Monthly Archives: March 2017

Walz deep

Tim Walz is in., for Guv. I like him, at least for his superficial attributes. He was doing real person shit through his 40’s. Also is German / Irish / Swede, which is like the world’s most perfect ethnic combination eh.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Walz

Anyway… appealing candidate for the Dems.

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No worries, Obamacare will collapse on its own….

That’s the Trump / GOP line right. It’s not true.

Now, Obamacare did death spiral, already, to the point it’s not attracting a meaningful population of healthy, affluent premium payers…

But the program can go on … The insurance companies have the ability to raise rates (with state approvals, which they will get) and the subsidized insuree is protected from raised rates because being in the program means you never pay more than an amount pegged to your income, and this stuff is all on auto pilot.

Which is to say, it’s got permanent financing as far as it goes (even if it is additive to the deficit, which it probably is), it won’t ‘collapse’. I wrote this before noticing there’s a Yglesias article out there this morning that state Trump is an idiot for assuring an Obamacare collapse. I’ll go see if the reason MattY says is the same one I do.

Jots w/ dots 3/27/17

Mayo: We can’t discount our services and do what we do, so no Medicaid http://www.startribune.com/mayo-to-pick-privately-insured-patients-amid-medicaid-pressures/416185134/ Goes to thing I said other day, the expectation has to be that physicians and medical apparatus gets paid for services they render to the poor. This is what I meant. It’s unreasonable… unreasonable as a matter of logic and ethics and market dynamics and everything else …. to ask people… and believe it, corporations are people my friend…. to take 55% of the prevailing rate when they can get the prevailing rate. So whaddya going to do, make them take the work at your price? No, you got to pay them. And it does cost money. Taxes, whatever. Realityville.

Cops who kick http://www.twincities.com/2017/03/26/rosario-a-cop-calls-it-quits/ The most needless barbarism of this incident here is when one of the onlooker police dudes kicked Baker in the chest 3 or 4 times while he was being sicked by this German shepherd. Ya know, because he felt the suspect appeared to be ‘reaching for his waistband’. A thumper in Minneapolis actually got charged for this sort of thing last week. Suspect was complying with an order to submit, face down on the pavement, and a cop walked up and kicked him in the face. This is a thing with these guys, a lot of whom are decent sized men. They like to kick suspects in the face or chest with their big boots on, and they like it so much it doesn’t matter if a suspect is a real suspect or a dangerous suspect. Ramsey County hasn’t charged this cop here like Hennepin did the other, but figure they could, and should.

Strict dad doesn’t like TrumpCare

In Republicanism we take pride in the rightfulness of our logic and wisdom that comes from resistance to emotional manipulation, and then that we insist on rewards and remuneration being earned and not given away to encourage sloth….figuratively, the stern / strict dad model eh.

As it relates to politics then, if you believe this I think you ought to be able to explain and justify the Republican position on healthcare to a child with context to TrumpCare and a tough cookies world.

My 12 year old talks politics at his urban liberal enclave charter school, and he likes to be the contrarian… which means arguing for a kind of Republicanism that I guess he’s heard me articulate. Some of that is boot-strapism no doubt. He was preparing for such conversations, and asked me what the GOP position on healthcare is.

I tried my best…. what I said I think the GOP wants (…assuming good faith) is a de-regulated market that has the potential to offer cheap policies that offer meaningful coverage.. and if you don’t buy It then, you’ve only got yourself to blame…

But you can’t recite this and believe it yourself as a dad who knows business and insurance and costs and life. This strict dad wisdom fails on the wisdom part because its willfully obtuse to reality. To math, basically. Reality is that healthcare premiums are big because healthcare is expensive as a matter of quality, and claims can get pretty big. Reality is that as a matter of scale, a handful of the income deciles are just not going to be able to afford it when its normative that 80/20 family policies cause $15k a year. So it’s not their fault when they don’t buy the insurance. They don’t have the money. And it’s not like these people don’t receive ‘care’, they do. Which is good. But their cost is shifted, and it creates chaos.

Let’s be real here…. Trumpcare is not going to enable cheap coverage that anyone buys. So Trumpcare buys more chaos.

Ya know, real strict dad wisdom is probably one that’s sees reality and tries to manage chaos. The poor-poorish have to get care, even if they can’t pay for it. Doctors and the industry apparatus have to get paid. So it has to be financed with a broad revenue base. IE, a tax regime that generates revenue for this purpose. And it should be stable, but the amount it generates does not dictate what is spent. Need dictates what is spent.

I want employer coverage maintained. I think the employer coverage market that serves the bourgeois funds a lot / all of the innovation. I want congress to make a permanent revenue allotment for programs for the uninsured / hard to insure, this pilot fishing along the trends created by employer coverage.

We could call this “ObamaCare”

Mia Culpa? Nice to meet you Mia.

Chait stains: Boy, Obama really revved up the economy and now Trump is going to get credit…

Jobs report out this morning. Unemployment is down to 4.7% or something. Now, we had a warm winter and have cheap gas… so you account for that, then maybe after you can discern a ‘Trump effect’ that anticipates pro-business policy, and that gooses employment. Not like I’d actually give Trump credit for that, though.

Chait pooh-poohs the notion of the ‘slow growth Obama years’ and is concerned Trump is going to ride an economic boom on a keel Obama laid.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/03/obamas-economy-didnt-elect-trump-but-it-might-reelect-him.html

I quibble with this. Thing is, to say Obama’s economic policy succeeded and is yet to bloom even more is to say Obama had an economic policy. One that say could be distinguished from status quo economics by some implementation of Democrat / progressive values.

There wasn’t anything like that.

He/they stewarded a recovery from the 2008 crisis… by backstopping the bad mortgage debt for the banks. Safe to say that probably would have happened under a Republican \ John McCain.

We had a stimulus package that kept govt spending steady amidst a precipitous revenue drop. Safe to say that probably would have happened under a Republican \ John McCain.

There were some tax hikes on high earners. Some tax cuts (I think I probably pay less than I would have under GWB tax rates, as a moderately affluent earner with dependents…). Nothing substantial. The Democrats pre-eminent platform plank of wealth inequality was not addressed at all.

The alternate history of what would have occurred under the GOP is probably that we would have rode it out with Hoover-ite thrift, let the bad debt and budget shortfalls hamstring whoever got stuck with them…. No, would not have happened. There was only one path, and it would have been the same one Obama took.

I’m painting a pretty deterministic picture here, but it’s not like it was all pre-ordained. Obama could have pursued some socialistic / populistic solutions, could have gone contrarian, could have gone counter-intuitive, but he didn’t. You get back to that notion of stewardship…. What they choose to do reflected a wisdom, and they deserve credit for not being too clever by half or crazy.

But it’s to say, it was all stuff that is within the 40 yard lines of American economic thought… and there is no Obama economic policy. I, and Chait for sure, can articulate all the ways Obama was different and progressive on climate and law and foreign policy and health ins…. Can’t be done with Obama domestic economic policy, there is nothing discernible. He let the fed run the economy in a status quo manner. This low-low rate regime has been in place since 9/11.

And that’s fine. Normative US economics work pretty well., and Trump wouldn’t be unwise to keep riding this wave / horse we’re on. If he did, and it worked, he’d deserve credit, that ambiguous presidential credit for a good economy. If he changes stuff in ways that constitute a reform, he’ll deserve credit or change for that.

And another thing on this Woody Kaine deal

Here and there I’ve already observed conservatives complain that Ramsey County didn’t charge the Kaine mutineers with felony riot or some such. Ya know, like the fix is in… That might be a matter of mere jurisdiction, as it appears things are being properly attended to in the St. Paul city attorney’s court.

http://www.startribune.com/sen-tim-kaine-s-son-one-of-six-protesters-arrested-at-pro-trump-rally/415678554/#1

St. Paul will charge them with something, as they have been referred provocative police reports that recite provocative behavior. Don’t worry, they won’t get off completely.

But is it felony level? Depends on the law, but if you are a prosecutor and can make a felony charge stick rather than a disturbing the peace charge that these protesters shrug off, you pursuit that because someone could have gotten shot here and this kind of confrontation needs to have a greater legal disincentive to discourage it. Ya know, like the goofball that stirred it up with the BLM people last summer. He’s getting a stiff punishment.

That’s an analogy, same deal.

The Woody Kaine riot

In my last post on this, this morning, I kinda ground a cultural axe…

Irrespective of the ‘who’… the what and where are not really being adequately distinguished from normal lefty protest tomfoolerry and contemporary campus hijinks. But what Woody and his pals did at the Capital is way more provocative.

http://www.gomn.com/news/sen-tim-kaines-son-was-arrested-protesting-at-mn-state-capitol/

These guys went into the capital, into a public gathering, with black masks on and started throwing fireworks around.

I’m somewhat surprised they didn’t end up shot dead. Cuz any armed security present would have had ironclad justification to do just that. To the extent that didn’t happen, ya know, its merely because in this country we know that the black bloc is the black bloc and not Hezbollah, and the normative, implicit assumption is the black bloc doesn’t throw grenades.

But any proximate security would have had justification to shoot masked intruders throwing ‘bombs’.

They are playing with fire there. Its going to be a pity and a waste borne of stupidity when some of these fellas die for a revolution that never comes.

Dots w/ jots 3/8/2017

I wrote something wrong yesterday… because my brain is bad, like Donald Trump’s….

I was briefly riffing on asset forfeiture, and was to point out an irony that the left (in this case Vox) states it cares about asset forfeiture, but that Neil Gorsuch would certainly never take the side of a citizen over the police, because he’s a creature of the prosecutorial bar.

Wrong guy, meant to say Merrick Garland, who is among other things, a Vox favorite. Garland makes the ironic point I was going for where Gorsuch would not.

In any event, senior commentor counters with observation of irony that the Sessions DOJ would appear to be a bit "fire and brimstone / law and order", and that this is in opposition to the sensibilities of the blog here.

Yeah, has the potential to be true… though I seem to recall Sessions as a sentence reformer, which would put him on the side of the progressives and libertarians.

Two things oyther about Trump and "law" generally that do disappoint the blog are 1) the Sessions DOJ breathing new life into the war on marijuana 2) an apparent desire by DHS to pat down more 78 year old grandmas at the airport. I had been optimistic there was broad consensus these things were not fruitful.

We’ve had reason to contemplate Sessions a lot in the past weeks, and notably, as a perjurer. Meh… that wasn’t perjury, that thing up there in front of Franken. Not remotely. https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-03-02/did-sessions-commit-perjury-let-s-talk-it-out

I recall this well, and meant to bring it up in recent weeks… this was perjury.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/03/did-the-attorney-general-commit-perjury.php

I’m caught up on The Americans, and was ready to go on season 5, but we don’t have cable with the FX tier…. So I was thinking it could be pulled down from the FX mobile app or something, and spent a bit of time trying last night. Wasnt true at the time, might be now that I look, says ‘1 full episode available’ http://theweek.com/articles/684567/americans-recap-are-what-eat

There’s something happening here, obviously http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/03/07/latest_jewish_center_bomb_threats_prompts_senators_to_ask_trump_to_do_more.html but if the suggestion is supposed to be that this stuff comes from the Pepe / Reddit goofballs or the white supremacists, I just don’t see anything to stand that up… My best guess would be its these young pathetic down and outers that pledge to ISIS.

Woody Kaine is a black bloc-er, apparently http://www.twincities.com/2017/03/07/son-of-sen-tim-kaine-one-of-six-arrested-during-trump-rally-at-state-capitol-last-weekend/ Ya think permissive, liberal upbringing might explain this nonsense right… Well, Tim Kaine has another kid in the Marines, so… I doubt Tim is paying Woody’s rent there in Minneapolis. That’s good. Woody had a quarter million or 300K education at Carlton amirite. I think this is the problem, you got a certain kind of affluent kid who graduates from these places, and they all have a lot of time on their hands because their education was too good for a $30k entry level office job upon graduation, and they don’t want to "work for the man" anyway, they are all waiting for an associate outreach director spot to open on someone’s friends dad’s non-prof ya know, but they are in a line, they have to to wait their turn, may happen by the time they are 27 or 31. In the interim, they cause all kinds of trouble, like this Middlebury riot or Berkeley. They got all kinds of observations about who benefits from labor and capital but do not trod that path where you start out making near minimum wage at at age 24 and are earning good professional money at middle age… This is why Trump won…