Monday, August 29, 2016

LA Cops Finally Arrest Zorro

That only took about 200 years.  Mass evacuation at LAX caused by ZORRO! Actor on way home from audition dressed as masked hero with plastic sword is arrested amid reports of an 'active shooter' grounding flights
An actor returning from an audition dressed as masked hero Zorro, complete with plastic sword, shut down LAX airport and sparked fear of an active shooter situation on Sunday night.

The unidentified, middle-aged black man dressed in an all black satin costume with gloves, hat and large belt was apprehended on a bench as he waited 'for a ride home'.

Police were initially responding to claims that a man had opened fire near a baggage reclaim, and set about evacuating thousands of passengers and grounding flights.

After a thorough search and the eventual arrest of the costumed man outside a terminal, LAPD admitted the entire incident was a false alarm.

'Report of shooting at LAX proven to be loud noises only no shots fired no injuries investigation continues to locate source', LAPD posted on Twitter.
Hey, Black Lives Matter!

More Monday Morning Obamacare Schadenfreude

It takes about a week for the Obamacare Schadenfreude digital bank to fill up to the point it needs to be emptied, and Monday seems to be a good day since the amount on new material on seems to slack off on Sunday.

So it seems we were right: Princeton health economist: We’re now seeing a ‘mild version’ of the Obamacare death spiral:
SK: So what happens in a system like this? Does it eventually right itself, or does it fall apart?

UR: Liberals think this will settle itself. Eventually, though, we all know about the death spiral that actuaries worry about, and I think what you’re seeing now is a mild version of that. These things accelerate, as premiums keep rising.

We’ve had two actual death spirals: in New Jersey and in New York. New Jersey passed a law that had community rating but no mandate, so that market shrank quickly and premiums were off the wall. You look at New York and the same thing happened; they had premiums above $6,000 per month. The death spiral killed those markets.

What we do have in the Affordable Care Act is the mandate, so it will be a slower process. If the premium increases go through for 2017, some are 8 or 9 percent, and that is stiff. If those rates get improved, those are big enough that a lot of people will drop out.
Yeah, but he's Ivy League. Since things are always bigger in Texas: Texas A & M professor: ‘We may be beginning to see the death spiral…’
Insurance start-up Oscar announced on Tuesday it would partially withdraw from the Texas market, joining veteran health plans Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Scott and White on the list of companies that recently announced they would abandon the marketplace created by President Obama’s signature health law. The companies said their costs of providing coverage to middle-income Texans have been unsustainable, fueling concerns about a lack of competition and consumer choice within the health insurance market next year.
. . .
“I think what we should be expecting is premiums that are substantially higher, and I think there’s a real risk that other insurers pull out,” said Michael Morrisey, a professor at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health. “We may be beginning to see the death spiral of insurance plans in the exchanges.”
Insurance Commissioner: Tennessee Obamacare exchange ‘very near collapse’
“I would characterize the exchange market in Tennessee as very near collapse … and that all of our efforts are really focused on making sure we have as many writers in the areas as possible, knowing that might be one. I’m doing everything I can to prevent a situation where that turns to zero,” [Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix] McPeak said to The Tennessean.
Illinois Obamacare rates could soar as state submits insurance premium increases of 43 percent to 55 percent to feds. But at least they can sleep comfortably at night knowing that they voted for it. Obamacare sticker shock hits key Senate races. Somebody must pay! Democrats one hope?
“This may be the first election in a while where Obamacare won’t have a big role, if any, in these Senate races,” said former Harry Reid aide Jim Manley, a director at QGA Public Affairs. Any attacks about Obamacare, he said, are “going to be drowned out by the clown show that’s the Trump campaign.
Health Insurers’ Pullback Threatens to Create Monopolies - Analysis suggests ACA exchanges are likely to offer just one coverage option in 31% of U.S. counties

ObamaCare, we hardly knew 'ya........................from Rico
Remember Nasty Pelosi admonishing America that "we have to pass it [ObamaCare] to see what was in it?"

Remember being told ad nauseum how ObamaCare was going to increase competition and decrease premiums?

For any who have not yet concluded that today's Democrats are not their Grandparent's Democrats, but instead corrupt liars, scoundrels, and crooks, here is a reminder of what 'trusting' today's Democrats does for you:

- ObamaCare has accomplished the polar opposite of what was has decreased competition and increased premiums.

When will Americans get tired of being treated like mugs and played for suckers?

From the mystery men at Zero Hedge:  How Obamacare Destroyed The Middle Class In One Chart

Health care is rapidly eating away all other uses for money.

This bit from yesterday's Washington Post: Health-care exchange sign-ups fall far short of forecasts.
Enrollment in the insurance exchanges for President Obama’s signature health-care law is at less than half the initial forecast, pushing several major insurance companies to stop offering health plans in certain markets because of significant financial losses.

As a result, the administration’s promise of a menu of health-plan choices has been replaced by a grim, though preliminary, forecast: Next year, more than 1 in 4 counties are at risk of having a single insurer on its exchange, said Cynthia Cox, who studies health reform for the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Health insurance so good that they can't even force people to take it. Even Obama's website has quietly dropped its promise that you can Keep Your Doctor. As noted at Shot in the Dark:
 The conspiracy theory that Obamacare was intentionally designed to wreck the system to make single-payer inevitable looks less and less far-fetched every day.
What theory? As Insty notes shouts:
YES, THE PUBLIC OPTION IS A ‘TROJAN HORSE’ TO DESTROY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE: The “father of the public option” said on video that his plan is to eventually create a single-payer health care system. We should believe him.
And if you only read one of these articles in toto it should be the almost invariable sensible Megan McArdles: Health Care Is a Business, Not a Right
.  . . Anthropologists tell us that there are two different economic systems by which members of groups obtain what they need to live. One kind, market exchange, is the form that we’re all familiar with. You go to the store, you give the clerk money, and you get to take goods away with you. Market exchange is impersonal, explicit, and limited: I know exactly what I’m getting, and once we walk away, we have no further obligations to each other. Market exchange is what modern societies use for most of their economies, but what foragers use for dealing with strangers.

The second form of exchange is "reciprocal altruism," and you’re also familiar with it, though you may never have given it a name. It is a system of mutual obligation: I do a favor for you now, and you do a favor for me at some unspecified point in the future. Reciprocal altruism is not explicit, and it is not limited in the same way that market exchange is. It is what you do in families: your sister comes over to help you clean your house, and at some point in the future, when she asks for help mulching the yard, you’ll have a hard time saying no unless you can point to some other obligation that you’ve already taken on.

Hanson is suggesting that we have a strong intuitive preference for altruistic health care -- for an enormous, practically unlimited amount of altruistic health care -- because health care is a way to demonstrate loyalty and caring to people you love. But the thing about reciprocal altruism is that it's not supposed to be an explicit quid pro quo. That may explain why we like insurance that covers as much as possible and dislike any suggestion that the people who provide our health care are calculating what it will cost them to provide it. Bringing money into an altruistic exchange taints it (as you’ll quickly find if you try offering your spouse cash to get romantic when they say they’re not in the mood).

The issue, in other words, is not necessarily profit -- health insurers are not particularly profitable as industries go, and hospitals and other care organizations are often nonprofit. The issue is making decisions based on money.

Unfortunately, this leaves us with something of a problem. Reciprocal altruism is fine if all you need is for Mom to sit with you and brew you some herbal tea. But in a modern society, you need to procure health care from strangers -- which is to say, through the transactional system of market exchange. Nationalizing the health care system does not fix this fundamental disconnect between our evolved instincts and the inevitable necessities of a modern economy. . .

Burning Man at 30, Grows Old but Not Up

Around 75,000 are making their way to a Nevada desert for Burning Man 2016, a unique gathering of people from around the world celebrating community, art and self expression.

Running from August 28 through to September 5, people from all walks of life will gather at the 'Playa' in Nevada's Black Rock Desert to create a temporary wooden city which after a week there will be no trace of.
It may take a rain to get rid of the footprints and tire marks in the playa (dry lake).

Thousands have already arrived at the site, but many more are still en route with vehicles of all shapes and sizes packed full of excited “Burners,” as participants are known.

Burning Man has come a long way since its very humble beginnings on a beach in San Francisco in 1986 but at its core, nothing has really changed, although it’s increasing growth is slowly eating into its noncommercial core with more wealth on display.
 A steal at only $390, and $80 for a vehicle pass.

A week long escape like no other, with no vendors in sight, people exist in a sharing economy with no money exchanged, from food to drink and to their bodies and drugs too.
From the Fest 300 World's Best Festivals "Burning Man" site:
As the founding legend is told, in 1986 Larry Harvey and a dozen friends burned an effigy of a man on San Francisco's Baker Beach in a cathartic act of spontaneous creativity. This experience of reconciliation and rebirth quickly grew into an annual ritual with hundreds of people, leading Harvey to move his Burning Man experience to U.S. government land in northern Nevada’s remote Black Rock desert. Today, this is where 70,000 people gather the week leading up the Labor Day, transforming one of the least hospitable pieces of land on Earth into a loving, hospitable temporary village called Black Rock City.
San Francisco? Well that explains a lot.
At its heart, Burning Man is a celebration of artistic self-expression for those who have a utopian vision of the world. For some it’s about creating a spiritual sense of oneness in an intentional community based upon 10 principles . For others, it’s about all-night parties and dancing, riding around naked on bikes and participating in the Slut Olympics (yes, this is one of hundreds of events). But no matter what archetype defines you and your experience, anyone who has done the pilgrimage to the desert is known as a Burner, and this may truly alter the course of your life. (Learn more about what a Burner is by reading this blog post ).
I guess that rules me out; I don't have a utopian view of the world. Too bad, because it sounds like a heck of a party, except for that being held in a desert in high summer.
It’s ironic that Burning Man falls on Labor Day weekend, because the amount of sweat and elbow grease that goes into creating the temporary art displays is staggering. The result is the world’s largest interactive display of art , set in a lunar landscape that gives an otherworldly flavor to the whole experience. You’ll see art cars that look like magic carpets, mechanical fire-breathing dragons trolling the desert and maybe a life-size replica of an 18th-century shipwreck. At night, this Mad Max-meets-Alice in Wonderland experience turns into a visual spectacle so surreal you’ll think you’ve regressed to being a 4-year-old experiencing the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland for the first time. Of course, there’s the elaborately designed temple, which burns on Sunday night in a solemn ceremony after the tribal, primal burning of the Man on Saturday night. Be prepared for lots of fire, including roaming bands of tribal majorettes tossing flaming batons in the air.
What could go wrong in a dry desert filled with wooden shack and fabric tents?
Theme camps are the cultural cul-de-sacs that populate Black Rock City. Depending on the year’s theme, these camps—which often have as many as a few hundred participants in their tents, hexa-yurts and RVs—help create the festival’s homegrown flavor. Ideally, if you’re coming for the first time, there may be a set of Burners you can join. Otherwise, you can reach out to a theme camp to see if you can be part of their village. Note that Burning Man is not a place for spectators, so prepare to wear costumes and participate in creating the camp.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Prayers at

“The steady drip, drip, drip about Hillary Clinton’s too-cozy relationships with big-time donors to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state continued unabated this week.” Thus starts a Boston Herald editorial.

“This is the week that the steady drip, drip, drip of details about Hillary Clinton’s server turned into a waterfall,” writes Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel. She continues, “This is the week that we finally learned why Mrs. Clinton used a private communications setup, and what it hid. This is the week, in short, that we found out that the infamous server was designed to hide that Mrs. Clinton for three years served as the U.S. Secretary of the Clinton Foundation.”
I wouldn't have minded if Hillary essentially blew off the job of SecState in favor of the doing her own thing; I'm sure the perennial bureaucracy at State would have continued the work, probably even better than with her at the wheel (it wasn't that high a bar), but the fact that she used it for personal gain is inexcusable.

More: Yes, Clinton foundation donors had direct access to the State Department
In the end, whether these people received any direct favors may prove nearly impossible to establish, but that’s not really the question. It would be a foolish politician indeed who would ever draw up a document saying that if you give millions to their family’s foundation they’ll do you this or that favor using the power of their office. The Clintons may be many things, but they’re not that stupid or they’d never have risen as high as they have. There’s also a standing defense available to them by simply saying that the favorable action was one which they were already considering anyway and they’d have done it with or without some particular meeting or donation.

But when it comes to earning the trust of the American voters, such verbal gymnastics aren’t really where we draw the line. Don’t come around peeing on our legs and then tell us it’s raining. Influence peddling is much like the old Supreme Court definition of pornography when it comes to this discussion. We know it when we see it.
Clinton Global Initiative Moderator Describes Group’s Events As ‘Creepy,’ ‘Disgusting,’ ‘Gross’
Adam Davidson, who hosts a show for NPR and has written for New York Magazine, also said during an appearance on Slate’s “Political Gabfest” podcast, that the Bill and Hillary Clinton-controlled group’s events are “all about buying access.”

And later in the podcast, he said that the Clinton Foundation has made the Clintons “beholden to scumbags.”
And the government is determined to ram her down our throats before the truth comes out: Remainder of Clinton Calendars Will Not Be Released Until After Election.  I wonder what's in them. Watchdogs warn of 'serious' conflicts of interest for Clinton FoundationSeven ways the Clinton Foundation failed to meet its transparency promises:
1. The Clinton Health Access Initiative didn’t disclose its donors annually.
2. The Clinton Health Access Initiative didn’t submit foreign government donations to State Department ethics officials for review.
3. The Clinton Foundation didn’t disclose a new $500,000 donation in 2010 from the Algerian government
4. The Clinton Foundation didn’t disclose $2.35 million of donations from a family foundation linked to a company with business before Clinton's State Department.
5. The Clinton Foundation was late in disclosing millions of dollars in speaking fees.
6. The Clinton Foundation hasn’t revealed all of the sources of money transferred from a Canadian charity.
7. Exact donation amounts and dates are unknown.
Hillary’s worst scandal is that she really thinks she’s clean
Step back from the endless news of Clinton Foundation/Clinton State Department sleaze and Clinton email abuse, and shake your head at this: Hillary Clinton still believes she did absolutely nothing wrong.

That jaw-dropper surfaced in Annie Karni’s report for Politico on the campaign’s damage-control efforts on the candidate’s scandals: Hillary’s minions plan to just “ride out” the clock to Election Day — “a strategy born … of a belief held deeply by Clinton herself that the email controversy is a fake scandal.”
But Hillary Clinton BleachBits her past. Shows knowledge of guilt. Prosecutors want until Sept. 19 to decide whether to retry McDonnell So what does this have to do with Hillary? Simple, the McDonnell prosecution was based on a rather expansive view of quid pro quo which could easily be extended to cover Clinton's work with the Foundation as SecState. Orange is Hillary Clinton’s color. Clinton campaign finds legal loophole to collect big donations. Getting big money out of elections is for suckers, or Republicans. Great news: “Extremely careless” ex-gov’t official arrives to view highly classified intel. What's the worse that could happen, that already hasn't?

After Hillary's speech condemn Trump for being supported by the KKK, KKKK Grand Dragon Endorses Hillary Clinton. Even Grand Dragons can have a sense of humor. Ann Althouse asks Did the Alt-Right play its big day right? How can you know; no one even seems to know who the Alt right are; just more straw men? Sorry, Hillary: Trump’s policies are clearly better for blacks. It's not that high a bar. Clinton faces decision in Trump attack strategy. Trying to find the right lie.

 Hillary’s health: Emails show Clinton obsessed with sleep, “exotic drugs”
Clinton herself says she's "chronically exhausted". Her staff calls her a "champion napper".

And then there's her email about the symptoms of “decision fatigue.” Another about Provigil, a drug “often prescribed to treat excessive sleepiness in patients with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and multiple sclerosis."

That’s just the beginning…
There's nothing quite like rigging the economy to favor your candidate: Barney Frank to Fed: Don’t raise rates before election. If that doesn't work, there's always prayer: For Hillary Clinton and Democrats, a Public Shift Toward ‘God-Talk’.  Hillary slide? Reuters poll shows Trump back within five.

Continued attention the Huma Abedin's links to Muslim extremism: Bill Clinton bombed Saddam to distract from the Monica Lewinsky scandal - what Huma Abedin's Muslim journal claimed about her boss's husband Analysis; probably true. Huma Abedin’s mom linked to shocking anti-women book, But, but but, the Washington Post claims mama Abedin is a moderate Muslim. You know, the kind that wants the extremist Muslims to kill you, instead of having to do it herself. Related: Immigration Expert: U.S. to Resettle Nearly One Million Muslim Migrants Under One Term of Clinton Presidency.

No! Not Fishing Licenses!

The latest government data breach came from (wait for it…) fishing licenses
While it’s painful to admit, incidents of data hacking which expose personal data entrusted to the government are so common these days as to barely merit a headline. There’s been yet another breach this year and it’s not one which is likely to make a big splash in the media unless you happen to be an avid fisherman. In three northwestern states, the issuing of new fishing licenses had to be suspended recently because hackers attempted to access the database of information on anglers. How much – if any – data they obtained is not yet known, but there’s enough information in those files to have consumers worried. (AT&T Live News)
A breach in a vendor’s system that processes online sales of hunting and fishing licenses in Idaho, Oregon and Washington state exposed several million records containing buyers’ personal information, officials said Friday.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FBI are investigating the hack into Dallas-based Active Network, the Washington State Office of Cyber Security said in a statement. Washington halted all sales earlier this week, allowing anglers to fish license-free, while Idaho and Oregon have stopped only online sales…
Active Network, whose event and activity management software is used by tens of thousands of event organizers nationwide, including marathons and other races, said the potential threat was isolated to fishing and hunting licensing systems in the three states.
The data which was potentially exposed might not be as serious for consumers as a credit card or tax database being breached, but it was nothing to sneeze at either. The system included the names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, dates of birth and the last four digits of Social Security numbers of license holders. For any clever identity thieves, that’s a very solid starting point (particularly when combined with other discoveries) to build up a profile and hack into somebody’s accounts. When you consider the inclusion of home addresses tied to real names it’s also a treasure trove for stalkers.
It's not my home state (yet), so I'm not in danger, as far as I know. However, I assume the only reason anyone's "personal data" have not been hacked is that no one is trying. Our's was certainly hacked in the gigantic OPM hack where the federal government was "extremely careless" with the personal data of millions of government workers, or, as in our case, people who had a peripheral relationship with the government.

Midnite Music - "Heart of Glass"

No, not Blondie's original version of Deborah Harry's punk/new wave standard, but rather this Hollywood vamp version by PMJ and Addie Hamilton:

Addie Hamilton: