Friday, April 18, 2014

Althouse: John Edwards comes full circle: He's a medical malpractice lawyer representing a little child.

Althouse: John Edwards comes full circle: He's a medical malpractice lawyer representing a little child.:

"Referring to an hour-by-hour record of a fetal heartbeat monitor, Mr. Edwards told the jury: ''She said at 3, 'I'm fine.' She said at 4, 'I'm having a little trouble, but I'm doing O.K.' Five, she said, 'I'm having problems.' At 5:30, she said, 'I need out.' ''...
''She speaks to you through me,'' the lawyer went on in his closing argument. ''And I have to tell you right now -- I didn't plan to talk about this -- right now I feel her. I feel her presence. She's inside me, and she's talking to you.''
Those were the days, when John Edwards was in his depth. It was 1985, and he was fine. By October 2007, he was saying I'm having a little trouble. In 2011, he was saying I need out. He speaks to you through me. I didn't plan to blog about this, but right now I feel him. I feel him inside me... Ugh! Get out of me, you creepy old man. Back to your malpractice practice, speaking in the voice of brain-damaged children, springing open the hearts of fully brained, but mushy jurors in some cloistered little courtroom in a southern state."

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fullscreen | Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Fullscreen | Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship: "An angel showed the Book of Mormon plates to the Three Witnesses, who heard God's voice declare the translation correct.* But the Eight Witnesses report handling the plates under natural circumstances, describing color, substantial weight, individual leaves with engraved writings, and careful craftsmanship throughout. Critics have reacted variously to such physical language.Some see the Eight Witnesses as participants in a fraud. But their lives do not fit that mold, since all suffered in the severe persecutions of early Mormonism and not one reversed his written testimony. Other critics acknowledge sincerity and suppose Joseph Smith constructed an imitation. But the Eight Witnesses were tradesmen and farmers who worked with materials and would recognize a clumsy counterfeit. More recent skeptics advance a double theory: (1) that at various times Joseph Smith allowed the eight men to lift but not see a heavy covered object; (2) that these men testified of seeing plates because of a vision induced by enthusiasm or mind control. This theory is showcased by arbitrary interpretation of very few documents. This article discusses sources that have been misused in attempts to reverse the Eight Witnesses' statement about their physical contact with the ancient record. "



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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The slow death of free speech » The Spectator

The slow death of free speech » The Spectator: "The examples above are ever-shrinking Dantean circles of Tolerance: At Galway, the dissenting opinion was silenced by grunting thugs screaming four-letter words. At Mozilla, the chairwoman is far more housetrained: she issued a nice press release all about (per Miss Alcorn) striking a balance between freedom of speech and ‘equality’, and how the best way to ‘support’ a ‘culture’ of ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusiveness’ is by firing anyone who dissents from the mandatory groupthink. At the House of Commons they’re moving to the next stage: in an ‘inclusive culture’ ever more comfortable with narrower bounds of public discourse, it seems entirely natural that the next step should be for dissenting voices to require state permission to speak."



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The slow death of free speech » The Spectator

The slow death of free speech » The Spectator: "I heard a lot of that kind of talk during my battles with the Canadian ‘human rights’ commissions a few years ago: of course, we all believe in free speech, but it’s a question of how you ‘strike the balance’, where you ‘draw the line’… which all sounds terribly reasonable and Canadian, and apparently Australian, too. But in reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that."



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Tax Rumination «

Tax Rumination «: "No reason to go on. I’ll just leave with my annual takeaway point. I think my family is upper middle class at best, and we pay $63,000 every year in taxes. My bet is half of this is totally wasted and funneled to politically favored interests. My bet is that half the remaining funds are used to supply services that we take advantage of (this is not to say they couldn’t otherwise be provided” and the remaining quarter maybe goes to do things we otherwise couldn’t do on our own. But the larger point I will beat on until I am in the grave … at all levels of government we spend DIRECTLY over $6 trillion. That government spending is equivalent to the second or third largest country on Earth if we relate that to GDP. And people are still screaming that we can’t get basic infrastructure provided. We can’t get adequate schooling provided. We can’t get enough funds for basic scientific research. Our military is squeezed. Our state budgets are squeezed."



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Tax Rumination «

Tax Rumination «: "(1) I like to believe I am not the dumbest person on the planet. I also happen to be a professional economist. And I have absolutely NO IDEA going into the year how much in tax obligations I owe to the government at all levels. If I get within 10% I would be incredibly impressed with myself. I find that to be “problematic.”"



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Why You Should Be Sympathetic Toward Cliven Bundy | Power Line

Why You Should Be Sympathetic Toward Cliven Bundy | Power Line: "So let’s have some sympathy for Cliven Bundy and his family. They don’t have a chance on the law, because under the Endangered Species Act and many other federal statutes, the agencies are always in the right. And their way of life is one that, frankly, is on the outs. They don’t develop apps. They don’t ask for food stamps. It probably has never occurred to them to bribe a politician. They don’t subsist by virtue of government subsidies or regulations that hamstring competitors. They aren’t illegal immigrants. They have never even gone to law school. So what possible place is there for the Bundys in the Age of Obama?"



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Everything I've heard about Bundy makes me think he's slightly crazy. But this articles makes me think that what is happening to him is morally wrong--even if not legally wrong.

Greg Mankiw's Blog: Sometimes it's better to split the baby

Greg Mankiw's Blog: Sometimes it's better to split the baby: "This story about the Census Bureau is amazing to me: The Census is changing its annual survey about health insurance.  As a result, the new data will not be comparable to the old, making it much harder to gauge the effects of the Affordable Care Act.

 Is this a White House conspiracy to hide the effects of the law, as some have suggested?  Maybe, but probably not. I have a lot of respect for the government data producers, so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt."

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Maybe I'm too conspiracy minded, but I'm not giving this White House the benefit of the doubt, mostly because it seems like we've been hoodwinked twice already.

Remember the sudden drop in unemployment rate from 8.2 to 7.8 in the run up to the 2012 presidential election? The timing seemed suspicious. I remember talking with as friend (Brett) about this on a visit. I told him I did not think the drop reflected a real decrease in unemployment, but I did think that the numbers were honestly complied, and that drop was just a sampling error or statistical anomaly of some kind. But then this report came out indicating that, in fact, the numbers were manipulated.

Similar things have happened with Obamacare enrollment. For months we could get no data on how many people had enrolled, how many had paid, how many of the enrollee had insurance plans that were cancelled. Then, on the day after the deadline, presumably because the had eked out their goal of 7 million, we were told there were 7.1 million enrollees. I still don't think we have numbers about how many of those were previously insured.

So, again, maybe I'm too conspiracy minded, but I don't see any reason to give this administration the benefit of the doubt now.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Greg Mankiw's Blog: Next time you hear someone advocate for single-payer healthcare, remember this

Greg Mankiw's Blog: Next time you hear someone advocate for single-payer healthcare, remember this: "Two Florida doctors who received the nation’s highest Medicare reimbursements in 2012 are both major contributors to Democratic Party causes, and they have turned to the political system in recent years to defend themselves against suspicions that they may have submitted fraudulent or excessive charges to the federal government.... 
Topping the list is Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, 59, an ophthalmologist from North Palm Beach, Fla., who received $21 million in Medicare reimbursements in 2012 alone....  
Dr. Melgen’s firm donated more than $700,000 to Majority PAC, a super PAC run by former aides to the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada. The super PAC then spent $600,000 to help re-elect Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, who is a close friend of Dr. Melgen’s. Last year, Mr. Menendez himself became a target of investigation after the senator intervened on behalf of Dr. Melgen with federal officials and took flights on his private jet."



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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Instapundit

Instapundit: "REMEMBER, IF YOU SAY “CREEPY” NOW, YOU’LL BE AN UNEMPLOYABLE “ROBOPHOBE BIGOT” IN A DECADE: Robots and sex: creepy or cool?"



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BREAKING: White House Admits Democrats Will Lose the Senate | RedState

BREAKING: White House Admits Democrats Will Lose the Senate | RedState: "Their internal polling must be terrible and they want her gone and the issue treated as “old news” before the GOP takes the Senate in November.

Sebelius leaving now is a pretty direct admission against interest that the Democrats expect to lose the Senate and do not see any events on the horizon to change that momentum. Now, they’re just trying to slow the momentum down."



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The Shame of Brandeis | National Review Online

The Shame of Brandeis | National Review Online: "The progression is becoming miserably familiar: first, an invitation is proffered to someone of heterodox views; next, the forces of conformity congeal and solidify, circulating petitions, banging drums, and rambling about justice and what you will; then the would-be host begins to worry, announcing meekly that it is reviewing its options; and finally, the invitation is shamefully revoked, usually under the paradoxical auspices of broadmindedness and inclusion. “We’re sorry,” the typical explanation runs, “but we’re too permissive to allow your sort.”"



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The April Fools «

The April Fools «: "Taking the very simplified information from above, on a salary of $50,000, she ends up walking home with $28,950. But that salary of $50,000 actually captures the net payment to her from the employer, which should be $65,500 (the employer share of payroll taxes and contributions to health premiums included now but which do not have state and federal income taxes deducted from). Putting this all together, each year my wife’s “supposed” compensation should be $65,500. And each year she walks home with $28,950.  This is an effective marginal tax rate on her annual work effort of 56%."



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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Neocons and Rand Paul: What libertarians don’t understand about American military power.

Neocons and Rand Paul: What libertarians don’t understand about American military power.: "Though we can’t know what the world would have looked like had the Bush administration not chosen to wage war in Iraq, and though it is at least possible that the region and the world might have looked even worse with Saddam Hussein still in power, I find it hard to imagine that the benefits outweighed the enormous costs. Most Americans would surely agree. At a bare minimum, those of us who favored the war might have hoped for a democratic Iraq in which the rights of ethnic and religious minorities were respected and that was more closely aligned with the United States than Iran. The new Iraq fails on both of these counts."



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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

When Does Intolerance Work? | National Review Online

When Does Intolerance Work? | National Review Online: "In the wake of the Mozilla controversy, the Duck Dynasty controversy, the Chick-fil-A boycott/buycott, and the countless examples of intolerance and intimidation against conservatives on campuses across the country, it seems rather clear that — as Michelle Goldberg notes in The Nation – there is a “growing left-wing tendency towards censoriousness and and hair-trigger offense.”"



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