Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Must Buy My Car From the Government

As we listen to the Supreme Court arguments on the health care law, understand one point: The federal government already requires each and every one of us to purchase certain products.  Like my car.

I must pay for all kinds of gizmos and features mandated by the feds, including seatbelts, catalytic converters and air bags.

The feds also insist I purchase unleaded gasoline. They tell me I have no choice but to pay for tires that meet specific government safety standards. The upholstery must resist fire of a certain intensity. All of this costs me money and I have no choice but to pay.

And just like health insurance, all of the automotive bits and pieces the federal government orders me to purchase are intended to preserve the health and welfare of me and those around me.

I also know that every one of the 26 state governments arguing against mandatory health care coverage impose specific standards on vehicles that would force me to spend money.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Parents Gone Wild: Pre-preschool

Ventura College
For just $2,555 a month privileged New York parents can enroll their infants in an what amounts to a pre-preschool run by trained teachers.

The Wall Street Journal reports that 300 parents have expressed interest in the 20 slots at the Children's Creative Learning Center and 10 children still in utero have signed up.

The youngest student already attending is 4 months old.

Friday, March 09, 2012


Apple (AAPL) plans to build a $304 million campus in Austin, Texas and more than double its workforce in that estimable state, according to Gov. Rick Perry.

In making the announcement, Perry proudly proclaimed that it was a $21 million taxpayer subsidy that prompted Apple to commit.

That's right. Apple sits on about $97 billion in cash and other liquid assets but felt the need to pick the pockets of Lone Star State citizens to finance its expansion.

It's true that all of Apple's money isn't stashed in a corporate mattress and some of it is needed to smooth out cash flow, meet emergencies and other legitimate purposes. But investor Kurt Shrout writing at the Seeking Alpha site contends Apple could pare its cash hoard down to about $56 billion and still be proportionately as fat and comfy as any of its industry counterparts.

And it could pay for a new Texas HQ with petty cash.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Republicans and Sex

Fresh out of new ideas, Republicans are using sex to keep voters interested.

Vanity Fair
A right-wing radio hosts labels a woman as a slut and a prostitute for wanting to avoid unplanned pregnancies.  A presidential candidate says he would deny an abortion to a girl raped and impregnated by her father. A congressman introduces legislation that would require a metal rod be inserted into the vaginas of women.

I would rather not think about what these folks will come up with when the general election is upon us and things get really serious.