Friday, July 30, 2010

Dementia Test

It's that time of year for us to take our annual senior citizen test.

Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles.

As we grow older, it's important to keep mentally alert.

If you don't use it, you lose it!

Below is a very private way to gauge how your memory compares to the last test.

Some may think it is too easy but the ones with memory problems may have difficulty.

Take the test presented here to determine if you're losing it or not.

The spaces below are so you don't see the answers until you've made your answer.

OK, relax, clear your mind and begin.

1. What do you put in a toaster?

Answer: 'bread.' If you said 'toast' give up now and do something else.. Try not to hurt yourself.

If you said, bread, go to Question 2.

2. Say 'silk' five times. Now spell 'silk.' What do cows drink?

Answer: Cows drink water. If you said 'milk,' don't attempt the next question.

Your brain is over-stressed and may even overheat. Content yourself with reading a more appropriate literature such as Auto World.

However, if you said 'water', proceed to question 3.

3. If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks, what is a green house made from?

Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass.

If you said 'green bricks,' why are you still reading these???

If you said 'glass,' go on to Question 4.

4. It's twenty years ago, and a plane is flying at 20,000 feet over Germany (If you will recall, Germany at the time was politically divided into West Germany and East Germany ). Anyway, during the flight, two engines fail. The pilot, realizing that the last remaining engine is also failing, decides on a crash landing procedure. Unfortunately the engine fails before he can do so and the plane fatally crashes smack in the middle of 'no man's land' between East Germany and West Germany ... Where would you bury the survivors? East Germany , West Germany ,
Or no man's land'?

Answer: You don't bury survivors. If you said ANYTHING else, you're a dunce and you must stop.

If you said, 'You don't bury survivors', proceed to the next question.

5. Without using a calculator - You are driving a bus from London to
Milford Haven in Wales . In London , 17 people get on the bus.In Reading , 6 people get off the bus and 9 people get on.In Swindon , 2 people get off and 4 get on.In Cardiff , 11 people get off and 16 people get on.In Swansea , 3 people get off and 5 people get on.In Carmathen, 6 people get off and 3 get on.You then arrive at Milford Haven ..
Without scrolling back to review, how old is the bus driver?

Answer: Oh, for crying out loud! Don't you remember your own age?
It was YOU driving the bus!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


We’ve linked to before and here is another good article Our Unsustainable Debt - Reason Magazine on why Obama and the democrats are bankrupting our nation.

No individual or business could survive with the fiscal irresponsibility demonstrated by Obama. But there is currently no end in sight.

As for her final paragraph, I only partially agree with her assessment; We need to reform entitlement spending, put both military and domestic spending on the chopping block, and start selling off federal assets. Better to do it now than during a fire sale later.

The Military is one of the few legitimate purposes of the federal government and it should be maintained although there are always ways to cut costs and streamline processes for better efficiencies.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Overwhelming the system

This op-ed by Wayn Allyn Root gives another perspective on Obama and his agenda. I Wonder if Mr. Allyn actually knew him while at Columbia or if he just attended at the same time.

WAYNE ALLYN ROOT: Obama's agenda: Overwhelm the system - Opinion -

Obama's agenda: Overwhelm the system
Rahm Emanuel cynically said, "You never want a crisis to go to waste." It is now becoming clear that the crisis he was referring to is Barack Obama's presidency.

Obama is no fool. He is not incompetent. To the contrary, he is brilliant. He knows exactly what he's doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos -- thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.Â

Barack Obama is my college classmate (Columbia University, class of '83). As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Columbia University. They outlined a plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands. Add up the clues below. Taken individually they're alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant, Machiavellian game plan to turn the United States into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival ... and can be counted on to always vote for bigger government. Why not? They have no responsibility to pay for it.

-- Universal health care. The health care bill had very little to do with health care. It had everything to do with unionizing millions of hospital and health care workers, as well as adding 15,000 to 20,000 new IRS agents (who will join government employee unions). Obama doesn't care that giving free health care to 30 million Americans will add trillions to the national debt. What he does care about is that it cements the dependence of those 30 million voters to Democrats and big government. Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression?

-- Cap and trade. Like health care legislation having nothing to do with health care, cap and trade has nothing to do with global warming. It has everything to do with redistribution of income, government control of the economy and a criminal payoff to Obama's biggest contributors. Those powerful and wealthy unions and contributors (like GE, which owns NBC, MSNBC and CNBC) can then be counted on to support everything Obama wants. They will kick-back hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party to keep them in power. The bonus is that all the new taxes on Americans with bigger cars, bigger homes and businesses helps Obama "spread the wealth around."

-- Make Puerto Rico a state. Why? Who's asking for a 51st state? Who's asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression? Certainly not American taxpayers. But this has been Obama's plan all along. His goal is to add two new Democrat senators, five Democrat congressman and a million loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government.

-- Legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. Just giving these 12 million potential new citizens free health care alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America. But it adds 12 million reliable new Democrat voters who can be counted on to support big government. Add another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security.

-- Stimulus and bailouts. Where did all that money go? It went to Democrat contributors, organizations (ACORN), and unions -- including billions of dollars to save or create jobs of government employees across the country. It went to save GM and Chrysler so that their employees could keep paying union dues. It went to AIG so that Goldman Sachs could be bailed out (after giving Obama almost $1 million in contributions). A staggering $125 billion went to teachers (thereby protecting their union dues). All those public employees will vote loyally Democrat to protect their bloated salaries and pensions that are bankrupting America. The country goes broke, future generations face a bleak future, but Obama, the Democrat Party, government, and the unions grow more powerful. The ends justify the means.

-- Raise taxes on small business owners, high-income earners, and job creators. Put the entire burden on only the top 20 percent of taxpayers, redistribute the income, punish success, and reward those who did nothing to deserve it (except vote for Obama). Reagan wanted to dramatically cut taxes in order to starve the government. Obama wants to dramatically raise taxes to starve his political opposition.

With the acts outlined above, Obama and his regime have created a vast and rapidly expanding constituency of voters dependent on big government; a vast privileged class of public employees who work for big government; and a government dedicated to destroying capitalism and installing themselves as socialist rulers by overwhelming the system.

Add it up and you've got the perfect Marxist scheme -- all devised by my Columbia University college classmate Barack Obama.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hill Tele Townhall

I signed up more than a week ago to participate and at 7:07 pm I received a phone call. The phone rang 1 time and than immediately hung up before I could answer.

Between than and about 7:25 pm, the phone rang 3 more times. But each time, it rang once or rang just part of a full ring and disconnected before you could even pick up the receiver.

There was no call back number, or other way to contact the Hill camp to get connected.

I guess this is one way to control your townhall meetings and then be able to say you gave everyone the opportunity.

What a worthless attempt at trying to connect with your constituents.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The True Cost

In this article, he describes the fiscally irresponsible governement that permeates all parties.

Runaway Census Cost Is Frightening Preview of True Obamacare Price Tag - Big Government

The reality of Obamacare is going to devastate the already failing economy.

Friday’s May jobs figure is vastly skewed because of the hundreds of thousands of temporary census employees—approximately 411,000—hired to perform the decennial enumeration of the U.S. population and gather concomitant vital information. In the coming days, economists will be assessing the distorting effect the addition of these temporary public sector workers has on the restoration or creation of employment and the overall strength or weakness of the economic recovery.

A few non-economists like myself, however, will be asking a very different question.

Namely—what can the history of the cost of performing the once-a-decade head count reveal about how government-run health care costs will behave? Will Obamacare be the exception to the runaway cost rule? Let’s use the census as a yardstick.

To keep this analysis at its most simple, let us compare the rate at which the population increased with the rate at which the cost of counting it (the decennial census) increased. That sounds sensical enough.

According to Appendix A-1 of Jason Gauthier’s 2002 study entitled Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses from 1790 to 2000, the cost to perform the census has risen over the decades at a rate staggeringly higher than the rate of the growth of the population itself. What does this mean? Simply put, that bureaucracy is obese. Morbidly obese.

Whatever the opposite of efficiency is, the cost of taking the census epitomizes it.

Review the chart in the article

*2010 estimates are the GAO’s own best guesses. For more information, visit its site here.

Now let’s add three more columns, (1) the average cost per person counted along with (2) the year-on-year rate of growth of the population and (3) the year-on-year rate of increases in the census costs. That chart looks like this: SEE IN THE ARTICLE

*2010 estimates from GAO (see above).

You don’t need to hold an MBA from the Harvard Business School to recognize fiscal management run amok. Not only is no one minding the store—they’re giving it away.

Look at one short example from the above table: taking the census cost a little more than 60 cents per person in 1950 ($91.4 million). It is projected to cost nearly $47 per person in 2010 ($14.5 billion). That’s a whopping 7822% increase in cost per person. During the same time, the population rose by 100% (i.e., doubled) from 150 million to over 300 million. But the overall cost of counting it (the census) rose by 15,800%. This is fiscal discipline only Greece could be proud of.

Counting heads is a relatively simple procedure. Especially when compared to much more complex endeavors such as curing cancers, treating pain, setting fractured bones, diagnosing illnesses, providing emergency treatment and the like.

If the costs of a relatively simple administrative procedure like taking the decennial census have a history of spiraling wildly out of control, what is the graph of runaway Obamacare costs going to look like? Imagine the price tag of having the government in charge of keeping Americans healthy—compared to just counting their noses.

The CBO was merely a pawn used by the Obama administration to lend a much-needed imprimatur to its incredible claims of lowered health care costs in order to hoodwink legislators into passing and the public into accepting this massive entitlement. But as one economic wag described the validity of the CBO’s projections a month or so ago on Kudlow and Company: “Fantasy in, fantasy out.” FIFO. The public has shown itself less gullible than the lawmakers—it still widely supports repeal by a 63% majority according to a recent Rasmussen poll of 1000 likely voters.

If you think Obamacare looks expensive now, just massage the CBO’s risibly unrealistic projections with a little reality from the census’s actual costs over the decades. The census cost spiral demonstrates that in no time at all Obamacare will grow so obese it’ll have to be pushed around in a wheelchair.

That is, unless enough educated dissenters vote this wrong-headed law’s supporters out of office in November and begin the long hard uphill push to repeal. Then and only then will Obamacare have a chance of winding up where it really belongs–not in a wheelchair, but on a gurney.

Friday, July 23, 2010

'Ole fills in

A doctor in Duluth wanted to get off work and go hunting, so he
approached his assistant.

'Ole, I am goin' huntin' tomorrow and don't want to close the clinic.

I want you to take care of the clinic and take care of all my patients.

''Yes, sir!' answers Ole.

The doctor goes hunting and returns the following day and asks:

'So, Ole,How was your day?

'Ole told him that he took care of three patients.

'The first one had aheadache so I gave him TYLENOL.

''Bravo, mate, and the second one?' asks the doctor.'

The second one had stomach burning and I gave him MAALOX, sir,' says Ole.

'Bravo, bravo!

You're good at this and what about the third one?' asks the Doctor.

'Sir, I was sitting here and suddenly the door opens and a woman enters.

Like a flame, she undresses herself, taking off everything including her

panties and lies down on the table and shouts:

HELP ME - I haven'tseen a man in over two years!!

''Tunderin' Lard Yeezus, Ole, what did you do?' asks the doctor.

I put drops in her eyes!!

Y'all thought I was sending a dirty joke!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Judge's View

The following video clip from last year needs to be played again and again before the november election

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Top 10 Most Corrupt

Judicial Watch has finally posted its 10 most wanted list for 2009 on corrupt politicians.
Is anyone surprised that 9 of the 10 are democrats?

Yes, Barack Obama did make the list and is another one of his accomplishments as President.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Obamacare financing

New estimates are coming out on Obamacare and the truth of the actual cost is becoming much clearer. Obamacare will not save money, will not cut the deficit and will continue to erode healthcare as we know it in the USA. More and more people are becoming enlightened by the truth. No wonder support for the repeal of Obamacare continues to grow.

Here is just a few more of the creative ways the Obama administration distorted the facts to pass this takeover of healthcare.

Omission of the Medicare "Doc Fix"

The Obama Administration and leaders in Congress chose to use all of the tax hikes and spending cuts they could find to create another new entitlement instead of paying for a fix for Medicare physician fees (the so-called “doc fix”). Under current law, those fees are set to get cut by 21 percent in June. The Obama Administration wants to undo the cut permanently, but it does not provide any offsetting savings. The result will be a spending increase of between $250 billion and $400 billion over a decade. Passing an unfinanced “doc fix” wipes out all of the supposed savings from the new legislation and greatly adds to the burden on future taxpayers.

The CLASS Act Gimmick

The new health law creates a voluntary long-term care insurance program, called the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act. Those who sign up for it must pay premiums for five years before becoming eligible for benefit payments. Consequently, premiums paid by enrollees build a small surplus—about $70 billion over 10 years according to CBO—which the health law’s proponents claim as deficit reduction. But these premiums will be needed in short order to pay actual claims.

Medicare Cuts

CBO and the Chief Actuary for the Medicare program have both stated that Medicare spending cuts cannot be counted twice—to pay for a new entitlement expansion and to claim that Medicare’s financial outlook has improved. But that is exactly what the proponents of the new legislation do. If the Medicare cuts and tax hikes for the hospital trust fund (about $400 billion over 10 years, according to CBO) are used solely to improve the capacity of the government to pay future Medicare claims, then the health law becomes a massive exercise in deficit spending.

Estimates of Employees Dropped from Job-Based Coverage

The new insurance arrangements in the state-based exchanges will provide massive new subsidies to low- and moderate-wage households. For instance, at 200 percent FPL, the subsidy for a family of four will reach nearly $11,000 in 2014. But CBO estimates that only 3 million Americans will move from job-based insurance into the exchanges to take advantage of the subsidies, even though there are about 130 million Americans under age 65 with incomes between 100 and 400 percent FPL. Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Cameron Smith of the American Action Forum have estimated that as many as 35 million people will be moved out of job-based coverage and into subsidization. If that is the case, the 10-year cost of the coverage expansion provisions would jump by $400 billion more.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Remember what Nancy Pelosi said recently about unemployment benefits being a job creation solution? What planet is she from? Here is a recent post from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). Only far left democrats could believe that enabling people to not work will actually create jobs.

No one opposes unemployment benefits as a transition aid for people to get back on their feet and find a new job. Unemployment benefits are a safeguard for individuals down on their luck. But to argue that unemployment benefits actually reduce unemployment is disingenuous at best, and could induce our government to enact policies that have the effect of destroying our nation's production base from whence all benefits ultimately flow, says Arthur B. Laffer, chairman of Laffer Associates and co-author of "The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy -- If We Let It Happen."

According to Laffer:

Any government program that would reduce unemployment has to make working more attractive for both employer and employee.

Since late 2007 the federal government has spent somewhere around $3.6 trillion to stimulate the economy.

He recommends:

The government should have taken all $3.6 trillion and declared a federal tax holiday for 18 months.

With no income tax, corporate profits tax, capital gains tax, estate tax, payroll tax (FICA) either employee or employer, Medicare or Medicaid taxes, federal excise taxes, tariffs or federal taxes at all, federal revenues would have been reduced by $2.4 trillion annually.
This would have resulted in a 2.5 percent unemployment rate.

Source: Arthur B. Laffer, "Unemployment Benefits Aren't Stimulus," Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2010.

For text:

For more on Federal Spending & Budget Issues:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Funnies

1. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't.

2. I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

3. Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them.

4. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

5. Don't take life too seriously; no one gets out alive.

6. You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me

7. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

8. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.

9. I'm not a complete idiot -- Some parts are just missing.

10. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.

11. NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning medicine.

12. God must love stupid people; He made so many.

13. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

14. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.

15. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

16. Being 'over the hill' is much better than being under it!

17. Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew up.

18. Procrastinate Now!

19. I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts; Do You Want Fries With That?

20. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

21. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

22. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!

23. They called it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.

24. He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless DEAD.

25. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the memory.

26. Ham and eggs. . . A day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.

27. The trouble with life is there's no background music

28. The original point and click interface was a Smith and Wesson.

29. I smile because I don't know what the heck is going on.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rationing Care Comments

A friend of mine commented about the post from yesterday and stated that healthcare rationing is already occurring. I do agree with him on this and I also agree with him on the key differences between what we have now vs. what we will have with Obamacare.

Even if there were no insurance and patients paid 100% of the healthcare, they would choose to ration care for themselves based on what they could afford, need or want. This is the ultimate free market system.

My friend opined about the more practical point in the way we ration care now compared to what we are headed into. Here were his thoughts.

Rationing now is better because it is based on an established and existing legal system and is better for the individual.

First, the insurance company is responsible for the rationing based upon a contract and the law. (My problem here is that the contract is typically negotiated by an employer, based on their needs and not the employee based on his/her needs, wants, or desires. But, nevertheless, it is a contract between a willing private party and the insurance company.

With Obamacare, the government will decide on the rationing and based on history, they will do it based upon politics, i.e., if you are the grandmother of the local SIEU boss, then that decision will be different than if you are Joe Blow.

Second, we have recourse against an insurance company. The state Insurance Commissioners can fine and penalize an insurance company whereas they’ll have no authority over Federal Government. In addition, the Plaintiffs’ lawyers can sue them, juries can award punitive damages if it’s really bad, etc.

We all know how successful an individual will be if they attempt to sue the Federal Government. Look at the VA system and any challenges there are related to the care they receive.

And, lastly, if you don’t like your insurance company’s decision; you can go elsewhere – because you still have that choice and that freedom. This will all end with Obamacare

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Rations Cometh

With Obamacare, rationing is just around the corner. Those of us opposed have repeatedly stated that healthcare costs will skyrocket under this plan as it never really addressed anything to control costs and never addressed Tort reform.

A few media outlets are actually addressing the concerns although a little too late.

‘Death panels’ were an overblown claim – until now The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

During the debate over ObamaCare, the bill’s opponents were excoriated for talk of rationing and “death panels.” And in fairness, with a few minor exceptions governing Medicare reimbursements, the law does not directly ration care or allow the government to dictate how doctors practice medicine.

But if President Obama wanted to keep a lid on that particular controversy, he just selected about the worst possible nominee for director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the office that oversees government health care programs. Obama’s pick, Dr. Donald Berwick, is an outspoken admirer of the British National Health Service and its rationing arm, the National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (NICE).

“I am romantic about the National Health Service. I love it,” Berwick said during a 2008 speech to British physicians, going on to call it “generous, hopeful, confident, joyous, and just.” He compared the wonders of British health care to a U.S. system that he described as trapped in “the darkness of private enterprise.”

Berwick was referring to a British health care system where 750,000 patients are awaiting admission to NHS hospitals. The government’s official target for diagnostic testing was a wait of no more than 18 weeks by 2008. The reality doesn’t come close. The latest estimates suggest that for most specialties, only 30 to 50 percent of patients are treated within 18 weeks. For trauma and orthopedics patients, the figure is only 20 percent.

Overall, more than half of British patients wait more than 18 weeks for care. Every year, 50,000 surgeries are canceled because patients become too sick on the waiting list to proceed.

The one thing the NHS is good at is saving money. After all, it is far cheaper to let the sick die than to provide care.

At the forefront of this cost-based rationing is NICE. It acts as a comparative-effectiveness tool for NHS, comparing various treatments and determining whether the benefits the patient receives, such as prolonged life, are cost-efficient for the government.

NICE, however, is not simply a government agency that helps bureaucrats decide if one treatment is better than another. With the creation of NICE, the U.K. government has effectively put a dollar amount to how much a citizen’s life is worth. To be exact, each year of added life is worth approximately $44,305 (£30,000). Of course, this is a general rule and, as NICE chairman Michael Rawlins points out, the agency has sometimes approved treatments costing as much as $70,887 (£48,000) per year of extended life.

To Dr. Berwick , this is exactly how it should be. “NICE is not just a national treasure,” he says, “it is a global treasure.”

And, Dr. Berwick wants to bring NICE-style rationing to this country. “It’s not a question of whether we will ration care,” he said in a magazine interview for Biotechnology Healthcare, “It is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

Dr. Berwick, a professor of health policy at Harvard, actually favors a single-payer system for the U.S. But what he considers absolutely essential to health care reform is government control over health care spending, not just for government programs but by patients themselves. “The hallmarks of proper financial management in a system,” he wrote, “are government policies, purchasing contracts, or market mechanisms that lead to a cap on total spending, with strictly limited year-on-year growth targets.” That way “rational collective action overrid[es] individual self-interest.”

Recent reports suggest that the recently passed health care bill will be far more expensive than originally projected. As it becomes apparent that that ObamaCare is unsustainable, the calls for controlling its costs through rationing will grow louder. With Donald Berwick running the government’s health care efforts, those voices will have a ready ear.

Maybe those worries about death panels weren’t so crazy after all.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More Obama Politics

Here is another Morning Bell post concerning the underhanded appointment by Obama related to our Healthcare.

The Rationer-in-Chief
When Linda O’Boyle was diagnosed with bowel cancer, her doctors told her she could boost her chances of survival by adding the drug cetuximab to her regimen. But the rationing body for Britain's National Health Service, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), had previously ruled that the drug was not cost-effective and therefore would not be paid for by the government. So O'Boyle liquidated her savings and paid for the drug herself. But this is not allowed under NHS rules. When government bureaucrats found out that O'Boyle had purchased the drug with her own money, she was denied NHS treatment and died within months.

Defenders of Britain's health care rationing system may try to claim that this tragic death is an outlier in an otherwise acceptable government run health care system. They are wrong. It is the point of the system. As socialized medicine and infanticide advocate Peter Singer has argued in The New York Times, the NICE bureaucrats must ration care or else free government health care would bankrupt the British economy. "NICE had set a general limit of £30,000, or about $49,000, on the cost of extending life for a year," Singer writes. Following this logic, Singer supported NICE's decision not to allow British citizens the kidney cancer fighting drug Sutent. As a result of this, and many other rationing decisions Britain, has one of the lowest cancer survival rates in the Western world. While 60.3% of men and 61.7% of women in Sweden survive a cancer diagnosis, in Britain the figure ranges between 40.2% to 48.1% for men and 48% to 54.1% for women. And NICE's rationing has not just hit cancer patients. Doctors have warned that patients with terminal illnesses are being made to die prematurely under the NHS rationing scheme. And according to the Patients Association, one million NHS patients have been the victims of appalling care in hospitals across Britain.

Most Americans would find this harrowing. But not President Barack Obama. Yesterday he bypassed the Senate confirmation process and used a recess appointment to install Dr. Donald Berwick to be the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS is the agency that runs the Medicare and Medicaid programs). Dr. Berwick said of Britain's health care system: "Cynics beware, I am romantic about the National Health Service; I love it." And his love for Britain's health care system is not in spite of its rationing, but because of it. In 2009 Dr. Berwick told Biotechnology Healthcare: "NICE is extremely effective and a conscientious and valuable knowledge-building system. ... The decision is not whether or not we will ration care - the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open."

The fact that the White House chose to empower Dr. Berwick by recess appointment is particularly audacious. The recess appointment power was intended to be used for occasions when the Senate is out for moths at a time. The Senate is currently out of session for just 11 days. Worse, the Senate majority has never even scheduled a hearing so that Dr. Berwick's rationing views could be given an "open" forum. In fact, Dr. Berwick has not even returned Senators' written questionnaires. The White House defends the move by claiming "there’s no time to waste with Washington game-playing." But then why did the Obama administration wait until April 2010, a full 15 months after President Obama was sworn into office, to nominate Dr. Berwick? Is it because they did not want Dr. Berwick's well known and public support for rationing health care to affect the debate over Obamacare?

In a 2005 interview with Health Affairs, Dr. Berwick said: "(G)overnment is an extraordinarily important player in the American health care scene, and it has inescapable duties with respect to improvement of care, or we're not going to get improved care. Government remains a major purchaser. ... So as CMS goes and as Medicaid goes, so goes the system." And that was before Obamacare gave far reaching new powers to government bureaucrats.

In June of 2009, President Obama told the American Medical Association that “identifying what works is not about dictating what kind of care should be provided.” Moreover, the president has assured the public time and again that the government will not get between patients and their doctors. His nomination of Don Berwick for Director of CMS, however, tells a different story.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Massechusetts Disaster

Read very closely this op-ed and you will see clearly what Obamacare will look like and the devastation it will cause.

Joseph Rago: The Massachusetts Health-Care 'Train Wreck' -

Note carefully one of the last paragraphs. “Meanwhile, Richard Moore, a state senator from Uxbridge and an architect of the 2006 plan, has introduced a new bill that will make physician participation in government health programs a condition of medical licensure. This would essentially convert all Massachusetts doctors into public employees.”

This is the continuation of transforming healthcare workers and physicians into “slave labor”

President Obama said earlier this year that the health-care bill that Congress passed three months ago is "essentially identical" to the Massachusetts universal coverage plan that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed into law in 2006. No one but Mr. Romney disagrees.

As events are now unfolding, the Massachusetts plan couldn't be a more damning indictment of ObamaCare. The state's universal health-care prototype is growing more dysfunctional by the day, which is the inevitable result of a health system dominated by politics.

In the first good news in months, a state appeals board has reversed some of the price controls on the insurance industry that Gov. Deval Patrick imposed earlier this year. Late last month, the panel ruled that the action had no legal basis and ignored "economic realties."

In April, Mr. Patrick's insurance commissioner had rejected 235 of 274 premium increases state insurers had submitted for approval for individuals and small businesses. The carriers said these increases were necessary to cover their expected claims over the coming year, as underlying state health costs continue to rise at 8% annually. By inventing an arbitrary rate cap, the administration was in effect ordering the carriers to sell their products at a loss.

Mr. Patrick has promised to appeal the panel's decision and find some other reason to cap rates. Yet a raft of internal documents recently leaked to the press shows this squeeze play was opposed even within his own administration.

In an April message to his staff, Robert Dynan, a career insurance commissioner responsible for ensuring the solvency of state carriers, wrote that his superiors "implemented artificial price caps on HMO rates. The rates, by design, have no actuarial support. This action was taken against my objections and without including me in the conversation."

Mitt Romney signs health-care reform into law as Ted Kennedy (third from right) looks on, April 2006.

Mr. Dynan added that "The current course . . . has the potential for catastrophic consequences including irreversible damage to our non-profit health care system" and that "there most likely will be a train wreck (or perhaps several train wrecks)."

Sure enough, the five major state insurers have so far collectively lost $116 million due to the rate cap. Three of them are now under administrative oversight because of concerns about their financial viability. Perhaps Mr. Patrick felt he could be so reckless because health-care demagoguery is the strategy for his fall re-election bid against a former insurance CEO.

The deeper problem is that price controls seem to be the only way the political class can salvage a program that was supposed to reduce spending and manifestly has not. Massachusetts now has the highest average premiums in the nation.

In a new paper, Stanford economists John Cogan and Dan Kessler and Glenn Hubbard of Columbia find that the Massachusetts plan increased private employer-sponsored premiums by about 6%. Another study released last week by the state found that the number of people gaming the "individual mandate"—buying insurance only when they are about to incur major medical costs, then dumping coverage—has quadrupled since 2006. State regulators estimate that this amounts to a de facto 1% tax on insurance premiums for everyone else in the individual market and recommend a limited enrollment period to discourage such abuses. (This will be illegal under ObamaCare.)

Liberals write off such consequences as unimportant under the revisionist history that the plan was never meant to reduce costs but only to cover the uninsured. Yet Mr. Romney wrote in these pages shortly after his plan became law that every resident "will soon have affordable health insurance and the costs of health care will be reduced."

One junior senator from Illinois agreed. In a February 2006 interview on NBC, Mr. Obama praised the "bold initiative" in Massachusetts, arguing that it would "reduce costs and expand coverage." A Romney spokesman said at the time that "It's gratifying that national figures from both sides of the aisle recognize the potential of this plan to transform our health-care system."

An entitlement sold as a way to reduce costs was bound to fundamentally change the system. The larger question—for Massachusetts, and now for the nation—is whether that was really the plan all along.

"If you're going to do health-care cost containment, it has to be stealth," said Jon Kingsdale, speaking at a conference sponsored by the New Republic magazine last October. "It has to be unsuspected by any of the key players to actually have an effect." Mr. Kingsdale is the former director of the Massachusetts "connector," the beta version of ObamaCare's insurance "exchanges," and is now widely expected to serve as an ObamaCare regulator.

He went on to explain that universal coverage was "fundamentally a political strategy question"—a way of finding a "significant systematic way of pushing back on the health-care system and saying, 'No, you have to do with less.' And that's the challenge, how to do it. It's like we're waiting for a chain reaction but there's no catalyst, there's nothing to start it."

In other words, health reform was a classic bait and switch: Sell a virtually unrepealable entitlement on utterly unrealistic premises and then the political class will eventually be forced to control spending. The likes of Mr. Kingsdale would say cost control is only a matter of technocratic judgement, but the raw dirigisme of Mr. Patrick's price controls is a better indicator of what happens when health care is in the custody of elected officials rather than a market.

Naturally, Mr. Patrick wants to export the rate review beyond the insurers to hospitals, physician groups and specialty providers—presumably to set medical prices as well as insurance prices. Last month, his administration also announced it would use the existing state "determination of need" process to restrict the diffusion of expensive medical technologies like MRI machines and linear accelerator radiation therapy.

Meanwhile, Richard Moore, a state senator from Uxbridge and an architect of the 2006 plan, has introduced a new bill that will make physician participation in government health programs a condition of medical licensure. This would essentially convert all Massachusetts doctors into public employees.

All of this is merely a prelude to far more aggressive restructuring of the state's health-care markets—and a preview of what awaits the rest of the country.

Friday, July 9, 2010

2010 version of the story


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away..

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!


The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

CBS, NBC , PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering
grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green...'

ACORN stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, We shall overcome.

Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

President Obama condemns the ant and blames President Bush, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper's plight.

Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper , and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper .

The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ants food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous and once peaceful, neighborhood.

The entire Nation collapses bringing the rest of the free world with it.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2010.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What is the SGR

The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) began in 1998 with the aim to control spending for physicians’ services provided under Part B of Medicare. It does so by setting an overall target amount of spending (measured on both an annual and a cumulative basis) for certain types of goods and services provided under Part B; included are payments for physicians’ services as well as payments that Medicare makes for items—such as laboratory tests, imaging services, and physician-administered drugs—that are furnished in connection with physicians’ services.

Payment rates are adjusted annually to reflect differences between actual spending and the spending target—upward if spending is below the target, downward if spending is above the target. Policymakers had two main goals when they adopted the SGR mechanism: ensuring adequate access to physicians’ services and controlling federal spending for those services in a more predictable way.

In the recent past, more than 90 percent of physician and nonphysician providers agree to participate in Part B, and until recently, surveys generally show that beneficiaries do not experience significant difficulties in getting access to care. However, this situation is changing as payment rates are significantly reduced and the uncertainty exists on our future.

From 1997 (when the SGR method was first used to measure expenditures) through 2005, spending per beneficiary on services paid for under the physician fee schedule grew by 65 percent, or about 6.5 percent per year. In contrast, per-beneficiary spending in the rest of Medicare (excluding Medicare Advantage, the program’s managed care option) grew by about 35 percent over the same period.

Aside from growth in Part B enrollment, which has averaged about 1 percent annually since 1997, the growth of spending subject to the fee schedule can be attributed mainly to increases in the fees themselves and in the volume and intensity of services being provided by physicians. Since 1997, the fees that Medicare pays for each service have risen annually by an average of about 2 percent. Although some of the remaining growth has resulted from the addition of covered services, most of the rest is attributable to increases in the volume and intensity of services, which have averaged about 4.5 percent per year over the 1997–2005 period.

How many people see the flaws in this formula? Unless you are willing to severely ration care, you cannot set arbitrary caps on spending while adding additional covered lives and services. The fees for the covered services actually rose less than the cost of inflation during this time period so you cannot attribute the overrun to physician fees. In addition, patients are the ones who initiate care from physicians. We provide the service.

Since 2002, spending as measured by the SGR method has consistently been above the targets established by the formula. In 2005, expenditures counted under the method totaled $94.5 billion, about $14 billion more than the $80.4 billion expenditure target for that year. At the end of 2005, total spending since the SGR mechanism was put into place stood at about $30 billion above the SGR’s cumulative target. As a result, the SGR mechanism, under current law, will substantially reduce payment rates for physicians’ services over the next several years.

The band-aided approach once again recently passed extends current pay rates through November. But then we are looking at nearly a 30% rate cut to fulfill this flawed formula that was passed into law in 1998.

We need Congress to overturn this flawed law and move forward with real reform.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Petraeus Option

Isn’t it amazing how General Petraeus was vilified under George Bush but now he is the best choice to replace McChrystal.

Why do you suppose the change of heart? Obama was clueless in his partisan speech in 2007 and remains the same today. YouTube - Barack Obama Questions Petraeus in September 2007
The replacement of McChrystal was necessary as he broke some cardinal military rules and standards that show poor judgment. But the replacement with Petraeus (excellent choice) just shows how partisan the democrats really were under George Bush.

The Democrats had no desire to win the war in Iraq if it meant giving credit to the Bush administration or acknowledging the validity of the war.

Obama is a pathetic president and a pathetic administration.

In this recent editorial, Fouad Ajami: Petraeus, Obama and the War in Afghanistan -, one of the last statements is; “Nor can his mission end in success if our country isn't in this fight for real.”

Obama and the democrats have never been in the fight “for real” and we will lose more soldiers because of Obama.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Prager Clarity

Dennis Prager's motto is Clarity not Agreement. This article is about as clear as it could be.

The World Is a Cruel Place -- and If America Weakens, It Will Get Crueler

Dennis Prager

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One of the many beliefs -- i.e., non-empirically based doctrines -- of the post-Christian West has been that moral progress is the human norm, especially so with the demise of religion. In a secular world, the self-described enlightened thinking goes, superstition is replaced by reason, and reason leads to the moral good.

Of course, it turned out that the post-Christian West produced considerably more evil than the Christian world had. No mass cruelty in the name of Christianity approximated the vastness of the cruelty unleashed by secular doctrines and regimes in the post-Christian world. The argument against religion that more people have been killed in the name of religion than by any other doctrine is false propaganda on behalf of secularism and Leftism.

The amount of evil done by Christians -- against, for example, "heretics" and Jews -- in both the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity -- was extensive, as was the failure of most European Christians to see Nazism for the evil that it was. The good news is that Christian evils have been acknowledged and addressed by most Christian leaders and thinkers.

But there were never any Christian Auschwitzes -- i.e., systematic genocides of every man, woman and child of a particular race or religion. Nor were there Christian Gulags -- the shipping of millions of innocents to conditions so horrific that prolonged suffering leading to death was the almost -inevitable end.

The anti-religious Left offers two responses to these facts: The first is that modern technology made the Nazi and Communist murders of scores of millions possible; had the church been technologically able to do so, it would have made its own Auschwitz and Gulag. The second is that Nazism and Communism were religions and not secular doctrines.

The response to the first is that technology was not necessary for the Communist murders of over a hundred million innocent people in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia and elsewhere. In Cambodia, millions were murdered with hammers, in Rwanda with machetes.

The response to the second is that Communism and Nazism were secular movements and to deny that is to tell a gargantuan lie. Even if one argues that Nazism and Communism were religions, they were nevertheless secular religions. That too many Christians morally failed when confronted with Nazism is true, but irrelevant to the fact that Nazism was in no way a Christian movement.

And now the post-Christian world is getting worse.

The moral news about the world in which we live is almost unremittingly negative.

Russia is devoid of a moral values system. Whatever moral role the Russian Orthodox Church played was largely extinguished during the seven decades of Communist suppression of religion. Today, pockets of religious morality notwithstanding, Russia is essentially a nihilistic state. Under the leadership of a former KGB director, Russia now plays a destructive role in world affairs. Russia today is characterized by major arms shipments to Syria, protecting Iran while it becomes a nuclear power, forcing its will on Ukraine and other neighboring states, and the violent suppression of domestic critics who shed any light on the organized crime syndicate that rules the geographically largest nation in the world.

The Ataturk Revolution is being undone. Turkey, the country long regarded as the bridge between the West and Islam, is rapidly moving away from the West and to an increasingly anti-Western Islam.

Iran is ruled by the heirs of Nazism, if that word still means anything after being cheapened by the Left for decades, most recently by the Left's comparison of Arizona to a Nazi state. The rulers of Iran boast of their desire to initiate a second Holocaust against the Jews, all the while denying that the first Holocaust took place. And the country's treatment of Iranians who seek elementary human freedoms and of Iranian women is among the worst on earth.

According to all reports, nearly 6 million people have been killed in the Congo in the last decade. The great secular liberal hope in "humanity" and "world opinion" has once again been shown to be the false hope it is. World opinion and "humanity" have rarely done anything to help the truly persecuted. But there is more to the Congolese genocide -- the absence of reporting about it in the world's media and its being a non-issue at the United Nations. If an Israeli soldier kills a rock-throwing Palestinian, or even worse, makes plans to build 1,600 apartments in east Jerusalem, the U.N., world opinion and the world media cover it as if it were the primary evil on earth. But the Congolese deaths are barely worth a mention.

Mexico is fighting for its life against narcotics gangs that compete with Islamists in their sadism. Mexico could become the largest narco-state in the world. To be a good person in Mexico today, i.e., to oppose the drug lords in any way, is to put oneself in danger of being slowly tortured to death.

Europe long ago gave up fighting for or believing in anything other than living a life with as much economic security, as many days off and as young a retirement age as possible. World War I killed off European idealism. And whatever remained was destroyed by World War II. What I have written about the Germans is true for nearly all of Europe: Instead of learning to fight evil, Europe has learned that fighting is evil.

Other consequences of European secularism and the demise of non-materialistic ideals include a low birthrate (children cost money and limit the number of fine restaurants in which one can afford to dine), and appeasement of evil. Thus most European nations are slowly disappearing and nearly every European country has compromised Western liberties in order to appease radical Muslims.

Radical Islam
Polls taken in the Muslim world regularly report that about 10 percent of the world's Muslims say they support radical Islam -- meaning Islamic totalitarianism as practiced by the Taliban and terror as practiced by Al-Qaida. That means at least one hundred million people. Add to that the unspecified number of Muslims who support the Nazi-level and Nazi-like anti-Semitism promulgated in much of the Middle East and you have an enormous body of people committed to the death of the West.

As in Russia, traditional Chinese virtues were largely destroyed by Communism, and China, too, is essentially a nihilistic state whose government spends its vast sums of foreign currency in buying influence in some of the cruelest places on earth (Zimbabwe, for example) and protecting the genocide-advocating regime of Iran.

The United Nations
The net result of the United Nations is an increase in evil on earth. Whatever good is performed by some of its institutions, like the World Health Organization or UNICEF, that good is outweighed by the amount of evil the U.N. either abets or allows. It has supervised genocide in Rwanda, done nothing to stop genocide elsewhere (e.g., Congo and Sudan), gives a respectable forum to tyrannies, and is preoccupied with vilifying one of its relatively few humane states, Israel. Its contributing to human suffering is exemplified by Libya being elected to its Human Rights Commission and Iran's election to its Commission on the Status of Women.

The United States
The United States was described by President Abraham Lincoln as The Last Best Hope of Earth. Most Americans agreed then. However, with the ascent of the Left in America -- in our educational institutions, news and entertainment media, and arts world -- fewer and fewer Americans believe this. On the contrary, the Leftist view of America, which pervades American life, is of a country deeply morally compromised by endemic racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, militarism, imperialism and a rapacious capitalism, leading to immoral levels of economic inequality.

As in Europe, these views are leading America to avoid offending its enemies. The American attorney general recently refused to answer a congressman's repeated question about whether he believes that radical Islam might have been one factor motivating recent Muslim terrorists in America.

With America more interested in being like Europe and being liked rather than in fighting its enemies, more and more countries are identifying with America's enemies than with America. Last week's three-way hug among the leaders of Brazil, Turkey and Iran was a clear example of such.

Meanwhile, America is rapidly accumulating unpayable debts that will render it not very different from Greece. Indeed, California, once the grease of the American economy, has become the Greece of the American economy.

As the Left's power increases, America's power recedes -- and the world further deteriorates. Under Democratic Party rule, the Last Best Hope of Earth has decided that the United Nations and Western Europe deserve that title, not the United States.

Those of us working to remove Democrats from power regard this November's election as not only a referendum on the direction of America, but of the world itself.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July







Friday, July 2, 2010

Poking fun at everyone

Q. What's the Cuban National Anthem?

A. Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Q. Where does an Irish family go on vacation?

A. A different bar.

Q. What did the Chinese couple name their tan, curly-haired baby?

A. Sum Ting Wong

Q. What do you call it when an Italian has one arm shorter than the other?

A. A speech impediment

Q. Why aren't there any Puerto Ricans on Star Trek?

A. Because they're not going to work in the future either

Q. Why do Driver Ed classes in redneck schools use the car only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays?

A. Because on Tuesday and Thursday, the Sex Ed class uses it

Q. What's the difference between a southern zoo and a northern zoo?

A. The southern zoo has a description of the animal ...along with a recipe

Q. How do you get a sweet little 80-year-old lady to say the 'F' word?

A. Get another sweet little 80-year-old lady to yell, 'BINGO!

Q. What's the difference between a northern fairytale and a southern fairytale???

A. A northern fairytale begins, ...'Once upon a time...'
A southern fairytale begins, ... 'Y'all ain't gonna believe this shit.'

Q. Why doesn't Mexico have an Olympic team?

A. Because all the Mexicans who can run, jump, or swim are already in the United States

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Noonan seeing the light

Reality may finally be setting in for some journalists blinded by the Obama rhetoric and charm.
Peggy Noonan finally has an honest appraisal of the incompetence of Obama and his policies.

In addition, Bill Maher and other comedians are finally pointing out the obvious insanity of this administration. The honeymoon may finally be over but we now have to suffer the consequences of this disastrous presidency and his policies.

Peggy Noonan: He Was Supposed to Be Competent -