A Glorious New Dawn? Or a Mushroom Cloud?

Wanna she the hope of “bipartisanship” or “cooperation” fade just pay attention to the progression in the following new item from the Washington Times with particular attention to Still Senate Majority Harry Reid.

“Hard work and tough decisions will be required of the 112th Congress. No longer can we fall short. No longer can we kick the can down the road. The people voted to end business as usual, and today we begin carrying out their instructions,” said the Ohio Republican, who leads his party’s biggest House majority in decades by a margin of 242-to-193.

He also acknowledged the “great deal of scar tissue” he said has built up over partisan fights, presaging the head-butting he and his House colleagues will likely do over the next two years with the Senate, which also convened Wednesday as Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. swore in 35 new and returning members, leaving Democrats in control, but with a much weaker 53-47 majority.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who survived his own tough re-election fight in Nevada to return to lead Senate Democrats, called on senators to see one another as “teammates, not as opponents.” Democrats are trying to write rules changes to curb “abuses” of Senate traditions he said have allowed Republicans to block parts of the Democrats’ agenda.

Aka, the Filibuster rules. They worked fine when the Republicans were in control of the Senate, but they have been annoying the Democrats who have been forced to use unconventional, even unconstitutional maneuvers to pass their agenda.

And that’s just annoying. So let’s all agree to change the rules in our favor.

And if the Senate goes Republican in 2012 you know they’ll carp and bitch about how unfair the rules they want to pass now are to them.

That’s hope dying folks.

And today the evil Republicans in the House have scheduled a reading of the US Constitution on the floor of the House.

Evil Bastards! 🙂

The Democrats new strategy, repealing ObamaCare would balloon the deficit!! As if keeping it would save us all money, oh that’s right, that IS STILL their party line despite all the actual evidence and 222 waivers!

So Partisan mudfighting is alive and well.

The children have not grown up yet.

Political Cartoon

Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hands the gavel to new Speaker John Boehner. | Photo by John Shinkle

Nancy Pelosi smiled and applauded on the House floor Wednesday afternoon as the clerk read the tally of the vote that formally ended her speakership.

Inside her head I bet she had visions of bludgeoning John Boehner to death and taking all the other Republicans with her!

It was the same joyless perma-grin – really, a grimace with upturned corners of the mouth – that came to define Pelosi during her four years in charge of the House: an expression meant to connote her warmth and sincerity that too often conveyed the opposite. (Washington Post)

You’re a mean one, Mrs. Grinch! 🙂

You’re a mean one, Mrs. Grinch
You really are a heel,
You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel, Mrs. Grinch,

You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel!

You’re a monster, Mrs. Grinch,
Your heart’s an empty hole,
Your brain is full of spiders, you’ve got garlic in your soul, Mrs. Grinch,

I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!

You’re a vile one, Mrs. Grinch,
You have termites in your smile,
You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile, Mrs. Grinch,

Given a choice between the two of you I’d take the … seasick crocodile!

You nauseate me, Mrs. Grinch,
With a nauseous super “naus”,
You’re a crooked dirty jockey and you drive a crooked hoss, Mrs.  Grinch,

You’re a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich, with arsenic sauce

You’re a foul one, Mrs. Grinch,
You’re a nasty wasty skunk,
Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk, Mrs. Grinch,

The three words that describe you are as follows, and I quote, “Stink, Stank, Stunk!”

You’re a rotter, Mrs. Grinch,
You’re the king of sinful sots,
Your heart’s a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots, Mrs. Grinch,

Your soul is an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable, mangled up in tangled up knots! (apologies to Dr. Seuss)

And now she goes back to being the sniping attack dog leading an even more liberal Democrat minority, though only 90% voted for her as Minority leader. I’m sure those 10% will be killed and eaten summarily. 🙂

So, not much hope.

The Rebels have scored a major victory, but the Second Death Star and The Empire are still out there.

And we have to hope also that our merry band of Rebel fighters have the guts for the fight.

“What they want is a government that is honest, accountable and responsive to their needs. A government that respects individual liberty, honors our heritage, and bows before the public it serves.”– Speaker Boehner
If Only…If only…

DEATH PANELS, WHAT DEATH PANELS  — Round TWO

President Barack Obama (D), along with his staff and media enablers, laughed when Sarah Palin condemned the death panels embedded in Obamacare. “She’s so silly, there is no such thing as death panels,” they piously giggled. Well they’re not laughing anymore; the officially non existent death panels, which really did exist–thank you Sarah Palin–have been uhm…terminated just a few days after Obamacare, with the aforementioned death panels, kicked in, reports Robert Pear of the New York Times.

The Obama administration, reversing course, will revise a Medicare regulation to delete references to end-of-life planning as part of the annual physical examinations covered under the new health care law, administration officials said Tuesday.

The move is an abrupt shift, coming just days after the new policy took effect on Jan. 1.

Many doctors and providers of hospice care had praised the regulation, which listed “advance care planning” as one of the services that could be offered in the “annual wellness visit” for Medicare beneficiaries.

And just why did the Obama administration so quickly drop the death panels, er end of life planning service as part of a wellness visit?

While administration officials cited procedural reasons for changing the rule, it was clear that political concerns were also a factor.

Once again, thank you Sarah Palin.

The renewed debate over advance care planning threatened to become a distraction to administration officials who were gearing up to defend the health law against attack by the new Republican majority in the House.

Distractions, distractions.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, “a death panel by any other name, say end of life planning, is still a death panel.”

To paraphrase Gertrude Stein, “a death panel is a death panel is a death panel.”

To quote Sarah Palin, “death panel.”

Be alert: Obamacare might resurrect death panels with still yet another euphemism. (American Thinker)

I hear also that instead of Death Panels the FDA will simply decide to not approve a drug that would extend life instead of treat or cure a disease. So they just won’t allow you to have the drug, thus saving them from the whole issue to begin with. If you can’t have it, then they don’t have to counsel you, you’ll just die on your own without the knowledge of it to begin with.

Now that’s your liberal compassion for you… Hail Orwell! Hail King Obama I!!

Or else…

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

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.

**********************************************

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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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

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