American Elephants

The Daily Demagogue: In Full Vitriolic Attack Mode by The Elephant's Child

As for not letting America pay its bills, I have to say, no Congress before this one has ever – ever — in history been irresponsible enough to threaten default, to threaten an economic shutdown, to suggest America not pay its bills, just to try to blackmail a President into giving them some concessions on issues that have nothing to do with a budget.

That was President Obama, last Thursday, out on the campaign trail, insulting Republicans,, as usual, and trying to sell ObamaCare to a public that clearly doesn’t want any part of it. The House of Representatives has the responsibility of managing the government’s  finances. They believe that it is prudent to delay ObamaCare for a year, since it is more obvious each day that Obama’s health insurance plan is not ready for prime time. Democrats have delayed all sorts of parts of it — everything except for ordinary citizens’ forced participation. They just delayed small business participation. The Republicans in the House are attempting to do a big favor for the Obama administration, in giving them more time to fix the plentiful bugs.

Republicans have also proposed eliminating the tax on “medical devices,” a tax everyone agrees was a stupid idea that has already had disastrous consequences. A medical device is everything from a stent, to a crutch, a hospital bed, a wheelchair, or any of the technological breakthroughs like laser-assisted surgery, new prosthetics that respond to nerve stimulus, and CT scans and the like. The companies that produce medical devices have laid off people, moved offshore, or shut their doors. The tax will stifle innovation, which means some new life-saving or life-enhancing devices will never be invented.

And “no Congress before this one has ever—ever— in history been irresponsible enough to threaten default, to threaten an economic shutdown.” The demagogue in full attack mode. Since 1975 we have had 17 government shutdowns, of varying lengths from two days to 32 days, and we have never defaulted on our debts. We have enough income to pay all our debts on time. For a little perspective on the defunding “battle” the Daily Caller has rounded up videos of some great parliamentary fights. And defunding the Affordable Care Act would not be the first law defunded.

Mr. Obama keeps telling his audiences that health care is a “right.” First of all, the government is not offering health care. ObamaCare is a system of government-run health insurance. It is NOT free health care. You have to pay for it, and it costs significantly more than under the previous system, which was far from perfect. As Thomas Sowell keeps pointing out, you can’t expect to add some hundreds of offices, agencies and bureaus on top of the cost of insurance and expect it to be more affordable. So if you have insurance, and are all paid up, and you can find a doctor willing to see you in a world of fewer doctors and longer waits — then you have a right to whatever sort of health care you can pay for. If you think a “right” to health care means someone else will pay so you can have the care you want — that’s not the way it works.

Kathleen Sibelius announced in the Detroit Free Press

Being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies are forbidden by law from discriminating against a consumer or potential consumer just because she happens to be female.

Who knew? These demagogues attack insurance companies, yet clearly have no idea how insurance is supposed to work, nor why there are actuaries and what they do. Most of what was wrong with health insurance was because of government interference in the marketplace in the first place.

Medicine is far more an art than a one-size-fits-all situation. Each person is different. A pill that works for one person may not help another at all. Medicine is on the brink of all sorts of marvelous breakthroughs in learning how to tailor a medicine to a specific person through sequencing their DNA. The newest experimental prosthetics respond to nerve stimulus.We’re getting closes to a tricorder.

Everything about ObamaCare is in direct opposition to the free market, to innovation, to free people. It’s a cut-and-dried attempt at complete government control of you, your health and your person. These apparatchiks have no respect for real people. They believe you are dangerous and need to be controlled. Who knows what you might do? They really are afraid of you. That’s’ why they have the media in full cry  warning that those crazy Republicans want to shut down the government.

The House holds the power of the purse. It is their Constitutional duty to pass responsible spending bills.  It is the Democrats who ignore all constitutional checks and balances.  And the president of the United States states explicitly that he will negotiate with the despots who sponsor world terrorism and mass murder, but not with Republicans. Go figure.

America’s Vast Energy Resources by The Elephant's Child

John Hinderaker at Powerline has an important and clear article based on a new report from the Institute for Energy Resources that I hope you will read. It is brief, comprehensive, and especially pertinent in the wake of the president’s  speech yesterday and his ongoing lack of understanding of America’s energy resources.

The constant theme that America uses 25% of the world’s oil but has only 2% — to 3% of the world’s oil reserves is repeated constantly by Barack Obama and his sycophants. It is false.  Mr. Obama’s lack of understanding, whether innocent or deliberate, of this simple fact has nearly bankrupted the United States and killed millions of high paying jobs.

Dec.5, 2011 — The U.S. Navy and the Agriculture Department announced plans to buy 450,000 gallons of non-food biofuels at a cost of $16 per gallon in the largest federal purchase of biofuels in U.S. history.  The purchase is authorized by an executive order under the Obama administration’s “we can’t wait” (for Congressional debate or  approval) campaign.

The biofuel, made from used cooking oil and algae, is meant as a demonstration aimed at promoting the use of biofuels to reduce dependence on unstable sources of foreign oil and reduce budget shocks from oil price hikes. The biofuel will be used for aircraft and surface ships of the “Great Green Fleet Carrier Strike Force” as a demonstration aimed at commercial aviation and the Defense Department.  Surely the bankrupt and near bankrupt airlines would be delighted to spend $16 a gallon gor fuel as would the Defense Department whose budget is being slashed.

Please read this important Powerline post, with clear graphs, beautiful maps and a very short video. You will be glad you did.  It is a beautifully done and clear exposition of the dangerously wrong direction that the administration has taken and is continuing to take in their misunderstanding of the world’s energy supplies.

Be sure to download the report from the Institute for Energy Research, it’s a keeper.


The Sad Truth About ObamaCare. by The Elephant's Child

When you are all excited about single-payer, government-run health care, as Democrats have been, wouldn’t the normal, intelligent thing be to look at other countries that have experienced one of the longest-running versions of the liberal-socialist dream?

British citizens who smoke, drink, or tip the scales because they’ve eaten too many fish and chips could soon be denied medical treatment for lifestyle-related illnesses.  It’s a system the United States will be forced to implement under Obama Care. (emphasis added)

Great Britain’s government-run health care system, the National Health Service (NHS), has long considered limiting coverage for people with illnesses deemed to be lifestyle-related.  In 2005 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the NHS’s guiding body, advised that smokers and obese people be refused health care.  Now HHS North Yorkshire and York is preventing certain operations for the obese or smokers because they say unhealthy lifestyles lower their chance of success.

The chair of the Royal College of General practitioners, told UK reporters, ‘These policies are being introduced because of financial constraints.’

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued new regulations last July, for the newly mandated electronic health records—that all Americans are required to have by 2014 under the terms of the stimulus law that President Obama signed in 2009—must record not only the traditional measures of height and weight, but also the Body Mass Index, a measure of obesity.

The law also requires that these electronic health records be available—with appropriate security measures—on a national exchange. The new regulations are one of the first steps towards the government’s goal of universal adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by 2014 as outlined in the 2009 economic stimulus law.

A person’s BMI score is used as a tool to screen for obesity or excessive body fat that could lead to other health problems. It does not measure body fat, and was never intended to be used as such a measure.

The regulations stipulate that electronic records be capable of sending public health data to state and federal health agencies such as HHS and CDC.

The Center for Disease Control calls American society “obesogenic”—meaning that American society itself promotes obesity.

I don’t believe that my health records are any of the federal government’s business.  I believe that these two stories are related.  Should ObamaCare not be repealed, the intrusion, the rationing, the denial of treatment will accelerate and multiply. They had to lie about the cost to get it passed. They took $500 billion out of Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals to help falsify the numbers.  The whole thing is a lie. It will not be free— it’s already driving costs up. It will not improve anyone’s health—it’s not intended to do that.  It is designed to redistribute the wealth—which won’t help anyone, and to make all Americans dependent on the Democrat party for their access to health care.

For Further Reading:

Cancer Patients told life-prolonging treatment is too expensive for NHS, The Scotsman

Patients dying because of NHS staff shortages, The Scotsman

NHS rationing is ‘necessary evil’ say doctors, The Scotsman

Elderly patients dying of thirst; Doctors forced to prescribe drinking water to keep the old alive, reveals devastating report on hospital care, Daily Mail

Mediscare: The Surprising Truth: ObamaCare already has seniors’ health care slated for draconian cuts. The Wall Street Journal

Promises, Promises, Promises! by The Elephant's Child

How can one resist posting on this? The Obama administration, you know — the folks who promised the most transparent government ever — held a workshop on government openness.

On his first full day as President, Obama told government offices that “The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails. The government should not keep information confidential merely   because officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.”

The workshop on openness was closed to the public and to the press.

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