dogatpollingplaceThe “cadillac tax” was billed by Jonathan Gruber as a backdoor to getting employers out of healthcare. Some House Democrats want to quash it.

President Obama is touting community colleges. That’s not the particularly cool part, though. The cool part is that he’s doing it in South Dakota. Thank you, Mr. President.

Some have grumbled at the obligation we have incurred by providing defense for the Marshall Islands, but Greenpeace says they’ve paid a price for it. And for those worried about the Maersk Tigris, while the administration and the Pentagon punted, it was released, and we’ve taken to escorting ships.

Norway is reducing the incentives to buy electric cars, and in response to Charlie Hebdo retiring it’s blasphemy law.

PRI shares the story of an American who saved 250,000 people during the Armenian genocide.

Putin and Medvedev have been comparing their annexation of Crimea to the reunification of Germany, but some historians take issue with that.

Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re somebody that has (a) stolen a bike and (b) disemboweled a Portland man, you are a “Disemboweler who stole a bike” rather than a “Bike thief to disemboweled a Portland man.”

One of Montana’s most wanted is caught when he “likes” his most wanted poster on Facebook.

A woman’s daughter dates her mother to kiss a random, good-looking stranger. Which she does, and then tries to use social media to catch his attention, and caught his wife’s instead.

An aide to California Attorney General Kamala Harris is evidently part of a secret society dating back to… well there’s some confusion over that.

Montana joins New Mexico in clipping the wings of asset forfeiture.

An employee at a Waffle House in Georgia was caught on camera pleasuring himself. The only thing missing from this perfect story are the words “… in celebration of his favored SEC team winning a championship.”

Jesse Walker wrote an opinion piece on Jade Helm 15 for the LA Times, which a publication in the UAE reproduced… except they cut off the second half, leaving it on a pretty ominous note.

Liberland, mentioned last week, had a good run, but that run is at an end as the nation was invaded and its president arrested by Croatia. Here’s an interview.

A flight from Florida to Portland was diverted to Salt Lake City after a tantrum by a teenager with autism who wanted/needed hot food.


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10 Responses to Linkluster Million Indigenous People

  1. Peter says:

    I don’t necessarily disagree with the pilot’s decision to divert the flight with the autistic girl. Once the girl’s mother told the flight attendant that the girl might turn violent the issue was pretty much settled. Anything that might jeopardize passenger safety requires a response. Having seen high functioning autistics have breakdowns I have no doubt that if this low functioning girl had had a breakdown it would have ended up with her facedown in the aisle, people kneeling on her back and head to keep her pinned down, and after landing the police would have taken her off in a straight jacket to the nearest psychiatric ward. Would Mom and Dad really want that?

    • trumwill says:

      No, but by the time the diversion occurred, the issue had been settled. And prior to that, and the whole thing could have been short-circuited by bending the rules and letting them pay for the food.

      • This is probably one of those things that seems easy in retrospect.

        In retrospect, the right decision would probably have been to just keep flying to Portland. But I’m not quite willing to condemn the pilot without knowing more information. What did he know about the incident, about the passenger in question? What regulatory requirements was he under? What grief would he have gotten if flying to Portland would have turned out badly?

        Maybe the pilot was acting out of concern for the autistic person, perhaps believing that being on the verge of a breakdown might mean she’d have a very hard time on the flight and be a threat to herself. If he did believe that, he was probably misguided, and I’m too ignorant about such matters to know one way or the other.

        I’m also not inclined to be too harsh on the flight attendant. (And for what it’s worth according to the article, she does seemed to have bent the rules and given the family a hot meal.) Maybe she should have complied more speedily with the request. Or maybe she had honored an unusual request to another passenger on a preceding flight and been roundly scolded never to do that again? That type of thing happens a lot in customer service, where the servant has to balance the conflicting demands of complying with the rules and making customers happy.

        If the complaint is that the flight attendant told the pilot, maybe she’s required to report such things. Maybe she had to report precisely because she did bend the rules.

        I’m not closed to the idea that the airline did something wrong. And maybe what was wrong was that it doesn’t do well at helping its employees know how to help passengers with special needs. And whether it did wrong or not, as a public relations matter, it should do something to mollify the situation. But who’s to blame just isn’t clear to me.

        • Peter says:

          If this counted as a medical diversion, which I suspect it did, the decision to divert wasn’t any spur of the moment choice. Unless the situation is dire, such as someone in cardiac arrest being given CPR, the mandatory practice is for the pilot to contact a medical advising center which the airline has on retainer. There are two or three such centers, each of which serves several airlines.
          Once in contact, the pilot forwards as much information as he has to the nurse or paramedic at the advising center, who then makes the decision to divert or to continue to the original destination. While the pilot has the final authority, it would be extremely unlikely for him to override the center’s decision.

        • Thanks. I didn’t know any of that.

  2. If the description of the cadillac tax is correct, then maybe it should be repealed. I don’t see what good can come from taxing the benefits people receive, especially if part of the ACA’s promise is no cap on coverage and a really serious illness might very well result in benefits higher than the ca. $27,000 per family.

    I might be missing something. Are these just “normal” benefits and not, say, treatments for serious illnesses?

    • trumwill says:

      The crux of our health care system are the tax breaks we give to employers to provide health care plans. Basically, that we exclude money towards health care from an employee’s earnings on the income taxes that they (and their employers) pay. This is, for the most part, not considered a good thing because it’s one of the things that keeps insurance tied to employment, and it incentivizes more spending which may have played a role in our increasing health care costs.

      The cadillac tax, in addition to raising revenues, is supposed to encourage employers not to spend so much on health care, which will hopefully bend the cost curve downward and encourage employers to just go ahead and pay their employees money.

      Gruber says that this is actually a bit of a poison pill, because eventually all health care plans will be be over the cap, and this is the mechanism by which we decouple health insurance and employment entirely. Employers will just pay people what they’re worth, and people will buy health care on the exchanges. It’s a back-door way to bring the Swiss health care system over here. Gruber may not be a reliable source on such matters, but I hope he’s right. (Only if they keep the tax in place, though.)

      • Ah, I think I understand now. When I read the article from “The Hill,” I interpreted “benefits” as referring to whatever payment a person’s insurance company covered, so that a very sick person who got $100,000 in coverage in one year, would have to pay the 40% tax on about $90,000 of that.

        I guess, from what you’re saying, that my understanding was not correct, that when the article says “benefits,” it means “insurance premiums paid for by employers.” But that’s how the article seemed to read to me. It’s a reading comprehension fail on my part.

  3. Edilberto says:

    Spana, of course the sky won’t fall foeverr once the filter’s switched off as a result the system capacity will expand nicely to cope with the threat of DDOS attacks as normal.It will still be wasted time (and money) for many people and businesses, and it still won’t block illegal porn.Perhaps this analogy might get through to you: Conroy’s HTTP-only filter is like only blocking illegal pictures on billboards without inspecting what’s available in bookshops, let alone what people are sending each other in the mail or passing to each other around their neighbourhoods. It’s emperor’s-new-clothes-don’t-look-at-the-man-behind-the-curtain stuff. Again, what’s the good of a false sense of security other than purely political grandstanding or misdirection about the true use of the filter?

  4. {Name Withheld} says:

    Hallelujah! I needed this-you’re my savior.

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