‘Death panels’ were an overblown claim – until now

From DailyCaller.com:

During the debate over ObamaCare, the bill’s opponents were excoriated for talk of rationing and “death panels.” And in fairness, with a few minor exceptions governing Medicare reimbursements, the law does not directly ration care or allow the government to dictate how doctors practice medicine.

But if President Obama wanted to keep a lid on that particular controversy, he just selected about the worst possible nominee for director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the office that oversees government health care programs. Obama’s pick, Dr. Donald Berwick, is an outspoken admirer of the British National Health Service and its rationing arm, the National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (NICE).

“I am romantic about the National Health Service. I love it,” Berwick said during a 2008 speech to British physicians, going on to call it “generous, hopeful, confident, joyous, and just.” He compared the wonders of British health care to a U.S. system that he described as trapped in “the darkness of private enterprise.”

Berwick was referring to a British health care system where 750,000 patients are awaiting admission to NHS hospitals. The government’s official target for diagnostic testing was a wait of no more than 18 weeks by 2008. The reality doesn’t come close. The latest estimates suggest that for most specialties, only 30 to 50 percent of patients are treated within 18 weeks. For trauma and orthopedics patients, the figure is only 20 percent.

Overall, more than half of British patients wait more than 18 weeks for care. Every year, 50,000 surgeries are canceled because patients become too sick on the waiting list to proceed.

The one thing the NHS is good at is saving money. After all, it is far cheaper to let the sick die than to provide care.

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Two more Census workers blow the whistle

So this is how they’re going to fix the job situation? Fire and rehire the same person over and over, and call each rehiring a newly created job? Typical government “logic,” and hopefully the American people are too busy (or stupid) to notice, or care.

From The New York Post:

You know the old saying: “Everyone loves a charade.” Well, it seems that the Census Bureau may be playing games.

Last week, one of the millions of workers hired by Census 2010 to parade around the country counting Americans blew the whistle on some statistical tricks.

The worker, Naomi Cohn, told The Post that she was hired and fired a number of times by Census. Each time she was hired back, it seems, Census was able to report the creation of a new job to the Labor Department.

Below, I have a couple more readers who worked for Census 2010 and have tales to tell.

But first, this much we know.

Each month Census gives Labor a figure on the number of workers it has hired. That figure goes into the closely followed monthly employment report Labor provides. For the past two months the hiring by Census has made up a good portion of the new jobs.

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Cause for alarm? (Global Warming)

From WattsUpWithThat:

Why do scientists and news stories blame everything on global warming? Fortune and glory.

Guest post By Paul Driessen, Willie Soon, and David R. Legates

We’re often asked, What really causes all these alarms about global warming disasters?

As scientists and policy analysts who’ve studied our ever-changing climate for a combined 65 years and attribute the changes primarily to natural forces, we’ve wondered that ourselves and also asked: Why is warming always framed as bad news? Why does so much “research” claim a warmer planet “may” lead to more diarrhea, acne and childhood insomnia, more juvenile delinquency, war, violent crime and prostitution, death of the Loch Ness Monster – and even more Mongolian cows dying from cold weather?

We’re not making this up. In fact, this is just the tip of the proverbial melting iceberg of climate scare stories chronicled at http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm.

Clearly, too much money is being spent on one-sided global warming advocacy cloaked as “research,” not enough on natural causes and adaptation. Despite the best of intentions, too much money can corrupt, or at least skew the science.

As they say, follow the money. Remember Indiana Jones’ immortal words: “Fortune and glory.”

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Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor: The People and Their Government

It seems like nearly everybody is unhappy with the current state of affairs.

From The Pew Research Center:

Overview

By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days. A new Pew Research Center survey finds a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government – a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials.

Rather than an activist government to deal with the nation’s top problems, the public now wants government reformed and growing numbers want its power curtailed. With the exception of greater regulation of major financial institutions, there is less of an appetite for government solutions to the nation’s problems – including more government control over the economy – than there was when Barack Obama first took office.

The public’s hostility toward government seems likely to be an important election issue favoring the Republicans this fall. However, the Democrats can take some solace in the fact that neither party can be confident that they have the advantage among such a disillusioned electorate. Favorable ratings for both major parties, as well as for Congress, have reached record lows while o pposition to congressional incumbents, already approaching an all-time high, continues to climb.

The Tea Party movement, which has a small but fervent anti-government constituency, could be a wild card in this election. On one hand, its sympathizers are highly energized and inclined to vote Republican this fall. On the other, many Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the Tea Party represents their point of view better than does the GOP.

These are the principal findings from a series of surveys that provide a detailed picture of the public’s opinions about government. The main survey, conducted March 11-21 among 2,505 adults, was informed by surveys in 1997 and 1998 that explored many of the same questions and issues. While a majority also distrusted the federal government in those surveys, criticism of government had declined from earlier in the decade. And the public’s desire for government services and activism was holding steady.

This is not the case today. Just 22% say they can trust the government in Washington almost always or most of the time, among the lowest measures in half a century. About the same percentage (19%) says they are “basically content” with the federal government, which is largely unchanged from 2006 and 2007, but lower than a decade ago.

Opinions about elected officials are particularly poor. In a follow-up survey in early April, just 25% expressed a favorable opinion of Congress, which was virtually unchanged from March (26%), prior to passage of the health care reform bill. This is the lowest favorable rating for Congress in a quarter century of Pew Research Center surveys. Over the last year, favorable opinions of Congress have declined by half – from 50% to 25%.

While job ratings for the Obama administration are mostly negative, they are much more positive than the ratings for Congress; 40% say the administration does an excellent or good job while just 17% say the same about Congress.

Federal agencies and institutions also are viewed much more positively than is Congress. Nonetheless, favorable ratings have fallen significantly since 1997-1998 for seven of 13 federal agencies included in the survey. The declines have been particularly large for the Department of Education, the FDA, the Social Security Administration, as well as the EPA, NASA and the CDC. In terms of job performance, majorities give positive ratings to just six of 15 agencies or institutions tested, including the military (80% good/excellent) and the Postal Service (70%).

As was the case in the 1997 study of attitudes about government, more people say the bigger problem with government is that it runs its programs inefficiently (50%) than that it has the wrong priorities (38%). But the percentage saying government has the wrong priorities has increased sharply since 1997 – from 29% to 38%.

Perhaps related to this trend, the survey also finds a rise in the percentage saying the federal government has a negative effect on their day-to-day lives. In October 1997, 50% said the federal government had a positive effect on their daily lives, compared with 31% who said its impact was negative. Currently, 38% see the federal government’s personal impact as positive while slightly more (43%) see it as negative.

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Leaked memo details ICE media strategy to counter citizen activist groups

I found this at Raw Story and was amazed by the comments. Usually a story like this will bring out all the anti-tea party folks, in all their rabid glory (it never ceases to amaze me that the same liberals who want to legislate that “we must be tolerant of anyone not like us” can show such intolerance of anyone who doesn’t think the same way they do). However, in this particular case, most of them seem to realize that these types of operations can be taken against any citizen activist group, including ones in which they may be involved. Hopefully they’re waking up to the “divide and conquer” tactics being taken against us, we the people.

From Raw Story:

Call this a crash course in how federal agencies use the press to advance their own advocacy.

A memo leaked from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is has immigration reform activist groups up in arms, calling the government’s plans to argue on behalf of its programs “unbelievable” and an “an aggressive strategy for spin and deception.”

The document details how the agency was to respond amid a host of planned protests against the so-called “Secure Communities” program. It reveals that ICE targeted major media in eight cities where activists planned their rallies, securing space in publications like The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Maimi Herald, The Washington Examiner and others.

“On the day of the launch, ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton placed opinion-editorials in Atlanta, Georgia; Miami, Florida; and Morristown, New Jersey—all sites of the campaign,” noted Uncover the Truth, a joint advocacy campaign set up by the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and other non-governmental groups.

Additionally, it explains that the agency “will arrange for [Assistant Secretary] Morton to be interviewed by Julia Preston from The New York Times, Suzanne Gamboa from the Associated Press, Antonieta Cádiz from La Opinion and possibly Lori Montenegro from Telemundo.”

//

“ICE’s unbelievable offensive against activists organizing for truth and accountability must be challenged,” CCR attorney Sunita Patel said in a media advisory. “Rather than sticking to the promise of transparency, the Obama administration is hiding behind misinformation and attacking civil society. The quest for answers is even more compelling and begs the question: what is ICE hiding?”

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Democrats Have Increased Taxes by $670 Billion and Counting…

http://republicans.waysandmeans.house.gov/UploadedFiles/DemTaxIncreases1.pdf

Why work when I can get £42,000 in benefits a year AND drive a Mercedes?

I know the above is a rhetorical question, but honestly, don’t they have any self-respect at all? Why work when the government pays me not to? What happens when the government decides to stop paying you? What about all the hoops you have to jump through to qualify? This sounds like the worst sort of prostitution, where you sell your soul (and your dignity) to the government in return for your 30 pieces of silver. This is what happens when you let people vote themselves bread and circuses.

From TheMailOnline (U.K.):

The Davey family’s £815-a-week state handouts pay for a four-bedroom home, top-of-the-range mod cons and two vehicles including a Mercedes people carrier.

Father-of-seven Peter gave up work because he could make more living on benefits.

Yet he and his wife Claire are still not happy with their lot.

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