For Anyone Silly Enough to Still Support “Single Payer”…

With Illinois under solidifying (some might argue sclerotic) Democrat control, one might want to consider the signficance of MN, MA, and SC (and now BRITAIN!?) moving toward “Consumer Directed Health Care” while the corrupt political class that runs Illinois moves toward the proven failure of Single Payer Schemes.
___

Stealth plan to ‘privatise’ NHS care (Sam Lister, 6/30/06, Times of London)

THE world’s biggest private health companies are being invited to bid for the chance to spend substantial chunks of the 80 billion NHS budget.

A six-page “contract notice” placed by the Department of Health in the supplement to the Official Journal of European Union, and seen by The Times, encourages the private sector to apply for a wide range of roles in the control and running of primary care trusts (PCTs).

The trusts are responsible for about 80 per cent of the annual 80 billion NHS budget. They not only fund GP surgeries but also commission hospital operations and have a large say over which drugs patients in their area can receive.

Critics said that the move was like “putting the NHS up for sale”, while some also said it signalled the end of PCTs’ role as providers of clinical services.

More Al Qaida/ Saddam Links

Before you even start, remember that ABC News reported links between Al Qaida and Saddam’s Iraq in 1999, but then, Clinton was President…

AQ Leaders Negotiated With Saddam Regime For Training

For those who keep insisting that al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein had no operational ties, the work of Ray Robison has provided explicit evidence in rebuttal. Fox News reports on the latest efforts of Robison in translating the documents captured by US forces but never translated by the CIA or Pentagon. His recent translation of a series of documents shows that AQ jihadists had negotiated with the Iraqi Intelligence Services for training facilities in Tajikistan or in Baghdad:…
[Read more...]

The Good News on Welfare Reform

The New York Times has an interesting article on welfare.

New Rules Force States to Curb Welfare Rolls

The rules, drafted in response to a budget signed into law by President Bush in February, represent the biggest changes in welfare policy since 1996, when Congress abolished the federal guarantee of cash assistance for the nation’s poorest children.

Since then, the number of welfare recipients has plunged more than 60 percent, to 4.4 million people, from 12.2 million. Most of the decline occurred in the first years, before the 2001 recession. Federal and state officials say they expect the new rules to speed the decline in welfare rolls, which has slowed in recent years.

The rules are far more than a bureaucratic application of the new law, passed after four years of partisan deadlock. For the first time, they set a uniform definition for permissible work activities and require states to verify and document the number of hours worked by welfare recipients.

Nationally, in 2004, the last year for which official figures are available, about 32 percent of adults on welfare were working. Under the new rules, 50 percent of adult welfare recipients must be engaged in work or training in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, or states will face financial penalties. The penalties can reduce a state’s federal welfare grant by 5 percent in the first year and by two additional percentage points for each subsequent year of noncompliance, up to a maximum penalty of 21 percent.

Some state officials and antipoverty groups, including many who opposed the 1996 law, say the new work requirements are unrealistic. But Bush administration officials point to Georgia as evidence that the goals are achievable.

___

Check out the graph in the article. Welfare Reform is one of the most successful policies ever implemented.

Further, though I’m not a fan of Government give-aways like “All Kids,” shifting assistance from direct welfare payments to subsidizing Health Care is good policy. Any policy that allows people to sit at home and watch TV is insane.

___


“Any measure that establishes legal charity on a permanent basis and gives it administrative form thereby creates an idle and lazy class, living at the expense of the industrial and working class. –Alexis De Tocqueville, Memoir on Pauperism”

To Defeat Islamic Fascism, You First Have to Understand It

Below is an important article. It’s sad that so few here in the “West” truly understand the nature of the threat posed by Islamic Fascism.
___

The roots of Islamism

But there is a wilful blindness among many in the West who refuse to acknowledge the totalitarian nature of the ideology which drives jihadi warriors. Even though the shelves of every Western bookshop sag under the weight of texts which record the cruelties and barbarism inflicted by totalitarianism in the twentieth century, there seems to be a remarkable reluctance to accept that totalitarian thinking could be behind contemporary cruelty and barbarism.

Instead Western commentators attribute Islamist violence to specific, discrete, grievances such as the presence of American troops on Saudi soil, the failure to establish an Arab Palestinian state or the material poverty of Arab peoples. In every case the blame for Islamist violence is laid at the door of the West, for failing to deliver “justice”.

Islamism is a twentieth-century phenomenon. Like its sibling ideologies, fascism and communism, it offers followers a form of redemption through violence. Like fascism, Islamism envisages the creation of a purified realm purged of toxic outside influences and internal corruption. Like communism, Islamism is not ethnically exclusive, it seeks to enlist new converts through proselytisation, political education and military advances. Like both, it reserves a special hatred for the West, for political freedom the separation of the public and private realms, dissent, sexual tolerance and a belief in the sanctity of individual life. And like both it finds a dark and furious energy in hatred towards the Jewish people.

Communism, Fascism and Islamism have all been responses, indeed reactions, to Enlightenment thought. The intellectual roots of Communism lie, naturally, in the works of Marx and Engels. But their work grew out of the ferment on the Left in the early nineteenth century and the ground laid by thinkers such as Proudhon. Marx and Engels’ work, in turn, was developed by their disciples, from Lenin and Ho Chi Minh to Louis Althusser and Che Guevara. Fascism developed out of the racial “science” of the late nineteenth century, itself a form of perverted Darwinism, the anti-liberal thinking of German critics of the Enlightenment such as Herder and the celebration of violence advanced by Italian Futurists and German ultra-conservatives such as Heidegger, Schmitt and Junger.

Do You Feel Socially Isolated?

The Washington Post has an article describing America as more “socially isolated” than it has been.
___

Social Isolation Growing in U.S., Study Says

Americans are far more socially isolated today than they were two decades ago, and a sharply growing number of people say they have no one in whom they can confide, according to a comprehensive new evaluation of the decline of social ties in the United States.

A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985. Overall, the number of people Americans have in their closest circle of confidants has dropped from around three to about two.

The comprehensive new study paints a sobering picture of an increasingly fragmented America, where intimate social ties — once seen as an integral part of daily life and associated with a host of psychological and civic benefits — are shrinking or nonexistent. In bad times, far more people appear to suffer alone.

___

Here is the study the article was based upon.

Democrats for School Choice?

Today’s Opinion Journal has an article discussing the phenomenon of Democrats slowly embracing school choice.

For Democrats who truly believe in social justice, that presents a terrible dilemma: Either forcing children to remain in schools where they have little prospect for a bright future, or enlisting private schools in a rescue mission. Democrats are increasingly unwilling to forsake the neediest children.

For children in chronically failing schools, the day of reckoning is fast approaching: Legislation to add private school options to NCLB will be introduced next month. Democrats who supported private school relief for Katrina children to alleviate a disaster will be forced to confront the reality that New Orleans schools were in crisis long before the hurricane appeared–and so are millions of other children in inner cities across the nation.

Arizona is evidence of the possible. Although she could have allowed them to become law without her signature, as she did with the corporate scholarship tax credits, Gov. Napolitano yesterday became the first Democrat to sign new voucher programs into law. For children with disabilities or in foster care, how the bill became law is of little moment; but by affixing her imprimatur, Ms. Napolitano conveyed powerful symbolic evidence that the future for school choice is bright.

___

A Question for Democrats…

Who are “your people” – the Teacher’s Unions, or the disadvantaged you claim to care about?

WMDs Found in Iraq??

Yesterday, Senator Rick Santorum and Congressman Pete Hoekstra announced that WMD have been found in Iraq. This is based upon declassified documents “recently revealed.”

Here is the document they are referring to. I strongly recommend reading it (it’s very short).

Does anyone find it interesting that these things were discovered as far back as 2003? Why not use this for the 2004 elections?

For my part, I think the Bush/Republican strategists always knew that the 2006 elections would be the most difficult to win. It isn’t as if they aren’t holding all the cards – at least in terms of timing the release of information.

What I can’t understand about the left is why they always default to the weakest argument. Instead of saying “No WMDs were found…” they should have been saying “Even if WMDs are eventually found, the policy to invade…”

How many times does Rove have to smack them around before they learn?
___

More…

Transcript and MP3 of press conference

Roundup of the story

DailyKOS Blogger Markos Moulitsas Parentage Revealed

Hat tip Tim Blair and his comment brigade.

One look at KOS is all you need to see who his real dad is.

Fife.gif

wildeyedkos.jpg
___

The looks of Don Knotts with the personality of Barney Fife…

How does that happen?

Idiot of the Week – Jack Murtha

I’m on record as saying the biggest reason the Republicans won’t lose the House or Senate is the Democrats, who appear more absurd by the day.

Topping the list for the Democrats once again, is Jack Murtha, who stated (on Russert’s show)..


“We can’t get [the president] to change direction. . . . In Beirut, President Reagan changed direction. In Somalia, President Clinton changed direction.”


__

For a party trying hard to convince people that it won’t surrender in the War against Radical Islam (that’s what we should be calling it.), Murtha idiotically recalls two former Presidents guilty of “Cutting and Running.”

Murtha is almost single handedly handing Republicans another victory in November.

How Markets Destroy Corrupt Bureaucracies

Hat Tip BrothersJudd

India offers surgery in a hurry
(PRITHI YELAJA, 6/17/06, Toronto Star)

When his doctor in Nova Scotia treated his chest pain with cholesterol pills and a wait-and-see attitude, Richard Johnson decided to get a second opinion and ended up fast-tracked into surgery to open his blocked arteries.

To get it he came halfway around the world, to Escorts Heart Institute & Research Centre in New Delhi, a high-tech private hospital directed by Dr. Naresh Trehan, a New York University-trained Indian cardiac surgeon Johnson found on the Web. [...]

[J]ohnson is on the leading edge of a trend: “medical tourists” from Europe and North America who seem willing to overlook the poverty, teeming streets and decrepit airports of India if it means circumventing long wait times and high costs for health care.

For Canadians, who will have to pay out of pocket even for medically necessary care, speed is the crucial attraction.

Getting care in Canada, Johnson says, is like a visit to the motor vehicles office: “You take a number and wait. We put up with that because we don’t know better. The system we have sucks.”

Procedures in India cost one-third to one-tenth what they would in the United States $6,000 (U.S.) for typical cardiac surgery, versus $30,000.

As a bonus, patients may be treated with advanced techniques not routinely available back home. Ninety per cent of open-heart surgeries at the Apollo chain of 33 hospitals, for example, are done without shutting down the heart easier on the patient but more challenging for the surgeon.

Foreign patients, who pay about 25 per cent more than Indians, can also opt for a vacation package deal with airport transfers, deluxe hospital room, mobile phone and sightseeing.

___

Spot the number of mediocrity killing innovations in this article.

Cheaper surgery, possibly done better. More challenging for the doctor, but better for the patient. Heck, by charging foreigners more, it even retains the liberal goal of basing cost on ability to pay!!