October 23, 2014
Delaware's own Joe Biden
He -- and his family name -- ain't one of us.
Evidence supports officer's account in Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO, natch) shooting.
But don't think this will stop the idiots and the zealots.
October 22, 2014
Metering, ratings and you.
is really, really late to the party. I will drop the veil a bit and tell you that I worked at Nielsen (briefly) and in my time there I was at the cold black heart of this very effort. In fact, it was my team that created the metric called "Total Line Reporting". The idea being that they, the customers (ESPN for example) wanted to know what their total audience was from AM/FM/Cable/Interwebs in on report. Previously, we broke those numbers out but with online listening/streaming becoming more and more prevalent, they needed new metrics.
Nielsen is, of course, taking this a step further. In a conversation with the CEO he told us that Nielsen boxes are not just present in every make and model of smart tv on the market, but that they track anything that is rendered on your TV. Get that? Your daughter watches Frozen for the 11th time this weekend, Nielsen knows. You watch Girls Who @#$@% $@#$@ Vol. 9 and Nielsen knows. Switch over to Roku and watch Fox? They got that too.
This is called "fracturing" in the industry. It's a long continual change from the Big Three network days. Now we have hundreds of cable channels, DVD's, on demand video, time shifting, console and pc gaming. Each of those are slices of the entertainment pie that is subdividing very rapidly. Capturing eyeballs is very hard for cord cutting millenials so new forms of advertising are being developed. Product placement isn't "new" but things like that are becoming more common.
Here's the creepy part. They have all of Google's data and all of WalMart's data too. They are not a metering company anymore. They are Big Data and they are moving way out ahead of everyone. The Holy Grail for Nielsen is, and has been, ROI on advertisement. Currently, there's no direct way to track ad dollars to consumer spending. There are tons of technical reasons but mostly it's about variables. The more data they can collate about you, the tighter the ad tuning and the increased likelihood you will buy.
The strange upside to this is that you'll never see commercials for products you don't want or need (within reason). Guys won't have to sit through commercials about feminine hygene products and women won't have to watch commercials for quakerstate.
Hell, I'll go one step beyond and tell you they're tracking the ratings according to things. That is, they are going to start metering soda machines to see how many of which product sells in a given location. They will then cross that with demographic data and that will tell them which maker (Coke or Pepsi) should up their ad spend and what demos are there etc.
The eye of Argus is ever upon us and it seems that engaging with the world either virtually or in meatspace means someone is always watching.
October 20, 2014
Remember the "Public Option?"
Research continues on the Halbig/King/Pruitt/Indiana cases regarding the availability of subsidies in states that chose not to implement a "State-Based Exchanges." Its amazing that we're still trying to figure out what was going on behind closed doors 5 years ago.
Over the past week there was a flash back to a late 2009 video press conference of Harry Reid discussing the Public Option. Remember that? As a reminder, in late September 2009 good old Harry decided to bring that up to the floor for a vote- specifically Chuck Schumer offered amendments to the ACA to include the Public Option. What Cato Institute Health Policy expert Mike Cannon found revealing was that Harry Reid would allow the states to 'Opt Out," just like what's being argued in the Halbig/King/Pruitt/Indiana cases. See the Cannon article here.
Also in the past week, video came out from our friend Dr. Jonathan Gruber where he enthusiastically explains how then Senator John Kerry snuck a huge tax increase into the ACA known as the "Cadillac Tax." I've previously written about this and included a video. See the video here. The key is that economists and Kerry figured out that they could place a tax on the insurance insurance companies for certain insurance plans which would get passed on to the consumer, thus taking advantage of the consumer's economic ignorance and placing the political blame on the "evil insurance companies." His words, not mine folks.
Back to Chuck Schumer. Here's his proposal to amend the ACA in order to incorporate a Public Option. The key part is how he plans to pay for the Public Option: "Increase annual fee on for-profit health insurance providers by amount necessary to offset the increase in spending." By no small coincidence, that's the exact same method John Kerry implemented for the Cadillac Tax.
So what would happen is the for-profit companies would pass the Schumer recommended annual fee onto the consumer, thus making those insurance policies more expensive. Consumers would then choose between a cheaper public option subsidized by the Schumer taxes or the more expensive for-profit plans paying the taxes to subsidize the public option.
As more and more consumers chose the cheaper public option, the for-profit plans would become more expensive because there'd be fewer people to pay the taxes to cover the public option. Over time that pattern would continue and we'd have a death spiral in premiums in the for-profit marketplace... which of course would lead to Single Payer.
Well this brings us full circle back to Dr. Jonathan Gruber and the Noblis/Speako video. Also in that video Dr. Gruber admits that the Public Option was going to pave the road to Single Payer. See that admission here. Now we know how.
October 18, 2014
Obama Ebola update
President Lemon's Ebola "czar" -- absent from an Ebola strategy meeting.
And this czar was ... involved in the Solyndra scandal. Lovely.
Then there's this classic:
Be honest -- which guy do you really feel would do a better job protecting us from a viral epidemic? pic.twitter.com/lesxAkxs8a— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) October 17, 2014
We're in the VERY best of hands.
(h/t to Insty.)
October 17, 2014
How great is it to be a Progressive?
Have you ever wondered what the high and mighty Progressive policy makers really think? Here's a great video of our old friend, Dr. Jonathan Gruber, that splices together two speeches that are essentially the same thought. What's interesting is that these speeches were given over 2 1/2 years apart and he uses almost exactly the same phraseology in both speeches.
In this new video released by "Footnote24," Dr. Gruber discloses 3 extraordinary revelations:
1. He call John Kerry a "hero" for sneaking the Cadillac Tax into the ACA when they all knew it would be politically toxic to make Employer Sponsored Insurance taxable.
2. He notes how the Progressives "cleverly" exploited the lack of economic understanding of the voter by pushing this tax onto the insurance companies, thus making it the fault of the "evil insurance company" that premiums are jumping. Yep, he's literally calling the voters "dumb" and the insurance companies "evil."
3. The Cadillac Tax threshold is not indexed to inflation. Therefore, "over time its going to apply to more and more health insurance plans." He's talking about you and me.
What a wonderful world Progressives live in. They can say and do just about anything they want, mock their electorate, find a way to blame others for everything, wait around for their little policy bombs to go off, tell everyone in advance what they're doing, have the media cover for them, make everyone believe that their policies will impact only the other guy, and get away with all of it!
You knew this was coming, right?
If you're concerned about Ebola, you're ... racist. The headline and sub-headline are sufficient; the whole article will make you scratch your head wondering just how pathetically stupid some people really are.
The problem with the west's Ebola response is still fear of a black patient
Ebola is now a stand-in for any combination of ‘African-ness’, ‘blackness’, ‘foreign-ness’ and ‘infestation’ – poised to ruin the perceived purity of western borders and bodies
The biggest racists must be Africans themselves, then, since (as Insty notes) they are closing borders and imposing travel restrictions.
Delaware's News Journal suffers from this
.. but to be fair, it usually suppresses any mention of race -- black, white, whatever.
From Eric Raymond at Armed and Dangerous:
There is an effective taboo against truthfully reporting incidents in which black criminals yell racial epithets and threats at white victims during the commission of street crimes. If not for webbed security-camera footage we’d have no idea how depressingly common this seems to be – the press certainly won’t cop to it in their print stories.
No conspiracy theory is required to explain the silence here. Reporters and editors are nervous about being thought racist, or (worse) having “anti-racist” pressure groups demonstrating on their doorsteps. The easy route to avoiding this is a bit of suppressio veri – not lying, exactly, but not uttering facts that might be thought racially inflammatory.
The pattern of suppression is neatly explained by the following premises: Any association of black people with criminality is inflammatory. Any suggestion that black criminals are motivated by racism to prey on white victims is super-inflammatory. And above all, we must not inflame. Better to be silent.
What the press is teaching Americans to assume, story after story, is that if “youths” commit public violence and they are not specified to be white, or hispanic, or asian — then it’s yet another black street gang on a wilding.
And look -- I understand that feeling among the press. This country has a long history of denigrating African-Americans. But this is 2014. I know that a color-blind perspective is fairly passé these days, especially among the Left but as Raymond notes,
It’s not clear to me that this kind of indulgence is any better – even for blacks themselves – than the old racist arrangement in which blacks “knew their place” and were systematically cowed into submission to the law. After all – if it needs pointing out again – the victims of black crime and trash culture are mainly other blacks. Press silence is empowering thugs.
And of course, the same press acts in the completely opposite manner when the races/ethnicities are reversed. George Zimmerman, an Hispanic, was labeled a "white Hispanic" by the press which clearly served to inflame white-black tensions.
In Ferguson, MO, the press couldn't get enough cameras and reporters there fast enough, and the line "unarmed black teenager" (Michael Brown) couldn't be said enough times -- as if the fact that he was unarmed means the officer was absolutely and without question in the wrong.
Alas, the mainstream media may actually think it's doing some sort of public service by suppressing race indicators in some cases, but on the other hand going beyond reason to find racial backgrounds in others. But like way too many other instances of good intentions, the results end up in the toilet.
And this is if you think the media actually has good intentions ...
Here's how the 'most transparent administration in history' treats transparency
By my count, the Obama administration has secured 526 months of prison time for national security leakers, versus only 24 months total jail time for everyone else since the American Revolution. It's important – and telling – to note that the bulk of that time is the 35 years in Fort Leavenworth handed down to Chelsea Manning.
And guess what? We got two more years of this lemon. Two. More. Years.
October 14, 2014
Ebola? What Ebola? ISIS? Who are they? Climate change is the immediate threat!
The Pentagon on Monday released a report asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises.
Be sure to read the whole thing, and then ponder our pathetic reaction to Ebola and ISIS. This is "progressivism" in a nutshell, folks: It's all about political dogma. National security and the general welfare be damned. Liberal power is priority NUMBER ONE. No exceptions.
Here's how the American public feels about
global warming climate change in general:
And check out your Democrat Party, people:
That's right, contemporary Democrats believe that climate change is a bigger threat to us currently than ISIS, other non-ISIS Islamist groups, Iran's nuke program, Ebola and other diseases, and issues between Russia and its neighbors.
Hopefully, at least, this November can help restore a bit of sanity ... or at least prevent some of the damage from Democrat insanity.
October 11, 2014
Jonathan Gruber throws John Kerry Under the Bus
As we all know by now, Dr. Jonathan Gruber played a key role in the development of Romneycare and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). He also has been a star player in defending the law and its core principal of the "three legged stool."
As the Halbig, King, Oklahoma and Indiana cases wind their way through the court system, most likely ending up at the Supreme Court next summer, Dr. Gruber's briefs in favor of Obamacare have been removed from the Government's filings.
This recent piece written by Sam Kazman from CEI best describes the decent of Dr. Gruber.
However, Dr. Gruber's video catalog is much more extensive than twice publicly declaring that if the States do not set up a "state based exchange" then their citizens do not get subsidies. He's also revealed some other inconvenient truths. For example, one such revelation is that the "Cadillac Tax" was slid into Obamacare to basically wipe out the tax break people receive when they get their insurance though their employers. Unions mostly use this tax break as a way to enhance labor's net take home pay by negotiating all encompassing, very lucrative health insurance plans. These plans are known as "Cadillac Plans."
Well, Dr. Gruber and his friends don't like that tax break and have actively and secretively tried to eliminate it. They knew that the tax break just couldn't be wiped out, that would be "politically" hazardous. So what did they do? Watch the video, courtesy of "Footnote 24." You'll see Dr. Gruber throw none other than Secretary of State John Kerry under the bus.
And will Dr. Gruber "spin" all of this? As the Employer Mandate and Cadillac Tax phase in, he believes that health insurance benefits will be cut or even eliminated by the employer. He further believes that the employer will give some of that savings back to the worker in the form of compensation. Dr. Gruber and the Progressives will then spin this as the ACA causing "Wage Growth."
Get it? You lose or get lower insurance benefits at work. Your boss throws you a bone. And the Progressive economists will twist this into a positive economic result of "Wage Growth."
October 10, 2014
Man killed for firing three shots at a cop from his sandwich
No, not really. But that's what his mother says (of course):
A St. Louis police officer working off duty for a private security company shot and killed a black man yesterday. Protestors gathered quickly, raising concerns of more rioting, looting, and arson threats similar to those that erupted following the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO.
Fox news reports that while working private security the officer approached three men, who ran away. The officer chased one of them, and a physical struggle ensued. Police officials report that the chased man then presented a pistol and fired three rounds at the officer before his handgun failed. There are no reports that any of the shots struck the officer.
The officer’s handgun was made of more reliable stuff, and he fired 17 rounds at his attacker, mortally wounding him.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that people claiming to be relatives of the victim identified him as 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers, Jr. The teenager’s mother, Syreeta Myers, told The Associated Press by phone Thursday that her son was holding a sandwich when the officer killed him Wednesday night.
A "sandwich." Must'a been a really good one for him to hold on to it while running from a cop. Not to mention, the salami held a clip, too!