Friday, May 23, 2014

Cruising the Web

Typical - In 2012 PolitiFact counted Obama's promise to "Make the VA a Leader in National Health" as a promise that Obama kept. With scorekeeping like that, it's no wonder that the 2012 election was fought on Obama's chosen ground as being about silly stuff such as an imaginary "war on women."

This is also typical - Harry Reid is realizing that he hasn't done enough the let Obama's nominees slide through the Senate without filibusters. The Republicans have taken advantage of one of the few tools left to them by refusing to let nomination votes go through without delay under unanimous consent. So these nominees can't be filibustered, but it still take's time to hold a vote on them. And that isn't enough for Harry Reid's desire to push through as many nominations as possible before the 2014 election.

This is another typically infuriating fact about the network news. They spent more time covering Chris Christie's bridge story in four days than they have spent on the scandals at the VA hospitals in four weeks.

Terrorists being held at Gitmo get better medical care than our veterans.

An intriguing question for Al Sharpton: "If Donald Sterling is banned from the NBA for racism, shouldn't you be banned from TV?" (Link via Hot Air)

Scott Johnson says we've entered the "killer rabbit" phase of Obama's presidency.

Bob Beckel has taken it upon himself to decide who is a good role model for inner-city blacks by rejecting Condoleezza Rice because she grew up in a middle-class family with both parents. Would he have said the same thing about Colin Powell? What about Eric Holder? Rice grew up in the segregated South and was friends with one of the girls killed in the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church. Eric Holder's father was from Barbados and grew up in the Bronx and got to attend prestigious Stuyvesant High School. Would Beckel consider Holder an insufficient role model for young blacks?

Rich Lowry explains how "the VA is an island of socialism in American health care." No wonder Paul Krugman and other liberals have been trumpeting the wonderful success of the VA health care system for years as a "triumph of socialized medicine." The WSJ writes,
The real story of the VA scandal is the failure of what liberals have long hailed as the model of government health care.

Don't take our word for it. As recently as November 2011, Paul Krugman praised the VA as a triumph of "socialized medicine," as he put it: "What's behind this success? Crucially, the V.H.A. is an integrated system, which provides health care as well as paying for it. So it's free from the perverse incentives created when doctors and hospitals profit from expensive tests and procedures, whether or not those procedures actually make medical sense."

Ah, yes, the VA lacks the evil profit motive. What the egalitarians ignore, however, is that a government system contains its own "perverse incentives," such as rationing that leads to treatment delays and preventable deaths, which the bureaucracy then tries to cover up. This isn't an accident or one-time error. It is inherent in a system that allocates resources by political force rather than individual consumer choices. The VA is ObamaCare's ultimate destination.

Chester Finn excoriates the mollycoddling of today's students.
It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry over the demand by U.S. college students for “trigger warnings” to alert them that something they’re about to read or see in one of their classes might traumatize them—apparently a new trend, according to the New York Times. Ditto for off-beat campus sculptures, placards displayed by protesters and more.

Poor dears. These are the same kids who would riot in the streets if their colleges asserted any form of in loco parentis when it comes to such old-fashioned concerns as inebriation and fornication. God forbid they should be treated as responsible, independent adults! After all, they’re old enough to vote, to drive, even (though it’s unlikely) to join the army.

Yet they want their professors to shield their precious eyes from anything potentially offensive.
Exactly so.

Congratulations to Kimberley Strassel for winning the Bradley Prize. Today Strassel writes about the Democratic attacks on Dr. Monica Wehby running against Democratic incumbent Senator Jeff Merkley.
Dr. Wehby, a 52-year-old pediatric specialist, won the Oregon Republican primary Tuesday and will face Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley in November. She won despite planted, pre-primary media hits that detailed police "incident" reports from her divorce and from a later breakup. The Oregonian discovered at least one of these reports was first requested from police by a researcher for the Democratic Party of Oregon. Jamal Raad, spokesman for that organization, used to work for Mr. Merkley and this week rejoined his team.

The reports themselves don't merit much comment, beyond pointing out the willingness of the national press to sensationalize some trivial moments in Dr. Wehby's private life. A Politico story about Dr. Wehby in 2013 visiting the house (to which she had a key) of a boyfriend who wasn't returning her calls was run under the headline: "Oregon Senate Hopeful Accused of Stalking Boyfriend." Never mind that the story (at the end) quoted the boyfriend, a businessman, as saying he had been "emotional," regretted calling the police, and that they remain friends.

A story about how the man she was divorcing, Jim Grant, called in 2007 to complain that she had "slapped" him with a note pad (she denied it and police acknowledged that the "slight red dot" on his face might have been a "zit") was run under headlines in numerous papers about Dr. Wehby's "harassment" of Mr. Grant. Never mind (again) that Mr. Grant now lives four doors from her, donated to her campaign, and calls her a "good friend."
These attacks won't work since they're so baseless and she has plenty of time to get the truth out. And she'll be able to challenge Merkley to campaign on the issues, particularly Obamacare. She has her own professional expertise on medical care and Oregon has been one of the most disastrous states for the role out of a state exchange.

Charles Krauthammer points out that it is Vladimir Putin who has made the more successful pivot to Asia.