People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Do We Really Want To 'Reform' Health Care?

I read this opinion piece in this morning's Roanoke Times about the horrendous cost of health care, blah blah, blah, and had a thought:

There has come from the very contentious - and sometimes violent - debate about the potential scope of, and direction our health care delivery system should take a very positive result. Many Americans have looked at the alternatives being offered, alternatives to that which they have today - in other words, they've looked into the abyss - and they've decided in overwhelming numbers that the system we have is a good one. Flawed to be sure. But good. Sound. Certainly the best that exists anywhere on the planet.

And for that, they're willing to pay the prices we're paying to keep it.

To the point that they're willing to fight to keep it.

The bottom line, as I see it: Health care here is expensive. So is a Lexus. And health care is going to be more so as time goes by and as the population continues to age. But with that huge expense comes quality service. If you think about it, we do a darn good job of taking care of our own, all things considered, especially of those who are old and infirm among us. Granny. Little Jenny. And we have decided to stay on course. We are okay.

We have Obama to thank for this. Had he not initiated the debate, had he not called for his sweeping government takeover of our current system (lower costs, better care, more choice, my ass), we would never have been forced to do the soul-searching that we have.

Thanks, Barry, for clarifying things. We like this system of ours. As is.

Now, get your hands off of it. We'll take it from here.

I Wonder How I'm To Take This

Remember several years ago Time magazine was accused of publishing a photo on its cover that depicted George Bush with horns on his head?

An accident, no doubt.

Well, I was reminded of that little faux pas when I saw this photo of the recently departed Ted Kennedy on the front page of the on-line version of this morning's New York Times:

Does Pinocchio come to mind?

* Note: Photo still up as of 0931 hours eastern.
** Click on the image to enlarge it.

Greenland Is Melting. Again.

A reporter for Time magazine wrote not long ago:
What matters is not that change is happening but that it is happening so fast. In Ilulissat, [Greenland,] the ice that once covered much of the sea in the winter and allowed hunting, fishing and travel by dogsled comes no longer. In less than a human lifetime — barely the blink of an eye in geologic time — a way of life millenniums old will be lost here. Elsewhere we may see temperate and fertile areas turn dry and barren in the same time period. What we've known and lived with may no longer exist — and we may not be able to adapt in time for what is coming.

Years go by, we add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, temperatures rise, glaciers retreat and deserts expand. One of the essential facts about climate science is that unlike, say, weather forecasting, the farther ahead we look into the future, the more confident we can be of our predictions. [my emphasis]
That last may be the most preposterous sentence I've ever read. If you can't predict tomorrow's climatic conditions (look it up; the definition of climate is weather over time), how can you look far off into the future and make weather predictions (weather being climate) with any confidence whatsoever?

But beyond that, if the reporter had spent as much time looking into the past as he does the future, perhaps he wouldn't be writing such foolishness as "There's no doubt here, no room for skeptics: temperatures have warmed in Greenland, and as they have warmed, the ice has melted. It is as simple as that."

Really. That simple?

Could it be even simpler? Like maybe Greenland regularly warms and cools?
New Paper: Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Air Temperature Variability: 1840-2007
Climate Research News (originally appearing in The Journal of Climate)

Meteorological station records and regional climate model output are combined to develop a continuous 168-yr (1840–2007) spatial reconstruction of monthly, seasonal, and annual mean Greenland ice sheet near-surface air temperatures.

It is found that volcanic cooling episodes are concentrated in winter and along the western ice sheet slope. Interdecadal warming trends coincide with an absence of major volcanic eruptions. Year 2003 was the only year of 1840–2007 with a warm anomaly that exceeds three standard deviations from the 1951–80 base period. The annual whole ice sheet 1919–32 warming trend is 33% greater in magnitude than the 1994–2007 warming. [link] [emphasis in the original]
So volcanoes have an influence on climate? Who knew?

Well, certainly not a Time magazine reporter who takes a boat to see a crumbling iceberg and declares it, upon said crumbling having taken place, a sign that the entire planet is melting.

Are these people really that foolish?

Liberals Are Morons

I know you don't need more proof, but this entertains me.

There exists, apparently, a radio talk show host by the name of Mike Malloy. According to his brief autobio, Mr. Malloy is "a traditional Liberal Democrat doing his part to return the Democratic Party to its Liberal roots." Something he freely admits to, oddly.

Oh, and he worked for CNN.

Strikes one and two.

Malloy's show can be heard on all of twelve local radio stations around the country (mostly in radically leftist American cities). And that's fine. I'm not sure what the small number of stations means, but I'm sure there's a good explanation for his miniscule listenership.

Mr. Malloy, not wanting to let the opportunity to gain infamy for himself and his show pass when Ted Kennedy died, had this to say about the death of Massachusetts' senior Senator the other day:
So with the death of Ted Kennedy last night, liberalism in this country has lost its champion; the person who, in the modern era, personified liberalism to a greater degree than anyone in Congress; I think that his death heralds the beginning of a very, very very dark period in this country.

I remember feeling that way in 1963 and in 1968 - when his two brothers were murdered by the right wing in this country. [link]
What? Ted Kennedy's brothers were murdered by "the right wing"?

Quick, Mike, name Ted Kennedy's two brothers.

Quicker, name the assassins who took the lives of John and Bobby.

Now, Mike, True or False:

Lee Harvey Oswald (an avowed Communist) and Sirhan Sirhan (a Palestinian immigrant) were right-wing.

Finally, Mike, a multiple-choicer:

Mike Malloy:

a) is a moron.
b) has a serious drug problem.
c) has his head stuck up his ass.
d) All of the above.

Hat tip to The Radio Equalizer.

Haves vs. Have Nots

While much is being made in Washington about CEO paychecks and bonuses these days, there's little mention of a growing wage disparity that exists here in the USA. Why?

I think folks there would rather you didn't know about it This graph says it all:

Do you find it to be rather startling that federal workers on average are earning $79,197? The average employee? While the average schmuck in the private sector (the 83% of all jobs that includes yours and mine) makes less than $50,000 a year?

Meanwhile, in the real world:

As employers cut payrolls, average workweek and average wage decline

Some will look at this and decide that we should all be federal employees. But if that happens, who's going to pay for them?

Oh, never mind:

Obama's Budget Projects $1.75 Trillion Deficit

Graph courtesy of the Cato Institute.

You Have To Be Kidding

Did you ever read a headline in a newspaper and decide within a nanosecond that you wouldn't read it if someone had a cattle prod to your backside?

In the Washington Post this morning, a column by Sally Quinn:

Teddy Kennedy's Search for Meaning

For the love of God. There is no way ...

Did CBS Forge The Documents?

Charles Johnson over at Little Green Footballs is wondering, now that it has come to light that CBS producer Mary Mapes knew all along that the premise of her "George Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard in order to avoid service in Vietnam" was false, who manufactured the documents she used to support her effort. Documents that the world now knows were fake.
[T]he entire enterprise absolutely reeked of dishonesty, from the fake documents to the way Rather and CBS initially tried to cover it up and/or claim the documents were genuine.

It does raise an interesting question, though: since Mapes was apparently willing to cover up what she knew about Bush volunteering for Vietnam, did she also know all along that the documents were frauds? Most people have assumed that Mapes and CBS were tricked into airing the memos — but what if it was deliberate?

One of the really striking things about the Rathergate incident is how little curiosity the rest of the media had when it came to finding out the truth of what happened — completely uninterested in finding out the source of the documents, and completely uninterested in examining how the obviously phony memos could have even gotten onto 60 Minutes in the first place.

Hmm. Lots of questions still linger. With no answers forthcoming. And no "journalists" seeming to be interested.

As one might expect.

It Might Hurt The Cause

Is anyone shocked by this news?

ABC, NBC Won't Air Ad Critical of Obama's Health Care Plan

Isn't it about time for another hour-long primetime ObamaCare infomercial, fellas?

Quote of the Day

From the incomparable John Stossel:
The politicians who defend Cash for Clunkers remind me of the silly people who said that the rebuilding that would come after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina would “stimulate” the economy. What they forget is that the money for rebuilding —and the cash-for-clunker money—is forcibly taken from people who would have used that money to create other things.

Brad Smith asks:
Are the people running the government the most economically illiterate bunch since FDR ruled the roost?

I doubt that. Most power-hungry lawyers and others who run for office to rule over others—not to mention the media who cheer them on—are economically illiterate. I don’t think that this bunch is better or worse than their predecessors.
"Cash For Clunkers," John Stossel's Take, August 26, 2009

Democrat To Old People:

Learn to live with poorer health care.

Here's what ObamaCare comes down to. In order to reduce costs, which is our Fearless Leader's primary goal as he's stated it in the current debate, he's going to require that cuts be made somewhere. He has to. That's the only way cost savings can be realized.

But where?

We don't know. He continues to spin the lie that costs will go down but services will improve!

As the polls are showing, we all now know that that is bullshit.

So where will those cost savings be found?

The answer in the form of two related questions: How old are you and how old did you really need to become?
Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey: Yep, Medicare Will Take a Hit
By Mary Katherine Ham, The Weekly Standard

Obama has tried valiantly to keep discussion of cutting Medicare focused on the idea of cutting waste and waste alone, but the fact that the CBO (and Obama himself) concede that the bill on the table is not adequately funded in the first 10 years or beyond, has some folks worried.

Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey gave credence to seniors' worries with this comment at a Colorado town hall Wednesday:

"There's going to be some people who are going to have to give up some things, honestly, for all of this to work," Markey said at a Congress on Your Corner event at CSU. "But we have to do this because we're Americans."

Can Obama really blame seniors for being suspicious about whether cutting waste in Medicare ... means cutting benefits? [link]
Again, 70% of our health care expenditures go to keeping the elderly among us alive and healthy. Knowing that, those who are hellbent on making cuts have to be looking at the fat cow in the pasture (Medicare) with a butcher knife in hand.

If I were elderly, I'd be frightened to death by all this.

And AARP should be ashamed of itself.

Headline Of The Day

From Hot Air:

Dems’ new rallying cry: Let’s pass this trillion-dollar travesty for Teddy



Does this headline in the Times of London surprise anyone?

Democrats accused of using Edward Kennedy’s death to promote reforms

I'm only surprised that they haven't propped him up with sunglasses on and a cigar in his mouth, a la "Weekend at Bernie's," and had a ventriloquist saying, "Pass KennedyCare. Pass KennedyCare."

Democrats exploiting Kennedy's death for their own gain. Such the shock.

Advertisers Might Want To Pay Attention

There is probably some psychological thing at work. It's the only thing I can figure. Get this: I enjoy Glenn Beck's radio show immensely (not that I'm able to listen to it very often) but I find him to be annoying on television. What's up with me?

But it looks like I'm the lone ranger on this. Much of the rest of conservative America loves his schtick:
Big Beck: Goes over 3 million viewers, beats O’Reilly in demo: Cable News Ratings for Wednesday, August 26, 2009
TV By The Numbers

Though a little scandal might alienate advertisers, it’s pure ratings gold. Last night Glenn Beck had over 3 million viewers at 5pm, second only to O’Reilly for the night. But, Beck had more 25-54 viewers than O’Reilly (888K to 876K). I don’t watch or really even care about the cable news wars, but still … wow. Even though Beck airs before primetime, when there are fewer people watching TV, he had the most 25-54 viewers in the cable news world for the night. [link]
Look at Beck's numbers compared to those of Chris "Obama makes me dribble down my leg" Matthews, whose program airs at the same time:
5PM – P2+
Glenn Beck– 3,040,000 viewers
Situation Room—688,000 viewers
Hardball w/ Chris Matthews—536,000 viewers
Fast Money—215,000 viewers
Prime News–267,000 viewers
Left in the dust.

- - -

It's worth noting, too, that Beck's early evening viewership numbers weren't far behind CBS's primetime fawning tribute to Ted Kennedy.