EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for October 2, 2009
Last night, President Barack Obama headed out to Copenhagen to lobby for Chicago to get the Olympics. And incidentally, if he succeeds, Chicago real estate developers, like many of his donors, will get zillions in development contracts from the city. The Chicago Tribune’s John Kass noted that Obama is “asking the IOC to make Mayor Richard Daley the king of Chicago for life.”
It turns out that today, his pick to lead our troops (and all of NATO) in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, will be in London giving a speech about how to win in Afghanistan. I guess McChrystal is allowed to tell our allies how we can win, just not Congress or the White House.
Perhaps Obama could stop by London and listen to the speech or chat with his general? But perhaps not. According to Kass, Obama told the head of NATO that he doesn’t have the time to chat about NATO and Afghanistan.
While you and I have been lounging around waiting for old folks to die needlessly because we’re against Obamacare, Michelle Obama has been doing the hard work on our behalf. She’s visiting Copenhagen.
“As much of a sacrifice as people say this is for me or Oprah or the president to come for these few days,” the first lady told a crowd of people involved in the Chicago project, “so many of you in this room have been working for years to bring this bid home.”
The first question that comes to mind is “which freakin’ people are saying that spending several days in luxurious accommodations in Copenhagen is a sacrifice?” Because you need to get the Secret Service to keep them away from the president because they are seriously psychotic.
The level of self absorption in this administration is simply mind boggling and is probably exceeded only by their sense of entitlement.
The Washington Times recently took a look at the forced health care rationing in Chairman Max Baucus’s health care overhaul legislation:
“The offending provision is on Pages 80-81 of the unamended Baucus bill, hidden amid a lot of similar legislative mumbo-jumbo about Medicare payments to doctors. The key sentence: “Beginning in 2015, payment would be reduced by five percent if an aggregation of the physician’s resource use is at or above the 90th percentile of national utilization.” Translated into plain English, it means that in any year in which a particular doctor’s average per-patient Medicare costs are in the top 10 percent in the nation, the feds will cut the doctor’s payments by 5 percent.”
This is a highly arbitrary and pernicious way to cut medical care for seniors. The Baucus approach penalizes the top ten percent every year. There is no target level of spending, after which the penalties sunset. Further, no provider ever knows if he or she is likely to end the year in the top ten percent. For that reason there is an incentive to cut costs on every patient, every procedure, every expenditure, on every day of the year. And if a doctor finishes the year in the bottom 90 percent, the average level of spending will have been reduced, and there will be a new contest to cut further, to remain in the bottom 90 percent the next year.
In practical terms, there’s probably some point at which further rationing becomes politically impossible. Once Medicare expenditures and reimbursements are sufficiently reduced, once the federal government has adopted Oregon-style death panels to deny expensive care to the aged and infirm, Congress will likely have to step in to stop the ‘death spiral.’
The Senate Finance Committee considered Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) amendment on the health care legislation that would require identification to take advantage of medicaid benefits.
Senator Grassley’s position, and the logical position, is that if one is not asked to show identification before taking advantage of a taxpayer funded health care program like medicaid, the program can be accessed by anyone under the sun, including people who are not supposed to take advantage of the program, like illegal aliens.
It’s common sense.
But not to Senate Democrats, including Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), who back home takes a tough stance against illegal immigration.
Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) has no Republican challenger to date, though a number of serious Republicans are thinking of getting in and at least a couple are on the verge of doing so.
The district leans Republican and after Grayson’s latest antics Charlie Cook has moved the race to a tossup without there even being a Republican challenger yet.
Senator Bunning (R-KY) is offering legislation to require all bills be put on the internet for at least 72 hours in final form before being voted on in the Senate.
The Senate Conservatives Fund, an organization near and dear to my heart (have you given them money?), has a petition on this that you should sign.
The Los Angeles Times brings us a delightful tidbit about the leader of the free world.
Obama released a statement regarding Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. In the statement, Obama says, “Americans owe an enormous measure of gratitude to the Mahatma. His teachings and ideals, shared with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his 1959 pilgrimage to India, transformed American society through our civil rights movement.”
There’s just one problem.
Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in 1948.
Michael Moore proclaims “Capitalism did nothing for me.”
You’re wrong, Michael. Dead wrong. Capitalism has done plenty for you, sport.
- American Capitalism made your 7,500 calorie per day diet cheaper (and tastier) here than anywhere else in the world.
- That shirt you’re wearing. Polo, by Ralph Lauren. $80 in size XXXL, available at Big and Tall Mens shops nationwide.
- Horizontal stripes. A guy your size would be locked up in most socialist countries for that fashion faux pas. Probably executed in Italy, France or Sweden.
- The world’s best health care system, good for taking care of behavior-related chronic health care issues like cardio-vascular disease, type II diabetes, and gout.
- Intellectual property rights are protected under capitalism. (It makes me shudder to refer to your, ahem, body of work as “intellectual property”, but there you have it.)
- If you subtract out the rentals and royalties you’ve earned from theaters and distributors who are capitalists, you’d be living under a bridge somewhere.
- Your freedom to ambush corporate CEOs made you rich. You try that stunt with the new owners of GM, and you’ll have your kneecaps broken.
- Or worse, your next movie will be called Jimmy Hoffa and Me.
- A cushy apartment in Manhattan, the Bolshevik paradise.
- Most of all, you should be thankful that capitalism has given you an affluent, liberal, self-loathing audience which eagerly laps up your tripe.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised today the final health care bill will include a controversial public option insurance plan, contrary to recent indications by Democratic staffers that such provisions might be eliminated to make the reforms more palatable for moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats.
“We are going to have a public option before this bill goes to the president’s desk,” Reid said Thursday afternoon on a conference call with constituents.
But the Nevada Democrat, who is tasked with reconciling the competing Senate committee versions of the bill, yesterday told reporters the final bill would not be fashioned until the White House and leaders of the Finance and HELP committees had been consulted.
“Once that’s done, we’ll decide jointly as to what should be in that bill,” he said.
On Wednesday, the final bill hinges on consultation with Senate leadership and the President. Thursday, news surfaces that suggests Reid has consolidated the two Senate versions, and opted for the more progressive. How else could he have made such definitive statements? Either Harry Reid is the single most productive member of Congress, or he’s merely circumventing Democratic leaders—and the Ranking Republicans of the HELP and Finance committees—to advance his own agenda.