(This is part of the transcript of my latest podcast episode, "Consider This!")
In an opinion piece at the Huffington Post by H. A. Goodman, he argues that Republicans have been complaining about how bad the VA is, but hypocritically voted against a bill for various funding for the VA back in January.
Here’s a problem with that, and it’s not something you’ll hear on most newscasts. For the last 5 years, the VA has not spent its full health care budget; as much as $1.163 billion extra to as “little” as $450 million in medical-care funding from this past fiscal year. And still vets have been waiting too long for care, some paying with their lives. Clearly, clearly, throwing more money at the problem has done nothing whatsoever to fix it.
The Republicans, back in January, said that if the huge catch-all bill were split up into separate bills, there were plenty of items they would vote for. The issue was fiscal responsibility. Democrats, on the other hand, really do have the mindset that enough greenbacks will solve any problem, especially if the problem is one that makes liberalism look bad. And the single-payer VA medical system absolutely fits that particular bill. Creating a single source of a particular product or service (in this case, health care) inevitably leads to scarcity (in this case, waiting lines). If vets could choose any hospital they wanted, and if the government still picked up the tab, would we have this problem? No. But this would be an indictment of a system that Democrats want to see implemented all over, and so it cannot be seen to fail.
Remember this when Democrats like Mr. Goodman accuse Republicans of “hating the poor” or of being “racist” because they don’t want to throw more money at programs that are similarly flawed. Since the mid 60s, when the “War on Poverty” began, the poverty rate has been bouncing around between 10 and 15% of the population. Nothing has changed. Prior to that, the poverty rate had been steadily decreasing, from 30% in 1950 to 15% when we went to war on it. We were gaining ground, but since “going to war”, it’s been nothing but a stalemate, even though the programs have been costlier every year. But just look askance at the programs, just try to reign in some of that continue rise in cost, and you get accused of all manner of hate and villainy. For nearly half a century we’ve been pouring more and more money into it, just like the VA. And, just like the VA, it is not doing what it is supposed to be doing, or doing it incredibly inefficiently.
But if you want to change the flat tire and try to get things done better, you’re accused of hating the car. The flat’s got us this far, it can go further, right?
"Antarctic sea ice has set a new record for May, with extent at the highest level since measurements began in 1979."
And it’s not a blip, but a trend that’s been going on since 1979.
(This is part of the script for the latest episode of my podcast, "Consider This!". You can listen to it on the website, or subscribe to it in iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Blubrry, Player.fm, or the podcast app of your choice.)
Presidential candidate Barack Obama, back in 2007, gave a speech titled “A Sacred Trust”. It was a speech about the military; his plans for it, and for the veterans who came home from it. Here is one thing he said in it, “No veteran should have to fill out a 23-page claim to get care, or wait months – even years – to get an appointment at the VA.”
How was he going to fulfill that goal? Here was his promise, “It’s time for comprehensive reform. When I am President, building a 21st century VA to serve our veterans will be an equal priority to building a 21st century military to fight our wars. My Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs will be just as important as my Secretary of Defense.” He followed that with specific changes he was going to make. But, whether he made those changes or not, whether or not vets are means-tested for care, whether or not VA budgets were passed on time every year, the result is still the same; long waits, and deaths due to them.
Obama knew of the problems in the VA before he became President. At least 5 years ago, he was warned about the specific wait time issue. What has changed? Nothing. And now he claiming he was shocked to hear about it; not from his advisors, but from the media. Let’s not forget that he was shocked about the IRS targeting conservatives, up until the point where he claimed that there was “not a smidgen of corruption”. I guess his views on that “evolved”.
There is another line from that speech that I think bears considering. His plans for the VA were a blueprint for something else. “The VA will also be at the cutting edge of my plan for universal health care, with better preventive care, more research and specialty treatment, and more Vet Centers, particularly in rural areas.” That’s right. ObamaCare was the next step, and what’s happening now with the VA is the future of what’s going to be happening with you. Centralized health care, or passing laws to create facilities and doctors out of thin air, doesn’t work.
And honestly, this has been the issue for decades. It didn’t start when Obama was elected. Presidents from both parties have presided over this long-running debacle, some say as far back as the Kennedy administration, because the fundamental problems are always there. On MSNBC, one of their military analysts, Army Col. Jack Jacobs, spoke on The Reid Report about how Veterans Affairs Sec. Eric Shinseki was a good guy and was doing a good job, but in the end, the VA’s system of health care itself cannot give us what we need from it, regardless of how much money you throw at it.
Yeah, that really aired on MSNBC. But if the VA is the blueprint for ObamaCare, then the question is this: If we can’t take care of those we are the most indebted to, how is it going to work for all of us? Centralization like this – one of the pillars of the liberal view of government – is a failure. It has been shown not to work, specifically with regards to health care, and yet we just keep doing it bigger and costlier. Vets are dying in service to this social and political experiment. That’s certainly not the war they signed up for.
And in the meantime, Army Private and convicted felon Bradley Manning has been on the fast-track to get his sex change. Got to have your priorities.
The White House vowed to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by year’s end. That’s if they agree to leave. Comedian Argus Hamilton says, if given the choice between surviving Taliban attacks in the Afghan mountains and surviving VA care when they get home, they like their chances in the mountains.
George Will, writing in the Washington Post, highlights a very novel lawsuit working its way through the courts. Essentially, the thought process of the suit goes like this:
- The Constitution says explicitly that, “All bills for raising reveornue [that’s the 1700s spelling of “revenue”] shall originate in the House of Representatives”.
- The ObamaCare bill originated in the Senate. No problem there, but…
- The Supreme Court, in what Will calls a “creative” reading of the law, called the bill a “tax” on certain activity (or, in the case of ObamaCare, inactivity).
- As a tax, it is therefore a revenue bill, but it did not originate in the House, and is therefore unconstitutional.
Ya’ gotta’ wonder if Chief Justice John Roberts played rope-a-dope with the liberals on the bench in creating this particular interpretation, and was hoping someone out there would notice.
There are some other issues with how the bill was created, and reading this short piece, from a link in the show notes, is incredibly enlightening. Keep an eye on Matt Sissel and the Pacific Legal Foundation’s lawsuit. We may be hearing about it more prominently in the months to come.
The liberal-leaning magazine, The New Republic, had an article recently in which it re-redefines marriage. Titled “It’s Time to Ditch Monogamy”, it tries to make the case that the idea of a single spouse is just so “outdated”, as they put it. Their arguments are:
- We’re living longer, which can lead to boredom.
- Young people are used to “varied and transient love affairs.”
- Girls can be more independent now than they could 50 years ago.
- And basically, after a while, we just can’t help ourselves over our urges to wander, so to speak.
The only lip service Helen Croydon, the author, pays to the major responsibility of child rearing is to note that, hey, women can get artificially inseminated. Never mind that she’s encouraging the difficulty of single motherhood, reducing men to sperm donors, and ignoring the huge task of actually raising a child. No, it’s all just a technological hurdle to overcome.
As I’ve said before, cross one line, and there’s always another line to cross, another cultural norm to overturn. Remember, it’s conservatives that look to tradition and experience to determine the best course of action, while liberals are, by their own definition, “progressive”; trying out new things and throwing off old ideas, because, in their mind, this new thing ought to work, based on whatever arguments they can come up with. Hey, we’re bored, we can’t help ourselves, so let’s chuck these ideas that have worked in the past and try some social experimenting that may or may not actually work better, but at least we’ll feel better about ourselves after we indulge ourselves.
That is a recipe for a slippery slope, one that has been, rather easily, predicted by conservatives.
A man in Florida is suing to be allowed to marry his pornography-filled computer. Chris Sevier would like to marry his Macbook, who, for the purposes of this post, I’ll just call “Mac”.
Chris tried to get a license to marry Mac, but apparently was turned down. Clearly, Florida is against true marriage equality, and apparently prefers PCs. Why else would they allow for this sort of discrimination?
Listen to some of what Chris says, and you, too, just might be won over.
If gays have the right to “marry their object of sexual desire, even if they lack corresponding sexual parts, then I should have the right to marry my preferred sexual object.”
If gays feel as is they are second class citizens, Mr Sevier argues then “those of us in the real minority, who want to marry machines and animals, certainly feel like third class citizens”.
“Allowing my marriage to go forward will not adversely impact the fertility rate any more or less than a same sex couples.”
“If there is a risk that is posed to traditional marriage and children, both man-man couples and man-machine couples pose it equally.”
“In considering the equal protection clause, there are no fewer policy reasons for preventing man-machine couples from marrying than there are for same-sex couples.”
Florida, as well as Utah, where he filed another suit, both turned him down. But how different, really, are his arguments than the ones for same-sex marriage. True, the main difference is that Mac isn’t sentient and can’t truly give consent for this, but the arguments are still quite similar. If who you love is the only determiner of who you can marry, who’s to say who you’re allowed to love?
Or maybe, just maybe, marriage is actually about more than just love. Maybe, there’s a purpose, a goal, which marriage was the answer to, and the further we get away from it, the more pointless it will become.
States? States? We don’t need no stinkin’ states! At least, that’s what a federal judge said last month. The state of Ohio does not have same-sex marriage, but the just said that they had to recognize a marriage license for one that was granted in another state.
Well let me ask you, does the state of Ohio have to recognize law licenses, or medical licenses, or even hunting licenses from other states? No, they don’t. They may grant some leeway for licenses professionals from other states, they certainly don’t have to. It is within their state’s rights not to recognize them at all.
The judge in the case cited the tradition of Ohio recognizing marriages from other states that Ohio itself would not have allowed. He didn’t say specifically, but I’m guessing things like marriages between people who are related to closely. In 2004, Ohio broke with tradition and passed a ban on recognizing same-sex marriage. But the judge seems to think that tradition is somehow legally binding. Ohio was well within its rights to make such a law, as it can with other license recognitions. But the judge was apparently channeling Tevye from “Fiddler on the Roof”; “Traditiooon!”
Well anyway, I guess we can now start applying this new legal concept to things like gun licenses, eh? No, we can’t? This wouldn’t have anything to do with politics or activist judges of a particular leaning now, would it?
That’s what I want to stress here. In every other way, he was qualified for the job, but he had opinions that some disagreed with, and they created an atmosphere where Eich could not function in that job. That, ladies and gentlemen, is precisely what the word “intolerance” means. The irony is that those who created that atmosphere would very likely consider themselves the tolerant ones. The sad part is, they are unable to see intolerance in themselves because of the way they have redefined the word “intolerance” to mean “disagreeing with me”.
That was exhibit A. Exhibit B showed up a couple weeks ago when twin brothers Jason and David Benham were green-lit to host a new show on Home and Garden TV – HGTV – about fixing up dilapidated houses for families in need. Who in the world could be against that?
Well, in a radio interview, David Benham said this, and made some people mad.
The Associated Press is breaking news that those of us who were paying attention knew about at least 6 months ago.
The first thing Michelle Pool did before picking a plan under President Barack Obama’s health insurance law was check whether her longtime primary care doctor was covered. Pool, a 60-year-old diabetic who has had back surgery and a hip replacement, purchased the plan only to find that the insurer was mistaken.
Pool’s $352 a month gold plan through Covered California’s exchange was cheaper than what she’d paid under her husband’s insurance and seemed like a good deal because of her numerous pre-existing conditions. But after her insurance card came in the mail, the Vista, California resident learned her doctor wasn’t taking her new insurance.
"It’s not fun when you’ve had a doctor for years and years that you can confide in and he knows you," Pool said. "I’m extremely discouraged. I’m stuck."
Stories like Pool’s are emerging as more consumers realize they bought plans with limited doctor and hospital networks, some after websites that mistakenly said their doctors were included.
Now we know why her policy’s cheaper. You get what you pay for.