The subdepartment of “If You Like Your Coverage, You Can Keep Your Coverage“:
Small companies are starting to turn away from offering health plans as they seek to reduce costs and increasingly view the health law’s marketplaces as an inviting and affordable option for workers.
In the latest sign of a possible shift, WellPoint Inc. said Wednesday its small-business-plan membership is shrinking faster than expected and it has lost about 300,000 people since the start of the year, leaving a total of 1.56 million in small-group coverage.
Of course anyone with a brain and a passing understanding of economics and human nature saw this coming – despite the assurances of our elites. It is called “responding to incentives or disincentives” – something human beings have done since the dawn of our time.
Provide enough of a disincentive to maintain the status quo and you won’t. You’ll go with what is best for the business. And the incentive to drop health care plans has been provided by this awful ACA law. Now these people will go onto the exchanges and pick a plan with huge deductibles that will never be met in a year. They’ll effectively pay for their medical care. Or, we’ll pay for their medical care through subsidies.
Result? Well, as you can imagine with huge deductibles, people will likely go to the doctor less and one of the supposed reasons this law had to be passed was in order to stress and implement “preventive medicine”. But if you have a $6,000 deductible, and are a middle income family that wouldn’t qualify for subsidies, when are you going to visit the doctor? When whatever problem you have is so bad you have little choice. Of course, that’s the most costly way to do this, isn’t it?
So now we have a huge problem, don’t we? And what will we point to as the cause of that problem? That’s right … government intrusion. Oh, the good news? Their high deductible coverage will be portable. But we could have solved that problem without ever creating this health care monster we’re stuck with now, couldn’t we?
Say what you will of Bill Maher (I’m not a fan), his statement about Muslims seems to have some legs:
“In his comments on his HBO show, Maher noted that too many Muslims reject the very notion of free thought and free speech, that the problem is not just ‘a few bad apples.’”
See Europe after the Mohommed cartoons and just about anywhere else concerning a little known video that Muslims found to be sacrilegious (and the US government blamed for the deaths in Benghazi). Or any of a thousand examples.
It is also something many of us believe about the left, for the most part. And good old UC Berkley has decided to prove the point. And Bill Maher is the “problem”:
In response to an announcement last week that comedian Bill Maher would speak at UC Berkeley’s fall commencement, an online petition started circulating Thursday that demanded that the campus rescind its invitation.
The Change.org petition was authored by ASUC Senator Marium Navid, who is backed by the Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian Coalition, or MEMSA, and Khwaja Ahmed, an active MEMSA member. The petition, which urges students to boycott the decision and asks the campus to stop him from speaking, has already gathered more than 1,400 signatures as of Sunday.
Maher, a stand-up comedian and host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, is best known for his often-polarizing political commentary. Recently, Maher faced some backlash after controversial remarks regarding Islam during a segment on his Oct. 6 show.
Navid claims this isn’t about free speech, it’s a matter of “campus climate”:
“The First Amendment gives him the right to speak his mind, but it doesn’t give him the right to speak at such an elevated platform as the commencement. That’s a privilege his racist and bigoted remarks don’t give him.”
For the most part, I agree that freedom of speech doesn’t give one the “right” to speak anywhere – that, in fact, this is an invitation to speak at a “commencement”, and that’s a privilege the university extends. Okay, got it.
But that’s not what this is about … it’s about shutting Bill Maher and those like him up. It’s about letting a certain group outside the administration of the university decide who will be awarded the privilege to speak and who won’t. And in that case, it becomes a matter of free speech, doesn’t it?
Perhaps the most ironic development, though, was on MSNBC (of all places) when an advocate for free speech on campus crossed swords with a spokesman for CAIR:
In a heated debate on MSNBC with free speech advocate Greg Lukianoff, CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper defended UC Berkeley students’ efforts to uninvite comedian Bill Maher for his comments on Islam, comparing him to the Grand Dragon of the KKK.
LUKIANOFF: The fact that people so vehemently disagree with him is the more reason to hear him out. It’s an art that I feel is actually being lost on the campuses, where we should be teaching people is to at least hear people out before you to get them kicked off campus.
HOOPER: So if they invited the Grand Dragon of the KKK…
CAIR, of all organizations, comparing any other organization to the KKK … well, let’s leave it at “ironic” shall we?
The left’s the “useful idiot” in the attempt of organizations like CAIR to stifle any debate or criticism of Islam. And, Maher is the Grand Dragon?
The more I watch our current government work these days the more absurd its works become.
Here’s the story. Governors Cumo (NY) and Christie (NJ) imposed 21 day quarantines on health care workers returning from countries with ebola epidemics. That’s right, these poor souls have to spend three weeks being monitored in an area isolated from the general public so if they’re possibly infected they won’t have an opportunity to spread the infection – you know, like the doctor who passed “enhanced screening” at JFK did last week.
Now the first thing I expect to hear is, “whoa, wait – you’re a libertarian and you’re agreeing that the government should have the authority to hold someone against their will?” What I’m agreeing with is a medical protocol that has stemmed epidemics for hundreds of years – at least since we’ve discovered it was germs and viruses, not “ill humors” that brought various plagues.
And, its not like we’re talking “imprisoning” them or this taking years or even months. 3 freaking weeks. 3 weeks in some sort of center where they can be medically monitored to ensure they aren’t infectious before they’re given the okay to again join the general population.
Instead we get two reactions. One from a “health care worker”:
Hickox, the first nurse forcibly quarantined in New Jersey under the state’s new policy, said her isolation at a hospital was ‘inhumane,’ adding: ‘We have to be very careful about letting politicians make health decisions.’
Hickox is now suing and has now hired Norman Siegel, a high profile civil rights attorney, to challenge the order.
Well, of course she has. Because one of the things we see more and more of is “we have rights!” but it is rarely followed by “and we have responsibilities that go with those rights”. You know, like taking the precautions necessary to ensure you don’t infect others. By the way, she’s complaining that she tested negative for ebola. I’d remind her, so did the doctor who is now down with ebola in NYC. Nope, this is all about “her rights” – screw yours.
Now contrast that with this bit of word salad from the NIH:
‘The best way to protect us is to stop the epidemic in Africa, and we need those health care workers, so we do not want to put them in a position where it makes it very, very uncomfortable for them to even volunteer to go,’ said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci made the rounds on five major Sunday morning talk shows to argue that policy should be driven by science — and that science says people with the virus are not contagious until symptoms appear. And even then, infection requires direct contact with bodily fluids.
He said that close monitoring of medical workers for symptoms is sufficient, and warned that forcibly separating them from others, or quarantining them, for three weeks could cripple the fight against the outbreak in West Africa — an argument that humanitarian medical organizations have also made.
‘If we don’t have our people volunteering to go over there, then you’re going to have other countries that are not going to do it and then the epidemic will continue to roar,’ Fauci said.
A) It doesn’t have to be “very, very uncomfortable”. They’re health care professionals. It’s kinda like a deep sea diver saying he’s not going to spend the decompression time necessary to avoid the bends because it’s “uncomfortable”. Of course he is, because that is part of the freakin job! Anyone remember this: “first do no harm”. Until you are sure you are ebola free – that’s after 21 days – then you can’t be sure you’re fulfilling that part of your pledge to those you serve, can you?
B) While the best way is obviously to stop ebola in Africa, it certainly does no good to let infected members to return and reintegrate with a population that isn’t infected. That’s how freakin’ epidemics start! So certainly stop it in Africa. But also take the common sense precautions necessary to stop it before it gets here. Is that too much to ask of a “health care professional” and an agency charged with protecting us from health care threats such as ebola?
C) Because the people “volunteering” are indeed “health care professionals” they should understand the need for quarantine upon returning. It should be a part of the entire process. I simply don’t understand the resistance. I have to wonder if they keep suspected ebola patients in the same wards with regular patients. Well, no, of course not. They quarantine them, even if the chance of them infecting others is very small. Why, oh why, is it too much to ask those who’ve been exposed to the virus and may be infected (but asymptomatic) to have a little regard for others and understand the need for separation for a period of time? Oh, and by the way, if the virus mutates (and health care officials say it might, given the amount of infection seen in Africa) then what? Suddenly it’s a whole new kettle of fish, isn’t it? And what they’re asking us to let them do is close the barn door after the ebola cow has left. Stupid.
So what does the leadership in DC do? Well it talks the governors out of doing what is common sense and relying on the “wisdom” of a system that promised ebola would never reach the US.
Absurd. Stupid. Unthinking. Dumb.
Don’t know how to say it any other way.
UPDATE: in light of a statement today by dopy Donny Deutsch saying “we’re a nation of cowards” because … well because he believes there’s hysteria in the air … I want to make it clear what I say isn’t said out of “fear”. It’s said in frustration. Frustration about applied stupidity. It’s as though all the common sense precautions we’ve taken in the past are “dated”. Now we just wing it and make pronouncements about how it just can’t happen here, even though it has happened here. Talk about arrogance. And stupidity.
Funny how reality always wins:
Black voters’ disappointment with President Barack Obama, who they so eagerly embraced for so many years, could be costly on Election Day to Democrats, who badly need a big African-American turnout to win Senate and gubernatorial races in key states.
Instead, many African-Americans see an unemployment rate well above the national average, continuing problems with crime in many neighborhoods, and a president more interested in trying to help other voting blocs that didn’t give him such unwavering support.
He talks about same-sex marriage in a nod to the gay and lesbian community. He discusses immigration and its benefits, an issue particularly important to the Latino community. He fights for equal pay, a vital issue to the women Democrats so avidly court.
The black community, which gave Obama support like no other group, too often doesn’t see the investment paying off.
“People in this community just don’t think anything is going to change,” said Akua Scott, a Miami-based labor organizer.
Want to know what the Berghdal investigation found? You’ll have to wait till after the election. Want to know what your new health insurance rates will be? You’ll have to wait until after the election. Why? Because it appears they both will be unpopular with most of the citizenry.
Interested in what is happening on the immigration front? You’ll have to wait until after the election … however there does seem to be some prep going on as AP reports:
The Homeland Security Department appears to be preparing for an increase in the number of immigrants living illegally in the country to apply for work permits after President Barack Obama announces his long-promised plans for executive actions on immigration reform later this year.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirmed to The Associated Press that it has published a draft contract proposal to buy the card stock needed to make work permits and Permanent Resident Cards, more commonly known as green cards. The proposal calls for providing material for at least 5 million cards a year, with as many as 9 million “during the initial period … to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.” The contract calls for as many 34 million cards over five years.
USCIS, the Homeland Security agency that oversees immigration benefits, produces about 3 million work permits and Green Cards annually, so the new contract would at least provide the Obama administration with the flexibility to issue far more work permits or green cards even if it chose not to exercise that option.
So they’re either ordering a 10 year supply or something is up. ABC’s Rick Klein reports:
Republicans can thank the reliable old federal bureaucracy for their latest little gift-wrapped present. The AP reports that the Department of Homeland Security is soliciting millions of new green cards – yes, the physical paperwork needed for legal status – “to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.” That’s right: The federal government is already ordering as many as 34 million new cards over five years to accommodate legal changes that haven’t been announced, much less approved by Congress. If and when this factoid makes its way into a campaign ad or a stump speech, it will be another reminder of the questionable political strategy of the White House deciding to delay immigration action until after the election. You don’t get full credit for not acting if everyone knows you’re about to. And the idea that tax dollars are set to be expended to support a sweeping new policy, before that policy is even announced or enacted? How better to confirm voters’ mistrust in government?
Congress? This president don’t need no stinkin’ Congress. And certainly not one that is run by Republicans. Nope … instead that will provide the perfect excuse (despite the obvious premeditation) to blame the GOP and take unilateral action.
And what will Congress do about such an end run? Well, likely nothing if their history is an indication.
So here we are with a wretched economy, the lowest labor participation rate in decades, stagnant wages and what does it appear our brilliant President is about to do?
That’s why you have to wait till after the election to find out.
A short one today, but I thought it instructive to bring up the fact that despite the claims of Democratic operatives and media types, the GOP isn’t the reason that Barack Obama’s Surgeon General nominee isn’t in that office. Byron York explains:
There are 55 Democrats in the Senate. Since Majority Leader Harry Reid changed the rules to kill filibusters for nominations, it would take just 51 votes to confirm Murthy. Democrats could do it all by themselves, even if every Republican opposed. But Democrats have not confirmed Murthy.
In other words, the claim is worthy of 4 Pinnochios if fact checkers were doing their job.
No, apparently the job is still vacant (yeah, I know there’s an acting SG) because apparently Democrats have a problem with the nominee.
Meh. I’ve come to realize, given the last few wave elections, that if either of the two majority parties are in charge, little if anything will change significantly. Or said another way, for the next 2 years, we’re in for the same nonsense we’re suffering now and the only thing that will change is the name of the Senate majority leader.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of divided government. I like” do nothing” Congress, because divided government means fewer laws entailing government interference are likely to pass. However, that doesn’t change the fact that both parties are heavily invested in interfering with our lives. They simply have different priorities in that regard.
That said, let’s look at the mood of the country prior to the selection. POLITICO starts us off with a handy chart:
Too bad we don’t have the “none of the above option”. Me thinks the gray wedge would be significantly larger. As with most recent elections, there’s a large “hold your nose and vote” segment at play here.
However, that particular part of the poll isn’t the most interesting to me. These results say more about the “mood” than any:
- Terrorism: Eighty-four percent of voters say the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant poses a “serious” threat to the U.S. homeland, including 43 percent who say it poses a “very serious” threat. Just 12 percent said the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is not a serious concern.
This is an Obama made problem and he and the voters know it. And if it is an Obama-made problem, then it is also a problem for the Democrats. But more importantly, it reflects a belief is how poorly this administration has handled the terrorism problem. They didn’t buy the “JV” wave-off and, it seems, are much more able than our security experts to see the type and possibility of the threat ISIS poses to the US homeland. When you have an enemy that will go to any extreme to get to you and doesn’t mind if they die doing it, you have a formidable threat facing you. And while you may have more of a chance of being hit by lightning or winning the lottery than being a victim of ISIS terrorism here, please don’t try to sell these people on ISIS not being a threat here. This also reflects a tremendous amount of distrust the public in general have for anything this administration puts out there.
- Health care: Most voters believe their health care costs will go up under the Affordable Care Act. Fifty-seven percent said they believe their personal costs will increase, while only 7 percent said they will decrease. A third said their costs would remain the same. (At the same time, support for repealing Obamacare has continued to drop, now down to 41 percent.)
Here’s another huge trust in government issue that has been a disaster for Democrats. This is one they own lock, stock and barrel. Thus far they’ve been able to mostly manage the bad news to fall after elections. But that’s unlikely to help them when 2106 rolls around. ObamaCare has, for the most part, failed in every way possible. We now have reports of less people availing themselves of routine health care because the deductibles are so large they can’t afford the visits. If you don’t think this is a part of the mid-term calculations by voters then you have to believe there’s no reason to withhold the increases for insurance until after the election.
- Presidential management: Voters in the midterm battleground states are evenly split on whether President Barack Obama or George W. Bush was more effective at managing the federal government. Thirty-eighty percent named Bush, while 35 percent preferred Obama. A quarter of respondents said the two men were equally competent.
As hard as the left and Democrats worked to make Bush the poster boy for bad government, this one has to hurt. All hail the new poster boy, and the GOP hasn’t had to even break a sweat selling this one. Most, if not all of Obama’s failures have been via self-inflicted wounds. Will there be a portion of the voters who use the mid-terms as a referendum on the President? You bet there will. This guy is about as bad as we’ve ever had, and voters are going to make that point in November.
That brings us to this last issue in this particular poll which pretty well makes an important point I want made:
- Ebola: Only 22 percent of respondents said they had a lot of confidence that the government is doing everything it can to contain the contagious disease. Thirty-nine percent they had some confidence, while a third said they had little or no confidence. The poll concluded Oct. 11, before the hospitalization of the second nurse who treated an Ebola patient in Dallas.
Confidence in government and the competence of this administration are at rock bottom. I welcome that. Ebola just happens to be the latest issue to demonstrate both executive and bureaucratic fumbling and incompetence. The only consistent thing this administration has done is demonstrate that. The guy whose goal it was to make “government cool” again, has failed miserably. I welcome that as well. I’d like to see the point understood by more. Instead of success, we’ve seen an increasingly intrusive but ossified bureaucracy fail time after time when tasked to do their job. They may not know it, but that’s one of the reasons, perhaps the main reason, that 64% of Americans believe “things in the U.S. feel like they are out of control right now.” We’ve seen how politics has subverted our public servants into servants of the party in power. And we’ve also seen various government agencies hold themselves to be above the law in certain instances. How changing parties at midterm will change any of that remains a mystery.
Usually at this point before an election, analysts have decided who will decide the election. You remember “Soccer Moms” etc. Well, this year it’s simply “women”. Women will decide this. And the implication is that women have always been more of a Democratic constituency than a Republican one … for various reasons. Well, that may not pan out for the Dems this year and of all people, Tina Brown explains why:
But, you know, the fact is that Obama’s down with everybody, let’s face it, there’s a reason,” Brown said. “And I think that particularly for women. I don’t think it makes them feel safe. I think they’re feeling unsafe. Economically, they’re feeling unsafe. With regard to ISIS, they’re feeling unsafe. They feel unsafe about Ebola. What they’re feeling unsafe about is the government response to different crises. And I think they’re beginning to feel a bit that Obama’s like that guy in the corner office, you know, who’s too cool for school, calls a meeting, says this has to change, doesn’t put anything in place to make sure it does change, then it goes wrong and he’s blaming everybody. So there’s a slight sense of that.”
If you’re not feeling unsafe with this clown in office, then you have no fear. Security – safety – is one of the key reasons women consider a vote for a candidate (or so the experts tell us). If that’s the case and we go with the “women will decide the vote” meme, then Dems are in even worse shape than I thought.
And I welcome that as well.
Smith has essentially jumped the shark by lecturing the audience to remain calm and not to believe most of the media hype surrounding the Ebola scare. And Smith should know about media hype being one of the main purveyors of it during the Hurricane Katrina coverage. Anyone remember that? Yeah, me too.
But here’s the point. I’m remaining calm. I’m not panicking. However I am more than a little bit angry about the fiasco, the circus, that surrounds the US case of Ebola.
Here’s a hint about why the CDC has been so blastedly inept in its handling of a single freaking case:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a public-health agency, and public health is an uneasy combination of two very different things: emergency disease containment and nannyist do-goodism. It is a field that exists to save us from the plague and to tell us to drink less soda. To expect the same agency, and many of the same people, to be very good at both of these missions is a lot to ask, and the CDC is much better at the second than the first. Since (thank God) we don’t experience many plague outbreaks, public health spends most of its time on that second mission: preaching the virtues of green vegetables and contraception. So the CDC is for the most part an agency engaged in a kind of low-grade, often silly social activism much of the time. When we confront a disease outbreak or similar public-health emergency, the CDC turns to the other part of its mission, and has an impressive core of experts and resources to call upon in doing so. But the turn is no simple matter, and the fact is we (thankfully) just haven’t had much experience with public-health emergencies on American soil, so the people charged with handling them haven’t had much practice here. It is not hard to imagine how all of this could lead to failures of the sort we have seen.
And who is the head of the CDC? The same guy who helped NYC’s mayor Bloomberg impose tobacco bans, try to ban Big Gulps and chase your salt use. That’s right, a “nannyist do-gooder” who hasn’t the faintest idea, or so it seems, on how to address the core mission of the CDC (i.e. the mission for which it was originally formed). Shouldn’t we be angry and upset about that? After the initial whining by the bureaucrats about how “funding” was a problem we learned about how they prioritized the funding they got (which, by the way, was more than adequate). It certainly wasn’t primarily spent on the core mission as is now very obvious.
Ever hear of Dr. Nichole Lurie? Yeah, me neither. But she is the defacto “Ebola Czar”.
…Dr. Nicole Lurie, explains that the responsibilities of her office are “to help our country prepare for, respond to and recover from public health threats.” She says her major priority is to help the country prepare for emergencies and to “have the countermeasures—the medicines or vaccines that people might need to use in a public health emergency. So a large part of my office also is responsible for developing those countermeasures.”
Or, as National Journal rather glowingly puts it, “Lurie’s job is to plan for the unthinkable. A global flu pandemic? She has a plan. A bioterror attack? She’s on it. Massive earthquake? Yep. Her responsibilities as assistant secretary span public health, global health, and homeland security.” A profile of Lurie quoted her as saying, “I have responsibility for getting the nation prepared for public health emergencies—whether naturally occurring disasters or man-made, as well as for helping it respond and recover. It’s a pretty significant undertaking.” Still another refers to her as “the highest-ranking federal official in charge of preparing the nation to face such health crises as earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, and pandemic influenza.”
Lurie is the Asst. Secretary of HHS for “preparedness and response, whose job it is to “lead the nation in preventing, responding to and recovering from the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters, ranging from hurricanes to bioterrorism.””
Really? Where IS she?! Instead, CNN reports, we’re getting a different Ebola Czar:
President Barack Obama is expected to name Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to two Democratic vice presidents, as the country’s Ebola czar, knowledgeable sources told CNN’s Jake Tapper today.
Klain is a former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden and also to former Vice President Al Gore. Klain is currently president of Case Holdings and General Counsel of Revolution, an investment group. He has clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court and headed up Gore’s effort during the 2000 Florida recount.
Yes, that’s right friends, we’re getting a lawyer and political hack inserted into the mess.
Meanwhile, off the coast of Belize, a Carnival cruiseliner is being barred entry to a port because one of the healthcare workers who treated our Patient Zero is on board (so far no symptoms, thank goodness). I guess it was too forward thinking to sequester all those workers to ensure they weren’t infected and didn’t pose a threat to others. I mean, you know, Epidemic Prevention 101 is so 20th Century … or something.
So Shep, STFU. You’re an overpaid news reader. Confine yourself to doing that. Talking about panicking because of media hype is about as hypocritical as anything you can do, given your history.
As for me, I’ll remain outspoken about how poorly this particular event has been handled and continues to be handled. It is all about ineptness and lack of leadership at many levels and in many bureaucratic agencies. It is the poison fruit of big government. The only silver lining in all of this is the media coverage is keeping that front and center for the public to see.
I’m fine with that.
Because that’s what all the elite would have you believe you are when you have concerns about their ability (and competency) to contain a virus with a 50 -70% death rate. This is the same elite that told us the virus was unlikely to show up here (it has) and that air travel wasn’t a real threat (air travel is precisely how the virus arrived here). And anyone who says differently is “hysterical”.
Now we learn we have a second infected nurse and, just to add to the irony, she traveled by air to and from Cleveland, OH the day prior to diagnosis. So wait lets think about this … we had 75 health care workers come in contact with patient zero in the US and they were left to just resume their normal lives afterward with no thought to possibly holding them in some sort of loose quarantine to insure they weren’t infected? And, as it turns out, at least two were.
Additionally, the plane remained in service and made two more round trip flights. But, the CDC says, you’re not dangerous until you run a fever and she wasn’t diagnosed with the disease until after the flight. So, as our Top Men at the CDC said, she likely wasn’t infectious. CNN burst that bubble today by reporting she was running a fever on the flight.
Folks, I hate to say it, but this sort of sloppiness and counter-intuitive activity is exactly how epidemics spread. But we’re “hysterical”.
Then there’s plain old human nature to consider. As a friend of mine wrote:
If you want to understand selfishness, look no further than the behavior of people caught up in the ongoing Ebola scare — a man who lied so he could board a plane from Africa, a nurse who boarded a plane even though she was at risk of getting Ebola because she treated that man, a journalist/doctor who is now under mandatory quarantine because she violated a voluntary one, family members who have resisted being quarantined while at high risk of contracting Ebola.
This kind of behavior is precisely why Ebola is an epidemic in West Africa, and Americans apparently haven’t learned anything from watching the news there. Or worse, they just don’t care. They aren’t willing to be inconvenienced for a few weeks in order to protect those around them.
Exactly. Add that to the sloppiness of the so-called protocols, if they even exist, and you have the makings of something which could easily get out of hand. But we’re “hysterical”.
Gerlado Rivera tweeted a question yesterday wondering if those who were calling for a ban on flights from Africa would now be for one on Texas since Ebola had now been found there? Gerry’s never been considered a rocket brain surgeon, but this was dumb even for him. And, of course, the irony of the situation – the fact that Ebola got to Texas via the air – was apparently lost on the poor boy.
Now we learn that the disease my have a 42 day incubation period which would make the CDC’s 21 day quarantine entirely inadequate. We also learn that Patient Zero spent 90 minutes in the open among other patients in the Dallas hospital’s ER – and apparently no one is trying to run down those folks. But we’re “hysterical”.
I guess we should all just shut up and follow Bill Quick’s facetious advice:
Not to worry, though. Even though she was running a fever, and even though she later tested positive for Ebola, there is absolutely no possibility whatsoever that she might have been infectious while on that plane.
How do I know this is undeniably true? Because Top. Men. at the CDC told me so.
Don’t worry, be happy.
Putting on my Alfred E. Newman face as I type and sitting back to watch our Top Men’s slow motion train wreck unfold.
Christopher Snowden writes an article that uses an example that is quite handy in defining the essence of the disease called “progressivism”. He acknowledges that “liberal” has be coopted by the left but still has enough historical cache to be useful to both sides of the philosophical divide. However, “progressive”, at least in the US, is uniquely the left’s.
Fast forward to a city soda tax under consideration in the “progressive bastion” of Berkley, CA where we find none other than little Robbie Reich (former Clinton Secretary of Labor) ensconced as Professor at UC Berkley and waxing enthusiastic about this proposed soda tax:
To see what the word progressive means today, consider the city of Berkeley, California. According to Robert Reich, a professor at UC Berkeley, it is‘the most progressive city in America’. It has also been described as a ‘liberal bastion’. How liberal is it? So liberal that it is illegal to smoke a cigarette in your own flat (sorry, ‘apartment’) and, at the city’s university, it is against the rules to chew tobacco or use e-cigarettes anywhere at all, including in the open air.
Berkeley is also seriously considering a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages – aka a ‘soda tax’. A public vote will settle the matter next month, and, in the view of Robert Reich, ‘if a soda tax can’t pass in the most progressive city in America, it can’t pass anywhere’.
Well, yes, that’s correct. But Reich’s claim is also a very useful tool for a little word substitution to show the insidiousness (and true intent) of “progressivism”:
Consider that statement for a moment. If you didn’t know what the word ‘progressive’ meant – and you knew nothing about Berkeley – what could you infer from the context? If the sentence was changed to ‘if a soda tax can’t pass in the most oppressive city in America, it can’t pass anywhere’, it would make sense. If words like ‘tax-hungry’, ‘anti-business’, ‘puritanical’ or ‘illiberal’ were substituted for ‘progressive’, it would still read correctly.
If, however, the sentence was changed to ‘if a soda tax can’t pass in the most tolerant city in America, it can’t pass anywhere’, it would be incongruous. Words like ‘permissive’, ‘libertarian’, ‘easygoing’ and ‘broad-minded’ would also be confusing substitutes for ‘progressive’ in this context, and yet these are all adjectives that appear in the thesaurus under the word ‘liberal’. From this we might conclude either that soda taxes are not terribly liberal or that progressives are not terribly liberal. Or both.
At this point I’m chuckling because Snowden has made a very good point. Reich is all but giddy about oppression and feels it is “progressive” to champion it. Because, you know, the elite know best and hopefully have hammered those who should appreciate them and their ideas enough to vote “yes” and tax themselves.
Then there’s this:
In economics, unlike politics, the word ‘progressive’ has a fixed meaning. A progressive tax is one that takes a larger share of income from the rich than from the poor. The alternative is a regressive tax, one that takes a larger share of income from the poor than from the rich. Taxes on fizzy drinks are highly and indisputably regressive, not only because the rate of tax is the same for all income groups, but also because the poor tend to consume more of them in the first place. So while it is true that Berkeley is a bellwether city when it comes to eye-catching ‘public health’ initiatives, the adoption of punitive taxes on soft drinks would be a step towards it becoming America’s most regressive, not progressive, city in economic terms.
Oh my. Snowden then asks the question of the day:
This is what confuses us, America. If a ‘liberal bastion’ – your ‘most progressive city’ – is one in which the government effectively fines people for drinking the wrong type of soft drink, what on earth are your illiberal bastions like?
Berkley (and New York and … ).
Glad you ask.