Thursday, September 3, 2009
The American medical system has the latest technology, the greatest variety of new drugs and unparalleled resources. But anyone who thinks we're getting something great for our dollars inevitably encounters a two-word rebuke: infant mortality.
The United States is the richest nation on Earth, but it comes in 29th in the world in survival rates among babies. This mediocre ranking is supposed to make an irrefutable case for health care reform. If we cared enough to insure everyone, we are told, we would soon rise to the health standards of other modern nations.
It's just a matter of getting over our weird resistance to a bigger government role in medical care.
But not every health issue is a health care issue. The reason boxers are unusually prone to concussions is not that they lack medical insurance. Doctors may treat head injuries, but it's a lot easier to prevent them. Absent prevention, we shouldn't blame the medical industry for punch-drunk fighters.
No one denies the problem. Our infant mortality rate is double that of Sweden. But we have more births to teenagers (seven times more than the Swedes).
Nearly 40 percent of American babies are born to unwed mothers...
Despite President Barack Obama’s promise that any health care reform legislation will be deficit-neutral, 68% of voters nationwide say that passage of the Congressional health care reform legislation is likely to create larger deficits.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 10% believe the legislation will reduce the deficit while 14% say it will have no impact. Eight percent (8%) are not sure.
Among those not affiliated with either major party, 79% believe the legislation will increase deficits while 3% believe it will reduce deficits. Democrats are less sure of the outcome, but a plurality of those in the President’s party share the same view, 43%.
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death. (snip)
Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away...
[From a UK paper.]
In 2006, Gov. Mitt Romney enacted the most sweeping health care reform in the nation by making Massachusetts the first state to require that its residents purchase health insurance employers make a minimum level of health insurance part of employee compensation.
The fruits of Romneycare have been exactly what you'd expect from a government program, and makes it a case study in the reforms that President Obama and congressional Democrats are trying to ram through Congress.
Particularly the Romneycare individual and employer mandates, says Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute:
- The individual and employer mandates give Massachusetts the power to ration care in a deliberate and systemic fashion and gives the government the power to dictate what types of coverage health plans must offer but also enables it to regulate the relationships between insurers and health care providers.
- Since individual and employer mandates are simply disguised taxes, imposing them would violate Obama's pledge not to tax the middle class.
- He vowed that no family making less than $250,000 a year would see any form of tax increase; yet House Democrats would force non-compliant employers to pay a tax equal to eight percent of payroll, while uninsured individuals would pay a tax equal to 2.5 percent of income.
Recently, the legislative commission recommended that Massachusetts impose price controls in the private sector as a means of rationing care...
[Again and again: bloated inefficient government can't compete with the free market - unless it legislates draconian rule toward killing its competition.]
image toon - hcare = New plan = ambulance within ambulance
The west must change its strategy in order to prevail in Afghanistan, the top US commander in the country said today as he handed over to US and Nato commanders a sweeping review of operations that may lead to a demand for more troops...
In a new video released by the IDF spokesperson's office, a Hamas terrorist can be seen planting an explosive device, entering a civilian home and hiding among residents who are waving a white flag. The video was captured on January 8, 2009, during Operation Cast Lead.
After planting an explosive device, the heavily armed terrorist climbs into a house full of civilians. When IDF troops surround the house, the residents come out waving a white flag, and the terrorist attempts to blend in with them.
With help from the Israeli Air Force—which had been watching the terrorist the entire time—IDF ground forces identify and arrest the Hamas gunman.
Watch the video and check out the IDF spokesperson's YouTube page.
The CIA's harsh interrogation techniques saved countless American lives by forcing al Qaeda chieftains to disclose a string of sophisticated terror plots to infiltrate the United States with cold-blooded killers.
That fact is established in two documents released Monday by the Justice Department, hours after they released the CIA Inspector General report which Attorney General Holder has used as a basis to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the CIA interrogators.
The successes produced by the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” are disclosed in two declassified CIA reports -- the same ones demanded to be released by former Vice President Dick Cheney. He made the demand after President Barack Obama ordered the release of a Justice Department memo outlining the techniques -- but not the results.
"Since his March 2003 capture, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the driving force behind the 11 September attacks as well as several subsequent plots against U.S. and Western targets worldwide, has become one of the U.S. government's key sources on al Qaeda," the report said.
"He has provided intelligence that has led directly to the capture of operatives or fleshed our understanding of the activities of important detainees, which in turn assisted in the debriefings of these individuals."
The two Cheney-requested documents also show the interrogations foiled an al Qaeda program to produce and spread anthrax, the deadly germ used in biological warfare... [snip]
There's more... [snip]
The bottom line: the two reports show the enhanced interrogation techniques protected America...
[This isn't a political game - Highly Recommended > ]
image toon - gwot nsec = Liberal interrogation = mr. bunny
LABOUR slammed the brakes on its war against violent extremism yesterday - amid fears it had upset Muslim voters.
Millions spent preventing Asian kids becoming terrorists will now be used to tackle right-wing racists in Whiteareas.
Community cohesion minister Shahid Malik admitted he was softening his stance because Muslims felt stigmatised.
But a former Labour aide called the move a "dangerous dilution" of the Government's counter-terrorism strategy.
Tories branded it a shameless bid to win back Muslim voters who deserted Labour over Iraq and Afghanistan.
More than £45million a year has been spent on measures to prevent Al-Qaeda recruiting young Muslims in the UK. It included action to break up Islamic ghettos and stop university hate preachers. But Mr Malik, the first British-born Muslim MP, yesterday unveiled plans to 'broaden' the scope of the campaign.
"We shall be putting a renewed focus on resisting right-wing racist extremism. We cannot dismiss or underestimate the threat."
His action contrasts with the tough stance of ex-minister Hazel Blears. She broke links with Muslim groups that failed to denounce extremists. Her adviser Paul Richards said:
"The good work by Hazel is being undone in the name of political correctness."
Former shadow home secretary David Davis said:
"This has been watered down for purely political reasons. Labour has always seen Muslim voters as its own property."
"Islamic lands that were occupied by the enemies will once again become Islamic...We proclaim that we will conquer Rome, like Constantinople was conquered once, and as it will be conquered again."- Ali Al-Faqir, the Jordanian Minister for Religious Endowment
Britain, birthplace of parliamentary democracy, has fallen to Islam. Oxford, once home to the likes of C.S. Lewis, now houses a giant Eastern Islamic Studies Center. If this were the only Islamic addition to Oxford, the mood would be less somber, but when Oxford citizens are forced to awake every morning to the Muslim call to prayer with the full consent of the Church of England, nothing short of conquest has taken place.
Britain's Muslim demographic is now so dominant that the British government recently began to allow Islamic civil and religious law, known as Sharia, to be enforced along side British law.
But if religious tolerance is good, why is this a problem? Simple-this is not an issue of religious liberty. Islam is not designed to co-exist with western civilization. It is designed to conquer it... [snip]
Most would agree that Judeo-Christian values are consistent with Anglo-American tradition. Can the same be said of Islam? Even Muslims don't think so. The chief Justice of London's Sharia Court made this chilling statement:
"If Sharia is implemented then you can turn this country into a haven of peace...Once a thief's hand is cut off, nobody is going to steal. Once an adulterer is stoned, nobody is going to commit this crime at all. This is why we say we want to offer it to British society."
Statements like this have not stopped prominent British figures from endorsing Sharia. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Protestant equivalent of the Pope, called Sharia "unavoidable"... [snip]
And, incredibly, we cooperate with this reverse assimilation. Somehow we Westerners now feel compelled to assimilate with Muslims instead of expecting the reverse... [snip] Paris fashion runways... [snip] ... 751 areas have been willingly ceded to Islamic residents by the French government as police "no go" areas... [snip] ...Dutch Muslims have such a grip on Holland that those who speak out must live in safe houses... [snip] ...Yet the Dutch Minister of Justice still wants to make full Sharia an option on the next ballot...[snip]
And Germany looks to be next. Matthias Rohe, Judge on the Court of Appeals in Nuremburg wants to see full Sharia in Germany, saying, "we are ready to accept these kind of differences and would apply the norms." Many areas of Germany are now off limits to police and other uniformed personnel, as in France and the UK.
And the US is steadily bowing to Islamic pressure. Many US banks and investment firms have formally adopted Sharia Finance. Harold Koh, recent Dean of Yale Law School and current Obama Advisor to the Secretary of State, openly talks about the compatibility of Sharia with American legal precedent...[snip]
Is this what we want?
Radical Islam is inconsistent with American ideals, plain and simple. Europe is among the walking dead; their future is an Islamic one. America, however, still has a choice if we have the courage to make it...
It is a shameful thing. Yale's decision to censor pictures of Muhammad from an academic text about them is one of those watershed moments that history will record as institutional capitulation to Sharia (Islamic law) at one of the storied centers of Western learning, American branch.
Yale is hardly unique in academia in bending to Islamic law. Harvard, for instance, boosts Sharia-compliant finance, operates a gym on Islamic rules separating the sexes, and permits a Harvard chaplain to condone the Islamic penalty of death for leaving Islam without sanction.
Such deference to Islam is the embodiment of what historian Bat Ye'or calls "dhimmitude," the stunted cultural existence of non-Muslims living in thrall to Sharia. If Yale is not unique in this, censoring its press according to Islamic restrictions on Muhammad imagery makes Yale a leading contender for All-Ivy dhimmi... [snip]
Still, Yale has yet to receive its massive annual infusion of cash from the typical Muslim sources. Georgetown and Harvard, for example, both accepted $20 million apiece from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who has likewise contributed millions to families of Palestinian "martyrs," and whose part-owned Iqra TV incites jihad.
Imagine the frustration. What's Yale gotta do for its share of Sharia bucks? Censor those Sharia-defying Danish Muhammad Cartoons? Hmm. Not a bad idea.
That's the same Saudi prince, by the way, to whom then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani defiantly returned $10 million after Alwaleed blamed U.S. Middle East policy for Sept. 11...
Russia is aggressively trying to spin the invasion of a tiny neighbor Georgia for the purpose of annexing its territory and intimidating its anti-Russian government into doing the Kremlin's bidding or, failing that, to promote domestic insurrection and regime change.
And an American PR firm, headed by a former LA Times editor is happy -- for a price -- to lend a helping hand... [snip]
Russia's annexation of Ossetia is one thing; there was at least an active military dispute going on there. But what about Abkhazia? Georgian forces did not set foot in Abkhazia, yet Russian tanks still rolled in. Russia has no justification of any kind for that action, a fact its covert PR operatives have conveniently swept under the carpet.
And that's not the worst part.
As I've previously reported, Russia's malignant intentions do not stop within what it believes is its "sphere of influence." Russia regularly menaces the U.S. coastline and worldwide military bases with nuclear bombers even though we are doing no such thing to the Russians.
Russia is seeking to destabilize the Middle East in order to provoke a rise in oil prices, giving support to Hezbollah, Hamas , Syria and Iran that includes both military hardware and nuclear technology...
[Yet we're the ones begging Russia to let us 'reset' our relationship with it?]
The Prius hybrid automobile is popular for its fuel efficiency, but its electric motor and battery guzzle rare earth metals, a little-known class of elements found in a wide range of gadgets and consumer goods.
That makes Toyota's market-leading gasoline-electric hybrid car and other similar vehicles vulnerable to a supply crunch predicted by experts as China, the world's dominant rare earths producer, limits exports while global demand swells...
[An unexpected/unintended consequence of legislating demand. Who could have guessed.]
The usual September parade of world leaders descending on New York City for the opening of the annual United Nations General Assembly will be characterized this year by the presence of some of the world’s most appalling figures.
Likely to provoke the most ire this year will be Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who plans his first visit ever to the United States at a time when his emergence from international isolation has been set back by the release of the Libyan convicted in the Lockerbie bombing. Of the 270 people killed when the New York-bound Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up after taking off from London in 1988, 189 were Americans.
But his presence will still be provocative, with families of Lockerbie victims and the American Libyan Freedom Alliance among those planning to protest.
The alliance, which says its objective is to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Libya, said it had expressed its disappointment to U.S. and U.N. officials about the planned attendance by Gaddafi
“despite all his well documented international and domestic crimes"
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also plans to attend the UNGA session, as he has for the past four consecutive years, but this time the visit comes on the heels of his disputed re-election and subsequent state crackdown. Adding to the storm, Ahmadinejad has nominated as defense minister a man wanted by Argentina and Interpol for his alleged role in the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires... [snip]
Under the 1947 United Nations Headquarters Act, foreign delegates are permitted unimpeded access to a demarcated “headquarters district” in New York City.
Leading calls this year for Ahmadinejad to be denied a visa is Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
She argued in a letter to Obama that the threat posed by Ahmadinejad to American national security interests outweighed U.S. responsibilities under the U.N. Headquarters Act.
The Reagan administration in 1988 set a precedent by denying PLO chairman Yasser Arafat a visa, citing “associations with terrorism"...
The Obama administration’s updated budget forecasts--which anticipate that the federal government will run up $9.05 trillion in new debt over the next decade--is predicated on the assumption of a robust rate of economic growth during that entire period, claiming that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow at an average rate of 2.8 percent between 2009 and 2019...
CNN’s American Morning on Friday dug up a six-week old op-ed from the Tax Policy Center’s Len Burman warning that massive trillion-dollar deficits are a catastrophe that could lead to the end of the U.S. as a great power “or even a mediocre one.”
With the on-screen graphic reading “Higher Taxes Inevitable?” business correspondent Christine Romans announced to viewers
“I’ve just got to tell you about this handwringing that's happening, and what it's going to mean for you. We're spending vastly more than we take in. We will for the foreseeable future. We're racking up these deficits, we pay interest on all of this debt.”
Co-anchor John Roberts noted how the House health care bill calls for higher taxes on the rich. Romans shot back that the tax experts
“are saying that there's no way you can just raise taxes on the rich to fix all of our problems. It's got to be dramatic slashing in spending or much higher taxes down the road. ”
Burman and his Tax Policy Center — a joint creation of two liberal think tanks, The Brookings Institution and Urban Institute — were a lot more popular with the media during last year’s presidential campaign. The Center’s data was frequently cited on the broadcast networks as validating Obama campaign claims their candidate would offer a bigger tax cut to average Americans.
Now that Burman is scolding an out-of-control Democratic government, a Nexis search of ABC, CBS and NBC finds no stories mentioning either the Tax Policy Center or Burman during the past three months.
Washington - U.S. companies cut more jobs than forecast in August and boosted their workers’ productivity the most since 2003 in the second quarter, signaling employers are seeking to cut costs further even as the economy stabilizes. [?]
[aka; Cap & Trade bill]
The Waxman-Markey climate change bill proposes a new national tax of historic proportions.
Though levied directly on carbon-based energy, the tax's impact spreads through the economy, increasing prices, reducing income, destroying jobs and significantly expanding the national debt, say researchers from the Heritage Foundation.
As the Waxman-Markey energy tax spreads through the economy, businesses and consumers will adapt as well as possible to these higher prices by spending more for less energy, say researchers. They will build smaller houses and buildings. They will drive smaller, less safe vehicles. They will turn thermostats up in the summer and down in the winter. But these activities will not be enough to offset the higher energy costs:
- Gasoline prices will rise 58 percent (or $1.38) above the baseline forecast, which already contains price increases, natural gas prices will rise 55 percent, heating oil prices will rise 56 percent and electricity prices will rise 90 percent.
- A family of four can expect to pay $1,241 more for energy costs per year, and including taxes, they will pay $4,609 more per year.
- That same family of four will reduce its consumption of goods and service by up to $3,000 per year, as its income and savings fall.
- Aggregate GDP losses will be $9.4 trillion, job losses will be nearly 2.5 million; and the national debt will rise an additional $12,803 per person.
Van Jones, the Obama administration's "green jobs" Czar, made the remark during an energy lecture in Berkeley, Calif., after a woman in the audience asked him why President Obama and congressional Democrats were having trouble moving legislation -- even though Republicans, with a smaller majority, didn't have as much trouble earlier in the Bush administration.
"Well, the answer to that is, they're assholes,"
Jones said. But Jones said that, even though Obama is "not an asshole," others have to step up the fight.
"Now, I will say this. I can be an asshole, and some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity,"
[Another extreme appointment.]
image toon - grn engry bbro - Whacky prof. failure = EPA head
Senator Edward Kennedy was, and will remain, an outstanding example of a champagne socialist. Sociologically speaking, the type has been well recognized for quite some time.
Such people are exploiting their privileged position in society to curry favor with those less privileged, and so find the way to continue being privileged while also being applauded for it.
Clever, if immoral...
Only on MSNBC, the network that prides itself as the "place for politics" could you see this type of anti-religion, anti-conservative vitriol.
On MSNBC's Sept. 1 "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," host Keith Olbermann entertained the musings of Dan Savage, a syndicated sex columnist, author and gay-rights advocate about religious conservatives and their participation in public policy debate.
"The religious right is fomenting this kind of hatred in this country at our peril," Savage continued. "I really do think that the Michele Bachmanns of the world and the Glenn Becks of the world are actively and consciously, or subconsciously, trying to get - I'm just going to say it, trying to get the president killed."
Olbermann didn't challenge Savage on his accusations that Bachmann and Beck were trying to get the president killed, adding his own disclaimer that he didn't believe everyone opposing Obama's health care policy proposals was trying to get the president killed, just some:
"The overall picture - help me out on this overall picture and I'm not going to, I'm only going to moderate your remarks to this degree, that I think some of them who oppose this are not of that thinking that you just expressed," ... "But unfortunately a lot of who you are talking about, you nailed them perfectly."
MSNBC personalities also regularly attack women on the network, once referring to Bachmann as a "Mata Hari," and calling the former female Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin a "mail order bride" and characterize her as a dragon and a dog.
A newly released report by the Institute for Medicine and the National Research Council details strategies for local governments to combat what it calls an epidemic of childhood obesity, including regulations that would “restrict fast food establishments near school grounds and public playgrounds.”
“This is about culture change,” Troutman said. “Every sector of society needs to be involved in this culture change.”
The report, unveiled at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington on Tuesday, also advises local governments to impose higher taxes “to 'discourage' consumption of foods and beverages that have minimal nutritional value”...
[Isn't that what parents for? Oh, forgot: we're too stupid to raise our own kids - government knows best. Is this still America?]
image toon - vals sclm bbro = Warning labels on everything
Conservatives are resuming their historically dominant position atop the New York Times and Amazon.com bestsellers lists after a short hiatus that coincided, not coincidentally, with George W. Bush's tenure in the White House.
While the mainstream media raved about a new era of leftist intellectual supremacy during the liberal ascendance on the bestsellers lists, the return of conservative books to the tops of those lists seems to be going unnoticed.
Amazon, which, unlike the New York Times, ranks books according to the number of actual copies sold, shows Glenn Beck's Common Sense rounding out the top, with Michelle Malkin's Culture of Corruption coming in a close second. Ron Paul's End the Fed comes in at number seven, Mark Levin's Liberty and Tyranny is at number nine, and at number 22 is Dick Morris and Eileen Mcgann's Catastrophe, which carries the blunt sub-heading, "How Obama, Congress, and the special interests are transforming... a slump into a crash, freedom into socialism, and a disaster into a catastrophe... and how to fight back."
Don’t you know Obama and his ilk wish to God (or whoever the heck they wish to) that Glenn Beck would fall into adultery with an Argentinean newswoman, or cut his jugular vein while shaving, or show up drunk, high and naked to his FOX show and forever be publically vilified, marginalized and thus muzzled?
Beck has formally joined Rush as an Official Pain in Barack Obama’s Backside (OPIBOB)...
Fox New's Glenn Beck might be losing advertisers due to liberal boycott campaigns, but he continues to remain popular with the public.
In fact, on Wednesday evening, with conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh as his guest -- not to mention NewsBusters' own Seton Motley! -- Beck stole the cable news night.
As reported by TVbytheNumbers.com moments ago:
Though a little scandal might alienate advertisers, it’s pure ratings gold. Last night Glenn Beck had over 3 million viewers at 5pm, second only to O’Reilly for the night. But, Beck had more 25-54 viewers than O’Reilly (888K to 876K). I don’t watch or really even care about the cable news wars, but still…wow. Even though Beck airs before primetime, when there are fewer people watching TV, he had the most 25-54 viewers in the cable news world for the night.
Here are the numbers (demo in first parentheses):
The O’Reilly Factor – 3,303,000 viewers (876,000) (1,468,000)Of course, Keith Olbermann will likely continue to tell his viewers that he was number one last night.
Glenn Beck – 3,040,000 viewers (888,000) (1,385,000)
Hannity – 2,592,000 viewers (752,000) (1,158,000)
On The Record w/ Greta Van Susteren—2,104,000 viewers (577,000) (985,000)
Special Report with Bret Baier– 2,067,000 viewers (463,000) (881,000)
Fox Report w/Shep Smith–1,590,000 viewers (454,000) (729,000)
Larry King Live—1,182,000 viewers (299,000) (473,000)
Hardball w Chris Matthews—1,123,000 viewers (381,000) (583,000)
Countdown w/ K. Olbermann– 1,091,000 viewers (320,000) (504,000)
[they just can't help themselves.]
Republicans Take Four-Point Lead on Generic Ballot
Support for Republican congressional candidates has reached its highest level in over two years as the GOP lengthens its lead over Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Ballot.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 42% would vote for their district's Republican congressional candidate while 38% would opt for the Democratic candidate.
Minnesota orders ISPs to blacklist gambling sites
The state of Minnesota has handed Internet providers a 7-page blacklist (PDF) of gambling Web sites that they're supposed to prevent customers from accessing, a move that raises First Amendment and technical concerns."We are putting site operators and Minnesota online gamblers on notice and in advance," said John Willems, a Minnesota Department of Public Safety official, in a statement.
Companies that received the list of off-limits Web sites(snip)include AT&T, Comcast, Qwest, and Sprint/Nextel...
Cuba's Healthcare a model for the U.S. says CNN
Good thing for us that Rich Noyes of The Media Research Center keeps on eye on CNN. Good thing for CNN too. Given the latest Nielsen ratings (that finds them 17th during prime time) Ted "Fidel Castro is one helluva guy!" Turner's brainchild should be grateful for any and all viewers, whatever their motivation...
Cash-strapped Cuba says toilet paper running short
HAVANA - Cuba, in the grip of a serious economic crisis, is running short of toilet paper and may not get sufficient supplies until the end of the year, officials with state-run companies said Friday. Officials said they were lowering the prices of 24 basic goods to help Cubans get through the difficulties provoked in part by the global financial crisis and three destructive hurricanes that struck the island last year...