From Around the Blogroll

Yeah, I know, it’s only a form letter, a form-email to be precise, but someone in the campaign was thinking about etiquette and that people might appreciate a thank you note!

Hi Dana,

Just wanted to make sure I had a chance to thank you personally for your donation to my campaign.

In the last few weeks, our campaign has built an incredible amount of momentum–and it’s truly because of the support of Americans like you that we’ve been able to do so much in such a short period of time. I’m honored and humbled to have your support, and your faith in me to be President of the United States.

We don’t say it enough, but from the bottom of my heart, thank you again for your support. And thank you again for standing with my campaign.

All my best,


I made a $50 donation to Mrs Fiorina’s campaign a week ago. It would have been more, but I am just a poor boy (though my story’s seldom told), and perhaps I’ll be able to contribute more later.

And now, on to the blogroll!

That’s all for this week!

“I didn’t leave the Democratic party, the Democratic Party left me.” ― Ronald Reagan.

We have previously noted the difference between Kentucky Democrats and Democrats on the national level. Kentucky, a solidly red state in national elections, has plenty of elected Democrats at the state level; the Governor is a Democrat, and Democrats control the state House of Representatives, but they are, or at least have been, relatively moderate Democrats rather than the wild-eyed leftist Democrats in Washington, DC. But, perhaps that’s changing:

Clerk Kim Davis switching parties to become a Republican

Adam Beam and Claire Galofaro, The Associated Press | Posted: Friday, September 25, 2015, 2:54 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, a longtime Democrat, says she is switching to the Republican Party because she feels abandoned by Democrats in her fight against same-sex marriage.

Davis made the announcement while in Washington, D.C., to attend the Family Research Council’s Value Voters Summit, said Charla Bansley, a spokeswoman for Liberty Counsel, which represents Davis in her legal battles.

“I’ve always been a Democrat, but the party left me,” Davis said, according to Bansley.

And that is how Ronald Reagan, another former Democrat, described his switch to the GOP. There’s more at the link.

The elected Democrats in Kentucky aren’t all Nancy Pelosi on us, at least not yet, but they are moving that way.  Their problem is that the Democratic voters in Kentucky aren’t moving that way with them.

Mrs Davis is a low level elected official, and just one person, but she is going to take others with her; as Democrats who would have voted for another Democrat like Mrs Davis see what the party has done to her, more of them are going to make the natural move to the Republican Party.  It has already happened all over the South; the Bluegrass State is simply lagging behind on this.

Of course, it isn’t just the Democrats’ policies on homosexual “marriage” which are the problem.  Kentucky used to be a strong union state, in large part due to the strength of the United Mine Workers in eastern Kentucky.  But not only is the coal industry dying, but national Democratic policies are speeding that death along .  .  . and voters in eastern Kentucky, long a strongly Democratic area, are seeing the complicity of the Democratic Party in the loss of the best jobs in the area.

We welcome Mrs Davis to the Republican Party, but more, we welcome the conservative Kentucky Democrats she will bring along with her.


Latest polls: Carly Fiorina beats Hillary Clinton

Yeah, the election is 13½ months away, but this is still great news!

Quinnipiac Poll: Carly Fiorina Beats Hillary Clinton In Head-To-Head Matchup

Fiorina barely came out on top in the head-to-head matchup with 44 percent support, compared to Clinton’s 43 percent.

By Taylor Tyler | Sep 24, 2015 11:50 AM EDT

If the 2016 presidential election was held today, Republican contender Carly Fiorina would beat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

Fiorina barely came out on top in the head-to-head matchup with 44 percent support, compared to Clinton’s 43 percent.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson also beat Clinton in a matchup, 49 percent to 42 percent. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush did too, 44 percent to 42 percent. Clinton, however, managed to beat Republican front-runner Donald Trump, 45 percent to 43 percent.

Vice President Joe Biden, who hasn’t announced his candidacy yet, was the strongest of the Democratic candidates when matched up against Republicans, beating Fiorina 46 percent to 43 percent, Bush 46 percent to 41 percent and Trump 51 percent to 40 percent. Biden tied Carson with 45 percent each.

The poll found that most voters believe Fiorina won last week’s second Republican primary debate by a long shot, which a recent CNN/ORC poll also found. Twenty-eight percent of respondents told Quinnipiac that Fiorina outperformed Trump, who placed second with 11 percent. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was ranked third in debate performance with 6 percent.

Trump still continues to lead the overall GOP field, though, with 25 percent support among Republicans and Republican leaners. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson follows with 17 percent, and Fiorina came in at 12 percent. Bush was in fourth with 10 percent, and Rubio took fifth with nine percent.

There’s more at the original.

A lot can happen between now and November of 2016, and there’s no guarantee that either Mrs Fiorina or Mrs Clinton will win their party’s respective nominations.

Of course, our medical records are completely safe!

Federal Mandates for Healthcare: Digital Record-Keeping Will Be Required of Public and Private Healthcare Providers

A key provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is about to go into effect, and healthcare providers across the country are preparing to comply. As of January 1, 2014, all public and private healthcare providers and other eligible professionals (EP) must have adopted and demonstrated “meaningful use” of electronic medical records (EMR) in order to maintain their existing Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement levels.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act also includes financial incentives for healthcare providers who prove meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR). EHR is not only a more comprehensive patient history than EMR, the latter of which contains a patient’s medical history from just one practice, but also the end-goal of the federal mandate. “Meaningful use” of EHR, as defined by, consists of using digital medical and health records to achieve the following:

  • Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities
  • Engage patients and family
  • Improve care coordination, and population and public health
  • Maintain privacy and security of patient health information

Penalties also exist for non-compliance. EP’s who haven’t implemented EMR/EHR systems and demonstrated their meaningful use by 2015 will experience a 1% reduction in Medicare reimbursements, and rates of reduction will likely rise annually thereafter.

We have previously noted the federal government’s requirement for computerized health records, in a common format, which can be easily transferred from one health care provider to another. Supposedly, this will improve health care. From The Wall Street Journal:

Government Personnel Cyber Breach Worse Than Previously Thought

Hackers stole fingerprint records of 5.6 million people, Office of Personnel Management says

By Damian Paletta | September 23, 2015 12:18 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The Office of Personnel Management on Wednesday said hackers stole much more sensitive information from its servers than originally believed, disclosing millions more fingerprint records were stolen than previously estimated.

The office said hackers were able to steal the fingerprints of 5.6 million people, up from the 1.1 million estimate it offered more than a month ago. More than 20 million people lost their records as part of the breach, and OPM’s new estimate means that roughly one-quarter of all those affected lost fingerprint data, in addition to information about their health, financial history and families.

The fingerprint records were collected as part of background checks conducted since at least 2000 for some of the most sensitive government posts, including law enforcement, military, foreign service and judicial positions.

Security analysts have said the loss of fingerprint records could be a nightmare for some U.S. officials, particularly intelligence and military officers who are used to operating covertly and try to avoid leaving any trace of their actions.

Let me fix something in that article: where it says that hackers stole much more sensitive information than originally believed, it really means that hackers stole much more sensitive information than the government was willing to admit.

Some hackers just do this kind of stuff for kicks, but others are deadly serious, looking for information they believe will help them, or whomever is paying them. The Journal article hints at whom would be interested in this stuff: foreign intelligence services could use the stolen information to track down spies. Well, as we were pointing out years ago, employers have a real interest in the medical records of applicants: if you have several applicants, all of whom look like good employees, knowing whether some of them have had psychiatric treatment or are on blood pressure medication or are diabetic might just tip the scales against them. It ought to be obvious: if information is recorded somewhere, someone can get to it, and someone will always have a use for it. We’ve seen, once again, that the government cannot keep a secret!

The left have no problem with discrimination . . .

. . . as long it is discrimination of which they approve! Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson gained the ire of the left for saying that the United States should not elect a Muslim to be President. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said that that statement made Dr Carson unfit to be President, while some of us believe that the opposition of CAIR is a point in Dr Carson’s favor, not a hindrance; CAIR might as well be the American public relations arm of Hamas.

The Constitution specifies that there shall be no religious test to hold any public office in the United States, something I strongly support. But the President is an elected official, and the voters may take their decisions on any basis they wish; if some wish to base voting against a candidate because he is a Muslim, that is absolutely their right.

Nor do the left have any problem with identity based voting. Hillary Clinton is running based in large part because she is (supposedly) a woman, and Barack Hussein Obama won office, twice, because some people were voting for him specifically because he is (half) black. The left scream raaaaacism any time anyone opposes any of President Obama’s policies, claiming that all opposition must be racist, because the President is (half) black. I’m not sure how they’d characterize Dr Carson’s opposition to President Obama’s policies, because he is (more than half) black; they probably dismiss him as just another Uncle Tom. We should, should! according to the Democrats vote for a Presidential nominee who is a woman, unless, of course, Carly Fiorina wins the Republican presidential nomination, and Hillary Clinton fails in her quest for the Democratic nomination.

It isn’t just in a private choice like voting in which the left support discrimination: they have been very successful in getting discrimination based on race written into state and federal law, calling it Affirmative Action.  According to the left, it is perfectly acceptable to discriminate on the basis of race or sex, just as long as you are discriminating the right way; one wonders what they’d think if it was pointed out that women outnumber men almost three to two on university campuses, and that, therefore, we should give male applicants bonus points to equalize those numbers.1  :)

Well, you know what? I support discrimination, too! Discrimination means “an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction.” We discriminate all the time, on things both important and trivial. In selecting a truck, I would discriminate based on the color of the vehicle, and so would almost everybody else. Vegetarians discriminate against meals with meat. If I’m hungry, and have a choice of restaurants, I’m going to discriminate in favor of the Japanese one. On my way to work, I discriminate in favor of the bagel shop run by a friend — which also happens to be on the right side of the road — over the one on the left side of the road.

And if someone wishes to discriminate against a Muslim candidate specifically because he is Muslim, that’s his own private business and his personal choice; the left would certainly never object to a voter discriminating for an Islamic candidate.2

American political candidates have expected discrimination on the basis of religion for as long as I have been aware of them. If you look at a candidate’s website or advertising, you’ll often find the obligatory family photo, letting everyone know that he’s happily (?) married to someone of the opposite sex,3 and a reference to the church his family and he attend. Barack Obama joined Trinity United Church of Christ because he needed a good Christian image for elections.4

Discrimination, the act of taking decisions based on any of a whole host of characteristics, simply happens; if people didn’t discriminate, modern society would grind to a halt, because nobody could ever take a decision about anything.

  1. No, I do not support such a cockamamie idea.
  2. However, I’d point out one thing: while individuals have every right to take whatever choices they wish, based on whatever criteria they choose, the government does not have that right: the Fourteenth Amendment specifies that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
  3. A clarification I wouldn’t have thought necessary a few years ago
  4. He will never admit this in public, but it’s true nevertheless.

Personal Injury Cases

What Happens When You File a Personal Injury Case?

Many people assume that filing a personal injury claim or case against another person or a company will result in all parties appearing in court together and arguing in front of a judge. While your case may reach the court, you may also settle long before taking your case in front of a judge. It’s important that you sit down and talk through your case with a trained and dependable attorney. This gives you the chance to talk about the case, show any evidence you have and find out what will happen next.

What is a Personal Injury Case?

One thing you need to keep in mind is that there are a number of claims and cases that fall under the category of a personal injury case. The law refers to these cases as those involving one person or group of people filing a claim against another party. That party can include a single individual or a business. Claims against individuals may come about after you suffer a dog bite, have an injury after a car accident or hurt yourself on another person’s property. You may also have the right to file against a business after hurting yourself due to negligence on the part of that business.

Settling the Claim

When you work with an attorney like DJ Hernandez, your attorney will notify the other party of the case you have. That individual or company will then go to the insurer who insured the property. Insurance companies will often offer a settlement that lets you get compensation without meeting with a judge. The compensation may include money for tangible costs and things you can prove like lost wages and medical bills. It may also include a small amount for the pain and suffering you experienced because of your injuries.

Going to Court

Insurance companies will generally offer less in a settlement than you might receive in court. You need to talk with your attorney about whether accepting that settlement is in your best interest. If you do decide to go forward with a court case, keep in mind that it can take weeks or even months before you even appear in court and even longer until you receive compensation. When filing a personal injury claim, your attorney can help you decide whether you take a settlement or proceed with a court case.

€urosclerosis: And so the anti-austerity folks fall away, going not with a bang but barely a whimper

Not all of the news is about the presidential campaign! From The Wall Street Journal:

After Greek Election Victory, Alexis Tsipras Faces Two Immediate Crises

Newly sworn-In prime minister must carry out contentious bailout plan and tackle migrant crisis

By Stelios Bouras and Nektaria Stamouli | Updated Sept. 21, 2015 2:34 p.m. ET

ATHENS— Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as Greece’s prime minister on Monday after his left-wing Syriza party decisively beat its conservative rivals. But there is no honeymoon period for the 41-year-old leader.

He must quickly address a double challenge: the implementation of politically explosive pension cuts and other austerity measures under Greece’s bailout plan, and a migration crisis that Greece’s parties have mostly avoided dealing with.

After taking 35.5% of the vote, Mr. Tsipras moved quickly to form his new government. He announced a renewed coalition with the right-wing nationalist Independent Greeks, with whom he has a narrow majority, and he is now free of a dissident faction angry over austerity that defected to form its own party.

That give him the mandate to implement the tough fiscal retrenchment he once opposed. But he still has to prove he has the will to do it.

The head of the EU’s executive arm, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, congratulated Mr. Tsipras on Monday in a letter. A spokesman for Mr. Juncker told reporters in Brussels that the commission is “particularly encouraged by the ample representation in the new Greek parliament of pro-European parties,” alluding to the fact that the vast bulk of lawmakers back the bailout deal.

But some EU officials pointed to the new Greek coalition’s slender majority in Parliament as a possible problem if some lawmakers start to balk at tough economic measures. The commission spokesman warned that the overhauls need implementing quickly. “There is a lot of work ahead and no time to lose,” he said.

There’s more at the link.

The hardline anti-austerity politicians who were part of the last coalition didn’t win enough votes to be awarded any seats in Parliament. It would seem that the crisis Mt Tsipras brought close to a head earlier this summer, with bank “holidays” declared and people unable to get to the money they had in banks,1 rational Greeks figured out that austerity was better than being flat broke.

Mr Tsipras old Syriza coalition was a coalition primarily of socialists, and their voters were people who just plain didn’t want to pay their debts. Then they found out that, if they weren’t even going to make an effort at repayment, why creditors would be, shockingly enough, unwilling to lend them more money. The socialists had finally run out of other people’s money, and the socialists’ voters discovered that they couldn’t live without other people’s money; Mr Tsipras agreed to an austerity program which was even harsher than the one he had previously declined, because he learned, the hard way, that socialism isn’t really a choice. The amusing part is just how time-compressed all of this was.

The immigrant crisis is simply the latest problem: the immigrants fleeing through Turkey wind up going through Greece. With other nations reluctantly following Hungary’s lead, I would expect some of those refugees would wind up bottled up in Greece, and Greece is having enough problems feeding its own people right now. Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary have all closed their borders to the refugees, leaving Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia as the eastern route for refugees, but that funnels them into Ukraine, which has its own problems facing possible war with Russia. Refugees are going to start getting bottled up, and Greece is one of those places where the refugees might start collecting. Prime Minister Tsipras will probably start to use the refugee crisis to extort more money from those more prosperous European nations anxious for the refugees to not wind up in their countries, but, if that happens, it will be a very short-term monetary patch over some potentially long-term immigration problems.

There’s bound to be some sort of karmic justice in all of this; I’m just not quite certain where it is.

  1. Greeks could withdraw up to €60 a day from ATMs.

Another one bites the dust!

Well, I said it was bad news for Scott Walker, and it turned out to be fatal news for his campaign. From The Washington Post:

Scott Walker suspends presidential campaign

By Jenna Johnson, Dan Balz and Robert Costa | September 21 at 4:23 PM

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has suspended his presidential campaign, effectively ending a once-promising GOP presidential bid that collapsed amid tepid debate performances and other missteps.

“Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top,” Walker said in a brief speech in Madison, Wisconsin, on Monday evening. “With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately.”

Walker said that because the Republican field is so crowded, candidates have become focused on “personal attacks” instead of the substantial issues that matter most to voters. He urged those still in the race to refocus on the core values of the Republican Party: creating jobs, reducing the size of government and strengthening the military. In dropping out, Walker encouraged other Republicans to do the same so that “voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front runner.” In making that plea, Walker did not name the current front-runner, businessman Donald Trump.

The announcement Monday stunned Walker’s major supporters and many of his staff members. It was an unexpected and rapid fall for a candidate who just two months ago was considered a top-tier candidate. But this summer Walker’s campaign quickly became overshadowed by Trump and other candidates who have never held elected office — along with his own misstatements and missteps on the campaign trail. Walker’s backers have become increasingly frustrated to see their candidate become discombobulated and commit unforced errors, either out of lack of preparation or in an attempt to grab part of the flamboyant businessman’s following.

There’s more at the link.

It looks like I did the same thing I did in 2012: picked a governor with a great record in office, but one who wasn’t up to the differences between state campaigns and running for President. In 2012, I endorsed Rick Perry early, and this year I did the same for Scott Walker.

As late as 10:30 AM today, Governor Walker didn’t give us much of a clue about this, still having his staff send out campaign tweets:

Ezra Klein had an appropriate tweet:

Well, neither did I, but perhaps this indicates that Mr Walker is smarter than they are: he could see the handwriting on the wall, and didn’t waste people’s time and money pursuing this any further. His statement that the other low-ranking Republicans should drop out so “voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front runner” is the right one, and George Pataki and Jim Gilmore and Rick Santorum, at the very least, need to listen to that message.

Queen has the appropriate video for Governor Walker’s campaign:

Good news for Carly Fiorina; very bad news for Scott Walker

From CNN:

Poll: Fiorina rockets to No. 2 behind Trump in GOP field

By Eric Bradner, CNN | Updated 10:05 AM ET, Sun September 20, 2015

Washington (CNN)Carly Fiorina shot into second place in the Republican presidential field on the heels of another strong debate performance, and Donald Trump has lost some support, a new national CNN/ORC poll shows.

The survey, conducted in the three days after 23 million people tuned in to Wednesday night’s GOP debate on CNN, shows that Trump is still the party’s front-runner with 24% support. That, though, is an 8 percentage point decrease from earlier in the month when a similar poll had him at 32%.

Fiorina ranks second with 15% support — up from 3% in early September. She’s just ahead of Ben Carson’s 14%, though Carson’s support has also declined from 19% in the previous poll.

Driving Trump’s drop and Fiorina’s rise: a debate in which 31% of Republicans who watched said Trump was the loser, and 52% identified Fiorina as the winner.

READ: The complete CNN/ORC poll results

And Scott Walker? His support is indicated by an *, or less than one half of one percent. :(

Let’s remember one thing: it’s still mid-September of the year before the primaries and the general election. There have been many other flashes in the pan, many other candidates who were never expected to be anything, who surged to an early lead; Howard Dean in 2004 comes to mind. A lot can — and will — happen before the Iowa caucuses, and Mrs Fiorina could overtake Mr Trump, or she could fade badly. One thing is certain: the long knives are out, and she’s getting attacks from both the left — very strongly — and even some from the right.

As I have noted previously, I have not yet changed my endorsement, but I have become very disappointed with Scott Walker. Considering that my endorsements have pretty much been the kiss of death for a candidate — I gave my early support to Rick Perry in 2012 — perhaps the best thing I can do for Mrs Fiorina is not to endorse her! :)