Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Common Sense West Virginia Ad

Friday, July 31, 2009

Five Bureaucrats With the Godlike Power of Life and Death in Their Hands: Obama's Health Care Star Chamber

That is one of the features at the core of Obamist health care cost cutting, rationing health care and deciding who lives and who dies. These decisions will not rest in the hands of doctors and families, but in unelected presidential appointees in Washington DC.

This sends a chill down one's spine. Deficits spiraling out of control wrecking the country are fearsome, but they do not have the same sinister quality as a health care star chamber.

England in the 15 and 1600s established a court known as the Star Chamber. It had the power of life and death and was accountable only to the king or queen. They saw it as a necessary response to English judges' propensity towards granting writs of habeas corpus even when the accused was in jail for a good reason. It turned into, under King Charles I, an instrument of repression and was abolished later.

Think of that. This commission would have the power of life and death over every individual that happened to get sick. It would decide who does and does not get medical attention. Could this be abused? You bet! Politiicans found the IRS an easy tool to harass opponents. The IRS enabled politicians to mess with your money. Obamacare allows them to mess with your health care.

Very disturbing. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of political wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder (paraphrased from Jonathan Edwards' Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God) You get sick, you get denied care, you die, potentially because of your political beliefs.

Obamacare puts way too much power into the hands of the Executive Branch.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Newt Gingrich Plan to Cut Health Care Costs

If we can cut costs by focusing on simple, private sector, and commonsense solutions, we can cut insurance premiums and expand coverage to many more who want to buy it. And we don't need a federal star chamber to ration health care to the deserving and withold it from the undeserving.

I add to Gingrich's solutions a seventh step. Assure all illegal aliens that anyone over eighteen that shows up for health care will be turned over to Immigration and Naturalization as soon as they are treated.

1. Stop Paying the Crooks. First, we must dramatically reduce healthcare fraud within our current healthcare system. Outright fraud — criminal activity — accounts for as much as 10 percent of all healthcare spending. That is more than $200 billion every year. Medicare alone could account for as much as $40 billion a year. (Read about our latest CHT Press book, Stop Paying the Crooks, edited by Jim Frogue.)

2. Move from a Paper-based to an Electronic Health System. As it stands now, it is simply impossible to keep up with fraud in a paper-based system. An electronic system would free tens of billions of dollars to be spent on investing on the kind of modern system that will transform healthcare. In addition, it would dramatically increase our ability to eliminate costly medical errors and to accelerate the adoption of new solutions and breakthroughs.

3. Tax Reform. The savings realized through very deliberately and very systematically eliminating fraud could be used to provide tax incentives and vouchers that would help cover those Americans who currently can’t afford coverage. In addition, we need to expand tax incentives for insurance provided by small employers and the self-employed. Finally, elimination of capital gains taxes for investments in health-solution companies can greatly impact the creation advancement of new solutions that create better health at lower cost.

4. Create a Health-Based Health System. In essence, we must create a system that focuses on improving individual health. The best way to accomplish this is to find out what solutions are actually working today that save lives and save money and then design public policy to encourage their widespread adoption. For example, according to the Dartmouth Health Atlas, if the 6,000 hospitals in the country provided the same standard of care of the Intermountain or Mayo health clinics, Medicare alone would save 30 percent of total spending every year. We need to make best practices the minimum practice. We need the federal government and other healthcare stakeholders to consistently migrate to best practices that ensure quality, safety and better outcomes.

5. Reform Our Health Justice System. Currently, the U.S. civil justice system is the most expensive in the world — about double the average cost in virtually every other industrialized nation. But for all of the money spent, our civil justice system neither effectively compensates persons injured from medical negligence nor encourages the elimination of medical errors. Because physicians fear malpractice suits, defensive medicine (redundant, wasteful treatment designed to avoid lawsuits, not treat the patient) has become pervasive. CHT is developing a number of bold health-justice reforms including a “safe harbor” for physicians who followed clinical best practices in the treatment of a patient.

6. Invest in Scientific Research and Breakthroughs. We must accelerate and focus national efforts, re-engineer care delivery, and ultimately prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and diabetes which are financially crippling our healthcare system.

US Solider defends the Constitution

This US Solider takes his oath to defend the Constitution to heart, both on the battlefield and in the political arena. This is how it should be.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Half Million Credit Cards put at Risk by Security Breach

Network Solutions which owns the Monster Commerce webstore sites notified its merchants when they logged in on Monday that an unauthorized code may have been used to transfer data on approximately 4,343 of their more than 10,000 merchant websites to servers outside the company. The unauthorized code may have captured data on transactions by approximately 573,928 credit card holders.

The breach occurred on cards processed between March 12, 2009 and June 8, 2009. Network Solutions is working with law enforcement on the issue. As a courtesy to Network Solutions customers they are giving each of their merchants affected the option to provide free credit monitoring to their customers through Trans Union. This is at the discretion of the individual merchants.

Those merchants processing orders using Paypal as a payment method are unaffected. As more online merchants switch to Paypal for a payment method they are reducing the risk exposure to both their customers and themselves.

The Russians Would Like to Know Who Runs American Foreign Policy: So Would We!

The rank incompetence of Obama's foreign policy exploded once again in the Maximum Duce's face. This time the object of his policy has a point.

Obama took to Russia with him the language of apology and conciliation, part of the "America is evil" world tour that left him to embrace opponents and ditch old friends. That country, led by Vladimir Putin through a puppet president (no one seems to acknowledge that fact anymore) seemed to accept Obama at face value, just like everyone else.

The next interesting statement came from the Vice President. Joe Biden told an American newspaper (apparently not knowing that Russians read them) that Russia's economic weakness would present Americans with an opportunity to get more national security concessions out of them.

Russians, understandably, reacted with anger and confusion. Which statement reflected real American policy?

As usual, Joe Biden is right in his assessment. The Russians are right in saying that it reflects more of a Dick Cheney style hard nosed approach than Obama's airy apologies. Russians also tend historically to respect blunt hard diplomacy much more than airy platitudes. However, Mr. Vice President, truths need not be told simply to make yourself look intelligent. Russia knows what shape it is in. It does not need you to remind them. This certainly will not help relations.

As usual, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gets the job of sewer cleaner. When Obama, Biden, or the various czars leave a pile of crap, she must don the gloves and clean it up. She called Russia a "world power" on the Sunday shows, but no one believes that she has any input on anything.

The Bush approach lay in occasional expressions of vague concern with, very likely, blunt expressions in private. Russia understands the language and methods of power betterthan most. They are much better off when they respect your country because they only like those whom they find subordinate. Obama's schizophrenic foreign policy complex has undermined whatever his goals are yet again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Give and Take

Obama's selection for the Supreme Court, likely forever after known as "the wise Latina woman" (time will tell if that will be a statement of admiration or derision) will be confirmed. Republican senators opened their guns on her and pushed her into a series of non statements, but she did not slip enough to warrant her rejection. There is also the idea that with a left wing president and a left leaning congressional leadership, she may be as good as we get even though, objectively speaking, she is awful.

Sotomayor's imminent confirmation also reflects the reality that is shaping up this summer. Obama and other leftists had two priorities in this non election year, health care deform and climate legislation. The costs of both upon Americans would be staggering. Climate legislation, also known as cap and trade, or the National Energy Tax, barely passed the House. With the opposition of Robert Byrd and other Democrats from states that stand to suffer from this bill, cap and trade may not yet be DOA, but with enough pressure from voters, it could be soon. Health care deform, with its horrible high cost and amazingly complex bureaucracy, might not even make it out of the House of Representatives. Majorities in both houses came from traditionally conservative districts voting Democratic so the margin for error for these incumbents going into 2010 is razor thin.

Sotomayor, thus represents a victory for Obama, but one that conservative Democrats will tout as an example of support for the president when they could not vote with him on his priorities. Bush saw the same dynamic when he could not pass controversial legislation on Social Security. Republicans worked that much harder to get his judicial nominees confirmed.

We still need voters to express their disgust over these major and costly initiatives that left wingers want to ram down our throats. Victory, however, is in sight if we keep the pressure up.

Monday, July 27, 2009

GOP Fundraising Outpaces Democrats in 2009 and Ted Kennedy's Mockery of West Virginia

Sunday, the Cumberland Times-News ran an Associated Press story coming out of West Virginia. The title claimed that the Democratic Party had raised more money than state Republicans, no shock there. It also spotlighted many of the factional divisions plaguing the party this year.

It included a curious nugget of information. Per voter, the West Virginia Republican Party took in over twice as much money as the Democrats. When one breaks down the fund raising, the WVGOP took in almost twenty-five cents per registered Republican voter while the Democrats only took in about ten cents per registered Democrat.

Now this is not yet cause to pop open the champagne, bang on the piano, and sing and dance. Happy days are still not here again. However, this must be recognized as progress. One more step forward in a long journey. Not too long ago a huge debt hung over the head of the party. In 2009 the fund raising numbers have accomplished this even in the middle of a recession and continuing intraparty strife. It shows a Republican base that is still smaller than the Ruling Party, but much more mobilized. The WVGOP has taken some advantage of the national political turn against Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and the lefties.

Life provides few magic bullets. Like a coach taking hold of a college football team accustomed to years of losing records, it takes time to construct a program. We have seen strong progress over the last few years as the WVGOP got its house in order. Now it is prepared to build upon a stronger foundation and get back to the priority of electing Republicans to office.

Many kudos to those that have been directly involved in West Virginia Republican fund raising. Stay innovative and keep up the good work. We'll have West Virginia seeing red if we keep at it.


I don't think anyone should be surprised at this. Ted Kennedy, the all wise moral compass of the liberals, was recorded at least once ridiculing West Virginia. Theodore White in his Making of the President 1968 recalled how at a party full of liberals at Robert Kennedy's house, the moral compass himself indulged in some insulting mimicry of the Southern West Virginia political bosses who enabled his brother to seize the primary in 1960.

We should have learned the lesson a long time ago, through this, through Bill Clinton aides tossing the phrase "trailer trash" around at Paula Jones, that elite liberals in Washington tend to see people like us as sources of votes and ridicule and not much else.

The Ant and the Grasshopper, Updated Version

IN a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”

“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”

“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; “we have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil. When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food, and found itself suffering from hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew:


But the grasshopper need not have worried. Barack Obama and his magic elves Pelosi and Reid showed up at the first snowfall. They said "Shame on you ant! Your selfishness does not reflect a proper sense of public duty. Can't you see the grasshopper could not have known the disaster that was to befall him?"

The ant protested, "It is natural and inevitable that winter should always follow summer. That is why I stored my food!"

Obama and his magic elves would hear none of it. They waved their magic wand and took almost 2/3 of the ant's food (this is a New York City ant.) The ant said "Now I don't have enough to last the winter! I have at least earned security and comfort with my hard work!"

But Obama and his elves had already left. The grasshopper went right on singing and not working. The ant suffered in silence. Who cared about the ant?

Here's the question. What happens if the ant decides not to work so hard next summer? How will the grasshopper eat then?

Blast from the Past: Tax Man Max