June 30, 2009
June 29, 2009
I wonder if, from here on, every show on (MS)(C)NBC should have the message, "I'm Barack Obama, and I approved the message" air before the start of it.
June 26, 2009
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, the chief congressional advocate of taxing some employer-provided benefits to help pay for a $1 trillion overhaul of the U.S. health system, says any change should exempt perks secured in existing collective-bargaining agreements, which can be in place for as long as five years.
The exception, which could make the proposal more politically palatable to Democrats from heavily unionized states such as Michigan, is adding controversy to an already contentious debate. It would shield the 12.4 percent of American workers who belong to unions from being taxed while exposing some other middle-income workers to the levy.
“I can’t think of any other aspect of the individual income tax that treats benefits of different people differently because of who they work for,” said Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, a Washington research group that often criticizes Democrats’ economic proposals. Edwards said the carve-out “smacks of political favoritism.”
Baucus is proposing to tax Americans whose health insurance is valued at a higher rate than what is offered to federal employees. About 40 percent of insured Americans have costlier benefits, and Baucus has said he is trying to set the level at which taxes would be imposed high enough so fewer people are affected.
Never let it be said that the Democrat Party doesn't listen to its paymasters.
Oh, and *gasp*thanks*gasp* to my sister in law.
June 25, 2009
Lets put that into perspective, the entire 2010 federal budget of the US for 2010 is $3.6 trillion. These plans will cost $2.7-4.0 trillion dollars, think about what that will do to the buget, the burden that will put on your kids, and grand children. On top of that 64-70 million people will be forced to take the government option.
Yup. This should end well.
It's because Philip Morris is the largest maker of cigarettes and tobacco products in America, with over 50% market share on US cigarette sales. They actively supported these regulations because they know they can absorb the costs of these regulations and are able to more effectively lobby in DC to protect themselves, smaller tobacco producers aren't able to so. It was the smaller tobacco producers that opposed this bill, not Philip Morris. An example,
One health expert told Slate this bill was “a dream come true for Philip Morris,” in part because the company “protects domination of the market and makes it impossible for potentially competitive products to enter the market.” For one thing, effectively banning advertising won’t hurt Marlboro much, but it will crush smaller brands. And adding government control benefits those companies with the best lobbyists.
So basically, Philip Morris is using DC as a bludgeon against their competitors.
And then of course, after most of Philip Morris' competitors fold or are swallowed up, then most everything is under one corporation's control, which makes it very easy to regulate further, or even ban. Philip Morris is literally selling the rope with which they'll be hung. If you smoke or chew any brand that is owned by Philip Morris, and here's a list of some of them,
Benson & Hedges
And any brand under the US Smokeless Tobacco Company, the two biggest are Copenhagen and Skoal
...you may want to consider switching brands. If tobacco consumers are smart, they'll make Philip Morris pay dearly for this betrayal and their rotten competitive spirit.
What was that line about the merging of corporate and state power, again?
Nice to see he wants better care than what we would get.
June 18, 2009
Let me be clear. I don't believe that people have a "right" to health care; because, what advocating such a "right" basically means is that you believe you have a "right" to my mind; you have a "right" to my professional competence; i.e., you have a "right" to enslave me.
Which is the perfect way to describe socialist medicine, and socialism in general.
June 16, 2009
June 12, 2009
Chavez on Thursday urged executives at Globovision "to reflect" upon the TV channel's tough anti-government stance — or else the station "won't be on the airwaves much longer."
The socialist leader has threatened Globovision before, demanding sanctions against the channel for its alleged violation of broadcast regulations. Chavez told a crowd of his supporters on Thursday that he "doesn't care" if such a decision were to draw international criticism.
Chavez recently called for sanctions against Globovision, and within a week Venezuela's tax agency slapped the network with a $2.3 million fine, prosecutors charged its president in a probe into alleged fraud and lawmakers began investigating the channel for purportedly joining an anti-government conspiracy.
Broadcast regulators also are investigating Globovision for inciting "panic and anxiety" during its coverage of a minor earthquake last month, when station director Alberto Federico Ravell criticized state television for failing to quickly inform its viewers about the severity of the quake.
Free press and rights groups have condemned the investigation. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists warned against what it called "unwarranted accusations against the press" in Venezuela.
Chavez accused Globovision on Thursday of "poisoning people" and "sowing hate" among Venezuelans. He denied that he's trying to silence critics, telling supporters they "should not allow themselves to be manipulated" by detractors who "accuse the government of persecuting journalists."
June 11, 2009
“The anti-semitism of von Brunn is the first thing one notices when visiting these bizarre websites. However, like those of most “white supremacists”, many of von Brunn’s political views track “Left” rather than “Right.” Clearly, a re-evaluation of these obsolete definitions is long overdue.
For example, he unleashed his hatred of both Presidents Bush and other “neo-conservatives” in online essays. As even some “progressives” such as the influential Adbusters magazine publicly admit, “neoconservative” is often used as a derogatory code word for “Jews”. As well, even a cursory glance at “white supremacist” writings reveals a hatred of, say, big corporations that is virtually indistinguishable from that of anti-globalization activists.
James von Brunn’s advocacy of 9/11 conspiracy theories also gives him an additional commonality with individuals on the far-left.
None of this will surprise readers of Jonah Goldberg’s bestseller Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change , which clearly demonstrates that “fascism” of the kind advocated by the British National Party (BNP) and the likes of James W. von Brunn is just as likely to reflect “leftwing” views as “rightwing” ones.”
Funny. I bet this little tidbit will be all over the news tonight.
June 10, 2009
They say dozens were moved in an attempt to split up relationships and curb illegal sexual activity at the 1,200-inmate Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Troy. Some straight women were sent to the wing strictly because of their appearance.
Civil rights advocates called the moves unconstitutional punishment for "looking gay."
Fluvanna Warden Barbara Wheeler denied that any housing decisions were made based on looks or sexual orientation, and said doing so would be discriminatory.
Inmates said life in the so-called "butch wing" or "locker room wing" wasn't much different than other units. But both inmates and employees said the unit was locked down more often than others, and the women said they were verbally harassed by staff.
Lawsuits to begin in 3..2..1...
Carrie Prejean is no longer Miss California, FYI.
June 09, 2009
Overall, according to a study published in Lancet Oncology last year, five-year cancer survival rates are higher in the U.S. than those in Canada. Based on data from the Joint Canada/U.S. Survey of Health (done by Statistics Canada and the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics), Americans have greater access to preventive screening tests and have higher treatment rates for chronic illnesses. No wonder: To limit the growth in health spending, governments restrict the supply of health care by rationing it through waiting. The same survey data show, as June and Paul O'Neill note in a paper published in 2007 in the Forum for Health Economics & Policy, that the poor under socialized medicine seem to be less healthy relative to the nonpoor than their American counterparts.
Ironically, as the U.S. is on the verge of rushing toward government health care, Canada is reforming its system in the opposite direction. In 2005, Canada's supreme court struck down key laws in Quebec that established a government monopoly of health services. Claude Castonguay, who headed the Quebec government commission that recommended the creation of its public health-care system in the 1960s, also has second thoughts. Last year, after completing another review, he declared the system in "crisis" and suggested a massive expansion of private services -- even advocating that public hospitals rent facilities to physicians in off-hours.
And the medical establishment? Dr. Brian Day, an orthopedic surgeon, grew increasingly frustrated by government cutbacks that reduced his access to an operating room and increased the number of patients on his hospital waiting list. He built a private hospital in Vancouver in the 1990s. Last year, he completed a term as the president of the Canadian Medical Association and was succeeded by a Quebec radiologist who owns several private clinics.
In Canada, private-sector health care is growing. Dr. Day estimates that 50,000 people are seen at private clinics every year in British Columbia. According to the New York Times, a private clinic opens at a rate of about one a week across the country. Public-private partnerships, once a taboo topic, are embraced by provincial governments.
In the United Kingdom, where socialized medicine was established after World War II through the National Health Service, the present Labour government has introduced a choice in surgeries by allowing patients to choose among facilities, often including private ones. Even in Sweden, the government has turned over services to the private sector.
June 05, 2009
“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said in an interview. “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S. as opposed to keeping them inside the U.S.”
Obama on May 4 proposed outlawing or restricting about $190 billion in tax breaks for offshore companies over the next decade. Such business groups as the National Foreign Trade Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have denounced the proposed overhaul.
U.S. tax rules let companies defer paying corporate rates as high as 35 percent on most types of foreign profits as long as that money remains invested overseas. Obama says he wants to end such incentives to keep foreign profits tax-deferred so that companies would invest them in the U.S.
Microsoft reported an overall effective tax rate of 26 percent for 2008 in its last annual report. “Our effective tax rates are less than the statutory tax rate due to foreign earnings taxed at lower rates,” the report said.
Yeah. This should end well.
June 02, 2009
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