Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Term Paper Act of 2009

The incomplete House version of the health care bill is already over 1000 pages. It's not done, the amendments haven't all been tacked on yet, and it's already over 1000 pages. If it were a work of fiction (no jokes please), it would rank up there with War and Peace as one of the longest novels ever written.

It is also written in legalese, so to read it, a person needs to speak that language. Translating it into English would probably triple the page count. It is also not the first bill to fit this criterion. The Stimulus bill passed several months ago was also this way. The same was true of Cap 'n Trade. This means that the average citizen has no hope of reading, understanding, and having productive dialogue about the legislation.

Since this administration complains constantly about its opponents not putting forth solutions, here is a solution to this problem: The Term Paper Act of 2009.

The TPA is inspired by requirements for term papers and other major written projects in high school and college, which always come with strict requirements for length, font, and style. The TPA will place the following restrictions on all legislation in the US Congress.

1. The combined length of any piece of legislation and its attachments including amendments thereto, with the exception of one yearly budget, shall not exceed 10, single-sided, 8.5 x 11" sized sheets of paper in a size 12 Times New Roman font, single-spaced, with half-inch margins on all sides.

2. A final, printed copy fitting the requirements cited in Section 1 must be present on the floor no less than four hours prior to the vote.

3. Prior to the vote in the House of Representatives, the final, printed copy cited in Section 1 must be read by the Speaker of the House on the floor. This reading must take place no earlier than one hour prior to the vote.
a. If the Speaker of the House is unavailable, a member of the House in good standing shall be selected by the members on the floor to read the bill.

4. Prior to the vote in the Senate, the final, printed copy cited in Section 1 must be read by the President of the Senate on the floor. This reading must take place no earlier than one hour prior to the vote.
b. If the President of the Senate is unavailable, the Senate Majority Leader shall read the bill.
c. If both the President of the Senate and Senate Majority Leader are unavailable, a member of the Senate in good standing shall be selected by the members on the floor to read the bill.

Sign below if you would like to join the petition to have this bill translated into legalese and brought to Congress immediately, or propose your own amendment to this bill.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Euthanasia

Palin did not say Obama would be euthanizing old people. She pointed out quite simply that rationing is an inevitability with government health care, and that somebody in the government will have to decide who gets what.

That's it. Get over it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Health Care Banks

President Obama said:

Our reform will prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage because of your medical history. Nor will they be allowed to drop your coverage if you get sick. They will not be able to water down your coverage when you need it most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime. And we will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses. No one in America should go broke because they get sick.



It seems that the President does not understand what insurance is. Insurance is, at its core, essentially gambling. The insured gamble that they will need more money at some point than they will have given the insurance company. The insurers gamble that the insured will never need the money back.

It is no different than going to a casino in Vegas and playing every month, hoping to eventually hit the jackpot. The casinos naturally attempt to minimize their losses by throwing out cheats, card counters, and dice throwers. Since a person actually wants to hit the jackpot in Vegas, no one seriously complains about it. They'll pump quarters all day into a machine that only pays out 10% of the time. They'll throw dice that will fall in the casino's favor 70% of the time. If they're really smart, they'll sit down at the Black Jack table and hope that a little skill and 50/50 odds will give them a shot to win.

Like the casinos, an insurance company does everything it can to reduce the risk that it will have to pay out. Thus, the insurance company is not going to cover someone who has an increased likelihood of getting sick. The insurance company is going to tier their plans to maximize the intake while minimizing the payout.

It seems that President Obama is looking for an alternative for insurance that does not involve gambling. He is looking for a place where people can pay in small amounts and then get a large lump sum back later, possibly with a little extra return on the investment. He is looking for a place where they can be advanced a sizable amount of money and then make payments on it afterwards.

Fortunately for the President, such a place does exist. It is called a "bank." A bank allows people to specify each individual payment they will make to it. The bank will then hold that money for them, and in exchange for the free use of that money, pay them an additional percentage on top of what they have deposited. The same bank then uses some of the money given to it to advance money to people who need it, and then ask for that money back afterwards in what is called a "loan."

Therefore, if the President wants to eliminate the gambling part of health care, he should take one of the banks the US government bought with the TARP money and turn it into a health care bank. Then all of these issues with premiums and pre-existing conditions will vanish, and the long national nightmare of health care reform will be over.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Godzilla Award (8/16/09)

The Godzilla Award was founded in honor of my cousin from Japan, who unfortunately took his own life in 1998 after he was tricked into starring alongside Matthew Broderick in one of the worst American films ever made.

One of Godzilla's most famous traits was his ability to do massive damage with just the power of his breath, and so we dinosaurs have created an award that recognizes the biggest blowhards we can find.

This week's winner is...

Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA)! Senator Specter wins for complaining about having to use his precious time to answer to his constituents, especially since they've been foaming at the mouth as a result of the health care debate.

Senator Specter said:





"I’m encouraging constitutional rights. I’m encouraging constitutional rights by coming to Lebanon to talk to my constituents. I could be somewhere else. I don’t get any extra pay — I don’t have any requirement to be here. But for somebody –"



Naturally, Senator Specter is cut off by the crowd profusely apologizing for having wasted his time. Although, they could also be shouting that he works for them and that he reports to them, but it's difficult to tell.

Clearly Senator Specter has gotten so old that he has developed a common disease among politicians called "Occupational Alzheimer's", wherein a person has worked at a place so long that they have entirely forgotten their job description. Senator Specter had even forgotten what party he was in, and had to switch.

As a friendly reminder Senator Specter, you don't get extra pay for town halls because talking to your constituents is part of your original job description, which is why the setup of and transportation to and from these events is covered by those very same taxpayers.

For rumbling down upon your constituents as though they were your peasant servants, we bestow upon you this week's Godzilla Award.

Congratulations Senator Specter!

Thanks to HotAir.com for reporting the story.

Previous Winners:
Linda Douglass
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

Do you think you know someone who has enough hot air in their belly to destroy a city? If so, you can nominate them for a Godzilla Award by sending their name and a link to their most recent episode to: crankytrex@gmail.com

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Medieval Medicine

Medical treatment has had a long history of evolution, and for quite a bit of it, going to a doctor was often worse than simply dying. With little to no understanding of how the body worked or the microscopic organisms that could poison it, doctors often relied on religion and superstition to discern treatment.

Consider the Dark Ages, wherein disease was considered caused by evil spirits. The Cure? Prayer. Blood-letting. Drilling holes in the skull to let the demon out.
That kind of thought persisted well into the 19th century. Even by the American Civil War, doctors were still often little more than butchers and charlatans. A soldier who took a bullet in a limb could reasonably expect to have his limb hacked off with a dull blade that just came out of the leg of someone with gangrene and no anesthesia to speak of. The lucky ones got a sip of tequila or some other hard liquor.

Many so-called doctors even traveled the country prescribing a variety of chemicals for ailments that ranged from completely ineffective to downright lethal.

Then in the 20th century a general shift towards the scientific method and repeated technological booms created medical technologies that have all but eliminated the risk of death from former killers such as broken bones and mild lacerations. Even simple habits such as washing one's hands when they get dirty have drastically reduced the risk of disease and death...

Thus, it is quite perplexing when President Obama implies that doctors still think the ideal medical solution is to hack a limb off rather than prescribe medication. He argues it's because a doctor can collect more money for the limb.

The President said:
If a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they're taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that's 30,000, 40, $50,000 immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. But why not make sure that we're also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation? Right? That will save us money.


This is clearly not as straightforward as the famous Tonsil Quote, wherein the President discussed doctors going for tonsil operations instead of antibiotics because they could be better reimbursed, but it also demonstrates a pattern of thought, a pattern that indicates the President either still believes the United States has medieval medical care or doctors are greedy mad scientists looking to make a quick buck.

Further, it may explain why there has been little to no mention of tort reform in the raging health care debate happening in Congress. Any person who knows anything about providing medical care knows that a patient can sue a doctor for almost anything in this day and age, whereas back in the day they would gladly pay a doctor to do his level best to kill their loved one without even realizing it. With no penalty for frivolously filing and the cost of an actual trial significantly higher than a settlement, the doctor is very likely to end up paying in that event. Thus, it makes virtually no sense for any doctor to risk surgery when not absolutely necessary.

So, if the President thinks the tort law in this country is so lax that a doctor could run around amputating limbs and organs for a quick buck, it makes perfect sense that there's no discussion of tort reform of any kind in his health care plans. Unfortunately, time machines do not yet exist. Otherwise the President could take a trip back a hundred years and see that truly, the American health care system is not nearly as limb-hungry as he thinks.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

American Exceptionalism

The phrase "American Exceptionalism" is often used to describe the United States' meteoric rise to military and economic superstardom. Within 200 years, the USA had evolved from a loose collection of colonial states to the preeminent superpower on the planet, and historians will no doubt spend years attempting to discern just what collection of properties and events came together to cause this to occur.

Perhaps it was due to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans insulating America from most direct attacks. Perhaps it was due to the wide variety of resources and climates spanned by the United States. Yet, Canada and Mexico both shared these advantages and neither went on to become as economically or militarily powerful. Certainly these things helped the Soviet Union emerge from the ashes of World War II into a superpower of its own and yet its power waned as rapidly as America's grew.

Ultimately, there is one thing that separated the United States from the rest of the world: it embraced natural selection. Natural selection is essentially the Theory of Evolution. Its creator, Charles Darwin, realized that members of a species with advantageous traits survive to breed more often and thus an entire species adapts. Species that adapt quickly to changes, survive. Species that do not adapt, die out...

Whether consciously or unconsciously, the Founding Fathers of the United States built a nation built upon that very principle. They decided that the government would be as small as possible, and that the individuals under its umbrella would have to make it or break it on their own. As a result, Americans learned to be the best at everything, to scorn even second place, and to fear and loathe failure. This is often confused with arrogance or pretentiousness, but really it is simply that Americans believe winning is living, and losing is dying.

Of course, other nations throughout history have embraced similar thinking. The thing that separates the United States is that those cultures took it one step too far into the realm of eugenics. Spartans, for instance, killed children that had disabilities at birth. In so doing, they removed one of the key elements of evolution: random chance. Some traits often seem useless to a species, but then one day the climate changes and that trait is perfect, and so selective breeding results in almost certain destruction because those random traits have been bred out.

Instead the United States embraced that randomness. It does not believe in eugenics, but in making the most of everything, and using the ingenuity and curiosity inherent in human beings to create artificial means to adapt if necessary. Thus, it encourages each citizen to act as a microcosm for the entire species by self-evolving.

Now, why is this important? It is important because the culture in America has changed. In the name of compassion, Americans have forgotten this lesson. They choose instead to not simply help the weak, but to actively discourage adaptation. This is why a debate even exists as to whether or not the government should provide health care and whether or not health care is a right. Such a thing would be confusing and unthinkable to the Founding Fathers, who believed each of us had both the responsibility and the power to take on our own challenges, and as a result, the society would evolve and grow resilient.

Instead, the child who fails is now coddled and kept from feeling the weight of failure with participation trophies. The adult who stupidly burns himself with a hot coffee cup is awarded millions of dollars. The immigrant who has not educated himself to the common language of the culture is babied with documents in their own. The crazy lady who intentionally impregnates herself with no support system for her children is given a reality show.

This cannot continue if America wishes to remain a world power. If it does not turn back from this kind of thought, it will stagnate and die. The words of a wise primate of my era best sum up what Americans must relearn lest they vanish into extinction:
"Win and live. Lose and die. Rule of life. No change rule."
-Ayla from Chrono Trigger

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Godzilla Award (8/9/09)

The Godzilla Award was founded in honor of my cousin from Japan, who unfortunately took his own life in 1998 after he was tricked into starring alongside Matthew Broderick in one of the worst American films ever made.

One of Godzilla's most famous traits was his ability to do massive damage with just the power of his breath, and so we dinosaurs have created an award that recognizes the biggest blowhards we can find.

With all of the Congress critters running around calling protestors angry mobs and nazis, it was a tough pick this week and a very close vote. But, in the end, one nomination stood above the rest.

This week's winner is...

Linda Douglass! Ms. Douglass wins for telling everyone not to believe their lying eyes.




“Hi. I’m Linda Douglass. I’m the communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform, and one of my jobs is to keep track of all the disinformation that’s out there about health-insurance reform. And there are a lot of very deceiving headlines out there right now, such as this one — take a look at this one. This one says, ‘Uncovered Video: Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will Eliminate PRIVATE Insurance.’

“Well, nothing can be farther from the truth. You know the people who always try to SCARE people whenever you try to bring them health-insurance reform are at it again. And they’re taking sentences and phrases out of context, and they’re cobbling them together to leave a VERY false impression. The truth is that the president has been talking to the American people a LOT about health-insurance reform and what is at
stake for them.

“So what happens is that because he’s talking to the American people so much, there are people out there with a computer and a lot of free time, and they take a phrase here and there — they simply cherry-pick and put it together, and make it sound like he’s saying something that he didn’t really say.”



Not only does Ms. Douglass claim that what Obama said wasn't what he said, she goes so far as to claim it's engineered by a bunch of bored folks with nothing better to do then mess with their administration.

Such bluster would be worthy of the mutant lizard himself in its own right, but this also carries with it the acidic taste of hypocrisy coming from a woman who once called herself a journalist.

For that, we bestow upon you this week's Godzilla Award.

Congratulations Ms. Douglass!

Previous Winners:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

Do you think you know someone who has enough hot air in their belly to destroy a city? If so, you can nominate them for a Godzilla Award by sending their name and a link to their most recent episode to: crankytrex@gmail.com

Friday, August 7, 2009

But...but...Bush did it!

Is anyone else tired of hearing how their opinion doesn't matter because Bush did something similar to something Obama is doing? As if that somehow enters the equation?

Here's a typical exchange:
"Obama's defecit spending is ridiculous. He's going to bankrupt our country this way!"
"Well, where were you when Bush was spending?"

First of all, what does that matter? Do I have to complain about Andrew Jackson every time somebody assaults a Native American to have a valid opinion of that being wrong? Further, how does anyone know whether or not somebody complained about Bush?

Second, with regard to spending specifically, Obama's spending in the last six months is more than Bush's entire term. So it's not even comparable.

And third, if Bush was a fool/jackass/evil for spending a whole bunch of money or any of the other ridiculous things he did, should that not make Obama equal if not worse in that regard? Should not all these people answering criticisms of Obama with "But Bush did it!" be twice as pissed off for having voted for Obama? They voted for what they thought was the polar opposite of Bush, and yet they're getting Bush x10.

This is how the exchange should go:
"Obama's defecit spending is ridiculous. He's going to bankrupt our country this way!"
"Yeah! Welcome aboard! I've been complaining about this since Bush!"

Maybe people just don't want to admit their buyer's remorse. Maybe people don't want to give those of us who took one look at Obama and went "oh hell no" the satisfaction of saying "I told you so." And maybe they're just still too enamoured with Obama to admit his failings. Either way, this dino hopes one of these days they'll wake up and smell what's cooking: them.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Chicago Way

Having been a big movie and television star, it comes as no shock to this giant lizard that movies and television shows often serve as fantastic metaphors for current events.

In the classic movie, The Untouchables, Sean Connery's character Jim Malone catches a member of the Italian mob sneaking up on him with a knife in an assassination attempt. Malone, being a smart Irish beat cop, pulls a gun on him and remarks, "Isn't that just like a wop? Brings a knife to a gun fight. " Unfortunately for Malone, the knife is a setup and the assassin just a lure. He is tempted outside where one of Capone's men opens up on him with a tommy gun.

This classic movie moment is the perfect metaphor for what has happened across the country for the last two weeks. President Obama and the Congress pulled out their knives to carve up the health care system, and the American people said, "wait just a minute there." They have showed up in droves to tell their local representatives that their attempts to rush through a ridiculously expensive health care takeover (or "reform" as they call it), would be met with career-killing force...

..and yet, the story does not end. Instead, those people who exercise what is not only their right, but their duty, to speak up and get involved in ensuring they are properly represented have been met with their own tommy gun. They have been repeatedly fired upon with demonizations and dismissals that they are "angry mobs" and "astro turfers" and "right-wing zealots." Never mind that they are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Never mind that they spout perfectly legitimate questions like, "how can a government that can't run Cash for Clunkers run health care?" or shout entirely legitimate requests like "read the bill!"

The Untouchables once again gives us the answer to this. The sage Malone tells Kevin Costner's Eliot Ness:


They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That's* the *Chicago* way!

The President knows The Chicago Way well, being as that is his home turf. For all the talk about wanting to listen to both sides of the debate, none of these people have any interest in hearing the legitimate criticism, especially not the White House. Not only that, but they will continue to do everything possible to crush any dissent. Unfortunately for them, the American people live by Eliot Ness' motto: "Never stop fighting until the fight is done."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dances With Wolves

Tonight, this T-Rex was watching a classic movie on AMC as he often does. In that movie, Kevin Costner's character of John Dunbar became known by the Sioux Indians as "Dances With Wolves", thus giving the film its title.

There are many things to be said of this film, be it the many Oscars it won or the stirring epic of a loaner on the prairie adapting and making friends with the local tribe, but rather than drone on about some of the more philosophical aspects of this movie that I have been dwelling on this evening, I thought it would be more interesting to create a contest of sorts instead.

As "Cranky T-Rex", I essentially already have an Indian name, but what Indian names would some of our politicians have? Here are a few I thought of while I was watching Dances With Wolves:

Barack Obama: "SpendsBigMoney"
Joe Biden: "DropsWordsfromMouth"
Nancy Pelosi: "EyesThatBlinkOften"
John Kerry: "ThreePurpleHearts"
Robert Gibbs: "SpeaksWrongWords"
Chris Dodd: "GetsFreeHouses"
John McCain: "OldBrokenArms"
G. W. Bush: "WavesBigFlag" or "LooksLikeMonkey"
Dick Cheney: "ShootsFriendinFace" (Obvious, I know.)

Got a good one? Post it in the comments section.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Why So Serious?

It seems someone with an interesting sense of humor has been running around LA putting up these pictures, in a parody of the recent smash hit (yet highly overrated in this dino's opinion) The Dark Knight.

Remember the days when it was "patriotic" to make fun of the President? Back when it was one's duty to talk about ChimpyMcBushHitler's quest to conquer the world for oil, carried out by drowning blacks in New Orleans and creating a massive conspiracy to execute 9/11? When Dick Cheney was Darth Vader?

Apparently, that is no longer the case now that America is the land of Hype and Chains...excuse me, I meant Hope and Change, as several news outlets such as LA Weekly and MSNBC have decided this crosses the line.

Now, I could discuss how incredibly hypocritical it is, but Allahpundit and Ace do the job well enough.

The issue I want to address is...


...with the poster itself. The problem with this poster is that it is entirely contradictory. Socialism is on the exact opposite of the political spectrum as the Joker's philosophy of anarchy. Moreover, the Joker simply wanted to watch the world burn for his own personal amusement. Obama seems to honestly believe that socialism will be better for everyone or is simply too naive to know the consequences. The Joker was many things, but naive was not one of them.

Indeed, the poster would make much more sense if it were using Two-Face as the template. Much like Obama's quest to help everyone, Two-Face's original, "good" persona of Harvey Dent was a man of the people, out to do what was best for the public at any cost. Then, on the flip side (pardon the pun), Two-Face became petty and vindictive, which is a quality Obama demonstrates frequently when pressed or crossed. Lastly, Two-Face changes his mind on the flip of a coin. Obama has changed his mind about some very strong promises with about the same degree of effort.

So really, the poster should have used his or her Photoshop skills to create the Harvey Dent version of Obama and put that up all over the place. Then again, in this politically correct atmosphere, it would probably be considered a hate crime to show a picture of a black man with severe burns on one side of his face...

The Godzilla Award

The Godzilla Award was founded in honor of my cousin from Japan, who unfortunately took his own life in 1998 after he was tricked into starring alongside Matthew Broderick in one of the worst American films ever made.

One of Godzilla's most famous traits was his ability to do massive damage with just the power of his breath, and so we dinosaurs have created an award that recognizes the biggest blowhards we can find.

This week's winner is...

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi! The Speaker wins for this impressive rant against insurance companies brought to us by The Hill:


“They are the villains in this,” Pelosi said of private insurers. “They havebeen part of the problem in a major way. They are doing everything in their power to stop a public option from happening. And the public has to know that. They can disguise their arguments any way they want, but the fact is that they don’t want the competition.”…

“It’s almost immoral what they are doing,” added Pelosi, who stood outside her office long after her press conference ended to continue speaking to reporters, even as aides tried in vain to usher her inside. “Of course they’ve been immoral all along in how they have treated the people that they insure with pre-existing conditions, you know, the litany of it all.”



Yes, Speaker Pelosi it's all the fault of all those evil people trying to make money selling something people actually want. Neither your constant bickering amongst yourselves and utter failure to do anything productive about the economy nor the general satisfaction most Americans have with their current health care have anything to do with it.

For that, we bestow upon you this week's Godzilla Award.

Congratulations Speaker Pelosi!

Do you think you know someone who has enough hot air in their belly to destroy a city? If so, you can nominate them for a Godzilla Award by sending their name and a link to their most recent episode to: crankytrex@gmail.com