34 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-11-17

  1. Clearly the new healthcare law is not all that conservative dreamed of. However, it was designed as the most conservative approach that had a chance of passing the House and Senate. Consider:
    1. The bill has already come under fire from the Right from Sen. Rand Paul and House Conservatives.
    2. Yet McConnell has indicated that the bill may be too conservative to pass the Senate since it will get zero Democratic support and some moderate Northern Republicans may defect.
    3. The fact that the AMA, the AHA , all the liberal media, and every Democrat are blasting the bill as harsh and heartless is a sign that the House bill is on the right track.
    Here is a short summary of how the bill contrasts with Obamacare:

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  2. i give Trump a lot of credit for the way he has handled the healthcare bill. He has been engaged and generally supportive. He has listened to conservatives, but has scolded them for using intemperate language such as “Obamacare Lite”. Imagine that!

    This is the first time Trump has been active in trying to push through his legislative agenda and his early efforts are good. The whole effort to reform Obamacare may fail. The AMA, the AHA, the AARP, big Pharma and the Democrats are a very tough coalition. However, give Trump credit for jumping in and trying to help Republican Congressional leaders.

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  3. It’s not a bad thing to incentivize healthcare self-rationing by requiring some kind of co-pay for everything. However, I do wish we could have some neighborhood clinics for very poor families and indigent individuals to receive basic vaccinations, antibiotics, and emergency dental care, etc.

    The idea that keeps coming to me is that perhaps the entire healthcare system should be non-profit–including insurance. Taking the profit motive out of things like healthcare (and the attendant insurance industry) might encourage the practice of these things to be a calling rather than just a money making enterprise.
    .

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  4. Republicans have somewhat backed themselves in a corner. After loudly voting to repeal the ACA fifty some times, they really don’t have a substantially different plan. Obama essentially copied Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan which was originally Bob Dole’s response to Clinton and who derived it from a conservative think tank.

    They have repealed the income generating portions of the ACA; surtax on insurance companies, mandates, and other fees/taxes, yet have kept the expenses side of the equation; adult children claims, preexisting conditions, etc. The only savings they are achieving is repealing the expansion of Medicare and Medicaid. To keep the middle class happy, they have exchanged subsidies for tax credits. However, the bottom third or even half the population don’t require a tax credit to avoid paying income taxes. Essentially the changes favour the rich and let the poor suffer. And at the end of the day will cost the gov’t more than the current plan.

    To keep health care cost down, they have to do what the rest of the world does, minimize the profit motive. Expand Medicaid so that a substantial part of the population has an interest in its viability and competency. Leave the insurance field to private care and non-essential care (this can vary — in Ontario, gov’t health care doesn’t cover dental but in Saskatchewan it does). I don’t think its possible to have complete single payer as in Canada but a two tier approach like Switzerland or the UK is easily possible.

    To control costs, the state, as the largest consumer of medical goods and services, can negotiate prices down. Bush’s Plan B expressly forbids the gov’t to use its bulk buying power — this is a hidden subsidy. In Ontario, through gov’t hospitals and a drug plan for the poor, the gov’t is the largest customer and routinely bargains prices down. 40 mg of Lipitor cost $117 in Buffalo but over the bridge in Fort Erie, ON it cost $55. Drugs are an obvious and easy comparison but physician cost, bureaucracy, lability, etc are all lower across the border — essentially the result of having a viable gov’t plan which is allowed to use its bulk buying muscle to keep cost down.

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  5. AJ, Most of what Turner Ashly did the entire Valley Campaign was cover withdrawals. On March 11, 1862, he got a little ahead of his troopers and had to slash his way out of the federal infantry, sort of like Nathan Bedford Forrest at Fallen Timbers after Shiloh.

    Cheryl, I have clients who are models for Civil War artists, including John Paul Strain who painted the image above. He doesn’t pick homely models.

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  6. No doubt the Republican plan can be improved, but I was expecting (and dreading) something much more draconian, so I’m inclined to be relieved. At least it gets rid of the mandate that requires very specific types of insurance, and kept some of the better parts of Obamacare. I like what they are doing with the HSAs.

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  7. Stonewall Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign is recognized as the most brilliant military campaign ever conducted by an American General. It is still studied by cadets at West Point. Two of the sites of Jackson victories (Front Royal and Winchester – Jackson returned after his March 11 withdrawal) have been covered by the growth of the towns. However, the exact sites of the McDowell, Cross Keys and Port Republic victories are in pristine condition.

    http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/portrepublic/port-republic-history-articles/pfanzshenandoah.html

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  8. I read a good essay called “In Defense of Citizenship: The Silent Issue in the Immigration Debate “from the Imaginative Conservative—the site Ricky found for us as a Christmas present. It is not a daily news site, but the articles are meaty and relevant. This piece by Peter Rieth articulates the difference between globalism and internationalism, and is more thoughtful than anything I’ve read on the subject in a while. It’s a bit long, but here’s an interesting part:

    As one of many Americans whose citizenship is derivative of the legal immigration and naturalization procedures of the United States of America, it is particularly distressing to witness the public backlash of the press, protesters, and political opponents against the very modest executive actions recently taken by President Donald Trump to repair the immigration system in America and restore the distinct status of citizenship to preeminence in republican life.
    Aristotle, at the outset of Book III of The Politics, writes that “he who has the power to take part in the deliberative or judicial administration of any city is said by us to be a citizen of that city.”

    While Aristotle acknowledges that the identification of participants in citizenship differs depending on the form of a regime, the universal characteristic of citizenship, particularly in republics, is political power. This is precisely why immigration law and policy are of fundamental importance to the welfare of cities and, more broadly interpreting the Aristotelian polis, of modern states. Immigration law and policy determine who is to have power in a state.

    Machiavelli, writing in The Prince, outlines two basic aims for which the state exists: preservation and acquisition. Modern political science, which began with Machiavelli and built upon Aristotle, is dedicated in its totality to these two basic propositions. Of the two, keeping one’s state, is of primary importance; acquisition is secondary. The two are related insofar as acquisition may fortify preservation by the additions it facilitates, but preservation is always necessary for future acquisition to take place. It is to be noted that while acquisition has generally been modified, since Machiavelli wrote, from martial conquest into successful commerce, preservation has not been modified as an aim of statecraft.

    That an attempt to modify the concept of preservation has been made in present times is clear. This attempt exists under the general proposition of globalism, or global citizenship. It is intellectually underdeveloped, exists nowhere as a legal practice, yet underlies many of the multilateral political associations now predominant throughout the world. An excellent philosophical exposition on the subject exists in the form of the Strauss-Kojeve dialogue in the book On Tyranny. Yet the multilateral political structures that are to be found in the modern world were not established as globalist enterprises, only international ones—the crucial difference being that a global enterprise is universal to all humanity while an international body, by definition, requires and acknowledges the existence of diverse nation-states, which arise out of the natural divisions amongst humans.

    Internationalism is little more than the extension of social-contract theory beyond aggregates of individuals to aggregates of nations. As the purpose of just government is to protect the natural rights of individuals, so just international institutions were made to protect the natural rights of the various nations. The elevation of an abstract humanity over the natural organelles, called nations, of the universal human family is detrimental to humanity. It goes without saying that just as governments that abuse natural rights can be altered or abolished, so international bodies that endanger rather than protect the rights of nations can likewise be altered or abolished…….

    http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2017/02/defense-citizenship-unnamed-issue-immigration-debate-peter-rieth.html

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  9. The Republican health care plan is garbage and within 3 years that will be undeniable, if it passes in a facsimile of its current form. With Obamacare, it would have been have been 2 years, so maybe it’s an improvement?

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  10. Thanks for posting the article, Debra. Let me ask some questions.

    1. What are we preserving?
    2. Are we preserving the US as a largely white (non-Hispanic) nation? Ann Coulter and many alt-right leaders think so.
    3. Are we preserving the US as a nation committed to freedom and limited government as set forth by Madison in the Constitution?
    4. Are we committed to preserving the US as a solvent nation and avoiding the pain and humiliation of bankruptcy?
    5. Are we committed to preserving the US as a generally self-reliant people in order to avoid the horrors of dependency as seen in Haiti and Venezuela?

    If the answer to #2 is “yes”, then build walls, close all the borders and try to train white kids to marry people of the opposite gender and have children.

    If the answers to #s 3,4, and/or 5 are “yes”, then I want more, not fewer Asian immigrants to work, create businesses and jobs, pay taxes and reduce government depency. Many of our natives are struggling in these areas. And throw in some Hispanics to build stuff and keep things clean.

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  11. rw: I can. Kerr is a Pop disciple, and there are stretches in the NBA schedule where the travel is ridiculous, in a regular season that is already too long (though it is suspicious that they chose the Spurs game, but I guess they didn’t expect to lose last night to Minnesota).

    The Spurs will also be missing at least four key players due to health reasons (Kawhi, LMA, Parker, Murray). This is going to be more like a pick-up game…

    Aldridge will be out indefinitely due to heart arrhythmia – I pray he’ll be able to get well soon.

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  12. I had not heard that about Aldridge. I also pray he gets well soon.

    For all his faults, Westbrook is like Michael Jordan who never wanted to miss a game in case that night was the one chance some child might have to see him. I don’t think Billy Donovan is strong enough to keep Westbrook out of a game. Scott Brooks wasn’t. He played (with a mask) just a couple of days after surgery to fix a broken cheekbone that left a dent in the side of his head. Pop and Kerr are probably right, but I love Westbrook’s competitiveness and drive.

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  13. Ricky @3:14 The article I posted was written by a *legal immigrant* who is now a citizen. Unlike certain people, he does not seem preoccupied, either positively or negatively, with the amount of melanin a person’s skin contains or the resulting shade of brown. Nor with the correlation of melanin and job performance. These are only the legitimate preoccupations of befuddled people who want to wallow on the outskirts of political, social and spiritual or religious relevance: the ultimate in victim mentality.

    I think he was clearly speaking of preservation of the country—its institutions, its welfare, its people and its form of government. He says: “two basic aims for which the state exists: preservation and acquisition. Modern political science, which began with Machiavelli and built upon Aristotle, is dedicated in its totality to these two basic propositions. Of the two, keeping one’s state, is of primary importance; acquisition is secondary. ”

    Of course it might not be very relevant to you, since you are actively looking for another country. ;–)

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  14. Debra, If Americans cease to be committed to freedom and limited government, if they are not committed to avoiding national bankruptcy, if they continue turning to sloth and dependency and away from hard work, then I have already lost my country. If that happens lots of folks who believe in freedom, thrift and work will be looking for a country with citizens who share their values.

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  15. You ain’t got to go home, but you can’t stay here… 🙂

    https://gma.yahoo.com/justice-department-seeks-resignations-46-obama-era-us-173303853–abc-news-topstories.html

    “The most prominent U.S. attorney in the nation, Preet Bharara, announced Saturday that he was “fired” after he did not resign.

    “Today, I was fired from my position as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York,” Bharara said in a statement late Saturday afternoon. “Serving my country as U.S. attorney here for the past seven years will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life, no matter what else I do or how long I live.”

    Earlier in the afternoon, Bharara tweeted, “I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired.”

    His tweet came close to 24 hours after the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday asked all U.S. attorneys remaining as holdovers from the Obama administration to step down.

    By Friday night, many who had been asked to leave — including the U.S. attorneys in New Jersey, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Arkansas — had publicly announced their departure.

    But Bharara, who had said in November that President Trump had asked him to stay on, had still not resigned as of midday Saturday.

    A Justice Department official told ABC News that Dana Boente, the acting U.S. deputy attorney general, spoke with Bharara on Saturday afternoon.

    Bharara wanted to know if the request for a resignation applied to him. He was told it did.”

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  16. Ricky, I hope we’re committed to being a free country that fights for the Judeo-Christian moral vision that founded it, cares for its own citizens first (which is the primary function of any nation), and provides safe haven for some deserving and like-minded refugees and immigrants. None of this happens without hard work and commitment.

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  17. Debra,
    1. The US government now fights against the Judeo-Christian moral vision and for hostility toward God and perversion so that one is out.
    2. ‘Cares for its own citizens first” sounds like Venezuela or Cuba. I would agree with “protects its own citizens first”. The US government of Washington, Jefferson and Madison would never have thought of providing healthcare, unemployment benefits, food stamps, subsidized housing, spending money, etc. for its citizens.

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  18. My fellow Southerner who used to fly helicopters for the 1st Cavalry out of Fort Hood and now flies them for Atlanta’s Children’s Hospital has scolded me for using The New York Times as a source @4:56 a.m. and 5:10 a.m.

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  19. SolarP @2:50 I do not disagree with your assessment, and I have serious doubts that any significant healthcare modification will pass.
    Nevertheless, I maintain that:
    1. Something similar to the House Bill is the best thing that has any chance of passage; and
    2. Trump has performed surprisingly well on this issue which gives me some hope regarding other legislative matters.

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  20. The House Intelligence Committee has given Trump a deadline of tomorrow to produce any “evidence’ of his goofy “tapp” allegations against Obama.

    I seem to remember some of you thought you had such “evidence”. Since Trump seems to have lost his “evidence” on the golf course, you may want to help him out and send your “proof” to the Committee.

    On the bright side, the whole embarrassing “tapp” episode in which no aide or spokesman would humiliate himself to vouche for the truthfulness of Trump’s statements seems to have taught Trump a lesson. There have been no silly Tweets for a week, and he has been active working with Congress on healthcare reform. As SolarP noted, that may be a lost cause, but I appreciate Trump’s effort.

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