Citius. Altius. Obamus?

As dignitaries and the less dignified descended on Copenhagen for Friday's gut wrenching 2016 Olympics vote, word spread like wildfire this morning across the ancient Danish capital.

The Red Coats are coming! The Red Coats are coming! It is official: the red state loathing, ideologically red-leaning Socialists/Marxists from America's occupied White House, POTUS Barack Hussein Obama and the First Leftist Michelle Hussein Obama, are joining Chicago's delegation for the pivotal final pitch in Denmark. And, of course, the Presidential Teleprompter will have a seat on Air Force One, and a cozy blanket..

Remember the 2008 Presidential campaign, when the First Leftist rarely had been proud of her country? That was then. This is a new campaign season and Michelle Hussein is really, really proud of her hometown of Chicago, a candidate to host the 2016 Olympic Games. What's not to love about the Windy City? In the Obamas' Chicago you can reside in a $1 million-plus South Side home underwritten by a convicted influence peddler and money launderer. You can attend a church for 20 years that is built on a firm foundation of Black Nationalism (anti-white racism) without explanation, and still become a President of the U.S. who accuses all dissenters of being ... tell 'em, Barry ... RACISTS!

Meanwhile, back in Copenhagen -- the Salty Old Queen of the Sea long before anyone had heard of Barney Frank -- the breathless countdown is on.

For the next few days, the Olympic ideal is cast aside for politics, campaigning and silent smearing of opponents. Copenhagen is regarded as Europe's cleanest metropolis, but after Friday it will be littered by the broken dreams of supporters of the three candidate cities deemed unworthy to become stewards of the International Olympic Committee's most precious asset, the Games. It might even be littered by alcohol soaked human beings staggering into the night, distraught in the aftermath of Friday's balloting among the roughly 100 IOC voters. From the final four -- Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janiero and Tokyo -- only one is chosen.

Writes one Olympic blogger waiting for Obama's arrival: "The anticipation simply gets to build with delicious intensity all this week."

Since approximately five minutes after the voters of the United States selected an unproven, unknown junior Senator from Illinois to become their President, speculation has run rampant as to whether B. Hussein would become the first American President to help with an Olympic pitch. Obama refused to commit until Monday. He has been too busy trampling on the Constitution, hiring radical policy czars and violating the law.

Wonder if he'll manage to muster the support of French IOC voters in Copenhagen after failing to turn France's Nicolas Sarkozy into a hope-n-changer last week at the United Nations? Sarkozy, the French President, was disturbed by Obama's empty rhetoric, the very same rhetoric that turns so-called journalists from CBS and NBC into puddles of mush.

"We live in a real world not a virtual world," he told the 15-member Security Council. "And the real world expects us to take decisions. President Obama dreams of a world without weapons ... but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite."

Wonder if Obama will narrate as IOC voters are shown images of Derrion Albert, 18, a Chicago high school honors student beaten to death last week -- as a bystander videotaped it -- by three teenagers using two-by-fours as their weapon of choice.

Wonder if Obama will assure IOC voters that best-in-class health care awaits them when they visit Chicago, even as he uses every resource at his disposal to destroy the world's greatest medical system? Wonder if he'll mention that 56% percent of voters in the latest Rasmussen poll oppose his scheme to radically dismantle America's revered private health care infrastructure?

Wonder of he'll reference the sudden indifference of the U.S. toward escalating violence and Taliban-led terrorist insurgence across Afghanistan?

Byron York on Fox News Special Report observed: "(Obama) has spent more time with David Letterman than talking with (head of U.S. Afghan forces) General McChrystal."

And, finally, who can help but wonder if Barack Hussein Obama will attend the 2016 Games should they be hosted by Chicago? By then, he will have been a private citizen for more than three years.


What If "Getting Things Done" Makes Things Worse?

Politicians love to use the phrase "getting things done" as though activity is proof of progress. What if thing that got done was stupid or made the original problem worse? The war in Iraq was "getting things done" but if you're a liberal Democrat, from your perspective, it's highly likely you believe it was a horrible idea badly executed. The stimulus package "got done" but it didn't help and only added to a deficit Congress has no intention of taking seriously. We can agree or disagree on a policy's merits, but the mere act of accomplishing it is no selling point.

So now we hear about the importance of getting health care reform "done." Emphasis on peripheral issues like abortion and death panels is crowding out serious contributions by conservatives and leading us to a health care regime that doesn't attack the root causes of the cost, access and portability problems. Ending the employer tax exclusion, allowing interstate competition, ending Medicare's fee-for-service model and opening access to the FEHBP would be real change, not the fake, arguably deceptive, version about to be shoved down our throats in the name of "getting things done." This is just what RSP has been saying, in various forms, about the problems with ObamaCare's "fixes."



Obama ally Gov. Deval Patrick may have gotten a bit more than he bargained for when he brought to bear the full weight of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts upon Hyatt for firing 100 housekeepers. See, Hyatt is mostly owned by Chicago's Pritzker family, and Penny Pritzker chaired Obama's campaign finance committee. Unknown is whether the hotels in question are company owned, franchises or a blend.

If I'm Rahm Emanuel, I'm thinking that when Obama and Patrick were on the phone discussing how to change the rules after the game has started, Patrick could have done Obama a favor and brought this up.

Oh well, Robert Byrd is pretty sick. Maybe they'll get another chance at this.


Obama Dines at Denny's

Been pretty busy this week, hence the lack of original posts, though the video below (pardon the salty language) should be seen by the White House, for its humor is, sadly, not off the mark.


The Rock Star and a Hard Place

I heard a Chicago television reporter this week refer to U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama as an “international rock star”. This was not overheard at a Starbuck’s. She said it live, on the air.

Her gushing characterization came during a segment explaining why leaders of Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games are hanging on a thread of hope. They are said to be hoping Obama, for whom Chicago is an adopted hometown, will travel to Copenhagen ahead of the International Olympic Committee’s decisive 2016 vote on Oct. 2. So far, he hasn’t decided what to do. The IOC must choose between four cities — Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janiero and Tokyo — then sit back and pray they’ve done the right thing seven years from now.

Chicago’s campaign team and, by extension, the public continue to view Obama as an earthly God who can enter a room and change the course of history by reading scripted words. Essentially, they are employing the logic of a crack cocaine addict. Just one more fix, man, and we can make the world right. If Obama shows up in Denmark, it’s game, set, match for Mayor Richard Daley’s All-Star Team. Never mind that Chicago’s bid is technically sound — in some areas superior — and is led by a widely regarded business icon, Patrick Ryan, and a famous mayor (Daley).

This Obama obsession prevails even though the former junior Senator from Illinois has not managed to end Washington gridlock or turn a massive U.S. economic tanker clear of jagged shores. He keeps reading the scripted words and rolling out his transformational agendas but the only tangible result is that more than 50% of the nation disapproves of his job performance.

The accidental President (by virtue of being an accidental Illinois Senator) is emerging, not as a Great Messiah, but as the reckless force behind an economic tsunami that threatens the influence and reputation of the United States. That’s why I am dumbfounded by those who insist Obama is Chicago’s trump card in its pursuit of the 2016 Games.

To believe he can be a game changer just by showing up is to demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the IOC’s membership, and there has been precious little reporting by Chicago mainstream media that answers the question, “Who are these guys?”

The membership of the IOC is more than 54 percent European, along with roughly 22 percent North and Latin Americans (including just two U.S. members) and 19 percent Asians.

The people who decide where the Olympic Games go are a conflicted lot, to say the least. Many are U.S.-educated professionals who returned to Socialist, even Communist, homelands, using their intellect, family names and political savvy to secure lives of wealth and influence. The most powerful patriarch within the global Olympic movement is Spain’s Juan Antonio Samaranch, IOC Honorary President for Life. He once was an operative in the brutal monarchy of Gen. Francisco Franco (and son Juan Jr. is now an IOC member/voter). The current President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, is a surgeon from Belgium, a heavily unionized nation under a constitutional monarchy.

Additionally, more than a few IOC voters from Africa, Asia and Latin America have risen through the ranks of deeply rooted, tyrannical/dictatorial political systems, enriching themselves in societies where the world’s material and monetary spoils are not accessible to the masses, and where sports administrators wield great power.

Loyalties among IOC members are wildly fractured, which often causes balloting for Olympic host cities to be skewed by block voting and side deals having nothing to do with the merits of the candidates, or their elected political celebrities. If you don’t believe it, research the circumstances under which Lillehammer (Norway) won host city rights to the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, or Sochi (Russia) the 2014 Winter Games.

While the American Entitlement Class remains drunk on Obama Kool-Aid, cheering as Newsweek declares we’re “all Socialists now”, do not be too sure that IOC members will be enamored of a United States flirting with hope and transformational change.

The dirty little secret among IOC voters is that the privately financed, Capitalism fueled 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games saved the Olympic movement from financial collapse. Does anyone think IOC members voted to put the 1996 Games in Atlanta because they were turned on by the Coca-Cola museum, CNN Center or obsolete Fulton County Stadium? The Games were here in 1996 for the same reason they were in Salt Lake City in 2002. Free market capitalism and multinational U.S. corporations with deep pockets (not to mention General Electric’s National Broadcasting Company and the hundreds of million of dollars it has paid for U.S. broadcast rights) work wonders on the IOC’s bottom line. Plus, when the Games are here, IOC members have an excuse to squeeze in a visit to the Mayo Clinic, or Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, or Cedars Sinai Medical Center, or any number of other beacons of America’s envied private health care system.

So, then, can anyone truly articulate the upside to a live Barack Obama pitch in Copenhagen? By 2016, this nation might well be a severely diminished Obamerica. Will it still be the go-to venue for the Olympic Games? Will these United States that IOC members rely on to prop up their increasingly irrelevant global sports event still be an economic superpower with world-class military and security personnel to protect the athletes and visiting dignitaries?

If Chicago really believes it needs an international rock star to prevail in next month’s voting maybe it should think about finding one that has memorized the words and sings from the heart.

An End to Missile Defense

It is no surprise that President Obama has pulled the plug on the proposed European defense shield. After all, in February, Mr. Obama sent Russian President Dmitry Medvedev a letter offering a quid pro quo – abandonment of the missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic in exchange for Russian help with the Iranian nuclear program.

Of course, the President has couched this cancellation in terms of providing for a better alternative – a new theater and sea-based missile defense system for Europe that will supposedly provide a shield against short and intermediate range missiles. The exact quote is that this new system “…will provide stronger, smarter and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s allies.”

However, this is at odds with a study released this past February by the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO really seems to be a thorn in the side of this administration. First it rains on the Obamacare parade, now it’s raining on this administration’s choice of a missile defense umbrella (pun intended).

The CBO’s February report concluded that the Bush Administration’s planned deployment of the fixed site system in Poland and the Czech Republic is the best in a series of realistic alternatives for protecting American troops, the U.S. homeland and our allies. This report concluded that the plans that the Obama Administration is now proposing would not, in fact, result in an earlier and more cost effective missile defense system. The Mobile ground-based defense system based in Turkey and Germany would provide comparable protection at a comparable cost, but two years later than the Polish/Czech system. The sea-based missile defense system would be operational at a considerably greater cost than the Polish/Czech system.

Besides the cost involved, the President’s claim that the nature of the Iranian threat is more geared toward short and mid-range missiles does not ring true. Concurrently with its nuclear weapons program, Iran has been working on a long range intercontinental ballistic missile program. This is evidenced by Iran’s launch of satellites into space. The technology required to do this is very similar to that needed to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear payload.

Despite the head in the sand approach of our European allies, the Russians and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United States much be vigilant to the danger posed by Iran and its nuclear weapons program (including it rush to develop operational ICBM technology). Since it appears that President Obama will not take military action against the Iranian nuclear program and is also trying to prevent Israel from taking its own military action, the only hope for the security of the United States, our troops and our allies is the deployment of an effective missile defense program. The timing of the deployment of such a system is critical. It must be done prior to Iran’s nuclear program becoming operational. If not, we will find that we are at the mercy of a nuclear armed rogue Islamist regime.

Technical experts concluded that the requirements for an effective American missile defense shield required the deployment of anti-missile systems at three sites, in Alaska and California to protect against a North Korean launch of an ICBM and in Poland/Czech Republic to protect against an Iranian launch of an ICBM. The systems in Alaska and California are up and running (although they have been scaled back by the Obama Administration). The Poland/Czech Republic sites must also be deployed in order to effectively protect us and our allies.

The sad reality is that my analysis does not even take into account the political consequences of hanging our Polish and Czech allies out to dry. At great political risk to themselves, the leaders of those two nations agreed to host our missile defense sites in exchange for the protection that it would offer. Now, President Obama has disregarded the bold stand of these two government in the hopes that Russia, the same Russia that conquered these nations just over 60 yeas ago, will help us negotiate an end to the Iranian nuclear program. If the President really believes that the Russians will assist us with this, he is even more naive than even I had believed. Unfortunately, it appears that the Russians have already reached the conclusion that a nuclear armed Iran is in their national security interests. Because, if it were not, they would have joined us in attempting to do something about it long ago.

This reversal of American defense policy is yet another sign of weakness by the administration. We are not only preventing the deployment of a major piece of American technological innovation that will help keep us same, it also shows that we have no regard for the wishes and interests of our allies. I wonder if our friends in Eastern Europe will oblige us the next time we ask them to take a stand in defending the free world.



You just know this is coming one day:



A clip from one of our nation's preeminent authorities on racism.

Security, Liberty and Google

Go ahead dear reader, search the internets for the phrase "security liberty false choice." You'll find links-a-plenty to speeches, essays and editorials ad nauseum telling us, during the GWB years, that the trade off between the two is a false construct, shoved down our throats only by a fear-mongering neo-conservative cabal. We shouldn't have to choose says Holder, Obama, Daily Kos, the ABA and any of the other applicable 120,000 hits Google so courteously provides.

Now that the right (and, to be frank, some of it seriously loony*) is pounding on the door, pitchforks and torches in hand, check out Speaker Pelosi's view on a choice no great nation should ever have to make, or so we thought:
"I think we all have to take action and responsibility for our words — we are a free country and this balance between freedom and safety is one that we, um, have to carefully balance," said Pelosi."
The (thrown) shoe is now on the other foot.

*direct comparisons of POTUS, D or R, to Hitler are de facto loony


Very Stupid People Use Internets to Prove Stupidity

Jessica Simpson offers a reward for her dog, snatched by a coyote (Um, Jess, the pooch is dead and coyotes can't read).

Jimmy Carter thinks presidents of Harvard Medical School and the Cleveland Clinic are racists.


We Have Forgotten the Horror

Eight years ago this week, we were attacked by fanatical Muslims. Three thousand of our fellow countrymen died in the single most deadly attack against our homeland since the attack on Pearl Harbor. On that otherwise beautiful September day in 2001, we the people vowed that we would never forget. Unfortunately, as time has gone on and the systems put in place by the Bush Administration have been successful in preventing another attack, it seems that we the people have forgotten the horror and the lessons of that fateful day.

Americans have become weary of war. That is understandable, however, the consequences of failure in either Iraq or Afghanistan will be deadly to us. Should either nation fall to Islamic extremists, just like Afghanistan prior to 9/11, there will exist a base for Al Qaeda and its allies to train and practice their craft (which is the killing of the infidel, you and me). Also, as Osama Bin Laden said himself, the so called Arab street likes to bet on the strong horse. American failure in either of these conflicts would signal to the world that the US is not the strong horse, but rather, that the Islamists are the strong horse.

Instead of raising in opposition of the oppression of women in Muslim countries, the President of the United States talks publicly about the discrimination against those women who wear the hijab in the United States, as if it is a large scale problem. This should not come as a surprise since President Obama felt it was necessary to bow to the King of Saudi ruled Arabia. We also continue to allow large scale immigration from countries that teach, train and harbor terrorists. These are just several examples of the appeasement of Islamists by the leadership of our country.

In this country, we continue to allow the House of Saud to fund madrassahs and mosques that teach hatred of Jews and Christians as part of their curriculum. This is just part of the Wahhabi teachings and beliefs. Of course, in Saudi ruled Arabia, it is illegal to practice any religion other than Islam. So much for reciprocation of our so called tolerance.

The Western World also seems content to allow the largest sponsor of Islamic terror in the world, Iran, to develop nuclear weapons. Despite reports that we may only be months away from the Iranian nuclear program reaching a successful conclusion, we and our allies in Europe want to talk to an insane President who has called for the forceful elimination of one of our best allies, Israel. Instead of talking, it is time to get tough and tell the Iranians that their nuclear ambitions will never be met and that for the sake of the security of the entire world, we will stop them by an means possible, if need be. This would also signal to Iran’s terrorist clients that we are serious and will do whatever is necessary to protect our people and our interests.

It is important for every American to remember the horror of September 11, 2001 and to remind our leaders that we must remain eternally vigilant as to the threat of Islamic terrorism. We must continue to engage in the War on Terror that was brought upon us by those who want to kill or convert us to Islam. If we don’t remember to take them at their word, the consequences will be deadly.


Right Wing Racist Hate

Here are critiques of ObamaCare from three racist, fear-mongering right wingers dedicated to perpetuating the status quo in their own greedy self interest.

Jeffrey Flier, Harvard Medical School

Toby Cosgrove, MD, CEO, Cleveland Clinic

Mayo Clinic

Also, here's a response to Krugman's NYT Magazine article I posted last week. The author would take umbrage at my use of the word "thoughtful."


A Non-defense of Rep. Wilson

Joe Wilson's "you lie" has set off a debate about incivility in our politics and whether the GOP is just a bunch of loons. My opinion is the crazier stuff coming out of GOP-land is crowding out credible free market views and tarnishes the conservative brand as unserious.

On Politico's Arena today the question "Does the GOP have a civility problem?" is posed. The answers are worth reading. Some of the answers drift into the yelling and disruptions shown during August's town halls. One contributor writes:
Fifty years ago, you wouldn't see middle class citizens screaming at U.S. Senators. Now all you have to do is call a town hall meeting. The underlying belief that government is there to do good most of the time has been gone for over 40 years, and so people who occupy once respected offices are treated with all the deference given to the register jockey at the 7/11.
The Arena's question is framed as incivility as a uniquely GOP problem, though many respondents, including Dems and liberals, recognize their own side's complicity. I don't know why "we" lack confidence in, and respect for, elected officials, but here's why I do:
  1. They insert themselves into issues that are none of their business.
  2. They engage in baseless character assassination.
  3. They change the rules ex post to preserve power
  4. The act like their s**t doesn't stink
  5. They concern themselves with irrelevance.
  6. Some are indescribably corrupt.
  7. They act like there's nothing wrong with using their power to protect their power.
  8. They bathe themselves in double standards.
I'd ask The Arena for a follow up: have elected officials discuss what they're doing that's sowing incivility and disrespect.


Public Option

Conservatives make the argument, inartfully, that the public option is a Trojan Horse intended to usher in a full, single payer health care model. PBO says it isn't. RSP believes it is utterly inconceivable the public option won't one day, soon at that, be molded into a single payer model by a future Congress irrespective of what PBO says today. Read this by a contributor to Politico (you'll have to scroll down to find "What Leveling the Playing Field Really Means"). He lays out six advantages Congress could legally confer upon a public option.

If you believe Congress won't over time extend those advantages to the public option, you are deluding yourself. Democrats in Congress have an ideological hatred for private insurance and Republicans refuse to argue forcefully in favor of competition. They let themselves get painted with the "pro-insurance company" brush. Genuine free-marketers favor competition, not competitors.

There are legitimate market failures within health insurance government can address but competition isn't one. There could be more competition tomorrow if Democrats wanted, but they don't. They want to demonize insurance companies, which is politically useful for them but doesn't attack the real cost driver: DEMAND!!!!! As I've written before, we are a rich, advanced, aging, lazy society which is the perfect blend for relentless demand for the latest and greatest. The immediate realizable savings from tinkering with HI profits is not a huge amount of money (profits are about 3% post tax for large insurers) but is part of an ideological war. Put pressure on profits while introducing an inevitably subsidized competitor and sooner or later private insurance will collapse.

The pre-existing conditions exclusion and rescission exist not because HI executives are dicks, but because fraud and adverse selection undermine the very concept of insurance (HI executives probably are dicks, but exclusion and rescission are not good evidence). If carriers are committing fraudulent rescission, then prosecute and fine them vigorously. As a country we've lost our collective minds about health insurance. Insurance is intended to cover the random financial catastrophe. It cannot pay everyone's bill for everything, whether the plan is for profit or not-for-profit.

PBO has stated repeatedly he wants to do away with annual or lifetime benefit caps. No insurance scheme can possibly price in unlimited liability. Here's a little tidbit for you: I have a private, family policy from a for-profit carrier with a $5M lifetime benefit. The policies of a non-profit co-op, GroupHealth, (a West Coast insurer and provider) have lifetime benefit caps of $2M.

Guess profit isn't so bad.


Profit in Health Care

President Obama claims that he wants to see choice, competition and cost reductions in any health care reform bill. Of course, choice and competition lead to reductions in cost. If the free market were allowed to work in the health care sector, we would achieve all three of the President’s stated goals.

In the free market, a business will learn that its prices are too high when it sees a loss of customers to lower cost competitors. This holds business accountable without the intervention of the government. Unfortunately, under the system we have today, choice and competition are not allowed so the free market cannot work.

Americans are not allowed to purchase health insurance across state lines (A friend of mine lives in Wisconsin, but works in Illinois so all of his heath care providers are in Chicago. However, he must buy a Wisconsin health insurance policy even though all of the providers who receive the payments on his behalf are in Illinois.) Also, state governments mandate certain coverages in insurance policies sold within their borders. Recently in our office, we purchased insurance for myself and one my employees. We were the only two covered. I am having no more children and my employee was not of child bearing age. We, therefore, had no need for maternity coverage, but we still were forced to buy it. So much for our choice.

President Obama’s plan does nothing to increase either choice or competition and, therefore, does nothing to reduce costs. Competition is not having numerous companies offering the same thing at the same price. What consumers want only emerges through the free market process. It doesn’t emerge through government intervention and mandates. Politicians and bureaucrats cannot predict what consumers want, much less need.

Under the current health care proposals, government officials would define the available health insurance plans. As such, competition would be forbidden. Consumers who what to buy a high deductible policy would be unable to do so. Those who don’t want maternity coverage or fertility coverage would be out of luck.

On top of that, the so called public option would mean the end of private health insurance coverage. The government would be acting as a supplier and the referee. Since only the government has the power to print money, it would easily undercut private insurance carries to the point where none could enter the market. The cost public option would be underwritten by the government’s power to tax and print money.

Mr. Obama claims that the virtue of the public option is that there is no profit motive. Of course that is true by definition with any government plan. However, what the President fails to understand is that profit is what enables competitors to figure out what consumers want. If there is no profit, how will government bureaucrats allocate resources? How will they determine what consumers want? How will they produce a service without wasting resources? The President needs to learn that profit is the key to competition. Unfortunately, having never worked in the private sector, it is unlikely that he will learn the value of running a profitable enterprises. Without it, all that we are left with is the decaying system of our friendly neighbors to the north.

Commenting on Anonymous' Comment

Here is a comment from Anonymous on The Conservative Soldier's post last week:
Your optimism is impressive. It does not seem realistic to me. What would all of your conservative reforms do about policies with annual and lifetime benefit maximums, about cancellation (or non renewal) of policies when people get sick, about out-of-pocket maximums that do not apply to certain diseases? These and a number of other injustices in the current system have nothing to do with the problems you list, and everything to do with greed.
Inescapably, unless one believes that when it comes to the provision of health care everyone is entitled to everything then there must be restraints on care. Those restraints are determined either through the political system, the price system or a blend. In my lifetime there has been no unfettered free market in the delivery or financing of health care and there will not be one for the rest of my life.

Anonymous decries benefit maximums and recission. Nobody likes these things but those are two ways the price system allocates limited supply (of either dollars or doctors) across unlimited demand. A political system will face the same problem, the solution will just take a different form. Some people will pay higher taxes. Some people will have to wait longer than they do now. The price of new technologies will come down, but the cost of R&D risk won't, which means some technology that might have emerged also won't. Over time some outcomes which are choices, not insurable events, will be covered, if advocated by vocal special interests.

I think health care costs more than we want it to because we demand a lot of it, partly because we're rich, advanced, aging and lazy and partly because we've created the illusion that someone else pays for health care. Accordingly, I think health insurance should be personal, not corporate, property. I think government should fund a means-tested pool to pay for some of the uninsurable. I think people, not employers, should be required to buy health insurance. I think insurance companies should be allowed to sell mandate-free policies. I think there should be cross border competition. I think the government should subsidize health insurance for those who can't afford a mandate-free policy. I think the health insurance industry should be required to offer a national, irrevocable policy free of political mandates and actuarially sound. I think combat veterans should get whatever damn treatment they want, paid for by the rest of us. I think if you're a bigger risk, insurance should cost you more. I think health care providers should have to disclose prices. I think if you're here illegally no hospital should turn you away but eventually you should be sent back. I think an employer who hires an illegal alien should be punitively fined. I think all school age children should be provided basic inoculations.

I don't have all the answers but I know everyone can't have everything. Anonymous, how would you decide who gets what?


Krugman Essay Worth Reading

When Krugman isn't serving up dishes of raw, partisan red meat he's a very thoughtful thinker and writer.

Happy Labor Day. See you next week.

Government should retreat, not reframe

There is a viral movement afoot on Facebook through which well meaning communicators are directed to express their “status” (state of mind in the here and now) on health care “reform”. The pledge is this: No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick.

That is like strong-arming people to declare that we should absolutely reject the drowning of puppies and kittens.

What’s to disagree about on health care with dignity? Among intelligent American citizens, there is no disagreement that targeted reform will elevate health care and help those most in need.

But the point of this exercise launched by the Obama Socialist movement is not to state the obvious. It is the opening chess move toward “re-framing” the health care debate. The Obamatrons want health care reduced to a war between Compassion and Indifference. Americans will reject this.

Why? No matter how angry my liberal friends might make me in the heat of debate, I would always die for them because they are Americans first. Let me say it again. I will give up my life for you. Were it down to me, Osama bin Laden and Teddy Kennedy, I would give my life in order that Osama was road kill and Teddy had the thrill of one more dry Gibson on the veranda on the family compound. Patriots never compromise. Teddy was right. The dream will never die. What matters is that we cling to the dream.

So, in that spirit, let us resolve together, as Patriots, that we will not be duped on this all important issue of health care.

If we rise up and demand that our Government, the IRS and the cloud of frivolous law suits step out of the way, stay clear of our lives, then we can be assured that an individual’s life’s work will not be measured by tax brackets, and that wealth accumulation will not be vilified. And when we arrive at this moment the likelihood of Americans facing death because they can’t write a check for comprehensive coverage or Americans going broke to pay physician and hospitals will be, at best, remote.

I am confident that when we allow productive Americans to control their income we will enter an era in which the few million Americans lacking health care will be protected and nurtured by the rest of us, through carefully managed and administered federal programs that can’t be exploited by illegal immigrants or by the “entitlement class”.

My pledge stands. If I will die for you, I will vigorously defend programs that sustain life with dignity.

We have common ground. It is called American soil.


Where Have I Heard This Before?

Today the Obama administration announced the settlement of a fraud probe, started during the Bush administration, into Pfizer's marketing of Bextra.

While entirely unrelated to the Overseas Contingency Operation formerly known as the War on Terror, this quote from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius caught our eye:

“We don’t just want to catch crooks, we want to stop them before they strike..." Full quote here.

What a novel idea.


Offense vs Defense

By allowing Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to conduct another investigation of CIA employees involved in enhanced interrogations, President Obama is kowtowing to those on the far-left who believe that the CIA is a bigger threat to our national security than Al Qaeda. The men and women of the CIA are patriots who go to work everyday, under extremely difficult circumstances, with the goal of protecting the citizens of this country. Career civil servants will now have to spend the meager savings in order to defend themselves against the government that they have sworn to protect.

This decision, along with the moving the interrogation of high value terrorist prisoners, the worldwide apology tour and the banishment of the phrase “War on Terror” (replaced with the phrase “Overseas Contingency Operations”, which sounds like we are going overseas to rescue earth quake victims), proves that the President views the War on Terror as a law enforcement matter rather than the urgent national security that it truly is. This is a defensive, September 10th approach to our national security.

President Bush understood the need for an offensive approach to protecting our citizens. He understood the need to defeat all of those who subscribed to the Islamist ideology, whether they were nations or non-state actors. This was just how President Franklin Roosevelt understood the need to defeat all of the fascists across the globe during World War II. He vision was broader than just defeating Japan, which was the only nation that had attacked us.

As the years go by, all will be revealed. If President Obama is correct in that we are only facing a semi-complex law enforcement matter, no catastrophe will happen. If, as he claims, his approach to foreign policy will allow him to persuade many not to take up arms against us (despite the fact that he couldn’t even persuade our closest ally, the United Kingdom, not to release the Pan Am 107 bomber), everything will be fine. Sure there may be a bomb here or a bomb there. A few hostages may be taken and killed. An airliner or two may fall out of the sky. But, for the most part, the world as we know it will continue as it is.

However, if President Bush was correct and we are in the midst of a War on Terror, the future of Western civilization and our way of life is at risk. Our allies will continue to blink at the Islamist threat. The result will be mass casualty attacks against Western targets. Civilians will die and the economies of the United States and the other Western nations will be undermined.

I would rather that the President err on the side of caution. He must remember that it is better to be respected than liked. The lives of thousands of Americans may depend on it.

Shout Out to Johnny Keynes

Thanks to regular commenter Johnny Keynes for pointing out this video, now circling the globe courtesy of the good works of two vice presidents ago.