Monday, August 24, 2009

Triptych Of A Town Meeting

The people speak...but some politicians aren't listening....

David William Hedrick, a Marine Corps. veteran, who was randomly picked to ask a question at a town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA-03), expressed his concerns about pending legislation.  Congressman Baird equated that with encouraging domestic terrorism.  

You decide.
Video of  Town Hall Meeting with U.S. Congressman Brian Baird



Video of An interview with David Hedrick, Marine Vet who took on Congressman Baird




Video of Rep. Brian Baird accuses protesters of driving people to violence like Timothy McVeigh

Friday, August 21, 2009

Trojan Donkey


Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Courtesy of IBD and Michael Ramirez

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Obamacare and National Socialism Health Care

Churchill thought there was a link too....


There have been comments made recently regarding the parallelism between "Obamacare" and the National Socialist's, or Nazi's Health Care.  Here's a video example:





Although it's attention grabbing, it's jingoistic, and as  such really doesn't effectively lay out the rational for linking "Obamacare", the Democrat's proposed Health Care Plan, to the Health Care reform carried out by Germany's National Socialists, or Nazi's (many people erroneously equate the Nazi's with Conservative politics, when in actuality, they were left-wing Socialists - as their name conveyed).  But the following from Marc S. Micozzi, M.D., Ph.D., a physician and anthropologist, who directs the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C, does provide that conceptual linkage that has concerned many people who are familiar with history, and understand the high potential for apllication of the "Law Of Unintended Consequences":

The German social insurance and health care system began in the 1880s under Bismarck. Ironically, it was part of Bismarck’s “anti-socialist” legislation, adopted under the theory that a little socialism would prevent the rise of a more virulent socialism. 
By the time of Weimar, German doctors had become accustomed to cooperating with the government in the provision of medical care. The reforms of the Weimar Republic following the medical crises of World War I included government policies to provide health care services to all citizens. Socially minded physicians placed great hope in a new health care system, calling for a single state agency to overcome fragmentation and the lack of influence of individual practitioners and local services. The focus of medicine shifted from private practice to public health and from treating disease to preventable health care. During the German “economic consolidation” of 1924-1928, public health improved under new laws against tuberculosis, venereal disease, and alcoholism, with new advisory centers for chemical dependency and counseling bureaus for marriage and sexual problems.
Medical concerns which had largely been in the private domain in the nineteenth century increasingly became a concern of the state. The physician began to be transformed into a functionary of state-initiated laws and policies. Doctors slowly began to see themselves as more responsible for the public health of the nation than for the individual health of the patient. It is one thing to see oneself as responsible for the “nation’s health” and quite another to be responsible for an individual patient’s health. It is one thing to be employed by an individual, another to be employed by the government.
Under the Weimar Republic these reforms resulted in clearly improved public health. However, the creativity, energy, and fundamental reforms found in social medicine during the Weimar Republic seem in retrospect a short and deceptive illusion. Medical reformers had wanted to counter the misery inherited from the first World War and the Second Empire on the basis of comprehensive disease prevention programs. In the few years available to the social reformers, they had remarkable success. But in connection with these reforms the doctor’s role changed from that of advocate, adviser, and partner of the patient to a partner of the state.
Where traditional individual ethics and Christian charity had once stood, the reformers posited a collective ethic for the benefit of the general population. Private charity and welfare were nationalized. The mentally ill, for example, having been literally released from their chains in the nineteenth century and placed in local communities and boarding houses in regular contact with others (the so-called “moral therapy”), were returned to state institutions to become the ultimate victims of state “solutions.”
With the world economic crisis of 1929, welfare state expenditures had to be reduced for housing, nutrition, support payments, recreation and rehabilitation, and maternal and child health. What remained of the humanistic goals of reform were state mechanisms for inspection and regulation of public health and medical practice. Economic efficiency became the major concern, and health care became primarily a question of cost-benefit analysis. Under the socialist policies of the period, this analysis was necessarily applied to the selection of strong persons, deemed worthy of support, and the elimination of weak and “unproductive” people. The scientific underpinning of cost-benefit analyses to political medical care was provided by the new fields of genetics and eugenics.

Given the much greater familiarity with Socialism, Communism and Totalitarianism governemnts that most people had in the mid-20th Century, it's no wonder that Winston Churchill had the following observation:
"Churchill made a speech in 1945 election, having led the British people through hard times, saying that plan of the Labour Party to institute national health care and other socializing reforms, might be all very well in its way but might require a gestapo of bureaucracy. *
Christopher Hitchens, the author of "Why Orwell Matters" in a discussion with EconTalk host Russ Roberts 


You never know what kind of "fishy" information gathering an Administration might want to conduct on behalf of enacting a Public Health Plan.

Interestingly, if you check out the UK's National Health Service website, you'll see that some of Churchill's perception became actuality.  The NHS is huge; with estimated population of the UK in July, 2009 projected to be 61,126,832 - 2.45 %of the population working for the NHS equals 1.5 Million.

With a Jan of 2009 estimated population of the US was projected to be 305,529,237 - 2.45 % working for the US' NHS equivalent would be 7.5 Million if it were like for like, but since only less than 50% are practitioners, we'll assume that the US Public Plan would not have taken over the doctors and hospitals; so that would still be 3.74 Million employees in an equivalent US Health Care System.  That's a lot of people, and I guess a lot of potential Union employees, dues contributors, and Democrat Party voters.......
In addition, when you do the math, a similar Health Care System for the US population, at today's currency conversions rates that would cost $732 Billion.
Since its launch 60 years ago, the NHS has grown to become the world’s largest publicly funded health service.  With the exception of charges for some prescriptions and optical and dental services, the NHS remains free at the point of use for anyone who is resident in the UK – more than 60m people. It covers everything from antenatal screening and routine treatments for coughs and colds to open heart surgery, accident and emergency treatment and end-of-life care.
Although funded centrally from national taxation, NHS services in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are managed separately. While some differences have emerged between these systems in recent years, they remain similar in most respects and continue to be talked about as belonging to a single, unified system.
Scale
Nationwide, the NHS employs more than 1.5m people. Of those, just short of half are clinically qualified, including some 90,000 hospital doctors, 35,000 general practitioners (GPs), 400,000 nurses and 16,000 ambulance staff.
Only the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the Wal-Mart supermarket chain and the Indian Railways directly employ more people.
The NHS in England is far and away the biggest part of the system, catering to a population of 50m and employing more than 1.3m people. The NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland employ 158,000, 71,000 and 67,000 people respectively.
The number of patients using the NHS is equally mind-boggling. On average, it deals with 1m patients every 36 hours - that’s 463 people a minute or almost 8 a second. Each week, 700,000 will visit an NHS dentist, while a further 3,000 will have a heart operation. Each GP in the nation’s 10,000-plus practices sees an average of 140 patients a week.
Funding
When the NHS was launched in 1948 it had a budget of £437 million (roughly £9 billion at today’s value). In 2007/8 it received 10 times that amount - more than £90 billion.
This equates to an average rise in spending over the full 60-year period of about 3% a year once inflation has been taken into account. However, in recent years investment levels have been double that to fund a major modernisation programme.
Some 60% of the NHS budget is used to pay staff. A further 20% pays for drugs and other supplies, with the remaining 20% split between buildings, equipment and training costs on the one hand and medical equipment, catering and cleaning on the other. Nearly 80% of the total budget is distributed by local trusts in line with the particular health priorities in their areas.
The money to pay for the NHS comes directly from taxation that, according to independent bodies such as the King’s Fund, remains the “cheapest and fairest” way of funding health care when compared with other systems. The 2007/8 budget roughly equates to a contribution of £1,500 for every man, woman and child in the UK. 
Performance
Measuring the efficiency of healthcare systems is notoriously difficult. The NHS – in common with other healthcare systems – has never consistently and systematically measured changes in its patients’ health. As a result, it’s impossible to say exactly how much extra “health” is created for each pound spent.
However, Obama says that a Public Plan Option can not only cover 45 Million additional people with Health Insurance, it would lower overall costs as well.  

Well, I know the story of the loaves and fishes, and I'm familiar with the miracle at Canna in Galilee, but despite the messianic view that many of his followers have of him, you can call me a skeptic....and that ain't "fishy".




Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sign Of The Times


Democrat Congressmen hiding from angry voters....


It's gotten so difficult for non-union voters to find Democrat Congressmen in their home districts that help has been suggested by Investor's Business Daily's editors....

Scores of congressmen and women are trying to hide from their constituents this August recess as the revolt over ObamaCare continues. If you haven't seen him or her lately, you might try your refrigerator

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Washington Sensitivity To Voters

This explains a lot......

In an article regarding justice, as perceived by people waiting in queue to check out while shopping, Washington DC er's  will tolerate the longest wait time.  It's no wonder they'll support a Public Option for Health care....they're used to abysmal service.


Full article....

Protest Is Not Racist (Updated)

Let's get it straight.....disagreement and protest against President Obama, even if it's emotive, isn't racist.

I've heard numerous comments on NPR, and other radio stations who support the Democrat's Public Plan agenda, that racist protesters were even bringing assault rifles to President Obama's Town Hall Shows. Once again, a picture is worth 1000 words....
Prudence would usually compel people to avoid bringing weapons to potentially contentious political rally's, but I support his Constitutional right to carry a weapon.  (On the other hand, one can wonder if this is another attempt by Democrats, through groups like ACORN, to characterize the protesters as dangerous.....see Howard Dean's comments about Republicans wanting to "kill the Bill, and kill the President" at the bottom of this post)
 PHOENIX, Arizona (CNN) -- A man toting an assault rifle was among a dozen protesters carrying weapons while demonstrating outside President Obama's speech to veterans on Monday, but no laws were broken. It was the second instance in recent days in which weapons have been seen near presidential events.
A man is shown legally carrying a rifle at a protest against President Obama on Monday in Phoenix, Arizona.
A man is shown legally carrying a rifle at a protest against President Obama on Monday in Phoenix, Arizona.
Video from the protest in Phoenix, Arizona, shows the man standing with other protesters, with the rifle slung over his right shoulder.
Phoenix police said authorities monitored about a dozen people carrying weapons while peacefully demonstrating.
"It was a group interested in exercising the right to bear arms," police spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill said.
Arizona law has nothing in the books regulating assault rifles, and only requires permits for carrying concealed weapons. So despite the man's proximity to the president, there were no charges or arrests to be made. Hill said officers explained the law to some people who were upset about the presence of weapons at the protest. Video Watch the rifle being legally carried at rally »
"I come from another state where 'open carry' is legal, but no one does it, so the police don't really know about it and they harass people, arrest people falsely," the man, who wasn't identified, said in an interview aired by CNN affiliate KNVX. "I think that people need to get out and do it more so that they get kind of conditioned to it."
In addition, the poster depicting Obama in "Joker-like" whiteface, has also been proclaimed by the Democrats as an example of right-wing racism. In actuallity, it's now been disclosed that the artist is a Left-wing, Kucinich supporter.....
......a 20-year-old college student from Chicago.
Bored during his winter school break, Firas Alkhateeb, a senior history major at the University of Illinois, crafted the picture of Obama with the recognizable clown makeup using Adobe's Photoshop software.  Alkhateeb says he wasn't actively trying to cover his tracks, but he did want to lay low. He initially had concerns about ...
... connecting his name with anything critical of the president -- especially living in Chicago, where people are "very, very liberal," he said.
"After Obama was elected, you had all of these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ," Alkhateeb said. "From my perspective, there wasn't much substance to him."
"I abstained from voting in November," he wrote in an e-mail. "Living in Illinois, my vote means close to nothing as there was no chance Obama would not win the state." If he had to choose a politician to support, Alkhateeb said, it would be Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
Here's the transcript and clip of Howard Dean on the Stephanie Miller Show accusing Republicans of wanting to "kill the Bill, and kill the President":

STEPHANIE MILLER (1:29): I saw you (Howard Dean) on Keith Olbermann last night. You really do believe we’re going to have a public option.

HOWARD DEAN: At the end of the day, I think we will. First of all, the president is a very smart guy and he knows very well this can’t work without a public option. Secondly, you know he’s run into a rough patch in the Senate, mostly because of Democrats, honestly.

The Republicans, they have no interest in this Bill. They’re using the 1994 playbook. 
Let’s kill the bill and kill the president...... or, kill the president’s term. Although there are sort of angry people out there I get very nervous about this stuff. I don’t like it at all.


 

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rich!


Political Cartoon by Jerry Holbert

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cash By Clunkers

Cash For By Clunkers


Yup, just another well organized, thought through, and completely inept program brought to you by Congress.

That deal you thought that you were getting......well, maybe not, according to Edmonds, the folks who report on the Auto industry prices.

 If "Cash For Clunkers" raises the cost of cars, what will "Obamacare" do?  Just picture how great "Obamacare" will be....given that's it's going to restructure 1/6th of our economy.

"Cash for Clunkers" Provides Windfall for Some, High Prices for All, According to Edmunds.com 
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — August 7, 2009 — Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, warns consumers that car prices are climbing as the "Cash for Clunkers" frenzy is influencing the marketplace.
"Since the program launched, we've seen that shoppers are getting less of a discount off sticker price for new cars," notes Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs in her report on Edmunds' AutoObserver.com. "In some cases, they are choosing less expensive trim levels and option packages than had been typical in recent months, but paying more for them."
The chart sets forth comparisons of pricing and discount percentages for each of the five most popular vehicles in recent "Cash for Clunkers" transactions. (Data on other models is available upon request.)
 "In truth, this program launched at the worst possible time of the year," opined Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. "The annual summer sell-down typically creates a rush of activity for the industry, and this year that rush came right after automakers cut production in response to the floundering economy. It's a simple case of supply and demand, bolstered by a reduced level of negotiation on the part of excited clunker traders. Add to this the automakers' unseasonable reduction in incentives and the message is clear: if you buy a car this summer, you should expect to pay higher prices."

Full article here.... 

Worth A Thousand Words.......


Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Connect The Dots


Yeah, it's hard work, but you have to do it......



Health Insurance as a topic may be wearing you out by now, but unfortunately, it’s a significantly critical issue.

Most of us don’t have the interest, time, or legislative double-negative thinking approach to writing that would support laboring through the legalese of the House and Senate Bills, and that’s why we consistently get skewered by the Washington mafia. This issues is so significant, that even those who’s eye’s normally glaze over at the thought of reading any of this type of material, need to get involved. At some point, you owe it to yourself to really investigate what they’re attempting to do with this legislation.

Here’s some links to the House Bill, if you want to take the time to review the ‘witches brew’ that the charlatans in Washington are concocting. It’s bad in the initial reading, and will only get worse with time as it’s ‘re-interpreted’ by bureaucrats and “Justices”. And if the bill is over 1000 pages at its inception, you can apply a factor of 100 to extrapolate how it will eventually morph into an even more strangling bureaucratic nightmare in 10-20-30 years, just as every other Government agency has.

In addition, I find it completely untenable for the Democrats to assert that not only will they add 40 Million to the Health Insurance roles, but they will reduce costs by doing so. Medicaid is underwater already, adding more to a Government Plan will only exacerbate the issue. There’s only three ways to cover the costs under their approach: reduce services; increase taxes to pay for it, or ration services. The probability is high that all the aforementioned will have to be employed, under their current plan.

There are other ways to improve the current structure, and they don’t involve governmental participation, just the opposite.  I'll cover them again in a subsequent report.

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h3200ih.txt.pdf

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3200:


Geoffrey Hunt points out some key issues in his following commentary that appeared on AmericanThinker.Com.  Although I normally don't like to present another's commentary verbatim, I think his piece is worth reading in its entirety.

Connect the Dots on ObamaCare
The use of logical corollary, a fancier way of saying connect the dots, has eluded the defenders of ObamaCare. Critics of those who have exposed ObamCare's contradictions and incoherencies are either unwilling to connect the dots or too stubborn (dare I say stupid) to acknowledge what the dots really mean. Connecting the dots in this case doesn't require unusual skills, much less a background in symbolic logic, merely perseverance in reading the text of HR 3200.
Let's start with Sec 123, the formation of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee, and Sec 124, the creation of the Health Choices Administration and Health Choices Commissioner. Why have this committee, administration and commissioner? Simple, to run the public health care -- read single payer -- option, determine what benefits are to be covered and what the reimbursement rates will be. Running the single payer system would not be trivial, covering at least an additional 100 million people initially, managing claims of a trillion dollars per year, not counting the costs to run the system.
The new Health Choices Commissioner would be a cabinet level position. Remember how other modern era cabinet level jobs -- EPA and Department of Energy -- were rather modest when first established, but have mushroomed in 30 years to consume nearly $40 billion every year from the federal budget and now control everything from septic tank standards to lightbulbs.
If Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress only intended to improve health care access to the chronically uninsured, around 15 million people, it would have been easy enough to fold them under Medicare and Health and Human Services. But of course, a single payer system eventually covering 300 million Americans would be impossible to run under any current government agency, thus necessitating a new stand alone bureaucracy on a scale rivaling the Pentagon. So when ObamaCare defenders try to tell you a single payer outcome isn't in the works, then why the need for an enormous separate cabinet level bureaucracy? Connect the dots.
Let's now turn to Sec 111, Prohibiting Pre-existing Conditions Exclusions, Sec 113 Insurance Rating Rules, Sec 116 Ensuring Value and Lower Premiums and Sec 121 Coverage of Essential Benefits. These and other mandates such as cost sharing limitations and bans on lifetime maximum out-of-pocket deductibles or co-pays have the apparent design to improve accessibility and availability of private insurance plans. But we already know these types of mandates will render private plans economically non-viable, as insurance premiums would be priced off the charts so no one individual or company could afford to buy coverage or underwrite a group plan. Of course the real story is that no company would choose to voluntarily subscribe to such extraordinary plan provisions and the costs they entail. Many company sponsored comprehensive plans today carry costs as a percent to payroll of around 10 to 20%. These new mandates and coverage rules would double those costs, easily convincing the vast majority of company CFOs to abandon health care plans altogether, opting for the penalty box which is only 8% of payroll. How to get 100 million Americans into a single payer plan within three years if not sooner? Connect the dots.
By the way, mandates driving out private health care are precisely why Obama's comment about UPS, FedEx and the Post Office in Portsmouth NH was so asinine. Apart from the multi-billion dollar bleeding annually of the Postal Service, once more proving the federal government can't run a business, UPS and FedEx are free from the government mandates that are suffocating the Postal Service. How long would UPS and FedEx survive if they had to maintain staffing for thousands of small town and rural post offices and guaranteed delivery six days a week to every residence anywhere charging rates that are a fraction of the cost?
Let's turn to Title IV Subtitle A Comparative Effectiveness Research, "CER", Sec 1401. In its purest form, evaluating and ranking the most effective clinical remedies for diseases and illnesses is innocent enough and widely endorsed, as an initiative independent from government carried out by the medical profession. Dennis Cortez MD, CEO of the Mayo Clinic writes in the National Journal:
"In the case of comparative effectiveness, we can say it is a fundamental component to providing the highest quality, most effective, safest health care for individual patients."
Darrell Kirch MD, President and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges says there four criteria to judge CER:
"1) diseases and disabilities that impose the heaviest personal burden on patients and financial burden on society; 2) conditions for which there is a high degree of uncertainty in the medical community about the "right" thing to do (given the range of approaches and interventions available) ; 3) decisions that have especially significant consequences for patients (e.g., high-risk interventions); and 4) questions for which the data we need are largely available and can be quickly gathered and analyzed"
Notice that neither Drs Cortez nor Kirch mention cost of remedies, economic value, productivity, nor a government agency to collect the data and rank effectiveness priorities. They only discuss CER in the context of the best and most effective patient outcomes from a clinical perspective.
But cost is clearly linked to CER in Obama's mind when he says Medicare costs must come down 20%. And the House bill in Sec 1401 amending the Social Security Act establishes the CER Commission and a CER Center to "determine the national priorities in consultation with a broad array of stakeholders...including payers" and to "Make recommendations that enable...payers to make more informed health care decisions that improve quality and value". Now, who's the number one payer under the HR 3200 public plan option? And isn't value a cost measurement? Connect the dots.
And if mandated CER to be reported to "payers" isn't enough to drive down cost by introducing CER ratios that factor cost and quality of life, Sec 1233 under Medicare, Advance Care Planning Consultation requires health care providers to have end-of-life discussions with patients and report to the HHS Secretary "quality measures on end-of-life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted by a consensus based organization." Why devote over 100 paragraphs and some 500 lines of text to end-of-life consultations, living wills, health care proxies and reporting? To reduce costly end-of-life interventions that extend the life of the elderly. Cost reduction derived from denying medical interventions in favor of more aggressive hospice is the only reason for such a preoccupation in the House bill. There is no other reason for such proposed legislation. None. Connect the dots.
Obama must assume we are fools when he tries to persuade us that this plan is anything but a complete federal takeover of health care coupled with medical treatment rationing to contain costs. It is impossible to come to any other conclusion. George Orwell said it best, "One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: No ordinary man could be such a fool." 
The town hall uprisings and dramatic polling results of likely voters by Rasmussen showing that an overwhelming number of self-described Independents are opposed to ObamaCare proves the American electorate are not fools. Ordinary people can read the text and connect the dots. Since we're not fools, Obama must be one himself or simply lying to the nation. Connect the dots.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Next!

Hey!  I ain't got all day.  Step up and show me your number...........

Courtesy  Michael Ramirez Editorial Cartoonist for Investor's Business Daily

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Obama's Pant's On Fire (updated)

Liar, liar, pant's on fire.....*
Obama's pants were a raging fire at his "Town Hall" meeting in Portsmouth, N.H. today. One would think that an open town meeting would have crowd demographics that might reflect the country's somewhat 50 / 50 political divide, a "normal curve", or even the recent polled statistics regarding the Health Care Bill. However, it was a patently partisan gathering reminiscent of his orchestrated campaign rally's, filled with the faces and cheers of an adulating crowd, allowing him to strut about unfettered and unfazed by hard questions, as befits the Uber-Community Organizer that he is.

The questioners were the standard good-minded Progressive souls who had no concern for themselves, but were filled with concern for those who didn't have insurance (of course no discussion about who 'those' were, or why), or concerned about people who were suffering from mental health issues that were not covered by insurance. Even the "septics" questions were slow-ball softball pitches that President Obladi easily popped into the stands..."Why didn't he chastize Congress over it's health care plan?", and "Where are all the additional nurses and doctors going to come from to fill the demand that all those new millions covered would generate".

President Obladi offered nothing new in the way of discussion points, just the usual "we'll give you more for less", "You can keep the employer provided health insurance you have now ( yeah, for as long as they offer it)", and we'll pay for it from savings by eliminating subsidies we're paying to the insurance companies now".

There was nothing about the impact of employer mandates to provide health insurance, and how the 2-8% fine/tax for not doing so would be less than the cost of providing insurance....and which will drive most employers to drop their employee health insurance.

There was no discussion of the State border limitations on insurance companies that prevent them for creating nationwide pools that would drive the costs of insurance down, and that create virtual insurance monopoly's in some States . There was no discussion regarding the impact of frivolous lawsuits and outrageous malpractice payment awards on cost, or the effect that effective tort reform would have on costs.

He repeated his mantra that "You can keep the coverage that you have today (that is until your employer cancels it, and they'll do that really quick)" continuously, and that lead right into his biggest lie of the day, when he said that he was not a proponent of a Single-Payer plan. But, you can judge his veracity for yourself, by listening to his own words, that he has repeated over and over in meetings with his Union and Progressive supporters.......



What he now says, is that "the immediate transition to a single-payer plan would be too traumatic for America, because a new Single Payer plan wouldn't be able to handle everybody all at once - the systems wouldn't be set up" . What he doesn't say is that he knows that his plan will inevitably lead to a Single Payer system.

By the way, Obama's Town Hall approach looks like the standard template that the Democrats have crafted for all their members. David Hass has documented his experience attending Congressman Scott Murphy's (D. NY) meeting.
*These words are the chorus from an old 1960's song by the Castaways, "Liar, Liar" ;

"Liar, liar, pants on fire / Your nose is longer than a telephone wire"

but the lyrics actually trace back to an 1810 poem, "The Liar" by William Blake:

Deceiver, dissembler
Your trousers are alight
From what pole or gallows
Shall they dangle in the night?

When I asked of your career
Why did you have to kick my rear
With that stinking lie of thine
Proclaiming that you owned a mine?

When you asked to borrow my stallion
To visit a nearby-moored galleon
How could I ever know that you
Intended only to turn him into glue?

What red devil of mendacity
Grips your soul with such tenacity?
Will one you cruelly shower with lies
Put a pistol ball between your eyes?

What infernal serpent
Has lent you his forked tongue?
From what pit of foul deceit
Are all these whoppers sprung?

Deceiver, dissembler
Your trousers are alight
From what pole or gallows
Do they dangle in the night?

As we can see, this liar business seems to be a rather age-old problem.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ten Questions For Obama And Your Representatives

Ten Easy One's for your Washington employees.....



The real interesting question is will they answer them?

Tom Coburn (U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. Oklahoma) poses ten questions that politician's won't answer, with an insightful subtitle "Evasive politicians, not concerned citizens, are dividing America over health-care reform."


1. Why do we need to increase spending on health care by at least $1.6 trillion and steal prosperity from our children and grandchildren when we spend nearly twice per person what other industrialized nations spend on health care?  
In my (Tom Coburn's) view, any bill that increases spending is a failure and not serious reform. The problem is not that we don’t spend enough on health care, but that we don’t allocate resources efficiently and get value for what we pay.


2. What programs will you cut and whose taxes will you raise to pay for health-care reform?
Any politician — Republican or Democrat — who refuses to answer this question or avoids the topic by deferring to the committees of jurisdiction doesn’t deserve to be in office.
3. What earmarks or pet projects that you have sponsored will you sacrifice to help finance the cost of health-care reform?
It is immoral, in my (Tom Coburn's) view, to ask taxpayers to make more sacrifices while politicians practice business-as-usual pork-barrel politics.
4. Will you vote for a public option that requires taxpayer-funded abortion?
The current version of the so-called reform bill requires taxpayer-funded abortion. In the House, this fact prompted 19 pro-life Democrats to send a letter of protest to Speaker Pelosi. In the Senate, an amendment by Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.) that would require taxpayer-funded abortion passed in committee. Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) objected and voted no, saying, “The way it [the Mikulski amendment] is written could be interpreted down the road to include something like abortion.” Are these Democrats also part of the right-wing scare-tactic conspiracy?
5. If the public option is so wonderful, will you lead by example and vote for a plan to enroll you and your family in the public option?
I (Tom Coburn) offered an amendment in committee to force members of Congress to enroll in the public option. Nine out of eleven Democrats on the health committee who back the public option refused. If the politicians creating the public option don’t have confidence in it, neither should the American people.
6. Will you vote for a plan that will allow a board of politicians and bureaucrats to override decisions made by you and your doctor?
Both the Senate and House bills set up a government-run “comparative effectiveness” board that will make final decisions about treatment and care. In committee, I gave senators several opportunities to accept language that would forbid this board from denying care. All of my amendments were rejected, which suggests that the intent is to set up a board that will ration care, as is done in the United Kingdom.
7. If you support a “comparative effectiveness” board, what qualifies you, as a politician, to practice medicine? Have you delivered health care to a single person, much less entire classes of people you claim to represent, such as the poor, the uninsured, or children?
I’m (Tom Coburn) one of two physicians in the Senate, along with John Barrasso of Wyoming. I know for a fact that very few leaders in this debate have any firsthand experience or knowledge of health care, which is disturbing.


8. How will a government-run public option perform better than other failing government programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Indian Health Care?
Forty percent of doctors refuse to accept Medicaid patients because the program is broken. Access to a government program — such as the public option — does not guarantee access to health care.
9. If increasing spending on health care was the solution, why hasn’t it worked yet?
The public-option “reform” is not new at all but an extension of 1960s-era public policies that say a little more government spending and intervention is always the answer.
10. Are you more committed to doing reform right or quickly? Would you consider backing a thoughtful alternative to the public option? If so, which one?


Now, here's my view.....I especially liked Sen. Coburn's comment that "any bill that increases spending is a failure and not serious reform. The problem is not that we don’t spend enough on health care, but that we don’t allocate resources efficiently and get value for what we pay."  If we look at the example of our spending on education, we'll see the exact same result that we can expect from increased spending on health care...i.e.: the more we spend, the worse the results will be.


If you can't get satisfactory answers, fire your Representative, and or Senator, the first chance that you have.


(Complete article....)

Obama Gives Us The Finger

Pointedly....




You know that a salesman is in trouble when he starts pointing the finger at the customers telling them that they just don't understand, that everything really will be ok, what the contract says isn't what it means..... just trust him.

Actually, Obama and the rest of the Democrat 'Rat Pack' have been pointing the finger at just about everybody but themselves since they took office in January.  First it was George Bush, then the greedy and corrupt Bankers, then the greedy and corrupt Stockbrokers and Hedge Funds, then the greedy and corrupt Real Estate people, then the Automakers, then George Bush again, then the Doctors, then the Hospitals, then the Pharmaceutical companies, then the Health Insurance companies, then George Bush again, and now us.....anyone who questions the obscene and devastating Heath Care Bill that Congress passed and that Obama is selling, now gets pointed at and vilified.

Even after smearing lipstick on this pig of a Bill by saying that it doesn't say what is written in it, and even if it gets a face lift and tummy-tuck when the Senate reconvenes, this Health Care Bill (now being called Heath Insurance Bill....notice how the Democrats always change terminology when their programs don't sell) is, and will continue to still be a PIG  and worse!  It will further destroy our freedom to decide the health care approach that we want to choose, and it will create a governmental monster that will make Medicaid and Medicare look like an Omega watch in retrospect.

When the Democrats want to push through a 'Comprehensive' Bill, no matter what it issue it supposedly is designed to 'fix' - Immigration, Housing, or now Health Care, you know that they are really attempting to reduce our freedom, increase Government control, and somehow reinforce and strengthen their control of  our lives.  And that's exactly what's happening now with their 'Comprehensive' Heath Care Bill.

No system is perfect, and the current state of Heath Care in the U.S., despite being the best in the world, reflects that truth.  However, the current problem with the U.S. system of health care is one more of cost than any other factor.  And, if reducing cost is the major thrust of this whole exercise, there is no amount of rhetoric and demagoguery that the Democrats can employ that will ever be able to show that expanding the role and scope of Government programs, will ever reduce the costs...yet that's what Obama expects us to believe, despite the Congressional Budget Office's explicit findings of a $1+Trillion deficit if the plan is enacted.  The longer term impact of this Bill on health care and medical innovation will be extremely negative yet isn't even being discussed, despite its potential greater significant impact on our lives.

The simple truth is that there are six major major cost drivers in our Health Care system:

  • Governmental programs, Medicare and Medicaid, promote significant abuse, create tremendous direct overhead costs and cause cost-shifting to private insurance carriers 
  • Out of control medical malpractice settlements drive additional significant costs because of subsequent CYA medical practices 
  • Lack of tax exemption for individual private health insurance drives up its net cost and eliminates it as an option for many 
  • Unnecessary State mandated health insurance coverage elements drive up the cost of all insurance plans 
  • Preventing Health Insurance companies from establishing national risk pools increases risk and costs
  • Illegal immigrants abusing our hospital Emergency Rooms shift more costs to private health insurance carriers and individual payers

If Obama and the Democrats really wanted to improve health care they would address each of those causal elements and develop a simple plan to fix each problem separately, but the truth is, that's not their objective.  They want to control the health care system in a misguided objective of 'equalizing' Health Care, just as they've 'equalized' Education....and we've seen how well that's worked out.  And, in case you haven't noticed, they're working on 'equalizing' income too.

It's amazing, but somehow, we simple people can solve the exceedingly everyday issues of providing for our own individual lodging, and our own individual food and clothing requirements without Government intervention, but for health care, Democrats think we need the Government.

Follow Obama's advice, "argue with them, and get in their face".

Never again.....no more silent majority.  Make your voice heard, and prevent this invasion of your wallet, your privacy, and your right to live free and unimpeded by government.

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Cash For Cash"

Who's kidding who?



Obama's "Cash for Clunkers" plan has been a 'boffo' success, or so his Administration and the Democrat Congress would have you believe by the way some of them are touting the success of their plan on the news shows.  Its been so great that the initial $2 Billion has been used in a matter of weeks, when it was supposed to have lasted until the Fall.  Are these guys great marketeers or what?  Can't wait to see how they manage Health Insurance.  Oh that's right, they already do.....Medicare.

Who couldn't give away $2 Billion of other people's money to savvy consumers in a down market?  And, to top it off, they even wasted the trade-in cars which had some value and could at least have been traded to other nations as a good will gesture....Haiti, Kenya, even Iceland comes to mind.  As Charles Krauthammmer quipped "they sacrificed them on the alter of the "Earth God".

They've basically taken money from one set of citizens and put it in the hands of others....the Auto Union employees.

Why not cash for Couches, Cash for Pizza, Cash for Houses (oh yeah, they've been there and done that).  There's an unlimited number of people that they could play Bernie Madoff with, and now they want to double down on this incomprehensible folly by authorizing another $2 Billion.

Please call your Representative and Senator.....and tell them that you can actually understand what they're doing, that your memory is fine, and you actually will be able to remember what they're doing now, in 2010 when it comes time to rehire them...or maybe not, as the case may be.

By the way, as you can see in the above picture, Peter isn't too happy about giving his money to Paul.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Health Care" really is Health Insurance

Which one of these is unlike the others?


None.  They're all the same.   Each is an element of personal responsibility and personal choice.

After you finish struggling and fighting your way through all the obfuscation, mis-direction, mis-information, outright lies, ideological positions, naiveté, historical ignorance, fact avoidance and  political rhetoric, if one has grit and  perseveres, you may finally get to the core issues about what the "Health Care " debate is actually all about....and it ain't about Health Care.  It's simply about insurance and who pays for it.

A couple of data stakes need to be put in the ground right here in the beginning.....

-The best overall health care in the world exists here in the US.... period.  
-Everyone in the U.S. has access to health care, even if you don't have insurance, are a vagrant, or are an illegal citizen....just show up at the hospital Emergency Room.
-90% of Americans have health insurance, either through their employment, Medicare, Medicaid, or self-payed.  The other 10% consists of people who are eligible for coverage (through employment Medicare & Medicaid) but have chosen not to take advantage. The rest are illegal aliens.
-More is spent on health care per capita in the U.S. for a number of reasons: more advanced and newer methodologies and medicines available to us; higher medical litigation and concomitant CYA testing; a significant amount of our population (90%) which is relatively price insensitive because its health care is paid for by a third party (either private insurance or the government through Medicare/Medicaid ). 

Think about it.  Until 1965 and the enactment of Medicaid, we didn't have any societal issues about who paid for any one else's medical treatment, outside of indigents.  Everyone else took responsibility for paying the freight for their own medical issues, as they took responsibility for their own housing, food, auto insurance, house or apartment insurance, etc.

Here we are in 2009, debating about how we'll communally pay for everyone's medical bills, regardless if they've taken care of themselves, or been totally irresponsible about their own health issues.  And, when you drill down a little more, the discussion actually is about how to get someone else to pay for our medical bills. And, once that's settled, I guess that as a society we'll go to the next issue:  how to get someone else to pay for our housing, and then our food. (wait a minute, we've already done a lot in those areas already).

The truth of the matter is that while the Democrats are attempting to socialize the cost of health care, the Republicans are only attempting to argue over how much to pay and who to tax.  WRONG ARGUMENT!

Despite what some may feel is a harsh stance, we're not communally responsible for each other's health, happiness, life's pleasures, or expenses. The Constitution does not mandate equality of outcome, just the freedom of opportunity to pursue our own individual wealth and happiness.

I implore the Republicans, especially people such as Senator Chuck Grassley, who is working feverishly on a misguided mission to forge a bi-partisan pastiche of a Health Care Bill with the Democrats, to cease and desist!  That's not what's needed.  What is needed is legislation that will open up the health insurance market to nationwide private health insurance carrier competition, just as we have for auto's, homes and life insurance - that will drive the cost of insurance down dramatically; the elimination of State mandates on coverage requirements, such that my wife (who is beyond child bearing) will not have to be covered for maternity benefits, and other such asinine mandates- that will also drive costs down significantly; tax relief for private health insurance purchasers that puts them on the same tax and cost  footing as employee / employer purchased plans; and meaningful tort reform so that we can eliminate a huge amount of medical cost overhead due to outrageous medical claim awards. Doing that  will significantly reduce the resultant and related CYA testing practices, and their related high costs that malpractice litigation engenders.

For that small percentage (10%) of the population that is not currently enrolled in a health insurance plan, after you sort out the people who are already eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, and the people who just don't want to buy it now (mostly younger people), the rest are illegal invaders, who we have no economic responsibility for - send them home.

Once we've done that, we can go back and sort out Medicaid and Medicare......by closing those misguided enterprises down.  If Medicare enrollees were given the tax advantage that corporations currently have, and if health insurance pools could be structured nationwide, as opposed to the State boundaries currently constructed, they would be able to afford effective levels of insurance that would cover their major risk issues.  The following chart demonstrates the clear differential in spending on health when individual s have a stake in the responsibility for covering the cost.



We need to get back to arguing principles of personal responsibility....not who and what we'll tax in order to pay for our own needs.

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