Friday, January 24, 2014

Moses knows his business

Amen, indeed.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How can the Obamacare Individual Mandate possibly work?

I've wondered this for awhile and James Capretta wonders too.

ObamaCare’s architects were always ambivalent about the mandate. They knew compulsion was necessary to make their system work — but, fearing a backlash, opted for a fairly weak penalty for those who didn’t obey. Oops: They wound up with a mandate that still provokes resentment, yet probably won’t work.

The US Supreme Court weakened the mandate even as it was saving ObamaCare. The law’s authors hoped that the mandate would create the perception that insurance enrollment is now obligatory, but the high court made it clear that Congress has no authority to institute such a requirement. The justices ruled that the mandate could stand only as an optional tax, not as a fine for noncompliance.

So you’re not breaking the law by not buying (overpriced) ObamaCare-compliant insurance; you’re just making the legal choice to pay the tax instead.

I normally love the idea of an "optional tax". But my guess is that the money collected from this "tax" will be a fraction of what it will cost to pay those administering the tax. The regular non-optional tax payers—you and I—will pick up the tab as usual.

So, for instance, a 31-year-old single man making $30,000 in Columbus, Ohio faces a tax of $198.50, more than $2,000 less than the cheapest option in Ohio’s ObamaCare exchange, even including his taxpayer-funded subsidy. For a 36-year-old San Diego woman making $40,000, the tax is $298.50, or nearly $2,400 less than the cheapest policy on the California exchange. She’s not eligible for a subsidy.

ObamaCare can’t work if the young and healthy don’t sign up in large numbers — yet the law creates a clear incentive for them to opt out.

There’s more: The law also guarantees that you can always choose to buy during the next annual enrollment period — so if you fall seriously ill and find that ObamaCare has become a better investment, you can buy it then.

Which leads to my favorite pull-quote:

The ObamaCare law thus made insurance a less valuable product for most people, even as it pushed up the cost of buying it.

Classic. He has another good article about what Republicans can and should be doing about Obamacare which I hope the good guys in congress will take to heart.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Divina Commedia Inferno Canto 7

Here's something from Dante for you greedy bastards.

I actually found this on a search for Boethius, strangely enough. Fruits and nuts are good for you, by the way.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Dante Diet

Recently, in concert with promoting a possible future book deal on the subject, Rod Dreher has been treating us to the myriad benefits of all things Dante, including his miraculous healing in mysterious ways not yet specified from a persistent, medically diagnosed case of viral mononucleosis, the "kissing disease".

This is heady news, so following this revelation the EQE laboratories have been working night and day to uncover other benefits of reading Dante that Mr. Dreher in his current ecstatic state might understandably neglect to blog himself:

  • Reading Dante will reveal your interest in Italian literature.
  • Reading Dante will increase your regular unleaded gas mileage by 13.7 per cent. Premium users, however, should expect no more than a 9.3 per cent benefit.
  • Sometime after reading Dante, you will receive a phone call from someone you like.
  • Reading Dante will increase your breasts one cup size and restore that youthful, "perky" look. Be sure this is what you really want.
  • After reading Dante, call toll free before digging.
  • Reading Dante will correct your cardiac arhythmia by replacing it with terza rima.
  • Do not read Dante while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment.
  • Reading Dante will cause bread placed in your oven to turn brown.
  • Reading Dante is not an offer to sell securities.
  • Reading Dante will slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.
  • Reading Dante contains no trans fats.
  • Reading Dante will remove that persistent tummy bulge.
  • Reading Dante could increase your tax refund, if you're the sort of person who lends the government money interest-free.
  • Reading Dante provides 25 per cent of the daily recommended amount of antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins.
  • Reading Dante will prevent the Cowboys from choking on the eve of the playoffs.
  • Reading Dante will cause the woman next to you at closing time to resemble Beatrice.
  • After reading Dante, you must be present to win.
  • Reading Dante helps with slow intestinal transit time.
  • Reading Dante could cause you to suddenly accelerate to exhilarating speeds.
  • Sometime after reading Dante, you will have a dream about someone you know.
  • Reading Dante contains a substantial amount of non-tobacco ingredients.
  • Reading Dante does not carry cash.
  • Reading Dante will restore the imbalance of both positive and negative ions in your body the natural way.
  • Reading Dante is not affiliated with the American Red Cross.
  • Reading Dante will reveal that your happiness is intertwined with your outlook on life.
  • Benefits of reading Dante are subject to change without notice.
  • Reading Dante is provided "as is" without any warranties.
  • If rash, irritation, redness, or swelling develops, discontinue reading Dante.
Only a maddeningly partial list, I know, but be sure to bookmark this page for new discoveries daily.

Begging to be made fun of

Here's the funniest thing I read today. The title says everything: Landmark 'Add Health' Sexuality Survey May Have Been Foiled by Teens Joking About Being Gay. Excerpt:

A likelier scenario is the "immature jokes" hypothesis, Savin-Williams argues: Namely, that the teens thought it would be funny if they told researchers they were homosexual or bisexual.

Other signs suggest the teens were having a joke at the expense of the surveyors.

"We should have known something was amiss," Savin-Williams said. "One clue was that most of the kids who first claimed to have artificial limbs (in the physical-health assessment) miraculously regrew arms and legs when researchers came back to interview them."

Here's the truth of the matter, or at least my theory. Only honest, brave people want to talk about what being gay is really about. So gayness as it is promoted in the media deals with secondary characteristics which are all easily made fun of. I challenge you to find me a male aged 13 or older who cannot do a perfect "gay voice". Very few white people can do a black voice nor even a decent imitation Southern accent. It's an easy gig even for the comically uncreative. Men who are into hairstyles, make-up, silk undergarments and musicals provide infinite possibilities for humor even among people who are not "homophobic" by the definition of the politically correct and people who would never wish to offend with crude humor. Dressing in drag won't give you AIDS or the other horrific diseases associated with sodomy any more than playing fantasy football will give you a concussion or a pulled hamstring. And what is sinful about liking the Wizard of Oz? So it's not like you feel like you are making light of something deeply serious since this is the presentation of gays in the media, just people who are a lil' bit different than you an' me.

But the endless stream of gay stuff being pumped out there at this point in history is going to inspire the sort of goofing that these teenagers did, especially if they were paid to be surveyed. We can laugh along with Monty Python with the Lumberjack Song without feeling bad about referring to disgusting or sinful behavior. Maybe we're wrong to do that, but that's not my point. My point is that if you "come out" and then try to make it about anything other that misplaced sexual urges and self-destructive behavior, some people are going to laugh.

There was a ridiculous sign at Christmas time at the Westlake, OH public library for the musical Keeping the Yuletide Gay which was at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. The poster featured topless, muscly dudes wearing Santa hats and Christmas tree ornaments. I couldn't help thinking this at the time: Are these male models really gay? Probably not. Just another paid gig that they can laugh about in the weight room later.

Thirty caliber.... no wait... Thirty magazine clip in half a second

Thirty somethings worth of some kind of rifle gun bullets....

My kids say this kind of stuff all the time. "I got a nuclear bomb missile gun with infinity firepower and a force field." But it doesn't bother me since none of them are 12 years old yet, let alone senators.

Was he trying to get a viral video? Spewing this kind of nonsense is one way.