Saturday, September 24, 2011

Leftist "civility" again -- including racial slur: "Chink"

‘Go Give Someone a Pedicure Chink’: Alec Baldwin Fans Attack Michelle Malkin Over Davis Execution

Wednesday’s execution of convicted murderer Troy Davis sparked heated, passionate debate, though perhaps no protests reached the same level of vitriol as a Twitter exchange between actor Alec Baldwin and conservative commentator Michelle Malkin.

Baldwin live-tweeted a chronicle of events as they unfolded Wednesday, including the Supreme Court’s refusal to grant a last-minute stay of execution. Once it was announced that Davis was dead, shortly after 11 p.m., Baldwin turned his ire toward Malkin, who had also been following the developments:

It didn’t stop there. Over the next couple hours, Baldwin attacked former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the “blood-thirsty right wing trash”:

On her own Twitter page, Malkin began re-posting and responding to some of the hateful, racist slurs she began receiving from other online users, presumably at Baldwin’s behest:

It appears Malkin was the first one to engage Baldwin Wednesday night with the following tweet touching off the ensuing back-and-forth:

Regardless, the sheer level of maliciousness Malkin received in return is decidedly stunning. Incidentally, Baldwin’s attacks on Malkin did not end Wednesday night. Thursday morning, he posted:



More "civility"

Texas Teacher Calls Tea Party President A ‘Nazi’

On Tuesday, the San Antonio Tea Party was part of a panel supported by a local public radio station – 89.1 KSTX. The topic of discussion – the DREAM Act and the problem of illegal immigration.

Jonathon Bryant, a Government Studies teacher from John F. Kennedy High School attended the event along with some of his students (who, according to Bryant, may be illegals). Mr. Bryant asked a question of the panel about students that were illegal aliens and what should be done with them.

After the president of the group affirmed his support for the laws governing illegal aliens in the schools, Mr. Bryant just couldn’t contain himself. He decided to levy a “Nazi” charge:



Bam's Government Loans to Nowhere Bill

Michelle Malkin

President Obama still hasn't learned the classic First Rule of Holes: When you're in one, stop digging. Up to his earlobes in failed stimulus grants and tainted federal loan guarantees, the shoveler in chief tunneled forward this week on his latest Government Loans to Nowhere bill. His willful ignorance is America's abyss.

Little noticed in the White House jobs-for-cronies proposal is a provision creating yet another corruption-friendly "government corporation" that would dole out public infrastructure loans and loan guarantees.

Because, you know, the government-chartered, political hack-stacked Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "public-private partnerships" -- which have incurred an estimated $400 billion in losses while enriching bipartisan Beltway operatives -- worked out so well for American taxpayers.

The new monstrosity, dubbed the "American Infrastructure Financing Authority" (AIFA), would "provide direct loans and loan guarantees to facilitate investment in economically viable infrastructure projects of regional or national significance," according to the White House plan.

President Obama would have the power to appoint AIFA's chief executive officer and a seven-member board of directors. No doubt the nominees would include the likes of AFL-CIO Chief Richard Trumka on the left and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the right -- strange Obama bedfellows who have formed a Big Labor-Big Business-Big Government alliance supporting Obama's infrastructure slush fund.

In addition, a new bureaucracy to support AIFA would be created, including a "Chief Lending Officer" in charge of "all functions of AIFA relating to the development of project pipeline, financial structuring of projects, selection of infrastructure projects"; the "creation and management of a Center for Excellence to provide technical assistance to public sector borrowers in the development and financing of infrastructure projects"; and creation and funding of "an Office of Rural Assistance to provide technical assistance in the development and financing of rural infrastructure projects."

In its first two years, AIFA would rake in $10 billion in congressional appropriations; $20 billion over the next seven years; and $50 billion per fiscal year after that. How would Obama ensure the loan review process is protected from special interest favor-trading and White House meddling? If the ongoing, half-billion-dollar stimulus-funded Solyndra solar company loan debacle is any indication, the answer is: not very well.

And consider Obama's naked partisan stunt on Thursday at the Brent Spence Bridge connecting GOP House Speaker John Boehner's home state of Ohio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's home state of Kentucky. "There's no reason for Republicans in Congress to stand in the way of more construction projects. There's no reason to stand in the way of more jobs," he railed. "Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell, help us rebuild this bridge. Help us rebuild America. Help us put this country back to work. Pass this jobs bill right away!"

While he has high-mindedly called on "Washington" (as if he isn't at the center of it) to put country over politics, he continues to use tax dollars to travel the country for campaign events assailing Republicans in front of decrepit bridges that wouldn't see a dime of his "immediate" jobs bill money for years. If ever.

The point was made not by evil GOP obstructionists, but by the local Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper, which pointed out that the Brent Spence Bridge is not named in Obama's jobs bill, has no guarantee of funding in the jobs bill, and "is still in the preliminary engineering and environmental clearance phase. In a best case scenario, the earliest that workers would be hired would be in 2013, but more likely 2015."

It gets worse. Obama's infrastructure loan corps wouldn't just oversee bridge loans to nowhere. The AIFA board would get to dispense billions and score political points for their favorite photo-op-ready roads, mass transit, inland waterways, commercial ports, airports, air traffic control systems, passenger rail, high-speed rail, freight rail, wastewater treatment facilities, storm water management systems, dams, solid-waste disposal facilities, drinking water treatment facilities, levees, power transmission and distribution, storage, and energy-efficiency enhancements for buildings.

As I reported in my Tuesday column, a separate $6 billion "private nonprofit corporation" would be created by the Obama jobs plan to oversee the "Public Safety Broadband Corporation." The panel would consist of 11 board members and four Obama administration officials. It, too, would be tasked with choosing winners and losers. Instead of local and state governments overseeing construction, this new federally created investing entity would "hold the single public safety wireless license granted under section 281 and take all actions necessary to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of a secure and resilient nationwide public safety interoperable broadband network."

Given last week's bombshell revelations of White House pressure on military and government officials to promote the president's old broadband cronies at shady LightSquared Inc., the idea of empowering a new Obama bureaucracy to dole out more broadband contracts in the name of "public safety" is unsettling at best. Deeper and deeper we go.



Romneycare update

A leading indicator of where Obamacare is heading

Paying for more benefits for more people inevitably makes medicine more expensive. Costs for Commonwealth Care, the Massachusetts government's subsidized insurance program alone are up a fifth over initial projections. Last year State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill wrote: "The universal insurance coverage we adopted in 2006 was projected to cost taxpayers $88 million a year. However, since this program was adopted in 2006, our health-care costs have in total exceeded $4 billion. The cost of Massachusetts' plan has blown a hole in the Commonwealth's budget."

State finances have not collapsed only because RomneyCare spread the costs widely, forcing virtually everyone in and out of the state to share the pain. Cahill cited federal subsidies as keeping the state afloat financially. Indeed, a June study from the Beacon Hill Institute concluded that "The state has been able to shift the majority of the costs to the federal government." The Institute pointed to higher costs of $8.6 billion since the law was implemented. Just $414 million was paid by Massachusetts. Medicaid (federal payments) covered $2.4 billion. Medicare took care of $1.4 billion.

But even more costs, $4.3 billion, have been imposed on the private sector — employers, insurers, and residents. This estimate is in line with an earlier study by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which figured that 60% of the new costs fell on individuals and businesses.

As expenses have risen, so have premiums. Noted Kuttner, "because serious cost containment was not part of the original package, premium costs in the commonwealth have risen far faster than nationally — by 10.3%, the most recent year available." Economists John F. Cogan, Glenn Hubbard, and Daniel Kessler figured that RomneyCare inflated premiums by 6% from 2006 to 2008. This at a time where the state-subsidized Commonwealth Care was displacing private insurance for many people, thereby reducing demand, which should have reduced cost pressures.

Unfortunately, noted the Beacon Hill Institute, "private companies have no choice but to pass the higher costs onto the insured. Some of these costs fall in the double-digit range." That naturally displeased public officials, since it undercut their claim to have solved Massachusetts' health care problems.

Gov. Deval Patrick responded like King Canute: he insisted that premiums not rise. Predictably, his rejection of proposed rate hikes required insurers to operate at a loss and placed several in financial jeopardy.

Robert Dynan, the career insurance commissioner tasked with maintaining insurer solvency, wrote that the state "implemented artificial price caps on HMO rates. The rates, by design, have no actuarial support." Last year Sandy Praeger, Kansas' insurance Commissioner, observed: "Right now, premium increase have never been more political. If there is any way to justify not granting the increase, commissioners are looking for them."

Thankfully, Gov. Patrick's price controls did not fare well when challenged in court and his administration eventually negotiated reduced rate hikes. But the governor then came up with a new legislative program to arbitrarily reduce medical costs.

Even weaker restrictions would be counterproductive. The Beacon Hill Institute warned that "Controlling costs will translate into capping services provided by physicians and other caregivers. These are, in effect, price controls that will dampen the incentive to provide services and lead to longer wait times and the rationing of healthcare."

Even worse, bankrupt insurance carriers would mean either no health care coverage or expensive government bail-outs. Yet John Graham of the Pacific Research Institute detailed shrinking margins and pervasive losses for Massachusetts health insurers. He warned "that if politicians refuse to allow health plans to increase their premiums at a rate commensurate with the increase in medical costs, health plans will plunge into financial crisis within a remarkably short period of time." Indeed, carriers "will stand at the precipice of insolvency if the political class in Massachusetts insists on continuing to follow the path that it has chosen."

Unfortunately, worse is likely to come. The Rand Corporation concluded that "in the absence of policy change, health care spending in Massachusetts is projected to nearly double to $123 billion in 2020, increasing 8% faster than the state's" GDP. Added Rand, continued cost increases of this magnitude "threaten the long-term viability of the initiative." Nor can the state count on an increasingly strapped federal government to continue its generous subsidies. Moreover, at some point people and businesses will flee the state rather than pay ever more to underwrite the state's health care program.

Finally, RomneyCare inflated demand for medical services without increasing the corresponding supply. The Beacon Hill Institute concluded: "The vast number of the newly insured residents in Massachusetts is responsible for bottlenecks in the primary care system that forces residents to utilize emergency room care at a significantly higher than expected rate."

A fifth of adults report difficulty in finding a physician to treat them. Earlier this year the Massachusetts Medical Society discovered "more than half of primary care practices closed to new patients, longer wait times to get appointments with primary and specialty physicians, and significant variations in physician acceptance of government and government-related insurance products."

New York internist Marc Siegel observed: "The wait time for an appointment is now routinely over a month for primary-care doctors and specialists. Internists and family practitioners report being so overwhelmed — too many patients, too much time pressure — that more than half are closing their practices to new patients." You'd think Massachusetts was a province of Canada.

The state's subsidized programs effectively drive away doctors. Explained Siegel: "More than half of primary-care docs in Massachusetts find themselves unable to work with Medicaid or Commonwealth Care (state-subsidized insurance), which both pay providers poorly." Acceptance rates are far lower than even for Medicare, and one Massachusetts legislator has proposed making medical licensure contingent upon acceptance of state-subsidized plans.

Although the expansion of insurance was supposed to reduce emergency room use, visits rose 9% from 2004 to 2008. Ironically, noted Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute, "difficulties in getting primary care have led to an increasing number of patients who rely on emergency rooms for basic medical services." Thus, uncompensated care still costs more than $400 million annually.

The state also encouraged adverse selection, as predicted. Many healthy people chose to remain uninsured and pay the fine (or lie about having purchased coverage). They then bought insurance when sick, and dropped the policy when it was no longer necessary. Massachusetts was forced to institute an open enrollment period, limiting when people could sign up for insurance — an otherwise bizarre restriction when the objective is to increase the number of people insured.

ObamneyCare is bad policy. Gov. Romney's signature policy achievement, no less than President Obama's principal legislative victory, is a bust.



List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh no...not another anti-Asian statement again by Baldwin...and it seems he did it the second time...the first against Filipino maids, then again at a Filipino-American commentator!