Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Time for an ‘American Reset’ five dead weights dragging the country down!

FrontPage Magazine ^ | June 13, 2012 | Alan W. Dowd

- FrontPage Magazine - -

The Obama administration made a big deal about its “Russian Reset”—a policy aimed at emphasizing U.S.-Russian relations by basically starting over. The fact that the Russian Reset yielded little more than some embarrassing moments for the secretary of state is a subject for another essay. What’s relevant here is that after some 40 months of President Barack Obama, it’s time for an “American Reset.”

Reset federal spending

President Obama has added $5 trillion in debt. The federal government has spent more than 24 percent of GDP in each of President Obama’s years in the White House, far above the historic average of 20 percent. The federal debt, as a share of GDP, is the highest it has been since World War II—when we had a much better reason to run up record debt. And each and every year he has been in office, President Obama has carried a deficit above $1 trillion—an unprecedented feat.
Not even the president’s friends in the mainstream media can ignore the reality that the Obama administration has engaged in the most profligate spending spree in American history. The Washington Post, for instance, notes that “the compound annual growth rate for President Obama’s spending starting in 2009 is 5.2 percent” and “in every case, the president wanted to spend more money than he ended up getting.”
In other words, Congress actually reined the president in—but not before he spawned the Affordable Care Act. According to his own numbers, the president’s healthcare behemoth will cost $1 trillion. That number will surely grow larger than his actuaries predict. It pays to recall Washington’s poor track record when it comes to out-year projections. The Wall Street Journal reminds us that in 1965, Congress estimated Medicare would cost $3.1 billion in 1970. The actual cost was $6.8 billion. Two years later, Congress predicted that Medicare would consume just $12 billion in 1990. In fact, it was $110 billion.
Given that the president found a way to grow the federal government by 25 percent—with little to show for his stimulus programs, bailouts and government takeovers—returning spending to 2008 levels seems eminently sensible.

Reset regulations

Contrary to the president’s recent slip of the tongue, the private sector isn’t doing fine. One of the reasons is the vast web of regulations he has spun in the banking, financial, healthcare and energy sectors. A Heritage Foundation study found that the Obama administration has issued four times as many major regulations—regulations costing $100 million or more—as its predecessor. The result: taxpayers and industry have been forced to cough up $46 billion to comply with new regulations—more than five times the cost of Bush-era regs.
Some of President Obama’s most costly regulations are not even fully realized yet. Take the EPA’s regulations on coal, for instance. As The New York Times reports, 100 of the 500 coal-burning power plants in the United States will be closed in the next few years largely “because new pollution rules have made coal plants more costly.” Retrofitting a coal-electricity plant in Kentucky in order to meet the Obama administration’s coal-killing regulatory requirements will cost $1 billion and has triggered a 30-percent increase in electricity rates, according to the Times.
“This EPA is fully engaging in a war on coal,” as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) argues. The EPA’s war is killing coal-derived electricity, which will have a long-term effect on consumers and their pocketbooks. “Coal-fired power plants,” the pro-market group American Commitment reports, “are now generating just 36 percent of U.S. electricity, versus 44.6 percent just one year ago”—thanks to regs handed down during the Obama administration.
Speaking of long-term effects, the drag ObamaCare will place on the economy is only now beginning to show. The CBO projects that the IRS will need 17,000 new employees to enforce elements of the healthcare law. The president’s healthcare entitlement creates 159 new sub-agencies, committees, bureaus and commissions, each with a regulatory role. All told, according to a Washington Post analysis, between 100,000 and 250,000 new government employees are needed to meet the growing demands of President Obama’s supersized government.

Reset the social contract

The Heritage Foundation reports that “more people than ever before—67.3 million Americans, from college students to retirees to welfare beneficiaries—depend on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid or other assistance once considered to be the responsibility of individuals, families, neighborhoods, churches and other civil society institutions.” Government dependence didn’t start under President Obama, but it has certainly accelerated. The Heritage Foundation’s Index on Government Dependency concludes that dependence on government has jumped 23 percent since 2008.
Consider some specific examples: Investor’s Business Daily reports that the number of Americans on food stamps, which now eclipses 45 million, is the highest on record. The Wall Street Journal adds that nearly 50 percent of Americans live in a household that receives some form of government assistance—up from 44 percent in 2008, which was up from 30 percent in the early 1980s. The Washington Post reports that some 4 million out-of-work Americans have stopped looking for work, choosing instead to take early retirement (if they are 62 or older) or to try to ride out the worst of the recession on unemployment (which, at up to 99 weeks, is more generous than it’s ever been).
The very real worry is that America’s great engine of productivity and free enterprise could be nearing a tipping point where so many people depend on government for so many things that the incentive to produce and create and work could rapidly evaporate. Once fully implemented, ObamaCare will accelerate this, which is why it has to be reversed.

Reset the constitutional separation of powers

It’s difficult to keep track of the many times and many ways President Obama has overstepped his constitutional bounds or ignored centuries of precedent and probity. But here are a few of the worst examples.
He assailed a Supreme Court decision during a State of the Union address. He issued veiled threats toward the Court while it deliberated constitutional matters related to the healthcare law, dismissing it as “an unelected group of people” and thus implying its decisions were somehow less legitimate than congressional action or his own fiats. And as the Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro observes, the Obama administration has made “increasingly extreme claims on behalf of unlimited federal power”—claims that the Court has repeatedly swatted aside.
In unprecedented fashion, he unilaterally determined that the Senate was not in recess—something only the Senate can do—in order to make illegal appointments to the Executive branch. He packed the Executive branch with dozens of unelected, unaccountable czars, thereby flouting the letter and spirit of Congress’ advise-and-consent role. And he launched a war in Libya without consulting Congress, directing or allowing his staff to describe six months of airstrikes, bombing runs and naval engagements as “a time-limited, scope-limited military action.” Worse, when a Senate committee asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to explain the president’s use of military force, Panetta said the administration’s primary goal before engaging U.S. forces in military operations “would be to seek international permission” and then “we would come to the Congress and inform you.” That is, at best, backwards—and at worst unconstitutional.
This imperious approach to the Congress and the Court must be reset, reversed and rebalanced.

Reset America’s global image
Although the president deserves credit for sustaining the Bush administration’s war against al Qaeda and taking down bin Laden—which is no small matter—the hasty withdrawal from Iraq, haphazard, zigzagging approach to Afghanistan, shoddy treatment of longtime allies in Europe and general retreat from global leadership have not helped America’s image. In fact, the United States has regressed from leading coalitions of the willing under previous administrations to leading from behind (the Obama administration’s shorthand for Libya) to following from behind (see Syria).
To reset America’s image abroad, the next administration needs to revive permanent missile defense sites in Eastern Europe, which were abandoned by President Obama in pursuit of some mirage partnership with Moscow; return the United States to its historical leadership role within NATO by leading from the front; remind Russia that if it wants to return to the bad old days of Cold War animosity, America is prepared to meet Putin and his model of autarky on the field of ideas; revitalize the U.S. space program; revisit agreements with Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure that our friends trust us, our enemies fear us and the world respects us; and reacquaint China with the U.S. military’s deterrent strength by reversing efforts to slash defense spending. That would translate into stopping the slide toward sequestration’s $500-billion guillotine, recapitalizing the Navy, reopening the F-22 production line, speeding up development of the Long Range Strike Bomber, and scrapping plans to cut Army and Marine Corps end-strength.
The Pentagon is not to blame for the debt-and-deficit crisis. It has already cut the fat and is cutting into its muscle and bone. Recall that the $487 billion the president recently slashed from projected DoD spending comes on top of $400 billion in cuts which the president ordered in 2010-11. As then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates cautioned in one of his last addresses, “The defense budget, however large it may be, is not the cause of this country’s fiscal woes.” He noted that in 1961 defense consumed half the federal budget, while it accounted for 9 percent of U.S. GDP. Today, defense spending “represents less than 15 percent of all federal spending and equates to roughly three and a half percent of GDP.”
This American Reset won’t solve everything, but it’s a good start.
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The Fast And The Spurious Forever: Eric Holder’s Excellent Adventure

Personal Liberty ^ | 6/12/2012 | Ben Crystal

Although it strains credulity farther than a White House Press briefing, Eric Holder remains the Attorney General of the United States. Furthermore, despite Holder’s central role in a scandal that involved shockingly bad decision-making, an overt hostility to the Bill of Rights, Mexican narcoterrorists and the murders of two Federal agents and an unknowable number of innocent Mexican nationals, Holder continues to enjoy the full faith and credit of the President of the United States. Granted, the full faith and credit of the biggest buffoon to sit in the Oval Office’s big boy chair since Jimmy Carter “lusted in his heart” is about as valuable as a fistful of Greek drachmae. Nonetheless, the fact that Holder hasn’t been reduced to advertising on bus stop benches for slip-and-fall cases is an affront to every American wise enough to recognize just how far down the rabbit hole Obama has dragged us in three short years.
Late last week, Holder returned to the hot seat in the chambers of Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Confronted with a mountain of evidence proving almost everyone in the Department of Justice chain of command north of the guy who cleans up the cigarette butts President Barack Obama leaves behind after his visits knew about the disastrous “gunwalking” Operation Fast and Furious at least a year before any details of the scandal came to light, Holder stuck to his — forgive me — guns.
Under pressure from a righteously outraged Issa, Holder continued to pretend he was on the straight and narrow. “We believe that we have responded to the subpoena,” Holder said. At the moment he made that remark, Holder’s Department of Justice had failed to comply with nearly two dozen aspects of the subpoena in question. Responded? Perhaps. Complied — which Attorneys General are legally bound to do in the instance of Congressional subpoenas — hardly. Of course, Holder is an accomplice of Obama, who has made it clear that he is well above such irritants as Constitutional dictates and the separation of powers.
Most remarkably, Holder’s Presidentially backed stonewalling is nothing compared to the abject dearth of attention paid to the OFF scandal by the leadership of the liberal horde. Out of curiosity, I dragged a hook through two of the leading liberal hate speech sites, Dailykos and Democraticunderground. Democraticunderground gave OFF passing note, repeating the false notion that OFF is related to the vastly different (and less fatal) George W. Bush-era Operation Wide Receiver. Dailykos, owned by terrorist celebrant and liberal Svengali Markos Moulitsas, remained mum.
Perhaps liberals are avoiding discussion of OFF because it’s simply too complicated for the sort of folks who vote for people like Obama. The Obama Administration designed a gunrunning operation over the strenuous objections of career agents and gun retailers. The operation itself was designed to create crimes in Mexico which would in turn create the need for a response which would, of course, require the Democrats to take the shears to the 2nd Amendment. That’s a lot to process, especially for the soft-underbelly types who support vermin like Obama and Holder.
But the veneer may be cracking. During last week’s testimony, Holder asserted that the White House had offered advice on how to spin the scandal. On Sunday morning, David Axelrod told CNN’s Candy Crowley that no such exchange had taken place. Under normal circumstances, such a discrepancy would hint at a coming pink slip for the embattled Attorney General. Unfortunately, in an Administration that is as comfortable lying as I am pointing out when it’s doing it, normal circumstances are the exception rather than the rule.
Perhaps that is the greatest lesson Holder and Obama will teach us during their disgraceful tenure in the uppermost branches of the Washington tree. When the usual race-baiting, distraction and even killing (sorry, Agents Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata) fail, lie.

Minimum Wage, Maximum Harm - Bad economics hurts low-income workers

Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/12/2012 | Jarrett Skorup

If some legislators have their way, the state would gradually raise its minimum wage to $10 per hour and adjust it to inflation.

This would give Michigan the highest mandated minimum wage in the nation. It would also greatly harm the majority of workers and businesses in the state.

According to MLive, bill sponsor Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park, said, "My bill would shrink government spending and drive demand for products and services."

Some questions for Sen. Johnson and those who support the proposal:
If raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour is good for workers and would "drive demand" for other products, why not propose $100 per hour? Wouldn't this be even better and drive even more demand? Economist Thomas Sowell once wrote, "There are no solutions; only trade-offs." If raising the minimum wage is a "solution," what is the trade-off? As of last year, few of the offices of the Michigan congressional delegation offered a wage to their interns. Is it hypocritical to force businesses to pay what your colleagues refuse? The vast majority of economists agree that a higher minimum wage is an overall harm to the economy and workers — especially low-income and low-skill workers who are the first to lose their jobs when the minimum wage goes up.
Even the late moderate/liberal economist Paul Samuelson, when asked in 1970 about a proposal to raise the minimum wage from its existing level of $1.45 an hour to $2 an hour, responded, "What good does it do a black youth to know that an employer must pay him $2 an hour if the fact that he must be paid that amount is what keeps him from getting a job?"
Raising the minimum wage also disproportionally harms small businesses, which often are only marginally profitable and would have to spend a greater amount of time and money dealing with this new regulation. This is why large corporations like Wal-Mart have long advocated for a higher minimum wage — these companies already pay significantly higher than the federal minimum and are able to use government to limit their "mom and pop" competition.
My colleague Michael LaFaive summed this up best when he said, "The research says that the only true minimum wage is zero, which is what many people find themselves making as a direct result of being priced out of jobs as a result of government mandates."


Power Line ^ | JUNE 12, 2012 | PAUL MIRENGOFF

Democratic loyalists are beginning to panic about President Obama’s re-election prospects, according to this report in the Washington Post. The latest cause for alarm is a memo from Democracy Corps, a research group headed by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and political consultant James (“it’s the economy, stupid”) Carville. Based on their analysis of focus groups conducted in late May among swing voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Greenberg and Carville say that the current campaign message — which stresses progress made towards economic recovery — is out of touch with the daily pain voters are feeling.

The authors urge Team Obama to switch to a new narrative that focuses on what Obama will do to make a better future for the middle class. Otherwise, they say, “we will face an impossible head wind in November.”

Greenberg and Carville are not alone in feeling pessimistic. According to the Post, eight other prominent Democratic strategists interviewed share that sentiment. They also view Obama’s team as resistant to advice and assistance from those who are not part of its core.
My sense is that the “panic” of these Democrats represents a correction to the overly optimistic view most of them held earlier this year. Back in the days of when Republican candidates were beating up on Romney and Romney was struggling to connect with voters, it was easy for Dems to underestimate the task they would face in November. Now, with the Republican Party behind Romney — as it was always going to be — and the candidate hitting his stride, it is easy to panic.
The reality, I think, is that the odds of Obama winning in November are about 50 percent. Considering the stakes of the election, both sides should probably panic.
As for the notion that Obama should emphasize what he will do going forward, as opposed to what he has accomplished already, this may be naive. If voters don’t believe that Obama’s remedies have worked during the past three-and-half years, they aren’t likely to embrace claims that the new remedies he has in mind will succeed. In fairness to Greenberg and Carville, though, their focus groups reacted positively to ads that acknowledge the economic problems of the past four years and propose solutions like increasing taxes on people making more than $200,000 a year. Republicans underestimate the power of class warfare in a bad economy, I believe.
Ultimately, though, Obama’s fate is largely out of his hands. His prospects depend primarily on how the economy — especially the job market — does during the next four months or so. Secondarily, they depend on how well Romney presents himself to the public.
The White House is coming to realize that it can’t define how well the economy is doing. However, it would like to believe it can define Romney. To a considerable degree, this is wishful thinking. The public isn’t likely to take Obama’s portrayal of Romney at face value. What, after all, has Obama done to earn that level of trust?
However, the Greenberg-Carville focus groups show that Romney does have vulnerabilities. People in the focus groups tended to hold his wealth against him, believing that it makes him out of touch with their problems. And when they found out that Romney has embraced the Ryan budget, and that budget was described to them (in what manner, I don’t know), they viewed Romney less favorably than before.
So Romney has no easy task when it comes to defining, or re-defining, himself. As I said, it’s anyone’s election and both sides have plenty to worry about

CBO: If Debt Continues, US Could Enter 'Permanent Recession' Within a Decade!

Reaganite Republican ^ | June 13, 2012 | Reaganite Republican

According to a recent report out of the Congressional Budget Office, our bloated national debt is already so gargantuan that even if we do manage to avoid a Greek-style fiscal apocalypse, the sheer weight of all those trillion$ will have our once-mighty economy in a permanent state of stupor within a span of just 10 years, with flat growth and high unemployment pretty much forever. Or, until it implodes round-about 2035, when US national debt tops-out at an unsubstainable 250% of GDP (Greece fell off the cliff at a little over 170%):

Hey, a national catastrophe of that magnitude would be a Cloward-Pivenist's dream dream, donchathink?

Perhaps Obama's bewildering lack of interest in what so deeply concerns most of the rest of us meant he was playing the long game all along. Clearly, the TEA Party has been right the whole time... and it will take more than a couple tepid RINO administrations to save us now.

Oh, goody: More DOE green-energy “investments” on the way!

hot Air ^ | june 13,2012 | ERIKA JOHNSEN

Tuesday, the Department of Energy announced that it is instituting yet another round of clean-energy “investments” that they believe will help to spur the economy to new and amazing competitive heights. Oh, DOE, you really are too magnanimous to so wisely spend our money for us on things us backwards simpletons won’t invest in by ourselves. …No, really, you’re too magnanimous (h/t the Foundry).
“By investing in breakthrough technologies that can drastically reduce the amount of energy consumed during manufacturing, the Energy Department is supporting President Obama’s blueprint for an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, and skills for American workers,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “When it comes to clean energy, our motto should be: ‘Invented in America, made in America, and sold around the world.’ The projects announced today will improve the competitive position of U.S. industry and help manufacturers produce more while saving energy, saving money and protecting our air and water.”

Here’s a nice kicker. Behold, the projects our esteemed, selfless bureaucrats selected for these “awards”:

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. – Allentown, PA - $1,200,000 American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) – Salt Lake City, UT - $7,120,000 Delphi Automotive Systems, LLC – Rochester, NY - $3,700,000 General Motors LLC – Warren, MI - $2,672,124 Lyondell Chemical Company – Newtown Square, PA - $4,500,000 MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. – St. Peters, MO - $3,680,000 MIT – Cambridge, MA - $1,000,000 PolyPlus Battery Company – Berkeley, CA - $8,999,920 Research Triangle Institute – Research Triangle Park, NC - $4,800,000 Teledyne Scientific and Imaging – Thousand Oaks, CA - $2,110,000 The Dow Chemical Company – Midland, MI - $9,000,000 The University of Utah – Salt Lake City, Utah - $1,460,285 Third Wave Systems, Inc. – Minneapolis, MN - $4,069,882

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

France to cap executive pay at €450,000 ($564,000)

RTÉ News ^ | Updated: 14:42, Wednesday, 13 June 2012

France's finance minister today announced plans to limit executive pay to €450,000 (US$564,000) a year!

He called the measure a matter of justice and morality.

The pay cap delivers on a campaign-trail promise by France's new Socialist President François Hollande, who sought to tap widespread public anger over executive salary packages.
It will take effect in 2012 or 2013 depending on the company, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said.
"Earning €450,000 a year doesn't seem to me a deterrent if we want to have quality men and women at the head of our companies," Moscovici told a press conference after a cabinet meeting where he presented plans for the cap.
The minister said the measure was needed to "make state companies more ethical" and respond to "the demands of justice and transparency" at a time of economic crisis. …
The cap will apply to all companies in which the state holds majority ownership, including the postal service, nuclear power giant Areva, electric utility EDF, railway company SNCF and public transport operator RATP, the cabinet said in a statement.
The measure is meant to hold executive pay to a maximum of "20 times the average of the lowest salaries at the main state companies", the statement said, but did not give details on which workers' salaries would be used for comparison. …
(Excerpt) Read more at ...


The Daily Rant ^ | June 12, 2012 | Mychal Massie

If a white man with no business experience of any kind, on any level, were elected president and his economic plan increased government spending, increased government intrusion into private business, and increased taxes on the so-called rich–what would criticism of him be because he is white? If this same white president employed failed Keynesian economic strategies which resulted in his increasing our total national debt more than the first 41 presidents combined, in less than three years of his first term in office–would criticism of him be because he is white? If this hypothetical white president were driving us off an economic cliff from which economists say there is no return, would criticism of him be because he is white?...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Labor Unions are not dead. They are reloading!

American Thinker ^ | June 13, 2012 | T.S. Weidler

Labor unions suffered a setback in Wisconsin last week, but anyone who thinks they've been knocked dead is living in a dream world. There are laws on the books which ensure that the unions will always bounce back. Scott Walker knocked them down, but they will come back up like a bobo doll, and long after he is out of office, they will continue clutching for more power. All the laws are on their side.

The only certainties are death and tax [exemption]!

Labor unions are categorized as tax-exempt 501(c)5 organizations. In 2010, these organizations collectively held $32,498,906,714 in assets. This number comes from the combined assets of all labor unions and farm bureaus. After all their expenses, lobbying efforts, and voter intimidation efforts, these organized labor gangsters still have more money than the entire GDP of many countries. None of it is taxed, and 92% of them are in violation of Dept. of Labor audits.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Hospital Noise Spoiling Patients' Sleep

Anyone who has been sick can appreciate the joy of a good night's sleep, but in a large institution like a hospital, there are necessities of running the establishment that can disturb a patient's peace. All the more so with all manner of electronic equipment, cell phones, alarms, intercoms and such like, that produce sounds to wake the dead. However the association between noise disruption and sleep patterns had not been studied in great detail.

A report published in Annals of Internal Medicine goes some way to solving the issues with Orfeu Buxton, a neuroscientist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and his team looking into the problem in depth. As Buxton aptly puts it "It's nerve-wracking enough to be a hospitalized patient, and there's a lot of racket at night."

Patients agree: with one of their main complaints in a recent hospital survey being night time noise pollution but obviously there are practical considerations involved and as Jeremy Ackerman from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, a member of the international Healthcare Acoustics Research Team puts it :

"We don't necessarily just have to make (the hospital) quieter ... We need to be particularly careful to avoid designing into systems and into the architecture very disruptive sounds ... we have a general sense that loud sounds, interruptive sounds all create an environment that is likely to slow healing."

Research has shown that background noise in a hospital can spike up to 80dB about as loud as a chainsaw. Obviously that kind of racket would wake most people up, but to make changes a more detailed evaluation was needed. With this in mind, Buxton's team took 12 healthy subjects and played sounds while they slept. The recordings were mainly taken from hospitals and included things such as IV pump alarms, people talking, a plane flying overhead and a laundry cart rolling down the hall. Using Encephalographic studies of the patients, and by using established sleep criteria, the subjects were tested during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM stages 2 and 3.

In all they found that alarms and voices were the worst offenders, which makes sense, since alarms are designed to attract attention and the importance of what is being said tends to attract a person's attention more than the hum of an AC unit or a door closing. The brain can filter out those kinds of sounds as unimportant.

The noises were played one by one, until they either reached 70dB about as loud as someone shouting, or until the person woke up. An IV alarm for example, woke up most test subjects as quiet as 40db, and talking even as quiet as a whisper woke half the participants, during deep sleep and three quarters of them during light sleep.

Ambient noises, such as a flushing toilet, traffic noise, and a plane or helicopter flying overhead were much less likely to cause disturbance. To some extent the modern city life has immunized most people to these kinds of background noises, unless they live in extremely rural environments.

Sounds during non-REM stage 3 sleep, the deeper sleep, were less likely to cause arousals than sounds in non-REM stage 2. However researchers found rather unexpectedly that the probability of arousal to sounds presented in REM sleep varied less by sound type than when presented in non-REM sleep .

Researchers also found a slight increase in heart rate when a test subject was disturbed and while all the patients in the study were healthy, sick and elderly patients, would generally be more disturbed by the noises than less so. Dr. Jeffrey Ellenbogen, chief of sleep medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, who co-led the study, confirmed his satisfaction with the results commenting that [The result] "gives us confidence this is a genuine physiological response (to hospital noises) in a negative way."

There are many things that hospitals can do to minimize noise, starting with simply closing a patients door, switching off unneeded equipment and keeping phone calls and talking in corridors close to patients rooms, down to a minimum. There are also design changes for new and refurbished premises that can take into account the patients peace over the practical functionalities of the institution. Obviously a hospital's ultimate objective is to heal people, and having a peaceful, non stressful environment ought to play a part in that.

Written by Rupert Shepherd
Copyright: Medical News Today

The Greek God...DEFAULTUS!

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Things The Require a Valid I.D.

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Improving Health Care ^ | June 13, 2012 | John Stossel

Any day now, the U.S. Supreme will rule on whether the Obamacare insurance mandate is constitutional. Seems like a no-brainer to me. How can forcing me to engage in commerce be constitutional?

But there's a deeper question: Why should government be involved in medicine at all?

Right before President Obama took office, the media got hysterical about health care. You heard the claims: America spends more than any country -- $6,000 per person -- yet we get less. Americans die younger than people in Japan and Western Europe. Millions of Americans lack health insurance and worry about paying for care.

I have the solution! said Obama. Bigger government will give us more choices and make health care cheaper and better. He proceeded to give us that. Bigger government, that is. The cheaper/better/more choices part -- not so much.
Costs have risen. More choices? No, we have fewer choices. Many people lost coverage when companies left the market.
Because ObamaCare requires insurance companies to cover every child regardless of pre-existing conditions, WellPoint, Humana and Cigna got out of the child-only business. Principal Financial stopped offering health insurance altogether -- 1 million customers no longer have the choice to keep their insurance.
This is to be expected when governments control health care. Since state funding makes medical services seem free, demand increases. Governments deal with that by rationing. Advocates of government health care hate the word "rationing" because it forces them to face an ugly truth: Once you accept the idea that taxpayers pay, individual choice dies. Someone else decides what treatment you get, and when.
At least in America, we still have some choice. We can pay to get what we want. Under government health care, bureaucrats will decide how long we wait for our knee operation or cataract surgery ... or if we get lifesaving treatment at all.
When someone else pays for your health care, that someone else also decides when to pull the plug. The reason can be found in Econ 101. Medical care doesn't grow on trees. It must be produced by human and physical capital, and those resources are limited. Politicians can't repeal supply and demand.
Call them "death panels" or not, a government that needs to cut costs will limit what it spends on health care, especially on people nearing the end of life. Medical "ethicists" have long lamented that too much money is spent in the last several months of life. Given the premise that it's government's job to pay, it's only natural that some bureaucrat will decide that 80-year-olds shouldn't get hip replacements.
True, surveys show that most Brits and Canadians like their free health care. But Dr. David Gratzer notes that most people surveyed aren't sick. Gratzer is a Canadian who also liked Canada's government health care -- until he started treating patients.
More than a million Canadians say they can't find a family doctor. Some towns hold lotteries to determine who gets to see one. In Norwood, Ontario, my TV producer watched as the town clerk pulled four names out of a big box and then telephoned the lucky winners. "Congratulations! You get to see a doctor this month."
Think the wait in an American emergency room is bad? In Canada, the average wait is 23 hours. Sometimes they can't even get heart attack victims into the ICU.
That's where we're headed unless Obamacare is repealed. But that's not nearly enough. Contrary to what some Republicans say, we didn't have a free medical market before Obama came to power. We had a system that limited competition through occupational licensing, FDA rules and other government intrusions, while stimulating demand through tax-favored employer-based "insurance," Medicare and Medicaid.
If we want affordable and cutting-edge health care, there's only one approach that will work: open competition. That means eliminating both bureaucratic obstacles and corporate privileges. Only free markets can give us innovation at the lowest possible cost.
Of course, that also means consumers should spend their own money on health care, limiting insurance to catastrophic expenses. Americans don't want to hear it. But that's the truth.

The wolves are circling the Obama campaign!

American Thinker ^ | 06/13/2012 | Rick Moran

Dana Milbank has a good summation of what he calls Obama's "Junius Horribilis":

"Job growth has stalled, the Democrats have been humiliated in Wisconsin, the attorney general is facing a contempt-of-Congress citation, talks with Pakistan have broken down, Bill Clinton is contradicting Obama, Mitt Romney is outraising him, Democrats and Republicans alike are complaining about a "cascade" of national-security leaks from his administration, and he is now on record as saying that the "private sector is doing fine." Could it get any worse?

Early Monday morning, Obama learned that it could. His aides delivered the news to him that his commerce secretary had been cited for a felony hit-and-run after allegedly crashing his car three times over the weekend. [...]

For the White House, it was just the latest entry in the when-it-rains-it-pours ledger. This has been one of the worst stretches of the Obama presidency. In Washington, there is a creeping sense that the bottom has fallen out and that there may be no second term. Privately, senior Obama advisers say they are no longer expecting much economic improvement before the election.

Carney had the unenviable task of confronting the full arsenal of gloom at Monday afternoon's briefing."
The press, like a pack of wolves, is circling the injured Obama campaign, snapping and growling before moving in for the kill:

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Obama Can't Keep His Jobs Story Straight