I’d just like to say

How right I was about the president’s correct choice to skip out on the UN”s conference on racism. 

Here’s how it went down:

Ahmadinejad did not fail to disappoint. He took this racism conference as an opportunity to lash out against Israel and the United States. He said that the Holocaust was a “pretext” for aggression, Israel is a “racist” nation and the Western world is responsible for the current financial crisis. He added that “world Zionism personifies racism.”

Folks, what else did you expect? This is nothing new. We know that this mad Muslim, Ahmadinejad, has about as many loose screws as Kim Jong-Il. And you expect this guy to engage in a lucid and constructive discussion on international race relations? If that doesn’t make you lose faith in the United Nations, I just don’t know what to tell you.

Some Western nations had the gonads to walk out on Ahmadinejad’s speech. Good. If Obama had been there, I would hope to Hillary that he would have done the same.

The only downside is that we’ll never know if he would have.  Would have liked to see it, but I wouldn’t have held my breath after the whole Summit of the Americas failure to make it a brouhaha we just saw.  But good job, Mr. Obama, for not getting us into that position in the first place.

Is it OK . . .

for me to find this picture from Instapundit

both utterly hilarious and sort of offensive and racist? 

Also, is it weird that the woman on the right looks just like my gyn if you add about 30 years?  Just curious.

Are there Consties lurking in your neighborhood?

A public service announcement from Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano, courtesy of Iowahawk.

Thinking Shallowly About Healthcare

Timothy Noah has a piece in Slate where he attempts to “explore” the health care crisis, and, shockingly, “discovers” that the answer is the solution he’s favored all along- government control. 

If, as part of health care reform, the federal government were to create a new health insurance program to compete with private insurers—as candidate Obama called for during the presidential campaign—and if that plan were to provide the same payment levels as Medicare does, then the premiums families would pay to participate would be 30 percent to 40 percent less than those paid by families to participate in a comparable private plan. Medicare, because it represents about 20 percent of the entire health care market and because its administrative costs are about one-third those of private health insurers, is able to pay hospitals roughly 30 percent less than what private insurers pay and to pay doctors roughly 20 percent less.

(bolding mine)  So, who does Noah think is going to eat all of these costs that the government is not going to pay?  According to the American Hospital Association, Medicare payments have been falling in relation to the actual costs to hospitals of providing care, and in 2005, 65% of hospitals received less in Medicare payments than they put out in costs of providing the treatment.  Who picks up the slack on that now?  We do.  Does Noah really think that it would be sustainable increase those underpayments- by billions– while at the same time removing the private payers that subsidize the current underpayments? 

Not to mention the millions of doctors who are already opting out of the Medicare system, purely because the payments do not support the paperwork and time require.  Many areas already face shortages of certain specialists- this would surely compound the problem.

The very simplicity and directness of the public option is its biggest political liability. It’s a little too obvious that creating a new health insurance program would harm private insurers. The Lewin Group calculates that if, as Obama proposed during the campaign, large employers were excluded from participating in the plan, then private insurers would lose about 19 percent of their customers. If large employers were not excluded—and I see no logical reason why they should be—then private insurers would lose about 70 percent of their customers. To my mind, private insurers would be left with a solid boutique market (51 million people) for which they ought to be grateful. But, of course, private insurers can’t abide that possibility and will likely do everything in their power to eliminate the public option from health care reform.

Anybody got any guesses on how many businesses Timothy Noah has owned or run?  Wait, none?  What a surprise!  Imagine that you run an internet based magazine, lets call it, oh, “Mate” and the government tells you that it is going to take away 70 percent of your business, but you should be grateful for the amount that you have left.  Insurance companies hire a lot of people, for good jobs, with desks and benefits) that we want people to have in order to be productive citizens (I know, I used to work for one).  Now, lets go and tell around 70 percent of those employees that they no longer have those jobs, but hey, “we’re grateful for the customers that we still have.”

I’m going to have to agree with the president on this one

The Boston Globe has a piece criticizing Obama for refusing to attend the United Nation’s international conference on racism. 

So, right away, I’m skeptical.  What do you really think would be accomplished at a UN Conference on racism?  The likelihood of this solving any actual problems seems slim indeed.  Even with low expectations in mind, the author still offers very little. 

President Barack Obama’s position on attending the conference translates roughly into: Do it our way or we won’t play. He has already gotten all references to Israel, to reparations for slavery, and to a proposed ban on speech defaming any religion dropped from the conference’s draft document. Yet, he is still unwilling to have the United States attend. Even if the administration bullies its way into getting its final points, it is not really a win for the United States.

“Do it our way or we won’t play.”  Yeah, I’m failing to see the problems there.  Moreover, Obama had them remove reference to Israel, reparations for slavery, and a proposed ban on speech defaming religion?  Our Obama?  Assuming we’re talking about the same person here, I’m very impressed.  Great job, Mr. President!

Despite the harm his threat of a boycott is doing, his administration continues its power play. State Department Spokesman Robert A. Wood said the United States would reengage in the conference only if its document meets our criteria. The main remaining objection is to a section reaffirming the declaration of the 2001 UN conference on racism.

That 2001 declaration contains statements many Israelis consider hostile. Obama seems to be adopting a policy of killing the messenger rather than dealing with the message.

Does the writer here really understand the phrase “killing the messenger?”  Usually that refers to a message that the messenger has no control over, not one that the “messenger” is specifically “reaffirming.” 

Meanwhile, the Black Caucus is trying to persuade the administration to attend, but without great success so far. In a meeting with State Department officials, the Caucus asked the obvious question: Why not just reject the parts of the document Obama cannot support, and go to the conference anyway? There is nothing radical about that.

So, I was thinking about going to a KKK rally.  I’ll just reject all the parts about inferiority of non-white races.  There’s nothing radical about that. 

“The first duty is to stop lying. Only then can any genuine attempt at settlement get under way.”

Christopher Hitchens discusses the highs, and lows, of President Obama’s recent European trip.

I have to give him credit for this one

This came in my Patriot Post humor newsletter: