Monday, August 17, 2009

Riding the Wave of "Change"

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement Thursday that the provision [for "death panels' in the Obama health care plan] had been dropped from consideration because it could be misinterpreted or implemented incorrectly. Said Newt Gingrich: "You are asking us to trust turning power over to the government, when there are clearly people in America who believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards," Gingrich said Sunday on the ABC's "This Week."
How's this for hypocritical? The following is a statement by none other than Nancy Pelosi, encouraging those "protesters" who were against "Bush's" war in Iraq:
January 17, 2006: "So I thank all of you who have spoken out for your courage, your point of view. All of it. Your advocacy is very American and very important." My how times change....
VALLEJO, Calif. -- Wall Street Journal: A health clinic in this blue-collar city north of Oakland, partly funded by the county, is saving local hospitals thousands of dollars in emergency-room visits by treating uninsured patients who suffer only non-urgent ailments. A watchdog group is now calling on county officials to cut funding for clinic patients who can't prove they are in the U.S. legally, a debate certain to surface in the national health-care overhaul.
Frank Miele is managing editor of the Daily Inter Lake, and writes:
Yes, I do realize that health-care costs can be prohibitive for many people, myself included, but that doesn't mean I have to choose to bankrupt our country -- or overthrow its foundational principles -- in order to solve the problem, does it? There is no money for the program, and there is no constitutional provision for it.

Besides, I -- along with many of my fellow citizens -- believe that the reason health care is so expensive in the first place is because of burdensome government rules and regulations that force doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to waste huge amounts of time, energy and money. So getting the government more involved is definitely not my preferred option.


Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate should abandon efforts to pass legislation curbing greenhouse-gas emissions this year and concentrate on a narrower bill to require use of renewable energy, four Democratic lawmakers say.

“The problem of doing both of them together is that it becomes too big of a lift,” Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas said in an interview last week. “I see the cap-and-trade being a real problem.” Terrific, I say!


Philip Elliott of AP: WASHINGTON – Apparently ready to abandon the idea, President Barack Obama's health secretary said Sunday a government alternative to private health insurance is "not the essential element" of the administration's health care overhaul.

The White House indicated it could jettison the contentious public option and settle on insurance cooperatives as an acceptable alternative, a move embraced by some Republicans lawmakers who have strongly opposed the administration's approach so far.

As proposed by Conrad, the co-ops would receive federal startup money, but then would operate independently of the government. They would have to maintain the same financial reserves that private companies are required to keep to handle unexpectedly high claims.


A Washington Times editorial: Obama's Mad Science Advisors: When it comes to having past views that should frighten every American citizen, Ezekiel Emanuel (see above editorial) has nothing on the president's ''chief science adviser, John P. Holdren. (Snip) The question naturally arises why President Obama chooses to surround himself with extremists like Mr. Holdren or Dr. Emanuel. No matter how much they claim their views have ''evolved,'' health and science under Obamacare would be a frightening prospect with people like this advising the President.

Earlier this month, Mr. Holdren served as co-chairman when the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology met for the first time. It's a disgrace that Mr. Holdren is even on the council. In "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment," a book he co-authored in 1977 with noted doomsayers Paul R. and Anne H. Erlich, Mr. Holdren wrote: "Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society."

In case compulsory abortion wasn't enough to diffuse his imaginary population bomb, Mr. Holdren and the Erlichs considered other extremist measures. "A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men," they wrote. "The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control."

It gets worse. The Holdren-Erlich book also promotes "Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods." After noting that, well, yes, there were "very difficult political, legal and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems," Mr. Holdren and his co-authors express hope that their idea may still be viable. "To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements," they wrote. "It must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets or livestock."

Most Americans can be forgiven for thinking that mass sterilization through drinking water is never acceptable and that someone who supported such horrors should have no place on a prestigious White House council. The question naturally arises why President Obama chooses to surround himself with extremists like Mr. Holdren or Dr. Emanuel. No matter how much they claim their views have "evolved," health and science under Obamacare would be a frightening prospect with people like this advising the president.


After a weekend of relatively tame town halls President Obama found one vocal skeptic in a college student who challenged the President to an Oxford debate over the public option at his Grand Junction, Colo., town hall this evening.

Zach Lahn, a 23-year-old student at the University of Colorado got the President’s attention after shouting out during the Q and A a few times. The President finally called on him during the end of the town hall.

“I just want proof here that I'm happy to get a good debate going,” [well, if it only lasts for 3 minutes, of course] the President said, knowing that he could be wading into harsher waters than he is used to.

“I'd love to have a debate, just all out, anytime, Oxford-style, if you'd like,” Lahn said to President Obama and then proceeded on with his question. “How in the world can a private corporation providing insurance compete with an entity that does not have to worry about making a profit, does not have to pay local property taxes -- they do not have to -- they're not subject to local regulations? How can a company compete with that?”

Lahn said he didn’t want any generalities, or philosophical arguments from the President as a response.

Obama praised his young challenger and said this is a legitimate debate to have.

“It's good to see a young person who's very engaged and confident challenging the President to a Oxford-style debate, I think this is good," he said. "You know, this is good. You know, I like that. You got to have a little chutzpah, you know.” [If this is so good, perhaps the President should set aside some time to do it, instead of setting time aside for, perhaps, being interviewed by an 11 year old (which he's already done).... And just perhaps, the debate should disallow telepromters . So far, no debate has been offered for, in my view, it would tend to highlight just how little Obama understands about health care, insurance companies, and our Constitution.}


MARIETTA - Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson's office has gotten 10,000 calls just in the last week on the president's health care reform proposals, and 9,000 of those oppose the plans, Isakson said.

Marc Ambinder: An administration official said tonight that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "misspoke" when she told CNN this morning that a government run health insurance option "is not an essential part" of reform. This official asked not to be identified in exchange for providing clarity about the intentions of the President. The official said that the White House did not intend to change its messaging and that Sebelius simply meant to echo the president, who has acknowledged that the public option is a tough sell in the Senate and is, at the same time, a must-pass for House Democrats, and is not, in the president's view, the most important element of the reform package. A second official, Linda Douglass, director of health reform communications for the administration, said that President Obama believed that a public option was the best way to reduce costs and promote competition among insurance companies, that he had not backed away from that belief, and that he still wanted to see a public option in the final bill.
The perception that the White House had backed away from the public plan has roiled many prominent Democrats, who took to their blogs, and to Twitter, to protest. [Our work is not yet done!]
"The White House e-mail list is made up of e-mail addresses obtained solely through the White House Web site. The White House doesn't purchase, upload or merge from any other list, again, all e-mails come from the White House Web site as we have no interest in e-mailing anyone who does not want to receive an e-mail," the statement said. "If an individual received the e-mail because someone else or a group signed them up or forwarded the e-mail, we hope they were not too inconvenienced." One possible reason for the confusion is that advocacy groups, when dealing with online petitions, are sending in their membership lists whenever they make contact with the White House - the e-mail addresses affiliated with those members could then become embedded in the White House distribution list. The White House indicated its Web site managers are going to seek out and block online petitions so that people can only sign up for information individually.

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