Behold the WheelTug Twist and Twirl — a new 4-minute YouTube.  Won’t it be nice, seated in 34C, not to have to wait that extra five or ten minutes to get off the damn plane?  Or that extra 5 or 10 minutes to board?  Or — even if you’re in First Class and get to board before anyone else — that extra five or ten minutes that can be cut from every flight you take while others board?

And there are the environmental benefits — hence WheelTug’s ATW Magazine 2013 Eco-Technology of the Year Award, presented this past Thursday.

Slowly but surely WheelTug becomes inevitable.  Well, slowly, anyway.  Maybe not surely.  Only venture into shares of grandparent company Borealis with money you can truly afford to lose — and with “limit orders” so you aren’t gouged on the price.  It remains very thinly traded.


Bill Maher beats up on George W. Bush in the current Vanity Fair.

Someone named Francesco thought Maher should have mentioned Obama’s failed presidency as well.

I cannot not refrain from asking Francesco these questions:

When you say “failed presidency,” is that because President Obama averted a depression and the stock market has doubled?  Or because he saved Detroit and the auto industry is booming?  Or because he ended two wars and restored respect among our allies?  Is it because — at the expense of a modest tax increase on the best off — he set us on a course toward health care security with incentives and pilot programs to improve outcomes and efficiency?  Or because he doubled CAFE standards and seeded alternative energy technologies that begin to deal, finally, with energy independence, energy security, and climate change?  Is it because he saved the Court from going yet more firmly to the Citizens-United-Bush-v-Gore right?  Or because he killed Bin Laden and decimated the ranks of Al-Qaeda?  Is it because he won re-election with more than 50% of the vote? Because he’s done more for LGBT Americans than all 43 previous presidents combined?  Or — to the extent there will be any truth to it at all when he steps down — will it be because he faced an opposition party willing to wreck the country to see him fail?

Just asking.


“We’re going to continue to do everything we can to protect Americans from this harmful health care law,” House Speaker Boehner said.

Killing the law — which the House has now voted to do 42 times — would also kill the 3.8% surtax on dividends and capital gains that, arguably, “harms” those with more than $250,000 in taxable income:  for every extra $1 million they make, they are harmed to the tune of $38,000.

But it’s hard to see who else is harmed.  Indeed, it is that extra tax revenue that makes the program a modest deficit cutter even as it improves health care security for almost everyone.  It means that you and your loved ones will never have to fear being turned down for insurance due to a “pre-existing condition” or fear that an illness will exhaust your ‘lifetime cap” — or have to pay for preventive care.

I suppose you could say that some insurance company shareholders will be harmed, but only because Obamacare requires insurers to spend at least 80% or 85% of their premium income (depending on the size of the insured group) on healthcare rather than on their own operating costs, marketing costs, and profit.  Already they’ve been sending out hundreds of thousands of refund checks for the excess.  Is that harmful to consumers in some way that I’m failing to grasp?

There will be glitches that need fixing — Peggy Noonan found one involving 455 Oregon families, as already described — but the solution to that is to fix them.  Not throw out reform that will make the American economy — and its citizenry — both healthier.



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