It wasn’t an Anti-Government Tea Party Nut that sent Ricin to President Obama

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 8th, 2013

Week in Review

After the Boston Marathon bombings the liberal media was quick to point out the symbolism surrounding that day (tax day, anniversary of Waco, anniversary of Oklahoma City bombing, Patriots’ Day, etc.) pointing to an anti-government Tea Party nut.  Some even commented that they hoped it wasn’t a Muslim.  Because they wanted it to be an anti-government Tea Party nut.  To justify further oppression of the Tea Party.  And not to bring up issues about the war on terror.  Or immigration reform.  But it had to be some Muslim.  Greatly dismaying those on the left.

The same thing happened when someone sent letters with ricin to President Obama and New York City Mayor Bloomberg.  It was all over in the news when there was a chance it was some anti-government Tea Party nut.  But now you hardly hear anything about it.  Because it was not an anti-government Tea Party nut (see Bit-part actor charged over plot to frame husband for ricin letters by Paul Harris posted 6/8/2013 on the guardian).

It is a story that reads like the plot of a cheap, pulp thriller – except perhaps not quite as believable.

On Friday, a pregnant bit-part actor in Texas was charged with sending letters to President Barack Obama and New York mayor Michel Bloomberg laced with the deadly nerve poison ricin in an apparent bizarre bid to frame her husband for the crime.

Shannon Richardson, who has had small roles on TV shows like the Walking Dead and Vampire Diaries, is a mother of five, who first went to the police with her concerns that her husband, Nathaniel Richardson, might have mailed the letters – which were intercepted before they reached their intended recipients.

But as investigators studied the case the focus of their questioning instead began to settle on the person who had made the outrageous claims in a scenario that on its face value saw a marital spat develop into a full blown bio-terrorist attack on the White House…

Amazingly this is not the first case of its kind this year. In April letters laced with ricin were sent to Obama, a Mississippi senator and a local judge. Paul Kevin Curtis of Corinth, Mississippi, was quickly arrested but charges were dropped and another man was picked up. That man, J Everett Dutschke, was later charged with mailing the letters, but also with trying to frame Curtis – who was described as a local rival.

As much as they want these attacks against America to be from disgruntled anti-government Tea Party nuts so they can further marginalize the Tea Party and get more sympathy for using the IRS to harass them they’re not.  These people breaking the law aren’t law-abiding Tea Party people.  They are anti-American Islamist terrorists.  Or just some nut doing something stupid.

But that doesn’t fit the narrative.  So the left continues to belittle and marginalize the Tea Party.  And uses all the powers of their office to attack them.  Or any of their other political enemies.  While urging everyone not to jump to any conclusions that the Boston Marathon bombers were radical Muslims who hated America.  No.  That didn’t mean anything.  But the symbolism of April 15?  We should all fear the law-abiding people of the Tea Party on that day.  For they may do something crazy like throw tea bags into Boston Harbor.


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Public Sector Costs are Bankrupting Detroit and Illinois

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 8th, 2013

Week in Review

Public sector pay and benefits are crushing state governments and cities.  The City of Detroit is probably going to file bankruptcy.  And the State of Illinois just saw its bond rating cut (see Illinois Bond Grade Cut as Lawmakers Can’t Fix Pensions by Tim Jones & Brian Chappatta posted 6/3/2013 on Bloomberg).

Illinois had its credit rating cut one level after lawmakers failed to restructure state pensions saddled with almost $100 billion in unfunded liabilities…

The retirement systems cover state workers, teachers, university employees, judges and lawmakers…

“It is disgraceful that this year’s legislative session ended without a new pension plan,” Treasurer Dan Rutherford, a 58-year-old Republican who is running for governor in 2014, said in a statement. The failure “costs the state millions of dollars each day, plus these downgrades could continue to make borrowing additional funds even more expensive…”

Illinois’s growing pension deficit is “unsustainable,” Fitch analysts led by Karen Krop, a senior director in New York, said in a statement. The inaction by lawmakers raises questions about the state’s ability to deal with “numerous fiscal challenges.” They also cited a growing backlog of unpaid bills and borrowing to cover operational costs, indicating another cut may be forthcoming.

These public sector workers have pay and benefit packages unlike those in the private sector.  Which has to pay for the pay and benefits of both the private and public sectors.  So they keep raising taxes on individuals and businesses.  And our politicians never worry about the long-term consequences.  But they can only tax so much.  People can only pay so much in taxes before they can no longer pay their own bills.  So they start borrowing.  And the more they borrow the more risky they are to loan money to.  The more in debt they go and the greater their spending obligations the higher the interest rates they have to pay to get investors to take a chance on buying their bonds.  Because there’s a very good chance something like this will happen (see Detroit to offer creditors less than 10 percent of what city owes -report by Steve Neavling posted 6/7/2013 on Reuters).

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr plans to deliver grim news to the city’s creditors next week: Take less than 10 percent of what the city owes or risk losing it all in a bankruptcy proceeding, the Detroit Free Press reported on Friday…

In his report, Orr stated that the city has run annual deficits of $100 million and more since 2008. Detroit is believed to owe about $17 billion in debts and liabilities.

So on the one hand they beg and plead for investors to loan them money.  So they can pay the overwhelming costs of their public sector in the face of a shrinking tax base.  And then when their finances get so bad that they can’t even service their debt any more they say, “Thank you for your money when we could not raise any ourselves.  And because you took that great risk for us we will reward you by screwing you out of 90 cents of every dollar you loaned us.  But stick around after the bankruptcy.  For once we shed this debt we will need to borrow more to pay for the overwhelming costs of our public sector.”

Detroit had annual deficits of $100 million.  Illinois has $100 billion in unfunded liabilities.  Is it any wonder Fitch lowered their bond rating?  For the state of Illinois has a greater financial problem than the City of Detroit has.  The State of Michigan gave Detroit an emergency manager to fix their problems.  They even offered to buy a city park.  Belle Isle.  To help Detroit get out of the mess they put themselves into.  But Illinois cannot help Illinois.  Only the federal government can.  But will they?  If they do you know California will demand a bailout, too.  As will every other state and city with a crushing public sector cost will.  But the federal government can’t bail out everyone.  Not when they have their own trillion dollar deficit problem to fix.

No.  There is only one way to fix the problems these cities and states are having.  They have to cut their public sector costs.  Which means someone else besides the bondholders will have to take a haircut to put these states and cities back into the black.  Meaning the public sector can no longer enjoy the kind of benefits people in the private sector haven’t enjoyed in decades.


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Wait Times in NHS Emergency Rooms reach 9 Year High

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 8th, 2013

Week in Review

National health care results in long wait times and rationing.  Especially when you have an aging population (see A&E waiting times at nine-year high by posted 6/3/2013 on MSN News UK).

Waiting times for accident and emergency patients have reached a nine-year high, according to figures…

John Appleby, chief economist at The King’s Fund, said: “Emergency care acts as a barometer for the NHS. The worryingly high number of patients waiting longer than four hours in the last quarter of 2012/13 is a clear warning sign that the health system is under severe strain…

“We’ve been absolutely clear that the NHS needs to transform the way health services are delivered to meet the needs of an ageing population focusing more on joined up services and prevention.

Under national health care if you go to an accident and emergency (A/E) and see a doctor in 4 hours you’re doing well.  Not all A/Es in Britain, though, can meet that 4 hour target.  Part of the problem is their aging population.  And the other is the long wait times elsewhere in the NHS.  For a 4-hour wait is like a walk in a park compared to the 18 weeks they have to treat you outside the A/E.  Where a general practitioner (GP) refers you to a specialist who refers you somewhere for treatment.  At which time the 18-week clock starts running.  So is it any wonder that people are flooding these A/Es?

Obamacare will greatly bureaucratize our health care.  Increasing our wait times, too.  Just like in the NHS.  Where they’ve been doing health care since 1948.  And they still don’t have it right.  Unless an 18-week wait time for treatment is your idea of right.  It isn’t their idea of right, though.  If it were people wouldn’t be overflowing their A/Es.  And causing the longest wait times in 9 years.  Just something to look forward too under Obamacare.  The new kid on the block when it comes to national health care.  Who won’t do it anywhere near as good as Britain.  Who has been trying to do it right since 1948.  And struggles to see people in the emergency room in under 4 hours.


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NHS Wait Times grow so long that the NHS farms out Health Care to Private Providers

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 8th, 2013

Week in Review

Nationalizing health care will lead to longer wait times and a rationing of services due to a shortage of doctors, nurses and support staff that will be needed to treat more people.  This is what the opponents of Obamacare said.  While the proponents told the opponents that they were full of [deleted expletive].  Figuratively, of course.

But national health care does increase wait times and rations services.  And to see this all you have to do is look to Britain’s National Health Service (see NHS waiting scandal leads to private healthcare spend by Eleanor Bradford posted 6/4/2013 on BBC News Scotland).

NHS spending on private healthcare has risen dramatically since waiting time scandals came to light, BBC Scotland can reveal.

Spending across Scotland rose by nearly 60% last year to more than £40m, compared with £25m per year in the two previous years…

NHS Lothian admitted it would have to spend £10m clearing a backlog of patients after it emerged it had been manipulating its waiting time figures in order to meet Scottish government targets.

NHS Grampian consistently denied any wrongdoing but its spending on private healthcare increased as closer scrutiny was given to the way health boards were meeting government targets.

Last year its spending nearly tripled to £6.3m. NHS Grampian has the highest number of patients marked down as “unavailable” for treatment out of all 14 Scottish health boards.

Health boards are allowed to stop the waiting time “clock” if patients say they are unavailable, but the number of unavailable patients in Grampian is seven times higher than the average for mainland health boards…

“We understand that waiting times are important to patients and that most patients prefer to be treated as close to home as possible.

“The NHS Grampian Board recently agreed a £16m investment programme that will increase capacity by building new theatres and employing more doctors, nurses and support staff. The additional local capacity will be available in 2014.”

The NHS pays private sector health care providers outside of the NHS to provide the care they cannot.  A shortage of “theatres…doctors, nurses and support staff” has made it impossible for some health boards to meet the mandated NHS wait times.  Their wait times have grown so long that they fudge their reports to hide how poorly they’re doing.  One group of bureaucrats lying to another group of bureaucrats.  As one sets unrealistic goals the other cannot meet.  But the private sector can.  Because when people pay for their health care health care providers have the money to build theatres and hire doctors, nurses and support staff.

So what are the official wait time targets?  The above article links to another describing them.  Here are some excerpts (see Waiting time targets: What they mean for you by Eleanor Bradford posted 1/21/2013 on BBC News Scotland).

Legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament last year means that, from the start of this year, you have a legal right to be treated within 12 weeks, unless you’re waiting for diagnostic scans or waiting for one of the excluded treatments outlined below…

Since December 2011, no-one should have waited longer than 18 weeks from the point they were referred for treatment until that treatment occurs. This includes all scans and diagnostic tests…

You should wait no longer than six weeks for eight types of scans and tests.

These are: upper endoscopy, lower endoscopy, colonoscopy, cytoscopy, CT scans, MRI scans, barium studies and ultrasound scans (unrelated to obstetrics)…

You should wait no longer than 62 days for treatment if your referral is “urgent”.

Once a definite diagnosis of cancer is made (eg following a scan) you should wait no longer than 31 days for treatment. However, this is only the first treatment…

The waiting time “clock” stops if you are unavailable for any reason, but you should specifically agree to a period of “unavailability” being applied to your case and a letter should be sent to you confirming this to be the case.

If you can’t make the first appointment offered, you should be offered a second one.

Both should be “reasonable” – in a location you can get to and in a timescale that is possible, but it is considered reasonable to offer you an appointment in another health board area…

If you miss your appointment and don’t ring in advance then you will be referred back to your GP.

If you still need treatment your GP will need to make a new referral and the whole process starts again.

So, to summarize, you go to see a general practitioner (GP).  That’s like the doctor you make an appointment to see when you think you have the flu so you can get some antibiotics.  The GP refers you to a specialist if you have something serious.  The specialists then refer you someplace for treatment.  And when he or she does the clock starts running.  And some time in the next 18 weeks you should start your treatment.  Unless they note you as ‘urgent’.  Then your treatment is in the next 62 days.  Which is 2 months.  But if they find that you have cancer they cut that in half.

This is why their emergency rooms are overflowing in Britain.  People don’t want to wait these long wait times.  So they go to the emergency room (A/E in Britain).  Funny, really.  For this is the very thing Obamacare was going to stop in the United States.  Uninsured people going to the emergency room.  And here they are in Britain with all the free health care they could want.  Still going to the emergency room to escape those horrendous long wait times.

Perhaps the opponents of Obamacare were not full of [deleted expletive] after all.


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Chinese Family Planning to Include Fining Unmarried Mothers

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 8th, 2013

Week in Review

Liberal democrats always want to regulate business more.  And they want to tax business more.  Because they don’t like capitalism.  Which they see as unfair, immoral and unfeeling.  As well as chaotic.  Worse of all it’s a system based on the basest human desire.  Greed.  No.  They don’t like that.  Instead they would prefer a neater and tidier system that limits a business’ greed and its pursuit of profits.  Something like they have in China.  Where an all-loving, all-powerful government puts people before profits.  And gives the people the best of all possible worlds.  Just like the liberal Democrats so earnestly want to do in the United States.  But there are problems with an all-powerful government.  For one it is all-powerful (see Chinese city plans to fine unmarried mothers by Louise Watt, Associated Press, posted 6/3/2013 on Yahoo! News.

A Chinese city’s plan to fine mothers who have a child out of wedlock has sparked criticism that the policy is discriminatory and could lead to an increase in abandoned babies.

One expert said Monday that it was the first time that out-of-wedlock children had been expressly singled out for penalty by one of China’s municipalities, which have flexibility in how they enforce China’s population-control policies…

Babies resulting from an unmarried relationship or an affair with someone who is already married will provoke a “social compensation fee,” an official at the family planning committee of Wuhan city in central Hubei province said Monday. He refused to give his name, as is common with Chinese officials.

Social compensation fees are levied on people who break China’s strict family planning policy, which restricts many urban couples to one child. The fee depends on the province and the whim of the local family planning bureau, and the children are denied education and health benefits.

Hubei province, in which Wuhan is located, sets its social compensation fee as three times the average annual disposable income.

This is something the left has all but accused the Republicans of wanting to do.  Force women to stop enjoying sex.  And force them against their will into loveless marriages.  They and their friends in the media discussed the Republican ‘war on women’ more than they discussed Benghazi during the 2012 election.  And Benghazi was real.  While the ‘war on women’ was not.

But it is real in China.  And china is a leftist communist nation.  During the Sixties the hippies and radicals wanted to replace capitalism with communism.  For the left has always been sympathetic to communism.  They rejected materialism and lived in communes.  Where no one owned anything.  And the people owned everything.  That was their utopian dream.  Communism.  Like they had in China under Mao.  Like they have now in China though it’s a bit watered down these days with some state-capitalism thrown in.  But the state is still all-powerful.  Just as it was under Chairman Mao.

If the casual left (the young and those too preoccupied with social media and entertainment to pay attention to current events) doesn’t think this can happen here they should ask themselves this.  Why is the left so adamant on providing free birth control and access to abortion in this country?  Is it so women can enjoy more consequence-free sex?  Or is it just state family planning?  Like in China?


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