Saturday, October 24, 2009

Taxing Our Hearts And Valves

Because they wouldn't play ball with him Obama plans to tax manufacturing jobs out of existence in Indiana. At least those manufacturers who make medical devices. That's some hope and change, there. Chicago politics at its best. Hope the people of Indiana remember this come 2012. Especially those folks who need prosthetics of one sort or another. From The Hill comes this bit of news concerning the people who refused to play ball with the Capo di Tutti Capo now in the White House.
The more the fiscal details of the healthcare bills emerge, the more appalling they seem. The Senate Finance Committee bill includes a broad provision taxing all manner of medical devices. This tax includes such frivolous luxuries as pacemakers, stents, artificial heart valves, defibrillators, automated wheelchairs, mechanized artificial limbs, replacement hips and knees, surgical gurneys, laparoscopic equipment and the like.

President Obama is planning to reduce the cost of medical care by taxing it!

The most recent Gallup Poll reflected that 49 percent of respondents said they believed that the ObamaCare plan will increase their healthcare costs. Only about 20 percent said it would lower them. It is taxes like these that substantiate this kind of concern.

The origins of this new medical device tax are troubling as well.

The medical device industry had its day at the White House, as did the insurance industry, the drug makers, the nurses and the doctors. In turn, each group heard the White House request that it come up with voluntary cuts in its healthcare costs and support Obama’s proposed changes in return for assurances that Congress would not impose deeper cuts (or, in the case of the doctors, that it would actually rescind cuts already scheduled under current statutes).

But, unlike all these other groups, the medical device industry refused the deal. This posture enraged the tyrants in the White House, who vowed to punish the industry with cuts imposed by Congress. The result was a decision by the revenue-hungry Senate Finance Committee to extract billions in funds from the industry.
For those of you that thought he'd be a breathe of fresh air....feh. There's no such thing in Chicago. What we had foisted on us was gangster government at its finest. And now we'll all pay for your mistakes.

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You Talkin' To Me?

I was always taught that there are no such things as stupid questions. Apparently, Nancy Pelosi never learned that at her mothers knee. When a CNS reporter asked her where Congress got the authority to force people to buy health insurance, she had no answer. Just derision. Typical of the ruling elite. “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”

Pelosi: “Are you serious? Are you serious?” “Yes, yes I am.”

Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandated that individual Americans buy health insurance as not a "serious question."
no doubt, when the rest of us were learning politeness and the basics of civil discourse she was learning Rules for Radicals and the doctrines of Marx and Lenin.

On a related note: Forcing people to buy broccoli.

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No-one Says It Better

On a day like today, nothing will do but a taste of Harry. His version of this classic was much better than Dylan's.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yes, As A Matter Of Fact They Are Watching You

From Wired comes the news that the government has bought a stake in a company which makes its hay looking at blogs and categorizing their contents. No doubt this will be for our own good and will not be used to create profiles of people who choose to speak out against government policies they find abhorrent. There's no way they'd ever create an enemies list. Right?
America’s spy agencies want to read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates — even check out your book reviews on Amazon.

In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media. It’s part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using ”open source intelligence” — information that’s publicly available, but often hidden in the flood of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports generated every day.

Visible crawls over half a million web 2.0 sites a day, scraping more than a million posts and conversations taking place on blogs, online forums, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon. (It doesn’t touch closed social networks, like Facebook, at the moment.) Customers get customized, real-time feeds of what’s being said on these sites, based on a series of keywords.

“That’s kind of the basic step — get in and monitor,” says company senior vice president Blake Cahill.
It was bad enough when a private company was doing it. Now that the government has a stake in it? Yeah, that's worse.

Here's Looking At You, Kid

In honour of the powers that be coming out of the closet, here's a little Alan Parsons. It seems fitting.