The song above dates from 1926, so it’s not quite a century old. This enjoyable rendition is by Whispering Jack Smith, though it only became a #1 hit on the Billboard Charts in the Al Jolson version. (We could spend a lot of time on Billboard #1′s. The year after this song, Hoagy Carmichael wrote Stardust which became a hit multiple times over. The 1940′s featured some great songs. In 1942 a few #1 hits ruled the charts for months at a time. In 1960 a Billboard #1 hit became the highest ranking instrumental in its history.)
AT40 debuted in 1970 and featured a countdown to the Billboard #1 hit record. The source for calculating #1 changed over the years but the concept stayed the same. The #1 hit from a couple of years ago, and a Grammy Award nominee for best song to boot, is a catchy little ditty by Mr. Cee Lo Green whose title might have landed you in jail not so long ago if you were to repeat it on the radio the number of times that Mr. Green does in his song (16 times or so). And there’s much even worse out there from Enrique Inglesias, for example. That was America in 2011, and it’s only gotten worse. The WSJ has a piece on that and so does VDH. There’s got to be a bottom somewhere.
a technical bug affected approximately 25 percent of enrollments on the federal exchanges in October and November. Those technical bugs, separate from the troubles consumers had experienced accessing information on the website during the first two months, are posing a significant new problem for those who signed up and are expecting insurance coverage come Jan. 1. One in four of those applications either did not get transferred to insurers, were transferred in duplicate form, or had major errors in information shared.
A fellow very friendly to the administration, a longtime supporter, cornered me at a holiday party recently to ask, with true perplexity: “How could any president put his entire reputation on the line with a program and not be on the phone every day pushing people and making sure it will work? Do you know of any president who wouldn’t do that?” I couldn’t think of one, and it’s the same question I’d been asking myself. The questioner had been the manager of a great institution, a high stakes 24/7 operation with a lot of moving parts. He knew Murphy’s law — if it can go wrong, it will. Managers — presidents — have to obsess…
people think he is smart. They think, as they look at his health-care vows, that either he didn’t know how bad his program was, what dislocations it would cause, what a disturbance it would be to the vast middle class of America…Or he knew, and deliberately misled everyone. If they thought he wasn’t very bright, they might give him some leeway on that question. But they think he’s really smart. So they think he knew. And deliberately misled. They think he knowingly quelled people’s fears when he knew they had every reason to be afraid. Which makes him just another dishonest pol, just another guy hiding in the deliberately obscure paragraph on page 1,037 of the omnibus comprehensive reform bill. He has taken himself down, lowered his own stature. Commentators like to decry low-information voters — the stupid are picking our leaders. I think the real problem is low-information leaders. They have so little experience of life and have so much faith in magic — in media, in words — that they don’t understand people will get angry at you when you mislead them, and never see you the same way again…
the administration is full of young people who’ve seen the movie but not read the book. They act bright, they know the reference, they’re credentialed. But they’ve only seen the movie about, say, the Cuban missile crisis, and then they get into a foreign-policy question and they’re seeing movies in their heads. They haven’t read the histories, the texts, which carry more information, more texture, data and subtlety, and different points of view. They’ve only seen the movie—the Cubans had the missiles and Jack said “Not another war” and Bobby said “Pearl Harbor in reverse” and dreadful old Curtis LeMay chomped his cigar and said “We can fry a million of ‘em by this afternoon, Mr. President.” Grrr, grrr, good guys beat bad guys. It’s as if history isn’t real to them. They run around tweeting, all of them, even those in substantial positions. “Darfur government inadequate. Genocide unacceptable.” They share their feelings – that happens to be one of the things they seem to think is real, what they feel. “Unjust treatment of women — scourge that hurts my heart.” This is the dialogue to the movies in their heads. There’s a sense that they’re all freelancing, not really part of anything coherent
Examiner: “check with the people who are here today and the people that they represent all across the country whose lives have been changed for the better by the Affordable Care Act.” These guys have been excellent at two things: (a) campaigning targeted at specific groups; and (b) similarly targeted GOTV. However, the young might turn out not to be Venezuelan peasants when they get the bill. We’ll see.
Morgan Wright, CEO of Crowd Sourced Investigations, told lawmakers that Healthcare.gov had more than 500 million lines of code — more than 20 times as much as Facebook (FB) and nearly 10 times as much as Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 8 — and that this complexity made it ripe for hackers. Wright also warned that there was no “clearly defined and qualified security lead” at the site, which he said was “inconsistent with accepted practices. TrustedSec CEO David Kennedy added that “basic security was not built into the Healthcare.gov website,” and no formal testing was done. As a result, he said, the site faced a “critical risk for unauthorized access.”
500 million lines of code. Amazing. Of course you don’t have to be a code breaker to identify the con job the country was sold.
I think that everything that the president said and did was in pursuit to get all Americans health care, so, I think, even though he may have said, if you like your decent insurance, your insurance that works, then you can keep it, I think that people really get that. When — he owned it. He said, look, if you misunderstood what I was trying to say, I’m sorry about that. I think that shows integrity.
We’re tired of the usual blah-blah today so we’ll just make a couple of comments. This chart at Belmont Club is simply bizarre. There are very odd people abroad in the land. Even more bizarre is this piece in the Daily Mail. Possibly an extended joke along the line of the post-modernist spoofing that goes on in the science world from time to time?
I strongly reject the concept of respectability politics, which postulates that a style of dress or speech justifies injustice, and often violence, against particular groups of people or explains away the ravages of their inequality. I take enormous exception to arguments about the “breakdown of the family,” particularly the black family, that don’t acknowledge that this country for centuries has endeavored, consciously and not, to break it down. Or that family can be defined only one way. I don’t buy into the mythology that most poor people are willfully and contentedly poor, happy to live with the help of handouts from a benevolent big government that is equally happy to keep them dependent. These are all arguments based on shame, meant to distance traditional power structures from emerging ones, to allow for draconian policy arguments from supposedly caring people. These arguments require faith in personal failure as justification for calling our fellow citizens feckless or doctrinally disfavored. Those who espouse such arguments must root for failures so that they’re proved right. They need their worst convictions to be affirmed: that other people’s woes are due solely to their bad choices and bad behaviors; that there are no systematic suppressors at play; that the way to success is wide open to all those who would only choose it. Any of us in the country who were born poor, or minority, or female, or otherwise different — particularly in terms of gender or sexual identity — know better. Misogyny and sexism, racism, income inequality, patriarchy, and homophobia and heteronormative ideals course through the culture like a pathogen in the blood, infecting the whole of the being beneath the surface.
It’s very discouraging that there are so many knuckleheads who think such things today, and that they get to write columns for big newspapers. Take that second sentence for example. 10x the number of boys are born today (versus 50 years ago) in homes without fathers. It’s arguably the greatest problem the country faces. Now take a moment. Consider also the last sentence quoted above. The big problems are patriarchy and heteronormative ideals? Help!!! The country is doomed. (We have a feeling we know who the author would vote for if he lived in Venezuela.)
Maduro said a stricter wave of inspections for suspected price-gouging would begin on Saturday in an aggressive pre-election “economic offensive” aimed at taming the highest inflation in the Americas. “We’re not joking, we’re defending the rights of the majority, their economic freedom,” Maduro said on Friday, alleging price irregularities were found in nearly 99 percent of 1,705 businesses inspected so far this month. Maduro, who has staked his presidency on preserving the legacy of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, launched a theatrical – and often televised – wave of inspections this month to force companies to reduce prices. He says “capitalist parasites” are trying to wreck Venezuela’s economy and force him from office…
The leader of Venezuela’s main business group Fedecamaras, Jorge Roig, said this week the government’s erroneous economic policies and excessive controls risk setting up the nation for a dire 2014 of shortages and stagnation. Wall Street analysts expect growth of 1 percent to 1.5 percent this year. The government has backed off its official target of 6 percent, but has not provided a new figure. Roig accused policymakers of “improvisation” in the face of growing economic distortions and insisted that businesses nationalized in the Chavez era were operating at half capacity, while only 2 percent of expropriated land was productive. “Mr. Jorge Roig, you have just declared economic war on the country,” Maduro retorted on Friday, using the same combative tone and accusations against private enterprise common during Chavez’s 14-year rule
What tin pot dictators would do everywhere if they could — and there are apparently enough stupid people to let it happen. All is well. HT: PL
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security:
the Islamic Republic controls all aspects of nuclear science, from A-Z, from the very beginning all the way to uranium enrichment. This is why the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution talked about heroic flexibility. After ten years, we have emerged victorious over the West. They wanted to prevent us from acquiring nuclear technology, but we have reached that point, having sacrificed martyrs, and having persevered on that path, enduring an economic siege. Now we have emerged victorious heroes. It was in our best interest to sign this agreement. The Americans reached the conclusion that it would be futile to continue with their policy of confronting the Islamic Republic – a policy that was leading them nowhere. They wanted to prevent Iran from enriching uranium, but we have attained this technology and we are currently using it…They said that they did not recognize our right to enrich uranium, but at the same time, they say that Iran agreed not to enrich above 5%. This constitutes an official acknowledgement…We consider this to be a great victory for Iran, and the beginning of a new phase for the Islamic Republic. Iran has become an official member of the international club…We have now entered a new stage. We expect good results. The nuclear dossier will be removed from the agenda of the UN Security Council, and they…have acknowledged Iran’s uranium enrichment. In addition, the economic siege on the Islamic Republic will be lifted.
WaPo: “the United States and its partners have already agreed that Iranian enrichment activity will continue indefinitely. In contrast, a long-standing U.S. demand that an underground enrichment facility be closed is not mentioned.” Iran sure thinks it got a pretty good deal. (Is that 5% really 5%?) We’re not quite sure what the US got out of this.
they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious…
The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing…this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense.
California is cancelling another 1.1 million people…Through mid-November, Covered California has enrolled about 80,000 people.
Let’s see. 80,000 “enrolled” though there have been no actual invoices or payments, versus 1,100,000 cancelled. You’re going to need a high number of good news stories to deal with a ratio like that. Ah yes, but the MSM have a lot invested in their fantasy world.
media coverage is shifting fast. It’s still mostly trying for equivalence — each positive story of people being helped matched by a negative story of people hurt. But the stories don’t actually match up at all. Small example: earlier today I found myself trapped in a place with CNN on in the background, showing a fair-and-balanced account of losers and winners. First, the loser: a guy who admits that Obamacare has gotten him a plan cheaper than the insurance he had, but who has found that his current allergist is off-network. Annoying, no doubt; but there are other allergists, and this particular one probably didn’t help the case by saying that he’s thinking of refusing to take Medicare patients, too. And in any case, insurance with restricted networks is hardly something new to Obamacare. Then, the winners: a couple with no insurance at all, because her premium would have been prohibitive and he has a preexisting condition that won’t let him buy any kind of insurance at all — but now both covered, at a very affordable price, by Covered California. I don’t know about you, but these don’t sound to me like equivalent stories. At this rate, the whole horrors-of-Obamacare meme will be gone in weeks
half a dozen times, the Security Council has passed resolutions which said Iran has to stop all enrichment otherwise there’ll be no change in the sanctions, no relief. Which means six times China and Russia – not exactly hardliners on Iran – have signed on to this. And what is the result of this agreement? Iran retains the right to enrich. It continues to enrich during the six months. It is promised a final deal in which we’re going to work out the details of its enrichment. And remember, enrichment is the dam against all proliferation. Once a country anywhere can start to enrich there is no containing its nuclear capacity. So it undermines the entire idea of nonproliferation, and it grants Iran a right it’s been lusting for for a decade. That’s why there was so much jubilation in Tehran over this. Second, there’s a relaxation of sanctions which have really caused the Iranians to hurt, to worry about the stability of the regime, and to come and negotiate. What happens on sanctions? There’s going to be a huge infusion of cash which can reduce the inflation, can alleviate the shortages. Already the rial, the currency, jumped three percent instantly as a result of this agreement. This is a huge relief for the Iranians, and it can only increase over time. What do we get in return? I just heard the Secretary of State say we’re going to get a destruction of the 20 percent uranium. That is simply untrue. What’s going to happen is the 20 percent enriched uranium is going to be turned into an oxide so it’s inoperative. That process is completely chemically reversible
once you have rebelled against hexameters, quarter notes, or realistic representation, and after you have rebelled against that rebellion with crucifixes in urine, obscenity-laced rap, and peek-a-boo nudity on stage, what are you left with? The 20th-century rebels who knew what they did not like have been replaced by the anti-rebels who don’t know that there was ever something against which to rebel. Again, we are left with the 21st-century of Lady Gaga giving birth to a blue sphere, Miley Cyrus probing body orifices with a foam oversized finger, and Kanye West humping on a motorcycle while reciting obscene nursery-rhyme ditties. In a society where endorsing fairness and equality equates with success, no supposedly arbitrary canons can exclude much of anything. Who are you to say that song A is bad, or movie B is good, given your own class, race, and gender privileges that result in excluding someone or something? The less dialogue and the more explosions and nudity earn supposedly more ticket-buyers, at least until a new generation wishes to build something from the ashes. There can be no truth in our culture, given that it discriminates and proves hurtful to too many. The greatest sin in America is not to lie, but to embrace a hierarchy of any sort at all…The radically egalitarian ethos demands always the descent to the lowest common denominators of taste. A world without requisites is the fairest. To capture the most attention of the masses requires a Cyrus, Gaga, or West. Once classical canons of artistic, literary, or musical expression were torn down, and once those classically trained rebels who ripped them apart have passed on, we are left with the ruins of trying to shock what is perhaps beyond being shocked.
Trans-fats, 32 ounce sodas, health insurance. The things that the market can better regulate are ridiculously over-regulated, and the things that society needs to control are uncontrolled. Hard to see this ending well. Things will reverse of course in time, but it sure was a nasty few centuries after the fall of Rome.
Iran retains its full capacity to enrich uranium, thus abandoning a decade of Western insistence and Security Council resolutions that Iran stop all uranium-enrichment activities. Allowing Iran to continue enriching, and despite modest (indeed, utterly inadequate) measures to prevent it from increasing its enriched-uranium stockpiles and its overall nuclear infrastructure, lays the predicate for Iran fully enjoying its “right” to enrichment in any “final” agreement. Indeed, the interim agreement itself acknowledges that a “comprehensive solution” will “involve a mutually defined enrichment program.” This is not, as the Obama administration leaked before the deal became public, a “compromise” on Iran’s claimed “right” to enrichment. This is abject surrender by the United States.
In exchange for superficial concessions, Iran achieved three critical breakthroughs. First, it bought time to continue all aspects of its nuclear-weapons program the agreement does not cover (centrifuge manufacturing and testing; weaponization research and fabrication; and its entire ballistic missile program). Indeed, given that the interim agreement contemplates periodic renewals, Iran may have gained all of the time it needs to achieve weaponization not of simply a handful of nuclear weapons, but of dozens or more. Second, Iran has gained legitimacy. This central banker of international terrorism and flagrant nuclear proliferator is once again part of the international club.
Benjamin Netanyahu: “What was reached last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement, it is a historic mistake. Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world made a significant step in obtaining the most dangerous weapons in the world. I want to clarify that Israel will not let Iran develop nuclear military capability.”
Stepping back, we’re puzzled by this entire situation. North Korea and Pakistan have nukes. How is it that Iran does not have some sort of bomb already? Iran loudly announced its enrichment capabilities seven years ago. That’s a long time, and how does the west know that Iran has only 440 of the 550 pounds of enriched uranium it needs for a bomb? The Manhattan Project was 70 years ago. Iran has now bought another six months and some cash in its current deal. Is six months really a meaningful time frame?
It is a Fabian plan to move an unwilling nation, rooted in free enterprise, into Washington-controlled, fully socialized medicine. As its tentacles spread over time, the scheme (a) pushes all Americans into government markets (a metastasizing blend of Medicare, Medicaid, and “exchanges” run by state and federal agencies); (b) dictates the content of the “private” insurance product; (c) sets the price; (d) micromanages the patient access, business practices, and fees of doctors; and (e) rations medical care. Concurrently, the scheme purposely sows a financing crisis into the system, designed to explode after Leviathan has so enveloped health care, and so decimated the private medical sector, that a British- or Canadian-style “free” system — formerly unthinkable for the United States — becomes the inexorable solution. Once you grasp that this is the scheme, the imperative to lull the public with lies makes sense.
McCarthy may be right, but we suggest there is a real probability of a more disturbing scenario, that on some level the One really believes his BS about the planet healing and the ocean’s rise halting. According to this logic, the website would work well enough to pass muster; the success stories would be much more plentiful than the sob stories. Yeah, it wouldn’t be perfect, and some of the assurances were overblown, but, hey, it works well enough. Pity none of them know a thing about business.
It’s daft to believe such things, but these are the same faculty lounge people who are managing to unite the Arab states and Israel in their opposition to destabilizing US policies. They don’t know that they believe in the sheerest fantasy and nonsense until the failures are spectacular, which is why they were so ill-prepared for the disastrous ACA rollout. Arrogance, incompetence and delusional thinking are a formula for something really bad to happen. Cross your fingers.