Friday, September 23, 2005

Here Comes Rita

I've spent my afternoon buying gasoline, water and food. It's a little windy here in Shreveport but we are bracing for about 15 inches of rain and the possibility of no electricity for an extended period of time. The laundry is being washed and the bathtubs will be full tonight before we go to bed.

But if it gets real bad, I'm taking my babies home and staying with my Mom and Dad. Ummm, they have generators. ;)

My Mom has already started getting people to call me to try and convince me to leave now. We'll see.

The renewed flooding of New Orleans breaks my heart. Insult to injury to say the least.

They are re-opening shelters here while locals are fleeing themselves.

From a storefront in Lake Charles:
(A message painted on the outside of The Brew Pub in downtown Lake Charles warns would be looters. (Shane Bevel/The Times))

This story also breaks my heart. Talk about Hell on Earth.

Here is a link for a satellite view of the storm. I'm in the top left corner of La.

Pray for Louisiana and Texas.

Zimbabwe and the UN

Definitive proof that the United Nations is a completely useless organization running exclusively on the fumes of Insanity. The article also explains why all those weepy concerts for African aid is a complete farce. Money down the drain folks. Or worse yet, money into the hands of thugs.

Read it, it'll make you smarter. My guarantee.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Economics 101: The Laffer Curve

As the focus begins on rebuilding the Gulf region after hurricane Katrina, the conversation has begun on how to best fund the Federal government's portion of the bill. Democrats, predictably, are calling for tax increases presumably in an effort to bring more dollars into the U.S. Treasury. Republicans, on the other hand, want to extend the Bush tax cuts to keep the economy strong. The issue provides a great opportunity to examine the relationship between changing tax rates and resultant dollars recovered by the U.S. Treasury.

When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the top marginal income tax rate was about 70% !! Gradually, despite resistance from congressional Democrats, President Reagan slashed marginal income tax rates across the board, lowering the top rate eventually to about 28%. To the untrained eye, one may naively conclude that during the Reagan Era, receipts into the U.S. Treasury must have retreated in response to such sweeping tax cuts. The truth, however, was exactly the opposite!!! In each of Ronald Reagan's eight years as President, the U.S. Treasury took in more dollars in tax receipts than in any other year in U.S. history!!! How could this happen you may ask? For an explanation, let's turn to the simple bell-curve popularized by the econcomist, Arthur Laffer, called ( quite appropriately ) The Laffer Curve .

The Laffer Curve shows that to maximize tax reciepts, the tax rate must not be too small or too large. When tax rates are too high, a reduction in rates actually will increase tax receipts by stimulating more business, which creates more jobs and consequently sends more income tax to Washington. An understanding of this principle, lead President Reagan to take tax-cutting action that lead to the longest period of sustained growth in American history. This growth greatly reduced unemployment and lead to unprecedented wealth creation at all income levels.

Fast forward to the very beginning of the Bush administration's first term. Bush entered office with the economy slowing. Although the Clinton Era was a prosperous time for America; taxes had reached a historic high, the dot-com boom was ready to bust and when 9/11 hit, the economy fell into recession. In addition to the appropriate lowering the prime rate by the chariman of the Federal Reserve; President Bush began a series of tax cuts that culminated in an eventual across the board decrease in marginal income tax rates of about 5%. The results, which in part are nicely summarized by Stephen Moore in a Wall Street Journal article, include the following economic points of success.

In the past two years, 4.2 million jobs have been created, thereby dropping the unemployment rate to 4.9%! Remember that the average unemployment rate in each of the last three decades was about 6.4%. There are now more employed Americans than at any point in American history. Growth rates for the last several quarters have been consistently in the 3.5% to 4% range! Now here is the kicker. In the past two years, the deficit, as a percentage of GDP, has dropped from 4.5% to 2.7%!! Tax receipts for the last year are the highest in American history!!!! All this while we are at war and with oil prices doubling! The above facts have convinced me that the President is right on target with regard to tax policy.

The real economic threats that could drastically increase the deficit are 1. out of control spending on unnecessary pet-projects wrapped up in omnibus spending bills and, 2. entitlement programs like social security and medicare that are in desperate need of reform to adapt to significant changes in population dynamics.

A final plea to tax-loving Democrats. If you want more dollars to spend in D.C., don't increase tax rates!!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

File Under: Bad Taste But Funny As Hell

Ace of Spades is kicking himself for not writing the story himself. What a sad statement of a mother who has put herself out into Moonbat Land so definitively that people feel pretty comfortable writing such satire. And people such as myself feel pretty comfortable laughing at it.

My New England friends will really get a kick out of the satire because it closely mirrors the thinking of so many of the people around them daily.

Go and Enjoy the insanity.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Sad, Sad Boston

Rocco DiPippo of The Autonomist has written a great piece at FrontPage Magazine detailing a most disturbing rally he attended at Faneuil Hall in Boston.
The crowd rose to its feet and howled its approval when Boston City Councilman Chuck Turner took the stage categorizing America as "an obscenity". Said Turner, "The reality is, we have to cleanse the soul of America. Our soul is covered in militarism, economic exploitation and racism. We need to cleanse ourselves. We need to acknowledge the obscenity that America is. We need to acknowledge that people around the world acknowledge that America the beautiful is America the obscene...we are obscene, we are a joke to the rest of the world." Turner then went on to claim that local, state and federal officials plotted and carried out the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King. When he said this, many people in the crowd nodded in agreement. Turner left the stage to a thunderous ovation. He was followed by long-time leftist activist, avowed Socialist and Brown University Professor of English Literature William Keach.(Emphasis mine)
Boston, Boston....Oh where has your rich heritage gone? Clearly, no one is manning the shop.

While residing in Rhode Island I would take my family to Boston and was always amazed with the rich American History; it truly is the place where this great nation got its proper footing. To see how far this once brave city has fallen is sad. I'd stay away from the water there if I were you. Geez people - a little sanity would be appreciated.

Here's Rocco's description of Galloway's screed:
Galloway is best known for his support of terrorists whom he refers to as "the Iraqi resistance," his admiration for Saddam Hussein, his allegedly substantial involvement in the "Oil-for-Food" scandal, and his seething hatred of the West. "It’s not the Muslims who are the terrorist," says Galloway. "The biggest terrorists are Bush, and Blair, and Berlusconi, and Aznar, but it is definitely not a clash of civilizations. George Bush doesn’t have any civilization, he doesn’t represent any civilization." During Tuesday's speech, Galloway reinforced many of these points. He lambasted Israel and U.S. support for it and lamented that though Israel has the biggest cache of WMDs in the Middle East, it has never been brought before the U.N. to face sanctions. (Galloway conveniently ignored the fact that Israel has never used its WMDs, even though it has been under assault by homicidal Palestinians intent on its destruction for more than forty years). Galloway praised Cindy Sheehan and urged the crowd to attend nation-wide antiwar rallies planned for September 24 and 25. He laid blame for the Katrina disaster on George Bush. He blamed the cause of the 9/11 attacks on U.S. foreign policy, which he deemed as being responsible for having "created the swamp of radical Islam" from which the 9/11 attackers arose. He blamed the creation of "hundreds of thousands" of "new terrorists" on Bush's War on Terror. He finished the speech with a rhetorical declaration of war against the U.S. by saying, "You are either with your country going around the world occupying countries and stealing their things or you're against it."
See here for a live-blog post from the debate last night between Galloway and Hitchens.

The night in Boston turned Rocco's stomach as his brilliant description of the events turned mine. These people are insane and our MSM has made them their 'Darlings'. Cut from the same cloth maybe?

It is stories such as these that keep me blogging. If my little site informs just a few people, who would never otherwise hear of the insanity taking place in our cities, then all the effort and time is worth it.

Also, head over to Rocco's blog "The Autonomist" for many pictures of the event. Notice Galloway's "Security Detail" and the choice of books from the evening is an eye-opener as well.

Our American fore-fathers are spinning in their graves. Thanks Boston.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hitchens vs Galloway

Tomorrow night, 7 PM EST, you know where I'll be.

Good Golly, Its gonna be ugly.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Bush Outspent Clinton On New Orleans Flood Control

Not that I usually would want to toot the horn of a Republican outspending a Democrat on a government project; but this is true when it comes to federal funding of New Orleans flood-control projects. Don't believe it? Fox News, right-wing propaganda? 'Fraid not. Try The Washington Post.

Starvation in the Land of Plenty

After the storm, did things have to be as bad as they were in the Dome and Convention Center? Check this very cool image out and decide for yourself.

(Hat tip to a commenter on PoliPundit)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hurricane Katrina's Timeline

John Cross at Drumwaster has an excellent, excellent post detailing the exact timeline of the actions of the various politicians as it relates to the initial predictions of Katrina hitting NO and to what then followed. All the facts are linked for you to click away. Here's a sample:
However, on the local level, the whole thing broke down. The civil infrastructure broke down. The fabric of New Orleans broke down. That isn’t the fault of the President, or the Governor, but Mayor Nagin. His leadership, and lack thereof, led to the incapacitation of the NOPD, and showed the true characteristics of local New Orleans politics. It was the opposite of 9-11, where that mayor charged into the center of it all in order to rally his safety forces. Nagin failed to act in a timely manner, and was immediately overwhelmed by the situation. he couldn’t handle it emotionally or politically, and he had spent much of the last week attacking other politicians and entities, then awkwardly praising them.
Read the WHOLE thing. GO NOW!!

No one needs to restate the long reputation of Louisiana and politics. Well this is what you get when the corruption and lack of accountability is allowed to run free.

I can remember during one of the many governor elections when Edwin Edwards was running again, a reporter quoted him in the paper as saying, "The only way I won't be elected governor is if I'm found in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy."

Louisiana went on to elect him governor. He was elected for a total of FOUR terms.

Go figure.

(Link found via Lee at Right-Thinking)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Blame Game

As the critics and this story with its misleading headline are going to be getting more and more airtime allow me to quote linked story:
Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state's emergency operations center said Saturday.

The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. "Quite frankly, if they'd been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals," said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.

A senior administration official said that Bush has clear legal authority to federalize National Guard units to quell civil disturbances under the Insurrection Act and will continue to try to unify the chains of command that are split among the president, the Louisiana governor and the New Orleans mayor.

Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.

"The federal government stands ready to work with state and local officials to secure New Orleans and the state of Louisiana," White House spokesman Dan Bartlett said. "The president will not let any form of bureaucracy get in the way of protecting the citizens of Louisiana."

Blanco made two moves Saturday that protected her independence from the federal government: She created a philanthropic fund for the state's victims and hired James Lee Witt, Federal Emergency Management Agency director in the Clinton administration, to advise her on the relief effort.

Bush, who has been criticized, even by supporters, for the delayed response to the disaster, used his weekly radio address to put responsibility for the failure on lower levels of government. The magnitude of the crisis "has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities," he said. "The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in New Orleans. And that is unacceptable."
A discussion needs to take place as to how long the federal government should wait before taking over incompetent state leadership in the setting of an obviously overwhelming disaster. I'm a big supporter of States rights, but there was an obvious failure here in state leadership. I think it's one of those 'slippery slopes' we here of so often.

I really love this gem from page four of the article:
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) sent a letter to Bush Saturday urging him to provide cash benefits and transportation assistance to stranded people and to use federal facilities for housing. They wrote that they "are concerned that rescue and recovery efforts appear to remain chaotic and that many victims remain hungry and without adequate shelter nearly a week after the hurricane struck. Clearly, strong personal leadership from you is essential if we are to get this effort on track."
Yes, you two little dears, you are correct.
The Feds should have stripped the state of their power to get these city-owned and controlled buses evacuating people before the disaster. We can all see the leadership failure here, I believe.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Get Off His Back

The Dems and their allies in the liberal media are all over George W for apparently not stopping hurricane Katrina. Ben Stein's piece in The American Spectator says it all. Check it out.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Chaos in Louisiana

Yesterday I spent about 5 hours in the triage room at a local shelter. I was at an unrelated hospital function and the CEO walks in and tells a group of us (me, a pharmacist, and the rest Docs) that 400 'patients' had just been dropped off at a local shelter. We all boarded ambulances and went out there. Words can not describe what I walked into.

I was immediately put in charge of the drugs that had been delivered to help the refugees. There was practically no space. I had two tables piled high of drugs in no particular order, not to mention they were seeing patients in that room as well.

They gave me a few nurses to help me organize and so I started working with a local internist helping patients with their meds.

There was no air conditioning. Did I mention that this is summer in Louisiana?

The internist and I did the best we could trying to figure out 1) what these folks had actually been taking and 2) converting those meds to something we actually had.

The more sick patients that were being acutely treated were suffering from ugly looking cellulitis, out-of-control diabetes (Insulin was huge!!!), asthma exacerbations and lots of nausea and vomiting.

Yesterday I became one of those people with a cell phone attached to the side of their heads, sometimes both sides for me. People were handing me cell phones to talk with regional directors of La emergency services (very helpful) and regional directors of the American Red Cross (not so helpful).

Here's the largest, most profound problem recognized by all medical personnel yesterday: People needed to get prescriptions filled. Many are already in the system for state medicare or had private insurance - but didn't have 3 bucks for the co-pay. I see all of these corporations giving a million bucks in cash which is a good thing-but for at least one corporation out there I know of a great need that has not been met yet. But what we really, really needed was for a drug chain to step forward and volunteer to cover peoples co-pay for refugees. Can you imagine how many prescriptions could be filled with a one million dollar donation for co-pays?? Many, many of our problems would have been solved.

I definetly want to mention the several drug company reps that were carting in boxes and boxes of free samples to be dispensed, and local hospitals were taking down laundry lists of drugs (that are not sampled because they are older drugs available generically) who came out and delivered these supplies to us. I know of at least one major drug company that will send overnight free drug to a patient with a physician phone call. We even had private Docs cleaning out their sample closets and bringing in shopping bags of drugs.

After speaking with a higher up in a major national drug chain...all I got was a line about how they would be interested in taking care of their 'customers' by looking up refills and filling the prescription. He could not get it through his noodle that I had an army of Docs ready to call/write valid scripts and that I was looking for a corporate donation to step up to the plate and give their money for co-pays. It was very frustrating. Finally he stated that if the patient had an American Red Cross voucher they would take care of the co-pay.

Okay, so then I'm off to talk with the Red Cross to ask where these magical vouchers could be located.

Regional director American Red Cross: "We're still working on that, but our national office has to approve it."

What the hell??

So here is my notice to the National Office of the American Red Cross: There's been a devastating hurricane hit Louisiana and people are being admitted to every local hospital because of DKA, Hypertensive emergencies, etc.... Because they don't have their freaking meds. The personnel is in place, that's not an issue - could we get some of those vouchers already??


Get your latest hurricane nightmare stories at Drudge or any other news source you like.

PS: Our local stations ran out of Gasoline yesterday? How 'bout them apples!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Black Radicals

What a headline:
"The Left's War on Black and Latino Children".

It certainly got my attention. How could this be? It is a perfect example of Radicals' willingness to endanger their own people for power and political gain. Here's a bit, but please read the article - it is very informative:
Incarnation Children’s Center, a boarding home for HIV-infected foster children, was chosen as a trial site. As a direct result of the trials, by the year 2000, “the number of children under 20 who died of AIDS in the city that year dropped to 13.” All told, for 14 years, 90 percent of all HIV-infected children in the city, not just those in foster care, participated in the trials, according to estimates by the Child Welfare Administration. Fewer and fewer children became sick, and many of those in foster care were eventually adopted.

Despite the well-documented success of the trials, the demagogues in New York’s black community, desperate to divide the city among racial lines, have seized on Scheff’s indefensible assertions to attack whites. Take Omowale Clay, a leader of the so-called December 12th Movement, an organization that campaigns for slavery reparations. Clay claims to have investigated the charges against Incarnation Center and Columbia Presbyterian and found evidence that “trials were done on black infants who did not even have HIV.” Clay has alleged that racism alone accounts for the existence of the trials, stating, “What we know already is that 98 percent of the children experimented on were black and Latino and that the fundamental basis of why they chose those kids was racism. They have the arrogance to say it was for their own good, but we know it was racism.”

Notably, however, Clay disregards some key facts: African-Americans, who comprise only 12 percent of the population, have accounted for 40 percent of the AIDS cases diagnosed since the epidemic began; a large percentage of the infants diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s were minorities; and the Center for Disease Control has stated that “African Americans are more likely to face challenges associated with risk for HIV infection, including the following: partners at risk, sexually transmitted diseases, and denial.” If minorities made up the majority of the drug trial patients, it was because they were empirically the most at-risk for AIDS infection. Moreover, the city officials who approved and oversaw the trials, including then-mayor David Dinkins and Commissioner of Social Services Barbara Sabol, were black.

All the same, the conspiracy theory that the drug trials were orchestrated by white racists has found its champions. Clay, unable to recognize the realities of the AIDS crisis, has taken his message to “churches, public gatherings, and private meetings”; he has even managed to persuade one-time Black Panther and New York City Councilman Charles Barron and fellow councilman Bill Perkins to call for City Council hearings on the drug trials.
Rarely does a medical trial have such a profound positive effect, and for children no less - a difficult group to conduct research.

I've got news for you: No research = no advances. Today if your child is diagnosed with Leukemia there is about a 90% chance of survival. Thirty years ago it was a 90% mortality rate.

Why the turn around? Nearly all kids with cancer get enrolled into a pediatric group protocol. Knowledge is power baby.

Take your pick: Race-baiting media whores or healthy children.