July 2009 Archives

AppleInsider | Steve Ballmer calls Apple's Mac growth a "rounding error":

"'And are the ads working?' he asked rhetorically. 'In an independent survey, we asked 18- to 24-year-olds—or they were asked, 'Who offers the best value, Apple or Microsoft?' You can kind of see Apple was comfortably ahead despite the fact they — well, despite whatever the facts are. Our ads started in April of '09. You can see kind of what the perception changes have been so far.'"

(Via AppleInsider.)

And that's when you know Microsoft is speaking out of both sides of its mouth. Apple is beating them despite the ads. In other words, people don't believe the hype.

Technorati Claim

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I'm with Stupid

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The 10 Dumbest Arguments Against Health-Care Reform | The American Prospect:

"This is just part of the hurricane of idiocy the administration must struggle through if it is to pass health-care reform. Don't get me wrong – there are some very good reasons to remain optimistic about the odds of reform succeeding. On the other hand, if in our national debate you always bet that the side offering the most dim-witted, disingenuous arguments will triumph, most of the time you'll be right."

(Via The American Prospect.)

A friend of mine observing the current debate threw up his hands and simply said that the American people were, to put it bluntly, stupid. That made me uncomfortable, because I don't like to think people in general are in fact, stupid. But if these arguments hold sway, it's hard to argue against that. Fear and prejudice almost certainly produce that result.

And just so those conservatives who read this try to hide behind the tired cliché of liberal smugness, please remember the definition of stupid: "lacking in intelligence and common sense." These "arguments" employ both deficits.

Civilized Medicine

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Today I had to take my son for his 15 month well visit. All day in the car as I listened to NPR, universal healthcare was the topic. Little did I know I would get a reminder of the problems with our system up close and personal today.

At the doctor's, my son developed a strong fever. It turns out this was due to a new ear infection. Great. His shots would have to be delayed another few weeks and we'd have to give him a course of antibiotics. All of this would be handled well by my insurance. The full course, between generic substitutions in pharmacy and our family's insurance coverage, would run me $12. No sweat. With a $15 copay my running total so far was $27.

But there was a problem.

My wife was concerned with the wheezing she still hears in my son's breathing at night. My doctor was as well. She prescribed a 30 day supply of Pulmicort, an asthma treatment medicine. Since there are no generic substitutes, I have to pay full boat with my plan reimbursing me for 60% of the cost. And that cost? $365!

Now I don't know about you, but how is a person with few means supposed to shelve out that kind of money on a monthly basis to treat their child? First you have to have the cash on hand or the credit to shell out what amounts to a car payment. Second, you'd have to be able to afford the 40%, or $146, you'd be responsible for if you have insurance. What happens if you are one of the 47,000,000 people who don't? What's wrong with this picture?

Truly, when I think of folks defending our healthcare system, esp. with regard to the pharma companies, I find it hard not to think of the phrase "full of shit."

UPDATE: I can't really take credit for the title, it was from a teacher and mentor who corrected me when I mentioned that the UK's universal healthcare system was socialized medicine. She said, "No, it's civilized medicine."

Going Strong on the Wrong Message | The American Prospect:

"But what every one of the 68 percent of Americans who are not both white and male saw, once again, was the deep well of outrage at discrimination that Republicans seem only to summon when it's a white guy who got the short end of the stick.

The fact of the matter is that a party that builds its foundation on the racial grievances of white men is doomed to defeat after defeat."

(Via The American Prospect.)

I think the GOP leaders really showed their true colors (no pun intended) on race. It makes Steele look like a straight token and nothing more. It kills any credibility in the claim that the party is not racist. They just can't seem to help themselves.

Rational Markets

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Does Franken Solve the Filibuster Problem? | The American Prospect:

"For Democrats, the 60 votes will be a curse as often as it is a blessing. While it gives them enormous flexibility to move important legislation, it also turns every Democratic senator into a kingmaker or a deal-breaker, and that is a recipe for chaos."

(Via The American Prospect.)

We already see that now. The pork is just bluer this time around.

Reading the Employment Report: Focus on Hours, Not Heads - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com:

"Any evidence of ‘green shoots’ appearing in recent months disappears in this broader measure. The recession continues apace. If current trends continue, we are in for a frightening time."

(Via Freakonomics Blog.)

Subprime Thinking

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Did Liberals Cause the Sub-Prime Crisis? | The American Prospect:

"It's telling that, amid all the recent recriminations, even lenders have not fingered CRA. That's because CRA didn't bring about the reckless lending at the heart of the crisis. Just as sub-prime lending was exploding, CRA was losing force and relevance. And the worst offenders, the independent mortgage companies, were never subject to CRA -- or any federal regulator. Law didn't make them lend. The profit motive did."

(Via The American Prospect.)