Political Digest for March 23, 2010
What ObamaCare means
This was my take in December, when passage seemed assured. I’ve no reason to change my mind on most of this. The collapse is coming—teach your kids to shoot and grow potatoes, two skills they will need in the Brave New World the Obots are creating.
This is step one in destroying the private insurance industry. Increase their costs, but not their income, leading to bankruptcy. If you have insurance stocks in your IRA, sell. The “public option” is coming. Once destroyed, then the public will demand a single-payer government plan.
Note that we did have bi-partisanship. The opposition was bi-partisan, though it’s hard to tell how many of the Democrat NO votes were in Nancy’s pocket and were released to vote with the people instead of the leadership, to protect them in November.
Makes one feel like giving up—but in my ear Sgt. William Harris, my Senior DI, is screaming, “Don’t you quit on me, Maggot!”
Little noticed, the bill restricts physician hospital ownership. Note that I work for physicians, so I am not unbiased here. But physician-owned hospitals are an important component of our health care delivery system and I strongly oppose the language included in the bill that would prevent physicians from owning hospitals in this country in the future. Physician owners in physician-owned hospitals have greater control over the facility and the quality and efficiency of care (e.g., scheduling of surgeries, surgical equipment, staffing, etc.) which lead to higher quality patient care. Furthermore, these facilities tend to have greater patient satisfaction, reduced costs, and lower infection rates. I believe it is a disservice to patients to eliminate these successful facilities.
The Unintended Consequences of Government Intervention
Excerpt: Interesting take from a doctor, with some historical outcomes of another government intervention in the economy. Worth Reading.
ObamaCare by the Numbers
Good review of how this will impact people. And how many.
Why Healthcare Reform Can't Work
Excerpt: Two weeks ago we smashed the side view mirror on our car and had to take it to the shop. We paid $250 for a replacement. This week I went to my dermatologist to see if I had developed any more skin cancers (red hair and all that). The doctor took a biopsy on one spot and sent if off to the lab. If it's malignant, I'll have to go back and have a bigger chunk of my cheek removed. The cost of all this? Zero. This simple comparison illustrates why healthcare "reform," as Congress has just adopted it, will probably bankrupt the country. As far as auto insurance is concerned, we have it like almost everyone else. It covers major damage. A year ago I was in a fender-bender. The insurance paid a small portion of the repairs. Several years ago, we bought my son a car and -- typically -- he nearly totaled it within a week. The insurance company paid an astounding $8,000 in repairs but our premiums tripled and we spent several years paying the penalty. That's what "underwriting" is about. After one accident you get moved into a higher risk category. It's what you might call a "pre-existing condition."
States launch lawsuits against healthcare plan
Excerpt: Less than 24 hours after the House of Representatives gave final approval to a sweeping overhaul of healthcare, attorneys general from several states on Monday said they will sue to block the plan on constitutional grounds. Republican attorneys general in 11 states warned that lawsuits will be filed to stop the federal government overstepping its constitutional powers and usurping states' sovereignty. States are concerned the burden of providing healthcare will fall on them without enough federal support. Ten of the attorneys general plan to band together in a collective lawsuit on behalf of Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.
Democrats to America: Drop dead
Think the message was actually less printable, starting with “F.” Excerpt: Well, they finally did it. Despite more than a year of steadily rising public opposition, manifested in opinion polls and in protest rallies across the country, President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally rammed through Obamacare late Sunday when House Democrats gave the bill their imprimatur. The House vote isn’t the end of the national debate on this issue, however, as the Senate still must accept the House changes in the Senate Obamacare bill. Senate Republicans argue that the House reconciliation bill that makes significant changes in the Senate bill violates the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, maintaining that it should be ruled out of order by the Senate parliamentarian for consideration in the upper chamber. That in turn would mean the only bill the president could legally sign would be the original Senate bill, with its massive funding of abortion and the infamous deals used to buy senators’ votes, including the Cornhusker Kickback. At that point, a constitutional crisis of historic magnitude seems inevitable.
This Is What Change Looks Like
Excerpt: I should listen to my wife more often. After Sunday night’s health care vote we turned off the television and took our dog for a walk. I was pretty grumbly and probably not very good company. I griped and complained and expressed astonishment that a bill that mandates this much federal oversight of private industry, that is stuffed, end to end with pork – literally built on a cornerstone of graft – could ever be written in the capitol of the United States. And then I said, “I wonder how long it will be before some Democrat sums all of this up as 'just a step in the right direction’.”
National Healthcare Bill Betrays Veterans
Excerpt: The national commander of the nation’s oldest and largest combat veterans’ organization is furious that Congress is moving ahead with a flawed healthcare bill that does not protect the health programs provided to veterans, servicemembers or their families. “The president and the Democratic leadership are betraying America's veterans,” said Thomas J. Tradewell Sr., a combat-wounded Vietnam veteran from Sussex, Wis., who leads the 2.1 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliaries.
Voter Backlash Beyond ObamaCare
Excerpt: On a drive across rural Wisconsin last fall, I was struck by the large number of white barns and milking sheds standing empty where there were once huge herds of Holsteins. Many farmers are wondering why they ever elected Democrats to Congress in the first place. They certainly didn't think it would mean being strangled to death by regulations that would meet the approval of the likes of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the intellectual giant who thinks hog farmers are a greater threat to America than al-Qaeda.
Obamacare's Achilles Heel
Excerpt: This is firmly in the tradition of one strain of liberalism -- the idea that successful solutions can be dictated from above. They believe that there is a ruling elite who is, or at least should be, tasked with taking care of the general populace. It is the general populace that is, according to the liberal mindset, incapable of assessing and correctly deciding issues on its own. To the extent that liberalism ever strays off the "rational reservation," it is to wallow in the comforting swamps of emotion. "Feeling" that something is the right thing to do is enough. Having compassion can justify any program. If it was intended to do good, it matters little what the actual outcome might be. And so we deal with this bi-polar aspect of liberalism. It is either rational in a way that does not understand or respect the complex reality of the human condition. Or it is often driven by an emotional commitment that trumps serious analysis. It's a toxic mix.
Professor Jacobson’s ‘morning after’ pep talk
Excerpt: In August and September, did you think we would make it to the end of the year, and then in early January 2010, did any of you (other than me) think Scott Brown could win and we could prevent a Democratic super-majority? Your hard work has paid off, even if the end result was not what we wanted. But trust me, without you it would have been much, much worse.
Keep writing, Lynne
Coming soon to a health care system near you. Excerpt: I know a WW2 veteran who was recently told he has to wait 2 years for a knee replacement. This man fought through the entire Italian campaign, and now has to suffer in his old age. At the same time our government is looking at enticing people from out of province with hard cash to take advantage of our empty operating rooms and vacant time slots for things like hip and knee replacement surgery. I'm not a health care expert, but it seems to me that something is very wrong here.
New Fight: Lt. Col. Allen West Pursues a House Seat
One of the candidates I’ve contributed to. Excerpt: Back in 2003, few Americans had heard of Lt. Col. Allen West, then commanding a battalion of roughly 600 in Iraq. Then attacks on his platoon suddenly spiked, and his intelligence operations got wind of an Iraqi police having leaked their maneuvers, in advance, to Islamic terrorists. West got nowhere by interrogating the suspected collaborator for several hours. Ever-mindful of his men's safety - and a rumored plot to assassinate him and attack the entire battalion - West drew his service revolver and fired near the man's head. The policeman started talking, and West thus averted the plot. He also faced a potential court martial, however, and was called to testify before Congress. "I'd go through hell with a gasoline can" to save his men's lives, a nonplussed West told Congress. The Army merely fined West and relieved him of his command, ending his otherwise stellar 22-year Army career.
China's sandstorms blast Beijing with dust, sand
And the Warmiacs think they are going to help with carbon reduction?
No Allies — But Plenty of Enemies
Can’t recall if I already posted this excellent column. Old age. Excerpt: Almost 30 years after losing a war over the Falkland Islands, Argentina is once again warning Britain that it still wants back what it calls the Malvinas. Argentina is now angry over a British company's oil exploration off the windswept islands in what it considers its own South Atlantic backyard. Although nominally democratic, the unpopular Kirchner government in Buenos Aires has claimed that the sparsely settled islands are a symbolic matter of Spanish-speaking pride throughout Latin America — and is theirs because the islands once belonged to Spain in the 19th century. In response to all this, the Obama administration announced that it would remain neutral. Aside from the fact that the Falkland Islanders wish to remain British, and our prior support for the Thatcher British government during the 1982 war, there are lots of reasons why our neutrality here is a bad idea. Britain is a longstanding NATO member. It has bled side-by-side America in two world wars, Korea and two conflicts in Iraq, as well as presently in Afghanistan. And the United Kingdom still shares close linguistic, cultural and historical affinities with the United States. We do not support all the British do; nor do they always support us. But our centuries-old friendship should earn Britain special support in its disputes, even in the relatively unimportant Falklands mess. If Britain is not considered an ally, then America no longer has real allies. And perhaps that is the point, after all. The Obama administration does not wish to see the world so divided between allies and the rest.
Betraying freedom in Latin America
Excerpt: I was wrong. For years, I've argued that our government should pay more attention to South America. Now Hillary Clinton has – and, boy, is it ugly. With tragic back-to-back earthquakes dominating the headlines from south of the border, a desperate ploy by the hard-left Argentine government – backed by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez – threatens to shake the continent's political landscape. And Secretary of State Clinton, during her whirlwind tour down south, managed to outrage our British allies and assist despised President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in her family's assault on Argentine democracy. Clinton's diplomatic malfeasance in Buenos Aires wasn't an accident. She spoke for President Obama, who loves Third World liberation rhetoric and seems to think Britain's still colonizing his family home in Kenya. Here's the back story that our media largely have ignored: Longing to be another Eva Peron, President Fernandez resembles Eva Braun. And her would-be dynast husband, ex-Prez Nestor Kirchner, sees himself as a Juan Peron for the 21st century. But the people of Argentina have caught on to the Kirchner mob's bid to subvert their democracy – after this husband-and-wife team wrecked the economy, broke the agricultural sector and nationalized (the left's word for "stole") the nation's private pension funds.
Tehran's terrible future, and maybe America's too
Excerpt: Both Washington and Tehran have much to learn from this. The people of Iran should realize the terrible price they may pay due to their president's relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons. For Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, nukes are more than a status symbol. He views them as a useful tool. He publicly yearns to bring about the "death of Israel" and live in "a world without America." Nukes are the way to reach these goals. Give this delusional dreamer a nuclear weapon and a missile to deliver it, and he'll be only too eager to threaten his enemies with nuclear holocaust. That, of course, would only invite atomic retaliation ... the type that would obliterate Iran. Ahmadinejad is an existential threat to his own people. And that's reason enough for Iranians to take back their country. The lesson for Washington is that the United States, a long-established nuclear power, must act like a responsible one. President Obama has started a mad dash down the "road to zero" -- with the announced goal of eliminating our nuclear arsenal. It's a path more likely to end in a nuclear firestorm than in peace. Why? The danger starts with the administration's refusal to fully modernize our nuclear weapons. Our aging inventory is increasingly less usable and reliable. The continuing erosion of a credible deterrent force will only invite aggression.
Healthcare in Afghanistan
Jews Marked with Yellow Stars Again
Juden Raus! Excerpt: In the Copenhagen township of Nørrebro that has been solidly in Muslim hands for a long time, Jews must hide their faith in order to avoid persecution. Yellow stars get stuck to the backs of Norwegian schoolchildren, and the teachers don’t intervene. In the “enriched” Swedish town of Malmö, many Jewish families have already fled (PI reported). In all of Scandinavia, the persecution of Jews by “persons from the Near East” has increased enormously. The Frankfurter Rundschau reports: The attacks escalated in the previous year, when 200 Jewish demonstrators held rallies for peace and compassion for the civilian victims of both sides but were hounded out of the place by an even larger group of Palestinian counter-demonstrators with rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails Teachers and parents reported on Norwegian TV that the class instruction about the Holocaust was boycotted and statements like “The Jews were behind 9/11″ went unanswered. When one pupil complained that he was mortally threatened because he was a “Jewish pig,” the teacher dismissed him with the statement that these things could happen to anyone.
Iranians train Taliban to use roadside bombs
So much for the divisions in Islam. Excerpt: TALIBAN commanders have revealed that hundreds of insurgents have been trained in Iran to kill Nato forces in Afghanistan. The commanders said they had learnt to mount complex ambushes and lay improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which have been responsible for most of the deaths of British troops in Helmand province. The accounts of two commanders, in interviews with The Sunday Times, are the first descriptions of training of the Taliban in Iran…..Shi’ite Iran had long opposed the Sunni-dominated Taliban. The reason for the change was summarised by one Taliban commander who said of the Iranians: “Our religions and our histories are different but our target is the same. We both want to kill Americans.”
TV presenter gets death sentence for 'sorcery'
Dear King Abdullah, Did you see how Obama, Reid and Pelosi passed ObamaCare? It was just magical. Excerpt: Amnesty International is calling on Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to stop the execution of a Lebanese man sentenced to death for "sorcery."
In a statement released Thursday, the international rights group condemned the verdict and demanded the immediate release of Ali Hussain Sibat, former host of a popular call-in show that aired on Sheherazade, a Beirut based satellite TV channel.
Pakistan Christian “Burned”, Wife “Raped”, For Refusing Islam
Didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: A Christian man was fighting for his life in Pakistan's Punjab province Saturday, March 20, after Muslim leaders backed by police burned him alive for refusing to convert to Islam, while his wife was raped by police officers, Christian and hospital sources familiar with the case told BosNewsLife.. Arshed Masih was burned Friday, March 19, in front of a police station in the city of Rawalpindi near Pakistan's capital Islamabad, following apparent death threats from his Muslim employer Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, an influential businessman, and religious leaders, said the Rawalpindi Holy Family Hospital.