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Binge-Watching Sports

Well, my favorite time of year for binge-watching sports is at an end.

The Tour

Chris Froome (Richie Cunningham’s doppleganger) is, once again, the winner of the Tour De France. I was disappointed his teammate Landa didn’t try to overcome the 1 second gap that kept him off the podium.

The 21-stage event had the usual NASCAR-worthy crashes. The worst of which was the Martin/Plante wreck that left Plante with a concussion. It could have been so much worse. In fact if Plante has decided to fight the lateral path of his bike, he’d have ended up going over the side of a very steep drop. But eventually the trees would have stopped his fall. Eventually.

It is worth mentioning the Martin returned to the race to finish ahead of the bulk of the peloton. He would be competitive throughout the three weeks.

The ejection of Sagan was an absolute outrage especially considering Nacer Bouhanni’s behavior. In Sagan’s case, he was already close to a wall and Mark Cavendish tried to pass him inside. At one point it looks like Cavendish even leans into him. It is impossible to tell if Sagan was trying to make contact or just keep his bike upright when Cavendish hits the ground.

Bouhanni’s sorry behavior is clearly intentional and brazenly on display. Sagan was a favorite this year. He would have contributed to a great event. Most cycling fans couldn’t care less if Bouhanni falls into a sing hole. He should have gotten his walking papers days ago.

And Marcel Kittel was amazing. He took 5 of the first 11 stages, only to crash out of the race a few days ago. I hope he comes back strong next year. He gained a lot of respect, especially that last day trying to ride injured.

Wimbledon

Wimbledon ended last week. Garbiñe Muguruza (cool name) took the Women’s Trophy over Venus Williams (sister to the woman who broke my heart). Venus didn’t come into the final match looking as wound up and confident as she had earlier in the tournament.

For the men, it was Roger Federer who beat Marin Cillic to walk away with the cup. He was, in a word, remarkable. He scored the title having not dropped a set throughout the event. He is far older than any of the players he defeated. (One commentator noted that all the young players were struggling with the heat and injuries, etc. And there’s Federer, almost 36 and fresh as a daisy.)

It was his eighth win at Wimbledon and a record. He looks as though he may have one more in him. We’ll see.

The big story at center court remains Andy Murray. He played well through most of the rounds. And he’s still ranked #1. I had no idea until the second round that he is just coming off hip surgery.

I always thought he had an odd gait. It turns out that he has a limp. When he walks, his left hip remains straight but his right hip rotates back with his leg. The number one tennis player in the world is beating everyone despite a limp. And the limp is not on display when he charges the net or bounds across the court to recover a blooper and stick it up his opponent’s ass. Expect more greatness from Federer and Murray.

The Open Championship

I thought this was scheduled the previous week, but that was the Scottish Open. I did watch that one too.

If you are a golf fan, you didn’t want to miss the Open. It had a little of everything including about 25 minutes of WHAT-THE-HELL-IS-HE-DOING, as Jordan Spieth ran around the practice range looking for a place to drop his ball. More on that in a bit.

But it was Spieth’s weekend, wire-to-wire! The kid who exploded onto the scene two years ago (he was actually amazing to watch as a junior amateur) came back with a fury at Royal Birkdale.

I have to admit, I was pulling for Matt Kuchar all the way to the 16th green in the final round. Kuch is a class act. And he is one of the leaderboard regulars never to have won a major. It sure would have been nice to see him pick up the Claret Jug. But it was not to be. He held neck and neck with Spieth for three days. Not a power hitter, he just plodded along, making the magic he could. He was steady Eddy.

But on the back nine, Spieth showed why he is one of the greatest 23-yr-olds ever to play the game. His clutch putting was mind-blowing.

From the 13th tee, Jordan landed in the rough on the back of a steep hill. Somehow he got the judge to call it unplayable. Spieth, talking a mile a minute, discussing options for a drop, walked all over the practice range and a crowded lot where communications vans were parked. Look at the hill, walk and talk. Look at the hill, walk and talk.

 

Continued below:


I know what you are thinking: How could a good-looking man, who isn’t of retirement age, be watching Wimbledon and the Tour De France AND the Open?  That’s right.  I watched every morning.  Well, listen up, buttercup! By next year you could BE at Wimbledon, center court! Or you could watch the peloton zip by from the courtyard of a French Bed and Breakfast. All you need to do is pay attention!
 

 


In the end, he dropped his ball about 230 yards out, took his caddie’s advice and pulled out the three iron.  He put a blind shot next to the green. Up and down for a bogie. This episode held up play for 25 minutes.

He fell behind Kuchar by a stroke, but that didn’t last. His short work for the rest of the game, especially his putting was flawless, while Kuchar “yipped” a few. Spieth went on to win at 12 under to Kuch’s 9 under.

It was a great weekend of golf.  And keep your eye on a Canadian beansprout named Austin Connelly. He’s got real potential.

I’ll put up the best content and images I can find on all this. Keep an eye out for it.

This is a great time of year for binge-watching sports.  Alas, it is over.  I guess I’ll have time to move my office back to the beach on the Gulf:

It’s a tough life, but somebody’s got to live it.

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Unlike Russell, I will not give this to you for free. But you can get it here NOW!

Kindle addition:

Or just start reading Street Politics for free on Kindle Unlimited!

 

Photo Credit: digitizedchaos Flickr via Compfight cc

 

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Poor Venezuela? WE ARE Venezuela (without the riots)

What happened to Venezuela?

I watched a Fox News report about the corruption of Sean Penn’s favorite government and how violently they are putting down riots by people who can’t buy toilet paper.  A senator joined the broadcast and talked about what we need to do for Venezuela.

At face-value, she has a point, of course.  Why should we do business with a rogue regime and support such low-lifes and Sean Penn’s buddy, Nicolas Maduro?  I would take great pleasure in seeing these people dragged into the street and shot.  It is what they richly deserve.

But…

When you get right down to it, who are we to scold other governments for running their countries into the ground?  We Are Venezuela!  The only difference between what our government (both parties) are doing to us and what was done to the real Venezuelans is they didn’t have so far to fall and Maduro and the fat-headed Hugo Chavez tried to do it all at once.  Also, Americans are far more docile and naive than most other people.  Thank you, educators!

But the basic results are the same as the results we see here every time the government pretends to be helping us. Whatever they pretend to be helping with becomes more expensive and more scarce.  And quality plummets.

Look at Obamacare.  We used to bitch when we saw places where healthcare would “skyrocket” by 11% (usually after a stupid mandate was tacked onto insurance policies by the government).  Now we have states paying 120% more this year than last.  The entire country is paying well into the double digits more every year. 

Of course, I speak only of the productive class.  The taking class is saving a bundle while we foot their bills as well.

According to U.S. News, not a wide-eyed, conservative publication,

The report, published online Friday in the journal Health Affairs, also showed another distinction for 2015: The federal government now pays for the largest share of health care. [emphasis mine].

That means after you pay all you medical expanses, made inhumanly higher by Obamacare, you then pay more, as a productive tax-paying citizen than those who pay no taxes.

Our path is unsustainable.

And it isn’t ONLY medical insurance scams we have to worry about.  How much of the economy does Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security (Ponzi scheme), college loans (a con of epic proportion), the FHA continued buying of shit mortgages, and Food stamps represent?  Add on the 47 job training programs we have from DC, not a one of which reports a single result.  And NONE OF THESE, in their present form are sustainable.  If we don’t back away form them quickly and create a growing economy again we will one day SOON be rioting in the streets because we can’t find basic goods.

The pace at which both parties are now bringing us to ruin increases just a little every year.  

Smirk all you like, then demonstrate historically how “Venezuela” is not the result of Socialism?  Here’s a fact, it is ALWAYS the result!  Just because it is happening slower here, and we have more wealth to destroy, doesn’t mean we are safe from it.  

I say frequently that the laws of economics are as hard and fast as the laws of gravity.  If we keep whistling past the graveyard while tsk-tsking places like Venezuela, we will one day find ourselves without a paddle, on the headwaters of the mighty Feces River.

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.  

Kindle version here!

Or just read for free on Kindle Unlimited!

 

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It's The Free Market or 100% Government Medical Care

If you track medial costs, not insurance costs, but the actual price of medical care, you will find that every time the government created a new mandate for INSURANCE coverage, the actual cost of MEDICAL CARE went up, not just the insurance premiums. Every time the government increased spending on Medicare and Medicaid, the actual price of the MEDICAL CARE went up again.

The reason is the same in every industry any government ever got involved in. When there is other people’s money to be had, ALL recipients will always find more reasons they need more of that money. Why? Because the government gives them the incentive to do so! They simply have to check a series of boxes, created by people who know little about the industry in question, and jigger a few numbers to justify an increase in what they are awarded. There are also the added costs of the bureaucratic nightmare that accompanies getting that money. Don’t I get money for doing that as well? Of course I do.

Hospitals and medial firms are no different than any other. They pay people full time to find more and more ways to wring every dollar possible out of the government piggy bank.

Remember the sick child from the previous essay? We’ll say she is still sick.   The family is on it’s heels because the parents didn’t plan for the future. I mean why should they have? Mommy government says they shouldn’t have to. No matter how stupid they were in the past, somebody ought to step up and pay their bills. Right?

Again, that is what Medicaid is for. We’ll say this family has shot their financial wad and they still have a sick kid. Medicaid should step in. In a world without Obamacare and the constant money machine of mandated insurance coverage it would be easy to administer a program just for folks like this AND for folks who may have never been above the poverty line.

This child will not die because she didn’t have healthcare. Now on Medicaid, getting care will come with a lot of hassle as all government programs do. (They are all created by bureaucrats and are loaded with needless nonsense). But hey, if everyone else is paying your bills for you, you can’t bitch too much.

So mom might have to quit work to take care of the kid and get her to the doctor. Once the family has taken every step to they can, including the sale of golf clubs and moving to a smaller place without a pool, there is no reason why we can’t step in and help out. By this time, the government would be avoiding greater dependence.

Either way, no one is going to die because they are refused treatment. Only the VA does that. And that is a function of government corruption and incompetence.

So let’s wrap this up.

A smart Mitch McConnell (figure the odds) should announce that in two-years time, Obamacare will cease to exist.

All restrictions on competition and state-line restrictions will be eliminated from the federal registry.

If people want to offer insurance plans to employees and employees wish to take the deal, fine. But now that we know the dangers in doing that, there should be NO INCENTIVES offered by the government to sustain such an arrangement. People would be better off buying into the huge cooperatives that will immerge in the new market.

Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that in less than a year a multitude of competent companies will announce their new medical plans. And they will cost far less than what Americans pay right now.

A smart McConnell will say that if you are now being covered by a pre-existing condition under Obamacare or Medicaid, you will be kept on that coverage. But the coverage will be means-tested and if you are over the poverty line a graduated scale will be created under which you will share in the burden of your healthcare. Substantially!

If you don’t buy your own insurance on or before the end date of Obamacare and THEN get sick and THEN try to get on Medicaid an additional penalty will be assessed to the deal in the previous paragraph.

Since the advocates of Obamacare think that paying $6000/yr premiums and $6000/yr deductibles is perfectly okay, then that may be a good starting point for the two previous paragraphs.

Woohoo! If the government does anything like this, you will be gob smacked at the numbers of people who will flea Medicaid AND SAVE MONEY! LOTS OF IT!

The cost of doing business will fall into the basement! Everybody will make out…hospitals, insurance companies, and patients…everybody!

If you need proof, look at the cost of auto insurance or homeowners’ insurance. Those are still REAL bets. [for the monumentally slow, that is what insurance is. It cannot work any other way.] These industries have been very stable for decades. Costs often lag behind inflation. That is because there is honest competition and less interference by the government. You cannot turn on the TV and NOT hear XYZ company offering a better deal than the others. They also have an endless variety of specialty coverage options, like “whole car replacement” (a gutsy bet at any price) you if you are willing to pay a tiny bit more in premiums.

This should be the model for medical insurance.

This is a great example of how ridiculously inexpensive basic medical care actually is before you add all the corruption and bureaucracy to the equation.  Click here!

Another author’s case for free market health insurance. Click here! 

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics:  It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.  

Kindle version here!

Or just read for free on Kindle Unlimited!