Recently in Obama Category

Al-Qaeda linked terrorists murdered four Americans in Behghazi a few weeks before Obama's re-election day. Obama had been constantly bragging that the death of bin Laden (which of course he carried out singlehandedly,

But, wait a minute! The White House can't let anything spoil the narrative! This was no terrorist attack. It was some average Libyans upset with a nasty video about Mohammad posted on YouTube (and seen by less than 3,000 people over two months) who must have just let things get out of hand. Too bad about the ambassador, so we'll throw that filmmaker in jail and bring him to justice.

The Truth? The truth is what we can get the public to believe, so the White House spin machine rumbles on and on right through the election up to today.

But the time for truth telling may have come at last with the appointment by House Speaker Boehner of a Select Committee to get all the facts out.

Trey Gowdy will provide electifyingly capable leadership of that committee. Rep. Trey Gowdy's Select Committee on Benghazi will get the facts.

What do the folks back home in Greenville, SC think of their former federal prosecutor and now second term Congressman? Read this.

And take a look at this Gowdy meeting with the press corps not too long ago.

He is the right man to head the Select Committee on Benghazi. Watch the mainstream left wing media, the White House and Democrats in Congress try to destroy him.

OBAMA, THE DOG EATER, DISLIKES AMERICA

This is a brilliant insight into why Obama is the way he is, "a president who dislikes our country."


Dog-Eating and Obama's Identity

April 19, 2012 - 4:44 am - by David P. Goldman

What a careful reader will take away from Barack Obama's memoir Dreams of My Father is not only that the president used to eat dog meat, but more importantly, that he identifies with dog-eaters. He wants us to understand that he is one of them. Obama's most severe critics on the right think of Obama as a socialist, for example, Dinesh d'Souza, or Stanley Kurtz in his exhaustively-researched book Radical-in-Chief.

Obama used to attend the annual "Socialist Scholars Conference" in New York, which was a hard-core affair; I went to a couple of them, and they weren't for the curious. But there is something far more visceral, more existential to the president's dislike of the United States, and that arises from his early residence in the Third World, and his identification with the people of the Third World whose lives are disrupted by the creative destruction that America has unleashed.

Obama is the son of a Kenyan Muslim father, the stepson of an Indonesian Muslim, and the child, most of all, of an American anthropologist who devoted her career to protecting Indonesian traditional life against the depredations of the global marketplace. Her doctoral dissertation, "Peasant blacksmithing in Indonesia: surviving against all odds," celebrated traditional cultures hanging on desperately in the face of the global economic marketplace.

Ms. Dunham was not only a Communist fellow-traveler, but the sort of 1960s woman who (as we used to say) "put her body on the line," first by marrying two Third World men, and then by spending her career in the Third World. It is no surprise that Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States. Consider this description of the Jakarta of his childhood from Obama's autobiography, Dreams of My Father: "And yet for all that poverty [in the Indonesian marketplace], there remained in their lives a discernible order, a tapestry of trading routes and middlemen, bribes to pay and customs to observe, the habits of a generation played out every day beneath the bargaining and the noise and the swirling dust. It was the absence of such coherence that made a place like [the Chicago housing projects] so desperate." Obama had chance to compare the orderliness and regularity of traditional life with the rough-and-tumble of American capitalism, and chose to identify with the former.

One has to spend time in the Third World to appreciate how intensely Ann Dunham's boy dislikes America. Once in Lima, around the corner from the Finance Ministry, I watched a father and mother selling chewing gum at a stoplight. At the curb sat a little girl who couldn't have been more than four and probably was younger, taking care of her one-year-old sister. They were indigenous and probably spoke little Spanish. And they would spent the day at the stoplight to earn enough to buy sufficient calories and cooking fuel to keep body and soul together for another day. No wealthy Peruvian would think to fund a soup kitchen; they were more likely to get help from foreign charities, American evangelicals or perhaps the Catholic Church. But there wasn't much help to go around. I gave the four-year-old a few dollar in local currency; she took the money and ran to her parents to show them the manna that had fallen from heaven.

One sees things like this every day, a hundred times a day, in most Third World cities. If you grow up watching this sort of pain around you, and you are told by daddy and step-daddy and mommy that it is the United States of America that is to blame for the pain, you form the sort of attitudes that Obama represented frankly and without disguise in his autobiography.

Globalization-which ultimately is a good thing-may be unspeakably destructive for traditional societies in its path. Tens of millions of people are forcibly torn out of their roots. In Thailand, farmers become construction workers in the big cities, and the girls they would have married in their villages becomes prostitutes. Education and income and health all improve, on average, but the disruption of lives produces immeasurable hurt.

We laugh about it, but people in some Third World countries eat dog meat because they are poor-not only so poor that they will consume almost any source of protein, but so poor that they cannot afford to enjoy the natural bond between human and canine that began almost 15,000 years ago. For a billion or so people, life is a daily struggle to survive. People who are that poor also sell their daughters into prostitution. Female flesh is almost as cheap as dog meat in parts of the Third World, and for the same reason.

I wrote in February 2008, nine months before Obama was elected:

America is not the embodiment of hope, but the abandonment of one kind of hope in return for another. America is the spirit of creative destruction, selecting immigrants willing to turn their back on the tragedy of their own failing culture in return for a new start. Its creative success is so enormous that its global influence hastens the decline of other cultures. For those on the destruction side of the trade, America is a monster. Between half and nine-tenths of the world's 6,700 spoken languages will become extinct in the next century, and the anguish of dying peoples rises up in a global cry of despair. Some of those who listen to this cry become anthropologists, the curators of soon-to-be extinct cultures; anthropologists who really identify with their subjects marry them. Obama's mother, the University of Hawaii anthropologist Ann Dunham, did so twice.

Obama profiles Americans the way anthropologists interact with primitive peoples. He holds his own view in reserve and emphatically draws out the feelings of others; that is how friends and colleagues describe his modus operandi since his days at the Harvard Law Review, through his years as a community activist in Chicago, and in national politics. Anthropologists, though, proceed from resentment against the devouring culture of America and sympathy with the endangered cultures of the primitive world. Obama inverts the anthropological model: he applies the tools of cultural manipulation out of resentment against America. The probable next president of the United States is a mother's revenge against the America she despised.
It really isn't unfair at all to bring Obama's canine consumption to public attention. The President isn't really one of us. He's a dog-eater. He tells the story in his memoir to emphasize that viscerally, Obama identifies with the Third World of his upbringing more than with the America of his adulthood. It is our great misfortune to have a president who dislikes our country at this juncture in our history.

OBAMA DEFIES THE CONSTITUTION

Dr. Sowell correctly analyzes a gross violation of the U.S. Constitution that seems to have entirely escaped criticism by Republicans, the media and constitutional scholars.

This arbitrary imposition of governmental power by Obama on a business owned by millions of shareholders is breathtaking.

It is the act of a despot commandeering assets of a subject for his own personal use and disposition. It has no place in a constitutional democracy.

"Due Process" is ignored. Billions are acquired by the president to be used as he sees fit without benefit of law. The Congressional power of the purse is inoperative.

is everyone afraid to criticize? Will no one sue to set aside this unconstitutional action?


Degeneration of Democracy

By Thomas Sowell

When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics. Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler's rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

"Useful idiots" was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive. In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.

The president's poll numbers are going down because increasing numbers of people disagree with particular policies of his, but the damage being done to the fundamental structure of this nation goes far beyond particular counterproductive policies.

Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.

And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Many among the public and in the media may think that the issue is simply whether BP's oil spill has damaged many people, who ought to be compensated. But our government is supposed to be "a government of laws and not of men." If our laws and our institutions determine that BP ought to pay $20 billion-- or $50 billion or $100 billion-- then so be it.

But the Constitution says that private property is not to be confiscated by the government without "due process of law." Technically, it has not been confiscated by Barack Obama, but that is a distinction without a difference.

With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

If you believe that the end justifies the means, then you don't believe in Constitutional government. And, without Constitutional government, freedom cannot endure. There will always be a "crisis"-- which, as the president's chief of staff has said, cannot be allowed to "go to waste" as an opportunity to expand the government's power.

That power will of course not be confined to BP or to the particular period of crisis that gave rise to the use of that power, much less to the particular issues.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt arbitrarily took the United States off the gold standard, he cited a law passed during the First World War to prevent trading with the country's wartime enemies. But there was no war when FDR ended the gold standard's restrictions on the printing of money.

At about the same time, during the worldwide Great Depression, the German Reichstag passed a law "for the relief of the German people." That law gave Hitler dictatorial powers that were used for things going far beyond the relief of the German people-- indeed, powers that ultimately brought a rain of destruction down on the German people and on others.

If the agreement with BP was an isolated event, perhaps we might hope that it would not be a precedent. But there is nothing isolated about it.

The man appointed by President Obama to dispense BP's money as the administration sees fit, to whomever it sees fit, is only the latest in a long line of presidentially appointed "czars" controlling different parts of the economy, without even having to be confirmed by the Senate, as Cabinet members are.

Those who cannot see beyond the immediate events to the issues of arbitrary power-- versus the rule of law and the preservation of freedom-- are the "useful idiots" of our time. But useful to whom?


It's beginning to happen.

A mainstream writer (Robert Samuelson in a mainstream publication (The Washington Post) says Obama is nuts. His June 15th speech on the oil spill and cap and trade was fantasy. Who does he think he's kidding? What nonsense.


Energy Pipedreams
By Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post

"For decades, we've talked and talked about the need to end America's century-long addiction to fossil fuels. ... Time and time again, the path forward has been blocked -- not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor."

-- Barack Obama, June 15 address on the BP oil spill

WASHINGTON -- Just once, it would be nice if a president would level with Americans on energy. Barack Obama isn't that president. His speech the other night was about political damage control -- his own. It was full of misinformation and mythology. Obama held out a gleaming vision of an America that would convert to the "clean" energy of, presumably, wind, solar and biomass. It isn't going to happen for many, many decades, if ever.

For starters, we won't soon end our "addiction to fossil fuels." Oil, coal and natural gas now supply about 85 percent of America's energy needs. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects energy consumption to grow only an average of 0.5 percent annually from 2008 to 2035, but that's still a 14 percent cumulative increase. Fossil fuel usage would increase slightly in 2035 and its share would still account for 78 percent of the total.

Unless we shut down the economy, we need fossil fuels. More efficient light bulbs, energy-saving appliances, cars with higher gas mileage may all dampen energy use. But offsetting these savings are more people (391 million vs. 305 million), more households (147 million vs. 113 million), more vehicles (297 million vs. 231 million) and a bigger economy (almost double in size). Although wind, solar and biomass are assumed to grow up to 10 times faster than overall energy use, they provide only 11 percent of supply in 2035, up from 5 percent in 2008.

There are physical limits on new energy sources, as Robert Bryce shows in his book "Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future." Suppose an inventor "found a way to convert soybeans into jet fuel," Bryce writes. "Even with that invention, the conversion of all of America's yearly soybean production into jet fuel would only provide about 20 percent of U.S. jet fuel demand." Jet fuel, in turn, is about 8 percent of U.S. oil use. Similarly, wind turbines have limited potential; they must be supported by backup generating capacity when there's no breeze.

The consequences of the BP oil spill come in two parts. The first is familiar: the fire; the deaths; coated birds; polluted wetlands; closed beaches; anxious fishermen. The second is less appreciated: a more muddled energy debate.

Obama has made vilification of oil and the oil industry a rhetorical mainstay. This is intellectually shallow, if politically understandable. "Clean energy" won't displace oil or achieve huge reductions in greenhouse gas emissions -- for example, the 83 percent cut by 2050 from 2005 levels included in last year's House climate change legislation. Barring major technological advances (say, low-cost "carbon capture" to pump CO 2 into the ground) or an implausibly massive shift to nuclear power, this simply won't happen. It's a pipedream. In the EIA's "reference case" projection, CO 2 emissions in 2035 are 8.7 percent higher than in 2008.

Rather than admit the obvious, Obama implies that other countries are disproving it. "Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America," he said in his address. If China can do it, so can we! Well, whatever China's accomplishing on wind and solar, it's a sideshow. In 2008, fossil fuels met 87 percent of its energy needs, reports the International Energy Agency. Coal alone accounted for 66 percent. China represents about half the world's hard coal consumption. Usage grew 10.7 percent annually from 2000 to 2008.

The outlines of a pragmatic energy policy are clear. A gradually increasing tax on oil or carbon would nudge people toward more energy-efficient products, including cars. Any tax should be part of a budget program that includes major spending cuts. This is a better approach than the confusing cap-and-trade proposals -- embraced by the House and the administration -- that would inevitably be riddled with exceptions and preferences. Finally, research and development should search for cheaper, cleaner energy sources.

Meanwhile, it's imperative to tap domestic oil and natural gas. This creates jobs and limits our dependence on insecure imports. Drilling advances have opened vast reserves of natural gas trapped in shale ("shale gas"). Human error and corner-cutting by BP seem the main causes of the spill. Given the industry's previously strong safety record, Obama's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling isn't justified and should be shortened. It's not industry lobbyists that sustain fossil fuels but the reality that they're economically and socially necessary. A candid president would have said so.

SIZING UP OBAMA

Ramirez Carter Obama.jpg

Click on picture to enlarge.

The perfidy of the Turks succeeded. Israel was condemned for defending itself against terrorists by the UN, the EU and all Muslim countries. Obama even supported a UN investigation, which will yield the usual anti-Israeli result. They could write the report before the "investigation."

How can you make the people of the world understand how the anit-Israeli forces in the world led by the media are feeding information upside down, inside out? Parody is one way and some Israelis, led by the brilliant Caroline Glick, quickly prepared the video below, which had been seen by more than three million people before YouTube took it down because of a bogus copyright violation protest, probably from a Muslim sympathizer. Have a few laughs as you appreciate the truth that's being conveyed.


OBAMA, THE MARXIST COLLEGIAN

This is interesting.

GUESS WHO IS "CHARLATAN-IN-CHIEF"?

Dr. Sowell has identified the core compentency of Barack Obama.

One of the secrets of being a glib talker is not getting hung up over whether what you are saying is true. You must give your full attention to what is required by the audience and the circumstances of the moment, without letting facts get in your way and cramp your style. Obama has mastered that art.


Charlatan-in-Chief

The core of Obama's medical-care plan is the promise of something for nothing.
September 11, 2009

By Thomas Sowell


'Hubris-laden charlatans" was the way a recent e-mail from a reader characterized the Obama administration. That phrase seems especially appropriate for the Charlatan-in-Chief, Barack Obama, whose speech to the joint session of Congress was both a masterpiece of rhetoric and a shameless fraud.

To tell us, with a straight face, that he can insure millions more people without adding to the already skyrocketing deficit is world-class chutzpah and an insult to anyone's intelligence. To do so after an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office has already showed this to be impossible reveals the depths of moral bankruptcy behind the glittering words.

Did we really need CBO experts to tell us that there is no free lunch? Some people probably did, and the true believers in the Obama cult may still believe the president, instead of believing either common sense or budget experts.

Even those who can believe that Obama can conjure up the money through eliminating "waste, fraud, and abuse" should ask themselves where he is going to conjure up the additional doctors, nurses, and hospitals needed to take care of millions more patients.

If he can't pull off that miracle, then government-run medical care in the United States can be expected to produce what government-run medical care in Canada, Britain, and other countries has produced -- delays of weeks or months to get many treatments, not to mention arbitrary rationing decisions by bureaucrats.

Obama can deny it in words, but what matters is deeds. And no one's words have been more repeatedly the direct opposite of his deeds -- whether the issue is how his election campaign would be financed, how he would not rush legislation through Congress, or how his administration was not going to go after CIA agents for their past efforts to extract information from captured terrorists.

President Obama has also declared emphatically that he will not interfere in the internal affairs of other nations -- while telling the Israelis where they can and cannot build settlements and telling the Hondurans whom they should and should not choose to be their president.

One of the secrets of being a glib talker is not getting hung up over whether what you are saying is true. You must give your full attention to what is required by the audience and the circumstances of the moment, without letting facts get in your way and cramp your style. Obama has mastered that art.

Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible believe what they want to believe. No message has been more welcomed by the gullible, in countries around the world, than the promise of something for nothing. That is the core of Barack Obama's medical-care plan.

President Obama tells us that he will impose various mandates on insurance companies but will not interfere with our free choice between being insured by these companies or by the government. But if he can drive up the cost of private insurance with mandates and subsidize government insurance with the taxpayers' money, how long do you think it will be before we have the "single payer" system that he has advocated in the past?

Mandates by politicians are what have driven up the cost of insurance already. Politicians love to play Santa Claus and leave it to others to raise prices to cover the inevitable costs.

Politicians have driven privately owned municipal transit systems out of business in many cities, simply by imposing costs and restricting the fare increases needed to cover those costs. The federal government can drive out private insurance the same way that local politicians have driven out private municipal transit and replaced it with government-run transit systems.

Barack Obama's insistence that various dangerous policies are not in the legislation he proposes sounds good but means nothing. Unbridled power is a blank check, no matter what its rationale may be. No law gave the president of the United States the power to fire the head of General Motors, but TARP money did.

When there are "advisory" panels on what treatments to approve and the White House's existing medical advisor has complained of Americans' "over-utilization" of medical care, what does it take to connect the dots?


-- Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

HEALTH CARE REFORM FOR SENSIBLE PEOPLE

Sound thinking on health care from Sarah Palin. Here's the health care plan for sensible Americans:

Instead of poll-driven "solutions," let's talk about real health-care reform: market-oriented, patient-centered, and result-driven. As the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon and others have argued, such policies include giving all individuals the same tax benefits received by those who get coverage through their employers; providing Medicare recipients with vouchers that allow them to purchase their own coverage; reforming tort laws to potentially save billions each year in wasteful spending; and changing costly state regulations to allow people to buy insurance across state lines. Rather than another top-down government plan, let's give Americans control over their own health care.

OPINION SEPTEMBER 9, 2009, WALL STREET JOURNAL


Obama and the Bureaucratization of Health Care

The president's proposals would give unelected officials life-and-death rationing powers.


By SARAH PALIN

Writing in the New York Times last month, President Barack Obama asked that Americans "talk with one another, and not over one another" as our health-care debate moves forward.

I couldn't agree more. Let's engage the other side's arguments, and let's allow Americans to decide for themselves whether the Democrats' health-care proposals should become governing law.

Some 45 years ago Ronald Reagan said that "no one in this country should be denied medical care because of a lack of funds." Each of us knows that we have an obligation to care for the old, the young and the sick. We stand strongest when we stand with the weakest among us.

We also know that our current health-care system too often burdens individuals and businesses--particularly small businesses--with crippling expenses. And we know that allowing government health-care spending to continue at current rates will only add to our ever-expanding deficit.

How can we ensure that those who need medical care receive it while also reducing health-care costs? The answers offered by Democrats in Washington all rest on one principle: that increased government involvement can solve the problem. I fundamentally disagree.

View Full Image

Associated Press
Common sense tells us that the government's attempts to solve large problems more often create new ones. Common sense also tells us that a top-down, one-size-fits-all plan will not improve the workings of a nationwide health-care system that accounts for one-sixth of our economy. And common sense tells us to be skeptical when President Obama promises that the Democrats' proposals "will provide more stability and security to every American."

With all due respect, Americans are used to this kind of sweeping promise from Washington. And we know from long experience that it's a promise Washington can't keep.

Let's talk about specifics. In his Times op-ed, the president argues that the Democrats' proposals "will finally bring skyrocketing health-care costs under control" by "cutting . . . waste and inefficiency in federal health programs like Medicare and Medicaid and in unwarranted subsidies to insurance companies . . . ."

First, ask yourself whether the government that brought us such "waste and inefficiency" and "unwarranted subsidies" in the first place can be believed when it says that this time it will get things right. The nonpartistan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) doesn't think so: Its director, Douglas Elmendorf, told the Senate Budget Committee in July that "in the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount."

Now look at one way Mr. Obama wants to eliminate inefficiency and waste: He's asked Congress to create an Independent Medicare Advisory Council--an unelected, largely unaccountable group of experts charged with containing Medicare costs. In an interview with the New York Times in April, the president suggested that such a group, working outside of "normal political channels," should guide decisions regarding that "huge driver of cost . . . the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives . . . ."

Given such statements, is it any wonder that many of the sick and elderly are concerned that the Democrats' proposals will ultimately lead to rationing of their health care by--dare I say it--death panels? Establishment voices dismissed that phrase, but it rang true for many Americans. Working through "normal political channels," they made themselves heard, and as a result Congress will likely reject a wrong-headed proposal to authorize end-of-life counseling in this cost-cutting context. But the fact remains that the Democrats' proposals would still empower unelected bureaucrats to make decisions affecting life or death health-care matters. Such government overreaching is what we've come to expect from this administration.

Speaking of government overreaching, how will the Democrats' proposals affect the deficit? The CBO estimates that the current House proposal not only won't reduce the deficit but will actually increase it by $239 billion over 10 years. Only in Washington could a plan that adds hundreds of billions to the deficit be hailed as a cost-cutting measure.

The economic effects won't be limited to abstract deficit numbers; they'll reach the wallets of everyday Americans. Should the Democrats' proposals expand health-care coverage while failing to curb health-care inflation rates, smaller paychecks will result. A new study for Watson Wyatt Worldwide by Steven Nyce and Syl Schieber concludes that if the government expands health-care coverage while health-care inflation continues to rise "the higher costs would drive disposable wages downward across most of the earnings spectrum, although the declines would be steepest for lower-earning workers." Lower wages are the last thing Americans need in these difficult economic times.

Finally, President Obama argues in his op-ed that Democrats' proposals "will provide every American with some basic consumer protections that will finally hold insurance companies accountable." Of course consumer protection sounds like a good idea. And it's true that insurance companies can be unaccountable and unresponsive institutions--much like the federal government. That similarity makes this shift in focus seem like nothing more than an attempt to deflect attention away from the details of the Democrats' proposals--proposals that will increase our deficit, decrease our paychecks, and increase the power of unaccountable government technocrats.

Instead of poll-driven "solutions," let's talk about real health-care reform: market-oriented, patient-centered, and result-driven. As the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon and others have argued, such policies include giving all individuals the same tax benefits received by those who get coverage through their employers; providing Medicare recipients with vouchers that allow them to purchase their own coverage; reforming tort laws to potentially save billions each year in wasteful spending; and changing costly state regulations to allow people to buy insurance across state lines. Rather than another top-down government plan, let's give Americans control over their own health care.

Democrats have never seriously considered such ideas, instead rushing through their own controversial proposals. After all, they don't need Republicans to sign on: Democrats control the House, the Senate and the presidency. But if passed, the Democrats' proposals will significantly alter a large sector of our economy. They will not improve our health care. They will not save us money. And, despite what the president says, they will not "provide more stability and security to every American."

We often hear such overblown promises from Washington. With first principles in mind and with the facts in hand, tell them that this time we're not buying it.

WHEN SARAH SPEAKS, PEOPLE LISTEN

| 2 Comments

After Sarah Palin posted her facebook comment asking why the president hasn't talked about tort reform in connection with health reform when it could save billions of dollars, her words sped around the world, hit the news wires and the cable shows in a few hours.

A blogger on a popular site complained that he had been talking tort reform for years, and how come Sarah Palin gets all the attention?. Another blogger had it right:

So how come when I mention Tort Reform, 5 times daily for the past 2 years, nobody on hotair says, "All Hail kirkill?" Oh, I didn't use Facebook...darn. ;-)

kirkill on August 21, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Hey, don't feel bad...Rush has mentioned tort reform for a long time. So has Hannity. So has Levin and Laura Ingraham. But the libs did a stupid thing when they made Sarah the butt of their slander, criticism and jokes, because they made even libs want to know what she says. She is now the most powerful voice in the conservative movement, writing face book pages from her living room in Wasilla. When Sarah speaks/writes, people listen. And what of the greek-column, logo making, teleprompting orator of the century? She's making him all wee-weed up.

Christian Conservative on August 21, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Just as she highlighted the central danger of Obama's health care push -- government control over peoples' lives -- she now puts the question squarely: Who are you for, the trial lawyers or the people?

As we saw throughout the campaign and now the first part of his presidency, Obama has a full deck of race cards, which he plays with abandon and gusto. Disagree with the master, you're a racist.

Jonah Goldberg has it right:

Two weeks ago, town hallers were supposed to be members of the Brooks Brothers brigade, Astroturf division. Now they're well-armed anti-government militias. At this rate, they'll soon be android ninjas with laser vision. Wait, strike that. They'll be really racist android ninjas with laser vision.

Suddenly, if conservatives want to transcend race, we have to agree to massive increases in the size of government and socialized medicine.

That's not transcending race, it's using Obama's race to bully the opposition into acquiescence. Actually transcending race would require treating Obama like any other president. Which is pretty much exactly what conservatives have been doing. Seriously, if Hillary Clinton were president, would conservatives really be rolling over for the same health-care plan because she's white.

It is getting quite old, but racism has been so effective (after all, it bought him the presidency) it's hard if not impossible to give up.

August 21, 2009, 0:00 a.m.

A Deck Stacked with Race Cards
The great irony of the Obama presidency.

By Jonah Goldberg

What if America transcended race, and Barack Obama wasn't invited?

Continue reading. . .

While Obama has been talking about health care reform as the vehicle for his real purpose, which is running of the lives of all Americans, he hasn't ever mentioned the reform needed the most: Tort reform.

Sarah Palin reminds him of that today:

Why no legal reform? Why continue to encourage defensive medicine that wastes billions of dollars and does nothing for the patients? Do you want health care reform to benefit trial attorneys or patients?
Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, points out that Obama is counting on his belief that the American public is really stupid and if he, Goebbels-like, keeps repeating his lies about what his health care plan will do, at the end of the day he will be believed and get the control of American lives that he wants.

Both Lowry and Obama may be right.

So the battle against Obama's war against freedom must not ease up.

Read Stupid Nation

And, as for being calm and not using inflammatory terms such as "death panels,' nuts to that. What Obama wants is the power of life and death over all. It's his narcissistic craving that drives him for dominion over our lives. Andrew McCarthy explains why the arguments of his editors at the National Review and Krauthammer for quiet "civility" are mistaken.

Obama wants our freedom:

His purpose is revolutionary change in an American society he grew up understanding to be fundamentally unjust, racist, materialist, imperialist, and the agent of global misery. He is in Washington to transform the nation from the top down. Nationalized health care is key for him. If he gets it, sovereignty shifts from the citizen to the state. By law, government will be empowered to manage minute details of our lives. Over time -- when, as the American Thinker's Joseph Ashby observes, a "1,000-page health-care law explodes into many thousands of pages of regulatory codes" -- that is precisely what government will do.

Even though it appears that Obama is losing the battle, McCarthy fears we can "still blow this thing." We cannot forget the Democrats control all the levers of power and can push this bill through. As McCarthy observes, only a handful of wavering Democrats have the votes to kill it. What will make the difference, he asks?

The ardor of public opposition will determine whether this battle is won or lost.

We must not let up.

OBAMA'S DEATH SQUAD

It is astonishing how far out of the mainstream of America President Obama has been and is. Throughout his life (that is, as much as he has allowed us to know about) he has sought out as associates, colleagues and mentors people who hate America, its free markets and its dedication to individual freedom. Frank Marshall Davis, member of the American Communist Party, black power activists and Marxists during college years, followers of Marxist Saul Alinksky during his community organizer days, ACORN, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Rashid Khalidi,Louis Farrakhan, Jeremiah Wright, Edward Said, Michael Pflegher,

Along the way he developed a desire for control of other peoples' lives, the kind that a totalitarian collectivist government exercises, because he believes he knows how to run peoples' lives better than they do for the good of society. This desire for power to control life has evidenced itself most strikingly in the extreme positions he advocates on killing babies, including forcing U.S. taxpayer funding of abortions worldwide. It is notable that every high-level Catholic he has appointed is a supporter of abortion. He has pledged to Planned Parenthood he will wipe out every restriction on abortion. Even his desired health care bill has the government getting involved in facilitating end-of-life decisons. And two of his top "science" advisors have written extensively about the practicality of government choosing who will live and who will die, as this editorial describes. One of them has even opined that a child really doesn't become entitled to be considered a person until several years after birth.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

EDITORIAL: Obama's mad science adviser
THE WASHINGTON TIMES


When it comes to having past views that should frighten every American citizen, Ezekiel Emanuel (see above editorial) has nothing on the president's "chief science adviser," John P. Holdren. The combination of Mr. Holdren with Dr. Emanuel should make the public seriously concerned with this administration's moral compass concerning care for the old and weak.

Earlier this month, Mr. Holdren served as co-chairman when the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology met for the first time. It's a disgrace that Mr. Holdren is even on the council. In "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment," a book he co-authored in 1977 with noted doomsayers Paul R. and Anne H. Erlich, Mr. Holdren wrote: "Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society."

In case compulsory abortion wasn't enough to diffuse his imaginary population bomb, Mr. Holdren and the Erlichs considered other extremist measures. "A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men," they wrote. "The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control."

It gets worse. The Holdren-Erlich book also promotes "Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods." After noting that, well, yes, there were "very difficult political, legal and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems," Mr. Holdren and his co-authors express hope that their idea may still be viable. "To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements," they wrote. "It must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets or livestock."

Most Americans can be forgiven for thinking that mass sterilization through drinking water is never acceptable and that someone who supported such horrors should have no place on a prestigious White House council. The question naturally arises why President Obama chooses to surround himself with extremists like Mr. Holdren or Dr. Emanuel. No matter how much they claim their views have "evolved," health and science under Obamacare would be a frightening prospect with people like this advising the president.

Professor Thomas Sowell captures well the President's desire to control life and death and the role of these advisers in his plans:

[President Obama] said, "the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out there." He added: "It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. That is why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance."

But when you select people like Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel to give "independent" guidance, you have already chosen a policy through your choice of advisors, who simply provide political cover. The net result can be exactly the same as if those providing that guidance were openly called "death panels."


OBAMA FRIGHTENING AMERICANS, POLLS SINK

Victor Davis Hanson tells why Obama has sunk so fast. He sold the voters a bill of good and they have now found out the truth.


Piling up debt, gaffes, and hypocrisy, Obama & Co. are sinking.

By Victor Davis Hanson in National Review Online

We are witnessing one of the more rapid turnabouts in recent American political history. President Obama's popularity has plummeted to 50 percent and lower in some polls, while the public expresses even less confidence in the Democratic-led Congress and the direction of the country at large. Yet, just eight months ago, liberals were talking in Rovian style about a new generation to come of progressive politics -- and the end of both the Republican party and the legacy of Reaganism itself. Barack Obama was to be the new FDR and his radical agenda an even better New Deal.

What happened, other than the usual hubris of the party in power?

First, voters had legitimate worries about health care, global warming, immigration, energy, and inefficient government. But it turns out that they are more anxious about the new radical remedies than the old nagging problems. They wanted federal support for wind and solar, but not at the expense of neglecting new sources of gas, oil, coal, and nuclear power. They were worried about high-cost health care, the uninsured, redundant procedures, and tort reform, but not ready for socialized medicine. They wanted better government, not bigger, DMV-style government. There is a growing realization that Obama enticed voters last summer with the flashy lure of discontent. But now that they are hooked, he is reeling them in to an entirely different -- and, for many a frightening -- agenda. Nothing is worse for a president than a growing belief among the public that it has been had.

Second, Americans were at first merely scared about the growing collective debt. But by June they became outraged that Obama has quadrupled the annual deficit in proposing all sorts of new federal programs at a time when most finally had acknowledged that the U.S. has lived beyond its means for years. They elected Obama, in part, out of anger at George W. Bush for multi-billion dollar shortfalls -- and yet as a remedy for that red ink got Obama's novel multi-trillion-dollar deficits.

Third, many voters really believed in the "no more red/blue state America" healing rhetoric. Instead, polls show they got the most polarizing president in recent history -- both in his radical programs and in the manner in which he has demonized the opposition to ram them through without bipartisan support. "Punch back harder" has replaced "Yes, we can."

Fourth, Americans wanted a new brand -- youthful, postracial, mesmerizing abroad. At first they got that, too. But after eight months, their president has proven not so postracial, but instead hyper-racially conscious. Compare the Holder "cowards" outburst, the Sotomayor riff on innate racial and gender judicial superiority, and the president's Cambridge police comments. All that sounds more like Jesse Jackson than Martin Luther King Jr. Demagogues, not healers, trash their predecessors at the beginning of every speech. When a once-eloquent president now goes off teleprompter, the question is not whether he will say something that is either untruthful or silly, but simply how many times he might do so at one outing. Some once worried that George W. Bush could not articulate our goals in Iraq; far more now sense that Obama is even less able to outline his own health-care reform.

Fifth, even skeptics are surprised at the partisan cynicism. A year ago, Democratic leaders such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama praised organizing, dissidents, and protest. Today they have become near-Nixonian in demonizing popular resistance to their collectivized health-care plans as mob-like, inauthentic, scripted, Nazi-like, and un-American. There are still ex-lobbyists in the government. High officials still cheat on their taxes. Hacks in the Congress still profit from their office. The public is sensing not only that Obama has failed to run the most ethically clean government, as promised, but indeed that he is not running as ethically clean a government as the predecessor whom he so assiduously ridiculed.

Sixth, there is a growing fear that Obamism is becoming cult-like and Orwellian. Almost on script, Hollywood ceased all its Rendition/Redacted-style films. Iraq -- once the new Vietnam -- is out of the news. Afghanistan is "problematic," not a "blunder." Tribunals, renditions, the Patriot Act, and Predators are no longer proof of a Seven Days in May coup, but legitimate tools to keep us safe. Words change meanings as acts of terror become "man-caused disasters." Hunting down jihadists is really an "overseas contingency operation." Media sycophants do not merely parrot Obama, but now proclaim him a "god." New York Times columnists who once assured us that Bush's dastardly behavior was proof of American pathology now sound like Pravda apologists in explaining the "real" Obama is not what he is beginning to seem like.

Seventh, the Obama cabinet is sounding downright uncouth and boorish. The tax-challenged Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, unleashed a profanity-laced diatribe against bank regulators. Hillary Clinton's recent outburst in the Congo, captured on YouTube, was something out of Days of Our Lives. Joe Biden cannot speak extemporaneously without causing an incident with the Russians or misleading the public about swine flu. Attorney General Holder sounds like a tired scold, only to be overshadowed by the president's off-the-cuff cuts about the Special Olympics, Las Vegas, and the Cambridge police. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs makes Scott McClellan sound like a Cicero by comparison.

Eighth, we were all appalled by Wall Street greed and the notion that an individual could take $100 million rather than one or two million as a bonus. But the Obama remedy for that obscenity was to conflate Goldman Sachs or AIG with the family orthodontist or local asphalt contractor whose 80-hour weeks might result in an annual $250,000 income. Worse still, the public impression is that while small entrepreneurs may pay up to 65 percent of their income in new state and federal income taxes, payroll taxes, and surcharges, those on Wall Street have been bailed out and have cut various deals with upscale liberals in government.

Ninth, Democratic populism turned out to be largely aristocratic elitism. Obama spends more money on himself than did Bush. The liberal Congress has a strange fondness for pricy private jets. Those environmentalists and racialists who lecture us about our ecological and ethical shortcomings prefer Martha's Vineyard and country estates to Dayton and Bakersfield. Offering left-wing populist sermonizing for others while enjoying the high life oneself is never a winning combination.

Tenth, Americans no longer believe this is our moment when the seas stop rising and the planet ceases warming. Instead, there is a growing hopelessness that despite all the new proposed income taxes, payroll taxes, and surtaxes, the deficit will skyrocket, not shrink. There is foreboding that while apologies abroad are nice in the short term, they will soon earn a reckoning. And while the productive classes pay more of their income, and while government grows and entitlement expands, there is a sense that what follows will not be thanks for either taxes paid or benefits received, but even more anger that neither is enough and that much more is owed.

Obama's popularity might rebound with a natural upturn in the economy, continued low energy prices, and good will for our first multiracial president. But then again, it could get even worse if the recovery turns into stagflation, gas prices soar, and the identity-politics lectures amplify. The next six months should be interesting.

-- NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

THE GOVERNMENT WILL "TAKE CARE OF" YOU

Seldom do you find a piece of writing that absolutely captures the essence of a proposal or an event.

This Wall Street Journal scenario does that.

It shows what this president's cultish fixation on achieving the power of life and death over all Americans, indeed, all humans, can lead to.

Promoting abortion without limits is not enough, taxpayer funding of abortions in Africa is not enough, taxpayer funding of abortions in America is not enough. Power over the infirm, the handicapped, the aged must follow.

He wouldn't pull the plug on his grandma, he chuckled. But what about yours?

OPINION AUGUST 17, 2009, 11:04 P.M ET

Wall Street Journal

The Panel

What death by bureaucratic fiat might look like.

By ANDREW KLAVAN

It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that's part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance.
--President Barack Obama in a New York Times interview on how costly medical decisions should be made.

The people behind the long table do not know what they've become. The drug of power has been sugared over in their mouths with a flavoring of righteousness. Someone has to make these decisions, they tell their friends at dinner parties. It's all very difficult for us. But you can see it in their eyes: It isn't really difficult at all. It feels good to them to be the ones who decide.

"Well, we have your doctor's recommendation," says the chairwoman in a friendly tone. She peers over the top of her glasses as she pages through your file.

You have to clear your throat before you can answer. "He says the operation is my only chance."

"But not really very much of a chance, is it?" she says sympathetically. Over time, she's become expert at sounding sympathetic.

"Seventy percent!" you object.

"Seventy percent chance of survival for five years--five years at the outside--and even that only amounts to about 18 months in QALYs: quality-adjusted life years."

"But without this procedure, I'll be dead before Christmas."

You try to keep the anger out of your voice. The last thing you want to do is offend them. But the politicians promised you--they promised everyone--there would never be panels like this. They made fun of anyone who said there would. "What do they think we're going to do? Pull the plug on grandma?" they chuckled. The media ran news stories calling all rumors of such things "false" or "misleading." But of course by then the media had become apologists for the state rather than watchdogs for the people.

In fact, the logic of this moment was inevitable. Once government got its fingers on the health-care system, it was only a matter of time before it took it over completely. Now there's one limited pool of dollars while the costs are endless.

"You have the luxury of thinking only of yourself, but we have to think about everyone," says the professor of ethics. He's a celebrity and waxes eloquent every Tuesday and Thursday on Bill Maher Tonight. "This isn't the free market, after all. We can't just leave fairness to chance. We have to use reason. Is it better for society as a whole that we allocate limited resources for your operation when we might use the same dollars to bring many more high quality years to someone, say, younger?"

"I'm only 62."

He smiles politely.

"Look, it's not just about me," you argue desperately. "My daughter's engaged to get married next year. She'll be heartbroken if I'm not there for it."

"Maybe you should have thought of that before you put on so much weight," says the medical officer. "I mean, you people have been told time and again . . ."

But the chairwoman is uncomfortable with his censorious tone and cuts him off, saying more gently, "Perhaps your daughter could move the wedding up a little."

The member in charge of "stakeholder" exceptions shakes her head sadly as she studies your file. "If only you could have checked off one of the boxes. It would be awful if you were penalized just because of a clerical oversight."

It begins to occur to you that this is how you are going to die: by the fiat of fatuous ideologues--that is to say, by the considered judgment of a government committee. They are going to snuff you out and never lose a minute's sleep over it, because it's only fair, after all.

That logic is implacable too. Free people can treat each other justly, but they can't make life fair. To get rid of the unfairness among individuals, you have to exercise power over them. The more fairness you want, the more power you need. Thus, all dreams of fairness become dreams of tyranny in the end.

You know you should keep your mouth shut. Be humble--they like that. But you speak before you can stop yourself.

"What you're doing here is evil," you cry out. "You're trying to take the place of God!"

"Sir, this is a government building!" says the chairwoman, shocked. "There's no God here."

Mr. Klavan is a contributing editor to City Journal. His latest novel is "Empire of Lies" (Harcourt, 2008).

THE WHITE HOUSE DEATH CULT

Death cultist Obama has surrounded himself with other death cultists, most prominently Ezekiel Emanuel and John Holdren, Obama's chief "science" advisors. Obama has already authorized spending taxpayer dollars to facilitate abortions in Africa and elsewhere in pre-emerging economies. He wants taxpayer money to fund abortion mills like Planned Parenthood, as he promised to them he would do. Holdren has been long-known as an advocate of compulsory abortion and sterilization. Ezekiel doesn't think a baby is entiled to as much health care as someone in the 15 to 40 age group, who is more productive. The seeming disregard not only of the unborn, but for the very young and disabled as well as those at the tag end of life, is emblematic of those who are indiffent to the sanctity of human life.

Holdren's past is detailed in this Washington Times editorial:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

EDITORIAL: Obama's mad science adviser

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

When it comes to having past views that should frighten every American citizen, Ezekiel Emanuel (see above editorial) has nothing on the president's "chief science adviser," John P. Holdren. The combination of Mr. Holdren with Dr. Emanuel should make the public seriously concerned with this administration's moral compass concerning care for the old and weak.

Earlier this month, Mr. Holdren served as co-chairman when the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology met for the first time. It's a disgrace that Mr. Holdren is even on the council. In "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment," a book he co-authored in 1977 with noted doomsayers Paul R. and Anne H. Erlich, Mr. Holdren wrote: "Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society."

In case compulsory abortion wasn't enough to diffuse his imaginary population bomb, Mr. Holdren and the Erlichs considered other extremist measures. "A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men," they wrote. "The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control."

It gets worse. The Holdren-Erlich book also promotes "Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods." After noting that, well, yes, there were "very difficult political, legal and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems," Mr. Holdren and his co-authors express hope that their idea may still be viable. "To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements," they wrote. "It must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets or livestock."

Most Americans can be forgiven for thinking that mass sterilization through drinking water is never acceptable and that someone who supported such horrors should have no place on a prestigious White House council. The question naturally arises why President Obama chooses to surround himself with extremists like Mr. Holdren or Dr. Emanuel. No matter how much they claim their views have "evolved," health and science under Obamacare would be a frightening prospect with people like this advising the president.

Jonah Goldberg exposes Obama's false promise with a simple example:

Under the plan discussed at President Obama's infomercial-esqe town halls, America would cut costs and expand coverage while avoiding rationing. Apparently, it's paranoid to think that's too good to be true.


Imagine you're in charge of bringing pie to a company picnic. You're planning to provide dessert for 100 people. Then, your boss says you need to hand out pie to 150. Fine, you say, I'll make more pies. But -- oh no! -- you can't, because you've also been told costs must go down. Okay, then you can cut slices of the existing pies smaller so everyone can have a piece. Wait! You can't do that either, because you're not allowed to ration (i.e., give less to more).

But, as Jonah points out, it's more than healthcare that's at stake, it's personal freedom:

When it comes to civil liberties, liberals are often distrustful of government power. But, for reasons that baffle me, they are quite comfortable with Uncle Sam getting into the business of deciding, or providing "guidance" on, which lives are more valuable than others. A government charged with extending life expectancy must meddle not just with our health care, but with what we eat, how we drive, how we live. A government determined to cut costs must meddle not just with how we live, but how we die.


That sounds scary and un-American to me. And if that makes me paranoid and unpatriotic, then I am what I am.

Some would call Obamacare totalitarian socialism.

Do read all of what Jonah has to say on the Obama plan to "meddle" in every aspect of your life.

FIGHT SOCIALIZED HEALTHCARE FROM HOME


Help kill the Obamacare nationalization of healthcare right from your computer.

The Obamabots want you to report anyone making -- or even thinking -- "fishy" things about the government takeover of your health care. That it will add trillions to the national debt and require crushing taxes on you and your descendants is something you aren't supposed to talk about.

Tell them to leave our healthcare alone.

Stephen Crowder has a plan.

Write to flag@whitehouse.gov and tell them you oppose the government takeover of healthcare.

President Obama tried to brush aside the "death panels" in the Democrats' health "reform" bill that former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin had warned about. The trouble for Obama is that the text of the bill (section 1233) and other commentators, even champions of the Democrats, support Palin.

Palin herself carefully cited chapter and verse in responding to the President' statement, which she called "misleading" in her posting on facebook.

One of the huge advantages of the internet and services like facebook is that information can be distributed worldwide in an instant without having to rely on the whims of major media outlets to carry the message (or not) and their power to spin the information any way they want. The New York Times can twist her statement however it wishes, but the statement itself is accessible to all as she wrote it.

It seldom happens that the media calls the president on his misstatements, mischaracterizations and downright falsehoods, but with the actual text of his remarks, the bill itself and Palin's commentary for all to see, their ability to fudge the facts is greatly diminished.

Has Palin identified what is at the heart of the Obama health plan? Indeed, she has. It's government power over life and death: It can make decisions about the relative value of the lives of the healthy and the ill, the unborn and the aged, the professor and the cop.

Nothing doing.

Concerning the "Death Panels"
Yesterday at 8:55pm (August 12, 2009)
Yesterday (a August 11, 2009) President Obama responded to my statement that Democratic health care proposals would lead to rationed care; that the sick, the elderly, and the disabled would suffer the most under such rationing; and that under such a system these "unproductive" members of society could face the prospect of government bureaucrats determining whether they deserve health care.

The President made light of these concerns. He said:

"Let me just be specific about some things that I've been hearing lately that we just need to dispose of here. The rumor that's been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for death panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we've decided that we don't, it's too expensive to let her live anymore....It turns out that I guess this arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end-of-life care, setting up living wills, the availability of hospice, etc. So the intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they're ready on their own terms. It wasn't forcing anybody to do anything." [1]

The provision that President Obama refers to is Section 1233 of HR 3200, entitled "Advance Care Planning Consultation." [2] With all due respect, it's misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients. The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context.

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