Last night, President Barack Obama headed out to Copenhagen to lobby for Chicago to get the Olympics. And incidentally, if he succeeds, Chicago real estate developers, like many of his donors, will get zillions in development contracts from the city. The Chicago Tribune’s John Kass noted that Obama is “asking the IOC to make Mayor Richard Daley the king of Chicago for life.” It turns out that today, his pick to lead our troops (and all of NATO) in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, will be in London giving a speech about how to win in Afghanistan. I guess McChrystal is allowed to tell our allies how we can win, just not Congress or the White House. Perhaps Obama could stop by London and listen to the speech or chat with his general? But perhaps not. According to Kass, Obama told the head of NATO that he doesn’t have the time to chat about NATO and Afghanistan. Please click here for the rest of the post.
While you and I have been lounging around waiting for old folks to die needlessly because we’re against Obamacare, Michelle Obama has been doing the hard work on our behalf. She’s visiting Copenhagen. “As much of a sacrifice as people say this is for me or Oprah or the president to come for these few days,” the first lady told a crowd of people involved in the Chicago project, “so many of you in this room have been working for years to bring this bid home.” The first question that comes to mind is “which freakin’ people are saying that spending several days in luxurious accommodations in Copenhagen is a sacrifice?” Because you need to get the Secret Service to keep them away from the president because they are seriously psychotic. The level of self absorption in this administration is simply mind boggling and is probably exceeded only by their sense of entitlement. Please click here for the rest of the post.
The Washington Times recently took a look at the forced health care rationing in Chairman Max Baucus’s health care overhaul legislation: "The offending provision is on Pages 80-81 of the unamended Baucus bill, hidden amid a lot of similar legislative mumbo-jumbo about Medicare payments to doctors. The key sentence: “Beginning in 2015, payment would be reduced by five percent if an aggregation of the physician’s resource use is at or above the 90th percentile of national utilization.” Translated into plain English, it means that in any year in which a particular doctor’s average per-patient Medicare costs are in the top 10 percent in the nation, the feds will cut the doctor’s payments by 5 percent." This is a highly arbitrary and pernicious way to cut medical care for seniors. The Baucus approach penalizes the top ten percent every year. There is no target level of spending, after which the penalties sunset. Further, no provider ever knows if he or she is likely to end the year in the top ten percent. For that reason there is an incentive to cut costs on every patient, every procedure, every expenditure, on every day of the year. And if a doctor finishes the year in the bottom 90 percent, the average level of spending will have been reduced, and there will be a new contest to cut further, to remain in the bottom 90 percent the next year. In practical terms, there’s probably some point at which further rationing becomes politically impossible. Once Medicare expenditures and reimbursements are sufficiently reduced, once the federal government has adopted Oregon-style death panels to deny expensive care to the aged and infirm, Congress will likely have to step in to stop the ‘death spiral.’ Please click here for the rest of the post.
The Senate Finance Committee considered Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) amendment on the health care legislation that would require identification to take advantage of medicaid benefits. Senator Grassley’s position, and the logical position, is that if one is not asked to show identification before taking advantage of a taxpayer funded health care program like medicaid, the program can be accessed by anyone under the sun, including people who are not supposed to take advantage of the program, like illegal aliens. It’s common sense. But not to Senate Democrats, including Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), who back home takes a tough stance against illegal immigration. Please click here for the rest of the post.
Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) has no Republican challenger to date, though a number of serious Republicans are thinking of getting in and at least a couple are on the verge of doing so. The district leans Republican and after Grayson’s latest antics Charlie Cook has moved the race to a tossup without there even being a Republican challenger yet. Please click here for the rest of the post.
Senator Bunning (R-KY) is offering legislation to require all bills be put on the internet for at least 72 hours in final form before being voted on in the Senate. The Senate Conservatives Fund, an organization near and dear to my heart (have you given them money?), has a petition on this that you should sign. Please click here for the rest of the post.