ObamaCare’s Electronic-Records Debacle : By Jeffrey A. Singer.M.D.

Dr. Singer practices general surgery in Phoenix and is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.

The rule raises health-care costs even as it means doctors see fewer patients while providing worse care.

The debate over ObamaCare has obscured another important example of government meddling in medicine. Starting this year, physicians like myself who treat Medicare patients must adopt electronic health records, known as EHRs, which are digital versions of a patient’s paper charts. If doctors do not comply, our reimbursement rates will be cut by 1%, rising to a maximum of 5% by the end of the decade.

I am an unwilling participant in this program. In my experience, EHRs harm patients more than they help.

The program was inspired by the record-keeping models used by integrated health systems, especially those of the nonprofit consortium Kaiser Permanente and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The federal government mandated in the 2009 stimulus bill that all medical providers that accept Medicare adopt the records by 2015. Bureaucrats and politicians argued that EHRs would facilitate “evidence-based medicine,” thereby improving the quality of care for patients.

ISIS and Obama’s Summit The Copts and Kurds Know the Threat is More Than ‘Violent Extremism.’

The White House hosts its Summit on Countering Violent Extremism this week, and Islamic State seems not to understand it wasn’t invited. The event is supposed to showcase President Obama ’s leadership against a threat he refuses to identify by name, but the entire world has been watching Islamist jihadists advertise the specific threat across a brutal weekend.

In Iraq Islamic State paraded in cages through the city of Kirkuk 17 captured Kurdish fighters whom it presumably plans to burn alive as it recently did a caged Jordanian fighter pilot. Kirkuk is on the crossroads of Kurdish and Sunni Iraq, and ISIS didn’t hold any of the crucial oil hub when Mr. Obama unveiled his anti-ISIS strategy in September. The Kurds are on the front lines against Islamic State, but the Obama Administration has been wary of sending them significant arms lest it offend the government in Baghdad that can’t or won’t protect the Kurds.

President BuzzFeed ‘You do You’ is the Ultimate Slogan for the Ultimate Self-Referential Presidency: Bret Stephens

George Washington did not shake hands as president and would grip the hilt of his sword to avoid having his flesh pressed. The founding father understood that leadership in a republic demanded a careful balance between low populism and aristocratic lordliness. Personal comportment, the choice of clothes and carriage, modes of address: these things mattered. And so we have “Mr. President” as opposed to “His Highness.” Or “George.”

With Barack Obama —you won’t mind, Señor Presidente, if we call you Barry?—it’s another story. Dignity of office? How quaint. In this most self-infatuated of presidencies, the D-word is at best an accessory and more often an impediment to everything Barry has ever wanted to be: Cool. Chill. Connected.

So it was that, hours after the U.S. confirmed the murder of Kayla Jean Mueller at the hands of Islamic State, Mr. Obama filmed a short video for BuzzFeed, striking poses in a mirror, donning aviator shades, filming himself with a selfie stick and otherwise inhabiting a role that a chaster version of Miley Cyrus might have played had Hannah Montana been stuck in the White House after a sleepover with the Obama girls.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks (Monday, 16 February 2015), in Jerusalem, to the Conference of Presidents

Thanks to e-pal Paul Schnee..
Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks (Monday, 16 February 2015), in Jerusalem, to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

My Friends,

Tonight I want to address some important questions that have undoubtedly been on your minds. First, why am I going to Washington? I’m going to Washington because as Prime Minister of Israel, it’s my obligation to do everything in my power to prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel. The current proposal to Iran would endanger Israel. It would enable Iran to breakout to its first nuclear device within an unacceptably short time. And it would allow Iran to build an industrial capability to enrich uranium that could provide the fuel for many bombs in the coming years.

A regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction would thus have finally the means to realize its genocidal aims. Now mind you, I’m not opposed to any deal with Iran. I’m opposed to a bad deal with Iran. And I believe this is a very bad deal. I’m certainly not opposed to negotiations. On the contrary – no country has a greater interest, a greater stake, in the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear question than does Israel. But the current proposal will not solve the problem. It will perpetuate and aggravate the problem. It would provide a path for Iran to become a nuclear power. And therefore it’s very important that I speak about this in Washington.

Second question: Why am I going to Congress? Because Israel has been offered the opportunity to make its case on this crucial issue before the world’s most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime – the very pressure that has brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place; and because Congress may very well have a say on the parameters of any final deal with Iran. That’s why I’m going to Congress.

I think the real question that should be asked is how could any responsible Israeli prime minister refuse to speak to Congress on a matter so important to Israel’s survival? How could anyone refuse an invitation to speak on a matter that could affect our very existence when such an invitation is offered?

Why go now? The deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran is March 24th. That’s the date that drives the speech. Now is the time for Israel to make its case – now before it’s too late. Would it be better to complain about a deal that threatens the security of Israel after it’s signed? I believe it’s more responsible to speak out now to try to influence the negotiations while they’re still ongoing.

I think the whole point of Zionism is that the Jewish people would no longer be spectators to the decision-making that determines our fate. Remember, we were once powerless. We were once voiceless. We couldn’t even speak on our own behalf. Well, we can and we do now.

The answer to all three questions is the same. Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now? Because of the grave dangers posed by the deal that is on the table right now.


Why are Islamic terrorists obsessed with death, their own and that of others?

So, what goes on in the heads of Islamic terrorists? Barack Obama says their massive, continuing murder sprees have nothing to do with Islam. The Prime Minister of Denmark, which has experienced multiple Islamic terrorist attacks over the last week, agreed with Obama that they had nothing to do with Islam, but did admit they were terrorist attacks. Ms. Thorning-Schmidt sought to calm tensions after the attacks, saying, “This is not a war between Islam and the West….We feel certain now that it was a politically motivated attack, and thereby it was a terrorist attack,” she said. If the violent suppression of freedom of speech is a “politically motivated attack, and if she is certain of that, why deny it has nothing to do with Islam?

Speaking to reporters in Copenhagen on Sunday, according to Danish television station TV2, Ms. Thorning-Schmidt said: “This is not a war between Islam and the West. We will do our best to defend our democracy and Denmark.”

In the name of what politics were the attacks on a meeting about freedom of speech in Copenhagen and on a newspaper in Paris launched? No answer. Blank out.

The International Business Times on February 2nd carried a lengthy reiteration of Obama’s standard denial that Islam:

U.S. President Barack Obama refused to consider it a “religious war” to fight against terrorism. He continued to avoid the phrase “Islamic extremism” as he said that the majority of Muslims “reject” such an ideology.

Bennett: No Palestinian State, Even if World ‘Penalizes’ Israel

Jewish Home party leader says there’s no point relinquishing land to ‘satisfy the radical Islamist beast’
AP — With the prime minister under fire internationally for his hard-line policies, a key partner of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is standing firmly behind him ahead of the March parliamentary elections — heralding what could be an even tougher stance toward the Palestinians if the two sit together in the next government.

Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party — a lynchpin of Israel’s nationalist right that takes an even tougher line toward the Palestinians than Netanyahu’s Likud — told The Associated Press that the Palestinians should lower their expectations and forget about statehood.

Barack, Bulworth & Bibi by William Kristol

David Axelrod is the man who, more than any other, could be called Barack Obama’s brain (though Axelrod would be publicly horrified by the honorific, and would hasten to assure Valerie Jarrett that he has never been in communication with the editors of this magazine). In his new book, Axelrod describes a moment late in Obama’s first term where Obama acknowledges having a “Bulworth” list of “issues on which he felt he had been insufficiently forthright,” but about which he would be more candid in his second term. (The reference is to the Warren Beatty movie in which a candidate finally decides to tell the truth.) About what issues was Obama now going to be honest? One of them was Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with regard to whom Obama “felt he had pulled his punches .  .  . to avoid antagonizing elements of the American Jewish community.”




“When Red was Blue and Blue was Red” Sydney Williams

For most of the past forty years, red represented Democrats and blue, Republicans. The reasons stem back to the soldiers of the north in our Civil War who were predominantly Republican and to the royal blue of Europe. The color red was associated with passion and socialism, characteristics more common to the Left. In the U.S., blue denoted those who put reason before empathy, an attribute more generally assigned to cold, blue-blooded Republicans, allegedly of the country club set.

While its ubiquity is relatively recent, the use of colors to depict states during Presidential elections dates back to the universal adoption of color televisions, around the mid 1970s. In October 1976, using one of the first color-coded maps, NBC’s John Chancellor depicted a white map, which then changed as states were seen as favoring one party over the other – at that time, blue for Republicans and red for Democrats. Reagan’s 1980 Republican landslide was shown in blue on NBC and CBS, but red on ABC.

How the Left Helped Create Joe McCarthy By Ron Capshaw Please see important note



“I haven’t read West (I do intend to), but from the scuttlebutt and reviews circulating the internet, it is fairly apparent that she is a reckless historian of the McCarthy school of history. This, Ron Radosh is not. Unlike the conspiratorial school, populated on the left by Oliver Stone, and onthe right by West, Radosh dares to take a complex view of history. He is grown up enough to realize that both Hiss was guilty and McCarthy was a reckless demagogue; that the blacklist was wrong and that the Hollywood Ten were selective civil libertarians.”

With Alger Hiss, the Democrats had proven they were unwilling to investigate their own.

The act of waving lists to decry an injustice is as old as the Republic. But when Senator Joseph McCarthy waved his list, almost exactly 65 years ago, it became much more than the usual political gesture. On February 9, 1950, during a speech he gave in West Virginia, McCarthy waved a list of 205 names of men he alleged were “known Communists” — known as such by Secretary of State Dean Acheson. With this gesture, he worsened an already panicky situation, gave the angry public a ready-made explanation for why the country was losing the Cold War, helped foster class divisions in the country, and dealt anti-Communism a blow from which it did not recover for decades.

At the time McCarthy spoke to the Ohio County Women’s Republican Club in Wheeling, W. Va., many Americans feared that the U.S. was losing the Cold War. By 1950, Stalin had invaded Czechoslovakia, controlled Eastern Europe, and, most chilling of all, had obtained the A-bomb. Citizens were at a loss as to how the most powerful country in the world could be losing the conflict.