Losing the House to Win the Future

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is worried about the failure of Republican governing reality to match Republican campaign rhetoric. Newt told Fox News, “I would say the highest focus ought to be on getting the tax bill through because if we don’t have economic growth next year, I think we’re in real danger of having Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

Big time Texas donor Doug Deason has already told Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell that his wallet is a dry hole until McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan “produce results on health care and tax reform.” And Deason isn’t the only donor heading for the customer service window hoping someone is there to ask for a refund.

Sean Lansing, of the Koch brother’s Americans for Prosperity, told Lifezette there should be “consequences” for repeated failure.

Now that “legislative mastermind” McConnell has failed to “repeal and replace Obamacare” followed by failure to just repeal, it looks like Deason is going to have a long–term increase in his disposable income.

Members of the base like you and I can’t pressure the likes of McConnell and Ryan individually with our wallets, but we can pressure them with our votes in aggregate.

That’s why I propose conservative voters to join together and help make Newt’s fears come true: Let’s “Lose the House to Win the Future.”

The corporate Republicans running the House and Senate view the conservative base, which loyally keeps them in office, in much the same way arrogant Victorian explorers viewed the natives in Africa: Dangerous savages who are useful for toting ballot boxes on their heads, but need to be house–broken before allowed into polite society.

That’s why the bubble–dwelling GOP establishment must be sent a message that will break through the impervious barrier of complacency and arrogance that surrounds their Capitol Hill offices. And Nancy Pelosi is just the person to deliver it.

This requires conservatives to change their voting behavior in November 2018. In the past conservatives held their nose and voted for RINO Republicans, because the thought of the Democrat alternative in office was too terrible to contemplate.

As a result the base was rewarded with accommodationist weaklings who preside over the Vichy government that currently rules us.

Now it’s time to embrace the alternative. Conservatives must refuse to vote for all Republican House incumbents — unless your representative is a member of the House Freedom Caucus. This doesn’t mean you vote for the Democrat.

Instead conservatives will vote for a write–in candidate. Resist the temptation to write in Mickey Mouse. Cartoon character votes, although relevant to the current GOP leadership, will only serve to have your write–in dismissed as a frivolous vote.

Instead I suggest all participants in my “Lose the House to Win the Future” campaign write in Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the genuinely conservative Freedom Caucus. Thousands of write–in votes for Meadows, spread across the country will be an obvious protest vote by conservatives that cannot be ignored by the Rep. Barney Fife’s cowering in DC.

There’s nothing like listening to Speaker Pelosi diesel on about evil Republicans to demonstrate to McConnell and Ryan that serial conservative betrayals come with a cost. Ideally the two founding members of the Can’t Do Caucus will be ruminating on their failures from the backbenches of the respective houses after they’ve been ousted from their pitiful leadership charade.

Meadows and the rest of the Freedom Caucus will be the framework around which a new conservative House leadership can be built — ready to resume power when conservatives vote for House Republicans in 2020.

Let me stress House votes are to be the only change for conservatives. Votes for Senate GOP candidates will remain unchanged, even if your only choice is a nose–holder like media parasite Lindsey Graham (R–MSNBC). It simply takes too long to regain control of the Senate. Besides, just the shock of the House loss may inspire Graham and his ilk to find those conservative campaign promises that have evidently slipped down between the sofa cushions.

Sure Democrat wild–eyed pistol takers in the House will pass gun confiscation bills, grant illegal aliens citizenship and demand Baptists dance at same–sex weddings, but it won’t matter. The same McConnell–sclerosis that clogs the Senate will stop those bills, too.

My “Lose the House to Win the Future” is like the old joke about the farmer and the mule. Before every turn the farmer would jump down from the wagon seat and hit the mule with a 2X4. A passerby saw this and asked why hit the mule, since the wagon made all the turns?

The farmer replied, yes that’s true, but first you have to get the mule’s attention.

Losing the House in 2018 will be the biggest attention–getter possible.

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Now We Know Where Barack Got the Design for Obamacare

Where have you heard this before? There’s a federal insurance program designed to protect citizens from catastrophes that can devastate families. A program fashioned by experts who employed “best practices” as they formulated and priced this vital insurance protection.

Now it looks like the wretched naysayers were correct. The entitlement is plagued by users, with pre–existing conditions, who repeatedly cycle in and out of the program. These frequent flyers drive up costs and their premium dollars don’t begin to cover the government’s outlay.

Combined premium income from the entire coverage base falls short year after year forcing the program to run a deficit that won’t ever be reduced.

The combination of an unfavorable cost structure and unrealistic coverage requirements have forced private sector insurance companies to abandon the market, leaving the feds as the insurer of first and last resort.

Now you’re thinking you’ve seen this movie before. You know that under Obamacare limited government dies a lingering death.

But this isn’t Obamacare.

So now you’re wondering: What is it?!!! What obvious lesson have the professional politicians in DC overlooked that would have warned the nation, yet again?

I’ll tell you, but you’ll have to click the link below and finish reading at Newsmax.com:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/nfip-flood-insurance-obamacare/2017/07/18/id/802399/

 

Donors View GOP Leadership as “Sunk Costs”

It’s begun to dawn on GOP donors that the millions they’ve poured into the Republicans are a bad investment. So far during the Trump administration what they have is a Bernie Madoff situation without Bernie’s return on investment.

Call it a “Promise Scheme” where Mitch and Paul promise great returns in the future if you will invest money so they can hold office today.

Lifezette reports moneymen who attended “a gathering of Koch network donors…are more than a little restive. Dallas donor Doug Deason declared his “piggy bank” is closed until the GOP leadership “produces results on health care and tax reform.”

I’m not rich myself, but Deason’s thinking mirrors mine: “[Republicans] control the Senate. “[Republicans] control the House. “[Republicans] have the presidency. There’s no reason you can’t get this done. Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

Deason does not appear to be one of those donors in awe of GOP political “leadership.” Some of the more gullible and easily flattered will come around after a private tour of the capital dome and a meeting in one of the secret Senate hideaway offices.

Deason rejected his invitation. He refused to meet with Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell. Instead he urged Mitch to “grow a pair” and pass Obamacare repeal and tax reform first. Unfortunately, I’ve got bad news for Deason. A change of that magnitude on the part of McConnell will probably require an organ donor.

How can people so smart in business be so naive in politics? What should their criteria be for backing political leaders? All your questions will be answered by clicking on the link below and hypering to my Newsmax.com column for the stirring finish.

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/doug-deason-republican-party-healthcare-tax-reform/2017/07/11/id/801062/

 

 

“Gde myaso?” Russian for Where’s the Beef?

Political campaigns are full of liars and fabulists. From the candidate who promises to repeal Obamacare root–and–branch, to the volunteer who lies about how many doors he knocked, campaigns attract people who are, as Mark Twain observed, “Economical with the truth.”

I know because I spent almost 40 years working in elections all over the US and in a handful of islands.

Think of all the disfunction and outrage you’ve ever endured in any organization where you’ve worked. Then condense the burned microwave popcorn in the break room, the idea–stealing colleague, the boss who doesn’t give the promised raise, the boasting braggart and the job description that changes monthly into a timeframe of only a few months.

That’s a political campaign.

The people outside the campaign who want to “help” are often no better. The relative that meddles, the donor with advice on campaign commercials and the family friend who has negative information that’s going to “blow the opponent out of the water.”

The Trump campaign had to deal with all these annoyance on the largest scale possible.

This brings us to Donald Trump, Jr. He’s a businessman with zero political experience. On June 3, 2016 he gets an email from a music publicist, who tells him a Russian singer says his dad met with the “Crown prosecutor of Russia,” who in turn said he had documents related to Hillary’s Russian dealings that would incriminate her.

The only difference between this and typical campaign fantasy mongering is the information wasn’t for sale.

Media hindsight is currently spinning this third–hand account of potential Russian government “help” as the latest confirmation of the Axis of Internet hacking conspiracy. What this “evidence” really proves is the Russia collusion scandal is the leftist equivalent of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy.

Neither the timeline nor the result stand up to objective scrutiny.

When Donald, Jr. received the initial email Trump wasn’t even the nominee. Instead he was the presumed nominee — although John Kasich had recently stopped taking his medicine and was attempting to organize other bitter–enders in an effort to seize the GOP convention.

Those of you who are counting may list this as the first attempted coup against Trump.

If you are as credulous as the Opposition Media it makes perfect sense the Russian security service, the FSB, would use a music publicist sending an unencrypted email as part of a nefarious plot to derail Our First Female President.

The situation was significantly different from Junior’s viewpoint. The message refers to a so–called “Crown prosecutor of Russia.” But it may as well have been the “Clown prosecutor of Russia.” The office is as imaginary as the documentation.

Google the phrase and you get 40,800 results that refer to the news stories about the email.

For Trump the primary motivation for the meeting isn’t a sit–down with some shadowy Russian. Donald, Jr. is maintaining a business relationship. The singer’s dad is a Russian big-shot Trump, Inc. has done business with in the past. The rule of thumb for operating in an oligarchy is: Keep the Oligarchs Happy! A meeting with a potential crackpot is a small price to pay to stay in the Russian market.

If the Russian “agent” does have information, so much the better. One thing his motivation couldn’t have been was joining some Russian conspiracy to steal the election. That’s because the alleged Russian DNC hack wasn’t announced until AFTER junior’s meeting.

The Russian scandal that had been in the news was in connection with Hillary’s ties to the infamous Uranium One deal.

As reported in the New York Times more than a year earlier, Sec. of State Hillary approved a deal where Russians acquired a majority stake in a Uranium One, giving Putin control of one–fifth of the uranium production capacity in the US.

That’s considerably more significant that gaining control of the Georgia voters rolls.

Uranium One was so grateful for Hillary’s generosity the chairman gave the Clinton Crime Foundation a total of $2.35 million. Hillary was still a government employee and couldn’t take a speaking fee, but Bill cashed a $500,000 check from a Moscow bank directly tied into the Russian government.

That is a genuine Russian scandal that actually happened.

Meanwhile Trump, Jr.’s meeting went like most of these negative hype–fests do. Rosa Klebb walked into the meeting, excuse me Natalia Veselnitskaya, and all she wanted to talk about was Russian sanctions, not Hillary shenanigans.

There was no Russian help. No Russian collusion. No beef at all.

The meeting was such a waste of time Jared Kushner walked out halfway through and resumed living a normal life. I would recommend obsessed members of the Opposition Media discard their tinfoil hats and do the same.

I Would Rather 7–11 Privatize Healthcare than the Government Nationalize

Occasionally circumstances force me to eat lunch in the swamp. This time I was in Fairfax County, VA, formerly a reliably conservative county that has lately been invaded by swamp employees, swamp contractors, swamp lobbyists and other refugees from Washington, DC.

The county is now reliably Democrat and gave Hillary a 68 to 32 percent victory last November. Call it a pilot project for the entire country after illegals get amnesty.

During lunch I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation between a man and a woman I assumed were business associates. Most of it was background noise, “Grumble, grumble, TRUMP, mumble, mumble, TRUMP, Hitler, Hitler, TRUMP” and so on.

Then a comment concerning Obamacare “repeal” almost caused me to choke on my curry, “Health care is one–sixth of the entire economy and they are crafting a bill in total secrecy!” one complained.

There is precedent. Democrats wrote the entire Obamacare takeover without any input from Republicans and then forced it through the Senate by a single vote before Scott Brown — elected specifically to defeat the bill — could take his seat and vote against it.

What struck me though was not the fact two sides could play the secrecy game. It was the realization those two diners knew healthcare encompassed a sixth of the economy and yet neither was asking the obvious question: What makes Congress think it can run that huge portion of the economy better than the market?

Both implicitly accepted that an organization filled with people like John McCain, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters and other swamp lifers is qualified to manage healthcare. There’s not so much as an EMT certificate or economics degree among the lot of them. You’d have a better chance of success asking an Uber driver to pilot an Airbus.

   You may not be aware of this, but the federal government has been running a fully federalized pilot health care program for the past 205 years and the results are in! Find out how the test went by clicking the link below for the thrilling conclusion to my Newsmax.com column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/single-payer-democrats-obamacare-healthcare/2017/06/27/id/798472/

 

 

 

Illinois Leftist Democrat Petitions Congress With a Rifle

In all the discussion of the shooting during Republican practice for the Congressional baseball game, I was struck by the fact no one thought it odd that none of the other participants tried to help seriously wounded Rep. Steve Scalise to safety.

They knew he was hurt. They saw the trail of blood as he tried to drag himself off the field. But no one went to his aid. Like a herd of wildebeest fleeing a lion attack, the wounded and slow were left behind.

Now that the coast is clear, members of Congress are leaping out of the dugout and discussing ways taxpayers can protect them in the future.

Certainly this unprovoked attack was cowardly, but the fact the victims were politicians doesn’t require mobilizing the nation. I’d feel equally outraged if the Bernie Bro had shot up a gathering of Jaycees — that notorious hatchery of young capitalists.

What I’m trying to do is put the incident in perspective.

Fact is if you were offered a choice between being the cashier in a tow truck facility and a member of Congress, people interested in personal safety should choose Congress. The last member to be killed in an individual attack was Leo Ryan in 1978. Before Scalise was shot, the last member attacked was Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2011. Prior to that it was John Stennis in 1973.

Four attacks in 44 years isn’t exactly the definition of danger.

If you’re looking for a “public servant” that’s actually in danger while doing his job, talk to a mailman not a politician.

An intelligent, as opposed to hysterical, response to the shooting confronts taxpayers with a paradox: most individual members of Congress are eminently replaceable mediocrities. It’s only in clumps that congressmen are valuable. I wouldn’t go so far to say the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but you get the idea.

Losing members in bunches of 20 or 30 would convulse the country and subject the remaining members to crippling workloads. Mitch McConnell might have to establish the four–day workweek in the Senate.

So I reluctantly support the security state measures taxpayers are subject to when they enter the Capitol and House or Senate office buildings. Off–Capitol gatherings that attract 20 or more members — say two lobbyists having lunch with an open seat at the table — also deserve enhanced security. But I draw the line at individually assigned protective details.

Naturally that’s exactly what big–government politicians and Democrats too passive to be responsible for their own safety are talking about. Many of the politicians who promise to “fight for you” are seriously considering protective details for every member of Congress. An extravagance Politico calculates would cost over $1 billion.

Instead, I support Rep. Thomas Massie (R–Don’t Tread on Me) who introduced a bill that would require gun–phobic Washington, DC to honor concealed carry permits from other states. This would let DC politicians defend themselves.

Massie explains, “After the horrific shooting at the Republican Congressional Baseball practice, there will likely be calls for special privileges to protect politicians. I do not want to extend a special privilege to politicians, because the right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege, it is a God–given right protected by our Constitution.”

I’d support Massie if the bill only applied to politicians, particularly if the alternative is taxpayer–paid bodyguards. Those micro–potentates don’t need anything else to feed their egos. Why can’t they take their chances with everyday life just like the rest of us?

A Washington Post reporter described an encounter Sen. Orrin Hatch (R–Methuselah). Hatch invaded an elevator with three members of his security detail. The Postie asked whether more of his colleagues should receive security details. Displaying the noblesse oblige that’s made him a byword for the common touch, Hatch replied, “I think all of you deserve protection, too. I think we have to protect everybody.”

No word on whether he offered to detail one of his three bodyguards to accompany the reporter.

Individual security details will soon become 535 mini–motorcades clogging up the nation’s streets in the name of “national security.”

Taxpayers don’t need to harden the DC bubble. Let politicians experience life like the rest of us. The argument is made that these indispensible marshmallows are the nation’s leadership. They get death threats, suffer road rage incidents and people say mean things about them. My response is, so what? I’ve been on the receiving end of all three offenses and I’m not looking for a taxpayer–paid Praetorian Guard.

Harry Truman said if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. My advice to politicians is if you won’t carry the heat, don’t get out of the office.

Siri Plans to Stop Taking Orders and Start Giving Them

Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced the company is going to focus on developing self–driving car “systems” instead of the car itself. In an interview with Bloomberg Television he explained this qualifies as an “MOA” effort as in “The Mother Of All AI projects.”

The decision to concentrate on software, rather than both hardware and software is a new one for Apple. Normally the company designs the hardware along with the operating software and then ships the entire package off to China for manufacturing and intellectual property theft.

When the finished product returns to the US, Apple does its best to control the sales of all related products.

I’ve been with Apple longer than I’ve been with my wife. This is a fitting comparison since buying Apple is the hardware equivalent of matrimony. And even more fitting personally, since I’ve had excellent luck with refurbs, regardless of whether it’s Apple computers or wives.

Apple, like my wife, is a closed system that takes a dim view of playing the field. Cupertino prefers customers make all software purchases through the App Store. The same goes for hardware and the Apple Store.

Android, on the other hand, is a wild and wooly open system with many hardware manufacturers, many software producers and little if any standardization. Apple’s closed system is designed with control in mind.

Think of Hillary Clinton running a Best Buy.

Under Apple there is much more look–and–feel uniformity across the product spectrum, which comes with a price. Usually higher.

So, I would have had mixed feelings about owning an iCar.

I wouldn’t have liked being limited to buying gas at Apple stations. Sure the free operating software updates are nice, but that’s balanced with the thought of being lectured on the size of my carbon footprint by an Apple “Genius.”

Cook, at the time, hadn’t ruled out electric vehicles. He rhapsodized, “It’s a marvelous experience not to stop at the filling station or the gas station.” This only proves the chauffer maintains the car without Cook’s help.

Gassing up takes about five minutes. Charging up takes hours. Electricity may start cheap, but at the rate Apple changes the design of its propriety connectors, the cost of new adapters to plug into the power outlet will no doubt balance out the iFuel cost.

I think for the foreseeable future I’ll keep my manual car. If I want to drive with a woman that argues about routes and how fast I drive, I’ll just invite the wife.

CORRECTION: I was wrong last week. That column concerned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decree allowing NFL players scoring touchdowns to make fools of themselves — while the blockers that made it possible are ignored.

That may have been attractive for ballerina ball fans accustomed to method acting from their players, but football should be a serious game.

If I wanted to watch bad dancing and mini–charades I’d attend a GOP townhall meeting when Obamacare repeal was on the agenda. When I watch the NFL, I’m hoping professional football players will act professional.

You may recall my temporary burst of optimism when Cameron DaSilva of Fox Sports reminded us next season the NFL will also institute a snap clock. It starts when an official signals touchdown and teams will have 40 seconds to get set and begin the conversion.

DaSilva reported there were 32 touchdowns that weren’t followed by a booth review, penalty or injury. Even without the Original Tap–Dancing Kid performing his routine, teams were taking an average of 45 seconds to snap the ball. Adding choreography would only make the situation worse.

My optimism crashed when I mistakenly calculated those 32 TDs were thinly spread over the 119 games in the season’s last seven weeks and playoffs. At that rate only one quarter of a TD per game would be influenced by the snap clock.

But I was wrong!

It wasn’t the last seven weeks, plus the playoff games. His survey was only for the seven playoff games.

I should have known something was off. Reviewing 119 games, even with fast–forward or NFL Red Zone is a significant investment in a research project for a reporter facing multiple deadlines. That kind of time commitment spent watching streaming video is more characteristic of the government; say the US Patent and Trademark Office.

While only seven games cuts the sample size and increases the margin of error, the results will do in a pinch. (If you know someone in the USPTO who is not under investigation by the Inspector General, maybe you could ask them to examine the other 112 games.) For me, 4.5 touchdowns per game, unsullied by freestyle ego–mania, is much better than what I feared.

Get Out of Jail Free

“Social Justice” might warrant a more positive reception among the general populace if it wasn’t such a moving target. Why sign up for societal upheaval and condescending advice from your betters when the country has no chance of reaching the Promised Land?

The campaign for “bail reform” is a perfect example. That’s because bail used to be the reform!

Prior to the advent of bail, suspects were held until their trial date. Release after posting bail was seen as a “progressive” reform to the system that kept the innocent and guilty in the hoosegow awaiting trial.

That may have been fine for the last century, but now enlightened thinkers consider being poor a pre–existing condition like cancer. And just as not bothering to sign up for insurance before landing in the emergency room shouldn’t subject one to financial penalties, not bothering to obey the law and landing in jail should be a cost–free experience, too.

Social justice warriors agitating for bail “reform” disparagingly refer to bail as being “money–based.” This overlooks the intent of bail. The goal is not to gouge victims for extra money, like Ticketmaster “convenience” fees. The goal is to protect the public. Which in this case means showing up trial.

Financial bonds may not be perfect, but it certainly beats the House Lannister system of holding family members hostage.

 So what do the SJWs propose and what hapless “victim” do they exploit to make their case? You guessed it! All will be revealed when you click on the link below and are transported to the rest of my Newsmax column:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/bail-bond-financial/2017/06/07/id/794739/

 

California Reinvents Medical Tourism

Until very recently medical tourism was traveling from your home to find less expensive medical care, usually overseas. Medical tourists were leaving the warm embrace of the American Medical Association and the FDA to journey far from home. There were three motivations: Elective plastic surgery not covered by insurance, wanting to try an experimental procedure not covered or getting surgery done without benefit of any insurance at all.

That’s why breasts were being lifted in Brazil and hips replaced in India. Particularly courageous patients scheduled foreign heart transplants. I know all about this because I was almost a medical tourist myself. A few years ago we had what was laughingly called health insurance. Our deductible was so high you had to have been on life support for a week before coverage started.

I had a sports hernia, which meant the problem was on my dime. While pondering options, I devised an effective, temporary solution for the gym. After carefully folding a washcloth over the leak, I’d wrap myself with a giant Ace bandage.

Frankly, I liked my new slim waistline with only a hint of bulge in the intestinal wall. There were days when the Ace came loose and I trailed spandex out of my shorts like toilet paper stuck on a shoe, but it was a small price to pay.

The wife didn’t agree. Janet said it was gross and told me to quit procrastinating and get the hernia fixed. The medical tourism broker’s choice was Thailand or Oklahoma City. I couldn’t see paying $1,000 for an airline ticket on top of the procedure when the Okies were so much closer. Even then the procedure would set me back about $4,500.

That was still too much. In the end I opted for Dr. Amazon and bought a 12–dollar truss, which didn’t make me look as slim, but kept my lower tract in place.

California politicians have a proposal before the legislature that would totally eliminate my worries about cost. Instead of patients traveling overseas and paying for medical care, California politicos will have foreign patients coming to the Golden State and it won’t be to consult with me about trusses.

After the airline ticket or the coyote’s bill is paid financial worries are over. California taxpayers will cover the rest.

That’s just one of the disasters awaiting passage of what the LA Times terms “government–run universal healthcare.”

The Times description: “SB 562, would establish a publicly run healthcare plan that would cover everyone living in California, including those without legal immigration status…The state would pay for all medical expenses, including inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, dental, vision, mental health and nursing home care.”

Talk about no “pre–existing” condition worries. One doesn’t even have to be a pre–illness resident. Just make your way from the airport or border crossing to the hospital and watch the doctors scrub up. California welcomes Anchor Babies and Anchor Patients!

Lefty politicians claim the program will be paid for by what is nebulously described as “broad–based revenue.” This sounds ominous to me. California’s tribal Democrats oppose rounding up illegal aliens, but they have no qualms about corralling taxpayers and squeezing them until their wallets pop out like hernias.

Supporters of the bill were the usual suspects: Unions looking for guaranteed taxpayer–financed positions with permanent job security and clueless members of “Our Revolution,” a Bernie Bros conglomeration.

The support of the Saunders’ crowd is particularly interesting because Vermont tried a version of single–payer healthcare and it was so expensive it collapsed before it was implemented, which must be a record of some sort.

In Vermont the bill was passed and prior to the program’s kickoff the legislature got cold feet and commissioned a financial projection study. It found the cost would be $4.9 billion a year, which would double the state budget. To pay for it payroll taxes would have to be increased 11.5 percent, individual income taxes would jump 9 percent and a border wall would be built to keep rich people from fleeing to cheaper states.

The governor and legislature were so taken aback the plan was shelved.

Cost estimates for the Golden Fleece, I mean Golden State plan put the yearly total at more than double (there’s that word again) the state’s current budget of $180 billion. But there’s no need for California single–payer fanaticists to worry, their legislature never learns. They plan to seize the $50 to $100 billion the private sector currently spends on employee health insurance and then wait for the rest of the money to turn up.

In the meantime many trips are anticipated at taxpayer expense. Legislative “fact finders” are planning trips to Canada, Taiwan and Maryland to learn “best practices.”

The only place they won’t visit is Vermont.

NFL End Zones Now Sponsored by Jackass

Sophistication functionaries all across the nation are in a tizzy. President Trump’s budget calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, which is a festering legacy of the Johnson administration.

From the program’s beginning in 1965 until 2015 bureaucrats at the NEA made 140,000 grants totaling over $5 billion. Outright NEA elimination could set off domino effect warnings like we haven’t seen since the last chopper lifted off from the embassy in Saigon.

The people squealing the loudest aren’t necessarily artists; it’s the arts infrastructure. The culture claque that doles out taxpayer money will suffer a double whammy. First their social life will take a tremendous hit. Since these bureaucrats will no longer control the distribution of free taxpayer money, there’s no reason for the culture combine to comp their tickets.

They’ll be queuing up at the cash bar with the rest of us common folk.

Trump won’t be fighting just federal sophisticate swamp denizens. State level leeches will attack, too.

In the past state arts organizations could finesse elimination by offering gullible legislators a deal: An across–the–board budget cut for all state agencies. The state police lay off 10 percent of their troopers and we’ll lay off 10 percent of our mimes.

Outright elimination in DC could ripple all the way down to Des Moines.

Still, there may be a glimmer of hope for interpretive dance. It looks like the NFL is preparing to grasp the torch and allow self–absorbed athletes to “get down” in the end zone.

Or as one puerile columnist for NFL.com put it, “NFL is putting the fun back in football. 


Thank goodness Roger Goodell has decided to end the unrelieved tedium football fans have suffered through from 1939 until 2003 when Joe Horn made a spectacle of himself during a Monday night game.

Goodell made the announcement using the same robotic corporate–speak he’s made famous: “We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown.”

Only the exhibitionism isn’t “spontaneous.” Players rehearse their little dances in practice. And performances aren’t confined to “spectacular” scores. A player that trips over a referee and falls into the end zone gives us the same “look at me” exhibition that comes after a 50–yard TD run.

Sportswriters who may secretly yearn to be gymnastics judges are all lathered up about the return of approved exhibitionism. Their consensus is toddler–style “look at me, look at me!” antics are just what the game needs. The Washington Post is looking forward to “showmanship” while I yearn for a return to professionalism.

If fans like those little end zone jigs so much, why isn’t modern dance more popular?

Players that want to express individuality can enter American Idol. Football is a team game. Only these dancing machines spell it “teaME.” Former running back Jamal Anderson calls the new rule, “the Odell Beckham freedom clause.”

What a great example for young players! Beckham is the teaME–first receiver who convinced the NY Giants’ receiving corps to join him for party time in Miami before their first playoff game against Green Bay – which NY lost.

This year the coach’s dream is skipping practice sessions in favor of nuzzling with his new girlfriend. A fresh influx of self–important, selfish players is just what Dr. Goodell ordered.

The only sensible coverage comes from Cameron DaSilva and even he supports this teenage showing off. DaSilva reminds us the NFL will start the play clock after the official signals a touchdown. Teams have :40 to snap the ball or be penalized.

He put a stopwatch on the last seven games of the season and all the playoff contests and found teams are taking :45 seconds between the call and the snap. So without any festivities teams are five seconds late.

For just a moment there was a glimmer of hope for mature fans that are tired of freestyle egomania, then DaSilva dropped the bomb. In 119 games he evaluated there were only 32 touchdowns that weren’t followed by a booth review, penalty or injury. That comes out to one quarter of a TD per game that will be affected by the snap clock.

After the vast majority of the scores there will be time for the entire team to rumble into the end zone and form a chorus line like the Rockettes.

Even worse, if the NFL allows cut–rate choreography the decay will soon travel from college to high school to Pee Wee football. Pushy parents will be sending junior to a dance teacher in the off–season to get his YouTube on.

Horn, who has some investment in showing off, says kids “like seeing the guys act a fool.” That may be correct, but the kids aren’t buying the tickets.