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From the AP:

When U.S. Senate Republicans unveil their plan to overhaul America’s healthcare system, they will face a skeptical public that already does not buy the justification for an earlier version that passed the House of Representatives, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.

They’re right to be “skeptical”; Obamacare did exactly nothing to address cost, which is where the real issue resides, and the House bill, as I analyzed, would actually make it worse (which is hard to believe, but true.)

The Senate “attempt” will do the same.

The problem is not “insurance” or “coverage” — it’s cost.

Then there’s this sort of nonsense, which IMHO argues for locking up doctors en-masse as drug pushers:

Nearly one in four people on Medicaid, the U.S. health program for the poor, received powerful and addictive opioid pain medicines in 2015, according to research by a drug-benefits management firm.

One person in four?

Folks, these drugs are responsible for some 20,000 deaths due to overdoses a year which wildly outranks other means of accidental death, save one: car accidents (~35,000)

There is only one way to address health care cost: Attack the monopolist practices of the industry and you need no new laws to do it, since we have a 100+ year old body of said law which, I remind you again, drug and medical firms have tried to shoot down twice at the US Supreme Court (in the 1970s timeframe) and they lost both times.

It requires only an executive either at the state or federal level, which again I remind you has responsibility for enforcing the law, to stand up and do their  job, leveling indictments against everyone involved in this industry that attempts to promote monopolies or restrain trade.

That’s all it will take and the entirety of the health scam will collapse in an afternoon, crashing prices by 80% or more.

You can look right here for what this would mean, and what it would do.

You will note that there is not one hint of any of this in the House proposal, and there won’t be in the Senate version either.  Nor has my phone rang despite the fact that I’ve been to the Hill in the past and spoken with Senate staffers on exactly this point; they know damn well what’s coming, why, and how to stop it.

Via Market Ticker.

It’s no secret. The liberal Democrats of Illinois have completely and totally destroyed the state.

They like to try and blame newly elected Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, but let’s not kid ourselves… This disaster has been in the making for decades. Decades under which tax-and-spend Democrats have been in charge.

What’s the solution? According to the Democrats who control both chambers of the legislature, the only way out is more taxes. A lot more taxes. Yes, even retroactive taxes. Permanent taxes.

The very kind of taxes that are chasing people out of the state in record numbers. The very kind of taxes that have played a significant role in the downfall of the state.

A column in the Chicago Tribune is floating a completely different idea. Divide up Illinois and piece it out to Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana.

Via Chicago Tribune.

Dissolve Illinois. Decommission the state, tear up the charter, whatever the legal mumbo-jumbo, just end the whole dang thing.

We just disappear. With no pain. That’s right. You heard me.

The best thing to do is to break Illinois into pieces right now. Just wipe us off the map. Cut us out of America’s heartland and let neighboring states carve us up and take the best chunks for themselves.

The group that will scream the loudest is the state’s political class, who did this to us, and the big bond creditors, who are whispering talk of bankruptcy and asset forfeiture to save their own skins.

But our beloved Illinois has proved that it just doesn’t deserve to survive.

Might seem extreme and far-fetched, but as they point out, not doing it is worse.

The alternative is hell. Illinois hasn’t had a state budget for years. The state continues to spend money it doesn’t have, and the state’s credit ratings have dropped, increasing the cost of borrowing more money we don’t have to keep the rotten shebang going.

Bills pile up; Moody’s Investor Service says taxpayers are on the hook for $251 billion in unfunded public union pension liabilities.

Boss Mike Madigan, king of the Democrats who control things, wants tax increases but no real structural reform to bring stability to The Venezuela of the Midwest.

And the whispers of bankruptcy won’t help the average (remaining) taxpaying chumbolones like you and me who don’t want to leave our homes but who’ll get stuck with the bills.

Poor little Wisconsin would get screwed in such a deal, however, in that in the proposed map Wisconsin gets saddled with the city of Chicago. Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana would probably jump for joy. Because they get the parts of the state with fiscally sane voters.

Interesting idea. What say you?

 

Shortly after Russia’s deputy foreign minister slammed the US downing of a Syrian Su-22 jet as an “act of aggression” and “support for terrorists”, Russia announced that starting June 19 it was halting all interactions with the US under the framework on the “memorandum of incident prevention in Syrian skies”, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday, thereby assuring the probability of even more deadly escalations between Russia and the US-led coalition.

In retaliation, the ministry warned that Russian missile defense will intercept any aircraft in the area of operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria,

“In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying ojects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets,” the Russian Defense Ministry announced, quoted by Sputnik.

Contrary to the earlier statement by the US according to which, it “contacted its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established “de-confliction line” to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing”, Russia claims the US-led coalition command didn’t use the deconfliction channel with Russia to avoid an incident during an operation in Raqqa:

“Russian Aerospace Forces’ jets were conducting operations in Syrian airspace that time. However, the command of the coalition forces didn’t use the existing channel between the air command of the Qatari airbase al Udeid and the [Russian] Hmeymim airbase to avoid incidents over Syria.”

The Russian ministry also “demands a thorough investigation by the US command with the provision of its results and measures taken.”

“We consider such actions of the US command as an intentional violation of its obligations in the framework of the memo on avoiding incidents and the safety of aviation flights during operations in Syria signed on October 20, 2015.”

A bilateral memorandum of understanding was signed between the United States and Russia signed in October 2015 to ensure the safety of flights during combat missions over Syria.

On June 18, the Syrian army said that the US-led coalition had brought down its aircraft in southern Raqqa countryside when it was fulfilling its mission against Daesh. Later, the coalition confirmed the attack saying that it shot down the Syrian government forces’ Su-22 aircraft as it had allegedly been bombing in an area where US-backed rebel forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), were stationed, south of Tabqa in the Raqqa province. The US-led coalition called its attack on the Syrian army’s jet “collective self-defense,” adding that it contacted the Russian military to de-escalate the situation after the incident.

Via: ZH

Last week, when former FBI Director James Comey gave his long-awaited public testimony about his apparently rough-and-tumble relationship with President Donald Trump, he painted a bleak picture. The essence of Comey’s testimony was that the president asked him to drop an investigation of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn — Trump’s former national security adviser — and then asked him to do so in return for keeping his job as FBI director and then fired him for not obeying his order.

On the other hand, Comey confirmed that the president personally, as of the time of Comey’s firing, was not the target of any FBI criminal investigation. It was not clear from the Comey testimony whether this exoneration was referring to salacious allegations made by a former British intelligence agent of highly inappropriate and fiercely denied personal behavior a few years ago in a Moscow hotel room or whether the exoneration was with respect to widely reported allegations that the 2016 Trump campaign may have helped Russian intelligence agents in their efforts to manipulate the outcome of the presidential election.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt the president is now a target of a federal investigation with respect to his dealings with the then-FBI director. So, how could the tables have turned so quickly on the president, and who turned them? Here is the back story.

Prior to the Watergate era of the mid-1970s, the generally accepted theory of management of the executive branch of government was known as the unitary executive. This theory informs that the president is the chief executive officer of the federal government and is the sole head of the executive branch. He is also the only person in the executive branch who is accountable to the voters, as he, and he alone (along with the vice president, who is largely a figurehead), has been elected by the voters.

As such, this unitary executive theory informs, everyone in the executive branch of the federal government works at the pleasure of the president. Were this not the case, then vast areas of governance could occur and vast governmental resources could be spent by people who are unaccountable to the voters. And when the government is unaccountable to the voters, it lacks their consent. The consent of the governed is the linchpin and bedrock of popular government in America.

There are, of course, today vast areas of government that are not responsive to the people and that lack the consent of the governed. The administrative agencies that write, interpret and enforce their own regulations and the deep state — the secret parts of the financial, intelligence and law enforcement entities of the government that never change, operate below the radar screen and have budgets that never see the light of day — defy the notion that the consent of the governed is the sole legitimate basis for government in America.

Yet the FBI is not in the administrative state or the deep state. It is front and center as the premier law enforcement agency of the United States government. It is far from perfect, and its leaders are as fallible as the rest of us, but we have hired the folks who work there to enforce the federal laws that implicate our freedoms and our safety. And we have hired the president to exercise his discretion as to which laws shall be enforced and against whom.

Thus, under this theory, the president is constitutionally, legally, morally and ethically free to direct any person in the executive branch as to how he wants that person to perform his or her job. And the recipient of such direction is free to resign if the direction appears unlawful. That is at least the theory of the unitary executive.

After the Watergate era, Congress altered the public policy of the country to reflect the independence of the Department of Justice, including the FBI. It did so in reaction to Nixonian abuses. Thus, the post-Watergate theory of the DOJ’s role articulates that federal law enforcement is independent from the president.

The Comey testimony revealed serious efforts to reject the public policy of independence and return to the unitary executive. Comey revealed a DOJ under former Attorney General Loretta Lynch in lockstep with the Obama White House and determined to exonerate Hillary Clinton in the espionage investigation concerning her emails, no matter the evidence. He also revealed his own view that President Trump’s orders and quid pro quo offer with respect to Flynn were unlawful.

Where does this leave us today?

Today we have a White House under siege. The new DOJ criminal investigation that the president is no doubt the subject of will attempt to discover whether he corruptly attempted to interfere with the work of an independent FBI and whether he attempted to bribe its then-director. The White House is also the subject of five congressional investigations involving the Russians and the 2016 election, the firing of Director Comey, and the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions from much of this. And the investigation of Clinton is back from the grave for a third time to determine whether she was exonerated because of a lack of evidence, a lack of will or an Obama political imperative.

These are perilous times for men and women of goodwill and intellectual honesty who are charged with enforcing our laws and running the government. The government should not be terrifying. But it must be fair and transparent. And it must always enjoy the consent of the governed. For without that consent, it is illegitimate.
COPYRIGHT 2017 ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

If Puerto Rico has its way two new Senators and five new House Representatives, most of which would likely be Democrat seats, will be added to Congress in the near future. And Puerto Rico would become the 51st State as a part of our United States Republic.

Indeed, Puerto Rico voters decided in a non-binding referendum to declare statehood. A move that now creates a commission that will send a delegation of the two Senators and five representatives to Washington to demand a seat at the federal government table.

Congress must approve such a request, of course, and Puerto Rico would not gain official status as a U.S. state without such approval. The general thinking in Washington is that the Republican controlled Congress will not approve of the demand because of the reality that most of the newly created seats would, in fact, be Democrats.

But outside of general thinking there is concern that a congress led by Paul Ryan, a Republican with special interest ties to Puerto Rico, might be willing to fold in favor of the near bankrupt island/U.S. territory.  Ryan has repeatedly supported bailing out Puerto Rico at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and statehood would bring the island a wealth of resources to help manage its debt.

The people of Puerto Rico have spoken. They want to be a state. But that doesn’t mean they will become one.

We’ll continue to monitor this situation closely and provide updates as they become available.

There are people saying it’s a rorschach test — whatever you want to see you will find.

I disagree.

What I see there is very much what a private CEO might say to someone “investigating” — and there’s utterly nothing wrong with it in that context, because there is no “or else.”  And that’s the key, when you get down to it — there has to be an “or else” for it to be actionable, either politically or otherwise.

Does any of this rise to that level?  IMHO, nope.  It borders on it, but threading that needle is not only perfectly ok it’s part and parcel of being a chief executive of any organization.  Those who disagree with that have never run anything in their life.

At the end of the day that’s what I see here — a bunch of people who have never run anything.  They believe nobody has to walk up to the bright lines, but not cross them.  They believe nobody has to make the tough calls.  They believe nobody should expect honest loyalty from anyone.

What’s the difference between “honest loyalty” and not?

The difference is that “not” is malicious prosecution based on invented narratives or otherwise corrupt acts.

Comey, like it or not, was Trump’s subordinate.  As his boss Trump had every right to expect and, when he questioned whether he was receiving it, directly ask for exactly what he did ask for — honest loyalty.

He didn’t get that from inauguration day forward.  I remind you that Hillary’s “email server being wiped with a cloth” did not go away as an issue on inauguration day.  Nor did the Russian Uranium deals.  Nor did Seth Rich’s death.  Nor did a whole host of other potential scandals both in the DNC and RNC.

The so-called “focus” on “Russian interference” is, from all evidence to date, a sideshow.  Should it be run into the ground?  You bet.  But so should all the rest of these issues and as far as anyone can determine exactly none of them are.  Further, there are clear conflicts of interest between Comey, some of his underlings and Clinton and Comey failed to do anything about them.

Were Trump’s conversations uncomfortable for Comey?  Yep.

Why?

Because Comey had, for quite some time, been failing to do his ****ing job.

When those conversations failed to produce corrective action on Comey’s part what would you expect to be next?

In Trump’s position you can’t threaten to fire someone if they don’t cut the crap, because that might be construed as obstruction.

But you sure as hell can demand honest loyalty and if you don’t immediately see corrective action in the form of receiving it you can then fire the person involved, which is exactly what happened.

That would be nice and neat, with the entire sordid episode being able to be tossed into the bin, but for what happened in the hearing.

You see, Comey admitted to not one but two incidents that are at least grounds for instant firing and, I suspect, constitute stand-alone felonies.

First was the “leaking” of material to his “buddy” who then made sure they were published in the press.  I remind you that at minimum this breached Comey’s duty to the FBI and his oath of office.  But worse, if there was any classified material involved in those “leaks” he also broke the law — period, full-stop.

Second, and at least as serious if not more-so, was that he admitted to interference in the Hillary email investigation by Lynch — and did nothing about it.

I’ve seen arguments that Trump should “let it go” now that (1) Comey confirmed he wasn’t under investigation and (2) that there was no “interference” by Trump.  To that I respond with an emphatic NO.

Both of these incidents need to be run into the ground and the chips allowed to fall wherever they may.  From what I heard yesterday there appear to be multiple serious felonies involved here both by Comey and a host of other people, including Lynch.  For the AG to actively interfere in a criminal investigation is about as serious as it gets in terms of corruption and that must not be allowed to stand.

Our nation is literally crumbling around us because of the lack of the rule of law when it comes to wealthy and powerful people.  You [screwed] daily by this in the medical field, when it comes to so-called “social media” where you are bought and sold without your knowledge, through the so-called “education” system (especially “higher” education) and more.  Nowhere is this more corrosive than at the highest levels of the Federal Government and when the AG of the United States attempts to rig an election by interfering with an investigation that should have, and would have, forced Hillary to withdraw a year or more prior to the election you have a serious problem.

That was a blatant and outrageous attempt to coronate someone.  It failed, but those who tried it, including Comey and Lynch, need to rot in ****ing prison.  Until and unless that investigation happens, in the open, and is run into the ground there is exactly no reason for you to show any respect to the law, to the cops, to the FBI, to the government, to anyone who claims “authority.”  The law either applies to everyone and is enforced evenly against all or it deserves no deference or respect by anyone.

Via Market Ticker.

Today former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on alleged Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections. The highly anticipated and very controversial testimony is being broadcast live beginning at 10:00 AM EST via CSPAN.

Watch the testimony live by clicking the video above. Scroll down for a list of top stories surrounding the testimony, including various live updates throughout the day.

TOP COMEY STORIES:

With a name like the “National Democratic Institute” (NDI) one might expect the US State Department-funded, corporate-financier chaired front to be the premier proponent of freedom and democracy worldwide. And although it poses as such, it does precisely the opposite. It uses principles like free speech, democracy, press freedom, and human rights as a facade behind which it carries out a politically motivated agenda on behalf of the special interests that fund and direct its activities.

In a recent Tweet, NDI linked to a New York Times article titled, “In Europe’s Election Season, Tech Vies to Fight Fake News.” It claimed in the Tweet that the article featured:

A look at some of the projects aiming to use automated algorithms to identify and combat fake news.

The article itself though, reveals nothing short of a global effort by US tech-giants Google and Facebook, in collaboration with the Western media, to censor any and all media that fails to align with Western-dominated narratives.

The article itself claims:

The French electorate heads to the polls in the second round of presidential elections on May 7, followed by votes in Britain and Germany in the coming months. Computer scientists, tech giants and start-ups are using sophisticated algorithms and reams of online data to quickly — and automatically — spot fake news faster than traditional fact-checking groups can.

The goal, experts say, is to expand these digital tools across Europe, so the region can counter the fake news that caused so much confusion and anger during the United States presidential election in November, when outright false reports routinely spread like wildfire on Facebook and Twitter.

The article then explains that once “fake news” is spotted, it is expunged from the Internet. It reports that:

After criticism of its role in spreading false reports during the United States elections, Facebook introduced a fact-checking tool ahead of the Dutch elections in March and the first round of the French presidential election on April 23. It also removed 30,000 accounts in France that had shared fake news, a small fraction of the approximately 33 million Facebook users in the country.

Were foreign government-linked tech companies purging tens of thousands of accounts ahead of elections in say, Thailand or Russia, it is very likely organizations like NDI and media platforms like the New York Times would cry foul, depicting it as censorship.

In determining what is and isn’t “fake news,” the New York Times offers some clues (emphasis added):

Using a database of verified articles and their artificial intelligence expertise, rival groups — a combination of college teams, independent programmers and groups from existing tech companies — already have been able to accurately predict the veracity of certain claims almost 90 percent of the time, Mr. Pomerleau said. He hopes that figure will rise to the mid-90s before his challenge ends in June.

In other words, “fake news” is determined by comparing it directly to narratives presented by establishment media platforms like the New York Times, the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and others who have notorious track records of serial deception, false reporting, and even war propagandizing.

Nowhere does the New York Times explain how these “verified articles” have been determined to be factually accurate, and instead, it appears that all these algorithms are doing is ensuring all media falls in line with Western narratives.

If media in question coincides with Western-dominated media platforms, it is given a pass – if not, it is slated for expunging as described elsewhere in the New York Times‘ piece.

Thus, the National Democratic Institute, who claims on its website to “support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government,” finds itself promoting what is essentially a worldwide agenda of malicious censorship, manipulating the perception of the globe’s citizenry, not supporting or strengthening its participation in any sort of honest political process.

To answer the question as to what the NDI is referring to when it claims other nations are “censoring” free speech and press freedoms, it involves defending local fronts funded by the NDI and its parent organization, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) who merely repeat Western propaganda in local languages and with local spins. When foreign nations attempt to deal with these instances of “fake news,” US fronts like NDI and NED depict it as censorship.

While the West poses as the premier champion of free speech, citizen participation, openness, and accountability, the New York Times article reveals an unfolding plan to utterly crush any narrative that deviates from Western media talking points, thus controlling citizen perception, not encouraging “participation,” and ensuring that the West alone determines what is “opened” and held “accountable.”

No worst-case scenario can be referenced in human history or even among human fiction than plans to determine for the world through automatic algorithms and artificial intelligence almost in real time what is heard and read and what isn’t. It is even beyond the scope and scale of George Orwell’s cautionary dystopian 1984 novel.

In a truly free society, an educated citizenry is capable of deciding for itself what is “fake news” and what isn’t. Because of the rise of alternatives to the West’s monopoly over global information, many people are doing just that – determining that Western narratives are in fact deceptions. At no other point in modern history has the Western media faced as many alternatives, and as much skepticism on this scale, as well as an ebbing of trust domestically and abroad. It is no surprise then, to find the West resorting to outright censorship, even if it cushions mention of it with terms like “fake news.”

Via ActivistPost.

You can’t possibly be serious.

The screamfest over Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord is amusing beyond words.  Among the complainers is Tim Cook who I remind you makes his iPhones in China which was immune from mandatory carbon emission cuts.  If Tim Cook cared about carbon emissions he would make them somewhere else.

But he hasn’t and he doesn’t.

Then there’s Elon Musk, who stomped off in “indignation” when the announcement was made.  The truth is a bit more complex; Musk is a welfare queen and Tesla, including all that it produces (batteries, solar panels and roofs and of course cars) is utterly dependent on both government subsidy and force to make you buy them under penalty of paying more.  Tesla loses money on every car it sells and without both government subsidies and a belief they will continue the company is literally at risk of collapse.

Don’t take my word for that, by the way — if you’re too lazy to read the company financials for yourself Musk himself has said so.

“I do believe this market cap is higher than we have any right to deserve,” Musk said to The Guardian. “This is not some situation where, for example, we are just greedy capitalists who decided to skimp on safety in order to have more profits and dividends and that kind of thing. It’s just a question of how much money we lose. And how do we survive? How do we not die and have everyone lose their jobs?” 

Got it folks?  Tesla is a money-losing firm.  It always has been.  There are no profits.  It exists because it can steal from the taxpayer and Wall Street believes it will be able to continue to do so and thus lets Tesla float bond issues in the market.

So is Musk truly indignant for the future of the planet or is the real problem that he smells brimstone and the end of his charade?  It’s not like you have to guess as Musk has told you in plain English (both in interviews and in his quarterly filings) what the truth is.

Then there’s Goldman’s Blankfein.  He, of course, was looking forward to financing “opportunities” (underwriting bonds and similar) for the trillions of dollars that America was going to be forced to give to other nations such as India.  You don’t really think they’ll just wait for the money, do you?  Oh no, here comes Goldman with the “opportunity” to get that money now — for a price, of course.  That just went “poof” like a fart in the wind.

The list goes on, of course.

The truth about the Paris Accord is that it was a scam from the outset, just like Kyoto.  I wrote on it at the time.  The fundamental scam is that it did not impose hard caps on the plurality of the population of the world — specifically, India and China.  Neither had hard caps nor requirements to spend.  India, for example, only had to make “reforms” if they were paid to do it by the Untied States and others.  Otherwise, no obligation.  China — same deal.

Of course India and China are the two most-populous nations.  Between them they’re over a third of the world’s count of people and India’s population continues to rapidly expand.  Both China and India will eventually start to see population declines, but not for a good long while, and in any event they’ll still be about a third of the planet by 2100.

Exempting either of these nations from any so-called “carbon limits” makes the entire exercise a joke.

I maintain that none of the people backing this crap actually believe that (1) the climate is warming and (2) humans are responsible for it.  Remember that you have to believe both; if you believe the first but not the second then nothing we do matters, so both are essential.

If you believe both and you also believe the impact will be catastrophic you have to be flat-out nuts to exclude from carbon limits the fastest-growing nation and between it and the next-largest the two that comprise more than a third of all the people on the planet.

It’s clear that if that block of people continue to rapidly emit more CO2 rather than cut it back you will fail.

Therefore any support of such a pact is obviously a scam.

Today, the scam went down in flames — and so did the pipe dreams of quite a few CEOs and banksters, among them Blankfein and Musk.

You’re going to Hell boys, and while there might be some kegs down there I understand there are no taps.

PS: Tesla is a zero.

Via Market Ticker.

The last few days have brought into extraordinarily-stark relief why I believe there’s no saving this nation.  Not personally for nearly everyone, and not collectively either.

I’ll start with the “newsy” part of it, because it’s topical and important.  Let’s begin here:

It’s easy to use numbers to define health realities, but life is far different in the doctor’s office. What patients really want is access to basic health care, delivered by a doctor they can trust at an affordable price. Patients want choices, not narrow networks of providers and services and deductibles so high they never reach them. They don’t want to be forced to buy an insurance plan that promises them services that we doctors just can’t deliver.

Mr. Siegel may be a M.D. but he doesn’t understand insurance.  He should, having gone to post-secondary school for 8 years or more, but apparently he missed a first-semester statistics class somewhere in there.

An insurance policy that “covers” something that doctors cannot deliver (that is, which cannot be used) has no more cost than one that does not have such a provision in it, because the “p” (probability of use) of such a “feature” is zero.

It costs exactly zero to insure me, as a male, against ovarian cancer because I do not have ovaries.  Therefore the risk of such a condition ever afflicting me is zero and as a result the cost of such a “coverage” is also zero.

Second, they’re not patients they’re customers and while the first sentence of this paragraph is true the rest is false.

Patients want a chance to purchase affordable insurance that covers actual problems they may have. A new health law can deliver that and cover most, if not all, of the population if it offers as an option the kind of scaled-down coverage that patients would have chosen to buy under ObamaCare even if they weren’t forced to.

What “scaled down” coverage are we speaking of?  See, this is the problem with not calling someone or something what it is.  If you call someone a patient then you immediately get to take away all the connotations and expectations that someone who is a customer might have — like the ability to see a ****ing price and agree to it before you start providing a good or service!

There are things you should be able to opt out of.  For example I would be happy to buy a health policy that explicitly excluded both addiction and mental health.  These can be very expensive problems to treat and the probability of either is not zero, so excluding them would materially change insurance costs.  Since I consider both to be outside of what I think of as insurable risk for myself I’m perfectly ok with a policy that excludes both.  Others will have a different view and should be free to make that choice — and bear the cost.

But excluding certain problems from a policy just shoves the fat, ugly, abrasive uncle in the room into a closet and locks the door behind him instead of dealing with the apparent problem: Cost.

It’s also doomed to fail because over time the list of conditions that you shove into the closet will inevitably increase.

The usual response from the left on these sorts of problems is to say single payer.  But California has studied in some depth what it would take to do that under our present pricing system and what they found is that it would cost $400 billion a year just for their state alone which incidentally is more than double the ENTIRE current state budget!  They don’t have that sort of money and can’t raise it; you simply cannot soak the rich for $200 billion a year in that one state and believe that the rich actually have that much money.  They don’t.

Utterly nobody wants to deal with the reality of health care cost because as soon as you do you’re forced to deal with the fact that most of what is spent on “health care” is either wasted, extorted through various means or both.  In fact somewhere between 80-90% of all health spending falls into these categories!

I’ve written large on this now for close to 10 years; you can click the category at the top of this post to read backward in reverse-chronological order. Nobody, statistically speaking, cares to take this up and ram it down the throats of lawmakers.  Lawmakers and law-enforcers won’t do it without you forcing them to do so by whatever means are necessary because if you collapse health care from 19.x% of the economy to 3-4% it will be the mother and father of all recessions until the economy adjusts and there are exactly zero politicians who will take such actions on their own initiative even if failing to do so will destroy the nation due to the exponential expansion of said “services” and our inability to fund them.

Since the people of this country and the readers of this column will not force the political class to the table and ram it down their throats we are ****ed, in short, and it’s our fault as a society because the means to address the problem not only exists it’s in existing law which can be applied in a literal day.

But what might even be worse is our refusal to hold so-called medical professionals accountable for their malfeasance and misfeasance with regard to the facts related to many diseases and conditions.  We refused at the origin of AIDS spreading like wildfire in the Bay Area of California to tell gay men that unprotected anal sex had a high probability of killing them and what’s worse we intentionally left open the public bathhouses where they were engaged in same despite knowing that this was the vector that was killing people by the score!  That’s a fact and yet exactly zero public employees were ever charged with the tens of thousands of counts of being an accessory to negligent homicide, charges they absolutely should have faced.

Today so-called medical professionals do the same thing every damn day.  Let me outline just two recent personal examples, of course without names or enough attribution to figure out who they are.

The first is an elderly woman who was Type II diabetic and just had a shunt put in for dialysis.  Her kidneys are essentially dead and diabetes was the cause.  She will be too; dialysis on a permanent basis doesn’t work in addition to being hideously expensive and your body essentially “poisons itself” because the build-up of waste products can only be removed when you’re on dialysis rather than continually as is the normal case.

You will note up above that I said was Type II diabetic.  She’s now living with someone who takes care of preparing her meals for her and such and has essentially eliminated all fast carbs from her diet.  Her blood sugar is now normal.  That’s right — she’s not diabetic any more.  Unfortunately kidneys do not grow back and what’s worse is that it would appear, although I didn’t and won’t pry, that at no time during her being diabetic did her physician tell her that (1) she could be non-diabetic by changing what she ate and (2) if she didn’t do that there was a good chance she’d wind up exactly where she is now.

The jackwad(s) responsible for that ought to be brought up on negligent homicide and grand theft charges for all the medication and now the surgical and dialysis charges she’s incurring.  Every last ****ing nickel that said so-called “medical professionals” have should be confiscated to pay for every damn dime of expenditure she’s had to and will endure and be forced to pay her back for all of that expense and then they should be thrown in prison as an accessory to her inevitable death which they had a hand in causing.

Again it won’t happen because we won’t demand that it does but you can’t argue that the answer to this problem wasn’t known because some one hundred years ago before we had drugs and similar for Type II diabetes it was not only known it was all over the medical literature — either stop eating those things that convert to sugar in your body or die.  It was only when we “developed” the means to steal a half-million dollars in drug costs, surgeries and dialysis per customer, inevitably ending in the death of the customer, that the so-called “medical advice” changed.  That’s not advancement it’s intentional malfeasance and damn well ought to bring both criminal and civil ruin to everyone involved.

The second is a random someone I ran into.  He is also Type II and his kidneys are compromised but not yet dead, which he was quite up-front about when we got into a random conversation as I was munching on a near-zero-carb option — meatballs — in a local joint.  I told him he should try some as they were tasty and he said had already eaten both meatballs and spaghetti a few hours before.

I mentioned that he might want to try getting all the carbs out of his diet as it might well resolve the diabetes.  His answer was “I already know that won’t work.”  I asked him if he’d tried it and he said no.  Who told him it won’t work and why hasn’t his doctor told him it almost certainly will work and since he’s already got compromised kidneys if he doesn’t do it he’s likely to die.

I swallowed hard, reminded myself that it wasn’t his fault he was uninformed since the very people he trusted to tell him what was going on were actively lying to him while pushing pills-for-profit but I had to get out of there before I blew a gasket.  Here’s a guy who by all appearances is a good and decent man and despite being on the road to ruin those people who he trusts and could advise him on a way to avoid it are instead choosing money from and misery to him by the wheelbarrow load.

Oh by the way best guess is that this crap in aggregate costs Medicare and Medicaid alone — not including private expense — some $400 billion a year.  If you stop it essentially the entire federal budget deficit disappears.

This **** needs to stop folks, and it needs to stop now.  Yeah, that’s just two people but damnit you know it’s everywhere at present and has been for decades.  The people in the so-called “medical profession” responsible for this, and that’s most of them, need to be asset-stripped to their underwear and locked in the stocks for us to throw rotten tomatoes at.

It’s our fault folks.  It’s our fault that not only are people dying miserably by the boatload but our government is going to fail on a fiscal level within years if we don’t demand it stop.

It’s our fault because we won’t hold people accountable for the misery and financial******they serve on all of us — and the screwing it imposes on everyone both privately and through the federal government.

Story courtesy of Market Ticker.

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