motytrah comments

Posted in: Blaming conservatives, Trump signals new openness to Democrats See in context

It's a win for the people because it will bring health care costs to a reasonable level, which is a win for all the people.

There's nothing in Trump care that addresses health care costs. There isn't a single reputable Actuarial Professional on record that supports your assertion. At best it nibbles around the edged of insurance policy.

That being said we're already on Trumpcare. The Trump administration has the ability through the secretary of Health Human Service Tom Price to change the definitions of what "essential care" means for an insurance program. Price already has rules in the making that radically reduce the number of things insurance has to cover. That will lower the cost of insurance, but the cost of care is the same, so it just shifts those costs to people who get sick.

Trump can't get rid of the insurance mandate, but he can change the penalty without congress's input. There are rule changes in the making that will do just that. That will hammer the costs of insurance on the individual market. Whatever saving are gleamed by shifting costs to the sick will be lost.

So what we'll end up with is insurance that hammers families when they get sick and costs about the same. Sick of winning yet?

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Posted in: British PM signs letter that will start Brexit See in context

It's really a question of where international companies move their EU HQs. Ireland? France? Germany? If England gets into some sort of trade spat with the EU then companies like Nissan, Honda and Toyota may reconsider their UK factories.

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Posted in: Lucasfilm lost sleep over uncanny resurrections of 'Rogue One' See in context

Rogue One was pretty good. Lucas should have lost sleep over Episode 7 for its unoriginal plot , and Episode 1 for poor acting.

Lucas has Zero input over any of the films. George had a number of Star Wars movies in early stages of development when he sold Lucasfilm to Disney. Disney passed on all of Lucas's ideas. Frankly, that's a good thing. Star Wars 1-3 were horrible. While neither Rouge One or Episode 7 were particularly perfect they are SOOOOO much better than 1-3.

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Posted in: United Airlines bars girls with leggings, igniting Twitter storm See in context

Airline passes generally require business casual attire. Not that long ago they required formal attire was the norm. Best case for the employee that provided the pass is they lose pass privileges. However, I wouldn't be surprised if United terminates the employee after this blows over. You don't make a big stink over things when you're flying for free and someone else has vouched for you.

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Posted in: Blaming conservatives, Trump signals new openness to Democrats See in context

Trump campaigned as a populist with ideas that come from both the left and the right. But his staff is all HARD RIGHT. Mick Mulvaney, is the White House budget director. He is as hard right as they come and he's the one that worked out the bill with Ryan. So long as Trump has folks like him representing him to congress nothing is going to get done. These people alienate moderate republicans and democrats alike.

Trump isn't going to bring in democrats into anything because he's staffed the office with people who don't know how to compromise.

So the next thing they intend to is tax reform. This time around they are going to make an example of "Freedom Caucus" leaders that defied him on Health Care. Safe money is it's end up tanking the budget bill.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Blaming conservatives, Trump signals new openness to Democrats See in context

Sick of winning yet?

On a serious note, you can't control the cost of healthcare unless you actually do something to control the cost of healthcare. It's the flaw Romneycare had (they had to pass price controls after Romney left office), it's the problem with Obamacare and it was the problem that Ryna/Trump care had. This idea that you can nibble around the edges of insurance laws and magically have health care costs come under control is laughable.

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Posted in: Bitcoin CEO released on bail in embezzlement case See in context

I love how suspects are always considerably "thinner" after coming out of a Japanese clink.

He wasn't in real prison. Tokyo Detention House is a cake walk compared actual J-Prisons that have real documented human rights abuses.

I've been told that the US started invoking a long unused Status of Forces provision that allows for them to provide meals to US military personnel serving sentences in J-Prision. Apparently in the some kid came out of J-Prision with organ damage from malnutrition.

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Posted in: Japan scrambles jets to intercept plane believed to be Russian See in context

Most of the incursions of airspace are never reported in the media unless civilian controllers are involved. Although sometimes there's some political gain to be made by making hay about stuff. It happens on both sides.

Short term Russia is going back to the USSR playbook because they have new found petro money to support these childish games. Long term it's stupid because the rest of the world is racing towards alternative energy. When petro prices crash what will Russia have?

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Posted in: Japan scrambles jets to intercept plane believed to be Russian See in context

Welcome to the Party Japan. My NATO friends have been playing "I'm not touching you" in the air with the Russians for about a decade now. Russia violates other countries airspace on a daily basis.

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Posted in: Blast destroys warehouse at U.S. military base in Sagamihara See in context

The U.S. military can only remain in Japan at the pleasure of the Japanese government.

Correct. In fact Japan pays the US a couple billion dollars annually for the protection. Mind you it's a huge jobs program for the Japanese since the US employes a substantial number of civilians.

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Posted in: Ghosts of WW2 haunt East Asia as Abe prepares statement See in context

Even if Abe said "the right things" it's not going to make a dent in Chinese relationships. China is very interested in bolstering itself with nationalism. Having tense relations with Japan helps out with that greatly. No matter what Abe says it will be spun in state controlled Chinese media to serve a pre-defined narrative.

What I think is short sighted is the rest of the neighbors. Japan should have been spending the last decade brown nosing everyone who's not China. If that means you stop visiting some war shine so be it. Instead no one really gets along too well and that creates a huge opening for China to project power. China uses that to start gobbling up other countries resources.

At least when the US decides they want natural resources we pay royalties to whoever happens to be in charge of the country. China just declares it part of their economic zone and sends in the fishing boats and oil rigs.

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Posted in: Mitsubishi Motors to end U.S. production See in context

The factory makes the North American Exclusive Outlander. A charitable review said:

Acceleration with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder won't stir your soul. If you mainly drive in town, you'll find its performance adequate, but there's really not enough power here for pleasurable highway travel. Thanks to the nature of the Outlander's CVT, accelerating up to freeway speeds has the engine at high rpm for prolonged periods of time, and the resulting noises are less than appealing.

Union's didn't make the car slow, Japanese executives did. Honda and Toyota build a lot of cars in the North America but seem to be much more in touch with what the consumer wants. It's actually pretty sad because while the reviews decry the lack of power in the car they all are extremely complimentary of the build quality and interior fit. Spending $500 on a turbo for the 4-cylinder would go a long way.

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Posted in: Mitsubishi Motors to end U.S. production See in context

The only plant with UAW unions working and the only Japanese car company to shut down totally.... hmmmm...

Mitsubishi has been doing so bad in the US that there has been serious talk about them leaving the North American market.

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Posted in: Another Japanese celebrity claims discrimination in France; netizens not so sympathetic See in context

The French (parisian) have the reputation for a reason, though I've never had any issues when in Paris. I have heard a number of my French contacts talk with distain about dealing with Chinese tourists. I think that's the most likely reason she was snubbed.

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Posted in: Helping to save lives See in context

No offense, but studies cite that AEDs are more effective. One study showed Neurologically intact survival was 49.6 with an on-site AED while just 14.3% without an AED. Effectiveness of CPR has always been fairly low though those are real lives being saved. He is right in stating that a lot of people are not comfortable administering an AED and that's the real problem.

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Posted in: Eisai signs global IT outsourcing contract with Accenture See in context

I've known several companies that have bought into the outsourcing model Accenture and IBM tout. Short term it looks good on the balance sheet, but towards the end of the contract costs become bloated and velocity slows to a snails pace. Many companies go back to in-house IT at the end of their contracts. Some cut out the middle man and bid directly to the Indian firms (Disney rather famously did that with a multi-billion IBM contract).

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Posted in: Ready to roll See in context

Nice they still make so many in Japan. they certainly would be if the yen was at 80~90yen/$1

Most of Honda's North American car production is made in North America. Toyota is pretty much the same. Even Porsche and Mercedes makes a good chunk of their cars in North America.

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Posted in: Japan scrambling warplanes as often as during Cold War era See in context

I had some friends who were posted in NATO. According to them the Russians started routinely violating European Airspace about 8 years ago. It was only a matter of time before the Chinese followed suit. China is stubborn but they have skin in the game for world trade. Russia on the other hand doesn't have a lot to lose and is quite happy playing some very dangerous games. Moreover the Anti-US/West/Japan sentiment in Russia is far worse among the general population compared to the cold war days. We're in for some very bad days.

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Posted in: Japan says jets scrambling at record pace to counter Chinese, Russian intrusions See in context

My NATO buddies have been complaining about the Russians flying into EU territory ... for the last decade. It's not surprising to see Russia take advantage of the situation. Given the domestic decline in Russia then need a distraction. I would not put it past Putin to make a play in "disputed territories". If Japan wants to play in this space they're going to need a lot more planes and people. They are competing against China who is simply building their own Islands to create a tidy little military bases.

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Posted in: NTV settles with college girl; offers her announcer position See in context

The concern for the network is if she becomes famous the story will become a scandal in the tabloids. I think this was the best play for all parties concerned. Since the story has already run it's course it inoculates the employee and employer from future bad publicity.

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Posted in: Maglev train reaches 500 km/hour during first public test See in context

I'd take Japan's high speed train safety record over China's any day.

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Posted in: Jackie Chan's son detained in Beijing drug bust See in context

Looks like China and Japan have something in common after all, Draconian Drug Laws.

In the grand scheme of things they are pretty lucky. There are plenty of places in Asia where the penalty would be death.

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Posted in: Fans ask Nintendo to name 'Zelda' character after Robin Williams See in context

Well they were both in a comical for the DS Ocarina of Time 3D port. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bINUfbLV_0M

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Posted in: Kamikaze pilots say war horrors lost on young See in context

Very true. A lot of lessons can be learned, but a lot is not. At least in Germany's case, having spent half of my younger years in Germany, there's always discussion about the war and Germans are very direct and forward and honest about their role and atrocities that the Nazis committed, unlike Japan, where you sometimes need to be careful when you engage the topic.

In the 60s and 70s it wasn't exactly easy to find the concentration camps in Germany. Things changed in the late 70s and 80s. Many people think a lot of it was because of German participation in NATO really forced the dialog. They had to count on the member nations to stick together to defend against the Soviets. For whatever reason that hasn't happened Japan even with the large US presence.

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Posted in: Japan steps up sanctions against Russia See in context

So back to the topic at hand. Japan get's something like 13-15% of it's LNG from Russia. I would expect there's going to be some issues with supplies come winter time. Because of existing export strategy the US was already going to be competitive with LNG exports in Asia but it won't be fully realized until 2015 and beyond. Stock up on extra blankets.

For Russia this is a non-event. Russia forgave most of North Korea's debt in order to put pipelines into Red China. The communist Chinese regime is not exactly pleased with Russia's methods, but at the end of the day they'll buy what ever energy Russia is selling and stay natural on the rest. It will likely offset whatever losses they'll face when Europe and some of the players in Asia stop dealing with them next year.

So, end of day, Russia really doesn't have to care, and I don't see any reason why they would care. You could have video showing the Russians shooting down the plane. So what? China is happy to buy what Russia is selling. And Europe is timid as they'd prefer not to freeze to death this winter. it's not like Russia actually makes anything of consequence outside of the natural resources they export. It's basically petro products, minerals, vodka and guns.

All the propaganda stuff is just a distraction for Russia, mostly meant to placate a domestic audience. It's a bit heartwarming really as it harkens back to Soviet Russia days and it speaks highly for JT that it's attracts folks willing to spread gov't propaganda! It also helps that Putin has systematically been exterminating independent news sources in Russia. Who wants to take bets on when the gulag system returns?

The people of Russia love Putin and they deserve the economy and (lack of) freedoms they'll get because of it.

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Posted in: China food scandal drags in Starbucks, Burger King and McNuggets in Japan See in context

@Frungy That can certainly happen. Even if meat is tainted you can usually super heated it and use it in packaged foods (legally). That's what happened to all the Jack-in-box beef 90s.

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Posted in: Rebels have taken away all plane crash bodies See in context

@jerseyboy Even if conclusive evidence comes up what's anyone going to do? Europe isn't going to do squat because they don't like freezing to death over the winter. The United States isn't going to put their necks out without the Europeans putting some skin in the game. The Russians don't have very little exports outside petro products, guns and Vodka. You're not going to break the backs of Russia on that. China will happily take the petro products in case of an all out European ban.

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Posted in: Rebels have taken away all plane crash bodies See in context

Rather they are digging graves for Kiev officials. Many questions have to be answered. The airplane was in Ukranian airspace, under control of Ukranians. They ordered pilots to change a standard flight path, to fly right through a zone of military conflict. That zone was infested by Ukranian war planes, there were Ukranian BUKs, deployed on the ground. And so on...

If you look at the actual flight tracks over Ukrane you'll see the route is historically a very common one. In fact over 80 Aeroflot planes took that route leading up to the incident. It could have very easily been a Russian plane shot down and I bet Russia wouldn't have been nearly so "restrained" about the situation if it was one of there commercial airplanes downed.

The media is quick to just to conclusion. The black boxes won't tell us much other than it wasn't mechanical. NATO forces have had AWACS in the air 24/7 with the most sophisticated radar images in the world. If NATO says it came from separatists territory then that's where it came from.

The idea that Ukraine would do it is ludicrous. Russian simply doesn't care what the world thinks. They have a second rate economy and a ton of internal problems. The more things blew up with the West the more nationalism they can leverage and the less people think about how crummy things have been under Putin. Besides, as long as Europe needs petro product from Russia they aren't going to do squat.

Is there any proof separatists blew up the plan. Not at this time. Did the Russians order the plane downed. Unlikely. Is the most likely and straight forward answer the separatists they blew it up thinking it was a military transport? Yes.

Will we ever know what happened? I doubt it. Sure, we'll know what kind of missile shot it down. But that still leaves a lot of finger pointing. If it was 100 US citizens killed then maybe some Russian's end up getting nabbed off the street. CIA waterboard some answers out of them. It's like the 80s all over again in Germany. But that's not what happened, and I don't think the Europeans have the stomach for what it's going to take to find the guy who pushed the button.

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Posted in: U.S. indicts Kadena base worker for sex with under-age girl See in context

Underage for alcohol, both of them. The title is misleading.

There's a good chance the base age for alcohol was 21 given historical issues with the bases there. However, it's fairly common for US bases to have a drinking age of 18 even though the local law might be 21. It's at the discretion of the base commander and prevailing agreements they have with the local government.

Frankly, I'm not sure why anyone would want the J-Cops to handle this. Age of majority in Japan is 20 combined with Japan's notoriously weak rape laws and even weaker prosecution record. It's unlikely much would come from this case if it was handled in the Japanese courts outside of SOFA employee getting deported.

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Posted in: Singer ASKA arrested for drug possession See in context

This isn't the United States where there is a constitutional right to privacy or the EU which is filled with a number of post WWII laws regarding privacy. J-Cops wanna enter your apartment on a flimsy tip they can. Another point is Entertainers in Japan are typically beholden to their Talent Agency. If the Agency wants to continue to work with ASKA then they will provide the PR cover. If they decide to drop him then he's on his own. Without an agency you won't get booked for TV, radio or personal appearances. Your songs won't get any airplay.

Japanese stars make good money (compared to the 80s when the agency housed the stars, paid for everything, but didn't really give them much actual money). However, this guys isn't sitting on the kind of money a US or EU pop star would have.

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