Ted Kennedy

ObamaCare: Arrogance Gets Its Comeuppance

by Bill O'Connell on February 1, 2011

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It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place. – Judge Roger Vinson opinion in STATE OF FLORIDA v UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

 

Perhaps the most arrogant, condescending act of Congress was the passage of ObamaCare. Opinion polls consistently counted the American public to be strongly against it. Town hall meetings during the summer before its passage were raucous and united in opposition as politicians cowered before their constituents. Many politicians who voted for the bill stopped holding town hall meetings, choosing instead to hide under their desks. During the fall 2010 elections, rare was the Democrat who boldly campaigned on ObamaCare.

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Cutting Back What Shouldn’t Be There in the First Place

by Bill O'Connell on January 6, 2011

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Let the games begin.  The Republicans now control the House of Representatives and have pledged to cut $100 billion from the budget in short order.  About half a beat later came the howls from the transportation lobby that they can’t possibly mean highway and mass-transit projects.  Why is this even a matter for debate?

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The Progressive War on Federalism

by Bill O'Connell on December 6, 2010

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I still find myself in awe of our Founding Fathers who created our form of government.  The competing ideas that they sifted through to come up with our Constitution and the safeguards in it is wondrous.  The designs upon it by the progressives is by equal measure disturbing.

  

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Coons vs O’Donnell. Are You Kidding Me?

by Bill O'Connell on September 21, 2010

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For all the hand wringing by the Republican establishment over Christine O’Donnell’s fitness for office two points must be made.  One, who is calling the kettle black?  Two, has anyone bothered to look at who she is running against?

In the desperate attempt to throw anything and everything they can find at Christine O’Donnell to try to derail her roaring comeback, her critics have gone all the way back to probe who her friends were in high school.  High school. If that is a criteria for being unfit for government office, how about these gems:

  • President Barack Obama admitted using marijuana and cocaine in high school, but he is fit to be the chief law enforcement officer of the United States
  • Vice President Joe Biden committed plagiarism and had to drop out of the 1988 Presidential race, but he is fit to be the “experienced statesman” to balance the Obama-Biden team
  • President Bill Clinton lied under oath to a federal judge to prevent a woman with a legitimate case of sexual harassment from having her day in court.
  • Senator Ted Kennedy left a woman in a submerged car to die rather than doing everything possible to help save her life and his Democratic colleagues called him the “Lion of the Senate”
  • Timothy Geithner oversees the IRS, but didn’t pay his own taxes
  • Charlie Rangel is under investigation for numerous ethics violations including not paying his taxes despite being the former chairman of the Congressional committee that writes the tax laws.
  • Hillary Clinton, not as a high school student but as First Lady, held a séance so she could talk to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Is that enough or should I continue?  And these people and their supporters say, Christine O’Donnell is not fit for office?  Maybe she should rob a bank so that her resume would be more in line with these icons of the Democrat firmament.

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Who Is Elena Kagan?

by Bill O'Connell on July 29, 2010

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We have come to expect a fight whenever a seat opens up on the Supreme Court as there are distinct battle lines between conservatives who believe the Constitution should be interpreted how it was written and liberal/progressives view it in light of what they feel it should be today.  In other words, conservatives approach the Constitution with a magnifying glass while liberal/progressives approach it with an eraser and pencil.

I happen to believe that elections have consequences and that for the most part the president should be allowed to nominate who he chooses to fill a Supreme Court vacancy and have them approved.  However, as Democrats like to point out when a Republican sits in the White House, the Senate has a Constitutional role to give advice and consent on such nominees, not just rubber stamp them, which is true enough.  Unfortunately, today the advice and consent process is almost a sham, because the nominees have learned how to keep their mouths shut and defer from answering all but the blandest questions under the cover that it may come up before them in a case on the court.  We can thank Ted Kennedy for this as he turned the advice and consent role into an opportunity to smear a nominee, Judge Robert Bork, in the most vile and mendacious way to pander to the base of the Democratic Party.  Since then, it’s been lights out on any serious probing of the thought process of nominees to our highest court.

But what about Elena Kagan?  After the Senate Judiciary panel approved her nomination along nearly party lines (Lindsey Graham – R voted in favor) most Americans (87%) believe she will be confirmed, according to Rasmussen.  However, in the same poll Americans oppose her nomination 42% to 36%.  Is she qualified to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court?

One of the arguments against her is that she has never been a judge before.  That is true, but it is also true for about one-third of past Supreme Court justices.  However, among those past Supreme Court justices who were not judges, they had on average 20 years experience in the private practice of law.  Ms. Kagan has two years experience in private practice, two years.  The rest of her experience in academia or government service. 

Before her current position of Solicitor General, she had never argued a case at a trial.  She has no judicial experience, next to no private practice experience, and thanks to Ted Kennedy, she revealed as little as possible about her judicial philosophy to get confirmed.  Her key strength, according to Barack Obama, is her ability to build consensus.  I’ll give you a translation of what that really means.  Her job will be to vote with the liberal bloc of the Supreme Court and use her persuasive powers on Anthony Kennedy to peel him off and generate as many 5-4 wins as possible.  President Obama does little without a purpose and his purpose is to pull the Supreme Court in the same direction as the laws he has jammed through against the will of the American people.

Despite the approval of the Judiciary committee, an effort must be mounted to reject or filibuster her approval.  How can we accept someone with so little in the way of qualifications to a lifetime appointment?  We know next to nothing about her judicial philosophy.  There are no cases on which she has written opinions that can be examined.  With regard to what she has written in the government service she simply says I was acting as an advocate for my client, and those are not necessarily my views.  Who could argue with that?  So what are her views?  We don’t know and like Nancy Pelosi claimed with the health care monstrosity, “we’ll just have to pass it to find out what’s in it.”  With a lifetime appointment, you can’t take it back later if you disagree with her eventual positions.  The track record of the “Trust me” presidency is downright frightening.

With all due respect to Elena Kagan, I don’t see how we can idly sit by and silently accept another Obama abomination of ramming through his agenda without regard for the people who elected him.  He is essentially asking us to grant a lifetime appointment that could profoundly affect our liberties, to someone who is a blank slate that we know little about. He should withdraw the nominee and submit another candidate.

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Kennedy Shouldn’t Rush Health Care Reform

by Bill O'Connell on February 20, 2009

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Two Doctors Operating. A Lawyer, A Bureaucrat, and An Insurance Agent Oversee the Procedure

In the category, be careful what you wish for, Ted Kennedy should be careful about pushing through Universal Health Care reform.  It has been reported that this effort has taken on a sense of urgency because of Mr. Kennedy’s brain cancer.  But what if we already had national health care?

Would Kennedy Receive Treatment?

Ted Kennedy will be 77 on Sunday.  I wish him well.  However in an opinion piece by Betsy McCaughey, she quotes Tom Daschle, who nearly became the architect of health care reform before his tax problems derailed his nomination.

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

In other words, sorry Ted, since any treatment is not likely to significantly prolong your life such that the expense would be justified, no treatment will be paid for.  You will just have to pay it yourself or die.  I guess the good news is that Senator Kennedy, like Senator Dascle, and most of the ruling class who pass these commandments down from Mount Capital Hill, are rich enough to pay for private treatment, if it is allowed by law.  If not, they are rich enough to take a “vacation” to, say, India and while on vacation wander into a facility their for treatment by American trained Indian doctors.

But what about you and me?  Oh dear, you better get your affairs in order.

Health Care Reform You Can Believe In

As long as the treatment received by a patient is paid for by someone other than the patient, the patient really doesn’t care what it costs.  The liberal solution is to have the government take it over, and a bunch of bureaucrats will “act on your/our behalf” and make those decisions.  The outcome of which is that you better stay healthy.  Because if you don’t, you may not get treatment until you wait a very long time for your turn, or you may not get treated at all, if the bureaucrats rule the resultant quality of life is just not worth it.

Here’s what we should really look at doing:

  • Get the consumer of health care actively involved. How?  It’s being done today with high deductible health care plans coupled with a Health Savings Accounts.  The insurance company negotiates lower treatment costs and pays them only after a hefty deductible has been paid that year.  The patient is then in a position of shopping for the best health care and deciding on what treatments and tests, in conjunction with their doctor they will or will not have.  The Health Savings Account is where the patient can put funds, pre-tax, and then use those funds to pay the expenses not covered by the insurance.
  • Tort Reforms.  Get the Lawyers out of the Examining Room. Too many doctors, in my opinion, are practicing defensive medicine.  They think of every possible test so that if something does not go perfectly with the treatment they won’t get sued for the test they didn’t perform.  Let’s follow the British System — fixed fees for the attorneys instead of a percentage of the settlement, and loser pays.  There are too many cases of people getting a $12 million settlement or judgment for something stupid (think of the woman at McDonalds who spilled coffee in her crotch and sued McDonalds because the coffee was too hot).  In these cases the lawyers typically ask for no money unless they get a settlement and when they do they get 1/3 ($4 million in this example).  It’s like buying a lottery ticket.  Who wouldn’t take a free lottery ticket on a jackpot of millions?  But who really pays for all these law suits and settlements?  That’s right you and me in insurance premiums we cannot afford now.
  • Increased Insurance Competition. Right now most insurance is regulated by the states and in many cases policies available in one state are not available in others.  Let’s open up the competition.  If we have more insurance companies competing for our business, we are likely to get better and more creative policy choices.
  • More Tailored Insurance Policies If my wife and I are beyond the point of having children, then let me buy a policy that does not cover childbearing, birth control, well baby care.  If I am young and starting out and I want those things, there are other coverages that pertain to older people that I may not want at this stage in my life.  Let’s allowed tailored policies that reflect my actual insurance needs.
  • Immigration Control.  The same people who are pushing socialized medicine are, for the most part, the same people who favor open borders.  However, where do all the illegals go for the health care needs including having babies (new citizens)?  They go to the only health care provider they know, the local emergency room.  This is also probably the most expensive form of health care delivery and since they are illegal, they’re not paying for it, the rest of us are.  I think immigrants built this great country and almost each and everyone of us can point to our forebears who came here as immigrants.  I am in favor of immigration now and in the future.  I believe these are hard working and basically good people.  BUT, they have to come here legally and follow the process.  If they are not here legally, they should be deported.
  • Medicare Reform.  You probably want to sit down for this one, but shocking as it may seem this massive government programs loses billions upon billions of dollars every year to fraud.  Who pays?  Right!  You and me.  In higher payroll taxes, and in higher health care costs as doctors and hospitals have to make up the shortfall somewhere else to stay in business.

More Liberty Under Fire

The government in proposing universal health care wants to mandate that everyone must have health care coverage.  You will not have the liberty to choose.  The government demands that you comply:

“comprehensive health care legislation should include a requirement that every American carry insurance.”

That’s the requirement, now comes the heavy hand of government:

“The ideas discussed include a proposal to penalize people who fail to comply with the “individual obligation” to have insurance.”

You must obey!  The government has spoken!

Here’s a novel idea.  How about implementing the above points first and fix the broken system that we have before we throw it out and install another new, massive, government program.  After all we can always go to the government solution in the end, confident in the knowledge that these programs work extremely well and efficiently. (e.g., Fannie Mae {bankrupt}, Freddie Mac{bankrupt} , Social Security {bankrupt}, Medicare {bankrupt}, US Postal Service {$6 billion deficit, while CEO get $850,00 salary}).

What Would the Founding Fathers Say?

A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored.  Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. – John Adams

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