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The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for August 10th, 2009

Cornell Law Professor: Palin is right about “Death Panels” for ObamaCare – UPDATED!

Posted by iusbvision on August 10, 2009

UPDATE III – Palin Responds to Obama on death Panels and backs up her statement LINK.

Washington Examiner Editorial Page Editor Mark Tapscott:

Sooner or later, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s critics are going to realize that, while her style of speaking drives them up the wall, they are spectacularly imprudent to assume she doesn’t know what she is talking about. Consider the reactions of two prominent law school professors to this statement posted by Palin on her Facebook page:

“The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

Palin’s reference to Obama’s “death panel” inspired Prof. Harold Pollack to pen the following “have you no decency” witticism on The New Republic’s health care blog:

“To be clear, it is downright evil to establish a ‘death panel’ that decides who is allowed to live based on their “level of productivity in society.” Less clear is what the heck Palin or Bachmann are talking about. I can’t find the words “death panel” in any administration position paper, the stimulus package, or the House and Senate draft health reform bills. Don’t take my word for it. Read the bills.”

Of course, Pollack, who is a University of Chicago professor of social service administration, could as easily have said that there could not been any genocide in the Soviet Union, China or Cambodia because Joseph Stalin, Chairman Mao, and Pol Pot never  used the term “death camp” in any official communication, either.

But another professor’s reaction to Palin’s statement demonstrates that Pollack’s snark was too cute by half. According to Cornell University law school’s William Jacobson, writing for the Legal Insurrection blog:

“The incoming fire has been withering, as usual. Palin is accused of becoming the ‘Zombie Queen,’ certifiably insane, ‘clinically wrong,’ and espousing a ‘gruesome mix of camp and high farce.’

“These critics, however, didn’t take the time to find out to what Palin was referring when she used the term ‘level of productivity in society’ as being the basis for determining access to medical care. If the critics, who hold themselves in the highest of intellectual esteem, had bothered to do something other than react, they would have realized that the approach to health care to which Palin was referring was none other than that espoused by key Obama health care adviser Dr. Ezekial Emanuel (brother of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel).”

Prof. Jacobson explains that:

“The article in which Dr. Emanuel puts forth his approach is ‘Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions,’ published on January 31, 2009 …. While Emanuel does not use the term ‘death panel,’ Palin put that term in quotation marks to signify the concept of medical decisions based on the perceived societal worth of an individual, not literally a ‘death panel.’ And in so doing, Palin was true to Dr. Emanuel’s concept of a system which considers prognosis, since its aim is to achieve complete lives. A young person with a poor prognosis has had a few life-years but lacks the potential to live a complete life.

“‘Considering prognosis forestalls the concern the disproportionately large amounts of resources will be directed to young people with poor prognoses. When the worst-off can benefit only slightly while better-off people could benefit greatly, allocating to the better-off is often justifiable … When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.’

“Put together the concepts of prognosis and age, and Dr. Emanuel’s proposal reasonably could be construed as advocating the withholding of some level of medical treatment (probably not basic care, but likely expensive advanced care) to a baby born with Down Syndrome. You may not like this implication, but it is Dr. Emanuel’s implication not Palin’s.”

Put another, less charitable way than Professor Jacobson chose, the analyses of Palin critics would be more likely to be taken seriously if they displayed at least a modicum of intellectual honesty.

UPDATE – Michelle Malkin: Death panels? What death panels? Oh you mean THOSE death panels… LINK (Michelle is on a roll lately :-)

[Editor’s Note – The far left blogosphere and news are trying to defend Emmanuel’s statements and are trying to say anything to “refute” what is presented here by Gov. Palin and Prof. Jacobson.

The left has several factual problems that amount to arguing that the sky is not blue.

For starters, Obama says that old people should take the pill instead of have the surgery on the ABC News Special. Add to this that Cass Sunstien and John Holdren, two other presidential advisors are on the record and in writing about a policy that can fairly be described as a “death panel” type of rationing.

In essence, case that the far left is trying to make boiled down to this; by adding a trillion dollar bureaucracy between you and your doctor will save money…

1. And will save that money in spite of the fact that they say they will add 50 million people to the health care rolls,

2. And we will save money when another 83 million from people who’s employers will dump their insurance plan and move their employees to the public option,

3. And we wills till save money when we add all those with pre-existing conditions,

4. And we will save that money with that bureaucracy making absolutely NO rationing choices at all about the old or young, or limit your private health choices in any way (in spite of what is on page 16 LINK  1, 2, 3)  …. AND while making sure that wait times for care will not increase as in the cases of Canada and Britain.

5. And we will do it while not passing any meaningful tort (bogus lawsuit) reform.

Give me a break]

UPDATE II:  Newt Gingrich on why Palin is right about the “Death panels” Newt gives more details in his new column titled “Shut Up & Trust the Government”.

[Note from IUSB Vision Editor Chuck Norton – George Stephanapolous is correct that the words “death panel” are not in the bill, but Stephanapolous has been around a while and knows full well that he is being disingenuous. The bill sets up 45 bureaucracies that will judge whether you get treatment or not based on “communal standards” and cost benefit analysis that they have free reign to set up under whose value system?. What mathematical formula tells a bureaucrat to put a pacemaker in an 84 year old grandparent? How can you say that “death panels” aren’t a vitally descriptive term for what is going on when people who have advocated population control/euthanasia are so deeply involved in this process?

Who will be getting these bureaucracy jobs??… wonks, political appointees and cronies; groups of people who have an annoying habit of being frightening extreemists just like Cass Sunstien, Dr. Emmanuel and John Holdren who are all advising President Obama.

Why should 45 government bureaucracies be getting between you and your doctor anyways? Is anyone to believe that these bureaucrats and panels will just be handing out advice and nothing will be mandatory???….if so, what would they know that you and your doctor do not know about your treatment and how will all that bureaucracy make health care cheaper?]

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Health Law, Leftist Hate in Action, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 2 Comments »

Dr. Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Remember when protest was patriotic?

Posted by iusbvision on August 10, 2009

Via his letter to the Washington Examiner:

August 8, 2009

“Protest  is patriotic!”  “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism!”

These battle-cries were heard often, in a simpler America of long ago — that is, before last November.  Back then, protests — even if they were organized by the usual leftist apparatchik-groups like ANSWER or ACORN — were seen – at least in the media – as proof of popular discontent.

When handfuls of Code Pink ladies disrupted congressional hearings or speeches by Bush
administration officials, it was taken as evidence that the administration’s policies were unpopular, and that the thinking parts of the populace were rising up in true democratic fashion.

Even disruptive tactics aimed at blocking President Bush’s Social Security reform program were merely seen as evidence of boisterous high spirits and robust, wide-open debate.  On May 23, 2005, the Savannah Morning News reported:

“By now, Jack Kingston is used to shouted questions, interruptions and boos.  Republican congressmen expect such responses these days when they meet with constituents about President Bush’s proposal to overhaul Social Security.

“Tinkering with the system is always controversial. To make Bush’s plan even more so — political foes are sending people to Social Security forums armed with hostile questions.

By now, Kingston, a Savannah lawmaker and part of the GOP House leadership, has held 10 such sessions and plans at least seven more.”

On March 16, USA Today reported that Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum “was among dozens of members of Congress who ran gantlets of demonstrators and shouted over hecklers at Social Security events last month. Many who showed up to protest were alerted by e-mails and bused in by anti-Bush organizations such as and USAction, a liberal advocacy group. They came with prepared questions and instructions on how to confront lawmakers.”
This was just good, boisterous politics: “Robust, wide-open debate.” But when it happens to Democrats, it’s something different:  A threat to democracy, a sign of incipient fascism, and an opportunity to set up a (possibly illegal) White House “snitch line” where people are encouraged to report “fishy” statements to the authorities.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls the “Tea Party” protesters Nazis, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman –forgetting the events above — claims that left-leaning groups never engaged in disruptive tactics against Social Security reform, and various other administration-supporting pundits are trying to spin the whole thing as a deadly move toward “mob rule” and – somewhat contradictorily — as a phony “astroturf” movement.

Remember:  When lefties do it, it’s called “community organizing.” When conservatives and libertarians do it, it’s “astroturf.” But some people are noticing the truth.   As Mickey Kaus notes, “If an ‘astroturfing’ campaign gets real people to show up at events stating their real views, isn’t it … community organizing?”  Why yes, yes it is.

As someone who’s been following the Tea Party campaign since the beginning, it seems to me to be the most genuine outbreak of grassroots popular involvement in my lifetime.  People have been turning out, in the tens of thousands at times, because they feel that Obama pulled a bait-and-switch and is moving the country much farther to the left than he promised during the campaign.

More significantly, most of these people are turning out to protest for the first time in their lives, and they’re planning for future political involvement in years to come. Perhaps that’s what’s got the critics worried.

It’s true, of course, that conservative and libertarian organizations — ranging from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions to FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity — are getting involved and providing advice and support, just as numerous lefty groups have always done with left-leaning movements.

But, as I noted in an April 15 column in The Wall Street Journal, those groups were playing catch-up to a movement that was already rolling on its own.

The truth is that for my adult lifetime, “protest” has been a kind of Kabuki engaged in by  organized groups on the Left with help from the press — as in the recent bus tour of AIG executives that was organized and paid for by an ACORN affiliate and in which the protesters were heavily outnumbered by the media, who nonetheless generally treated it as an “authentic” expression of populist discontent.

Things like that tour led President Obama to warn bankers that he was the only thing standing between them and the pitchforks, one of a number of thuggish statements he’s made along these lines.

Funny how fast the worm — or maybe it’s the pitchfork — has turned. Now that we’re seeing genuine expressions of populist discontent, not put together by establishment packagers on behalf of an Officially Sanctioned Aggrieved Group, we’re suddenly hearing complaints of “mob rule” and demands for civility.

Civility is fine, but those who demand it should show it.  The Obama administration — and its corps of willing supporters in the press and the punditry — has set the tone, and they are now in a poor position to complain.

Whether they like it or not — and the evidence increasingly tends toward “not” — President Obama and his handlers need to accept that this is a free country, one where expressions of popular discontent take place outside the electoral process, and always have.  (Remember Martin Luther King?)

What historians like Gordon Wood and Pauline Maier call “out-of-doors political activity” is an old American tradition, and in the past things have been far more “boisterous” than they are today.

Rather than demonizing today’s protesters, perhaps they might want to reflect on how flimflams and thuggishness have managed to squander Obama’s political capital in a few short months, and ponder what they might do to regain  the trust of the millions of Americans who are no longer inclined to give the Obama administration the benefit of the doubt.

Dr. Reynolds is a professor of law and the University of Tennessee and is the famed writer often referred to as “The Instapundit”

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Health Law, Journalism Is Dead, Letters to the Editor, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Drug Industry Spends $150 Million to Lobbyists to Support ObamaCare and Democrats. UPDATED!

Posted by iusbvision on August 10, 2009

Of course the Dems are in their back pocket, whole demonizing those same companies in an effort to fool you.

Michelle Malkin has all of the money details right HERE.

Be sure to see our section on CORPORATISM  to examine how Wall Street, the banks, Goldman Sachs, and others playing the pay offs and kick back games with the Democrats at what are unprecedented levels in my life time.

UPDATE – The deal is discussed on the Senate floor and we have the video via National Review:

I’ll tell you — if someone negotiated a deal with me and I agreed to put up say, 80 dollars or 80 million dollars or 80 billion dollars and then you came back and said to me a couple of weeks later — no no, I know you agreed to do 80 billion and I know you were willing to help support through an advertising campaign this particular — not even this particular bill, just the idea of generic health care reform? No, we’re going to double — we’re going to double what you agreed in those negotiations to do. That’s not the way — that’s not what I consider treating people the way I’d want to be treated. 

UPDATE II – By the way, look who is behind the big insurance protests LINK. Michelle Malkin has the story and the proof. Now this is adventures in astroturfing.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Corporatism, Health Law, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Democrat Member of Congress Admits in Townhall: Health care choice for me and not for thee

Posted by iusbvision on August 10, 2009

The following video from the great Michelle Malkin is the “busted” moment of the week. comments:

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) manages to answer the question that Keith Ellison (D-MN) and the rest of her Obama-care supporting colleagues in both the House and Senate have avoided. The crowd, however, didn’t like the response very much, and lets Tsongas know it. At about the four-minute mark, one of Tsongas’ peons constitutents asks Tsongas whether she will commit to adopting ObamaCare for her own coverage and give up her so-called “Cadillac” or “gold-played” Congressional coverage, and that’s when Tsongas suddenly becomes concerned with protecting choice:

[4 minutes in and again at 6:50 in. You can watch Rep. Tsongas is lie about the choices people will have to change insurance because page 16 of the House Bill restricts the private or employer based care that you can change to we we discussed HERE. Tsongas then goes on to talk about the Health Care Exchange, but doesnt tell her constituent that the permanent health care exchange is a part of the Republican alternative plan, not the one on page 16 of the House Bill.

Tsongas also doesn’t tell her constituent that she will have to pay taxes for the “public option” whether she uses it or not. Like the public school “option” you have to pay for private school tuition on top of public school property taxes which makes the private option twice as expensive and twice as less desirable, even though it may give quality that is twice as good. By economic forc e it is designed to limite your choices if you are poor or middle class. – Editor]


CONSTITUENT: My question to you, Congresswoman Tsongas, is that if this is such a great plan, why did you opt out of it when you took the vote [loud applause, standing ovation]?

TSONGAS: People often say why don’t the American people have what those of us in Congress have. [Audience erupts] Let me explain what I have. Let me explain what I have. What I have is a tremendous array — you know, last year when I went to a discussion — what I have is a tremendous array of choices. And I made a choice based on what I was willing to pay for and what made sense in terms of coverage for me and my family. [Audience shouts out: “We want choice! We want choice!] This is essentially what we are creating for the American people. We are creating greater choice.

[Smattering of applause overwhelmed by boos.]

Malklin continues and links to CNN/Fortune magazine’s article that tells of the 5 freedoms you will lose under Obamacare:

The imperious “Do as I say, not as I do” ways of Washington cannot be packaged as choice-enhancing, no matter how hard Rep. Tsongas tries. Refresher from 5 key freedoms you’ll lose under Obamacare:

In short, the Obama platform would mandate extremely full, expensive, and highly subsidized coverage — including a lot of benefits people would never pay for with their own money — but deliver it through a highly restrictive, HMO-style plan that will determine what care and tests you can and can’t have. It’s a revolution, all right, but in the wrong direction.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Health Law, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Democrat Leader Pelosi: Those who oppose nationalized health care are “Un -American”

Posted by iusbvision on August 10, 2009

She said so in USA Today so follow the link and see for yourself. This is after for eight years Democrats lectured us on how “patriotic” it was to invest in undermining the war effort. ….before a leftist even says it… just mere dissent my foot…. you guys tried to undermine the war effort and you well know it.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Health Law, Leftist Hate in Action, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »