Patterico's Pontifications

11/30/2013

Obama – I Have Always Been Respectful Of Teabaggers

Filed under: General — JD @ 10:09 am

[guest post by JD]

this has to be the first time in history that a sitting President penned a letter using a sexual slur towards someone that disagrees with his not at all ideological politics.

He is a small person. And a liar.

—JD

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Obama has left himself the defense that he was simply quoting the other letter writer. Of course, he didn’t put quotes around the slur, and one wonders whether that was deliberate. It reminds me of his numerous “innocent” scratches of his face with his middle finger extended. He has deniability, but it still gives the radicals a chuckle.

Obama Can Tell Who Is An Immigrant By Looking At Them

Filed under: General — JD @ 10:06 am

[guest post by JD]

Imagine if a conservative said something so profoundly stupid.

Profoundly ignorant.

OBAMA: As I was getting a tour of DreamWorks, I didn’t ask, but just looking at faces, I could tell there were some folks who are here not because they were born here, but because they want to be here and they bring extraordinary talents to the United States.

—JD

Healthcare.gov- Update

Filed under: General — JD @ 9:56 am

[guest post by JD]

Today or tomorrow is supposed to be the day that the ObamaCare website’s “glitches” are fixed. Depending on whom you ask, it will be fixed, it will work for the vast majority of users, the vast majority if users will have a better experience, or 80% will be successful. Regardless, it seems that there are still errors on the back end which would account for big problems down the road. It seems that they are going to use page load times as one of their metrics to prove success. The capacity issues are resolved, so long as everyone doesn’t rush to get on the website, hence their suggestions to try to log in at night and on weekends. Can you imagine Travelocity pimping off-hour capacity for website traffic? Even if they do “fix” the website, they were forced to push the small business exchange out until after the 2014 elections, coincidence, I am sure. They illegally waived the large employer mandate until after the 2014 elections. People will still encounter sticker shock at higher premiums and deductibles. Small business and large business plans will continue to be forced to cancel, on top of the individual plan wave of cancellations.

But the tech surge will certainly be deemed a success. Because they lie.

Related links

My website that he knew nothing about.

My lies are built on kindness

I can waive any portion of my law whenever I wish

it is fixed, but please please please keep people from using it right away

UPDATE – I forgot to note above, that there is still no payment system in place. So, by any rational metric, the system is a failure for 100% of users.

—JD

Rivalries

Filed under: General — JD @ 9:22 am

[guest post by JD]

The Ohio State University vs Michigan
Auburn vs Alabama
Oregon vs Oregon State in a classic
Georgia vs Georgia Tech
Many others ….
Enjoy

—JD

11/29/2013

Cancer Patient Loses Coverage, Blames ObamaCare . . . Gets Audited

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:26 am

So earlier this month, a cancer patient named Bill Elliott went on Fox News with Megyn Kelly, complaining that his health insurance had been cancelled. He believes it was because of ObamaCare.

So far, nothing particularly new here. We’ve heard these stories — and you know there are plenty more out there.

It seems as though the Obama administration knows it, too — and wants to discourage more criticism. FrontPageMag.com reports (via Instapundit):

[Bill Elliott] went on FOX News where his story was picked up by C. Steven Tucker, a health insurance broker who helped him keep his insurance.

Now suddenly Bill Elliott is being audited for 2009 with an interview only scheduled in April 2014. Assuming he lives that long. That might be a coincidence, but Tucker is being audited back to 2003.

That’s a rather strange coincidence.

Here’s the timing of all this. The above video was posted on November 7, 2013. On November 14, Sara Marie Brenner wrote about it in the Washington Times, and explained the help that Tucker had given Elliott. As Tucker explains on his blog, Tucker was on the radio on November 13 and 15 discussing the matter. Twenty days after Elliott’s appearance on Fox News, Elliott reported the certified letter from the IRS, on this radio show broadcast on November 27:

Skip ahead to 23:00 to hear about it. Due to government cutbacks, Elliott gets to wait until April 2014 for his interview. In an update on his blog, Tucker reported news of Elliott’s audit, and disclosed that he was being audited too:

On November 27, 2013 Bill joined Rocky D again on South Carolina’s AM1340 WQSC. The good news? Bill is now in full remission thanks in large part to the life saving treatment he was able to continue receiving because his illegally cancelled policy was restored. The bad news? He is now being audited by the IRS and they are now coming after ME all the way back to 2003.

Oddly enough, Dr. Ben Carson was audited right after criticizing ObamaCare.

My, the coincidences do pile up, don’t they?

MEANWHILE: This boy has cancer. He lost his coverage due to information getting lost during the ObamaCare transition, affecting his chemotherapy. His mother was told that the correction of the problem could be expedited only if he were pregnant or an illegal. (No, really. That’s what his mother says she was told.)

This all brings up a significant problem, which is, of course: how is Obama going to audit this kid?

Oh well, there’s always his parents. And if they don’t pay income taxes, then the president could just audit the reporter who broadcast the story. And maybe the TV station that did the story has a license up for renewal. Heck, maybe the station owner visits porn sites and can simply be embarrassed into silence.

There’s always a way.

How Did Those Health Care Discussions Go at Dinner Last Night?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:22 am

Did anyone try to get anybody else to sign up? Did anyone say: “Would you like to take some time with me to sign up right now?” Did anyone have a pre-printed Bloomberg-approved place mat with pro-gun-control propaganda?

Tell about about your political discussions in this thread. (Or, if you didn’t have any, anything else about how your meal went!)

Black Friday! Breaking Bad Seasons Are Less Than $10 at Amazon

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is Black Friday!

I have been watching Breaking Bad, which I missed when it aired the first time around. Great series. The first five seasons are now ridiculously priced at under $10 per season on DVD. That’s less than half what I paid for most of them. I just got the fifth season. I frankly wish I had waited to buy seasons three and four, which I bought to have something to watch over the holiday, but that’s what I get.

Anything you buy after clicking the above link, or doing your own search through the Amazon search box to the right, contributes money to this blog (usually roughly 7% of your purchase) at absolutely no cost to you. Happy shopping.

11/28/2013

Fun Videos for Your Post-Turkey Internet Browsing

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:25 pm

I haven’t had my dinner yet, but the way the Internet and time zones work, most of you probably have. If you’re here looking for some mindless entertainment, you have come to the right place. Speaking of regional differences, here is a fun little video on regional expressions:

Thanks to Lou P. for this.

I match up with pretty much every expression or pronunciation that is native to North Texas, which is, I guess, no surprise — since (as regular readers know) I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. Probably the major area where I depart from North Texas-ese is calling a fast-moving road with no stoplights a “freeway” rather than a “highway.” I confess that I’ve become California-ized on that narrow expression.

But really: is “puh-CAHN” as the (proper) pronunciation of the word “pecan” really so narrowly limited to North Texas and a small handful of maybe six states to the north and east of Texas? Seriously? Do the rest of you pronounce that word in some other (stupid) way? More to the point, and a greater cause for concern, do other Texans (such as West Texans) pronounce that word incorrectly?

Please advise.

Second goofy video: the explanation for why your neighbor would rather earn $10,000 less if he could prevent you from being a millionaire. It turns out that the base emotion of envy does not just cause humans to act in an irrational fashion; monkeys have the same ethos:

Obama just wants to spread the grapes around, folks!

Happy Thanksgiving

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:38 pm

[As I have done before, I am reprinting the post below from 2006, about a mental exercise I sometimes employ to help me appreciate the good things in my life. Many people have written me to say that they have given their loved ones an extra hug after reading the post.

Even if you’re going through a rough time, I hope that there are positive aspects of your life that you can count as blessings. Realize that you won’t be able to count on these positive things forever. Hopefully this post will help you not to take those things for granted. Speaking of which, I am adding a bonus song to the end of the post, to reinforce the point. The singer, appropriately enough, is Glen Phillips.

Happy Thanksgiving.]

I’ve discovered a way to bring a new perspective to your life.

To explain it, I have to tell a little story.

Driving home Friday night, I was remembering a time years ago, when my daughter Lauren (now six years old) was in her first year. An old friend of mine was coming to town, and we went with my wife to see a Glen Phillips solo acoustic concert down near San Diego.

We were very excited to see the show. But for some reason, we couldn’t get a babysitter. So we decided to take Lauren. Since it was just an acoustic show, we hoped that she’d sleep peacefully on my lap. If, during the show, she got upset, I would take her out to the car. Thereafter, my wife and I would take turns watching her in the car.

Lauren was asleep when the concert began — but she awoke, crying, five seconds into the first song. It was louder than we had thought it would be. I hurriedly took her to the car, which was parked on the street about half a block away.

Once I had her out there, I never brought her back inside the club. Although part of me wanted to be back inside watching the concert, I was also having fun being with my daughter — at times talking to her when she was awake, and at times watching her sleep. Plus, I wanted to let my wife see the whole concert. I figured there was no reason to interrupt her enjoyment if I was having a perfectly good time.

It wasn’t so much that I preferred to be with my daughter than to watch a concert. I just didn’t mind staying out with her in the car.

Thinking about this the other night, I asked myself: Patrick, if you could go back to that night, right now, and either stay out in the car with Lauren, or be inside and watch the concert — which would you do?

And of course the answer was obvious.

The night it happened, I didn’t mind being in the car with my daughter. But if I could go back now, there’s no question that I would want to be there.

Not only would I stay in the car with her — I would make the most of the experience, realizing that I had a precious chance to see her at that age again. I would try to commit every moment to memory.

And then I realized: some day, years in the future, I might be asking the same question about my life today — this very minute. If you could have this moment back to live over again, what would you do?

The rest of that evening, I pictured myself as having been sent into my body from the future, to relive the moments I was experiencing. And I saw everything differently. I sat on the couch and watched television with my arm around my wife — all the while imagining myself as an old man, transported back in time to relive that moment. And all of a sudden, what otherwise might have seemed like a mundane moment seemed like a privilege. I felt like the luckiest guy in the world, just sitting there with my wife.

I’ve tried the trick all weekend, and it really changes your outlook. Just sitting around with a sleepy child in your arms is great any way you look at it. But if you picture yourself as someone whose child has grown up — if you imagine yourself as an older man, who would give the world to be back in that chair with that child in his arms — it makes you realize how important the moment is. And you appreciate it more.

Like any epiphany, I know that this will pass, to be remembered only from time to time. I hope I remember it often, when routine is wearing on me.

But there are times I actively need to forget it, because this outlook promotes a sort of hedonism. For example, right now, I need to clean the house — but that’s not really what I would choose to do if I were sent here from the future.

Oh, well. I’m going to clean up anyway. I think the guy from the future would understand — sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. I can hear my future self in my head right now. He says to make a nice cup of coffee and put on some music while I do it, and take some breaks to play with the kids. Enjoy the chores as well as the easy and fun moments, I hear him saying. Some day, you’ll miss even the chores. Some day, you’ll miss almost everything about your life the way it is right now.

11/27/2013

Snowden Document Reveals The Government Is Tracking Individuals’ Online Activities for the Explicit Purpose of Embarrassing Them

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am

The latest Edward Snowden document shows the government tracking online activities of people in order to discredit them with charges of hypocrisy for viewing porn and such. But it’s OK, nothing to worry about . . . they’re all Muslims:

The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document. The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, identifies six targets, all Muslims, as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target’s credibility, reputation and authority.

The NSA document, dated Oct. 3, 2012, repeatedly refers to the power of charges of hypocrisy to undermine such a messenger.”

It doesn’t take a genius to see how a brass knuckles politician might drool over access to information that would embarrass and destroy their critics and political opponents. And it does not take a fanatical student of political smear jobs to imagine information like this being used in a political campaign. See if you buy this argument in response:

Stewart Baker, a one-time general counsel for the NSA and a top Homeland Security official in the Bush administration, said that the idea of using potentially embarrassing information to undermine targets is a sound one. “If people are engaged in trying to recruit folks to kill Americans and we can discredit them, we ought to,” said Baker. “On the whole, it’s fairer and maybe more humane” than bombing a target, he said, describing the tactic as “dropping the truth on them.”

Any system can be abused, Baker allowed, but he said fears of the policy drifting to domestic political opponents don’t justify rejecting it. “On that ground you could question almost any tactic we use in a war, and at some point you have to say we’re counting on our officials to know the difference,” he said.

Sorry, Stu: no sale. Everything about this story screams, in 20-foot red letters: “POLITICIANS CAN AND WILL ABUSE INFORMATION LIKE THIS!!!!” This is pretty much a vindication of everyone who trumpeted the importance of the information being released by Snowden. This document, in my view, reveals important information that shows a fundamental restructuring of the relationship between the government and an individual. It doesn’t make Snowden a hero, necessarily . . . but I find this story eye-opening about the government’s real purposes in tracking Internet activity. We increasingly live our entire lives online these days. Maybe you don’t look at pornography at all, but don’t worry. Once the government is able to track and store all your internet activity, it can find some other way to intimidate you.

The depressing part is, I doubt any level of outrage is going to change the fact that government will do this. If they can do it, they will.

What, you got a problem with that? OK, I’m happy to hear you out, sir. Before we discuss your concerns, though, could I just ask you a few quick little questions about your browsing history?

Yeah. That’s what I thought. Have a nice day . . . sir.

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