The IUSB Vision Weblog

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

Archive for August 12th, 2009

Coolest Stunt Ever!

Posted by iusbvision on August 12, 2009

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Watch the White House Deputy Press Secretary Dodge a Simple Question for Six Minutes

Posted by iusbvision on August 12, 2009

Ever wonder why people are right not to trust politicians?

Bill Burton has his job because he is pretty good at the tactic of  “distract and filibuster” until the time runs out. Instead of answering the questions he tries to make it about how unfair Megyn Kelly is for daring to ask a tough question. (Thanks to Hotair.com for the video link!)

Of course, even collecting the information they are asking for is illegal as we reported HERE.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Health Law, Journalism Is Dead, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Palin Reduced Medicaid Backlog 83% In Two Years

Posted by iusbvision on August 12, 2009

Governor Palin’s office:

Contrary to some assertions, Sarah Palin has a strong record supporting Alaskan seniors. For example, Governor Palin successfully obtained approval for a five year extension of a state program that provided monthly cash payments to low-income seniors.

Sarah at podium and pointing right at youOn May 23, 2007, using a rarely invoked emergency regulation, Governor Palin ordered assistance benefits to continue for Alaska’s neediest seniors after the Alaska legislature failed to fund the SeniorCare Program. After her action, the legislature responded, and on July 28, 2007, Governor Palin signed Senate Bill 4 to continue support for low-income Alaskan seniors by adopting the Senior Benefits Program. “This program continues important assistance to Alaska seniors,” Governor Palin said. “I promised that seniors would not go hungry, and we worked with the Alaska Legislature to address this critical need.” It was estimated that 10,700 Alaskan seniors would be able to benefit under the program.

Also under Governor Palin’s tenure, on December 19, 2008, the state stepped in and took over the Mary Conrad Center, an Anchorage nursing home, when the state determined that there was “’immediate danger to the health, safety or welfare’ of its residents.”

So, with this clear record of support and care for Alaska’s seniors by Governor Palin, what is the current criticism about? According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, prior to Governor Palin’s election in November 2006, in April of 2006, in an effort to control rapidly increasing costs for home health care providers, known as the PCA program, Governor Frank Murkowski’s administration implemented a screening process for Alaska Medicaid eligible persons by using a Level of Care assessment (LOC). The LOC assessment was designed for persons who would otherwise require hospitalization or nursing home care and was intended to help weed out fraud and abuse.

By definition, many of these people were ill, elderly or disabled and thus in need of personal care attendants to assist them. Only registered nurse assessors were allowed to evaluate consumers to determine if they qualified for PCA care. The job of assessing consumers was contracted out, but the State of Alaska DHHS determined that the hired contractor had too much backlog. Notably, under federal Medicaid strictures, the State could not get another private business to bid on the contract. So the State was forced to take over the job in November 2007. However, the State DHHS was unable to eliminate the backlog using its own staff, and the backlog then grew. The Federal DHHS temporarily suspended new admissions to the PCA program pending audit compliance to handle the backlog of existing cases and come up with a plan to speed the assessment process. The suspension has been lifted as of August 12.

Further, Gov. Palin’s FY 2009 budget clearly showed her analysis of the issue as of December 2007, and described both the problem and the solution long before the federal government got involved. The backlog issue was discussed and a plan proposed for improvement.

The graph below shows that under Gov. Palin (2007 and 2008) the backlog problem was dramatically reduced, from 30.9% in 2005 to 4.5% in 2008. Looking at these data, one can conclude that Gov. Palin substantially reduced the outstanding percentage of Medicaid assessments by 83%.

Palin elderly medicade assessments

% Not Reviewed

FY 2008 4.5%

FY 2007 4.5%

FY 2006 23.18%

FY 2005 30.9%

What is the lesson in all of this? Even with good intentions, the government generally cannot provide better health care services than the private sector. Beware of complex federal laws purporting to offer government health care. For those who want nationalized medicine, take heed of this lesson.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Health Law, Palin Truth Squad | Leave a Comment »

Meghan McCain doesn’t understand the difference between an attitude and an argument, but neither do many college professors.

Posted by iusbvision on August 12, 2009

UPDATE: Mytheos Holt has a devastating article which takes Meghan McCain’s hit piece on Malkin apart section by section. – LINK

I had mentioned this on my facebook page, but AllahPundit over at Hotair.com gave some ink to this story and since a chapter in my upcoming book deals with this very subject I decided it was worth covering.

Most people do not understand the difference between an attitude and a real argument with substance. Universities used to teach the difference by teaching a true classic liberal arts education with serious study of Aristotle, Socrates, Francis Bacon, Cicero and others.  The failure of what I call the elite media culture, atrophied thinkers such as recent college grads like Meghan McCain and too many college professors are the result.

The media often presents to you an attitude that is designed to generate an narrative in your mind based few facts that are spun.

We can demonstrate attitude change propaganda in action. For example lets take a look at this March 9th 2007 story about the Patriot Act while the press was full swing into “hate Bush” mode:

Justice: FBI Misused Patriot Act Powers

Mar 09 3:08 PM US/Eastern

By LARA JAKES JORDAN Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI improperly and, in some cases, illegally used the USA Patriot Act to secretly obtain personal information about people in the United States, a Justice Department audit concluded Friday.

And for three years the FBI underreported to Congress how often it forced businesses to turn over the customer data, the audit found.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who oversees the FBI, described the problems cited in the report as unacceptable and left open the possibility of criminal charges. He ordered further investigation.

“Once we get that information, we’ll be in a better position to assess what kinds of steps should be taken,” Gonzales told reporters following a speech to privacy officials.

It sounds pretty ominous doesn’t it? It makes you think that people may go to jail because that no good SOB Bush was looking into people’s private lives for fun doesn’t it? Of course it does, it is designed to.  You see most newspaper readers never get passed the fifth paragraph in a news story.

It isn’t until paragrapgh 19 in the story do are you told that in over 150,000 uses of the Patriot Act by the FBI the FBI made 22 errors looking into data they should not have. That is 22 errors while it was still a relatively new law and all of those 22 errors were caught by the internal Inspector General whose job it is to find just these kinds of errors. Who do you know that has an error rate of 22 in 150,000? That is 1 error in 6818 uses. Ask any business owner or manager and they could only dream of having employees with such a low error rate. The numbers indicate that the FBI was doing its assigned duties fabulously under difficult circumstances.

Now that you know that critical piece of information, the attitude and narrative in your mind changes greatly does it not? Congratulations, now you have a basic understanding of how attitude change propaganda works.

For some people, these techniques are deliberate attempts to manipulate you. To others such as Meghan McCain, it is a result of poor education and bad thinking. McCain has an emotional attachment to a point of view, but she doesn’t understand the difference between that and a real substantive argument. For people like McCain, they use their education and wit (or lack there of) to satisfy the emotionally arrived at conclusion and do not think logically, consistently or with any serious sense of introspective.

AllahPundit at Hotair.com demonstrates this point quite brilliantly by merely highlighting the buzz words in Meghan McCain’s own statements. Notice that McCain does not back up her assertions with any evidence you can verify or any substantive argument about Malkin’s voluminous work:

So Michelle Malkin successfully rounds out the trifecta of extreme female conservative pundits, following Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter, who believe that I, and Republicans like me, need to shut up and get out of the party. Is this surprising? Not really, given my father’s complicated history with the extreme right of the GOP. But what confuses me is this: Malkin recently posted an item on her blog about how “drowning out opposing views is simply un-American.”…

I don’t know exactly what about me threatens them so much, other than that people are listening to me. Malkin has the No. 1 book on The New York Times bestseller hardcover nonfiction list, but I have nearly twice as many Twitter followers as she does. And trust me, Twitter is more of an indication of where young people are than books published by the hyper-conservative publisher Regnery—which will be bringing you Carrie Prejean’s new book and published one of Ann Coulter’s.

There is a place for the far right in this party, Malkin included, and I respect their right to be heard. But the Republican Party will continue to lose elections unless we start reaching out in a more effective way to people my age and to moderates. Barack Obama won the last election on the slogan “Yes We Can,” and there is no reason why Republicans can’t go forth and win elections with equally positive messages. We will not get anywhere by continuing to sell hate and fear. Of course, there is always going to be a fraction of the GOP that is going to respond to that, but at some point we have to start facing the reality that hate and fear will only get us so far. Those emotions are not sources for inspiration of joining anything, let alone supporting a political party.

Always with Meghan McCain it is XXX is a far right hate and fear blank, or Coulter is a racist etc, but never, ever a verifiable fact that pans out to back up her claims. We took Meghan McCain to task before for that very type of behavior in An Open Letter to Meghan McCain.

In contrast, we have featured Malkin’s work here at IUSB Vision many times, we do so because she doesn’t just have an opinion based on an emotion,  she backs it up with evidence that you or I can check and verify for ourselves.

Case in point on substance, Meghan McCain must not be aware that after Goldwater, Republicans most often win when they show clear differences between themselves and the Democrats. Moderate Republicans often lose to Democrats because Democrats campaign to the right of them. Just as Bill Clinton did to Bush 41 and Bob Dole and just as Obama couched his campaign in Reaganesque conservative rhetoric AND just as so many blue dog Democrats in the House and Senate have done in the last two election cycles against their Republican opponents (a plan organized by Rahm Emanuel).

McCain is not the only one to behave this way in the GOP. The New York Times David Brooks argues much the same way as does Colin Powell. They all too often present an attitude and not a real substantive argument. In the press we have seen Colin Powell say that Rush Limbaugh is too far right and is divisive etc. Rush Limbaugh takes policy positions and advances policy positions of his own in great detail 15 hours a week and posts complete transcripts, audio, sources and evidence to back it up every say on his web site; yet you will never hear Colin Powell make detailed policy positions on health care, the economy, gun control, abortion, separation of powers, the courts etc. Just as it is easy to be a saint in paradise, it is easy to paint yourself as all inclusive when you don’t take detailed policy positions on almost anything. Powell speaks in generalities and emotionalisms and next to never in the kind of detail that we see from Limbaugh on a day to day basis.

Posted in 2012, Campaign 2008, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Culture War, Journalism Is Dead, Leftist Hate in Action | Leave a Comment »

Obama Town Hall a Staged Production

Posted by iusbvision on August 12, 2009

Michelle Malkin is all over it with the evidence.

Be sure to follow this link for more updates!

Little girl at Obama town hall has not-so-random political connections

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 11, 2009 10:17 PM

As we always like to point out: There are no coincidences in Obama world.

Via the Boston Globe: Surprise!

A girl from Malden asked President Obama a question at Tuesday’s town hall meeting in New Hampshire about the signs outside “saying mean things” about his health care proposal.

Eleven-year-old Julia Hall asked: “How do kids know what is true, and why do people want a new system that can — that help more of us?”

The question opened the door for the president to respond to what he called an “underlying fear” among the public “that people somehow won’t get the care they need.”

The girl later told the Globe that picking the president’s brain was “incredible.”

“It was like a once in a lifetime experience,” she said.

Julia’s mother was an early Obama supporter in Massachusetts during the presidential election, so she had previously met First Lady Michelle Obama, the Obama daughters Sasha and Malia, and Vice President Joe Biden.

“This was my first time meeting Barack Obama, and he’s a very nice man,” Julia said. “I’m glad I voted for him.”

She said Obama won a mock presidential election at the Cheverus School in 2008. And on Tuesday, he approached her after the town meeting.

“He said ‘great question,’” Julia said. “I shook his hand and got his picture.”

Kathleen Manning Hall, Julia’s mother, was shocked when her daughter said she wanted to ask a question. They wrote it down beforehand, and Julia didn’t miss a beat when Obama called on her.

“It was surreal,” said Manning Hall, a coordinator of Massachusetts Women for Obama during the election.

Tons of readers point to this AR15.com post tracking Hall’s political footprint, including this Facebook page and photo:

Manning Hall has donated thousands of dollars to Obama, as has her law firm.

But, you know, um, like Obama said: “I don’t want people saying I just have a bunch of plants in here.”

Oh, goodness. Of course not.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Health Law, Journalism Is Dead, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 1 Comment »

Shut Up and Trust The Government – By Newt Gingrich

Posted by iusbvision on August 12, 2009

Trust the Government
by Newt Gingrich

How much is one additional year of your life worth?

Or one more year of life for your father or your wife? For your child?

In Great Britain, the government has settled on a number: $45,000.

That’s how much a government commission with the Orwellian acronym NICE has decided British government-run health care will pay for one additional year of life for a British subject.

Think it could never happen here? Then you need to pay closer attention to what Washington is planning for your health care.

British Government Bureaucrats Literally Decide if Your Life is Worth Living

The British single-payer bureaucrats arrived at the price of an additional year of life in the same way they decide how much health care all British people will get, through a formula called “quality-adjusted life years.”

That means that if you’re sick in Great Britain, government bureaucrats literally decide if your life is worth living and, if so, how much longer and at what cost.

If it’s more than $45,000, you’re out of luck.

A Well-Connected White House Advocate for Allocating Health Care
Based on Perceived Societal Worth

In the highest levels of the Obama Administration there is a theory of how to ration health care that is troublingly reminiscent of the British system of “quality-adjusted life years.”

Dr. Ezekial Emanuel is a key health care advisor to President Obama and the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Earlier this year, Dr. Emanuel wrote an article that advocated what he called “the complete lives system” as a method for rationing health care. You can read it here.

The system advocated by Dr. Emanuel would allocate health care based on the government’s perception of the societal worth of the patients. Accordingly, the very young and the very old would receive less care since the former have received less societal investment and the latter have less left to contribute.

“Forstall[ing] the Concern that Disproportionate Amounts of Resources
Will be Directed to Young People with Poor Prognosis”

“The Complete Lives System” would also consider the prognosis of the individual.

Quoting Dr. Emanuel: “A young person with a poor prognosis has had few life-years but lacks the potential to live a complete life. Considering prognosis forestalls the concern that disproportionately large amounts of resources will be directed to young people with poor prognosis.”

When fully implemented, Dr. Emanuel’s system, in his words, “produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.”

“Chances that are attenuated” is a nice way of saying the young and the old are considered less worthy of health care and, under this system, will get less.

Once Government Becomes the Provider of Health Care,
Personal Decisions Become Public Decisions

The point is not that a health care rationing system like the one favored by Dr. Emmanuel will be implemented in the United States tomorrow.

The point is that, as in the British system, once government becomes the single payer or even the main payer of health care, what were once intensely personal decisions become public decisions. And as costs rise, government will look for ways to contain them.

The inevitable result of this pressure to control costs will be rationing, whether it occurs during this administration or the next. At some point, the government will be forced to deny care to those who don’t meet the latest “quality-adjusted life years” cost-benefit analysis.

So the decision on what treatment to pursue that once would have been made by you and your doctor is now made for you by a bureaucrat using a formula – a formula to literally determine if your life is worth saving.

The Camel’s Nose Under the Tent of Health Care Rationing

Societies don’t arrive at this point overnight.

British health care was nationalized soon after World War II, but NICE, the health care rationing agency, wasn’t created until the late 1990s as a way to control costs.

Today NICE routinely denies Britons life-prolonging drugs that are deemed not “cost effective” – drugs that are widely prescribed in America to treat cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other serious conditions.

The result, studies show, is that Great Britain’s cancer survival rates are among the worst in Europe and lag behind the United States.

In America, Rationing Begins with Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER)

In our country, the road to dehumanizing, bureaucratic health care rationing begins with something called comparative effectiveness research (CER). It sounds completely innocent. In practice, CER means comparing different treatments for diseases to see which works best. And what doctor or patient would object to that, right?

The problem is that, in the context of a government-run health care system, comparative effectiveness research becomes a way to find a cheaper, one-size-fits-all approach to medicine that will limit health care choices for patients.

But don’t just take my word for it. Congressional Democrats included $1.1 billion in the Stimulus Bill for CER. Report language explaining the bill noted that the treatments found to be “more expensive” as result of the research “will no longer be prescribed” and that “guidelines” should be developed to manage doctors.

Congressional Democrats also killed several amendments to the current health care bill that would have prevented CER from being used to ration care. (To learn more about the common-sense amendments to the bill that have been blocked, click here).

The Government Has Determined You Must Take the Blue Pill

President Obama innocuously described the intended result of comparative effectiveness research like this: “If there’s a blue pill and a red pill, and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well, why not pay half price for the thing that’s going to make you well?”

Listen to what the President is saying here. He’s saying that the government is capable of determining which pill works best for you and should therefore only pay for that pill.

But this one-size-fits-all approach goes against everything modern medicine is learning about the genetics of the human body. Different individuals and members of different ethnic and age groups respond differently to treatments. More and more, treatment of diseases like cancer is highly individualized and based on a genetic analysis of both the patient and her disease. Science is leading us in one direction and the administration and the Congress are taking us in the other.

What if you get sick and your doctor says you need the red pill, but the government has determined that the blue pill is what works best for its budget? In a single payer health world, what do you do then?

Creating a Commission to do the Dirty Work

Government bureaucrats limiting health care choices is terribly unpopular of course, which is why politicians use terms like “comparative effectiveness research” instead of “rationing.”

Another method Washington uses to avoid complicity in health care rationing is the creation of government boards or commissions – like Britain’s NICE – to do the job for them.

President Obama has expressed his support for using the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), a commission created to advise Congress on Medicare, to achieve cost savings under health care reform.

Because the commission’s decisions could only be over-ridden by a joint resolution of Congress, it would be virtually unaccountable to the people – and nervous members of Congress could blame the commission for unpopular decisions.

Combine this kind of a commission with the “complete lives system” advocated by White House health care advisor Dr. Ezekial Emanuel and you end up with a government rationing board literally determining which Americans should live and which should die.

Just Trust the Government

Supporters of government-run health care dismiss these worries as alarmist. They argue that because their big government health care bill doesn’t overtly call for rationing, it is somehow illegitimate to talk about this danger.

But it is always legitimate to consider the long-term consequences of a government program. By refusing to have an honest debate of this issue – to explore honestly the consequences of the “painful choices” that all supporters of government health care say must be made – their argument boils down to nothing more than this:

Trust the government.

Trust the politicians who are passing 1000-page bills they haven’t read.

Trust the leaders who are demonizing the citizens seeking to express their disagreement by calling them “un-American.”

Trust the advisors who advocate sacrificing the weak and the old and then hide in the shadows.

Trust the government to know what’s best for the most intimate, most personal part of you and your family’s life: your health.

Go ask a British citizen if it’s worth it.

To just shut up and trust the government.

UPDATE – See Newt on video talking about death panels – LINK.

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