Monday, October 12, 2009

The Bob McDonnell Show

Having moved from Virginia to North Carolina last spring I have not really paid much attention to the Gubernatorial race in the Commonwealth. I knew that Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell were having a rematch, but that is about it. This past week I started to take a closer look at what was going on in my old state. I found myself surprised.

First, I am already calling this race for Bob McDonnell. Pending some unforeseen October surprise, his support is at a level that will be very difficult for Deeds to overcome. McDonnell is steadily polling above 50%, and even if all the undecideds break for Deeds it will probably not be enough.

The Democrats in Virginia have gained a lot of ground in the past eight years, and the state has become a model of how it is possible to govern with a sensible blend of liberal and conservative ideologies. This moderation is very appealing to a large number of voters, myself included. Sen. Mark Warner, Sen. Jim Webb, and Gov. Tim Kaine all embraced this approach, and I was assuming the Creigh Deeds would also embrace it. How is it possible that Deeds is so far behind?

One theme that is very prominent on the Democratic side is Bob McDonnell's Thesis from 1989 (that's 20 years ago, folks). The Deeds campaign and the Democrats are stoking fear about it. Deeds finished up an answer in a recent debate saying, "Bob's enough of a risk, and we can't take that risk in the Governor's office." Now, don't get me wrong, this thesis is pretty nutty, and it lays out an extreme conservative view of the family. However, Deed's obsession over the thesis is not going to win him votes, and McDonnell has effectively countered Deed's criticisms by citing the working women in his family.

The next theme I came across was abortion. Creigh Deeds is very much in favor of people having the right to get an abortion, and he is going after his opponent for being Pro-Life. Seriously? That's the stupidest campaign theme I have heard of from a Democratic candidate in a long time. Wedge issues are annoying, and as a voter I would be very turned off by this.

When you take these two themes together you have common threads. They are both about Bob McDonnell and why someone should not vote for him. Why should someone vote for Deeds?

After watching this video of Deeds talking out of both sides of his mouth on taxes, I have no idea. One thing is clear to me. Although I do not ideologically align with Bob McDonnell on a majority of the issues, I do think he is competent enough to be Governor. With Creigh Deeds I am not so sure, and I suspect I am not alone.

Drudge Shows Us More Evidence of Climate Change

Thank you for showing us more evidence of climate change, Matthew Drudge. Right now Drudge Report has a series of headlines on global warming.

-BBC: What happened to global warming?
-U.S. Chill Map...
-Montana cold breaks records...
-Record Cold temps in Idaho threaten potato crops...
-Austria: Earliest snowfall in history set to break records...
-Man has microphone cut off after asking about 'errors' in Gore film...

What Drudge is (probably intentionally) forgetting is that global warming and climate change cause extreme temperature events. This goes for both warm and cold temperatures. "Global warming" is somewhat of a misnomer.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Healthcare and the Public Option

In the past month or so it has become less clear if there will be a public option in healthcare reform.

Typically those on the left make a moral argument about it being socially just to make healthcare available to everyone, yada yada yada. Now, I agree with this point, but at the same time I think the humanitarian argument is old and not very thought provoking. There are many other very good arguments to be made for the public insurance option, but they are not being articulated. Here is why I think the public option is needed.

At the moment health insurance is tied to employment. Access to healthcare is an extremely important thing for most people, so if a person wants to change jobs or build their own business the risk of leaving their job with group health insurance is very high. This risk is needless, and I would argue that many more people might consider pursuing their creative ideas and starting their own small businesses if they could get individual insurance at a reasonable cost (i.e. the public option).

Additionally, the public option would allow new small businesses to put their employees on the public insurance plan, dramatically lowering the business' costs. This frees up revenue that can then be reinvested into the business and its long term strategic goals.

Ahh! Socialism! One of the main arguments coming from the opposition at the moment is that if we allow a public insurance option, then government will begin to dictate where a person can seek medical care and what doctors a person can see. This cannot be allowed because government will be overstepping its boundaries and infringing on our personal freedom. Implied behind this is that the current system allows people to have full freedom when choosing their medical provider. This is completely false.

Anyone who has ever had insurance knows that one must try their best to seek in-network doctors. You certainly have the freedom to go out-of-network, but you will face bills that could potentially cause you to go into bankruptcy. Private insurance providers already dictate what doctors a person can see. So, I do not really see a difference here.

The best thing to do for a marketplace is to increase competition. In addition to competing with the private insurers government will stimulate competition in the marketplace by lowering the healthcare barriers that are keeping people out. If you lower the risk for starting a new business, then more people are likely to pursue this route. This can only be good.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Keating Report's New Home

So, keeping up my own website proved to be a bit more of a pain than I thought it would be. As a result I am switching to blogger. It's a heck of a lot easier to make a post, hopefully making my posts more frequent.