Saturday, August 15, 2009

Twits and Town Halls

So what happens when you produce something so huge that it's virtually unreadable? Normally it's left unread. I call it the Harlot's Ghost maxim.

But what do you get when this strategy of over-delivering backfires? Pure comedy unmatched even by a Golden Girls marathon.

More specifically, you get pols who never read the health care bill faced with people who have. Witness the town hall meeting this past week with Senator Arlen Specter. The folks present didn't just read the bill, they're now quoting it - something even the titan of transparency never really wanted.

Even better, this level of discourse is coming from the non-Twitter crowd, the beyond Facebook folks more concerned with Lipitor side effects than Lady Gaga's lady parts. They are not motivated by racism, as the left wants everyone to believe, but by real concerns - some raised at the dinner table, some reasoned in books. None from Twitter, I imagine.

I only bring up Twitter, because as I watched the PA town meeting, I also came across an online column by Meghan McCain, i.e. Ron Reagan with curves. In a catty struggle for relevance among perceived rivals, she points out that while Michelle Malkin has the number one book on the New York Times bestseller list, McCain has "nearly twice as many Twitter followers as she does. And trust me, Twitter is more of an indication of where young people are than books published by the hyper-conservative publisher Regnery."

Maybe so, but did these "young people" read the health care proposal? Did they show up at town hall meetings? No – they're too busy Twittering about Twilight (yes, a dated reference, but I like how it sounds). Twitter might have been there for Iran, but in the end, the young people weren't.

And here is where McCain's crowing about Twitter reveals a mistake many people make: confusing mass for meaning; accumulation for content. The fact is, the phone book has everything I need to know about the world around me, but I don't take it to the beach to read. The phone book inspires no one, for it is (or was) a tool used by others to facilitate communication – much like Twitter. To confuse the messaging system with the message should tell Meghan her message needs work. Considering she just signed a hefty book deal, I'd get on that soon.

Which brings me back to those old coots railing at Arlen Specter. That was an honest spectacle generated by a generation unencumbered by the desire for "followers." Their concerns are bigger: increased government control, their family's well-being, and of course their own mortality. They realize that 5000 followers will not come to their funeral. And sadly for Megs, they probably don't buy books either.


So you remember Barbara Boxer's attack on the townhall protesters, calling them disruptive "plants," because they were too well dressed to be protesters.

She had a point: they were well dressed. And most protesters of the lefty persuasion are not - a marker of people who lack real professions allowing them to purchase clean clothes. Boxer believed that these outspoken, button-downed folks were all part of a right-wing plot meant to stir up anxiety, fear, and perhaps soup. And of course, this week, President Obama kept the joke alive at his own town hall meeting, saying he didn't "want people thinking I just have a bunch of plants in here."

How funny is it then, that when it comes to plants, the leftwing response is beginning to look like a spread in House and Garden. Michelle Malkin points out that the little girl that asked that key question about those old people "saying mean things" is actually the daughter of a major Obama campaigner, supporter and donor.

Now, never mind that using a kid to smear some old folks holding signs is a tad sleazy. If an adorable child is concerned over evil people saying mean things, how can you not agree? I mean, children are our future, as long as they agree with Obama.

And besides, old people are old: a drain on our resources. And they smell of Vicks.

Meanwhile, according to so many websites that I lost count, that jackass parading around a "Barack Obama as Hitler" poster at a John Dingell town hall may actually have been a John Dingell supporter. Remember, Dingell was the douche who compared health care protesters to the KKK. The KKK and Nazis – that's quite a coincidence, don't you think?

But hey, maybe I'm a plant. I do require regular sunlight and watering – and I'm often soiled.

Our New Surgeon General

So President Obama`s nominee for surgeon general has a dirty past – one so lurid it has many concerned experts wringing their hands in typical hand-wringing fashion.

What might this skeleton in Dr. Regina Benjamin's closet be? Did she run a meth lab out of her camper? Were the children running the meth lab doing so without health insurance? Did she use the proceeds from this meth lab to fund the world`s largest puppy mill? And was the puppy mill actually a puppy buffet for a puppy-devouring white power group? No, no, no, and uh, no.

Nope, what she did was far worse: she worked part-time for Burger King, as a scientific adviser.

Predictably, nutritional experts claim that nominating a doctor who worked for Burger King is a horrible conflict of interest - that someone in charge of public health should not be in the business of selling evil fast food. It`s like hiring the shoe bomber to manage a Footlocker.

But I disagree. The fact is, from a public health perspective, fast food restaurants like Burger King and McDonalds have done far more to help people than harm them. The fat-bottom line: people in America and around the world aren`t dying from malnutrition because places like BK have made food fresh, cheap and simple to prepare. Seriously, where ever you find a fast food restaurant, you'll find fat kids, but not starving ones. But in this easy age of value-free moralism, experts are more inclined to demonize Ronald McDonald than Robert Mugabe.

Granted, that clown makeup is kinda scary. Which is why I always ask him to remove it before we go to bed.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

It's all about "The One".

The Democrats have really taken this healthcare reform argument to a new level. First we had the switch from healthcare reform to health insurance reform. That one happened in a matter of one day. One press conference. The talking points went out and the Democrats received their new marching orders .. this is no longer a battle over healthcare. We now have a new enemy to contend with: the insurance industry. Easy to figure out why ... Obama's behavioral scientists told him that people liked their doctors. It was the insurance companies they hated ... so shift the focus and demonize insurance.

Then the Democrats returned home to their districts for the August recess. They expected parades. They expected praise and accolades from their constituents, thanking them for working to make healthcare reform a reality. But what did they really get? A bunch of angry citizens who are starting to wake up and smell the koolaid. They realize that this healthcare reform debate isn't about their healthcare at all. They don't have faith in their government officials to reform the system for the better. Heck, maybe some of these constituents realize that the government isn't always the solution to every problem.

So now we pull out the big guns. Waging war against the insurance company hasn't hit deep enough with voters. So now, we put it all on Barack Obama's shoulders. Yep. Anyone who opposes this healthcare reform is only doing it because they want to hurt Barack Obama. That is according to Barbara "Call me Senator" Boxer. She told MSNBC's "Hardball," "All of this is a diversion by the people who, frankly, want to hurt President Obama." Then we have Princess Pelosi telling the media that these people are showing up to protest government health care "carrying swastikas." Yup! We learning form the Democrats that all of these people showing up at the Townhall meetings are "thugs" paid by insurance companies and other special interest groups. Their true goal is to "hurt" Obama.

So now we're supposed to sit back and quietly accept a government takeover of almost 20% of our economy in order to avoid hurting Barack Obama? We're supposed to accept the idea of rationing healthcare so Barack Obama won't be damaged? You're going to accept the news that you can't get a hip replacement with "Well, at least Barack Obama wasn't hurt." Yeah .. that would be the thought going through my mind if I had to wait four or five months for an MRI. "You know, I can go ahead and wait for this MRI. We won't find out what's wrong for a couple of months, but at least I won't be hurting Barack Obama.

Isn't that just dandy? Right now the Democrats are pinning their takeover of health care on the need to avoid hurting their president. Yeah ... works for me.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

It's about power---not health care

An interesting report was prepared by a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of radiology and chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical School by the name of Scott W. Atlas. He has prepared ten reasons why America's health care system is in better condition than you might suppose. Here's an overview, but the whole thing is worth a read. This is for all of your liberal friends who are convinced that a single-payer, government healthcare system is going to "save" our healthcare system.

1. Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers.

2. Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians.

3. Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries.

4. Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians.

5. Lower-income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians.

6. Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the United Kingdom.

7. People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed.

8. Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians.

9. Americans have better access to important new technologies such as medical imaging than do patients in Canada or Britain.

10. Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations.

Well .. remember. No matter how good our medical care is today, it simply doesn't empower politicians enough. That's the goal of ObamaCare, and the sooner you realize that the better prepared you are to fight for your freedom. ObamaCare is not about improving health care in the United States. It is ALL about increasing the power that political hacks have over your life and your bank accounts.