Category Archives: Importante

El Hon. Juez Kavanaugh

El Bandolero was nearly unable to constrain himself while watching el Circo Judicial del Senado de los Estados Unidos the other day. Instead of painting a sign and rushing to the capitol to protest, we have decided to author a rational analysis of the event. At the outset, one is faced with the question of the applicable standard of proof; whether it’s beyond a reasonable doubt, clear and convincing evidence, preponderance of the evidence, or something else that doesn’t have a legal definition (i.e. gut feeling). The next question is who has the burden of proof. Is the burden on the accuser to prove guilt? Or is the burden on the accused to prove innocence? Since it wasn’t a criminal proceeding, Constitutional presumption of innocence with the burden on the accuser to overcome it beyond a reasonable doubt wouldn’t necessarily apply. But, should we turn a blind eye to the principles underlying those precepts?

We could write a lengthy manuscript on the subject, but we’ll just skip ahead and say we concluded that the “preponderance of the evidence” standard should be applied, and found the evidence to rest in favor of the Judge. To reach a verdict in this case, it isn’t necessary to conclude with 100% certainty that “he’s lying” or “she’s lying”. In the absence of a video of an event, it’s rare to reach 100% objective certainty about whose version of an event is accurate. Note the the word “objective” in that sentence. “Objective” means not infused with bias, predisposition or agenda. When stripped of bias, predisposition and agenda, the preponderance of objective and reliable (e.g. credible) evidence left the scales tipped in favor of Judge Kavanaugh.

We should add that we felt a 35 year uncontroverted record of unblemished sterling conduct and reputation was entitled to some weight. Some would argue that no amount of good deeds can erase even one assault such as Ms. Ford described, nor erase lying about it if one knew he was guilty. But that argument has no application to the case unless one presupposes a “guilty verdict” notwithstanding the preponderance of the evidence.

Until objective and reliable evidence to the contrary is presented that tips the preponderance the other way, El Bandolero must support the appointment of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. It remains to be seen what the FBI does or doesn’t come up with in its supplemental investigation. This, however, presents a whole ‘nuther question about whether it’s possible to get objective reliable evidence from the FBI. The Senators repeatedly pointed out that the FBI does not draw conclusions, it only gathers the evidence and reports it. The first image this brought to El Bandolero’s mind was James Comey’s press conference where he announced the FBI’s conclusion that the evidence did not warrant charges against a certain high ranking official who knowingly used a private personal server to send emails containing confidential government information.

Daft Nation

Bandolero is going to take an opportunity here to be more serious than usual. The insanity that had been tightening its grip on the pre-Harvey nation had become a source of burgeoning perplexity to El Bandolero, not to mention a source of rare confusion. Radicals on the left behaving like neo-nazi stormtroopers, radicals on the right behaving like neo-nazi stormtroopers, fascists and antifascists with no distinguishing features, monumental insanity, the silent majority holding its hands over its mouths in a hushed yet deafening “oh my! oh my!” And then Bandolero stumbled upon an article that took the whirlwind of bewilderment and incertitude from his mind and crafted a paen to reason and rationality. And here it is: A Nation Gone Daft, by Ronald E. Yates. You should read it. Twice. At least. If you can’t read, ask a family member, neighbor, friend, pastor or other spiritual advisor of your preference, or interpreter if you don’t know English, to read it to you, unless you’re deaf, in which case you’ll need to find somebody who can sign it to you in your language.

Ted Cruz – Sleazebag

El Bandolero, as you all know, is a conservative among conservatives. But, we watched Ted Cruz on Face the Nation this morning, and could only stand up and shout, “You goddam sleazy fuckwad!” He was trying to defend the Senate health care bill, and made a big deal of saying that it’s unfair to saddle young people with the cost of other people’s pre-existing conditions. This simply, and most clearly, shows that the politicians in D.C. are still lying to us and still not doing anything constructive to actually fix the problems that permeate the health care industry.

Insurance, Mr. Cruz, is the means by which the risk and cost of something are spread over a big pool of participants, so that everybody can be covered when risk becomes reality for a few. When you allow insurers to segregate groups based on what each group’s anticipated medical cost is going to be, and then set each group’s premiums based on its anticipated cost, then the people who need insurance the most will be the people who can’t afford to have it. You aren’t fooling Bandolero with vague assertions that you’ll have some sort of credits or allowances so people with pre-existing conditions can still get the treatment they need.

Consider the logical end point of Mr. Cruz’s argument. Logically, why stop with creating subgroups (such as people with pre-existing conditions) of the big group? Why don’t you just say that each person’s premium should be based on his/her personal risk? Set their premium for this year based on what their medical expenses were the previous year. Now, that’s fair! You stay healthy, your premiums will be next to nothing. You get sick and become a burden on the system, you pay for it! Of course, that’s not “insurance”. The idea behind insurance would be, for example, to spread a person’s $10k of medical bills over a million people. When you start creating “high risk” groups to make them pay more so the larger population can pay less, you’re perverting the concept of insurance.

Of course, if what you’re really after are the voters in that very large group of young healthy people, well, you’re obviously going to be working on ways to show them how you reduced their premiums. Not enough sick people are going to suffer and die to affect the election. You goddam sleazebag!

Bandolero now finds it necessary to support the concept of single payer coverage. The fairest approach for EVERYBODY is to have EVERYBODY covered by ONE policy that covers EVERYTHING. That way, the cost of paying for EVERYONE’S health care is spread over the LARGEST possible number of people. Why is this fair to young people, you might ask? They may very well be paying more in premiums than what their own health care would cost if they had no insurance. Well, dumb-ass, it’s fair because down the road, when they turn 50 or 60 or 70 and suddenly find themselves diagnosed with leukemia or dementia or whatever, they will have the coverage to pay for it.

The challenge with single payer is the administration of it. Bandolero cannot imagine entrusting it to a government agency, whether at federal or state or even municipal level. Frankly, Bandolero often finds himself looking back fondly at what was, once upon a time, AT&T’s monopoly of the phone system. Bandolero suspects that a similar capitalistic health care insurance monopoly subject to appropriate government regulation may be the way to go. It may have been a monopoly, it may have had power to squelch competition, but everybody had a phone, we took them for granted, and we had the best phone system in the world. Aside: Remember TPC (The Phone Company) in that terrific movie, The President’s Analyst?

If you want to penalize certain groups of people and make them pay more because they are a higher risk, then penalize the people who create their own higher risk. For example, make smokers pay more. Make sky-divers pay more. Make people who consume alcohol pay more. Bandolero has no problem helping to pay for medical care for people who have cancer. Bandolero has a problem helping to pay for people who have cancer because they preferred cigarettes over health; or paying to set broken bones for people who get drunk and crash their cars. (Although, statistically, it’s the drunk person who’s more likely to walk away uninjured, leaving sober victims mangled or dead)

What Mr. Cruz hasn’t done is ANYTHING that addresses the ANTI-TRUST and PRICE-FIXING practices of the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry, and the medical provider industry. These are the NEW BIG 3 who conspire to make the big decisions that screw the health care consumer. Fifty years ago the BIG 3 consumer-screwers were Ford, General Motors and, um, who was #3, anyway? Chrysler? It wasn’t American Motors. We know what happened to American Motors. If Cruz, et al., are unwilling to go single payer, they’ll never get a handle on insurance premiums until they get a handle on the NEW BIG 3. This failure is primarily why Obamacare didn’t work. And it’s why your plan won’t work; aside from the fact that the needs of the citizens are not the focus of the politicians; their focus is on getting votes in next year’s elections.

No, Cruz and his ilk (by “his ilk” I mean virtually every elected politician in Washington, D.C.) are not making any good faith effort to fix health care. They are making every sleazy effort to create sound bites that appeal to the people whose votes they are focused on for the next election. YOU ARE A SLEAZEBAG, MR. CRUZ! You have an opportunity to convince us otherwise. We can only hope you will take advantage of that opportunity. But we’re not holding our breath.

Sen. McCain was also on the same show this morning. Good lord, he needs to retire, soon. We supported him back in his presidential bid, although we were already starting to see the signs then. The signs now are quite clear. He is far more dangerous than Donald Trump. But that’s a topic for another post.