ghost of Andrea Dworkin.

If Professor Posner is correct that people in their 20s are children, then we should treat them as children, meaning no sexual consent, marriage, bank account, driver’s license, vote, military service, credit card, or any other feature of adulthood until they are able to manage as adults. Conversely, we could begin treating them like adults at 18 — arbitrary, but as good a defining point as any — with the understanding that adults must sometimes endure being offended, that they understand that a sexual encounter involving two people may also involve two distinct sets of motives, that when they suffer a crime they must go to the police, etc.

What cannot stand — because it cannot support the weight of its contradiction — is a social arrangement under which 22-year-olds can go from leading Marines or raising children to being children by simply crossing the street onto a college campus.

One doctor explains what a debacle the requirement from Obamacare that all doctors use electronic records has been.
A 2014 survey by the industry group Medical Economics discovered that 67% of doctors are “dissatisfied with [EHR] functionality.” Three of four physicians said electronic health records “do not save them time,” according to Deloitte. Doctors reported spending—or more accurately, wasting—an average of 48 minutes each day dealing with this system.

That plays into the issue of higher costs. The Deloitte survey also found that three of four physicians think electronic health records “increase costs.” There are three reasons. First, physicians can no longer see as many patients as they once did. Doctors must then charge higher prices for the fewer patients they see. This is also true for EHRs’ high implementation costs—the second culprit. A November report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that the average five-physician primary-care practice would spend $162,000 to implement the system, followed by $85,000 in first-year maintenance costs. Like any business, physicians pass these costs along to their customers—patients.

Then there’s the third cause: Small private practices often find it difficult to pay such sums, so they increasingly turn to hospitals for relief. In recent years, hospitals have purchased swaths of independent and physician-owned practices, which accounted for two-thirds of medical practices a decade ago but only half today. Two studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association and one in Health Affairs published in 2014 found that, in the words of the latter, this “vertical integration” leads to “higher hospital prices and spending.”

Proponents of electronic health records nonetheless claim that EHRs decrease record-keeping errors and increase efficiency. My own experience again indicates otherwise and is corroborated by research.

So that's been a good investment, right?
espite receiving an estimated $39 billion in annual government subsidies over the past five years, the solar energy industry accounted for just one half of one percent (0.5%) of all the electricity generated in the U.S. during the first 10 months of 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

CNN picks the five most embarrassing Obama PR stunts to try to reach millennials. And that's not even including his interviews with GoZell Green and Bethany Mota or going on Between Two Ferns.

Joe Biden's rather creepy woman-touching habit of females he had never met previously continues. My parents had a friend who acted this way and I remember hiding under the bed when he visited because it made me so uncomfortable. But it's just funny Uncle Joe being Joe so it's just humorous, not creepy.

And since ol' Uncle Joe has such expertise on foreign policy, because after all isn't that why he was put on the ticket, why not have him lead the administration's big meeting on violent extremism so he could lend his own unique ability to connect with people of other ethnicities? He's just such a great guy that he gets along very well with Somalis living in Wilmington, Delaware.
"If you ever come to the train station with me, you'll notice that I have great relationships with them because there's an awful lot of them driving cabs and are friends of mine. For real," Biden said Tuesday at a summit on violent extremism, according to video posted bv The Washington Post.

Biden made his remarks while noting the large number of East African immigrants in Minnesota.

"In Minneapolis–Saint Paul, we're working to build relationships with the East African immigrants who have made your city their home. As the same folks, Somalis, who have made made my city of Wilmington, Delaware, [their home] on a smaller scale," he said. "It's a large, very identifiable Somali community."
And Biden has had even more opportunities for multi-cultural outreach as he told C-Span in 2006.
"I've had a great relationship. In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking," Biden said.
Such a funny guy, that Joe.

Stephen Moore has compiled a list of bipartisan deals that Obama has breached.
Now Republicans are learning another harsh lesson about this White House: on those rare occasions when a deal is reached, Obama routinely breaches it. Consider the recent evidence:

• Death tax. One of the few bipartisan of recent years was to set the death tax at 40 percent. Now two years later, he says in his State of the Union he wants to raise taxes at death to closer to 60 percent. This would be nearly the highest tax penalty at death in the world.
• Capital gains taxes. Obama entered office with these rates at 15 percent. Then he said repeatedly he would “only raise them to the rate of the Clinton years.” That was a lie from the start because the rate under Clinton was 20 percent, but he raised it to 23.8 percent including the surcharge imposed under Obamacare. Now he says he wants to raise the rate to 28 percent, which he says was the Reagan-era rate. And if he gets that he will no doubt say he only wants to raise it to the Nixon rates–of more than 36 percent.
• Taxing college savings plans. Obama said he would only raise taxes on the rich. But then he proposed taxing the build up of money in college savings plans and that would club the middle class. The plan was so unpopular, the White House dropped it, but anyone with a Roth IRA or build up in a pension plan better be on guard. You’re next.
• Budget caps. The 2011 Budget Control Act set strict caps on discretionary spending. But Obama keeps proposing piercing those caps–which he himself proposed in the first place. His new budget for 2016 wants to crash through the spending ceilings to the tune of $74 billion this year.
• Paid family leave. When liberals sold the idea of parental leave back in the 1990s, they stressed over and over that this was only “unpaid” leave and so employers wouldn’t face undue costs. Now Obama and the Democrats want paid leave. Give an inch, they want a subsidized mile.
• Keystone XL Pipeline. Obama first said he was holding up Keystone because of environmental concerns in Nebraska with respect to water issues. But those issues have finally been resolved by the courts. Obama is now inventing new excuses for getting to “no.”
• Immigration. Obama’s executive actions–of questionable legality–legalizing millions of illegal immigrants seems to Republicans to be intentionally designed as a poison pill for immigration reform.

So is it any wonder that Republicans feel they’ve been burned once too often?

Ed Rollins, Reagan’s political adviser, attributes Obama’s incapacity to make a deal “to arrogance and incompetence–there is no one at the White House who knows how to reach across the aisle even when it is in Obama’s own self-interest.”

Obama’s goal is not to negotiate with Republicans but to steamroller over them. And by so doing, his party is in shatters, and the one who has been steamrolled is himself.

Michael Brendan Dougherty argues that "Andrew Jackson was America's worst 'great' president." I can't disagree. I'm not sure what he did that was so great besides expanding the powers of the presidency, something which historians admire. Though he's one of the presidents my students most enjoy learning about. They think he was totally BA and that is all it takes to intrigue teenagers.

That's a headline no one could have ever predicted: "Patty Hearst's dog wins at Westminster" Good for her.