Friday, September 11, 2009

Political Digest for September 11, 2009

Today, take a moment to remember eight years ago today.

On Sunday, I'll post an Essay about the next terror attack on America. Please check back.

Why not two steps?
If President BO is telling the truth about the saving to be had to fund Health Care Reform, why not institute all the savings measures now, then pass the spending measurers in two years, after we see if he really is correct about the savings.

Medicare for Congress & Federal Employees?
If government-run healthcare is so good, who not do away with the insurance plan for Congress and other federal employees, and simply expand Medicare to cover them?

You Lie!
BO called some of the people who disagreed with him last night, by implication Sarah Palin for one, liars, saying the things they said were lies. But calling him a liar to his face was uncivil.

You Lie!
Excerpt: Joe Wilson's War: A little known Republican congressman from South Carolina may wind up being the best friend the White House has in the health care debate. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst -- and his subsequent apology -- dominated the post-speech coverage and gave the administration a convenient foil to run against. Americans tend to blanch at rank partisanship -- particularly when it is displayed in a formal setting like the halls of Congress. As we noted in yesterday's Morning Fix, the White House was badly in need of a villain to demonize in this health care fight. Joe Wilson offered himself up for that role last night. (OK, it’s not nice to interrupt the President when he’s lying. But if illegals are not covered, why did the Democrats in committee vote against a Republican amendment expressly excluding them? Why give the Republicans an issue on a vote the President says is meaningless?)

More on “You Lie!”
Excerpt: But his verbal explosion had hit its mark. Just 48 hours earlier, Obama had exhorted a labor union crowd: "It just goes to show you how one voice can change a room." But he didn't mean to inspire Joe Wilson.

DCCC Raising Money Off Joe Wilson's "You Lie!" Outburst
Excerpt: The Democratic Congressional Committee is now aiming to cash in on Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst, with a new fundraising e-mail sent out to its supporter list.
"Help us raise $100,000 in the next 48 Hours to send a message to Republicans like Congressman Joe Wilson that we will not stand for our President to be called a liar in front of the nation," the e-mail says. "Your contribution will be immediately put to work to defeat Republican Members of Congress and support meaningful health insurance reform." Wilson's Democratic opponent, Rob Miller, has already taken in $200,000 in less than 24 hours since the big moment.

Joe Wilson for Congress
Contribute here.

Rationing Obama-Style
Excerpt: Barack Obama really does want to come between you and your doctor. More precisely, he wants to change the way your doctor practices medicine, says John C. Goodman, President, CEO and the Kellye Wright Fellow of the National Center for Policy Analysis. Rationing Obama-style will be done indirectly, explains Goodman. It will be the result of administrative decisions -- all ostensibly made for the best of reasons: to eliminate futile and unnecessary care. Here's how it will work: Under Medicare, the Administration is seeking the authority to make decisions on reimbursing providers through an independent commission. The federal government will use the power of the purse to force doctors to change the way they practice medicine. There will be fewer CAT scans, fewer MRI scans, fewer blood tests and fewer operations for the simple reason that Medicare will quit paying for procedures it considers questionable.

Medical-Devices Sector Takes Tough Stance On Potential Fee
Excerpt: The medical-devices sector has come out swinging against a U.S. Senate proposal that could tap $40 billion from device makers over 10 years to help cover health-care reform. (So the device makers pay more. Free money for reform, right? But to get that $40 billion, they have to charge more for their products. A large percentage of the hip and knee implants, and many others are paid for by Medicare. So Medicare will pay more tax dollars to the makers, so the makers can pay tax dollars to the government to pay for HCR. Duh. Oh, you say, the companies should take it out of profits? So they do, and their stocks are worth less, which means the millions of middle income Americans who own those stocks through mutual funds in their IRAs see their retirement funds decrease. And many of them can’t make the connection, and continue to vote for Obama, who promised if elected they wouldn’t pay a penny more in taxes. The people are ignorant of basic economics, so they get screwed by people promising there really is a Free Lunch. There ain’t!)

Sentenced to Death on the National Health Service
Excerpt: In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death. Under Great Britain's government-run health system - the National Health Service --NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away. But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn. As a result the scheme is causing a "national crisis" in patient care, the letter states. It has been signed palliative care experts including Professor Peter Millard, Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, University of London, Dr. Peter Hargreaves, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Luke's cancer centre in Guildford, and four others. "Forecasting death is an inexact science," they say. Patients are being diagnosed as being close to death "without regard to the fact that the diagnosis could be wrong. "As a result a national wave of discontent is building up, as family and friends witness the denial of fluids and food to patients." (But there won’t be “Death Panels” when we have this system here, of course. You can trust BO.)

Land of the Fee
Excerpt: It’s hard to see how Baucus' plan, like its ObamaCare twin, will make us any healthier or health care any cheaper. Like Obama's example of service, the post office, we'll get less service at higher cost while waiting in a line that gets longer, says IBD.

The Four-Day Workweek is Winning Fans
Hell, the Massachusetts Legislature was on a 4-day week in the 1970s! And we didn’t do that much on Thursdays, either.

Acorn Officials Videotaped Telling 'Pimp,' 'Prostitute' How to Lie to IRS,2933,548827,00.html?loomia_ow=t0:s0:a16:g2:r3:c0.138574:b27620972:z0
Excerpt: In the videotape, made on July 24, James O'Keefe, a 25-year-old independent filmmaker, posed as a pimp with a 20-year-old woman named "Kenya" who posed as a prostitute while visiting ACORN's office in Baltimore. The couple told ACORN staffers they wanted to secure housing where the woman could continue to maintain a prostitution business.

The John Adams Project;jsessionid=F65B61224797C6AFBFB9541D0D190F6C?pid=27182
Excerpt: That is why I am so enraged by the John Adams Project, a group of subversive Americans affiliated with the ACLU who are sneaking around taking pictures of CIA agents who may have interrogated captured al-Qaeda guys in the wake of the 9/11 attack. This insidious outfit believes the CIA tortured casually and the USA is a "human rights violator." After taking the surreptitious photos, the Adams Project then passes them on to lawyers representing incarcerated terrorists, hoping that an accused man will, in turn, accuse a CIA agent of torturing him. This nasty business is now being investigated by the Justice Department, but the Obama administration has kept very quiet about it and, strangely, so has the media. (John Adams would hurl.)

40 Fanatics Go Free From Jail
They’ll always be a Londonistan.

Windmills are Killing our Birds
The number of birds killed by wind turbines is highly variable. And biologists believe Altamont, which uses older turbine technology, may be the worst example. But that said, the carnage there likely represents only a fraction of the number of birds killed by windmills. Michael Fry of the American Bird Conservancy estimates that U.S. wind turbines kill between 75,000 and 275,000 birds per year. Yet the Justice Department is not bringing cases against wind companies."Somebody has given the wind industry a get-out-of-jail-free card," Mr. Fry told me. "If there were even one prosecution," he added, the wind industry would be forced to take the issue seriously. According to the American Wind Energy Association, the industry's trade association, each megawatt of installed wind-power results in the killing of between one and six birds per year. At the end of 2008, the U.S. had about 25,000 megawatts of wind turbines. (Simple. BO says oil companies bad, wind companies good, so selective enforcement of the law. What did you expect?)

The Power & Danger of Iconography
Interesting take.

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