Open Thread

Trump continues to fight the MSM – and keeps beating them. This, among other things, is why I think Trump will be re-elected: his opponents keep reminding his supporters why they supported him.

There is a bit of an arms build up going on in the Korean theater. This is dangerous stuff. But, we can’t simply let North Korea continue to hold the world up for ransom. If a battle does break out, just remember that the ultimate responsibility will lie with the men who decided not to pursue victory in Korea in the 1950’s.

Donald Surber notes how Trump is starting to re-negotiate NAFTA. I had a short discussion over free trade on Twitter with a guy I believe to be a smart, well-informed man of good will…he’s just shocked that anyone can be opposed to “free trade”. My view is that there really is no such thing. All of these trade deals are miles and miles of arcane words which no one reads before they are ratified and which are then left up to un-elected and unaccountable people to decide what they mean. To me, they work to special treatment deals for well-connected players. If we want free trade, then a free trade agreement really need be no more than a couple pages long, and be written in clear language. If its free trade, then it just should say that – trade between the parties is free of tariffs. Beyond that, I note, with great care, that each nation which has risen to economic dominance did so under a Protectionist regime…and only lost such economic dominance after going for free trade. It is just silly, in my view, to allow your own industries to go elsewhere and count the increased stock value of the corporations involved as an increase in national wealth. Wealth is what we make, mine and grow – period; the end. If we don’t make, mine and grow enough then we’re losing. Badly.

Some people are talking very positive of the new replacement for ObamaCare…but plenty of purple State Republicans are wary of it. I think this is yet another stalking horse…perhaps a way to prove to solid Conservatives that there had to be a little “give” in the final deal. We’ll see.

$425 for pre-stained jeans.

Aside: I’ve noticed since Trump won, things have never stopped happening. There is an acceleration of politics, as if we’ve got a guy who wants to do things, rather than just legacy hunt and pose. We’ll see how it works out.

I’m past 15,000 words on the novel. The story is getting rip-roaring.

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9 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. fieldingclaymore April 28, 2017 / 1:27 pm

    When are they going to repeal and replace?

    • Amazona April 28, 2017 / 4:45 pm

      I cringe at “replace” as it sounds like a continuation of federal interference in health care payment contracts (insurance) and that was the problem from the get-go—–Big Brother trying to run health care, or pretending to try to run health care as a disguise for redistribution of wealth.

      • M. Noonan April 28, 2017 / 10:03 pm

        I’d much prefer “repeal and forget about it”, myself. A return to the 2010 status quo would be an advantage, as least for me. For the first time in my life, I am burdened by serious medical debt…thanks to ObamaCare’s wonderful provisions, everything is more expensive and there is less coverage for actual medical activities.

        But, I think we are stuck with replace in some way – my only hope is that Congressional Conservatives can sneak in a few free-market provisions and thus allow us all to eventually abandon government health care, kind of on the sly.

      • Amazona April 29, 2017 / 11:17 am

        I agree with you. I can understand how there might have to be some kind of transition period, as insurance companies restructure to start doing business pretty much the way they used to, but it should be temporary, with a cast-in-stone expiration date, after which the government is out of the paying-for-health-care business. (The government was never in the health care business. It was always paying-for-health care, but that didn’t have the emotional appeal to the masses that implying actual health care did—just another of the clever propaganda tricks of the Left.)

        From what I understand, the real issue is pre-existing conditions, and I agree that is a problem, particularly with an aging population. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that so many millions have lost their original insurance policies, due to Obamacare, and now might not qualify for new policies. Theoretically, allowing nationwide sales of insurance, to expand the risk pool, would bring costs down to some extent, and government subsidies for more expensive policies would still be cheaper than the cost of Obamacare. The cost of the corrupt website contract alone—-given to buddies of Michelle, never subjected to normal oversight and routine checks along the way, and never functional, while the money was kept by the buddies—would have paid a lot of subsidies for more expensive policies designed to cover pre-existing conditions.

        I would still establish an age–say 50 0r 55—and make it clear that anyone under that age will never qualify for assistance in getting insurance for any condition they don’t already have, so these people had better buy policies now and plan on keeping them for their lifetimes.

      • Retired Spook April 29, 2017 / 11:52 am

        From what i understand, the real issue is pre-existing conditions, and I agree that is a problem

        I agree it’s an issue, but I don’t think it’s the “problem” the Left would like everyone to believe. A dirty little secret is that in the first 3 years of ObamaCare less than 20,000 people with pre-existing conditions signed up. The government could create a high risk pool that could pay up to $50,000/year to each and every one of those people for $1 billion a year. That’s a rounding error in the overall scheme of things.

        Almost everyone who has lost insurance due to a pre-existing condition experienced one of two scenarios: they had a child who was born with a pre-existing condition, or they changed jobs after a pre-existing condition arose. No one should be penalized because they were born with a serious physical defect, and the second scenario could easily be fixed with legislation that makes health insurance portable from job to job. The vast majority of Americans still get their health insurance through their employer, and the few million who don’t could easily be accommodated by creating risk pools for groups who are self-employed. That’s a component of several of the GOP plans.

      • Amazona April 29, 2017 / 1:22 pm

        Colorado had a high-risk pool for many years, and I have read that several other states did, as well. In Colorado, if you were turned down a certain number of times for insurance you were guaranteed coverage, albeit probably at a higher rate. This, combined with a subsidy to cover the rate increase, would have solved the “problem” that the Left played up as a fatal flaw in our old insurance plans.

        I am pretty healthy and can afford my regular health care costs. Ideally, I could pay my day to day costs and have a plan that only covers high-dollar problems. We used to do that and it worked quite well. When I was not insured and broke my wrist, I learned that paying cash took about 40% off the cost of the bill—that is how much doctors add to their bills to cover the cost of dealing with insurance companies. (I don’t know how much of that is built-in graft—-padding to add to the profit margin of the doctor.)

  2. Amazona April 28, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    One serious problem, which I believe is part of NAFTA and which is seldom addressed, is related to the removal of restrictions on Mexican trucking into and in the United States.

    In the United States, trucks have to be inspected and meet certain fairly rigid standards, must be insured, and have daily inspection reports on file. Drivers are trained and have to undergo a pretty tough driving test in addition to a written test, must pass a health inspection every two years, and have stricter rules applied to them regarding how many points they can acquire through violations before losing their licenses, particularly alcohol-related violations, and this applies to any violation even if a private non-commercial vehicle.

    We used to have a process whereby goods from Mexico would be offloaded at the border, inspected (or not, but at least the possibility was there) and then reloaded onto insured American trucks running under American regulations, driven by drivers who met American standards.

    This changed to basically just waving through loaded Mexican vehicles, driven by Mexican drivers, with no inspections for safety, driver qualifications, etc. Once in the country, these trucks and drivers could go anywhere.

    We put a lot of people out of work, including American drivers and port personnel, and put a lot of unregulated vehicles and drivers on our highways, and I have never understood the rationale behind this. This has nothing to do with free trade. We can move goods that do not have tariffs attached and still do it in a way that addresses the concerns that have been ignored under this new method of doing business at the border.

  3. Amazona April 29, 2017 / 12:09 pm

    An interesting article to show, or quote, to those science deniers —that is, AGW alarmists—–

    Hoodwinking Americans is part of the environmentalist agenda. Environmental activist Stephen Schneider told Discover magazine in 1989:

    We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. … Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

    In 1988, then-Sen. Timothy Wirth, D-Colo., said: “We’ve got to … try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong … we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.

    http://dailysignal.com/2017/04/26/heres-how-wrong-past-environmental-predictions-have-been

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