Monday, July 17, 2017

Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli.

Former Haitian government official and outspoken critic of the Clinton Foundation commits suicide by gunshot to the head.  Move along. Nothing to see here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rand Paul to Vote NO on Senate Obamacare "Repeal" Bill

The Senate Bill offers "...Obamacare-lite: keeping the Obamacare subsidies, keeping some of the Obamacare taxes, creating a giant insurance bailout superfund, and keeping most of the Obamacare regulations.
Shame. Shame on many in the GOP for promising repeal and instead affirming, keeping, and, in some cases, expanding Obamacare. What a shame."

Exclusive – Sen. Rand Paul: Senate GOP Decides to Keep Obamacare

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

I miss the old days, when Republicans stood for repealing Obamacare. Republicans across the country and every member of my caucus campaigned on repeal – often declaring they would tear out Obamacare “root and branch!”

What happened?
Now too many Republicans are falling all over themselves to stuff hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ dollars into a bill that doesn’t repeal Obamacare and feeds Big Insurance a huge bailout.
Obamacare regulations? Still here. Taxes? Many still in place, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.
Insurance company bailouts? Those, too. Remember when Republicans complained about Obamacare’s risk corridors? Remember when we called the corridors nothing more than insurance company bailouts? I remember when one prominent GOP candidate during a presidential debate explicitly called out the Obamacare risk corridors as a bailout to insurance companies. Does anyone else?
Now, the Senate GOP plan being put forward is chock full of insurance bailout money – to the tune of nearly $200 billion. Republicans, present company excluded, now support the idea of lowering your insurance premium by giving a subsidy to the insurance company.
Remarkable. If the GOP now supports an insurance stabilization fund to lower insurance prices, maybe they now support a New Car stabilization fund to lower the price of cars. Or maybe the GOP would support an iPhone stabilization fund to lower the price of phones.
The possibilities are limitless once you accept that the federal government should subsidize prices. I remember when Republicans favored the free choice of the marketplace.
The Senate Obamacare bill does not repeal Obamacare. I want to repeat that so everyone realizes why I’ll vote “no” as it stands now:
The Senate Obamacare bill does not repeal Obamacare. Not even close.
In fact, the Senate GOP bill codifies and likely expands many aspects of Obamacare.
The Senate Obamacare-lite bill codifies a federal entitlement to insurance. With the Senate GOP bill, Republicans, for the first time, will signal that they favor a key aspect of Obamacare – federal taxpayer funding of private insurance purchases.
The bill will transfer billions of dollars to people who will then transfer billions of dollars to insurance companies. What a great business model – encourage the federal government to use taxpayer money to buy a private company’s product. Great business model, that is, if you are Big Insurance. Remarkable.
The Senate Obamacare-lite bill does what the Democrats forgot to do – appropriate billions for Obamacare’s cost-sharing reductions, aka subsidies. Really? Republicans are going to fund Obamacare subsidies that the Democrats forgot to fund?
Doesn’t sound much like repeal to me. One might even argue it’s worse than Obamacare-lite because it actually creates a giant superfund to bail out the insurance companies – something even the Democrats feared to do.
I was first elected in the heady days of the Tea Party Tidal Wave, when tens of thousands of citizens gathered on the central city lawn to protest Big Government, Big Debt, and a government takeover of health care.
This citizenry won in four elections. Each time, the GOP establishment told conservatives, “We can’t repeal Obamacare until we have all three branches of government.” Finally, in 2016, that came to pass. Republicans now control all three branches of government.
And . . . the best that is offered is Obamacare-lite: keeping the Obamacare subsidies, keeping some of the Obamacare taxes, creating a giant insurance bailout superfund, and keeping most of the Obamacare regulations.
Shame. Shame on many in the GOP for promising repeal and instead affirming, keeping, and, in some cases, expanding Obamacare. What a shame.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Survivor Bias in Climate Change Papers

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Supreme Court Porn

A great interview of Randy Barnett (a Constitutional Originalist and law professor at Georgetown) on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch.  As I said shortly after the election, there is reason to be optimistic.  But, perhaps I should have said, "Optimistic for the first time since 1980."

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Optimistic for the first time since 2008

Check out:

Specifically, scroll down the page to the bottom (blue section).  Click each of the links (and read the section) under the center heading MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

Sounds a lot like, "Mint the money and defend the borders."


Wednesday, June 29, 2016


I have been surprised  by the crazy claims in the media about the impact of Britain leaving the EU (even though I know better than to hope for thoughtful coverage).  Personally, I applaud the desire to be free of the central european government.  On the other hand, the existence of the EU has coincided with a long peace (by European standards) and I have to wonder how long that will last if the Empire based in Brussels comes apart.  

Here is an interesting take on the decision the UK made:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Fruits of Repealing the Glass–Steagall Act

This is not surprising.  But, I am sad to say it probably isn't rare:

Weatherford has been in talks with JP Morgan Chase to re-negotiate its revolving credit facility -- the only thing keeping the company afloat. However, in a move that shocked the financial markets, JP Morgan led an equity offering that raised $565 million for Weatherford. Based on liquidation value Weatherford is insolvent. The question remains, why would JP Morgan risk its reputation by selling shares in an insolvent company?  JP Morgan is head of a banking syndicate that has the revolving credit facility.JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley also happen to be lead underwriters on the equity offering. The proceeds from the offering are expected to be used to repay the revolving credit facility.