Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Brunch: We have lots to offer

Father and son: The Pauls.  I spent yesterday on father Ron, and today I will comment on son Rand.  The often confused freshman senator from Kentucky had this to say during a May 11th hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging:
“With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to healthcare you have to realize what that implies. I am a physician. You have the right to come to my house and conscript me.”  He goes on to say, “It means you believe in slavery. You are going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses. …You are basically saying you believe in slavery.”
I have heard of giant leaps, but damn this guy just cleared the Grand Canyon.  I am pretty sure that the Affordable Care Act does not mandate that a specific doctor must treat a specific patient for free and if he doesn’t he gets whipped.  Yeah, I’m pretty sure.
The Donald has hit a tough patch.  The real estate developer-turned-reality-television star, who promotes his business acumen while he acts like a Presidential candidate, is a bust with global investors.  By 68 percent to 14 percent, the billionaire is viewed unfavorably by respondents in a Bloomberg Global Poll of investors, analysts and traders.   “When the truth becomes legend, print the legend.” Trump is a caricature. 
Christaine Amanpour broke out a triple panel today.  One to cover Presidential politics, one to cover the debt limit, and one to cover foreign policy in Southwest Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.  I thought it worked out great.  Nice job.  Robert Kagan hit the nail on the head when he said we need to let Pakistan know if they won’t help in Afghanistan then we will turn to India.  Watch the Pakistanis shit themselves.
Then there’s Newt Gingrich.  The man has had three wives and three religions.  He is not a serious candidate but he will make the debates interesting.  I can see Newt going off on one of his ‘Kenyan anti-colonialist’ rants and Herman Cain turns to him and says “What the hell are you talking about you crazy cracker?”
Huckabee's not-running for president TV pitch last night was as enthralling as LeBron's.  Yawn.  Without the Huckster, Romney not getting traction, Pawlenty still trying to find his groove, the GOP party leaders are urging Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to get into the race.  Here’s what I said about a potential Daniel’s candidacy last December:
Indiana Republican Governor Mitch Daniels is getting some notice as a potential presidential candidate in 2012.  Although the odds are against him, he could carve out a patch of support from the moderates in the GOP.  As Governor he has shown innovation in the form of a statewide wellness program while balancing the state finances through a mixture of tax credits and tax increases, often pissing off both the Democrats and Conservatives in the state legislature.  He will probably get skewered by the social conservatives and the Grover Norquist clique for even talking about tax increases.  He is worth keeping an eye on.
Due to the drastic reductions in tax revenues associated with the recession and Bush and Obama tax cuts, both Medicare and Social Security are now facing insolvency in 2024 and 2036 respectively; much sooner than previously estimated.  The solutions are pretty simple: cut services, increase premiums, mandate cost controls, or all of the above.  If you are trying to contain costs for the payer, privatization is not the answer; if you are trying to contain total system costs you need a public/private solution.  By the way, without the Affordable Care Act, Medicare would have hit insolvency in 2016.
As we struggle with the fiscal implications of an aging population as our baby boomers enter the pensioner years, calls for spending cuts and deficit reductions echo throughout the land.  But if you think  our aging population is a serious matter, check out China.  People above the age of 60 now represent 13.3% of the population, up from 10.3% in 2000 and for those under 14, the share has declined from 23% to 17%.  This one child policy and population control methods in China will leave it severely short of workers to support its older population.  It will only get worse because of the boys to girls ratio.  At the current rate, in 25 years there will not be enough women for 25% of the men in China. 
One area where the GOP is focusing its budget axe is the US Patent Office.  With a backlog of 700,000 patents pending review, how can the GOP justify this necessary service that our small, mid, and large companies dearly depend on to get products or business launched.  Thomas Jefferson was out first head of the Patent Office and he saw the need to protect innovations.
Latest dumbass quote from Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, comes one week before Bin Laden’s capture and death:
How do you defeat a leader from behind? With a leader from the front. All the Republicans have to do is nominate a real leader: a workhorse not a show horse; a steady hand not a flip-flopper; a profile in courage not in cleverness; a competent man or woman with strength and confidence in defense of liberty at home and abroad. Surely this isn’t too much to ask?

Seriously this guy is wrong more often than a meteorologist in Chicago.  Keep’em coming Kristol, every time you slam the President, goods thing happen for him AND the country.

I close this post with the Douglas Adams axiom “The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.”

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