Friday, August 21, 2009

op ed review 8/23

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

The wheels are coming off the Obamacare bus. The White House’s signal that it’s willing to back off support for a public health insurance option has sent congressional liberals into full revolt, bluntly warning the administration that no legislation will pass without a government-run plan.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26203.html

The angry Americans expressing themselves at lawmaker town halls around the country are heading to Washington. A planned September 12 taxpayer march on Washington, initially focused on taxes and corporate bailouts, is gaining momentum from the recent town halls.

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/washington-whispers/2009/08/17/town-hall-anger-headed-to-washington.html

Rep. Barney Frank’s town hall meeting turned into a shouting match.

http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/politics/local_politics/Rrep_franks_health_care_town_hall_heats_up_081809

Up to 60,000 people have cancelled their AARP memberships since July 1, angered over the group's position on health care. Some are switching to the American Seniors Association, a group that calls itself the conservative alternative.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/17/eveningnews/main5247916.shtml

Great moments in socialized medicine: The Vancouver Health Authority is considering chopping more than 6,000 surgeries in an effort to make up for a dramatic budgetary shortfall that could reach $200 million. Patients will have to go to the US, or wait.

http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=1878506&sponsor

The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association, said her country’s health care system is “sick” and “imploding.”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,539943,00.html

And a family in the UK was told by the National Health Service that Alzheimer's is not a 'health condition' and doesn’t qualify for funding.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6049942/Family-told-by-NHS-Alzheimers-is-not-a-health-condition.html

The percentage of Americans who hold a favorable view of the Democratic Party has slipped below 50 percent for the first time since President Barack Obama took office.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26262.html

Self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in all 50 states of the union, according to the Gallup Poll. At the same time, more Americans nationwide are saying this year that they are conservative than have made that claim in any of the last four years.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/52602

About 7,000 people crowded into Falls River Square Wednesday night for the first Akron Tea Party. Many in the crowd wore patriotic hats and shirts, waved American and ''Don't Tread On Me'' flags and carried homemade signs protesting policies in Washington, D.C., and the direction the country is headed in general. ''I was not born in a socialist country, and I will not die in a socialist country,'' Republican state Sen. Tim Grendell of Geauga County said. ''And neither will my children.'' The crowd roared its approval.

http://www.ohio.com/news/top_stories/53771747.html

Delegates of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, meeting in Minneapolis, approved a "social statement on human sexuality" that acknowledges differing views on homosexuality. Shortly before the vote, strong winds damaged the steeple of a Lutheran church next door, prompting a speaker at the convention to quip, "We trust that the weather is not a commentary on our work."

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=651474

Later in the week, the church body approved (by one vote) a new social statement that gives validity to same-sex relationships.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/21/lutheran-conservatives-reeling-over-defeat/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_more_news_carousel

Minnesota GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty said a rejection of the Democratic health care plan could usher in a Republican resurgence. “It appears that President Obama is making great progress on climate change, he is changing the political climate in the country back to Republican.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26138.html

A majority of the public supported the Obama administration’s economic stimulus program in February. Now, the majority see no good coming from the spending. Just 38% of 1,010 respondents in a new USA TODAY/Gallup poll believe the $787 billion will "make the economy better" in the long term.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2009/08/a-majority-of-the-public-supported-the-obama-administrations-economic-stimulus-program-in-february--now-the-majority-s.html

He was an opinionated op-ed man, a combative conservative on television, but through it all, Robert Novak prided himself on being a shoe-leather reporter. Novak died this week at 78.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/18/AR2009081803520_pf.html

The Obama Justice Department filed court papers claiming the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against homosexuals.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=646972

???? %*!#! Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the false “death panel” rumor about President Obama’s ...... health care plan is a “grassroots” notion that he does not know if he believes.

http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0809/steele_on_death_panels_0741edae-4612-4022-942a-00dcaeae100f.html

A recent poll of New Hampshire voters shows former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with a large lead over other potential 2012 Republican presidential primary contenders.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=642522

An energy analyst says he cannot understand why the Obama administration is borrowing money to lend money to Brazil so it can conduct oil drilling off its eastern coast, yet will not support oil drilling in American waters. This is probably just coincidence but George Soros, a major contributor to the Democratic Party, is also a major investor in the Brazilian oil company.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=653156

Cap-and-trade legislation to limit U.S. carbon dioxide emissions has “gotten out of control” and needs to be scaled back in Congress, said former Democratic Senator Timothy Wirth. “The Republicans are right -- it’s a cap-and-tax bill.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/20090818/pl_bloomberg/aiykeirllrau

The House-passed climate change bill, if enacted, would expand the federal government so much that it would take billions of dollars and thousands of new employees to implement. Now-obscure federal agencies such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would have to become mini-behemoths in order to handle their expanded responsibilities.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/17/climate-bill-would-bloat-federal-agencies/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_headlines

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Wes Pruden, 8/18 Washington Times

Master politician that he is, Barack Obama is a lousy calculator. He spectacularly misjudged the American public's appetite for a government nanny. Or maybe he miscalculated the power of his slippery tongue to sell government snake oil.

His apparent willingness to abandon the attempt - for now - to nationalize the health-care industry appears to defer the Democratic first step in remaking the home of the brave and the land of the free into Little America, cutting it down to a size incapable of intimidating the likes of Switzerland or Swaziland.

But only if the opposition keeps up unremitting pressure. The president signals a change in tactics, not objectives. His concession that the so-called "government option" is temporarily dead does not mean the dream of "postalizing" health care, of making it as responsive as the Post Office, is dead. It's merely that the tenderizing pain in certain Democratic keesters is so acute that somebody had to find a way to get a little relief. Running up a fake white flag might do it; when the opposition puts down its guns the postalizers will fire at will.

The president never actually said he would defer to public sentiment. The special gift of snake-oil salesmen is their ability to say one thing and make audiences hear something else. "All I'm saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health care reform," he told an audience on Sunday in Colorado. "This is just one sliver of it."

The leftmost fringe of his party is having none of this apparent concession to reasonableness and moderation. House Democrats recall their ecstasy of waking up on the morning after the 2008 elections, imagining that with their 78-seat margin it's now or never, and they can't wait to get started on the plastic surgery to alter the face of America the Beautiful. They've been sharpening scalpels and carving knives since.

This puts the House leaders, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her liege man, Steny Hoyer, in a particular bind. They owe their 78-seat margin to men and women moderate enough to win in conservative districts; many of these freshmen know they will never be sophomores if they vote for a health care plan that dooms the private insurance coverage that works well enough for the middle class…..

The early Democratic strategy of trying to shout down the opposition, painting critics as Nazis waving swastikas (Nancy Pelosi), as "evil-mongers" (Senate Leader Harry Reid), as "un-American" (Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas), as over-dressed snobs and bounders (Sen. Barbara Boxer of California), clearly failed.

So has the attempt to portray critics as ignorant yahoos too thick to understand how well government health schemes have worked in places like Canada and Great Britain. The more we learn about the Canadian and British schemes the less they look like models for anyone.

The new president of the Canadian Medical Association says Canadian doctors must recognize how sick the Canadian system is and figure out how to fix it. "We all agree that the system is imploding," says Dr. Anne Doig, "and we all agree that things are more precarious than Canadians perhaps realize."

Stephen Glover, a columnist for the London Daily Mail, defends Britain's National Health Service but concedes that Americans wouldn't like it.

"Consult any American who has encountered the National Health Service," he writes. "Often [visiting Americans] cannot believe ... the squalor, the looming threat, the long waiting lists and especially the target that patients in 'accident and emergency' should be expected to wait for no more than four - four! - hours, the sense exuded by some medical staff that they are doing you a favor by taking down your personal details. Most Americans, let's face it, are used to much higher standards of health care than we enjoy."

Americans aren't as dumb as the politicians often think they are, and nothing educates politicians like a well-aimed two-by-four square across the noggin. That's the hard lesson of the summer of '09.

Edited from a longer article, read it here:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/18/finding-no-buyers-for-the-snake-oil/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_more_news_carousel

ANOTHER GOOD OP-ED:

Sixteen thousand idiots on aisle seven. That's the number of people in a growing Facebook group calling for a boycott of Whole Foods because of an alleged misdeed by CEO John Mackey.

Did Mackey swindle his shareholders? Sell rotten free-range beef? No, he had the brains to offer employees an innovative health plan and the temerity to write about it on the Op-Ed page of The Wall Street Journal.

Whole Foods pays 100% of employees' premiums, but no deductibles, for everyone who clocks in 30 hours or more per week. Then it gives these workers $1,800 a year in "health care dollars" to use for health and wellness expenses.

Building on this model, which is bringing costs down while improving care, Mackey called for making health care costs more transparent, letting insurance companies compete across state lines, expanding health savings accounts and enacting tort reform. Just the kinds of action America needs.

But not what President Obama proposes. Ergo, irrational fury. Ergo, boycott.

So, there is a way to separate granola-munching folks from their beloved Whole Foods. It's simple. Challenge their political dogma with facts.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/08/20/2009-08-20_whole_fools_wrongheaded_boycott_of_upscale_market_over_ceos_health_care_push.html

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"When it comes to civil liberties, liberals are often distrustful of government power. But, for reasons that baffle me, they are quite comfortable with Uncle Sam getting into the business of deciding, or providing 'guidance' on, which lives are more valuable than others. A government charged with extending life expectancy must meddle not just with our health care, but with what we eat, how we drive, how we live. A government determined to cut costs must meddle not just with how we live, but how we die. That sounds scary and un-American to me."

-Jonah Goldberg

“I went to Senator Ben Cardin's town hall meeting.. and came across a woman who had worked as a nurse in Britain's public health system. She provided a personal anecdote that is little peek into what is to come should we adopt the Democrats' plan. Catherine Midkiff, RN RSN, has been a nurse since 1979 and lived in the UK in 1991 and 1992. She earned $10 per hour there, compared to the $22 per hour then being earned by nurses in the US. As an agency night-shift nurse she earned more than staff nurses. Those women had to live in a dormitory on site as their pay would not afford them private residences. She said at St. George's Hospital she worked on a seniors ward where 23 elderly men and women shared the same room……For non-seniors, most British hospitals put six people in a room. Wait lists are extremely long. An elderly British citizen she knew came to the US to get heart surgery after waiting a full year in the UK system. Others weren't so lucky. She said for many years, British hospitals had no trauma centers and thousands died as a result. For his part, Cardin simply perpetuated the smear against Obamacare protesters, claiming they were Republican stooges spreading disinformation. However, there were over 2,000 of us and only a handful of ACORN, union and party thugs. That we are no longer being fooled is becoming more and more apparent. The Dems control both houses of Congress so this remains an uphill battle, but if enough get the message that their careers are on the line, these utterly self-serving pols may actually come around to our point of view, simply for sheer survival purposes. We cannot let up. Not for a minute."

-James Simpson, American Thinker

“After my weekend column recounted the experience of a recent British visitor of mine, I received an e-mail from a gentleman in Glasgow who cannot get an x-ray for his back — because he has no sovereignty over his back. His back is merely part of the overall mass of Scottish backs, to which a government budget has been allocated, but alas one which does not run to x-rays.

-Mark Steyn

"One irony of Robert Novak's long and admirable career as a journalist is that he wasn't a curmudgeon, though he played one on TV. In person, he was warm, loyal to friends and especially generous to young writers, even if he was fearless and unsparing toward the public officials he devoted his life to covering -- or, to put it more accurately, uncovering. Novak, who died yesterday at age 78, was among America's greatest political reporters."

-The Wall Street Journal

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LEFTIST WATCH

Everybody loves justice so abortion rights organizations have coined the term “reproductive justice”.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2006/01/reproductive-justice

Over the past decade, Latin America has been the land of larger-than-life left-wing nationalists, most notably Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez. Yet the region now looks on the brink of a rightward shift.

http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/wealthofnations/archive/2009/08/21/latin-american-politics-grows-more-conservative.aspx

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ARTICLES

The death panels are real in Oregon.

http://www.redstate.com/erick/2009/08/21/the-death-panels-are-real-we-have-the-video/?preview=true

Since we are again being forced to remember Woodstock, let's at least remember it for what it was – an embarrassment to most young adults in 1969. Television networks and newspapers glamorize Woodstock with innocuous phrases like “Woodstock embodies a generation's spirit” and “echoes of a defining vibe,” but I remember that opinions were different in the summer of 1969 when I was almost 19.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/viewpoint/story/899652.html

Even liberals are starting to get it. I was not intimidated during J. Edgar Hoover's FBI hunt for reporters like me who criticized him. I railed against the Bush-Cheney war on the Bill of Rights without blinking. But now I am finally scared of a White House administration. President Obama's desired health care reform intends that a federal board (similar to the British model) — as in the Center for Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation in a current Democratic bill — decides whether your quality of life, regardless of your political party, merits government-controlled funds to keep you alive. Watch for that life-decider in the final bill. It's already in the stimulus bill signed into law.”

http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/hentoff081909.php3

Breitbart: “George W. Bush-by-proxy syndrome” There is an extensive body of writing from both sides of the political aisle that has analyzed the extraordinary depths of hatred leveled at former President George W. Bush. Now that Mr. Bush is quietly going about his retirement, this strain of rage - the GWB43 virus - has spread like wildfire, finding unsuspecting targets, each granting us greater perspective into what not long ago seemed like a mysterious phenomenon isolated only on our 43rd president. When put on the media stage, these individuals and groups have been isolated for destruction for standing in the way of a resurgent modern progressive movement and for challenging its charismatic once-in-a-lifetime standard-bearer, Barack Obama. This is their time, we've been told. And no one is going to stand in the way.

http://washtimes.com/news/2009/aug/17/george-w-bush-by-proxy-syndrome/?feat=home_headlines&page=3

Send this link to Bush hating liberals: Bush Quietly Saved a Million African Lives”

http://townhall.com/columnists/DrPaulKengor/2009/08/19/bush_quietly_saved_a_million_african_lives

The Air Force airborne laser program successfully completes a simulated kill from a plane able to find, track and destroy a live ballistic missile. We can shoot down enemy missiles. Instead, we're shooting down the laser program….the issue isn't whether we can afford to build and deploy the ABL, but whether we can afford not to. If we can afford Cash for Clunkers, we can afford the airborne laser.

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=335571837254734

“Forget chocolate and flowers, women want guns!”

http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/local/story/Forget-chocolate-and-flowers-women-want-guns/VHUS94_Gb06srgfG8gDLRw.cspx

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Obama joker gear is here!!

http://www.cafepress.com/57thstate/6850503

Most media outlets have speculated the artist of this poster is likely white, conservative, and racist. WRONG! The up-until-now anonymous creator of the poster sweeping the nation is a 20-year-old college student of Palestinian descent with largely liberal political leanings

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2009/08/18/obama-joker-poster-artist-exposed-liberal-leaning-palestinian

Great artwork:

http://terrellaftermath.com/

Sarah Palin is posting at Facebook: “YOUR TAX DOLLARS HARD AT WORK: FIRST CARS, NOW FOREIGN OIL.”

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=119471438434&ref=nf

Historic bridge database.

http://bridgehunter.com/

Remarkable RC SR-71 JET

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDbQ5xvsrIU

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WISE WORDS

"Measures which serve to abridge ... free competition ... have a tendency to occasion an enhancement of prices."

-Alexander Hamilton

"How did it happen? How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a master with virtually unlimited power? In part, we were swindled. There are occasions when we have elevated men and political parties to power that promised to restore limited government and then proceeded, after their election, to expand the activities of government. But let us be honest with ourselves. Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are. All too often we have put men in office who have suggested spending a little more on this, a little more on that, who have proposed a new welfare program, who have thought of another variety of 'security.' We have taken the bait, preferring to put off to another day the recapture of freedom and the restoration of our constitutional system."

-Barry Goldwater

"One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It's very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. . . . Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it."

-Ronald Reagan

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