Enjoying editing some old PEP Talk Podcast: 12-17-12: Keith Plunkett and Commissioner Mike Chaney debate the Mississippi Health Insurance Exchange | Mississippi PEP

I had the pleasure of getting to discuss the issue of the Mississippi Health Insurance Exchange directly with Commissioner Chaney when he decided to call into The JT Show, a statewide radio show, and take me to task on a few things back in December. In the end, Chaney’s explanations did nothing but leave me more confident than ever that this government-engineer-as-you-go health exchange is big government gone haywire.

Mike is a friend. We just disagreed on this issue.

via PEP Talk Podcast: 12-17-12: Keith Plunkett and Commissioner Mike Chaney debate the Mississippi Health Insurance Exchange | Mississippi PEP.


Is this racist?

PepsiCo is coming under fire for this Mountain Dew ad. Critics say it is “the most racist ad ever created.”

1. It was created by a black man. So, aren’t the cries of racism just a lot of hyped up victimization?

2. It’s obviously satire. You can’t have true satire without playing on a few stereotypes.

3. If this were a lineup of white men, well dressed wall street types would the racism even be a factor?

Watch it here before it’s pulled: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8-SaUrvQck&feature=youtube_gdata_player.

NCAA bans #HAILSTATE, online media info on fields of play.

The NCAA is cramping Mississippi State’s social media swag.

According to a rules memo dated April 17, the NCAA football rules committee has banned the use of Twitter hashtags on football fields. MSU, of course, was the first school to do such a thing, painting #HAILSTATE in its end zone for the 2011 Egg Bowl versus Ole Miss. The hashtag remained there for the entire 2012 season and was last seen at the recent Maroon-White spring game on April 20.

In the memo, the football rules committee outlined what markings are allowed on the field of play: the NCAA logo, conference logo, college/university team name and logo, team name and logo, name of the commercial entity that purchased naming rights to the facility, and in the case of postseason games only the name/logo of the title sponsor.

“All other items, including social media designations such as URL’s and hashtags, are prohibited.” Why? No real reason was given, although the rule is prefaced by this phrase: “Except as noted herein, there may be no advertising on the field, which includes the end zones and sideline areas.” Hashtags are a form of advertising, then?

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Plunkett: The rhythm of the river owns me. | Mississippi Paddler

I’ve had the privilege of getting to know many paddlers from Mississippi and beyond in the past five years. With the exception of one man I have probably paddled as many or more miles on more rivers in this state than any of them. I and my wife have kayaked many thousands of miles of these beautiful Mississippi arteries, and each experience is remembered because of what the river is willing to give us, not because we conquer her.

The only other person I know that has accomplished that kind of paddling is Ernest Herndon. Ernest has been a mentor to me in many respects and someone who I consider to be the Godfather of Mississippi paddling. Anyone lucky enough to have read Ernest’s writings will find a man completely in love with the rhythms of the river; her history, her beauty, and her subtle and sometimes not so subtle way of communicating the spiritual.

In the end, I have come to a conclusion. I may enter a race from time to time for the camaraderie of it all. But, I’m not in it to win it.  Personally, it’s not about me against the river, or any other paddler, or my last time. I’m out there to forget time exists. I’m out there to lose myself, not own the moment.

Falling prey to the rhythm of the river is too great a temptation for me to overcome. Quite frankly, I’m more sure now that I don’t want to overcome it. It is in the adventure and discovery of something other than myself, that I find myself.

The river reminded me on Saturday that I don’t own her, she owns me. I see no reason to fight her on that.

via Plunkett: The rhythm of the river owns me. | Mississippi Paddler.

Plunkett: Medicaid expansion is subsidizing sickness. | Mississippi PEP

The old saying in government is that if you want more of something then subsidize it, if you want less of something then tax it. That is what we’re seeing with Medicaid expansion. The subsidy carrot is being dangled in front of states through Medicaid expansion to incentivize the herding of more people into a system that already fails to deliver healthy outcomes to those it currently serves. As that system founders under the weight of expansion, then more taxes will be necessary to fund the increasing size of the system, meaning less jobs, therefore more people in the system, and less coverage resulting in less healthy outcomes . . . . repeat, ad nauseum.

We are subsidizing sickness by government mandate.

Medicaid already underserves the people it is supposed to benefit, and that is before any expansion. Pushing more people into a system that, in many cases, provides worse health outcomes than for those that have no insurance at all is akin to poisoning through small doses.

To use another analogy, Mississippi Democrats are proposing pouring a bushel of fresh apples on top of a bushel of spoiled ones. We know what happens to the good apples in that scenario.

via Plunkett: Medicaid expansion is subsidizing sickness. | Mississippi PEP.

Plunkett: DSH payments will never be cut. Dems should vote to reauthorize Medicaid now. | Mississippi PEP

With one single decision President Barack Obama pulled the rug out from under any moves by Mississippi Democrats to expand Medicaid in Mississippi. In fact, he pulled the rug out from under the supporters of expansion in all the states who have yet to decide to expand the program. He also began the slippery slide into the undoing of his own signature achievement as President, ObamaCare, something that was inevitable.

On Wednesday the Obama Administration blinked in the face of the huge number of states who have outright rejected any form of Medicaid expansion by delaying cuts to  DSH payments to states. 23 refused participation at last count.

DSH, or “dish”, payments are given to hospitals by the federal government to states through Medicaid for caring for the uninsured.

What the administration has done is basically admit that these payments to hospitals will never end, something that would have been eventually learned through a court order had the cuts actually been attempted. Back in June of 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states had the legal authority to reject expansion and the federal government could do nothing to penalize states for it. The exact language in the ruling says:

“What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.”

via Plunkett: DSH payments will never be cut. Dems should vote to reauthorize Medicaid now. | Mississippi PEP.

A Provocation: Provide or Protect? | Mississippi PEP

I was reading through some of the articles and stories about Margaret Thatcher this morning and a quote from the iconic former Prime Minister jumped out at me. It’s a quote I think we Mississippi conservatives should pay close attention to as we continue having discussions about Medicaid expansion and reauthorization. But it also fits the ongoing argument over open carry, and many other discussions we find ourselves in right now.

Thatcher said:

I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the Government’s job to cope with it. “I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.” “I’m homeless, the Government must house me.” They’re casting their problems on society. And you know, there’s no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbors. People have got their entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There is no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.

This quote in a nutshell wraps up the difference between the liberal and conservative positions.

via A Provocation: Provide or Protect? | Mississippi PEP.