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June 14, 2012



Information asymmetry--that's what keeping me from selling my old clunker with 147,000 miles on it. I'm the original owner and I know more about it than what any prospective used car buyer would know.


Okay, I have to post this -


Have to repost this, too, for DoT:

Minus 15 at Raz today.

Trails Romney by 4.

Thomas Collins

All one has to do is substitute food for broccoli and it becomes clear that the distinction being made collapses. A human is far more likely to be able to go through life without health care than without food. In addition, there are plenty of governmental income support and nutrition programs indicating that the Federales in effect consider access to proper nutrition a right. Furthermore, a mandate to buy a particular food could be justified as part of comprehensive health care legislation. The defenders of the mandate simply will not acknowledge the obvious, namely, that the only principled way to uphold the mandate is to base it on the conclusion that unless an act of Congress under the Commerce Clause violates some other constitutional provision, judicial review of a Congressional act under the commerce clause is simply not subject to judicial review. I don't happen to agree with that assertion, but that's the only intellectually honest way to approach the argument.


TM delving into the vast morass of healthcare financing. Impressive. I sum up my opinion on healthcare finance thusly-- well-- it depends. Is healthcare strictly a commodity, like broccoli or cars? Or is healthcare a right like speech and religious exercise? If you believe healthcare is a commodity, you hold one opinion about Obamacare, medicare, medicaid etc., if you believe healthcare is a RIGHT, you believe the opposite. Of course most Americans believe healthcare is both a commodity and a right. That's why Americans want to get all of the healthcare they want, but they don't want to pay for it directly out of their own pocket. so that's why the USA has the most USE of healthcare in the world, and has the most expensive healthcare in the world. Until we agree on how healthcare is going to be rationed (free market ability to pay) or Singlepayer socialized medicene -- or free market with subsidies (yeech), we'll have Wile E Coyote geniuses like the reporters at the NYT making thousands of angels dance on the heads of pins about broccoli mandates.


Very good summary, TC.

Thomas Collins

The main reason the mandate defenders are twisting themselves up in pretzels over this is because they don't want to argue that the Commerce Clause is a general grant of police and regulatory power to Congress, even though that would be the import of a decision upholding the mandate.


Don't give the proponents of Obamacare any smart ideas, YM.
Nice to see Vinson was [negatively] impressed by the argument of Dean Chemerinsky . Anyway, his notion that the govt can force us to buy broccoli under the Commerce Clause is identical to Kagan's, isn't it? Remember her remarks in her confirmation hearing?

Maybe it would just be simpler to stop hospitals from providing anything but emergency care to indigents and leave the rest of us alone.

Rick Ballard

Another chapter in When Casuistry Met Sophistry. Would the Founders be surprised about the steepness of slope from the banana peel of Wickard v. Filburn to Obamacare? The answer is in the Federalist Papers and should be of no surprise to anyone except pseudo-Keynesians or their bastard cousin Pigovians.


Great summary. People should consider the actions of the Great Soda Jerk of NYC when contemplating where the slither will take us.


TC@11:16-- you're right that the NYT and Yale Law dweebs cover up the fact that they want plenary police/regulatory powers for Congress, as they view federalism to be an unworkable old fashioned thing in the Constitution. A constitution that's what, 100 years old or something. They know that's not happening, so they prattle on about passive activity, active activity, free riders on the market, blah blah blah. In the end they souund ridiculous and filled with sour grapes when supporters of Federalism call them on their nonsensical claims-- like Professor Amar in this article. Hopefully, they'll lose on bamacare, but even if they do, they'll keep trying to abolish Federalism.


TC-we really need the US Constitution to resume the role it was created to have to be a sword and shield for the individual against both the grasping of the state's employees and the wishes of a majority on certain protected issues.

We have an executive branch with a nothing can stop us attitude and the policies to back that up. What I wrote about today should not be happening.

Especially under the supervision of someone as ideologically driven as John Holdren running a superpost without Cong scrutiny. Or a budget.

We the "research funders" have decided to remake the essential global economy and society and see just how malleable human nature is. We are doing it s an informal lobby to avoid scrutiny. One of those nice Scandinavian countries will be more than happy to keep track of all the documents for us and coordinate the theorizing and models we need to keep living at someone else's expense and telling them what they can do and must do and cannot do. We are hoping to use education so acting and refraining consistent with our greedy desires will become instinctive. An unconscious reflex.


Arizona is already gearing up to enforce its strict immigration law as it anticipates a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court sometime this month, with Gov. Jan Brewer issuing an executive order this week telling police to bone up on the details of the law.

Mrs. Brewer ordered that training materials produced to help police understand the law and its limits should be distributed throughout the state in preparation for a ruling.

The materials, created by a state board that sets standards for all law enforcement, include a DVD designed to help police understand the circumstances that would let them question someone about immigration status.

That power has been the most controversial part of the law, SB 1070, which Mrs. Brewer signed in 2010 but was largely halted by lower federal courts as an infringement on federal powers.

In an interesting development, the city of Los Angles has been notified by the feds that the feds will no longer reimburse the city for jailing prisoners on immigration charges. This now requires the city to ask the immigration status of all incoming prisoners.
It's almost like LA now has a SB1070 of it's own.


The "inevitability of purchase" argument is much weaker than the information asymmetry one. It's true that markets with information asymmetry (I have private information about my health) may function better if everyone participates. But this is a big Pandora's Box, since probably most markets could be argued to have asymmetry, like Peter's used car issue. In any case, I think it's overstated--insurance companies are pretty good at figuring out risk, and if they are allowed to price it (as opposed to being forced into "community rating"), the information issues aren't a big deal.


"One source, who reported that there were at least two of Eric Holder's subordinates who 'came in from the cold,' characterized them as 'high-level" DOJ employees 'with knowledge of Eric Holder's actions before and after" the 4 February 2011 DOJ letter denying that the DOJ and its subordinate agencies knew about "gunwalking," Vanderboegh writes, noting one source said the whistleblowers bring with them "the keys to the kingdom."


Is there a link to the 'whistleblower' article?


It's pathetic and doesn't bode well for our country that we are reduced to 'information asymmetry' and 'inevitability of purchase' arguments and have as settled law that a guy who grows wheat for his own consumption is subject to Federal prosecution for doing so over a clause intended to prevent state governments from imposing tariffs and punitive regulations on goods from other states.


Neo put the link in his LUN. That article refers to the sipsy street guys.

Thomas Collins

From a article linked in a Drudge headline:

"Egypt's highest court on Thursday declared the parliament invalid, and the country's interim military rulers declared full legislative authority, triggering a new level of chaos and confusion in the country's leadership."

Looks as if there will be a new round of elections.


The new civility. HBO apologizes for Geo. W. Bush head on a pike in Game of Thrones scene. LUN.


It's pathetic and doesn't bode well for our country that we are reduced to 'information asymmetry' and 'inevitability of purchase' arguments

Especially because these are just ex post rationales for what the left really wants to do, which is give the government more control over resources. There's almost no regulation that can't find some such rationale, so we need a Constitution to draw some sharp lines. More than that, though, we need to elect leaders and representatives who understand this.


Looks as if there will be a new round of elections.

Only after there is a new round of blood letting... the Brotherhood will burn Cairo down, and then lose in a massive landslide because the people will turn to the Army to keep order.


TC, Looks as if the military, corrupt as it is, isn't utterly crazy--Meet the new old.


I've never grasped how my "inevitable" consumption of health care products and services was turned into an argument about a "right" to health insurance. That's two different markets still, right?


Guess who gave BO the cool idea to attack Bain? Steve Spielberg..Keep taking advice from the limousine libs, big guy..I beg you.

Rick Ballard

"That's two different markets still, right?"

Careful, Alice. Talk like that can get you sentenced to four years at Pitzer College or a lobotomy. (The lobotomy is less damaging.)


Yes, AliceH, two different markets. There has been a deliberate conflation of "health care" and "health insurance" by supporters of government "solutions."


AliceH-- you raise a very important point. The Statists intentionally conflate healthcare and healthcare INSURANCE markets. People love healthcare and hate insurers. So the Statists say Obamacare cracks down on health insurers in order to give you more healthcare-- all free today!!! It's all messaging to keep us on the road to a someday Singlepayer. Singlepayer? The Fed government acting as everybody's healthcare insurer? that will work out well.

Captain Hate

Spielberg's butthurt because Dreamworks was too much of a disaster for Bain to take over. He might be smarter than the JEF but that's about it.


Insty gives us this delicioso morsel:

In September 2010, Clinton told his Cuyahoga Community College audience in Cleveland that Democrats deserved two more years to fix the nation’s economy.

“The Democrats are saying something like this: ‘We found a big hole that we did not dig. We didn’t get it filled in 21 months, but at least we quit digging,’” Clinton said at the time. “‘Give us two more years. If it doesn’t work, vote us out.’”

Bubba that is exactly what we intend to do, thanks for the advice. Whoops.


Not completely off target--via MOTUS:


((It isn't really working on the voters yet, according to the polls.))

shure, Obama's only trailing Romney by 4 today.


Reuters: Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise

Is it possible that they're unaware of the joke?


Deja vu, all over again;


what color is the sky in SteveM's world?


Oops, of all the things to be arrested for;



I just got a call from my best friend from law school who is going to a Brown fundraiser tonite and informed me that Brown was a 3rd year student when we were 1st years (at the same school). I told him that could not possibly be true because I would have noticed someone that good looking but I just checked and its true.

Sheesh I can't believe I didn't know that.

[We have no doubt Brown is thinking the same thing for the same reasons.]


Guess it wasn't such a hot idea after all:

Reason: WH Quietly Removes Obama Boasts From Other Presidential Bios


"Trails Romney by 4"
That seems like a lot.

Cecil Turner

The Times piece is one long ad hominem argument. Essentially: the Kochs funded the Reason video, so it's gotta be wrong. Simplistic and fallacious.

The problem with the health care mandate is that it makes a hash of the whole concept of enumerated powers. And no matter how much the libs twist themselves into knots to come up with the "right" answer, there's simply no way to pretend otherwise.

It's also nice to see Scalia embrace a commonsense argument that I'd be more likely to associate with Thomas.

Manuel Transmission

Being away from JOM for a week is like running up a down escalator. I was within a day or two of catching up within a day or two, but couldn't quite get through that last burst of yakking until last night. Sheesh.

Anyway, had a wonderful evening Tuesday. Attended a catered dinner at the lovely Dodie Gann's home as part of our local theatre fundraiser. We've been acquaintances of Dodie's for many years, but never been at her and Ernie's place in the middle of the island. Wonderful little farm like out of the English countryside. Most of you know of Ernie, but Dodie is pretty remarkable in her own right. An Olympic skier and pilot who still goes out in her straight-tailed 172 regularly (with a safety pilot now) at 89 years. Their old MG-TC bought new in England is coming back on island with fresh rubber and tuned spokes thanks to my helo buddy who rescued it from a ne'er do well grandson. Keep waiting to put my faded SU tuning skills to work on it, but it just keeps running like an old sewing machine.


Jim, the number was from DoT's morning report, posted in the last Zimmerman thread:

((Minus 15 at Raz today.

Trails Romney by 4.

Posted by: Danube of Thought | June 14, 2012 at 09:37 AM))

and while it may seem like a lot, you have to admit, it's far less than it should be.


Glad you're back, MT.

Captain Hate

Were his bad hair days worse then too?


SU tuning skills never fade, MT. Just don't let your best friend borrow your jet centering tool, which he will subsequently lose.




Jane, I found a great way to meet gorgeous young guys last night. Make cannoli shells. Let me explain. The wolverine's coming to town. She loves cannoli so I thought I'd make and store the shells and let her fill them when she's here. The process was a little more complicated than I had envisioned and as I was rolling out a sec0nd batch, the oil started smoking, setting off an alarm. I opened the windows, took the oi off the heat, turned off the alarm--or thought i did. (A technician had told me that afternoon that it was not working properly and needed to be updated.)
I closed the door from the kitchen to the hallway to keep the smoke from the sensor and continued working until I hear loud bangs at the front door. When I opened it--voila:Three of the most gorgeous, very nice hunky firemen were there.

So, I repeat to any single ladies out there:If you want to meet the men of your dreams, fry up some cannoli shells.


((Guess it wasn't such a hot idea after all))

it was sheer flipping moronic braindead idiocy, and thank God, it's being corrected.



I just read that they are shutting down the trains for Zero's visit.




Never had a problem with the triple SUs on the old Jag. Doing it by ear with a rubber hose worked as good as anything else, I eventually found. :O


I think before this $40k per person fund raising dinner is over, Parker, Wintout and Obama will regret it ever happened.




Clarice-- why regret? just a bunch of celebs hangin' and telling lies to each other. It's what they do.


I can just imagine Wintour's mien having to sit through a dinner with a lowly prole. It would very much resemble the look of having a small turd on her upper lip.

Captain Hate

Glad to see the turd-vac is active today.


TM came in and cleaned up earlier; looks like he's needed again. Thank you TM.

Clarice, I have a great similar story from a couple of years ago. My friend visited with her kids and we made dinner and put it in the oven to keep warm. We went outside with our kids for a wine break (2 five-year-olds, 2 two-year-olds) and the two-year-olds slipped back into the house and proceeded to accidentally lock us out. We had no phones, no shoes, no spare key. After 20 mins of trying to get them to unlock the door they wandered out of sight and started taking stuff out of the fridge, squeezing toothpaste on the walls, etc. So we flagged down a neighbor and begged to use his phone. Locksmith unavailable, told us to call fire dept. Fire truck shows up less than 1 minute later (station is 4 blocks away) with 4 very handsome guys on it. They decide best option is to break window. Axe raised to window, about to strike - yell comes from back of the house. Fireman had coaxed my daughter into opening the door.


We were totally out of steam at that point and went to bed early.

Manuel Transmission

My mentor showed me the narrow screwdriver trick. Slide it under each piston and rotate. When all is perfect, the engine will stutter at the same angle of rotation of the blade. I was even geeky enough to have a little jet wrench on my keychain.


Listening for the perfect balanced "hiss" from both, or all three carbs, works much better than most would think. I have a length of vac tubing sitting in my tune up drawer in the roll away.


Sorry about that.

Rick Ballard


If he keeps up the Bi-Coastal Bootlicking Tour, your 46% is going to be the ceiling. He might regret it if he winds up below Carter's 41%.


Great story, porch.

I can just picture you looking thru the windows and watching the mischief makers.

NK, Parker's home is not huge my non-NYC standards and is designed for 3 small kids. She went thru hell getting it ready for this--cleaned out half the house and you know it'll take forever to put it all back-Then Obama's people leave her out of the emails.

Wintour made herself into joke fodder with the utube appeal.

And every NYC commuters's about to hate the three of them.

You'd almos t think SCAM was behind this escapade.


**By non NYC standards*


((I can just imagine Wintour's mien having to sit through a dinner with a lowly prole.))

she will retreat behind her bangs


Apparently all the nearby streets have been barricaded and this red carpet hauled in:

Definitely has the mark of a SCAM production


--the two-year-olds slipped back into the house and proceeded to accidentally lock us out--

You fell for that, Porch?


It was hilarious, Clarice. We were absolutely in the ugliest possible mom outfits, no makeup, hair awry, totally helpless, and then these cute guys show up. Thank goodness they didn't break the window - my husband would never have let me hear the end of it. Ever.


You fell for that, Porch?

I knew I shoulda put "accidentally" in quotes. ;)


Parker-- OK; somehow I think real world concerns like that don't bother the Parker celebs. She'll just go on a 2 week vaca, and let 'her people' clean up the mess.


NK, Maybe your kid is different, but my son still won't let me throw out his fourth grade underwear, claiming their "collectors items", and my granddaughter cannot bear for one of her millions of drawings to be thrown out. Three small kids are now missing their books, tapes and a carload of toys. Not a pretty picture.

Parker has a huge house in the Hampstons--they coulda heloed in the guests instead of all this commotion,


*their, should be they are*

Time for a break.


OT, but where has our Sue been? I don't recall seeing her around recently.



I'm here. Laughing at you and your friend at the moment. And wondering which volunteer firefighter would show up at my door, my very old neighbor or very ugly neighbor. ::sigh:: Joys of living in the country.


Hi Sue! Glad to see you. LOL, at least your neighbors are close by...


The Times argument that “health care” (which is really an insurance policy, not health care) is different did not really find purchase at the SC or should it. The question was framed beautifully but taking something outrageous and comparing it favorably to the Obamacare requirement. The only answer given by these overbearing legal thugs is that cars and vegetables and other thingamabobs are not “health care.”
They could never really explain why not broccoli. And, that should make the decision easy to write and hard to oppose.


01:52- Hmmmm...smells like one of Spielberg's lapdogs is afoot


Off to lunch - but thought you all would love this:

jimgeraghty ‏@jimgeraghty
Jonathan Alter on MSNBC: "One of the least successful speeches I've seen Obama give." Way too long, 54 minutes, lost audience.

By way of comparison, Romney spoke for 18 minutes.

Beasts of England

When broccoli is outlawed, only outlaws will own broccoli. QED


They could never really explain why not broccoli. And, that should make the decision easy to write and hard to oppose.

Is the SC bound to limit themselves to the arguments made by each side, or can they come up with their own? I presume the latter, so while the lame effort by Verrili helps, it may not be decisive.

Beasts of England

If you want to get healthcare costs under control, then do away with health insurance of any variety other than its nominal purpose - a way to mitigate the cost of major medical outlays, e.g., surgery. I'm self-employed and self-insured. As an economist, I did the analysis - including some probabilistic risk determinations - and found health insurance premiums were a poor return on 'investment'.

I've paid for two pregnancies (my children), an occasional disease, e.g., Kawasaki, cancer surgery (and subsequent radiation, etc.) and am still ahead of the curve.

Food for thought...


The Great and Horrible thing about the Supreme Court is that it can do whatever the hell it pleases.

Beasts of England

I also have a concierge general practitioner (MDVIP) and find it to be an excellent value and the service to be outstanding. House calls, my Doc's cell phone number, 24/7/365 - $1,500 per year well-spent. Highly recommended...

Tom Maguire
I'm self-employed and self-insured...

Doesn't "self-employed" confound the analysis? I thought the tax-deductibility of employee-sponsored health insurance (at the employer level, while tax-free at the employee level) was a big reason for its popularity, and that the individual market was too expensive, as your experience suggests.


More Eric Holder news: Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department is being accused of blocking prosecution of a high-visibility real estate deal.

Holder, who is under pressure by Congress members investigating the Fast & Furious gun-running scandal to resign, allegedly aims to protect a high-profile international bank client of his former law firm and shield Democratic Party operatives implicated in the scheme.
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WND has obtained several hundred pages of documents alleging that Holder and Lanny Breuer, the assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s criminal division, have intervened to block recommended federal prosecutions in an ongoing dispute involving the exclusive Yellowstone Club, a private golf and ski resort now owned by supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle and international bank Credit Suisse.

Allegedly, Holder and Breuer want to shield from federal criminal prosecution the bank, Credit Suisse Group AG, a client of the Washington-based law firm Covington & Burling, as well as key Democratic Party operatives suspected of playing a role in allegedly fraudulent mortgage financing and bank lending practices.

Before joining the Department of Justice in the Obama administration, Holder and Breuer were partners at Covington & Burling.

“I know how Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer operate,” Mike Flynn, legal counsel for Tim Blixseth, the founder of the Yellowstone Club, told WND.

Holder and Breuer are protecting Credit Suisse, he charged.

“In my 42 years of trying high profile cases, I have never seen such corruption,” Flynn said. “The American people need to know what is happening inside the Holder-controlled Justice Department. The fox is now truly guarding the hen house.”

Beasts of England

Hey Tom:

I meant to convey that I am not in the health insurance provider market, i.e., no Blue Cross. Individual and/or family policies are available to the self-employed, but I chose otherwise. Paying out-of-pocket has been a much better option than the cost of available premiums...

And it's my 'professional' opinion that a closer-to-free-market system would render a beautiful correction to the health care field. Insurance interferes with the consumption of health care goods and services, and is, occasionally, a perverse incentive.

Hope that answers your question, sir!


Great comments, Beasts. Those of us in different situations can learn from your experience and perspective.


--I've paid for two pregnancies (my children), an occasional disease, e.g., Kawasaki, cancer surgery (and subsequent radiation, etc.) and am still ahead of the curve.

Food for thought...

In 2005 I was sitting down and adding up all the Blue Shield premiums I'd paid over the last fifteen years of marriage, and had used almost none of since we have a high deductible plan, calculating that we would have been better off just taking our chances.
A couple of months later wifey was diagnosed with cancer and by a year and a half later had run up bills easily exceeding $300,000. I've stopped keeping track over the last five years but it has to be over $500,000 by now.
There is a market for a truly catastrophic insurance plan but I've never found one.


Why am I not surprised by Holder's antics? He's starting to make Janet Reno look good.


I wonder who is dumber, the advocates of Obamacare? Or the little people who are expected to believe the nonsense offered by the advocates. The Obamabots scoff at the so-called broccoli argument as too narrow--not everyone will need broccoli--whereas everyone will eventually need healthcare.

The flaw, in the "eventually need healthcare" argument, is that the taxpayer isn't buying healthcare, they're buying a detailed financing scheme to cover specified healthcare coverages in a particular way.

Obamacare is a one-size-fits-all program not any different from specifing the purchase of an Italian cabbage from the mustard family. As one of the most broadly nutritious of all the common vegetables, how does specifying the vegetable to be purchased differ from the specifications of Obamacare? It doesn't.

Obamacare requires me to consume healthcare is ways I do not need, and does not allow me to consume healthcare in ways I prefer--no different for having a preference for vegetables other than broccoli.

But you're to be swayed by the argument that specifying insurance is different from specifying a vegetable.


McBrain needs to get one.

Beasts of England

Thanks, Extraneus.

@Ignatz: There was a great leap of faith (or courage of my convictions!) when I made that decision. And, had my cancer metastasized, my Monte Carlo simulations would have been a costly endeavor...

I think my greater point, if I can hold steady on this soapbox for a few more sentences, is that health care is just another good or service. And, in my humble opinion, the possible (further, I should say) implementation of Obamacare is unimaginable on every level.


I think I like Scalia's "Everyone should have to buy burial insurance because sooner or later you are going to die" argument better. He pointed out how the younger tax payer who has to pay over an above his share of "burial insurance" is being used to prop up the flimsy enterprise in the first place. Much like obamacare is structured.

Swiss health care

Thanks for good summary! That is a real food for thought....

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