2011: The Year of Regulatory Slavery And other Fine Toasts

Your new #2 at the “Social” Justice Department, James Cole, appointed by recess fiat from Obama’s vacation in Hawaii:  Cole went on to write that the United States has faced “many forms of devastating crime,” from the drug trade to organized crime to rape and child abuse. “The acts of Sept. 11 were horrible, but so are these other things,” he wrote.

Ah, good old liberal Moral Equivalency where nothing is better or worse than anything else. Just different.

And that 3,000 people dying in an actual terrorist attack is the same as a rapist. No more important than that.

Car bombs the same as doing a dubbie in the back of car.

Drug Cartel Violence. Domestic Violence. No difference.

Doesn’t it just fill your heart with joy this New Year’s Eve to know that you this man going Big Sis Janet and AG Eric Holder in protecting and upholding our rights?

<<sound of screaming and running away>>

*****

Oh, did you hear this one?

The reason why New Yorkers were buried in snow for days on end and 2 people died (including a baby) is because the Sanitation UNION was “quietly” protesting. They were having a childish moment of defiance!

Yes, you got it. They deliberately took their time and did it as slow as possible to protest cuts in their budgets.

2 people f*cking Died!!

And you wonder why why I hate Unions.

Indolent New York City union officials who oversee snow removal apparently live by a different creed: Sloth enhances political power, Da Boss slow the plow.

Come rain or shine, wind, sleet or blizzard, Big Labor leaders always demonstrate perfect power-grabby timing when it comes to shafting taxpayers. Public-sector unions are all-weather vultures ready, willing and able to put special interest politics above the citizenry’s health, wealth and safety. Confirming rumors that have fired up the frozen metropolis, the New York Post reported Thursday that government sanitation and transportation workers were ordered by union supervisors to oversee a deliberate slowdown of its cleanup program — and to boost their overtime paychecks.

Why such vindictiveness? It’s a cold-blooded temper tantrum against the city’s long-overdue efforts to trim layers of union fat and move toward a more efficient, cost-effective privatized workforce.

Welcome to the Great Snowmageddon Snit Fit of 2010.

New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Queens, told the Post that several brave whistleblowers confessed to him that they “were told (by supervisors) to take off routes (and) not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner. They were told to make the mayor pay for the layoffs, the reductions in rank for the supervisors, shrinking the rolls of the rank-and-file.”

It would be laugh-out-loud comedy if not for the death of at least one newborn whose parents waited for an ambulance that never came because of snowed-in streets.

This isn’t a triumphant victory for social justice and workers’ dignity. This is terrifying criminal negligence.- Michelle Malkin

I agree. The Union and their bosses should be hounded to their political death for this one. NEVERMORE!

Naturally, the Unions deny it. What, are they going to come out and be honest and say, “Yep, we did it. Screw you!”.

I think not.

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For an Obama bureaucrat, however, the will of Congress is a mere speed bump. Hence this regulatory trifecta, each one moving smartly left — and nicely clarifying what the spirit of bipartisan compromise that President Obama heralded in his post-lame-duck Dec. 22 news conference was really about: a shift to the center for public consumption and political appearance only.

These regulatory power plays make political sense. Because Obama needs to appear to reclaim the center, he will stage his more ideological fights in yawn-inducing regulatory hearings rather than in the dramatic spotlight of congressional debate. How better to impose a liberal agenda on a center-right nation than regulatory stealth?

It’s Obama’s only way forward during the next two years. He will never get past the half-Republican 112th what he could not get past the overwhelmingly Democratic 111th. He doesn’t have the votes and he surely doesn’t want the publicity. Hence the quiet resurrection, as it were, of end-of-life counseling.

Obama knows he has only so many years to change the country. In his first two, he achieved much: the first stimulus, Obama-Care and financial regulation. For the next two, however, the Republican House will prevent any repetition of that. Obama’s agenda will therefore have to be advanced by the more subterranean means of rule-by-regulation.

But this must simultaneously be mixed with ostentatious displays of legislative bipartisanship (e.g., the lame-duck tax-cut deal) in order to pull off the (apparent) centrist repositioning required for re-election. This, in turn, would grant Obama four more years when, freed from the need for pretense, he can reassert himself ideologically and complete the social-democratic transformation — begun Jan. 20, 2009; derailed Nov. 2, 2010 — that is the mission of his presidency.– Charles Krauthammer

Ignoring both Congress and the voters, the Environmental Protection Agency starts the new year governing by decree with job-killing regulations. Take a deep breath, but if you exhale you’re a polluter.

Cap-and-trade is dead, long live cap-and-trade in the form of regulations promulgated in the coming year by what George Orwell might call the Ministry of Environment. It claims that the Clean Air Act and a Supreme Court ruling in 2007 let the EPA regulate carbon dioxide as a planet-warming pollutant.

We recently commented on the EPA’s recent commandeering of the permitting process from Texas, with which it is in a legal tussle over federalism, states’ rights and the Constitution’s enumeration of powers and who may exercise them.

The federal agency also plans to issue greenhouse gas permits in seven other states — Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Oregon and Wyoming.

The EPA held its fire, hoping a Democratic Congress would get cap-and-trade legislation through both houses. In April, 2009, Time magazine ran a piece titled “EPA’S CO2 Finding: Putting A Gun To Congress’ Head.” Last year the New York Times said that if Congress fails to ram through cap-and-trade legislation, the EPA should ram it down our throats. And so it did.

With Barack Obama’s election, liberal hopes for cap-and-trade rose. But neither businessmen nor homeowners were buying it, especially after the data manipulation and fraud perpetrated by the U.N.’s IPCC, Britain’s Climate Research Unit and even our own NASA.

So now just as rationing and death panels return under regulations written “as the secretary shall determine,” a phrase rapidly replacing “we the people” under this administration, the EPA plans to propose so-called performance standards for oil- and coal-fired power plants in July 2011 and for refineries in December 2022.

“We are following through on our commitment to proceed in a measured and careful way to reduce (greenhouse gas) pollution that threatens the health and welfare or American and contributes to climate change,” says EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. Perhaps she appreciates the irony of the people of Cowlitz, Wash., as columnist George Will points out, approving construction of a coal export terminal to send energy-hungry Beijing coal we won’t burn here. The transporters? Ships that themselves burn fossil fuels.

As it turns out, much of China’s domestic coal is far inland away from urban centers. High-speed trains, as such, have nothing to do with being “green.” Far from it. They enable China to use more coal — not less.

As Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, related on a YouTube video: “Lisa Jackson, Obama’s EPA administrator, admitted to me publicly that EPA based its action today (issuing its finding) in good measure on the findings of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. She told me that EPA accepted those findings without any serious, independent analysis to see whether they were true.”

We hope the incoming Republican House will deal rapidly with what is bad regulation based on junk science.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says: “There are serious questions about EPA’s decision to move forward with these job-killing regulations that will usurp power from the states, violating the principles of federalism that are the backbone of the Clean Air Act.”

Otherwise China will burn our coal and steal our jobs, polluting planetary skies, with that pollution wafting its way across the Pacific to the Western shores of an industrially neutered America and a foolish California.

Oh, and remember those high-speed electric trains in China that have people like the New York Times’ Tom Friedman cooing over how green China is? James Fallows, writing in the Atlantic, quotes a Chinese official as saying they are being built to move passenger trains out of the way of coal trains. (IBD)

And Obama will want to borrow even more money from them to fund it all!!

Rejoice!! 🙂

Another one:

On Dec. 23, the Interior Department issued Secretarial Order 3310 reversing a 2003 decision and giving itself the authority to designate public lands as “Wild Lands.” A clever twofer: (1) a bureaucratic power grab — for seven years up through Dec. 22, wilderness designation had been the exclusive province of Congress, and (2) a leftward lurch — more land to be “protected” from such nefarious uses as domestic oil exploration in a country disastrously dependent on foreign sources. (IBD)

That $5 a Gallon Oil price that is coming isn’t from some greedy Texas oil millionaire (or the increase in grocery and other product costs because of it) but a bunch of “green” Liberals who want you in your solar-powered house with your electric car eating government approved food ,watching government approved TV, your end-of-life counseling on the table in front of you, and surfing the Government-approved Internet.

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a
human face – forever.”– George Orwell

HAPPY NEW YEAR From The Liberal Progressive Democrat Party! 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

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The Apple of Capitalism

From TIME Magazine Online:

“Mama,” my young son informed me yesterday, “I know how you can sneak an explosive onto an airplane.”
It was the kind of overconfident declarative that makes a parent sit up and take notice. I did both. “You put it in the front of your underwear,” continued Aviv, who turns 8 this week, “because they don’t touch you there.”

Out of the mouth of Babes! 🙂

Hey Janet, time for a bit more Sexual Molestation. Go for the Full MONTY!

If an 8 year old can figure it out then surely you can. 🙂

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Michael Ramirez Cartoon

On those rare occasions when it’s not demonizing businesses as bastions of corporate greed, the White House and all its supporting players spend their time pondering why U.S. businesses, with mountains of cash, won’t use at least some of it to hire workers. A mere 900,000 jobs were created in 2010, while U.S. companies sat on $1.1 trillion in cash.

Last week, President Obama went so far as to meet with 20 CEOs for several hours over this, “asking the attendees to dialogue with him on a shared agenda focused on moving our economy forward,” according to a White House statement.

We don’t have any inside lines as to what was said, but news is trickling out the Obama administration is starting to think about doing something big to end the jobs drought in the U.S.

The something big would be to lower the U.S. corporate tax, which at 35%, stands as the second-highest in the developed world. President Obama only told NPR that he discussed “simplifying the system, hopefully lowering rates, broadening the base.”

If so, and if there are no accompanying sleights of hand to extract cash from businesses some other way, as some reports have it, it’s good news. Nothing inhibits the creation of U.S. jobs quite like high corporate taxes and their accompanying regulatory regime.

The fact is, companies sitting on cash aren’t doing nothing. They’re hiring overseas, creating 1.4 million jobs in 2010 alone, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

That’s not because they prefer foreigners to Americans, but because the bad business climate here pushes them to do so.

High Corporate Taxes. ObamaCare. Financial Regulations to choke you to death.And Unions who want to destroy you rather than work with you.

Yeah, sign me up.

The rest of the world is a vastly different place from Obama’s U.S., which is characterized by high taxes and protectionist set-asides for politically connected unions that shut out free trade.

In places like Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, India and Thailand, nobody demonizes business or blasts trade. Instead great efforts are made by the state and the private sector to draw in foreign investment by becoming more competitive than their rivals.

U.S. multinationals go to these places not because labor is cheap but because these policies also create boomtowns with lots of customers. Incredibly enough, sometimes overseas profits and jobs provide a lifeline for troubled U.S. companies back home. Take GM — today, its Brazil and Korea operations help keep it afloat.

Growth in the 8% to 9% range is typical in Asia. But even in other pro-business areas — like the city of Lyon, France, or the manufacturing mecca of Tijuana, Mexico — governments are going out of their way to attract U.S. investment.

In Tijuana’s case, they’ve succeeding despite an ugly drug war.

While high-tax, high-bureaucrat suburbs around Los Angeles draw investment from hot sauce factories and hire unskilled workers, Mexico is drawing aerospace manufacturers and hiring engineers. Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Qatar and even the Republic of Congo are pulling them in, too.

Why? So long as profits are encouraged instead of taxed, the natural outcome is jobs. It’s that simple. They get it. Why don’t we?

Salon magazine noted that as companies shift their hiring overseas, the 1.4 million jobs created there could have, if they were created here, lowered the unemployment rate to 8.9% from 9.8%.

It’s not for nothing that the rescuers of Chile’s trapped miners this year knew the names of all the specialized American manufacturers to call for help. These companies had already been working in Chile because the government made it worth it to do so.

If small, remote countries like Chile can create opportunities for U.S. companies to invest and and hire workers, why can’t we? (IBD)

Because liberals heart-and-soul need for class warfare overrides reason and intellect so they go for the “rich” and for the “greedy” businessman and then wonder why they aren’t just rolling over and playing kissy-kissy with them back.

But there are rumors that Obama may lower the Corporate Tax (the 2nd highest in the world) to stimulate jobs because he is now running for re-election.

But I’m sure the the Left will have a major coronary and hissy-fit if he does. So it will probably be loaded down with Agenda Pork and go nowhere if he even has the guts to propose it.

But the Class Warfare of Business vs “worker” is at the heart of Liberalism so they can’t just forgive one of their fundamental beliefs and fundamental political strategies.

Nothing is easier for politicians than to play Santa Claus by promising benefits without mentioning the costs — or lying about the costs and leaving it to future governments to figure out what to do when the money runs out.

Or demonizing business then simultaneously turning around two-faced and demonize them for not wanting to do business with them.

It’s all politics. And it’s all for the benefit of the politicians and their “base”.

No one else.

Liberals never tire of discussing their own generosity, particularly when demanding that the government take your money by force to fund shiftless government employees overseeing counterproductive government programs.

They seem to have replaced “God” with “Government” in scriptural phrases such as “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)–Ann Coulter

And Business, to Liberals, is the snake in the Garden of Eden, tempting you to ruin with the Apple of Capitalism!

You must Resist the Temptation! 🙂

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Welcome to The Future

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The Most Expensive Congress in History: The 111th Congress.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4476944/111th-congress-most-expensive-in-history/?playlist_id=86858

When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave her inaugural address as speaker of the House in 2007, she vowed there would be “no new deficit spending.” Since that day, the national debt has increased by $5 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

“After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: Pay as you go, no new deficit spending,” Pelosi said in her speech from the speaker’s podium. “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”

Pelosi has served as speaker in the 110th and 111th Congresses.

“Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”- Nancy Pelosi, 2007 inauguration speech.

At the close of business on Jan. 4, 2007, Pelosi’s first day as speaker, the national debt was $8,670,596,242,973.04 (8.67 trillion), according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department.  At the close of business on Oct. 22, it stood at $13,667,983,325,978.31 (13.67 trillion), an increase of 4,997,387,083,005.27 (or approximately $5 trillion). (CNS)

WHOOPS!

Some of the world’s strongest banks have profited from an emergency credit facility set up by the US Federal Reserve to shore up confidence in the global financial system, according to a Financial Times analysis of data released by the Fed.

More than half of lending under the Fed’s term auction facility – the largest of its crisis programmes – went to foreign banks. Details of the varied uses to which they put it may add to political criticism of the Fed.

The Taf was set up in December 2007 to provide one-month loans to creditworthy banks as markets dried up for lending longer than overnight. In August 2008, it began offering three-month loans as well.

Rabobank of the Netherlands and Toronto-Dominion of Canada, two of the only banks in the world with triple A credit ratings, used more than $20bn in cumulative Taf loans.

Ed Clark, TD chief executive, said that using Taf was logical even though his bank never had a liquidity problem. “That wasn’t how we made a lot of money. But you make a dollar here, you make a dollar there. What’s the spread you make on a billion dollars?” he said. (FT)

WHOOPS!

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. — Leaders of this city met for more than seven hours on a Saturday not long ago, searching for something to cut from a budget that has already been cut, over and over.

“We can make it until March 1 — maybe,” Mr. Cooper said of Hamtramck’s ability to pay its bills. Beyond that? The political leaders of this old working-class city almost surrounded by Detroit are pleading with the state to let them declare bankruptcy, a desperate move the state is not even willing to admit as an option under the current circumstances.

“The state is concerned that if they say yes to one, if that door is opened, they’ll have 30 more cities right behind us,” Mr. Cooper said, as flurries fell outside his City Hall window. “But anything else is just a stop gap. We’re going to continue to pursue bankruptcy until the door is shut, locked, barricaded, bolted.”

You mean the UAW is concerned. The UAW runs the State, or at least in Mafiaoso style they think they do. They have the politicians and media in their pockets and have for more than a generation.

They did when I was growing up in Michigan. Now with the Socialist Wheaties of the modern Liberals behind them I’m sure they are more Tony Soprano than Jimmy Hoffa.

And the last thing the UAW wants is to have their union busted by bankruptcies.

But the inevitable is coming. And THEY DON’T CARE!

Union pensions and benefits, not just the UAW, but Government Public Sector Unions also, and other private Unions have been sucking industry and the taxpayers dry for several generations but the cash cow is out of milk and endanger of dying altogether.

And you know what, THEY DON’T CARE!

Everyone must sacrifice for them. They are holy. They are sacrosanct.

They are untouchable.

So they believe. And since they have been buying Democrats for generations they will be the Pied Piper to all their slave rats.

Because THEY DON’T CARE.

And ultimately, that is the lesson of the last 3 years of Pelosi-Reid and Obama.

They said all the right things to get their hands on your throat and then they throttled you with debt to pass their 90 year old Socialist wet dreams and they are still at it and will be still at it with control of the Senate and the President.

THEY DON’T CARE.

They, and the Unions, are the ultimate in GREED and CORRUPTION.

Prichard, Ala., which stopped paying monthly checks to retired city workers when its pension fund ran out last year, is appealing a bankruptcy judge’s ruling that it did not qualify for Chapter 9 under Alabama law.

And they telegraphed it ahead of time, and no one cared.

A Liberals personal pursuit of everyone else’s money for their own benefit, economically or politically, is all they care about.

It’s all about THEM.

Screw you.

Now that’s your “kind”, “Compassionate” and “caring” Liberals who are always looking out for “the little guy”.

To crush them into slavery and steal everyone else’s wealth and power from themselves.

Officials in Detroit announced this year that they had for years overpaid Hamtramck in a revenue-sharing deal related to a General Motors plant that sits smack on the border of the two cities. The dispute is likely to be resolved, eventually, in court, but meanwhile, Detroit has stopped paying $2 million a year, and Hamtramck is watching a growing gap in its $18 million budget.

Could it be that these “overpayments” were ok until Detroit had to hide it’s own budget woes so they passed it on to another city?

Hmmm….

“Detroit is cutting police, lighting, road repairs and cleaning services affecting as much as 20% of the population,” the Guardian’s Elena Moya noted late Monday, writing about the 60 Minutes piece. “The city, which has been on the skids for almost two decades with the decline of the US auto industry, does not generate enough wealth to maintain services for its 900,000 inhabitants.”

BINGO!

City Manager Bill Cooper said the city of roughly 20,000 people is staring at a $3 million deficit.
California, which faces a $19 billion (some say as high as $26 Billion) budget deficit next year, has a credit rating approaching junk status. It now spends more money on public employee pensions than it does on the state university system, which had to increase its tuition by 32 percent.
“This is the state of affairs in Illinois. Is not pretty,” Illinois state Comptroller Dan Hynes told Kroft.  

Hynes is the state’s paymaster. He currently has about $5 billion in outstanding bills in his office and not enough money in the state’s coffers to pay them. He says they’re six months behind.

“The state’s a deadbeat,” Kroft remarked.  

“Yeah. I mean, the state of Illinois is known as a deadbeat state. This is a reputation that has taken us years to earn and we’ve reached, you know, the heights of, I think, becoming the worst in the country,” Hynes said. (CBS)

The home of our President, Done Proud. 🙂
Unions have a $3 Trillion Dollar appetite and it’s insatiable. And THEY DON’T CARE.
No one is talking about it now, but the big test will come this spring. That’s when $160 billion in federal stimulus money, that has helped states and local governments limp through the great recession, will run out.
You thought TARP was for the “economy”. No, it wasn’t.
It was for the state employee unions and foreign banks.
That’s running out.
Now the wheels of this Cadillac are about to go bald and flat.
Now this is driving a car into a ditch.
And I guarantee you, the Liberals and the Unions DON’T CARE!

Mr. Cooper, the city manager (of Hamtramck), says that everything else that could be cut already has been, while the city goes on spending 60 percent of its total general fund (of an $18 million dollar budget) to pay for its police and firefighting forces — 75 current police officers and firefighters and about 240 former workers and spouses now on pensions. Mr. Cooper said that an entry-level police officer costs the city about $75,000 a year in salary and benefits, and yet repeated efforts to renegotiate contracts have failed.

“They kind of have the Cadillac plan,” Mr. Cooper said, “and we’d kind of like the Chevy.”

Trust me, Unions of all types love Cadillacs.

Growing up in Flint,Mi the one-time home of 7 auto plants and an AC Delco Engine Plant. “Buick City” it was called (there was a billboard proclaiming this 10 miles south of town near Fenton off I-75).

It had a population of 250,000 when I was growing up. Last year it was 125,000 and everyone of those plants had closed years ago.

But growing up my friends and I always said that only 2 kinds of people drove Cadillacs, Pimps and Auto Workers. So no much difference there.

That was the 1970’s. In 40 years it hasn’t gotten any better.

(Found, Mr. Cooper says, posted on the wall of the firefighters’ barracks was his name — crossed out — on a list of former city managers and the word “Next?”)

So let the extortion begin. It’s the only tactic Unions use. Economic and political hardball extortion.

After all, dozens of Unions have been exempted from ObamaCare and their “Cadillac” Health Plans are exempt until 2018.

So it’s not like they care or anything.

“I’m not going to wait for two hours for a cop to show up,” said Shannon Lowell, the co-owner of a coffee shop. “We’ve trimmed every bit of fat. What else are we going to do? Borrow money from our dying grandmother?” (NYT)

Yep. That would also be the grandma who the government is going to pull the plug on because she’s a burden to society according to Medicare and Medicaid Director Dr. Donald Berwick.

Welcome to the Future.

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a
human face – forever.”— George Orwell

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A Burden on Society

Blame Bush.

Unable to attach it directly to ObamaCare, a new Medicare rule will offer incentive to doctors who advise patients on end-of-life care in a program that seeks to control costs. Connect those dots, grandma.

Do you wanna kill yourself now or later?

Next year: Do you wanna kill yourself now or later?

Year after that: Do you wanna kill yourself now or later?

Are you a burden on Society??

Every Year for the next 25 years: Do you wanna kill yourself now or later?

No pressure.

“Using unwanted procedures in terminal illness is a form of assault,” Dr. Donald Berwick (administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has said. “In economic terms it is a waste.”

<Mariachi Fanfare> Theerrrreee Baaaackkkk!!!!!

Say hello to my little friend, “Death Panels”

But this too is Bush’s fault.Well,  at least that’s the lame spin from Liberals once the news that they were trying to hide got out that they were going to circumvent the process (again!) and pass regulations for their Agenda items rather than legislation.

“The Times story is wrong. (see below) This benefit was signed into law under President Bush. The only thing new here is a regulation allowing the discussions — authorized in 2003 by the prescription drug benefit — to happen in the context of the new annual wellness visit created by the Affordable Care Act,” said White House spokesman Reid Cherlin (and several liberal “debaters” I saw on various shows -it’s a Talking Point!)-Fox News

Do you think ObamaCare covers injuries to your fingers when they are caught in the cookie jar?? 🙂

Target one (for the new Congress) should be a Medicare regulation that says it will cover doctors as part of an annual covered “wellness” visit, advising patients on “advance care planning” or end-of-life care counseling in which they will be instructed on how to draw up an “advance directive” on the parameters of their care when and if they cannot make such decisions for themselves.

If this sounds familiar, a variation was part of the original health care overhaul passed by the House in November 2009 but not included in the final legislation after much uproar. Section 1233 of the original bill let Medicare pay for advance care consultations every five years. (IBD)

“The chronically ill and those towards the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80% of the total health care bill out here . . . there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place,” Berwick has said.

In his view, granny stands in the way of cost reduction. (IBD)

Good Analysis: http://video.foxnews.com/v/4475428/report-obama-returns-to-end-of-life-plan/?playlist_id=86892

NEW YORK TIMES- WASHINGTON — When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment. (Every YEAR! EVERY YEAR!)

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

The final version of the health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover “voluntary advance care planning,” to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.

Under the rule, doctors can provide information to patients on how to prepare an “advance directive,” stating how aggressively they wish to be treated if they are so sick that they cannot make health care decisions for themselves.

While the new law does not mention advance care planning, the Obama administration has been able to achieve its policy goal through the regulation-writing process, a strategy that could become more prevalent in the next two years as the president deals with a strengthened Republican opposition in Congress.

In this case, the administration said research had shown the value of end-of-life planning.

“Advance care planning improves end-of-life care and patient and family satisfaction and reduces stress, anxiety and depression in surviving relatives,” the administration said in the preamble to the Medicare regulation, quoting research published this year in the British Medical Journal.

The administration also cited research by Dr. Stacy M. Fischer, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who found that “end-of-life discussions between doctor and patient help ensure that one gets the care one wants.” In this sense, Dr. Fischer said, such consultations “protect patient autonomy.”

Opponents said the Obama administration was bringing back a procedure that could be used to justify the premature withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from people with severe illnesses and disabilities.

Section 1233 of the bill passed by the House in November 2009 — but not included in the final legislation — allowed Medicare to pay for consultations about advance care planning every five years. In contrast, the new rule allows annual discussions as part of the wellness visit.

Elizabeth D. Wickham, executive director of LifeTree, which describes itself as “a pro-life Christian educational ministry,” said she was concerned that end-of-life counseling would encourage patients to forgo or curtail care, thus hastening death.

“The infamous Section 1233 is still alive and kicking,” Ms. Wickham said. “Patients will lose the ability to control treatments at the end of life.”

Several Democratic members of Congress, led by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, had urged the administration to cover end-of-life planning as a service offered under the Medicare wellness benefit. A national organization of hospice care providers made the same recommendation.

Mr. Blumenauer, the author of the original end-of-life proposal, praised the rule as “a step in the right direction.”

“It will give people more control over the care they receive,” Mr. Blumenauer said in an interview. “It means that doctors and patients can have these conversations in the normal course of business, as part of our health care routine, not as something put off until we are forced to do it.”

After learning of the administration’s decision, Mr. Blumenauer’s office celebrated “a quiet victory,” but urged supporters not to crow about it.

“While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Mr. Blumenauer’s office said in an e-mail in early November to people working with him on the issue. “This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

Moreover, the e-mail said: “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’ — e-mails can too easily be forwarded.”

It’s so good and it’s so right, it’s a secret!! 🙂

The e-mail continued: “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”

In the interview, Mr. Blumenauer said, “Lies can go viral if people use them for political purposes.”

Yeah, and guess who’s the liar Liberals? Look in the mirror!!

The proposal for Medicare coverage of advance care planning was omitted from the final health care bill because of the uproar over unsubstantiated claims that it would encourage euthanasia.

Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate, and Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader, led the criticism in the summer of 2009. Ms. Palin said “Obama’s death panel” would decide who was worthy of health care. Mr. Boehner, who is in line to become speaker, said, “This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.” Forced onto the defensive, Mr. Obama said that nothing in the bill would “pull the plug on grandma.”

A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that the idea of death panels persists. In the September poll, 30 percent of Americans 65 and older said the new health care law allowed a government panel to make decisions about end-of-life care for people on Medicare. The law has no such provision.

The new policy is included in a huge Medicare regulation setting payment rates for thousands of services including arthroscopy, mastectomy and X-rays.

The rule was issued by Dr. Donald M. Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a longtime advocate for better end-of-life care.

“Using unwanted procedures in terminal illness is a form of assault,” Dr. Berwick has said. “In economic terms, it is waste. Several techniques, including advance directives and involvement of patients and families in decision-making, have been shown to reduce inappropriate care at the end of life, leading to both lower cost and more humane care.”

Ellen B. Griffith, a spokeswoman for the Medicare agency, said, “The final health care reform law has no provision for voluntary advance care planning.” But Ms. Griffith added, under the new rule, such planning “may be included as an element in both the first and subsequent annual wellness visits, providing an opportunity to periodically review and update the beneficiary’s wishes and preferences for his or her medical care.”

Mr. Blumenauer and Mr. Rockefeller said that advance directives would help doctors and nurses provide care in keeping with patients’ wishes.

“Early advance care planning is important because a person’s ability to make decisions may diminish over time, and he or she may suddenly lose the capability to participate in health care decisions,” the lawmakers said in a letter to Dr. Berwick in August.

In a recent study of 3,700 people near the end of life, Dr. Maria J. Silveira of the University of Michigan found that many had “treatable, life-threatening conditions” but lacked decision-making capacity in their final days. With the new Medicare coverage, doctors can learn a patient’s wishes before a crisis occurs.

For example, Dr. Silveira said, she might ask a person with heart disease, “If you have another heart attack and your heart stops beating, would you want us to try to restart it?” A patient dying of emphysema might be asked, “Do you want to go on a breathing machine for the rest of your life?” And, she said, a patient with incurable cancer might be asked, “When the time comes, do you want us to use technology to try and delay your death?”

Just recently our FDA pulled its approval of the drug Avastin in treating late-stage breast cancer because its cost-effectiveness was not judged to be “sufficient.”

So, just remember, WE ARE FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND WE ARE HERE TO PROTECT YOU AND TO HELP YOU! 🙂

WE ARE YOUR ONLY HOPE! 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

 

The Real Star Wars

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This is a tale of a young Senator who set out to change the world. To grab power. To reshape everything.

To fundamentally violate one of the truth of existence and to fight against it.

That truth, LIFE ISN’T FAIR.

I believe (to borrow another movie) it to be the Inception idea that started modern Liberalism.

If Life isn’t fair, then let’s make it equal. So that it is no more or less fair for anyone.

But that way leads to The Dark Side.

The Sith await you.

Think about it, you have a (in this case young) Senator who rises in a time of stress and War and Crisis. He promises hope & change. Though the hope and change he wants is to control everyone and everything. That way, Social Justice is “Fair”. And Life if “fair”.

In the time of crisis he is granted powers and takes steps no leader has ever dared take before. He takes over the Banks, insurance companies, the auto industry.

He consolidates more power to central authority that ever before. he is playing both sides against each other in the name of “fairness” to consolidate power. Because, after all, they only way life can be “fair” is if you control it from birth to death.

You have no freedom. But it’s Fair! 😦

“So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause”–Sen. Padme Amidala

But life is not fair.

And this frustrates him. He has such a grand vision. But he can’t get it done.

It’s not fair!

He’s so much smarter than everyone else. He’s so much better. More enlightened.

And all he wants is for everyone to be equal. Now that’s “fair”.

And before the November 2nd elections (9/10/10): “If it was just a referendum on whether we’ve made the kind of progress that we need to, then people around the country would say ‘We’re not there yet,'” Obama said.

“If the election is about the policies that are going to move us forward, versus the policies that will get us back into a mess, then I think Democrats will do very well.”

And on Nov 2, he and his minions were “shellacked”. But that didn’t stop them from have a very productive Lame Duck Session where they got 90% of what they wanted.

As a matter of fact, he’s now the “Comeback Kid”. The Emperor has New Clothes.

But still he fears that his life’s work will be undone, challenged or left unfulfilled. The dreams of 90 years of Progressive Liberalism rest upon his shoulders.

His vision.

So, like Palpatine, he will have to be craftier and take more control rather than letting his minions like Darth Vader do all the heavy lifting.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”— Master Yoda

And who hates more liberals.

Only Radical Muslims and terrorists.

Class Warfare. Hate the rich (but not the Liberal Rich like George Soros or even Obama who made $5 million dollars last year).

Race Warfare. Pitting blacks and Hispanics against Whites because Whites are “not fair” and oppressive.

Despite the fact that liberal policies hurt blacks and hispanics.

It keeps them down.

The promise of “fairness” and “Justice” keep them in line. Even though in the 50 years they haven’t even come close to either.

Religious Warfare. The more Progressive (aka radical) they are the seemingly more anti-religious they are- especially Christianity.

How is that different from the Sith wanting to wipe out the Jedi??

The Jedi are spiritual. The Force is spiritual.

They must be crushed.

The State is your only salvation.

The Government is your protector. Your savior.

Not yourself.

But if Obama is Senator Palpatine, cum Emperor-wanna be, who is Darth Vader. The angry, power mad servant of the Dark Side?

Nancy Pelosi, who else. 🙂  (Not Dick Cheney as the Liberals tried to use in 2005 after Bush beat Kerry for re-election)

But it does point to the fact that when Liberals object to the dirty tricks way things are being done “unfairly” that usually means they have already done them and you’re not allowed to do what they are doing because they are so vastly superior and more “fair” than you.

But Darth Vader never got demoted to a Minority Position. This should just strengthen her backbone and her insanity.

She will hate even more at being thwarted and simultaneous be proud of her many accomplishments over the last 2 years.

Obstructing the rebel scum will be new mission. They cannot be allowed to retake what she has taken.

After all, it is my own opinion that Nancy Pelosi thought she was the Empress for the last 2 years and that Barack was the upstart who was getting in HER way.

Then there’s The Conspirator, aka Harry Reid. He who works behind the scenes to make it work through any means necessary.

You have the faceless “enemy”- The Rich. The Corporations. The Separatists.

You have the faceless, uniform soldiers of the cause, The Unions and the Bureaucracy. A hegemony of purpose and the foot soldiers of the cause.

And then you ad in an Orwellian touch, The Ministry of Truth. The Liberally-biased media that is a champion of the Empire’s needs and wants and will spread it’s message and lies far and wide across the land. Willingly so. And they all proclaims to be “fair” and “objective”.

Those who disagree with this view are the evil ones who are not fair and not objective: FOX,the Internet-Like Drudge,Daily Caller etc, and Talk Radio.

Which is why they must be controlled. So you send out the faceless bureaucratic clone minions of the FCC, the FTC, the FDA to stop them.

The SEIU are the people’s clone army. Foot soldiers for the cause.

Then there are the Liberal lawyers and judges who stop the resistance by ruling from ideology under the cover of law. To control the people ever further.

Then comes the Resistance, The Rebel Alliance.

A loose band of like-minded independent people who just want their freedoms back. To restore democracy and give all people a chance.

Meet THE TEA PARTY.

Hated, denigrated, and reviled by the Imperials.

But their allies in the Government haven’t proven they can be trusted yet. Not after the Lame Duck give aways they allowed.

So this chapter in the saga has yet to be written and it falls to all of us in the movement to keep the pressure on.

To quote yet another movie, “Never Give up! Never Surrender!”

Or as Master Yoda might say, ““Do or do not… there is no try.”

The Saga Continues.

God Bless All US Tiny Tims

Now don’t call it ObamaCare and don’t cut it: http://www.breitbart.tv/liberal-pundit-acts-offended-by-term-obamacare/

Now That’s worth a Ho-Ho Ho! 🙂

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Merry Christmas D.C.:

‘Washington, D.C.’s workers enjoy the highest salaries of any U.S. city, with a median household income of $85,198,” CNNMoney reported recently. It’s even higher for the federal worker segment of the city, with an average wage last year for federal civilian workers of $81,258 per person.

It’s good to be the King or his minions.

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Not even Ebenezer Scrooge had the stomach to fire people during the holidays.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, plans to move full speed ahead with new regulations on January 2 that will likely cost many Americans their jobs before the New Year’s Eve party hats have even been put away.

In a nutshell, the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule will treat emissions from renewable biomass energy the same as emissions from the use of fossil fuels, despite the fact that both policymakers and scientists have long considered biomass emissions to be carbon-neutral due to the life cycle of the forests from which biomass is produced.

(Global warming Update: Early Sunday, winter storm warnings stretched from Georgia through New England.

The white Christmas in the South was one for the record books. Columbia, S.C., had its first significant Christmas snow since weather records were first kept in 1887. Atlanta had just over an inch of snow—the first measurable accumulation on Christmas Day since the 1880s.)

This new rule and regulatory uncertainty could spell the end of the biomass energy industry by removing the carbon-neutral status of biomass and, consequently, the biggest incentive to continue investing in it. Recent estimates have shown that biomass generated from forest byproducts could supply as much as 15 percent of the nation’s renewable energy by 2021, yet this will likely never be realized if biomass producers are forced to comply with arbitrary, unfair and unnecessary regulations like those in the Tailoring Rule.

Unfortunately, the Tailoring Rule won’t just disincentivize the use of renewable biomass energy. It will also have widespread effects on our energy options, as well as jobs and the economy.

Forisk Consulting recently released a new study on the economic impact of the Tailoring Rule, which found that the regulations on biomass will result in the loss of over 134 renewable energy projects, up to 26,000 jobs, and $18 billion in capital investment. According to the study’s authors, 23 biomass energy projects have already been placed in limbo due to regulatory uncertainty. In Wisconsin, for example, Xcel Energy Inc. halted plans for a biomass energy plant that would have brought over 100 jobs to Ashland, Wisc., as well as a needed source of domestic power for the entire area. Xcel Energy cited the expected cost increases and regulatory uncertainty as reasons for canceling plans for the plant—and they are likely to be one of many energy companies doing the same.

The negative economic impact will be especially felt in Appalachia and rural parts of the South, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northeast, where biomass energy shows great promise as a source for domestic clean energy and innovative new jobs.

In addition to harming domestic renewable energy development and the economy, the EPA commits a crime that Mr. Scrooge would never commit: wasting money. In President Obama’s “stimulus” program alone, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy have collectively spent more than $100 million of taxpayer money to promote biomass power production.

The new study by Forisk Consulting only further confirms what bipartisan governors, U.S. Senators, and U.S. Representatives, state and local lawmakers, scientists, and forestry industry insiders have been saying all along—that the Tailoring Rule will hurt energy development, jobs, and the economy at a time when we need all three to be thriving.

Even Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN), the outgoing Chair of the House Agriculture, said before the election, “[The EPA is] screwing things up. They’re raising costs for people, they’re raising the price of food, and I don’t think they’re accomplishing anything.”

The intransigent EPA isn’t yet listening to the bipartisan, nationwide outcry against the Tailoring Rule. Perhaps they will finally begin to pay attention to this latest round of hard facts about the impact of their regulations before it’s too late. (Timothy Lee is the director of legal and public affairs at the Center for Individual Freedom, a free-market and constitutional advocacy organization based in Alexandria, Virginia.)

So another lump of coal for your fire when you’re electricity is too expensive for you to have anymore  and you have no job because the carbon biomass was too much to afford.

Oh, that’s right, coal is politically incorrect! Silly me.

God Bless us Everyone! 🙂

And finally, some TSA “humor”:

From TSA (note the last bullet point):

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Does wearing this count as an inappropriate joke? (Katie Pavlich)

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Merry After-Christmas Sales you evil capitalist pigs! 🙂

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Christmas Day 2010

Charles M. Schulz was a genius and a personal hero of mine.

I truly mourned his death in 2000.

But he also had the truly definitive Christmas episode.

And the definitive speech was by Linus Van Pelt, the wise but insecure brother of terror Lucy.

So here it is. Merry Christmas from an “ignorant”, “racist”, “moron” who “clings to his guns and religion” “domestic terrorist” “teabagger” 🙂

Linus and the True Meaning of Christmas

Charlie Brown: “Isn’t there ANYONE who knows what Christmas is all about?!?!

Linus: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ ” (Luke 2:8-14)

“You see, Charlie Brown—that’s what Christmas is all about.”

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Sorry, couldn’t help myself! 🙂

Garfield: “All right, you guys. Just permit me one sentimental moment here, will ya? I have something to say. Christmas, it’s not the giving, it’s not the getting, it’s the loving. There, I said it, now get out of here.” (A Garfield Christmas)

No, I mean it. Get outta here. Come Back tomorrow… 🙂