Friday, August 28, 2009

Physicians sue over White House's enemies list

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons found itself the target of a hate-mail campaign after the White House asked supporters to report on even mere "casual conversations" Obamacare dissenters.  As US News reports, they have decided to sue:
In a complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and the Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education said the White House had attempted to "unlawfully" collect information on protected political speech when it asked Obamacare supporters to report any negative comments about the proposal to a U.S. government
email address,

The specific effort, which was launched on August 4 as part of the White House's "rapid response" Health Insurance Reform Reality Check, was quickly abandoned after members of Congress raised questions about it. Nevertheless, say the two groups filing suit, the information collection effort continues under another name and is part of an "unlawful pattern and practice to collect and maintain information" on the exercise of free speech, which "continues in violation of the Privacy Act and First Amendment even if the Defendants terminate a particular information-collection component due to negative publicity."

"My hate mail started shortly after the White House issued the 'fishy' request," said Kathryn Serkes, AAPS' Director of Policy and Public Affairs. "We were quite visible and vocal before then, so it doesn't seem like a coincidence. Who did they share their data with? With whom might they share it?"
They are suing because, according to their complaint (PDF), the Privacy Act prohibits the government from collecting information on how individuals exercise their first amendment rights
Outside of "authorized law enforcement activities," the Privacy Act prohibits agencies (including EOP) from maintaining records describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statute or by the relevant individual(s). 5 U.S.C. §552a(e)(7).
We live in interesting times.

Hat tip: The Clue Meter

Monday, August 24, 2009

"White anger fueling health care debate"

Is the health care about individual choice vs. one-size-fits-all government-mandated solutions? Is it about free-market vs. statist solutions? Not according to the San Mercury News where two "unbiased" reporters, Mike Swift and Josh Richman, have decided that it is all about racism:

From the article text:
Many say the tempest over health care has its origin in the new administration's breathtaking pace of change and in the long-term social and demographic trends that helped put the nation's first African-American president in the White House.
So, on the authority of "many say," the reporters claim that the debate is all about the president's skin pigmentation.
Nationwide, there have been other signs of the Angry White Man phenomenon. The numbers of racial hate groups and anti-government citizen militias are surging. Guns sales appear to be climbing. Complaints of racial discrimination in much of the Bay Area and across the country are running higher than they have in at least a decade.

The election of an African-American president "has racialized the anti-government debate," said Heidi Beirich, director of research for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which issued the hate group report. [emph. added]
Without actually citing any evidence, the Mercury News skillfully promulgates the claim that free market supporters are associated with racial hate crimes.

If you remember that the public opposed socialized health care when Bill Clinton offered it, it is clear that opposition to government-run healthcare has nothing to do with the president's skin pigmentation. )But then, that information would not fit in with the Mercury News' obvious agenda.) Saul Alinsky said to personalize and polarize a debate, and this article shows that the San Jose Mercury News is doing its part.

The Contra Costa Times has also printed Swift and Richman's ugly tirade.

UPDATE: As I typed this, the Contra Costa Times re-worded its headline. Here is a google search showing their original "white anger" headline:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rep. Speier's town hall meeting

Rep. Jackie Speier held a health care townhall meeting today, August 23, in Montara, a small town on the foggy California coast:
Notice the blue pre-printed "thank you" signs. These were carried by Democrats to indicate their spontaneous support for Obamacare.

The news media, both TV (below) and print reporters (not shown) were there:

It is curious that they found this event news worthy after they ignored many much larger tea party protests.

The event was held at an elementary school. You can tell that by one-world-one-ocean mural that Rep. Jackie Speier is standing in front of:

Schools don't have time to teach reading or writing but, apparently, they have plenty of time for environmental propaganda such as this mural.

There were many questions and they came from a mix of supporters and skeptics. One questioner pointed out all government programs that were bankrupt or in deep debt. Rep. Speier countered that medicare was working well so far and wasn't scheduled to be bankrupt until 2017.

The LaRouche Democrats were there, as evidenced by the Obama-with-Hitler-mustache poster:

Later, one of the LaRouchians walked through the crowd with the Hitler mustache picture creating some minor disturbances. The news media followed him around.

Despite having been out-organized, there were free-market supporters in the crowd:

The signs were clear and to the point, such as these two:

and this one:
This one appeared worse for the weather but still made its point:

This one is simply emphatic:

This one explained how the economy works in government-run systems:

More information on this and future events can be found at We The People.

Last week's San Francisco health care tea party rally
The tax day tea party in San Francisco
The Canadian health care collapse
Opponents of government-run health care are racist!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

For Dems, politics is personal

Howard Dean was interviewed on the Stephanie Miller show:
STEPHANIE MILLER (1:29): I saw you (Howard Dean) on Keith Olbermann last night. You really do believe we’re going to have a public option.

HOWARD DEAN: At the end of the day, I think we will. First of all, the president is a very smart guy and he knows very well this can’t work without a public option. Secondly, you know he’s run into a rough patch in the Senate, mostly because of Democrats, honestly.

The Republicans, they have no interest in this Bill. They’re using the 1994 playbook. Let’s kill the bill and kill the president...... or, kill the president’s term. Although there are sort of angry people out there I get very nervous about this stuff. I don’t like it at all.
The possibility that Republicans might merely consider the postalizing of health care to be a bad idea is not worth considering: it must be about attacking the president.

The future of health care under Obama

In Vancourver, Canadians are considering making their already long waiting lines for medical care even longer:
According to the leaked document, Vancouver Coastal — which oversees the budget for Vancouver General and St. Paul’s hospitals, among other health-care facilities — is looking to close nearly a quarter of its operating rooms starting in September and to cut 6,250 surgeries, including 24 per cent of cases scheduled from September to March and 10 per cent of all medically necessary elective procedures this fiscal year.

The plan proposes cutbacks to neurosurgery, ophthalmology, vascular surgery, and 11 other specialized areas.

The president of the Canadian Medical Association is aware of the problem:
The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country's health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.

Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country - who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting - recognize that changes must be made.

"We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize," Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press. [emph. added]

UK health care is also in crisis:

Instead of improving access to NHS dentistry the reforms have made it worse, the report by the House of Commons Health Select Committee found.

The number of dentists working in the health service has fallen, the number of NHS treatments carried out has dropped and in many areas patients are still experiencing severe difficulties in finding a dentist to treat them.

Worryingly, complex treatments carried out on the NHS have dropped by half while both referrals to hospital and tooth extractions have increased.

This suggests dentists are simply removing teeth rather than taking on complicated treatments because they have become uneconomical to provide. [emph. added]

Of course, no such problems would happen in the US system because it would be run by the smartest leader in the world: Pres. Obama.

Hat tips to Shout First, Threedonia, Webloggin

RELATED on the subject of socialized medicine:
Statistics documenting the Canadian health care collapse
Obama explains why health care should be denied to seniors
VP Biden offers medical advice
"The Post Office, with scalpels"
Dems oppose affordable medicine
Socialized medicine in Japan: Baby dies after 8 hospitals refuse to admit mother

The Republican Problem

From a comment posted by Kyle Bennett:
The Republicans elites are to the Tea Parties and health-care protest movement what a dog is to a car he is chasing. He has no idea where it's going, and if he caught it, he'd have no idea what to do with it. And the people in the car would just laugh - if they didn't run it over because they didn't even notice it was there.But yes, the dog is trying very hard.
The Republican party elites/insiders thought it was a good idea to nominate John McCain last year just as they rooted for the similarly incoherent Bob Dole twelve years earlier.  Twenty-nine years ago, they were sure that Reagan was an extremist who would lose.  The party has been like a lost dog for as long as I can remember.

Hat tip: The Clue Meter

Friday, August 14, 2009

San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi

Of course Speaker Pelosi was not listening, but a large crowd gathered anyway today in her district, San Francisco, to talk about health care and I snapped a few photos:
The building in the background, on the other side of the Embarcadero, is the San Francisco Ferry Building.

Many participants had a laugh at the media:

I saw no MSM reporters at this event. They were probably too busy listening to Dem flacks explain how violent we are. San Francisco did send police to this event but, as you can see, the "violence" did not keep them busy:

Some signs offered simple, practical, and sensible advice to the powers that be:

Others tried to explain basic economics:

Another explains that health care (and much else) becomes more affordable if only the government would keep its mits off our money:

But then others saw the graveyard humor in it all:

When Obama speaks, we conservative/libertarians listen. Here one man expresses his discontent with Obama's preference for Postal Service-style health care:

Another protester was impressed with Obama's plan to defeat medical innovation and entrepreneurship at the same time that he sends grandma home with a painkiller instead of medical treatment:

While Obama, Pelosi, and Reid may think of themselves as brilliant and altruistic, we don't:

In summary:

This event was organized by SF Bay Area Patriots. This event could not have been held at a town hall meeting because, reportedly, none of the representatives in this area will allow citizens into a town hall unless they have been pre-screened by the Democratic party.

RELATED: My photos of the Tax Day Tea Party in San Francisco are here.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has video. Thanks, Glenn, for the Instapundit link. GayPatriot has more photos.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Soon Speaker Pelosi will be managing your health care

A cartoon by Scott Stantis.

Global warming as a mental disease

Sen. Debbie Stabenow explains her view on climate change:

"Climate change is very real. I feel it when I'm flying. The storms are more volatile. Global warming creates volatility. We are paying the price in more hurricanes and tornadoes." [emph. added]
For more on hurricane trends, see WUWT.

RELATED: Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) believes that "global warming" has been causing California wildfires. How it would do this despite the fact that this summer has been exceptionally cold, she didn't explain. It would be more reasonable to say that Democrats cause wildfires. Cool weather in the Pacific ocean may also be to blame.

Free market supporters are like the KKK?

Rep. Dingell explains how health-care protesters remind him of the Ku Klux Klan:

Hat tip: Jim Treacher.

Faking the news

A man carrying an Obama-with-Hitler-mustache poster at a health-care protest was later seen, according to witnesses, handing out pro-Obama flyers for Rep. Dingell (D-MI). The Obama-with-Hitler-mustache posters have also been traced back the Lyndon LaRouche organization which reportedly supports single-payer health-care.

At his recent townhall meeting, Pres. Obama said “I don’t want people saying I just have a bunch of plants in here.” So, of course, we were surprised when a supportive questioner is unmasked as a plant.

Pres Obama accuses his opponents of being astroturf yet his "supporters" are the ones who arrive by bus.

Before becoming president, Mr. Obama was a consistent supporter of single-payer health-care. Now that that position is inconvenient, anyone who quotes his words is "lying."

For eight years, Democrats talked about the supposed loss of liberty under Pres. Bush. Pres. Bush, however, never asked citizens to inform on the political views of acquaintances that they may learn about through "casual conversation."

Will the "unbiased" media notice?

UPDATE: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee's town hall meeting features support from fake primary-care physician. (DrSanity discusses the psychology of such imposters.)

UPDATE II: Patterico identifies a second plant at the Rep. Lee's "town hall" meeting.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ignorance at McClatchy Newspapers

Reporting for McClatchy Newspapers, David Goldstein writes:

Around the country, the debate over overhauling the nation’s health care system has grown increasingly bitter and divisive.

From Connecticut to California, angry demonstrators opposed to health care reform have disrupted town hall meetings held by congressional Democrats. They attack lawmakers for backing a “socialist agenda,” shout questions without waiting for answers and repeat misinformation as fact, in some cases even accusing Democrats of favoring mandatory euthanasia for senior citizens. [Emph. added]

Actually, as anyone who follows the news would know, that is not "misinformation." Pres. Obama explicitly discussed cutting off health care for the elderly ("Maybe this isn't going to help. Maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller') as a cost-saving measure in his June 24, 2009 national press conference. The video is here and this blog previously discussed it here.

On the other hand, if one distinguishes between passively denying care to the elderly, as Obama suggested, and actively committing euthenasia, then Goldstein's quote is even more fishy: it sounds like something the Democrats made up.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Life in Obama's favorite Islamic state

The Jerusalem Post reports on Iran:
Seven lawyers in Tabriz and Mashhad who had been representing young Iranians detained in post-presidential election protests have been killed by the Iranian authorities in recent days, according to sources in Iran.

Their deaths have deterred other lawyers from taking detainees' cases, they added.
To be fair, just because those lawyers failed in their negotiations does not mean that Pres. Obama will fail with his.

Hat tip: BotW

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Incoherent at Salon

Salon contributor Gabriel Winant goes on the attack but gets confused even before he finishes his second sentence:
"The only people that I know who are afraid to take drug tests are the people who use drugs," says Rep. Bill Posey. The Florida Republican is the author of the so-called "Birther" bill, which would require future presidential candidates to submit their birth certificates. The fact that President Obama has already submitted -- forgive the extension of Posey's metaphor -- a clean urine sample seems to be completely irrelevant. [emphasis added]
From the first sentence, it is clear that Rep. Posey's bill is about future presidents, not Obama. So, Obama's documentation is, in fact, irrelevant to the bill. Winant continues:
The congressman told Lou Dobbs, "The eligibility of the president to serve under the Constitution has arisen five times, and Congress has failed to do anything about it thus far." Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona Territory, Posey points out. George Romney was born in Mexico. Shoot, John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, and, claims Posey, the New York Times and Washington Post thought that made him ineligible. (We must have missed those editions of the Times and the Post. Posey's office has not responded to a request for comment.) [emphasis added]
Yes, Winant, you did miss those editions. All it takes is a few seconds with google to find those articles. On July 11, 2008, for example, the NY Times wrote:
In the most detailed examination yet of Senator John McCain’s eligibility to be president, a law professor at the University of Arizona has concluded that neither Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.”
The Washington Post also covered the story quoting a professor claiming that the constitution was ambiguous on the issue:

Winant continues:
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., tells Stark she "would like to see the documents." One wonders what's stopping her.
Mr. Winant wonders because, apparently, he is unaware that birth certificates in Hawaii are not public documents. It was this lack of official documents that caused this unnecessary controversy, a controversy that, for future presidents, Rep. Posey's bill would eliminate.

I can only suspect that the reason that Salon's Winant does not check his facts is because he prefers to be outraged. To each his own.

Obama's go-it-alone foreign policy: Russian edition

First, Sec. Clinton wanted to hit the reset button on US-Russia relations but couldn't be bothered to check the translation or even the alphabet on her reset button. Then, VP Biden insults the prideful Russians, claiming their economy is 'withering.' Now, the Russians have responded: for the first time in fifteen years, they have, as the NY Times reports, stationed nuclear-powered submarines off the US eastern seaboard:
A pair of nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines has been patrolling off the eastern seaboard of the United States in recent days, a rare mission that has raised concerns inside the Pentagon and intelligence agencies about a more assertive stance by the Russian military. ....

“I don’t think they’ve put two first-line nuclear subs off the U.S. coast in about 15 years,” said Norman Polmar, a naval historian and submarine warfare expert. ....

According to Defense Department officials, one of the Russian submarines remained in international waters on Tuesday about 200 miles off the coast of the United States.

Other interpretations of this event are found here, here and here.

PREVIOUSLY, on Obama's foreign policy:
Obama alienates Germany
Obama's charm offensive not working
Obama snubs Brazil
Obama insults Britain
On Iran's nuclear program, Obama abandons cooperation with Europe
Obama antagonizes India

RELATED: Seven months into Obama's term and the last coalition partners have pulled out of Iraq.

Never trust anyone who is

well dressed.  So says Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA).  She considers the health-care protesters to be insincere (they "plan" to "destroy" our president) because they are "well-dressed." 

CNN and birthers

Ed Morrissey asks:
What does it say about the Birther issue when Fox News covers its debunking while CNN continues to stoke the controversy?
He has a point: CNN's Lou Dobbs promotes the issue while Fox debunks it.  The possibility of a forged birth certificate was promoted last year mainly by Hillary supporters so it seems natural that its current home would be CNN.

Monday, August 03, 2009

CNN: thinking like children

Pres. Obama's proposed federal mandates have sparked a renewed discussion of the tenth amendment and states rights.  On CNN anchor John Roberts discusses the issue with correspondent Carol Costello:
ROBERTS: Now, you would think- because states’ rights advocates are so strong in their opinions that the opinions- we’ve been asking for comments, right? Therefore, you would think that most people would be in favor of states’ rights, but it’s running, to a large degree, the opposite way.
COSTELLO: Oh, yeah. But my favorite comment so far- you know, ‘asking for states’ rights is asking, you know, the children to be the parents.’
There you have it: in the mind of Correspondent Roberts, states are like "children" and the federal government is like the "parent." This makes sense to liberals because they try to understand all politics with inappropriate family analogies.

PREVIOUSLY, on liberal attempts to use inappropriate family analogies:
Soldier objects to liberal infantilization: we are not your "sons and daughters"
Seeing the US president as your father
US Government as "parent"
Economic policy by analogy to "standing up" to a bully
Thinking of an industry as an overindulged "child"

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