Friday, September 27, 2013

Predicting the News That Will Be Reported - Not That Hard

I sometimes wonder at what passes for news.  News is thought to be the reporting of events that are not expected, you know, man bites dog stuff.  Here are some utterly predictable news stories. I am not bothering to link because the stories are ubiquitous.

  • News organizations do little to report that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change does little to explain the recent lack of temperature rise (over the last 15 years or so).  There is an unsubstantiated claim that either deep sea warming or volcanoes have caused the relative lack of temperature rise.  The focus of news has been on the dire predictions of the report.  Those dire predictions keep getting pushed further into the future.
  • Health care exchanges' online systems are having technical problems and won't be ready on October 1. Sorry, this was too easy to know in advance.  Complex rules make for complex software.  If the Secretary of HHS can't seem to be clear about who is exempted or not, as one small example, how is a programmer supposed to write code?  
  • Younger, healthier workers to pay more under ACA.  This is a feature, not a bug of the system.  The problem for the administration is that most people have figured this out and are going to judge the penalties insufficient to cause them to sign up.  
  • New revelations of other ways that the NSA was spying on you keep popping up.  Let's face it, the NSA considered every way imaginable to spy on U.S. citizens.
While we are on the ease of predicting the news, I predict the Republicans will cause a government shutdown lasting a day or so, and then cave, as the media whips up a false "The Sky is Falling and It's Republican's Fault" headlines.  If the Republicans would adopt a sensible strategy they wouldn't need to go through this pain.  They should pass bills that fund the rest of government in piecemeal fashion, then fight over the ACA funding in the HHS appropriation.  Medicare and Social Security payments continue, for example, so there is not any real pain to voters from a shutdown.  Why the House Republicans get backed into a corner is beyond my comprehension. Nothing prevents them from breaking up the appropriations bill to suit their agenda; they control the House for crying out loud.  The Republicans real leverage lies in the fact that "discretionary" operations of the HHS can be tied to defunding the ACA, but popular programs aren't put at risk.

Finally, there isn't any reason the Republicans couldn't start dismantling the law a bit at a time, by repealing the tax on medical devices for example, rather than going for the whole enchilada of defunding.  They could really be popular by delaying the individual mandate by one year.  Best of all, they could cause the system to collapse by repealing all exceptions granted by the Secretary of HHS.  Imagine the delicious irony of Obama vetoing a bill that Republicans pass that required tight adherence to a law he sponsored.  The Republicans lack of imagination on the subject is appalling.  But that's not news either.

What You Should Be Reading
  • Iran backed hackers are already attacking Navy computers.  After America threatens to bomb Syria, Syrian hackers threaten retaliation.  Later, Iranian infiltration of U.S. Navy computers is revealed.  Iran is a major sponsor of the Syrian regime.  Love fest with Iranians ensues and we are now counting on Syria to cooperate in turning over chemical weapons.  As I predicted here and here, the Iranians tie the accusations to the U.S. semi-admission of introducing the Stuxnet virus into their nuclear program.  The incompetence of this administration's foreign policy apparatus is staggering.


  1. I came across this list of Government Shutdowns:

    Great ammunition again any sky is falling leftwing media reporting. Dems shutdown government EIGHT times under Reagan to force bigger spending then turned around and argued against the debt.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. Social Security and Medicare checks keep getting sent so no one will notice.

    2. Thanks for pointing that out. Social Security and Medicare checks keep getting sent so no one will notice.