Thursday, November 28, 2013

Red Line for Syria; Green Light for Iran: The Obama Foreign Policy?

President Obama drew a red line in the sand two years ago if the Syrian regime used weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Syria crossed that line at least twice, such that it could no longer be ignored by an often-blind Administration (cf. Benghazi). President Obama also said the Assad Regime must fall, but, unlike Libya, did not even supply air support to the rebels. Sand is slippery. The President then threatened to actually take military action against the Assad Regime, but soon weaseled out. His recent foreign policy consisted of National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who was duped by the Benghazi Talking Points, threatening Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai that the United States will pull its troops out of Afghanistan in 2014 if Karzai does not sign the recently agreed to agreement. Karzai would love to see the Americans leave. Threatening to do what your opponent wishes you to do is a stupid form of negotiation. Iran’s President Khamenei calls the United States the Great Satan and that Israel is a “rabid dog.” He wants to wipe the Zionist country off the map. We want to appease. The Obama Administration therefore entered into an interim agreement whereby the effective sanctions against Iran will be relaxed in exchange for the Iranian government temporarily slowing down uranium production from 10,000 centrifuges. The United Nations voted that sanctions should not be lifted unless Iran ceased all uranium production. Remind me the next time President Obama says we should follow the UN. President Obama made no attempt to secure the freedom of the American citizens held prisoner by the Iranian regime. The four page document is full of “creative ambiguity.” Munich betrayed the Czechs, but did not cause World War II. Hitler was hell bent on conquest, lebensraum and the Holocaust. Geneva betrayed the Israelis and Saudis, and may well bring Armageddon to the Mid East. Pity the poor Democrats. The ObamaCare disaster has alerted them that the President is not a brilliant politician, but a Pied Piper of electoral defeat, as in 2010. They are caught between party loyalty, loyalty to Israel, and their reelections. Here are the statements of world and American leaders. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it an “historic mistake.” New York Senator Charles Schumer said the “deal doesn’t seem proportional …. Iran simply freezes its nuclear capabilities while we reduce the sanctions.” Secretary of State John Kerry affirmed “We have no illusions.” The United States is entering negotiations “with eyes absolutely wide open.” Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, generally regarded as a dim bulb, said the deal poses minimal risk to the United States. Iran poses a major risk to our soldiers in the Mid East, a grave risk when placed on a ballistic missile aimed at the United States, and an apocalyptic threat to Israel. The Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, proclaimed the agreement recognizes Iran’s right to enrich uranium. Saudi Arabia has been eerily silent. They believe actions speak stronger than words. A successful foreign policy consists of knowing the difference between allies and enemies. President Obama understands the difference. He disses our friends and trusts our enemies. Our most steadfast ally in the international stage is England. Israel is our strongest ally in the slippery Mid East. Egypt was a strong ally until the “Arab Spring.” One of President Obama’s first acts was to insult Great Britain, followed by expressing his contempt and loathing for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He forced Egypt’s pro-Western President Hassan Mubarak out of office, and has since managed to antagonize both the military regime and the Islamists in Egypt. President Obama has the DNA of the true left, the DNA of William Ayres, ingrained into his psyche. The extreme left wingnut view of America is that the United States has been wrong in the world, an international bully. Therefore, we need forgiveness from our foes and recognize that our former friends are our true enemies. One rumor is that the Obama Administration is now in secret talks with Hezbollah. Prior to his reelection, President Obama made it clear to Russian President Medvedev on March 26, 2012 that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious issues. He made clear to French President Sarkozy his contempt for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. President Obama won reelection. He is free. He is a liberated man. He no longer needs to worry about the Jewish vote, or contributions. He can follow his true instincts. Dump Israel and make peace with the mullahs on their terms.

My Thanks on Thanksgiving

To God for my incredible wife, the partner in my life, and our two wonderful sons To the Pilgrims and Puritans, Squanto, the Wampanoags and the American turkey To the settlers, mountain men, 49ers, grubstakers, land grantees, cowboys, and wildcatters who conquered the American wilderness To the citizen soldiers, the Minute Men, Militia, Continental Army, National Guard, Reserves and Active Duty who won our freedom and then fought to maintain it To the American people who finally realize the falsity of President Obama, which even the media can no longer gloss over To President Reagan who revived America from the Carter Malaise To President George W. Bush who brought security to the United States after 9/11 To our Founding Fathers who gave us the Constitution and the Bill of Rights To Fr. Stephen A Privett, S.J. and Mary Sue Coleman, who are retiring after long successful runs as Presidents of the University of San Francisco and Michigan respectively To Ohio Northern University, which started my academic career, Dean Howard I. Kalodner and Western New England College which saved my career, and President James A. Doti for letting me part of the incredible academic growth of Chapman University To the thousands of students over 41 ½ years who have made teaching a labor of love rather than just a job To Rupert Murdock, Roger Ailes and Fox News for an alternative presentation of the news To the builders of America: John Jacob Astor The Cabots and Lowells Thomas A. Edison, George Westinghouse and Alexander Graham Bell J. P. Morgan, Amedeo Pietro Giannini, Walter Wriston, Charles Merrill,Vharles Schwarb Henry J. Kaiser, Andrew Carnegie, Andrew Mellon, Henry Clay Frick, Henry George Steinbrenner, II. Commodore Vanderbilt, James J. Hill, Theodore Judah, Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins, Colis P. Huntington and Leland Stanford. John D. Rockefeller, Henry Flagler, H.L. Hunt, Joseph N. Pew, John Paul Getty, Leon Hess and Howard Hughes The Wright Brothers, William Boeing, Allen & Malcolm Loughead, John Northrup, Igor Sikorsky, Kelly Johnson and Simon Ramo Friedrich Weyerhauser George Huntington Hartford, R. H. Macy, Frank W. Woolworth and Sam Walton Madam C. W. Walker and Robert L. Johnson. Frederick Terman, William Hewlett, David Packard and Arnold C. Beckman. Robert Gordon Sproul and Clark Kerr Thomas Watson and Steve Jobs. Charles F. Dolan and John Malone Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., Henry Ford, Walter Chrysler, Charles Kettering, Frank Seiberling, Harvey Firestone, Cyrus McCormick, Sr., John Deere R. H. Macy, F. W. Woolworth, Sam Walton Phil Knight Robert Moses, William Mulholland, Griffith Griffith, John McLaren and Michael O’Shaughnessy. Conrad Hilton, J. Willard Marriott, the Pritzkers, and Kemmon Wilson James I. Irvine, George Argyros, William Levitt, Del E. Webb, Edward J. De Bartolo, Sr., Captain Richard King Herbert Henry Dow, Eleuthere Irenee du Pont, and Samuel Curtis Johnson, Sr. Meyer Guggenheim George Halas, Walt Disney Ray Kroc, Dave Thomas, Carl Karcher, Sr. To Martin Luther King, Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Cesar Chavez & Delores Huerta

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Where Were You 50 Years Ago on November 22?

Where Were You Fifty Years Ago? Where were you The Day the Music Died? Where were you the day the President died? Where were you on the day that a telegenic, charismatic, youthful, but ineffectual, President, was assassinated? Where were you the day the New Frontier became the Great Society? Where were you the day that changed America? Where were you on the day that that the Presidency passed to a President, who could enact tax cuts and civil rights legislation? Where were you on the day that unleashed America’s greatest social change since the Great Depression? Where were you on the day Camelot died, but remained frozen in time? Where were you on the day America lost its post-Depression, post-World War II spirit of invincibility? Where were you on the day that the Democratic Party turned left? Where were you the day that liberals slimed Dallas and the Dallas oil barons with the assassination of President Kennedy? Where were you on the day that unleashed conspiracy theories on the United States? Where were you on the day that guaranteed the Vietnam War? Where were you on the day Pierre Salinger told his USF classmate that it would be great for American morale for the NFL to play its Sunday games? Where were you on the day the Dallas Police Force was not up the job? Where were you on the day when the afternoon teacher said: “I don’t care what the Supreme Court said. We need to pray?” Questions, questions, questions? We were going into gym when told the President was shot and then received the fatal news when gym was over.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Fatal Flaw With ObamaCare

ObamaCare is destined to fail. Not because Obama lied and millions paid, although they are. Not because ObamaCare is no longer an abstraction, but is now reality, no matter how grim the reality is. Not because the “Affordable Care Act” is unaffordable to millions, although it is. Not because the “affordability” cost to many is obtained through subsidies, which are unsustainable over time. Countries have met violent reactions when attempting to rein in food and fuel subsidies. Not because the true cost of healthcare will rise for most Americans, although it will. Not because of the rising premiums, which will force millions of “middle class” families to forego health insurance. The high premiums and high deductibles make ObamaCare unaffordable to Americans, the vats majority of Americans, not receiving the subsidies. Not because the increasing unavailability of doctors and hospitals. Not because the penalties for ignoring the individual mandate are easily evaded due to the lack of enforcement powers in the IRS Not because it will be a bureaucratic nightmare, which would make Kafka proud. The British Healthcare System is the largest employer in Western Europe. Not because of the cancelled policy holders, which will have to seek insurance elsewhere. ObamaCare will fail because it violates the fundamental ethos of America. America was founded on individual liberty - the individual, the citizen, the people. ObamaCare is the greatest loss of individual freedom in the history of America. It is a program of the elites forced upon an unwilling people. Today’s elites, like the Leninists of a century ago, know what’s best for the rest of us. The Leninist/elitist mentality failed in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Communist China, Cuba, Vietnam, and even with the Pilgrims. It will fail in the United States. It denies freedom of choice. It denies personal choice – the right to choose one’s coverage, one’s doctor’s, one’s hospital, one’s insurance. It is forcing upon us something “better” in their eyes, while often exempting themselves. They are depriving us of free will and determinism. The dictat of the elite in President Obama’s words was to remove people from their “sub-par” policies. In exchange for dropping the “sub-par” policies, a hypothetical 24 year old single gay male in San Francisco needs to have insurance for maternity care and pediatric dental care. The elites know what’s best for us in health insurance, in education (the “common core”), and food. America was founded on the belief in the Individual, not the belief in a monolithic central government that would provide for us cradle to grave, the Julia of the Obama reelection campaign. Power in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was vested in the people and the states. The Federal Government was to be a government of limited powers. Chief Justice Roberts fundamentally transformed America in his twisted ObamaCare decision. ObamaCare will fail because it subordinates the individual to the state.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Today is the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address: Where is President Obama?

Edward Everett delivered the main address at Gettysburg 150 years ago. His two hours long horation was eclipsed by President Lincoln’s 272 words, 272 simple words expressing America in two minutes. The memorable Gettysburg Address, often memorized by school children. The Obama horations, memorized by none, not even the President. President Obama professes to admire President Lincoln. President Obama was twice sworn in on the Lincoln Bible. So where is the great orator of our day? He’s not at Gettysburg. President Lincoln freed the slaves. President Obama is the first African American President of the United States. Where is the President who delivers beautifully cadenced poetry? Is he on the golf course? They exist in Gettysburg and Camp David. Is he out campaigning, yet again? He claims to have one campaign left in him. Is he traveling on vacation? Camp David is only a few miles from Gettysburg. It’s a short drive in the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside. Is TOTUS broke? President Lincoln did not need a teleprompter. He spoke from the heart. President Lincoln handwrote his speeches, often toiling over the precise words to use. President Lincoln was a man of simple, basic values. President Lincoln, as was common in his times, was essentially self-educated, but widely read in the classics and history. President Obama spoke at the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s great “I Have a Dream Speech.” President Obama is strangely silent on the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. President Obama sent the Secretary of the Interior to Gettysburg. Who is the Secretary of the Interior? Presidents Lincoln and Obama came to Washington from Illinois. Is President Obama perchance paying a visit today to the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. or the Lincoln Monument in Springfield? Not that we know of. President Lincoln delivered a short speech, expressing American values. His magnificent phrases of the American government “of the people, by the people, for the people ” in a nation dedicated to the principle that “all men are created equal.” President Obama campaigned on class warfare. President Obama uttered “If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it. Period.” That’s the phrase defining the President today. President Obama’s orations are cadenced, but empty. His phrases “Audacity of Hope,” An economy built to last, ”Nation-building at home,” “We are the ones we have been waiting for,” and “Yes we can” were cribbed from others. His great campaign slogan “Hope and Change” is now “Hope for Change.” President Obama realizes, deep down, that he cannot overshadow President Lincoln. President Obama is apparently in the White House mulling over his falling polls and failing ObamaCare. Presidential advisor Dan Pfeiffer said the President was too busy with "that website thing." Maybe that's the problem. Is the President trying to write code? President Lincoln grew in office. President Obama is sowing a shrinking Presidency. President Lincoln was not governed by polls, but by America.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

More Lawyers Behaving Badly

When in doubt, blame the lawyers in movies and TV shows, unless they are devoured in outhouses by dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Enough lawyers screw up to give the rest of us a bad image. Here’s a few recent examples. John Bruster Loyd filed suit against Carnival Cruise Lines on behalf of his clients, Luke Cash and Ami Gallagher. The claim was that they were passengers on the Carnival cruise ship, Triumph, last February when it was stranded at sea without services and amenities. Their wedding had allegedly been scuttled because of the ship’s breakdown. The loving coupe had never been adrift at sea for a week because they were never passengers on the Triumph. They were on land when an engine fire cut off the ship’s power supply. So much for their “deplorable, unsafe, and unsanitary conditions!” Loyd’s response was that he made a mistake, and proceeded to file an amended complaint against the cruise line. The saying is that lawyers who represent themselves have a fool for a client. Divorce and custody disputes can bring out the worse in people, including lawyers. Daniel Evan Schorr of New York didn’t expect his 4 year old son’s reaction on the Tuesday visitation night. He wanted to take his son to the Corner CafĂ© on Third Avenue, but the child demanded his American right of McDonalds. The child threw a temper tantrum. Daniel responded by saying either any restaurant but McDonalds or no dinner. The child chose no dinner. Daniel’s action is unwise in the ongoing divorce and child custody proceedings. The soon-to-be ex Mrs. Schorr won bonus points with Junior by taking him to McDonalds, but that’s not how the McDonalds saga ended. A court appointed psychiatrist, Dr. Marilyn Schiller, filed a report saying Daniel was “wholly incapable of taking care of his son.” Schorr’s degrees from NYU and Oxford apparently did not provide him with wisdom. He has now filed a defamation suit against Dr. Schiller. A hearing is scheduled in December to determine if Daniel Schorr is a fit parent. Some lawyers are recidivist over-billers. Ney McDaniel, a contract lawyer for the Iowa public defender’s office, billed for more than 24 hours on 80 days. The state claims $178,000 in improper payments. Ben Swift, a court appointed attorney in Dayton, billed courts for indigent defense clients an average of nine hours per day, seven days a week for 365 straight days. Another clichĂ© is that “The law is a jealous mistress,” but this one billed 29 hours for one day and over 20 hours for other days. It is theoretically possible to bill for 27 hours in one day by flying from the east coast to the west coast, but Ben was staying in Dayton. Tal Rappleyea of Kinderhook, New York represented several towns and Columbia County in New York. He billed the multiple clients 24.75 hours on June 14, 2010 and 26 hours on September 26, 2010. It may not be a record but he billed for 93.75 hours in one week in September. None of this though matched the antics of two married lawyers, Jill and Kent Easter, in Orange County, California. Kelli Peters was the PTO President and an-after hours volunteer at Playa Vista Elementary School. Jill was upset when Kelli was slow in bringing the Easter’s son to the front after school ended one afternoon in February 2010. They got into a verbal confrontation in which Jill said “I’ll get you” to Kelli. Kent, or was it Jill, drove to the Peters home early on February 16, 2011 and planted a bad of drugs in Kelli’s unlocked PT Cruiser. The plastic sandwich bag contained 40 Vicodin and Percocet pills, 17 grams of marijuana, and a marijuana pipe. He later phoned the police claiming he had seen Peters driving erratically in the school’s parking lot. Police detained Kelli for two hours, gave her a field sobriety check, and searched her house with her permission. They found no evidence that she used or possessed drugs, and did not arrest her. The investigating officer smelt a rat. The lawyers did it. Further investigation showed that the call was made from the Business Center at the Island Hotel Newport Beach, a few blocks from Kent’s office. Video cameras showed a man looking like Kent entering and leaving the business center. DNA from the Easters, but not the Peters, was found on the pills. Kent has admitted to making the phone call. The police also found plastic bags matching the planted bag in the Easter’s residence. Jill Easter pled guilty to one count of false imprisonment two weeks ago. Kent is currently on trial on the same charge. He’s been fired from his firm, and the once loving couple have separated. Both will lose their law licenses. Her degrees are from Berkeley and Boalt Hall; his from Stanford and UCLA Law School, proving once again that pedigree is no guarantee of intelligence. There may be no honor among thieves or married lawyers. Kent’s defense is that he was bullied by Jill; he lacks a backbone, or as we would say in the O.C. “cojones.” He claims to be the trusting husband of a dishonest wife, who also cheated on him. He also asserts Jill panted the drugs.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The New Cry: It's Not the President: It's the Insurance Companies

The ObamaCare War on Insurance Companies “When in doubt, demonize!” That is the Obama campaign strategy: “Fat cat bankers,” overpaid corporate execs, corporate execs, greedy oil companies, conventions in Las Vegas, and insurance companies have been his targets in the past. He has special animus for the Tea Party. President Obama is not cancelling insurance policies. He said you could keep your policy. The “grandfather clause” guaranteed it. He meant it. Noone forced the insurance companies to cancel policies. That is the Party Line. The public won’t understand that Kathleen Sebelius and Health and Human Services issued regulations three years ago that effectively nullified the grandfather clause. The effect of the regulationss was that the grandfather clause would be inapplicable if he insurer made any major modification since 2010. Such modifications could include increased co-pays or premiums or changes in coverage. Even a $5 increase in premiums would nullify the nullify the grandfather clause. The insurers warned the Obama Administration three years ago that they would have to cancel the policies. That was the plan of the Obama Administration. The insurance companies were implicit in the enactment of ObamaCare and the cancellation of the existing private health insurance policies. They were led to believe that ObamaCare would result in a flood of new customers that would result in higher profits. Existing policyholders would have to buy new policies at higher premiums and deductibles. That was their illusion. The Administration and insurers are truly shocked at the backlash of the 5% and their dependents now cut off of their policies, the “sub-standard,” policies they were satisfied with. The insurers now realize that their actuarial assumptions are wrong. Their costs through adverse selection will greatly exceed premiums. The good news for the largest health insurers, such as Aetna, CIGNA, and United HealthCare is that they wisely stayed out of most of the exchanges for individual policies. The insureds under the new plans will receive substantial premium increases next year at this time. A dozen insurance execs met with the President today. They could not be assuaged after the President double crossed them yesterday. He announced yesterday that he will allow the insurance companies to continue to issue existing policies even if they did not meet all the requirements of ObamaCare. He knows that the regulation and issuance of the policies is subject to the jurisdiction of state insurance regulators. An insurance company cannot unilaterally issue policies in a state. Neither the insurers nor regulators are amenable to reissue the cancelled policies, all 5 million to date. They would undoubtedly lose substantial sums of money in doing so, and then have to re-rescind them next year. They also know that the President lacks the right to ignore the mandatory provisions in the statute. Yet the President yesterday tried to shift the onus to the insurers for cancelling he existing private health insurance policies and their failure to reissue them. The President gave them permission, and they will not comply. Thus, it is the insurers’ fault – not his. The Congressional Democrats are echoing the President’s words like shrieking banshees. The President was conciliatory in requesting the insurers reopen the existing policies. It’s the insurers who will appear unreasonable. Noone likes them anyways; they will make the perfect patsies in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

26,794 Reasons Validate Senator Ted Cruz, the Tea Party and the GOP Shutdown of the Government

Senator Ted Cruz was pilloried by the media and the Democrats for his one day filibuster against the budget. The media and Democrats continued their talking points use of the Tea Party as a political punching bag. The Republican “shutdown” of the government a month ago was portrayed as a suicide pact by the Republicans. President Obama and the Democrats won the political and rhetorical battle over the shutdown. At the Time. Remember what the shutdown was about? ObamaCare and the subsidies to members of Congress and their staff were the focal points of the Republican House. They sought a one year delay in the individual mandate. The House and Senate Democrats went on the record, voting against an extension of the individual mandate. They are on the record (modern video and digital recording last forever on the internet) blindly echoing the President’s blanket statement about keeping your insurance and doctors. The same Democrats are crying for relief today – for themselves. They are crying for an extension, at least for the individual health insurance plans. Their recorded words in praise of ObamaCare will be used against them in 2014. They blindly followed Speaker Pelosi carrying the gavel into the gavel. They blindly voted for the bill, never having read it. They were blind in understanding the bill. They blindly followed President Obama’s lead through the budget fight, and now three weeks later, they see the political light. It is blinding as it shines on their ignorance. 26,794 Americans signed up through the federal exchange in 36 states for Obamacare. Over 5 million individual health policies have been cancelled in the same time. California was praised for enrolling 35,364 residents in Covered California, the California health exchange. Over 1 million individual health insurance policies have been cancelled in California. Covered California told the private health insurance companies in California that they would have to cancel their individual plans by January 1, 2014, throwing these insureds into the exchange. So much for “If you like your current insurance company, you can keep it. Period.” ObamaCare is creating more uninsured Americans than it is removing from the uninsured ranks. Senator Cruz is right. ObamaCare is a disaster. The Tea Party is right. ObamaCare in an abomination. The Congressional Republicans are right. ObamaCare is a failure. The Democrats have enacted a health insurance plan that is imploded even before coverage takes place on January 1, 2014. ObamaCare is imploding even before the economic contradictions in the plan take effect. ObamaCare is imploding even before the federal subsidies become unsustainable ObamaCare is imploding even before the insureds, or potential insureds, can find out which doctors and hospitals are in the plan. ObamaCare is unraveling even before most Americans determine how high their premiums will be under ObamaCare. ObamaCare is removing millions of Americans from the full time employment ranks. ObamaCare is failing even before the Americans covered by it discover they cannot obtain medical care in fact because of the lack of doctors. ObamaCare is failing even before the nation’s youth and healthy can evade the individual mandate by under-withholding their federal income taxes. Senator Cruz, the Tea Party, and the House Republicans warned us. ObamaCare registered only 105,000 between the federal and state exchanges in its first month – far short of the expected 500,000. How many of the 105,000 “enrollees” are actually enrolled was not revealed. It is less than 105,000 since formal enrollment does not occur until they have paid a premium. Senator Cruz was right in his filibuster, and is right. The Tea Party and Republican Party were right, and are right.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Michigan's Football Team Needs a Sports Psychologist

Michigan Needs a Sports Psychologist Michigan’s football team needs a sports psychologist. There should be one available in the university’s top ranked Psychology Department. Make the call! A sports psychologist can get into the heads of the athletes, overcome problems, instill confidence, enhance performance, and get them to handle pressure. Coaches can do it, but it’s too late with Team 134. Attitude, the “Tude,”Swagger, Arrogance, Cockiness, Smugness, Bluster, call it what you want, defines the great teams. Lose it and you become one of the mediocre patsies. Have it and you know you can pull out the game at the end. Think of John Elway, Tom Brady, Joe Montana, the Mannings, Alabama, and John Madden’s Oakland Raiders. Michigan had it. Michigan had it when it came from behind to beat Michigan State, and Michael Hart proclaimed Michigan State as “Little Brother.” Michigan lost it seven years ago in the Appalachian State game. Michigan has stopped believing in itself. The players practice hard. They’re physical. Their heart is into it. They just stopped believing. It’s not their fault they stopped believing. Michigan’s two kickers could hit almost every field goal in practice four years ago during Rich Rodriquez’s last year. They just couldn’t make a field goal during the game. They did not believe. Their lack of confidence became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Michigan’s offensive guards no longer believe they can block. They block in practice, but cannot block in a game because they know they can’t. Penn State; three muffed field goals, any one of which would have won the game. Penn State: 28 yards rushing on 30 attempts by two tailbacks. Michigan State: - 46 yards rushing. Nebraska: -21 yards rushing. Seven QB sacks in both games. They no longer believe. It's not their fault. They cannot carry out the plays called by Al Borges, the offensive coordinator. The opposing teams, even the fans in the stands, at home, and in the sports bars, know what’s coming – stuffed in the backfield. Brady Hoke said three years ago “This is Michigan; God’s sake.” Today’s Michigan football team is not the team Bo handed to Mo, who passed it on to Lloyd. Today’s Michigan team is not the one Brady wants it to be. Today’s Michigan team is not the one he remembers. That Michigan sent scores of linemen and defensive backs to the pros. This Michigan needs to send them to a sports psychologist. Brady Hoke and Al Borges, the OC, also need a sports psychologist. They are in a constant state of denial. The plays work on the chalkboard. Thus they should work as diagrammed in the game. They are in denial. They believe after Akron, UConn, Penn State, and Michigan State that Michigan can run the ball. They believe that Michigan can block. They believe that Michigan can play smash mouth football. That Michigan left the Big House six years ago. They believe because they are in denial. They believe because they are in denial of the spread offense. They believe that Denard Robinson last year and Devin Gardner this year can line up under center and run a pro set offense. They are in denial. Devin Gardner can neither run nor throw because the blockers can neither run block nor pass block. Gardner is also too banged up to run. No football player should take the punishment he’s received the past month. The running backs can’t run behind the line and don’t block. The kicker has regressed to where he was four years ago. The young tight ends have to be kept in the line as blockers. Soon it will spread to the defense. So much was expected of Team 134. It's not a lack of physicality. It's in their heads. A sports psychologist can work miracles with the minds of athletes. Also with the minds of coaches.

Surprise, Surprise in Surprise, Arizona as Rural/Metro Bills for Watching a House Burn Down

The Purcells returned home as Rural/Metro firefighters were putting out hot spots where their house had been a short time earlier. Neighbors and the firefighters had watched the house burn down. Rural/Metro sent the Purcells a $19,825 itemized bill two weeks later for their failed effort to save the house. The Purcells are shocked. Rural/Metro is charging almost $20,000 for their failure. It may be of legal significance, depending on the laws of Arizona, that the Purcells never requested assistance from Rural/Metro. In other words, Rural/Metro is charging for services that were neither requested nor performed. The Purcells house was at 163th Ave. and Dixileta in an unincorporated area of Surprise, Arizona. Neither they nor their neighbors knew the area was also outside the fire fighting territory of the Surprise Fire Department. Volunteer fire fighting districts are common in rural areas, but Rural/Metro Fire Department fills the void in many areas in 21 states. The company provides ambulance and fire fighting services, often on a contractual basis for commercial accounts. Even metropolitan fire departments often charge for emergency ambulance services today, Scores of smaller communities in Texas will charge the fire insurance company a “fire service cost recovery” fee for fighting the fire at an insured residence. The general expectation though is that fire fighting is covered by property taxes. That’s what the Purcells and their neighbors thought. Their property taxes include a “fire district assistance tax,” which they reasonable thought covered fire protection. It turns out to be a county-wide tax intended to help volunteer fire departments. Rural/Metro lets many rural resident pay an annual subscriber’s fee of roughly $500 to cover fire fighting, but the fine print provides “Reaction times may vary.” The nearest Rural/metro fire station is about 20 miles from the Purcells community. The options therefore for rural Americans in the Purcell situation are 1) Pay the subscriber fee, but with no certainty of a timely response; 2) Pay a large bil if the for-profit company arrives to fight the fire, or 3) attempt to form a volunteer fire fighting organization. The South Fulton Fire Department in rural Obion County, Tennessee refused in 2010 to fight a fire at a house whose owner had forgotten to pay the annual $75 fee. They arrived at the house, parked the fire engine, and watched the house burn down. They similarly acted a year later when the owner of another house hadn’t paid the fee because she never thought her house would catch on fire. Let me add that Rural/Metro filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on August 4, 2013 with $735 million in debt.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Terry McAullife's Virginia Victory leads to Democratic Angst and President Obama's Quasi-Apology

Terry McAuliffe was scheduled to win Virginia by 15-20 percent over a “hapless” Republican, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The government shutdown played poorly in Northern Virginia, where the voters are government employees. The AG was tarred with the Tea Party. Attorney General Cuccinelli’s earlier pro-life and anti-gay marriage remarks were broadcast against him. McAuliffe was leading by 30-40% among women. McAuliffe followed the Obama Playbook. He demonized Cuccinelli early and often without a response, sinking the AG’s reputation with Virginia voters. He outspent the AG by almost $15 million, and 10-1 in the last week of the campaign. Cuccinelli was toast. The media told us so. McAuliffe barely won, a margin of 55,000 votes out of over 2.2 million cast. Cuccinelli won Republicans and Independents in the election. Terry McAuliffe, the bagman for the Clintons, also pulled a page out of the Clinton playbook. Governor Clinton won in 1992 because H. Ross Perot, a third party candidate sucked votes away from President George H.W. Bush, throwing the election to Clinton. A Democrat funded the third party Libertarian candidacy of Robert Sarvis, who received 145,560 votes, splitting the anti-McAuliffe vote. A few more days or a few more dollars and McAuliffe would have lost. ObamaCare has become an albatross around the neck of Democrats. 15 Democratic Senators up for reelection next year met with the President yesterday. They remember the 2010 elections. The Tea Party is not dead, but ObamaCare is alive but not well. The Senators had followed the Pied Piper of ObamaCare down the line like lemmings. Vote after vote – no straying from the Obama path, but now self-preservation is setting in. “If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period.” “If you like your doctor, you can keep him. Period.” Yes you can. No you can’t. As of this morning 4.3 million Americans had their private health insurance plans cancelled. “Read my lips. No new taxes.” President Obama is following in the footsteps of President George H. W. Bush. When repeated often enough, a catchy political slogan can become a covenant with the American people. “Read my lips; you get to keep your insurer and doctors.” The President started down the road to apology today. He sounded like he was dragged in kicking and screaming. What he really said was “I guess they weren’t so grandfathered after all,” echoing his remark about the non-shovel ready jobs in the Stimulus Bill. His apology, that is half apology, quasi apology, faux apology, pseudo apology, was as follows: “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.” He sounded like he was dragged kicking and screaming into the interview with a friendly Chuck Todd from NBC. He clinged, like he once said of rural Pennsylvanians bitterly clinging to their guns and religion, to his talking points. Only about 5% of Americans will lose their policies (that's 15 million working Americans), their sub-par polices, because he wants all Americans to have the policy he believes is best for them. He also said “We weren’t as clear as we needed to be.” He was as clear as he needed to be to get the bill enacted and his reelection assured. Why would anyone believe anything he says? The President said “His team” will see what we could do. That is decisive leadership? He has two simple ways to allow Americans to keep their policies. The first would be to have Secretary Sebelius rewrite the three year old regulations which render it impossible for Americans to keep their policies. HHS could actually grandfather the existing policies, but that was never the plan.. The second approach would be to let Congress vote on preserving the existing policies. He’s scared to let Congress, especially House Republicans, have a shot at ObamaCare. The bad news for Virginia is that Terry McAuliffe is similar to California’s recalled Gray Davis. His only political skill is raising money.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Back to the Future With New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Tomorrow is Coronation Day for Bill de Blasio as Mayor of New York City. I love New York. The streets are clean, the subways safe, crime has plummeted, and the museums incredible. I love the diversity of the neighborhoods. I love the accent. I love walking along Broadway and Fifth Avenue. I love the passageways of Grand Central Station, and driving through the PanAm/Met Life Building. I love my wife who grew up a few miles outside the city’s boundaries. Yes, I love New York and will take every opportunity to visit the City, even if it’s just to connect flights at Kennedy Airport. Maybe not in a year though. The media and polls have long proclaimed Bill de Blasio the overwhelming winner of tomorrow’s mayoral election. There is seemingly no need to hold an election tomorrow. After 20 years of Republican Mayors, the voters of New York City will elect the most progressive of all the Democratic primary candidates for Mayor. The voters have forgotten why they elected Rudolph Giuliani 20 years ago as Mayor. They have forgotten the treacherous subways, the crime infested streets, the squeegee men, the graffiti, the fiscal collapse, the fear of visiting the City, and an ineffectual Mayor David Dinkins. Of course they have. 20 years of prosperity can dim memories. So too is the reality that the median age of New York City voters is 35. In other words, half of the voters were only 15 when Mayor Giuliani assumed office. They don't remember the crime ridden, near bankrupt days of New York City. Bill de Blasio has romantic ideas of returning the to the progressive New York of decades ago, just as he still has romantic notions of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. He worked with them 25 years ago. He recently said to the New York Times that the Sandinistas showed a “youthful energy and idealism mixed with a human ability and practicality that was really inspirational.” The Sandinista "practicality" included assassinations and executions, which de Blasio has ignored. He honeymooned in Cuba in 1991. He won the democratic primary not only as the most progressive of all the candidates, but as the most anti-Mayor Michael Bloomberg of the candidates. New Yorkers had become tired of Mayor Bloomberg in spite of his boosting the City’s economy. Bill de Blasio is the “Public Advocate” of New York City which fits his persona. He gave a pep talk at the Occupy Wall Street encampment. He has campaigned on the theme of a “Tale of Two Cities:” those who have and those who have not. In a different form he has campaigned against Mayor Bloomberg and his fellow 1%ters. He rails against the income inequality. He proposes to raise income taxes on those earning $500,000 or more to support universal full time pre-kindergarten and after-school programs for middle school children. He also wants to create 200,000 units of affordable housing, ignoring the lessons of past public housing projects. His class warfare rhetoric plays well with the 48% of New Yorkers who live in poverty. The demographics of the City have substantially changed in the 20 years since Rudolph Giuliani was elected Mayor. The 1990 census showed a white population of 43%. It had fallen to 33% in the 2010 census. New york City has always been a city of immigrants, even more so today. His pledge to end the effective law enforcement tactic of “Stop and Frisk’ is playing well with the “minorities” in New York City. The teachers unions love his contempt for the charter schools. New York City has a budget of $70 billion with 300,000 city workers. 147 city bargaining units are awaiting new contracts. They eagerly anticipate Mayor de Blasio, who has the potential to be as generous with them as Mayor Villaraigosa was with the Los Angeles public employee unions. New York City will once again become a progressive paradise, just like Detroit and the other progressive cities in bankruptcy or heading into bankruptcy.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

ObamaCare is an Obama Success

President Obama is succeeding With ObamaCare President Obama’s goal was to transform America. ObamaCare is transforming, for the worse, 1/6 of the American economy. Even a complete repeal of ObamaCare could not put the pieces back together, just like Humpty Dumpty. The American healthcare system shattered into pieces on October 1. ObamaCare is a success. The website doesn’t work, Medicaid is jammed with enrollments while the budget is cut. ObamaCare is a success. Doctors are dropping out or being excluded from plans, Medicare, or Medicaid, or retiring early; hospitals are refusing to take part in ObamaCare; ObamaCare is a success. Individual policy holders are being cancelled en masse coupled with high premium increases, with employer health plans soon to follow, and most new hires in America are in part time, often low paying, jobs. ObamaCare is a success. Private practitioners are now less than half the practicing physician workforce. Private practitioners have traditionally been strong Republicans. ObamaCare is a success. President Obama never promised you could keep your hospital. ObamaCare is a success. Over 20 new taxes have been imposed on the American people. ObamaCare is a success. Competition in the private healthcare insurance market has been eliminated though the one size fits all mandates of ObamaCare. ObamaCare is a success. ObamaCare is destroying the individual health insurance market. ObamaCare is a success. 1/6 of the American economy has been shattered, that is, transformed. President Truman couldn’t do it. Bill and Hilary failed at it. ObamaCare is a success. President Obama has not had to cancel a golf match to fix ObamaCare. ObamaCare is a success. The President has moved on to immigration reform, raising the minimum wage, and raising more taxes. ObamaCare is a success. ObamaCare will bust the budget. ObamaCare is a success. ObamaCare is a success. Just ask the diffident, out-of-touch President. The next step - the single payer plan by the government. ObamaCare is a success, a raging success, even before its full implementation. ObamaCare is an American Tragedy.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Michigan's Second Season Begins Tomorrow

Michigan is 6-1 in the first 7 games of the season. Five games are left in the regular season. The second half, technically 5/12th, of the season remains. The Wolverines could easily have been 7-0, but were singularly unimpressive in almost snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against basketball power UConn and the zipless Zips of Akron. The attempts to play smash mouth football failed as stubbornness possessed the offensive play calling. Drive after drive up the middle stuffed. 28 yards on 30 rushes by the running backs in an ugly 4OT loss to Penn State, after blowing a 10 point lead with ten minutes to go. It was ugly. I’ve seen Michigan pull out victories in games it should have lost, and lost games it should have won. I even was at the Appalachian State loss. Penn State was ugly. Penn State was not Michigan football. The offensive line couldn’t get the job done. It’s been too short to rebuild it after the Rodriquez years. The twice revamped OL now consists of two senior tackles, a true freshman, a redshirt freshman, and a walkon. That is not Michigan football. Michigan lacks a true wide receiver and is still weak on the defensive line. That is not Michigan football. No slant or screen passes to break up the rush. That is not offensive football. The great Bo had his moments of stubbornness in the 10 Year War with Woody. Michigan had first and goal twice in a game against Ohio State. Bo did not believe in field goals. He was going to smash it in. Eight running plays – zero points. Ohio State won 12-10. Bo learned. Maybe Brady Hoke and Al Borges learned from the Penn State debacle. They played a spread, the dreaded offense, in a win against Indiana. Maybe they won’t play smash mouth against Michigan State, which has one of the best defenses in the country. Michigan State on the road Saturday, followed by Nebraska at home, Northwestern and Iowa on the road and Ohio State at home. Michigan could end up anywhere from 6-6 to 11-1. 8-4 could be the outcome. I’ll settle for 10-2. The Wolverine family was looking forward to a two game season finale against Ohio State, first in Ann Arbor and then in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship game. Visions of roses with New Year in Pasadena were enchanting. The Wolverines are still two years away from greatness. Rebuilding takes time. Just ask Nebraska. Excessive exuberance does not win games. The Wolverines will find out how tough they are tomorrow. Michigan State plays tough, old time football - tough, down and dirty football – no holds barred, literally and figuratively smash mouth, smash hands, smash legs, smash fingers football. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State’s coach, coaches with a chip on his shoulder. He has transferred it to Little Brother, which has beaten Michigan 4 of the past 5 games. Sparrty is favored by 5 ½ points over Michigan. Michigan State only needs to beat Michigan to have a great season. Michigan has to defeat both Michigan State and Ohio State to have a great season. Just remember, Michigan beat Notre Dame, which then defeated Michigan State. Go figure.