Daily Archives: June 29, 2012
In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false.
This morning Michael Moore (accurately, I fear) proclaimed that ObamaCare was just the beginning and universal health care is now inevitable.
So in honor of both men and to give us all a glimpse if what awaits us, I offer this story from Britain:
John Appleby, chief economist at The King’s Fund, also warned services in some hospitals could seriously deteriorate due to the impact of the economic crisis.
He said it was highly unlikely the NHS budget would be significantly increased in the foreseeable future.
Against this grim financial background managers are being asked to get 5p more value from every £1 they spend, every year, partially to keep up with the increasing demands of an ageing population.
Patients have already experienced the effect of this. For example, nine in 10 trusts have introduced tighter criteria to qualify for a range of procedures deemed to be of ‘low clinical value’ – including hip and knee replacements, cataract removals and weight-loss surgery.
But you might want to consult (a real) one if you’re a Greenwich homeowner trying to decide whether to sell this year or next. Apparently one of those details in the Pelosi “you have to pass it to know what’s in it” Obamacare bill is a 3.8% hike on capital gains. That’s not a tax on the middle class, of course, because only the rich pay capital gains, but if you aren’t feeling as generous as the Democrats want you to feel, maybe sell this year?
It really is happening.
Until this week, investors were waiting to see what the Supreme Court would do about the 3.8 percentage-point surtax on investment income, part of President Obama’s health-care overhaul. The Internal Revenue Service hasn’t yet released guidance on the new tax.
So when the court affirmed the law on Thursday, investors—and tax advisers—started scrambling.
Our representative to Congress thinks Eric Holder is perfectly within his rights to lie to Congress and then stonewall them. ”This is a nakedly political moment,” Himes said. “Never in the 240-year history of the United States has the Congress done this. Not during Watergate. Not during FDR. Frankly, it’s trading the remaining honor of this institution to score some political points.”
Well Jim, that’s just not true. Not even close to true. It is so false, in fact, that you’re either a complete bald faced liar or completely, completely ignorant of US history. There are those might think that either of those possibilities should be enough to bar you from political office, but not me: I think it proves that you are superbly qualified to be a politician.
If he won’t resign, he should be impeached: NYT, 5/03/07 (AG Gonzales)
Here’s a list of every high ranking cabinet officer and elected officer against whom impeachment proceedings were initiated and/or accomplished. Everyone who’s anyone is there, from Buchanan to Bush, from War Department Secretaries to – ahem, Attorney Generals.
Maybe not so good for those of us living within flying distance of US drones on patrol. What a Texas redneck can do, a rag head illiterate can also do, no? I blame Bush.
The U.S. government, understandably, doesn’t want its drone technology to fall out of the sky and into other peoples’ laps. But being able to hijack a drone and control it? That’s even worse. And a team of researchers has done it for 1,000 bucks.
The University of Texas at Austin team successfully nabbed the drone on a dare from the Department of Homeland Security. They managed to do it through spoofing, a technique where a signal from hackers pretends to be the same as one sent to the drone’s GPS.
We’ve seen spoofing before; it was reportedly used to bring down the drone that crashed in Iran last year. As the researchers point out, we’ll be seeing (or maybe not seeing) more and more drones in the skies as the technology becomes more widely used, so making this technique ineffective will be high on Homeland Security’s priority list.
Accepted offers reported today were four (cheap) condos and a rental. Sooeee.
From the limbo “how low can you go?” contest files, 30 Husted Lane has been cut another million and can now be yours for just $11.8 million, down quite a bit from its original price, oh so long ago, of $18,000,000. Who suggested that price, for God’s sake? This one stays in limbo, is my guess.
8 Baldwin Farms North, spec house asking $7.9 million since September, sold for $6.5. Not bad, for the seller.
53 Cross Lane, Cos Cob, asked $1.195, got $1.151. Good house, good street, good price, yet for some odd reason, it sold quickly – don’t tell other Greenwich (would-be) home sellers that, they might fry their brains trying to figure out if there’s a connection.
The two Kali-Naagy spec houses on Mark Road in Riverside that were originally priced at $4 million each have been reduced again and are now down to $3.495. There were some of us who thought that might have been a better staring point but there you have it.
New York legalizes gambling in bars. I understand the reasoning: why lose a customer base of drunken fools to the casinos where a band of faux-indians grabs the loot and keeps it, when you can milk ‘em right in their hometown? And I personally am all for lotteries, gasoline taxes diverted to general purposes (a Connecticut specialty) and any tax on any activity, preferably as stupid as possible, because it’s the only way to get cretins to pay something for the government services they’re getting. But taxing the stupid and the drunk seems to run a bit against what Democrats at least profess to believe is the goal of governance.
But not me, so go at it, boys.
Two years ago the builder of a spec house at 18 Perryridge Road priced it at $4.650 million (about $3 million higher than any previous sale on that street) and set it out upon the waters to see what happened. Nothing happened, is what (didn’t) happen, despite a series of price cuts totaling $755,000 to $3.895. The listing died a whimpering death in August, 2011.
Today it’s back, asking $4,275,000. Rush rush rush.
Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen calls for shut-down of Indian Point power point. He doesn’t actually have the balls to demand their immediate closing because someone might ask him how he proposed replacing the source for 25% of NYC’s electricity (and Westchester County’s) and how power blackouts in the city would affect Connecticut commuters and all those who earn their living at least in part from the New York economy. No, he wants the twin plants’ renewal licenses denied while the issue is “studied”. So he gets points with his base while doing nothing. Profile in courage.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen says he opposes relicensing two nuclear reactors in Buchanan, N.Y., until a thorough investigation is conducted of longterm environmental and public safety impacts.
Jepson said Thursday he submitted written comments to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is considering a new 20-year license for Indian Point Units 2 and 3. The reactors are about 35 miles from New York City.
If even the New York Times can understand the issue, exactly how pathetically stupid is our AG?
But peculiarities of the electricity system in New York State, including its unusual independent status, would make it difficult and expensive to replace electricity from the plant.
Closing the plant could also increase the frequency of power failures, officials who run the state’s high-voltage grid say, given that New York has weak ties to generation capacity in other states.
Mr. Cuomo warned Entergy that he would insist that Indian Point’s two reactors in Westchester County be retired in 2013 and 2015, when their initial 40-year licenses expire. He maintains that some combination of new generators and new transmission lines could be ready in time to cope with summer 2016, the first peak demand period that power-hungry New York City and Long Island would face without both reactors.
But industry experts are skeptical that new generators or transmission lines could be built that quickly in the cumbersome regulatory environment of the New York metropolitan region. Obtaining construction permits, countering legal challenges and then building a plant or transmission line almost always takes more than five years, they said.
So house contracts are closing.
8 St. Claire, Old Greenwich, sold for $2.835 million. Original asking price 350 days before this went to contract (and 14 months ago, total) was $3.450.
I won no friends in the Greenwich real estate community when I first reviewed this in april ’11, but what the hell:
So I went and saw the $3.5 million 8 St. Claire house today and it’s as preposterously priced as I guessed. “It’s not proper to make fun of another agent’s listing”, snapped an acquaintance, and I respect her professionalism, but when we’re all shaking our heads, why shouldn’t someone say the Emperor has no clothes? I couldn’t care less whether a house uses vegetable dyes on its floors and, in my experience, home buyers don’t either. Someone described this as a “Colorado House”, whatever the hell that means, but the only Coloradoan I know with the bucks to buy this place is John Denver, and he’s dead.
UPDATE: Oops! Turns out I also wrote about it the day before, and didn’t like it then, either.
33 23 Meadow Road, Riverside, one of the original Marks family homes, sold for $3.175 million. It asked $3.695 but, much as I loved this house, its third floor needed some fairly extensive renovation and even the first two floors could use some updating, so this seems like a fair price. Only 60 days on market, suggesting that other offers were also down in the low high $2′s or very low $3′s. Sixty days, in the current Riverside market, is long enough to figure out what a property’s correct price is because there are plenty of buyers willing to tell you.
Sensible talk from Michelle Obama, placing responsibility for children’s development on parents. Of course, her remarks contain a hint of new laws to come in her husband’s second term but for today, it’s nice that this Princeton graduate is capable of flashes of rationality.
First lady Michelle Obama is growing worried about poorly-educated, obese black children, comparing their lifestyle-driven challenges to the Jim Crow era.
Speaking to the African Methodist Episcopal Church Conference at Opryland Thursday, she heralded the civil rights battles for paving progress for African-Americans. But, she added, “today, while there are no more ‘whites only’ signs keeping us out, no one barring our children from the schoolhouse door, we know our journey is far from finished.”
The new hurdle? Bad schools, unhealthy diet, unsafe neighborhoods. The solution: diet, exercise and turning the TV off.
“I mean, what exactly do you do about children who are languishing in crumbling schools, graduating from high school unprepared for college or a job? And what about the 40 percent of black children who are overweight or obese, or the nearly one in two who are on track to develop diabetes in their lifetimes?” she said.
“What about all those kids growing up in neighborhoods where they don’t feel safe; kids who never have opportunities worthy of their promise? What court case do we bring on their behalf? What laws do we pass for them?” she added.
With no laws to use to change habits, she told the crowd it’s up to them to help the new generation succeed.
“Change absolutely starts with each of us, as individuals, taking responsibility for ourselves and our families because we know that our kids won’t grow up healthy until our families start eating right and exercising more. That’s on us,” she said. “We know that we won’t close that education gap until we turn off the TV, and supervise homework, attend those parent-teacher conferences, and serve as good role models for our own children.”
Germany gives in, its citizens will pay additional taxes to subsidize rest of Europe and bail out bankers. Euro soars. ”The trouble with socialism …” – you know the rest.
Plus this from Joe Kristan:
Maybe the most depressing aspect of the decision is the way it seems to endorse using the tax law as the Swiss Army Knife of public policy. Things that Congress can’t enact any other way are now possible if they can somehow be crammed into the tax law. The tax code is already groaning under its load of responsibilities for industrial policy, health policy, welfare policy and housing policy, for starters. The IRS Commissioner is now sort of a super cabinet member with a portfolio that dwarfs most of the “real” cabinet departments. Of course, the IRS is ill-suited to this role, resulting in poor policy administration and poor tax administration. Thanks, Justice Roberts!