While I don’t agree with everything, the non-partisan, libertarian think tank, Cato Institute, provides a great service in this 12-minute break down and response to President Obama’s State of the Union address earlier this week.
What are people saying about Dr. Ben Carson’s keynote address at Thursday’s annual National Prayer Breakfast in D.C.? Jenny in Osseo says:
“This is OUTSTANDING!! This doctor gave an awesome speech at the prayer breakfast telling his love of God and country and Obama just had to sit there and take it. I just saw a movie on the life of this doctor. It’s wonderful. The name of the movie was “Gifted Hands” and his part was played by Cuba Gooding Jr. It was very good. Listen to the WHOLE thing. It’s so worth it and the best part was watching Obama’s body language. He wasn’t a happy camper,…it was evident. Pay
particular attention to the way his chin goes way up at certain
times…interesting. Anyway, this was a very refreshing speech from a
brilliant and honest man.”
I found Tom Bevan’s letter to the President ”Mr. President, Chicago’s Gun Victims Need You Now,” to be incredibly moving. I’m ready to go to Chicago and do what I can after reading it, and I hope and pray the President takes Bevan up on his invitation.
In addition to asking Congress to pass some gun control laws, Pres. Obama Wed. morning stunned many by announcing he would sign 23 Executive Orders pertaining to guns, despite former Atty. Gen., Edwin Meese telling Newxmas that if he tries “to override the Second Amendment in any way, I believe it would be an impeachable offense.” Here’s the list of 23 Executive Orders:
2. “Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.”
3. “Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.”
4. “Direct the attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.”
5. “Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.”
6. “Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.”
7. “Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.”
8. “Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).”
9. “Issue a presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.”
10. “Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.”
11. “Nominate an ATF director.”
12. “Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.”
13. “Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.”
14. “Issue a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.”
15. “Direct the attorney general to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.”
16. “Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.”
17. “Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.”
18. “Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.”
19. “Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.”
20. “Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.”
21. “Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.”
22. “Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.”
23. “Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.”
While the number of abortions done nationally is going down, Planned Parenthood says they did MORE abortions in 2011 than in 2010. The ending of 333, 964 innocent, unborn human lives comes out to one every 94 seconds, yet in their “Message from the Chair and President,” Cecilia Boone and Cecile Richards don’t say ONE word about abortion.
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
“where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“this is heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“come now my children, let me show you around.”
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA
For those wanting to understand the magnitude and nearness of our nation’s coming financial disaster, accountant Hal Mason does us a great service in succinctly summing it up in this five-and-a-half-minute You Tube video.
The Dr.’s I talk to are anything but thrilled about Obamacare. Dr. Keith Smith, an Oklahoma City medical director, CEO, and a managing surgical center partner seems to hit the nail on the head in his column today:
Author/contributor: G. Keith Smith, M.D., http://www.aapsonline.org/index.php/
After the election, the victors are exulting that ObamaCare is here to stay, and that the “best is yet to come” as their glorious plans to “fundamentally transform America” can proceed.
In their intellectual arrogance, the power-seekers have left a key variable out of their calculations: human behavior. Their predictions, for example, of increased revenue from increased taxation, are based on “static analysis.” They assume that people will not change their behavior, as when they think they are being robbed.
They assume that doctors will keep working, just as they always have, even though they may complain. But people need to see how this assumption has worked out before.
One of the finest surgeons I’ve ever worked with was an Argentinian hand surgeon. Before coming to the United States, he was waiting tables. The government of Argentina’s version of Obamacare made waiting tables more attractive to him than practicing medicine. The government miscalculated, never considering that a talented surgeon would make what Austrian economists call a comparison of doing surgery to “the next best alternative use” of resources. This surgeon was better able to feed himself and his family by waiting tables. He simply resorted to the next best use of his time and labor.
The consideration of the next best alternative use of an individual’s time and resources is innate, something that each and every one of us does without even thinking. The belief that American physicians won’t do this is naive and arrogant. It may represent one of the greatest miscalculations in the bloody history of central planning. And what will “medicine” look like if the “providers” work begrudgingly, under terms that they see as detrimental to their own interests and their patients?
Physicians in this country will always be physicians. However, they might not be practicing medicine. The tyrants who would point a gun at a doctor to extract some “right” to health care assume that the doctors will show up for this work camp the next day, again and again, instead of seeking work conditions that are more advantageous. The current shortage of physicians will look like a surplus in a short time, if price controls and bureaucratic risk outweigh the benefit of medical practice.
As the nation drifts toward socialist redistribution and totalitarianism, economic miscalculations will proliferate as government economists assume that, this time, the laws of economics can somehow be suspended.
Already there are many examples.
A few years ago, Walmart opened its first stores in Canada. Not long afterward, they met the iron fist of the unions and their demands. The workers belonging to these unions miscalculated. Walmart simply shut down these stores, eliminating these folks’ jobs. I suppose it never occurred to them that Walmart would react in this way.
More recently, Hostess workers miscalculated, never imagining that the company would simply close. Hostess was exercising one of our few remaining rights, that of refusing to operate a company on terms that are not mutually beneficial.
New Yorkers elected a mayor they thought cared about them even more than they cared about themselves, as evidenced by his recent push to ban large sodas. Their health and well-being was his primary concern, right? Their miscalculation was apparent recently when he refused the help of non-union power workers in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, revealing his true priorities.
When Medicare began, the price paid for physician and hospital services was whatever the physician or hospital wanted to charge. Predictably, more service was provided. In the early 1990s, the central planners tried to correct their earlier error with the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale, cutting physician fees drastically. They miscalculated again. First, they thought that they were able to come up with a rational price from their abstract formulas, and second, they set it too low, below the market-clearing price, so that physicians are increasingly reluctant to see Medicare patients.
With ObamaCare, there is little evidence that the government officials and bureaucrats who created the current disaster have learned anything. They still hold the fatal conceit that they can dictate human behavior from on high without causing misery, mayhem, and death.
Dr. G. Keith Smith is a board certified anesthesiologist in private practice since 1990. In 1997, he co-founded The Surgery Center of Oklahoma, an outpatient surgery center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, owned by 40 of the top physicians and surgeons in central Oklahoma. Dr. Smith serves as the medical director, CEO and managing partner while maintaining an active anesthesia practice.
In 2009, Dr. Smith launched a website displaying all-inclusive pricing for various surgical procedures, a move that has gained him and the facility, national and even international attention. Many Canadians and uninsured Americans have been treated at his facility, taking advantage of the low and transparent pricing available.
Operation of this free market medical practice, arguably the only one of its kind in the U.S., has gained the endorsement of policymakers and legislators nationally. More and more self-funded insurance plans are taking advantage of Dr. Smith’s pricing model, resulting in significant savings to their employee health plans. His hope is for as many facilities as possible to adopt a transparent pricing model, a move he believes will lower costs for all and improve quality of care.
I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing Shane Claiborne for the full hour on Thursday’s “Front Page” talk show on WWIB-FM. We talked about his book, “Red-Letter Revolution,” his ten weeks with Mother Teresa, his “Simple Way” community and more. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
Dr. Kevin Leman joined me for the full hour on Thursday’s FP as we discussed his book, “What a Differerence a Mom Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Mom Leaves on Her Son’s Life.” Here’s his Top Countdown to being an Awesome Mom: