Archive for July, 2009
Every once in a while I’m hit with a fit of idealism and believe a politician actually stands for something. Five minutes later, I’m dissuaded of that notion by guys like so-called Blue Dog Democrat Gene Taylor. Politico reports:
Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) has called Grover Norquist’s anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform “lying sacks of scum” for lumping him in with other moderate Democrats who support the House health reform bill.
“Americans for Tax Reform are lying sacks of scum, and anyone who knowingly repeats this false information is also a liar,” Taylor said in an unusually blistering statement for a member of Congress.
The incident has so incensed Taylor, he’s pointing out Americans for Tax Reforms past ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
The Americans for Tax Reform release said Taylor had agreed to a “backroom deal” on health care.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25670.html#ixzz0MswAWHg1
Americans for Tax Reform responds:
Americans for Tax Reform issued the following public statement today about Rep. Gene Taylor’s (D-Miss.) press release distancing himself from the Blue Dog Compromise struck this week in the Pelosi/Waxman-led effort to reform healthcare:
Gene Taylor like many others is a BDINO (Blue Dog in Name Only). He voted to make Pelosi Speaker, he voted to make Waxman head of the Committee. He voted to put Barney Frank in charge of our banking system. Mike Ross, Pelosi and the other Democrats declared that the Blue Dogs were on board. If he’s not, he should have proudly indicated so–he didn’t. If he’s upset with the Blue Dogs for their decision, he should consider resigning from that caucus. If he doesn’t like being tarnished with supporting Pelosi’s government take over of healthcare, he should bring it up with her.
Congressman Taylor has historically had a difficult time telling the truth and keeping his promises.
On March 1st, 1996, Gene Taylor signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, promising his constituents he would oppose all income tax increases while serving in Congress . Apparently, he did this just to get elected, as his written word has turned out to be worthless. When Republicans controlled the Congress from 1996 to 2006, he never had the opportunity to vote for a tax increase. The first Congress he had the chance to vote for a tax increase, he did.
He has broken his Pledge so far three times now at Pelosi’s bidding: on January 18, 2007 (Roll Call No. 40) , on July 27, 2007 (Roll Call 756), and on December 6th, 2007 (Roll Call No. 1140). We’re glad that Congressman Taylor finally found a Pelosi tax hike package he’s willing to oppose (so far), but you can’t blame us for being caught off guard by it. If he doesn’t want to be associated with the Blue Dogs, he should formally leave the group. No fair hiding behind their skirts when convenient and then pretending he’s never met them when inconvenient.
Progressive Democrat. Blue Dog Democrat. Still a Democrat. Principles? Hardly.
The Blue Dogs are trying to find a way to sell out promises to those who voted them in and still get voted for again. Good luck with that guys. Serving two masters doesn’t work well.
UPDATED: Dan Riehl says, “Jeepers, people, get it together.”
Ha! Whatever. There is going to be some bad blood after this legislation gets “rammed through” (in the inimitable words of Chris Matthews). And then, there will be political blood spilled. Democrats in conservative districts will pay a bloody price for this and they know it but they are helpless before the Pelosi-Reid-Obama machine.
*Hint: It’s not the Right leaning media promoting this theory. Oh wait, I remember, try to discredit critics of your policies by painting the opposition with the “crazy” brush.
Now, why in heavens sweet name would citizens be upset about the government? Could it be:
The economy stinks and the stimulus is a big flaming ball of disaster. From Calculated Risk:
This is the fourth consecutive quarterly decline in GDP; the first time that has happened since the government started keeping quarterly records in 1947.
The president treats anyone who disagrees with him as an enemy.
The health care plan seems like another big government plan doomed to fail….like, say, other simple simon ill-conceived easy government plans.
AJ Strata says:
We have had months of growing unemployment, even after a rushed stimulus bill was passed which promised to stem the tide of pink slips. Only to find out the stimulus package wasn’t really meant to stimulate a damn thing until late this year, early next.
And we have had an assault on our health care system which is expensive – not broken. The proposed cure is much worse than the problem of rising costs.
Amidst all this we have racked up mind blowing record deficits this year – all to no avail. It will take decades and generations to pay this wasted money back.
Yeah, why are people upset? I don’t get it. /Sarcasm off.
From the New York Times, this headline: “U.S. Economy Shrank Less Than Expected in Quarter”.
Here is the content of the article: Things are so much better than expected, blah, blah, blah. Economists agree, blah, blah, blah. Advisers close to President Obama are cautiously optimistic blah, blah, blah, and tout the government policies, blah, blah, blah.
There, now you don’t have to read it.
Oh, and here is a sample of the headline, if the President’s name was George W. Bush: U.S. Depression II Continues As Economy Shrank Again In Last Quarter.
I suggest you come up with your own.
UPDATED: Woo Hoo!
Doctors hate the paperwork associated with government run health care. It is oppressive and can be criminal if done wrong. Just think IRS applied to health care paper work. Yeah, daily misery. I talk about more over at Pajamas:
Doctors go into the business of helping people. When the business of helping people becomes purely business, the joy is sucked out of the art and science of medicine. The government necessarily contains costs (when they attempt it) a couple ways: eliminating procedures covered, rationing care that is covered, and cutting fees. These three steps make doctoring effectively joyless and in some cases, impossible.
Patients get angry that certain procedures are not covered under the government-run programs, but it’s the government itself that is to blame. Or rather, people seem to have a disconnect between what the government is meant to provide and what an individual citizen must take care of himself. When the government gets involved in a person’s health care, the relationship shifts. The government sits in the treatment room and dictates the terms. Imagine having parents in the bedroom with a married couple directing what goes on in the relationship. How much fun is that? The spouse not related to the parents (the doctor) often wants a divorce. As Lorie Byrd says regarding health care, “It’s personal.”
Please read the whole thing.
Ah, the psychology of evil and the press…. explained by Dudley Dooright:
John Hawkins joins me to discuss conspiracy theories, health care and also, people attacking robots.
Melissa’s show can also be found on RFC Radio every Monday and Wednesday night at 10:00 pm Eastern.
One of the most important stories you won’t hear in the MSM today is being reported by Debra Burlingame in the Wall Street Journal:
On June 17, at the Administrative Maximum (ADX) penitentiary in Florence, Colo., one of those albatrosses, inmate number 24079-038, began his day with a whole new range of possibilities. Eight days earlier, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Denver filed notice in federal court that the Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) which applied to that prisoner—Richard C. Reid, a.k.a. the “Shoe Bomber”—were being allowed to expire. SAMs are security directives, renewable yearly, issued by the attorney general when “there is a substantial risk that a prisoner’s communications, correspondence or contacts with persons could result in death or serious bodily injury” to others.
Reid was arrested in 2001 for attempting to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami with 197 passengers and crew on board. Why had Attorney General Eric Holder decided not to renew his security measures, kept in place since 2002?
According to court documents filed in a 2007 civil lawsuit against the government, Reid claimed that SAMs violated his First Amendment right of free speech and free exercise of religion. In a hand-written complaint, he asserted that he was being illegally prevented from performing daily “group prayers in a manner prescribed by my religion.” Yet the list of Reid’s potential fellow congregants at ADX Florence reads like a Who’s Who of al Qaeda’s most dangerous members: Ramzi Yousef and his three co-conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui; “Millennium bomber” Ahmed Ressam; “Dirty bomber” Jose Padilla; Wadih el-Hage, Osama Bin Laden’s personal secretary, convicted in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing that killed 247 people.
Either the administration doesn’t believe there’s a threat from terrorists or they just don’t care or they want to actively help the enemy. No matter their reasons, the American people need to know about this. President Obama is taking a dangerous risk with the safety of American citizens.
Sure it’s nuts, but as I detailed a couple of weeks ago, detainee policy in the Obama/Holder Justice Department is now being shaped by former Human Rights Watch lawyer Jennifer Daskal, who thinks incarceration is tantamount to torture (recall her complaint that one jihadist, “a self-styled poet,” was being subjected to severe mental trauma: He “found it was nearly impossible to write poetry anymore because the prison guards would only allow him to keep a pen or pencil in his cell for short periods of time”).
People have a difficult time fathoming that the President and his administration could part so dramatically from the standard of simple common sense. But this administration isn’t about sense, it’s about enacting every pet leftist theory from the last 50 years. That they’ve succeeded in putting forth so many of them within months is still astonishing.
Hi guys, I see that you’re having a discussion about weight loss [at MelissaClouthier.com]. It’s not a burden to the website. Thought I’d share a couple thoughts and you guys can continue the discussion:
1. Often, there is an underlying issue around why a person gained weight. A physical trauma like a busted knee that forces immobility, say, or an emotional trauma that causes the cortisol-insulin feedback loop to go haywire.
2. Often, a person has to resolve the underlying issue in order to get to the desired weight.
3. Weight loss is a simple equation: burn more calories than you consume. Simple does not mean easy.
4. Nearly everyone (I see this in practice all the time) knows the answers for weight loss for himself on some level. That is, they know that ___________ thing is bad for them and that they should avoid it, but they often feel a compulsion toward the unhelpful thing. There can be a mind or body component here. For example, many people crave sugar because it is a natural serotonin booster which is the feel-good hormone. Like a nutrition expert I know says, “Diabetics are happy people. It’s the starving super models who are mean.” Sugar makes for a sunnier outlook but can reek havoc on the endocrine system. Eventually, the body gets tired of trying to adjust to the swinging. Some people avoid the very foods they need, too. For example, many vegetarians avoid meat because they feel disgusting eating it while suffering low energy. They need meat–they often also need to resolve the hidden digestion issue. Their bodies aren’t breaking food down properly to get the nutrition.
I.E. it’s not what you eat, it’s what you absorb.
5. Eating unhealthy is easier. People are busy….grabbing carbs–chips, cookies, candy bars, etc. is convenient.
6. Some people need to face the truth: They would rather eat that ding dong (they love ding dongs) than be thinner. I had a diabetic patient tell me, “I’d rather drink Coke and die, than not drink Coke.” Okay, then. I gave advice with that in mind. There were still other things he could do to help himself.
7. Metabolism is closely related to hormones. It IS hormonal. So, especially as we age, our vitality is closely related to our levels of hormones which relates to our activity levels. It’s circular. If the cycle can be broken either by exercising or by intervening with hormone therapy, often a person can get the positive reinforcement needed to press on with the efforts.
8. Weight loss is a very individual thing. What works for one will not work for another. I got into it with the leader of a dance troop who encouraged everyone to eat mostly vegetables and only chicken. Only problem was that one of the dancers was borderline anemic and thrived on red meat. She needed it in a way others didn’t. People need to do what works for them. As my mentor told me, “One person’s pleasure is another person’s poison.” When it comes to diet, it is most definitely true. Also, when and how a person eats is also individual.
Here are some principles (keep in mind, I struggle with this too. I’m healthy, but I am by no means thin.):
1. Start with protein. Start the day with protein–eggs are good. You’ll feel more “full” all day.
2. Eat regularly. That is, don’t stress your blood sugar system by waiting too long between meals and putting your body into a calorie hoarding state.
3. Eat protein with everything. It will regulate your blood sugar and fill you up.
4. Eat socially. Have company.
5. Sit when you eat.
6. Stop eating before you feel full.
7. If food is your non-stop focus, food isn’t the issue.
Anyway, my two cents. Somewhere between obsessive skinniness and obesity, there’s a healthy balance. Genetics plays a big part in longevity. Being at a healthy weight can enhance your genetic potential. These days, I see way more people obsessed rather than living joyfully. Making food a god, either by avoidance or over-indulgence is wasteful. Food is meant to not only be functional but also a sensory and sensual delight. The irony is that for all the focus and fear, people are not getting thinner or healthier, they’re just more miserable. If you’re gonna be fat, might as well be happy!
These aren’t just a way to save on health care; they’re a way to extend and expand the cultural hegemony of wealthy white elites. No, seriously. Living a fit, active life is correlated with being healthier. But then, as an economist recently pointed out to me, so is being religious, being married, and living in a small town; how come we don’t have any programs to promote these “healthy lifestyles”? When you listen to obesity experts, or health wonks, talk, their assertions boil down to the idea that overweight people are either too stupid to understand why they get fat, or have not yet been made sufficiently aware of society’s disgust for their condition. Yet this does not describe any of the overweight people I have ever known, including the construction workers and office clerks at Ground Zero. All were very well aware that the burgers and fries they ate made them fat, and hitting the salad bar instead would probably help them lose weight. They either didn’t care, or felt powerless to control their hunger. They were also very well aware that society thought they were disgusting, and many of them had internalized this message to the point of open despair. What does another public campaign about overeating have to offer them, other than oozing condescension?
Government-run health care is a way for the government to control every aspect of your life from cradle to grave. The control won’t be scientifically based, it will be based on whatever moral high horse whomever runs the government agencies decides to ride. There are very compelling reasons to oppose government run health care: we can’t afford it, it will stifle innovation, it discriminates against the elderly and poor, and it is a scheme (ill-advised at that) to redistribute wealth. But the biggest reason to oppose it boils down to civil liberties.
When the government controls health care, they control you.