Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why Bill O'Reilly is gone

Bill O'Reilly had a good run.  But it was bound to end, and end it did.  I would have preferred that he had gone out under indictment, or otherwise frog marched in front of the cameras with his sport jacket over his head, but at least he's gone.

Bill is not unlike others of his mold: basically a big bully who has gotten everything to go his way for his entire life.  His downfall was a cumulative effect of how he lived his life:

Ivy League educated.  How he got into Harvard is anybody's guess, based on his background.  He grew up in a working class neighborhood in Leavitttown, NY, with a working class father scratching out a living.  But once he graduated from Harvard, he had that arrogance that all the Ivy League schools imbue in their graduates: they are our betters, they know everything and should be given whatever they want in life.  These Ivy Leaguers are for the most part insufferable.  And Bill O'Reilly is no exception. I hate Ivy League graduates.

He is a good looking guy.  It's no secret that good looking people have a leg up in society.  Notice that there are no bald, fat, short people reporting the evening news.  No, that just will never happen.  As he got older, he got uglier (don't we all), but in his youth he was a dashing figure, and he moved to the front of the line at all times, whatever line he wanted to cut.  I hate good looking people.

He is 6'4" tall.  Tall people always seem to think that because they can look over the crowd without a step stool, they know everything.  It starts in grade school or junior high: once these guys get to be that big, they assume the 'bull of the woods' mentality: don't you know I'm bigger than you?  And because I'm bigger than you, I am right and you are wrong.  True, not every tall guy is like this, but most are, or at least most tall guys that are 6'4" or taller that I've ever known are. All these tall guys were born on third base and think they hit a triple.  I hate tall guys.

And finally, he got wildly rich and famous.  That was the final nail in the coffin for Ivy League educated, good looking tall guys.  They think their poop doesn't stink.   I hate wildly rich and famous guys.

Bill O'Reilly had all of these things 'going for him,' or so he thought.  He would yell down his guests when they started getting the best of him, such as Barney Frank and Geraldo Rivera.  Screaming matches is how these guys get their way.  And with women, they just assume since they are Ivy League educated, good looking and tall, the girls will just swoon as they work their magic.

In Bill's case, a few of these gals he ran into didn't buy into all of his charms, and probably told him to go pound sand.  Big, Ivy League educated handsome tall guys don't put up with that, and his handlers had to pay up some significant monetary settlements to smooth over his misdeeds.

I will not miss Bill O'Reilly.  He was a big, nasty bully, and finally was held to account.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Lou Dobbs is right: Ryan is the most incompetent Speaker ever

Why Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wi) still has a job is beyond me.  This is the guy who personally scuttled the efforts of the Trump administration to repeal Obamacare.

Lou Dobbs, financial analyst on Fox Business channel, ever the Ryan detractor, has nothing good to say about Ryan.  Lou can point to absolutely nothing that Paul Ryan has ever accomplished, other than to get elected in backwater Wisconsin several times, tapped for Veep by Mitt Romney in his failed presidential run in 2012, and reluctantly accepted the Speaker's gavel (which he now refuses to give up).

Paul Ryan has legislatively opposed every initiative that Donald Trump has proposed, and is actively encouraging the Freedom Caucus, those renegade Republicans in the House who will vote down any bill that is not perfect.  

And of course, no bill is ever perfect, so we can count on the Freedom Caucus to scuttle every effort President Trump advances. With Ryan in the Speaker's chair, Trump's presidency will struggle to get anything done.  Ryan is in his heart of hearts a Never-Trumper who continues the fight to bring Donald Trump down.

This guy has got to go.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

They think we are all idiots

There's gold in them thar hills.  All you gotta do is just dig it out.  Stupidity is big business, with big money to be had from those dim bulbs out there who believe anything they see on TV.

"Marie Osmond lost 50 pounds of stubborn belly fat on Nutri-System.  You can, too!"  Everybody knows that if you say 'stubborn belly fat' enough times, the money will flow into the advertiser coffers.  And American bellies will still be layered with that stubborn belly fat.  Lots of it.

"Serve-Pro; it's like it never even happened."  A flood wipes out everything you own, and these guys will swoop in and make your life whole again.  The ads said so.  Right.  They will promise to fix every damn thing, just sign here.  And once your check clears, the foot dragging starts.  It'll take between now and Kingdom Come for these scalawags to get your life back together, and it will never be exactly to your liking.

"Nothing ever sticks to MY pan, ever."  Chef Daniel Green swears that you can buy his Gotham Steel frying pan and throw away all of your cleaning pads, scouring powder and such, just wipe his miracle pan clean with a paper towel.  I actually bought into this one myself, stupid me.  The pan loses its anti-stick properties after one or two uses.  

If you believe these guys, the only thing you will be guaranteed to lose is not your stubborn belly fat.  It's your wallet that's going to get skinny, and you will get virtually nothing in return.

Take those ads for reverse mortgages from AAG, featuring smooth talking, handsome Tom Selleck shilling these loans.  Stability in retirement is what they are selling.  Your home's equity turned into tax free cash, it's like money for nothing and your chicks for free.  "It's just another way for the bank to take your house," and Tom poo-poohs this notion.  Americans will believe Tom, he's too damn tall and handsome to lie.

Is Tom lying?  Well, technically, probably not.  He's reading a script.  The reverse mortgage people are counting on the dumb American public to trust these celebrities (and we do), and then watch the money flow in.  In fact, it is just another way for the bank to take your house.  Tom may not be lying technically, but what he is saying is not what you are signing up for.

We used to call these loans 'second mortgages,' and they are all the same: banks loan money to home owners and use the equity in the home as collateral.  Once you sign those papers, the bank just took your house.  "You still own your home," Tom croons.  Well, not really.  The bank has a lien on your house, just like any other instrument such as a home equity line of credit (HELOC), a home equity loan, or some banks even stick to the antiquated term 'second mortgage.'  

The only difference in these new fangled reverse mortgages from the old fashioned mortgages is how the loan is repaid.  Rather than chip away at the interest and principal each month with a payment, these things are back loaded and are paid in full once the home 'owner' vacates the house: assuming you don't default on the banks terms for maintaining their interests on 'their' property such as failing to fix the leaking roof, pay your annual property taxes or fail to take out home owner's insurance (which would be grounds for immediate eviction of you and your loved ones from the bank's house).

In the good ol' days, home owners would pay off their 30 year mortgage, burn the mortgage paper at the pay off date, and live happily ever after in their free and clear house.  And after the Good Lord calls these folks home, the off spring inherit the homestead.

Those days are long gone.  The bank now owns the home, until its interests are paid in full after the house is vacated.  Which is usually a hefty sum, often equalling the fair market value of the house (which the bank will arbitrarily and unilaterally determine).

These ads, all of them, promise the world to a gullible viewing public.  Word of advice: don't believe a word, not a syllable of what these shysters are hawking.  It's all crap, and the only winner in any transaction with these guys is them.  

Not you.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

A mansion on a sandy beach for everyone

Oh, to live in the Land of Plenty.  Where the streets are paved with gold, and everybody is nice all the time, and there is no evil, pain, suffering or want.  In this Land of Plenty, there is never a tear drop in any eye, and everybody has a mansion on a sandy beach.

Life is good in this Land of Plenty.

Of course, this Land of Plenty does not exist, has never existed at any time anywhere in the history of history.  And this Land of Plenty will never exist.  It is but the stuff of political promises.

We are now watching the legislative battles on Capitol Hill today, as the Democrats vow to keep Obamacare intact, the GOP Freedom Caucus vowing to scuttle the current Obamacare-Lite bill (The American Healthcare Act) because it is nothing more than the same thing we have now, only tweaked around the edges.  And of course, we have President Trump twisting arms to get his 216 votes needed to pass this latest pack of socialism wrapped in the American flag.

Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan have promised to repeal the massively socialist Obamacare program in favor of a kinder, gentler massive socialist program.  Speaker Ryan swears nobody will be left in the lurch, and nobody will have their current health care package go into a lapse of coverage.  

Everybody that voted for the GOP these last three out of four elections (2010, 2014 and 2016) wanted Obamacare gone, but wanted to retain the provisions of the act that covered pre-existing conditions and kids to remain on their parent's insurance until age 26.  Other than that, Obamacare stinks.  Right?

The pre-existing condition clause is nothing more than a naked transfer of trillions of dollars to those who need horrifically expensive treatment to survive.  There is just not enough money in the world to grant everybody a heart transplant or a kidney transplant that needs one, and only charge them a few dollars in co-payment.  These operations are hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

What the American voter and all politicians are saying is that these God awfully expensive medical procedures are a right, and not a priveledge (Ted Kennedy's words, they roll of the tongue, don't they?).  If money is no object, which clearly everyone agrees is the case when it comes to health care, why not grant every American the right to fly their own personal Lear jet?

And grant everybody in the U.S. a mansion on a sunny, sandy beach?  As a right?  We're talking about the same sentiment.  We just don't have the money to grant everybody anything their heart desires because some folks can afford it and some folks can't.  

That kind of talk is just mean spirited, just ask Chuck Schumer (D-NY) or Bernie Sanders (Communist - USSR).

This is not a mean spirited country, right?  Free shit for everybody!  As much as the Freedom Caucus is gumming up the latest works regarding passage of this latest free shit bill, they at least understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Or a free mansion on the beach.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What happened to all of this 'repeal and replace' stuff?




The announcements are in.  The conservative majority in the House and the Republican president who ran and were elected on promises of 'repeal and replace Obamacare' are now starting to weasel out of their promises.

This newly announced "American Health Care Act" still has many of the prohibitively expensive taxes and mandates that Obamacare had:

  • you still have to have insurance, but now if you don't have it rather than pay Uncle Sam, you pay the hated insurance companies.
  • The 'Cadillac' plan tax is still there, although deferred until 2025.
  • "Kids" still stay on their parent's policy until age 26.
  • Pre-existing conditions cannot disqualify anyone from obtaining insurance.
In other simpler terms, it has now accurately been called "Obamacare-Lite" or "Obamacare 2.0".  And for good reason: all of these provisions are unsustainable, and will never control costs.  The pre-existing conditions clause alone will bankrupt the system sooner or later, as taking on gravely sick people ('adverse selection') and not charging them accordingly is an actuarial unsound principle.  This is not insurance, it is something else.

This nonsense sounds nothing like their promised 'repeal and replace.'  It is bad public health policy.  I rarely agree with Utopian dreamer Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky), but in this case I have complete agreement with him: this is no better than Obamacare.  Costs will not come down, levels of care will not get better, deductibles and premiums will still be God Awful.

Heads have got to roll on this one.  At least The Donald has said that he is open to negotiation on this bill.  Nowhere in this mess is the allowance for insurance companies to cross state lines to compete in any state they choose to participate in.  This alone would do wonders for lowering premiums.  

Regardless of what we finally get out of this Congress and president, it will come up short of getting the job done: control skyrocketing costs of health care.  We started down the path of expensive health care bills when we as a nation no longer paid for services directly to doctors with cash money; a mere 75 years ago, our health care system had no government involvment, no insurance, no middle men, none of that.  Then Franklin Delano Roosevelt decided that things had to change.  And they indeed changed - for the worse.

Back in the day, we paid for health care ourselves, directly to our doctor.  Once we started putting middle men in between our doctors and patients, concern for costs became a thing of the past: why bother worrying about costs if everybody perceives that somebody else is paying for things?

Sure, when we feel like we don't have to pay for it, we'll have the Chateau Briand, the beluga caviar and the Maine lobster.  And keep it coming, damn you!  

And that's what things have come down to.  Nobody wants to have to pay for their health care, only a few measly bucks for a co-pay, but no more.  When did we start with this foolishness of mandating that doctors have to treat patients, regardless of their ability to pay?  That is killing us, too.  Free health care for everybody, woo hoo!

And this latest bill is not going to fix what is essentially wrong with our system.  Everybody thinks it should be almost free, and consume as much doctor's care as we can dream of.

It's killing us.  Some kinda health care, if you ask me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It's kind of nice to have a president again

"We haven't had a president for a very long time. The world took it for granted that we were simply their punching bag. That concept is no longer valid - but it was for 8 miserable years." 

So true.  LL at Virtual Mirage recently penned these words. For the last 8 years, Americans were satisfied that they wanted to be led by someone who had absolutely no executive experience at any point in his life.  Obama had not so much as run a lemonade stand, much less the economy of the greatest nation in the history of mankind.  We were more interested in electing a black guy to the Oval Office than any other reason.  A black guy that couldn't manage his way out of a wet paper bag, much less guide the allocation of our nation's resources to the benefit of the public as a whole.

I recall early on in Barry's God awful administration that he was going to 'focus like a laser' on jobs.  Right.  He held a 'jobs forum,' where he summoned a pack of liberal CEO's and other sundry lefties into a conference room, lectured them for awhile about the virtues of wealth redistribution, and then broke them into focus groups and sent them off into little huddles.  He then commanded them to return their conclusions to him, and he would combine the best of the suggestions, and assemble the best practises that he felt would accomplish creating jobs.

And that was it.  That was his laser focus on jobs.  Good Lord, that had to be the most feeble attempt at managing any major issue facing our country, perhaps ever.  Does anybody remember what good came out of this jobs summit?  Anybody? Buehler?.....Buehler?....(...crickets chirping here...).

For 8 long years, the U.S. never had anything even close to 3% GDP growth.  We just crept along, barely squeaking by.  Year after anemic year.  And now, just a few months after the election of Donald Trump, equity growth in American portfolios has increased a whopping $2.9 TRILLION dollars. In three measly months, two of which The Donald was only the president-elect. 

In his short tenure, Donald Trump has met with enumerable auto execs, titans of Silicon Valley, movers and shakers of all shapes and sizes.  He has single handedly jacked up the confidence of American businesses to levels not seen since, well, ever.  

Donald Trump had more executive experience under his belt before he turned 25 than Barry achieved in his whole miserable life.  And we are seeing the benefits of actually having an accomplished leader calling the shots nationally.

It really is nice to have a president again, after so long without one.  


Friday, February 10, 2017

Time to abolish the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (and we really mean it this time)

For those of us who remember Newt Gringrich's first run at the presidency in 2011, one of his plans if elected was to abolish the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  At the time, the ridiculous rulings that emanated from this panel of clowns included banning "one nation under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Also included in Newt's plans that year were colonizing the moon, but I digress.  Gingrich actually laid out plans for eliminating the most reversed federal judicial body in the history of U.S. jurisprudence, and of course the Left had a cow.  The Left has long known that foisting their agenda on Americans is tough using actual votes and the elective process.  Accordingly, they have been steadily making inroads into the judiciary, stacking it with liberal pinkos who make political decisions rather than constitutional ones. Of course they would go apoplectic over losing one of their cherished agenda movers - the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gingrich points out that Thomas Jefferson eliminated quite a few judicial appointments during his tenure (18 of 35 federal judges bit the dust back then).  The technical framework in doing this today is still in place, and can be done; other than the Supreme Court, the rest of the judiciary is created by Congress, and Congress can un-create it at its pleasure.  

Now a gang of three from this panel of idiots has determined that for any number of irrelevant and ridiculous reasons, the President of the United States does not have the power to control immigration - despite it clearly being a power designated solely to the executive branch of government.  Donald Trump pointed out earlier that even a bad high school student understood the statute.  

Apparently the 9th Circuit folks are packed with very bad high school students.   Time to disband this bunch of morons.