The Great Paul Rahe

Everyone should go to the Powerlineblog and read this post by the inestimable Professor Paul Rahe of Hillsdale College[pursuing truth, defending liberty]:

Obama’s Gestures, Part 6

I want people to read my blog so why am I sending you to another Blog? Well, because Paul Rahe writes to them and not to me, I guess. Besides, if I consistently send you to the really good stuff maybe you’ll keep coming back here.

I’m in the middle of reading Rahe’s Soft Despostism, Democracy’s Drift: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville and the Modern Prospect.

Highly recommended.

The Profit Motive Versus The Political Motive

This post by Donald Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek highlights an issue that has always intrigued and puzzled me. Why are some people so distrustful of businesses that operate for profit and trustful of politicians and bureaucrats who operate with a political motive?

Some of the people I’m talking about will claim to distrust government in the abstract but on specific matters it is easy to see that it is not really the case. The letter to the editor that Professor Boudreaux is reacting to is here.

The writer is obviously well versed in crafting good prose and telling a story. The opening sentence is, “I’m scheduled to begin dying on February 1, 2010.” The newspaper that printed his letter, The St. Petersburg Times, gave it the heading, “Matter Of Life, Death.” You expect to read about a man who has been given only weeks to live.

But as you read on you discover that this letter written by a man with a gift for getting your attention is not talking about life and death at all. It’s just about money. Other people’s money, that is. You see, this man has type I diabetes and his health insurance runs out on February 1st next year. After that date he’ll have to start paying for his own insulin, test strips, insulin pump replacements, and other incidentals. After that date he won’t be having those things paid for by others.

The costs are not insignificant. Based upon his description of his condition and his monthly needs for medical devices and drugs he might have annual expenses to treat his condition of $10,000 to $15,000 a year. That is certainly nothing to sneeze at and many people would have a hard time affording it. But it wouldn’t be impossible nor does it cost more than a lot of other things that we pay for without any expectation of getting somebody else to pay it for us.

Since the letter writer is a retired reporter from the Miami Herald and is now a free lance writer, we might assume that he is not broke. We might also assume that he drives a nice car, lives in a nice home, and has a retirement nest egg. Why does he think he is going to die if he can’t get someone else to pay for his diabetic medicine? He no doubt has many things in his life that cost more and he knows he won’t get anyone else to pay for those things.

But health care is different you say. No one should have to pay for their own health care. Huh?

If the letter writer thinks he will be better off with Obamacare, I think he will be in for a nasty surprise. All one need do is look at Medicare to see what the future would hold there. The political motive of bureaucrats is not likely to look upon Mr. Letter writer with all the benevolence that he thinks he deserves. He could take a look at this for a glimpse of what the political motive has accomplished in one place at one time in the past.

At least the profit motive gives a business an incentive to want to please its customers.

In Praise Of George Foreman Grill


I saw this grill at Costco and almost bought it until I realized I don’t know where I’d put it in our already over-crowded kitchen. Now I’m having second thoughts after reading this which refers to the one pictured below that sells for under $20, not the one in the above picture which is about $100.

George Foreman grills seem to be getting high praise from several sources. Instapundit says it makes great panini. That’s enough to make me want it. I was in Italy a few years ago and came back craving panini which I’ve never been able to do successfully at home.

I already know I like George Foremen a lot, and it looks as though I’d like his grill too. George has cookbooks and other accessories that you can get to go with it. He’s a marketing genius, as well as a great boxer.

Warning: Husbands should realize that anything that plugs into the wall is not a suitable Christmas gift for the missus, unless you like sleeping in the doghouse. A gift from mother to daughter at college is entirely different. But I assume you already know all that. Right?

I talk about stuff on this page if I like it. I don’t get paid anything. Dammit.

Rasmussen On Colorado

Rasmussen reports that former Lieutenant governor Jane Norton is the Republican with the strongest lead over Democrat Michael Bennett to be Colorado’s next Senator.

Meanwhile, Governor Ritter, who is running for re-election next year, has an approval index of −13. Only 18% strongly approve of Ritter while 31% strongly disapprove. This is actually somewhat of an improvement over his rating in September when Rasmussen reported that those who strongly disapproved outnumbered those who strongly approved by nearly three to one.

The election is a year away and these polls are only a snap shot in time, but over enough time trends might be seen.

Rasmussen: Obama Approval Index Drops to Minus 16

Rasmussen reports that Obama’s Presidential approval index drops to −16. In the Rasmussen poll 25% strongly approve of Obama and 41% strongly disapprove. This is Obama’s lowest approval index ever. The approval index is calculated by subtracting the lower number from the higher, resulting in either a negative or positive approval index.

New Orleans Fundraiser Cancelled

Harry Reid’s New Orleans fundraiser, which I commented on here, has been cancelled. He was unable to get the Republicans to agree to forego debate on the amendments they offered to the monstrous Senate Health Care Bill, which a majority of the public now opposes and prefers Congress do nothing on health care than pass Obamacare in any form. A Fox News poll finds that 54% would prefer Congress do nothing on health care right now.

Of course, Obama has told us that Fox News is not a legitimate news organization. But CNN, Obama’s sweetheart, also has a CNN poll showing an even larger majority of 61% would prefer Congress do nothing rather than what they are threatening to do now. [If you go to the CNN Poll you’ll have to dig a little, they’ve buried it but it’s there]

What does this mean for his deal with Mary Landrieu to whom he has promised millions of taxpayer dollars in exchange for her vote to destroy American health care? James Taranto suggests that maybe by canceling the fundraiser Reid has sweetened the pot by not making her have lunch with him.