February 28, 2010

The Reconciliation Trap

Durring The One's health care takeover dog and pony show Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed said "No one is talking about reconciliation."

That was then. Now everyone is talking about it. Even the New York Times is speculating on the possibility of reconciliation success.

Under the Democrats’ tentative plans, the House would pass the health care bill approved in December by the Senate, and both chambers would approve a separate package of changes using a parliamentary device known as budget reconciliation.

What has me worried is not the speculation that buzzed through political blogs yesterday that Democrats would be willing to electorally immolate themselves in order to use reconciliation ram this thing through, its the possibility that reconciliation is just a ruse.

Suppose for a moment that there are enough votes in the House to pass the Senate bill as written with the promise from Senate Democrats that they would fix it with reconciliation. And suppose the House holds up its end of the bargain and the Senate leadership breaks its promise.

We are left with the fact that the House and the Senate have passed the same language and it requires only The One's signature to make the current Senate bill law.

We cannot forget that the left wants to pass some form of national health care so badly that they will pass a bill they don't like just to claim victory.

Opponents of healthcare nationalization would be wise to focus their efforts on the House because even if reconciliation can be stopped in the Senate we'd still be left with the bill both houses passed.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 11:50 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

February 26, 2010

Banking Stupidity

I used to love my bank's online banking system. We have multiple accounts linked together in one online account and I could designate which account to fund a payment from a pulldown menu in each payee. In one quick session on one screen I could handle the payments for each account.

Then they "upgraded."

First they messed up the fairly simple and straight forward login process and made it less simple and straight forward. Then they neglected to mention anywhere on the login screen that you no need to enter your user name in all caps - which was not required on the old system.

If you enter your username in lowercase, the system directs you to a page with a pair of security challenge questions. When you get these questions wrong - and you will because there is no profile with the lowercase username to match the answers to, your account gets locked out and you are sent to a page with a customer service phone number to resolve the issue.

When you call the number you get a standard automated system. Press one for online banking issues. Then press one for personal accounts. Press two for business accounts. This being a personal account I pressed one.

The next recorded voice kindly gave me another phone number to call for online banking support and disconnected the call.

When I got the online support people on the phone they took a bunch of my information then informed me that they would need to speak to my wife since the first account in our online banking account is her checking account.

After my wife approved me - they explained the bit about the ALL CAPS.


Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:01 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment

February 23, 2010

Just Not Getting It

If you were on I 84 West in CT yesterday and you saw a guy in an old beige Corola driving along screaming at the top of his lungs chances are that was me. Sorry if I frightened you, but it happens some times when I have the radio on.

The first screaming session was in response to a news story. There was a brief audio clip of The One's chief bullshit artist Robert Gibbs talking about the socialized medicine proposal the White House released today. According to Gibbs, the President feels strongly that the healthcare takeover deserves an up or down vote.

Excuse me? Didn't they already have two up or down votes? And if you take into account the Massachussets special election it's had three. The Democrats had a 60 vote majority in the Senate and a commanding majority in the House and they still couldn't get it passed.

The One has had his up or down vote.

Move On.

The second bout of screaming was caused by a campaign ad for Linda Macmahan who is running for the GOP nomination for the Senate.  The ad started well, but ended badly. At least I think it did I couldn't hear the ending.

She started out complaining about the out of control spending in Washington and stated that government spending does not create jobs, citing the statistic that 70% of jobs are created by small business, and thaat we should rely on the free enterprise system. So far so good - and then she proved herself to just another big government idiot with her assertion that the government should provide incentives to create jobs.

News Flash, Linda. In a free enterprise system businesses already have an incentive to succeed and grow. It's called profit. Itis so powerful an incentive that it is often refered to as the "profit motive."

Businesses don't need another incentive from the government what they need is a reduction in government disincentives. In the most basic terms they the government to get the hell out of the way.

The solution to the problem of too much government is never more government just as the solution to a gas fire is not more gasoline and certainly never more ethanol.

This is not the sort of Senator we need more of in Washington. We don't need someone who is campaigning to be part of the problem.

I'm really hoping that the results of the election in CT will make the Scott Brown election look like a minor event. Linda macmahon would bod provide that result.

She just doesn't get it.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:08 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

February 08, 2010

The Palin Speech

I not a particular fan of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. I am not a major critic either. She's a politician and I regard her with the same respect I have for most other politicians. Most people I give the benefit of the doubt. They are innocent until proven guilty or stupid. Politicians are an exception. I generally assume they are venal until they prove me wrong. Which really doesn't happen all that often.

I watched the Palin red meat feast at the Tea Party Convention and she did little to elevate herself - with the exception of one line. One line that was startlingly refreshing to hear from a major national political figure.

"All power is inherent in the people."

A politician who will say that will get my attention. 

A politician who will say that, understand that and mean that would be worthy of something beyond distrust and disdain. 

Is Sarah Palin that politician? 

That remains to be seen.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:19 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment

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