In today's "The Heck With Equal Opportunity, We Want Equal Outcome" segment, the New York Times on Sunday accidentally introduced a new concept to readers: mortality socialism.
For those unfamiliar -- please count me amongst this woefully ignorant group until a few minutes ago!!! -- the Times feels that something has to be done to make sure that everybody's life expectancies are exactly the same regardless of income, wealth, or lifestyle.
I wonder if that's what Robin Hood had in mind all along.
While you ponder, please extinguish all cigarettes, fasten your seatbelts, and prepare yourself for one of the most inane gripes ever published at a major American newspaper (emphasis added, h/t Moonbattery via NBer Roger the Shrubber):
On Sunday’s "60 Minutes," anchor Scott Pelley profiled a charity called Remote Area Medical and its efforts to provide free health care in the United States:
Recently, we heard about an American relief organization that air drops doctors and medicine into the jungles of the Amazon. Its called Remote Area Medical, or "RAM" for short. Remote Area Medical sets up emergency clinics where the needs are greatest. But these days, that's not the Amazon -- this charity founded to help people who can't reach medical care now finds itself throwing America a lifeline.
Later, Pelley asked the charity’s founder, Stan Brock, about this: "You've created this medical organization that was designed to go into third world countries, to go into remote places, and you're now doing 60% of your work in urban and rural America. What are we supposed to make of that?"
If Michael Moore wins an Oscar Sunday for his controversial documentary "SiCKO," it seems certain Hollywoodans and the left will try to use the moment to advance universal healthcare in this country much as they did last year with Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" and global warming.
Yet, as media gush over Moore and his socialist healthcare philosophies, will they point out how antagonistic he is to the two Democrat presidential candidates?
In particular, will they address a recent unfriendly exchange between Moore and Hillary Clinton reported by The Hill late Friday evening (h/t NBer Par for the Course, emphasis added throughout):
USA Today's Emily Bazar wrote a long article Wednesday ("Strict immigration law rattles Okla. businesses") on the early impact of Oklahoma's recently-passed immigration reform legislation, apparently now well-known as "1804," or "House Bill 1804, the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007, arguably the nation's toughest state law targeting illegal immigrants," which became effective November 1.
Bazar's report is dominated by plenty of downbeat anecdotes and dire warnings to relay to her readers from employers and others. Here are a few:
..... workers at the sprawling Greenleaf Nursery were prepping for deadly frosts. They needed to ship plants, erect greenhouses and bunch trees together to protect them against the cold.
But in late October, about 40 employees disappeared from the 600-acre nursery about an hour's drive from Tulsa. "Some went to Texas, some went to Arkansas," nursery President Randy Davis says. "They just left."
Why did the workers, all immigrants, flee? "Those states don't have 1804," Davis says.
I've said this before, but it merits saying again: We'll know that the news we're fed every day by the wire services, "newspapers of record," and TV networks is fair, accurate, and complete when those in search of the full picture no longer have to go to the editorials of the Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily to fill in Old Media's yawning information and coverage gaps.
Among the latest pieces evidence that we're not there yet -- Thursday's IBDeditorials.com opinion piece, which had this news from Britain's National Health Service (NHS):
The British have found a way to shorten those long, annoying waits for care and lower the rising costs of their universal access system. They'll let patients take care of themselves.
"Millions of older Americans are facing an important decision right now," anchor Charles Gibson said. "And some hard sell insurance agents see them as easy targets. Every December, seniors choose between Medicare or any of dozens of private plans that compete with the government. This year, almost 9 million opted for the private plans. And as ABC's David Muir reports, some now have serious regrets."
Six years ago, Joe Cameron survived more than two months on life support, racking up a bill of more than $1 million. He paid less than $2,000 thanks to the health insurance he had through Medicare Advantage. Needless to say, he's pleased with his outcome, and now speaks highly of the program that paid for his life-saving care.
But in a segment December 19, "Good Morning America" portrayed Cameron as a shill for the insurance industry. Host Chris Cuomo called Cameron "a favorite example for the insurance industry," saying he is a go-to interviewee when they don't want to talk about cases like Angela Dispenza, who claims her insurance company refused to pay for medically necessary rehabilitation after a back injury.
As Republican primary campaign slogans go, "Endorsed by Frank Rich!" might not be a candidate's strongest play. But for better or worse Mike Huckabee is essentially stuck with it after Rich's NYT's column of yesterday. The ostensible theme of "The Republicans Find Their Obama" is that Republican voters are leaning toward Huckabee for the same reasons that Dems are trending to Obama: that both men are relatively young, speak across racial lines, are witty and avoid hyper-partisanship.
But dig down a bit deeper, and it appears that Huckabee's real appeal for Rich is that, social issues aside, he is the most liberal of the GOP frontrunners. Making his case for Huckabee, Rich goes so far to dabble in Christian theology [emphasis added]:
Journalism's defenders often describe it as a profession or craft unto itself, and minimize the importance, or even sometimes the relevance, of subject matter expertise.
That lack of subject matter expertise, and the apparent unwillingness to seek out a source of that expertise when necessary, probably explain how a Hillary Clinton whopper has survived on the campaign trail for so long.
For years one of the great unanswered questions along Main and Wall streets has been why, in the midst of 24 consecutive quarters of uninterrupted growth, polls have regularly found Americans sour about the economy.
On Tuesday, a battle between the New York Times liberal economics columnist Paul Krugman and WOR radio's Steve Malzberg offered a clue.
In fact, after 16 minutes of sparring on subjects from healthcare to the Iraq war, a truly inconvenient truth became evident concerning the left's continued bearishness since the economy emerged from recession in the fourth quarter of 2001: too many folks listen to people like Krugman.
As a perfect illustration of just how separated this man, and anybody who reads him, are from reality, when Malzberg asked Krugman where he'd seek medical treatment if he was really ill, the Times columnist said (16 minute long audio link available here):
CNN's Jack Cafferty used one of his Monday “Cafferty File” segments to denounce the Bush administration for opposing the expansion of the S-CHIP program, and now threatening to veto spending for home energy assistance, while pushing more money for Iraq. An exasperated Cafferty: “No money for kids' health insurance, no money to help poor families pay their heating bills, but President Bush wants $190 billion additional for 2008 for his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Cafferty contended “thirty million of the poorest Americans will be left in the cold this winter because a government program that's supposed to help pay their heating bills doesn't have enough money” and yet “the Bush administration wants to cut the program's budget. No heat for the poor people. Starting to sound familiar, isn't it? Remember a couple of weeks ago President Bush went into a closed office, shut the door, no reporters, vetoed a health bill to provide health insurance for kids.”
Cafferty's loaded question in the 7pm EDT hour of The Situation Room:
When it comes to American citizens, you really have to wonder what President Bush's priorities are. Where do the citizens of this country fit into his game plan? Hundred and ninety billion for the wars, cut the heating bill budget, veto the kids' health insurance. The question is the Bush administration doesn't have enough money to help poor families pay for heat this winter, but they want $190 billion for the Iraq war. What's your reaction to that?
Hillary Clinton is smart and clearly knows health care better than any other 2008 candidate. That's according to ABC's medical expert, Dr. Tim Johnson. On Friday's "Good Morning America," the network contributor gushed, "She certainly knows health care better, I think, than any other candidate....I'm very impressed with her knowledge base." Johnson lauded Clinton for "offering a wide range of options" and regurgitated the candidate's use of the word choice in relation to her health care plan. He also failed to ever mention taxes or how the government would pay for universal health coverage.
Johnson may be a respected medical expert, but he's clearly a Clinton cheerleader. He has a long history of backing Bill and Hillary, as well as other liberal politicians. On Friday, the doctor casually asked Mrs. Clinton, "You have said that providing health insurance for everyone is a moral issue. Do you think the Republicans who are against it are immoral?" The ABC contributor also praised the 2008 contender for speaking "eloquently" on issues related to health care and, after noting that America has only had male presidents, sycophantically wondered, "Do you think being a female president would make any difference in leading the health care reform debate?"
On Thursday's "Countdown," MSNBC host Keith Olbermann suggested that President Bush "hates" kids because of the President's veto of the SCHIP funding bill, as the "Countdown" host teased the show: "Why does President Bush hate American kids?" Olbermann also suggested that it was "refreshing" to see Democratic Congressman Pete Stark refuse to apologize for accusing President Bush of gaining "amusement" at U.S. troops having "their heads blown off" as he asked of guest Jonathan Alter: "Did you not, in that, obviously he went to extremes there, but was there not something refreshing about his at least refusal to back down when somebody came after him?" (Transcript follows)
Olbermann teased Thursday's show while showing the words "Unhealthy GOP Vote" on-screen:
A day after a USA Today/Gallup Poll discovered the majority of Americans, when provided with basic facts about the scope and impact of the plan to expand the S-CHIP program, agree with President Bush's concerns which led to his veto, on Wednesday's CBS Evening News Katie Couric trumpeted how a new CBS News poll found 81 percent favor “expanding this health insurance program for poor children.” Couric also highlighted how “four out of five say it should be expanded to cover children in middle income families” and “of those who favor expansion, three out of four are willing to pay higher taxes to get it done.” Bob Schieffer assured Couric that Democrats are not worried about Bush's veto since it means “having the President in the position that they can go out in the campaign next year and say this President vetoed health insurance for little children. That sounds pretty good on the stump.” And it sounds just like how the media have framed the topic.
Slim majorities back two positions at the core of the President's opposition to the expansion: 52% agree with Bush that most benefits should go to children in families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level -- about $41,000 for a family of four. Only 40% say benefits should go to such families earning up to $62,000, as the bill written by Democrats and some Republicans would allow. 55% are very or somewhat concerned that the program would create an incentive for families to drop private insurance.
Tuesday’s "The Situation Room" featured two segments with aging rockers who voiced their opposition to Bush administration policies - the first with Crosby and Nash (but not Stills), and the second with Paul Simon. In the first segment, CNN correspondent Carol Costello interviewed the two hippie icons, who compared the Bush administration to a "junta." In the second, host Wolf Blitzer asked Simon about his opposition to President Bush’s veto of the expanded SCHIP program.
Both the Crosby/Nash segment and the Simon segment aired in the 5 pm Eastern hour of "The Situation Room." While Crosby and Nash used fiery rhetoric against Bush, Simon used subdued language. All three wore coats and business shirts, compared to the "rocker garb" of their youth.
Costello interviewed Crosby and Nash at Washington National Cathedral, where the two were to perform at a "peace concert." In their rant against President Bush, Crosby and Nash completed each other’s thoughts, as if they were telepathically-linked.
On Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," host Hannah Storm interviewed Democratic Senator Joe Biden and when the subject turned to recent success in Iraq, Storm summed things up in this question to the presidential candidate:
And let's talk about this report in "The Washington Post," that says some of the generals are considering declaring victory in Iraq over Al Qaeda. Now, does it matter if they do or don't? Is this just a matter of semantics?
Storm’s astute observation of what is being fought for in Iraq is as wise as John Edwards assertion that the "War on Terror" is just a "bumper-sticker slogan." Or, it could be compared to actress Cate Blanchett’s analysis of military leaders that she shared in an interview with Harry Smith in the 8am hour about her new movie "Elizabeth: The Golden Age": "And when you think about that moment when she arrived in front of the troops, I mean, where was Bush after 9/11? And here you had a female monarch, arriving at the battle scene."
After Biden responded by saying, "I hope the administration stops this malarkey about that the war in Iraq is about Al Qaeda," instead of challenging such a statement, Storm concurred, "And Al Qaeda wasn't there before the war in Iraq. They've been a presence since then."
In the midst of a Wall Street Journal editorial today about proponents' misrepresentations relating to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) coverage, cost, and financing (characterized as "fiscal fraudulence"), the Journal took shots at blogs that have questioned the SCHIP eligibiliy of Graeme Frost, the 12-year-old boy the Democrats used to deliver a two-minute rebuttal to President Bush's veto of legislation that would vastly expand the program.
The Journal's criticisms of SCHIP expansion and the Democrats' overheated rhetoric after the veto are, on substance, very solid:
After President Bush vetoed Congress's major expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, Nancy Pelosi declared: "President Bush used his cruel veto pen to say, 'I forbid 10 million children from getting the health benefits they deserve.'" As far as political self-parody goes, that one ought to enter the record books.
It's wrong on the facts, for one, which Speaker Pelosi knows. ..... The Schip bill was not some all-or-nothing proposition: A continuing resolution fully funds the program through mid-November, so none of the 6.6 million recipients will lose coverage.
David Herszenhorn's front-page "Political Memo" for Wednesday's New York Times was devoted to the fight over Graeme Frost, the boy pushed forward by the Democrats to deliver the response to Bush's weekly radio address on the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP).
The inimitable Mark Steyn is one of several conservative writers unhappy with Democrats "desperate enough to send a boy to do a man's job."
Herszenhorn accused Republicans and "conservative bloggers" of attacking the boy and his family. While not as bad as the local coverage in the Baltimore Sun as outlined earlier by Ken Shepherd, there is a hostile tone:
On September 29, 2007, Baltimore 12-year old Graeme Frost became the Democratic poster child, literally, for SCHIP. Frost read the Democratic Party's official response to the president's weekly radio address, attacking President Bush for his veto of a Democratic-sponsored bill to balloon federal spending on the 10-year old program.
The Baltimore Sun ran a story that morning noting young Graeme Frost's brush with political football history, and two days earlier ran a gauzy profile on Graeme's mom and dad and their push for the Democratic SCHIP expansion here. But now that conservative bloggers have been raising questions about the portrayal by Democrats and the Baltimore Sun of the family's financial plight, the Sun is hitting back by attacking conservatives bloggers as heartless and obsessive, Michelle Malkin noted on her blog.
Retired steelworker Steve Skvara tugged at the heartstrings of liberals everywhere when he asked Democratic presidential candidates at an August debate sponsored by the AFL-CIO, "What's wrong with America? And what will you do to change it?" The underlying premise of his question, that something's wrong with this nation because taxpayers aren't picking up the tab for his spouse's health insurance, made him an instant celebrity in certain circles.
Chris Matthews invited Mr. Skvara to his MSNBC Hardball program and told him, "You're a great American to speak so well to the needs of this country." Matthews later fawned, ""Well, can I pay tribute — can I pay tribute to you, sir?" The CBS Evening News described Skvara's query as a time when "a moment of truth breaks through a political campaign event." Since his debut, Mr. Skvara's popped up in the media numerous times, including Oprah Winfrey's show.
Again exploiting children and mothers to advance the goal of expanding federal spending and dependency, ABC's World News led Wednesday night by giving voice to the media-political establishment's astonishment that President Bush would veto a bill to provide health insurance “for children.” Anchor Charles Gibson led his newscast: “Most politicians like to kiss babies, pet dogs and support programs for children. Not often you'll see one take a stand against a proposal providing health insurance for children. But that's what President Bush did today, vetoing the so-called S-CHIP program that would have expanded health insurance for children by $35 billion.”
Reporter Martha Raddatz highlighted how “the country seems to disagree” with Bush since “72 percent of Americans support expanding the program,” which the media have promoted, “including majorities of Republicans and conservatives.” Indeed, ABC's poll (PDF) found self-identified conservatives favor the expansion by 61 to 36 percent. Raddatz, who two weeks ago used a crying mother to push increased spending, warned Wednesday that “the veto could have a profound impact.” To back her assumption, Raddatz featured an unlabeled left-wing activist from Families USA followed a mother who pleaded: “Having it taken away would be devastating. You can't do that to children. It's not right.”
CNN’s Jack Cafferty, in a "Question of the Hour" segment on Wednesday’s "The Situation Room," offered a loaded question involving President Bush’s veto of a proposed expansion of the SCHIP program. "President Bush has increased the national debt by trillions of dollars. Why would he veto a bill providing health insurance for children?"
Cafferty’s question came 10 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour of "The Situation Room." Before he asked that question, Cafferty detailed that President Bush’s veto of SCHIP "was cast very quietly this morning behind closed doors. No fanfare, no news coverage," and the reasons the President listed for his veto. He then added that "this is the same man who will soon go to Congress and ask for another $190 billion to continue that glorious war in Iraq." Cafferty also outlined how under President Bush’s leadership, the ceiling for the national debt has been increased for the fifth time in seven years to $9.8 trillion, and how apparently, President Bush "has borrowed more money from foreign governments and banks since taking office than this country's first 42 presidents combined."
According to the media's parade of children who need government assistance for insurance, President Bush must really just hate children. After all, he vetoed a bill today that would have expanded the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Leading up to the October 3 veto, the media couldn’t resist scripting it as a vote against children.
What’s at stake, though, included a proposed $35-billion expansion of taxpayer-funded insurance made possible by a huge tax increase on tobacco users many of whom are poor -- burdening the same families the program is designed to help.
Cherie Black of the Seattle P-I took the opportunity to inform readers of a liberal cancer patient's political stunt: putting out a personals ad looking for a Canadian man to marry, for health care, of course.
But while Black breezed past Canadian angst over American Jeanne Sather's hopes of cashing in on love and free health care, the P-I reporter failed to mention a prominent Canadian pol who recently went to the United States for cancer care.
OTTAWA–Belinda Stronach, the MP for Newmarket-Aurora and former cabinet minister, travelled outside Canada's health-care system to California for some of her breast cancer treatment earlier this year.
Stronach, diagnosed in the spring with a type of breast cancer that required a mastectomy and breast reconstruction, went to California in June at her Toronto doctor's suggestion, a spokesperson confirmed.
CBS, and especially ABC, on Thursday night portrayed the debate over increasing federal spending on health insurance for children as an effort to help kids only the cold-hearted could oppose, a framing aided by scenes of cute toddlers, a crying mother and little emphasis on how those well above poverty would qualify. ABC anchor Charles Gibson overlooked the proposed expansion, to those in families who have or can afford private insurance, as he cited “a bill providing health insurance to millions of kids whose parents cannot afford private coverage.”
Reporter Martha Raddatz found a poor mother to exploit, beginning her story: “Susan Dick depends on the so-called SCHIP [State Children's Health Insurance Program] program for her two sons, both of whom have asthma. The family income is too low for private insurance, too high for Medicaid.” Raddatz briefly noted Bush's fear many would move from private insurance to the government program and then, leading into a soundbite from liberal Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, she hailed how “the expansion has bipartisan support across the country, including from many Republicans...” Capping her story, Raddatz featured a crying mother who sympathetically fretted: “If my boys don't have health insurance, it makes it very hard when you're a parent to know that they're sick and you have to get them to the doctor.” Raddatz coldly concluded: “But the President made it very clear today, Charlie, he will veto this bill in its present form.” CBS anchor Katie Couric also painted Bush as opposed to helping kids: “President Bush opened a news conference today by attacking a proposed expansion of a health care program for low-income children.”
This story about Ohio has nationwide application. That's because Ohio's media have been awfully quiet about the tax increases that will be necessary if the Buckeye State's version of "universal health care" comes to pass. The bill was introduced on April 25, according to this Ohio Legislative Services Commission bill analysis, and has flown under the radar ever since. I expect that national Old Media scrutiny of the Second Coming of Hillarycare will also be minimal.
My interest in the so-called "Ohio Health Care Plan" was perked when I heard an ad from the Ohio Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) claiming that the plan would cost Ohio taxpayers $50 billion.
$50 billion. With a "b." In one state.
That's over $4,400 for every man, woman, and child in Ohio, or over $17,000 for a family of four.
A separate fiscal analysis by the Legislative Services Commission is pending, so I thought that the NFIB might be engaging in a bit of reckless hyperbole.
The media spun the report by the U.S. Census Bureau yesterday to show that although poverty numbers were lower, the number of Americans without health insurance was increasing. But they didn’t even get that right.
“There's news on the economy tonight,” said NBC News anchor Brian Williams. “The percentage of Americans living in poverty dropped a bit last year to 12.3 percent from 12.6 percent of the population the year before. But there was bad news on this front as well. The number of Americans without health insurance has gone up from nearly 45 million in 2005 to 47 million Americans last year.”
The statistics Williams is referring to come from the U.S. Census Report, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006.” It broke down the 47 million uninsured and reported that a little over 10 million of those uninsured are not a citizen of the United States, something Williams failed to disclose.