I-P-A-B spells “Death Panel”

Sarah Palin’s reportedly ignorant belief that Obamacare cuts cost by way of a “death panel” of bureaucrats passing down coverage decrees is nearly as notorious as Palin herself. Mind you, Palin was being ridiculed for this long before The Krugman, a bearded novelty act who does a traveling show for The New York Times, sung the praises of government-rationed care in an ABC appearance:

Here’s the infamous paragraph from Palin’s 08/07/2009 Facebook post:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Palin was responding, in part, to a statement by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, another crazed right-wing nut. If you have a memory or possess the power of Google, it’s not hard to recall the dinosaur media’s response. Smarmy leftists at The New York Times and MSNBC ranted and raved about lies and incited mobs, while slightly-better-hinged commentators settled for dismissing Palin’s thoughts as partisan nonsense.

Conservative pundits continue working to inform the public that Obamacare – sorry, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – relies exclusively on rationed care for the only cost savings that aren’t fabrications. As George Will details in a Washington Post op-ed, death panels by any other name are still terrible policy:

The point of PPACA is cost containment. This supposedly depends on the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB, which is a perfect expression of the progressive mind, is to be composed of 15 presidential appointees empowered to reduce Medicare spending – which is 13 percent of federal spending – to certain stipulated targets. IPAB is to do this by making “proposals” or “recommendations” to limit costs by limiting reimbursements to doctors. This, inevitably, will limit available treatments – and access to care when physicians leave the Medicare system.

Will’s closing line is brilliant:

The essence of progressivism, and of the administrative state that is progressivism’s project, is this doctrine: Modern society is too complex for popular sovereignty, so government of, by and for supposedly disinterested experts must not perish from the earth.

So, Ohioans – have you signed a petition supporting the Health Care Freedom Amendment yet?

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics and Columbus Tea Party.

New DHS Terror Alert System

USA Today reported this afternoon that the color-coded Department of Homeland Security terror-alert system implemented after 9/11 will be phased out over the next three months:

The government will not abandon alerts completely. According to the Homeland Security briefing paper, the department may decide to issue specific warnings to local law enforcement agencies, airlines or businesses if it fears there is heightened risk of an attack. Or it could issue broader alerts through public announcements, it says.

Given Secretary Napolitano’s glowing record in charge of DHS, I’m sure the new system will be a big improvement.

Wait- what’s this? A sneak peek at the Department of Homeland Security’s new Homeland Security Advisory System?

Looks like they decided to reduce the number of levels on the chart. Makes sense, given how quickly prominent Progressives tie every random loon to some conservative who irritates them.

Also, it’s important to stay on message without overwhelming voters with the names of too many scary Republican fat-cats — and Congressman Ryan is in need of some good demonizin’!

Beck’s Bread and Butter

This story on Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally made it all the way to paragraph 6 before laying on the sort of tone you’d expect from The Washington Post:

On the Mall, an overwhelmingly white crowd of tens of thousands stood quietly during an opening prayer, the silence broken only by an occasional “amen.” The dense assembly , which contained few young people, stretched from the Lincoln Memorial, past the reflecting pool, to the World War II Memorial and spilled onto the grounds of the Washington Monument.

The crowd, consisting of many from the Midwest and the South, was not visibly angry. Rather, they said they had come to express their fear that the country was at a perilous moment.

Emphasis mine. The crowd’s not primarily or predominantly white, but overwhelmingly so. And the hillbillies aren’t visibly angry – should we expect them to be? – but they are afraid. This endless focus on the race and fear of Tea Party types represents a naked attempt by the “mainstream” media to paint anyone who agrees with Beck, Palin, et al. as a bigoted yokel. It also helps explain why Beck and other Fox News programming generally pulls more viewers than the three top competitors combined.

I’m a News Corp. shareholder, but I watch almost no TV news because I tire quickly of all the networks’ theatrics. For millions of Americans, however, Fox News provides a distinct option in a sea of leftward slanted reporting. That the other fish use every opportunity to whine about the racism and ignorance of anyone who disagrees with them reflects poorly on somebody… and that “somebody” is not Glenn Beck. Charles Krauthammer sums it up perfectly.

As for concerns about Beck co-opting the time and place of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, these seem completely misplaced. Red or yellow, black or white, it’d be difficult to find worse representatives of King’s dream than the professional victims who get away with acting in his name simply because of the color of their skin. I’ll take a speech about what makes America great over a speech about how much we owe the Al Sharptons of the world any day, even if the audience is “overwhelmingly white.”

Dangerous Territory

Sarah Palin’s July 4th resignation, with little explanation beyond, “Many just accept that lame duck status, and they hit that road… They draw a paycheck. They kind of milk it. And I’m not going to put Alaskans through that,” seems strange. The AP headline suggests she’s gearing up for a presidential campaign. As usual, Mark Steyn offers a far better postulation.

I’m a fan of Sarah Palin, but I hope she doesn’t run in 2012. I’m also a Romney fan, and we know what a short memory the press has. Aware that Palin’s damaged goods after the ravaging media and Hollywood elites put her through last year, how much you wanna bet she suddenly becomes the quirky underdog versus Romney, capitalist tool with a soul as black as night?

Not like it matters. No GOP candidate will get much face time in 2012, with the networks (and any newspaper still in business) so busy trumpeting the glorious achievements of Obama’s first four years. Maybe in 2016… though I’m not as optimistic as Victor Davis Hanson that Palin can grow from a refreshing conservative talker to “a charismatic Margaret Thatcher type heavyweight.”

My bigger concern is the health of the nation’s elite. What if Sarah Palin announces she’ll never run for national office again? With Dubya at home on the ranch and the Republican party in a state of disarray, on whom will our progressive betters loose their bile? I fear we’d more likely see a spike in ulcer-related deaths in California and D.C. than any acknowledgment that Obama is an arrogant statist, Biden’s a horrendous VP, or Democratic Congressmen are at least as dumb as Republicans.

Investigative Journalism

From AP story “Palin’s National Guard Faces a Crisis in Personnel“:

Yet the relatively small numbers are also reminders that Republicans may be stretching their claims that Palin is qualified to be a heartbeat away from running the world’s most powerful military. Indeed, Palin’s lack of stature in national and international circles is sure to be a recurring theme for Democrats as the presidential campaigns move forward.

Emphasis mine. Hard to say which lines of attack “Democrats” will favor going forward, but the Associated Press will sure as hell be repeating this one. It’s truly amazing that stories about Barack Obama – whether positive announcements or negative responses to Republican criticism – read like Obama ’08 press releases peppered with adjectives highlighting the author’s barely contained glee. And suddenly, when a similarly young and energizing conservative candidate enters the picture, it’s vital that the press turn into freakin’ Dick Tracy to uncover any possible sign that she’s unqualified.

Maybe Sarah Palin’s not qualified to run things from The Oval Office in January 2009. Better a green executive be one heartbeat away than a green legislator be there.

Foolproof Campaigning

For awhile now John McCain has been complaining that he doesn’t get the same airtime as Obama, champion of the proletariat and defender of humanity. Luckily the McCain team found a solution to that problem: announce a little-known running mate for the media to tear apart!

Honestly. I’m so relieved that every network and paper is getting the truth out about Sarah Palin’s illegitimate grand-fetus. Palin’s high school daughter making a dumb decision is boatloads more worrying than if she were an elitist Chicago politician raised under the America-hating wings of radical preachers and terrorists.

When was the child conceived? If we hurry up and elect Obama they can leave the infant in a supply closet and forget this whole thing ever happened.

Veep Thoughts

(11:29:59 AM) Me: Wow, McCain announced his VP pick, and it’s a woman
(11:30:20 AM) Me: He’s going after those Hillary voters something fierce
(11:30:21 AM) Roommate: That is kind of surprising to me.
(11:30:35 AM) Me: From what I’ve read she’s all kinds of sharp and sane
(11:30:50 AM) Roommate: Well that’s good.
(11:30:52 AM) Me: But not a lot of experience outside of being governor of Alaska
(11:31:18 AM) Roommate: Dude, I might have to vote in this election.
(11:32:18 AM) Roommate: Governor of Alaska? That lady has got to be hardcore. Even if McCain dies of being super old we’ll have a badass president.
(11:33:01 AM) Me: Yep
(11:33:14 AM) Me: Pretty great pick in my opinion
(11:33:52 AM) Roommate: She was governor of the most anarchic state in the Union. Those people are crazy up there!
(11:34:45 AM) Me: Cap’n Change went and picked a windbag old senator for his VP
(11:35:14 AM) Me: McCain basically said, “Oh yeah? I’m picking a woman who is younger than you. Eat it.”
(11:35:25 AM) Roommate: Fairbanks is like the damn Halls of Valhalla. It can barely be considered civilized.
(11:37:08 AM) Me: “She had earned stripes — and enmity — after Murkowski made her head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. From that post, she exposed ethical violations by the state GOP chairman, also a fellow commissioner.”
(11:38:38 AM) Me: Basically Mrs. Palin here knocked off an incumbent Republican and has been taking the names and kicking the asses of shady buereaucrats ever since
(11:39:31 AM) Roommate: That is some impressive stuff.
(11:40:10 AM) Me: And she ain’t bad-lookin’ for a middle aged woman, which sadly is a big deal
(11:40:43 AM) Me: Especially against a candidate who routinely brings hippies to tears at his speeches
(11:40:49 AM) Roommate: I didn’t even think about that part. It is a shame that is a big deal.
(11:41:29 AM) Me: And whose VP I’m pretty sure has his teeth buffed weekly by a team of DuPont engineers
(11:42:01 AM) Roommate: DuPont engineers are smart dudes.