Friday, 26 February 2010
The Health Care Summit
At the start of the health care summit, I couldn't help but notice, at the last major "summit" Pres. Obama presided over, between Prof. Gates and Sgt. Crowley, the parties involved at least got to have a beer while they discussed their differences. I wonder if it was Kool-Aid on the drink menu this time.
During his rebuttal to Sen. Lamar Alexander's opening statement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "You're allowed to have your own opinions but your not allowed to have your own facts." Reid then informed the members of Congress in attendance at this "Blair House Project", that "45,000 people died last year because they didn't have health insurance."
With respect to Sen. Reid's office, and to the survivors of those 45,000 people who died last year, Reid is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts. In fact, the 45,000 people he cited did not die because they had no health insurance, they died because they had a terminal illness or a catastrophic accident.
Allow me to share a few obvious observations to dispute the accuracy, veracity and relevance of Reid's figure of "45,000 who died because they had no health insurance."
Firstly, have you ever known anyone who died - even with health insurance? Funny that... insurance does not guarantee that even the insured will survive a tragic illness or catastrophic injury. If Reid's comment is relevant, it suggests this logic chain: "if [(a) if 45,000 people died BECAUSE they had no insurance,] is true, and if [(b) 45,000 people would have lived IF they had insurance] is true, then it must also be true that [(c) no one with insurance dies]" and we all know that simply isn't true.
Secondly, according to http://ask.yahoo.com/20051128.html, "Of the 2,400,000-plus Americans who die each year, over 45,000 are killed in transport accidents. The number of homicides, poisonings, and drunk driving fatalities are roughly the same, at around 17,000 each. Perhaps more surprisingly, a stunning 178,000 Americans die from medical or hospital error every year."
If we assume it's terrible that 45,000 people dying each year "because they have no health insurance" and that something that must changed, would it not also be bad that the same number of Americans died last year in transport accidents? If you mandate health insurance to save the 45,000 uninsured, what shall you mandate to save the 45,000 killed in transport each year? Baby seats for adults? Helmets in Volvos for everyone?
In contrast, Consumer Affairs reports that "An average of 195,000 Americans died annually in 2000, 2001 and 2002 because of potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors, according to a study of 37 million patient records conducted by HealthGrades, a healthcare quality company.
I guess it's logical to assume that those who died because they had no health insurance also died because they had no medical care nor hospital care; it would also seem rational to assume that the 178,000 who died from medical or hospital error HAD health insurance because, well, they had medical or hospital care, regardless of the error.
So it would seem that four times as many people die each year with medical insurance than die because they have no medical insurance. Go figure.
Copyright © 2010 by Chris Kling, All Rights Reserved
Posted by chrisklingsays
at 2:59 PM EST
Monday, 11 January 2010
Obama, Biden, Reid, Lott and IMus
In December 2002, then Sen. Barack Obama called for Trent Lott's resignation as Sen. Majority Leader. Lott drew the junior senator's ire after trying to pay tribute to Sen. Strom Thurmond; Lott's toast was considered scandalous because it referred to Thurmond's run for the US Presidency in 1948... a campaign built upon a solidly segregationist platform. Ironically, Sen. Thurmond served South Carolina in the Senate as a Democrat from 1954-1964, and as a Republican from 1964 until shortly before his death in 2003). According to WND.com, Obama said "It seems to be that we can forgive a 100-year-old senator for some of the indiscretion of his youth, but, what is more difficult to forgive is the current president of the U.S. Senate (Lott) suggesting we had been better off if we had followed a segregationist path in this country after all of the battles and fights for civil rights and all the work that we still have to do..." adding, "The Republican Party itself has to drive out Trent Lott. If they have to stand for something, they have to stand up and say this is not the person we want representing our party."
In contrast, in February 2007, Sen. Joe Biden, then a candidate for the US Presidency, was taken to task by some in the media when it came out that the gaffe-prone Biden characterized Sen. Obama - his colleague in the Senate and opponent in the Democratic Primary campaign - saying on record, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, I mean, that's a storybook, man." Rather than complain that Biden's remarks strongly suggested that Biden found African-Americans who are "clean and articulate" something out of the norm, something worthy of remarking about, Sen. Obama found the high-road and according to ABC News, said, "Obama, in a brief off-camera interview in a Senate hallway, said he thinks Biden "didn't intend to offend" anyone.
"He called me... I told him it wasn't necessary. We have got more important things to worry about. We have got Iraq. We have got health care. We have got energy. This is low on the list."
In April 2007, shock-jock Don Imus made a bone-headed comment (in a lame attempt at humor) about the Rutgers Women's Basketball team which appeared to paint Imus as a racist bigot. Despite apologizing for the remarks, then-Senator Barack Obama called for Imus to resign. ABC News quoted the then-presidential candidate on their website at the time, "'He didn't just cross the line,' Obama said. 'He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African-American women -- who I hope will be athletes -- that that somehow makes them less beautiful or less important. It was a degrading comment. It's one that I'm not interested in supporting.'" Amazing how Obama found Imus' humor potentially degrading to his daughters, but not so the (apparently) low bar of expectations which Biden had for "mainstream African-Americans". For his penance, Joe Biden was made to resign as Senator and become Obama's Vice President.
Now, in January 2009, the New York TImes reports that Democratic Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid believed in 2006 that Obama "could become the country’s first black president because he was 'light-skinned' and had 'no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.'”
What does this reveal about the character of Sen. Reid? What does it indicate about how he might feel about "dark skinned" Americans who spoke with something other than the Queen's English? What does it teach Obama's two young, impressionable daughters, when Obama brushes it away - as he has done - (reported again in the NY Times) by saying , “I accepted Harry’s apology without question because I’ve known him for years. I’ve seen the passionate leadership he’s shown on issues of social justice, and I know what’s in his heart,” Mr. Obama said in a statement, adding that the remark was “unfortunate.” “As far as I am concerned, the book is closed"?
And worse, what does it reveal about Obama's nature and character when his righteous indignation depends entirely upon the political winds?
Copyright © 2009 by Chris Kling - all rights reserved
Posted by chrisklingsays
at 5:31 PM EST
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Letter to the Editor
Now Playing: Nov. 29 2009
Regarding congressional heath care legislation, I'd like to make one observation based upon my own experiences. As a young man just starting down a path toward a career, I passed over many job opportunities because they did not offer health insurance as one of their benefits.
I can't help but wonder - in my youthful ways, 25 years ago - how many of those low-paying jobs I might have accepted (and be stuck at still) if I thought the federal government would be helping with my health insurance? For that matter, how many of those jobs would I have left with impunity if I thought there was no penalty for leaving an employer that depended on me?
Won't there be less incentive for today's youth to seek out the better-paying (and better-supporting) jobs if even part-time help at the local hot dog stand gets subsidized health insurance?
Posted by chrisklingsays
at 9:52 AM EST
Monday, 16 November 2009
The route the defense for the Gitmo prisoners...
If we are so concerned about giving the Gitmo prisoners their "constitutionally protected rights", I believe I've determined the best course of action to get the Government's case against them thrown out of court.
They need only to invoke their First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, and the rights granted through Jeffereson's letter to the Connecticut Baptists which created out of nothing the "wall of separation between church and state".
They need to then vocalize that these attacks against America and American interests were indeed acts required of them by the Koran.
The liberal leftists would release them in a heart beat.
Posted by chrisklingsays
at 12:15 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 16 November 2009 12:20 PM EST
Thursday, 1 October 2009
Perhaps there's no conspiracy, but it certainly sounds fishy.
Communist China is "celebrating" 60 years of rule in the most regal fashion.
And for some reason - maybe a socialist in the White House? - the owners of the Empire State Building felt emboldened, and decided to help them celebrate - right here in the Big Apple.
I do worry about what's left of our country.
Posted by chrisklingsays
at 3:03 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 1 October 2009 3:07 PM EDT
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
If we're going to tax people, how about this:
Let's stop taxing productive people and things, and let's start taxing unproductive people and things.
What's the difference?
Lumber & building materials. These are productive items. They fuel the housing market, and people make things with lumber & building materials. They would be tax-free under my plan.
Food; people who grow or sell food would be exempt too.
People who make or sell clothing would be exempt too.
Anything that acts as a DISTRACTION from the everyday toils of life would be considered non-productive.
Baseball, football and other sporting games. The players, managers and owners don't actually produce anything, they simply provide entertainment or distractions from that which is productive. Raise their income taxes. Also, people who attend these functions are not being productive; tax the ticket prices.
Take the movie industry too. according to one website, for Monday, Sept. 28th, the top three movies grossed $203,8100.00 for that day alone. And those figures apparently represented a 68-73% drop from the day previous.
Let's just say there are only three movies being shown on movie screens across the country every single day of the year. And let's just say that each one of those three movies does as well as they did on Sept. 28th. That would be $743,906,500.00 per year spent on an amusement, a diversion. Of course, there are more than three movies out on a given day, and they won't all be the blockbusters that who's combined earnings exceeded $200 Million Sept 28th, but it's good enough math to make my point. Now, if we taxed those receipts at 35%, that's $260,367,275 per day that we could add to the revenue base from motion pictures alone. That would add $95,034,055,375.00 a year to the coffers, which ought to be enough to help pay down our national debt.
Of course, that's only the numbers from Hollywood major motion pictures for one day. Let's start taxing TV producers, directors, actors etc. the same way. Regardless of income level, let's recognize these activities for what they are: distractions, diversions and overall detrimental to the well-being of our country.
If we can put "sin taxes" on tobacco and alcohol products, surely we can put a "sin tax" on un-productive endeavors?
How can such diversions be detrimental to our country? Give me one redeeming value of a remake of Nightmare on Elm Street, or even one redeeming social value of the original for that matter?
A nice side-effect of this approach would be to encourage more participation in production and less participation in distractions. After all, the business of America is business.
Posted by chrisklingsays
at 12:49 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 September 2009 1:23 PM EDT
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
I have HAD it up to HERE!
President Carter, who was a better peanut farmer than he was a president, is now on record having said "that U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst to President Barack Obama during a speech to Congress last week was an act 'based on racism' and rooted in fears of a black president."
If that is the case, I'm glad Jimmy pointed it out to us.
But I'm waiting patiently - but not very patiently - for him to also come out and say that Kanye West's abhorrent behavior towards Taylor Swift was an act "based on racism" and rooted in fears of a white girl singer.
I'm also waiting - but now I'm tapping my foot - for President Carter to come out and say that Serena William's vituperative assault on the line judge was an act "based on racism" and rooted in fears that her white opponent might win.
And I'm hopping mad as hell and I won't wait any longer - I DEMAND President Carter AND President Obama come to the defense of that 17 year-old white high school student who recieved a vicious beating on a school bus at the hands of an African American student while the other students and bus driver did nothing. I beseech of our paragons of justice to call what that bully did what it was - an act "based on racism" and rooted in confidence that he could get away with i
I'm also waiting for Jimmy to call the Democrats in Congress who "booed" President George W. Bush during the 2005 State of the Union Address raci... oh, wait; that's okay. They weren't booing him because he was white, they were just booing him because they didn't like his policies.
At what point - Jimmy - in President Barack Hussein Obama's presidency are we allowed to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s request and start to judge President Obama based upon his character and not upon the color of his skin? Or are YOU - Jimmy - the one guilty not being able to see beyond your Preisdent's skin color?
Rep. Wilson didn't call out Preisdent Obama's lies because Obama is a mulatto, Wilson called him out because Obama lied.
Copyright © 2009 by Chris Kling All Rights Reserved.
Posted by chrisklingsays
at 10:23 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 September 2009 10:55 PM EDT
Thursday, 10 September 2009
A point-by-oint dissection of Obama's health care speech...
"When I spoke here last winter, this nation was facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. We were losing an average of 700,000 jobs per month. Credit was frozen. And our financial system was on the verge of collapse."
WIthin six months of his first speech last winter, his own vice-president's own admission, Obama and his administration "misread how bad the economy was". Biden even said that Obama's stimulus plan wos working, but then it wasn't, that the economy was getting better, but also promised that waste would occur.
"As any American who is still looking for work or a way to pay their bills will tell you, we are by no means out of the woods. A full and vibrant recovery is many months away."
In February 2009, Barack Obama said that the stimulus bill must be passed or the unemployment rate would reach 9%. According to the US Dept. Of Labor, by August 2009, "and the unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage point to 9.7 percent." If one of the Benchmarks for the success of the Stimulus bill was to keep unemployment under 9% - that effort failed. A "full and vibrant recovery"? I'd settle for hints of a weak recovery at this point.
"And I will not let up until those Americans who seek jobs can find them; until those businesses that seek capital and credit can thrive; until all responsible homeowners can stay in their homes."
Obama "will not let up" - except for those 11 trips to play golf and that vacation on Martha's Vineyard, and that "date night" in New York City.
"That is our ultimate goal. But thanks to the bold and decisive action we have taken since January, I can stand here with confidence and say that we have pulled this economy back from the brink."
Bold and decisive acts? Was it bold and decisive of Obama to attempt to surround himself with tax-evaders in his cabinet? Including - but apparently not limited to : Bill Richardson, Tom Daschle, Nancy Killefer, Hilda Solis, Timothy Geithner, Gary Locke, and Ron Kirk. Let's not forget the recent disclosure [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB40001424052970203706604574376720192072820.html] that one of the highest ranking Democrats in The Senate - Sen. Charlie Rangel - the Chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. Congress for crying out loud! - "amended" his 2007 financial disclosure form—to the tune of more than a half-million dollars in previously unreported assets and income.
"I want to thank the members of this body for your efforts and your support in these last several months, and especially those who have taken the difficult votes that have put us on a path to recovery."
There are at least four different versions of "Obama's bill" in the House, and there seems to be no end in sight. What difficult votes have been made? And is it really a "difficult vote" to raise taxes when those in your own caucus have shown such a blatant willingness to ignore taxes altoghether?
"I also want to thank the American people for their patience and resolve during this trying time for our nation."
Patience? When he originally gave the Congress the task of approving his 1,000 page bill within 48 hours? Even after promising durin ghte campaign that he would have a transparent administration?
"But we did not come here just to clean up crises. We came to build a future. So tonight, I return to speak to all of you about an issue that is central to that future – and that is the issue of health care."
That's not true. First off, we wouldn't have the economic crises that we do had the Dems not screwed with the housing market vis-a-vis Fannie Mae & Fannie Mac. Secondly we wouldn't have the financial crises that we have had the Republicans AND Democrats let the "toxic assets" just die. They would have been broken up and dispersed to other business and companies that could take the pieces and roll them into their own profitable business. And we wouldn't have the current "health care crisis" (if you believe it's a crisis) if the government would allow open competition cross state borders, enacted tort reform to eliminate frivolous and detrimental law suits against medical practicioners.
"I am not the first President to take up this cause..."
and better men than you have failed...
"but I am determined to be the last."
Thank GOD! I'm getting tired of the harping. Will you keep THAT promis when you fail too?
"It has now been nearly a century since Theodore Roosevelt first called for health care reform."
You mean it was a REPUBLICAN who FIRST called for health care reform?
And ever since, nearly every President and Congress, whether Democrat or Republican, has attempted to meet this challenge in some way. A bill for comprehensive health reform was first introduced by John Dingell Sr. in 1943. Sixty-five years later, his son continues to introduce that same bill at the beginning of each session.
Maybe the problem is that we keep electing the same royal families to the Congress that nothing gets done? Didn't George Washington help kick out the nepotism of genealogical reign?
Our collective failure to meet this challenge – year after year, decade after decade – has led us to a breaking point. Everyone understands the extraordinary hardships that are placed on the uninsured, who live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy. These are not primarily people on welfare. These are middle-class Americans. Some can't get insurance on the job. Others are self-employed, and can't afford it, since buying insurance on your own costs you three times as much as the coverage you get from your employer. Many other Americans who are willing and able to pay are still denied insurance due to previous illnesses or conditions that insurance companies decide are too risky or expensive to cover.
"Do as I say, not as I do" there's not a single member of Congress or the First Family that will ever have that problem, and they become fully vested in their retirement package after only five years of service. When my Congressman or State Senator agree to the same benefits package they want to foist upon me, I'll support it.
"We are the only advanced democracy on Earth – the only wealthy nation – that allows such hardships for millions of its people. There are now more than thirty million American citizens who cannot get coverage. In just a two year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage. In other words, it can happen to anyone."
We are not a democracy! We are a democratic republic. Doubt me? Check the owner's manual. http://www.thisnation.com/question/011.html
"But the problem that plagues the health care system is not just a problem of the uninsured. Those who do have insurance have never had less security and stability than they do today."
The lack of security and stability is not due to insurance problems; it's due to the fact that as a nation we have trained ourselves to live in debt and can't pay our bills The insecurity and instability comes from the crappy way our leaders have been handling the conomy. Remember - "It's the Economy Stupid!"
"More and more Americans worry that if you move, lose your job, or change your job, you'll lose your health insurance too."
So force insurance companies to sell insurance directly to the patient/worker instead of to the companies. Make the individual responsible for his or her own well-being. Allow for tax-free health savings accounts to be set up. Allow companies to compete across state lines. ALLOW MORE DOCTORS to graduate from med school and to practice where they want! BUt don't mess with my health care.
"More and more Americans pay their premiums, only to discover that their insurance company has dropped their coverage when they get sick, or won't pay the full cost of care. It happens every day."
So penalize the offending companies and don't allow them to do that anymore. But DON'T CHANGE MY HEALTH CARE.
"One man from Illinois lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because his insurer found that he hadn't reported gallstones that he didn't even know about. They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it. Another woman from Texas was about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne. By the time she had her insurance reinstated, her breast cancer more than doubled in size. That is heart-breaking, it is wrong, and no one should be treated that way in the United States of America"
I agree. Insurance companies breed bureaucrats faster than they produce forms to fill out, and the only place that breeds bureaucrats faster is Washington DC. Keep the bureaucrats away from my health care.
THat's it for page one of my point-by-point dissection of his speech. More tomorrow.
Posted by chrisklingsays
at 9:33 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 10 September 2009 11:17 PM EDT
Wilson's Rallying Cry
Last night, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) called out President Obama from the gallery, shouting "You lie!" when Obama suggested that his health care plan wouldn't offer free care to illegal immigrants.
I'm sure I was among the millions of sane Americans watching from our living room who shouted with Wilson in unison at the television, and then fist-pumped the air in excited agreement that someone had the nerve to tell the Emperor he had no clothes on.
But no... Politico.com must do their own bit of spin control, and author Glenn Thrush decided to use Rep. Wilson as his point of misdirection, citing Wilson's momentary attack of bravery and truth the "night's defining moment". Thrush suggested that Wilson was "boorish" and that he "enraged both sides of the aisle. " That may be so in the politically correct fairyland that Thrush inahabits, but - as I stated - I'm sure there are millions of folks in the heartland who are proud of Wilson's candor.
Ironically, immediately after chastising Rep. Wilson for calling Obama out for his lie, Thrush states that, "it overshadowed a speech that included some of Obama's harshest attacks on his GOP critics to date, including a denunciation of 'death panel' alarmists as liars [emphasis added], a veiled swipe at Sarah Palin."
I can't see how Rep. Wilson calling President Obama a liar from the gallery should be any different for Obama calling Sarah Palin a liar from the podium.
Oh, wait a minute; yes I do see the difference. On the one hand it's one face out of 634 calling the man in power a liar. On the other hand it's the man in power using the weight and gravitas of his bully pulpit to call a private citizen a liar.
So, in summation - at least according to Glenn Thrush of Politico.com, the defining moment of President Barack Obama's 45 minute speech came when someone called him our for lying.
Was anybody surprised when Obama invoked the name of Ted Kennedy during the speech? No defining moment there. I was surprised a little when Obama promised tort reform, but no defining moment there. How about when Obama suggested that his general election campaign opponent Sen. John McCain had a good idea during the campaign about health care reform, and that McCain's idea was present in the bill Obama was pushing? No defining moment there.
No, I think I can actually agree with Thrush; the defining moment of Obama's speech was when - in Thrush's own words - a "little known South Carolina Republican" spoke the truth. And I - for one - expected more definition from our President than that about his plans for my health care.
Copyright © 2009 by Chris Kling - all rights reserved.
Posted by chrisklingsays
at 7:59 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 10 September 2009 9:00 AM EDT
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
What was so scandalous about Obama's speech to students?
What was so scandalous about Obama's speech to school children is how... pedestrian... it was.
First off; the greeting: "Hello everyone - how's everybody doing today?"
...like he expected students from around the country to reply and say, "We're doing GREAT Mr. President!"
That's just what we need; the President teaching kids that they can communicate with images on their television sets!
"I'm here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we've got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I'm glad you all could join us today." Which means that nobody at Wakefield High School in Arlington, VA got ANYTHING done today, and certainly those children who watched the speech got nothing done for the amount of time it took the President to tell them what their parents have been telling them for their whole lives.
Okay, maybe that's not fair. Maybe some kids in school don't have parents who tell them, "But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying." I feel bad for those kids; but those kids are not the only ones in school! There are kids in school who don't talk back to their teachers; there are kids in school who are meticulous about their homework.
But any time spent telling kids not to talk back to their teachers is time wasted on kids who don't talk back to their teachers. Time spent telling kids not to neglect their homework is time wasted on kids who do their homework. Time telling kids not to cut class or drop out of school, well, you get the idea.
It seems to me that the biggest problem facing our school children has been demonstrated by Obama with this speech... the focus is squarely and entirely on those who are underperforming and underacheiving. To heck with those students who need true intellectual stimulus to excel, we're going to spend all our time, effort and energy on those students who need the most help.
Obama's conclusion, "Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need", reeked of disingenuity, because if he were truly doing everything HE could do to ensure my son had the education he needed, he wouldn't have wasted my son's time nor his teacher's time. Even though my son had permission to skip the speech - after all, he's heard it all from me already - if his teacher stayed to watch the speech, that is time away from my son's teacher and the teacher's lesson plan which my son will never get back.
I will, however, stand up and applaud whole-heartedly the fact that President Obama ended his speech with "Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America."
I hope with this precedent set by President Obama that students will be free to use the same salutation in their graduation speeches next June.
Copyright © 2009 by Chris Kling; All Rights Reserved
Posted by chrisklingsays
at 7:19 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 September 2009 7:36 PM EDT
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