If you ever wondered why Donald J. Trump was elected our 45th President, you only needed to watch the testimony last week of William Taylor, George Kent, and Marie Yovanovitch.
If you ever wondered what Washington based bureaucrats do to represent us, you only needed to watch the testimony last week of William Taylor, George Kent, and Marie Yovanovitch.
And, if you ever wondered why real Americans refer to Washington as a swamp which needs to be drained, you only needed to watch the testimony last week of William Taylor, George Kent, and Marie Yovanovitch.
Taylor, Kent and Yovanovitch aren’t inherently bad people. But they live in their own little worlds where what they think is more important than what the President—whose pleasure they serve at—thinks. And they are an integral part of what former (and the late) President Dwight Eisenhower warned us about on his way out—the military, industrial complex.
They have—and freely admit—zero first hand experience of the subject matter allegedly being “investigated” by Adam Schiff.
Now, diplomacy—in context—is a good thing. In theory, that is what keeps mushroom clouds away from Peoria, Illinois, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Reno, Nevada among other places where you can “smell the Trump support” at the local WalMart Supercenter. But it is the President and Commander in Chief who gets to set our foreign policy—not some diplomat at State who serves at the pleasure of the President. Any more than an FBI director who also serves at the pleasure of the President. And the real world is not an episode of Madam Secretary or the West Wing.
The truth is that impeachment is purely political.
The House, if it has the votes, can impeach the President because it does not like the cut of his suit.
Ask the dumb Republicans who impeached Bill Clinton in 1998.
How do you impeach a President who has less than two years left in his second term? But Newt Gingrich did it and ended up bringing dishonor on the institution for no good reason. And did I mention that the Senate told him to pound sand? In an almost predictable vote mostly along party lines, the Senate fell way short of the 67 votes necessary to remove him from office.
So, let’s assume that the currently sitting House goes ahead with impeachment.
What do you think might happen to these guys—Adam Schiff et al—who have such a flimsy case against Trump in a Republican controlled Senate?
The Senate vote will be utterly predictable. And that’s assuming the Senate doesn’t dismiss the charges without a trial. (If this is what passes for an impeachment investigation, who’s to say the Senate cannot hold a 20 minute trial to dismiss the charges?)
The anger from the 63,000,000 voters who elected Trump and told both the media and the Washington establishment, “Enough already!” will be palpable enough to elect him again and take that anger out on the House.
People like Schiff and his little buddy Eric Swalwell may not realize this, but they are doing their best to make the House of Representatives irrelevant to the real Americans outside of the swamp. It would appear that these guys were beat up every day when they were freshmen in college by the seniors and now, they are going to show all of us.
I wasn’t in the room when our founding fathers wrote the impeachment clause, but I read a lot and I have serious questions that Adam Schiff’s version—along with Rashida Tliab’s “impeach the motherf**ker”—were what they had in mind. I’m pretty sure when they wrote the term “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” they weren’t thinking about a President doing his job.
So my question is simple.
What will the left do when what I have predicted actually happens?
“Since 1950, 94 percent of mass public shootings in the United States have taken place in gun-free zones, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center.”
If a man driving a vehicle hits a man and injures or kills him, is the company that built the vehicle to be held responsible for the driver? Absolutely not!
If a man owns a hunting knife to cut up his game and ends up killing someone with it, are the manufacturers somehow responsible for the crime committed (Deuteronomy 25:1)? Are they to be held liable? Absolutely not!
No more then should gun manufacturers be held responsible for the crimes of them that choose to pull the trigger (Deuteronomy 30:19). This is what the arbitrary courts want you to believe to be the case.
Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines "arbitrary, " adjective [Latin arbitrarios.] 1. Depending on will or discretion; not governed by any fixed rules; as, an arbitrary decision; an arbitrary punishment. ARBITRARY power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.
Friends, this is like blaming the manufacturers of forks and spoons for people being obese. How ridiculous.
Furthermore, how can the act be apart from the actor? It cannot (Numbers 32:23)!
Let me ask you a common sense and sincere question: Did the Lord blame the weapon when Cain killed Abel? No, He did not, He blamed Cain for killing Abel and the curse was the consequence, and rightly so (Genesis 4:1-16).
Arbitrary government is NOT American government! We are ruled by law, not the opinion of some un-elected activist that sits on the bench acting on the behalf of the highest bidder (Luke 22:48).
“To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.” –President Thomas Jefferson
Oh, how what the courts are attempting to do in this country contradicts what our forefathers have established concerning the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights!
I want you to think of this for a moment with me, please.
The President is protected with guns.
The Congress is protected with guns.
Governors are protected with guns.
Courts are protected with guns.
Banks are protected with guns.
Factories are protected with guns.
Jewelry stores are protected with guns.
Sports events are protected with guns.
Celebrities are protected with guns.
Yet, we allow these that have been given delegated authority from “We the People,” that derive their just powers from the consent of the people that they are to serve to defend America’s children with a sign that reads: "THIS IS A GUN FREE ZONE.” The irony is that the victims are to then call someone with a gun if there’s an emergency (1 Samuel 13:22).
These in government that work for “We the People” would have you believe that, somehow or another, they have delegated authority to strip their employers from their God-given right to keep and bear arms. Think Americans, think!
Well, the good news is that someone is thinking, according to theepochtimes.com.
“A Michigan state lawmaker’s newly introduced legislation to hold government agencies and private businesses liable for civil damages if anyone is injured during a shooting in a gun-free zone on their premises is a promising proposal, according to noted gun scholar John R. Lott Jr.
The plan comes after a summer of mass public shootings that received saturation media coverage, such as in Virginia Beach, where a gunman left 12 dead and five injured, and at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, where a gunman killed 22 and injured 24. Since then, Walmart and a host of large retail chains have banned the open carrying of firearms in their stories.
Because almost all mass public shootings take place in gun-free zones, those areas would more accurately be called “killing zones,” said state Rep. Gary Eisen, a Republican who represents St. Clair Township, about an hour’s drive northeast of Detroit.
The first bill would strip governmental agencies of immunity from civil lawsuits for incidents occurring in a “gun-free or weapon-free zone.” The second bill makes the owner or occupier of real estate who forbids such weapons “responsible for the safety of an individual who enters” that zone. Such an “individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental entity, or other legal entity” would be “liable in a civil action for damages that result from injuries that an individual sustains in the gun-free or weapon-free zone if the person failed to provide adequate security in the gun-free or weapon-free zone.”
Victor Hugo said,
“Where there is darkness crimes will be committed. The guilty one is not merely he who commits the crime but he who caused the darkness.”
When you look at the darkness that has been advocated and implemented upon Americans by corruption in our government, there is no question who the responsible party is and why they must be held responsible for their crimes against “We the People!” (Article 2, Section 4, U. S. Constitution).
Stock photos of “healthcare workers” who attend patients—physicians are no longer distinguishable—usually feature a stethoscope draped around the neck.
But some, such as cardiologist Eric Topol, consider the stethoscope obsolete, nothing more than a pair of “rubber tubes.”
The most important part of the stethoscope is the part between the ears. But some think that will be replaced by artificial intelligence, and the rubber tubes by sophisticated electronic gizmos costing at least ten times as much as the humble stethoscope.
High tech is wonderful and increasingly capable, but if the stethoscope is dying, so is the art of clinical medicine.
The proper use of the stethoscope requires the doctor to touch, listen to the patient, and spend some time with a living person, not a computer. Patient and physician must cooperate: “Stop breathing,” “Take a big deep breath,” “Lean forward,” and so on.
It may be true, as Dr. James Thomas said, that graduates in internal medicine and emergency medicine miss as many as half of murmurs using a stethoscope. There are several reasons for this. One is not taking enough time to listen in a quiet room, and failing to perform the special maneuvers required to bring out an otherwise inaudible murmur (lean forward and exhale fully, turn onto your left side, squat then stand up, etc.).
The other is inadequate training. There are excellent recordings of heart sounds and murmurs, which of course would take time away from the time-devouring electronic medical record or “systems-based” medicine. And a recording is not the same thing as a live patient. Much of today’s teaching in physical diagnosis may be by “patient instructors”—paid actors pretending to be patients, who are evaluating the students as the students examine them. Rounds may be in a conference room, focused on the electronic record, instead of at the bedside.
In the old days, all the members of the team got to examine a real patient who had an interesting finding, with the patient’s permission and under the supervision of an attending physician. It seemed to me that patients usually enjoyed being the center of attention and the star of the show, and hearing the professor discuss their case. We learned how to help patients to sit up, and about hairy chests, layers of extra insulation, noisy lung sounds, shortness of breath, and other impediments to an easy examination.
The stethoscope is not just for heart murmurs. It’s for finding subtleties in careful, slow measurement of the blood pressure. It’s for extra or abnormal heart sounds. One can sometimes hear evidence of vascular problems inside the skull, or in the arteries supplying the brain, kidneys, or limbs. Or signs of intestinal obstruction. One can check to make sure a breathing tube is in the right place.
I don’t know of any bedside technologic wonders for examining the lungs. The stethoscope can detect sensitive signs of heart failure, pneumonia, fluid in the chest, collapsed lung, or airway obstruction. One can listen frequently to monitor changes in the patient’s status—much more efficiently than bringing the portable x-ray machine around.
The stethoscope works even when the power is off, the batteries are dead, the computer is down, or some circuit in the ultrasound device is malfunctioning. It works in facilities too poor to have the latest technology, or with patients who can’t afford to pay for a more expensive examination.
The stethoscope has tremendous capabilities in trained hands. Patients might want to evaluate whether they have a clinician who knows how to use it or is just carrying around a prop or status symbol. If you have symptoms suggestive of a heart or lung problem, does the doctor listen to all the lung fields—upper, mid, and lower, front and back? To at least four places for heart sounds? Are you asked to cough, say “e,” whisper something, take deep breaths or slow quiet ones, or do other maneuvers if something in the history or examination suggests a possible problem? Is the tv off, and are visitors asked to be quiet?
Everybody including doctors loves fancy technology. But before we toss out the old reliable tools, backed by two centuries of experience, how about some serious comparative studies like those the proponents of evidence-based medicine constantly demand?
Jane M. Orient, M.D. obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. Her views are her own. This is an edited version of her column that originally appeared in pennypress.com. Reprinted with permission.
Apparently, AT&T bought CNN thinking it was some kind of an entertainment outlet.
It is, but only to those of us who understand that Ted Turner’s creation has devolved into something which no longer resembles, in any way, journalism.
How bad is CNN’s coverage of the President?
Well, depending on who you choose to believe, studies from Harvard to the Media Research Center place the ratio of positive to negative coverage between 91% negative to 93%. Every media analyst agrees. CNN’s coverage is so biased that it can hardly be called coverage.
And it seems to be cheerfully brought to you by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. At 208 S. Akard Street in Dallas, Texas. CEO Randall Stephenson and Chief operating Officer John Stankey.
When these guys bought Directv, I was a fan. When they brought out Directv Now (Now ATT TV Now) as a streaming service I was and still am a fan. When they bought Warner Media, I was OK with that.
I figured that CNN was already so screwed up, it had only one way to go—up. I was wrong.
I was against the Justice Department’s antitrust action. Still am.
That said, who knew that the two executives I listed above (along with their emails) were closet liberals?
My suspicion still is that they’re not. What they, are, I think, is scared to death—like the dog which caught the car. They have no idea what to do. Owning HBO is one thing. You can always disavow Bill Maher.
But a news outlet? That involves editorial judgment and CNN already had less than none. It needs grown-ups to instill some discipline. Stephenson and Stankey are supposed to be those adults. Only nobody told them. They were too busy getting Hollywood elite sweet nothings blown up their skirts.
On one hand, they don’t want to make the left mad. After all, the left controls show biz—right? On the other hand, they really don’t want to have to choose up sides against a President who could easily be re-elected. Much of their communications business is heavily regulated. And, just to make things interesting, an activist management company, Elliott Management, took a $3.2-billion position in AT&T and wants change as well as seats on the Board.
So, wouldn’t the smart money be to make those clowns in Atlanta actually run a news outlet as opposed to taking virtually every opportunity to tilt to the radical left?
Apparently, Mr. Stephenson’s testicles were there when he bought into the entertainment business, but seem to have softened when it comes to making tough decisions regarding the content of his acquisitions which could ultimately send his share price plummeting.
Here’s a hint as to how another executive has handled it.
Apple’s Tim Cook—hardly a Trump fan—has kept an open channel to the President even though he supported Trump’s 2016 opponent.
That makes sense, considering their common interests, especially where it comes to China, trade and intellectual property.
Do you really think Trump would refuse Stephenson’s call?
As long as his company is channeling Nancy Pelosi, it is probably a difficult call to have.
But if Stephenson and Stankey could say, with straight faces, that they are aiming to make CNN a “just the facts” news outlet, you can bet Trump would take that call.
It’s high time the folks on Akard Street in Dallas started worrying about their shareholder value. They could fix CNN in two weeks. Nobody is asking that they try and duplicate Fox. Just be fair. If they don’t, and 63,000,000 Trump voters take offense, well, they don’t make fallout shelters deep enough to protect them from the economic consequences.
Taqiyya- Deception and Lying in Islam. Precautionary dissimulation or denial of religious belief.
As many of you know, the state of Minnesota has a brand new attorney general, his name is Keith Ellison, and his Muslim name is Muhammad Hakim (Over the years, Ellison wrote under the pseudonyms Keith E. Hakim, mainly for his college paper in 89 and 90 but later, in the mid nineties he wrote under the name Keith X Ellison in defense of Farrakhan after the 1995 Million Man March.) I know that there are many that say, "How stupid can Minnesotans be?" but in reply, I say, "Not that stupid."
There are many at the grassroots level and otherwise who are very aware of what is happening here.
Minnesotans are also very aware of the voter fraud taking place in this state, as well as the tactics being played out behind closed doors.
It has been accredited to dictatorial, tyrannical Communist Joseph Stalin “people that cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do."
Concerning the attorney general race, the end results were Ellison 1, 249, 407, and Wardlow with 1, 150, 459.
Furthermore, the same media that 94% of Americans do not believe and rightly so, are also in full operation here in Minnesota attempting to give cover for them that are in fact conspiring against the people of Minnesota. (Editor’s note: To be fair, I believe the poll Bradlee is referring to is the famous 2018 Axios / Pew Research and Gallop poll of 4000 people that says 92% of “Republicans and Republican leaning independents say that traditional news outlets knowingly report false or misleading stories at least sometimes..." The number drops sharply for Democrats and Democrat leaning independents to approx. 50% who believe that traditional news outlets knowingly report false or misleading stories at least sometimes…” )
Without the mainstream media’s propaganda outlets attempting to breathe life into their agendas they are completely lifeless and without any credibility or support from the people that they claim to be speaking on behalf of.
How many times does the mainstream media need to get caught lying before Americans realize what they are dealing with.
Case in point: I don’t know of a single person that wants to see this state handed off to those who mean to destroy it.
The possible tax evader, cop-killer supporter, woman abuser and terror-tied funded Attorney General Keith Ellison means to illegally bring into Minnesota a 300% increase of Somalians. I don’t know anyone in Minnesota advocating for that.
Furthermore, this is treasonous and clearly illegally as to what he is attempting to do here in the state (8 US Code & 1424).
This should come as no surprise to anyone considering Keith’s betrayal of his "professed" Christian faith to that of Islam. (Luke 22:48; Romans 9:8).
It is also interesting to note that Keith Ellison has the full support of the governor in the state, as well as the first sodomite sheriff in Minnesota history. Sound a little conspiratorial yet?
If Keith isn't feebly attempting to defend Louis Farrakhan, then, his sidekick Minnesota CAIR director and Minnesota Governor's transition board member Jaylani Hussein is attempting to create Christians to be what only the devil can produce (Matthew 7:16).
Believe it or not, and of all people to be doing so, Keith Ellison is busy trying to create criminals out of law abiders and law abiders into criminals. Yes, you heard me right, and that of all people to be doing so.
Keith claims that he wants to end hate crimes, not realizing, of course, that all crime is motivated by hate.
So, in order for him to do that, he needs to create the hater and the victim (1 John 3:12). In his confusion, Keith even went so far as to expose himself (Revelation 12:10) by making reference to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate crimes and so on … I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.” – Mark Potok, director of intelligence at Southern Poverty Law Center
Of course, what Keith Ellison is doing is attempting to create law abiders (Hebrews 8:10) that expose the crimes of the law-breakers (Romans 3:20; 1 John 3:4), into enemies of the state.
Apparently Keith Ellison, Governor Tim Walz and the media and them that they are tied to are overlooking the crimes and criminals of them that they mean to protect.
After seeing what the media has been blacking out here in the state of Minnesota, I believe you will then ask as so many have, and are, whom Keith Ellison is working for. The answer is quite obvious. Here are some examples…
Media Blackout: A dozen somali teens use pipes and hammers to attack white people. (Editor’s note: I agree with Bradlee, this story should have been more widely reported; however, it does appear that in this case, and some of the other stories Bradlee cites, all the suspects are juveniles, which means their names and a lot of information about the crime is not released to the public, which makes reporting on it problematic. Here is a link to the original audio 911 call.)
If at this point you have any questions to the validity of what is starting to take place in Minnesota, take a look at the statistics of countries that are now being plundered and overtaken in Europe by the same people that are the likes of Ellison.
Muslim migration has doubled in the decade since 9/11 and 60% of migrants to America favor sharia law (Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
One more point: "Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., a third-term congressman and a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. On the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights page on his House website, Ellison notes that he is 'proud to be vice-chair of the Congressional Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Caucus.'"
If you are paying attention to the Islamic community globally, you can see that they are in lock step using the same exact method as the sodomites are using (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). They are even going so far as to create self-inflicted hate crimes only to blame the innocent for them (Deuteronomy 19:19).
Remember, this is all predicated upon the use of totalitarian tactics (John 8:44) and playing the victim while at the same time perpetuating the crime by tearing down the law.
The resolve is that Keith Ellison must be called out, be impeached and indicted for his crimes (treason) against the United States (Article 2, Section 4, United States Constitution). There is no other option.
What are the main social, political and economic problems we face today?
I think they fall into two groups, economic-political and cultural.
The economic-political issues are the continuing and still growing over-reach of government, both domestically and in international affairs. Domestically, this means excess spending, taxing and borrowing by government at all levels since about 1960 – an excess that keeps growing every decade. These fiscal problems are enabled to some extent by the federal monetary policy of printing excess dollars and thus inflating the currency.
It also includes the ever-growing excess in regulation of all kinds – health, safety, environmental and economic. Plus government expansion into ever more sectors of the economy as a direct provider of services that would better be served by private markets.
The growing regulatory and intervention excess together make up the bulk of the modern administrative state; combined with excess government spending, it depresses economic growth. Slowing economic growth means people on average are less well-off than they would be without these excesses. That is, government excess diminishes aggregate human wellbeing – and also fairness.
Thus, from the 1960s to the Great Recession, we had real per-person growth in incomes of about 2 to 2.5 percent per year. During that time, the growing government excess was offset by favorable trends in population growth, labor force participation, debt both public and private, foreign trade and international economic growth. These trends are somewhat organic, but also greatly influenced by public policy.
In this century, all those favorable trends have reversed or slowed, and growth in government spending, regulation, etc. has continued. So, for the last decade, our per-person income growth has been less than half of what we all grew up with.
Per person real growth at 2 to 2.5 percent per year means that incomes, wealth and overall wellbeing double each generation. That’s a recipe for real progress – new medical cures, better diets, living standards of all kinds – and for general human happiness.
Growth at less than half those rates is a recipe for unhappiness, economic stagnation, political polarization and social upheaval such as we’ve seen in recent years. It will continue for as long as we have slow growth. And with continued government excess and the other problems driven by public policy, these problems may last for a long time.
A particular aspect will exacerbate these problems in the future. Generous payouts for social security, Medicare, and pension and benefits systems constitute a transfer of income from young people to older folks. These Ponzi schemes are, like all such schemes, unsustainable. They will breakdown or blow up in the future, damaging many people, families and businesses, and producing more social and political upheaval.
What’s the government excess in foreign affairs?
With the collapse of the Soviet evil empire – which, thank goodness, we helped precipitate – our foreign and intelligence Deep State looked for new adventures to keep its numbers employed and growing. The Deep State is the illegitimate child of the modern administrative state.
Certainly, Islamic-fascism is a major problem, but it doesn’t justify our continuous involvement in war in the Mideast and elsewhere, as favored by the Deep State.
It’s also promoting more strategic responses to our next major international problem, the ever-aggressive Chinese state. However, despite Chinese theft of intellectual property and similar aggressions, a trade war and tariffs are not the answer. They diminish overall human wellbeing here and in China.
Participation trophies, trigger warnings, safe spaces, etc. get more attention than they deserve. But they are the tip of the spear, reflecting a softening of society, a cult celebrating victim status, corrosive identity politics, and a deep sense of entitlement. These, coupled with government over-reach in social and political matters, are leading to an inversion of fundamental historic values and rights such as freedom of speech and religion, due process and the presumption of innocence, and Second Amendment self-defense.
What to do?
First, live a good life as a spouse, parent, friend, neighbor and citizen. Second, stay politically active to leave all our children and heirs a better legacy and life. For their sake, don’t give up.
The big story at the beginning of the week was the chilling deaths of nine American citizens in Mexico—apparently at the hand of either one or two drug cartels.
And we’re worried about ISIS?
And the Democrats want open borders?
Now, let’s put this in context. This was a group of people who are part of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. They are at war with the state of Utah over polygamy and I’m not personally a fan of their interpretation of LDS orthodoxy because I covered the arrest of Warren Jeffs and the aftermath when I was with a national TV network.
That said, they were residents of Mexico, American citizens, not taking welfare from either Arizona or Utah and didn’t deserve to be caught in a drug cartel ambush.
And, frankly, the silver or lead philosophy which is prevalent in our neighbor (that is, take our silver or our lead) to the south is killing many Americans because that is where heroin and fentanyl comes from and flows to those “sanctuary” cities and states where the so-called leadership does everything possible to protect these thugs from deportation.
This just happens to be such an egregious case that it screams for extraordinary action.
Drone strikes. Let’s wipe them out the same way we wiped out ISIS.
Those folks at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada (40 miles North of Las Vegas) can take out a terrorist halfway across the world with a Hellfire missile launched from a Predator drone.
I can hear our so-called “State” department screaming now, but why should we let some scumbag like El Chapo (or his son) wreak horrifying violence on United States citizens when we’re perfectly willing to use our military resources to wipe out a scumbag like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria. The fact is that no matter how nicely we discuss the concept of sovereignty the Mexican government has been bought and paid for by the drug cartels just as surely as ISIS became a state unto its own in the Middle East.
If we’re going to place the lives of young American soldiers, sailors and airmen in harm’s way, at least they should be protecting the lives of Americans.
And if the cartels wish to fight back…they’ll discover exactly what we spend over $700-Billion a year on.
Now, theoretically Mexico is a sovereign nation.
So we need to give them fair warning.
President Trump can tweet that warning and then act on it the next time we see a problem.
What’s going to happen?
The Mexican Army will come across the border? They’ll cut off our access to Cabo? Cancun?
To steal a line from W.C. Fields, “On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia”.
The truth is that Mexico has long been a nation which is at a level of corruption that even Bugsy Siegal's Las Vegas never approached. Even Chicago has never been quite as corrupt as Mexico. Even Joe Biden’s son apparently hasn’t taken any money from them.
The only thing stopping the President might well be the Obama holdovers in the State Department. Just like those clowns who testified against the President in secret, performing for Adam Schiff.
To hear them tell it, the President shouldn’t be allowed to set our foreign policy.
I’d like to see the President at this exact time, go to Congress and ask for a declaration of war not against Mexico but the drug cartels. Let’s see who votes against that.
The FDA has disclosed a new E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak, that has supposedly ended.
23 people from 12 states have become ill due to this recent outbreak of E. coli.
No deaths have been reported.
The Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 sickened 23 people and hospitalized 11 between the dates July 12 and September 8th, with cases occurring in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, with the majority of cases in California.
The FDA emphasizes that they believe the outbreak is over. However many wonder why they this wasn’t disclosed earlier.
The CDC did appear to begin its investigation earlier this Fall, and forward their concerns to the FDA, but jointly the disclosure didn’t come until now.
Symptoms of E. coli poisoning can occur anywhere from 1-10 days after ingestion.
And if progresses, can cause
Exposure to E. coli may occur from exposure to contaminated foods (from human or animal waste) or undercooked meats.
What if purchasing medical products and services were like buying peanut butter? Grocery stores have several brands and varieties: smooth, chunky, old-fashioned, natural, organic, no added sugar, reduced fat, no-stir, and pre-mixed with jelly with clearly marked prices ranging from $1.75 for the store’s generic brand to $7 for the over-priced Yuppie brand. After carefully examining the labels, our shopper chose a 16-ounce, $5 jar of no-added-sugar peanut butter. She paid the cashier $5 for the peanut butter and went home.
If our shoppers were transported to the universe of medical billing with the $5 jar of peanut butter, the shopper with Medicare would pay $1.00 but her grandchild will be presented with a bill for $4. When the shopper with private health insurance attempts to pay, the cashier becomes unglued. The shopper cannot say whether she met her deductible or has a co-payment, and whether the brand of peanut butter is approved by the network. She really wants the peanut butter so she grabs the generic from the shelf and pays the $1.75. Our privately insured shopper was pleasantly surprised at the generic’s good taste and healthful ingredients, her wallet was happy for the cost savings, and she was glad not to have the middleman hassle.
Comparison shopping is one pillar of bringing sanity to the high cost of medical care, but the opacity of the pricing system for medical costs limits the value of posting list prices to encourage lower costs through shaming, competition, and choice. In addition to research and development, manufacturing, and distribution costs, drug costs are affected by additional layers of middlemen: pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and insurers. Using a “trade secret” process, PBMs negotiate discounts and rebates for private and government insurers. The money saved is supposed to go back to the government (taxpayers) or to insurers to lower premiums or otherwise benefit patients. PBMs typically are paid by a percentage of the rebate or discount off the list price. The higher the price, the bigger the rebate. Thus, the rebate system gives an incentive to raise list prices rather than placing the lowest-priced drug on the insurer’s formulary. (This same system is used by Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) for hospital product purchases.)
An analysis of the effect of California’s 2-year old drug price transparency law illustrates the complexity of pricing. Despite being compelled to post list prices, pharmaceutical companies raised the list price for wholesalers by a median of 25.8 percent but the data did not indicate the “price” that consumers actually paid. Moreover, with medical services and products the simple What the Market Will Bear (WTMWB) pricing method works because either the medication is essential (e.g., Epi-Pen®), has no alternative, is in short supply, or the medical consumer is not paying directly for the services.
Similarly, publishing hospital the charge description master (“chargemaster”). i.e., the standard industry price does not give consumers enough information to make a rational choice regarding elective medical services. The data necessary to make price comparisons depends on an individual’s circumstances. More relevant than the chargemaster price, a self-pay patient needs to know the lowest possible cash price. A patient with health insurance must know (1) whether the hospital is in the insurance network, (2) the price negotiated between the health care provider and insurer (including Medicare), (3) the amount and method of calculating cost-sharing, (4) the amount Medicare or other insurer will pay for services performed in a physician’s office in contrast to the hospital which tags on a “facility fee.”
Transparency is one tool for lowering costs through choice. As one of many studies on hospital consolidation noted, “The Sky’s the Limit” on prices where there is lack of competition. But the difficulties of achieving useful price transparency must not be a cue for the government to initiate bureaucratic band-aids. As we have seen with Obamacare, forcing insurers to pay more of the costs leads to higher premiums, deductibles, and/or co-pays.
Nor should the government impose price caps. President Nixon’s 1971 wage and price freeze brought product shortages—which we are already facing with certain drugs, including anesthetics and chemotherapy agents. If the government sticks to enforcing anti-trust laws, a competitive market will thrive. The court house door anti-trust settlement by Northern California’s Sutter Health sends a message to big hospital chains to stop using their market share to inflate prices or require insurers to join their networks on an all-or-nothing basis to prevent insurers from negotiating lower prices at individual hospitals.
If we can get to the point of direct exchange of money for goods and services and reserve health insurance for major expenses, we can see costs decrease just as we have seen with the Surgery Center of Oklahoma over the last 10 years.
Dr. Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist. She is Immediate Past President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). Her opinions, medical or otherwise, are her own. She is a guest columnist and this is an edited version of her article originally written for pennypress.com, reprinted with permission.
United States Attorney General Bill Barr recently spoke at Notre Dame University. Last week I quoted from the first half of that speech. Today, from the second half. I add no commentary because he says it all so well:
“The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with the wreckage. While we think we are solving problems, we are underwriting them.
“Interestingly, this idea of the State as the alleviator of bad consequences has given rise to a new moral system that goes hand-in-hand with the secularization of society. It can be called the system of “macro-morality.” It is in some ways an inversion of Christian morality.
“Christianity teaches a micro-morality. We transform the world by focusing on our own personal morality and transformation.
“The new secular religion teaches macro-morality. One’s morality is not gauged by their private conduct, but rather on their commitment to political causes and collective action to address social problems.
“This system allows us to not worry so much about the strictures on our private lives, while we find salvation on the picket-line. We can signal our finely-tuned moral sensibilities by demonstrating for this cause or that.
“Something happened recently that crystalized the difference between these moral systems. I was attending Mass at a parish I did not usually go to in Washington, D.C. At the end of the Mass, the Chairman of the Social Justice Committee got up to give his report to the parish. He pointed to the growing homeless problem in D.C. and explained that more mobile soup kitchens were needed to feed them.
“This being a Catholic church, I expected him to call for volunteers to go out and provide this need. Instead, he recounted all the visits that the Committee had made to the D.C. government to lobby for higher taxes and more spending to fund mobile soup kitchen.
“A third phenomenon … is the way law is being used as a battering ram to break down traditional moral values and to establish moral relativism as a new orthodoxy.
“First, either through legislation but more frequently through judicial interpretation, secularists have been continually seeking to eliminate laws that reflect traditional moral norms.
“More recently, we have seen the law used aggressively to force religious people and entities to subscribe to practices and policies that are antithetical to their faith.
“The problem is not that religion is being forced on others. The problem is that irreligion and secular values are being forced on people of faith.
“[M]ilitant secularists today do not have a live and let live spirit – they are not content to leave religious people alone to practice their faith. Instead, they seem to take a delight in compelling people to violate their conscience.
“For example, the last Administration sought to force religious employers, including Catholic religious orders, to violate their sincerely held religious views by funding contraceptive and abortifacient coverage in their health plans.
“This refusal to accommodate the free exercise of religion is relatively recent. Just 25 years ago, there was broad consensus in our society that our laws should accommodate religious belief.
“Ground zero for these attacks on religion are the schools.
“The first front relates to the content of public school curriculum. Many states are adopting curriculum that is incompatible with traditional religious principles according to which parents are attempting to raise their children. They often do so without any opt out for religious families … [or] even warn[ing] parents about the lessons they plan to teach on controversial subjects relating to sexual behavior and relationships.
“A second axis of attack in the realm of education are state policies designed to starve religious schools of generally-available funds and encouraging students to choose secular options. [Cites Montana action based on anti-Catholic Blaine provision in its constitution.]
“A third kind of assault on religious freedom in education have been recent efforts to use state laws to force religious schools to adhere to secular orthodoxy. [Cites suit to force Catholic schools to employ teachers in same-sex marriages.]
“[A]s long as I am Attorney General, the Department of Justice will … fight for the most cherished of our liberties: the freedom to live according to our faith.”