Patterico's Pontifications

6/4/2009

Odd Link of the Night

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:52 pm

Go here to learn “the cause of a recent spate of broken penises in Jamaica.”

That’s two words that shouldn’t even be in the same sentence.

Thanks (I think) to Allahpundit on Twitter.

Outrageous Media Spin of the Day

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 9:37 pm

What’s unemployment under Barack Obama? Funemployment!

Top Conservative Site on the Internet Omitted from B.S. List of Influential Blogs

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:54 pm

Allahpundit mocks the latest stupid list of supposedly influential bloggers:

Seriously, though, we get a thousand times the traffic of the blog at number 100. What’s it going to take, Wikio? More Meghan McCain material? More O’Reilly-bashing? More gentle criticism of Palin that’s treated as a ferocious attack by her supporters in the comments? Work with me. . . . Also conspicuously absent from the list: Ace and Red State, among others.

Red State is there, actually, at position 50 — but Allah still has a point. There’s something farcical about a list that omits Hot Air and Ace of Spades, but includes Oliver Willis.

It gets worse. Check out the piece of crap blog they have at position 46. Proof positive this list is worthless.

Two Quotes Re Sotomayor

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:08 pm

First:

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor delivered multiple speeches between 1994 and 2003 in which she suggested “a wise Latina woman” or “wise woman” judge might “reach a better conclusion” than a male judge.

Those speeches, released Thursday as part of Sotomayor’s responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s questionnaire, [] suggest her widely quoted 2001 speech in which she indicated a “wise Latina” judge might make a better decision was far from a single isolated instance.

Second:

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor told Sen. Dianne Feinstein Tuesday her controversial Latina remarks were a “poor choice of words,” the California Democrat said.

“She said, ‘Obviously it was a poor choice of words if you read on and read the rest of my speech you wouldn’t be concerned with it but it was a poor choice of words,'” Feinstein told reporters.

You know, it may have been a “poor choice of words” — but she chose the words time and time again, and she believes what she was saying.

Obama Driving Dems Left on Healthcare Takeover

Filed under: General — Karl @ 2:50 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Pres. Obama apparently has decided on a partisan takeover of America’s healthcare system:

President Obama on Tuesday affirmed his support for the creation of a government-sponsored health insurance plan, but he acknowledged that such a plan would sharply reduce the chances for Republican support of legislation to overhaul the health care system, Democratic senators said.

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and centrists like Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) are clearly feeling the White House pressure. Baucus had been trying to play down the notion of a public plan, in hopes of finding compromise with Republicans.

The Obama administration is also looking to empower the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to set Medicare payment rates, conduct trial programs, and fund policy initiatives — perhaps even as an annual up-or-down package vote in Congress, akin to the military base closure commission. It is a backdoor way of enforcing comparative effectiveness research of the sort that kills cancer patients and requires real colonoscopies instead of virtual ones.

Obama has become fixated enough on trying to ram through a government takeover that he is now willing to consider mandates on individuals and employers, and taxing employer-sponsored health benefits.

The problem for Obama — and the Dems he is pressuring — is that none of this is popular with voters. The Wall Street Journal summes it up nicely:

Democrats are trying to rush the largest entitlement expansion since LBJ into law with a truncated debate and as little public scrutiny as possible. At this point all they’ve released are the vaguest “policy options,” not concrete specifics. Yet the Senate plans to begin marking up legislation next week, maybe hold a hearing or two, then have something to the floor by the end of the month, votes by the August recess and a bill to the Oval Office by Thanksgiving. On the seventh day, they will rest. Mr. Obama had 24 Senate Democrats over for a White House chat yesterday to drive the calendar ahead.

It’s not hard to see why Democrats are trying to hew to this full-speed-ahead timetable. Their health overhaul will run up a 13-figure price tag at a time when spending and deficits are already at epic levels and hook up the middle class to an intravenous drip of government health subsidies for generations to come. These are not realities that Democrats want the American people to mull over for very long.

This is especially true for the majority of Americans who are generally satisfied with their coverage and doctors but worried about cost. They might get scared off if they were allowed the chance to realize that Democrats will do almost nothing to restrain rising health spending.

That last paragraph outlines the main obstacle over which the Clintons — and others before them — have stumbled. Polls almost always show a plurality of people say they want big healthcare reform and think it is a government responsibility. But when Democrats try to takeover the system, the same polls showing that people like their coverage and do not want government making it worse tend to foreshadow the outcome. This time, the Democrats are trying to sell reform cost-containment, but only 19% of voters believe it will reduce costs. Ironically, the big-government, high-tax proposals Obama is advocating (or willing to accept) now will only result in greater public resistance to the bills that emerge from the Congressional committees.

–Karl

Chrysler Judge to Rule on Dealer Terminations

Filed under: Court Decisions,Government,Obama — DRJ @ 11:02 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Chrysler bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez is conducting a hearing today to decide whether Chrysler should be able to terminate 789 of its dealerships. Judge Gonzalez began the hearing by saying that Chrysler has a good case for termination but, nevertheless, he thinks it’s “still important to have this hearing.”

I’m sure that is comforting to the owner of Quality Jeep Chrysler, Inc., of Albuquerque, New Mexico, whose attorney is appearing today to object to the termination of his franchise. Here’s an excerpt from his Opening Statement:

“14. As just one of many examples, Quality Jeep Chrysler, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was designated for rejection. The Dodge dealer down the block was designated for assumption. That was an exceedingly strange decision. The assumed Dodge dealer: i) is insolvent, ii) has been closed for over three months, iii) was publicly accused by the New Mexico Attorney General of conducting an “automotive Ponzi scheme,” and iv) had a contempt order entered against it for fraud and deceptive trade practices. Yet Chrysler seeks to assume that Dodge dealer’s franchise agreement. There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.”

The terminated dealers aren’t just complaining, they also offer solutions:

“15. As set forth above, there is a way for the Court to take a hard look at Chrysler’s business judgment without unnecessarily delaying the closing of the Sale Transaction. All the American government, the UAW and Fiat have to do is cause New Chrysler to accept for assignment, those dealer agreements that this Court determines, in an expedited process, were improperly designated for rejection by Chrysler in the first instance. There should be no
objection to that.”

There are other stories of terminated dealerships at the first link. In light of Judge Gonzalez’s statement before the hearing began, I have an idea what will happen to them and Quality Jeep Chrysler, Inc.

— DRJ

Justice in Philadelphia

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 10:21 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Philadelphia police have a suspect in custody in connection with Monday’s brutal rape of an 11-year-old girl abducted on her way to school. The suspect, Jose Carrasquillo, was apprehended after angry neighbors recognized him from a police photo listing him as a person of interest in the girl’s rape:

“About a dozen neighborhood residents flew into a rage yesterday afternoon when they cornered Jose Carrasquillo, who police said they had linked through physical evidence to the heinous Monday-morning rape of Reynolds’ daughter.

The justice-seeking mob rained fists, feet and wooden sticks upon Carrasquillo, 26, for several minutes until police intervened at Front and Clearfield streets.

When the dust cleared, Carrasquillo, whose last known address was Orkney Street near York, was in critical condition at a local hospital, and police officials were thanking the locals for helping them catch a man they had pursued feverishly but identified only as “a person of interest.”

Carrasquillo remains hospitalized with head injuries and is being investigated in connection with other unsolved rapes. However, it appears he won’t be classified as the victim of an assault because the police will not charge his attackers:

“Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Thursday that no charges will be filed against the group of about a dozen residents of the city’s West Kensington section who attacked 26-year-old Jose Carrasquillo.

Ramsey added that he doesn’t condone violence.”

The Mayor also refuses to condemn vigilante justice.

— DRJ

Researchers: 62% of 2007 Bankruptcies are Medical

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 7:29 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Asserting that medical bills are involved in more than 60% of American bankruptcies, researchers from Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University are doing their part to help Barack Obama get nationalized health care:

Using a conservative definition, 62.1 percent of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical; 92 percent of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5,000, or 10 percent of pretax family income,” the researchers wrote.
***
The researchers, whose work was paid for by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said the share of bankruptcies that could be blamed on medical problems rose by 50 percent from 2001 to 2007.”

The study was based on public bankruptcy records for 2,134 random families who filed for bankruptcy between January and April 2007, with telephone surveys of 1,032 respondents. The debtors’ locations and bankruptcy district(s) are not stated in the article.

However, while the researchers may be certain that medical costs caused over 60% of the bankruptcies, the debtors aren’t so certain:

While only 29 percent directly blamed medical bills for their bankruptcy, 62 percent had medical bills that totaled more than 10 percent of family income, said an illness was responsible, had lost income due to illness or some other medical factor.”

Bankruptcy court statistics show there were 850,912 bankruptcies filed in the United States during the 2007 calendar year and 193,641 bankruptcies filed during the first quarter of 2007, the period covered by this study. Thus, the study of 2,134 families is based on 1.1% of all bankruptcies filed in the first quarter of 2007 and on .25% of all bankruptcies filed in calendar year 2007. Furthermore, the telephone survey of 1,032 respondents represents .53% of all bankruptcies filed in the first quarter of 2007 and .12% of all bankruptcies filed during the 2007 calendar year.

Those don’t strike me as significant samples or data from a sustained period of time that would justify sweeping changes to America’s health care system. I guess that’s why I’m not a medical reseacher, because researchers Dr. David Himmelstein and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler conclude that “[o]nly single-payer national health insurance can make universal, comprehensive coverage affordable by saving the hundreds of billions we now waste on insurance overhead and bureaucracy.”

By the way, Dr. Himmelstein is described as an advocate for a single-payer health insurance program for the United States.

— DRJ

Texas Quote of the Day

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 6:34 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Texas law prevents building on public beaches but in the final hours of the recent legislative session, state Rep. Wayne Christian approved and voted for an amendment that exempted land for his Bolivar Peninsula vacation home that had been destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Christian defended his position:

“Christian said his vote for the amendment benefited other peninsula property owners and therefore was not a breach of ethics. ‘If I were to pass a law that affected only Wayne Christian, that would be a conflict,’ he said. At least 12 of his neighbors want to rebuild but can’t without the amendment, Christian said.”

But Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has asked Governor Rick Perry to veto the the bill with the amendment, and if that doesn’t happen:

“If the governor signs the bill, Patterson vowed that he would not enforce the amendment. “My option is just to say, ‘Screw you, Wayne Christian,’ because the Legislature didn’t pass this, one guy passed this,” he said.

Patterson said the Legislature would have to impeach him if lawmakers wanted the provision enforced.”

— DRJ


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