Wednesday, October 14, 2015

SAR #15287

Our health care system spends too much prolonging life, too little improving it.
Brand, New: After demanding records from Toyota on the possible sources ISIS used to acquire all those shiny new white Toyota pickups, it turns out that at least 43 of them were gifts from the USA to Syria's al-Qaeda junior branch, the Al Nusra Front as “non-lethal aid”.
Odds Against: There are so many right wing groups in the Republican House caucus, each with absolute demands, that a non-committable Republican stands no chance of being elected without Democratic support. Curious bedfellows.
Perspective: According to then-general Wesley Clark, following 9/11 the US and Israel saw that dismembering Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Syria would be in the “strategic interest” of Israel. Since then all but Iran have been effectively carved into non-functional fiefdoms with little power to threaten Israel. Coincidence is not causation. But it is suggestive.
Market Theory: Assuming that the recently demonstrated gene therapy that has restored sight to the blind is, in fact, a long term solution, how much should the therapy cost? How much will it actually cost? How much would you pay to get your sight back? How much did Jonas Salk make?
Trust: Jeb Bush says he will repeal ObamaCare without setting up anything to ease the plight of the 17 million folks whose insurance would disappear. Then he'll give bundles of cash to the states for their own little experiments in health care. Tax credits, enhanced health care savings accounts, defundied Medicaid and lots of encouragement for the poor to buy cheap-ass policies that don't cover anything. No comprehensive coverage for anyone. Rather like living in Florida, or one of the other 20 GOP run states that think the poor should get all the health care they can pay for. He did not estimate the cost of his plan, and there certainly was no mention of benefits.
Talking Point: You can kiss Miami goodbye. And New Orleans. And all the rest of the major sea-level cities. That was the basic message hidden in the latest report on the speed and extent of ice melt in the Antarctic. They don't do the 'how deep' guessing game, but assure one and all that it will be deep enough, soon enough to suffice. They use the word 'collapse'.
No Accounting Accounting: Johnson & Johnson, by ridiculously restating their assumed tax rate, managed to turn a 40% collapse in pretax net income into a $1.49 EPS third quarter. To placate shareholders – at least the vultures who don't care about the future of the company - J&J has announced a $10 billion stock buyback – a band aid for their falling stock prices.
Grim Reaping: Over the next ten years the world will nead at least 600 million new jobs for the oncoming crop of young people. This in a world where the major demand is for insurgents, jihadists and human smugglers.
Please Send Cash: The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that giving money to the poor has “large beneficial effects” on the wellbeing of children, results that are strongly supported by a long-term study by neuroscientists which found a positive correlation between family income and child brain structural development. More money leads to healthier,brighter kids.
Fact: The US does not blow up civilians is some foreign country every day. Most, yes, but not every day.
Porn O'Graph: Life, such as it is.


kwark said...

RE "Talking Point": Indeed. But far too many Americans believe A) there's no such thing as global warming, B) sea level rise is God's punishment for allowing gays to marry, C) "I don't want to give up anything now because I won't be here in 2050", D) all of the above.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

C) is the one that gags me.

I hear it from my favorite-mother-in-law, a retired stockbroker with two kids, three grandkids and (so far) two great-grandkids.

When I point out the world we're leaving the children, she picks up her scotch, says "So?" and turns to the golf game.

Anonymous said...

Grandma needs a helping hand at the top of the stairs: It's an interesting issue of human logic. Why is it that her 450 cc Cadilac can poison the grandkids with no costs to her, but if any of them should stuff a hose from her exhaust pipe to her bedroom, they'd get in trouble instead.