Saturday, April 20, 2013

A New Healthcare Entitlement for California?

According to the Sacramento Bee, California Democrats are figuring out how to spend some of the money we're going to save under Obamacare.

Single, childless adults were not traditionally not eligible for Medicaid.  Obamacare changed these rules, making single, childless adults eligible for Medicaid and providing additional federal funds to reimburse states for 100% of the additional expense in the first few years and about 90% of the expense after that.

California couldn't wait to start implementing Obamacare, and in 2011 California counties received federal funds to start providing healthcare to about half a million single, childless adults at the county level until Obamacare's Medicaid provisions were fully implemented and these residents were moved onto Medicaid in 2014. 

California counties began spending this money in order to implement Obamacare.  In 2014, when Obamacare is fully implemented, they will not have to spend it anymore; the California share of these residents' healthcare costs will come from the State of California, not the counties.

Well.  According to some California legislators, in 2014 the counties are realizing a savings that should be used to create a new healthcare entitlement above and beyond that which is required by Obamacare.

California legislators want to provide healthcare to illegal immigrants.  According to the Sacramento Bee, the county healthcare programs that were designed to transition half a million adults into Medicaid would be used to provide healthcare to a million illegal immigrants.

There are a number of problems with this plan.

First of all, the program would use taxpayer money to provide services to people whose presence in this country is a criminal act.  But even if you're OK with the criminal illegal alien angle, there are still reasons the plan doesn't pencil out.

Counties created those healthcare programs in order to implement Obamacare, it is unlikely that anyone at the county level planned on the costs of operating those programs indefinitely.  The plan slouching out of Sacramento would turn a temporary expense into a permanent one.

Furthermore, the county programs were designed to serve about a half a million people with a combination of county and federal funds; the permanent plan would serve twice as many, about a million people, with no federal funds. 

What happens when this massive new healthcare entitlement funded with "savings" runs out of money?  Assuming a $700 million annual "savings" pool that can be tapped to run this new program, what happens when they burn through $700 million in the first 6 or 9 (or 3) months because they are serving twice as many people with no federal assistance?  This is California, there will be no political will to shut down the program until the convenient accounting fiction creates a new pool of savings at the beginning of the next fiscal year.  Will the burden fall on California's General Fund, or upon county taxpayers?

And finally, what about all these teachers, cops, and firefighters we keep hearing about?  If California counties decide to spend this "savings" rather than return the savings to their taxpayers, shouldn't they be able to spend it on teachers, cops, and firefighters before being required to spend a dime on criminal illegal aliens?

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Gnomes' Economic Argument

Do you remember the South Park episode featuring Gnomes with an innovative business plan?

Phase 1: Collect Underpants
Phase 2: ??
Phase 3: Profit!

It belatedly occurred to me that by intoning the phrase "cutting taxes creates jobs" like a mantra, the GOP made the Gnomes' economic argument during the past Presidential campaign.  The argument made sense to us free market types because we already believed it, but to "low information" voters the argument looked like this:

Phase 1: Cut Taxes
Phase 2: ??
Phase 3: Jobs!

Mitt Romney never elaborated on Phase 2.  None of us did.

We already know that most Americans are "low information" when it comes to economics and the operation of markets free or otherwise.  "Low information" in this context does not mean "disagrees with me," it means "lacks a rudimentary acquaintance with economic principles."

American voters are going to get a lesson in economics for the next four years.  We cannot sit back and assume that anyone will reach an informed conclusion about the pain we'll be suffering, there are already many who believe that Obamacare-related layoffs are the product of revenge rather than, e.g., an extra $80,000-$100,000 in expenses per fast-casual restaurant.  We need to explain Phase 2.  These are the conditions that encourage jobs, these are the conditions that discourage jobs, here is why.  All of us, relentlessly, or else 2016 will have the same grim result.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Who is Brett Kimberlin?

I.   The Speedway Bombings

For a terrifying week in 1978, a series of seemingly random bombings terrified the residents of Speedway, Indiana.  One bomb maimed Carl DeLong and cost him a leg; he never fully recovered from his injuries, and committed suicide in 1983.

In October 1981, Brett Kimberlin (pictured above) was convicted for these acts of domestic terrorism and sentenced to 50 years in prison.  More information on the Speedway Bombings, including investigators' theory that the bombings were intended to distract law enforcement from a recent murder, can be found at the Indianapolis Star's website, here.

Brett Kimberlin was paroled in 1994, and he is making news again; not for the Speedway Bombings, but for the way he's chose to live his life since being released from prison and for the people who are giving him money.

II.   Brett Kimberlin, Community Organizer

Brett Kimberlin is the director of a tax-exempt organization called the Justice Through Music Project, which uses music to "organize, educate, and activate" young people.  He also is the co-founder of another tax-exempt organization, Velvet Revolution, a network of Liberal organizations "demanding progressive change."

Velvet Revolution has made headlines by demanding the arrests of high-profile Conservatives, including Karl Rove and Andrew Breitbart.  According to Fox News, in 2009, Velvet Revolution offered $200,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue, in retaliation for the Chamber's objections to President Obama's agenda.  Given Brett Kimberlin's violent past, the Chamber was forced to re-evaluate its security needs as a result of the "bounty" on Donohue's head.

III.   Brett Kimberlin's Donors

One would think that Liberals wishing to support organizations devoted to turning young people into activists and organizations devoted to demanding the arrests of Conservatives would have plenty of such organizations to choose from; but despite his violent, criminal past, Brett Kimberlin has had no trouble finding high profile donors to support his organizations, especially the Justice Through Music Project (JTMP).  According to The Other McCain, donors who gave almost $1.8 million to JTMP between 2005 and 2010 include:  the Streisand Foundation, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Heinz Family Foundation, and the Tides Foundation.

If you think its newsworthy that Barbra Streisand and Senator John Kerry's wife are donating money to a charity run by a convicted domestic terrorist, you're not alone.  Bloggers have begun talking about Brett Kimberlin, his criminal past, and his wealthy Liberal supporters, and Brett Kimberlin is trying to shut these bloggers up.

IV.   Brett Kimberlin's Targets

After blogger Robert Stacey McCain began writing about Brett Kimberlin and his benefactors, Kimberlin called McCain's wife's employer to complain of harassment.  McCain was forced to leave Maryland for his safety and has continued calling attention to Brett Kimberlin's past and present activities.

Brett Kimberlin reportedly targeted blogger Aaron Worthing after Worthing offered legal advice to someone Kimberlin was suing; Worthing and his wife were fired from their jobs because their employers were afraid that domestic terrorist Brett Kimberlin would show up at their place of business.

Blogger Patterico has chronicled a yearlong campaign of severe harassment against himself and his wife, including a false call to the police from someone claiming to be Patterico stating that he had just killed someone; law enforcement took Patterico into custody at gunpoint.  Patterico believes that this harassment is coming from Kimberlin and his supporters. the details are a chilling must-read.

Patterico, Worthing, and McCain are not the only people to have been reportedly targeted by Brett Kimberlin and Kimberlin's supporters; Michelle Malkin has written an excellent post on the topic, urging solidarity with those targeted by Brett Kimberlin.

V.   Brett Kimberlin's Surprise

If Brett Kimberlin is trying to silence people who talk about him, then the best defense is for everyone to talk about Brett Kimberlin.  Accordingly, Lee Stranahan has declared May 25, 2012 to be Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day.  (An excellent video produced by Stranahan is also available at the link.)

Read what people are writing about Brett Kimberlin.  Search for stories in the Indianapolis Star.    Call your local television station and suggest that they run a story.  Call into Conservative talk radio.  Call into NPR.  Tweet it, talk about it around the water cooler, and if you run into Barbra Streisand in Malibu, ask her why she is supporting a man who has brought pain to so many lives.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

OK, we don't need you to do that.

"OK, we don't need you to do that."

By now, everyone has heard the dispatcher on the 911 tape telling George Zimmerman not to follow Trayvon Martin.

Martin family attorney Ben Crump is quoted as having told Charlie Rose:
The only thing that matters on February 26 is George Zimmerman disobeyed the police and got out of his car and pursued and stalked Trayvon Martin to cause this fatal encounter.
Did George Zimmerman disobey the dispatcher and continue following Trayvon? Some think he did, although Simon Templar's analysis in the Daily Caller suggests that Zimmerman complied.

Does it matter if Zimmerman complied or if he didn't?

Not a bit, not to me. I am grateful for the police, and humbled by their willingness to confront bad men on behalf of people they don't know. But there is a difference between orders a cop might give in order to protect evidence or protect their own safety or that of the public, and orders that we be patient and let the professionals handle things. The first type of order I comply with, as I did the day I surprised an officer by bounding out of my front door when the police were scouring my neighborhood looking for an escaped bad guy. One hand on his gun and the other ordering me not to move, I was completely still for as long as he needed me to be.

On the other hand, if my neighborhood is in the midst of a crime wave, as Zimmerman's was, and the cops aren't any close to catching the perpetrators, I might be inclined to follow someone who looks suspicious no matter what the dispatcher tells me. Following someone, even asking their purpose in the neighborhood, is not hostile behavior, whether the act has the blessing of the police department or not.

Recent events in Northern California further illustrate the folly of compliance with orders that we be patient and let the professionals handle things.

"I don't want you to fire your gun." That's what a 911 dispatcher said to an elderly woman in Redding, California, as an intruder (who'd ignored two prior warning shots) was coming in through her bedroom window. The woman shot the intruder dead; she probably owes her life to that .38 and her skill in using it, and to the fact that she disobeyed the dispatcher's instructions.

So if someone asks my purpose, whether I have a right to be there or not, I'll respond politely and depart in peace. But if my life is on the line, when seconds count and the police are only minutes away, I'll happily carry my reputation for disobeying the police into cranky old age.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spike Lee is a Pussy

My wall post on Spike Lee's Facebook page had a brief life, inspiring a few "Likes" before it was deleted. Here's what I wrote:
Spike Lee's first offense was to tweet Zimmerman's address, implicitly encouraging a mob to flock there and extract their own "justice." Spike Lee's second offense was tweeting THE WRONG ADDRESS. Spike Lee sent a mob to the home of an innocent elderly couple, who were forced to flee for their lives. Mr. Lee, are you going to "do the right thing," apologize, call off the mob, and compensate the elderly victims of your little race war?
The cynical race-baiter apparently doesn't like having his actions questioned.

What a pussy.

UPDATE: Spike Lee apologized to the innocent elderly couple and offered them some compensation, but only AFTER the couple hired a lawyer. To the best of my knowledge, Spike Lee has never atoned for having intended to send a mob to the home of a man who has not been convicted of a crime. In other words, still a pussy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Did Al Sharpton Kill Trayvon Martin?

If the facts are as alleged, and Trayvon Martin attacked George Zimmerman and slammed his head against the sidewalk, I wonder: what could have provoked such behavior from Martin?  Zimmerman's numerous calls to 911 are well-known, but no one has suggested that Zimmerman had a pattern of reacting to suspicious persons with physical violence sufficient to justify Martin's use of potentially lethal force against Zimmerman.


If Martin's use of force was not grounded in fear for his own life, what was going on? 


Could Martin have been influenced by the culture of grievance peddled by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, among others?  Was Martin offended that Zimmerman questioned whether he was legitimately in the area?  Did the countless apologists for urban pathology make him feel justified in responding violently to a perceived affront?  Did he perceive the Neighborhood Watch not as a response to more than 200 crimes in the neighborhood during a six month period, but as another attempt to keep the Black Man down?


Did Al Sharpton kill Trayvon Martin?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Left's Creepy Paternalism

When Carbonite CEO David Friend explained his decision to pull his company's ads from Rush Limbaugh's radio show, he said the following:


"No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady."


Similarly, when President Obama explained his decision to call Sandra Fluke and offer his support, he said he did so after "thinking about his daughters."


From both men, the language is that of adults discussing children -- a father defending his daughter's performance in a school play -- not adults discussing another adult in the context of a battle over the First Amendment.


Leftist women, having played the victim card for so long, must feel like they've hit the jackpot: here's the President of the United States, infantilizing a thirty year old law student.  Just think of the government programs we'll be able to wring out of this!


Leftist women may have won this skirmish, but they ought to be very concerned about the cost.  This creepy paternalism from the Left, regarding women as tender beings requiring protection, is the real War on Women.  Today, paternalism is being exploited as a wedge to water down the First Amendment in the name of Obamacare and "reproductive justice;" the same paternalism was once used to deprive women of the vote in order to protect them from a political world deemed too rough for their sensibilities.


If American womanhood was really as fragile as David Friend and Barack Obama would have us believe, then one could hardly blame educational and professional institutions from closing the doors to us.


Fortunately, there are plenty of American women ready to disprove the slander that we are like so many daughters waiting for our Beneficent Governmental Father to protect us.  If you'd like to meet some of us, check out your local Tea Party or GOP.