Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A further clarification of Obama's priorities

As illustrated by Michael Ramirez:
UPDATE: Chip Bok illustrates on the same theme:

This strange set of priorities has led to speculation that Pres. Obama's interest in the 2016 Olympics is driven by adviser Valerie Jarrett who, as a Chicago real estate owner/developer, had or, for all we know, might still have a financial interest in the properties in Chicago that could be used or developed for the Olympics. Her conflict of interest, whatever it is, was apparently enough that she had to obtain an "ethics waiver" for her work at the White House.

Boxer and Kerry campaign for cap-and-tax

As anticipated, Sens. Boxer and Kerry today released their draft cap-and-trade (cap-and-tax) bill (full text PDF, 821 pages). It claims to be more severe than the House version, imposing, for example, "a mandate by 2020 to curb the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 2005 levels."

The CBO says (PDF) that the House cap-and-tax would hurt the economy by 1% to 3.5% by the year 2050 which is more than the anthropogenic global warming even using "relatively pessimistic estimates" for the AGW damage (only 3% of GDP or so in the distant future: 2100),.

CBO is paid by Congress so, naturally, that comparison does not call attention to the much worse actual cost-to-benefit ratio. Even if one accepts UN physics, (1) "pessimistic estimates," because they are pessimistic, overstate, even by UN standards, the likely AGW damage, (2) the benefit of cap-and-tax is only the fractional reduction it would cause in hypothetical damage done by AGW, not the total hypothetical damage, and (3) the CBO is aware that cap-and-tax, even if fully implemented, merely reduces the rate of growth in CO2 gases. Since US CO2 emissions are only 20% of world-emissions and that fraction is declining as the rest of the world industrializes, the saving from reduced AGW, if there is AGW, would only be a small fraction of 1% of GDP by 2100. Consequently, the distant supposed benefits are much much smaller than the more-near-term loss to the economy due to cap-and-trade itself.

RELATED: The Institute for Energy Research (IER) says Cap-and-trade is a regressive tax. (Source warning: the left objects to IER because IER tilts toward free-market solutions.)

Dem has solution for lack of civility

Recently, Speaker Pelosi teared up at a press conference in an emotional call for civility in political discourse. Garrison Keillor has considered the issue and proposed a solution:
[O]ne starts to wonder if the country wouldn't be better off without [Republicans] and if Republicans should be cut out of the healthcare system entirely and simply provided with aspirin and hand sanitizer. Thirty-two percent of the population identifies with the GOP, and if we cut off healthcare to them, we could probably pay off the deficit in short order.
Can we all agree that Joe Wilson should be condemned, that "bury Obamacare with Kennedy" is beyond the pale, but that Keillor is `funny'?

UPDATE: On the floor of the House, Rep. Grayson says that the Republican healthcare plan consists of asking people to "die quickly." Watch that video and then condemn Joe Wilson for his incivility.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cap and tax in the US Senate: a who's who of the villains and their committees

Although the attention is on public-option healthcare, the NY Times reports that six committees in the Senate are working to advance cap and trade (cap and tax) legislation. Since (a) the House has already passed a version of cap-and-tax and (b) Obama will likely sign any such bill the Congress delivers to him, what happens next in the Senate is critically important:
  1. Environment and Public Works Committee

    Sen. Barbara Boxer (chair, D-CA) and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA, chair of the Finance Committee), are expected to release a draft bill that will be based largely on Waxman and Markey's H.R. 2454 (PDF, 932 pages) . Sen. Kerry seems less concerned with what is in the bill that with what it is called:
    Kerry made attempts to reframe the verbiage surrounding the bill and sell its concepts more broadly, insisting it is not a "cap and trade" proposal but a "pollution reduction" bill. "I don't know what 'cap and trade' means. I don't think the average American does," Kerry told reporters. "This is not a cap-and-trade bill, it's a pollution reduction bill."
    Sen. Inhofe (R-OK), the Senate's strongest voice of reason on this topic, is the ranking minority member on this committee.

  2. Energy and Natural Resources Committee

    This committee, chaired by Sen. Bingaman (D-NM), has approved an energy bill, S. 1462 (PDF, 532 pages), which the NY Times says "includes a nationwide renewable electricity standard and a raft of other energy incentives, including a provision that could bring oil and gas rigs closer to Florida's Gulf Coast." Sen. Bingaman is concerned about limiting the costs that cap and trade might impose on industry.

  3. Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee

    This committee, chaired by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), is expected to hold votes on various cap and trade issues. Because West Virginia produces a lot of coal, Sen. Rockefeller is expected to negotiate special deals and exceptions for his coal producers.

  4. Committee on Finance

    Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) says his committee will mark-up the provisions on international trade and the allocation of emission allowances provided Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says the bill is "clearly moving." Politico reports that Sen. Baucus is claiming that his committee has jurisdiction over distributing "hundreds of billions of dollars in pollution allocations" and the value of this political prize is putting him in direct conflict with Sen. Boxer and her committee.

  5. Comittee on Foreign Relations

    Sen. Kerry (Chair, D-MA), who is contributing to Sen. Boxer's bill (see above), is also "preparing language without convening a markup."

  6. Comittee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry

    This committee, chaired by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), is also "preparing language without convening a markup." Sen. Lincoln says that no cap and trade bill will pass the Senate this year.
Of these six chairmen, only Boxer and Kerry appear to be global-warming-true-believers. However, because they are backed by the president, the possibility of cap-and-tax legislation, which would potentially impose large and unpredictable costs on industry, continues to be a threat to the economy.

RELATED: On the Republican side, there are four senators whom Dems hope will vote for cap-and-tax: Olympia Snowe (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Richard Lugar (R-IN).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Obama's sense of priorities

When the US economy needs help, Pres. Obama is instead focused on reorganizing medicine. When it is possible that bin Laden and the Taliban could retake Afghanistan, Obama is instead focussed on....:
From Nate Beeler

Democrats decide secrecy is the answer

The Democrats' new approach to passing health care, as illustrated by Michael Ramirez:

A moment of comic relief

Andrew Klavan explains: "For many years, there's been one group in the American melting pot that has consistently underperformed in terms of productivity, intelligence and moral behavior...."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Global warming and the test of science, III

A successful scientific theory must stand the test of experiment. So far, predictions by those who believe that CO2 has a dominant effect on climate have not done well. For example:
  • "North Pole May Be Ice-Free for First Time This Summer"--headline, National Geographic Web site, June 20, 2008
  • "Arctic Ice to Last Decades Longer Than Thought?"--headline, National Geographic Web site, Sept. 21, 2009
Previous failures of global warming theories are discussed here and here.

How the media learn their trade

Jim Lavery explains the media's relationship with Pres. Obama:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Eco-hypocrisy at the UN Climate Change conference

CBS News reports:
To hear world leaders and others addressing the United Nations Summit on Climate Change, the threat could not be more real and the need more urgent to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

But in stark contrast to the earnest statements is the carbon footprint associated with their gathering.

It happens every autumn: midtown Manhattan becomes the motorcade capital of the world. Each foreign leader in town has a convoy of vehicles. Some of them, like President Obama's motorcade, are 20-to-30 vehicles in length. It's so long - it seems that when the front of it reaches the U.N., the back end is still back at his hotel.

Exacerbating the annual exercise in diplomatic gridlock are police actions, blocking intersections and closing streets for security to facilitate motorcade movements. It renders countless other vehicles immobile while waiting for motorcades to pass, their engines idling but still blowing exhaust into the midtown air.
And that doesn't mention the government jets they flew in to get there.

They could skip the travel and do a video-conference instead if they genuinely thought that global warming was real.

Government as parent

Energy Secretary Steven Chu says Americans behave like children:
“The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act, The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.”
Democrats try to understand politics through analogies to childhood but this is often not helpful. In this case, the public is responding quite rationally to the low-cost of energy combined with general skepticism of global warmism. The skepticism is fueled not just by scientists but also by the hypocrisy of its most public advocates, including the Dept. of Energy itself.

(Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow tried to backtrack on Chu's analogy: “Secretary Chu was not comparing the public to teenagers. He was saying that we need to educate teenagers about ways to save energy.")

RELATED: Chu expects cap and tax to bring prosperity.

Eco-hypocrites of the day

The Chicago Tribune reports that the UN, the principal promoter of global-warming-alarmism, has named supermodel Gisele Bundchen a "goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Environment Program." The next day she was seen taking flying lessons in a (CO2-belching) helicopter.

Separately, Prince Charles "is urging people to give up their cars in favour of walking and public transport to try to reduce carbon emissions." The Telegraph reports the Prince "has two Jaguars, two Audis, a Range Rover and still drives an Aston Martin given to him by the Queen on his 21st birthday." He is shown here in his Aston Martin.

Previous award winners include Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.

See also:
The ever-increasing energy use of Al Gore's mansion
With five private jets, Travolta still lectures on global warming.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The old familiar Soviet joke, updated

In free-enterprise-America, you choose your health plan.

In Obama-America, your health plan chooses you.

Obamacare lacks strong support even among the uninsured

According to a Rasmussen survey of uninsured voters, there are "30% who Strongly Favor the plan and 26% who are Strongly Opposed."  Since the uninsured are those who supposedly benefit from Obamacare, it is interesting that, among those with strong opinions, Obamacare is favored only by 30 to 26.  Even worse, a plurality of the uninsured believe that Obamacare will increase costs:
Forty-one percent (41%) of the uninsured believe that passage of the
legislation will increase the cost of health care while 26% believe it
will cut costs.

45000 American deaths "associated" with lack of insurance?

The "unbiased" media is currently hyping a Harvard study by David Himmelstein and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler about 45,000 deaths "associated" with lack of medical insurance. The abstract for the study reads in full:
Objectives. A 1993 study found a 25% higher risk of death among uninsured compared with privately insured adults. We analyzed the relationship between uninsurance and death with more recent data.

Methods. We conducted a survival analysis with data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We analyzed participants aged 17 to 64 years to determine whether uninsurance at the time of interview predicted death.

Results. Among all participants, 3.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]=2.5%, 3.7%) died. The hazard ratio for mortality among the uninsured compared with the insured, with adjustment for age and gender only, was 1.80 (95% CI=1.44, 2.26). After additional adjustmentfor race/ethnicity, income, education, self- and physician-rated health status, body mass index, leisure exercise, smoking, and regular alcohol use, the uninsured were more likely to die (hazard ratio=1.40; 95% CI=1.06, 1.84) than those with insurance.

Conclusions.Uninsurance is associated with mortality. The strength of that association appears similar to that from a study that evaluated data from the mid-1980s, despite changes in medical therapeutics and the demography of the uninsured since that time.

Notice the vagueness of the conclusion: "Uninsurance is associated with mortality." So what does "associated" mean and what kinds of mortality is it associated with? Some mortality is directly connected with medical care (cancer) and some has no connection (car accidents). The abstract gives no indication that an attempt was made to separate out such causes of death. It is not even clear that the subjects were uninsured when medical problems arose, only that they said they were uninsured when first surveyed. Also, what is the "association"? It might be that those who were uninsured when first surveyed are simply people who are lousy at taking care of themselves and who would suffer from increased mortality regardless of insurance status. This is apparently why the study's authors never claim causation between lack of insurance and increased mortality.

CNN is careful to keep the correct wording and never overtly claims causation. (From Madison Park's report, however, a casual reader could easily infer causation.) By contrast with CNN, Air America simply lies:
Study Shows 45,000 Die Every Year Because Of No Health Insurance
By Dan Carter

Proponents of health care reform just got more ammunition in their fight for change. A new study published online today by the American Journal of Public Health claims that 44,789 working-age adults die each year because they lack basic health insurance. [emph. added]

Say Anything blog and Daily Finance both also falsely claim causation instead of mere association.

Incidentally, Dr. Himmelstein, a co-author of this study, is not exactly an unbiased source. He is an advocate of single payer medicine who claims "Single-payer national health insurance could cover the uninsured and upgrade coverage for most Americans without increasing costs."

UPDATE: Megan McArdle discusses recent arguments on this issue.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

MediaMatters caught again

Soros-funded does not let the facts get in the way of a good story: Lorie Byrd has details.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obama abandons Eastern Europe

On April 5, 2009, President Obama stated:
So let me be clear: Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran's neighbors and our allies. The Czech Republic and Poland have been courageous in agreeing to host a defense against these missiles. As long as the threat from Iran persists, we will go forward with a missile defense system that is cost-effective and proven. (Applause.) If the Iranian threat is eliminated, we will have a stronger basis for security, and the driving force for missile defense construction in Europe will be removed."
It of, of course, a president's prerogative to change his mind.

Student loans to be nationalized

Figuring that banks lack the necessary skills to make loans, Speaker Pelosi and the House have just voted 253-171 to have the Department of Education run the student loan program directly.  While Democrats say the plan could save money, the CBO now says it would add $10.5 billion to the deficit

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

An Obama 2008 campaign mailer

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Opposition to Obamacare reaches new high

Before Obama's speech, likely voters opposed Obamacare by 53% to 44%. Now, Rasmussen reports opposition has reached a new high of 55% to 42%. 67% of independents oppose the plan. Those who strongly oppose outnumber those who strongly support by 44% to 23% which is roughly unchanged since late August.

Democrats have been saying that those who oppose Obamacare are racist/birther/teabaggers. For Obamacare to become popular, the path is clear: Democrats must develop stronger epithets.

NPR's Frank James says minorities support child prostitution?


It's also important to keep in mind that ACORN's workers are coming from the same low-income neighborhoods the organization serves, with all that entails -- poor schools, high crime and the sorts of social problems that have been documented for decades.

So the flaws conservatives are pointing out about ACORN are not so much problems associated with that organization per se but more about the problems of being poor and minority in urban America.

The "poor," if desperate enough, might support extreme methods for earning money. But, what does child prostitution and international sex slavery have to do with "being ... minority in urban America"?

Hat tip: BotW

PREVIOUSLY on Democrats and racism:
Overt Racism in Tennessee
San Franciscans discriminate against blacks
"He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line"
"NAACP defends racism."
Stanford finds Democrats are racist
Obama nominates a racist
Leaders acknowledge Democrat base is racist
"That's just how white folks will do you." ---Barack Obama
Dem says Dem primary voters are racist
Dems accuse Bill and Hillary of racism

Michelle Malkin has more on ACORN corruption.


California legislature fail

The state of California has a huge budget deficit and voters have refused to raise taxes.  To make ends meet the state may have to release criminals from prison.  So, what is occupies the time of the Democrats in the state legislature?  They are insisting on keeping funding for a state software development effort, ReadyReturn, so that the state can compete with Turbotax.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Billionaires for wealthcare: clueless

Liberals have been dressing up as mock-billionaires to parody the free-market protesters. Take, for example, these "billionaires for healthcare" in San Mateo, California:As is typical of liberals, they do not have a clue what the other side is claiming. No free market protester thinks that "corporations know what's best for you" or anything like it: we think that we know what's best for us and we would like freedom to select from among insurance companies offerings the plan that best suits us. That is. for example, why we support measures to increase choice such as allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines.

While no one is advocating corporations-know-best, Democrats who advocate single-payer plans are arguing that government-bureaucrats-know-what's-best-for-us. Their position is more similar to what the billionaires-for-wealthcare are mocking than is ours.

Two of the Billionaires-for-wealthcare suggested lines are:

  • Nothing Says “Freedom” Like Denying Claims
  • Don’t Tread My Freedom to Deny Your Claim

  • Again the billionaires-for-wealthcare are clueless: no one denies claims like single-payer systems where many treatments are either unavailable or have waiting lines so line you may die first (like Canada or the UK). Obama himself has talked about his desire to limit healthcare to seniors.

    Successful parodies require an element of truth: Billionaires for wealthcare fail at this because they have made no attempt to understand what they are mocking.

    UPDATE 2010: The left is trying the same shtick at the 9-12-2010 rally in St. Louis: See Uncoverage for video.

    Overt Racism in Tennessee

    A Democrat challenger is waging a racist campaign against the incumbent Democrat, as the NY Times reports:
    A Congressional race in Tennessee has become freighted with racial overtones almost a year before the election, with a prominent black politician saying the white incumbent cannot properly represent black voters.

    The black candidate, former Mayor Willie W. Herenton of Memphis, has argued that Tennessee needs a black voice in its currently all-white delegation. He is running a blistering campaign against Representative Steve Cohen, a fellow Democrat with a precarious hold on the majority black district.

    To know Steve Cohen is to know that he really does not think very much of African-Americans,” Mr. Herenton said in a recent radio interview on KWAM. “He’s played the black community well.” [emph. added]
    PREVIOUSLY, on the subject of racism:
    San Franciscans discriminate against blacks
    "He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line"
    "NAACP defends racism."
    Stanford finds Democrats are racist
    Obama nominates a racist
    Leaders acknowledge Democrat base is racist
    "That's just how white folks will do you." ---Barack Obama
    Dem says Dem primary voters are racist
    Dems accuse Bill and Hillary of racism

    RELATED: Maureen Dowd discovers imaginary racism.

    News media credibility at lowest level since polling began

    The Pew Center has been conducting polls on news media credibility for 24 years and, over the history of that polling, the news media ratings as far as "getting the facts straight" and "dealing fairly with all sides are now at an all time low:A mere 18% believe that the news media deal fairly with all sides.
    The partisan breakdown is also interesting:

    Even a large majority of Democrats, 59%, now believe that the stories are "often inaccurate."

    To me, the problem is not the occasional scandal, such as Rathergate (CBS), Stephen Glass (The New Republic), Jordon Eason and CNN, "Operation Tailwind" (CNN), Janet Cooke (Washington Post), Walter Duranty (New York Times), Fauxtography (AP), Jayson Blair (New York Times), or the "GI rape" photos (Boston Globe). It is instead the pervasive everyday falsehoods that are printed when reporters accept biased press releases as fact. Examples are when CNN accepts Media Matters for America as an arbiter of "truth," or when Democratic party operatives with Obama-as-Hitler photos are accepted as being real tea party protesters, or when Democrats use fake doctors at Obamacare townhalls. It is such everyday falsehoods that make the news media unreliable.

    Friday, September 11, 2009

    Obama v. Rep. Joe Wilson

    Last night MSNBC was hammering Rep. Joe Wilson because Section 246 of the health care bill supposedly already prohibits benefits for illegal aliens. The official bill, HR 3200, is available online from here. Section 246 (page 143) reads, in its entirety:

    Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.
    Notice two points on this:
    1. This section only restricts illegal access to "affordability credits," not to the public option, nor to any other benefit under the bill.
    2. Even if Sec. 246 did apply to the public option, the bill has no enforcement provisions. Rep. Wilson knows about this because he is on one of the two committees where, on party-line votes, Democrats voted down amendments to add enforcement.
    Obama could have dealt with the issue of Sec. 246 and of enforcement honestly. He might, for example, have explained why illegals should be covered, or he might have said that he wants coverage for illegals to be removed. Instead he chose to say:
    There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false – the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
    It is possible to interpret this statement as true only in a Clintonesque sense where, by "our reform effort," Obama means something other than the bills currently working their way through congress.

    The dishonesty of Obama's speech does not stop there. Consider this passage:
    Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple.
    Is that charge "laughable," "cynical," or "a lie"? Actually, the primary source of that "charge" is Obama himself who, at a town hall on Wednesday, June 24, talked about saving money by denying health care to seniors, instead sending them home with a "painkiller." Also Democrats are talking about paying for Obamacare, in part, by reducing medicare expenses by $500 billion over 10 years. It is reasonable to conclude from that that they intend to deny at least some care to seniors. Again, Obama could have chosen to address this issue honestly but instead chose ad hominem attacks.

    The dishonesty of Obama's speech does not end there but that is all that I have time for at the moment.

    RELATED: Legal Insurrection has more details on HR 3200 and illegals.

    UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has the latest excuses as the senate deals with coverage of illegals.

    UPDATE: White House admits Joe Wilson was right.

    Obama vs. Obama

    Nate Beeler illustrates A Tale of Two Obama Speeches:

    Wednesday, September 09, 2009

    Sensible changes to health insurance

    One of Obama's favorite straw-man arguments is to claim that those who disagree with him "want to do nothing."  On MSNBC, the analysts echo that claim despite the fact that the rebuttal speaker, Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr. , MD, explained a Republican plan.  The plan is outlined at

    Democrats, of course, will continue attacking their straw man, regardless.

    Obama appeals to fear

    According to CNN, Obama will say tonight:
    Everyone in this room knows what will happen if we do nothing. Our deficit will grow. More families will go bankrupt. More businesses will close. More Americans will lose their coverage when they are sick and need it most. And more will die as a result. We know these things to be true. [emphasis added]

    Tuesday, September 08, 2009

    Good news: 23 House Dems oppose Obamacare

    The bad news is that that still leaves Speaker Pelosi with 15 votes to spare out of her 256-member caucus. She only needs 218 votes to pass a bill. The Hill has details. Reid, Pelosi, and Obama are still puching the bill with urgency.

    Hat tip: Instapundit.

    BETTER NEWS: According to a Drudge source, "At least 44 more moderate Members of the Democrat Caucus have gone on the record in opposition to the current health care bill in the House, a Hill source claims. Likewise, at least 57 liberal Members of the Democrat Caucus have gone on the record saying they will vote against a health care bill without a strong public option."

    Federal pay now double private sector

    Chris Edwards at the Cato Institute has plotted BEA data showing how federal pay (salary+benefits) has risen relative to the private sector:

    Edwards explains how this happened:
    Members of Congress who have large numbers of federal workers in their districts relentlessly push for expanding federal worker compensation. Also, the Bush administration had little interest in fiscal restraint, and it usually got rolled by the federal unions. The result has been an increasingly overpaid elite of government workers, who are insulated from the economic reality of recessions and from the tough competitive climate of the private sector.
    Hat tip: Instapundit

    Friday, September 04, 2009

    Rep. Lynn Woolsey's town hall meeting

    Catherine Bragg, of Flour Chylde Bakery in Novato, California, expresses her frustration to Congressperson Lynn Woolsey over the Democrat health care bill:

    Obamacare's 53 new bureaucracies
    Physicians sue over White House's enemies list
    The Canadian health care collapse

    Obamacare's 53 new bureaucracies

    The House Republican Conference, chaired by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), has identified 53 new agencies, programs, or bureaucracies created by the House Obamacare bill:
    1. Health Benefits Advisory Committee (Section 123, p. 30)
    2. Health Choices Administration (Section 141, p. 41)
    3. Qualified Health Benefits Plan Ombudsman (Section 144, p. 47)
    4. Program of administrative simplification (Section 163, p. 57)
    5. Retiree Reserve Trust Fund (Section 164(d), p. 70)
    6. Health Insurance Exchange (Section 201, p. 72)
    7. Mechanism for insurance risk pooling to be established by Health Choices Administration Commissioner (Section 206(b), p. 106)
    8. Special Inspector General for the Health Insurance Exchange (Section 206(c), p. 107)
    9. Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund (Section 207, p. 109)
    10. State-based Health Insurance Exchanges (Section 208, p. 111)
    11. “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 221, p. 116)
    12. Ombudsman for “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 221(d), p. 117)
    13. Account for receipts and disbursements for “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 222(b), p. 119)
    14. Telehealth Advisory Committee (Section 1191, p. 380)
    15. Demonstration program providing reimbursement for “culturally and linguistically appropriate services” (Section 1222, p. 405)
    16. Demonstration program for shared decision making using patient decision aids (Section 1236, p. 438)
    17. Accountable Care Organization pilot program (Section 1301, p. 443)
    18. Independent patient-centered medical home pilot program under Medicare (Section 1302, p. 462)
    19. Community-based medical home pilot program under Medicare (Section 1302(d), p. 468)
    20. Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research (Section 1401(a), p. 502)
    21. Comparative Effectiveness Research Commission (Section 1401(a), p. 505)
    22. Patient ombudsman for comparative effectiveness research (Section 1401(a), p. 519)
    23. Quality assurance and performance improvement program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 1412(b)(1), p. 546)
    24. Quality assurance and performance improvement program for nursing facilities (Section 1412 (b)(2), p. 548)
    25. Special focus facility program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 1413(a)(3), p. 559)
    26. Special focus facility program for nursing facilities (Section 1413(b)(3), p. 565)
    27. National independent monitor pilot program for skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities (Section 1422, p. 607)
    28. Demonstration program for approved teaching health centers with respect to Medicare GME (Section 1502(d), p. 674)
    29. Pilot program to develop anti-fraud compliance systems for Medicare providers (Section 1635, p. 716)
    30. Medical home pilot program under Medicaid (Section 1722, p. 780)
    31. Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund (Section 1802, p. 824)
    32. “Identifiable office or program” within CMS to “provide for improved coordination between Medicare and Medicaid in the case of dual eligibles” (Section 1905, p. 852)
    33. Public Health Investment Fund (Section 2002, p. 859)
    34. Scholarships for service in health professional needs areas (Section 2211, p. 870)
    35. Loan repayment program for service in health professional needs areas (Section 2211, p. 873)
    36. Program for training medical residents in community-based settings (Section 2214, p. 882)
    37. Grant program for training in dentistry programs (Section 2215, p. 887)
    38. Public Health Workforce Corps (Section 2231, p. 898)
    39. Public health workforce scholarship program (Section 2231, p. 900)
    40. Public health workforce loan forgiveness program (Section 2231, p. 904)
    41. Grant program for innovations in interdisciplinary care (Section 2252, p. 917)
    42. Advisory Committee on Health Workforce Evaluation and Assessment (Section 2261, p. 920)
    43. Prevention and Wellness Trust (Section 2301, p. 932)
    44. Clinical Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 941)
    45. Community Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 947)
    46. Grant program for community prevention and wellness research (Section 2301, p. 950)
    47. Grant program for community prevention and wellness services (Section 2301, p. 951)
    48. Grant program for public health infrastructure (Section 2301, p. 955)
    49. Center for Quality Improvement (Section 2401, p. 965)
    50. Assistant Secretary for Health Information (Section 2402, p. 972)
    51. Grant program to support the operation of school-based health clinics (Section 2511, p. 993)
    52. National Medical Device Registry (Section 2521, p. 1001)
    53. Grants for labor-management programs for nursing training (Section 2531, p. 1008)
    When you have to wait in a queue to receive your rationed health care, remember that you are sacrificing for the greater good of supporting these new bureaucrats.

    Hat tip: Stand by Liberty

    Thursday, September 03, 2009

    The Obama collapse

    Because day-to-day fluctuations sometimes obscure the bigger trends, Rasmussen has plotted Obama's decline in approval, that is, strongly approve minus strongly disapprove, on a month-by-month basis:
    Economies naturally fluctuate and, barring too much meddling, this economy will, in coming months, recover. When that happens it will be interesting to see how much Obama's approval recovers.

    Rasmussen's numbers above are based on 15,000 interviews each month of likely voters.

    ADDENDUM: There is also a Republican collapse, as Rasmussen reports:

    Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republican voters say their party’s representatives in Congress have lost touch with GOP voters nationwide over the past several years. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 18% of GOP voters believe their elected officials have done a good job representing the base.
    This is not democracy's finest hour.

    Wednesday, September 02, 2009

    Rep. Eshoo's Health Care Town Hall

    (Click here for the most recent posts)

    Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) held her first (non-telephone) health care town hall meeting in the full-to-capacity Spangenberg auditorium at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA, tonight:When I was present, there were no live questions from the audience. All questions were submitted in writing, screened, and read by Rep. Eshoo. Maybe it was just an off-day for her, but it seemed to me that she had a hard time stringing words into sentences, let alone combining sentences into coherent thoughts. Frequently, she would pick a question to read, then read it to the audience, then decide that she had answered it previously, then tell the audience that she was going to skip that question, and then start reading the next question. That she is one of this country's leaders is frightening.

    In the picture above, you see that the audience has no signs. The staff required that all signs be parked by the front door here:
    Outside there was a crowd of dedicated pro-freedom protesters:

    They did not want Obama messing with our health care:
    One man, who had lived in a country with socialist medicine, had a very compelling story of why he believes that free choice in medicine is important:

    Obamacare does seem to inspire graveyard humor as in the left-hand sign below:
    and in this one:
    You may remember that the August 14 San Francisco rally had a large version of the shovel-ready graveyard graphic (click and scroll down).

    News out of England today shows that the undertaker line is not a joke: In the UK, the government "forecasts" that patients are close to death and then kills them.

    Even if the government could make competent health care decisions, there is still the problem of government debt:
    Having wasted an amazing $800 billion dollars this year on the "stimulus" pork-barrel bill, Obama now wants to nationalize health care. Where does he think money comes from? Another protester had the answer: in national health care systems, the "savings" always come from rationing care:
    The pro-freedom protesters stayed on well past dark:
    Unfortunately, I don't think that Rep. Eshoo was listening.

    Rep. Speier's August 23 town hall meeting
    August 14 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!

    Congress has lowest favorable rating in decades

    The Pew Center reports:
    Americans are extremely displeased with Congress, and there are already some signs that this could take a toll on the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. Currently, 37% express a favorable opinion of Congress, while 52% hold an unfavorable view. Positive opinions of Congress have declined by 13 points since April and are now at one of their lowest points in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys.
    If the Republican party was competent, they could take advantage of this.

    The Pew survey was conducted August 20-27 and contacted 2,003 adults in English and Spanish on landlines and cell phones.

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