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Single Payer from a Brit’s perspective: You’re not missing anything

Mary Gauguin

A question to America: What if Obamacare isn’t the endgame? What if Democrats touting reform know and accept that Obamacare can never work efficiently? And what if, knowing that, the bigger picture they have in mind for America is a system we in the United Kingdom affectionately (better yet, slavishly) call the National Health Service? That’s right; something known to you, our American friends, as “Single Payer” Healthcare.

Well, if you do enough digging around on the internet, you’ll come across politians confessing to this as being their ultimate goal for the American healthcare system. An example: Recently, Senator Harry Reid said “What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever.” Asked if the ultimate direction in which he wanted to head was universal coverage he said: “Absolutely yes.”

I myself do not doubt the alertness of many Americans to the intentions of those on the left. However, just in case that alertness might be waning, especially considering the constant barrage of scandals and outrages from Washington daily, I wish to jolt you back up with this incredible recent report from the British Daily Telegraph newspaper: Inspectors Find Maggots In Treatment Rooms And Endless Queues.

If you don’t have time to read the entire article, then here’s a snippet of it:
“The [inspection] visits uncovered vaccines stored at unsafe temperatures, leaving children exposed to deadly diseases, and doctors unable to use basic life-saving equipment. Some GPs were accused of “tick-box” attitudes that left cancers undiagnosed.

In one Nottingham surgery, live maggots and dead insects were found in a treatment room, while blood and other samples were stored in a dirty utility room. One practice in Essex was forced to close after inspectors found that there were no doors on its consultation rooms, denying patients basic privacy.

Patients at a Birmingham practice found it so difficult to secure an appointment that they queued for hours outside, with some bringing stools to sit on. At another surgery in the city, Kingshurst Medical Practice, two doctors each referred the other to the General Medical Council on grounds of incompetence.

At a Leeds practice, inspectors found no doctors on the premises during working hours.”

Read it America. Read it and weep. Then slap yourself back to calmness, get a grip and do something about Obamacare. 2014 is the year in which the stalwart people of your nation must elect an Impeachment Congress; rid yourselves of this dangerous administration and repeal Obamacare. Harry Reid might deem this disgraceful law as a stepping stone to single payer. But you must let him know, it is simply a stepping stone too far.

NC Senate – January 4

This week, Thom Tillis released the first of what will probably be many advertisements promoting his run for U.S. Senate representing North Carolina. Another milestone in this race that can’t move fast enough for me, he is also the first candidate in the Republican field, vast and impressive, to release an ad.

Yes, Thom, it’s time to clean up the mess created by Democrats. Are you up to the challenge?

And what’s the beltline take on the story?

So what are they Missing?

For one thing, they are missing the point that, even though Tillis faces a tough primary with some pretty popular conservatives that is, at best, tight, he is not attacking his primary competition, he’s going straight for Hagan. Hooray! This must be driving the Washington blue elites crazy. They’re banking on the field beating each other up, making accusations and fabricating attacks, to define the Senate campaign. I think they better find a different bank.

As I mentioned in my previous post on the NC Senate Race, all Republicans really need to do is focus on is Hagan, don’t destroy each other, and the rest will likely to take care of itself.

Has Tillis’ Campaign Manager been reading my blog? Doubtful! I’m hoping it’s just that obvious, to everyone. But read how Jordan Shaw handles the baiting by local CBS outlet WRAL. I am just ecstatic that these guys are going to hone in on Hagan rather than each other, at least early on. Sure, they’ll have to start differentiating at some point, but starting with Hagan is the absolute right way to go. Jordan shows resolve in resisting the temptations of the local Raleigh media, and lets hope that sticks. It’s the right thing to do for North Carolina, and the way to ensure Hagan is defeated in November.

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Unity is America

Welcome Mary Gauguin to #4CornersUSA, coming to us from across the pond in the UK, with this great blog:

Just before the end of last year, I was stunned by the reports of an article by one Connie Cass of myway.com. The piece was based on a recent survey carried out by AP-GfK. Based on the results of this survey, it was concluded that “Americans don’t trust each other anymore.” In fact, according to the survey, ‘only one-third of Americans say most people can be trusted’, with many Americans saying they were generally suspicious of others.

I was more than disturbed by the account this report gave of the state of American society. Now the report didn’t give demographic details of the survey’s results; It would have proved more elucidating if it did, as I suspect there would be certain parts of America that the survey’s negative conclusion would apply less to. Here, I’m thinking of that complimentary stereotype of southern hospitality. I’ve always found that a cute little contrast, as here in the UK, where I write from, the further north you go, the more hospitality, transparency and friendliness you’re said to encounter.  I can attest that that is generally true. When they’re not drunk and spoiling for a brawl, Glaswegians will be buying you a friendly pint.

But I digress. Why was I particularly perturbed by the picture painted by the results of this survey? Reader, a secret between you and me is this: the modern-day Englishman/woman envies from afar the close-knit nature of American society. With the devastation of religious adherence and family values in Europe, the common ties that held people together were slashed off and with them went that contagious sense of community and general friendliness that we see in the average American tourist meandering his way about London’s popular landmarks every summer. We spectate from afar, and from what we see on television, from what we experience when we visit you and when you visit us, it is clear that there is still a sort of boundless optimism in the American spirit that is no longer present within our English society.

This optimism, or the lack thereof, is surely telling on a society and the way its members relate with one other. And it is because of this optimism and its almost intercausal product of societal harmony and mutual trust, what I interpret Leonard Cohen’s ‘Democracy’ as alluding to when it speaks of “machinery for change” and “spiritual thirst”, that America has been a place of possibilities and exponential potential for so long. Take this communal spirit of belief in the general goodness and goodwill of the next man away, and you’re left with a dead land, aka an Eng-land.

Thus far, I hope it is evident that I do not believe completely in the results of the survey, as I would not be touting contrary evidence from personal experience and understanding that I and other Englanders have had when dealing with Americans if I did. No. I do not believe America has ever been, or currently is, a place where the vast majority of people distrust each other. This simply cannot be. In a country where the many banded together some four years ago to create one of the most genuine, spontaneous yet organised and orderly grassroots coalition ever seen in any democratic nation anywhere, it simply cannot be! The Tea Party and people like yourself reading this simply cannot exist in a nation where people cannot cooperate nor trust one another. The Libyans tried it. Look where they are today; subverted and dominated by Al Qaeda. The Egyptians and many others will tell you a similar story. However, all this is not to say America cannot one day become such a place as that projected by the cited survey. And this is precisely why I write.

Count this a warning letter as well as an exhortation.

What is my warning and what is my exhortation? They are one and the same and as follows. In this new year of 2014, all right-minded Americans who desire a better future for their country will face new and great challenges. Among them will be the mid-term congressional elections. And those who normally conspire to the end of thwarting the people’s efforts, the euphemistically-named “establishment” politicians, will arise, more determined than ever, to do so yet again.

Stated in the myway article was this: “For four-decades, a gut-level ingredient for democracy –trust in the other fellow- has been quietly draining away.” Agree or disagree with the survey’s representation of modern day America, the article is right when it asserts that unity and trust between citizens is crucial for democratic co-operation. All the gains that Conservatives have made since the Moral Majority to the 911ers and the Tea Party have come about because Americans of all stripes and backgrounds saw danger ahead and were willing to work together for the common good against said danger. Without this willingness to look past their differences, whether actual, perceived or potential; whether ethnic, social or political (for the Tea Party attracts libertarians, conservatives and even Democrats alike), there cannot be an effective-enough force to offset the treachery they face from Washington.

According to Conni Cass’ piece, one Robert Putnam puts forward the theory that because Americans have ‘abandoned their bowling leagues and Elk lodges to stay at home and watch tv’ there is less socialising and fewer community meetings, in turn, making people less trustful than previous generations. One doesn’t need a social scientist to point this out. It is self-evident. And so is the solution. Americans must return to community. There must be a return to loving thy neighbour, literally: a friendly word across the garden fence, a return to the bowling alley with friends, old and new; and most importantly, a return to our churches, whatever denomination, let each follow his/her conscience.

Returning from a hard day’s work and simply collapsing in front of the television screen will no longer do. From the blue screen of death flows forth a profusion of false paradigms. Sitting in front of leftist propaganda or right-wing gloom will only allow despair to set in, despair that will isolate and paralyze each and every patriot eventually, rendering all useless against the dark cogs of Washington. Yes we must stay informed, but we can also easily overfeed on information. Instead, in 2014, pick up the phone to your old friend Sally, find out as to her and her family’s wellbeing, and when she tells you about the dire effects of Obamacare on her et al, you can ask: “Who’s the Tea Party candidate for your Senate and House seats?” If there isn’t one, who’s to say it can’t be one of you two or both of you?

Yes Washington RINOs and Dems are always scheming, stabbing each other in the back and up to all sorts of serpentilics. Nothing more should you expect of a brood of vipers. But such does not have to rub off on We The People. Band together; rekindle that flame of togetherness from 2010 this New Year and you can exchange the brood of vipers for a righteous convocation of eagles.

Finally, refuse to accept the premise of Connie Cass’ piece as I might. I agree with a suggestion put forward in it by one social scientist, Thomas Sander. As the ‘executive director of the Sagnaro Seminar’ claims, Americans have the tools to restore the unity and sense of trust asserted to be lost. How? By mobilising modern day technology, tech such as social media, the internet, email, FaceBook, Twitter etc. The power of these tools must be maximised and utilised in 2014. No unifying tool should be laid aside in this effort. So what are you waiting for America. There’s no time like the present.

Get tweeting.

Oh and Happy New Year from the UK.

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Media Wrap Up: November 25, 2013

One thing that continues to challenge my logic pathways. Why have none of the liberal cable networks figured out they are getting their butts kicked because they are super biased. Beyond biased. They drank the Kool-Aid. And this is the result.

So, as usual, we have another week where the mainstream media proves that they really could care less about a liberal power grab in DC, unless of course it directly affects them in some way.

FEATURE STORY: A scorned press biting back.
This week, the news hit that a Washington Times reporter, along with the Times, are suing the US government for documents seized beyond the bounds of a warrant being served, against her husband for, get this, a fire arm related investigation. But the warrant was executed by the Coast Guard. I think I need an explanation on that one. Why is the Coast Guard leading a search and seizure activity, on a land based residence, for what should be an ATF investigation. None was offered.

State Police were present. This, like so many other of our stories, has been completely ignored by the mainstream media. Even the Associated Press seems to have no comment on this event. Really? I guess they think they are safe? Surely they have learned better by now.

Top Story – Martin Bashir shows the left’s true colors
Sarah Palin attacked by MSNBC Thug
Surely you have heard the story of Martin Bashir’s disgusting remarks about Sarah Palin. The story here is not the difference in the coverage; not much way to put a positive spin on this story. The story here is that Bashir has not been disciplined, suspended, or even chastised publicly by his network. Proving once again that you can say whatever you want, as long as you say it about a conservative. But not all media are buying it. The Baltimore Sun sees the damage to the media mega-brand.

Ignored by the Mainstream
Knock out game
If we had written this story last Monday, we would have noted how every network other than Fox News was completely ignoring this story. Then, over the weekend, they shockingly began to cover it. But why? Maybe it was the way that Fox continued to point out on air that the other networks were not covering the story. Well, that did not make the Daily Beast very happy, especially considering the black on white nature of the crime. They decided to put a new spin on the story, basically calling all the other networks “alarmists” for covering it, accusing them of causing panic. Way to dig yourself even deeper into that “state run media” hole, Daily Beast.

The Today Show finally covered it this morning. Calling them random attacks, not racial attacks – FALSE!

So, just so I understand, when a white man attacks a black man, it’s racially motivated. But when dozens of black youth attack whites, it’s just a random act of violence? Okay, sure, that makes perfect sense.

Navigator Nightmares
With the mainstream media’s love for protecting this president and his policies, and politics – it’s no wonder that the stories of Obamacare navigator nightmares caught on tape is not being covered. Of course it’s not. It’s just more evidence of how they do business, and who at the major networks is going to cover that. Forget that these stories have been ongoing for weeks. But hey are nowhere to be found in the mainstream media.
Fox News
The Blaze

Distorted
The nuclear option
There has been no greater assault on our legislative rules of order in 100 years than the new procedure that was passed last week by Harry Reid’s Senate. The so called ‘nuclear option’ has become the Reid Rule, and it is fitting that Harry Reid’s name will forever be carried into history attached to this enormous breach of our constitution. But what was the distortion, what was the difference in the coverage. While the more balanced and conservative media attempted to point out that the rule change put the democratic process at risk, removing – yet again – checks that were put on the executive quite intentionally, the mainstream only asked – wasn’t it really the best thing for everyoneor focused on how it will impact the Democrats in 2014.

Proof some folks never learn
The last, but certainly not the least, of our stories for this week just broke over the weekend, but has the entire press up in arms. To say they are unhappy regarding the Public Relations wall the Obama Administration has constructed around itself would be an understatement – like saying the Weathermen were ‘unhappy’ with Richard Nixon and John Mitchell. And they said so, in a letter signed by 38 news outlets and associations.

Though some of the left leaning coverage was bland, at best, the mainstream coverage was pretty scathing. Check out the full letter below.
Huffington Post
Politico – yeah, that’s right. I hope you all were sitting down for that one.
Fox News
Associated Press
New York Daily News
Voice of Russian – hope you were sitting down for that one too.

Here is how they really feel – letter to the White House:

November 21, 2013
Jay Carney
Press Secretary
The White House

VIA HAND DELIVERY

Dear Mr. Carney:
We write to protest the limits on access currently barring photographers who cover the White House. We hope this letter will serve as the first step in removing these restrictions and, therefore, we also request a meeting with you to discuss this critical issue further. Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties. As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government. To be clear, we are talking about Presidential activities of a fundamentally public nature. To be equally clear, we are not talking about open access to the residence or to areas restricted, for example, for national security purposes.

The apparent reason for closing certain events to photographers is that these events have been deemed “private.” That rationale, however, is undermined when the White House contemporaneously releases its own photograph of a so-called private event through social media. The restrictions imposed by the White House on photographers covering these events, followed by the routine release by the White House of photographs made by government employees of these same events, is an arbitrary restraint and unwarranted interference on legitimate newsgathering activities. You are, in effect, replacing independent photojournalism with visual press releases.

All of the following events, with the exception of the McCain-Graham meeting, were reported as “read-outs” by the White House with “official” White House photo(s) attached. They illustrate the troubling breadth of the restrictions placed upon news-gathering by the White House to record governmental activity of undisputed and wide public interest:

  • On July 10, 2013, the President met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
  • On July 11, 2013, the President met with the Co-Chairs of the U.S. – China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
  • On July 29, 2013, the President met with former Secretary of State Clinton (White House photo also distributed via Twitter).
  • On July 30, 2013, the President and Vice President met with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
  • On August 26, 2013, the President met with African-American Faith Leaders.
  • On September 2, 2013, the President met with Senators McCain and Graham.
  • On October. 11, 2013, the President and family members met with Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, a person of great public interest.

While certain of these events may appear “private” in nature, the decision of the White House to release its own contemporaneous photograph(s) suggests that the White House believes these events are, in fact, newsworthy and not private.

The right of journalists to gather the news is most critical when covering government officials acting in their official capacities. Previous administrations have recognized this, and have granted press access to visually cover precisely these types of events, thus creating government transparency. It is clear that the restrictions imposed by your office on photographers undercut the President’s stated desire to continue and broaden that tradition. To exclude the press from these functions is a major break from how previous administrations have worked with the press.

Moreover, these restrictions raise constitutional concerns. As the Supreme Court has stated, the First Amendment protects “the public and the press from abridgment of their rights of access to information about the operation of their government,” Richmond Newspapers Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 584 (1980). The fact that there is no access whatsoever only heightens those concerns. As one court has noted in considering a similar restriction: “The total exclusion of television representatives from White House pool coverage denies the public and the press their limited right of access, guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.” Cable News Network, Inc. v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al. 518 F.Supp. 1238, 1245 (N.D. GA 1981).

The organizations and individuals signing this letter strongly believe that imposing limits on press access, as your office has done, represents a troubling precedent with a direct and adverse impact on the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing.

We consider this a most serious matter and urge you to provide appropriate access for independent photojournalists to all public governmental events in which the President  participates. Again, we see this letter as the first step toward restoring full press access to these events. Accordingly, we request an immediate meeting with you in order to resolve this very serious situation. We ask that you contact Steve Thomma, President of the White House Correspondents’ Association, and Sam Feist, current television pool chair, to set up the meeting.

Thank you.
ABC News
Agence France-Presse
American Society of News Editors
American Society of Media Photographers
Associated Press
Associated Press Media Editors
Associated Press Photo Managers
Association of Alternative Newsmedia
Association of Opinion Journalists
Bloomberg News
CBS News
CNN
Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox News Channel
Gannett Co., Inc.
Getty Images
Lee Enterprises, Incorporated
The McClatchy Company
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
National Press Club
National Press Photographers Association
NBC News
New England First Amendment Coalition
News Media Coalition
Newspaper Association of America
The New York Times Company
Online News Association
Professional Photographers of America
Radio Television Digital News Association
Regional Reporters Association
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Reuters
Society of Professional Journalists
Tribune Company
The Washington Post
White House Correspondents’ Association
White House News Photographers Association
Yahoo! Inc.