Archives for posts with tag: shell game

Remember the 90’s? That was when a Dem got elected President, and the Repubs spent years manufacturing “scandals” so as to stop him from getting his agenda accomplished. Bulls*** allegation after bulls*** allegation, and finally one stuck to the wall: a stain on a gullible young lady’s dress, put there by our horndog Prexy Bubba. Finally, after years of effort, the “Republicans” had a scandal with which to distract the public and derail the administration’s efforts and policies. Oh, and to use to take the White House in 2000. Dirty politics, but effective. Even today, “Lewinsky” is a punch line.

Now we have another Democrat at 1600, and the Repubs have been working from the same playbook for his entire term. BS “scandal” after BS “scandal” has been thrown at Obama, and none has stuck. Not until Ron Paul supporter Edward Snowden decided to derail the administration. And he (or whoever he really works for) has upped the game considerably. Not just a stain or an “is” leaked at random moments: no, these releases of national security information are being timed to lead the media and the more gullible members of the public around by the nose:
* The initial “revelation” happened just after another attempted scandal was fizzling out,
* The “revelation” about spying on China came out right before Obama met with China’s leader,
*The “revelation” about spying on Russia came out right before Obama met with Russia’s leader, and then
*Right on cue, the son of the man Snowden supported in 2012 denounced Obama over the NSA “scandal”.

A well-coordinated and effective but of dirty politics, you’ll agree. And it will continue, because it seems to be working. Note that this writer is neither excusing Clinton’s pre-adolescent behavior with Ms. Lewinsky, nor is he standing up for the appalling breaches of privacy that the Bushies and their Patriot Act handed down to the present regime.

But, Gentle Reader, he IS saying that the “revelations” and “scandals” are part of a pattern of behavior that we have seen from the “Republican” party for many years now. Far too many of We The People are forgetting this, and allowing ourselves to be jerked around on the strings of various puppeteers, who are not doing this for the good of the country: no, they are doing this to stop Obama from getting anything done, so the Elephants can kick the Donkeys out of power once again. And it’s working, because far too many of us aren’t paying attention.

And if this disgraceful campaign of character assassination succeeds, you’ll have this latter-day Lewinsky to thank (or blame). Yes, the new and improved edition of a young naïf who hit their knees in order to “service” someone in a position of power. A punchline-in-waiting is he, aided and abetted by our national failure to pay attention when we are being manipulated.

The only question left is what sort of “stain” will be left on Mr. Snowden, and whether he can ever wash it away.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

In April of 2012, Mr. Blunt and Cranky wrote this post:https://bluntandcranky.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/you-are-already-paying-for-the-uninsured-but-the-costs-are-hidden/, in which he pointed out that hospitals inflate the prices charged to the uninsured in order to cook their books. The uninsured get charged far more than the actual cost + profit; they get sued and their credit is destroyed when they can’t pay the bill; and the hospital writes off the artificially high loss as charity care, or as an unpaid debt. This shell game allows providers to scam patients, governments, insurers, and taxpayers. And for years, it’s been in the shadows.

Recently the New York Timed came out with a story that said pretty much the same thing as this blog said last year (nice of them to finally catch up). Short version: ObamaCare requires these medical con artists to clean up their acts and stop fleecing the rest of us, and shines a bright light into the shadows where the ripoffs have hitherto occurred. Specifically, ObamaCare requires health care providers to charge the uninsured the same as they charge the insured. That, people, is a big deal, because it makes their cost-shifting scams illegal.

You can learn a lot about what something is for by seeing who is against it: almost everybody is in favor of this part of the ACA; almost everyone, that is, except for health care providers. They hate this law, because they can’t rip us off as easily as they used to. So they have bought Congresscritters and Senators aplenty, and spent money on lying TV and radio ads to make us believe that ObamaCare is badbadbadohyessoverybadindeed. They didn’t do that because Obamacare is bad for US, they did it because Obamacare is bad for THEM, and their borderline-criminal activities.

And what does it say about the state of our news media that one cantankerous old blogger scooped the NYT by 13 months? After all, it’s not like the information wasn’t out there, or that this writer is some kind of frickin’ genius. No, the media sat on this story for years before they put it out. That is almost as contemptible as the actions of the health care industry.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

A “shell game” is an old trick, beloved by con artists: they have three shells and one small pebble. They put the pebble under one of the shells, and then rapidly move the shells to and fro, mixing them up so you can’t tell which is which. They then ask you “which one is hiding the rock?” Most of us guess wrong, and lose our money.

Ohio Guv-boy John Kasich is clearly a connoisseur of the shell game: he has outlined a large number of changes to the tax code that are confusing and nearly impossible to follow, and labeled them a “tax cut”. Not surprisingly, people in and out of government are scratching their heads, trying to follow The Kasich’s sleight-of-hand routine.

Ohioans would do well to remember a few things:
Number A; Bob Taft once noticed that an income tax cut was about to bankrupt the state, and proceeded to push through a sales tax increase-this cut taxes on the rich and shifted the burden to the middle class and poor. The Kasich is doing something similar, but with more smoke and mirrors-while “cutting” taxes, he is proposing a whole raft of new taxes, again mostly hitting everyone but his wealthy paymasters and cronies.

Letter 2; this is just another example of the discredited and failed theory of Trickle-Down economics. Steal from the poor, give to the rich, and the rich keep the money, instead of magically giving it back to the unwilling donors.

Thirdly; the late great George Harrison summed up The Kasich’s little scam very neatly, as Mr. Vaughn demonstrates:Taxman. That is the Song For The Kasich.

The entire history of The Kasich’s tenure has been one shell game after another. People need to remember the reason con artists work the shell game in the first place: the con man always wins, and the other players always lose.

Mr. B & C