Monday, June 29, 2009


The White House seems to be retreating from President Barack Obama’s campaign promise that he would not raise taxes on families making less than $250,000.

Under persistent questioning from ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday, Obama senior adviser David Axelrod declined to restate the vow and left open the possibility that the president might sign health care reform legislation that taxes high-cost, employer-provided insurance plans which some middle-class families currently receive tax free.

Raise your hand if you are surprised.

Prisoner Abuse???

"Three days a week, Georgia now serves inmates only two meals. And across the country, there have been increasing reports of substandard food. This is inhumane. Adequate meals should be a nonnegotiable part of a civilized penal system. It is also bad policy. Researchers have found a connection between poor food quality and discipline problems and violence. Georgia has nevertheless decided to save on staff costs by serving just two meals on Friday, as it already did on Saturday and Sunday. The state says it gives prisoners the same number of calories on days when one meal is skipped. Even if it does — and some prisoners’ advocates are skeptical — it can be oppressive to go so long without eating."

This, from a New York Times editorial, suggests to me that my fair state of Georgia is doing the right thing. The entire editorial can be read here, but it fails to mention that an additional rationale for the twice-a-day meal plan is those are on days when the prisoners do no work.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Michael Jackson Memory

My favorite memory of Michael Jackson was when he married Lisa Marie Presley and someone remarked that this was the best evidence yet that Elvis was in fact dead.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Maybe Reagan made Bush do it

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md, is using the fatal D.C. Metro accident to slam the Reagan administration for failure to adequately fund public transportation a quarter-century ago.

Yet the accident occurred despite the fact that Congress ignored Reagan and funded Metro anyway. Read it here.


Evidently BestView has been occupied with other things over the past several decades. The passing of Michael Jackson has made a much bigger impression on the rest of world than I would ever imagine. Evidently his music was considered more extraordinary than I realized since his other contributions to society would not seem to be all that iconic. Rest in peace, Michael.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good enough for thee but not for me

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that elites often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loves ones get sick, they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it’s not provided by insurance.

Devinsky asked the president pointedly if he would be willing to promise that he wouldn’t seek such extraordinary help for his wife or daughters if they became sick and the public plan he’s proposing limited the tests or treatment they can get.

The president refused to make such a pledge, though he allowed that if “it’s my family member, if it’s my wife, if it’s my children, if it’s my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tax the polluters?

"At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air we breathe."
So saith Obama at his press conference yesterday when talking about his cap and trade legislation which will impose a tax on power companies, manufacturing companies, agriculture companies and others. BestView doesn't know whether to be sadder about Obama trying to make us believe these taxes (like all other corporate taxes) won't be passed on to consumers or my belief that the average American is too ignorant of such matters to question the annointed one.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Is universal health insurance constitutional?

If the government cannot proscribe -- or even "unduly burden," to use another of the Supreme Court's analytical frameworks -- access to abortion, how can it proscribe access to other medical procedures, including transplants, corrective or restorative surgeries, chemotherapy treatments, or a myriad of other health services that individuals may need or desire?

This question about whether the government's role in deciding who gets which medical treatment is constitutional is the subject of this interesting essay in this mornings Wall Street Journal. Read it here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Save medicare first

President Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers issued a report earlier this month estimating that as much as 30 percent of Medicare spending is unnecessary for improving health outcomes. Given such opportunities for easy savings within government, and Medicare's weighty influence in the broader system (many private insurers set payments by adding a percentage to Medicare's rates), it would make sense to reform Medicare first, see what works and what doesn't, and then apply the lessons of that process later to any system-wide fix. Unfortunately, Obama and Democratic congressional leaders are hellbent on turning the system upside down with radical reforms that are sure to have vast and unexpected consequences. Read it all here.

Here is an interesting comment to this editorial from a reader:

"...have all Fed employees - especially Congressmen - try out the new system for a couple of years before they inflict it on the rest of us. When Congressmen no longer get VIP treatment at Walter Reed, then maybe I'll think their system is good enough for me."

My favorite new scientific study

From Japan:

We have long been warned of the risk of obesity, but a new Japanese study warns that being very skinny is even more dangerous, and that slightly chubby people live longer.

People who are a little overweight at age 40 live six to seven years longer than very thin people, whose average life expectancy was shorter by some five years than that of obese people, the study found.

"We found skinny people run the highest risk," said Shinichi Kuriyama, an associate professor at Tohoku University's Graduate School of Medicine who worked on the long-term study of middle-aged and elderly people.

A wake-up call for liberals?

The following from Newsweek and a fawning reporter, Michael Isikoff, suggests that liberals may just be catching on to the "Obama deviations" from his campaign rhetoric.

As a senator, Barack Obama denounced the Bush administration for holding "secret energy meetings" with oil executives at the White House. But last week public-interest groups were dismayed when his own administration rejected a Freedom of Information Act request for Secret Service logs showing the identities of coal executives who had visited the White House to discuss Obama's "clean coal" policies. One reason: the disclosure of such records might impinge on privileged "presidential communications." The refusal, approved by White House counsel Greg Craig's office, is the latest in a series of cases in which Obama officials have opted against public disclosure. Since Obama pledged on his first day in office to usher in a "new era" of openness, "nothing has changed," says David -Sobel, a lawyer who litigates FOIA cases. "For a president who said he was going to bring unprecedented transparency to government, you would certainly expect more than the recycling of old Bush secrecy policies."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy 4th of July

We have been promised by the psychotic idiot who controls North Korea that he will fire a missile at Hawaii on the 4th of July. Our Secretary of Defense says, "I think we are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect American territory."He thinks? Maybe the reason Secretary Gates is not more certain is when North Korea fired their last missile, our esteemed President of Change announced the very next day that we would reduce funds for our missile defense system. Is there any chance Obama's response to the first missile is related to North Korea's decision to contribute to our fireworks display on Independence Day?

Chump change denied BO

BestView is suspicious of the way dems in Congress deny Obama a few million to close Gitmo---something the entire party supports---and will gladly give him billions and even trillions for other things like buying auto companies and banks. Reckon ol' Barack is giving Congress a wink and nod on this matter?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The dems climate problem

The liberals on both coasts are erroneously convinced that we need to raise taxes on carbon emissions via something like the cap and trade idiocy. This will reduce the elevation of temperatures and reduce the use of coal to produce the electricity to run this country's power grids. Well, it seems that some of the politicians in the democrat party are saying, not so fast. In the middle of the country, energy is produced by coal burning and the farmers are reminding the politicians that warmer temperatures would be welcomed in states like Iowa, the Dakotas and other farm states since the crops would be enhanced. Let the fight begin.

Down Dollar

The Federal Reserve is creating dollars at a rapid pace to help jump-start the economy. Liquid money is up 11% over the past year, the monetary base has increased by 110%, while bank reserves are a thumping 903% larger than they were a year ago.

With this much money being created, the dollar has only one way to go -- down. It's nothing more mysterious than supply and demand. An exchange traded fund that has a symbol UDN which you can buy on the New York Stock Exchange will go up in value as our dollar becomes devalued. I own some in my IRA.

A splendid idea

Why not have the federal government demonstrate that it can provide adequate health care to American Indians, a promise it hasn’t kept for 222 years? Then demonstrate it can provide adequate health care to veterans, a promise it hasn’t kept for 79 years. Then demonstrate that it can reform and efficiently run the health insurance system called Medicare, which it has been been making a dog’s breakfast of for the last 44 years. And then, and only then, take over all of American health care.
Read it all here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

California Morass

Democrats and Republicans in California's legislature are gearing up for battle as they try to close a $24B deficit that could leave the state unable to pay its bills next month. Democrats are calling for higher taxes and fees while Republicans are pushing for $16B in program cuts. Top state officials approached the White House for emergency aid but were rebuffed; the Obama administration is concerned a California bailout would call for other states to want some too.

Politicians really just hate having to do what they are elected to do.

Rape Jokes

David Letterman finally realized that it is not funny to joke about raping 14 year old girls---even if a conservative, pro-life politician is the Mother. Even though many black teen-agers get pregnant sans marriage in the U.S., similar jokes about Obama's daughters getting "knocked-up" will probably never make it to the late night comedian's repertoir.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Too Cold?

It is now more than 200 years since the great astronomer William Herschel observed a correlation between wheat prices and sunspots. When the latter were few in number, he noted, the climate turned colder and drier, crop yields fell and wheat prices rose. In the past two years, sunspot activity has dropped to its lowest point for a century. One of our biggest worries is that our politicians are so fixated on the idea that CO2 is causing global warming that most of them haven't noticed that the problem may be that the world is not warming but cooling, with all the implications that has for whether we get enough to eat.

Read about the effect of cold temperatures on food crops here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Government Health Care

Every now and then BestView runs across a comment or letter to the editor which captures a point of view with which it is difficult to argue. Such is the following comment on proposed "universal coverage" by The Elector of Saxony at Gateway Pundit.

The problem is that more than half the country pays zero or less then zero in taxes (they receive "tax credits" even after paying a zero tax rate.) More than half the country is functionally illiterate in English, and completely ignorant of the facts of economics, commerce, and mathematics. Such a population gave us Barack Obama, an utterly unqualified President. They will gladly support the leader's "FREE" healthcare, because they are not capable of understanding the broad implications.

Go to the fast-food joints in your town and ask anyone who works there to explain a simple supply curve to you. Half can't read English, the other half can't understand. That's Obama's voting base! Now there are 10's of millions of them who vote Democrat on command.

Show me a farmer who tries to reason with a plague of locusts, and I'll show you an educated Conservative trying to explain the logic of demand-driven, private healthcare over command, statist, communal healthcare to an "undocumented worker" or a half-witted Junior College 3rd year Freshman who waits tables at Chili's.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.

A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years.

During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage"

Anyone worried about who the Dictator will be?

Hard to get mind around this deficit picture

Car Bargains

Those Chrysler dealers who were ousted via some formula nobody understands are left with a large supply of cars which were forced on them by the company prior to bankruptcy that must be sold shortly. The incentives provided and promised by the company will soon expire along with the extended warranty behind them. It is tempting to go see how cheaply one could buy one of these vehicles, but I am left thinking of a price which I would pay and so far, none is low enough to make me drive down to one of the soon-to-be-closed dealers.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Open Letter to Obama

The following letter was written by Lou Pritchett, a former Vice President for Proctor and Gamble. It was sent to the New York Times and they, of course, ignored it. However, the letter made its way to the internet and has been circulated widely and confirmed as legit by Snopes.


Dear President Obama:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.
You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.
You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.
You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.
You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.
You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core.
You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.
You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.
You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America' crowd and deliver this message abroad.
You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.
You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.
You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.
You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.
You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.
You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.
You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.
You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.
You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.
You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.
You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

Lou Pritchett

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Secretary Clinton

Obama's naming of Hillary to be Secretary of State was a masterful political stroke. He brought her into the tent ostensibly but then named special envoys to the Middle East, Iran, the U.N., North Korea, and other places. She has to be the least powerful Secretary of State in history. BestView wonders when she will decide to step out and assert some independence. Should be fun when it happens.

Sotomayor Finances

Sotomayor’s income over the last decade has been over $150,000 per year. One would expect a person with that level of income, and no kids, to have saved up quite a bit of money.

Instead, Sotomayor has a total of $31,985 in the bank, which would be almost wiped out if she paid up $15,823 in credit card bills and a $15,000 dentist bill.

Do we really want a Supreme Court Justice who’ll have $1,162 left in the bank if she pays her bills?

Just Wondering

Would the makers of Fiber 1 initiate a new commercial blitz proclaiming that its cereal was not cardboard if it didn't taste like it?

What psychological void is being filled when Obama feels it necessary to fill the stage with sycophants standing behind him when he makes his daily pronouncements on TV? Do those standing back there realize how degrading their presence is?

If Sonia Sotamayor had said her experience as a Latina enhanced her decisions relative to a black male, would that have been considered a valid assessment and not racist---even if true?

Did the Arabs in the audience listening to Obama list the accomplishments of Arabs to mankind realize that each example (inventing algebra, for one) was centuries ago and autocratic governments have stifled their progress ever since?

Thursday, June 04, 2009


About this time every year I think about the day we spent at Normandy a few years ago. Since we retired, we have taken numerous trips to countries around the world and none compare with that day on the coast in France. When you stand above the cliffs and consider the obstacle they posed for the brave men who scaled them in the face of machine gun fire, you have to be completely awed. The German bunkers are still there and it is amazing they were ever breached. When you then go to the cemetery and view the sea of crosses, it brings history home as little else does. Everyone should make a trip there prominent on their "bucket" list.

Child Abuse from Liberals

The following is an excellent editorial on the continuing efforts by the liberal education establishment to promote their own interests at the expense of our children--especially those who need help the most. Read it all here.

The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program provides vouchers for some 20,000 low-income, mostly minority children to attend private schools. Because the 20-year-old program polls above 60% with voters, and even higher among minorities, killing it outright would be unpopular. Instead, Democratic Governor Jim Doyle wants to reduce funding and pass "reforms" designed to regulate the program to death. The goal is to discourage private schools from enrolling voucher students and thus force kids to return to unionized public schools.

To that end, Democrats in the state legislature voted last week to cut per-pupil payments to private schools by $165 while increasing public school spending by $400 per student. Taxpayer support for students in the program is only $6,607 per student to begin with, which is less that half of the $13,468 for students in Milwaukee public schools.

Those funding cuts would be accompanied by mandates of dubious academic benefit. One regulation would require schools that have already been accredited to meet additional accreditation requirements. Another would force schools to offer expensive bilingual programs that suck up scarce resources and are spurned by most immigrant parents who want their children taught in English.

Reid on Sotomayor

"I understand that during her career, she's [Sotomayor] written hundreds and hundreds of opinions. I haven't read a single one of them, and if I'm fortunate before we end this, I won't have to read one of them."

Makes you proud of our Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate, doesn't it?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Poor Geithner

BestView is feeling sorry for our Treasury Secretary Geithner who was dispatched to China to convince them that the U.S. is worthy of their continuing investment in our treasury notes and bonds. This must have been a rough trip. While speaking to an audience of students, Geithner said the U.S. was putting in place the foundations for restoring fiscal sustainability. The students laughed at him. Then he said that the U.S. plans to "put in place comprehensive health-care reform that will bring down the growth in health-care costs that are the principal driver of our long-run fiscal deficit". Was his audience in China stupid enough to believe that adding a few trillion dollars in new health care entitlements will bring down the cost of health care? A more important question is whether the U.S. population is stupid enough to buy that shrouded pig.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Two murders

The news media have been quite diligent in reporting on the killing of the abortion doctor in Kansas and commentators have rightly deplored the senselessness of taking a life to protest the taking of life. There is another killing in a near-by state that deserves as much coverage, but let's see if it gets it. Read it all here.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A man with "political and religious motives" killed a soldier just out of basic training and wounded another Monday in a targeted attack on a military recruiting center, police said. The shootings were not believed to be part of a broader scheme.

A police report based on an interview with the suspect says Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, 23, told police he observed two soldiers in uniform, drove up to the recruiting center and started shooting.

"He saw them standing there and drove up and shot them," Lt. Terry Hastings told The Associated Press. "That's what he said."

Monday, June 01, 2009

Bye-Bye Newspapers

Here is a good post-mortem on the newspaper industry. A sample follows:

With few exceptions, most notably the Wall Street Journal, the newspaper industry fell into the classic trap of underestimating the power of the internet. Not only can the internet do a better and more timely job distributing news but it demolished barriers to entry for news gatherers, editors, and commentators. Who can feign surprise? Go check out the price difference between a web server and a block-long printing press feeding a fleet of trucks.

Personal Unsecured Loan